Yeah, what he said.
Understand I’m not speaking for myself — I’d be on a plane somewhere 365 days a year if I could manage it. But Americans generally don’t like being forced to confront the outside world. We have quite a large country of our own and if we find it cramped there’s always Canada (America Lite.)
Americans want to spend their days working. We like working. We like coming up with crazy plans and turning them into billion dollar businesses. If we’re not working we want to hang out with family. We don’t like thinking about politics, we’re not the French. We don’t like having to learn the differences between Shia and Sunni because, quite frankly, we don’t give a damn. We just want to work and hang out.
From time to time Americans are forced to recognize the existence of some other piece of the world: Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq. We resent being forced to do so. We didn’t really know these places existed, didn’t care, and don’t wish to be irritated by them because we have work to do.
So we fall back on simple, direct solutions to ease the irritation: nuke ‘em all. Nuke ‘em all, and then get back to work. It’s not that we harbor particular malice toward one country or another, one religion or another. What we harbor is indifference. If you threaten our indifference by forcing us to pay attention to you and your intractable foreign problems we may have to blow something up just so you’ll go away. There is, after all, money to be made, and work to be done, and family to be hung out with.
We’re busy: don’t make us kill you.
I grant that in some cases it’s our own government’s actions that force us into the position of having to learn where Fallujah is (answer: who cares?) but that doesn’t alter our underlying sense that the whole world should just stop bothering us and let us get back to work.
Here, comment number six.