Catastrophic Escalation?

From Patrick Foy:

On the domestic front, the U.S. Congress has recently passed and our nominal POTUS has just signed a monstrosity mislabeled the Inflation Reduction Act. It’s yet another pork pie costing a Niagara of money that Uncle Sam does not have but which can be spent due to the U.S. Dollar’s status as the world reserve currency.

On the foreign policy front, I’m wondering if Senator Rand Paul or somebody might propose a bill entitled The Insanity Reduction Act. It would be a lark, of course, that would never make it to a vote, but it would make the point that U.S. policy makers and most folks in Congress are out of their minds.

Among other things, the bill could mandate that Washington seriously adopt the role of an honest peace broker in world affairs, and not that of an inept world policeman of an American empire, which ersatz entity has been spreading mayhem and confusion far and wide for some time. At present, Ukraine is an outstanding example of mayhem in service to the anti-American idea of American empire.

I call it anti-American because it runs counter to the warp and woof of the founding fathers of the United States. They fought against the British Empire to establish a self-governing republic and acquire what we might loosely describe as freedom. Their foreign policy was inimical to venturing abroad in a quest for an empire of their own. Or was it? Professor Van Alstyne suggests otherwise.

I grant you, at some point along the way this predominant anti-imperial idea in Washington got tossed aside and left in the dust. It was exchanged for just the opposite. To wit, embarking on a path in alliance with the British Empire—the very empire America had originally revolted against. Some might point to 1898, the Spanish-American war, as the kick-off date for America’s wrong turn toward empire.

In any event, it seems to me that 1898 led to 1917 and inevitably to 1939. That is, to President Woodrow Wilson’s entry into the Great War on behalf of John Bull, and then to Franklin Roosevelt instigating the start of the Second World War in Europe, specifically in Poland, in September 1939. Step by step. And now today, Washington is policing the planet, issuing fiats and Diktats.

Is it too dramatic to ask if we on the verge of World War III? I don’t think so. Can we really be that stupid? American and European leaders do not need to be stupid—witness the outbreaks of the previous world wars—they just need to be myopic, arrogant and sleepwalkers. And prone to accidents, not to mention all-consuming hubris.

Foreign Affairs has just published another important article by Professor John Mearsheimer on the subject of Ukraine. As I’ve said, it’s too late now! The blow-up which Mearsheimer predicted and warned against for years has occurred. The ramifications and potentials are immense, perhaps greater than even Mearsheimer ever conceived.

The title says it all. Playing With Fire in Ukraine, The Underappreciated Risks of Catastrophic Escalation. He is actually suggesting, it seems to me, that we are on the precipice of World War III. That’s the way it sounds. All the ingredients are there, judging from previous conflicts.

Ukraine is yet another example, perhaps the best, of Washington policy makers injecting themselves into an area of the world about which they know and actually care little—and meddling into affairs which, in the final analysis, are none of their business. Ukraine is a Russian sphere of influence and a matter for Europe to address, not the U.S. Period.

What is the motivation for America’s leaders in Congress and policy makers at the White House with respect to Ukraine? That’s a big question, pointing to an underlying private agenda. In any case, this is why we urgently need an Insanity Reduction Act, before events get completely out of control like in 1914 and 1939.