Here is something relevant to foreign policy today:
When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” (Ex. 2.13–14)
This is a point for both sides of the political spectrum to take. I shall not dwell on the adage that America cannot be the policeman of the world, because no doubt the right has heard it ad nauseam, but I do not spare America anything by giving polite words.
David Gelernter asks in his article No More Vietnams, “Should we talk about America’s duty to protect itself, and do its best to protect other, weaker peoples?” Now, I don’t know whether this crosses the line into undue interference. I cannot deny that the motive is noble on some level, but how much of this is America’s duty, and how much is beyond our authority and indeed beyond our right? This I don’t know.
Whatever the answer to that question, though, I maintain that President Washington’s warning against entangling alliances did not, and does not, mean that we should bail at the first sign of any military alliance giving us the slightest challenges. My issue with this war is that I do not believe Saddam Hussein’s possession of WMD would have satisfied the demands of just war. But America is a great hypocrite: she overwhelmingly rejoiced at President Clinton’s intervention in Yugoslavia, and now she balks at the war in Iraq because for once there are actually sizeable numbers of our troops dying.
Dare the American public think for one instant that there has ever been a war in which the soldiers did not have families? I understand that the point of that observation is that we must never take death lightly, but to go beyond that and pretend the same was not true of wars the United States has won in the past is emotional manipulation underlain by hypocrisy and cowardice.
On the other hand — and here I speak to the radical left — we, America, seem to be immensely good at killing those that no one should have expected us to kill: our allies. My impression is that this makes the treacherous mightily pleased. Yes, we did an excellent job at ensuring that South Vietnam died in desperation at the bloody hands of an aggressor:
There is no way we can atone for the blood and death we inflicted (indirectly) on South Vietnam by abandoning it to Communist tyranny. That failure can never be put right. (No More Vietnams, The Weekly Standard)
Solzhenitsyn gives a more damning indictment, one to which America in self-righteous talk closes her ears:
But members of the U.S. anti-war movement wound up being involved in the betrayal of Far Eastern nations, in a genocide and in the suffering today imposed on 30 million people there. Do those convinced pacifists hear the moans coming from there? Do they understand their responsibility today? Or do they prefer not to hear? The American Intelligentsia lost its [nerve] and as a consequence thereof danger has come much closer to the United States. But there is no awareness of this. Your shortsighted politicians who signed the hasty Vietnam capitulation seemingly gave America a carefree breathing pause; however, a hundredfold Vietnam now looms over you. That small Vietnam had been a warning and an occasion to mobilize the nation’s courage. But if a full-fledged America suffered a real defeat from a small communist half-country, how can the West hope to stand firm in the future?
[For the record, I am not a neocon. And oppression continues in Vietnam.]
But alas, we are a nation of sanctimonious wimps, and greedy ones too, when we see how the government deals with the regime that has oppressed the land of my ancestors since 1949. You hypocrites! Who told you to be all belly and no guts (I owe this expression to Tim Chen)? How I detest your devious ways! How long will you, o state, deal unjustly and neglect your duties for which your authority is given?
I dare not presume that America will soon repent of her sins. Until then, what a sad state she is in! For no one can be good but by the grace of the Lord. God, have mercy.