Source: Don Brown, September 17, 2023
One of Brett Baier’s questions during the Fox News presidential debate of 2nd-stringers on August 23, evoked one of the most memorable moments in 20th-century presidential history, https://rollcall.com/2023/08/24/transcript-gop-presidential-hopefuls-debate-in-milwaukee and also ignited a RINO-versus-Vivek firestorm among the contestants involved.
“The US has committed nearly $77 billion in aid to the Ukraine war,” Baier said. “The administration is now asking Congress for $24 billion more, regardless of the specific — specifics of that plan, is there anyone on stage who would not support the increase of more funding to Ukraine?”
The question evoked memories of Dwight Eisenhower, not only perhaps the greatest military leader in American history besides George Washington himself, but who also served as our 34th president.
On January 17, 1961, just three days before John Kennedy’s inauguration, Ike gave one of the most memorable farewell addresses in presidential history. After eight years of unmatched American prosperity, with America the world’s sole superpower, Ike could have patted himself on the back for a job well done.
Instead, he famously warned Americans against the “military-industrial complex,” stating, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Ike added, “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/president-dwight-d-eisenhowers-farewell-address#:~:text=Our%20toil%2C%20resources%20and%20livelihood,by%20the%20military%2Dindustrial%20complex.
Military leaders who have been in the midst of war, who know the stench of battle, and the smell of gunpowder and who saw bleeding comrades dying on the ground, are the most sober about advocating against military action without just cause and deliberate reasoning.
Now back to Baier’s question about the Ukraine War, and the candidates’ responses.
First, we have Vivek Ramaswamy, who, like a kid excited about his first toy under the Christmas tree, immediately shot his hand up to the “who would oppose more funding” question, promising to end military aid to Ukraine, without hesitation, and with unfettered decisiveness. No question where Vivek stood.
Then came Ron DeSantis, now competing with Vivek for second place, way behind Trump in the polls, who tried a one-foot-in, one-foot-out-of-the-pool approach.
Looking around timidly to see how other candidates would respond, DeSantis literally raised his hand halfway up, and without committing fully one way or the other, half-heartedly declared that, “Europe needs to step up… I would have Europe step up and do their job.” As if he has the power over Europe, and as if Ukraine is a member of NATO, which it is not.
So, DeSantis distinguished himself as wishy-washy next to Vivek’s decisiveness. Nonetheless, DeSantis wants the war, apparently. He just wants Europe to help America with the costs.
Equally as telling as DeSantis’s wavering, was the absolute resolution from the other candidates who, all going full-blown anti-Vivek, were all gung ho on America’s expensive and dangerous proxy war against Russia.
In one exchange with Ramaswamy, former VP Mike Pence lectured Ramaswamy on the virtues of warmongering. “[A]nybody that thinks that we can’t solve the problems here in the United States, and be the leader of the free world has a pretty small view of the greatest nation on Earth….. We can do both, Vivek. We’ve done both. We’ve been the leader of the free world, the arsenal of democracy for years …”
Do both, Mike?
Clearly Pence advocates the government spending borrowed money like an out-of-control, drunken sailor about to puke all over the floor and die from alcohol poisoning.
The danger of triggering World War III aside, Pence’s neocon globalist, spendaholic, philosophy emerged as clear as a black fly on his white head in a debate against Kamala.
But it wasn’t just Pence who finger-wagged at Ramaswamy.
When Vivek called out Chris Christie for traveling to Ukraine to kiss Zelensky’s ring, Christie shot back, “All right, look, I did go to Ukraine. And I went to Ukraine, because I wanted to see for myself, what Vladimir Putin’s army was doing to the free Ukrainian people,” and then, as if the Russian Army is amassed just across the Rio Grande, Chris declared, “If we don’t stand up against this type of autocratic killing in the world, we will be next.”
Not to be outdone, Nikki Haley one-upped Big Chris’s melodrama: “Putin has said if Russia — once Russia takes Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics are next. That’s world war. We’re trying to prevent war!”
Of course, Putin never verbally threatened Poland or the Baltics, but don’t let the facts get in the way of a little neocon melodrama, Nikki.
During the debate, Vivek reminded Nikki of her “future career on the boards of Lockheed and Raytheon.”
Neocon Republicans Pence, Christie, Haley and others sound like war-mongering democrats. Witness Biden himself stumbling through his teleprompter in Vilnius on July 12. “We will not waver. I mean that. Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken. We will stand for liberty and freedom today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X82A6WmrZqY https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2023/07/12/remarks-by-president-biden-on-supporting-ukraine-defending-democratic-values-and-taking-action-to-address-global-challenges-vilnius-lithuania/#:~:text=Our%20commitment%20to%20Ukraine%20will,to%3A%20sovereignty%2C%20territorial%20integrity
It’s like these fools don’t care about America’s exploding megadebt, which, as of the date of this writing, was $32,919,780412, 602, https://www.usdebtclock.org/ and counting. That’s thirty-two-trillion, with a “t,” nearly $100,000 of debt for every living American, by the way.
Of course, neocon Republicans on the debate stage aren’t the only neocons pawning for endless war-spending in Ukraine. Queue up Bolton, https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4187557-bolton-on-ramaswamys-ukraine-position-he-emulates-trump-every-time-he-can/,Graham https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2023/05/27/exp-lindsey-graham-ukraine-f16-rdr-052702aseg1-cnni-world.cnn, Romney https://www.romney.senate.gov/romney-on-supporting-ukraine-aid-bill-it-is-the-right-thing-to-do/, Biden, Pelosi https://apnews.com/article/nancy-pelosi-ukraine-war-democracy-russia-99cbc0accd67df8a0aa1da6157ba5665 , Reed and Angus King. https://thehill.com/policy/international/3802988-democratic-senators-visit-kyiv-as-us-announces-nearly-4-billion-in-military-assistance/ In this regard, the globalist neocon Republicans parrot warmongering democrats. They call it a “uniparty” for a reason, spending our money, spending us into oblivion, gaining power now for themselves, sabotaging America’s future.
Love him or hate him, Julian Assange is right about one thing. It’s no longer about winning wars. It is about endless wars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IGU_7alJ80 That would seem to be the case in Afghanistan, where we remained for 20 years, left the place more destabilized than we found it, and left our enemies with billions in military hardware. https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/04/28/the-u-s-left-billions-worth-of-weapons-in-afghanistan/
Eisenhower warned against this, and only Trump seems to have gotten it.
As President Trump said in South Carolina recently, “We’re at the brink of World War III, just in case anybody doesn’t know it. As president, I will bring back peace through strength.” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-are-brink-world-war-iii-rcna68008 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHRLKwF3a38
President Trump has said in recent days that when he returns to the White House, he will end the Russian-Ukraine war within 24 hours. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/ukraine/2023/07/09/ukraine-russia-war-live-updates/70395471007/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fEbGppH86M
Whether the president means this literally or metaphorically is beside the point.
The point is, that unlike RINOs and democrat warmongers, Trump remains opposed to fueling a dangerous war in Ukraine that’s not in America’s best interests. Trump began calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in 2011, https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/21/what-trump-said-about-afghanistan-before-he-became-president.html the year U.S. Navy Seals killed Bin Laden, and in 2016 called the Iraq War a “big, fat, mistake.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whX35NKthQw
As President, Trump began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, and unlike the Bushes and Obama https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-pol-obama-at-war/ , never started new wars. As Tucker Carlson has said, Trump is “the only person with stature in the Republican Party” who is stopping to ask, “Why are we supporting an endless war in Ukraine?” https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/tucker-carlson-praises-trump-as-most-significant-thing-to-happen-in-us-politics-in-100-years/ar-AA1dDCYr
Ironically Trump, who rebuilt the United States military more than any president since Reagan, stands as the greatest champion for World Peace among any major figure in the United States.
Other leaders around the world recognize this. Recently, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told Tucker Carlson that the only path to ending the war in Ukraine would be the reelection of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency. https://www.politico.eu/article/hungarian-pm-viktor-orban-donald-trump-ukraine-victory-over-russia-lie/
Orbán is probably right.
We can only pray that neocon Republicans and warmongering Democrats don’t start World War 3 before then.
We could all stand to learn a lesson from Ike
And from Trump too.
Don Brown, a former U.S. Navy JAG officer, is the author of the book “Travesty of Justice: The Shocking Prosecution of Lieutenant Clint Lorance,” The Last Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the Final Combat Mission of World War II , and “CALL SIGN EXTORTION 17: The Shootdown of SEAL Team Six,” and the author of 15 books on the United States Military, including three national bestsellers. He is one of four former JAG officers serving on the Lorance legal team. Lorance was pardoned by President Trump in November 2019. Brown is also a former military prosecutor, and a former Special Assistant United States Attorney. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @donbrownbooks.