"I don't know that the U.S. has tried "butting out", let alone isolationism, since WWII. We sort of annointed ourselves "Leader of the Free World" and took it from there. But, as we are learning, there is a price to be paid for our swagger and chesty thumping, and I think Americans are increasingly realizing that the price is too high (some had an inkling pre-Iraq, but the past three years have really increased this sentiment). I think one of the high prices we pay . . its not just money or even lives -- is too our reputation, the things that other countries are saying about us. I think that has an effect over time on a nation's psyche. I think Ronald Reagan's description of the Soviet Union as an "Evil Empire" had an effect, as all peoples/countries want to feel pride in themselves. As much of the world appears critical of U.S. actions . . not only in Iraq, and not only today -- I think Americans are beginning to want to shed this self-imposed burden."
Since the begining of the xxth century, US policies have been hesitating between being the police of the world and isolationism....
Ronald Reagan descrption of the Soviet Union asd the evil empire had no impact on it. Gioven the censorship at that time, don't even thionk this was relayed to soviet citizens.
"As for 9/11 (unless one subscribes to a "the U.S. govt did it" scenario), I believe the terrorist attacks against U.S. are directly related to our support of Isreal. So long as the U.S. backs Isreal, we will be subject to attacks, no matter what else we do. The only way to possibly avoid such attacks is to stop supporting Isreal with money and armaments, which I do not see happening in the foreseeable future."
True. And this is why I believe supporting peace talks as Clinton did in Camp David and other rounds has a better impact than selling weapons. But, is is not as profitable for the oil-cum-weapons-industry clique currently in power in the US.
"Its not so much what I WANT to see happen . . that is what I see is inevitable. China, with well more than 1 billion bright and industrious people, cheap wages and a wildly-growing economy, holder of huge debt by the United States ---- they are the heir apparent to "superpower" and "world leader", whether you and I like it or not. I think the U.S. is ripe to slip into a somewhat similar situation as the Soviet Union was in 20 years ago: Failing economy, runaway inflation, no longer to sustain its military and other commitments . . . increasingly a superpower in name only, due to its nuclear weaponry. (I just hope U.S. also doesn't start selling off its nuclear capabilities to the highest bidder too). Just as the Soviet Union broke up, I could see the U.S. breaking up into smaller countries -- we are getting so "diverse" here, and so divided, that we don't really feel much like one people anyway. Another big challenge for U.S. is to try to prevent more-and-more of its land and commercial/industrial sector from being owned by the Chinese and other countries. We are so heavily in debt . . . I'm not sure if we can legally be forced to sell (like someone losing their house to personal debt), but we show no inclination to stop just letting it go. Maybe our hope is that the Chinese leadership will become more tolerant and freedom-loving (Taiwan is a goner!) -- I'd sure hate to fight them in WWIII . . . not a fight we could win!! And I hope the rest of the world likes Chinese leadership."
This is why we need a counter power to the Chinese influence. Meaning the Europeans and Americans would better unite against the Chinese than fight with each other. But for this the US government should be less driven by the personal interests of very few people and the European governments (and peoples) should be more efficient in building a united Europe.