April 17, 2024

LETTER: The most to lose

Randy Hughes


I head Trump say this.

“No I wouldn’t protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay, you got to pay your bills.”

That remark was regarding the service he would provide for Russia if it attacked a NATO country. The unthinking irony of “you got to pay your bills” coming from a man notoriously, perhaps criminally, delinquent in paying expenses seems cynical.

More importantly, the implied abandonment of our longstanding allies is a frightening stance. Since 1917 the policy of the United States has been to oppose, resist or contain the expansion of Russian power. Sometimes that opposition was direct military confrontation, sometimes it was through proxy war, sometimes by the threat of war. Often it was through foreign aid in various guises. That is expensive. However, if you think that the cost of avoiding war is expensive the cost of inhabiting a world dominated, to a large extent, by Russia is incalculable. The United States makes a huge contribution to the cost of NATO. That burden is understandable and appropriate. We have the most and the most to lose.

Winston Churchill said, in the dangerous days preceding World War II, when the common opinion was to avoid another war at any cost and appeasement was a dominant sentiment, “An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last.”