At the Cato Institute, Doug Bandow explains the role of what he calls “the infamous Blob, the Washington foreign policy establishment,” which wants to run the world.
The US fomented civil wars in Libya and Syria which also killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of people. And Washington continues to back Saudi and Emirati aggression in Yemen which, too, has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of civilians. Rather like its position on democracy, the US is against the killing of civilians except when it is not. Which is often. And Washington is ever ready to finance and arm those doing such killing.
American policy mostly reflects the determination of the infamous Blob, the Washington foreign policy establishment, to run the world, no matter the cost to others. The US always has believed in spheres of influence, starting with the Monroe Doctrine. After the collapse of the Soviet Union American policymakers decided to make the entire world their sphere of influence. They claimed the right to dominate every region on earth, even up to the border of Russia.
Hence the many broken promises about expanding NATO. To be sure, there was no formal, written agreement, but had one existed Washington likely would have felt no compunction about breaking it. Yet the US would never have tolerated comparable Soviet, Russian, or Chinese encroachments in the Western hemisphere. Imagine the hysteria that would have swept Washington if Moscow had sought to expand the Warsaw Pact to Mexico or Canada. The War Party would have been running wild, issuing imprecations and threats. No one would have been affirming the right of America’s neighbors to decide their own futures.
Of course, this still doesn’t justify Russia’s invasion. However, the unspoken reality offers another good reason for America to stay out of the fight. And that means avoiding becoming a de facto combatant, which could easily escalate into full‐scale conflict and potential nuclear war.
Some ivory tower warriors insist that Washington not hold off out of fear. Heck, that strategy worked so well in Iraq! Announce that we are virtue personified, plan a glorious cakewalk, pay little attention to the resulting carnage, and conclude by wrecking a nation, ravaging its people, and destabilizing its region. Repeat when the zeitgeist strikes.
So why worry about the consequences of getting into a war with Russia? Who cares about piling pressure on Moscow to turn to tactical nuclear weapons to make up for its conventional deficiencies? So what if escalation could lead increasing destruction and a truly catastrophic denouement? After all, we are the good guys, which means we never have to say we are sorry.
In fact, Washington’s most important obligation today is to not intervene militarily, whether with ground or air forces, in the current fighting. It would be a real war, not the initial walkovers of Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite Moscow’s botched invasion, mostly the result of unrealistic political assumptions, the Russian military is competent and well‐equipped. And absent a lengthy and substantial military buildup, that force would retain local superiority. American intervention would turn the conflict into one of national survival for Moscow. Which is prepared to employ battlefield nuclear weapons if necessary to counteract America’s conventional superiority.
Intervening also would demonstrate how alone Washington is. European leaders might be waking up to the importance of doing more militarily, but who imagines that their publics would back sending their undersized armed forces against Russia? For nearly eight decades most Europeans have believed their security was America’s responsibility. If anything, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reinforced that presumption. It would be the US alone against Moscow.
Although most Blob members say they are against going to war with Russia, there are a few at the far loony edge who support intervening, such as Sen. Roger Wicker, who would use nuclear weapons. Do his constituents realize that he is prepared for Russia to incinerate them, along with their families, communities, and country to aid Ukraine? And for what other countries is he willing to sacrifice their lives? Someone should remind him that he took an oath to the United States Constitution.
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