Once again, been doing some ruminating, this time on the Ron Paul brand of neo-isolationism. I've decided that it's a fundamentally flawed policy for several reasons:
- The central premise itself is fatally flawed. The idea is that if we ignore the world, the world will ignore us. Sorry, folks, but putting our collective hands over our ears, closing our eyes, and singing "lalalalalala" at the top of our lungs won't stop other nations from knocking on our door--or knocking over our skyscrapers either. History shows this clearly; the last time isolationism was seriously tried in this nation was during the 1920s and 1930s. It ended rather suddenly on one Sunday morning in December, 1941.
- There is also an idea that if we stop "meddling" in the Middle East, that things will calm down. Again, this is not in line with reality. Like a cop standing on a corner keeps neighborhood kids from causing too much trouble, America's presence in the Mideast has helped keep the violence from getting worse. Just imagine what the turbulent Mideast would look like if those bent on violence weren't afraid of American planes, bombs, tanks, and troops showing up if they went too far.
- A corollary to this is that America is primarily responsible for the restraint shown by Israel. If we stopped asking Israel to hold back on their responses to Arab violence, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to understand what would happen... just look at the Six-Day War, for example, and Israel's bombing of Iraqi nuclear facilities in the 1970s.
- There's also, among at least some proponents of neo-isolationism, a concept that the people of the Middle East are not worth shedding American blood to help. This one doesn't need a lot of comment from me, so I will just say that people are people, they all bleed red, and to single out one group as unworthy of our help is distasteful in the extreme.