the Monroe Doctrine
by Ron Holland
by Ron Holland: Why
Everybody's Going to War in the Middle East
Adams introduced the Monroe Doctrine on December 2, 1823, when he
served as Secretary of State under President Monroe. Basically,
it warned European nations not to interfere with or attempt to colonize
territories in North and South America or else the United States
would intervene militarily.
At the time,
almost all former European colonies had obtained their independence
except for Cuba and Puerto Rico. Of particular interest, given subsequent
American involvement in World Wars One and Two in Europe, the Doctrine
also stated that the US would consequently stay out of internal
concerns of European nations as well as their existing European
colonies elsewhere in the world. Of course, we know from history
and current events today that this never happened.
If you remember,
the timing for this was less than a decade following the War of
1812 when the US did not have the military might to enforce the
Doctrine. The Washington, DC capital had been burned by the British
and the American attempt to invade Canada had failed following numerous
battles including the US burning of Toronto in an invasion attempt.
European leaders laughed at the upstart United States, which did
not have a strong navy or army during these early years, for proposing
a doctrine they could not enforce, like most of history, the reality
was somewhat different. The Doctrine was actually enforced through
the American War Between the States period, mostly by British naval
power defending their trade with South America that at the time
was a far larger trading partner than the US.
approved of the Doctrine because of concern the Latin American states
could again become Spanish colonies, thus cutting off their trade
and exports. Therefore, the Monroe Doctrine was actually the first
Anglo-American measure following the War for Independence and the
War of 1812 and set the stage for 200 years of British and American
elites working together to advance their unique interests and profits
at the expense of the rest of the world.
Doctrine has continued for almost 200 years and has at times served
the Western hemisphere well in keeping out most European intrusions.
This continued until at least the late 19th century when it became
useful as a pretext for American expansion and colonialism in the
re-interpreted the Monroe Doctrine as a useful tool to take economic
benefits by force when Latin nations failed to pay their debts to
European and US banks and business interests. This was termed the
Roosevelt Corollary to the Doctrine. This also asserted the right
of the US to intervene militarily and otherwise in Central and South
America when there was "flagrant and chronic wrongdoing by
a Latin American Nation." Since all governments are involved
in these kinds of actions, this was an open invitation to invade,
occupy and send in troops whenever US business interests were supposedly
threatened by domestic nationalism or outside business interests.
as the US became a world power it was used to describe the recognized
sphere of influence that America controlled in the western hemisphere
and elsewhere. Earlier, in 1842, the American government had used
the Doctrine to begin the control and eventual annexation of Hawaii
to the United States, although thousands of miles away in the Pacific
began as a moral opposition to colonialism in the western hemisphere
was later turned into a justification of intervention, invasion
and occupation against many peoples ranging from the occupation,
control and annexation of Hawaii to the Spanish-American War, the
incorporation of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba into a new
American empire. More importantly, it was used as well for US military
action to remove the province of Panama from Colombia in order to
secure and rule the territory needed for the Panama Canal.
of the Monroe Doctrine today in both North and South America, regardless
of the initial support and moral benefits, now see the Doctrine
has degenerated into little more than a declaration of hegemony
and military right for continued intervention and domination of
smaller nations by the power elites of the United States. Here at
The Daily Bell, we suggest that the time has come for a formal repeal
of the Monroe Doctrine as it related to continued US intervention
and control over smaller nations in Central and South America.
fact is these nations have far more to fear from the United States
to the north than any military threat from their former colonial
masters in Europe. We believe that due to the total failure of the
centralized European Union (EU) and European indebtedness the only
likely European invasion of former colonies is by hundreds of thousands
of entrepreneurs and productive workers. They are now taking their
wealth and skills out of Europe and back toward their former colonies
where they will make a major contribution to future prosperity and
economic development of the region.
In the final
analysis, a region exploited by European monarchs and powerful interests
for its mineral wealth may in the next several decades see much
of the former stolen wealth returned to the area in the form of
investment and repatriation of wealth threatened by now-bankrupt
European states and political mismanagement.
We would also
be remiss if we do not warn the independent nation states of Central
and South America that due to the desperate situation of the American
economy and US debts, political risks exist for more military adventurism
in the region. Although future actions may well be blamed on the
US-manufactured drug problem and terrorism, the real motivation,
as in the past, will be economic in nature.
in South America are self-sufficient in farmland and food production
while having vast quantities of mineral wealth (gold and silver),
oil, coal, timber and natural gas. We hope these nations will continue
to welcome free-market investment and entrepreneurial benefits but
remain wary of military cooperation and bases that have the potential
to turn much of South and Central America into a humid and green
version of the Middle East. The first step in protecting this region
is the repudiation and repeal of the Monroe Doctrine designed to
allow military intervention at any time.
with permission from The
Holland [send him mail]
is a contributor to the Mountain
the Daily Bell, and CEO
Hair Inc. based in Toronto, Canada.
© 2012 Ron
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