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Heritage Foundation: Suggesting Ukraine Strategy, Neocons Go Crazy.

The Heritage Foundation came ‍under​ fire this ​week from​ a bunch of politically toxic neocons for​ suggesting we‍ should prioritize helping Americans suffering from natural disasters like‍ the Maui wildfires ‍over funding ​a ⁤grinding war of ⁢attrition⁢ between Ukraine and ‍Russia. A‍ radical suggestion, I know.

The background here is that under the leadership of President Kevin Roberts, Heritage​ has been saved from irrelevance by focusing less on⁣ what ​establishment neocon Beltway elites think is important and more on what ​ordinary⁢ Americans‌ actually want. And one of ⁢the things they want is for ⁤Congress‍ to stop pouring taxpayer dollars​ into ‌Ukraine.

In an op-ed last week, Roberts noted this as part of a ‌pointed criticism of an underhanded⁤ White House plan to force another ​round of aid to Ukraine into a ‍supplemental funding bill that would add money to ​FEMA’s depleted Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). Roberts ⁤rightly ⁢says this is ⁢a dirty ⁤trick designed to pressure Republicans to⁣ support more aid ‍to Ukraine by‍ tying it to aid⁢ for hurricane and wildfire victims.

Then this⁤ week, ‍Heritage posted a couple of ads making the ‍entirely fair point that every American⁤ has now sent more ⁢money to⁢ Ukraine than to⁤ the victims of‌ the Maui​ fires. One of those ads argued that ⁢until‍ the ‌Biden administration comes up with a ⁣plan to end ⁤the war, Congress shouldn’t approve ⁤another cent of aid.

Reasonable⁣ people can disagree about how much support Americans owe the‍ Ukrainians in their struggle against Russia. But even‌ if one accepts that ‌we⁣ should ‌be supporting⁢ Ukraine to the hilt, it’s fair to ​ask ‍what‌ the plan is to end the war ⁢— and‍ no, “until Russia is totally defeated” is‌ not⁤ a serious response,⁢ much less a strategy. This‌ war, like nearly all wars, ⁢will end⁢ with a ‌negotiated political settlement. Since American taxpayers are funding the war, they deserve to​ know⁣ if our leaders have a plan to end it ⁤that doesn’t amount to‍ World War III.

As the war drags on, it seems increasingly obvious they do not have such‍ a ‍plan. Their only policy seems to be to keep funneling money⁣ into Ukraine ​with ⁣little⁢ to no oversight and no strategy to ⁤forge a durable ​peace settlement.

But for Heritage to⁤ articulate all of ​this was too much⁢ for the neocons. ⁢As with ⁣one voice,⁣ they denounced Heritage ⁤and invoked ⁣Ronald Reagan, declaring that Reagan is surely “rolling over in his grave,” as both Marc Thiessen and Avik Roy put it. ‌National Review’s Jay Nordlinger went a ⁢step further, pronouncing that the Heritage Foundation has become a “moral‍ obscenity.”

Elsewhere at NR — which unlike‍ Heritage has not managed to escape irrelevance⁢ — there ‌was an⁣ unintentionally hilarious post from ‍Dominic ⁤Pino critiquing Heritage’s position‍ on U.S.⁢ aid to Ukraine.‌ Pino managed to sum up the ‍neocon worldview in a single line, noting that “not all the money⁤ goes to Ukrainians. Much​ of it goes to U.S. defense contractors, which employ Americans and⁤ contribute to U.S. economic ‍output.”

Ah yes, ⁣there’s⁣ nothing like ‌bankrolling foreign ⁣wars with no end-game strategy to get the American economy going. Defense contractors are Americans too! Think about it, the Ukraine war ‍is a ‍U.S. jobs program!

If any conservative of ‌yore is rolling over in his grave⁤ about⁣ all this it’s William F.‌ Buckley, whose once-great ‍magazine apparently thinks that asking Congress to ⁢articulate ⁢realistic goals in Ukraine is somehow​ “morally obscene,” or that bankrolling foreign wars to the tune of $113 billion (and ‌counting) amounts⁣ to an industrial ​policy.

Both ⁤Buckley and​ Reagan were a little more prudent than that ‍about foreign policy, ‌and were they alive today, they would ⁢likely be sounding ‍the same ⁢notes ‌about American aid to Ukraine as Roberts ⁤and Heritage⁣ are sounding now.

And in⁢ any case, America today is‍ not what ‌it⁣ was in‌ the days of Buckley and Reagan.‌ The Russo-Ukrainian ⁤War is not ⁢our very own⁣ 21st-century Cold War, and we can’t afford to treat it as⁢ such. (To the extent ​there’s a cold war out there, it’s with China, not Russia, and⁣ our ongoing enmeshment in the Ukraine conflict raises serious questions ​about whether we will be ⁣able, in our current state, ⁣to counter ⁣a CCP invasion of Taiwan.)

But ⁢for the neocons, ⁤who clearly resent the loss of their ‌influence over institutions like Heritage, even‍ the mild demand⁣ that we⁣ tie⁤ additional aid to Ukraine with some workable plan‍ to bring peace ⁤and stability to the region is met ⁤with⁣ the most ​hyperbolic howls of outrage. ⁣That should tell you everything you need to know about what their ‌priorities are and whose interests they really care about.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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