Expect fireworks at tonight’s Alameda County Republican Central Committee meeting, as there’s a debate and vote on a proposed resolution endorsing a non-interventionist foreign policy – which in the short term means pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The resolution was introduced by committeemen Jerry Salcido, Walter Stanley III and David LaTour – the county GOP’s chairman, vice chairman and assistant treasurer, respectively. All three are “Constitutional Republicans” aligned with the Republican Liberty Caucus, a libertarian-leaning group often associated with former presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. The county GOP’s executive committee last week voted 4-1, with one absention, to approve the resolution and send it to the full committee’s monthly meeting for a 2/3 vote.
The Alameda County GOP has been torn by strife for well over a year now, with a lawsuit still pending over these and other Ron Paul supporters’ election to the committee.
The California Court of Appeal in September reinstated the case, in which committeeman Paul Cummings Jr. of Oakland claims Stanley, of Livermore, and several other Constitutional Republicans were ineligible for election to the committee in June 2008 because they hadn’t been affiliated with the Republican Party for at least three months before their candidacy filing dates, and/or because they’d belonged to other parties within a year before filing, in violation of the state Elections Code.
This resolution is likely to deepen the rift. Among its many “whereases” are that our foreign policy of the past century is deeply flawed and hasn’t served our national security interests; that “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 that “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.”
Incidentally, that’s not unlike the verbiage in a resolution approved last month by Berkeley City Council calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops and contractors for Afghanistan (or, for that matter, several other resolutions that council has approved in recent years).
Compare the county GOP’s proposed resolution also to an Afghanistan-withdrawal resolution approved Sunday by the California Democratic Party’s executive board.
And that’s not sitting well with GOP committee members other than the Constitutional Republicans.
“I’m certainly in knots about it,” Cummings said today. “I’m a retired Navy officer, and I’m shocked that while we have troops in the field, we would put together a document that is so disparaging of our policy in the war on terror. Some of the comments in it are beyond the pale.”
Read the full text of the resolution, after the jump…
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.