We in this country, in this generation, are – by destiny rather than choice – the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, good will toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: "except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

John F. Kennedy, Nov. 22, 1963

“We in this country... are… the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.” So President John F. Kennedy would have said at the Dallas Trade Mart on Nov. 22, 1963, had he not been shot down earlier that day by Lee Harvey Oswald, an ex-Marine who had defected to the Soviet Union.

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Kennedy was not alone in his view that the free world should be defended. He represented a united American leadership carrying on a tradition established by President Franklin Roosvelt, who in the dark days of 1940, had declared that, rather than deserting the brave British then defending freedom’s walls for us, the US should become “the arsenal of democracy. 

So, despite Kennedy’s assassination and all the partisan chaos endemic to democracy, America persisted in holding the line.

This commitment was non-negotiable. We knew that there was no peace to be found through desertion. As Ronald Reagan told the Republican national convention in July 1980: “We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted.” 

Radek Sikorski’s Pro-Ukraine Visit to the US: Reminding America Who America Is
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Radek Sikorski’s Pro-Ukraine Visit to the US: Reminding America Who America Is

On a visit to the US, Poland's foreign minister made powerful statements aimed at reminding Americans that their global credibility is now on the line based on how they choose to support Ukraine.

As a result of this sustained resolve, not only were the democracies of western Europe protected from communist domination, but the captive nations of eastern Europe were freed, and are now vibrant members of the free world alliance.

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But now, apparently, those days are over. Notwithstanding the assassination of his uncle and his father by individuals with enemy (Moscow, Castro, PLO) ties, Robert F. Kennedy Jr would withdraw all US forces from their posts around the globe. This kookery is nearly matched by that offered by putative Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy (Vivek would only abandon the defense of the Eastern Hemisphere) and accommodated by actual candidates Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. 

Most importantly, in votes this weekend, the House Republican caucus made it clear that their number one priority in budget negotiations was to cut off aid to Ukraine. That is, rather than accept a deal negotiated by (then) Speaker Kevin McCarthy that would have imposed substantial fiscal restraint on the federal government – including 30 percent cuts in numerous liberal hobby-horse programs – but preserved military aid to Ukraine, the Republicans accepted an agreement that did the exact opposite. 

Republicans have expressed outrage at the Democrats’ accusations claiming that Donald Trump has been involved in colluding with the Kremlin. Indeed, so long as such charges were based on little more than questionable dossiers assembled by partisan figures such as Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) there were reasonable grounds to cry foul. But what can one say when the controlling faction of House Republicans makes assuring Russian victory their top priority?

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Let us be clear: Cutting off aid to Ukraine is collusion with Russia.

Furthermore, it is also collusion with Beijing. Russia and China are allies. If Russia conquers Ukraine, it will greatly enhance its material and technological power, delete Ukraine’s million-man army from the West’s order of battle, advance its forces to the borders of NATO members Poland and Romania, and eliminate its strategic weakness along its southwest border that otherwise would constrain its ability to attack elsewhere.

Under these circumstances, the US would be faced with a choice. Either we would send half a million troops and matching airpower to defend Europe, or we would not. If we do, we will divert the forces and funds needed to contain China in Asia. If we don’t – as is more likely, given the wall deserters’ clear preference for global retreat – the idea of American protection will be discredited, and countries everywhere will move to cut their deals with the world’s new masters. 

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This catastrophe must be prevented. In this hour, the US needs Reagan Republicans, not Putin Republicans. President Biden has been weak and indecisive in his support of Ukraine. The alternative offered by the Republican Party should be leadership that offers victory, not accelerated defeat followed by global rout. 

By destiny, rather than choice, we are the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We need to live up to that role.

Robert Zubrin is an American aerospace engineer. His newest book, The Case for Nukes: How We Can Beat Global Warming and Create a Free, Open, and Magnificent Future, was recently published by Polaris Books.

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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Comments (5)

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gavan duffy
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It is sad to say but Ukraine can not expect much from a Republican administration under Donald Trump. He is ambivalent on foreign policy issues and is only interested in America. Unfortunately he is the Republican front runner. There are better candidates than him seeking the Republican nomination,but their chances are slim.

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Joseph Swanson
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The problem is more specific. The problem is the white anglo saxon americans, they just love going around the world making treaties and agreements BUT when it comes time to honor their national word, they find all sorts of excuses to justify reneging on honoring their national word.

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George Washington
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USA is now home to special intrest groups. There are no special intrest groups that have more money and influence than Russia and China and Iran that turn the press against Donald Trump because he sanctioned them! Ukraine must learn or be destroyed!

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Stockholm
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After reading this, I believe Mr. Zubrin should change his citizenship to Ukraine. He clearly cares much more about Ukraine because he's perfectly willing to commit 100% of American production to aid Ukraine. Nary a mention of European responsibility in the article makes the message infantile and worthless. This American supports NATO. There are reasons Ukraine is not in NATO. Clear minded persons know this.

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Imokru2
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Nikki Haley.
Nikki understands that it is in America’s best interests to provide arms to Ukraine to ensure that Putin meets with defeat.
She understands that American troops are not in Ukraine and that Ukraine is the last line of defence for her country.
If I could snap my fingers and fulfill a wish, it would be that Haley were President of the United States right now.

Peter
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@Imokru2, The sound of others across the world snapping their fingers with you would be deafening!

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Coach John
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@Imokru2, It will never happen. MAGA Republicans in America hate brown-skinned people. Witnessed it myself - they physically shudder with revulsion when they are anywhere near a brown or black-skinned person in a store or in a park. They act like Muscovites in the presence of people from Tula or Chechnya.

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