A few months back, I wrote back-to-back weekly
messages regarding globalism and isolationism. In writing those columns, I focused
on the fact that our nation's interventionist foreign policy was precisely what
was isolating us from other countries.
Turkey's recall of their U.S. ambassador in the wake of last week's
resolution, passed in the House Foreign Affairs Committee in condemnation of
Turkey, is a perfect example of what I wrote in those columns, as well as what
I have been saying for years.
The House has passed similar resolutions for years, praising some foreign countries
or political groups while chastising others. It is my policy to vote against
resolutions of this sort whenever they have the impact of placing our country
in the middle of an internal political problem of some other nation, or involving
us in some regional conflict. In fact, this is almost always the specific intent
of resolutions of this sort. Often, I am the only Member of Congress to vote
against these resolutions.
Some have questioned these votes, arguing that they are meaningless statements
of opinion. However, I have always been more skeptical, and careful, about voting
for these measures. Last week's reaction by Turkey, a long term ally and NATO
member, shows that Congress should be a lot more restrained in sticking our
government's nose into the affairs of other nations.
Even though I am no fan of the war in Iraq, keeping positive relations with
Turkey is important to protecting our troops who have been sent to fight this
war. We are likely to need cordial relations with Turkey so that we can get
our troops out of Iraq as quickly and safely as possible, when the time comes.
As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, my office has been contacted
both by the White House and the Turkish Embassy. They know I oppose these types
of interventionist resolutions and they know I will not support the current
resolution. They also know full well that this particular resolution will only
serve to strain an important international relationship our country should be
seeking to strengthen.
In this instance, the problem is that many of my colleagues in Congress are
more interested in seeking to score political points and proclaim their moral
superiority, instead of worrying about our nation's best interests. Also,
in most of these situations, those who oppose the resolution regarding Turkey
all-too-often fail to realize that similar resolutions dealing with other nations
have the exact same effect. Namely, they isolate our country from the rest of
Even if other countries do not take the rather extreme step of recalling their
ambassador, this kind of meddling by Congressional resolution almost always
serves to offend governments and political leaders in other countries.
Last week's events make clear that Congress, and our foreign policy establishment,
must reconsider the entire policy of interventionism if we are to avoid further
isolation of our nation.