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Should the US adopt a policy of isolationism?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by invest07, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. invest07

    invest07 Member

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    I’m posting this topic under US politics instead of world politics because it is rightly an internal debate among US citizens. My thoughts are this:

    1. We should step back from our present position as world leader.
    2. We should limit our involvement on the world stage to “our fair share”.
    3. We should no longer carry the ball for W Europe and Asia.
    4. We should limit our foreign aid to a few countries that have been our historic friends and to emergency relief efforts.
    5. We should scale back our financial commitment to the UN and ask that the UN relocate their headquarters to another country.
    6. We should be far less militarily committed around the globe.
    7. We should bring our military home immediately from Germany and Japan and as soon as feasible from the Middle East. Future involvement in foreign conflicts should be drastically curtailed.
    8. We should do nothing that limits our national sovereignty.

    That’s a summary of my thoughts. What say you?
     
  2. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    I agree with all of those, 1-8 (especially #5) but I still don't believe in strict isolationism, largely for economy reasons.
     
  3. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    I think I will take these step by step and run down. I dont think isolationism is wise for us in the total sense, but we do need to clean up our own back yard before we look into our neighbors.
    1. We should step back from our present position as world leader.
    We should step back from our position as world police, but I think we need to maintain our lead in terms of economy, technology, education among others.
    2. We should limit our involvement on the world stage to “our fair share”.
    Not a bad idea, this would cause a dramatic change in the everyday lives of Americans who are spoiled into having what we do.
    3. We should no longer carry the ball for W Europe and Asia.
    I dont know off the top of my head just how many bases and what force strength we have in W. Europe or Asia, but I would certainly vouch for minimzing them or at least have the host country cover much of the costs involved with that. Such as the S. Koreans.
    4. We should limit our foreign aid to a few countries that have been our historic friends and to emergency relief efforts.
    Interesting concept, I will say that we need to cut trade ties with countries that do not share our core beliefs of democracy and liberty. A perfect example would be the Saudis, and the Chinese.
    5. We should scale back our financial commitment to the UN and ask that the UN relocate their headquarters to another country.
    I think the only other place that would benefit having the UN headquartered there would be Switzerland, where in my opinion it should have been located in the first place or on a previously uninhabited island that becomes soverign territory of the UN. We also need countries to commit more capital to running it.
    6. We should be far less militarily committed around the globe.
    I agree to this, but see #3.
    7. We should bring our military home immediately from Germany and Japan and as soon as feasible from the Middle East. Future involvement in foreign conflicts should be drastically curtailed.
    I agree with the idea of not being involved in foreign wars, but that is an interesting concept that has not worked out historically.
    8. We should do nothing that limits our national sovereignty.
    I would say that your first 7 ideas contradict the 8th point. But fair enough.

    The concept of isolationism has been tried before in this country and twice in the past 100 years with really piss poor results. The following is totally theoritcal and does not necessarily reflect our currect status in Iraq etc.
    One often does not have to look for trouble, because trouble finds them as is a result of both world wars we said we would not be involved in, but of course later did. It may be possible that if we would have been a player from the start that things could have turned out differently. To sit in the corner with our fingers in our ears and our eyes closed makes it difficult to react to being punched. One can debate that my statement about that is not entirely accurate, but for conceptual purposes I will stand by it.
    All this being said, there should be no reason why anyone should be without medical coverage in this country(do not see that as me suggesting a government monopoly) there is no reason for the rampant defecit spending our government partakes in, the immigration problem needs to be reigned in somehow, also our reliance on imported oil from countries who dont share our views on the world need to be cut off. Our totally inept policy towards the prohibition of drugs needs a close hard look as well.
     
  4. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    When? Are you referring to the 1790s and 1930s or?
     
  5. rmbarron

    rmbarron New Member

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    I would agree with the point of removing mlitary bases from Europe. They were put there to counter the threat of a Soviet invasion. Since this is no longer a credible threat it really seems to be a waste of resources. Although I've never seen a study on the logistics. For all I know bases in Germany might be making money. But probably not. However, it would be a mistake to leave South Korea. While I do think the nuclear threat from NK is overblown, there would be really nothing to stop a North-South invasion should we leave completely. For similar reasons we need to maintain our naval bases in Japan, lest we be unable to respond to a new Korean crisis. In fact, Korea illustrates the real problem with isolationism; the gloabl economy. While Europe and Japan may not be in danger of being overrun by Communists, S. Korea certainly is. Too many American companies have too much inversted in places like SK and the Middle East to allow them to fall to anti-western governments. For the record, I don't actually agree with the morality of these points. However that doesn't mean I can't grasp their logic.
     
  6. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    I am refering to the early 20th century, from 1903 until 1917 and the 20s and 30s, specifically Wilson and Roosevelt, in thier attempts at isolationism in avoiding being involved in the world wars, which both didnt succeed. I guess the whole point to my ealier post was that we have tried it before and it kinda bit us on the ass, and where we find ourselves now is that Pandoras box has already been opened and cant be closed again entirely. The results of that practice would be something the far majority of Americans are not at all interested in. We like our Chinese made consumer goods to much, our gas station of every corner, and our imported foods to make it work without causing a drastic change in everyday American life. All this being said, there is nothing I would like more than for America to but out of everyone's business and take a long hard look at ourselves and fix the issues we have.
     
  7. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    You can't honestly believe that we were isolationist in the 1920s and 30s.
     
  8. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    I am not sure how you feel about a copy and paste from Wikipedia, but here is what I read:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolationism
    Following World War I, the United States population turned to isolationism during the 1920s, opposing any action by the government that would drag the country into another European war. This isolationist tendency led to the imposition of tariffs. For the most part, American isolationism came to an end during World War II, particularly following the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. However, the USA cannot be said to have upheld a complete isolationist policy during WWII prior to Pearl Harbor. The USA had been selling equipment and resources to the Allies while claiming to not want to be involved in the war.
    Also it was Wilson who was re-elected in 1916 on a platform of staying out of WWI.
     
  9. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Not economically, but in terms of international diplomacy we were more or less sitting back and letting everyone else figure things out. Recall, one of Wilson's 14 Points (if memory serves, the only one that actually got anywhere) was the creation of the League of Nations - and then America refused to join.

    We were throwing money all around (blame Taft and his "dollar diplomacy") but we weren't getting involved in matters of state all that much until the late 30s.
     
  10. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Wikipedia's really good for gaining some quick info on a topic that you don't know much about, but for anything mildly debatable such as politics, religion, or history -- it cannot be taken as fact.

    That said, I don't agree with that at all. I think that it's a mistake to think that international issues had played no role prior to the late 1930s, for diplomats and politicians had long focused on European affairs since the creation of the League. I reject the term "isolationism" for this period because if you look at their actions, it is evident it attempted to broker settlements to minimize its leadership position abroad.

    I would point to the Washington Naval Conference, Dawes Plan, Kellog-Briand Pact, Stimson Doctrine, and "Good Neighbor" Policy as evidence that we were indeed not strictly isolationist during this period.

    As for Wilson -- yes, he did run on a platform promising to "keep our boys out of war" but much like FDR, he was forced to abandon his many reform efforts to concentrate on the realities of an international war.
     
  11. Castle

    Castle New Member

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    I am in favor of all points. I see no advantage in continuing to be the worlds babysitter/sugar-daddy and constantly getting kicked in the jewels for it. Economically it is not wise to cut ties so global trade should continue in my opinion.
     
  12. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    My point exactly in saying that isolationism has been tried in the past and hasnt really worked. Plus like Castle says, we rely on global trade to much to have it work. Though, it would be much preferable in my eyes if we did little or no trade with Saudi Arabia and China.
     
  13. mysteryman

    mysteryman New Member

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    I have said before that since it seems like the rest of the world wants to blame the US for all of the worlds problems,we should become strict isolationists.

    We should...
    1. Recall ALL US diplomats and close ALL US embassies or consulates.

    2.We should end our involvement with the UN totally and order it and all of its non US citizen personnel out of the country immediately.

    3.We should order every foreign embassy out of the country.

    4.All US troops serving outside of the US,its territories and possesions are to be brought home immediately.

    5.We stop all foreign aid immediately. That includes food,medical,financial,military and any other type of aid or money being sent overseas.
    If people start to die from hunger or disease or anything else that our aid was preventing,that wont be our fault.

    6.We stop all disaster relief coming from our govt,things like food,clothing,medicine,water,S&R teams,everything.

    We should just totally isolate ourselves from the rest of the world,and let them handle everything.

    My plan would save millions of taxpayer dollars every year,and the rest of the world would then have only themselves to blame for whatever problems crop up.
     
  14. r0beph

    r0beph New Member

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    So how about all those billions of barrels of oil we rely on, from other countries. how does your plan account for this? What of all the imported goods we rely on, all the outsourced jobs? Us wrangling in all our outward tendrils would cause the economic collapse in many markets around the world. The problem is once we push into something, pulling out and causing disaster is in fact our fault, unless we made some concessions for a scheduled withdrawls as to not cause such chaos. It'd be worse than it would be good.
     
  15. bokile

    bokile New Member

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    I can't beleive I agree with you on something:D :D
     
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