“[The United States has] a fateful tie to the Israelis from which we have, in contradistinction to the Israelis, everything to lose, and nothing to gain.” — George F. Kennan, Diaries, 25 April 1978.
“But as liberty consists only in being subject to no man’s will, and nothing denotes a slave but a dependence upon the will of another; if there be no other law in a kingdom than the will of a prince, there is no such thing as liberty.” — Algernon Sydney, 1698 (1)
“But we in this country have a right to think of the welfare of America first…. The time has come when those of us who believe in an independent American destiny must band together and organize for strength. We have been led toward war by a minority of our people. This minority has power. It has influence. It has a loud voice. But it does not represent the American people.” — Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, 23 April 1941
The media’s frenzy over the Sunni mujahideen advance toward Baghdad is a stark reminder to all Americans of the dire costs exacted from them by the U.S. government’s unnecessary interventions in the affairs of other countries and peoples. Today’s stories from Iraq underline the total waste flowing from the 2003 U.S. intervention in Iraq, the costs of which exceed $1 trillion, 5,000 dead U.S. service personnel, many more thousands of soldiers and Marines wounded and maimed, and an unending and apparently un-endable war with the Muslim world.
In looking at the trade President Obama made of five senior Taliban political, intelligence, and military officials for the return of a U.S. Army deserter, Sgt. Bergdahl, one is struck most forcefully, I think, by Obama and his lieutenants’ uncaring attitude toward U.S. national security.
Memorial Day was originally intended as the day Americans would remember and honor the 620,000 men and boys who died in the four years of our Civil War. It now rightly stands as a day when we recall those men and women who have died in all America’s wars. Local groups decorate veterans’ graves with flags and flowers; special religious services of all faiths are conducted; towns hold parades and community picnics; and Arlington Cemetery hosts those who come to visit the graves of fallen family members, and others who come to honor those they never met but to whom they owe much. It is a day on which we should all pay a quiet, honest, and thoughtful respect to our veterans.
The vitriol with which Democrats are denouncing the ongoing investigation of al-Qaeda’s lethal attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi comes from a motivation much deeper than that single event. By pulling on the Benghazi string the Republicans will find an enormous foreign policy failure and a governmental lie of nearly epic proportions — both of which they also are fully responsible for. It will be interesting to see if the newly formed House select committee will shine a light bright enough to reveal to everyday Americans how thoroughly they have been lied to and endangered by the falsehoods fed to them since 1995 by both parties and three presidents.
Once again Americans are watching their government involve itself in an issue in which the United States has nothing at stake economically and no genuine national security interest at risk. Ukraine is a place that is worth neither a single American dollar nor more than a brief scan of the headlines by U.S. citizens. And yet Obama and his fellow European interveners and democracy mongers are conducting themselves in a bellicose manner that could lead to some kind of military conflict in Eastern Europe. Indeed, they already are conducting warfare against Russia via economic sanctions, a punitive exercise they promise to make more severe in the next few weeks.
Last week, Real Clear Politics quoted Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) saying that “[Mr.] Cliven Bundy doesn’t believe that the American government is legitimate.” Mr. Bundy’s largely accurate belief apparently came as a shock to Senator Reid.
Among the most striking aspects of the current debate over U.S. foreign policy is the almost complete lack of perception among Americans about their country’s actual economic and military capabilities and its international influence. Whether it is Ukraine and Russia, the intensifying Islamist offensive on several continents, or the blatantly Potemkin Middle East peace talks, U.S. political leaders, academics, pundits, and most of the media speak as if today’s America is the America of 1945, 1984, or 1991, times when the United States was a nation of almost unlimited military and economic power and telling international influence.