It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


More Americans are becoming isolationists.

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 06:58 PM

Americans’ appetite for world leadership has waned significantly since before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, with more than two-fifths saying the United States should mind its own business, according to a major new survey released Thursday.

The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Council for the People & the Press and the Council on Foreign Relations, found an isolationist streak that rivals sentiments that emerged in the mid-1970s in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

Pew and the Council on Foreign Relations conduct the survey, titled “America and Its Place in the World,” every four years. The last survey was conducted in the summer of 2001, just before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, providing a useful gauge of changes in Americans’ attitudes after the attacks and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At the same time, fewer than half of Americans — 48 percent — have a positive opinion of the United Nations, down from 77 percent just before 9/11.

What we are seeing is a more sober assessment for the U.N. instead of the extremes of loving it or leaving it,” Feinstein said.

Shaken by the Iraq war and the rise of anti-American sentiment around the world, Americans are turning inward, according to a Pew survey of United States opinion leaders and the general public.

The survey, conducted this fall and released today, found a revival of isolationist feelings among the public similar to the sentiment that followed the Vietnam War in the 1970's and the end of the Cold War in the 1990's.

But at the same time, the survey showed, Americans are feeling less unilateralist than in the past, appearing to indicate a desire for a more modest foreign policy.

Forty-two percent of Americans think that the United States should "mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own," according to the survey, which was conducted by the Pew Research Center in association with the Council on Foreign Relations.

this is very significant. i wonder whats going to happen as more Americans becoming isolationists. how would the world react? no more UN? no more alliances? what is your view?

sorry for the double post thread, my computer just slowed down. get rid of one of them.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by deltaboy]

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:13 PM
Heh, they did it in the 1930's and look what happened.

You can't be isolationist in a world where destruction is only 1 terrist action away. Those days are long gone.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:26 PM
There is a HUGE difference between being an Isolationist, "saying the United States should mind its own business", and not wanting to occupy nations on the other side of the world.

True Isolationists would be against foreign visitors, foreign trade, and any foreign contact.

The standards for the word here make the vast majority of the world into Isolationists.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:41 PM
Im not against trade or even strategic alliances when neccesary, but the US should not be the world's police force. however we are fighting a war against terrorism, and less generally islamic Terrorism. everyone says well ist that a hypocrite? I say no, because we are targeting the type of terrorist groups that murdered americans. After the war on terror we need to consider being less involved in foreign conflicts but not blind to serious threats either.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 11:08 PM
If we talk solely on the "War on Terrorism". Then i would say this isn't a situation where it's other people's business and we should butt out.

Terrorism is a world wide problem as we have seen in many many countries. The US, instead of sitting on there cans, is taking more of an offensive approch to defending themself. No major terrorist attacks on US soil since 911. The downfall is the terrorists are playing a game of using a weapon called "anti-american" sentiment against us. Out of desperation they are attacking other nations around the world, stiring up anger and trying to isolate us from world support. This is the main thing they have going for them.

The US needs to admit it has made many mistakes along the way. However, i think its just as fair that other countries need to try and take a more rational approch to judging the US intentions. If citizens started dying and buildings started falling in your country....could your government honestly say that it would do nothing to be proactive in eliminating that threat? The US might not be entirely innocent here,....but it may be going to far for those who say the US is the devil, and that it simply wants to take over the planet and all it's resources.


posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 11:16 PM
really america couldnt be isolationists. it would undergo a collapse because we depend or trading and such.

like some one else said, theres a difference between being an isolationist and not wanting to invade forgien countries on the other side of the world.

posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 03:02 AM
Agreed. A truly isolationist America would be doomed to failure.

posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 05:18 AM
After Iraq, we need to get our asses back to pre 9/11.

I also want to see every individual involved in Torture Jailed.

There is such a thing as an unlawful order.

I predict Bush facing impeachment.

It's getting pretty damn close to it.

Edited: Er, good beer!

[edit on 18-11-2005 by crisko]

posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 08:20 PM
... when you see your governement and militaries destroying the lives of people all around the world and you know that your taxes make this effort possible... some people are really horrified by that stuff, ya know?

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 01:37 PM
I don't think it's a matter of 'either or'.

I agree isolationism is an unworkable idea.

If the US was to move back towards a situation where it did value (and was seen to value) the input and opinion of those nations that actually share much the same values I could see things being much better for it.

It's life writ large IMO.
None of us can just do what we want in a blinkered bloody-minded determination as if there are no repersussions or other considerations to take into account.

posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 01:45 PM
Since this seems to be a "fantasy" type process I would prefer a fracture of America. I think it is time to call this experiment done and see a structured split of the nation.

Allow the right wing to control their part and do what they want domestically/internationally and allow the left and middle to have theirs.

It is becoming apparent we are not going to be able to live together much longer, our goals for human rights, national sovernty, care for the poor and advancement of science are too far split to ever be cohesive again. It will always be one side or the other and the American people will be stuck in the middle.

posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 04:56 AM
I think it is natural for the people of any nation that have endured the burdens of a war, to seem like they want isolationism. Truth be known, the correct word for this is weary, that's really what they are. They just want a quiet place to lick their wounds. If they are left to do that, they'll bounce back.

I don't believe the US is at the islolationist, or even the weary, stage yet. We still want bin Laden's scalp, and we want a stable Iraq.

posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 03:35 PM

Originally posted by jsobecky
...We still want bin Laden's scalp, ....

lol if only that were true...

posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 02:37 AM
I think if you polled the American populace, getting Bin Laden's scalp would outweigh any interest in Iraq by a wide margin. Of course the current government seems to have different ideas...

I don't know if this is anything new, or a resurgence of a continuing thread in American politics that has existed since George Washington's warnings about "entangling alliances". The US resisted entering both WW1 and WW2 till well into each conflict, WW2 until it was directly attacked. The superpower status of the US is a direct result of WW2, and not something the US sought as much as had thrust upon it.

Without the threat of an expansionist power bloc like the Axis or the Warsaw Pact presenting a clear danger, fewer US citizens are likely to see the expense of maintaining the US's superpower status as worthwhile. It's not hard to understand why. It's hugely expensive, and what does it gain us but bragging rights? For some of us that appears to be enough, but it seems to me their number is dwindling.

The current leadership has tried to sell Islamic extremism as the new threat that justifies the huge expense, but Islamic extremism doesn't pose nearly the same kind of threat. There are no Islamofascist hordes marching across the map taking territory and building munitions plants that churn out tanks.

As we've seen in Iraq, even the huge military might of the world's only "hyperpower" cannot guarantee victory against people who don't play by the same rules of war. The US probably could pacify Iraq by force - we certainly have the means - if we were willing to slaughter about a third of the population. The fact is, we're not, and I for one hope we never will be.

[edit on 11/21/05 by xmotex]

posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 07:01 AM
the US does have everything it needs for self sufficency, but could not transition tosuch without paying of its debts.

Jefferson summed up the position best, "commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none".

containment and pre-emptive strikes will not defend us against the next terrorist threat. none of those have anything to do with the intel failure that allowed 911 to happen in the first place. (a staged failure imo, but still a failure).

the iraqi occupation creates more terrorists than it prevents from harming us. and with a wide open mexican border and a loose canadian one, I have to give the admin bad marks on making us more secure.

posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 08:54 AM

Originally posted by ArchAngel
There is a HUGE difference between being an Isolationist, "saying the United States should mind its own business", and not wanting to occupy nations on the other side of the world.

Exactly. The article claims that people in America don't want to get
involved in the goings on in other countries. Being an 'isolationist'
is something totally different.

Who ever wrote the article doesn't understand the difference.

posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 08:56 AM
Unlike the 1930’s we don’t have a dictator hell bent on conquering Europe. And even if we did Hitler would have trouble invading countries today, when what counts is no longer how many tanks and troops you have, but also whether or not the country your intending to invade has or access to nuclear weapons.

So America becoming isolationist really means one thing: No more Middle Eastern wars and that could be very bad for the explosively damned holy land of Israel. That said I think even Iran would not invade Israel, because though its leaders use religion as a means to enforce their power; the truth is that many of them would go to hell even by the standards of their religion. People guilty of murder, corruption and other sins are hardly real “holly men” who would be prepared to commit thermo nuclear suicide by invading another nuclear power.

If America becomes more isolationist it will have to think very hard about security of energy supply. Without much domestic acceptance for war as a tool in foreign policy it may decide to cut its use of “black gold” early by building more nuclear power stations and alternative sources of energy to power its economy.
If military expenditure falls this is unlikely to make little (if any) difference to the U.S economy.

America like Britain and other western countries can always take comfort in the fact that they have nuclear weapons so unlike the past it is unlikely that any other country is going to mount serious invasion preparations for their soil.
Therefore from that point of view they are likely to be safe. They may however decide to boast security service expenditure, and implement more vigorous passport and other such systems to keep terrorists out of the country.
Equally if America’s appetite for foreign policy were to really fall then whilst not wiping out the terrorist threat completely it could be that many Islamic terrorist organisations loose interest in America.
I say this because last I heard Al-Qaeda’s 3 main objectives were as follows…
1. For America and the West to stop supporting Israel
2. For America and the West to stop supporting Russia over Chechnya
3. For America and the West to stop supporting “corrupt” Arab leaders

I heard this on CNBC news before the Iraq war so no doubt that’s another one of their objectives; recently I also heard something about them wanting forces out of Afghanistan.

Point is these are all foreign policy issues and a more isolationist America could be less of a terrorist target. That said the right wing tend to quick to point out the assumption that if we directly or indirectly meet the terrorists goals they will only create new ones. So maybe nobody should think America (like any other country) won’t be a terrorist target although maybe the quantity of individuals willing to blow themselves up will fall.

However everything will always depend on China as this coming super power is the one thing which may decide to threaten America’s business even if American’s want to mind it.
Personally though I am curious to how this will turn out. I know China wants Taiwan and with an increasing military and a reluctant America Taiwan may become Chinese should it be unable to rely on nuclear support from other countries. Of course if Taiwan was to brake international law and build its own bombs China may loose interest providing China only found out once it was too late.

In the absence of that make no mistake: China wants Taiwan back and is playing a long term game. Whether or not Americans want to send their sons and daughters to defend some Asian country is another question.

But you no what? In spite of everything I have written I don’t think it matters that American people may be turning isolationist.
Even if 80% of the public felt that way the fact remains that America is (to all practical purposes) a two party state and many would argue that democracy in America is less than twice. Fact is so long as the ruling figures in the Republican and Democratic countries follow a militant foreign policy, America will continue to do just that.
Both parties are likely to do so. For a start the “Friends of Israel” group exerts huge lobbying power in both parties, so too does the arms industry itself. All this is legal and so long as it remains so long will it continue.
In fact all the more so if the American public are turning isolationist. And there’s another factor the mainstream media is controlled by very few individuals. For example Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp which owns a modest collection of 172 newspapers worldwide, 200 sky channels including Fox News and Sky News as well stakes in terrestrial channels is unlikely to see lobbying groups by stakes in its enterprise. Only recently I heard that the Chinese government had bought a large amount of his companies shares.

Therefore if America does turn isolationist it will do so against the will of many lobby groups and therefore against the will of mass Medias owners and its two major political parties. But if in spite of this the American public somehow sustained an isolationist attitude then maybe it would affect foreign policy, but I think pigs are more likely to fly first.

posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 02:55 PM
The more borders, boundaries, laws, and deceits we build up between each other can only lead to our own downfall. The truth shall set you free.

posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 03:24 PM
but I dont want to become isolationists. It was reversing that policy that made this country prosper, and I see no reason why anyone would want to return to that diplomatic state of isolationism. Any Anti-American sentiment in the world is directed at this administration(not counting of course those who are out to harm us, but that isnt just the US, its the entire Western World.) and not the good people of this nation. As Americans, we shouldnt let that bother us and continue in forums such as this. It is a great medium of cross-culture communication.

[edit on 11/21/2005 by ludaChris]

posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 03:32 PM
In a sense I think a degree of isolation would benefit us. Pull our troops back, put them on the borders actually defending the country, tell other countries they can get in line for any help because first and foremost we will be tending to our own internal problems not theirs. We are constantly getting slammed on the world stage, so why should we save their butts, shell out money for disasters, etc if we keep getting crapped on? Sure we could donate so much of the GDP to third world nations, but doing that we ignore the growing portion of the country that lives below the poverty line here!

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in