Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

It’s Time to Abandon America’s Fetish for “Unconditional Surrender”

Posted by M. C. on October 27, 2022

Yet, from the point of view of the moralizing hawks, no “sacrifice” is too great for ordinary Americans or Europeans to bear…

The foreign policy elites, however, only benefit politically and financially from more war, ongoing ad nauseum. There is as of yet no downside for these elites in more war. The fact that they’ve quashed even some small-scale calls for negotiations on the part of some progressives shows that the war party is a long way from abandoning its fetish for “unconditional surrender.”

Ryan McMaken

On Monday, thirty members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus called on the Biden administration to pursue a negotiated peace settlement or cease-fire with Ukraine. The letter from the Progressive Caucus is careful to praise the administration for its ongoing efforts to fund Kyiv’s war effort, but also concludes that not enough is being done to encourage a negotiated settlement.

This position is heretical in Washington where the narrative is well dominated by the center-left militarist coalition that currently dominates the Democratic Party and the fading neoconservative wing of the Republican Party. In fact, so complete is the hawks’ domination of Democratic Party leadership, the Progressive Caucus was forced to withdraw its letter in less than twenty-four hours. The progressives ended up embarrassingly apologizing for suggesting diplomacy is a good thing.

Indeed, there is certainly no end in sight for US intervention in Ukraine, and little support for a negotiated end to the war among foreign policy elites. The US has sent more than sixty-five billion taxpayer dollars to Ukraine, and given Ukraine’s famously high levels of corruption, there’s no telling where that money ends up. Meanwhile, the US has now deployed the 101st Airborne Division to Europe for the first time in almost eighty years. The division is now conducting training exercises mere miles from the Ukraine border.

The administration is now being pressured by the Democratic leadership in Congress to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. This would further hobble efforts to open negotiations with Moscow and would also trigger even more sanctions against the Russian people. Even worse, Washington insiders and pundits continue to push regime change in Russia. Although he later backpedaled on his comments, President Biden declared in March that “for God’s sake, [Vladimir Putin] cannot remain in power.” Earlier this month, Republican foreign policy advisory John Bolton called for regime change. Even the dismemberment of Russia has long been a stated goal of many American Russophobes.

These calls for regime change tend to steer clear of explicitly pushing military intervention, but a brief look at Iraq, Syria, and Libya makes it clear that when American and agents call for regime change, military interventions tend to follow.

Moreover, American foreign policy hawks have been remarkably casual about the prospects for an accidental escalation into war between nuclear powers. Biden himself has admitted that the risk of “Armageddon” is the highest it’s been since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, but the administration has done nothing to change course. A disturbing number of pundits have declared that nuclear war is worth the risks, and a Pew poll shows a full one-third of Americans polled want US intervention in Ukraine even if it risks nuclear war. It seems we’re a far cry from the days of the height of the nuclear disarmament movement in the 1980s when marches against nuclear war could boast hundreds of thousands of people.

See the rest here

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