The Best Foreign Policy is No Foreign Policy


Devon, PA. This article by Robert Pape documents what most of us know — whether we like it or not; and it documents it better than, say, the Bush administration documented its case for war.

Build a wall; keep within it.  Cultivate your own green fields.  That is a foreign policy our “globalized” world (redundant?) can live with.

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James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on subjects ranging from art, ethics, and politics, to meter and poetic form, from the importance of local culture to the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty. Wilson is also a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, and The American Conservative. He has published five books, including most recently, a collection of poems, Some Permanent Things and a monograph, The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (both Wiseblood Books, 2014). Raised in the Great Lakes State, baptised in the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas, seasoned by summers on Lake Wawasee (Indiana), and educated under the Golden Dome, Wilson is scion of a family of Hoosiers dating back to the early nineteenth century, and an offspring of Southside Chicago Poles whose tavern kept the city wet through the Depression (and prohibition) years.  He now lives under the same sentence of reluctant exile as many another native son of the Midwest, but has dug himself in for good on the margins of the Main Line in Pennsylvania with his beautiful wife, dangerous daughter, and saintly sons. For information on Wilson's scholarship and a selection of his published work, click here. See books written and recommended by James Matthew Wilson.


  1. The obvious flaws in this argument are:

    1. There wouldn’t be any ‘occupations’ if it weren’t for Islamic adventurism.
    2. Other countries have been ‘occupied’ without resorting to suicide terrorism.

    The only reason anyone is in Iraq or Afghanistan is because certain nutcases (who, gee, by some odd coincidence were steeped in a aggressive totalitarian ideology named ‘Islam’) were threatening other civilized nations. The time to do something about a murderer is while he’s talking trash and loading his gun, not after he’s shot you.

    ‘Suicide terrorism’ is an original creation with Muslims. Other bona-fide terrorists (the IRA, for an obvious example) don’t do that sort of stupid shit, because only Muslims believe that you can go to heaven by killing yourself in the course of killing the other guy.

    • I don’t want to start a long thread here, but I certainly agree with you there, Tim. Were we to cease going abroad in search of monsters, there would still be monsters; I would just prefer to kill them at the gates rather than breeding them in their lairs.

    • That’s ridiculous. Even if you discount Japanese kamikaze attacks, the modern suicide attack was not an original creation of Muslims but was originally developed by the Tamil Tigers (who, incidentally, were no friends to Muslims).

      You need to study up, son. I would recommend the books of Michael Scheuer, another individual who, like Robert Pape, and unlike you, knows what he is talking about.

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