Skip to comments.Is Isolationism on the Rise?
Posted on 03/06/2011 9:06:12 AM PST by rabscuttle385
In the 1980s the United States funded Iraqs Saddam Hussein yet considered Palestines Yasser Arafat and Libyas Muammar Gaddafi terrorists. And they were. But so was Saddam, who at that time was terrorizing his own people, gassing Iraqi Kurds while receiving Americas financial and political support. In the 1990s, the US declared Hussein a menace and we apparently changed our mind about Arafat, who was even invited to the White House to shake hands with Bill Clinton. In the 2000s George W. Bush went back to calling Arafat a terrorist, went to war with Saddam, who we also began calling a terrorist, but made amends with Gaddafi by taking Libya off our official list of state sponsors of terror and sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to shake Gaddafis hand. Mind you, this is the same Libyan dictator that Ronald Reagan once called the mad dog of the Middle East and who was responsible for blowing up an airplane full of American school kids over Lockerbie Scotland in 1988.
If the above history of the USs overseas alliances and antagonisms sounds nonsensical or perhaps even immoral, thats because, well, it is. Welcome to American foreign policy.
Like Egypt before it a few weeks ago, as Libya descends into chaos the eyes of the world now look to America to see what we will do. Why? Because the rest of the world is accustomed to the US always doing something. In fact, no matter how much our constant involvement becomes obviously counterproductive or our actions come back to haunt us in the most damaging ways imaginable, the so called experts in Washington, DC continue to tell us we must still be involved heavily in the Middle East and around the globe, funding dictators and supporting terrorists, while also toppling the same dictators and fighting the same terrorists, as determined by which decade we find ourselves in or which president sits in the White House. For example, in the 1980s it was the official policy of the State Department to encourage radical jihad in Afghanistan to undermine the Soviets. Today, we find ourselves in a decade long war in Afghanistan fighting against the same radical jihadists we once encouraged and helped fund. Such insanity is what our leaders continue to advocate as a reasonable and necessary foreign policy. To suggest that we should just give up these ever-changing entanglements as a practical matter is disparaged as isolationist and therefore unfathomable, the experts tell us.
The term isolationism is much like the word racism, in that it is an accusatory term designed specifically to shut down debate before it begins. As the Tea Party is well aware, if you question Obama you are racist. Likewise, if you question US foreign policy you are an isolationist. Nobody wants to attempt to reason with a racist or an isolationist, and indeed to criticize our insane foreign policy is the quickest way to invite this discussion-ending disparagement. Luckily, at least at the moment, a majority of Americans dont appear to be as insane as their rulers. According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, his most recent data reveals that most Americans (67%) say the United States should leave the situation in the Arab countries alone. Just 17% say the United States should get more directly involved in the political situation there, but another 17% are not sure. A Reuters poll in January produced similar results, showing that 73% of Americans support eliminating all foreign aid.
So are Americans now isolationist? Or in being somewhat isolated from the special interests and entrenched, status quo politics that dominates Washington, do Americans see our involvement in foreign affairs in more clear and common-sense terms than our political class is even capable of?
The very notion that it is somehow isolationist to not endlessly support dictators and terrorists throughout the Middle East with financial, political and even military aid is to say that virtually every other nation on earth is also isolationist. It also ignores the fact that America is not a normal nation, or at least hasnt been for a long time. In fact, in terms of its scope alone, US foreign policy is arguably the most abnormal in history. Not even the empires of Rome and Great Britain assumed that virtually any conflict around the globe necessarily affected the interests of Romans or Brits. The second edition of the Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy (2001) described this new, almost perverse concept of Americas national interest as the definition was being expanded even during the Vietnam era:
By the 1960s the American national interest was being defined so globally that hardly a sparrow could fall anywhere on earth without the U.S. government wanting to know why, to know whether the sparrow had jumped or been pushed, and, if pushed, to know whether the pusher wore scarlet plumage. Somewhere or other, sooner or later, the United States was bound to find itself defending a regime so weak, corrupt, or unpopular as to be indefensible at any reasonable cost.
The world wondered how the US would approach the uprising in Egypt because we had historically supported the dictator Egyptians were rising against. The world now wonders how the US might approach the uprising in Libya because we were supporting the dictator Libyans now rise against as late as last week. This constant support of highly questionable governments for even more highly questionable reasons has, and will continue to do us more harm than good no matter how much the experts say otherwise. And the longer the political class continues to isolate itself from common sensethe longer America will suffer for it.
America can’t afford to be isolationist. Outside trade is the basis for US prosperity, and what goes on in the rest of the world will affect the US and its people, and if certain countries aren’t held in check, they will threaten America fundamentally from a position of greater strength.
This is why America needs allies and to be involved in global politics. Ancient China fell behind because it pulled up the drawbridge and tried to ignore the rest of the world, thus ending up getting owned by Europeans in the 19th century...
Leftist dirtbags in the media are upset that the populace isn't interested in stopping internecine wars between our enemies. Communists have long range plans that require us to do so and are shocked that their meticulous propaganda campaign isn't producing the anticipated traction.
We tried that in 30’s and it failed..
[Is Isolationism on the Rise?]
I can’t tell from where I am, huddled in a fetal position in a cardboard box under the viaduct.
This doesn't mean we're going to cut ourselves off entirely from the rest of the world. It just means that in more and more cases involving challenges and turmoil in foreign countries, our response is going to be: "Sorry, but we really can't afford to give a sh!t."
The problem is that, somebody will gladly move into that vacuum, do you trust them?
What is on the rise is non-interventionism. That is, we will trade with the world but no more providing our troops to die as world policeman. Defend American not the World.
Isn't that how we ended up with Mubarak in Egypt and Khaddafi in Libya in the first place? We decided that totalitarianism was OK as long as they did business with us.
In the real world, your only choices are the bad choice, or the even worse choice, we choose the bad choice.
We where once allied with Stalin during WWII. In the real world you have to deal with the devil to get things done.
Gaddaffi was a bastard from the start, who was supporting the USSR and sponsoring anti-western terrorists in the begining, until 9-11 and America’s response to it persuaded him that being a terrorist supporting asshat on the global stage would get him killed if he didn’t pack it in. Gaddaffi was never what you might have called ‘our son-of-a-bitch’....
One common mistake that people make, especially dumb-ass lefty hippies, is to confuse support of a nation or regime in a certain action with being “friends”. For example, ol’ Saddam was never a friend of the US. For most of the 1980s, he was fighting a war against Iran, which was an active enemy of the US, so we supported him, just like we supported the mujahadeen in Afghanistan against the Soviets. In both cases, those that we supported eventually turned on us, but that was primarily because we were never friends; we just had a common enemy. Now, a case could be made that we have no business trying to engage in such international manipulations, but it is only the naive who think that these twists and turns of international partnerships are in anyway the result of personal feelings for anyone. It’s just business.
In the 1980s the United States funded Iraqs Saddam Hussein yet considered Palestines Yasser Arafat and Libyas Muammar Gaddafi terrorists. And they were. But so was Saddam, who at that time was terrorizing his own people, gassing Iraqi Kurds while receiving Americas financial and political support.
Jack Hunter conveniently leaves out key information. In the 1978, Ayatollah Komani had overthrown the Shah and taken hostage the occupants of the American Embassy. That was under Jimmy Carter who completely abandoned our friend, the Shah, and that led to the present regime. When Reagan came into office Komani knew what was best for him and released the hostages.
When Iran went to war with Iraq it was with that background. We didn't ant I ran to keep expanding after kicking out our friend the Shah. Our support of Iraq was minimal, about 2% of his military needs.
In the 1990s, the US declared Hussein a menace and we apparently changed our mind about Arafat, who was even invited to the White House to shake hands with Bill Clinton.
More key information omitted. In 1990, Saddam invaded and occupied Kuwait. In 1991, GHW Bush kicked him out but left him in power, expecting his own people to overthrow him. Unfortunately for the Iraqis, Swartzkof allowed Saddam to keep his helicopter gunships and he used them to suppress his own people.
Bill Clinton is another story. Carter, Clinton, and now Obama all seem to favor the terrorists over the USA. Clinton even invaded the Balkans to support the Muslims. Why didn't Hunter mention that?
In the 2000s George W. Bush went back to calling Arafat a terrorist, went to war with Saddam, who we also began calling a terrorist, ...
Bush was simply reversing the Clinton policy of sucking up to the terrorists and started calling them what they were. He went to war with Saddam because Saddam refused to obey the ceasefire agreement he signed with GHW Bush, had interfered with and then expelled the WMD inspectors the UN sent to see if he was complying with his agreement to destroy them. After Saddam ignored 17 UN resolutions Bush decided that someone had to enforce those resolutions and if the UN wasn't then he would.
... but made amends with Gaddafi by taking Libya off our official list of state sponsors of terror and sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to shake Gaddafis hand.
After Gaddafi saw what we did to Saddam he decided we were serious, that there was a new Sheriff in town, one much like Reagan, so he voluntarily ended his nuclear weapons program. That is why he was removed from the list and congratulated.
When you leave out so much key information it makes it easy to make America seem like a flip flopper. However, the flip flopping was always caused by alternating Republican and Democrat administrations and the differing world views of each. The Democrats are Communist who consider the USA their enemy and the Muslims their friends.
I expected better from someone writing for The American Thinker.
Oops, that is the American Conservative. Still, with a name like that I would expect better.