Iraq War Fueling American Defeatism and Oikophobia, Experts Warn
The Iraq War has created a sense of permanent American defeatism that is fueling an anti-American narrative among a minority of citizens, according to experts. This narrative goes beyond opposition to U.S. foreign and domestic policies and has been embraced by people on both the far left and far right, including the likes of Noam Chomsky and Tucker Carlson. They believe that the United States cannot do anything right and that it should not intervene in other countries, no matter how necessary it may be.
Recently, President Joe Biden's visit to Ukraine sparked howls of consternation at home, with some extremists even cheering for Russia to “whack Biden” in Ukraine. Such defeatism is dangerous and has caused some Americans to give up hope, believing that foreign dictators such as Russian President Vladimir Putin should run the world.
While acknowledging the moral injury caused by the Iraq War and other conflicts, experts warn against projecting fears and doubts onto the rest of the world. Such oikophobia is self-indulgent and immature. Americans should not turn away from the world but engage with it.
The United States is now using a small fraction of its defense budget to degrade and destroy a significant fraction of Russia’s war machine without putting U.S. troops on the ground. This practical approach is justified given the threat that Russian fascism poses not just to Ukraine but to the rest of the world.
Americans have choices about how to view their scars as a nation and what to do about them. They cannot effectively reckon with the past if they do not believe in the future. By engaging with the world and not giving in to defeatism, they can take practical steps to make a positive difference.