President Obama makes a statement on Libya with Secretary of State Clinton at the White House. (PHOTO CREDIT: JIM WATSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama finally spoke out Wednesday on the crisis in Libya. He condemned the violence against anti-government protesters and announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be meeting with top diplomats on Monday to discuss how to respond to violence in the region.
However, the president stopped short of calling for the resignation of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi or announcing any sanctions the United States would place on that nation.
The president is expected to speak with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron by phone on Thursday to discuss the unfolding situation in Libya.
All of this happened after the president didn't say anything for the first few days of the crisis. He was reportedly concerned about the safety of Americans inside Libya. It turns out not saying anything is not necessarily a bad thing, according to a new Gallup Poll.
While 66% of Americans think the United States should play either the leading or a major role in resolving international problems, 32% say the United States should be a minor player or not get involved at all. That's up from 23% just two years ago, and at its highest level since 2001.
But as tensions mount and the stakes get higher, which they inevitably do when oil is involved, it's unlikely the United States will remain on the sidelines indefinitely.
Here’s my question to you: Is it time for the U.S. to scale back its role in world affairs?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
James in Greenville, North Carolina:
Yes it is, Jack. Time for us to mind our own business for a while. And while the Federal government is minding its own business then maybe they will stay out of each state's business. I do not think the Federal government is doing a very good job of managing our own national affairs so maybe we should not be trying to manage everyone else's.
Times have changed. The cold war is over. There is no need to play policeman to the world. This is the New World Order and the U.S. needs to adjust to the realities of the present day.
Jack, until the Western World learns how to tap into other sources of energy rather than being dependent on oil, we just can't scale back. We are too deep into oil to think straight. It’s time we tap into more green resources.
Paul in Parry Sound, Ontario:
It's time to scale back the military role, but not the humanitarian.
Mark in Voorhees, New Jersey:
I would call Gates tonight and tell him I want to be out of Iraq and Afghanistan by Monday. A billion dollars a day? And they want to lay off teachers? Troops in Germany? For what? Whoever decided we are the World Police, it’s time to change that decision now.
We need to maintain a high profile in world affairs. We need to trade for the things we need now and in the future, oil, rare earth metals, things that our competitors are actively pursuing. Our democracy was born of revolution. We take a lot of pride in our history of Valley Forge, Boston Massacre, Shot heard 'round the world, etc. We did it with help from Europeans. We need to support the attempts at forming democracies in the Middle East and wherever they occur. It will pay off in the long run.
This is a no-brainer! Other countries hate us if we give them money or if we don't. Reduce foreign giveaways by at least 25% and reduce the deficit by that amount each year. We are broke. Keep the money in the USA.
I say that we need to redefine our role not necessarily scale back. The US can no longer go it alone. As a active member of the UN, we need to collectively encourage and effect change throughout the world.
I would call Gates tonitre, and tell him I wanted to be out of Iraq and Afghanistan by Monday. A billion dollars a day? And they want to lay off teachers?Troops in Germany? For what? Whoever decided we are the World Police, its time to change that decision NOW. Time to start using our brains, instead of our money OR the lives of our children.
We have vital interests out there which help give us a way better standard of living. We must do all kinds of business out there.
Yes its time to scale back our role as imperialist, dictator of the world. We are 16 trillion in debt and going down the toilet fast but yet obama and congress both want to spend 200b for 2 wars, 700b for defense, 100b for homeland security, and billions for israel and egypt this year, next year, until our creditors foreclose on us. We also need to stop feeding the international banks and corporations with tax breaks, subsidies and 0% loans from the fed. Enough is enough. Time for the taxpayers to cast a veto vote against our worthless politicians who are owned and subsidized by banks, corporations, and lobbyists. When is the media going to stand up for main street. When are americans going to wake up to our reality in america. This is a nightmare.
Long over due. We need to stop the funding for the wars in the Middle East and use that money over hear to help our states get back on track before you have the American people rioting in the streets here in America. It will come some day soon enough.
There's a situation in chess called "zugzwang". It means that a player has no move that does not make his position worse. The same is often true of the U.S. in world affairs: anything we do only hurts the people we're trying to help, or makes them more hostile towards us, but we feel forced to take some action to avoid being seen as weak. The U.S. doesn't necessarily need to scale back its role, but we do need to be cognizant that sometimes, taking no direct action is the best option.
Tampa, Fl Our politicians are selling off our roads, buildings, parks, etc. anything including what is nailed down. Why not our military bases all over the world? I hear China likes to buy our stuff, let them police the world for awhile. We can make them a good offer on that new embassy in Iraq too.
it was "time for the U.S. to scale back its role in world affairs" two decades ago when the Soviet Union dissolved, Jack. WHY United States taxpayers are paying to protect Europe from a nonexistent threat
is beyond me.
also, IF the South Koreans want us to protect them from the "Big Bad North", then THEY should PAY the COST. same with the Saudi, Kuwaiti and UAE "Kingdoms". to the best of my knowledge, the Kuwaiti's have NEVER repaid us for rescuing them from Saddam Hussain. they should be giving us "free oil forever"
the cost of "empire" eventually bankrupted the old Soviet Union. I fear the same thing will happen to America UNLESS we WISE UP. we can START by getting the hell OUT of BOTH Iraq AND Afghanistan.
Depends on what that role is. If it's to be the world's policeman, yes we should scale back. And let's close all of those military bases that are costing a fortune and yielding us no return. We just can't afford to play Master of the World any longer. The British learned that lesson the hard way. Do we want to end up like that?
Much of U.S. foreign aid is in the form of military assistance which provides jobs for American defense contractors to build and maintain foreign armies. If we stop supplying arms to foreign governments American defense corporations in the U.S. would have to lay off scientists, engineers and other highly paid specialty workers who could not find similar work elsewhere. American foreign policy should be reviewed to reduce waste and inefficiency as should other government programs with too many loose ends. Departmental budgets should not be eliminated but streamlined to reduce waste and redundancy.
Jack,the problem is not America reducing its influence around the world.,The issue is for America to be engaged in the right and just courses around the world and stop sleeping with dictators for Americas interest.Paul Biya in Cameroon is an example.
I notice you're using U.S. and not U.S.A. appropriate anymore don't you think?
It was time more than 10 years ago. Sticking our collective noses into the rest of the world's business is the main reason a lot of countries paint a big target on us. Not meddling in everyone else's affairs could have, arguably, avoided 911. There's such a thing as taking care of your own house before telling others how to clean theirs.
Jack, this is a great follow-up to your previous question about how to cut the deficit. Fact is, foreign aid is costing America a bundle at a time when we can't afford it and scaling back our involvement in the affairs of other nations has gotten us very little other than one hell of a national debt. I'm all for other countries being allowed to sink or swim on their own merits. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona
The US should stay involved in world affairs to protect our citizens and interests. Even with the world's largest and most expensive military we should focus more on diplomacy instead of sending in the Marines, or Goddess forbid, preemptively invading another sovereign country under the Bush Doctrine.
Reality bites. What with wars on two fronts, the recent recession and a deficit out of control, America finds herself with neither the resources nor the clout to shape world events. Sadly, Ghadaffi's killing fields, and the administration's milk-toast response, have shown us for what we are. Impotent.
Our own country is in such a mess, so, yes, it's time for the U.S. to scale back its role in world affairs. How can we possibly help foreign countries that are holding out a hand when every day the U.S. gets further and further in debt. The government needs to work on getting the U.S. debt free, and needs to work on solutions that get the unemployed working again. The U.S. is long overdue in putting itself first.
The President is doing exactly what he should be doing. Everyone not 'in the know' needs to let him be our commander. Behind-the-scenes stuff is always taking place and in the middle east it is much more tenacious.
It was not necessary for Obama to say anything yesterday especially as it could inflame Mummar and we do still have American's trying to get out of Libya. We have to clearly realize just what we can do and what we can't do BEFORE getting too much more involved–remember Iraq?
Of course the answer is yes, America would be a far more secure and powerful nation if it wasn't spread so thin economically and militarily. Perhaps in ten years, if clean energy becomes more prevalent in everyday life, we can finally wash our hands of our oil-dependent hypocrisy in the Middle East and stop being so involved in their affairs.
Yes. We need to pull all of our troops out of every country in the world.Bring them home to protect our own lands. Always have the best trained and best weapon to defend our country and let it be know to the world never try to hurt us. this would lower our cost and help reduce our deficit.
Oh yeah, sure! Let's become the isolationist fools we were on December 6th, 1941. That will work just great. Besides, what they do in Libya is their business anyway. Unless you want to be Bush and just invade it for the hell of it.
I think so Jack. America is no longer the dominate country in the world. We are just one of many in a Global economy and our economy ain't so grand anymore. Our military is stretched paper thin with 2 wars going on and our political clout in the world is on thin ice. We don't have the standing in the world that we once had and it is time for other countries to stand up for their allies and friends and take action on their behalf if they want them as friends and allies. America is not the only act in town anymore and we should act like it.
It is past time to cease the part of our role of waging war. We have issues here at home.
We do not need to scale back our role in world affairs but we do need to define that role and lead by example.
Sorry, I know we are not supposed to critize ourself but, We are not the Soviet Union, trying to spread their way through force upon others. We should not use weapons of destruction except in defense and certainly not due to Capitalist ventures of exploitation.
The un should be the leader in the world and should take action when needed. this was why it was created but has been a failure and a waste of money. the united states, Russia, china ,Great britain, France, Germany and Japan should be equal leaders in world policy. These countries should be taking steps in stopping the slaughter of people in a country like Libya by a mentally sick leader. this is not the first slaughter of people in Africa yet we keep turning our heads. shame on us and remember what goes around will come around. if you think that it could never happen in America, think again!
Yes. We are broke.
Yes we should. My belief is this is why the UN was formed. If the majority of members agree to get involved with some then they should as the UN.
Our role has been historically haphazard due to a ragged strategy based solely on our self interests. But as you said, as long as we are dependent on oil, we can't scale back. Recent events may have made it a moot point.
C. in MA
We should be scrambling to form unions with whatever side(s) would guarantee the flow of oil to the U.S.. It is time we took an intelligent view of world politics and stood on the right side of things. For too long we have made bedfellows with tyrants and dictators in the name of expediancy.
The United States learned back in WW1 that it had a role in world affairs and that role was reaffirmed during WW11. Subsequent to that time a global economy has evolved and the U.S is certainly a part of that economy and the U.S has developed an addiction to oil which is supplied primarily by foreign nations. This alone demands that we are players in worldly affairs. Subsequently, we as a nation cannot avoid a role in worldly affairs as our national security, note 9-11-2001, and our economical interest are intertwined with worldly affairs. What has become blatantly clear is that no nation is an island!!!
I agree that we don't need to be involved with every skirmish around the world, but taking an isolationist approach and pretending we are in an insulated bubble where no one will bother us if we don't both them, i not the right approach either. Our foreign policy interests remain the same. They should be a) defending our borders (apparently except for the southern border), b) protecting and forming alliances with like minded countries who share our value system (apparently except for Israel) which keep fights off American soil and c) looking out for our economic interests (last I checked we imported 50% of our oil). These are the only American interests that we should care about and act on.
Yes – we should have "scaled back " long ago – The U.S. has
had their nose in other countries for years – and for what ? So we can continue to give those financial aid, like we've done for years ? And what about all the bloodshed we've given in places such as Iraq & etc.
What will they Ever do or give us ? For all we've done for countries such as Iraq, we should be getting a huge discount for Oil, or for free,
for several years to come.
Jack, to borrow the words of those on the far right as they attack the average American, we can't afford it anymore.
Yes Yes Yes and about time!!! Lets build some muscle here before we lend a helping hand over there!!! Best question of the Decade!!!
Yes, it's way over due! Our country has around 140 military base's around the world. What does that cost! Name another country that has a single military base in another country, let me give you a hint, none. It's time we stop blowing our on horn, the United States remind me when I was in school and the tuffest kid was always bragging how great he was. Well there was always somebody wanting to take them down, and when it finally happened, and it always did. All of the tuff kids allie's went running to the winner.
Dave from NH.
Well , Jack – America should take care of their own house first before getting involved with other nations. What am I saying your Americans !!!! As far as Libya goes , there not enough oil there to bother.
George Washington said in his farewell address; They will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.This country loves a war it is a continuation of business by just other means. Dwight D Eisenhower said in his farewell address; In the councils of government ,we must guard against the acquisition of the unwarranted influence ,whether sought or unsought ,by the MILITARY -INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. world affairs to this country is war.
Heavens NO, now is not the time to scale back foreign US spending to gain favor in foreign countries. In Egypt our billions of dollars have paid off well. We need to get Libya on our payroll too. Just look at the stability and goodwill we have gained in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistani. Why the death toll of Americans is way down in these countries.
We should not tinker with such success. Why next you might suggest we think of cutting the Drug Enforcement Administration. With the DEA on the job for the past 40 years drugs in the US are cheaper and more plentiful than when they started. It is just a few disgruntled DEA retirees that say the agency has failed.
Is it time for the U.S. to scale back its role in world affairs?
It's long overdue.
Let's stop giving Israel 60% of what we give the rest of the world in aide. They don't need it.
Let's stop playing Big Brother and bailing out others.
Let's let others fight their own battles and NOT get engaged.
What gives us the right to dictate to someone else? We need to mind our own business. We have enough problems here which we are not handling very well.
Its obama influence his campaign message of hope winning the future yes we can...that speech in Egypt Cario and now look... Wht so proudly we hail...... I luv U.S.A.
If it means that we spend less on expensive military missions and foreign aid, I'm all for being less involved in unilateral moves. The US needs to get its balance sheet fixed and its house in order. We have plenty of oil, coal, gas and other energy resources in North America.
The US is now a global empire. There really are no nation states anymore. There is global capitalism and those who haven't fallen in line yet. That's it. There will be no withdrawal as it would make the system crumble. It's that simple
This persistant idea of "American Exceptionalism" seems to equate to unbelievable hubris on our part...we really think that the US should be the last word on everything that happens in the world. This has gotten us into so much mischief...from Vietnam right through to Afganistan.
Work strictly as a member of the UN, nothing more, nothing less.
We have around 5% of the world`s population and insist on being it`s leader? Arrogance! besides who wants to pay the costs of that? It does seem like we poke our noses into the business of countries that supply us with oil more than those that don`t? Go figure?
Yes!!! We no longer have the money to pay the bill for our ego. We need to drastically scale back our role in world affairs and be more like Canada. There is no need for us to police the world and talk everyone into having a democracy like ours. We can't afford to buy friends all over the world. Live and let live!!!
Dictators must fall. The United States would be hypocritical to interfere in the affairs of any of these countries when the established attitude prevailing is to walk away from African countries. As the U.S. did in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.
America has often claimed that it can't be the world's policeman. So please continue to turn a blind eye as you did in Angola, South Africa , Congo and Zimbabwe.
Because it would be disrespectful to all those who died in all of those other conflicts under the boots of all those other dictators to change your tune now
If we scaled back our involvement in world affairs, could we then balance the budget? Decrease the deficit? Quit borrowing money from china? Pay off some of ou debt?
Is there a way for us to continue as a world LEADER without it costing us every dime we, our children, our grandchildren, etc. could ever have?
If we scaled back our involvement in world affairs, would that stop so many people from wanting to do us harm?
If we can answer yes to many of these questions, then yes, we need to butt out a little!
No!! If we do it might look like someone in Washiungton is actually trying to prevent a total economic collapse.
We are not the Keeper of the Gate when it comes to the rest of the world. We do not have streets paved in gold and there is not wealth beyond belief in this country. We are much better off then a lot of the world yes but we have shed more then our share of blood for what we have. We need to take care of our own now in this global economy before we more then we need to get involved with what the rest of the globe is doing.
Thank God "W" isn't running things or we would be in 4 or 5 Middle East wars by now. We need to do whatever needs to be done to protect our interests, but not be the mother hen. Limited multinational involvement and let the citizens of these countries decide what they want. If they don't want us, we need to pack up everything, including the check book, and come home.
Might as well. The U.S. can't do anything about the genocides happening in the Middle East because of their bad reputation from the two previous wars. Without an international effort – which is highly unlikely, nothing is going to happen. What were going to do is issue meaningless "strong" statements, pretend to nation build and spew political gossip like a housewives get-together.
i would love to tighten my belt, however i ate it last week, pleas send more belts
If it's the roll to support the leaders financially, yes. If we drop in supplies for the suffering people, No.
Instead of oil being our concern, let's change to wind , solar etc. And build a new America with jobs for our people instead of giving to countries that suppress their people..
What these people on the street want in Libya is freedom from their government leaders with their own democracy. If you'll notice we are having our own verbal civil war in America and with face book and tweeter I'm not so sure they are impressed with the United States.
Is this a trick question?? No its not the US' job to police the world. We can assist but other countries need to step up. Right now Italy and England should be working behind the scenes to get rid of Gadafi.
No longer should we have troops in South Korea or Germany. Irag needs to pay for its own reconstruction.
Israel, Palastine shouldn't get any more money its crazy to think we can afford everyone.
Defund the United Nations to want go are they? They just cheat and steal from the US.
I could go on and on thats why its a trick question cause there are to many variables.
You don't see us paying attention to what other countries say so why should they listen to us? I'm sorry but it's time to back off and mind our own business when it comes to a lot of things.
It was time in 1946
No. If there is a Hitler out there somebody must stop him.
After 10 years of war is a must; we have to reorganize our house first and the international community needs to step up to the plate at the end we live ia global economy.
It's time for the US to either be neutral in these conflicts, or insist the United Nations to do something about them. The US has always been the world's police force, but now it's time for another nation to step in, besides us.
It doesn't need repeating...but I will.
Enough is enough!
We do not have to dictate world affairs, but obviously we have to being involved in world affairs is not a choice that we get to make. Ignoring other people doesn't mean that they're going to ignore us. If Libya is at war, it affects our economy. If the Amazon is deforested – that affects us. If Kim Jong Ill is in a bad mood, we're affected. We live in a global world.
I think we should continue to be a lead role in world affairs, but we need to make sure what we do is worth it. We can't continue to stand up for dictatorships for short term security. We must stand up for freedom and justice throughout the world.
Indeed, the U.S. should take a step back in getting concered with world affairs. Debt by the billions there is no way we can afford to take on a father figure for these countries in their disposition. Revoltions are bound to happen, but for the U.S. to get involved in any way is not needed. Just wait and watch.
yes it is time to scale back it's role in world affairs. Fir now we need to put our attention on our country and all the changes we are going through
Yes, we should cut back, especially fighting wars that cost us thousands of our kids lives, 10's of thousands of our kids wounded or suffering from PTSD.
but we should also cut our use of their Oil! It's the only reason we do this...
I believe it is time for the U.S. to scale back it's role in international affairs: we have our own personal problems as a nation to deal with, without trying to play Parent to the rest of the world as well. This is where spending on trying to control countries who are big oil producers could be diverted to alternative fuel research, thereby getting rid of our need to go to those countries for our fuel.
I think that the United States should definitely support democratization in any nations which are striving for it. However, we should not take such drastic steps as we have in the past. Our military presence in a country such as Libya would probably do nothing more than add to the instability.
I realize that there are connections that we as mere US Citizens know nothing about, but the basic rule should be that we only leave our own soil if there is a genuine threat to the US Citizenry.
Yes, we cannot afford to be the world police. Why does no one talk about the fact that the "oil" was suppose to pay for the Iraq war which is costing our country billions
Hi Jack –
As we find ourselves needing more & more help within our ouw boarders, I must say "Yes", Jack.
The world will understand & hopefully as we free ourselves – we can once again 'reach out'...
Lady Liberty will ALWAYS be there...
You're right Jack as long as we are dependent on energy from other places around the world, we will play a major role when energy is at stake. It costs a lot to take action around the world when we could be using that money to develop green energy solutions at home.
Absolutely. The US is broke. But they seem to think they can just keep printing money. How long before the US dollar has no value?
It is time we scaled back foreign aid. How far would that money go to solve some of our domestic issues with out raising the debt?
Lets get our own house in order before we send our hard earned money overseas. It has not made us friends anyway, only enemies.
Yes, the US simply can't afford to intervene in other nations' affairs; fiscally, it's impossible. But since the Iraqi invasion, we simply don't have the legitimacy to get involved anymore. In addition, we have way too many problems at home and we need to focus our investments domestically, such as healthcare. Moreover, the administration should work with wealth donors, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, to invest more domestically rather than abroad.
Jack, 2.2Trillion dollars and counting for Iraq and Afgahnistan based in a lie. 170 military bases worldwide and an economy in the tank...what do you think? Of course we need to scale back or face the same fate as The Roman Empire, The British Empire ...well you get the idea.
No it's not the time to scale back...it's about 30 years late to scale back !!
Yes save that money and tax less on gas and get our name back.
What good is it being the most powerful country in the world, if we sit by and watch this atrocity happen. The people have asked for our help!
I guess the people who feel we should stay out of it, would sit by and watch a major crime and stay out of it because it is inconvenient to get involved!
Help these people!!!!!!
Yes, its definitely time, this country's interference into all these far flung countries has cost the American Taxpayers literally billions of dollars; money that could be spent on this country with its many problems and unemployment. Its also time to get out of the unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afganistan, something we were promised when we elected President Obama.
Indeed, the U.S. should take a step back in getting concered with world affairs. Debt by the billions there is no way we can afford to take on a father figure for these countries in their disposition. Revolutions are bound to happen, but for the U.S. to get involved in any way is not needed. Just wait and watch. Oil prices are fair, what we should be worrying about is our wars with Alquida
Yes. We spend probably close to hundreds of billions of dollars a year on foreign aid while our own country suffers a massive deficit. The United States should be involved, I agree, but we HAVE to stop filling everybody else's coffers and put that money back into our own.
Yes, yes, yes!! I have felt this way for a while. Long story story short- We need to mind our own business. No one appointed us the 'World Police'
America should scale back internationally and get busy now opening up our own oil reserves such as ANWR and deep water drilling. With no way to predict the outcome of mid east changes that seem on the way, we should be doing everything we can to insure stability is maintained at home.
yes! Money needed for potholes in town to keep truck from disappearing!!!
Yes and No. The time to close hundreds of US military bases overseas is long overdue. Why is there still one US soldier in Germany, for instance? Last time I looked the war ended in 1945 and the wall fell in 1989. But it doesn't seem as if world peace has exactly broken out lately. So get the US Peace Corps more involved in world affairs. Give peace a chance, for a change.
Jack lets look at it this way. We are broke. Right now we are fighting two wars on credit and our treasury bonds are considered junk. What could we possibly offer anyone in the way of assistance that we would not have to borrow from someone else. America has become a spectator in the grand scheme of things because we have stuck our nose where it did not belong so, so many times before.
Yes, its time to get out of policing the world. We've been on the wrong side too many times and spending far too much of our resources for things of which we have no control
Just read Andrew Bacevich for your answer. "Washington Rules" and it isn't going to change anytime soon. Why is it when they ALL talk about cutting budgets etc. they NEVER talk about cutting the spending in Iraq or Afghanistan?
We're dumber than a box of rocks if we don't see this.
Yes, and we should stop all national funding that does not have strict accountability (e.g., the CIA's black ops which seem so often to turn out to have been a bad idea). We have blown through billions in Iraq without a clue where all the money went. How much more does Washington think we are willing to accept when it comes to corruption and massive give-aways to corporations before we take to the streets here?
Way past time.
When we became a debtor nation, we should've known our place. We ain't got the where-with-all to take care of ourselves...much less other countries.
Nation-building? What a joke!
Not unless we want to be taken over, by wicked regimes. We should play a big roll as Americans in putting down wicked dictators. The worse thing a good man can do is nothing. I speak for the "living God".
Absolutely we should pull back, send all illegals packing, don't allow anyone who outsources jobs to other countries to sell their products in this country,, roll back the tax breaks on the wealthiest 2% in this country. Close the borders for ten years and concentrate on healing this country from the inside out. A good place to start there is ousting all politicians and start anew.
Scale back, yes. Completely get rid of, no. The US is a world leader and needs to maintain that role. However, we need to pick and choose our battles carefully. We simply can't afford to sustain the level of involvement that we've had in recent years. Helping others is nice, but we need to take care of our own people first. When poverty ends in the US, we can care about poverty and issues in other countries.
One reason we are in the shape we are in today is because we have bailed out so many countries when they were in need. I believe in helping those who need help, but that also includes us, the people of the USA. Who, tell me, would be the first to help us? We must help the hurting in our own country...instead of taking from them. Will our leaders ever "get it"? They can't see the forrest for the trees Jack!
Yes we should, but the Libyan people did not do anything wrong and just what what everyone in the world wants, to be happy. We should help them. this is a good cause, unlike half the other crap we get into
I will start by saying I really do not like being the world’s policeman. We cannot afford it anymore anyway and need to become isolationists. But one time we did and a little thing that happened was a small war in Asia and Europe back in the 30’s and 40’s.
Yes, definitely the US should scale back its place in world affairs. The United Nations should be playing a larger role in dealing with world issues. We, here in the US, have problems that need our funds spent here as opposed to abroad.
You betcha! The U.S. can no longer afford the money it takes to be the "world's policeman." And we certainly can't afford the resentment that comes with trying to be the world's principal bully.
YES. Please bring our soldiers home.
I'd have to say that yes, the US probably should scale back its role in international affairs. Our reputation in the global community was dragged through the dirt during the GWB administration, and we haven't yet recovered..so it still seems hypocritical for us to get involved in every international event that occurs. Maybe someday we'll reach the point where our opinion will be respected once again, and then we can have something to conribute.
I'm a Canadian. And what I don't understand is why the US feels obligated to solve other countries problems. The intentions are good, but no matter what you do, people hate you for it. I say you have enough problems at home. The US could be an amazing country if they used that money to fix their own problems instead of trying to fix other countries problems and being hated for it anyways. You don't see China trying to solve the middle east crisis.
We should have scaled back our role in world affairs many years ago. This is part why so many countries hate Americans. We to focus our American Dreams. Like preparing our children for a bigger and brighter future!
We can only scale back our role in foreign affairs when we scale up our role in providing energy for ourselves. This includes natural gas, oil, solar, wind, thermal, coal, shale-oil, etc. As we reduce our dependance on foreign sources, we have options to make decisions that allow the US to be more independant and pick and choose more carfully our affiliations around the world.
Yes and No. Unfortunately the US has always made its presence felt in the past during 'good' economic times where at times like this when funding withing the country is insufficient and US wants to back off – the world will not allow them to. Every country no matter how much they critize the US, when trouble hits, their first lament is "Where is the US and why are they not here to help!" Remember the tsunami in 2006, the Malaysians all cried out with their hands in the air for the US to come help.
Hell yes it's time. How can we help others when our own country is in decline politically, socially, financially, ethically and any other way you can think of?
What role in world affairs??? If you mean military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, or blind support of anything Israel does the answer is yes. If you mean the lip service we pay to rebuilding Haiti and all the other things that don't reap immediate rewards for our aerospace/defense/communications industries the answer is no – we need to increase our efforts.
We might study why a mega power like China refuses to intervent in most conflicts. Gee, China seems fat and happy. Is it because they can sit back and let us put out all the fires? With mutual oil interests, this might be the time for all of us to band together to keep peace in the Middle East.
More like to late...............
Yes Karl!! I couldnt agree more!
Yes, our government is cutting back on spending on us as Americans so why keep spending just as much on other countries? It makes no sense. If your family is struggling monetarily you would first make sure your family is taken care of before you spend any extra money on other people. Why is this any different?
Time to scale back the US role in world affairs?? Unequivocally YES!! We can't afford to be the world's policeman. Enough is enough. Let's focus on what ails the US, our deficit, our homeless, our economy. No one is going to bail us out.
I definitely think that it's time for the united states to scale back it's involvement in world affairs. We have enough problems right here at home to keep the white house busy for a very long time.
The U.S. needs to scale back its economic support internationally because we simply can no longer afford it. On the other hand, we should continue to promote the ideals of democracy, human rights and equality worldwide and intervene,when deemed feasible, in defense of those ideals, even overseas. I mean, we can't sit back idly in the face of genocide. But fighting for oil/economic gain is too costly to continue.
WE TAXPAYERS are letting the State Department spend billions of dollars on "Foreign Aid" and all it does is go to dictators. The people of those countres hate us and if we woke up and realized where the money really went, we would agree with them.
Even when we send food, those governments dont want our name on the food as they want to distribute it, with a little cash for 'shipping and handling' and claim credit for giving out the food.
Now, people are starving in North Korea and surviving by eating grass according to the news reports. What will happen? Our bleeding hearts in the State Department will spend billions more taking care of those poor people in spite of the ruler and his son spending all their money on developing nuclear weapons.
When will the people of America wake up. I have no problem with helping others, but the way we have been doing it by BOTH political parties is just wrong. There is no accountability!
The US should walk the talk, and not just talk the talk. Where revolts are being carried out against dictators around the world, even those supported and propped up by the US should and must be supported by the US, if at all democracy is going to be preached and spread. How else is the US going to justify the deaths of all the Libyans, Egyptians and Tunisians that have been fighting for their freedom?
Absolutely YES, we should start to scale back in a huge way. Our entire country is about to go bankrupt! Cities across the nation are forced to live with crumbling infrastructure. We're still pouring millions or billions of dollars every day into places that we should have left decades ago. Those countries that we continue to support, generally, hate us anyway. We have so few friends around the world and yet we naively continue to send them money we no longer have. For God's sake! Keep the money here, where we can use it to help our own hungry and homeless people; to hopefully, give our children a decent education; to repair pot-hole filled roads and bridges that are unsafe; water and sewer lines that are rotting away. The list goes on and on. We don't have the money to take care of the world anymore.
It's time to scale back our military footprint in the world. We don't need bases in over 100 countries. I think we can safely pull back from Germany now, for instance.
We need to keep our nose out of other countries, we have enough problems here at home. We are not the leaders of the world.
Yes we must scale back our role so we do not form new enemies throughout the world. Also this will prevent more Americans from dying in useless wars. This will give us time to focus on domestic issues like the unemployment rate and it will save us money that can help the American people instead of being wasted on violence.
Jack, correct me if I'm wrong but what happened to all the fuss about 'getting the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan' because we can't afford it anymore? Why is there a debate about this? Why is it expected from the US to, say, enter Libya at all? Again, the US can't play superhero anymore. I know we are all bathing in middle east oil in our own home showers but this doesn't mean we have to keep supporting every dictator out there that has a barrel or two of crude with a US zip code on its side. Wake up and smell the oil!
Jack, until the western world learns how to tap into other sources of energy rather than been dependent on oil, we just can't scale back. We are too deep into oil to think straight. Its time we tap into more green resources....the sun is "wasting" its energy.
It's time for us to stop policing the world, take the billion a day we spend on Iraq and Afghanistan plus the money we give in aid to Mideast dictators and use it to buy everyone in the U.S. an electric car and then tell OPEC to take a long walk off a short pier.
Hell yes! we need to spend our time and money here to fix our problems before we worry about the rest of the world. we need to bring ALL of our troops home from BOTH ilegal wars and from our military bases around the world and stop medling in the business of other countrys
Absolutely, we need to close some of those 737 military bases, declare peace and live in peace. Find a new source of energy and new ways of living. We're doing nearly everything wrong... trying to think of something we're doing right, to end on a positive note. Nope, can't think of a thing. Restore the republic, live in democracy.
we should, and need to. But the Libyan people are trying to make there lifes better. so why shouldn't we help them! everyday we help people who dont try and help them self's
Yes, we need to nation build America first. The struggling American taxpayers can not keep paying for huge amounts of foreign aid (that usually goes to the corrupt top anyway) or for the useless, non-productive and very expensive wars. We are not the policemen of the world and we can instead lead by example by becoming prosperous and innovative. Jobs, infrastructure, energy development in America first and foremost. Foreign countries are made up of intelligent human beings, just like America, and they should solve their own problems.
Its time for the US to use its influence and power to help the Libyans NOW. But as far as this nonsense of geting involved in multiyear wars like Afhganistan or in Iraq that cost billions monthly, its ridiculous. the middle class is being wiped out, our infrastructure is falling apart and our education system is pathetic. Obama should be ashamed of himself increasing defense by 22 billion while they cut assistance to the poor and pell grants for kids going to college. Bring our troops home put them on our two borders, help our own people and mind our own damn business !!!
I say " Get the hell out of all the mideast countries, cut off all aid to them and let them fight it out. Open up all of the U.S. oil fields, including off shore drilling, the North Slope in Alaska and anywhere else we can get our hands on oil." Without the help of America these countries could not exist. When in the hell will America wake up ?
You betcha! The U.S. can no longer afford the money it takes to be the "world's policeman." And we certainly can't afford the resentment that comes with this self-appointed role.
Our country is much overdue in removing itself from the affairs of other nations, they do not appreciate our efforts and as we are currently seeing in the middle east, our support for regimes have been poorly invested. Perhaps our nations current fiscal problems might well stem from envolvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Let all those nations decide what they wish to have as government for the secret of freedom and democracy is out of the box and it will be near impossible for despots and dictators to put it back.
If you look at all the money the US has spent trying to spread democroacy in the Middle East in the just past, you might not have the kind of financial problems with deficets that you have now.
Don't blame Obama for all the fiscal problems you have. He got them from George W!!! Keep your nose out of other country's business and the business of deficets will take care of itself, and it might just save you 90 million or so a year!
Mind you, I'm just another one of those "passive Canadians", so what do I know??
I grew up as a young Canadian singing :From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli" around the campfire. The proud song about the U S Marines. Now, as a US citizen I think Tripoli is where we should be now. Unfortunately, we are upto our necks in Iraq and Afganistan and cannot stop the the murder of Libyan citizens by imported mercenaries at the hands of a madman -Ghadafi. What a tragidy. We must enlist NATO. What is NATO doing in Afganistan. Libya is a darn site closer to the North Atlantic than Afganistan.
Bill from Boston
Yes it is time for us to cut back all over the world. we have been in Germany since world war 2 over 60 years ago.. Germany can pay for its own defense tho I understand the world is scared to death of that country rearming. But you have to trust them sooner or later... their economy is way better than ours is... Korea the same... Japan yes they will have to redo their constitution but hey.. we cant afford to be the worlds military and police man anymore.. The politicans all they can talk about is cutting domestic spending.. Its time to bring our troops home from the 120 countries they are in since WW2.. you can only expect the American taxpayer to do so much. OMG.. its simple math..The American taxpayer can only do so much... lets reduce spending over seas in all ways to HELP us for once.
As I sit here with no job, thousands of dollars in debt due to being unemployed or under employed and a cracked hip, of which I can't get physical therapy on with no health insurance, and foreclosure looming what do you think, time to mind our business and start taking care of the good ole U.S.A.
Yes, but carefully.
We can scale back the amount of dollars spent, but remain engaged.
It is time we acted only in concert with other nations instead of always being the leader with good intentions who ends up being painted as the bad guy or bully interventionist by foreigners.
I believe the United States does not have the money or resources to interven in another world conflict. Its time to stand on the side lines and fix our problems here at home.
Yes this should have been done soon as Obama took office. Here we are talking about going after medicare and social security and in the meantime we are supporting every corrupt government in the world. What happened to charity starts at home. President Obama et al should know that. How long are we going to pay for President Bush mistakes?
The United States should take care of it's own problems before trying to take on the worlds. The United States keeps sending financial help to other countries and it's own citizens are starving, homeless, and dying because of lack of health care. It's always good to share your wealth with others but the US is not a wealthy nation any more.
I believe that our Commander in Chief should turn up the heat on Moammar Gadhafi by moving a carrier group from the Med close to the capital of Tripoli, then release a press statement and/or hold a press conference saying something to the effect of "Cease and desist all attacks on civillians or else" and about the situation of the American civillians he should say something to the effect of "If any foreign dignitary is killed (on purpose or "accident") it will be considered a blantant act of war and we will respond accordingly". If he does that, taking a stand for human freedom and inalienable rights, I will certainly vote to re-elect him.
Yes Jack, its time we remember the words of our founders. "To stay out of entangling alliances".
The title of this said it best and said it all.
There is a limit to what U.S. can do right now for 2 reasons
1) We can't be the world police, that's not efficient
2) We don't have the resources
Why is China so quiet? Can anyone tell me? They can go around with Trillion dollars preying on vulnerable economies but can't help people who are being tormented. That speaks volume.
Yes its time for the United States to quite funding every country that has Political problems or any kind of major problems..Our country is broke, borrowing from China to keep afloat ..I am no mathematician but I know I can't run my household like this..There is a time when you have to say no and now is the time to speak a two letter word "NO".We have children going to bed at night hungry and many many more sad situations with our own American people that need the help..Those Countries have been fighting and dictating from the coming of Jesus Christ and its time they take care of their own problems..The United States needs to keep their nose out of other country problems..No wonder we are hated by so many foreigners ...
If you put the U.S. involvement in other countries on the scale of justice somehow the scale is never tipped in our favor, we carry most of the weight. Now is the time to build strong support with our allies and scale back our role in world affairs.
We the US can no longer afford the vast role in international affairs. We need to scale back on military bases world wide. I read that we have over 600 bases outside of the US. We must first take care of ourselves and then help other countries with our surplus funds the next time we have some. I am thankful for our role in saving the world from Germany and Japan, but it is time to scale back and be very selective with military action.
The last thing we need at this point in history is neo-isolationism. I'm
old enough to remember the U.S. in the 1930's when we turned a
blind eye toward the events in Euorpe and the Far East. It cost us
more than money–it killed off a good part of the cream of our youth!
If Democracy wishes to be born abroad then it is our responsibility as Americans to help it to fruition in a beautiful foreign land where it is truly needed and would probably be more appreciated than it is by us. The people have spoken and they are tired of not being heard and being refused their rights. We will not stand by and simply watch we will be there as I am ready to leave right now. The time has come for the world to see what strong minded people can really do to better the human condition. This is truly an amazing time.
I don't think anyone really cares what the United States says or thinks anymore. We used to have some clout in the world, but that "Big Stick" has shrunk in size considerably for a number of reasons, the biggest probably being our serious economic struggles brought about by our massive national debt.
Not ALL or NOTHING....we need to engage but not with the dictators!
We need to up our educational efforts. Learn how to be peaceful and teach others to be peaceful. We need to learn and what will build peace and practice that path. Out Iraq 'model' was the worst!
Yes, America should indeed scale back.
Let's the Europeans take care of some of the world problem on their side of the Atlantic since they are always so quick in critisizing the US for our involvement in everywhere. The aftermath of the revolution in Libia will effect the European more than us. It is about time they spend some of their money and stop getting free rides.
I have become weary of our nation’s efforts to impose our will on the governments of other countries and our attempts play sheriff over the entire world. We can no longer afford to bare the burden of these efforts entirely on our own. If this course of action is deemed necessary and unavoidable, we should do no more than partner equally with other nation’s with which we are of like mind in the effort.
Its up to NATO, as a worldwide organization, to oversee international affairs, especially when it comes to possible genocide. NATO should not only be in place to benefit THE NEW WORLD ORDER for financial reasons only, but as a united world government entity overseeing humanitarian treatment of the people of any country. NATO doesn't consist of one dictator, but many countries.
The US is hated in many parts of the world, and it's not always wise to be the bully on the block.
Yes I do think it's time for the U.S. to scale back and let these other leaders of the world do something for a change, because they're sitting back watching us go broke and enjoying it. I think that we should only get involved when it is absolutely necessary (mainly when our national security is on the line). I think we should always to be willing to help the helpless, but sometimes people just need to take a stand and do something for themselves.
The war in Iraq basically broke us, for oil. The bottom of the gulf is dead, covered with oil. Oily politicians have long supported the tyrants in the middle east, so oil companies can continue raking in the billions. When will we learn? Let it go! Improve our alternative energy technology. Build rails systems that will last many generations. It will save lives and improve our environment.
Yes. Our technology in solar cells and battery cells leave little need for oil from outside our boarders. So let’s get on with life without Middle East oil. We have lost too much its time to break camp and handle any threats to our security at a distance.
Jim B, Keeseville, New York
YES! It makes absoutely no sense to spend those amouNts of money when we are basically bankrupt here, my God Man we're having to borrow money from abroad just to keep our govt running. It's time to stop the hemorrhaging of our futhure.......Oh and by the way we should begin mirroring the price we charge for our exported grain to the price we have to pay for crude oil.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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