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September 17, 2002

Entangling Alliances Distort our Foreign Policy


by Rep. Ron Paul

As President Bush addressed the United Nations last week, I could not help thinking we have become incredibly mired in the "entangling alliances" another President George – George Washington – warned against. Sadly, many in Washington and the media seem to consider UN approval of our war plans far more important than a congressional debate on the matter.

America has an absolute sovereign right to defend itself. We do not need permission from the UN or anybody else to use military force. What is needed, however, is a congressional declaration of war. Our Constitution does not permit any President to initiate war simply because the UN gives him permission. When we seek permission, or even mere approval, from the United Nations, we give credibility to the terrible notion that American national security is a matter of international consensus. America alone should decide whether to send its sons and daughters to war.

I’m disappointed that the President has chosen to further entangle the American people with the United Nations by rejoining UNESCO. For decades UNESCO has promoted its anti-American "education" agenda with our tax dollars. President Reagan was right to withdraw America from the politicized and corrupt UNESCO, especially since American taxpayers funded a whopping 25% of its budget. Our new promised financial commitment to UNESCO is at least $60 million annually. Given our present economic problems and immediate national security concerns, we surely cannot afford to send even more taxpayer dollars to the UN – especially to an organization that actively promotes values so contrary to those of most Americans.

Meanwhile, Russia and France have made it known that they might be persuaded to support our war effort if the American government guarantees payment for commercial debts owed them by Iraq. This amounts to nothing less than buying allies. Incredibly, the U.S. Treasury may make good on Saddam Hussein’s bad debts, with American taxpayers settling his unpaid bills! Who can possibly believe these kinds of unholy deals represent an acceptable foreign policy?

The root of the problem is our insistence on accepting the concept of one-world globalist government while pursuing unilateralist goals. We participate in globalist institutions like the UN, sign globalist treaties, and send our sons and daughters to fight in globalist wars that have nothing to do with our national interest. Yet we also demand the right to act unilaterally when it suits us, to set all policy in the global arena, and to exclude ourselves from many of the international rules.

This schizophrenic approach inevitably gives us the worst of both worlds. We give up our sovereignty, but fail to win any real allies. We pay all the bills, risk the lives of our young people, and invite UN meddling in our domestic laws, yet still we sow the seeds of discontent and future hostility with the world community. All because we have abandoned our Constitution and the founder’s ideal of noninterventionism in favor of globalism. What is badly needed today is a coherent foreign policy based on American national security and self-defense, free trade, a rejection of entangling political and military alliances, and a wholesale removal of the U.S. from the clutches of global government.


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    Ron Paul is a Republican Congressman from Texas. He was the 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for President.

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