by John Hawkins | May 29, 2002 10:08 am
Isolationism: Why Not?: I think Pat Buchanan has an interesting perspective on things but he also tends to be wrong on a lot of big issues. Here are some quotes from his latest column which promotes isolationism…
“Well that is no longer enough. Before, not after, the next terror attack on this country, America’s leaders should start telling the truth: Evil though they may be, Islamic killers are over here because we are over there. They are not trying to kill us because they dislike our domestic politics, but because they detest our foreign policy.
Is the empire worth it? French, Brits, even Soviets said no. They went home. And nothing over there – not oil, not bases in Saudi Arabia, not global hegemony – is worth risking nuclear terror over here. I may be the only right-winger in America who loves D.C., but then I grew up here. Washington is my hometown. It comes first, and empire isn’t even a close second.”
That may seem to make sense at first glance, but it ‘s a flawed view of things. If the United States decided to become a giant “Canada clone” tomorrow it would result in far more problems for the world and for the United States than our current actions.
Would we be better off if a psychopath like Saddam Hussein controlled much of the Middle Eastern oil supply? What if Iraq, Iran, and North Korea all had nuclear weapons capable of hitting our cities, would we be better or worse off? There’s no guarantee that even with our involvement war won’t break out in the Middle East or between India and Pakistan, but war would be a certainty without our involvement. Does that serve our interests? If multiple terrorist groups like al-Queda were allowed to strengthen themselves globally for another decade or so and were able to acquire extensive biological and nuclear arsenals, would that make a better world? Didn’t we try isolationism in the last century and didn’t we end up getting dragged into WW2 as a result of it?
For better or worse, the costs of isolationism would be higher than staying engaged in the world. That may not be what everyone wants to hear, but it’s the truth.
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