defining American interests


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

7 Responses

  1. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    good post e. i guess my question is whether the democracy promotion was just a veneer covering (a still untouched) tough kernel of American exceptionalism. [In a weird way isolationism is itself an exceptionally American trait].

    For example with the neocons the loss of democracy promotion (and naive belief in its power) meant a return to an older paleo-neocon (if that makes sense) strain of colonialism. Especially talking about having to stay in Iraq essentially forever. The Cheney solution I suppose. My sense is that is still very strong among the right’s base.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Probably, Chris. The Cheney element – the “dark side” – is indeed strong, but I think we’re witnessing a trend. When the GOP wises up that trend will escalate.Report

  2. Avatar mike farmer says:

    Perhaps “intervention” should become global responsiveness. Yet, I think our greatest involvement will be, and should be, economic involvement, and this moreso private than state interaction — free and open trade is in the best interest of all concerned. I think the Bush Doctrine is flawed in that it’s almost impossible to know ahead of time from where the threat originates — although if we did know of a plot, and it was conclusive, there would be nothing wrong with a strategic strike — but the Bush Doctrine in general gives too much leeway to the U.S. to control through grand schemes and military might, and become bogged down in quagmires. Global responsiveness would be more in line with modern global co-operation to transition from war to trade — perhaps some form of NGO can become effective dealing with internal conflicts in weak states.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      I’m all for freer trade as a mechanism of peace – but I strongly oppose private military operations, or mercenary armies, operating as peacekeepers. I can only see how these would be less transparent arms of the state then their public counterparts.Report

  3. Avatar mike farmer says:

    There doesn’t necessarily have to be a military solution to every problem. As bad as I hate Keynes, he had an economic solution after WWI that could have prevented WWII. As bad as the solution was, economically speaking, it would have been better that 20 million or so deaths. NGOs specializing in regional cultures and problems could possibly broker non-military solutions to many internal conflicts. War between super-states seems to be a thing of the past — concerned parties ought to be able to come up with good solutions for weak states who had statehood forced on them, causing internal cultural and religious strife, without the proper institutions to become strong –and, if the UN can’t handle peace-keeping operations, than perhaps a better international group-solution is called for.Report

  4. Avatar jfxgillis says:


    So now that the neocon fervor is being supplanted by a more cautious foreign policy both in the oval office and in public opinion, what should we expect?

    It pains me to say it, really, it hurts, but we should expect almost nothing.

    High politics is the domain of the elites. Public sentiment has virtually nothing to do with it except in extremely rare circumstances, at which point, the elites that exploited that sentiment immediately betray it.

    Coincidently, I happen to own a near-full run of AEI’s now-defunct journal “Public Opinion” and these new findings are not that different from the early 1980s.

    Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.Report