In an interview with FOX’s Bill O’Reilly on 5 February 2017, President Trump botched an exemplary opportunity to strike a major blow in favor of a durable America First foreign policy. But more such chances are sure to appear, and the President ought to be ready next time out.
In their conversation, O’Reilly referred to Russian President Putin as a thug and a killer. President Trump hit a home run with a pitch-perfect response, telling O’Reilly, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” (1) With this question, the president hit the factual core, but then lost track of his non-interventionist music and wandered into needlessly worrying about the number of foreign civilians that have been killed by U.S. forces in the conduct of the unnecessary, interventionist wars their commanders-in-chief start. Lots of civilians get killed in wars, and, though that is tough to stomach, it is tremendously more important to fight and win wars with the greatest possible speed, no matter what the toll on the civilians who are either supporting or, regrettably, living near the enemy requiring annihilation. Indeed, there are times when targeting civilian populations or facilities — like Mosul University, where IS built chemical weapons — could add speed to a war-winning campaign.
President Trump would have been on much firmer and more truthful ground if he had said that, since 1945, U.S. and European politicians, their yes-men generals, their reliable liars in the media, and the UN and other multinational organizations have killed far more civilians through their unstinting democracy crusading abroad, than has the U.S. military in its politically and international-law hamstrung, and so always losing, war-making.
To put it plainly, the post-World War II addiction of the bipartisan U.S. governing elite to spreading the abstraction of democracy by military force has killed far more people than those killed by their militaries in the one or two necessary wars they fought since V-J Day. Indeed, wars for forcibly imposing the West’s abstract ideas and secular (sordid?) values on foreigners probably have killed nearly as many civilians as have post-1945 natural disasters. As a top foreign-policy agenda item, history has irrefutably proven that the forced spread of democracy is pretty much the recipe for results akin to genocide.
Neither the president nor Mr. O’Reilly seemed clear on the point that the United States should never, ever fight a war for abstractions, like freedom, liberty, human rights, women’s rights, abortion rights, indigenous rights, or any other right that happens to be invented in the future by the human-rights mafia. How many more instances of failure and wasteful blood-letting do Americans need to see before recognizing that their governing elite and its elite buddies in Europe are simply murderers every time they either use their own militaries to try to impose democracy on foreigners, or when they support indigenous organizations that cynically spout the words democracy and freedom because they know that once the U.S. and European leaders hear those magic words, Western guns and money will flow in to help them start a war in which they want power, not freedom. Americans too often forget that the only universal principle is the desire for power, not for freedom.
If I can be so bold, even Mr. O’Reilly falls into the “killer” category in the foregoing sense. Years ago, I appeared with some regularity on the Factor — and was always well treated — and on one occasion I argued that the U.S. government ought not to be involved in Darfur and South Sudan because they were sinkholes of irrelevancy for the United States, and that each would swallow many billions of U.S. dollars and, in the end, would make no difference but a negative one by setting the stage for more war and further deepening the republic’s debt. I also added that only an adolescent-run national government — a more than apt description of the Bush and Obama administrations — would allow itself to be pushed into pro-democracy intervention in Darfur and South Sudan by a gaggle of terminally juvenile Hollywood “stars” who are, at best, moronic leftists — like George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, etc.— and, on average, just plainly addled people whose only skill is reading words other, smarter people write for them.
On that occasion, Mr. O’Reilly supported unnecessary and self-defeating U.S. political, financial, political, military interventionism — which included tearing off the oil-rich half of Muslim Sudan and giving it to gangster-led Christians — under the guise of a humanitarian operation. In other words, while he did not pull any triggers, he supported those who wanted U.S.-Western intervention so they could take power, and so played a bit role as what might be called a “killer-abettor” in the carnage that has gone on in both places in the name of forcibly imposing those always murderous abstractions, freedom, liberty, and human rights.
The usually amiable Mr. O’Reilly, like so many other Americans, becomes little more than one of Pavlov’s dogs on this issue — maybe Woodrow Wilson’s dogs would be more accurate — savage, snarling pups who jump to demand or support interventionist actions that kill Americans serving the republic overseas — mostly military personnel — and foreigners in the name of imposing glorious freedom, liberty, and democracy on them. There is not much funny in this kind of murderous and predictably war-causing behavior, save for the hilarity extant in the enduring, baseless, and rock-hard refusal of the U.S. governing elite to see that the foreigners on which it aims to impose secular democracy via the bayonet, generally, (a) do not want it and will fight it, and/or (b) are not competent enough to handle freedom without turning it into license, much like most Democrats.
So Mr. O’Reilly and the rest of the media, no matter on which political side they reside, ought to realize that there is murder, and then there is murder. Has Putin killed his opponents when they became a threat to his power or Russia’s interests, probably, but so what? It is none of America’s business unless he kills Americans. Naturally, Mr. O’Reilly and the rest of the media do not seem to have much trouble with Putin-like actions that originate from the Neocons’ buddies in Tel Aviv or our imagined “Muslim allies” in Cairo, Riyadh, North Africa, Yemen, Iraq, etc., etc., etc.
In sum, the greatest mass murderers over the past 20 years have not been Putin, Osama bin Laden, or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but, rather, they have been those U.S. and European politicians and their public- and private-sector advisers — supported by the media, the academy, and the churches — who have started or supported interventionist wars in the name of unobtainable abstractions. Recent instances of this lethal phenomena are legion. Among them:
- Mrs. Clinton’s State Department’s fomenting of anti-government activities and violence in Russia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Ukraine.
- The Bush/Cheney wars for spreading democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan and, from there, across the Islamic world.
- The Bill Clinton-G.H.W. Bush no-intention-of-winning military intervention in Somalia, a war that is still ongoing.
- Obama’s re-interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and his fun for death-loving Democrats, but strategically feckless drone attacks.
- The Bill Clinton-EU-UN military intervention in the Balkans, which stopped the war there from burning out and so allowed all sides to patiently rearm and otherwise prepare for the war that will start when NATO leaves.
- The Obama-Clinton-EU-UN-McCain-Graham-led-or-caused wars that destroyed Ukraine, Syria, and Libya.
Now, if Putin killed a person or three once a day for the rest of his life, and his descendants took over that duty after his death, they would never total a number of killed “innocents” that is even remotely equal to the murders accumulated since 1945 by U.S. and EU democracy crusaders though interventionist wars and economic sanctions. When next the opportunity arises for President Trump to address the issue raised by Mr. O’Reilly, he should calmly, clearly, and truthfully say that since Woodrow Wilson launched the deeply anti-war and non-interventionist United States into a century of unending war in 1917, the only murderers who have more notches on their belts for murdered innocents than the elite U.S. and European democracy-spreaders are Stalin, Mao, and American abortionists.