Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, January 13, 2014

Don’t Let John Kerry Kill the Monroe Doctrine

John Kerry just took it upon himself to unilaterally proclaim that the Monroe Doctrine is dead. His words were “The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.” The Monroe Doctrine has been a fixed star in American foreign policy since 1823. Its essential words are: “The political system of the allied powers is essentially different from that of America. We should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.” The Monroe Doctrine is not limited to military aggression; it prohibits extending the “system” of foreign powers to the Western Hemisphere, recognizing the fundamental difference between our constitutional republic and Old World empires and dictatorships.

In 1823, the Monroe Doctrine was specifically directed at Imperial Russia when Czar Alexander was trying to colonize our Pacific coast. President James Monroe made his courageous declaration at a time when America had no standing army and our navy had only five sailing ships. But we had a proud sense of national identity and national security. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the problem was Russia again. The American people fully backed President John F. Kennedy in forcing Khrushchev to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba.

In October 1983, the Soviet Union tried to turn the island of Grenada into a Soviet base. The American people fully backed Ronald Reagan’s use of U.S. troops to counter this threat in the Western Hemisphere, and we can look back on Reagan’s rescue of Grenada as the turning point in official American policy toward Soviet Communism. The Monroe Doctrine is a great signpost of American foreign policy, and we need it still.

Listen to the radio commentary here:



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