Peter Beinart: The Friend of Our Enemy Is Not a “Traitor”

Good article.

Peter Beinart is at least willing to acknowledge that our camp represents a legitimate school of thought about American foreign policy that stretches back to the American Founding. There used to be a consensus in the United States that we should stay out of wars and entangling alliances in Eurasia – wars like, say, the Crimean War – until around the time of the Spanish-American War when there was a big debate about American imperialism between liberals and populists. Since the days of William Jennings Bryan, the populist side has always been the non-interventionist side and has always been critical of militarism and imperialism. The liberal consensus, however, has prevailed in Washington since the Cold War.

New York Times:

“It’s an old story: In times of war, antiwar voices are labeled disloyal.

Earlier this month, former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, where they both alleged that the United States was secretly funding dangerous biological research laboratories in Ukraine. Prominent politicians and commentators responded by calling them traitors. Senator Mitt Romney declared that “Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda. Her treasonous lies may well cost lives.” Representative Adam Kinzinger suggested that “Tulsi should go to Russia.” Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann insisted that Gabbard and Carlson “are Russian assets and there is a war. There’s a case for detaining them militarily.” On the daytime show “The View,” the host Whoopi Goldberg observed, “They used to arrest people for doing stuff like this.” …

The genesis of Ms. Gabbard and Mr. Carlson’s opinions about Russia and Ukraine isn’t the Kremlin. It’s the war in Iraq. …”

Yes, a traitor what?

A traitor to Zelensky and Ukraine? A traitor to Alexander Vindman? A traitor to NATO and the European Union? A traitor to the foreign policy establishment, the national security bureaucracy, the “intelligence community” and the military-industrial complex? A traitor to Twitter?

In my case, it was simply George W. Bush and Iraq which got me thinking about American foreign policy. I recoiled from the Iraq War around the same time that I discovered Pat Buchanan. After Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya (we narrowly escaped war with Iran), I don’t see how anyone can trust the clowns who have guided our foreign policy for the past twenty years in their foolish march to war in Ukraine.

It really has nothing to do with Vladimir Putin. If there were different players here and India and Pakistan were at war or Turkey was at war with Syria or the United States was being dragged to war with Iran by neocons, we would be saying the same thing. We would be saying we should stay out of it. In fact, we have consistently criticized our interventionist foreign policy for decades now.

The United States is a bloated, overstretched global empire drowning in luxury and decadence. It is led by a class of people who have repeatedly demonstrated their own incompetence. We’ve always wanted to scale back our international commitments to focus on our domestic problems, but history shows that isn’t how empires usually fall. The cycle of empire usually runs its natural course.

About Hunter Wallace 12371 Articles
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13 Comments

  1. This Empire cannot be saved because it’s totally under the control of hostile alien interests. It must fall. Maybe after the inevitable collapse we will go back to the times when one’s home state was regarded as one’s country?

  2. Did anyone see that Amos and Andy sketch performed at the Academy Awards last night? Now America’s decline is official!

  3. “The United States is a bloated, overstretched global empire drowning in luxury and decadence”:

    The cartoon that you posted as the blog header, showing Uncle Sam (or is it Uncle Shmuel?) growing up from a British-colonial tot, needs one more figure: the morbidly obese Uncle Sam lying in a hospital bed or a coffin. More likely a hospital bed, because Uncle Shmuel is rich enough to be sustained indefinitely and can continue to direct his empire from his bed.

    “We would be saying we should stay out of it. In fact, we have consistently criticized our interventionist foreign policy for decades now”:

    But we are living INSIDE and we are PART OF the Beast that is waging all these imperialist wars because it MUST do so, determined by its very nature and the inescapable, unalterable logic of the private profit system. Saying “stay out” is useless. The system cannot stay out. The system itself must be changed. System change, not regime change or party change, and not populist reform change but the only real change.

    I forgot to add to my previous comment that the massive damage to oil infrastructure in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by the Yemeni missile attack yesterday will have an effect on global oil supply and prices – and that it marked the eighth anniversary of the U.S.’s (and Israel’s) genocidal war on Yemen, assisted by the UK, UAE and Saudi Arabia, using around 70 billion dollars worth of U.S. military equipment. Most of the civilian infrastructure of Yemen has long since been destroyed, and it is a miracle that human beings can even exist there. But the U.S. did that before to Korea, bombing and bombing until there were no buildings, dams or bridges left to be destroyed, so they had to start bombing crops and farm animals in the fields. But the Korean people survived and refused to submit, just like the Houthi people of Yemen are doing now.

    The Yemeni leader in his eighth-anniversary-of-the-war speech yesterday said “It is clearly known who began the war against the people of Yemen. The engineers and the architects of this aggressor coalition are the U.S., Britain, and Israel. And the U.S. is the leader of the coalition. Saudi Arabia and UAE are only the executers of this attack (…) The role of the Zionists (…) in this geometry is quite clear and their fingerprints are found at the crime scenes everywhere. The Brits have been present in all stages of the war against Yemen, and the U.S. has participated as a constant over-seer of the battles.”

    Saying “Stay out” to Them is useless. It is not part of the only language that They understand.

    • I was going to say the last two pictures in the devolution sequence should replace the top-hat with a beanie, lengthen the nose, add kinky hair and the ever-present sneer, maybe even have a pair of rodentine hands rubbing together.

  4. This hysteria is good. Thanks to brats winning, every last common sense voice, what could offer good ideas and prolong the Empire, will be screamed down.

    We should join the war hysteria and traitor calling to push Empire over the cliff.

  5. “The United States is a bloated, overstretched global empire drowning in luxury and decadence.”

    I see you haven’t had a recent view of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Four hundred miles of rust.

    • No, I haven’t been up that way, but there is plenty of industrial decay here. See, for instance, Birmingham

  6. Every 1st world country is moving forward while the US is moving backwards. I wonder if diversity and multiculturalism could be a large part of the problem? Nah!

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