What were America’s founders and their followers trying to foster and preserve by their conduct among nations? What were they trying to put first? Why did the Progressives turn away from these concerns? What did they put first? How dismissive were they of reality? What have been Progressivism’s effects on how America has fared among nations? How have changes in the world and in America itself made it impossible to continue on the Progressive’s course? How would John Quincy Adams and those following his principles manage America’s present international situation?
By what principles might today’s statesmen put America First?
President Joe Biden is planning to use a Cold War-era law to boost U.S. production of critical minerals essential for electric vehicle batteries and defense equipment, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
The president would add battery materials to a list of materials protected under the 1950 Defense Production Act (DPA) if he were to move forward with the plan, people familiar with White House plans told Bloomberg. Such a move would give mining firms access to a $750 million fund established under the DPA and used to “to carry out all of the provisions and purposes” of the act, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Almost exactly 76 years ago, on March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of Great Britain, delivered one of the most important speeches of the century. Surveying the increasing despotic rule by the Soviet Russians over Central and Eastern Europe in the wake of World War Two, Churchill declared, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”
That phrase, “iron curtain,” stuck, helping to define the Cold War for the next five decades. In such a chilled environment, significant trade and normal exchange of any kind between the Free World and the Communist Bloc was unthinkable.
So now today, we can see that an iron curtain is once again descending; only time will tell if brave Ukraine will be held, once again, as a captive nation on the wrong side of this terrible barrier.
Going through Checkpoint Charlie into gloomy and dark, dank East Berlin was always frightening. The Wall itself was ominous, the guards were the fiercest looking on the planet, and the barbed wire and landmines were right there for everyone to see. All of us have seen jaw-dropping spy movies about the infamous Friedrichstrasse and what happened on the other side of it. They were commies, after all.
The Biden administration appears to be heading in the direction of waging a two-front Cold War over Ukraine in Eastern Europe and Taiwan in East Asia, both of which could turn “hot” any day. The imprudence of such an approach should be obvious, but the great danger is that such “crises” could get out of hand before the leaders involved step back from the brink.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin may want to extend Russia’s rule to Ukraine and other former Soviet republics, but he definitely wants to ensure the end of NATO expansion. China’s Xi Jinping, like all of his predecessors, wants Taiwan unified with the mainland, and while he would prefer to do it peacefully, he may be willing to risk war with the United States to achieve his goal–especially if he believes he can win such a war at an acceptable cost.
That leaves the Biden administration, which to date has been sending mixed signals to both Russia and China. Administration spokespersons have warned of severe consequences should Russia invade Ukraine, but President Biden has stated that those consequences will be primarily economic in the form of sanctions. Meanwhile, President Biden has stated that the United States will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack, but administration spokespersons have walked that back and reaffirmed the U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity.” This is a recipe for confusion, misunderstanding, and possibly war on two fronts.
In the wake of the recent arrest of Maryland nuclear engineer, Jonathan Toebbe, and his wife, Diana Toebbe on charges they tried to sell classified nuclear warship information to a foreign country, the mainstream media has focused on the “mystery” of how this could happen. But very little media coverage has focused on their progressive political background—the most likely key to their misdeeds.
In fact, strangely enough, husband and wife traitor teams are often linked to left-wing politics. Why hasn’t the establishment media focused on this tie?
When the Chinese authorities last year arrested the late Dr. Li Wenliang, along with seven others, for warning his fellow citizens about a deadly new coronavirus, those authorities, as usual, were engaged in a cover-up.
What were they seeking to hide? A naturally occurring zoonotic disease that had leapt to humanity in a Wuhan wet market? Or a virus that had escaped from a supposedly secure facility where it was being studied and modified?
As we get to the midpoint between the last presidential election and next year’s midterms, all political sides are expending extraordinary effort to ignore the 900-pound gorilla in the formerly smoke-filled room of American politics. This, of course, is Donald Trump.
The Democrats are still outwardly pretending Trump has gone and that his support has evaporated. They also pretend they can hobble him with vexatious litigation and, if necessary, destroy him again by raising the Trump-hate media smear campaign back to ear-splitting levels.
Anti-nuclear activist groups like the so-called Physicians for Social Responsibility, Ploughshares, Union of Concerned Scientists, Federation of American Scientists, and others criticize the U.S. and national security professionals for supposedly wrongly “demonizing” Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. Hypocritically, these same anti-nuclear activists routinely “demonize” the U.S. national security community and any President and Congress that wants to modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent to prevent World War III. More than one anti-nuclear activist has called me and my colleagues the “root of all evil” because we will not “give peace a chance” by engaging recklessly in yet another dangerously irresponsible act of unilateral disarmament—like banning U.S. ICBMs.
Maybe you have no idea how many times the U.S. has “given peace a chance” with consequences that make nuclear war more likely?
Under the Presidential Nuclear Initiative (PNI), the U.S. unilaterally reduced tactical nuclear weapons from 15,000 to 180. But Russia cheated on the PNI and now has at least a 10-to-1 advantage. (See Dr. Mark Schneider, “Russian Nuclear Force Expansion and the Failure of Arms Control” RealClearDefense October 24, 2019.)
It is almost impossible to describe adequately how absurd the partisan abrasions of American politics appear after listening to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s virtual address earlier this week to the inevitable World Economic Forum at Davos. A more unlikely setting could not be imagined: Davos is a dingy, cold, little town inhabited by grumpy German Swiss with inferior hotels and restaurants and one of the few benefits of the coronavirus pandemic is that Davos is now virtual and the rigors of its Spartan, humorless, relentless globalism may be moderated somewhat by the comforts of home.