Fernando Teson Doesn’t Learn

Over at Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Fernando Teson is once again pounding the drums for … something. Presumably after being so hilariously, catastrophically, historically, possibly even supernaturally wrong on Iraq, Teson has decided not to overtly pound the drums of war. He’s just vaguely calling for “moral clarity” now, which is progress for Teson. After all, the last time he took a big stand on foreign affairs, it was to help urge the United States into one of its biggest strategic blunders, a blunder which became an enormous humanitarian catastrophe.

And Teson’s reaction to being so outstandingly wrong? He is simply shocked that the Iraqis are not more grateful for the privilege of enduring a decade plus of chaos, civil war, and mass death. The last time Teson urged action, the United States suffered a tremendous strategic blow and the people of Iraq suffered a tremendous catastrophe. And now Teson urges us to “side with Ukraine against Russia,” because Russia has done a bunch of bad things. Curiously this moral logic only applies to foreign countries; Teson does not urge us to stand with Iraqis against American aggression or Yemenis against American bombing. No, we are simply to stand with Ukraine.

Fernando Teson, you were wrong on Iraq. Very wrong. And a great many people without your credentials and platform were right, and said at the time that you were wrong, and predicted accurately what would follow an American invasion. No one should pay you the least mind when it comes to foreign affairs. And if you want to stand with Ukraine, by all means, book a plane ticket to Kiev and see if they’ll have you. A fight with Russia is sure to be a desperate one, and I am sure they would be grateful to have you manning a machine gun or running an artillery crew. Good luck.

And what should we do on Ukraine? If you, dear reader, feel standing up for the Ukrainian government against the Russian government is important, by all means- join future Private Teson at the front. In all sincerity, as a former soldier, I will have the highest respect for your courageous, principled stand. But if you think the American government can do anything but make things worse, you haven’t been paying attention.

Of course, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine do not have the option of staying uninvolved. The wolf is at their door, it seems. While we of course wish them well, a sober analysis of the military situation does not hold out a great deal of hope for the Ukrainian government. However, not all is lost for the Ukrainian people; indeed, as recent events in Iraq have shown (paying attention, Comrade Teson?), a popular insurgency can achieve results a traditional military cannot. A complete after-action review on the successful insurgency in Iraq would run to hundreds of pages, but the bottom line is simple, classic guerilla warfare. Ukrainians today would do better to trust their liberty to themselves, rather than to a brittle, easily destroyed institution like the government in Kiev – or the one in Washington, D.C.

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