I am alarmed by the large number of my fellow students who say that America should keep to itself and out of world affairs ["A push for staying longer," News, Oct. 1]. Some say that we should be completely isolationist.

At my high school, I've heard this at debate club and in my ethics class. Let's look at times when America didn't lead in the world: 6 million Jews died in Nazi concentration camps, Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Americans were taken hostage and held for more than a year in Iran, 800,000 Rwandans were killed in 100 days, and 8,000 Bosnians were killed in the bloody genocidal regime of Slobodan Milosevic. Now the Islamic State group, ISIS, has formed as a result of reduced U.S. military presence in Iraq.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Some students claim that America is too aggressive and arrogant, and that has caused more harm than good. Most of their evidence is based on the Iraq War. Though this may be somewhat true, millions have died when we haven't taken a leadership role. That's not being an arrogant American, that's the truth.

If America doesn't lead, the world will fall apart -- pretty much as it is now under President Barack Obama's "lead from behind" foreign policy.

Justin McGowan, Massapequa Park