If funding a noble cause means enabling corruption, is the cause still worth funding? Is it still noble? It is worth saving a village in order to destroy it?
These are tough questions with no easy answers and in the age of the 24-hour news cycle, those who take the time to think upon such things are not welcome at the media’s table. However, the future of our national security depends on the ability to answer these questions, regardless of what the pundits, the elites, and the mainstream media thinks.
It has been written before — and it’s a common saying in Russia — that America got so drunk when the Berlin Wall fell that we’re still hungover. If you examine our ongoing NATO policy, it's hard to disagree.
Since the end of the Cold War, the American soldier alone has been the sentinel of freedom and democracy across the planet. In doing so, we have subsidized country after country by allowing them the ability to minimize their military spending and maximize their domestic investments. While it provided us an unprecedented amount of soft diplomacy, we also inadvertently created competition that continues to threaten our country and our economy.
When the Japanese Empire was defeated, we invested heavily in the restoration of their country and forbade them a standing army. As a result, we were so successful in rebuilding the country that the domestic manufacturing — especially their auto sector — crippled the American Midwest in ways it still hasn’t recovered from. The same can be said for Germany. Meanwhile, Scandinavia enjoys robust welfare states that can only exist because of their heavy reliance on American military strength. America burns with the security of the world on its mind while the rest of the world hedonistically eats lotus fruit.
It can also be argued our foolish largess toward Europe allowed it the “luxury” of creating the European Union, simply a new bastion of power, crime, and corruption.
The question no longer is about the “sick man of Europe” but rather, is all of Europe sick, beyond healing? Oscar Wilde once said, “Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace.” For Donald Trump, when it comes to Ukraine and the larger world, the question is where? Where is the line drawn? On the other hand, does America have the moral authority to lecture Ukraine, much less the world on corruption? It is slightly ludicrous. After all, we are swimming in it. Washington, reeking with corruption, is honest only when it suits its purposes. The Washington Post and so many in Big Media wake up and go to bed, thinking nothing but corrupt thoughts. Hollywood, the academy, the culture, the cities, the corporations, corruption as far as the eye can see. Sodom and Gomorrah. Diogenes probably keeled over, dead of old age, as he never found an honest man in coastal America.
Still, on the world stage, America naively soldiers on, protecting the world from itself. Why?
Both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump saw that this massive defense imbalance may have had its use in the postwar world, yet was completely unsustainable in the 21st century. Our NATO allies needed to step forward into the breach. Both Obama and Trump fought for this and, by the admission of the New York Times Editorial Board, only Trump was successful.
This brings us to Ukraine. Many believe Ukraine is the lynchpin to the West. A key strategic ally and NATO state. It's also subsumed by corruption and crippled by oligarchs, and has been so since the fall of the Soviet Union. We must stand with and support our allies. Yet if our goal is to provide resources for their defense and the pipeline by which we provide them those resources is toxic, what are they ultimately getting? In short; If 99 cents of every dollar of aid America gives the Ukrainian government goes to graft, dirty bureaucrats, and oleaginous oligarchs, is it worth a penny of aid? Or are were just feeding the very corruption reformers we seek to end?
No one can yet speak knowledgeably about what occurred with the Bidens, but the question is worth asking. Did they somehow dishonestly benefit from America’s charity? Yet if Trump did threaten to withhold aid unless greater anti-corruption reforms were enacted, perhaps that’s the wakeup call our NATO allies need. Think of it. We were giving aid to Ukraine to take up arms against the Russians, but instead they were using that money to line their own pockets, instead of defending themselves. Are such people really worth defending?
The American taxpayer deserves to know that his dollars are being spent with the highest level of integrity; If our allies can’t get this done then it is the duty of the president of the United States to take a stand for those taxpayers and make it right.
It’s time for Europe to grow up, stop acting like Eurotrash, step forward and take responsibility for its own defense. Europe needs to become the master of its own house and not its own concubine.
If they can’t accept this, even partial responsibility for their own skins, are they still worth defending?
Craig Shirley is a Ronald Reagan biographer and presidential historian. His books include, “Reagan’s Revolution, The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started it All,” “Rendezvous with Destiny, Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America,” "Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years," and “ Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan." He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, “December, 1941” and his new 2019 book, “Mary Ball Washington,” a definitive biography of George Washington’s mother. Shirley lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and the Reagan Ranch. He has been named the First Reagan Scholar at Eureka College, Ronald Reagan’s alma mater and will teach a class this fall at the University of Virginia on Reagan. He appears regularly on Newsmax TV, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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