The Putin-Trump (alphabetical order) summit advances the cause of peace. Peace is a libertarian fundamental, which is why Trump must be applauded here for having gone to Helsinki to meet Putin.
Trump’s pro-peace agenda doesn’t dissolve the U.S. empire. It re-orders it. Trump is scaling back the empire’s most ambitious expansionary aims, its quest for unilateral dominance, and questioning its cold-war commitments to NATO. Trump wants peace, but the national security state wants ever-present fear of enemies, because such fear is the lifeblood of its denizens. Consequently, national security supporters have joined the leftist chorus in attacking Trump without mercy and continuously. Trump has withstood incessant attacks and charges that he’s soft on Russia and Putin.
Seldom does political evil bare itself so openly. Take Senator Schumer, for example. He’s quoted saying “Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump.” Here he defames and slanders Trump by attribution to “millions of Americans”. He doesn’t have the guts to make the charge himself, but makes it through the back door. Schumer reveals here how disreputable he is.
The attacks on Trump have been outrageous. This continues. There is absolutely nothing in Trump’s press conference with Putin that warrants John Brennan, former CIA chief, accusing Trump of “treasonous” behavior or saying that Trump’s comments were “imbecilic” or saying that Trump “is wholly in the pocket of Putin”.
Senator John McCain’s perceptions are equally extreme and flawed. McCain sees Putin as a tyrant, which he is not. He illogically thinks that meeting with Putin to look for common ground somehow blesses and approves of every action of Putin that McCain disapproves of. Brennan and McCain make no reasoned case against Trump’s effort to raise the level of cooperation. They simply hurl wild charges and characterizations, with no grounding in facts and completely ignoring the context and realities.
Trump deserves praise for moving forward with a peace agenda while being bombarded constantly by media and critics, left and right. Trump’s guiding philosophy explains his capacity to withstand the attacks. He wants to pursue peace and he wants to do the foreign policy job that he has set out to do:
“As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics, or the media, or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct.
“Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia affords the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world.
“I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”
What alternative vision do his critics offer? McCain spells it out. American presidents, McCain says, must be the champions of liberty, at home and abroad, as a sacred responsibility. Americans must battle enemies of liberty abroad, a battle that will go on indefinitely until the entire world has achieved this liberty. Peace and peaceful co-existence are not part of this revolutionary quest, which McCain elevates into a religion. Neither are self-determination of peoples or recognition of the variety of forms of government and liberty. For McCain and others with his philosophy, it is not enough that Americans mind their own business and tend to their own problems. It is not enough to deal with others as they are. It is not enough to make peace and live in peace. Americans have a calling to spread liberty and “democracy”, even if it means continual warfare against continual enemies of liberty, or so-designated.
How can something as attractive as liberty be twisted into something as evil as continual war? By asserting that Americans cannot be free while any other people is unfree. This assumption is meant to explain why we must battle liberty’s enemies abroad; but this assumption is false. We could be a (relatively) free people while the USSR was not. South Korea can be free while North Korea is not. West Germany could be free while East Germany was not. America can be free while Great Britain is not. Taipei could be free while Red China was not. Freedom is a function mainly of what the government and laws of a given country are, not of the laws, customs and governments of other countries in the world.
McCain’s philosophy is erroneous. We need only battle enemies of our liberty, here and abroad, when such defense is warranted. To preserve our liberty, we do not need to carry on a continual struggle over all places, times and peoples whom we think have imperfect liberty.
Trump’s effort to reconcile with Russia are a welcome step toward peace and away from the attempt to convert the world.
8:23 pm on July 16, 2018
Email Michael S. Rozeff