The Liberty Quill, April 2022, From the Chair: Ukraine is Government Run Amok

The war in Ukraine shows us what happens when people allow their governments to run amok. The result is a catastrophe for the people of the country being attacked, a tragedy for the people of the country doing the attacking, and harmful to pretty much the rest of the world as well.

The seemingly insane behavior of Vladimir Putin demonstrates this point most directly. Here is a man who claims that he is acting to protect the people of Ukraine, who are in his view really part of the Russian people, and his method of doing this is to bomb their cities. Like so many dictators and emperors before him, he claims to be acting on behalf of the people but what matters most to him is power over them and over territory.

This is not a flaw unique to Russian rulers or governments, of course. Even our own government famously "destroyed the village to save it" in Vietnam, and murdered women and children to protect them from being part of a cult in Waco. Throughout history there have been many other examples. But the current Russian government under Putin seems determined to show that it can be among the worst of the worst.

The people of Ukraine did not deserve this fate. They are right to be fighting to defend their homes and their rights, and to ask for help from others in this fight. But as horrible as what's happening now in Ukraine is, it does not follow that it is the job of the US government and military to fix it. It's not their job โ€“ and the attempt could easily lead to something much worse. (And it's already leading, like all attempts by government to restrict trade, to serious economic harm worldwide, including to those of us here in the United States.)

We must also remember that the people of Russia don't deserve what's happening to them, either. They are not our enemy, and for the most part they aren't enemies of the people of Ukraine. How many of them support this war, or even understand what is going on, is unclear. But surely many of them, if they had a choice, would not choose this war. Those individuals don't deserve what their own government is doing to them โ€“ the suppression of their freedom to communicate, the economic deprivation, their family members coming home in body bags, or the distrust with which they will almost certainly be treated by the rest of the world for a generation after this war is over.

More government is not the answer. Less government is the solution. A libertarian Russia and a libertarian Ukraine would have no reason to fight each other. Let's hope the people of Europe and the rest of the world come to their senses, before their habit of putting goals like "national sovereignty" and "historical destiny" ahead of human rights, economic prosperity, andย individual liberty leave us all poorer, less free, and possibly even dead.

Joe Dehn
County Chair