David Frum took Senator Lee to task over his refusal to back the war in Ukraine – stating that failure to back the Administration when its helping a NATO effort is tantamount to backing Russia. So it has been in our foreign affairs since WWI – failure to enthusiastically back Administration foreign and war policy is treason.
To my shame, I used to sign on to this. I am glad I’m past it now.
To be sure, there is such a thing as treason – we define it directly in our Constitution. One of the few definitions of crime in it.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. – Article III, section 3
Now, you can make an argument that refusing to condemn Russia over Ukraine is some sort of adherence to our enemies, but I do believe that stretches it far beyond the breaking point. Adhering to our enemies in the Founder’s minds would have been what Benedict Arnold did: taking an officer’s commission in the Royal Army to fight against us. It is true that after the Revolution many Loyalists were mistreated and forced to flee the new nation – and good riddance to them. As Samuel Adams put it, I hope their chains sat lightly upon them and we have very much forgotten they were ever our countrymen. But nothing was done with that very large segment of the population which was neither Patriot nor Loyalist. The bottom line is that a great number of Americans didn’t care one way or the other about the outcome of the war. And after the war, they simply became citizens along with the Patriots and proceeded to play their role as citizens in the formation of our Republic. Given this, I don’t think that anyone refusing to back Ukraine can in any reasonable definition be considered a traitor.
But that is what the Frums of the world consider them to be. They are so committed to the global order that they cannot allow any dissenting view from it. We must be involved. Isolationism must be wrong. And so on like that. It is very useful for them to take such a line as it excuses them from having to argue in favor of the war or the policy. It allows them to merely slander those who disagree with it.
The only war we’ve had since the Civil War which wasn’t a war of choice was the war against Japan. One can argue that various policies of the USA provoked Japan into attacking and I will agree…but the choice still lay with Japan. They did commit the overt act against a Power which was not in any way threatening offensive military action against Japan. But other than that war, everything has been a choice. Sure, a lesser argument can be made that the war against Hitler’s Germany also wasn’t a choice as Hitler declared war on us. But our sending by far the largest part of our military force to Europe was a choice. We didn’t have to do it. Backed by American aid, the Anglo-Russian combine in Europe could never be defeated by Germany. Open question whether this combine absent an American Army and Air Force could have beat down the Germans as was in fact done…but the bottom line is that we didn’t have to be there. And neither have we had to be anywhere else.
But everywhere else we have been, right? And now think about it: in each case the justification for action was Hitler. Because Hitler managed to get rolling against people who didn’t want to put up a fight it became necessary for us to put up a fight for everyone else, forever. And by one means or another (though lately explicitly) each enemy we’re told to go fight is another Hitler who, if not stopped right now and by us, will grow to a Hitlerian threat to the world. It is really rather crude – indeed, cartoonish – propaganda once you see through it, but it has worked very well. And so they keep doing it – and now Senator Lee is a Hitler-appeasing traitor…for not wanting an open-ended commitment to Ukraine’s government (which is getting to be m ore unsavory in action all the time).
It is good to point out that it was only in hindsight that Hitler had to be stopped regardless of cost. Anyone telling you that the leaders of the world knew what Hitler was up to in the death camps is lying or misinformed. Sure, plenty of word did get out but it was like all other word out of an occupied territory…you couldn’t be sure. It was only when the camps were opened that we knew for certain what was happening…and everyone was shocked because nobody, not even the strongest opponents of Hitlerism, thought that an advanced people like the Germans could really round up men, women and children and exterminate them. So, it was good that we got deep into Europe. Had we not, many more millions of innocents would have died. But that was happenstance. It wasn’t intended. We didn’t invade Europe to shut down Auschwitz; it was shut down as a merciful byproduct of the main desire. But this hindsight is now transformed into foresight for the globalist propagandists and everyone they hate has to be Hitler and we all have to jump aboard or we’re allowing another Holocaust to occur.
Hitler was a unique thing. What he did and how he was able to accomplish it will never be repeated. This is not to say that we won’t come across people willing to murder millions. Heck, some of our own leaders are willing to murder millions to appease the weather god. But there won’t ever again be a racial supremacist like Hitler determined to conquer territory for his people and exterminate a group identified as the sole enemy of humanity. It just won’t happen again. Putin not only isn’t a Hitler, he can’t be a Hitler. He might be twenty different versions of SOB, but he’s not an existential threat to Europe or the world. He’s a problem. But is he our problem?
I say, no. Europe is collectively far more powerful than Russia. Just between Poland, Germany, France and Britain a military, naval and air force can be raised sufficient to make Russia back down. And with France and Britain having nuclear weapons, there’s a complete stand off on that level. I can see why Poland doesn’t want the Russian Bear to take Ukraine and once again hold land bordering a Poland which for centuries has been seen by Russia as a sort of redoubt to be held by Russia against Europe. But this tells me the Poles better build a first rate military force and make alliance with Germany and, also, Romania and Hungary who also don’t want a Russian army camped on their borders. And if the Poles or the Europeans in general don’t do this?
Well, how does that become an American problem? People who won’t defend themselves are to be defended by us? For what purpose? If the Poles don’t want to work to keep the Russkies away, why should a kid from Ohio have to do it?
And why is it our problem if the Syrians are having a civil war? Did the Syrians intervene in ours? Sudan descends into chaos. Why is that our problem? I can see keeping foreigners out of the Americas, but what interest do I as an American have in African, European and Asian affairs?
Oh, you can talk me into having an interest. But this would require truly reciprocal alliances and allies who maintain powerful military forces. I don’t think I should have to send an American army to defend Poland unless, say, a Polish army is pledged to come to east Asia to help us fight the Chinese. And that Polish army better be first rate. Well trained. Best possible equipment. Ready at a moment’s notice to fight. See where I’m going? It isn’t an alliance if I’ve got an unlimited obligation to my ally and he has no obligation to me. If he’s allowed to be slack in preparedness and doesn’t have to bleed with us when we’re attacked, then it isn’t an alliance. That is a client relationship – and if Poland is our client, fine. They can pay us 3% of their GDP every year. Same as everyone else in the NATO “alliance”. We’re the first global empire to be the sugar-daddy and its just stupid.
I want us to stop this. To give up the Wilsonian demand that the world be made safe for Democracy. I don’t care what the world is: I only care what America is. And I don’t like being called a traitor – with all that implies – because I don’t want Americans to bleed for the Donbas. We’ve poisoned ourselves with alliances. It is time to bring them to an end. The war is over. Come on home, America. Let the foreigners fight. Advise them carefully that attacking us is suicidal, but leave them alone. It isn’t our world.
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