Martin Luther King Jr. sermonized that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” But he was wrong.
Horrors or violence abroad did not betoken danger at home at the nation’s birth. The Napoleonic Wars did not threaten the sovereignty of the United States or the liberties of its citizens. The United States had no stake in the outcome of Waterloo or the 1815 Congress of Vienna.
Nothing has changed on that score in the ensuing centuries despite the globalization fallacy.
It maintains that violence or atrocities anywhere threatens stability or peace everywhere because real time and space have shrunk with advances in technology. Accordingly, the United States should intervene wherever violence or atrocities rear their heads as a matter of anticipatory self-defense.
As members of the human race, we are rightly appalled by war, oppression or human rights violations wherever they occur. Only savages revel in the misery or suffering of others.
But that does not imply that the United States itself is threatened by unspeakable atrocities in foreign lands. The evidence is mountainous.
Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China occasioned the slaughter of at least 30 million. His Great Leap Forward killed 45 million. The 75 million Mao sent to the graveyard exceeds the populations of all but 18 countries of the world today. But the United States was not affected by these mass murders of Mao that bettered the odious instruction of Adolph Hitler. Indeed, our security was enhanced by China’s preoccupation with self-ruination.
Joseph Stalin, general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, committed genocide against 6 million to 7 million Ukrainians. His purges of the 1930s, the Great Terror, took the lives of another 13 or more million. The 20 million dead at Stalin’s hand equaled the 20 million Red Army soldiers who perished in all of World War II. His atrocities weakened the Soviet Union and did not impact the security of the United States.
Over the past decade, the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed approximately 6 million combined with a staggering number of rapes and displaced persons. The violence there has not spread to the United States or disturbed our national security.
The Rwanda genocide sent 800,000 Tutsi to their graves at the hands of the Hutu ethnic majority. The slaughter had no impact on the security or tranquility of the United States.
Cambodia’s Pol Pot committed genocide against 1 million fellow Cambodians. It earned him eternal infamy and triggered belated genocide trials for a few of his chief lieutenants. But the genocide neither impaired U.S. security nor otherwise harmed America.
The Ethiopian Red Terror perpetrated by Mengistu Haile Mariam killed 150,000 university students, intellectuals and politicians without adverse consequences for the United States.
The life of wisdom has been experience, not academic musings or speculation with ulterior motives.
The experiences chronicled above teach that the current mayhem in Syria and Iraq is no danger to the United States. That equation would not change even if the borders of the two countries were altered. It would not change even if the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) defeated its many adversaries in the short run. If that transpired, ISIS would immediately splinter among rival factions seeking wealth and power, and Shiites in Iran and Iraq would arrest its ability to expand.
Notwithstanding globalization, every military resource of the United States should be devoted exclusively to defending Americans from an actual or imminent attack. No American should ever be directed to risk that last full measure of devotion to assuage the nation’s moral conscience.
For the saintly dissatisfied with a self-interested foreign policy, let them go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.
For more information on Bruce Fein, visit brucefeinlaw.