Blue Dog Reaganite takes it philosophical foundation in the doctrine of the Catholic Church. At Vatican II (1962-68), the most recent council of the Church, the postwar international order was embraced. While a statement like this doesn’t rise to the level of theological dogmatic pronouncements that a Catholic is bound to accept, I also think that promulgations of an ecumenical council are not to be casually disregarded. Which means acceptance of at least the general outline of the international order.
However, acceptance of this general outline does not obligate one to agree with every last decision of the hierarchy in how to implement it, and there’s no question that recent popes and bishops are much more optimistic and ebullient about the prospects of this new order for bringing peace and justice than I am. And I do not believe Catholics are duty-bound to accept every move or speech of a prelate on individual issues, though such statements should certainly be treated with great respect and given fair consideration.
My own personal political involvement was primarily in the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan and his blunt criticisms of the new order are very much a part of the books I’ve linked to on the left-hand side of this site. PJB goes further than I would in debunking the international order, but this skepticism is something I very much share. Because while the Catholic Church and other philosophical thinkers can take a longer view and envision how such an order would work, an American president must focus on how it’s working in the present day. And the reality is that the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Criminal Court, etc, are populated and driven by anti-American screeds and give disproportionate influence to thug Third World dictators.
This came to a head in the fall of 2002 when George W. Bush sought authorization to go to war with Iraq. Bush’s critics felt he should get U.N. approval for the mission. Some of us, whatever we felt about the war itself, wanted no part of giving vital decisions on U.S. security over to an organization dominated by people who despise our country. This debate became a vital issue in the 2004 presidential election. Indeed, John Kerry’s statement that U.S. foreign policy must pass “the global test” may have tipped the election the other way. While secondary issues about the international order didn’t get the same kind of attention, it is no less important to note that the World Trade Organization can levy sanctions against nations—including our own—if we fail to bring our trade laws into compliance with the globalist vision of complete free trade. This was an agreement signed under Bill Clinton, with the full blessing of Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich. And the International Criminal Court is a European-based racket that sought the power to try American soldiers for war crimes. Because Bush—and not Al Gore or John Kerry was president—the United States declined participation here.
Global organizations have a place in the world. They are useful for organizing joint peacekeeping missions in places like Somalia or Bosnia, where aid is a humanitarian necessity, but not necessarily the sole responsibility of one country. They can be useful for delivering economic aid to the Third World—although we must note that this should not be used as a pretext for propping up dictators at the expense of the people we really want to help. And Third World nations with a Catholic heritage should never be forced into accepting “population control” (re: forced contraception and sterilization) as a prerequisite to getting help. For that matter no nation, regardless of heritage, should have this kind of burden placed on it.
Perhaps it can all be summed up thusly—the international order is worth preserving and trying to improve. But until that reform arrives, it has to be seen with great skepticism and support of such institutions is not a reason for the U.S. to commit national suicide at the hands of nations that hate us.