The Monroe Doctrine

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been pondering how America is becoming more and more isolated in the world, even though we are spending more than every country on foreign wars and aid to countries that have an open hatred of America.
Over the past two presidencies, we have had no coherent foreign policy.  First, there was George W. Bush with an almost evangelical push to transform other countries into constitutional republics.  These were countries that had no history of democracy, are very tribal and want nothing to do with our form of government.  These countries have developed even more hatred towards our country because we are perceived as arrogant.  These countries see our actions as just one more attempt at colonialism; something in which these countries have a taste from the past.
Then, there is our present president, Obama, who has no other foreign policy than to apologize for the America of the past and then be even more arrogant and invasive than Bush.  Europe is angry that we are spying on them, China distrusts our debt and manipulation of currency, the Arab world sees us as the great Satan and South America, Latin America and Mexico see us as bad hemispheric neighbors.
So two presidents have drained us of human resources, weakened our military, reduced the average citizen’s civil liberties and spent trillions of dollars on killing and then trying to rebuild foreign populations.  I think it is time to re-examine our foreign policy or lack of a foreign policy.
Call me stupid, but I like simplicity.  There was another president who was worried about foreign policy; his name was James Madison.  In 1823, America was still very new as a nation.  The “Old World,” mainly Europe, still had some designs on Latin America, Cuba and Puerto Rico.  Mexico was also an unsettled issue.
This doctrine basically divided the world into the “Old World” consisting of all of Europe, Asia India, Africa and any other countries besides Latin America, South America, Mexico and the United States, which was referred to as the “New World.”  The doctrine simply stated that the western hemisphere was our area to influence, and the rest of the world could do whatever they chose.  If an Old World power chose to interfere in the governments of the western hemisphere, then the might of America”s new found power would fall upon the intruder.  This simple policy lasted to a large extent from presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Reagan as well as some others.  Only recently have we abandoned this doctrine, and we have done so at our own peril.
The only drawback to the doctrine is that we never bothered to be good neighbors to those in the western hemisphere, and this weakened the doctrine.  So, my suggestion is to bring back Madison’s concept, but with a much greater sense of cooperation and respect.  Let us drawback to the western hemisphere.  Instead of wasting time and resources outside the hemisphere, we should be building strong cultural and economic ties right here with our neighbors.  We should expand economic and cultural relations with Mexico, not try to isolate our neighbor.  Right now, the greatest buyer of mineral rights in Latin and South America is not us but rather China – an economically hostile country and one with little culturally in common with our hemisphere.

Let us help our neighbors; not try to nation-build abroad.  Let us increase our solidification of trade and travel with the Americas.  We must do this admitting our mistakes of the past and promoting true cooperation.  No more undeclared wars.  Don’t mess with us, and we won’t mess with you.  Enough with the failed policies of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan; we have plenty of work to do right here in this hemisphere.


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