July 18th, 2014
09:34 AM ET

Fareed Zakaria answers your questions

Watch"Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed Zakaria answers readers’ questions on the U.S. role in the world, whether Iraq would have been more stable if Saddam Hussein hadn’t been removed from power, the NSA’s spying on Germany and whether the borders in the Middle East are outdated.

Do you believe there’s a shift toward isolationism in the United States?

I think there’s a shift toward less involvement and engagement in the world. Some of this is unfortunate. It shows up, for example, in the suspicion towards trade, towards immigrants. But for the most part, I think Americans retain a healthy openness to the world and a healthy openness to America being engaged in the world.

When people shout about isolationism, it’s worth remembering that the United States – with the support of the American people – still maintains thousands of troops in foreign countries, in dozens of bases around the world. We have 60 treaty alliances. In many of them we’re committed to the defense of these countries – from Japan, to South Korea, to Germany. That doesn’t seem to me the story of a country that is isolationist and has withdrawn from the world.

But it’s true that from certain heights, especially after 9/11 – where the United States was, in my view, too engaged, and too engaged in the details and nation building operations in many, many parts of the world – we’re drawing back, and that draw back has some public support.

So, I’m not ready to wave the flag of isolationism, I don’t see it. But I do think in some areas there are some troubling signs. The part that worries me most is about trade and people, because the thing that has historically made the United States so strong has been its ability to open itself up to ideas, to people, and then to adapt and adjust and become stronger from that.

Watch the video for all his responses.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Fareed,
    What can be done to make the dream come true for the delightful young woman who appeared on your show today – December 13, 2015? What a wonderful addition that she would make to our country. Her intelligence, kindness and obvious ambition to really make a positive mark in the world was obvious and heartwarming.

    December 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  2. david frazier

    I have long believed and was taught that charity begins at home.being a chairitable person I try to help when ever I can, but it is very hard for me to support bringing in thousands of refugees and giving them money, housing , medical care, education food stamps and other benefits,When we have several million homeless vets and others already in this country that are citizens born in this country and can get no help but our elected officals would rather take care of refugees to try and build a bigger voter base vetrans waiting for months for medical care,people that faught for our country its soo sad

    December 15, 2015 at 12:03 am | Reply
  3. PUTHIA

    I am a fan of Fareed Zakariah, the one and only fare and fearless media personality.
    I wonder why all the forces of the civilised world fail to defeat ISIL.
    I never heard anybody talking about the most important and vital issue – who is arming ISIL!
    My plan for defeating this cancer is:
    Stop bombing Syria
    Stop provoking the militants
    Isolate the terrorist owned countries / territories
    Cut off the supply of weapons, arms and ammunitions, and sophisticated gadgets to these territories. Cut off channels of trade in and out, close the roads and other routes.
    Stop all imports and exports into and out of these territories
    Even if they have money, it is of no use if no weapons and gadgets are sold to them. I do not think they have the knowhow and materials to produce sophisticated weapons of their own. They cannot survive for long without outside supplies and support. With this strategy ISIL will wither away within one year

    December 22, 2015 at 7:05 am | Reply
    • Captain Farhat SHAMIM

      The state of Israel is 80% ocupied Palastinian land which United Nation state is illigal & must be returned to the orignal owners. Why is it that United States still support Israel. Will it ever change.

      May 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Reply
      • Josh Lerman

        I interesting on his opinion on this situation . And I don't mined to post with my name .Jodh

        October 23, 2016 at 3:32 pm |
    • Annie

      Wish someone with a global voice would work with your ideas.

      October 9, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  4. Peter Simmons

    Hello Fareed,
    I am generally a fan of yours...I see your reporting as insightful, and truthful. However, today I watched "The Long Road to Hell", and was VERY DISAPPOINTED. You touched on the reasons re: WHY the US invaded Iraq, but there was a GLARING OMMISSION here. You failed to mention that the REAL REASON the US invaded Iraq was to GRAB THEIR OIL!!! Dick Cheney, at the behest of HALLIBURTON, convinced George Bush that there were "Weapons of Mass Destruction" there. Bush, a likeable but goofy, semi-literate, moron figured that Cheney must know what he was talking about, and followed Cheney's STRONG ADVICE to invade ASAP. And THAT'S why we're where we are today. Of course, it's not too hard to figure out why you failed to mention all this...the OIL companies are major suppliers of CNN's revenue stream, and we all know the old adage: DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU!

    December 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  5. Dillawer K.

    Fareed, I have long been your fan for your reporting on various issues in the US and around the world. Lately however I am beginning to see how you are congregating to the camps of the general media and sorry to say that is not a compliment. Your gradual move to be just like all others will destroy the strong and fair reporting foundation which you build GPS on and we respect. You more than anyone knows that the top three issues that are destroying Middle East now are ISIS, Sectarian violence and the Kurdish nation. You have covered ISIS and Sectarianism numerous times but you are avoiding the Kurdish nation. I always thought that you are above the average (directed) media, don't let me and many of your fans down. See if you can bring the subject of the Kurds out to light in the familiar fashion you and GPS is know for. eliminate doubters about the direction you are heading.

    January 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  6. Anupam Choubey

    Islam is good and teaches brotherhood then why SO MUCH VOILANCE in Islam? Majority of violence in world attributed to Islam? Were and what in Quran propagate this avalanche of violence? How a law abiding Muslim become a Jihadi? There is Fundamentally wrong in it, whole history of Islam is replete with blood shade? What is your view and how you stop it?

    Anupam

    February 13, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • Ehsan Azeem

      Fighting for a justifiable cause is adorable, on the other hand to commit atrocities, persecute and plunder indefensible people, groups or nations is abominable. Babar came to India invited by Rana Sanga, Mehmood of Ghazni was also invited by (Indians) Hindus of those days, Siva Ji too had many Muslim generals in his armed forces who fought against their fellow brethren in faith....... History is complicated subject!

      September 6, 2016 at 8:25 am | Reply
  7. Al Monroe

    Can countries become a Democracy without Capatalism (free-market system).

    February 19, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  8. Jim Richards

    One angle on the Donald Trump personality and manner that I have not heard anyone discuss so far is the mental health angle. As far as I can tell, he fits about 85-90% of the definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Check it out: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/basics/definition/con-20025568 and also http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20025568 .

    March 13, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  9. Enrique K

    I viewed the Sunday Mar 13 GPS from overseas and would like to add that the guest who appeared with the 4 question list that psychologically profiled Trump supporters as being basically authoritarian and coming from authoritarian households was about the lamest thing I have seen come out of this program. I am not a Trump supporter but this was laughable, especially the part where Zakaria seemed to be agreeing with it.

    March 13, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  10. gospel truth

    Fareed how long will the American people have to put with the media spewing Human Right Abuse issues in Cuba. When America as we speak is subsidizing billions of dollars to the Israel.

    March 21, 2016 at 11:25 am | Reply
  11. Buddhadev Roychoudhury

    Could we have Farid's book choices covered in his GPS programs on CNN for last 3 months, please? Thanks.

    March 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  12. Tim Scott

    I would appreciate Fareed's thoughts on a very interesting take on the terrorists who committed the recent violent attacks in Brussels - found in the April 8, 2016 edition of Newsweek and written by Kurt Eichenwald. I respect Fareed's opinions on many issues and I would be interested to know if he agrees with Eichenwald's take on the "Pop-Jihad Killers" as he refers to them.

    April 2, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  13. lasagnamaker

    Fareed had a great analysis on April 3rd GPS regarding the lessons learned from Brussels terrorist attack. While I am in complete agreement with his analysis, I feel he stopped short of pointing out how wrong the focus of the politicians of the free world (especially US is. We are still looking for answers to this global phenomenon by scrutinizing the Islamic world. When will we learn to look at ourselves in the mirror and thinking that perhaps we need to rethink. Our way of life and values may not be the only right way. Let us take a deep breath before shoving our ideals down everyone's throat.

    April 3, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Private Fiducial

      Are joking? he is Islamic near terrorist without a weapon was used yet

      April 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  14. Private Fiducial

    Fareed clearly knows (or he is the most stupid journalist alive) that the only way he can hold a job at CNN is lying about anything possible to pandering CNN and administrations. He only touch a little bit of truth only when he (muslin or India) relations was somehow attached. I dislike FOX for openly to spit the venom, but I really hate more when Fareed do it with code and undercover, and so eager to kiss a Jewish Butto, just like his antsier kissed U.K button. Wake up CNN viewer, he is worst journalist, and there is no place for him on the national meida

    April 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • vjd

      PF, aka Bozo, you need a crash course in writing, spelling and grammar!

      September 5, 2016 at 8:40 am | Reply
  15. Nancy Pickering

    Dear Fareed,
    I am a huge fan – you are head and shoulders above everyone on TV. I appreciate your global perspective and your intelligence. I have this crazy notion that Donald Trump might be a Scientologist, only because he does not defend himself when attacked...he attacks back. This is one of the many tenets in L. Ron Hubbard's philosophy.. I dislike everything Donald Trump stands for. Can you ask one of CNN's investigative reporters to look into this? Perhaps Drew________ who investigated the Veterans Administration scandal. It's a longshot, but maybe we can stop Trump
    Thank you, Nancy Pickering!

    May 9, 2016 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  16. Herb Dreyer

    In Sunni Islam, as in most great religions, there is a prophecy concerning the Day of God. This prophetic statement concerns the return of the Spirit of God and the renewal of Islam. Do you think Sunnis know, generally, that this Spirit of God is known to be another name for Jesus Christ? Check with your religious scholars. Having this knowledge available to, say, peoples of the West, could be enlightening. Thank you for your important voice.

    May 26, 2016 at 10:34 am | Reply
  17. Sheila Bernard

    Fareed, re your reporting on China's and India's promotion of sanitation and toilets– most people who lack sanitation also lack water, so this viewer wants to know– will the toilets be a composting variety? If so, China and India will be providing much-needed leadership to those of us who still use water plumbing, including most of the industrialized world.

    June 5, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  18. thamm1941

    Mr. Zakaria,

    I just watched "Why They Hate Us." What, as a US citizen, can I do to help turn this tide of anger toward America.

    Thank you,

    Lenora Hamm

    June 16, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  19. David Zare

    its hard to believe that Farid in his program "why they hate us" does not mention israel NOT EVEN ONCE. how can one try to diagnose a problem but ignore one of the main streams of the problem, Farid!!! strange!

    June 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  20. Sean

    Fareed: I am a regular viewer, I DVR the show every week. It is true that we would agree to disagree on a number of topics but I have always respected your intelligence and the quality of your show. That said, yesterday's show was a low point and in my mind reflected a sense of panic among those who oppose Trump and now know that he has a real chance. Your start with a "response" to Trump's speech but your fail to address any of his major points, stagnant wages, the loss of manufacturing jobs, waning US influence in the world, poorly negotiated trade deals and increasing violence on our streets, not fifty and seventy year trends, today! Next, you have four Republican/conservative guests but you can only find one of the four who support Trump while his support among Republicans is over 85%, please? It's your show and you are a left of center analyst, understood but I know you can do better than Sunday's presentation and I hope that you will between now and election day. Thanks

    July 25, 2016 at 11:10 am | Reply
  21. Ellen Keller

    Mr Zakaria, please tell me, if you know, what percentage of Democrate versus Republican Americans watch your program Fared Zakaria GPS. I ask this question because of my hope that a lot of Republicans watch your show to educate them on your very informative interviews that will help them to understand how dangerous voting for Trump will be for our country. I am 75 yrs old, a professional Registered Nurse, I have listened to the complete Dem. And Rep. Convention speeches and have become so concerned that Trump is drawing in so many uninformed people through his messages of fear. He appeals to all those that have a surpressed racist nature that they have been unable to voice due to their own conscience and fear of repercussion. In my opinion, Trump strongly appeals to their fear and prejudice of others, people that are different from themselves. My fear is that these uninformed people will come out of the woodwork and vote this very ignorant and dangerousness man into office.

    July 31, 2016 at 11:44 am | Reply
  22. Laura Salem-Clifford

    Dear Fareed,
    I'm a avid anti Trumper and one concern I have God forbid he become president, and haven't heard anything about is, how will he separate himself from his businesses?
    There was controversy with Cheney and Haliburtin profiting from government contracts so what's to say a business deal couldn't effect DT's decision making?
    I'd be very interested to hear your take on this and it be a question put to the Trumpers.
    Most sincerely and gratefully,
    Laura Salem-Clifford

    July 31, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  23. Joan Quinn

    I am very disappointed that you did correct that Trump apologist when she laughed at your guest today. I am sick and tired of seeing these people being on CNN. If you cannot find someone who supports Trump who can speak intelligently on his behalf then don't bring on these lightweights who are just repeating Trump's usual garbage.

    August 7, 2016 at 11:21 am | Reply
  24. Diana Wild

    Fareed, I think you could make a great show around the comparison of how many jobs have been lost due to productivity and automation improvements during the recovery and how many jobs have been lost because of trade. I think people would be surprised. My hypothesis is that many more jobs have been lost to productivity improvements and automation, as a common response to economic downturn. Trade is so important to the peace and directly to our safety, discussion about ending trade agreements is raising my apprehension. Trump supporters and even Clinton supporters need to recognize that the value of our trade partnerships vastly outweighs the loss of a few jobs.

    August 12, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  25. Carson Watson

    It is my belief that the U.S. presidential electoral process is damaging the very foundation of this nation. How is it possible for a process to drag on for as long as it does, with the things being said, with the billions thrown down the drain, with the promises never fulfilled by either candidate, by a process which seems to never end, keeping our government in a sort of paralysis. I believe it has become a very corrupt process endangering the very future of this country. We should elect a president for a 6 year term and no re-election and there needs to be term limits on the Congress where there is no such thing as public service, only a job for life with incredible benefits the likes of which most citizens do not have.

    September 2, 2016 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  26. charlotte

    Wrong i I M 84 have travelled the world We are in cold war with IslAm for m y Germany the Muslim hAve been r entering the West look T London cEnt record size it woman all covered most Curhes Moques important do Not Assimilate I M reason middle of the republicAn party absolutely not bigoted Fought apartheid in SA where I was born. Ever grateful to AmericN freedom

    September 11, 2016 at 11:05 am | Reply
  27. Larry Reaves

    Fareed, I've long felt that your news stories have been a breath of fresh air and ray of light. Being fairly a-political, I've often turned away from MSNBC and FOX due to their obvious democratic and republican bias, and turned to CNN for a dependable report of the news, of which I've viewed your reports as the best and most fair. During the past few weeks of your coverage of the presidential race, however, I'm very disappointed to see the blatant democratic bias coming from your reports and especially from CNN in general. Your recent interview with Bill Maher is one example, where you openly stated that Trump would lose. I'm even more turned off from CNN now, who is shamelessly siding with the Democratic campaign, simply chasing the anti-trump stories. Adding the insulting number of commercials that CNN forces the viewers to watch in order to get a few minutes of news, the situation has become unbearable. Please reclaim your integrity in reporting as so many of us depend on you.

    October 23, 2016 at 10:51 am | Reply
  28. Ram

    I do not agree with Fareed's position especially regarding trump. The main problem is that he like most mainstream media don't listen to the majority. As its said for such people, its their way or the highway. Fareed, there is a problem with radical islam. If you notice, almost all fighting involves radical islamist. If you see objectively, you will see a big difference between a jihadist fighting vs the cold war or even the world wars.

    November 15, 2016 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  29. Lulu Pearlm

    I just saw your "interview" with Henry Kissinger and I was surprised at you! Generally, I like watching your show, but here you did something so typical of the liberals in these past weeks. You were trying to "lead the witness" with your comments in response to Kissinger's observation about Trump's lack of baggage. Why not let him describe what he meant, with an appropriate question rather than bringing your political left-leaning mindset to the interview, if it's truly an interview. You can do better! And, Kissinger was extremely well-spoken in this broadcast. Thanks for having him on.

    November 20, 2016 at 10:22 am | Reply
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