Is the United States responsible for keeping peace around the world? What role should the U.S. play in preventing or intervening in wars and abusive governments?
The US catastrophically believed after World War II that it was now responsible for keeping peace around the world, a “world policeman”.At first, this seemed like a good idea in a war torn world with the only other superpower being the Soviet Union.The unsolved stalemate of the proxy Korea War should have been a warning to us (US) that proxy wars only destroy masses of lives and solve nothing.But with the unjustified and imperialist proxy war of Vietnam, we completely entered the Dark Side and continued wars of aggression also with Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Syria, etc. We became the greatest enemy of peace in the world and proved that the concept of “Superpower” must end forever, and should have ended after World War II.American foreign policy since the late 1960s can be summed up by the following quote from the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad-Gita;“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”.The US should stay out of foreign wars as George Washington warned us. This is not isolationism, as the last justified war we fought was in World War II and the real superpower of the present and future is the economic Superpower, as China is today. We CAUSE wars, we don’t prevent them.I protested the war in Vietnam in the streets in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I served in the Army National Guard at the time which was not sent to war. Our sole and only purpose for our Military is to protect our own country, World War II isn’t here anymore.
In what specific ways has "the desire for oil" impacted US foreign policy in the past decade?
You might want to read Chapter One of 'The Political Road to War with Iraq: Bush, 9/11 and the Drive to Overthrow Saddam'. This is an academic publication. You can find it here on Google Books.It demonstrates that the American military began regarding oil as a strategic resource at the end of the 1970's. The first Reagan administration worried about the depence of the United States on the conflict-torn Middle East. The Middle East was also prone to Sovjet intervention. To safeguard its supply of oil, Reagan expanded the Rapid Deployment Task Force into an entirely new military command: Central Command. Central Command was in charge stability from Kenya to Pakistan and got all the material it needed to do so.As the 1990's progressed, new challenges emerged. SCUD missiles gave the enemies of Israel a chance to strike at its heart. Iran acted aggressively towards the United States. Iraq invaded Kuwait. This gave CENTCOM a new role to play.The wars in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq would not have been possible without Central Command. Also: a lot of anger in the region at the US is based around their strong military presence.Lastly, there is one obvious relation affected by oil: between Saudi Arabia and the United States. The United States sells Saudi Arabia arms and generally does not publicly condemn the human rights abuses in that nation, nor its immense support for fundamentalist terrorism. That would have been very different if oil was not part of the foreign policy equation.
Why did Reagan defeat Carter in a landslide in the 1980 U.S. presidential election?
Jimmy Carter’s election victory in 1976 was essentially a fluke. If not for Watergate, we never would have heard of him, much less elected him president. He was shrewd enough to exploit the yearning for the “Good Moral Man.” But that’s as far as his genius went. He was a naïve amateur, and it showed.He blundered early on, when he announced that human rights would guide his foreign policy. Indeed, human rights was the downfall of Carter’s presidency. It led directly to the ouster of the Shah of Iran, which triggered the energy crisis, double-digit inflation at home, and finally the seizure of the US Embassy in Iran.In the spring of 1980, Carter ordered an ill-advised operation to rescue the hostages. During the mission, a helicopter crashed into a transport plane, killing eight US servicemen. It was a national humiliation. It was also the final nail in the coffin for Carter. That November, voters brutally fired him.In retrospect, no one should have surprised that someone like Carter would end up as a one-term failure. But this was the kind of leader liberal voters wanted at the time.(Thanks for the A2A)