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American should go isolationist - But it won't

Citadel535

Senior member
Jan 16, 2001
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I am a US citizen and I have a decent amount of knowledege politics for a typical American. With all the events that are going on in the world, America should take an isolationist approach to foreign countries. I'm sorry, but whatever happenend to the Monroe Doctrine? East stays out of West affairs and vice versa. Only to intervene for police powers. I would like a withdrawal to happen for the following reasons:

  • Decreased amount of financial aid going to other countries and instead stay internally
  • Decrease of terrorism since their arguments mostly involve "yankee go home"
  • Ability to focus on American affairs rather than global ones (Stop pulling their rears out of the fire, etc)

But I don't think it will happen because of the following:

  • American corporate interests - there are big businesses that want cheap labor outside the US but despite the image other countries perpetuate most Americans are not in this big corporate syndicate pushing for world domination
  • Countries dependent upon the US - countries have grown acustomed to the amount of support they receive from us
  • Incredible amount of imported goods - America is the biggest consumer country in the world and there is too much we want to come from solely internally

I am sure there are other reasons to all this but would like to know what all of you feel about America and isolationism.
 

daniel1113

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2003
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Although I agree with you in that the U.S. should go isolationist, I don't think it is possible today. Even though we have been involved with many countries for a long time, many people will argue that September 11th was a direct result of American non-involvement. And to some extent, this is true. What if the U.S. had taken an active role in rooting out terrorists in the late 80s and early 90s? Would we have the problems we have today? Maybe, but maybe not. Especially now, post 9/11, it has become evident that terrorists are willing to attack Americans on U.S. soil. How can we just sit back and let that happen? Also, even though some U.S. corporations and business interests cause disent in the rest of the world, they are also a major source of U.S. income. If they were all to pull out, I think the business loss would be tremndous and far outway the money spent on foreign affairs. I would have to see the numbers to be sure, but this is just what I think.

This is a very tricky subject, because we cannot just sit back and watch our country get attacked, and at the same time we don't want to increase the number of possible attacks. However, an isolationist stance is impossible in a world as accessible as ours, in terms of communication and transportation. Unless we close our borders completely (which, in my opinion, is not a good idea) and install a very good missile defense system, we have no choice but to be involved with foreign affairs. But that does not mean we cannot limit our world involvement, especially when it comes to such countries as Liberia.

I hope that makes sense...
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
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the monroe doctrine was enforced by the brits
 

JellyBaby

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2000
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Originally posted by: HombrePequeno
Last couple times we went isolationist two world wars broke out.
The effects of Wilson's intervention in WW1 quite possibly created WW2 and indirectly most of the major wars thereafter.

The U.S. hasn't really been isolationist for over 100 years and will never be so again. Today we're extreme interventionists. IMO we've gone over the deep end in the other direction.

Bush doesn't care about bleeding jobs overseas, he doesn't care about trade deficits. He will bail out foreign nations at the behest of contributors. Likewise he will use military force to achieve strategic interests objectives. This isn't the recipe for a better America...it's a recipe for enormous profit if you're in the right global Group.

The problem is America is asleep and her media isn't acting as a proper alarm clock. Once a majority sees what we're doing abroad and the shady reasons it's being done, we'll wake up...I hope. Things must get worse first and I suspect they will.
 

daniel1113

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2003
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I agree with you in that America has become an interventionist, but I think it is out of necesity. 100 years ago, isolation was good for the U.S. because we were a young country and VERY different from the rest of the world. However, we have since become the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world, and as a result, we have inherited a certain amount of involvement in the world. Should we, as a country, be defending and protecting every nation in the world? No. Should we, as a country, just sit back and watch the events of the world unfold? No. Clearly, we need to be involved, but in moderation. Times have changed, and isolationism is not a viable solution anymore. But neither is rampant military action.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,110
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This is a tough question. The Cold War is what really derailed, or more accuretly(sp), set the US on it's current path. Part of the problem is Globalization, the other part is the US's inability to adjust to a Post-Cold-War world.

I think the US needs the UN and other International bodies more now then ever, the reason is so that blame, responsibility, and unilateralism can be avoided, thus preventing the dragging of the US into endless cycles of violence or into situations which tie up the US's military/economy. One could argue the value of the US Military's global deployment, as to how necessary it is, but one thing that most can agree on is the importance of the US's economy for global stability. The old saying goes, "Money makes the world go 'round" and to a large extent that is the basis for the relative peaceful existance that the west has enjoyed for some 50 years(post WW2).

I think the US also needs the UN and other International bodies just to keep itself in check. During the Cold War the Soviet Union modified the US's foreign policy and the US had to watch it's actions. Without the Soviet Union the US has been left with an overwhelming military force, one that it no longer needs, but that is another issue. One of the current problems for the US is that it can do anything it wants militarily speaking, one of the reasons why Iraq was pursued as agressively and as Unilaterally as it was. This puts the US in a dangerous position, both for the World, but also itself. It only takes one person to muck everything up with this kind of overwhelming power.

 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
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Doesn't matter one way or the other. Some people will hate the U.S. (or any country or group) no matter what, citing government policies is just the fig leaf they use to justify it. The question then becomes one of whether reverting to an isolationist policy would reduce hatreds, and i don't see why it would make a bit of difference. Look at the all the countless examples in the world... are the Pakistanis and Indians at each others' throats, or the Hutus massacreing Tutsis because the other guy doesn't have an isolationist foreign policy?

Osama bin Laden hates Americans because he sees us as infidels, not because we're setting up Nike factories in Bangaladesh.

 

JellyBaby

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2000
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It only takes one person to muck everything up with this kind of overwhelming power.
That's exactly why we must never allow the U.N. to become an overwhelming power.
Osama bin Laden hates Americans because he sees us as infidels, not because we're setting up Nike factories in Bangaladesh.
There are a lot of infidels roaming the planet. The U.S. represents about 4% of them. OBL targetted us for more specific reasons but you're right I doubt he cares about sweat shops in the far east.
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,492
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Originally posted by: JellyBaby
Originally posted by: HombrePequeno
Last couple times we went isolationist two world wars broke out.
The effects of Wilson's intervention in WW1 quite possibly created WW2 and indirectly most of the major wars thereafter.
Yup, we did it. Had nothing to do with the germans or the japanese, or the policy of appeasement taken by Europeans. US is to blame for all the worlds problems since, well, since 1776! Yet another effective leftist analysis of history

 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,880
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Originally posted by: JellyBaby
It only takes one person to muck everything up with this kind of overwhelming power.
That's exactly why we must never allow the U.N. to become an overwhelming power.
Osama bin Laden hates Americans because he sees us as infidels, not because we're setting up Nike factories in Bangaladesh.
There are a lot of infidels roaming the planet. The U.S. represents about 4% of them. OBL targetted us for more specific reasons but you're right I doubt he cares about sweat shops in the far east.
Bin Laden saw us as infidels occuping Muslim territory He and others wanted us out of Saudi Arabia. I may not like you, but I am going to like you a helluva lot less if you set up shop in my home.
 

JellyBaby

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2000
9,159
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alchemize, During WW1 the two sides would have likely fought to a stalement and agreed to a ceasefire but the U.S. intervened and tipped the scales. That action lead to the victors taking grand priviledge in the spoils of war especially against Germany. That enabled Hitler to gain power in Germany, WW2, Russia to become a superpower, etc.

Oh and btw my soul isn't aligned with the politically left. Liberals creep me out as do conservatives.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,110
3,155
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Originally posted by: JellyBaby
It only takes one person to muck everything up with this kind of overwhelming power.
That's exactly why we must never allow the U.N. to become an overwhelming power.
Osama bin Laden hates Americans because he sees us as infidels, not because we're setting up Nike factories in Bangaladesh.
There are a lot of infidels roaming the planet. The U.S. represents about 4% of them. OBL targetted us for more specific reasons but you're right I doubt he cares about sweat shops in the far east.
I don't think the UN is the problem, sure it could end up that way, but it seems to be the US that would propel the UN that way, not the UN itself. It is, afterall, the US(Bush) that kept bantering about the UN's unwillingness to crack down on Iraq militarily. The UN properly played down military intervention and chose the Inspection Process, the US didn't find this suitable though. Mixed messages seem to be coming from the US, it fears the possible future the UN may have, yet it simultaneously wants the UN to act more forcefully.
 

JellyBaby

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2000
9,159
1
81
but it seems to be the US that would propel the UN that way, not the UN itself.
My rede is the U.N. does indeed seek that supreme authority. The temptation is too great. It will continue to grow in size, scope and influence until it has a standing army, gun control policies in every nation and a nearly unlimited tax base to fuel continued expansion. Central authority and concentrated power are the bane of humanity, not our savior. Besides, the U.N. isn't configured well. Veto power (and abuse thereof) and membership on the security council is one example.

The U.S. (as most of the "stronger" nations) tend to use the U.N. as a political tool. On Iraq, the security council wouldn't play ball so Bush made an end-run around them. If Iraq truly was an imminent and dire threat this would pose little problem as all nations have a right to defend themselves. But Bush had ulterior motives and made the U.S. look shameful. Not to mention Iraq surrendered to the U.N., not the U.S. We have no consistent foreign policy and it sucks.

I guess you could birth and raise a demon to fight another demon. Then, for a time (possibly a very long time), you have two demons to deal with. And even if your demon wins out over the first demon what do you have at the end of the day? A demon.
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,492
0
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Originally posted by: JellyBaby
alchemize, During WW1 the two sides would have likely fought to a stalement and agreed to a ceasefire but the U.S. intervened and tipped the scales. That action lead to the victors taking grand priviledge in the spoils of war especially against Germany. That enabled Hitler to gain power in Germany, WW2, Russia to become a superpower, etc.

Oh and btw my soul isn't aligned with the politically left. Liberals creep me out as do conservatives.
I'm very well aware of the politics and history of WWI and WWII. They are a hobby of mine.

The "taking of the spoils" against Germany produced a motivation. The appeasement policies of France and UK, and the isolationism of the US, gave germany the will to move forward with continuing aggressive steps, so this statement:

The effects of Wilson's intervention in WW1 quite possibly created WW2 and indirectly most of the major wars thereafter.
is ridiculous, whatever party affiliation you have.

You even try to extend your logic to the creation of the Soviet Union. You can't extend direct, causal correlation to these events and US action/inaction without sounding, well, uneducated. But that never stops anyone on this board, does it :) A factor in the outcome? Yes. Created? Of course not.

If you *really* want to understand WW2, and what lead up to it, I suggest this book
You'll find the NUMEROUS occassions that France and England had to nip WW2 in the bud....

 

JellyBaby

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2000
9,159
1
81
alchemize, I don't blame past U.S. policy on all the world's ills. I also don't ignore acts taken by the U.S. that contributed to them.

You do finally agree with me in saying Wilson's intervention was a factor
A factor in the outcome? Yes.
The results of the 20th century would have been much different if not for a single act early in the century by the U.S. under Wilson. Though not intentional Woody laid the foundation for Hilter and Stalin. Russia may have become a superpower anyway but it just may have been a beneign superpower.
 

da loser

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,037
0
0
Originally posted by: sandorski
This is a tough question. The Cold War is what really derailed, or more accuretly(sp), set the US on it's current path ... the other part is the US's inability to adjust to a Post-Cold-War world.

I think the US needs the UN and other International bodies more now then ever, the reason is so that blame, responsibility, and unilateralism can be avoided, thus preventing the dragging of the US into endless cycles of violence or into situations which tie up the US's military/economy...

...I think the US also needs the UN and other International bodies just to keep itself in check. During the Cold War the Soviet Union modified the US's foreign policy and the US had to watch it's actions. Without the Soviet Union the US has been left with an overwhelming military force, one that it no longer needs, but that is another issue. One of the current problems for the US is that it can do anything it wants militarily speaking, one of the reasons why Iraq was pursued as agressively and as Unilaterally as it was. This puts the US in a dangerous position, both for the World, but also itself. It only takes one person to muck everything up with this kind of overwhelming power.
you're right about the cold war setting us on this current path, but it was a necessary path against communism. and you're right about being slow to change, but that's what happens with large entities. creating and supporting an even larger entity like the UN is not the answer. we've now realized how we screwed up, and are having to repair the countries we screwed over.

however, your view of the US as something to limit is dissappointing. That view will never hold in the US, although you do have people calling to for isolationism but not limiting. Yes, the US has screwed up many times, but those are a result of having to deal with the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Now that the US has no threat, it will be able to implement it's own ideals, freedom, peace, democracy without compromising with bad people.

Your view of rejecting western ideals and confidence in action because we are the reason for the problems around the world is wrong. the problems are a result of local leaders, that we are forced to deal with, who do not embrace true western ideals. The UN falls perfectly into this philosophy by pushing the blame and burden elsewhere to a mysterious larger entity. That is wrong because then you must compromise with the chinas of the world. This compromise has led to the problems caused during the cold war which you cited.

As far as the US going to the UN, jellybelly was correct, they went there to seem as they were including everyone. The UN is currently just a pawn to give legitimacy, which is even more dangerous than the US attacking alone. Because any decision right or wrong by the UN will be considered legitimate and therefore correct. What needs to happen is the EU needs to strengthen it's military so that it will have a say in world affairs. of course they wont, and china will become the next power. Diplomacy has never been the end all as long as humans continue to wage war.

You might be fearful of the US, but we will change governments in 4 or 8 years with no blood being shed. That causes problems because you don't have consistency, but its better to have freedom and change.

Osama attacks us not only because we are on their soil but because we have invaded with our ideas and concepts. freedom, rejection of fundamentalism... he views it as a destruction of society just like conservatives view liberals and vice versa.
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,492
0
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Originally posted by: JellyBaby
alchemize, I don't blame past U.S. policy on all the world's ills. I also don't ignore acts taken by the U.S. that contributed to them.

You do finally agree with me in saying Wilson's intervention was a factor
A factor in the outcome? Yes.
The results of the 20th century would have been much different if not for a single act early in the century by the U.S. under Wilson. Though not intentional Woody laid the foundation for Hilter and Stalin. Russia may have become a superpower anyway but it just may have been a beneign superpower.
I can't bear to argue with you, because you just become more of an idiot with each statement you make. Are you that desparate to disparage the US? Factor != cause. Hitler and Stalin's foundations were laid by Europe, not the US. Period.We just clean up the shitpiles they make. Put the responsibility where it lies, with the men, and governments, and populations that made the choices that directly created the results.

Next thing you'll be saying we caused Japan to attack us because of our beligerent attitude. And I'm sure we caused 9/11 right?

What a victim mentality if I've ever heard one...
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,110
3,155
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"Your view of rejecting western ideals and confidence in action because we are the reason for the problems around the world is wrong. the problems are a result of local leaders, that we are forced to deal with, who do not embrace true western ideals"

I'm not sure where I said that.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,912
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: ElFenix
the monroe doctrine was enforced by the brits
Good thread guys.

I brought this up a while ago too.

The difference between the Monroe Doctrine then and why that won't work now is that England was going around the world putting places under it's rule (including the old U.S. Colonies). The united States is not about to go around the world and intend on taking over permanently. Maybe it should and maybe that might stop the extremists that should be content with wrecking their own Countries with suicide Bombs but doubtful. There is no logic to people that will blow themselves up.


 

JellyBaby

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2000
9,159
1
81
alchemize, Japan attacked us because they feared us and knew we might very well stop their imperialistic intentions.
Put the responsibility where it lies, with the men, and governments, and populations that made the choices that directly created the results.
I agree. Do you think U.S. foreign policy didn't contribute in any way, shape or form to 9/11?
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
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Originally posted by: JellyBaby
alchemize, Japan attacked us because they feared us and knew we might very well stop their imperialistic intentions.
Put the responsibility where it lies, with the men, and governments, and populations that made the choices that directly created the results.
I agree. Do you think U.S. foreign policy didn't contribute in any way, shape or form to 9/11?
I think our inactions are more responsable than our actions.

We should have taken care of afganistan better after the soviets left.
We should have gone after al queda sooner.
We should have somehow made the CIA better.
We should have taken bin laden when he was offered to us.
 

da loser

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,037
0
0
Originally posted by: sandorski
The Cold War is what really derailed, or more accurately(sp), set the US on it's current path.

I think the US needs the UN and other International bodies more now then ever, the reason is so that blame, responsibility, and unilateralism can be avoided,

the US also needs the UN and other International bodies just to keep itself in check.

During the Cold War the US had to watch it's actions.

One of the current problems for the US is that it can do anything it wants militarily speaking,

one of the reasons why Iraq was pursued as agressively and as Unilaterally as it was.

One could argue the value of the US Military's global deployment, as to how necessary it is,

This puts the US in a dangerous position, both for the World, and itself

It only takes one person to muck everything up with this kind of overwhelming power.
I see this as having no confidence and therefore rejection\limiting of the US ideals -> western ideals

US is closest to the fundamentals of western ideals, canada/EU are leading to more socialism which is not freedom, they reject much of the western ideals. although i guess you could argue they're closer to western ideals because by socializing everything they're giving "equal opportunity" to everyone, but i don't believe this.

Maybe you're just talking about all this in reference to Iraq and just looking at the last 2 years if so i apologize for mistating you, but you talked about the cold war and postcold war in your post.

perhaps you have just become cynical of the US do live up to its ideals. But I still contend, we're the best thing in the world.
 

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