No US Troops in Ukraine, Thank You Very Much

 

If you’ve listened to today’s flagship podcast, you know it got a bit spicy. (If you haven’t yet listened, you’re in for a treat.) To briefly recap, co-host @jameslileks noted his support for Ukraine. Our guest considered his support insufficient because he does not want the U.S. military sent into the war zone.

This critique struck many Ricochetti as odd since the public agrees with James by a large margin. A recent Reuters poll showed that only 26 percent want troops tromping about the Transdnieper. The guest said, no problem, because public opinion is “malleable” (shudder). After the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention general governmental incompetence over two decades, I suspect we are less malleable than expected.

The days of massive American intervention are gone, at least for quite a while. I prefer a foreign policy that’s more John Quincy Adams than Woodrow Wilson, especially considering all the messes on the homefront.

In an 1823 letter to our Minister in Madrid, Hugh Nelson, JQA wrote:

It has been the policy of these United States from the time when their independence was achieved to hold themselves aloof from the political system and contentions of Europe… The first and paramount duty of the government is to maintain peace amidst the convulsions of foreign wars and to enter the lists as parties to no cause, other than our own.

Just so. The exigencies of the Cold War drastically changed this attitude, but it is long past time we return to its wisdom.

In his Independence Day address of 1821, Adams more completely laid out his foreign policy vision [emphases mine]:

America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own.

She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama [field of blood], the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right.

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet on her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world; she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit….

Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.

America was founded as a nation that minded its own business. The sooner we return to that vision, the safer we, and the world, will be. This is not “isolationism,” but common sense. We elect leaders to enact our will and protect our nation; it is other nations’ duty to do the same. If an enemy attacks us, we unleash hell upon them; that doesn’t mean we can police the world. We refuse even to police our own borders.

George Washington foreshadowed J. Q. Adams’ foreign policy. In his farewell address, our first president said:

Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct. And can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it?

…In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur…. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests.

So, likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.

… it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country without odium, sometimes even with popularity, gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

…Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.

They might even demand you place a Ukraine flag emoji on your social media profile. Washington continues…

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it…

Wherever it is possible, bring our troops home. As long as we are not attacked, keep them here. Our military was founded to protect America, not any other nation, no matter how noble their fight may be.

Fair warning: I am not very malleable when body bags are advocated.

Published in Foreign Policy, Military
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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Scary listen.

    • #1
  2. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    What stunned me – among other things – was the idea that sending troops was actually already popular. IIRC, my assertion that most people don’t want that was met with incredulity, as if I was living in a bubble, and had missed all the parades and rallies. 

    • #2
  3. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    I was struck by her logitarian approach — rabbit-holing some ridiculous gotcha grammar point while ignoring large swaths of relevant fact, such as Germany’s energy predicament as a result of years of German policy, and the utter lack of any reason to trust this administration (or any, really) with making war in the wake of 20 years in Afghanistan for less than nothing in return.

    @jameslileks smoked her.  Smoked her and stubbed the butt on his shoe.

    • #3
  4. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What stunned me – among other things – was the idea that sending troops was actually already popular. IIRC, my assertion that most people don’t want that was met with incredulity, as if I was living in a bubble, and had missed all the parades and rallies.

    If she thinks that’s reality, it’s because that’s what people think in HER bubble.

    • #4
  5. GlenEisenhardt Coolidge
    GlenEisenhardt
    @GlenEisenhardt

    No US dollars either. Americans don’t spend their days working hard to fund the needs of the world. 

    • #5
  6. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    No US dollars either. Americans don’t spend their days working hard to fund the needs of the world.

    Thank you Glen.

    • #6
  7. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    No US dollars either. Americans don’t spend their days working hard to fund the needs of the world.

    Thank you Glen.

    That was the one issue on which @jameslileks and Peter Robinson and Kori Schake appeared to agree.  Provide military aid to Ukraine.  We provide the weapons and training; the Ukrainians provide the soldiers.

    • #7
  8. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Scary how these people think tanks view the US citizens – all we need is a little propaganda and we will send troops 

    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Listened to the podcast.

    Good propaganda job.

    I am even less interested in supporting Ukriane

    Back when this started, I predicted that some supporters would call for troops. Here we are.

     

    • #9
  10. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What stunned me – among other things – was the idea that sending troops was actually already popular. IIRC, my assertion that most people don’t want that was met with incredulity, as if I was living in a bubble, and had missed all the parades and rallies.

    If I remember correctly, Kori Schake mentioned a poll where about 70 percent of Germans said that they would be willing to pay higher energy prices if that was the price they had to pay for supporting Ukraine against Putin and Schake mentioned the most shocking part of that poll: that among Green party members the percentage was in the 90s.  Maybe that’s because German Greenies like higher energy prices in peacetime and in war time?

    During that discussion, there wasn’t enough attention paid to the fact that the Ukrainians seem to be beating the pants off of Putin’s corrupt military without American boots on the ground.  Maybe we should just stick with what works.

    • #10
  11. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Perhaps there are some units that are ready to go. But the US military as a whole is in no condition to fight.  The troops are taught that white racist terrorists within the ranks are the greatest threat.  The academies invest significant effort retraining the cadets on the “proper pronouns.” The top brass are redoubling their efforts to impose a LGBTQ+ affirming culture on those serve in uniform.   

    • #11
  12. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Perhaps there are some units that are ready to go. But the US military as a whole is in no condition to fight. The troops are taught that white racist terrorists within the ranks are the greatest threat. The academies invest significant effort retraining the cadets on the “proper pronouns.” The top brass are redoubling their efforts to impose a LGBTQ+ affirming culture on those serve in uniform.

    I think the current “division of labor,” Ukrainian soldiers + US and European weapons/training/intelligence, is having lots of success.  

    Maybe when the Americans provide training to Ukrainian solders they don’t spend a lot of time on the LGBTQ+ stuff?

    • #12
  13. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    This critique struck many Ricochetti as odd since the public agrees with James by a large margin. A recent Reuters poll showed that only 26 percent want troops tromping about the Transdnieper. The guest said, no problem, because public opinion is “malleable” (shudder).

    I think she is right.  If I recall, something like 90% of Americans did not want to enter World War II, and a far smaller number than 26% wanted to send our troops to Europe.   That is more isolationist than today.  After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a total reversal of opinion.  As long as Russia does nothing to us, the sentiment to not get involved will hold.  As soon as we get hit with something serious, or even if Russia suddenly does something serious (like drop a nuke), I have no doubt that public opinion will turn on a dime.

    After the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention general governmental incompetence over two decades, I suspect we are less malleable than expected.

    That might be, but look how eager most of the public was to send help to Ukraine without a second thought.

     

    • #13
  14. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    The Russians might like having us involved, if it means they get to keep all of the equipment we leave when we flee in disgrace.

    (Not a knock on our soldiers, just the leadership and DC.)

    • #14
  15. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    This critique struck many Ricochetti as odd since the public agrees with James by a large margin. A recent Reuters poll showed that only 26 percent want troops tromping about the Transdnieper. The guest said, no problem, because public opinion is “malleable” (shudder).

    I think she is right. If I recall, something like 90% of Americans did not want to enter World War II, and a far smaller number than 26% wanted to send our troops to Europe. That is more isolationist than today. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a total reversal of opinion. As long as Russia does nothing to us, the sentiment to not get involved will hold. As soon as we get hit with something serious, or even if Russia suddenly does something serious (like drop a nuke), I have no doubt that public opinion will turn on a dime.

    After the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention general governmental incompetence over two decades, I suspect we are less malleable than expected.

    That might be, but look how eager most of the public was to send help to Ukraine without a second thought.

    Obama was elected in part due to a feeling like we needed to stop getting involved in foreign conflicts.  But once ISIS began conquering territory, killing people, making videos of these killings and acquiring Yazidi sex slaves, American public opinion turned quickly.  Obama and later Trump did end up using American military power in Iraq once again.  

    • #15
  16. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Steven Seward (View Comment):
    I think she is right.  If I recall, something like 90% of Americans did not want to enter World War II, and a far smaller number than 26% wanted to send our troops to Europe.   That is more isolationist than today.  After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a total reversal of opinion.  As long as Russia does nothing to us, the sentiment to not get involved will hold.  As soon as we get hit with something serious, or even if Russia suddenly does something serious (like drop a nuke), I have no doubt that public opinion will turn on a dime.

    I think Pearl Harbor is a very different thing than what the unelected think-tank lady was talking about. I took her to mean that public opinion can easily be shaped by propaganda and gaslighting. PH was an actual attack on the U.S.

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Just to say this first before I say anything else: I agree with the OP and others here that I do not want to send Americans into this conflict. And I did not listen to the podcast.

    But how did we get here? We need a new and revised overarching foreign policy and philosophy. Obviously, we have reached a point where simply tinkering with our existing policies is no longer working. Our current agreements with other countries and our understandings are not in line with the thoughts and desires of the American people. I don’t think they ever were, looking at the Vietnam War, for starters.

    Convincing Ukraine to surrender their nuclear weapons is what got the world into this ridiculous situation. The world had no right to ask them to do that. How I loathe Bill Clinton for his role in this current bloodbath in Ukraine:

    Presidents after signing the Trilateral Statement, Moscow, 1994.png

    By U.S. government employee, photo from William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

    With Courage and Persistence: Eliminating and Securing Weapons of Mass Destruction with the Nunn-Luger Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs; Joseph P. Harahan, Historian of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, DoD Original photo caption in source. U.S. President Clinton, Russian President Yeltsin, and Ukrainian President Kravchuk sign the Trilateral Agreement in Moscow, January 1994. Public Domain.

    There’s a lot of blame to go around in this situation. Why, for example, did the Republicans in Washington at that time not follow President Clinton wherever he went to make sure he did not do this sort of thing? They knew he was irresponsible. The Budapest agreement should have been converted to a formal treaty to be submitted to the Senate for ratification. If it was turned down at that point by the American people, the original agreement signed as seen in this picture should have been torn up and Ukraine should have been encouraged to provide for its own defense.

    Today, every little country is watching the helplessness of the world in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We have gone back in time to being a might-makes-right world. And we now have a Second Amendment problem throughout the nuclear-armed, Super Power-dominated world: when seconds count, the Super Powers are only minutes away. Every small country now wants their own nuclear gun, and I don’t blame them one bit. No country has the right to invade mine.

    The three Super Powers–China, Russia, and the United States–have failed to provide decent leadership. The result will be death and destruction.

    As I’ve watched the anti-war movement throughout my lifetime, I have always wished they would apply as much work and passion to our foreign policy as they do to the military’s work. It would have been great to have seen some demonstrations for or against the SALT treaties, for example. That’s the time to get to work, when we are hammering out agreements with other countries.

    • #17
  18. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What stunned me – among other things – was the idea that sending troops was actually already popular. IIRC, my assertion that most people don’t want that was met with incredulity, as if I was living in a bubble, and had missed all the parades and rallies.

    Waashington is very cut off from the rest of the world.  Its why they are making very dumb and damaging moves that are going to get a lot of Americans killed.

    • #18
  19. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    No US dollars either. Americans don’t spend their days working hard to fund the needs of the world.

    Oh well the Petrodollar is going to be gone in 2 years, so thats really going to screw them over.

    • #19
  20. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    No US dollars either. Americans don’t spend their days working hard to fund the needs of the world.

    Thank you Glen.

    That was the one issue on which @ jameslileks and Peter Robinson and Kori Schake appeared to agree. Provide military aid to Ukraine. We provide the weapons and training; the Ukrainians provide the soldiers.

    They wont be having many of those left soon enough.  They are drafting women now.

    • #20
  21. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):
    Perhaps there are some units that are ready to go. But the US military as a whole is in no condition to fight. 

    The US Military did just lose a war to the Taliban. So it would be interesting to see them fight a war against another global power that lost a war to the Taliban. It would be like one of those late-season NFL games between two teams who have no chance of making the playoffs.

    • #21
  22. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What stunned me – among other things – was the idea that sending troops was actually already popular. IIRC, my assertion that most people don’t want that was met with incredulity, as if I was living in a bubble, and had missed all the parades and rallies.

    If I remember correctly, Kori Schake mentioned a poll where about 70 percent of Germans said that they would be willing to pay higher energy prices if that was the price they had to pay for supporting Ukraine against Putin and Schake mentioned the most shocking part of that poll: that among Green party members the percentage was in the 90s. Maybe that’s because German Greenies like higher energy prices in peacetime and in war time?

    During that discussion, there wasn’t enough attention paid to the fact that the Ukrainians seem to be beating the pants off of Putin’s corrupt military without American boots on the ground. Maybe we should just stick with what works.

    Your buying the propaganda is pretty good.  Btw I have great oceanfront property in Iowa to sell you.

    If Ukraine is winning so well against Russia’s army, why did Russia just annex 20 percent of the Ukrainian countryside last week?

    • #22
  23. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Perhaps there are some units that are ready to go. But the US military as a whole is in no condition to fight. The troops are taught that white racist terrorists within the ranks are the greatest threat. The academies invest significant effort retraining the cadets on the “proper pronouns.” The top brass are redoubling their efforts to impose a LGBTQ+ affirming culture on those serve in uniform.

    This year the USA failed to meet its recruitment needs by ten thousand soldiers.  And thats after massively reducing recruiting standards.  

    • #23
  24. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Thirty years ago, I was on a curriculum committee for our school district. We were in the midst of a lively discussion when I asked the principal if we actually had a written-down district-level curriculum. He said, “Yeah, we have one.” He got it down from on top of an old filing cabinet, and he had to blow the dust off of it. :-) He admitted we weren’t using it very much and that it was woefully out of date. 

    In 2016 when Donald Trump began his run for office, he talked a lot about the NAFTA agreements, how bad they were originally and how much more complicated and useless they had become as they had been expanded over the years. He talked about the need to review them and their many amendments. I read somewhere during his term that his administration actually did do that–cleaned them up with an eye toward making them (a) more user friendly and (b) more U.S. friendly.  

    It’s the same thing with all of our foreign policies. If we survive the current crisis, we need to take the lead for the world in hammering out goals for managing the existing global arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. And the public has to be involved in that process. 

    When we embarked on education reform in the 1990s in Massachusetts, an effort that proved to be extremely successful, the state’s department of education began with soliciting the opinions of Massachusetts residents. It was an opinion-gathering phase that lasted two years. Our country needs to do this on matters of foreign policy–find out what the American mind is on all foreign policies. And it would be doable with the Internet to help with communication.  

    • #24
  25. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):
    t. I took her to mean that public opinion can easily be shaped by propaganda and gaslighting.

    You mean like convincing the public that a moderate respiratory virus was literally equivalent to the Black Plague and we had to destroy the economy to fight it and treat those who questioned the state’s response as pariahs, but that a piece of paper over your mouth would protect you, but only if everyone else wore a piece of paper over their mouth.

    Or, convincing the public that an unarmed and mostly elderly group of people who walked through the Capitol building after being let in were dangerous domestic terrorists who were within seconds of “overthrowing democracy” who deserved to be locked up for months without bail and then sentenced to years-long prison sentences.

    Or, convincing a majority of suburban women that male and female were completely arbitrary terms and that little kids could choose which one they wanted to be, and then should be given access to chemical hormones and surgical mutilation to “affirm” their gender choice.

    I would say propaganda still works pretty damn well.

    • #25
  26. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):
    Perhaps there are some units that are ready to go. But the US military as a whole is in no condition to fight.

    The US Military did just lose a war to the Taliban. So it would be interesting to see them fight a war against another global power that lost a war to the Taliban. It would be like one of those late-season NFL games between two teams who have no chance of making the playoffs.

    The only thing interesting is which team has the flashiest pom poms. 

    • #26
  27. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    It does give me an idea, though. Send the Taliban to Ukraine. They have lots of top-of-the-line military hardware and and undefeated record.

    • #27
  28. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What stunned me – among other things – was the idea that sending troops was actually already popular. IIRC, my assertion that most people don’t want that was met with incredulity, as if I was living in a bubble, and had missed all the parades and rallies.

    If I remember correctly, Kori Schake mentioned a poll where about 70 percent of Germans said that they would be willing to pay higher energy prices if that was the price they had to pay for supporting Ukraine against Putin and Schake mentioned the most shocking part of that poll: that among Green party members the percentage was in the 90s. Maybe that’s because German Greenies like higher energy prices in peacetime and in war time?

    During that discussion, there wasn’t enough attention paid to the fact that the Ukrainians seem to be beating the pants off of Putin’s corrupt military without American boots on the ground. Maybe we should just stick with what works.

    Your buying the propaganda is pretty good. Btw I have great oceanfront property in Iowa to sell you.

    If Ukraine is winning so well against Russia’s army, why did Russia just annex 20 percent of the Ukrainian countryside last week?

    Russia has failed to advance more than 100 miles into Ukraine in seven months and just lost 3,000 square miles of territory  and you think they are winning?  Perhaps you should reconsider your snarky remark  about buying propaganda.

    • #28
  29. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Quoting Washington, et al, is ideal – but as a counter example (and I’m late to state this, but I in no way want to send US troops to Ukraine or anywhere even remotely in that area), had Japan not attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, and stayed out of US interests in the Pacific (ridiculous, but bear with me), then according to some of the quoted lines, our “beacon” policy would require us to not intervene in Europe.  If the rule of thumb is we essentially do nothing unless directly attacked, what would WW 2 have looked like, and now Europe, North Africa, etc, had we stayed home?

    I don’t support (nor does it matter what I think) sending aid to Ukraine, in any form other than humanitarian, due to the very easy path to military entanglement that seems to follow, once you stick your forearm into the wood chipper.  There are US interests at play here, in terms of international trade and the supply chain (which Washington or Adams would have had a hell of a time foreseeing), and the boilerplate US policy of liberty everywhere is a blessing to mankind, but intervening or failing to intervene is the hallmark of misdirected US policy for the past several decades.  

    It’s like we can’t help ourselves.  Genocide in Rwanda?  Yawn.  Mass, systemic, nation-wide starvation in North Korea?  Yawn.  Chinese persecution of Uighurs?  Yawn.

    Russian invasion of Ukraine?  Oh, no, sorry – here’s where we draw the line.  So why?  Why here?

    • #29
  30. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What stunned me – among other things – was the idea that sending troops was actually already popular. IIRC, my assertion that most people don’t want that was met with incredulity, as if I was living in a bubble, and had missed all the parades and rallies.

    If I remember correctly, Kori Schake mentioned a poll where about 70 percent of Germans said that they would be willing to pay higher energy prices if that was the price they had to pay for supporting Ukraine against Putin and Schake mentioned the most shocking part of that poll: that among Green party members the percentage was in the 90s. Maybe that’s because German Greenies like higher energy prices in peacetime and in war time?

    During that discussion, there wasn’t enough attention paid to the fact that the Ukrainians seem to be beating the pants off of Putin’s corrupt military without American boots on the ground. Maybe we should just stick with what works.

    Your buying the propaganda is pretty good. Btw I have great oceanfront property in Iowa to sell you.

    If Ukraine is winning so well against Russia’s army, why did Russia just annex 20 percent of the Ukrainian countryside last week?

    Putin held a media event, which fooled you into thinking that Putin controls the territories he claims to have annexed.  

    All of those Russians leaving Ukraine once Putin announced his mobilization?  Seems like Putin fooled you more than he fooled the Russian people.  

    • #30
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