Greek Independence and American Non-Interventionism
This non-story — Obama marks Greek Independence Day — brings to mind Patrick J. Buchanan's latest — How Killing Libyans Became a Moral Imperative. The beginning:
- “Who would be free themselves must strike the blow.”
So wrote the poet Byron, who would himself die just days after landing in Greece to join the war for independence from the Turks.
But in that time, Americans followed the dictum of Washington, Adams and Jefferson: Stay out of foreign wars.
America “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own,” said John Quincy Adams in his oration of July 4, 1821.
When Greek patriots sought America’s assistance, Daniel Webster took up their cause but was admonished by John Randolph. Intervention would breach every “bulwark and barrier of the Constitution.”
“Let us say to those 7 million of Greeks: We defended ourselves when we were but 3 million, against a power in comparison to which the Turk is but as a lamb. Go and do thou likewise.”