Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hanson: Cut America Some Slack

Victor Davis Hanson: Cut America Some Slack [Excerpt]

The Danger is Isolationism, not Preemption

If I were a European, Taiwanese, Saudi, or almost anyone else who habitually complains about American presumptuousness, I would worry that the American public is reverting to its (natural?) 1930s sort of isolationism. Tired of cheap anti-Americanism, the burden of global defense obligations, and the continual erosion of the dollar, they wish to pull in their horns and let others in multilateral fashion pick up the slack.

Perhaps the European rapid reaction force could respond to Estonia’s plight should Putin send in a punititive brigade. Maybe the UN could provide the necessary deterrence to protect Taiwanese autonomy should the island provoke mainland China to the point of invading.

No doubt the EU3—Britain, France, Germany—could warn Iran not to nuke Israel—or else. These are not longer just parlor-game musings, but the look of the world if the exhaustion of the American people is reflected in retrenchment, best summed up by “These people are not really worth it, so let them handle their own affairs.” It would be a very dangerous attitude to adopt, but one psychologically understandable.

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