On Sunday, July 27th, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appeared on the CBS “Face the Nation” program and said something the American people wanted to hear. She then promptly contradicted her own pronouncement.
After agreeing that “the world is a mess,” and that its current travails are less important to most Americans, she registered her opinion that the people in our nation don’t want the U.S. “to be the world’s policemen.” Amen to that! But Albright, who probably would never have come even close to expressing that conclusion when she was holding her high office (during the final years of the Clinton presidency, 1997-2001), followed her sound assessment of the thinking of most Americans by completely reversing it. She said, “What has to happen is we need to really work harder on partnerships.”
Partnerships? Wouldn’t partnerships with other nations involve us in whatever squabble any one of them might find themselves? George Washington urged that our nation “steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” Thomas Jefferson cautioned against “entangling alliances.” John Quincy Adams stated that America’s policy should not have us roaming the earth “seeking monsters to destroy.” But Madeleine Albright wants our nation to tighten relationships with other countries via “partnerships” which are the very opposite of the wise counsel given by America’s early leaders.
In 1949, Secretary of State Dean Acheson led the charge that persuaded Congress to approve the creation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Originally linking the United States and Canada with 14 European nations, the treaty has been expanded in recent years to include a total of 28 nations — with others clamoring to sign up. NATO’s 14 brief articles include this whopper: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” Not only that, the treaty makes note of the fact that the organization derives its authority to exist from the Charter of the United Nations that requires all of the alliance’s actions to be duly reported to the world body.
The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan is a NATO project. Whatever happens or fails to happen there is NATO’s call, and the current leader of NATO is Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The alliance’s Military Commander is General Knud Bartles, also from Denmark. Talk about a “far cry” from the thinking of America’s early leaders.
Albright pointed to the Ukraine crisis without noting that the United States is already involved through supplying weaponry to that nation’s government. And Ukraine’s officials have already expressed interest in joining NATO. They obviously want the United States committed to being their defender.
What do treaties like NATO produce? It’s worth noting that the U.S. Constitution’s required congressional declaration of war before militarily entering a conflict got bypassed in the Vietnam struggle. The U.S. involvement there obtained its authorization from a NATO duplicate called SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization). What our forces did or were prevented from doing in that costly struggle was determined by SEATO.
The favored policy of America should be “non-intervention.” It’s not isolationism; it’s good sense.
A final curious note must be mentioned here. Albright’s choice of the word “partnership” likely was deliberate. U.S. leaders are promoting passage of economic partnerships with the European Union (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; TTIP) and Asian/Pacific nations (Trans-Pacific Partnership; TPP). Just as NAFTA unnecessarily involved our nation in many ways with Canada and Mexico, these new “partnerships” would entangle the United States with many more nations economically and politically while diluting sovereignty even further. Passage of both should be blocked. But be forewarned: The word “partnership” is the current coverup for treaty, alliance, or free trade agreement. And Madeleine Albright, who really favors more entanglements, surely knows why she chose it.