President-elect Donald Trump campaigned against the multi-trillion dollar military industrial-counterterrorism complex (MICC). Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her battalions of neo-con myrmidons were its drum majors.
If Mr. Trump refrains from dismantling the MICC in favor of invincible self-defense, he will have betrayed his constituents. He will be another outsider who becomes an insider by the seduction of power.
The MICC represents the worst investment in the history of mankind. Continuing MICC wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance, have cost a staggering $6 trillion—nearly one-third of the entire national debt. In exchange for that sum, they have begotten an escalation of international terrorism, record opium production, the birth of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and a strengthening of arch-enemy Iran. The MICC is unworthy of even a sentence in The Art of the Deal.
Mr. Trump campaigned on making America great again.
In foreign policy, America’s greatness and glory has been the celebration of liberty at home, and exerting influence abroad by example. The principles of equality, self-government, and liberty enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution fell like hammer blows on an anvil across monarchical Europe.
Then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams elaborated in his July 4, 1821 Address to Congress that preserving America’s greatness meant renouncing war except in self-defense, and creating an invincible national shield with the motto: “Freedom, Independence, Peace.” Thus, when Hungary pleaded for United States military intervention to defend against the Russian Bear under the banner of “world leader,” Sen. Henry Clay responded:
“Far better is it for ourselves, for Hungary, and for the cause of liberty, that, adhering to our wise, pacific system, and avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning brightly on this western shore as a light to all nations, than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of fallen or falling republics of Europe.”
Clay was echoing President George Washington’s Farewell Address warning against foreign entanglements.
The United States lost its greatness with the birth of the MICC after World War II. It inflated danger abroad manifold to justify its existence and growth. At present, the MICC is gratuitously waging war in seven countries: Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It is also engaged in indefinite global wars against ISIS and Al-Qaeda. The MICC scoffs at Abraham Lincoln’s pinpointing the true danger to American greatness:
“-At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! —All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? … It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
To make America great again, President Trump’s foreign policy slogan should be “Tens of billions for defense, but not one cent for world leadership.”
President Trump should immediately end all of the MICC’s wars that are diverting trillions of dollars away from the construction of needed infrastructure; making us less safe by creating more enemies than they are destroying; hijacking our national genius away from production to killing; and, giving birth to a surveillance state that targets every “not-yet-guilty” American.
President Trump should redeploy all of our armed forces stationed abroad back to the United States to defend our borders, our sea lanes, our air space, and our cyberspace. As Otto von Bismarck would not risk the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier for the whole of the Balkans, President Trump should not risk the life of a single American soldier for a foreigners or foreign nations without allegiance to us. To symbolize his commitment to invincible self-defense, President Trump should give our armed forces a pay raise after redeployment to the United States.
He should also renounce any treaty commitment to defend another nation from aggression as unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court held in Reid v. Covert that treaties cannot override the Constitution; and, the latter entrusts to Congress exclusive responsibility for war under Article I, section 8, clause 11. Treaties involve only the Senate.
Finally, President Trump should renounce the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran purporting to restrain its nuclear ambitions. By any legal or historical standard, the JCPOA was a treaty requiring Senate ratification by a two-thirds majority. Instead, President Obama promulgated the JCOPA as an executive agreement in circumvention of the Constitution’s Treaty Clause.
The Constitution is too important to America’s greatness to sacrifice on the altar of political expediency.
Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.