On internationalism

I sense a growing isolationism in my worldview. This perspective began to take root while, for my dissertation, I was conducting background research on Somalia, and is only exacerbated by my disappointment with the role the U.S. plays in China’s environmental problems and social inequality.

This article from the New York Times showing how international aid is misused in Somalia and how the pirates and rebels w0rk in close contact with the UN supported “transitional” government demonstrates what close observers of that country have said all along – international involvement fuels the violence and chaos.  Furthermore, the colonial history of what is ostensibly Somalia (because it has not really been a unified country since the 80s, if ever) and the fact that the nation was a pawn of both the U.S. and the Soviets during the Cold War have not brought better health, economic prosperity, “the rule of law,” or stability to the horn of Africa. Instead, they have imported weapons that are more effective at killing people and global political and financial interests that increase the payoff for those willing to sacrifice others to get ahead.

The way I see it, international involvement is a hindrance rewarding dysfunction. After 20 years of “aid,” what has changed for the better in Somalia? What would happen if we just let the Somalis apply their wisdom and ingenuity to sorting out the nation themselves? There should be a first time for everything.

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