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Hussein hadn’t been removed from power, the NSA’s spying on Germany and whether the borders in the Middle East are outdated.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 That doesn’t seem to me the story of a country that is isolationist and has withdrawn from the world.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 (274 Responses)
  1. Paula Jay

    how many bases does the u.s. have around the world? where are they located? paula jay

    July 18, 2014 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Google it

      Or are you in China?

      July 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  2. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    THE U.S. HAS TWO MANY BASES THE THE U.S. ARE VERY IRISPONSOBLE. BAD COUNTRY SHOULD GO DOWN LIKE ROME VERY SOON. THE MONEY HAS NO GOOD GOLD BACHING.JUST CHEAP PAPPER PRINT WE NO WANT THEM EVIL HERE
    AMERICA THE BROKEN
    AMERICA THE UGLY
    WILL GO LIKE ROME

    July 18, 2014 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • Are you

      Are you from Alabama?

      July 18, 2014 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • I'd

      I'd rather live in Rome than you're 6th Century Islamic country (or Alabama).

      July 18, 2014 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Jonathan es de la Marque

      prophit are you ?
      We have not seen our finest hour yet.. that will come as one might openly destroy the muslim religion in front of the whole world.... which would mean you would be converted without the use of force.. lol 🙂
      lol at u

      July 19, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Reply
    • bigbendjc

      When countries suffer great catastrophes which country and their citizens come to their aid without asking for anything in return? When was the last time a Mullah asked his mosque to assist other N0N-Muslim countries. All you want to do is kill unbelievers and subjugate your women. Our women vote, work in government, run cities, run states and maybe soon run a country. Your age of enlightenment ended centuries ago. My question to you..what happened?

      July 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  3. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    AMERICA SPISE ON EVERYBODY AND EVER ONE. EVEN ON THERE FRIENDS AND THEY HAVE NO REAL FRIENDS.
    ALSO NOBODY LIKES AMERICA. EVIL COUNTRY BAD PEOPLE NON BELIEVERZ AND GORGE EVERYFOOD
    STEAL LIE CHEAT SMOKE DRINK AMERICANS ARE WORSETEST OF ALL LIVING THINGS AND ANIMALS IN EARTH

    July 18, 2014 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • palintwit

      But I'll bet you like Sarah Palin.

      July 18, 2014 at 10:16 am | Reply
      • blunt&rude

        Look at that, the pot calling the kettle black.

        Two bigots arguing with each other over who has more irrational hatred.

        July 20, 2014 at 11:56 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      I tend to agree on that, dr, abdu halakamir harper M.D. E. We Americans need to clean up our act.

      July 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        I wouldn't say what @ My Troll wrote, but USA citizens do need to restore aspiration to wealth, culture, and education. USA spying is good for airliner safety.
        My Troll said "Americans," a word that I avoid in criticism, as Canadians usually do things very well.

        July 19, 2014 at 8:05 am |
    • Erick Holmes

      Like the country you come from is any better.

      July 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Jonathan es de la Marque

      yes, the worse, but people send their little children into THIS COUNTRY ALONE.....
      any others like that ????? 🙂
      If I had a roach farm , the only Muslim country that might be worthy of them would be Turkey... all the rest of the islamic nations are too filthy for even the roaches.. lol 🙂

      July 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • dude

      Dr. Abdu Halakamir Harper M.D.E......Which country are you from? I love your english; I wish I could speak like you. Your seem like a great doctor, wish you could become my family doctor.

      July 20, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • bigbendjc

      They like our money!!!!

      July 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  4. Francisco Curinga

    God bless America (North America)! Greetings from Brazil.

    July 18, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Hi Brazil

      Sorry about that Germany thing.

      July 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Come on Francisco, do you really expect God to bless America with all all the criminal foreign policies we're currently pursuing today and over the past 60 years or so? Bribery, murder, sabotage and blackmail are all staple parts of current U.S. foreign policy, not to mention deception. Wise up!

      July 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Reply
      • You

        You can leave if you want to.

        July 18, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • Jonathan es de la Marque

        All God needs to bless this country is for it to have sufficient righteous men..there are plenty of those here including myself 🙂 for our righteousness is in the blood of Jesus... perhaps now you might be able to see why we love him so.. 🙂

        July 19, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
  5. Joseph McCarthy

    Isolationism is a great idea whose time has not only come but is long overdue. Just look at what's going on in the Middle East today and as anyone with half a brain would know just how right I am!

    July 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Jonathan es de la Marque

      I disagree to some extent.. The USA should be available to help all it's friends 🙂

      July 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  6. sandstorm

    whats the different in the end islam will win you saw what islam did to norway in algeria slayed down 5 norweigans and beheaded them in the end everyone bows to Islam or they will be reduced to powder there bodys will be drowned in acid and alkalis till there is no more than carbon left.

    July 19, 2014 at 1:41 am | Reply
    • Jonathan es de la Marque

      The Christians conquered the roman empire in less than 300 years lol 🙂

      July 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Jonathan es de la Marque

      Christians did that without bloodshed 🙂

      July 19, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
      • Curtis

        Christians did their persecuting and bloodshed once they were in power.

        July 23, 2014 at 1:04 am |
    • Ahmed

      Sandstorm is either a troll or a false flag poster. Vast majority of muslims don't speak such vitriol.

      July 23, 2014 at 1:06 am | Reply
  7. just curious

    THE DENVER AIRPORT CONSPIRACY...... LETS TALK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT

    TAKE YOUR TIME GOOGLE IT YOU MAY NEED A GLASS OF WINE FOR IT.....

    NOW MY QUESTION IS....
    DOES ANYONE SEE THE WRITING ON THE WALL... AN IF YOU DON'T READ JUST LOOK AT THE MURALS AS YOU WALK THE AIRPORT IN PERSON OR VIRTUALLY .....

    ALMOST LIKE WHERE'S WOLDO?? CAN YOU FIND A RUSSIAN ROOT TO THIS MADNESS ....ISIS REABLES ISLAMIC GAZA PALESTINIAN BAGHDAD CRISIS?? AND MUCH MORE

    OR MAYBE MY QUESTION SHOULD BE " WHY IS THIS IN DENVER?????? ......

    JUST CURIOUS....

    July 19, 2014 at 8:42 am | Reply
  8. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    I TO SEE THE WRITING IN WALL AMERUCA WILL NOT DO ISOLATIONISM THEY NEVER LEARN IN WASHINTON. VERY BAD THERE THEY ROB TAXS MONEY AND SPEND IT.
    YES I HAVE TREATED SICK AMERICANS OBESE BAD ARTERIES AND DRINK AND EST MUCH TO MUCH NO MORE I GO BACK HOME SO KEEP SMOKING AND EATING DRINK YOUR HAPY HOUR AND GET GANGGREEN IN YOUR INTESTINES
    I TREAT AMERICAN IN 1998 HE DRANK WHISKY TO MUCH AND NO FOOD WELL HE GOT GABGREEN IN INTESTINES YOU AMERICANS DRINK TO MUCH AND YOU WILL BE PUNISHED NO HEAVEN FUR YOU

    July 19, 2014 at 8:59 am | Reply
  9. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    AND THEN THEY CALL ME TO EM BECUX FAT MAN IN STORE HE PASS OUT THEN HE WEIGH TO MUCH AND FALL IN KROGER THEN RUSHED HIM TO MY ER NO. I CANNOT SAVE HIME ARTERIES CLOGGED HEART BAD BP TO HIGH SO FAT YES HE DIE
    OK AMERICANS GO EAT BUFFET AND BY BY BEFOR YOU TURN ,,60 FAT PIGS ALL YOU GREEDY WAR MONGER AMERICANS

    July 19, 2014 at 9:05 am | Reply
  10. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    O YES MUCH MORE EASILY TO TREAT ASIAN MAN OR MEDITERIAN MAN BUT WESTERN MAN IS NOT EASY

    July 19, 2014 at 9:07 am | Reply
  11. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    AMERICA STAY OUT OF MIDDLE EAST
    AND DOBT COME BACK NO YOU ARE NOT NEEDEDD AND KEEP YOUR TIN SOLDERS

    July 19, 2014 at 9:10 am | Reply
  12. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    I CHARGE EXTRA TO TREET AMERICANS BECUSZ COMPLICASIONS ALWAYS ARISEN YOUR INSURANCE WILL PSY ME EVEN IF YOU DIE

    July 19, 2014 at 9:13 am | Reply
  13. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    NO MORE DRONES THEY HURT TO MANY GOOD PROPLE EVIL SMERICA BECSUSE WASHINGTON SEND THEM AND GET OFF YOUR BRAINS AND THINK GOD GAVE YOU ONE BRAIN TO USE IT

    July 19, 2014 at 9:18 am | Reply
  14. dr. abdu halakamir harper M.D. E.

    LAS VEGAS AND NEW YORK ARE MOST EVIL LANDS OF ALL SINS IN THE WORD
    YOU WILL BE PUNISHED BUT IF YOU REPENT ALLAH WILL SAVE YOU ASK ALLAH TO HELP YOU
    EAT FISH AND OLIVE OIL

    July 19, 2014 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • Jonathan es de la Marque

      MAN right now count them , every Muslim has gone to hell with very few exceptions...
      Jesus is the only way..muhammad is a false prophet .. both kristiann and muslim went to hell together in the 200 year old Crusades .. all wars are hell bound since jesus rose from the dead.. with very few exceptions. 🙂 lol

      July 19, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Jonathan es de la Marque

      Behold , I present to you the martyrs of Jesus Christ... these all served Jesus and did not shed blood, but were martyrs for near three hundred years , yet without an army or bloodshed they conquered the Roman Empire..THEIR RIGHTEOUS BLOOD CRIES OUT AGAINST EVERY BLOODLETTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD FROM THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS 🙂

      July 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  15. chri§§y

    Looks like the doctor forgot the first rule of physcian medcare! SELF MEDICATE and physician heal thy self!

    July 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  16. Helpfull viewer

    Lay off the caps locks folks. No one takes you seriously when every word is in capitals.

    July 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Jonathan es de la Marque

      DO YOU SPEAK FOR EVERYBODY ? 🙂

      July 19, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  17. Jerry Okamura

    It is not a black or while issue, but an issue that is made up of different shades of grey.

    July 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  18. Jonathan es de la Marque

    no it's light and darkness thingy 🙂
    between the children of light and the children of darkness 🙂 lol

    July 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  19. shuaib

    fareed 4 u America is the beacon bt 4 the rest of the world America is bloodthirsty war monger ,blind power who support brutal dictators frm Saudis to uae n war crimes of state of Israel

    July 19, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  20. chri§§y

    @ shuaib...you havent noticed that we no longer have a bloodthirsty prez at the helm??? The times are changing lets hope they continue on the uphill climb...although climbing from the pits of hell is no easy task.

    July 19, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  21. joedog46

    It has been reported that you have had on occasion advised Presidet Obama. If true, how can you then be objective on anything regarding the President?

    July 20, 2014 at 12:47 am | Reply
  22. Sir T. H. Huxley

    If your God and my God are different why do we look same ?
    Let say my God and your God have disagreement on something why earth does not shut down ( ie stop revolving) like we had our government shut down.

    July 20, 2014 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • Jeremy

      ummm pretty sure that's not how it works with monotheism...

      July 23, 2014 at 1:09 am | Reply
  23. Barry Black

    I'd like to see Fareed Zakaria do an exposee on the unusual wealth of the Fatah and Hamas officials-–it leads to proof that "Terrorism" is a lucrative business.

    July 20, 2014 at 8:54 am | Reply
  24. john smith

    do you believe this clown paul krugman?

    July 20, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
  25. Primero Moncada

    Why do you think Latin America in general, is one of West's enemies, considering this region is precisely a product of Western Civilization?. Just look at their religion and how this region is open to Gay Marriage or Abortion.

    July 20, 2014 at 11:08 am | Reply
  26. Joe

    Why are you still employed by CNN after having been caught plagiarizing your work several times??

    July 20, 2014 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Jeremy

      Because he's still better at his job than most others, including you...

      July 23, 2014 at 1:10 am | Reply
  27. john

    I try not to miss Fareed Zakaria , most of the time i find his positions professional and with credence but todays show and his rhetoric on Russia and the downed jet totally was out of character and a special thanks to Steven Cohen who took the time to bring Fareed back to his senses. Thank you for inviting Steven Cohen.

    July 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  28. Gary Michel

    Putin used the "glitter" and media play over the recent Moscow Winter Olympics to effectuate a massive decoy of world attention away from his eminent plans to move into Crimea and Ukraine. The next Soccer World Cup is set to be in Russia. The only appropriate lesson for Putin is for FIFA to strip Russia of the next Soccer World Cup Games and quickly place them in another country – perhaps Malaysia or the Netherlands.

    July 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  29. ray

    Hello mr zakaria .who are you trying to fool this a proper porpaganda against russia by us .so that they can put some prressure on russia ,to counter the pressure in the region, this whole aircraft is planted . Why wasnt any western airliner not engaged ? Because they care less about asian loss

    July 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
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