Thursday, June 30, 2011

the new isolationism

the redefinition of "isolationism" continues! david greenberg now claims that the idea that the u.s. should withdraw its armed forces from a country ten years after it invaded and after it achieved both stated goals at the time of the invasion (i.e. capturing or killing bin laden and toppling the taliban regime that sheltered him) is isolationist. as is opposing military action in libya and considering (but not yet voting for, nor even making a concrete proposal to) cuts in the a military budget that currently is about as large as what the rest of the world spends combined.

on top of that, greenberg's definition of isolationism, "a stance that rejects America’s leadership role in the world", is weirdly american-centric. does that mean that russia is isolationist? or maybe he means that isolationism is the stance that rejects one's own country's leadership role in the world. in that case, russia would not be isolationist because it still sees itself as a world leader. but that would mean that countries that have no illusions that they are not world powers are isolationist. so israel, uzbekistan, canada, sweden, rwanda, hell, almost every country except for a handful of world powers and world power wannabes, is isolationist. if we take that definition seriously a country can be isolationist while it is invading its neighbor.