Jewish World Review August 16, 2013/ 10 Elul, 5773
The 'to hell with them' doctrine
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Maybe everyone is misreading America's views on foreign policy?
Among Republicans, there's a big argument between the so-called isolationist wing of the party and the ostensibly interventionist wing. On the left, there's a similar debate (though liberals are never described as isolationists no matter how isolationist they might be). Among Democrats, the dividing lines are murkier if for no other reason than the
The biggest boon to the anti-interventionists is the simple political reality that Americans just don't want to intervene in
Some commentators paint all of this as part of a general isolationist or inward-looking attitude on the part of the American people. And lord knows that after so much American blood and treasure has been spilt since 9/11, nearly everyone is war-weary.
But there's a simpler reason for American reluctance to intervene in the
I borrow the phrase from my
Recall that this was the time when the Palestinians held an election in
Over the preceding two decades, the U.S. sent troops into harm's way five times to liberate Muslim people -- in
The understandable -- if not necessarily laudable -- response from many pro-defense conservatives was, "To hell with them." They don't want our help and, besides, we can't help them when we try. If they attack us, will attack back, but beyond that, they're on their own.
That attitude is back with a vengeance, and not just among self-described hawks. There's even a version of that attitude among doves. Though they probably wouldn't say, "To hell with them," they share a similar attitude that there's little the U.S. can do for the Arab and Muslim world. Indeed, this exasperation is something of a boon for segments of the anti-American left, who've always seen U.S. power as a force for ill in the world. President Obama offered the Muslim world a grandiose do-over, promising to be, in effect, an anti-Bush president. He's now less popular among Arabs and Muslims than Bush was in 2008.
The "to hell with them" attitude is no doubt prevalent among Americans who dislike Muslims, but having animus in one's heart is not a prerequisite for exhaustion and exasperation with large swaths of the
You can't prove a negative, but my hunch is that support for
include "/home/jwreview/public_html/t-ssi/jwr_squaread_300x250.php"; ?>
© 2006 TMS