Mearsheimer on Ukraine

A reader sends me a link to a foreign policy lecture on Ukraine, which may be of interest to my readers. I reprint his comments below as a guest lecture:

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One of the best publicly-accessible background primers laying out the events of 2014 over there, which is the heart of what brought events to the present crisis, is Dr. John Mearsheimer’s foreign policy lecture:

I fear that a great many Americans who are angry with our government’s overreach and tyranny over here are seizing the opportunity to join the 5-minute hate against Russia, as a sort of cathartic exercise that provides an emotional release of excoriating a powerful politician, but avoids the risk of openly belittling the tyrants on our continent. We have Americans, great and small, senator and street-sweeper, openly calling for the assassination of Putin.

This strikes me as a variant of virtue-signaling, especially seductive to the “dissident” who wants relief from his domestic tormentors. It is a chance to bay for blood, but not join the hunt. It is performative outrage every bit as shallow and mean as the feigned outrage of sodomites protesting Christians in the wake of a Muslim bombing of a gay dance-club. The fear and outrage is real, but the target is selected to avoid the risk of real conflict.

If Sen. Graham or Mr. Aesop were to call for the assassination of Justin Trudeau or Joe Biden, they might face real risk of consequences. They’re comfortably calling for blood overseas because they trust Putin not to come for theirs here.

I find it immensely disheartening how many people who should know better have jumped on the bandwagon and seized a cudgel to sound the war-drum, but not to free their children or brothers from domestic tyranny. Instead they chant, cheer and rave for the destruction of a foreign competitor to their domestic tyrants and tormentors.

May God have mercy on us, if it is right he should do so.