Way back in 2016, President Obama said something that was surprisingly cogent and astute in an interview in The Atlantic. While speaking with Jeffrey Goldberg, of all people, Obama articulated that the American people are simply not willing to go to war in Ukraine. To put it simply, the Ukraine is simply not a core American interest that is worth killing and dying over.
From The Atlantic:
Obama’s theory here is simple: Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one, so Russia will always be able to maintain escalatory dominance there.
“The fact is that Ukraine, which is a non-nato country, is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do,” he said.
I asked Obama whether his position on Ukraine was realistic or fatalistic.
“It’s realistic,” he said. “But this is an example of where we have to be very clear about what our core interests are and what we are willing to go to war for. And at the end of the day, there’s always going to be some ambiguity.” [Ed.: We tip our hat to Glenn Greenwald for digging up this old interview.]
And the American people understand this. According to the AP, the vast, vast majority of Americans oppose war with Russia.
BREAKING: Just 26% of Americans say the U.S. should play a major role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict in a new AP-NORC poll. President Biden has argued that fundamental American values are at stake in Eastern Europe. https://t.co/ZK8SOFlWRR
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 23, 2022
Like all of America’s wars over the past three decades, a war on behalf of Ukraine would not be of any benefit to America or the American people. It would only benefit the privileged few oligarchs who control the levers of power in the Globalist American Empire, and their bought and paid for stooges in media, academia, and politics.
To his credit, Obama called out the duplicity of the neocon and neoliberal warmongers later on in the aforementioned interview:
But what if Putin were threatening to move against, say, Moldova—another vulnerable post-Soviet state? Wouldn’t it be helpful for Putin to believe that Obama might get angry and irrational about that?
“There is no evidence in modern American foreign policy that that’s how people respond. People respond based on what their imperatives are, and if it’s really important to somebody, and it’s not that important to us, they know that, and we know that,” he said. “There are ways to deter, but it requires you to be very clear ahead of time about what is worth going to war for and what is not. Now, if there is somebody in this town that would claim that we would consider going to war with Russia over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, they should speak up and be very clear about it. The idea that talking tough or engaging in some military action that is tangential to that particular area is somehow going to influence the decision making of Russia or China is contrary to all the evidence we have seen over the last 50 years.”
Dare we say, Barack Obama was right?
The Ukraine crisis has now become the Russia-Ukraine war. Thanks to the stubbornness, arrogance, and incompetence of America’s discredited foreign policy “elite,” yet another entirely avoidable conflict has gone hot.
So far, Biden has resisted the calls for escalation, and even war, that are emanating from the Democrat military-industrial-diplomatic-NGO-neocon complex, which is always looking for new places to throw away American wealth and lives. But he should have resisted these forces from the very beginning and sought a diplomatic solution with Russia, which might have involved something as simple as demilitarization in the Ukraine and a signed treaty promising Ukraine would never join NATO.
But instead, Biden listened to the foreign policy blob, whether out of weakness, stupidity, or senility. This suicidal foreign policy blob has existed for decades. Despite a non-stop record of failure, this machine and those who benefit from it only grow in power over time in Washington, DC, and it’s tony surrounding suburbs.
As far back as 2019, the dotard-in-chief was belligerently barking over Russia and Putin.
Joe Biden in 2019 ~
“Putin knows that when I am president of the United States his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over”
“Putin doesn’t want me to be President”pic.twitter.com/iAZS382LPA
— Lawyerforlaws (@lawyer4laws) February 22, 2022
Thank God he, thus far, Joe Biden hasn’t made good on any of his rabid campaign rhetoric.
Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be President. He doesn’t want me to be our nominee. If you’re wondering why — it’s because I’m the only person in this field who’s ever gone toe-to-toe with him.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 21, 2020
President Biden and NATO have already acknowledged the reality that America and NATO are not willing to send in any troops to battle Russia. Further attempts at “deterrence” via sanctions have been clumsy and uneven. The Globalist American Empire and its European client states still have yet to sanction Russia’s critical oil and gas industries, lest Germany face a massive energy crisis, and energy prices go through the roof worldwide, which in and of itself could topple the Democrats in 2022 and the Biden regime in 2024. In the words of Barack Obama, “There are ways to deter, but it requires you to be very clear ahead of time about what is worth going to war for and what is not.”
The conflict in Ukraine should should remain a war between Russia and Ukraine, and no one else. We will count it as a minor miracle if a rapidly aging Biden continues to resist the calls from a foreign policy establishment that is always looking for new places to throw away American wealth and lives.
In his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, President Obama was actually articulating a realist position no different than that of America’s most eminent realist foreign policy thinker, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago. In a 2015 lecture that will surely grow only more famous after yesterday’s events, Mearsheimer described how NATO’s relentless expansion east, support for regime change in Ukraine via color revolution, and repeated decision to double down against Russian opposition had created an unnecessary Ukraine crisis.
Watching Mearsheimer speak about Ukraine reveals just how demented our foreign policy discussion has become. For decades, the American school of foreign policy realism was dominated by George Kennan, a giant in American intellectual life who passed away in 2005 at the ripe old age of 101.
According to Wikipedia,
Realists believe that there are no universal principles with which all states may guide their actions. Instead, a state must always be aware of the actions of the states around it and must use a pragmatic approach to resolve problems as they arise.
In the 1991 Gulf War, the realists, led by James Baker, were right to pull back to Kuwait after the mission was accomplished, instead of toppling all of Iraq and trying to occupy the territory. The realists were right about the folly of occupying Afghanistan and later Iraq. They were right about Libya and the stabilizing force played by Gaddhafi, who was brutally murdered in a revolution orchestrated by none other than Hillary Clinton.
Even going back further, decades ago, when staring down the possibility of a nuclear conflict with the Soviets, the realists were right to negotiate a truce that demilitarized Austria and kept the country out of NATO for good. Sound familiar?
On the contrary the belligerent neocons and neoliberals of American foreign policy have always been wrong. Again and again, interventionism has led America into avoidable and humiliating catastrophes. It led to disaster in Vietnam, embarrassment in Iraq, and total national humiliation in Afghanistan.
The War Party destroyed Syria and Libya as stable countries and turned them into hotbeds of chaos and terrorism, in return for absolutely nothing. Interventionists claim that America must fight to demonstrate its strength, yet nothing has depleted America’s strength more than the trillions of dollars wasted on wars that go nowhere. Interventionists claim that America must fight to preserve its “credibility,” yet nothing has discredited the Globalist American Empire more than idiotic military adventures.
Whereas Barack Obama was a Democrat who often embraced realism and caution, in the wake of the Russia hoax the party has abandoned all sensibility and rationality to join up with The War Party. Foreign policy has become just another way for Democrats to vent their Trump Derangement, their anxiety, and their personal psychoses. Unsurprisingly, former Republican neocons from Bill Kristol, to David Frum, to Anne Appelbaum, to Jennifer Rubin have now made their home in the Democrat party.
Joe Biden embraced this foreign policy belligerence and these neocons to get elected, but all of this tough talk has now fallen flat now that Putin has actually called his bluff. Biden did the bidding of his neocon and neolib handlers in ratcheting up tensions with Russia, but he was all bark and no bite when push came to shove, and because of it, America has never looked weaker on the world stage.
In the wake of Biden’s failures, it is tempting for Republicans to embrace foreign policy belligerence and become rabid dogs barking for the head of Vladimir Putin. But conservatives, and the American people, must not fall into this trap. Strength does not consist of belligerently starting stupid fights that hurt our country.
America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did not display “strength.” They left this country poorer and weaker and more vulnerable. Real strength is knowing where to allocate resources and energy and where not to. The playground yapper who consistently writes checks with his mouth that he can’t cash with his fists becomes known as a laughingstock. In the words of Teddy Roosevelt, “speak softly and carry a big stick.”
Real strength requires prudence, wisdom, and temperance. Americans should demand a country that is strong, of course, but also careful and strategic. Starting a war with Ukraine is none of these things. Revolver’s own Darren Beattie made this crucial point Thursday morning on Steve Bannon’s War Room program:
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) February 24, 2022
War in Ukraine is simply not in our vital national interest.
Happily, instead of simply trying to “own the libs,” far more people on the right are getting this question right. Stalwarts from Tucker Carlson, to Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, to America First Congressional candidate Andrew McCarthy (NY-24)have consistently opposed belligerence in Ukraine, so much so that MSNBC produced a collective hit piece on them.
In a statement to Revolver, Vance refused to back off an inch. “We need to focus on our issues right here at home before blundering our way into another far-flung war,” he said.
McCarthy also kept a focus on the big picture, telling Revolver “China would like nothing more than for America to dump its time, energy, resources, blood and treasure on Ukraine.”
But a few isolated voices are not enough. The interests of the American people must carry the day in the Republican Party, and the country at large, to save America from eventual catastrophe. As bad a mistake as the Iraq War was, it was a blunder America could endure thanks to its profound wealth and global power. But thanks to that very blunder (coupled with many others), America today is a weaker country. If America wants its role in the 21st century to stay on par with its role in the 20th, it cannot afford another Iraq-style error. And that means embracing competent realism rather than the unholy neoconservative/neoliberal alliance that has set US foreign policy for thirty years now. In other words, put America First.
Back in 2003, neocons and neoliberals from both parties endorsed a war in Iraq, predicting rapid victory and an easy transition to democracy. And it really was “both parties;” George W. Bush and Dick Cheney masterminded the war, but Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden both voted for it. The war was a total disaster, based on false premises, yet because American elites never face consequences for failure, nothing happened. Come 2011, when Libya became unstable, Hillary Clinton egged on the war, and then luxuriated in the slaughter that followed:
In 2014, this same unholy alliance cheered on a color revolution in Ukraine. In the words of John Mearsheimer, the United States foreign policy “experts” led the Ukraine down a primrose path to destruction.
Analysis & prediction on Ukraine from 6 years ago:
“The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path & the end result is Ukraine is going to get wrecked.”
-John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the U. of Chicago, pic.twitter.com/kPQNH58o7G
— Prodigal Son (@ThePr0diga1S0n) January 24, 2022
Now, eight years into a disaster they created, these interventionists again want to set US policy, and they again want a position of maximum aggression that will prove useless for the people of Ukraine and suicidally self-destructive to the people of America.
Thankfully, while almost nobody in the foreign policy blob ever learns, one person did learn at least a little: Former Iraq War backer Joe Biden. Biden argued against intervening in Libya, and last summer he followed through on President Trump’s withdrawal from Afghanistan — albeit clumsily — despite enormous consternation from the Beltway.
The American foreign policy elite is useless, depraved, and discredited. They deserve no power and no influence whatsoever. It’s time for the Globalist American Empire to go through its own Great Replacement. Ignoring everything they say on Ukraine is a good place to start, even if it means supporting the policy of Sundown Joe. The right policy is the right policy, whether it’s Tucker Carlson pushing it in 2022, or Barack Obama in 2016. Patriots ought to continue to put America First and pray that Biden does the same.