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Ostrich America?

The ludicrous, destructive, curiously enduring myth of U.S. isolationism.

By Chase Madar

Of all the received ideas that clog America’s foreign-policy discourse, none is more at variance with reality than the threat of so-called isolationism. We have never been more engaged with every corner of the world, yet we have never been lectured more often about the consequences of “retreating within our borders.” The more countries we attack—Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen—the more dire warnings we get about national introversion. The specter of isolationism has never looked healthier.

A case in point was George W. Bush’s 2006 State of the Union address, a venue he used to tell a spine-chilling tale. With his foreign policy exploding all around him, Bush warned against an even more disastrous alternative: there were those who would “tie our hands” and have us “retreat within our borders.” From the tenor of his talk, he seemed to think that Americans were about to burn down both the Pentagon and Department of State, beat defense intellectuals into postal workers, and force every house in the land to set up a little steel foundry in the back yard—just like in the Great Leap Forward—while learning to live on grubs and wild mountain honey.

Of course, this is absurd: as many pointed out in response to this scaremongering, there are no isolationists in America—not in either political party, not in the media, and not in the academy. (The i-word is often used as a synonym for unilateralism. Here I am assigning only its most common meaning: a tendency to ignore security threats beyond territorial borders and disengage diplomatically, politically, and economically from the rest of the world.) Nevertheless, the menace of a return to geopolitical autarky is carted out whenever our sclerotically narrow foreign-policy consensus gets an unwelcome jolt. This habit of mind did not end with the exit of George W. Bush.


It was predictable, for instance, that the publication earlier this year of Andrew Bacevich’s latest study of the military-industrial complex, Washington Rules, would draw fresh choruses of “we can’t just retreat within our borders.” Andrew Exum, impresario of counterinsurgency warfare at the Center for a New American Security, poutily suggested that Bacevich just come out and own up to being an isolationist. For its part, the Washington Times qualified its grudging praise of Washington Rules with the backhanded aside that “unlike many of his ideological compatriots, Mr. Bacevich understands and respects the military and doesn’t advocate withdrawing from the world.”

Bacevich is far from the only public figure to be smeared so. Earlier this year, one of the homemade counterterrorism experts at the Intelwire blog dropped the i-bomb on Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald for proposing withdrawal from Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Did we Americans live in geopolitical solitude before our drones hammered Waziristan?) And during the last presidential election, editorialists of all stripes wasted no time in tarring Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul as ostrich-headed isolationists; they were wholly unsuitable for making foreign policy and had flunked the most elementary lessons of U.S. diplomatic history.

But what does the historical record teach us? According to a very common narrative, the 1920s and ’30s were, in the words of one skeptical historian, “a period when the United States disregarded its world responsibilities by getting inebriated on the homemade gin of isolationism.” In the aftermath of the Great War, a parochial and selfish Senate failed to ratify America’s accession to the League of Nations, and soon the U.S. was jitterbugging on the sidelines as the world went to hell. If only we had not withdrawn within our borders, the story goes, we could have prevented the rise of fascism, rolled back the Japanese empire, smashed the fledgling Soviet Union, and staved off World War II. Instead, in our smug naïveté, we were caught unprepared by the attack on Pearl Harbor, which many a talking head to this day points to as the watery grave of American isolationism.

Some version of this parable is holy writ not just to neoconservative Republicans but to our entire foreign-policy establishment, including Democratic Party courtiers like the late Arthur Schlesinger Jr.—who muttered darkly of an interwar “return to the womb”—as well as a new generation of liberal hawks like Peter Beinart.

We should first note that this story-with-a-moral assumes American omnipotence: if any evil is committed anywhere in the world—be it the Ukrainian famine, the Rape of Nanking, or the rise of Benito Mussolini—it is only because we Americans selfishly failed to prevent it. But leaving this dubious and arrogant premise aside, we might ask if the standard account of interwar isolation bears any resemblance to the record.

History is indeed clear, though not in the way our iso-baiters would have us think. The interwar years were in fact marked by intense American extraversion: cultural, economic, and political. A quarter-million American tourists spent over $300 million traveling Europe in 1929, while Ernest Hemingway, Joseph ine Baker, and T.S. Eliot took their acts abroad. Overseas missionary activity exploded. By 1930, the United States had more foreign direct investment than France, Holland, and Germany combined. Even with the Smoot-Hawley tariff, trade between the U.S. and Latin America tripled in the decade before 1941. The United States, emerging from the Great War as the world’s largest creditor nation, negotiated British, French, and German war debts with the Dawes Plan in 1924 and the Locarno Convention of 1925. This is isolationism?

One of the ironies of this legend is that those interwar senators retrospectively tagged as isolationists—known in their time as “Peace Progressives”—were among the most outward-looking politicians of their era. The Peace Progressives were mostly Western and Midwestern Republicans, most prominent among them Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, William Borah (“The Lion of Idaho”), and Hiram Johnson of California. They successfully rolled back longstanding U.S. military occupations in the Caribbean and Central America, and their efforts arguably averted war with Mexico in the 1920s. Borah took the lead in forging multilateral arms-reduction treaties with Great Britain and Japan.

These politicians worked closely with a burgeoning domestic peace movement, most notably the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, one of the most successful antiwar groups in our history. The Peace Progressives were also farsighted enough to support diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union for both economic and security reasons. Borah warned in 1923 that diplomatic isolation of the USSR would force it closer to Germany, an admonition that proved prophetic. These statesmen were not pacifists, but they preferred to use diplomacy, financial muscle, and “soft power” over military force, and they took the long view.

The worst part of their supposed isolationism, we are told, is that it left America’s armed services unprepared for World War II, far outstripped by Japan and Germany’s military build-ups. This too is a fact-free legend. Even during the Great Depression, Army appropriations remained at more than twice the pre-World War I level; the officer corps stayed at double its prewar size. The 1930s also brought the development of heavy cruisers and aircraft carriers, which would provide the decisive advantage in the war with Japan.

As for the Neutrality Acts of the mid-1930s, they bore the same relation to neutrality that today’s Patriot Act bears to patriotism. Those acts, pushed in large part by congressional hawks eager to provide Roosevelt with legislative cover for war preparation, did nothing to impede America’s secret collaboration with the French Air Force; the transport of U.S. military aircraft and 50 warships to Great Britain, along with aid shipments that ran the German blockade; the development with British military scientists of radar technology; and, by the autumn of 1941, undeclared war against Axis ships in the west Atlantic. True, America’s military could have been more prepared for a total war of unprecedented scope. But the armed forces were by no means blindsided by the conflict.

Not for nothing then do many diplomatic historians dismiss the folklore of interwar isolationism and its bogus lessons. University of Kentucky historian George C. Herring, author of Oxford University Press’s encyclopedic history of American foreign relations, From Colony to Superpower, calls isolationism one of the great myths of U.S. history.

Yet even some of the canniest public intellectuals are stuck on this legend, finding in isolationism a useful foil. Take for instance the New America Foundation’s Michael Lind, who in The American Way of Strategy triangulates a path for his own “liberal realism” between the twin follies of the neoconservative hegemonists of today and the “anachronistic” isolationism of yore. Lind equates the Peace Progressives’ rejection of the League of Nations with today’s neoconservative rejection of United Nations restraints on the use of force. This equation is facile enough, but likening the trigger-happy reign of Bush, Cheney, and now Obama with the agile and effective diplomacy of internationalists like Borah simply will not do.

(Perhaps we should not be surprised when Lind and countless lesser writers categorize the likes of Borah as “isolationists” then quickly move on. After all, the Peace Progressives scramble the contemporary political compass in a way that is bound to disorient pundits in a hurry. An Idaho Republican who opposed with equal vigor to the League of Nations and U.S. imperialism in Latin America, all the while working with proto-feminist peace groups to urge détente with the Soviet Union? The past really is a different country.)

[1]Apparently each generation must refute anew the lurid buncombe of “isolationism.” In the 1920s, Borah himself noted that the charge “does not rise even to the level of sophistry,” but the globalizing ambitions of the Cold War breathed new life into the bugbear.  New Left historian William Appleman Williams’s landmark 1959 study, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, took apart the “legend” of interwar isolationism in great detail and laid the foundation for revisionist Cold War historiography as now practiced by libertarians, anti-interventionist conservatives, and radicals alike. (Williams, as a man of the Left, is surely one of those anti-American ideologues that the Washington Times warned us about—that Williams was also an Annapolis graduate twice wounded in the Pacific theater should not get in the way of a good smear.)

In a splendid article published earlier this year in Foreign Policy Analysis, political scientist Bear F. Braumoeller refutes “The Myth of American Isolation” all over again for a new century, with special attention to the 1930s. Braumoeller helpfully adduces a few example of what real geopolitical isolation looks like: Tokugawa Japan, Cold War Albania, and contemporary North Korea.

Today, with American bases spread out over a hundred nations, the possibility of our metamorphosing into a hermit kingdom is not even farfetched. Yet the deeply ingrained dichotomy between open-ended global warfare and autarkic solitude endures, with even the mildest proposals for retrenchment or partial demilitarization evoking new scaremongering. Suggest, for instance, that Iran’s joining India, Pakistan, and Israel as a nuclear power is not a national-security threat, and even well-educated Americans, the kind who have traveled to other countries, are liable to respond that “we can’t just retreat within our borders.”

All myths survive for a reason, and the longevity of this one is easy enough to figure. As Bacevich explains, “Isolationism survives in contemporary American political discourse because it retains utility as a cheap device employed to impose discipline. Think of it as akin to red-baiting—conjuring up bogus fears to enforce conformity in the realm of foreign policy.”

Will our elites ever unlearn this cherished campfire frightener? As William Appleman Williams wrote in 1959, this myth “not only deforms the history of the decade from 1919 to 1930, but it also twists the story of American entry into World War II and warps the record of the cold war.” Fifty years on, our foreign-policy discourse is choked with the same spurious folklore, and we should not be surprised if Obama starts making noises about imaginary isolationists to justify his expansive vision of the U.S. military’s mission. With American grand strategy badly in need of recalibration, it is long past time to get rid of the ridiculous myth of isolationism.

Chase Madar is a lawyer in New York City.

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24 Comments (Open | Close)

24 Comments To "Ostrich America?"

#1 Comment By LookOnTheBrightSide On December 14, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

This article is pure, ignorant sour grapes.

Yes, we may have gotten smacked on 9/11 because of our relationaship with Israel, and trade partners like China may be eating us alive economically, and a million or so formerly high-paying jobs may have been outsourced to India, and I’ll even cede that the odd genocide still crops up every 6 or 7 years, and that we have moved from the “viewed most favorably” list to the “most hated” list over the past three decades, but thanks to our policy of engaged internationalism we’ve kept Islamofascist terrorists from cloning Hitler using bone fragments purchased from the Russians.

#2 Comment By Art R On December 14, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

Bravo Chase Madar for exploding the myth of U.S. isolationism in such a decisive way. You must have spent a considerable amount of time and effort researching the facts. I’ve printed this out and will use it as a future reference.

#3 Pingback By Tweets that mention The American Conservative » Ostrich America? — Topsy.com On December 14, 2010 @ 10:57 pm

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AmericanConservative, Samuel Lenser. Samuel Lenser said: Wonderful deconstruction of the isolationism myth from @Amconmag [3] […]

#4 Comment By Canadian On December 15, 2010 @ 2:36 am

“”cloning Hitler using bone fragments purchased from the Russians.””


#5 Comment By Bill R. On December 15, 2010 @ 11:30 am

Bacevich successfully defined what he was against, not what he was for. Consequently, it is left up to the imagination of his readers what concrete steps he would take to change the world the way he wants to see it. And of course, the rest of the world always has other ideas.

#6 Comment By Mark T On December 16, 2010 @ 4:16 am

Can anyone prove they haven’t cloned Hitler? Huh? Huh? Ya’ know, the abscence of evidence is not the evidence of abscence…

#7 Comment By bogi666 On December 16, 2010 @ 7:00 am

Bacevich has to be commended for his integrity. His recounting of when he was in Berlin shortly after the Wall ended and his meeting with some Russian soldiers at the Brandenburg gate speaks volumes about the how thorough the USG/Pentagon brainwashing propaganda that the Pentagon unleashed on the American public, but especially its effectiveness on the Military personnel. Being a field grade officer, Colonel, his ignorance of the USSR is staggering and the fact he admits it is to be admired because it establishes his credentials of integrity. He met the soldiers, 1992 and realized they weren’t 10′ tall, armed to the teeth, but just poor Russians armed with junk, with the exception of their T-34’s and AK47. Poorly equipped and the fact that the USSR was still using vacuum tubes, no automatic chokes, using the abacus instead of electronic calculators were a revelation to Bacevich. I learned this to be the case in 1984 on a visit to Russia which cost me $350 all inclusive, from London. It took me a week to realize that the threat of the USSR was a huge scam and that the propaganda foisted on the American taxpayers to scam $trillion’s of for the War Department. Bacevich lack of awareness about the true state of the USSR would mirror that of his colleague’s in the military, who

#8 Comment By Danxia On December 16, 2010 @ 8:39 am

From Wikipedia:
“Early in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii from its previous base in San Diego and ordered a military buildup in the Philippines in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East. Because the Japanese high command was (mistakenly) certain any attack on the British Southeast Asian colonies would bring the U.S. into the war, a devastating preventive strike appeared to be the only way to avoid U.S. naval interference.”

Nope, it doesn’t sound as though the US was isolationist (militarily) before the attacks on Pearl Harbour.

#9 Comment By A. G. Phillbin On December 16, 2010 @ 12:29 pm


“but thanks to our policy of engaged internationalism we’ve kept Islamofascist terrorists from cloning Hitler using bone fragments purchased from the Russians.”

Here, here! I knew from Glen Beck, and other impeccable sources, that there was a real nexus between Communism, Nazism, Fascism, and Islamism, but I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Thank you for connecting the dots. Can I use your post to silence skeptikal peacenikor isolationist friends?

#10 Comment By NY Teacher On December 16, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

Ok, we all know my angst at being duped by the Mil-Indust-Complex. But this is not the same as saying the Cold War was also a total ruse: the Russians may indeed have put puny weapons in the hands of their puny soldiers — the ones tourists see at sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, etc. But to suggest that they were NOT equipped with real Weapons of mass Destruction — aimed at the West — is to wallow in fairy tales. The Pax Russia empire was outlined even in the Czarist days; from Finland to northern Japan to finally Afghanistan, the Soviet Empire was no mirage — and no friend of the west.
That Reagan finally ended this centuries-old Communist-based expansion was evidence of what real wars are. And what real leaders are made up of; the Bushes and Obama only invoke the Gipper (and have supplanted the real commie threat with bogus Islamo paranoia) to jusitfy their corrupted and nefarious agendas…

#11 Comment By Rob On December 16, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

The US military which is designed to fight other nation states is not suited for war in todays world. The US military cannot fight it’s way out of a guerrilla paper bag and has not won a guerrilla war in 108 years (the Philippine Insurrection of 1902) As for the threat of terrorism, Robert B. Asprey an historian and marine who fought in Vietnam wrote this” Historically speaking what most politicians, generals, and the media call terrorism is actually counter terrorism, a reaction to military terrorism” The late David Hackworth who was our nations most decorated living veteran wrote this on his website Defending America: We have troops in over 120 countries, most are not doing anything but pissing off the locals.”

#12 Comment By TakeItFromMe On December 17, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

Mark: They haven’t cloned Hitler yet, but Israeli intelligence estimates that they are within 2-3 years of doing so. The so-called civilian uses are just a cover. Unless the West acts decisively now, there will be a fully cloned, weaponized and operational Hitler capable of reaching Tel Aviv by 2013. At the latest.

#13 Comment By Steve Hansen On December 19, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

Great piece ! See Ayn Rand’s September, 1964 lead essay in The Objectivist Newsletter titled “Extremism Or The Art Of Smearing” in which she debunks such anti-concepts as “isolationism,” “McCarthyism,” and “extremism.”
These bogus anti-concepts were intended to obliterate
US national self-interest, anti-communism and consistent
ideological thinking.
We should never use the enemy’s terms as our reference of debate.
America First had Norman Thomas, Sargent Shriver and many
non-conservatives in it.
Most of the revisionist historians were from the left except for
Charles Callan Tansill.
This analysis needs to be widely circulated.

#14 Comment By cfountain72 On December 21, 2010 @ 10:39 am

Great piece Mr. Madar.

Whenever I hear the term isolationist, I think about the many other nations who, by the accepted IR/FP definition, would be considered isolationist. In other words, that would be every other nation on the planet. For instance, neither China nor Japan have bases and aircraft carrier battle groups scattered throughout the world, yet with their enormous export and investment capacity, no one could seriously call either nation isolationist. Folks talk about how America MUST militarily insure the free flow of oil from the Middle East, yet neither China nor Japan seem to have any problem purchasing the oil they need–without also paying to ring the region with military installations.

Part of the challenge (unfortunately) is to create a similarly sticky (and derogatory) term to describe those who wish us to be militarily involved in every nook and cranny on Earth. As examples, we might use ‘hyper-interventionist’, ‘militarist’, ‘activist’, or maybe ‘unrealist’ as adjectives for the foreign policy that has helped bring us to our knees militarily and economically. Others may have much better ideas…

Peace be with you.

#15 Comment By Bill R. On December 23, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

I was in Jena close to the time Bacevich was. In fact, the 8th Infantry Division staff beat me there, had hung up a plaque on the wall of the restaurant adjoining the battlefield and local Russian training area. When I was there, it was a Saturday and the Soviets weren’t training, but I did get a chance to talk to the locals in German. I asked if the Russians really would leave, and they said, “yes, they would have to leave”. Then they told me although they intended to make it under capitalism, Russia and most of the other Slavic countries of the Warsaw Pact would never make it. They were just too backward, according to these East Germans who had lived under Communism most of their lives. But I also met a lady from the states, who had come back to Germany and remembered the “smells just as they were” in the old days, before the Russians came. In those days, East German youths shaved their heads and draped the Imperial German war flag around their heads as they went to do battle with the Polizei.

We should thank each and every serviceman and woman who served abroad for making this world as peaceful and prosperous as it is.

#16 Comment By Craig Purcell On December 25, 2010 @ 5:04 am

Why are we in Afghanistan? Chasing Osama & Al Queda and fight their allies the Taliban ?

Not good enough…

What is our strategic interest and do we need to be at war with a tribal society to achieve it ?

#17 Comment By Steve Hansen On December 25, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

There’s nothing to thank for military personnel serving evil Establishment objectives. The world is neither peaceful nor prosperous. There is no good reason for the Iraq war at any time and Afghanistan has long lost any rationale it may have had.
Mindless saccharine praise for the service of a bad policy is not patriotism.

#18 Comment By Ken – Free Thinking Radical On December 29, 2010 @ 12:50 am

These meddlers and control freaks are class of people who are simply incapable of leaving well enough alone.

If God himself came down from On High and set up our society in so perfect a way that it could Never Be Improved Upon, the moment He turned his back, the control freaks and meddlers would be at it again.

The problem is, those of us who just want to be left alone are at an extreme disadvantage because we are always in response mode.

We need to be more proactive. We need to reassert that the purpose of the U.S. Government is not to run around the world righting wrongs and slaying dragons, but to mind the business of the American people.

If the meddlers want to poke their nose in Waziristan or Baluchistan, they can damn well get on a plane and do it on their own dime.


#19 Comment By Andrew Zook On December 29, 2010 @ 11:22 am

Nice Ken! I’m with you – I wish there was a constitutional amendment that would send the ‘talkers-dreamers’ of intervention…ie politicians, think-tanks, pundits and civilian generals – pack them into a transport with some gear and a gun and let them ‘fix’-‘police’-etc the issue they’re so bent on spending billions on and sending everyone else to take care of (and suffer, die or wither) Every service man/woman who gets a call up should demand that Hillary, Bush, Obama, Rove, Hannity, Palin, Gates, et al join them on the flight over – and if they don’t – then he won’t go either.

Also props to bogi666 – I too spent time in Russia (10 weeks) and it too shattered my misconceptions of the evil Red Tide that couldn’t wait to engulf the globe… it actually broke my heart to think of the blood, sweat and tears that the US spent flailing at a figment of our imaginations… 🙁 – and ironically the Russians to some extent did the same thing…and they did it because of OUR nuclear initiative…If one seeks they will find that nuking Japan was more about showing the Russians that our balls were bigger – then about ‘saving’ the lives of american soldiers fighting Japan…who were about to surrender anyway.
…oh the sorrows of empire…

#20 Pingback By Eunomia » Rubio’s Comically Outdated Foreign Policy On April 20, 2011 @ 8:18 am

[…] “isolationism” at some point in the past to determine this, which tells me that Rubio doesn’t know as much about U.S. history or foreign policy as he wants everyone to think. Presumably, “isolationism” for Rubio simply means neutrality in foreign conflicts, and […]

#21 Pingback By Reading That’s Good For You: The Myth of American Isolationism | Dueling Barstools On April 27, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

[…] the American Conservative: Of all the received ideas that clog America’s foreign-policy discourse, none is more at variance […]

#22 Pingback By Eunomia » The (Non-Existent) Isolationists Are Coming! On May 9, 2011 @ 9:52 am

[…] To be precise, the supposed inter-war “isolationism” that gave us this annoying term didn’t involve much in the way of international isolation: The interwar years were in fact marked by intense […]

#23 Comment By clint On July 2, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

I take pride in the term isolationist. Let it roll off your back.

Screw the “Team America” pseudo-conservatives.

I agree with what Ken said: do intervention on your own dime.

Here is what Madison (aka Father of the Constitution) said:

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.

“Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

“In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…. [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”


In fact, polls show that most Americans want to return to the country as envisioned by our Founding Fathers:


“Numerous polls show that Americans want to reduce our military presence abroad, allowing our allies and other nations to assume greater responsibility both for their own defense and for enforcing security in their respective regions. In The Power Problem, Christopher A. Preble explores the aims, costs, and limitations of the use of this nation’s military power; throughout, he makes the case that the majority of Americans are right, and the foreign policy experts who disdain the public’s perspective are wrong. Preble is a keen and skeptical observer of recent U.S. foreign policy experiences, which have been marked by the promiscuous use of armed intervention. He documents how the possession of vast military strength runs contrary to the original intent of the Founders, and has, as they feared, shifted the balance of power away from individual citizens and toward the central government, and from the legislative and judicial branches of government to the executive.

“In Preble’s estimate, if policymakers in Washington have at their disposal immense military might, they will constantly be tempted to overreach, and to redefine ever more broadly the “national interest.” Preble holds that the core national interest-preserving American security-is easily defined and largely immutable. Possessing vast military power in order to further other objectives is, he asserts, illicit and to be resisted. Preble views military power as purely instrumental: if it advances U.S. security, then it is fulfilling its essential role. If it does not-if it undermines our security, imposes unnecessary costs, and forces all Americans to incur additional risks-then our military power is a problem, one that only we can solve. As it stands today, Washington’s eagerness to maintain and use an enormous and expensive military is corrosive to contemporary American democracy.”

For the most part, the problems America faces are not abroad but largely within the lobbying-$$$$$$$-drenched District of Columbia.

The Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves.

#24 Pingback By Eunomia » American Isolationism Doesn’t Exist On July 15, 2011 @ 10:45 am

[…] cite Chase Madar’s article from TAC‘s January issue once again: The interwar years were in fact marked by intense […]