By Eric Zuesse
George Washington’s Farewell Address — one of the most important documents of America’s Founders — warned against any and all permanent alliances; he said, on 19 September 1796:
The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.
(I urge the reader to see likewise that entire passage, because it is eloquent, and profoundly applicable to the present, and not only to the past.)
On 10 September 2018, at the Federalist Society (which pretends to be based upon America’s Founders, such as George Washington), the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, John Bolton, stated that Israel is effectively part of US territory — though, if it is that, it’s the only part which is allowed to attack the United States and to be privileged to possess complete immunity from any prosecution by the United States Government for doing that.
Bolton, ironically, titled his speech “Protecting American Constitutionalism and Sovereignty from International Threats”. Either that title was a bald lie, or he’s ill-read in America’s founding documents, because he flatly contradicted those documents. He said (as excerpted in a Reuters news-report on Sunday, September 9th, quoting from Bolton’s advance-text):
“The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel.”
“We will not cooperate with the ICC [International Criminal Court]. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”
“The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”
“We will consider taking steps in the U.N. Security Council to constrain the court’s sweeping powers, including to ensure that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies [such as Israel] that have not ratified the Rome Statute.”
The Reuters summary also noted that if the ICC nonetheless proceeds with its investigation of Israel, “the Trump administration will consider banning [that Court’s] judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, put sanctions on any funds they have in the US financial system and prosecute them in American courts.”
So, the National Security Advisor to today’s US President disagrees strongly with George Washington, and — regarding Israel — he is determined that the US shall be (in Washington’s words) “a slave … a slave to its animosity or to its affection” for that country (Israel), and against what that country determines to be its enemies (such as Palestinians, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah).
Washington’s Farewell Address had also said:
“Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.”
“Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.”
“So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country.”
“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.”
Washington’s successor, the Second President, John Adams, in his Inaugural Address, on 4 March 1797, condemned “the pestilence of foreign influence, which is the angel of destruction to elective governments.”
The Third President, Thomas Jefferson, said at his First Inaugural on 4 March 1891: “It is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.; …”
The CIA-edited Wikipedia devotes an article to denigrating what America’s Founders said regarding foreign relations, and it equates the Founders’ view with such movements in US history as isolationism, and especially with the America First organization that opposed America’s going to war against Hitler; in other words: it distorts US history beyond recognition as “history” at all. Another, similar, Wikipedia article tries to deceive readers to think that what the Founders said about this matter was intended to apply only to their own time and not to the country they were founding and throughout its future. Such Wikipedia “editing” is often involving Wikipedia employees, more like writing than editing, and even includes outright banning of certain ‘unpleasant’ facts. But, fortunately, America’s founding documents themselves haven’t yet been rewritten. And they are painfully clear, that this country isn’t at all what they had founded, but more like its opposite.
This, therefore, was a bipartisan matter by America’s Founders, and they made their intentions and hopes as clear as possible. The nation that America’s Founders established was conquered by internal subversion after World War II, an American counter-revolution by subterfuge that now controls both of this nation’s political Parties. Today’s America is profoundly inimical to the Founders’ hopes and dreams — the country not only of our Constitution, with the flaws it necessarily included in order to be accepted by all of the colonies (and which flaws, such as slavery, have produced numerous Amendments in order to repair), but more importantly, the country they were aiming for it to become, and which was embodied, for all eternity, in these and similar passages, in which the Founders stated with remarkable clarity and unanimity, their nation’s basic principles, which today’s US Government desecrates, instead of consecrates.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010.