Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pax Americana or Isolationism

This is the subject of Patrick J. Buchanan's latest article. For those of you interested in what he has to say but lacking more than 15 seconds to spend on the matter, I'll summarize his point.

"Neener neener neener. I was right and everybody else was wrong."

To be more concrete - America made a mistake in deciding it could fix the world (particularly in Iraq) and should instead withdraw from the world. He's partly right of course; Iraq has been a disaster. On the other hand it's clear that he sees no middle ground between the dunderheaded way the Bush administration has gone about fixing the middle east and his own policy of shutting our borders and ignoring the rest of the world.
Events abroad and disillusionment at home are causing more and more to ask whether what we call the American Empire or Pax Americana is really worth the aggravation, the cost and the ingratitude.

Interventionism has failed us. Americans are groping toward a new foreign policy that puts America first and a trade policy that puts Americans first.
First of all the people most likely to use the terms Pax Americana or the American Empire are those who oppose us being involved in the rest of the world. People like Mr. Buchanan, for example.

Secondly, while people are clearly upset with the Bush Administrations blunders, I doubt that really implies that they are open to his policy of isolationism. Rather I think they are looking for a more reasonable and rational foreign policy between these two extremes. Most people still remember how Isolationism worked in the 1930s (although Mr. Buchanan has done his best to confuse that particular issue).

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