Tuesday, September 23, 2008

George Was Not an Isolationist

Damir Marusic comments on my Washingtonian foreign policy essay. I agree with the conclusion that "such categories [e.g. conservative or progressive] do not exist in any meaningful way" in assessing a foreign policy strategy and that the goal of U.S. policymakers should be to look for the best solution, not one that has the right adjective in front of it.

I have to take slight issue, however, with the use of the term "skeptical isolationism". Washington I don't think was one--in the sense that he did not believe in walling off the new American republic from intercourse with the rest of the world. I think he'd best be described as someone in favor of limited engagement. You want isolationist, consider the reply of the Qianlong Emperor to George III.

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