In 1823, President James Monroe formalized a latent national policy of protecting the Western Hemisphere from the tyrannical encroachments of outside influence. This noble policy came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine. Today, the Monroe Doctrine is often viewed as a relic of the past – an outdated, or even imperialistic, policy. President Obama’s anti-American regime in fact announced that “the era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.” This article is a brief defense of the Monroe Doctrine and the United States’ role in preserving the Western Hemisphere as one of Freedom.
Before delivering his hallmark speech to Congress formally announcing the policy, President James Monroe wrote to Thomas Jefferson for advice. The Sage of Monticello responded with a letter that confirmed Monroe’s convictions and gave him some of the iconic phraseology he would later use. Jefferson wrote of President Monroe’s proposed doctrine:
“The question presented by the letters you have sent me is the most momentous which has ever been offered to my contemplation since that of independance that made us a nation; this sets our compass, and points the course which we are to steer thro’ the ocean of time opening on our view. And never could we embark on it under circumstances more auspicious. Our first and fundamental maxim should be, never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe; our 2d never to suffer Europe to intermeddle in Cis-Atlantic affairs. America, North & South, has a set of interests distinct from those of Europe, and peculiarly her own. She should therefore have a system of her own, separate and apart from that of Europe. While the last is laboring to become the domicil of despotism, our endeavor should surely be to make our hemisphere that of freedom.”
The great Thomas Jefferson was thrilled at the prospect of making ours a “hemisphere . . . of freedom.” The principle of intervening in foreign affairs when those affairs negatively impacted or directly threatened a nation’s legitimate interests or their national well being was internationally recognized and remains legitimate to this day. As president, Jefferson had in fact sent the newly-minted U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to fight “state-sponsored maritime marauders” in the Mediterranean. Yet, the policy had never been publicly articulated by an American administration in the way President Monroe was proposing.
The bold idea that President Monroe and Thomas Jefferson shared was that the Western Hemisphere, being distinct from Europe and having an inherently different set of interests and values, should never be meddled with by European (or any foreign) powers. They knew that as a nation we could not afford to allow hostile powers to turn our hemisphere into an abode for tyranny like they had done to the rest of the world. Rather, the United States should use her influence to maintain the Independence of her fellow American states – both to protect their integrity and to strengthen the borderlands of our own Republic.
In his monumental message to Congress on December 2, 1823, President Monroe described what America’s new policy would entail and the reasons for its implementation. He said in part:
“The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy so to do.
“It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers.
“The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists in their respective Governments; and to the defense of our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted.
“We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that 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. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere, but with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.”
The “allied powers” to which President Monroe referred were Russia, Austria, and Prussia, with occasional French involvement. This Russian-led, Russian-instigated, Russian-dominated combination was known as the Holy Alliance. Its purpose was to crush popular Liberty movements worldwide and retain so-called “Christian” monarchies in power. Indeed, the Russian tsar was convinced that Providence had called him to uphold and extend the monarchical system. The reality, of course, was that God moved upon the American patriots of 1776 and 1787 to break away from the rotten monarchical apparatus and establish a limited constitutionalist system of individual Liberty and personal accountability.
The Monroe Doctrine must be seen within the context of the movements and plans of the misguided Holy Alliance. During the first two decades of the nineteenth century, uprisings gripped Latin America as nations threw off the shackles of Spanish power and created independent states – Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and so forth. An online piece describes the Holy Alliance’s reaction to these Independence movements and the American response to said reaction:
“At just this point, Russia, Prussia and Austria formed an association called the Holy Alliance to protect themselves against revolution. By intervening in countries where popular movements threatened monarchies, the Alliance — joined at times by France — hoped to prevent the spread of revolution into its dominions. This policy was the antithesis of the American principle of self-determination.
“As long as the Holy Alliance confined its activities to the Old World, it aroused no anxiety in the United States. But when the Alliance announced its intention of restoring its former colonies to Spain, Americans became very concerned. For its part, Britain resolved to prevent Spain from restoring its empire because trade with Latin America was too important to British commercial interests. London urged the extension of Anglo-American guarantees to Latin America, but Secretary of State John Quincy Adams convinced Monroe to act unilaterally: “It would be more candid, as well as more dignified, to avow our principles explicitly to Russia and France, than to come in as a cock-boat in the wake of the British man-of-war.””
The Holy Alliance, by its very nature, could not be contained to the “Old World.” The text itself stated that the monarchs were bound to support each other “on all occasions and in all places.” On October 17, 1823, President James Monroe wrote to Thomas Jefferson informing him that he had received letters from George Canning, a prominent British politician of the era, “suggesting designs of the holy alliance, against the Independance of So America, & proposing a cooperation, between G. Britain & the UStates, in support of it, against the members of that alliance.” With the threat of Russian interference in the Americas looming nearer, James Monroe consulted Thomas Jefferson and crafted the Monroe Doctrine.
One of the exemplary patriots of our time, Ezra Taft Benson, gave us poignant insight into the purpose and necessity of the Monroe Doctrine. He affirmed:
“The purpose was to maintain the current balance of power so that we would not become the targets of future aggressive designs of European nation with massive strongholds on or near our borders. It was felt that the maintenance of an ocean between ourselves and European powers would safeguard us from becoming reluctantly entwined in the perennial intrigues and wars of the Continent.
“Whenever the physical security of the United States is directly threatened, as it was in the Cuban crisis, we must not hesitate to uphold the traditional meaning of the Monroe Doctrine: our unilateral opposition to outside intervention in the Western Hemisphere. This Doctrine laid down as a broad principle of action and applied to world communism enjoys strong public support for foreign policy decisions. . . .
“The Monroe Doctrine is based upon the principle, long recognized in international law journals, that a nation has a right to interfere in the affairs of another nation if such interference is with in the framework of self-defense. In other words, if the establishment by a foreign power of unusually heavy military installations is observed on a nation’s frontier, and if that nation has good reason to believe that those installations eventually are going to be used as part of an offensive attack against it, then it is justified in taking the initiative in destroying those installations, without waiting for the actual attack. Such action, although aggressive by itself, is viewed as part of a generally defensive maneuver.
“. . . the Monroe Doctrine neither added nor detracted one iota from what the United States had a right to do. All it accomplished was to inform other nations what conditions the United States would consider a sufficient threat to its long-range security to justify involving, if need be, the sovereign right of preventative self-protection. If other nations wished to test our resolve or our strength in these matters, that was up to them, but at least we went on record and laid our cards on the table so that no one could say they didn’t know.
“The important point, however, is that, even if the Monroe Doctrine had never been enunciated, the United States – or any nation for that matter – would still be justified in attempting to prevent an upset on the stable balance of power among its friendly bordering neighbors if it were convinced that such a shift in power eventually would result in a threat to its own security. That principle, which is at the heart of a nation’s right to self-preservation, is just as valid today as ever before – and especially so for the United States.
“. . . The Monroe Doctrine is right, it just needs to be applied.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the American people would be angry if they fully realized the extent to which our leaders have abandoned the vital principle of preventative self-defense on behalf of our nation. If a man says he is going to shoot you, and then points a gun in your direction, you don’t have to wait until he pulls the trigger before you take action to overpower him. When the communists say they are going to bury us and then move a bearded gravedigger right next door, we should grab him by the hair of his chin and throw him out! And we don’t have to apologize to anyone for our action.
“What we need is a new application of the Monroe Doctrine – a declaration to the nations of the world to inform them that no longer are we going to tolerate communist or other hostile regimes on or near our borders” (see Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This“).
What a powerful statement of reality! As a nation, we have abandoned our prerogative to defend ourselves against the threats and encroachments of hostile communist regimes in our hemisphere. We have betrayed the Monroe Doctrine! We have sold out our security in order to appease the socialistic “international community” and communist-controlled organizations like the United Nations. We have not cared enough that our nation has been made extremely vulnerable by the communist infestation south of our border.
It is not inconsequential that the Monroe Doctrine was established to thwart Russian meddling in the Americas when we consider that today Russian/Chinese communist meddling is the gravest threat in our hemisphere. The Twentieth Century saw the tragic planting of the Red flag throughout the world. In few places was communist intervention so overt and successful as in Latin America.
JFK’s campaign advisor, Adolf Berle, said that Latin America was “an active Cold War theatre of attack upon the United States.” He further stated that, specifically, it was “Russian and Chinese stimulation and arming of local political movements to [the] point where they can be converted into civil wars and used to seize and set up governments which will be hostile to the United States” that was the foremost threat (Stephen G Rabe, The Most Dangerous Area in the World: John F. Kennedy Confronts Communist Revolution in Latin America, 22). It was so in the 60s and it is so today in 2019.
Most people do not comprehend the menacing leviathan that sits camouflaged and ready to strike from Latin America. Americans do not realize, for instance, that Mexico has been a communist stronghold for nearly a century. Tens of thousnds of Christian Freedom fighters, Cristeros, were murdered as the Masonic communists conquered the nation. Under this pernicious influence, Mexico was the first nation in the world to recognize the illegitimate Soviet regime in Russia. It was the land Trotsky called home when Stalin exiled him from the Soviet Union. For decades, Red Mexico has covertly waged war against us via illicit drugs, illegal immigration, etc. And the rest of Latin America has fared nearly as poorly under the advances of global communism.
I currently sit writing this article in Panama City, Panama. The Chinese influence in some places here is almost in-your-face obvious. The fact that the U.S. government gave away the critically-important Panama Canal, and that it has fallen into Chinese hands, is equally obvious. It was always one of the communist goals to wrest control of the Canal from us, and they have succeeded. What’s more, Panama’s outgoing president cozied up with Red China during his unpopular term, signing numerous major economic and construction deals that greatly benefit China and give that aggressive communist nation major leverage in Panamanian affairs. Chinese influence is growing so profoundly here that Huawei recently began installing an invasive facial recognition system similar to the one the Reds installed in their own enslaved nation.
Unfortunately, the United States has fiddled while the Americas have burned. That is, communist-sponsored regimes have been installed throughout Central and South America while we have ignored the crisis – indeed, while certain traitors in our government tied our hands and facilitated the conflagration. To be sure, we have fought back in a limited way. Operation Just Cause in Panama, for instance, was carried out to remove the Marxist dictator Manuel Noriega from power. Noriega had recently declared war on the United States and entered into dangerous agreements with Soviet client states. Caches of Soviet weapons were discovered everywhere by our military personnel during the operation. Despite the success of Operation Just Cause – an operation cheered by the Panamanian people at the time, though considered unjust American “imperialism” now after a generation of brainwashing – Panama has once more been roped into the communist orbit, as noted.
Brazil is one nation in our hemisphere that is currently fighting back against communism. Brazil is the B in the acronym BRICS, which is a new international communist bloc headed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. However, late last year, Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil. Bolsonaro ran on a blatantly anti-communist platform. In his acceptance speech, he said: “We cannot continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and left-wing extremism.” If only we, too, recognized the dire threat communism poses to our Hemisphere, we could move to stop it. Though I think the victories are short-lived, I pray God helps Brazil succeed in cleansing their nation.
One of the most glaring cases of communist intervention in the Americas is Venezuela. Venezuela was once a prosperous nation before the communists took over. Today, however, socialist policies have turned Venezuela into a third-world trash heap where people are literally starving and Nicolas Maduro runs the county like a classic Marxist dictator. Russia and China, of course, have been behind the tragic destruction. President Trump has recently turned his sights on Venezuela and has threatened military action (though his threat to intervene is likely as hollow as his promise to put U.S. troops on our Southern border). In response, Russia rushed in to safeguard its stronghold. In December, Russian nuclear bombers landed in Venezuela and in March Russian troops arrived. If Russian nuclear bombers three hours from our border do not spur us to invoke the Monroe Doctrine to protect our nation’s flanks, what will?
Will the United States act to cut out the communist tumor or will Venezuela remain a Cuba-like GULAG for decades more? And what of Nicaragua, Uruguay, and the other states in our backyard that we have allowed to be seized by the communists? What will we do? Will we step aside and allow Russia and China to fully take over? Will we further allow ourselves to be surrounded and isolated in a hemisphere we once swore to preserve in Freedom? It seems obvious to me that the only thing that can save the Latin American states from communist aggression is American intervention – yes, even military intervention where necessary.
If you care about the welfare, preservation, and self-defense of our great Republic, you must support the Monroe Doctrine. As Ezra Taft Benson stated, the Monroe Doctrine is correct but needs to be applied. Will we finally take the initiative to free Latin America from communist strangulation and remove the grave threat to our south? Truthfully, the threat is not far away; it touches us every day via illegal immigration and the mass smuggling of narcotics into our land. It is not merely a border crisis that afflicts us – it is a crisis engulfing the whole of our hemisphere.
The situation in the Americas is extremely critical. To invoke or not to invoke the Monroe Doctrine is one of the most pressing questions facing us. As for me, I will denounce communist aggression wherever it festers. And I openly throw my support in with those past American patriots who wanted the Western Hemisphere to be a Hemisphere of Freedom.
April 9, 2019.