Essay–I’m An Isolationist

As long as I’ve been alive, my country has interfered with other countries under the auspices of ethical responsibility. Some of my earliest memories are the pictures and TV coverage of the Vietnam conflict. Blood. Bullets. Screams. All of it on the six O’clock news.

Then I watched as Russia invaded Afghanistan, Iraq warred with Iran. America gave weapons to the fundamentalist Afghani Mujahideen. We armed Osama Bin Laden just to give the Soviets a black eye. The same folks we supported there later decided it was a good idea to reward us by slamming planes into buildings.

I watched our marines being blown up in Beirut. Our ridiculous fight for Grenada. Another ridiculous farce in Panama. The truths about arming “freedom-fighters” in order to bring down any regime that our government and corporations didn’t like. The spiral continued until the Kuwait conflict in 1991.

We averted our national eyes as long as we could over the Bosnian genocide. We’ve done the same for Congo, Ivory Coast, and dozens of other such instances in Africa. At least in the Bosnian situation, we eventually tired of the Europeans’ overtures and lies regarding they would take care of the problem.

After 911, a bunch of morons who obviously never studied history, decided to try and take a place that throughout history, no one has been able to control. The same people then decided going into Iraq was a good idea. And for what? Hundreds of thousands of dead. Mostly not ours, but still. And because of our national idiocy, a massive civil war is nearly guaranteed in Iraq. Afghanistan, impossible to secure, is destined to fall under Taliban or tribal rule.

Over and over again, the same dictators we helped put in power across the Middle East are being toppled by their own citizens or via our own military. Seeing a pattern yet?

We have a terrifically bad record in foreign affairs. Ever since WWII, we have meddled internationally, played chicken with our enemies, and attempted to control…well…everything.

We’ve spent trillion upon trillion on defense, embassies, aid to banana republics, our so-called “allies” in the Middle East, and etc. If you study enough ancient history, it’s very easy to see why people keep comparing America to Rome. And should we continue in our never-ending quest to control the world, we will fall just as the Roman Empire did.

My country is in tatters. We have a crumbling infrastructure. We have not enough jobs, too many homeless, too much crime, and too many of our own citizens are suffering. But whenever someone farts in a country that is a “friend” of ours or an enemy of “theirs,” we pull out our wallets or send our young people to die.

Today, several high-ranking members of the Republican Party are calling on the President to threaten Russia. If they don’t behave in the Ukraine, we should ensure they know there will be consequences. I find it very convenient this is all happening at the same time as the budget fight for the military. If I was a true tin-foil-hat-wearing-conspiracy-theorist, I’d say too convenient.

We’re still not out of Afghanistan. We’re still not out of Iraq. I hate those that put us there and I’m so very disappointed in the present administration’s continued recalcitrance in living up to its promises that our troops would come home sooner rather than later.

And now these fuckbags want to make threats to Russia? Over what, exactly? GW Bush called Putin a great guy and a great ally so many times that I’ve lost count. The Russian president is a tyrant. He’s little more than a modern day Stalin. And yet, how much money have we spent with them since his ascent?

We survived the Cold War. The world has changed drastically since the old USSR fell. But now it’s headed back to where it was or worse.

If Americans are asked by our government to provide military support for the Ukraine, I personally believe we should tell them “fuck no.” This is a European problem. They have the most to gain or lose and it’s time they ponied up and dealt with something that didn’t include us.

The UN? They will be able to do nothing. Russia is a permanent member of the security council and surely China would veto any attempt to intervene. NATO has been neutered into near oblivion and what would it do anyway? No NATO country has been attacked or is being threatened.

POTUS had the gall to tell Putin he was breaking international law. We are the last country in the world that should tell another country that. We are a nation of hypocrites. We point our fingers at others for engaging in the same actions we “proudly” take over and over again.

As a country, we need to get our shit together and face our own hypocrisy, muddled values, and ridiculous sense of entitlement. I want us to be the greatest country in the world. But not because of military power. Not because of our economy. But because of true freedom, sensible policies, and generosity to our own citizens. That is the country I want. That is also the country that is rapidly slipping away over petty religious arguments and polarization.

I hope this particular international situation resolves itself. Ukraine deserves to be free. Russia deserves to go fuck itself. But neither of those situations deserves as much attention as taking care of our own people and rebuilding our fractured nation.

I guess I’m an isolationist. Not because I don’t care about other people in other countries, but because we have done a poor job both afar and at home. We need to get better at delivering on the promises said in our constitution, the songs we sing about our country, and live up to the bullshit lies we tell ourselves every day about our greatness.

I’m a patriot. I’m fighting to fix my country. Status quo is disaster and things need to change. One of those things is giving up the job of being the World Police. It’s time for someone else to take that mantle. Let’s focus on the U.S. for a while. We have plenty of things to repair.

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