July 01, 2008

The world is small. It’s a small world after all. You get the point. In the last century, earth has gone from massive planet with numerous, isolated civilizations to one big (un?)happy family. Blame radio, TV, telephones, and especially, most importantly, humongouslyvastly, the internet. It’s all great, it really is. Don’t you think it’s fantastic that we can know what’s happening across the world in a matter of seconds? Isn’t it fabulous that now we have the opportunity to fight evils we wouldn’t know about if it weren’t for the knowledge of it provided by our excellent system of communication? Yes! And no… The US used to have a strict policy of isolationism. We broke it for World War I. Then we tried to reclaim it…and broke it again in World War II. Ever since then, we’ve been protectively sticking our noses everywhere that the business of evil might be lurking. Korea and Vietnam were in the name of Containment (containment of Communism). Desert Storm was to deliver wee little Kuwait from the hands of Sodamn Insane – I mean Saddam Hussein. Our involvement in Iraq was/is also due to Hussein and the WMDs he used on his own people (don’t say there weren’t any, that’s a stupid argument and you know better. Don’t you think after a few months of us saying “Hey, we’re gonna come in there if you don’t shape up!”, they had the brains to destroy and/or hide what WMDs they hadn’t already used? But that is not the purpose of this little spiel.). People have called us meddlers. We’re like Big Brother, they say, forcing our way of life and our opinions on others. We think we’re so hot, but we’re just loud, annoying Americans who think we know best. Well, that comes from being the best. Just kidding! Or am I? We are, arguably, the most powerful country in the world. And, we would be completely independent and that much more powerful if we didn’t rely on other countries for our fuel (Anwar, I say!). Furthermore, despite the complaints of Big Brother-ism, the impression is that we should step in for every problem, since we’ve “got the power.” It’s our duty. But we can’t. We’re already spread too thin. So where do we draw the line? While we struggle to keep the Middle East from blowing itself up, Africa suffers from genocide, revolutions, and corrupt governments. Rigged elections occur around the world. Communism thrives just a few hundred miles off our southern coast. Thousands of Burmese perish because their military government refuses to accept outside aid. The U.N. thinks we should comply the wishes of everybody and the “greater good,” but wets themselves with anger when our president bypasses them to deliver oppressed Middle Easterners from evil governments.

Where do we draw the line, indeed? We can’t help everyone. We’re also too invested in this global community to retreat to our old ways of isolationism. Why the M.E. and not Africa? Maybe it’s the oil – not to say that the Irag War is a war of oil acquisition, b/c if it was I doubt we’d be paying so much for gas. But we are certainly more reliant on the stability of the fuel-rich M.E. than on the stability of far-off, impoverished, even backwoods, Africa. Perhaps we should bring our roots back to our own country before we try to start fixing the problems of others. Yet, becoming energy independent – whether through drilling on our own soil or developing alternate fuels, or both – is not going to fix the world. It’s just going to give us a better foundation where we are. So then who do we choose to help? Should we even help at all? Do we have a military for our own protection, or are our military the police who enforce justice and human rights where there nobody else will? Did our soldiers sign up to protect America, or to protect humanity?

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