restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


Is America Sounding Jeffersonian Again?

 David Alan Black  

Isn’t it nice to hear the United States sounding Jeffersonian again?

Isn’t it a relief to hear us condemning nations that bully other nations around? Isn’t it great we are questioning one nation’s right to attack another nation? Isn’t it good to hear our leaders calling on nations to respect the sovereign integrity of other nations? Isn’t it great that we are so quick to call for foreign troops to withdraw from a nation it has occupied?

My only question is this: What moral grounds do we have for picking on Russia when we are planning a long-term military relationship with the government of Iraq, a relationship that would grant the Pentagon access to bases and project American military power into the heart of this unsettled region of the world (which, coincidentally, is also the heart of the world’s major energy resources)?

The hypocrisy is appalling, at least to me. That we have become a global hyperpower with imperial ambitions should cause Americans to weep.

Ah, “empire” – at one time that was a word of opprobrium. Empire-building was an anathema to the American ethos. Not anymore apparently.

Writing in today’s LRC, retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski observes:

Our 20th-century American habit, continued to the present day, is to send our military halfway around the world to dominate and destroy small countries with fourth-rate defenses. This not only doesn’t seem to embarrass the great minds at AEI, it is embraced by them – except when a once and future (and now very wealthy) enemy follows suit. Then, miraculously, the language of freedom is summoned. That elsewhere these same intellectuals can smoothly take the side of separatist Kurds, Shiites, Kosovars and even Chechnyans – using the same exact language, belies the real purpose and intent of AEI: to promote the neoconservative Washington consensus – clothed in the language of freedom and democracy.

Perhaps we are overlooking something. Hasn’t Providence summoned America to the task of reforming the global order? “We (and not Russia or any other power!) have the sovereign right to take military action when and how we choose.” Isn’t this the unquestioned and unquestionable mantra of hegemony?

Welcome, friends, to a unipolar world in which America allows no peer competitor. A world in which the right of aggression is reserved only to the United States and perhaps a handful of its chosen clients. A world in which lies become truth if repeated often enough. A world in which virtuous declarations of intent suffice to lull a passive citizenry to sleep. A world in which countries with atrocious human rights records are coddled because they support our “war on terror.” A world of moral hypocrisy and political double standards.

The last word belongs to Jefferson:

We believe no more in Bonaparte’s fighting merely for the liberties of the sea, than in Great Britain’s fighting for the liberties of mankind. The object is the same, to draw to themselves the power, the wealth, and the resources of other nations.

August 15, 2008

David Alan Black is the editor of

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