County GOP Goes Non-Interventionist? Not Yet…

Last week the executive committee of the Alameda County (Calif) Republican Central Committee approved a resolution to be voted on by the full committee calling for a non-interventionist foreign policy. Alameda County covers the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, with about 1.5 million people.

Tuesday night the full committee met. The resolution failed to get the required 2/3 for approval, but it was a big step forward.

Here is a full report from committee vice-chair Walter Stanley:

There’s Nothing Conservative About War

This past Tuesday, during the November monthly meeting of the Alameda County Republican Central Committee, Elected Members’ of the Party did some soul searching on what it actually means to be a conservative.

The County Party leadership consisting of outgoing Chairman Jerry Salcido [AD-20 Fremont], Vice Chairman Walter Stanley [AD-15 Livermore] and Assistant Treasurer David LaTour [AD-18 Hayward] proposed a resolution that would have made a non-interventionist foreign policy the official position of the County GOP.

The proposed resolution was introduced from the podium by Salcido to his fellow Republicans’ on the committee. The wording of the resolution was largely inspired by a speech given on the House floor by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who has always been critical of past administrations’ aggressive foreign policy regardless of if it is Bush, Clinton or even President Obama as the Commander and Chief.

The foreign policy resolution was longer than all other resolutions considered by the committee during the first year of their two-year term. The proposed resolution declared that our [the United States] foreign policy of the past century is “deeply flawed and has not served our national security interests” and that “diplomacy is superior to bombs and bribes and the illusion of protecting America.” It also declared that, “the official positions for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests.”

During the discussion, the wording of the resolution was attacked by several neo-conservatives on the committee. Local Republican, Rosann Slonsky-Breault [AD-16 Oakland] told Members’ of the Party that terrorists wanted to kill Americans because of the freedoms we have and called the proposed resolution “despicable.” Republican Anne Woodell [AD-16 Oakland] said it was “anti-George Bush” and “isolationist.” Both women support the undeclared war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq and both voted against the resolution. In all, twenty Members’ on the committee opposed a non-interventionist foreign policy as set forth in the proposed resolution.

David LaTour argued in favor of the resolution, "In 2000, Bush ran on a humble foreign policy. Go back and look at the debates. He opposed Clinton’s intervention in Kosovo and then ended up being a nation-builder himself. The Republican registration in the county has sharply declined over the last 8-years. If you think that has nothing to do with this unconstitutional aggressive foreign policy, you’re kidding yourself."LaTour also rejected Woodell’s notion that a non-interventionist foreign policy means isolationism by responding, “We’re not saying that the United States shouldn’t communicate, trade, or have diplomatic relationships with other countries, we support all of that, those are all good things that promote prosperity. We’re saying that we need to embrace a constitutional foreign policy, stay out of entangling alliances and focus on securing our own borders’.”

John den Dulk [AD-16 Oakland] seemed to be confused during the discussion about what exactly a constitutional foreign policy is. He spoke about the enumerated powers’ listed in the U.S. Constitution and then contradicted himself by confessing his support for undeclared war and his opposition to the resolution.

Fellow GOP committee Member from neighboring Contra Costa County, Ted Hudacko, joined forces with Salcido, Stanley and LaTour backing the resolution and telling those in attendance, “There is no effective Declaration of War with Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan.” Hudacko asked those who opposed the resolution, “Can any of you tell me by what criteria you would consider that victory has been achieved and when we could determine that our troops can come home?”

None of those who were opposed to the resolution addressed Hudacko’s question. For some reason, the argument coming from the neo-conservatives was that Republicans needed to ‘support the troops’ by being in favor of the conflicts in the Middle East.

LaTour said, "The neo-cons in Alameda County are living in fantasy land. They think our foreign policy is about freedom rather than empire and special interests. To them, 9/11 justifies anything and the moral, strategic, and financial repercussions of our actions mean nothing."

There were a total of 13 Republicans in favor of the non-interventionist foreign policy resolution. Not enough to pass with a two-thirds majority; however, it might be a good sign of things to come in the Republican Party.

Casey Fargo [AD-15 Livermore] said, “People are waking up in the Republican Party. It’s time for Republicans that believe in small-government to realize that there’s nothing conservative about war. Our troops are spread thin throughout the world and a common-sense individual can see that this makes us less safe here at home.”

Erika Lopez [AD-18 San Lorenzo] who voted in favor of the resolution said, “I believe in a strong national defense, but having troops stationed in countries all over the world is not a strong national defense. I support our troops, I want them here protecting our country, keeping us safe.”

Alameda County Republican Party Proposed Resolution

Status: Resolution in Support of a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy

Submitted by: Walter Stanley, David LaTour, and Jerry Salcido of the Alameda County Republican Party

Whereas, our foreign policy of the past century is deeply flawed and has not served our national security interests; and

Whereas, the terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous; and

Whereas, propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers America and our allies; and

Whereas, occupying countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan is directly related to the hatred directed toward us; and

Whereas, losing over 6,000 American Military personnel in the Middle East since September 11, 2001 is not a fair trade off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens, no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani and Afghan people are killed or displaced; and

Whereas, torture, even if referred to as "enhanced interrogation techniques"is self-destructive and produces no useful information and that contracting it out to a third world country or a corporation is just as evil; and

Whereas, war and military spending is always destructive to the economy; and

Whereas, war time spending is paid for through the deceitful process of inflating and borrowing; and

Whereas, war time conditions always undermine personal liberty; and

Whereas, we as small government conservatives see our government’s interventionist foreign policy providing the greatest incentive to expand the government; and

Whereas, the only logical, conservative position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world; and

Whereas, the official positions for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests; and

Whereas, the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations; and

Whereas, our aggressive foreign policy and seemingly permanent presence in other countries throughout the world has served to weaken our national defense at home; and

Whereas, the borders’ of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are more secure than our own borders here at home; and

Whereas, our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security and never changes from one administration to the next; and

Whereas, Christianity teaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression; and

Whereas, diplomacy is superior to bombs and bribes and the illusion of protecting America; and

Whereas, the aggressive foreign policy of so called "neo-conservatives"is anything but conservative and has wasted more than $1 trillion on nation building and billions more on foreign aid; and

Whereas, there is a strong tradition of non-interventionism in the Republican Party that is exemplified by the legacy of Senator Robert Taft and the Old Right.

Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Alameda County Republican Party supports a non-interventionist foreign policy as advocated by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and believes costly undeclared wars and the occupation of other countries only serves to weaken our national defense and strengthen the resolve along with the ranks of our enemies.

7 thoughts on “County GOP Goes Non-Interventionist? Not Yet…”

  1. Those who proposed this resolution are very principled, and have a lot of courage! Exactly the type of leaders that we need representing the Republican party now more than ever! Great job!

  2. in 2004, i was waiting for the NYS republican party to make a similar statement. but they didn't, and after 24 years a member i quit. i thought that such statements could be adopted state by state, now i see that they can be adopted county by county: a thing i wasn't really sure about.

    it's too late now, my politics have moved well beyond party membership, but this was important for me to read.

  3. Most Republicans would sooner castrate themselves than support this resolution. In fact, I think they would view supporting this resolution as the same thing as castrating themselves. Living vicariously through the nationalistic militarism of others is how these suburban twits express their manhood. The resolution directly contradicts the propaganda they have internalized and probably causes extreme cognitive dissonance by merely reading the thing. Therefore, the resolution should be brought up at every meeting from now on.

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