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Your Views: Freedom cannot be imposed on countries

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September 16, 2013

Reflecting on the anniversary of 9/11, let’s reflect on our country’s foreign policy.

Our nation was built on the philosophy of non-interventionism in foreign affairs. That was the policy of George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Today, those who promote this strategy are accused of being “isolationists.”

The impossibility of prosecuting a policy of interventionism abroad, and all of the failures associated with that policy, as well as the subsequent blowback, has been made abundantly clear over the past six decades, as our military or political adventures in Iran, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and now Yemen and Syria have all fallen apart.

Nothing has been accomplished by those wars, interventions and regime-changes on the other side of the world, except the erosion of America’s national security, our economy and our credibility.

As polling suggests today, many Americans are again finally learning to embrace non-interventionism in the case of Syria, and Congress should take note.

Regardless of the rationalizations given by the administration, freedom cannot be imposed. It must be shown by example and then incorporated into a lifestyle of the populace over a generation or more. Freedom cannot be spread by force of arms from the outside.

We should be showing by our example what freedom is and how to preserve it. We should be working to revitalize the liberties that are being eroded within our borders before intervening around the globe and dictating to foreign nations, or lecturing to them about their inadequacies.

BILL E. WILLIAMS

Beloit



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