Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Larison on isolationists

Daniel Larison writes:

To say that someone is an “isolationist” because he doesn’t want to join (or start) wars overseas is akin to calling someone a shut-in because he chooses not to break into another person’s house and set fire to the building.


I used to be in favor of America's post-Cold War foreign wars. Then I noticed that:

  • we Americans had killed hundreds of thousands Iraqis in their own country (the blood being on American hands) and few of us seemed to care;
  • the Russians had killed one tenth as many Syrians at Aleppo (the blood not being on American hands) and we seemed to care a lot; and
  • in the interim, we had moved large numbers of Iraqi survivors to the U.S. to let them take out college loans, collect food stamps, and vote Democratic.

I gather that if we had killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in the U.S., or even killed hundreds of Iraqis in the U.S., or even failed to give an Iraqi in the U.S. his food stamps, why, we would feel very guilty about this. But killing Iraqis in their own country is different: that's called liberating them.

I haven't even mentioned Afghanistan.

At any rate, I was wrong when I was in favor of America's foreign wars. Our invasion of Afghanistan was unfortunately a required response to Bin Laden's mad Sept. 11, 2001, bombing of Manhattan, but we should have exited Afghanistan within six months of entering it and should not have fought Iraq at all. The Baltic states or Taiwan might be next to draw us into a foreign war but I will not send my sons there to die. I am an isolationist now.


There was the objection that, if the U.S. does not stand up to tyranny, it could be Hitler all over again; yet this ignores how utterly wrong the U.S. has been in almost every foreign intervention (including the one against Hitler) as to what the actual effects of that intervention would be. Since when is it worth killing, since when is it worth dying, to enforce randomly unpredictable results in some faraway land?

It seems to me that, by intervening, the U.S. is at least as likely to create the next Hitler as to stop him. Those who disagree might tell us why, and tell us how many they are willing to kill to prove their point. No, Larison is right. That is not worth the foreign blood on our hands. That is not worth the deaths of my sons or yours. Hitler, who is already dead, is no excuse.

Who is bloodthirsty enough to tell us otherwise?

The U.S. has made enough corpses. The next time we fight, it must be for something worth fighting for; and please God may that day be long delayed. I am indeed an isolationist now.

No comments:

Post a Comment