If we go to war with Russia, do I have to be on our side? With our commander-in-chief in sore need of a dressing-down–strutting the planet as he has with his body-armored soldiers, thuggish special forces and robotic attack vehicles–I’m tending to support anybody that can cut him down to size.
Plus, I don’t feel a lot of solidarity with my comrades in uniform. In the 20th Century army, we were citizen soldiers, drafted from working families across the country. The modern army is a tiny fringe of poor, drifting, unloved young people who were persuaded to join a brotherhood of warriors. Russia still has an army of conscripts, so my sympathies would tend to lie with them.
Russians face real danger from conditions in Ukraine, which lies on their western frontier. More pressing than the risk presented to Americans at the hands of Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Venezuelans and citizens of other sovereign states in whose affairs the US meddles. Hard to be on Obama’s side when he has less reason to occupy Afghanistan than Putin has to invade Ukraine.
And shouldn’t Obama be hesitant to take the side of armed anti-government protesters? Isn’t he inviting dissidents here–people like me–to hurl Molotov cocktails at cops, following the lead of our new allies on the streets of Kiev?
Is it disloyal or treasonous to desert your elected commander-in-chief? What if he goes nuts on you, or simply becomes drunk with power? Do I owe his palace guard any duty? Should I grieve for the first American soldier to die for the freedom of Ukrainian neo-Nazis? Shouldn’t I hope for a quick American defeat if the US commander chooses to wage war on Russia?