I was talking to my best friend last night. She's from Canada and so holds a very different perspective than I do. She made the comment that we are scary to other nations. We are the world's only superpower, we have the biggest, scariest military in the world and so when we do anything it can be extremely frightening to the rest of the world.
My feeling on that? We have the biggest, scariest military in the world PRECISELY to be extremely frightening. Who is a bully going to pick on? Someone who is strong, or someone who is weak? We have the biggest military in the world so we don't HAVE to use it. That isn't to say we won't.
We didn't start this. We have been more than patient with a madman and with the many mamby pamby countries who kept thinking we could just talk our way out of what is happening. I think after 12 years and countless broken resolutions with an ineffectual UN, what is happening is rather inevitible.
It's interesting to watch and I think the aftermath and how people deal with it is going to be fascinating.
I can't help but see so many parallels between this and World War II.
Keep in mind, before Pearl Harbor was bombed there was a huge isolationist movement in the US. We didn't want to be on the world's stage. That was the message founding father and first president, George Washington gave at his farewell address. "Keep out of the world's affairs!" There was a lot of criticism from other countries about the perceived American apathy especially once they themselves were firmly entrenched in the war. How many nations screamed for the US to get involved.
Still, officially, what did the US care about Europe's problems? Who were we to get involved? Hitler was Europe's problem.
There WAS support for the war going on at home though, in fact several Americans volunteered overseas before the US offically entered the war...but it wasn't until Peral Harbor that the rest of the US was goaded into action. One of the greatest heroes of the 20th century, Charles Lindbergh led the Hollywood contingent of isolationists until Pearl Harbor was bombed. He then become one of the biggest proponents of the war.
Churchill was criticised in his own country for being an old man warmonger as he continually tried to alert the British people to the threat Germany was going to pose...and it was almost too late before the British listened. If they had reacted earlier (as well as the French) to unchecked German agression things may have played out differently.
Keep in mind that Time magazine made Hitler "Man of the Year" once. And sure, there was plenty of US propoganda once they entered the war about the evils going on in Germany...and when they got there they found out it was horrifically much much worse.
And what happened after the war was won?
Let me think...
To which side of the erected Berlin wall did Germans try to flee?
How much money did the US give to rebuild Europe and Japan?
Heck, how much money does the US pour out to the rest of the world still to help in humanitarian causes?
If your country was going to be attacked by anybody, wouldn't you rather it be the country that pours out money and aid and helps you rebuild it without claiming it as their own?
Why is the US involved in the worlds affairs? Because we have to be.
Because we don't need permission from the rest of the world to deal with our own national security.
Because we don't want to hear the cries of "Why didn't we know? Why didn't we stop this!" echoing through the world.
Because we can stop him now.