This week, I interviewed Texas Congressman Steve Stockman, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
When our conversation turned to Ukraine, he stunned me. I asked him about the separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine and if he believed they shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014.
When he said, “No,” I could only respond with silence.
Luckily, he filled it. Stockman said, “I believe Russia itself and Russian troops are responsible for the downing of MH 17.”
He continued, “The people who live in eastern Ukraine are very poor and have limited education. You could compare this region to Appalachia in the 1930s. The missile used to shoot down the airliner requires sophisticated training. This isn’t training you give in a week, it’s training you give over months and years, especially to be able to down a plane at this altitude. The only troops with enough sophistication to pull this off are Russian military troops.”
If this is true – and the Obama administration knows it – then the White House is engaged in a serious cover-up of Russian malevolence.
On the other hand, it may also explain why the European Union has finally instituted serious sanctions against Putin and Russia.
Either way… if Russia did shoot down the airliner, Putin is capable of starting World War III.
A Radical Policy
You see, mankind currently stands on the edge of an abyss.
Gaza is in flames; and even though active engagement has subsided, this hot spot could easily ignite again.
Iraq is in total chaos, and Obama’s decision to bomb leaders of the Islamic State from 20,000 feet will likely have no impact on the ground. The Islamic caliphate grows stronger every day.
Meanwhile, China continues to make aggressive moves in the South China Sea that threaten Vietnam, Japan, and the Philippines.
Finally, trouble in Ukraine leads us to the edges of Europe. Could a wider war break out? I believe all of the dominos are in place to accidentally launch a new world war, and Barack Obama has made all of the wrong moves.
Let me explain.
Angelo Codevilla, a fellow at the Claremont Institute, has written a new book that should be required reading for all American statesmen. The title is, To Make and Keep Peace: Among Ourselves and with All Nations.
His thesis is brilliant but simple: None of the major foreign policy schools of thought practiced in America understand how to achieve peace.
Obama’s pacifism enables bullies like Putin and, ironically, promotes aggression and war, neither of which are very peaceful.
Liberal internationalism, as practiced by Bill Clinton, denies that nations can be bullies once we understand them and teach them democracy.
Realism, as practiced by Ronald Reagan, thinks we can convince the bullies of the globe to see that it’s in their best interests to make a deal, rather than fighting.
Neoconservatism, as practiced by George W. Bush, has America become a bully, too, by not only winning the fight, but by remaking our adversaries in our own image by force.
Yet Codevilla believes – and stresses in his book – that the word “peace” is alien to all of these major schools of thought. And he’s right.
Codevilla builds a new theory on the radical idea that the purpose of foreign policy, especially for the United States, is peace. This is akin to how the Founding Fathers viewed foreign policy.
For instance, George Washington implored America to “cultivate peace and harmony with all” as its “only” foreign policy goal.
John Quincy Adams, America’s first great diplomat, said, “The first and paramount duty of the government is to maintain peace amidst all the convulsions of foreign wars, and to enter the lists as parties to no cause other than our own.”
These men believed that war was required only by a vital national interest, and our goal should always be to return to peace as soon as possible. Consequently, this remained our national policy right up to the 20th century.
Since the change, though, millions of Americans have died. Perhaps, as Codevilla says, it doesn’t have to be this way.
This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.