Victor Hanson wrote a thought-provoking, if not very original, column praising the United States for its role in protecting “at risk nations”. He writes:
So why does the United States take risks in guaranteeing the security of countries such as Israel and Taiwan? Surely the smart money – and most of the world – bets on its richer enemies. The Arab Middle East has oil, hundreds of millions of people and lots of dangerous radical Islamic terrorists. China is more than 1 billion strong, with the fastest-growing economy in the world.
But President Obama should remember that America does not think solely in terms of national advantage. In fact, only the United States seems to have an affinity for protecting tiny, vulnerable countries. In two wars and more than 12 years of no-fly zones in Iraq, America saved the Kurds from a genocidal Saddam Hussein…
All of these people – Israelis, anti-communist Chinese, Kurds, Greeks and Armenians – have a few things in common. They have relatively small – and often shrinking – populations, aggressive neighbors, few strong allies, many expatriates and refugees in the United States, and a tragic history of persecution and genocide. Half the world’s Jews were lost to the Holocaust. Had Mao Zedong – the most prolific mass murderer in history – gotten his way, the entire anti-communist Chinese population who fled in terror to Taiwan would have been wiped out. In the early 1920s, nearly a million Greeks perished in Asia Minor – ethnically cleansed by a Turkey that had at one time conquered and occupied Greece for more than 350 years. A million Armenians perished during the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The stateless Kurds have often been persecuted by Arabs, Iranians and Turks…
Only America is moral and strong enough to protect the world’s historically vulnerable but culturally unique peoples. It would be a shame if we forgot that – either out of desire for profit or because we became fed up with the bother.
As much as we would like to think of America as if it were a benevolent individual, or some sort of super-hero out to protect the little guy, in reality it is more like a vast political machine. As immigrants stream into its borders, they form well-organized lobbying groups capable of seizing control of certain aspects of this machine. At the same time, it sometimes does serve America’s strategic interests to protect small nations and peoples. While Hanson praises America for protecting the Kurds, it is worth noting that such protection has mainly been at the expense of Iraq. The U.S. has done comparatively little to help the Kurds on the Turkish side of the border because friendship with Turkey is considered more important than human rights for Kurds. Similarly, there are strategic reasons why it is important for the U.S. to support (at least de-facto) Taiwanese independence from mainland China.
Even a broken clock is correct twice a day (once a day if it is a military clock). Likewise, even a political machine will do the right thing once in a while. While there may be some human sentiment involved now and then, my impression is that as the United States grows in population and complexity, this human factor decreases in importance. In other words, political decisions are increasingly subject to special interests, big business lobbying and foreign pressure. As the U.S. loses its cultural identity, “right” and “wrong” will mean less and less.
And that brings us to Hanson’s last paragraph. Yes, it is important to protect “culturally unique peoples”, but it needs to be recognized that one of those peoples is the American People. If we accept Hanson’s premise that an important part of American culture is to protect the little guy, then it follows that we have a responsibility to protect American culture – if not for itself, then at least for the small, “at risk” nations.
If, and when, the United States deteriorates into a third world cesspool (due to uncontrolled immigration and anti-assimilation policies), then what will become of nations like Taiwan, Armenia and Greece? Who will they then look up to to protect their interests? Certainly not Eurabia.