Thursday, May 3, 2012

Isolation Nation

Obama is drawing criticism for
failing to provide asylum to
Chen Guangchang
Right now, President Obama is taking quite the fall. Now, in all honesty, when is he not? Heck, when is any President not? But this time, I feel that it’s especially unfair. The main criticisms have come regarding the United States’ failure to provide asylum for Chen Guangcheng, the blind, self-taught human rights attorney that wishes to flee China to provide safety for himself and his family. Both Mitt Romney and John McCain have made statements critiquing Obama’s lack of human-rights activism within his role as President, referring to this as a “dark day for freedom” and “a day of shame”. Now, granted, there is nothing personally wrong with these statements, obviously Romney is going to take every chance he can to critique the incumbent and perhaps McCain is still a little bitter, but the real problem lies in the American thought process as a whole.
            Starting with the rise of communist fear in America, the United States enacted an extensive intervention program to combat the growing influence of the Soviet Union. NATO allied Western European countries with the United States and the Truman Doctrine promised military aid to struggling countries like Turkey and Greece to help them resist Soviet control. The strategy was a rational one, in that it effectively protected our economic and political policies. Allow the Soviet Union and countries under its influence to gain too much power and they could effectively dominate the United States, blocking trade and surrounding us with countries that had nuclear capabilities. Nearly five decades later, and the United States has stuck fast to the same actions, but without the rationale.
Strange picture. Acceptable policy.
            Now, given, the condition of Chen is something that can be sympathized with, but ultimately, isn’t the same true with every country’s plight? Kony2012 pushed the government to take action against Uganda’s Joseph Kony and the LRA to save abused children, and now, Obama is feeling pressure to intervene in Syria with military strength as well. As has been said previously, advocating for human rights is not a bad thing, but at this point in time, is this enough justification for U.S. action? Many would say no. This is doubly true when we consider a lot of what influences these decisions. With America’s youth surging into the new decade with a fierce dedication to activism. However despite, or perhaps because, of the production of new internet outlets for these political views—, for example—the problems with social networking participants stay the same, namely: easily distracted, poorly informed, and highly mercurial. Even as the promise to withdraw from Afghanistan is being fulfilled, more calls are being made to enter Syria. This dangerous combination of ignorance and indecision is becoming a deadly force in America and urges government into worthless pursuits.

China has continued to grow exponentially
in terms of GDP 
            This isn’t to say that all intervention is bad. As I’ve mentioned, it is something that is quite beneficial, provided it benefits the United States sufficiently. The situation in Bahrain right now, for example, is one that may require U.S. military. The success of revolutions in this small island country could overthrow the current Sunni government and spark revolutions in Saudi Arabia, causing us to lose the precious few stable footholds we have in the Middle East. This could directly affect our oil consumption and enhance Western-directed terrorist activities. That’s why we intervene. However, when it comes to internal revolutions in backwards African countries, the United States cannot afford to invest money into resources and military to remedy a problem that was never ours. Even within Syria, the United States already invests in the actions of the United Nations against Assad, and in China, to assume that the United States should invest time and money to remedy human rights and instigate reform in a country that is fast overtaking us in every area is preposterous.
            Its time for America to look inward, with such consuming problems in healthcare, immigration, energy, etc., and continuing this line of thought will only result in diminished power. Spreading ourselves thin any longer while China’s GDP grows an average of 9.7% for the last decade and a half will mean that we won’t have any interests left defend at home or abroad. Now is the time for the United States to regroup and regain the identity that fosters growth and innovation. Turning to a stricter isolationist policy is  a viable option that needs to be considered deeply by government right now. Ron Paul has been right all along, dang it.

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