Nelson: The Red Scare is back
Nelson writes, "For some reason Americans still have an atavistic fear and hatred of Russia. The Red Scare is back, only this time it's heralded by liberals and their conservative comrades in arms. The War Uniparty is always up for a fight using your money and children."
We all know the incident in which a powerful country, feeling threatened by a neighboring weaker country that an antagonistic power was supplying, repeatedly tried to overthrow that puny country's government. The powerhouse nation went so far as to invade it and also brought the world to a nuclear stand-off and the possible end of civilization. Of course I'm referring to Cuba's missile crisis, the Soviet Union, and America.
Keeping America's reaction to being bordered by a hostile power in mind, we may examine why Russian president Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine. The Soviet Union fell peacefully in 1991 with the understanding that NATO, i.e. the United States, agreed to not expand eastward. NATO should have been functionally obsolete at that point, but bureaucracies don't die easily. Instead, NATO membership and military expanded to Russia's borders. Some 14 countries have signed on since the Soviet demise, a few of which are hilariously feeble but nonetheless to be defended at all costs by the other signatories.
Ukraine is the latest plum the West wishes to pluck. It's bang against Russia. America and its allies spent five billion dollars in Ukraine trying to overthrow its government, and succeeded. Why? Because then-Ukraine's duly elected president Viktor Yanukovych turned his back on the European Union's economic offering in order to accept Russia's better deal. That was a clarion call for America once again to overthrow another country's legitimate government, and we all know how well that sort of imperialist interference has worked elsewhere.
Naturally, as God's right hand in setting the world straight America is not to blame because after all, we meant well. Or something.
For some reason Americans still have an atavistic fear and hatred of Russia. The Red Scare is back, only this time it's heralded by liberals and their conservative comrades in arms. The War Uniparty is always up for a fight using your money and children. Already flocks of neochickens and warmongers are pounding the drums of war. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-ILL., is calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, meaning direct combat between American and Russian forces. Do you think the five trillion dollars and the lives spent to defend lies in Iraq and Afghanistan were an expensive waste? Try going to war 6,000 miles away in Russia's back yard.
As is now de rigueur for any opposition to the standard party line, there are calls for social media to squelch any views that dissent from the media and government's Ukraine propaganda. Freedom of speech now means freedom to agree with whatever the prevailing wind is carrying. The crunch of jackboots drowns out any kind of principled argument against gratuitous meddling and coups.
None of this justifies Russia's aggressive war on Ukraine. Such warring is condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunals which America routinely ignores as well. But goading and threatening a country is always a bad idea. Given America's incessant wars against countries that pose no significant threat to us—think for example of the two million Vietnamese we killed because we think that it's always 1939 and therefore negotiation or neutrality is always appeasement—Putin can be excused for wondering what our objection is.
Nelson lives in Casselton, N.D., and is a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion page. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.