Kagan’s Latest Bugle for Ruinous Empire

Robert Kagan is deaf to the timeless wisdom of Hamilton, Quincy Adams and Lincoln, envisioning the end of the free world if the U.S. neglects to stand with Ukraine whatever it takes, argues Bruce Fein.

Cartoon contrasts this with a map showing the significantly smaller size of the United States in 1798, exactly 100 years earlier. (Public Domain/Wikipedia)

By Bruce Fein
Special to Consortium News

Whom the gods would destroy, they have first to listen to Robert Kagan.

Kagan postulates in a profusion of books and articles that Americans are God’s chosen people, that the United States is the indispensable nation, and that the putative cures America has for the infinite ills of the world are superior to the diseases. Fleas are magnified into elephants to justify projecting the military strength of the United States everywhere under the Orwellian banner of anticipatory self-defense, i.e., destroy first, ask whether you killed innocents later.

Kagan’s latest cri de coeur blazed forth in an Opinions Essay in The Washington Post on March 31, “Trump’s anti-Ukraine view dates to the 1930s. Americans rejected it then. Will we now?”(p. A20-21). He absurdly assumes that the national security of the United States will be imperiled unless we provide Ukraine with infinite funds and weapons to defend against Russia’s attack launched in 2022.

Robert Kagan, neo-conservative senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, shown in 2008. (Mariusz Kubik/Wikimedia Commons)

The fate of Ukraine, whose borders have changed on multiple occasions throughout its history, is irrelevant to the peace and safety of the United States. Indeed, a Russian occupation or conquest would weaken Russia as a military power.

It would be engaged in chronic and expensive efforts to quell inevitable Ukrainian rebellions reminiscent of the Soviet Union’s post-World War II bedevilments in Central and Eastern Europe which fueled its dissolution, e.g., East Germany in 1953, Hungary in 1956, and Czechoslovakia in 1968. The Warsaw Pact was a costly paper tiger.

Invincible self-defense from actual or imminent aggression is the optimal national security policy of the United States. That policy and its justification was best articulated by secretary of state John Quincy Adams in his July 4, 1821, address to Congress.

The secretary warned against military force to eliminate the crooked timber of mankind. Constant warfare would destroy liberty at home, he said, echoing Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers. That truth has been more than amply vindicated by experience.

Hamilton observed:

“The violent destruction of life and property incident to war – the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty, to resort for repose and security, to institutions, which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe they, at length, become willing to run the risk of being less free.”

John Quincy Adams made the same point more powerfully:

“[The United States] has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart.

She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right.

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

Copy of 1843 daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams by Philip Haas. (Wikimedia Commons)

But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force….

She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

Abraham Lincoln also discredited the delusion that without a garrison state bestriding the world like a colossus the United States would be destroyed by enemies without:

“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.

… [If danger]ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. 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.”

Kagan is deaf to the timeless wisdom of Hamilton, Quincy Adams, and Lincoln. He scampers away from endeavoring to refute their arguments (fortified by volumes of history), like jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge without consulting Newton’s Principia Mathematica.

The ultra-war hawk envisions the end of the free world if the United States neglects to stand with Ukraine whatever it takes. Russia will conquer the Baltic States and invade European members of NATO. China will attack Taiwan. The world will surrender to enemies of freedom. Western civilization will end.

Britain’s Prime Minister Anthony Eden similarly proclaimed in 1956 that international order and peace would disappear unless Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser was destroyed for nationalizing the Suez Canal. History proved the stupendous error and drove the Prime Minister from office.

In any event, Kagan’s reputation for clairvoyance is suspect. Cajoling Americans to support the impending U.S. war of aggression against Iraq, he trumpeted in 2002 that, “No step would contribute more toward shaping a world order in which our people and our liberal civilization can survive and flourish.”

The war came. Trillions were expended on a fool’s errand that made arch-enemy Iran a Middle East hegemon dominating Iraq. A precedent was set, which Kagan championed, that Russia followed in invading Ukraine. Hasn’t he been hoisted on his own petard?

The optimal influence of the United States abroad is the influence of example. To be sure, that modesty will leave many evils and imperfections in the world unaddressed. But it is superior to any other national security policy ever attempted or conceived.

Don’t sacrifice the good on the altar of the perfect.

Bruce Fein was associate deputy attorney general under President Reagan and author of American Empire Before The Fall.

58 comments for “Kagan’s Latest Bugle for Ruinous Empire

  1. Eric
    April 10, 2024 at 22:08

    The cartoon appears to show a chunk of Canada under the eagle’s claws.

    April 9, 2024 at 18:04

    Remember that Quincy Adams July 4, 1821 oration excerpted here was directed toward Americans who proposed directly aiding the “Great Liberator” Simon Bolivar in the bloody struggle against the ongoing Spanish attempt to recolonize Venezuela, which a decade earlier had been the first in the hemisphere to win its independence from Spain. Two years after Adams’ speech, the Monroe Doctrine would establish a protectorate over the Americas, not for the benefit of those states but to warn the Old World that this was now Washington’s exclusive economic zone. This policy would provide the rationale for the many US invasions and subversions of the Caribbean. Central and South American republics that followed over the next two centuries.

    • vinnieoh
      April 10, 2024 at 14:35

      March 13, 1962

      “For too long my country, the wealthiest nation in a continent which is not wealthy, failed to carry out its full responsibilities to its sister Republics. We have now accepted that responsibility. In the same way those who possess wealth and power in poor nations must accept their own responsibilities. They must lead the fight for those basic reforms which alone can preserve the fabric of their societies. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

      JFK addressing the diplomatic corps of the Alliance For Progress (a US/Latin American economic development consortium.)

      The irony/hypocrisy was that at that same time the US was involved in multiple “counter-revolutionary” operations throughout ‘Latin’ America. The “School of the Americas” et.al.

  3. Gregory Kruse
    April 9, 2024 at 14:40

    Kagan should read Barbara Touchman’s book, The March of Folly. He sounds like Lyndon Johnson when speaking of the consequences of failing to stop Communism in Vietnam.

  4. Rich Simpson
    April 9, 2024 at 10:55

    Isn’t Robert Kagan the spouse of Victoria Nuland who effectively led over 500,000 Ukrainian soldiers to their deaths? Why are these people still allowed to promote their deadly programs? Does profit trump the lives of hundreds of thousands? It would surely appear so.

    • Robert
      April 9, 2024 at 22:23

      Yes, Kagan and Nuland are a “power couple” in DC. That’s about all one needs to know about the moral depravity of Washington DC. Take them outside DC and they both starve to death. Soulless creatures responsible for the death of millions of people.

    • gwb
      April 10, 2024 at 12:39

      Kagan’s screed got a full two-page spread in the WaPo print edition that Sunday.

      And yes, he’s “Toria” Nuland’s husband. At the State Department, everyone bowed and scraped before her like she was a demigod (at least publicly).

  5. vinnieoh
    April 9, 2024 at 10:46

    Thanks for the history reminder, Mr. Fein, but Iran now a “hegemon”?

    Now who is seeing monsters and existential threats in the shadows of non-stop propagandizing?

  6. Stephanie Carrow
    April 9, 2024 at 09:24

    The problem begins with the premise that US foreign policy is ever about national security, or the securing of freedom and democracy abroad. It is about hegemony, about the domination, control and exploitation of the world’s resources. It is also about obscenely lucrative war profiteering. Those who use the excuse of national security are either steeped in a paranoid delusion or consciously and cynically concealing and justifying their true intentions.

    For almost 30 years, four presidential administrations insisted that our national security was threatened by a tiny country of barefoot, impoverished rice farmers in Southeast Asia. It doesn’t get crazier than that. Or more flagrantly bogus. We have never acknowledged, let alone made any real remuneration for, the atrocities we committed there.

    All US warmongers, Robert Kagan included, seem to be governed only by the most primitive impulses of insatiable greed and blood lust, which distorts their judgment entirely. Such poor judgment is not in the service of national security.

    • Robert
      April 9, 2024 at 14:40

      “are either steeped in a paranoid delusion or consciously and cynically concealing and justifying their true intentions”. My bet is 99.9% on # 2. Mr. and Mrs. Kagen/Nuland know exactly what they are doing by hiding behind national security. It simply provides cover for their type to avenge centuries old grudges against their kind. A more despicable couple has never held power in DC. If anyone wants to determine how deep the moral decay is in Washington DC, just study the rise of these two loathsome creatures.

    • Baron
      April 9, 2024 at 16:09

      Well said, Stephanie, really well said.

  7. TP Graf
    April 9, 2024 at 07:47

    To give credit where credit is due, I post this letter of JQA’s mother to his father.

    Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March 1776

    …I long to hear that you have declared an independancy — and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

    That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex. Regard us then as Beings placed by providence under your protection and in immitation of the Supreem Being make use of that power only for our happiness.

    • Stephanie Carrow
      April 9, 2024 at 09:39

      It’s unfortunate that Abigail’s husband did not heed her plea. Her reasoning applies to nations as well: that it is preferable for a stronger nation to treat a weaker one with kindness and equality, rather than domination and military might, in order to achieve true happiness and security.

      Sadly, though, women have shown themselves to be as capable of tyranny as men. History and current times have provided us with many examples.

  8. Vera Gottlieb
    April 9, 2024 at 05:51

    PS: I thought the Jews were god’s ‘chosen people’…Americans too?

    • Edith Grove
      April 9, 2024 at 10:05

      Look at Kagan’s plump old lady and her like that dominate the govt to know who run the country

    • Michael
      April 9, 2024 at 13:42

      this is the essence of Neoconservatism.

    • robert e williamson jr
      April 10, 2024 at 12:25

      Com On Vera never heard of Manifest Destiny? Justification for the white man to engage in the genocide of the North American indigenous peoples, you know those red skinned savages.

      Hater gonna hate!

  9. Francis (Frank) Lee
    April 9, 2024 at 05:49

    It seems very foolish to entertain notions of imperial grandeur, particularly when the scales power are tipping away from the Atlanticist bloc. Just think, Russia has a number one global military spot. It has dominance in land, sea and air, and the west had better take note. Russia is a huge country and it would be easy enough to hide away its assets. Moreover, every invasion of Russia has been tried, tested and failed. Those countries which have attempted 7 invasions of Russia – Vikings, Huns, Tartars, Poles, Swedes, French and Germans (twice) have in their turn and marched though forests, marsh and steppe into the heart of Russian heartlands … but have left left behind abject failure. Only Rurik and his Vikings in 862 achieved a minor success.

    At the present time only the US could match the dominant Russian behemoth. It seems best to let sleeping dogs lay.

    P.S. Book. ”Seven Roads to Moscow. – by Lieutenant-Colonel, W.G.F. Jackson, MA, BA, RE, Instructor, Staff College, Camberley 1948-50, Instructor, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, 1950-3

  10. Vera Gottlieb
    April 9, 2024 at 05:19

    With or without Ukraine…with the US’ never ending attempts at hegemony our ‘free’ world is coming to an end. The ‘American way (of life) is the future, NOT a mirage.

  11. Voltaria Voltaire
    April 9, 2024 at 02:32

    Well, we certainly have given Ukraine lots of “lethal aid” have we not? Seeing as how they are mostly dead, their organs long ago sold off. Fighting to the last man (or boy or girl) standing so the rich investment groups like Blackrock doesn’t have anyone STANDING in its way. Perhaps Kagan considers that if everyone everywhere dies there will be no more ills. Well, there won’t. There’ll be no more NOTHING. If we got rid of the war machine, what could we do? Don’t expect The Washington Lost to report on the idea in a favorable way. The uniparty does not respect International Law or the Constitition, let alone The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I’m wondering if Jill Stein would put the Green back into the Green Party by recognising that the war machine is the at the heart of the greatest environmental threat to the planet and its’ people.

  12. susan mullen
    April 8, 2024 at 21:43

    Thanks for commenter Caliman points. 1930s actually was known for “Neutrality Acts.” Yes, Robert Kagan has been wrong about everything, but US political class is fine with him. Converting US from a country to a war machine has solved elites’ biggest problem: how to silence annoying voters. The Pentagon can’t be changed by “elections.” US taxpayers are enslaved from birth to weapons makers. As the late Robert Parry observed, 7/13/2015, “As the blood flowed and the suffering worsened, the neocons just sought out someone else to blame.”…”The Mess that Nuland Made.”

  13. robert e williamson jr
    April 8, 2024 at 21:38

    I greatly desire why Obama was ever taken in so by this Bafoonish puppet for the eliet’s. I don’t need to know much about hims other that he worked with Bill Kristol on the Plan for the New American Century.

    Judging from what I know about Kagan, the “orange turd” likely thought him a good candidate for the CORRUTI SCROTUS.

    Of all the talent in the U.S. this a-hole gets a top position at the State Department.

    Thanks CN

    • Brian Bixby
      April 9, 2024 at 14:24

      The first thing that soured me on Obama, well before the election, was his political origins. One does not have a meteoric rise in Chicago politics without first being bought and paid for. I was never under the illusion that he stood for anyone but the rich and powerful, and had that confirmed in spades.

  14. wildthange
    April 8, 2024 at 21:00

    First off he is claiming god for authority which looks like all the same NATO suspect powers of the western empires collaborating with a consenting monotheistic partner from behind the scenes. A god of our win making and a runaway military process. Our civilization is running in a mode setting we don’t know how to reset. It has been a runaway process too profitable for it to be reduced to a lower power setting. Permanent war could become a permanent system fail however. ( is there a religious war in the Ukraine too left over from old ages and orthodoxies past?)

  15. ZT
    April 8, 2024 at 19:21

    “Indeed, a Russian occupation or conquest would weaken Russia as a military power”

    Which is why Russia never aimed for that. And still doesnt.

  16. Rafi Simonton
    April 8, 2024 at 19:06

    Haven’t we seen this arrogant “logic” before? The Best and the Brightest indeed.
    And wasn’t one of the stellar items of the B & B group’s reasoning that it was necessary to destroy some village in order to save it? That was certainly a winning strategy.
    So now of course applied in any number of locales. Destroying whole chunks of the globe while enabling the destruction of freedoms at home through a surveillance state.
    The unholy cabal of paranoid neocons and egomaniac econopaths in the current administration sense a growing enmity all around them. Thus justifying their need for aggressive defense. They’re right that more and more of us oppose them. They’re wrong about everything else.

  17. April 8, 2024 at 18:55

    I take issue with the assertion by the author of this piece that, with regard to the U.S. war of aggression in Iraq, ” A precedent was set . . . that Russia followed in invading Ukraine.”

    Russia’s intervention in Ukraine was entirely defensive in nature: 1) to demilitarize Ukraine to protect the ethnically Russian (since the 1780’s) population of Novorossiya, the Donbas, and Crimea, whom Kiev had been shelling — because they are Russian — since 2014; 2) to denazify Ukraine because it is the hyper-Russophobic ideology of the Banderites who, with U.S. support, overthrew the geopolitically neutral president of Ukraine (who signed into law legislation in 2010 formalizing the neutrality asserted in Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the USSR in 1991) that is the root cause of Kiev’s aggression against the ethnically Russian population of Ukraine; and 3) to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, which, if Ukraine did join NATO, would install nuclear-armed missiles on Russia’s border that could reach Moscow in 5 minutes.

    As every reader of these pages knows, Russia has worked tirelessly from well before 2014 through the present to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the crisis that U.S. warmongers have inflicted on Ukraine and refuse to settle diplomatically.

    I have no patience with claims of “Russian aggression” in Ukraine. They are based entirely on lies and are utterly contrary to the factual history of this conflict.

    • Caliman
      April 9, 2024 at 12:07

      That Russia “invaded” Ukraine is entirely factual: Russia invaded a sovereign nation that was not attacking it at that point.

      That Russia had many good (and some bad) reasons for doing so, many of which you list, and that (unlike us) Russia had much preferred to solve its problems through negotiation and was stymied by us at every turn, are also entirely factual.

      Great nations do their best to control their near-abroads … sometimes wisely to reduce tensions and conflict, sometimes tyrannically … Russia is no different.

      • hetro
        April 9, 2024 at 18:09

        I think there are some problems with the term “invasion” or “invaded,” which suggests massive aggression and intent of conquest (as with “Invasion of Normandy.”) Bill Appledorf’s “intervention,” I think is a more suitable term here. We should recall the circumstances of the time–a sudden massive increase in bombardment of the Donbas, which had already suffered 14,000 casualties since the 2014 coup. So a force of some 190,000 was brought in as an SMO for protection of the populace with its largely Russian-identifying occupants. This was not (as was then spun) the beginning movement of a sweep across Europe, imitating Hitler. The force was too small; the operation limited to defense; so “invasion” is somewhat misleading for this specific incident.

      • Bill Jones
        April 10, 2024 at 15:36

        Russia recognized the two independent Republics of the Donbass who had been under attack from Ukraine since 2014.
        Russia signed a mutual defense Treaty and came to their defense against Ukrainian aggression.

        • Caliman
          April 11, 2024 at 12:23

          “Russia signed a mutual defense Treaty and came to their defense against Ukrainian aggression.”

          Oh, if that had been all that Russia had done, it would have been interesting to see how USUK would have reacted. For example, would they still had been able to mobilize Germany/France to drop all relations with Russia?

          In reality, of course, Russia invaded Ukraine from the north, the south and the east, much of it outside the Donbass territories. This is because while defending the ethnic Russians of Donbass was indeed a main aim, other more critical aims were the prevention of the further arming (including biologicals and nukes) of Ukraine against Russia and under Nato.

          The idea was to invade, intimidate, and negotiate a reasonable modus vivendi … it still is the idea.

    • Baron
      April 9, 2024 at 16:31

      Spot on, Bill, very well argued, it was indeed a defensive move by Russia, the only criticism one may have is that it should have happened earlier, Putin must have been told what the Americans were up to when he took over Crimea, the prime target for the Americans what with the importance of the Sevastopol port facilities for the security of Russia. Didn’t he know about the NATO rearming, the training, the building of defence structures near the Donbas border.

      For the Americans Ukraine has presented the best opportunity to carry out what the Paul Wolfowitz doctrine calls for, the destruction of a rival similar or identical to that of the USSR, that’s why they spent $5.0bn on Ukraine before the Kiev’s Feb 24 2014 putsch (Nuland’s Senate testimony), over $130bn since then, more than on any other country since WW2 including Israel, another $60bn is in the pipeline.

      Sadly, the Americans cannot afford to lose a war they cannot win before the November election, the slaughter has to carry on until then, what happens after the count is everyone’s guess. One hopes the Donald gets in, sorts it out quick.

    • Rafael
      April 9, 2024 at 21:24

      Bill Appledorf is right about Russia’s intervention, and he’s also right that readers of CN know the truth, even if authors like Bruce Fein do not.

  18. Horatio
    April 8, 2024 at 18:38

    Say what you will about Robert Kagan. He’s being paid hansomely for whatever he deems important. He’s smart enough to know that non-sense pays well.

    • Robert
      April 9, 2024 at 14:51

      Say what you will about Robert Kagan. Yes, he’s paid well, and yes he appears to be living the good life of fame, power, and money in Washington DC. But Kagan also has to spend each evening/night with Victoria Nuland. Think about that for a moment.

  19. Jeff Harrison
    April 8, 2024 at 17:05

    That should really read… Don’t sacrifice the good on the altar of what appears to be perfect.

  20. Rob
    April 8, 2024 at 16:52

    Have Robert Kagan and his fellow neoconservatives ever been right about any matter of consequence? The answer is a big, loud “NO!.” Then why is Kagan given a major platform in the Washington Post to spew his idiotic and destructive opinions? Being repeatedly wrong should have destroyed his credibility long ago, and yet here he is pontificating as though he is a brilliant sage with a sterling record of prescience. It’s little wonder that smart people are losing trust in the mainstream media.

  21. Randal Marlin
    April 8, 2024 at 16:47

    I agree with the conclusion, that it would be folly to support Ukraine with whatever it takes to regain Russian-occupied territories. However, I support the United States’ past action in involving itself in the war against Hitler. The authorities cited in Bruce Fein’s argument would seem to me to be non-supportive of that involvement.

    • Joseph Tracy
      April 8, 2024 at 22:32

      The axis powers did cross the ocean to attack the US. And the US followed the path of empire for a long time before idiot Kagan. This writer has nothing to say so he uses a bunch quotes to say very little other than he doesn’t like Kagan. not impressed. Reagan was a mass murderer. I don’t trust people who work for scum like Reagan.

    • anaisanesse
      April 9, 2024 at 01:17

      The USA came in at the last moment into WW2. The USSR was the defeater of Nazism and the USA along with Germany, managed to allow plenty of former Nazis to remain active after 1945. As soon as the War was over, the “evil Commies” had to be fought as enemies by the USA ever since, even after the “Commies” were no longer in power in the reduced Russian Federation. No excuses please for the USA’s seeking for villains to destroy!

      • Brian Bixby
        April 9, 2024 at 16:54

        Don’t forget that as soon as the war was over the OSS and then the CIA started working with the Banderite Nazis in Ukraine and continued to do so until today. Apparently Nazis are only bad when they’re attacking someone we want to exploit.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      April 9, 2024 at 05:21

      Not forgetting that it took the US til 1940 to join the war effort.

      • Randal Marlin
        April 9, 2024 at 13:08

        The U.S. joined the war against Germany in June, 1941, with Lend-Lease. It declared war against Japan and Germany following Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. It is true that Russia bore the brunt of the action needed to defeat the Nazis. Once the Nazis were defeated, however, the USSR became the new enemy.

    • Caliman
      April 9, 2024 at 10:29

      It was the racist Wilson’s decision to embroil the US in Europe’s Great War in 1916 that caused the one-sided defeat of Germany in 1918 and subsequent idiocy of Versailles leading to WW2. So if we had minded our own business in WW1, there very likely would not have been a WW2 needed … Germany would have taken their place at the head of western Europe (as UK and France were attempting to prevent) and many many millions may have lived.

      Involving yourself in foreign wars is always a bad idea … btw, in ww2, it was we who were attacked and declared war on, not the reverse.

  22. gcw919
    April 8, 2024 at 16:46

    The big question is (as Lincoln asked in the quote from the article), Who’s going to attack us? Initially, NATO was there to protect the Free World from the predations of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc. But when the USSR collapsed, and Communism was shown the door, voila!, Russia was still the enemy. These nitwits like Kagan have no ideological bearing other than We’re Number One, and so we’re free to impose our vision on anyone whether they like it or not. And of course, the other big question is, Why do these Neo-con clowns, who are wrong war after war, continue to have a place at the table in driving American foreign policy?

    • Judge Barbier
      April 9, 2024 at 02:55

      Sadly because many of the neocons are committed Israel supporters who seek to bend all US policy to suit Israel. That means they are backed by the enormously powerful Israel lobby in the US.

      Only when the power of this lobby substantially weakens , will you see and hear less of the Blinkens Sullivans Nulands Wurmsurs and the vile Kagan.

  23. April 8, 2024 at 16:01

    Thanks for writing this, Mr. Fein, and to Consortium News, for publishing it. Sadly, I must acknowledge that very few within my mostly-‘liberal’ social circles know anything about Kagan, his (and wife Victoria Nuland and their associates’) role in engineering the disasters represented by the falsely-justified invasion of Iraq and the ongoing proxy war against Russia in Ukraine; or the degree to which U.S. foreign policy has been controlled by neocons through all U.S. Administrations since Shrub (little Bush).

    Given that the vast majority of these liberals are now slavishly tied partisans who’ve been successfully programmed with both decades of Russophobia conjoined now with a fear of Trump that is so profound that they blindly knee-jerk in fealty to their Party leaders and accept without questions the propaganda that emanates from the Administration, accepting, as a priori truth, the lies that the U.S. is defending democracy around the world by these wars. There is seemingly no ability for most to question the wisdom much less the motives or purposes. And when they are promulgated by those noble purveyors of truth, the NY Times and Washington Post (or NPR, PBS, BBC, et al), that is confirmation that reinforces the propaganda.

    So I appreciate every note, essay, article and analysis that shows the mistake of such slavish acceptance. I don’t expect most of those to whom I here refer will see or read this (or other orthodoxy-challenging perspective), but every bit is important… and I will post links to this.

    • Mark J Oetting
      April 9, 2024 at 08:00

      I share your pain. About a year ago I was kicked out of a church social justice group for voicing my views on the Ukraine conflict. Unfortunately it seems most progressive baby boomer generation buy the mainstream media koolaid lock stock and barrel. Critical thinking is turned off.

      • Brian Bixby
        April 9, 2024 at 17:05

        Hollyweird is to a large extent responsible for that, one of the most common movie tropes is that if the good guys can just get whatever evil plans the bad guys have to a reporter then the media will immediately stand up for all that is righteous and good and they will be foiled. The reality of course is that the media is completely polluted with intel operatives and scions of the rich and powerful, nothing that would change the status quo will ever see the light of day unless it is in the interests of the Empire.

        Even Watergate, that supposed great example of a “free press” guarding the country, was apparently more an intel operation than anything else. Yale secret society (Book & Cross?) member Woodward left US Naval Intelligence and with no experience landed a job at the Washington Post that Pulitzer winners would have sold their first-born for. Then acting on information fed to him from one of J. Edgar Hoover’s direct reports exposed an operation using CIA personnel which the Agency had opposed. Stinks like three day old fish.

      • Hannah
        April 9, 2024 at 20:38


    • Hannah
      April 9, 2024 at 20:37

      Well said, Roger, and thank you for expressing this…as I have been thinking
      and experiencing the same… with so-called liberal/progressive friends and acquaintances…
      Shocking to me, …but the inability to look at reality, political science, history in an alienated boob tube /digital culture/society.

  24. Baron
    April 8, 2024 at 15:54

    Short, but an excellent slicing of the man and more.

    Robert Kagan was always a second rate thinker, now reaching for the third rate level. The only reason the American Governing Elite has expended so much treasure on Ukraine is to pursue what the Wolfowitz doctrine demands, the destruction of any country that could rival the Republic as the USSR did.

    Regretfully for the Elite it’s not Russia but the Middle Kingdom, on which the Republic depends for having most of her every day needs satisfied, that will puncture the Republic’s hegemony, and just as well, a societal construct that results in one percent of the population owning half of the country’s wealth is not sustainable.

  25. Caliman
    April 8, 2024 at 15:19

    The lies are the most infuriating part of it … a man can be wrong, but he should not just lie in service of his money masters like Kagan does:

    “Trump’s anti-Ukraine view dates to the 1930s. Americans rejected it then. Will we now?”

    1- Trump uses the words “America First”, but he has never consistently held any kind of noninterventionist policy framework.
    2- Americans did NOT reject noninterventionism in the 1930’s … as late as 1940, with war already raging in Europe and Asia, Roosevelt was elected on the promise that he kept us out of the war. This only changed with Pearl and German declaration of war on the US.

    As the author demonstrates, Ukraine, the Baltics, Taiwan, and the rest have nothing to do with American security … they are merely concerns of imperial class money making. With our cities and people falling apart, we cannot afford any of this anymore … back to JQA’s America post-haste please.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      April 9, 2024 at 05:24

      To mind comes a quote by a previous US politician…’you are entitled to your opinion, but not to your facts’.

  26. OldVet
    April 8, 2024 at 15:18

    Old Vet
    In the upcoming election in November, the Republicrat Party candidates are VCP #1 and VCP # 2,
    VCP (Vile, corrupt politician) 1 and 2 are both for more of the same, i.e., screw the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and continue to do what works best for the filthy rich while stomping on the rights of “we the people” globally.
    If you truly embrace your status as an American citizen, you will question everyone and everything all the time and will not allow VCP 1 and 2 to fill your head with lies. The revolutionary words in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are a guide to how we should interact with each other and the world and how we should treat a government that is, to say the least, “off the rails.”
    Understand that “we the people” vastly outnumber the filthy rich. Also, veterans should remember that we all swore an oath “to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic” and that oath, plus the Declaration of Independence, clearly suggest what we must do now or forever hold our peace.
    It is past time for an independent candidate, who believes in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, to challenge VCP 1 and 2 and the Republicrats. Could this actually happen? Yes!! With our advantage in numbers and a belief in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, we can accomplish the seemingly impossible.

    • hetro
      April 9, 2024 at 17:50

      I found the following a great pleasure to listen to–interview with Jill Stein. Here is a candidate I think most of us would like to have a chance, although sadly that is not the case.

      She also speaks of Julian Assange at the end of the interview.


  27. Carolyn L Zaremba
    April 8, 2024 at 14:41

    Robert Kagan and his demon wife, Victoria Nuland, are ruthless imperialists living in the 19th century intellectually. The old imperialist model by which they map out their perverted version of history, died a long time ago. The destructiveness of their blindness to the reality of present day geopolitics is evidence of this disconnect. They and those who share their immoral philosophy are anachronisms that will get us all killed until they are permanently removed from power.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      April 9, 2024 at 05:26

      What I fail to understand is WHY…are these so-called ‘skeletons in the closet’ always being dusted off and brought out again and again? Acts of desperation? Politically speaking, the US displays an extremely poor picture.

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