Can America be isolationist in her actions, business, or politics? Living as we do on a continent separated from much of the world by two oceans, it’s easy to think that it might be possible. There was opposition to both world wars based on the idea that getting involved in others’ problems was not our job.
President Wilson not only faced opposition over joining the fray of World War I, his Fourteen Points proved that though America may have better sense than many countries, she may not always prevail. President Franklin Roosevelt endured heavy opposition to aiding England and France in World War II prior to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The “police action” in Korea just one day came to a halt—leaving us with a demilitarized zone that has been a headache for over 55 years. Then there was Viet Nam. Tens of thousands of Americans killed for a lost war that, like Korea, wasn’t really a war. Most recently we have been mired in multiple conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to figure out a way to stop terrorism around the world. And how many presidents have thought that they had a good start down the road to peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors?
All in all, it does seem that the easy way out is to back into our own shores and leave the rest of the world to self-destruct at its leisure. However, we don’t live in an isolated corner of the world anymore. The world is now a very small place financially, industrially, religiously, technically, and politically. When the leaders of China, North Korea, Iran, the European Union, or even Mexico or Canada make decisions, those decisions will affect America.
Some say that our globe-trotting military is just out to make sure that our oil supply isn’t cut off, and I’m sure that’s part of the reason, but there is more. There were Americans who said that America got what it deserved on 9/11. Some believe that that terrible event was concocted by our own government. These charges come from conspiracy theorists, the ignorant, or the naïve who perhaps believe that if we minded our own business, no one would bother us. Wrong!
Since the dissolution of the Cold War after the U.S.S.R. collapse, the world has filled with uncontrolled “leaders” who will do anything to accomplish their own sick goals. Make no mistake, these leaders are certifiable. President Obama seems to have begun to realize this and is somewhat backing away from his view that if we just talk to these men, they will be reasonable. They will not.
We are hated by the terrorists of the world; not only Al Qaida, but the leaders of all of the nations that have been described as “rogue”. America is on their list of those to be defeated by any means that will work.
I’ve heard it said that we cannot be the world’s “police,” but we had better consider it. We need to join especially with our Western allies in an all-out effort to control terrorism in all its forms. Our connection to the world is now complete—we are part of one big family with some very evil black sheep slinking around. To ignore them, or to think that they will leave us alone if we leave them alone, is foolish.
The violent attack on 9/11 would have happened no matter what our attitude in the world had been. We are a free nation, and freedom terrifies the terrorists. Freedom is their greatest enemy, and they know it. They pronounce condemnation on America’s actions (often flat-out lying in the process) in an effort to blind the world to their atrocities. Involving ourselves in others’ business isn’t pleasant, but it is necessary for our security, not just our economics.