"Apologists for activist government never tire of telling us that the benevolent state is our protector and that without it we'd be at the mercy of monsters. It is about time that we understood that the U.S. government does more to endanger the American people than any imagined monsters around the world…by pursuing its Grand Foreign Policy of meddling anywhere and everywhere."
by:
Sheldon Richman
V.P. of Future of Freedom Foundation, author
Source:
Liberty, Security, and the War on Terrorism (2010)
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Reader comments about this quote:
Very accurate statement. The statist theocracy infesting this land is a very activist government in destroying a free and moral people that once were.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- jim k, Austin,Tx      
    I would add the damage they do in the name of good intentions domestically as well.
     -- J. Allen, Arlington, Va     
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    Isolationist can neither be free nor moral.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
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    A whole world hates the US because this country loves to meddle in the internal affairs of all nations. This country tells other nations that they should do everything our way or we will sanction them. Such nice guys in OUR government.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    The Military and CIA et al. have been far too busy manipulating foreign governments in order to make them "US Friendly". They have installed dictatorships and interfered with the conomic well being in and of many nations. Oddly the people of those nations blame Americans for their problems. The CIA calls this "blowback". There is even a book of the same title. Also try reading "Confessions of an Economic Hitman". Until we start minding our own business, we'll continue to earn the animosity of the planet. Isolationism is not what the Constitution intended but neither did it intend Imperialism. Restore the Republic.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Americans have truly lost control of their government. We can't stop our government's abuses at home or abroad. Fascism in America is undeniable to all but most Americans. The right wing furthers foreign wars and religious bigotry, and the left wing furthers domestic statism and indentured servitude. Both political parties share the same tired ideals: that the government is our lord and master and that we are to serve it, that the needs of the state outweigh the rights of the People -- ANY people. We are lied to day and night, ad infinitum. Afghanistan is NO threat to the United States -- does anyone remember that the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis? Only Congress is to declare war -- why then is the US military embroiled in wars half-way around the world? Our government has run amuck. Habeas corpus has still not been restored -- for our own protection, they say! Our debt has been doubled in two years -- for our own good, they say! A politician is shot by a kid who likely was put on drugs as public school policy, and now the press is blaming the grass-roots Tea Party movement -- all the while US forces are KILLING brown people around the world EVERY DAY -- again, for the control of OIL in the Middle East, hell, for the control of EVERYTHING everywhere -- what isn't an 'American interest'? While our own country goes bankrupt both economically and spiritually, our leaders profess to be the 'Light of the World' for the rest of the planet to bow down to. Either we will stand up against all this hypocrisy, or we will reap what we sow. Isolationism? PLEASE! What doesn't the US government have its hands in? They are in my pockets, your pockets, and every pocket they can reach around the world. It is f**king crazy! And all the world knows it except the idiotic Americans who's labors and property are the collateral for all the power directed at literally enslaving the world to a cartel of bankers who print up their own money and loan it to us at interest. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU!! They do not care about Peace -- War is their business! A police state needs 'crime' -- it creates a culture of theft and graft. And it is all business as usual. Tax 'em, bomb 'em, drug 'em, brainwash 'em, and build more prisons -- it never ends. It is not hard to see how some minds eventually break -- dare I say, that is what they are trying to do just so that they can justify more of the same. They thrive on conflict and war, and we are but pawns in the game.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    America is the biggest threat to terrorism - they create the monsters they then kill butt along with the monsters they kill they include millions of innocent women and children who then in become terrorists to revenge the death of their brothers and sisters. We manufactures terrorist's as we no longer have a cold-war or commy's under the bed - the military complex must be kept busy.... We should be ashamed at what we are doing around the world... over 715 bases in 120 countries .
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Reston, I am almost always in agreement with your thoughts and I agree with your statement here, but I think Richmond isn't thinking of internal actions by govt to improve people's lives but, instead, of what Carlton has written about our humongous number of military bases around the globe and how our empire building is creating hate and terrorism which not only endanger the U.S. but ALL other countries. Chalmers Johnson, who wrote "Blowback," has also written two follow-up books that completely expose our government's takeover of the globe and the danger it presents everywhere. What Eisenhower said at his exit as President could not have been more prescient.
     -- dick, fort worth     
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    A good observation, but the quotes I tend to like best are shorter and pithier, maybe one or two lines. These are much easier to remember and repeat to others, which I think is why quoting someone is useful for making a point. I am a devoted collector of quotes but I don't think I have put many WHOLE PARAGRAPHS in my list.
     -- SuzeO, Seattle, WA     
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    The principles and founding philosophy of the United States of America are universal ones. If we do not promote them universally they have no meaning for us individuall and on our own shores. You can call it meddling if you wish to but those are the cards we have been dealt my our founders and our Constitution. We hold these truths to be self evidient that all men are created equal was not written as just a selfish broadside to remove ourselves form our British overlords but as a basic political philosophy for all men everywhere. The greatest thing we and our government can do is promote this "manifestor" worldwide and universally. We and our goverment should ever be activist in this regard. I make no apology for that I am proud of it.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler once again demonstrates under no uncertain terms that socialism is his god. With dogmas, tenets, and canons in toto aloof from and, foreign to the de jure US's Constitution, Waffler totally ignores the founders writings and intentions, law, justice, and the concept of an individual sovereign's inalienable right. The God of the Old and New Testaments would even leave the 99 to seek out the 1. The founders understood such lawful concept and set in motion a representative republic of individuals that were endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that is the truth that is held self evident
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The US government of today is hardly that which was intended by our founders, Waffler. George Washington once said, "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have as little political connection as possible... Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalships, interest, humor, or caprice?... It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." While the Declaration of Independence is indeed a tremendous leap and example to the world, the US was never to impose its power over other nations 'for their own good' which seems to be Waffler's unapologetic mantra. Disregarding the sovereignty of the People has also resulted in disregarding the sovereignty of the rest of the nations in the world. We have no right to meddle in the affairs of foreign nations -- and the attempt to control the wealth and resources of other nations is blatant. It is no wonder that entire nations of people have learned to hate the US. How can we be an example to the world when we are bankrupting ourselves supposedly to free another nation that will be dependent upon us later. This is empire building -- just like the British imperialists of old, 'civilizing the savages' all the while putting them under the yoke. The battle for the Middle East has been going on for a thousand years -- why should they ever give in? Remember that war is a racket, a very lucrative racket, and as long as there are gullible Wafflers in the world, millions will be slaughtered in the name of Peace and Liberty.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Good Waffler.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    It does say "by pursuing its Grand Foreign Policy of meddling anywhere and everywhere" that is the point. And it's because of this grand foreign policy that Americans have been duped into thinking it's for freedom and democracy.
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Sheldon Richman sounds very much like what the former great Congressman has been stating all along. As well as the wise and intelligent Non-Interventionists' George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Former Pres. Dwight Eisenhower warned about the warring agenda of the U.S. Military Industrial Complex ... i.e., the Pentagon.
    We all know that the likes of Waffler, Archer and Reston have no idea what the difference is between an Isolationist and a Non-Interventionist .. And, if they do then they really don't give a care because they are always in their full-out mode to promote their Progressive-Socialist agenda's to shred the 1st Principles and the U.S. Constitution.
     -- Mary - MI     
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    "To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality toward belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves and too elevated not to look down upon them in others...." James Madison
    Madison's Inaugural Address - The American Presidency Project - March 4, 1809

    "The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible.... Trust in temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies... steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." (President George Washington, Farewell Address, 1797)

    "My policy has been, and will continue to be, while I have the honor to remain in the administration of the government, to be upon friendly terms with, but independent of, all the nations of the earth. To share in the broils of none. To fulfil our own engagements. To supply the wants, and be carriers for them all: Being thoroughly convinced that it is our policy and interest to do so." -- George Washington
    (1732-1799) Founding Father, 1st US President, 'Father of the Country' - Source: 1795 - letter to Gouverneur Morris, ref: Washington's Maxims, 54.

    "Honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none," (President Thomas Jefferson, Inaugural Address, 1801)

    George Washington: "The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure." (1793.)

     -- Mary - MI     
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    Sorry, I omitted the name of that "former great Congressman" i.e., Ron Paul who follows in the footsteps of Madison, Jefferson and Washington.
     -- Mary - MI     
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    America's founders sought to bring freedom and liberty to the world by example only, but in the course of time it has become impossible to do that because we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted, without sufficient virtue human nature and natural law takes its inevitable course.

    "Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt." -- Samuel Adams Essay in the Public Advertiser, 1749
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    Hey, Mary, I think you have included me in your list of progressives by mistake. If personal responsibility is isolationism, then so be it. I agree with your sentiments, I am not with Waffler or Reston, to which my comments do attest.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Thank you very much, Mary - MI. " Sincere Neutrality ". Corruption from within a governing body. " A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." ( Gala 5:9 ). For brethren, ye have been called unto Liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. ( Gala 5:13,14,15. ) Very devout Christians were some of our Founding Fathers, understanding the influence of the " Church " at large, with all their good or otherwise intentions. Religious zeal, for unsound doctrine, is checked at the door ! This being done through our Declaration. There is a fundamental split in doctrine between Liberty and socialistic servitude within the church. This made Very obvious to me as a child, having been brought up within the " Church " and the generalized doctrine of doubt. Doubt opening the door to fear and servitude. To withhold one small bit of knowledge, blinds the entire crowd. Materialism inters in ( flesh ) and the Spirit of Liberty is forgotten about. President George Washington warned of these unawares crept in to spy out our Liberty. Which brings us to the present crisis. The term, " Mystery of iniquity ". Now who's lobbying and their denominational affiliation drives the entanglement with other nations and their internal politics. Even the Oil Barren goes to church somewhere.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    In a world of hyperglobalization there is no such thing as 'independence'. That is a mental construct that does not exist in the real world. Whatever we do, or don't do, as an effect on people the world over. From the abuse of antibiotics, to the invention of every technology or idea. We are free to say or do anything we want. We can never be free from the consequences. National borders, governments or armies won't stop the negative consequences if we fail to apply our fundamental ideal that "all men are created equal" and deserving of life, liberty and justice.
    A world federation putting the protection of inalienable human rights above the rights of all nations to do as they please, is our only path to maximizing freedom and security for all people sharing this irreversibly interdependent world.
     -- Anonymous, Rockville     
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    Anonymous, The pattern was set forth long ago, independence under God's grace. One contract may be signed by the hand of man, the other by the whole heart which God looks upon, every night, testimony the fruit of the lips. Once saved always saved. Liberty and Freedom have always been, and will always be an individuals choice to live under oppression or take a Stand for Liberty ordained by our Creator. ! Then you might encounter that which so many wish to see. Faith, moves mountains ! to believe as a child, without doubt. brings the greatest of trust. Hope against all odds. One must lead, the others will follow.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    To the "A" from Reston (an illiberal's typical response), within the scope of your broad ad hominem, isolationists can actually be what ever they want  moral, immoral, what ever. Further, the quote does not address isolationism. Individual sovereigns in a de jure States united can deal in commerce where ever they like and are able. The focus here is a self perceived god of war (government) that believes might makes right  as long as it is profitable.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Anonymous, under your described utopia, in reality, there is far less chance for your perceived world federation than for an independent body politic of individual sovereigns united. As long as there is at least one independent sovereign (mentally, physically, seeking, hoping, etc.  perceiving inalienable right and liberty at/by the laws of nature and of nature's God) there is the possibility of "lawful" independence". Under narrow religious dogmas of collectivism and materialism, "independence" is a fatal disease that can not exist.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    There's a big difference between setting a good example and enforcing it upon others.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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