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‘Ukrainegate’—Treason or Common Sense?

‘Ukrainegate’—Treason or Common Sense?

Walter Russell Mead

“Ukrainegate,” like Russiagate before it, is more than a domestic scandal; it is also a foreign-policy showdown of historic proportions.

Much of the American foreign-policy establishment, both inside and outside the government, is liberal internationalist and Atlanticist. They believe that America’s chief task is to build a world order on liberal principles and that America’s chief allies are the NATO and European Union countries that share our convictions. They see Russia as the primary opponent of this effort and therefore of the U.S. Moscow’s efforts to interfere in European and American domestic politics threaten the cohesion of the EU and the liberal democratic principles for which the West stands. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea are direct attacks on liberal order and the Atlantic world.

From this perspective, the war in Ukraine matters to the whole world. To use Ukraine’s aid as a bargaining chip in a cynical domestic political ploy isn’t merely a political dirty trick. It’s collusion with the enemy. It’s like blocking Lend-Lease during the Blitz to make Winston Churchill investigate Thomas E. Dewey. President Trump’s exact feelings toward the Kremlin aren’t of great importance. It doesn’t matter if he is being blackmailed into it, sees the Russian president as a soul mate and fellow traveler on the road to destroying American democracy, or is a malignant clown bent on destroying a complex international system that he doesn’t understand. Donald Trump, his most determined opponents believe, has committed something very close to treason even as he shamelessly abuses his office to enrich himself.

Read in Wall Street Journal

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