Honoring Biblical syntax, the wages of isolationism is defeat: defeat on the battlefields and on the seas, of allies ill-supported or abandoned, of free markets and prosperity, of the pre-eminence of the individual, and, not impossibly, of the American experiment itself.

The world has never long been free of impassioned aggressors. The lust for conquest common to Greece, Persia, Rome, the Mongols, Arabs, Ottomans, and European empires, the Third Reich, Japan, and the Soviet Union has not disappeared but, skipping from host to host, remains a constant of history.

Now there is China—immensely powerful economically and if trends continue soon to surpass the United States in armaments. And Russia—inferior except in nuclear weapons, promiscuous nuclear doctrines, and the talent of unbridled dictators to seize the initiative. China and Russia have in their protégés North Korea and Iran—nuclear and likely-to-be-nuclear crazy states, respectively—mechanisms, similar to a fire poker, that allow the patrons to operate in the flames without being burnt.

They are all determined to conquer and rule—China with its suffocating, conformist ideology in which the individual is but an inert brick in a sick dream of static order; Russia, almost as revanchist as Germany after the First World War; North Korea, delusional, paranoid, and aggrieved; and Iran, declaring

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