Committee For The Republic: Where is the Ukraine War Going?

Introduction by Committee for the Republic Chairman John B. Henry:

What is the difference between the American Republic and the American empire? The American Republic celebrates the march of the mind. The American empire celebrates the march of the foot soldier. The American Republic’s birth certificate is the Constitution. The birth certificate of the American empire is the strong do what they will and the weak accept what they must. The foreign policy of the Constitution is neutrality and influence abroad by example. The foreign policy of the American empire is manifest destiny. The life blood of the American Republic is separation of powers. The life blood of the American empire is limitless executive power.

Ben Franklin advised the constitutional convention had given birth to a Republic — not a monarchy  — if we could keep it. Keeping it requires education. As Thomas Jefferson instructed: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and never will be.” James Madison echoed: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance.

If Americans voted out of office Senators and Representatives for violating their oaths to defend the Constitution by unilateral surrender of the war power to the White House, chronic, pointless, presidential wars would never have begun. Congress has declared war in but five conflicts in over 234 years. Clinton asked for war against Serbia in 1999. Congress balked. Obama asked for war against Syria in 2013. Congress balked. Congress has declared war only in cases of actual or perceived self-defense.

For a moment, let’s imagine the American Republic was alive and well and Congress did its job. There would be Fulbright hearings over Ukraine. And the star witness would be our guest speaker tonight Chicago University Professor John Mearsheimer. John’s Ukraine War salon with the Committee the week after the February 24, 2022 invasion received more than a million views.

John, welcome.It’s great to have you back in person. Is Zelensky a Ho Chi Minh? Or a Diem? Is Ukraine Putin’s Waterloo? Does Putin have less moral authority in Ukraine than the United States did with the American Indians, with Iraq, Libya, or Yemen? John, we are eager for the debate the Constitution ordains.

Salon Invitation:

The Biden Administration is engulfed in a staggeringly expensive folly in Ukraine with no forseeable good outcomes. The Committee hosted University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer the week after the Russian invasion fourteen months ago. That zoom salon had 1,136,000 views. The Committee has invited John to return — this time in person.

John will argue twin themes: First, we are in a war where both sides – Ukraine and the West versus Russia – see the other as an existential threat. That makes a workable peace agreement beyond reach. The best possible outcome is a frozen conflict that is likely to have a variety of terrible consequences. The worst possible outcome is a nuclear war, which is unlikely but cannot be ruled out. Second, Russia is going to win the war, although it is not going to decisively defeat Ukraine. It will end up, however, conquering a large swath of Ukrainian territory and making it part of Russia, while at the same time turning Ukraine into a dysfunctional rump state.

The Committee would not be holding this salon over Ukraine if we had been faithful to constitutional processes. The systematic provision of $113 billion in military assistance to Ukraine in its war with Russia makes the United States a co-belligerent requiring a congressional declaration. But no co-belligerency declaration has been initiated by Congress nor sought by President Joe Biden. If Congress were required to vote, it would balk at co-belligerency as it balked in 2013 when President Barack Obama asked for a declaration of war against Syria and as it balked in 1999 when President Bill Clinton asked for a declaration of war against Serbia.