A. Scott Anderson: The world needs America to stay engaged

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  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 24, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    America is the world's policeman. We keep the bullies and tyrants at bay, more or less. That is why Iran, North Korea, Russia and China don't like us. (Bush had an idiot write a speech for him where he called Iran part of the axis of evil, so the fact we have to keep Iran at bay is partly our own created problem).

    If we stop this role, there are a lot of people who are going to be happy and start bullying their neighbors, like China in the South 'China' Sea. It would be good for people like ISIS, a lot of people will suffer.

    But it costs an awful lot of money to do this. (Remember, the 16 trillion dollar debt and I think that Paul Krugman is wrong when he says it isn't a problem) In the long term we should be enthusiastic in helping our allies build up their navies, air forces, etc. In the short term we've got a lot of problems.

    I hope China keeps loaning us money so we can stop them from bullying others.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 23, 2014 6:23 p.m.

    Hey SC Fan –

    Painting JFK as a ideologicaly equivalent to today’s “Conservatism,” is ridiculous.

    He used good sense, and in his day he was accused of being far too weak and diffident by Conservatives War Hawks.

    General Curtis LeMay was furious with JFK for deciding to blockade Cuba instead of nuking Cuba during the Cuban Missile crisis.

    “This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.”— Air Force General Curtis LeMay
    In other words JFK and BHO have a lot in common, They both endured the “appeaser” and “isolationist” criticisms directed at them by nonsensical Right Wing militarists.

    And guess what. Neither Kennedy nor Obama gave a hoot about what a bunch of unthinking, overwrought “Conservatives” had to say about them.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 23, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    Marxist -

    The cold war in your opinion was unnecessary huh?

    Well, actually, it was very necessary.

    Communism was insidiously spreading, and most of the countries that were overtaken by Communism suffered grievously because of it.

    Sure, it wasn't true Marxist Communism. And it wasn't a true ongoing Marxist revolution. But what passed for Communism was BAD NEWS for most of the world.

    I concede that Marx was brilliant, but he was also far too presumptuous and overconfident in his prognostications. Sure Karl, the thesis and the anti-thesis creates the synthesis . . . and blah blah . . . and after the revolution, true Communism and harmony will rule the world.

    The reality of Stalin and then Kruchev and others didn't remotely resemble the ideal of the revolution as described by Marx.

    The drive to spread Communism was International but the concentration of power was purely nationalistic and Russian-centric.

    Conservative Russians today long for the days when Russia had overwhelming POWER. Pure POWER is what Communism in practice was all about . . . NOT ideals.

    And yes, if we had let the USSR have its way, the world would have suffered much more than it did.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 23, 2014 4:29 p.m.

    Hey JoeCapitalist2 -

    "How many evil deeds could have been prevented . . . " . . . If GW Bush would NOT have attacked and occupied Iraq with MASSIVE FORCE under false pretenses?

    As the Real Maverick pointed out . . . "Malaki's government and ISIS are far worse than Saddam ever was."

    Because of GW's interference in the region, WE OURSELVES ARE TO BLAME for many of the atrocities that have taken place there since the demise of Sadaam Hussein and his government.

    Sadaam led a SECULAR government that did not tolerate religious extremists.

    When we removed him, we took the lid off of Islamic Extremism, and it's spreading quickly.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    Earnest T. Bass: "US servicemen killed Sadam, not bush."

    I'm sure you quickly correct the record every time someone said "Obama killed Bin Laden", with a simple "no he didn't, a SEAL team did!". Right?

    Any time that the good guys look the other way while bad guys do evil things, the world becomes a much more dangerous place. That goes for neighborhoods, cities, states, countries, and the whole world.

    How many evil deeds could have been prevented if someone had just not said "that's not my problem, I don't want to get involved".

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    I actually feel strongly the exact opposite.

    The world needs us to stay away and stop interfering. Every time we try to "fix something" we end up creating dozens of terrorist groups. Our cures are worse than the original disease itself. Malaki's government and ISIS are far worse than Saddam ever was.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:23 p.m.

    so-called "patriot"
    1-US servicemen killed Sadam, not bush.
    2-Iraq was far more stable under Sadam, who posed no threat to you, me, or any other American. The current situation was just a matter of time, no matter who occupied the White House.
    It's so odd that you guys criticize President Obama for taking vacations when that is the only thing bush accomplished, aside from massive debt and two lost wars.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 22, 2014 5:24 p.m.

    “America has both a moral and practical obligation to be a global force for good.” Right, and that means no more “nation building” . . . OK? And no more “Conservative” leadership of the kind that commits a massive military force in unprovoked wars.

    “We simply want to advance stability, freedom and opportunity in the world.” Right. As long as it’s consistent with OUR best interests. And let’s remember that too, shall we?

    We don’t want to be the big dumb chump of the world, who can be manipulated by little guys to beat up other little guys, do we?

    We have to keep THIS nation’s best interests in mind FIRST.

    “But the sacrifice of those soldiers kept war far away from America and helped make the world safer, more stable and more prosperous, with more freedom.”

    I wish that were true, but GW’s Iraq war made the world less safe, less stable, and less prosperous.

    Sorry folks, but if we don’t want to repeat history, then we had better recognize it for what it is . . . Don’t you think?

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Aug. 22, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    When I read the comments of a few on here, I really wonder which history they studied. Instances where the US was the aggressor are in the 1800's, Mexican War? 1846. Spanish American War? 1898. Since then, when exactly did the US invade to grab land? The Cold War? started by the Soviets after WWII, anyone remember Berlin blockade? It wasn't the US that started that and partitioning Germany. Korea? UN treaty. Vietnam, SEATO treaty, and we took over where France left off. We didn't start it. Grenada? Nope, we were asked to intervene by the elected government being attacked by Cuba. Panama? Nope, our troops were attacked, imprisoned and killed. Noriega started it, we finished it. Gulf War? Nope, Kuwait was invaded by that playful rascal, Saddam. Bosnia? Nope. Gulf War II? unfinished business. Afghanistan? remember 9/11 anyone? So where was it exactly that we wanted land? That's right, nowhere. Without the US, the world goes to the crapper. Economics, freedom, stability. Take that away the world devolves rapidly.

    Oh, and the bad guys always have a vote in this too.....

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    re:Ernest T. Bass

    is this the same guy that killed Sadam Hussin and handed a "stable" Iraq over to Barack? Take a look at Iraq now ...what's left of it. Seems to me that Barack's JV comment about ISIS is ...well typical of our little liberal in the White House.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    "He strongly disagreed with those who say America should turn inward and ignore the world’s trouble spots." Liberman is precisely talking about Obama and the liberals philosophy, bring the troops home and cut ties with Irag and soon to be Afganistan only to go back to a much more difficult fight. Obviously this community organizer lacks knowledge and sophistication for the job

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    We could stay engaged if only the President wasn't clearing brush off his Texas ranch three out of every four weeks.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    "The world needs America to stay engaged" ??? Well ... that won't happen with the guy in the White House who spends more time on the golf course and Hollywood fund raisers than worrying about head chopping Muslim terror organizations ... who he referred to earlier this year as "JV" as in junior varsity. Well I would say these guys are certainly Varsity now and in fact I think the JV term actually refers to the light weight faculty lounge professor in the White House. America is in so much trouble....

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    In reference to America's "land grabbing" military actions, within the last hundred years or so we have mostly been buying land. Alaska comes to mind. We built the Panama Canal, and gave the Panama Canal Zone back to Panama ... and paid them to take it.

    I think America IS exceptional, and there are many countries in the world that now enjoy freedom that wouldn't be if we didn't exist. Most of these are countries that transformed into constitutional republics following our example.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:10 a.m.


    Well what I'm pointing to is that tyranny, no matter what age it takes place in, is either fought against, or accepted. There is no difference between fighting NAZI in WW11 than there is fighting terrorists today. Roosevelt had to get the nation to move away from the isolationist ideology that was present. Ironically, it was coming from the right wing in those days. These days it seems to be largely from the left, unless you include the liberatarians like Paul. Now I say all this assuming that you agree that Roosevelt fighting in WW11 was a correct and noble endevor. If you don't agree, then there is no common ground to continue with. And as a P.S. What JFK said, that my first post referenced I believe shows that he too would have been a great war time leader/cold warrior/anti-terrorist President.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    Oh listen to the rantings of a seattle liberal pacifist, whose logic doesn't even come close to meeting the accuracy smell test. There would be no Mexico, Central America, or Cuba if these accusations were true...it would all be called the United States.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    SCfan, so you favor sending in the troops, I gather. Iraq and Afghanistan weren't enough? You think the overthrown of the democratic government of Iran in 1953 was a good deal, for which we have paid dearly ever since? And pointing a Kennedy and Roosevelt? Not only is that not modern history/experience, but neither of those Presidents invaded the Middle East. Roosevelt? You equate what we are seeing with WWII? Kennedy? Eisenhower's Cuba experience or adviser in Viet Nam? You put out cryptic, unsubstantiated statements that are not meant for substance and leave us to guess what you mean. I'm pointing at the neo-cons of the past 30 years, who as an ideology, didn't really exist prior to the Reagan years. You are pointing at what, exactly?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    The American glass isn't half empty for you, it's 90% empty.


    Republican/neo-con approach
    Yeah, I guess thats what Presidents Kennedy and Roosevelt were. Republican neo-cons.

    Call it what you want, isolationism, non-interventionism, it all has the same result.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    The U.S. tried non-intervention in the 1930s . 60 million died. There are no easy answers.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    Sen. Lieberman is at the forefront of neoconservatism. Need I say more? It's this constant meddling in the affairs of other nations that has gotten us where we are. I truly believe there would be no such thing as al Qaeda or ISIS if the U.S. government had not been involved in manipulating events in the Middle East for the past century, and especially in the past 65 or 70 years. Marxist has it right regarding the much-maligned term of "isolationism." Non-interventionism has its virtues.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    Staying engaged does not mean putting troops everywhere there is a conflict. The Republican/neo-con approach is to send the military, and we most oftern make it worse and solve nothing.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    This comment really chaps my hide: "that America occupies a special place in the world. And this is especially true because we have no ambition to seize another country’s land or rule its people"

    Tell that to the Mexicans who used to own a substantial portion of the West. Tell that to the Hawaiians. Tell that to the Spanish who lost the Philipines and Cuba to US aggression. Tell that to the Central American countries we have invaded with impunity and installed various puppet regimes. How can you say that with a straight face that "we have no ambition to seize another country's land"?

    America is a good country for a variety of reasons. We generally believe in self rule (unless you are a minority and try to vote) and are the land of opportunity (pay is better here than China or Guatemala). Most people are charitable. We believe in religious freedom (unless you contradict religious fundamentalist doctrine though). So, we do have it better. We can spend a lot on military toys (even the police have 'em), so we can invade just about anyone with impunity. If that is special, well, I guess we are.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    marxist says "the cold war was entirely unnecessary"

    The cold war was just there. It wasn't really started, it was inherited by the Western Democracys, who, having just come off of another totalitarian attempt at enslavement, were not ready to sacrifice the hard won freedom of WW11 to a communist system. Take a look at places on earth where hard left wing political systems reign. North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela for example. Whether hard right wing, or hard left wing, (there is pretty much no difference) the liberty of individules (religion, speech, press, ect.) is taken away by the state. We have to fight against that when it threatens, which seems to be always.

    Our "visceral fear of socialism" as marxist puts it, is not a fear of socialism itself. It is a fear of the threat to freedom that accompanies socialism/communism/marxism as practiced in the world. Not many good examples of liberty there, but plenty of bad ones.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.

    That of course from President John F. Kennedy.

    I also believe what Sen. Lieberman said that when the U.S. withdraws, the world becomes a worse place. Sure seems to be true, and what has surprised me is how fast that can happen. I'd hoped for a few years of standdown time from overseas adventures, but it appears the bad guys are not taking a break. Fight them here, fight them there, but the sad truth of this world is, we WILL have to fight them somewhere. Or lose our freedom. As well as our heads.

  • Mark Terran Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 1:21 a.m.

    This is why we shouldn't be treating illegal aliens better than we treat our veterans. Many Americans prosper on the backs of American servicemen whose sacrifices helped ensure the sort of global stability that made such prosperity possible.

    Increasingly American businessmen and stockholders are trying to get out of paying our veterans and other Americans a fair compensation for their time and faithful labors. This they are doing in part by paying corrupt politicians to support policies specifically and consciously calculated to drive wages down.

    Among these policies is purposely allowing illegal aliens to flood this nation; purposely spreading immigration-law anti-enforcement propaganda; and trying to raise the ceiling on the already-abused H-1B visa system by which American businessmen are effectively replacing American workers with foreigners. Thus in this country we have three American STEMs graduating for every one STEM job available.

    If we're going to send American men and women to war around the world in a hope of stabilizing the world of commerce in the interest of increased profit then the least we can do is not stab these servicemen in the back once they get home in the manner I have described.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:24 a.m.

    "Sen. Lieberman noted that, historically, periods of U.S. isolationism and withdrawal have been followed by terrible wars and ravaged economies."

    This statement needs to be examined critically. WWI ended the first great period of internationalism. So WWI created the isolationism, isolationism did not bring about WWI. Moreover, the United States entered WWI largely for reasons of commercial ties, so international commerce dragged us into that war. Moreover the circumstances of reparations and loan retirement made Nazism possible. So one misbegotten war created another war - WWII.

    The Cold War was in my opinion entirely unnecessary. With Stalin's death Russia began a long steady change which could have been taken advantage of, were it not for our visceral fear of socialism. So with the Cold War we got Korea and the disastrous Vietnam War. This was during a period of growing internationalism among the western powers.

    We are now in the second great period of internationalism, but with it the world is more economically unstable than ever, which could lead to yet another major war.

    Senator Lieberman's statement needs examination.