The Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein speaks for a lot of Republican voters when he says Ron Paul’s foreign policy is a non-starter. But Weinstein’s claim that non-interventionism would have led to “the Nazi Century” is simply a misreading of history.
I’m typically more modest than to engage in a series of historical counterfactuals, but two can play this game.
To conservative hawks, every international affair is akin to appeasing the Nazis in World War II. But what Weinstein forgets here is that the rise of the Nazis itself is widely acknowledged to be the product of interventionism. Woodrow Wilson’s crusade to make the world “safe for democracy” ended up heaping the punitive Versailles Treaty on Germany, which laid the groundwork for the grievances that would create the Third Reich.
In fact, if America had pursued a non-interventionist foreign policy during the last century or so, not only would we have not lived through a Nazi century, but plenty of people would have been much better off.
Take, say, President William McKinley’s 1899 war of conquest in the Philippines, which was supposed to “liberate” and “Christianize” Filipinos. To do this, McKinley invaded the country and then authorized American troops to kill any Filipino male 10 years old or older and massacre other civilians. Well over 100,000 Filipinos died — as well as 4,000 U.S. soldiers. Might they have been better off with a non-interventionist foreign policy?