America’s Foreign Policy: Why Should You Care?

28/01/2013 12:43
by , January 28, 2013

Every once in a while it’s worth it to recall just why we’re doing this: that is, why we here at Antiwar.com spend our days reporting on events in obscure countries no normal person has ever heard of, tracking the pronouncements of politicians and foreign policy wonks, and exposing the War Party’s latest schemes.

It is, frankly, a thankless and exhausting task, and the problem is that one often loses sight of the forest for the trees. Our days are spent asking and trying to answer questions such as: How long will the French linger in Mali? Will Chuck Hagel be confirmed? Is the CIA secretly supporting rebels in Syria? Will the Magnitsky Act lead to a new cold war with Russia? What often gets lost is the answer to the question: Why should we care?

Americans, being a naturally "isolationist" lot, tend to ignore events overseas unless there is some immediate and tangible impact on their everyday lives – and not even wars in which we are involved necessarily qualify. It took years of occupying Iraq before the American people noticed we had been lied into that costly war, and over a decade before anybody began asking what we thought we were doing in Afghanistan.

This means that our political class, left to their own devices, has pretty much of a free rein when it comes to meddling in the affairs of other countries – not because Americans approve of such activities, but because they generally are unaware it’s even happening. Once they do become aware it’s usually too late to do much about it, because the very fact that’s it’s come up on their radar means it’s already backfired.

Antiwar.com, then, is a kind of early warning system for the ordinary American who wants to keep tabs on what his or her government is up to overseas. Yet that raises the question: why is this information important?

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