Isolationism Redux

Publication Date: June 2003

Publisher: Hudson Institute

Author(s): Ronald Radosh

Research Area: International relations; Politics

Type: Report


In this paper, leading American historian Ronald Radosh describes how the antiwar protests that emerged during the Iraq intervention revived the slogans and clichés of the isolationist movement in America before the Second World War. In both cases, opponents of military action concentrated on allegations that war was motivated by illegitimate economic interests, that America was abusing its power, that imperialism was becoming the focus of American policy, that militarism and repression were increasing, and that America risked making new enemies in the world. Although claims that Iraq was a quagmire also echo the protest idiom of the Vietnam era, such charges had also, originally, been voiced at the end of the 1930s. Professor Radosh’s arguments links these to a dangerous, anti-democratic alliance of ultra-leftists and neo-fascists