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Warfare-Welfare in Yugoslavia


More than 80 years ago, the United States entered World War I with the express purposes of making the world safe for democracy and making that war the one that would end all future European wars. The intervention was a radical departure from the foreign policy that George Washington had enunciated in his Farewell Address and which had been followed by the American people for more than 100 years — stay out of European conflicts and instead let America be a beacon of freedom, peace, and prosperity for the world.

Even the most ardent defenders of foreign wars and foreign intervention admit that World War I was a waste of American life. The consequences of World War I were exactly the opposite of what were intended. The chaos of war, the devastation of Germany, and the Treaty of Versailles gave rise to Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, and, a short time later, World War II.

Democrats and Republicans have always billed World War II as the “good war” because Adolf Hitler was killed and the Nazi army was defeated. Unfortunately, however, the dark consequences of that war are rarely discussed. The reason that Great Britain and France declared war on Germany in the first place was to ensure that Poland did not fall under totalitarian rule. Yet, at the end of the war, Eastern Europe, including Poland, found itself under the iron communist fist of the Soviet Union. Were the Eastern Europeans that much better off suffering under Joseph Stalin and the Communists than under Adolf Hitler and the Nazis?

We’re told that World War II was waged to save Jews from the Holocaust. By the time the war was over, however, six million Jews had died in the Nazi gas chambers. And the U.S. government’s “concern” for the Jews was exposed for the sham it was by a policy that prevented German Jews from saving their lives by emigrating to the United States.

One of the darkest consequences of both World War I and World War II has been the wholesale transformation of the United States into the warfare-welfare empire of the world, waging perpetual war for perpetual peace whenever the “national interest” has dictated it: Korea; Vietnam; Grenada; Panama; Somalia; Persian Gulf; and a host of covert military interventions all over the world.

The U.S. bombing of Serbia is the culmination of this warfare-welfare mindset, and it reflects how far the United States of America has plunged into political and moral depravity.

The issue is not whether a foreign dictator mistreats his own citizens. Dictators have done that throughout history. The issue is: Under what moral or constitutional authority does the president of the United States send our nation into war in order to dictate to a foreign dictator what he should do and shouldn’t do to the citizens of his own country?

Whether to revolt against the tyranny of one’s own government rightfully rests with the people who are suffering under that tyranny. Ultimately, they, not some foreign government, have to decide whether the oppression under which they suffer is worth the risk of armed conflict against their own government. The United States has no more business being an international policeman than it has being an international military-welfare daddy.

After all, where does all this stop? Do all governments have the right to militarily intervene to remedy the tyrannical acts of other governments? How would Americans react if China, Russia, or even Vietnam began bombing our cities in order to save Americans from another Waco or Ruby Ridge or even to prevent the federal government’s never-ceasing infringement on the autonomy of the respective states?

Under the warfare-welfare state, our president now exercises the omnipotent power to send the entire nation into war without even the semblance of a congressional declaration of war. Throughout history, dictators have yearned for such power — the power to unilaterally cancel external restraints upon their power to wage war. Why, even Hitler dreamed of that kind of power.

U.S. government officials say that the war is about the welfare of the Kosovar refugees. If that’s true, why are they prohibited from emigrating freely to the United States? If the U.S. government really has so much concern for people suffering under tyranny, why does it continue to repatriate Cuban refugees into communist tyranny?

Our nation started out as a constitutional republic whose powers were extremely limited, and the result was a shining beacon of hope for people all over the world. The time has come to recapture that vision by bringing the troops home and dismantling the warfare-welfare machine that has caused so much misery and destruction around the world.

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    Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.