How crazy-stupid do you have to be to get up there on the podium and openly threaten Russia with a “preemptive” first strike? You don’t have to be Kay Bailey Hutchison, but it helps.
Our “Ambassador” to NATO – as if NATO is an actual country rather than a supra-national parasite – claims that Moscow is in violation of the INF treaty, and that, while she’s willing to give diplomacy a try, she is “prepared to consider a military strike if development of the medium-range system continued.”
So now the “Ambassador” to NATO is empowered to start World War III. Next we’ll have the Postmaster General ordering an invasion of Iran. The Ambassadress has exceeded her authority and caused an international incident that may come to haunt us: certainly she has endangered us all. In a civilized country like Japan, she would literally fall on her sword, but I’ll settle for her resignation.
Although Hutchison later denied that she was threatening a first strike, the meaning of her words is unmistakable:
“At that point, we would be looking at the capability to take out a (Russian) missile that could hit any of our countries. Counter measures (by the United States) would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty. They are on notice.”
This should put Americans on notice that, a) we are living in very dangerous times, and b) that the foreign policy of the United States has very little to do with the President of the United States. Commentators have remarked on what they dub our “two-track” foreign policy, and this is especially true when it comes to our stance toward Russia. What this “two-track” business means is that the President’s advisors have done everything possible to obstruct his preferred policy – the policy he campaigned and won on, which is peace with Russia. They lied to him about the number of Russian diplomats to be expelled, they actively subverted the White House summit with Putin, and they have blocked his oft-expressed desire to get out of Syria and reach some accord with Moscow about the future of the region.
This is very dangerous: when two adversaries are armed with nuclear weapons, and the wrong signals are sent – or received – the potential for catastrophe is unlimited. If Kay Bailey Hutchison is threatening Moscow on Monday, and President Trump is calling for peaceful cooperation on Tuesday, God only knows what will happen on Wednesday.
The Trump-haters point to this as evidence that the President is likely to lead us into war, but who’s at fault here? It’s Trump who wants détente – it’s the War Party (and that includes a faction of his own administration) that’s seeking conflict.
One can see how we’re being set up for a major confrontation with the Russians by just looking at the “expand NATO” campaign now being conducted: first it was tiny Montenegro, which is a perfect venue for an East-West rumble. Now it’s Macedonia, where a referendum on a name-change had a mere 35% turnout: to be valid, it must top 50%. But for the NATO-crats, rules are made to be broken: the name change has been declared official and the road is paved for NATO membership, now that Greece won’t veto.
I wrote quite a bit about Macedonia in the days before 9/11, and if ever there was a tinderbox ready to burst into flame over ethno-political conflicts, it is this country that George Soros takes such an avid interest in. The divisions there reflect the tribal battlefields in Ukraine, Moldova, Montenegro, and throughout the Balkan-Baltic corridor that rings Russia, and where the Slavic Byzantine sphere meets the European Union. This civilizational collision could easily result in World War III. One little slip up, a misreading of intentions, a nervous trigger finger, and – KA-BOOM!
It’s hard for a country to conduct a foreign policy – or, rather, to change a longstanding policy – when it’s in the middle of a revolution. Which is precisely where we are today. The Trump presidency represents a sea-change in the way the US sees itself and its position in the world: a wholesale reevaluation of our overextended international presence is in progress. The Establishment moans that their beloved “liberal international order” is in danger, and that the only alternative is chaos: yet the supranational monstrosities that are the EU and NATO – the linchpin of this order – have only increased the chances of a major conflict. The aggressive expansion of both is clearly not a harbinger of peace.
Revolutions are messy affairs, and this one is no exception: the struggle for power at the top is bound to have consequences that can be neither predicted nor controlled. This one, which is upending the cold war architecture that has shaped our foreign policy since the end of World War II, is shaking our world – although one hopes we can avoid the violence that usually accompanies such affairs.
If it wasn’t Trump, it would’ve been someone else who overturned the idols of the cold war era and ushered in the new age. Having reached the end of its financial tether, and poisoned itself with the conceits of Empire, the country is done with internationalism. The only question now is what form the new American nationalism will take.
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NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.