The War Party is currently desperate for any evidence of Russian aggression in Ukraine. So much so that, as faithful apostle of the Warfare State Senator Jim Inhofe has shown recently, it is willing to embrace fabricated "evidence" to ensure the narrative remains intact. In his argument for arming the Ukrainian government, Inhofe provided pictures of alleged Russian tanks driving deep into Ukraine as proof of Moscow’s nefarious intent. These pictures were subsequently proven to have been taken in 2008, and in Georgia. Inhofe’s office quickly backtracked, stating that they had received the images from a delegation of Ukrainian commanders and officials. His office went on to state:
"We felt confident to release these photos because the images match the reporting of what is going on in the region. I was furious to learn one of the photos provided now appears to be falsified from an AP photo taken in 2008. This doesn’t change the fact that there is plenty of evidence Russia has made advances into the country with T-72 tanks and that pro-Russian separatists have been killing Ukrainians in cold blood."
Reporting done by whom? If the images are false, might not the "reporting" being conducted in the warzone be similarly tainted? It doesn’t seem that Inhofe cares about such questions as much as remaining faithful to the Evil Russia narrative. The "it doesn’t change the fact" excuse displays a cavalier attitude toward the false photos, as if it’s not the relevant issue. To Inhofe, the only issue at stake is convincing as many as possible that Russia is the aggressor, by any means necessary. And, despite being handed fabricated evidence by the Ukrainian government, he still insists on arming their criminal regime.
This appears to be just one instance of a pattern emerging from Inhofe’s tenure as US Senator, stemming from his unyielding faith in US weapons distribution to various rebels worldwide. There doesn’t seem to be a great level of complexity to his inclination toward proxy warfare: if there are rebels fighting a US "enemy", arm them! If there are "terrorists" afoot, bomb them! Unintended consequences be damned, apparently.
Speaking on Obama’s recently requested AUMF, Inhofe stated that the legislation "should not be limited by time. It should not be limited by geography, and it should not tie the hands of our military commanders with methods and tactics that limit needed flexibility.” Interventionists scoff at any limits on their power, and are aghast at the thought that they may be forbidden from laying waste to any region of the world.
This ad hoc interventionism midwifed ISIS, and will never bear a fruit not deadly, contrary to the claims of Senator Inhofe. He and his ilk should acknowledge this truth and refrain from succumbing to their dark impulse toward inserting the US into every skirmish that flares up. It is, however, unlikely that they subject themselves willingly to such a painful reshuffling of their ideological framework, and the Warfare State, the creature they created and now serve, will not allow it.
Jim Inhofe, wittingly or not, haunts a Rogues Gallery of Warfare State defenders, and his public pronouncements, stripped of the particular, provide fuel for a war machine of a size unparalleled in the history of the human race. Non-interventionism is not an option his ever considers seriously.
Non-interventionism, means precisely that: not intervening militarily in the world’s affairs. It doesn’t generate banquets, honors, medals, "war heroes", "Memorials", statues, and foreign conquests. But it also doesn’t generate debt and taxes, mountains of civilian and military dead, journalist harassment, myriad spy agencies, flag-draped coffins, gangster governments, secret courts, PTSD, blowback, the seeds of future wars, etc. The benefits of non-interventionism go unnoticed because the Hell on Earth created by constant war is never felt; it is never allowed to come into existence. Non-interventionism is boring, and starves the State. So the State employs those like Senator Inhofe to undermine it.
Refraining from dethroning Saddam, Gaddafi, etc., we would never have known a world that contained ISIS, or the smoldering failed state of Libya, so there would have been no way to appreciate the benefits of constraining the impulse to intervene. If the war against Iraq had never been waged, we would have never known the costs in blood, treasure, and regional instability that conflict generated. A policy of nonintervention, therefore, must be held as an absolute, even in the face of conflicts that appear on the surface to be a "cakewalk".
Instead of a blind faith in military might, Jim Inhofe would do well to check his arrogance, and take to heart the advice freely given by James Madison, a statesman much more worthy of the name:
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
Like the Looney Tunes character hammering the tip of an atomic bomb, Senator Inhofe and his cohort are endangering the liberty and safety of the country he professes to defend when he pushes for eternal intervention. And when it blows up in his face, he’ll take the rest of us with him.
Shane Smith lives in Norman, Oklahoma and writes for Red Dirt Report.