Our friends from Prager University have released another great video. The subject (for Memorial Day): is America the world’s policeman? And if so, is that a good thing, or a bad thing?
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and foreign affairs expert Bret Stephens weighs in:
Let me share my Dutch perspective on this matter: I thank God every day that the United States is the world’s only superpower and that it behaves like an international policeman.
Think about it: what’s the alternative? If the United States withdraws, Russia and China will immediately expand their sphere of influence. These countries are ruled by authoritarian regimes who literally torture and kill critics… and who want to dominate other countries by the use of force. Just look at what China has done in Tibet, and what Russia has done in the Krim and the country of Georgia, and what it’s trying to do in Eastern Ukraine. You want that to happen to the rest of the world? Great: just force the U.S. to withdraw within its borders and China and Russia will take over in no time.
That’s a troubling thought, but it becomes downright scary if you think about the many radical Islamic forces that are trying to turn earth into one big battle zone. If you’re concerned by what’s going on in the Middle East now, just wait until the U.S. goes isolationist again; the current situation will look downright utopian in comparison.
What’s more, historically, superpowers went to war to build an empire. They’d conquer entire nations and then subjugate them to slavery. When the U.S. goes to war, however, it does so to protect foreign peoples. It doesn’t occupy, it liberates. See World War II: America sent millions of soldiers overseas, some to Asia, many others to Europe. When they beat the Nazis, they could’ve done what the Soviets did: occupy the newly liberated countries and make them part of a new empire.
Instead, the United States withdrew most of its forces — and the ones that were left behind were only there to protect Europeans against Stalin. Next, the U.S. gave European (and Asian!) countries billions and billions in aid and helped them build up democratic institutions. Because of this, Europe is now — once again — one of the most prosperous regions on earth.
If that’s what all “international policemen” do, give us one or two more!
Sadly, America’s magnanimity is the exception, not the rule. And that’s precisely why not only Americans, but all non-Americans too should thank the almighty every single day that the U.S. is the most powerful country on earth and that it’s not afraid to use that power.