Donald Trump was interviewed recently about America’s involvement in the Middle East. He said that he always believed we should have pumped all the oil out of Iraq and brought it home before we left that nation. His claim is that not doing so helped lead to the rise of ISIS.
There is absolutely nothing about this statement that doesn’t disturb me. For over one hundred years the US has not followed a to the victor goes the spoils policy. We have instead tried to see that first, wars are prevented and secondly, they conclude in such a way that vengeance isn’t necessary. The Marshall Plan following WWII is but one example of an attempt to prevent the kind of hatred that ended WWI and fed directly into causing WWII. Just imagine the need for vengeance in the Arab world if America had raped Iraq of its wealth.
Donald Trump has said any number of things that make him a war monger. He has said he wouldn’t rule out nuclear weapons, he has advocated for the spread of nuclear weapons, he has many times advocated for a policy that places American interest before those of other nations. He has given tacit approval for American boots on the ground in Syria. And he recently called for and unfunded $15 billion overhaul of the US military. He has even stated that he favors war if it results in an American victory.
These policies are exactly the same policies and attitudes that Germany, Japan, and Italy used to justify their actions leading up to WWII. Adolph Hitler argued that Germany needed more living space so it should take land from its neighbors. Mussolini justified his invasion of Ethiopia because rebuilding the Roman Empire would be good for Italy’s’ image. And Japan, lacking natural resources embarked on a path of military imperialism to capture the riches of Asia and the Pacific.
In today’s world Russia is doing the same thing as it annexed the Crimea and sent troops into Ukraine. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Israel continues to eat away at the lands of Palestine and both China and Russia are staring with greedy eyes at the Arctic and islands in the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan.
For all of my life the United States has officially stood against such aggression. We fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, and many other places with the stated purpose of forcing aggressors to acknowledge the sovereignty of states.
Now comes the current leader of the Republican Party with the potential to become the next president of the United States and he seems to be getting away with the same kinds of dangerous principles that America for seventy-five years has found contrary to its principles.
How the hell can this be possible. That the great nation that fought to protect and foster democracy in the world can be on the verge of becoming the world’s next great bully?