• ChatteringMonkey
    292
    But didn't Merkel say it was time for Europe to start findong new allies (can't remember how she put it). Was that just bluster?frank

    Yes I think it was a bit of politcial postering mostly… in reaction to Trump saying all kinds of things like treatening to cancel the nato-agreement if Europe didn't spend more on its military.

    But there may be some kind of sentiment to sail a more independant course from the US too. But frankly, I don't think Europe is up to it at this moment, and for the foreseable future. If you look at the military of the whole of Europe, it just pales in comparison with that of the US... and there isn't even a political unity on foreign affairs and the military to begin with.

    In the most recent policy documents of the new European Commission, you will find a lot proposals to find an answer to the 'treat' of China. When it comes down to it, I think Europe much rather has the US dominating the world then China. Hong Kong is a nice reminder for that. Contra to what 'God must be an atheist' says about Europeans, most of us value our individuality… Chinese collectivism is completely antithetical to that.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    None of that matters all that much, we come from the same catholic cultural root.ChatteringMonkey

    We come from that, but so does Russia.
    And other than people in America and in the Vatican, most the citizens of western-type democracies have dropped religion.

    Americans are known for this as well: bible-thumping idiots who rather belive the scriptures than facts.

    Social democrats and communists have allways been sworn enemies, because the social democrats betrayed the revolution.ChatteringMonkey

    This is blah-blah. You are so far removed from Realpolitik and the European reality, that you can't even fathom your distance.

    There are no communists left in Europe! Not any more than in America. The entire continent turned socialist, which is NOT patterned after the USA system, but after the Eastern Block socialist systems before the iron curtain fell.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    I dont think they want guns at all. They want windmills.frank

    Finally we agree on something. Europeans don't want guns, just like you said, and Americans insist on having guns. Europeans want clean, renewable energy, you're right. Americans, too.
  • frank
    3.8k
    but after the Eastern Block socialist systems before the iron curtain fell.god must be atheist

    How does that kind of system work?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    Europe may want windmills, but in a UN report on meeting the Paris Accord targets ---->

    The authors of the report stated in a press release that the kind of drastic, large-scale action the planet desperately needs has yet to be seen, even though global emissions have reached record levels at 53.5 billion metric tons in 2017, with no signs of peaking.

    The G20 nations (Europeans for sure) aren't pulling out the stops to meet the goals. What the nations are doing is quite short of what needs to be done. Instead we have dithering, delaying, and denying.

    The United States has a slob for president. Outside of that, the US behaves much like other countries do and have behaved. Every national government has as its highest goal to benefit its own citizens first. Other nations' citizens are elsewhere on the list.

    All sorts of people here have denounced American Exceptionalism--as well they should. Because the USA isn't exceptional. We aren't better than others, but equally, we aren't worse.

    If any major power's policies seem confused at times, it is only a sign that we are living in the real world. When governments and their militaries have expanded to maximum size, it is difficult to figure out what the nation should do next. Damned if I know.
  • ssu
    1.7k
    Outside of that, the US behaves much like other countries do and have behaved. Every national government has as its highest goal to benefit its own citizens first. Other nations' citizens are elsewhere on the list.Bitter Crank
    I'm not so sure does the US allways put it's citizens first (just thinking about the US health care system), but in fact this as a purpose is totally OK and fine.

    And this is because there is mutual benefit from having good relations, open trade and exchange among two or more countries. Having your neighbors as enemies simply sucks.
  • Coben
    1.1k
    Thus all the whining from Americans that they shouldn't be involved in the affairs of other countries and the soldiers should come home, it's just talk.ssu
    It's just talk in the sense that those with real power are not going to listen. But it is real talk in the sense that people in general do not support global cop, regime change, regular interventionist empire type stuff, so those with real power have to do some false advertising, which they effectively did in the last few decades. But the US isn't one person talking out of the side of its mouth. It's not a democracy, so real talk and real opinions have little effect in an oligarchy.
  • fishfry
    848
    Isolationism has come upon me lately for the very reasons laid out by P. Buchanan in 2013:frank

    I love the Patster. He gets a bad rap (racist, Nazi, etc.) I don't mind even if there's something to it. He has many redeeming qualities. He's brilliant. He's a true populist. "Pitchfork Pat" when he ran for the GOP nomination in 2000. You remember some guy named Bush got nominated instead. Pat was a strong and I mean STRONG opponent of the Iraq war in real time. He was a conservative speaking out against Bush's war. You can call Pat an isolationist if you want, but he's an America first guy. What good does invading Iraq do us? None. So there's that. He's often right about things.

    He's been writing about the death of the west for a long time. He's very prescient and his analysis is spot on.

    Plus I like his style. I always loved watching him on the McLaughlin Group. Rachel Maddow said he was helpful to her when she was starting out at MSNBC and he was on his way to getting fired from the network in a purge of original thought.

    So I like Pat. You may now reply: "ARE YOU SAYING that you like a guy who's been called a Nazi? You must be a Nazi."

    Sorry haven't read the rest of the thread, just wanted to express my appreciation of Pat Buchanan.
  • frank
    3.8k
    That's cool. If there was ever a situation where I could just bitch slap Pat Buchannan in slow motion (with numerous angles on the saliva spewing from his mouth and his glasses flying across the room), I probably would.

    He just put my own feelings about American interference into words exceptionally well.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    292
    Why do we think US interventionism has been anything but America first? Isolationism or interventionism is only a matter of strategy on how to best attain ultimately the same goal.

    I think altruism is a better kind of egoism because we are part of the whole.... the US, like most other countries, cannot be un-tied from the global market anymore, and so it unavoidably has a stake in the stability of that market.
  • frank
    3.8k
    Isolationism or interventionism is only a matter of strategy on how to best attain ultimately the same goal.ChatteringMonkey

    How so?
  • ChatteringMonkey
    292
    How so?frank

    It think governments allways try to do what is in their best interest of their country in the first place (as opposed doing things that are in the interest of other countries in the first place). And their best interest then usually is economic prosperity and security.

    That is the goal, and then there are different strategies one might presume to achieve that goal... like isolationism and interventionism.
  • ssu
    1.7k
    Why do we think US interventionism has been anything but America first? Isolationism or interventionism is only a matter of strategy on how to best attain ultimately the same goal.ChatteringMonkey
    Perhaps the problem here is that the opposite for isolationism doesn't have to be interventionism. The thing is that you can participate very actively in international organizations, without intervening in the affairs of other countries. The only thing is to respect the sovereignty of other states as you want others to respect yours.

    That's it.

    You don't have to close your borders, retreat to North Korea -type isolationism or leave international organizations and look at them as having sinister plans against you. You just opt out from the use interventions. Especially military ones.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    292
    Perhaps the problem here is that the opposite for isolationism doesn't have to be interventionism. The thing is that you can participate very actively in international organizations, without intervening in the affairs of other countries. The only thing is to respect the sovereignty of other states as you want others to respect yours.

    That's it.

    You don't have to close your borders, retreat to North Korea -type isolationism or leave international organizations and look at them as having sinister plans against you. You just opt out from the use interventions. Especially military ones.
    ssu

    Ideally yes, I would certainly prefer it if the world could mature in such a way that this is a viable strategy. But I don't know if, historically, the US allways had the luxury to stand back. Well maybe it could have done that, but then it probably wouldn't be in the position it is now. Presumably if the US would've refrained from intervening, some other country, like say Russia, would have.
  • frank
    3.8k
    It think governments always try to do what is in their best interest of their country in the first placeChatteringMonkey

    The US tends to produce do-gooders. A less famous example is Herbert Hoover, who felt it was important to lead a multi-national team to rescue starving Russians. They discovered that they couldn't distribute aid because the railroad had broken down. So they fixed the railroad. Little did the participants know: Lenin wanted those people to starve to death. Bizarre, but true.

    If you read the article posted in the OP, Buchanan gives more recent examples of the same thing: interference that proceeded from good intentions (to protect the development of democratic nations), but that 1) is costly to the US, and 2) is not welcomed by the affected regions.

    Beyond that, I think the world should shift to looking at China as a peace-keeper, not the US.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    292
    The US tends to produce do-gooders. A less famous example is Herbert Hoover, who felt it was important to lead a multi-national team to rescue starving Russians. They discovered that they couldn't distribute aid because the railroad had broken down. So they fixed the railroad. Little did the participants know: Lenin wanted those people to starve to death. Bizarre, but true.

    If you read the article posted in the OP, Buchanan gives more recent examples of the same thing: interference that proceeded from good intentions (to protect the development of democratic nations), but that 1) is costly to the US, and 2) is not welcomed by the affected regions.
    frank

    Political and military action usually isn't decided by one person. There may be exceptions sure (especially for smaller interventions), but usually there is a process of determining those decisions that involves a dialogue and weighing pro's and con's etc... Maybe this will sound overly cynical, but I find it hard to believe that the protection of the development of other democratic nations would be the only or even the first motive of any larger scale military action.

    Beyond that, I think the world should shift to looking at China as a peace-keeper, not the US.frank

    I can understand that sentiment considering all that has happened over the last 70 years... but I can't really see it ending well with China as a peacekeeper.

    What I hope for is some kind of power equilibrium developing between the US and China, and then some sensible leaders ala Roosevelt coming together and devising a supranational organisation, backed up with some real power and legitimacy, to end the whole superpower-peacekeeper situation.
  • Pfhorrest
    606
    I haven't really been following this thread closely, but I'm seeing a lot of isolationism vs interventionism talk in here, and as a general matter of principle, I've always found that a false dichotomy. Consider a personal analogue of it: what is better, a neighbor who stays holed up in their house and doesn't interact with their neighbors at all even if it sounds like the guy next door is murdering his wife, or the neighbor who's always sticking their nose in everyone's business, complaining about every little thing that's not to their liking and making threats if people don't comply with their demands?

    Trick question! They're both shit neighbors. A good neighbor will mind their own business generally, but lend a hand as reasonable to friendly neighbors who need it, and not sit idly by while that guy murders his wife but stand up and actually do something about it.

    I'm not familiar with a term for the international equivalent of that kind of policy (generally leave other countries alone, unless they ask for help, or we see someone obviously in need of help who doesn't in turn tell us it's fine and to leave them alone).
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