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.
“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.