Spoiling for a New World War

War! More War! Putin! Xi!

W.J. Astore

It seems strange to me how America’s leadership is spoiling for a new world war. Most Americans wanted revenge against Japan after Pearl Harbor in 1941 and understood the dangers of Nazism and Germany’s quest for world dominance, but why is risking a world war necessary in defense of Ukraine or Taiwan?  

Here’s my take: Let Ukraine and Russia settle their differences.  Let China and Taiwan settle their differences.  The fate of Ukraine or Taiwan has almost nothing to do with U.S. national security.

No other nation on the planet defines the entire world as its sphere of influence. Only in America is the fate of faraway countries like Ukraine or Taiwan tied directly to our fate. It’s like Russia being worried about the U.S./Mexican border or China taking a direct hand in defending Cuba against America.

Maybe what we need is a new Monroe Doctrine.  Instead of warning others to stay out of “our” hemisphere, Americans need to vow that we remain in “our” hemisphere, because what happens in Taiwan largely stays in Taiwan, and what happens in Ukraine largely stays in Ukraine.  Neither fundamentally compromises our national security and neither directly threatens our Constitution and way of life.

But we must stand up to Putin! We must stand up to Xi! If we don’t stop them over there, we’ll have to stop them here! To that I say, let’s wait and see. Any country foolish enough to invade America will face a heavily armed and inflamed people who are ready to rumble.

It’s time to stop spoiling for a new world war. Sadly, at least three big problems constrain Americans in plotting a saner course:

  1. Wars and preparations for war are immensely profitable for weapons makers.
  2. Domestic politics, as both parties accuse the other of being weak on China or Russia or both, driving both parties into the arms of hawks.
  3. The mainstream media, which never met a war it didn’t like, as long as ratings are high.

How do we fix this? Levy a war tax on the richest Americans for all the weaponry and other aid being sent to Ukraine and Taiwan and elsewhere. Stop voting for candidates who always vote for more and more war. Stop listening to the mainstream media and their warmongering.

One thing is certain: war is too important to be left to the generals, the Beltway bandits, and the usual neocon suspects who posture about putting on big boy pants while sitting safely in corner offices.