Secular Holy Wars
For whose values will we fight?
Today, President Biden visited U.S. troops in Poland, where he made a remarkable admission (later walked back by the White House) that he was going to send the 82nd Airborne to Ukraine:
Biden also lectured the troops about the importance of fighting for shared values and democracy. He suggested their fight, if he chooses to send them, would be one of good vs. evil:
“Ten, 15 years from now in terms of our organizational structures, the question is, who’s going to prevail? Are democracies going to prevail and the values we share? Or are autocracies going to? That’s really what’s at stake.”
Biden added that “We’re in the midst of a fight between democracies and oligarchs.”
If you think you’ve heard that before, it’s because they are a variation of the neoconservative belief that it is the obligation of the U.S., and it is the American interest, to promote and defend democracy and liberalism across the world.
Democracy promotion - American values spread through American arms - was a key tenet of the U.S. policy in 2002, where the National Security Strategy was to “actively work to bring the hope of democracy . . . to every corner of the world.” In 2005, President George W. Bush promised the War in Iraq, and the “democracy” to emerge from the destruction, would lay “the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren.”
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Anyway, Biden’s promise to fight for those “values we share” might seem inspiring.
Until you dare ask: “what values?” (Forgive my boldness, but I assume that Biden’s values are not your values.)
And until you realize that the use of force to advance these “values” - or what one might call liberal doctrine - is nothing but a Secular Holy War.
Americans who enlist do so to defend their country and the Constitution, not to risk their lives to advance the beliefs of the latest liberal Regime. The theory of Just War, to which we subscribe, rejects such justifications for the use of force (as it also rejects Russia’s war against Ukraine, or the U.S. war in Iraq).
As to the other part of Biden’s statement, what price should America pay to protect or advance another’s democracy? Let us remember that the U.S. spent over $2 trillion in Afghanistan, losing billions to fraud and waste and careless spending. Americans financed Afghan (and their own government’s) corruption with their dollars. American sons and daughters paid for it with blood. For the liberal right, the sacrifice of others wasn’t enough.
Of course, there is the possibility that feel-good words like “values” and “democracy” are used to justify the escalation of conflict, masking the true intent of the Biden Administration to use Ukraine as a proxy against Russia, to use Ukraine as part of their sphere of influence.
If that is the case, then we are seeing deception to increase public support for American or NATO intervention. Sound familiar?