Sometimes the best thing is to do nothing

Critics of America’s interference in other countries by invading, bombing, and killing, and fomenting coups that overthrow their governments and create general chaos are often asked what the US should do instead. The US government always says that it is doing whatever it does for humanitarian reasons but history has shown that that is merely the excuse given to make the interference palatable to the public.

Jon Stewart asks Egyptian satirist Bassem Yousef just this question about what the US should do in the Middle East and gets some frank advice – don’t do anything, just leave us alone. But of course, given that the US has been so deeply involved in the region for so long and interfering in its internal affairs, creating a mess and then leaving it behind does not sound like a good policy either.

(This clip aired on February 9, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. says

    “Don’t pick at it.”

    Seriously -- most of the middle east’s problems are caused by the US, expanding on British imperial policy. It is a fact that there would be more democracies in the middle east if the US stopped overthrowing them. I always get a wave of nausea when some statist starts talking about how the US is there to help. No, if the US fucked off, that would help.

  2. Acolyte of Sagan says

    The usual spiel is that their presence is necessary to ‘protect U.S. interests’, which usually means U.S. corporate interests.

  3. bmiller says

    We are (rightfully) worried about the theocratic movements in the Middle East. One problem is our own Theocracy, the State Religion if you will, Mammonsim, demands we continuopusly evangelize for the glories of THE FREE MARKET (pbin).

    How many people did the US kill in Iraq alone?

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