The Myth of the Indispensable Nation and the Quagmire of Forever Wars

The Indispensable Nation thesis originates not in the universal condition of mankind and the nation-states into which it has been partitioned. Instead, it stems from an erroneous take on the one-time, flukish and historically aberrant circumstances of the 20th century that gave raise to giant totalitarian states in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia, and the resulting mass murder and oppressions which resulted therefrom.

What we mean is that Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany were not coded into the DNA of humanity; they were not an incipient horror always waiting to happen the moment more righteous nations let down their guard.

To the contrary, they were effectively born and bred in April 1917 when the US entered what was then called the Great War. And though it did so for absolutely no reason of homeland security or any principle consistent with the legitimate foreign policy of the American Republic, Washington’s entry tilted the outcome to the social chaos and Carthaginian peace from which Stalin and Hitler sprung.

So you can put the blame for the monumental evil of 20th century totalitarianism squarely on Thomas Woodrow Wilson. This megalomaniacal madman, who was the very worst President in American history, took America into war for the worst possible reason: Namely, a vainglorious desire to have a big seat at the post-war peace table in order to remake the world as God had purportedly inspired him to redeem it.

The truth, however, was that the European war posed not an iota of threat to the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE, or Worcester MA or Sacramento CA. In that respect, Wilson’s putative defense of “freedom of the seas” and the rights of neutrals was an empty shibboleth; his call to make the world safe for democracy, a preposterous pipe dream.

Indeed, the shattered world extant after the bloodiest war in human history was a world about which Wilson was blatantly ignorant. And remaking it was a task for which he was temperamentally unsuited – even as his infamous 14 points were a chimera so abstractly devoid of substance as to constitute mental play dough.

Wilson’s Megalomania And Its Awful Legacy

The monumentally ugly reason for America’s entry into the Great War, in fact, was revealed – if inadvertently – by his alter-ego and sycophant, Colonel House. As the latter put it: Intervention in Europe’s war positioned Wilson to play,

“The noblest part that has ever come to the son of man”.  

America thus plunged into Europe’s carnage, and forevermore shed its century-long Republican tradition of anti-militarism and non-intervention in the quarrels of the Old World. From Wilson’s historically erroneous turn – there arose at length the Indispensable Nation folly, which we shall catalogue in depth below.

For now, suffice it to say that there was absolutely nothing noble that came of Wilson’s intervention. It led to a peace of vengeful victors, triumphant nationalists and avaricious imperialists – when the war would have otherwise ended in a bedraggled peace of mutually exhausted bankrupts and discredited war parties on both sides.

By so altering the course of history, Wilson’s war bankrupted Europe and midwifed 20th century totalitarianism in Russia and Germany.

These developments, in turn, eventually led to the Great Depression, the Welfare State and Keynesian economics, World War II, the holocaust, the Cold War, the permanent Warfare State and its military-industrial-surveillance complex and today’s neocon Forever Wars, of which the current hideous proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is only the latest folly.

These century ago developments also spawned Nixon’s 1971 destruction of sound money, Reagan’s failure to tame Big Government and Greenspan’s destructive cult of monetary central planning.

So, too, flowed the Bush dynasty’s wars of intervention and occupation in the middle east. And from them also came a fatal blow to the failed states in the lands of Islam foolishly created by the imperialist map-makers at Versailles. The legacy was and endless waves of blow-back and terrorism, which became the excuse for even more Washington war-making.

The Real Inflection Point Of Modern History

The rise of the murderous Nazi and Stalinist totalitarian regimes during the 1930s and the resulting conflagration of World War II is held to be, correctly, the defining event of the 20th century. But that truism only begs the real question.

To wit, were these nightmarish scourges always latent just below the surface of global civilization – waiting to erupt whenever good people and nations fell asleep at the switch, as per the standard post-war critique of the British pacifism and US isolationism that flourished during the late 1930s?

Or were they the equivalent of the 1000 year flood? That is, a development so unlikely, aberrant and unrepeatable as to merely define a horrid but one-off chapter of history, not the ordinary and probable unfolding of affairs among the nations.

We contend that the answer depends upon whether your start with April 2, 1917, when America discarded its historic republican policy of non-intervention and joined the bloody fray on the old continent’s Western Front, or December 7, 1941, when Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor allegedly awoke America from its isolationist slumber and called it to global leadership of the so-called American Century.

Needless to say, the Deep State’s ideology of the Indispensable Nation and its projects of Empire are rooted in the Pearl Harbor narrative. That is, the claim that global affairs go to hell in a hand basket when virtuous nations let down their guard or acquiesce to even modest acts of regional aggression.

The now faded verities of republican non-intervention, by contrast, properly finger Woodrow Wilson’s perfidious declaration of War on Germany in April 1917 as the event that changed the ordinary course of history, and paved the way for the once in a 1ooo years aberration of Hitler and Stalin which ultimately ensued.

Not surprisingly, the official historical narratives of the Empire glorify America’s rising to duty in World War II and after, but merely describe the events of 1917-1919 as some sort of preliminary hegemonic coming of age.

As a consequence, the rich, history-defining essence of what happened during those eventful years has been lost in the fog of battles, the miserable casualty statistics of the Great War, the tales of prolonged diplomatic wrangling at Versailles and the blame-game for the failed Senate ratification of Wilson’s League of Nations thereafter.

In this connection, the defeat of the League of Nations is treated as a colossal error in the mainstream narrative. It is held to constitute a crucial default by the Indispensable Nation that hurried the rise of the totalitarian nightmares, and only compounded America’s task of righting the world in the 1940s and after.

In fact, however, the defeat of Wilson’s treaty was the last gasp of republicanism. It was an echo of the stand that had kept America true to its interests and non-interventionist traditions as the calamity of the Great War unfolded.

In effect, the so-called Senate isolationists during the League of Nation’s ratification battle (actually the original America Firsters) were rightly trying to turn the clock back to April 1, 1917.

That was the day before Wilson summoned the Congress to war based on his own megalomania and the high-handed maneuvers of his State Department. After William Jennings Bryan’s principled anti-war resignation in June 1915, the latter had been operating in complete cahoots with the Morgan interests (which had risked billions financing England and France) and had essentially maneuvered the messianic Wilson into war.

Stalin and Hitler Were Wilson’s Progeny, Not The Fruit Of Mankind’s DNA

Consequently, the powerful truths of what actually preceded the 1919 defeat of the League have been lost to standard history. In what follows, we mean to revive these crucial developments and inflection points because they clearly do demonstrate that the 1000 year flood of 20th century totalitarianism originated in the foolish decisions of Wilson and a few others, not the DNA of mankind nor a death urge of the nations.

Needless to say, that is not a matter of academic history; it makes all the difference in the world of here and now because virtually every maneuver of Imperial Washington, such as it current demented proxy war on Russia, are predicated on the Hitler and Stalin syndrome. That is, the hoary belief that there is always another one of these monsters lurking in the ordinary political, economic and cultural conflicts of the nations.

To the contrary, of course, if the world is not perennially afflicted with incipient Hitlers’ and Stalins’ and actually needs no Indispensable Nation the whole predicate for Empire is invalidated. The raison d’etre of Imperial Washington and all its hegemonic projects of “leadership”, meddling, intervention, and occupation, in fact, belong in the dustbin of history.

Needless to say, that is also why Imperial Washington was so aghast at Donald Trump’s election. By whatever cockamamie route of thinly informed reasoning he got there – he did seem to comprehend that the national security of America and the policing of a global Empire are not the same thing at all.

So herewith is a capsulized dissection of the 1000 year flood, which attempts to explain why Stalin and Hitler should have never happened. Accordingly, the hot, cold and Forever Wars wars that followed thereafter condemn the case for Empire, not make it; and they show that Trump’s America First is a far more appropriate lodestone for national security policy than Imperial Washington’s specious claim that America is the Indispensable Nation.

As indicated above, the Great War had been destined to end in 1917 by mutual exhaustion, bankruptcy and withdrawal from the utterly stalemated trenches of the Western Front. In the end, upwards of 3.3 million combatants had been killed and 8.3 million wounded over four years for movement along blood-drenched front-lines that could be measured in mere miles and yards.

Still, had America stayed on its side of the great Atlantic moat, the ultimate outcomes everywhere would have been far different. Foremostly, the infant democracy that came to power in February 1917 in Russia would not have been so easily smothered in its crib.

There surely would have been no disastrous summer offensive by the Kerensky government to rollback Germany on the eastern front where the czarist armies had earlier been humiliated and dismembered. In turn, an early end to Russia’s bloody and bankrupting impalement on the eastern front would also likely have precluded the return of Lenin to Russia in a German boxcar and the subsequent armed insurrection in Petrograd in November 1917. The flukish seizure of power by Lenin and his small band of fanatical Bolsheviks, in turn, would most certainly never have happened.

That is, the 20th century would not have been saddled with what inexorably morphed into the Stalinist nightmare. Nor would a garrisoned Soviet state have poisoned the peace of nations for 74 years thereafter, while causing the nuclear sword of Damocles to hang precariously over the planet.

Likewise, there would have been no abomination known as the Versailles peace treaty because it was a toxic peace of victors. But without America’s billions of aid and munitions and two million fresh dough-boys there would have been no Allied victors, as we demonstrate below.

Without Versailles, in turn, there would have been no “stab in the back” legends owing to the Weimar government’s forced signing of the “war guilt” clause; no continuance of England’s brutal post-armistice blockade that delivered hundreds of thousands of Germany’s women and children into starvation and death; and no demobilized 3-million man German army left humiliated, destitute, bitter and on a permanent political rampage of vengeance.

So, too, there would have been no acquiescence in the dismemberment of Germany at the Versailles “peace” table.

As it happened nearly one-fifth of Germany’s pre-war territory and population was spread in parts and pieces to Poland (the Danzig Corridor and Upper Silesia), Czechoslovakia (the Sudetenland), Denmark (Schleswig), France (the Saar, Alsace-Lorraine and the neutralized Rhineland) and Belgium (Eupen and Malmedy).

Image result for image of "Germany after Versailles" map

This sweeping loss of territory also meant Germany lost 50% of its iron production capacity, 16% of it coal output and 100% of its far flung colonies in Africa and East Asia to England and France.

Needless to say, god did not create the map of Europe on the 6th day of his labors. But it is absolutely the case that it was the vast German territories and peoples “stolen” at Versailles that provided the fuel for Hitler’s revanchist agitation during the years before his seizure of power; and it was that campaign to regain the lost territories which nourished the Nazis with patriotic public support in the rump of the fatherland.

Likewise, the French-Belgium occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 would not have happened because the justification for that invasion of German lands was that the latter had not paid its oppressive war reparations – a staggering sum that would amount to more than $500 billion in today’s purchasing power.

As it happened, it was the reparations crisis that led to Germany’s insane printing press monetary spree and the destruction of the German middle class in the 1923 hyperinflation. And without that society-crushing development along with all of the above, the history books would have never recorded the Hitlerian ascent to power and all the evils that flowed thereupon, as we will further amplify in Part 2.

David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He’s the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back, and the recently released Great Money Bubble: Protect Yourself From The Coming Inflation Storm. He also is founder of David Stockman’s Contra Corner and David Stockman’s Bubble Finance Trader.