Embrace neutralism and end Mr. Wilson's War…finally
Come Home America!
I'm not going to condemn Russia
Many commenters and writers that I like and admire begin their pieces with what seems to be an obligatory condemnation of Russia.
I can't do it.
For those who want to condemn me, have at it, but let me make two points.
First, I am not pro Putin. I am for my own country, but pretending it's all good when we are promoting conflict is shameful.
Second, to denounce Russia and its leader without a discussion of what came before leaves much to be desired.
An organization that I greatly admire, The American Committee for US-Russia Accord Issued the following statement:
"The American Committee for US-Russia Accord expresses its utter condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and asks for an immediate halt to military actions; the withdrawal of Russian troops; and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty."
The signers of the document are all decent people with the best of intentions, but as mom used to say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
The problem is the war began well before any troops crossed the border. One could have probably ascertained that by reading articles from the Committee's website.
Arguably, the war began in 1992.
In that year was promulgated the Wolfowitz Doctrine, named after Paul Wolfowitz who was one of the authors laying out an imperialist manifesto to ensure American dominance of world affairs after the Soviet Collapse.
“Our first objective,” stated the document, “is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival [to the United States], either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere. … This is a dominant consideration underlying [a] regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
So America can never come home and must break up any possible rival no matter how little they threaten us.
To quote further the article:
"The Wolfowitz Doctrine triggered the post-Cold War use of NATO as an instrument of bloody aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. It declared, in effect, that diplomacy was dead and that American power ruled by violence if necessary. A resurgent Russia led by Vladimir Putin was next, and on the horizon, a risen China."
The inhumanity that those countries suffered in what the perpetrators probably thought was the greater good will never be questioned simply because it will not be questioned. That is not the done thing.
Whilst we were still mired in the failing Afghan labyrinth, and had messed up Syria and Libya as well as dashing about Iraq, it was Russia's turn again.
We had taken a whole passel of Eastern Euro countries into NATO and were inching closer, and attention in 2014 turned to Ukraine.
By now, everyone should know the story behind the sordid coup of Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. It would not have been unreasonable to have considered it as aimed at Russia.
There was little condemnation at the time, if any.
The ethnically Russian eastern region of the Ukraine resisted and Russia, with the happy acquiescence of its inhabitants, took back the Crimea that had been given to Ukraine by Khrushchev.
The US and much of the rest, but not all, of the world howled. The sanctions regime was ramped up with Russia seeming to adjust. As no instance of sanctions has come close to causing Russian collapse, one would wonder why there was no reflection among the functionaries at State.
The drang nach osten has continued with noises made about taking Ukraine into NATO.
At the very least, one should not be surprised that the Russians are not amused.
One can speculate as to why now? Why did the Russians go for it at this point in time? But, no matter the exact moment, they had to know they were in the crosshairs of the US/NATO combine no matter how it is configured.
So it has been a long dance and here we are today.
A mistake could be made and nuclear war could happen, Is that worth all that has gone on since the Wolfowitz Doctrine was created? One would think a rational man or woman would say no, but in the state department, the question is not being asked.
It is inconceivable that this war could have happened without the long march east of NATO. It is conceivable that it could go in a direction that will obviate the need for ecological amelioration for several millennia.
What would a sane policy be? In the article cited above, Greg Mello and The Los Alamos folks have concluded a few points, among them:
• Understanding why Russia invaded is not condoning the invasion. Russia’s view is that of existential dangers to its very existence.
• An end to the invasion and war in Ukraine can only be guaranteed if Russia’s security is itself guaranteed. Security is largely indivisible. Security for one state requires security for others. This is a core principle of European security which Russia rightly insists upon. The U.S. should honor that. The fundamental cause of the current conflict is the desire of the U.S. to weaken or “break” Russia.
Tellingly they note:
• Peace and nuclear disarmament organizations should be alarmed by NGO support for U.S. efforts to demonize and destabilize Russia.
What the study group wants to see is also eminently reasonable and should be instituted, with the following most important
1. We want a negotiated peace at the earliest possible time. In our own countries, every effort should be made to achieve this. We do not see those efforts.
4. All economic sanctions – which hurt ordinary citizens more than elites – should be lifted. Economic sanctions are weapons of mass destruction, with global effects.
5. We want measured, just, de jure de-nazification of the Ukrainian government and laws.
6. The independence of the Donbass region within pre-conflict administrative boundaries should be accepted by all peace organizations and states.
7. The democratic decision of Crimea to rejoin Russia should be accepted by all peace organizations and states.
8. Peace groups should support a neutral, demilitarized (i.e. without heavy weapons or force projection capability) Ukraine, which is similar if not identical to the outcome sought by Russia.
10. Ukraine should not be allowed to join NATO. That was a capital demand of Russia and one that we should all support.
11. NATO should disband. The largest military alliance in the world, NATO consumes more resources than all the world’s militaries combined, and has conducted multiple wars of aggression, in violation of the U.N. Charter and Nuremberg principles. NATO is also a nuclear weapons alliance.
12. The U.S. and the five states that host U.S. nuclear weapons should, jointly or individually, end nuclear hosting arrangements, as well as end the training of non-U.S. pilots in nuclear weapons use and the prospective use of non-U.S. dual-capable aircraft for nuclear missions.
Clearly, if 11 is instituted, 10 is superfluous, but that is a quibble. The fourth, ending sanctions, is also important as it is imperialism on steroids and hurts the average person even if some "oligarch" has to part with a yacht.
Unfortunately, they might have included one more stipulation. That proposal would be the most important one.
Withdrawal of all US military forces from everywhere and instituting an American foreign policy of neutrality with an ethos based on the words of John Quincy Adams:
"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.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit...."
Now, to many the idea of America coming home sounds "isolationist." That is because our country's media and universities are infested with people who can only sloganize instead of reflect on what neutralism might be.
The denizens of think tanks serve interests other than the average citizen’s.
My fellow countrymen and women, ask yourself what you get out of having troops risk nuclear war in foreign countries?
What did you get out of Gulf War I after we were lied into it with the Kuwaiti incubator scam?
What did you get out of the Iraq war after the WMD scam pushed it?
What did you get after 20 years in Afghanistan?
What will you get out of confronting Russia over Ukraine?
What will you get out of a possible nuclear confrontation over Taiwan when we recognize it as being part of China?
What do you get out of sanctions that mainly hurt the poor of other nations, but may eventually bite you too?
The Los Alamos Group has well made the argument for a neutral America, whether or not that was the intention, but there is one more point I should make.
Even if we give over on Ukraine and not take it into NATO and even disband the alliance, we must bring all our troops home and downsize.
That is most important.
If troops and ships and planes are left somewhere, the temptation to work for the "greater good" will be too much and the cycle will begin again.
We have too many overthinking sinecuristas at the so-called think tanks and bureaucrats at state and defense who would be happy to channel Madeleine Albright about a benevolent hegemon.
George McGovern was right, "Come home America."