Jeffrey Lord is at it again with his simplistic and historically illiterate attacks on Ron Paul’s foreign policy. Mr. Lord has a knack for attracting rebukes from high powered thinkers. Tom Woods and Kevin Gutzman have already blasted his past anti-Paul rantings. Now Daniel Larison has chimed in. As Mr. Lord has been schooled over and over, the Founding Fathers were not interventionists in any meaningful sense. So why he continues to repeat that canard, I don’t know.
The occasions for Mr. Lord’s comments is the exclusion of Ron Paul from the Republican Jewish Coalition candidate forum which I will comment on separatedly. To Mr. Lord’s credit he does argue that the RJC should have included Ron Paul, but what I want to focus on here is Mr. Lord’s flawed history. Lord says:
The Founding Fathers, for example, repeatedly intervened in countries outside U.S. borders, contrary to the impression Paul tries to give.
Umm … no they didn’t. Larison points out the problem here:
By “repeatedly intervened,” he means that they fought exactly two wars that involved putting American forces on foreign soil. Not counting the Quasi-War, the U.S. during the Founding generation waged just two foreign wars, one of which was in North America. The first of these was a war of retaliation, and the second was an ill-advised war against Britain that was at least partially justified as necessary to protect American ships and sailors. Whether or not the War of 1812 was wise (it wasn’t), it had some direct relationship to defending U.S. interests. These wars have little or nothing in common with the foreign interventions that Lord is endorsing here, and it is unlikely that the Founders would have seen any reason to intervene in foreign conflicts in Europe or Asia. We know for certain that none of the first six Founding generation administrations ever intervened in such conflicts, and we have every reason to believe that all of the first six Presidents from the Founding generation abhorred the idea of entangling the United States in the quarrels of the Old World.