In his farewell address, George Washington warned against entangling alliances with the outside world. His words were headed by a century of American presidents. Today, however, the United States is thoroughly entangled in a web of commitments throughout the world, and especially the Middle East. Learn how this tragic deviation from a foreign policy of independence to one of internationalism and interventionism occurred by joining me for lecture 2 in The Islamist Entanglement: America and the Middle East.
In this lecture, available as an individual purchase, we will summarize the foreign policy of America’s founders, culminating in the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. Then we will see, in the wake of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the gradual undercutting and abandonment of this doctrine by presidents seemingly committed to it — from Grover Cleveland to Theodore Roosevelt, and ultimately Woodrow Wilson.
The result has been a dismal succession of American sacrifices, from WWI to Vietnam to Iraq, interspersed with brief but futile attempts to define a foreign policy of self-interest in the context of a growing number of international commitments.
Of special interest in this treatment will be America’s conduct towards the Middle East in the context of the Cold War. From the advent of this period onward, America has attempted to maintain a commitment to freedom in the region, first against Soviet agression and subsequently against radical Islam. A succession of presidential doctrines has evidenced the desire to integrate this idealistic commitment with America’s (practical) interests, only to find that not only has the region not embraced American aid or American values, but rather violently rejected them. America now finds itself the primary target of Islamic hatred throughout the globe.
For a complete explanation of the Islamic world’s rejection of America, one must first understand the story of Britain in the Middle East (Lecture 1 of The Islamist Entanglement) and trace the cultural reaction of the various Middle Eastern nations to their contacts with the West (Lectures 3-9). This sets the proper context for a discussion of America’s past, present, and–undoubtedly–future failures, which will be the emphasis in the final lecture, lecture 10, of the series.
To start participating in The Islamist Entanglement find out about how you can purchase individual lectures here. Act now, and you can participate in the live teleconference lecture this Wednesday evening, 8:30 PM Central.