If our Founding Fathers wanted us to care about the rest of the world, they wouldn't have declared their independence from it.
It's all very well for us to sit here in the west with our high incomes and cushy lives, and say it's immoral to violate the sovereignty of another state. But if the effect of that is to bring people in that country economic and political freedom, to raise their standard of living, to increase their life expectancy, then don't rule it out.
That war [Bosnian war] in the early 1990s changed a lot for me. I never thought I would see, in Europe, a full-dress reprise of internment camps, the mass murder of civilians, the reinstiutution of torture and rape as acts of policy. And I didn't expect so many of my comrades to be indifferent - or even take the side of the fascists. It was a time when many people on the left were saying 'Don't intervene, we'll only make things worse' or, 'Don't intervene, it might destabilise the region. And I thought - destabilisation of fascist regimes is a good thing. Why should the left care about the stability of undemocratic regimes? Wasn't it a good thing to destabilise the regime of General Franco? It was a time when the left was mostly taking the conservative, status quo position - leave the Balkans alone, leave Milosevic alone, do nothing. And that kind of conservatism can easily mutate into actual support for the aggressors. Weimar-style conservatism can easily mutate into National Socialism. So you had people like Noam Chomsky's co-author Ed Herman go from saying 'Do nothing in the Balkans', to actually supporting Milosevic, the most reactionary force in the region. That's when I began to first find myself on the same side as the neocons. I was signing petitions in favour of action in Bosnia, and I would look down the list of names and I kept finding, there's Richard Perle. There's Paul Wolfowitz. That seemed interesting to me. These people were saying that we had to act. Before, I had avoided them like the plague, especially because of what they said about General Sharon and about Nicaragua. But nobody could say they were interested in oil in the Balkans, or in strategic needs, and the people who tried to say that - like Chomsky - looked ridiculous. So now I was interested.
America... goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.
I have been taunted on various platforms recently for becoming a neo-conservative, and have been the object of some fascinating web-site and blog stuff, from the isolationist Right as well as from the peaceniks, who both argue in a semi-literate way that neo-conservativism is Trotskyism and 'permanent revolution' reborn.Sometimes, you have to comb an overt anti-Semitism out of this propaganda before you can even read it straight. And I can guarantee you that none of these characters has any idea at all of what the theory of 'permanent revolution' originally meant.
Tewler Americanus in particular was irritated by a harsh logic that overrode his dearest belief in his practical isolation, whenever he chose to withdraw himself, from the affairs of the rest of the world. He had escaped from the old world and he hated to feel that he was being drawn back to share a common destiny with the rest of mankind.
Others saw in the trend still another instance of a disturbing tendency in the American suburb: the longing for withdrawal, for self-enclosure, for expensive isolation.
It seems a lot of Christians are quick to condemn the world and write its inhabitants off as lost causes. It’s odd, though, Jesus never did. He healed and lovingly confronted. Jesus engaged and walked among his enemies, not to breathe fire upon them, but to breathe life into them. He could only change their lives through being part of their lives. He didn’t write books, he didn’t constrain his preaching to just the synagogues. He didn’t stand aloof bad mouthing the world and his enemies to his disciples in the safety of an insular compound. No, Jesus deliberately walked and lived amongst those he came to serve.