Fools, Traitors and America

A nation can survive its fools, it is said — but not its traitors.

Yet we have long suspected the opposite…

That is, a nation can survive its traitors. But it cannot survive its fools.

That is because a nation’s fools infinitely outnumber a nation’s traitors.

Please answer this question:

How many traitors occupy the District of Columbia?

Now answer this question:

How many fools occupy the District of Columbia?

The ratio must run 9,000:1 — against the traitors.

Being a fool is no crime of course. We would presently languish behind the bars if it were, serving a long, long sentence.

A great portion of the population would be with us. But our legal status renders fools no less dangerous.

A fool with a bad idea in his head is a menace. He is the equal of a baby with a loaded gun in his hand…

Woodrow Wilson, Fool

Was Woodrow Wilson a traitor for meddling in a European civil war 104 years ago?

We would never suggest it.

He may have meant the best in the world. He may have wished to make the world safe for democracy — and by extension safe for America.

(He certainly made the world safe for the large American banks that loaned to the allied powers).

But was Wilson a fool for hurling the nation into a European civil war? Almost certainly.

The warring parties had nearly bled themselves white by 1917. Neither side could shatter the other.

They would have likely exhausted themselves, come to terms… and limped home, honors even.

“Never again!” they would have cried.

But Mr. Wilson dispatched the doughboys over there in 1917. It shifted the battletide against the kaiser.

And the allies “won.”

Yet the Versailles Treaty that closed the war to end all wars… spawned the peace to end all peace.

Mr. Wilson’s fool crusade did not make the world safe for democracy.

It made the world safe for fascism… and communism.

And WWI was “The Great War” until an even greater war raged 20 years later.

All Roads Lead Back to Wilson

Here our former colleague David Stockman hauls Wilson into the dock — and indicts him for every crime on the calendar:

Had Woodrow Wilson not misled America on a messianic crusade, the Great War would have ended in mutual exhaustion in 1917 and both sides would have gone home battered and bankrupt but no danger to the rest of mankind.

Indeed, absent Wilson’s crusade there would have been no allied victory, no punitive peace and no war reparations; nor would there have been a Leninist coup in Petrograd or Stalin’s barbaric regime.

Likewise, there would have been no Hitler, no Nazis, no Holocaust, no global war against Germany and Japan and no incineration of 200,000 civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Nor would there have followed a Cold War with the Soviets or CIA-sponsored coups and assassinations in Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Brazil and Chile to name a few. Surely there would have been no CIA plot to assassinate Castro, or Russian missiles in Cuba or a crisis that took the world to the brink of annihilation.

There would have been no domino theory and no Vietnam slaughter, either.

Nor would we have had to come to the aid of the mujahedeen and train the future al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Likewise, there would have been no Khomeini-led Islamic revolution and no U.S. aid to enable Saddam’s gas attacks on Iranian boy soldiers in the 1980s.

Nor would there have been an American invasion of Arabia in 1991 to stop our former ally Saddam Hussein from looting the equally contemptible emir of Kuwait’s ill-gotten oil plunder — or, alas, the horrific 9/11 blowback a decade later.

Nor would we have been stuck with a $1 trillion Warfare State budget today.

A Fool, Not a Traitor

Does David simplify events? Do we simplify events? Very likely, yes.

The world was — as it always is — to its neck with fools. And these fools would have certainly gotten themselves up to mischief somehow or other.

Yet we believe the hottest hells of the 20th century would have been averted had Mr. Wilson sat upon his hands in April 1917.

But again: It was not treason that sent Mr. Wilson buccaneering into Europe’s war.

It was foolishness.

Of course Wilson was not the only fool to ever sit down at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…

Never Fight a Ground War in Asia

Never fight a ground war in Asia, warned Douglas MacArthur. Here was the sage counsel of a fellow who had fought two.

But fool Lyndon Baines Johnson soon had the United States fighting a ground war in Asia.

Eventually it came straggling home, bandaged, beaten, broken.

58,000 of its sons came home horizontal.

Was Johnson a traitor? It has never been suggested, to our knowledge.

But a fool?

This time the “domino theory” was the fool idea that fetched an American president…


But old Gen. MacArthur — no pacifist — toppled the domino theory. “Ridiculous,” he labeled it.

Scroll the calendar back to April 1961…

MacArthur met freshly minted president Johnny Kennedy at New York’s Waldorf Astoria.

MacArthur, said Kennedy aide Kenneth O’Donnell:

Implored the president to avoid a U.S. military buildup in Vietnam, or any other part of the Asian mainland, because he felt that the domino theory was ridiculous in a nuclear age.

MacArthur instead advised the youthful president to battle communism with America’s mightiest weapon — its economy.

He believed a free economy would knock the devil out of a communist economy.

Kennedy vastly respected MacArthur’s experience.

Would he have taken aboard the advice… brought home the advisers he had dispatched to Vietnam… and quit the country altogether?

We will never know.

The fool idea won the day — and America lost its way.

Combining Two Fool Ideas

A half-century later, another fool idea infested the White House. This fool idea was wedged within the dense cranium of President George Walker Bush.

And the United States once again shooed aside MacArthur’s advice against Asian ground wars.

The United States combined a variation of Wilson’s fool idea… with the fool idea of a reverse domino theory.

It would make the Islamic world safe for democracy. The democratic dominoes would then proceed to fall, knocking down the region’s dictatorships and autocracies.

The Taliban and Saddam Hussein would go out. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would come in.

Afghanistan would become a Kansas in the Hindu Kush, Iraq a Utah on the Euphrates.

But what happens when you combine one fool idea with another fool idea? Could there be any doubt?

So Much for Democracy

Saddam Hussein is out, it is true. And our ethereal sources inform us he is suffering lamentably in his present location… even if he finds the company agreeable.

Yet is Iraq a democracy today? Then a wilderness is a democracy, a jungle is a democracy.

And in Afghanistan, the Taliban is presently installing its own democracy. Its Constitution is the Koran, and its justice system is Sharia Law — which includes:

Severe punishments such as execution, stoning, cutting off limbs or whipping. These include offences such as zina (unlawful sexual intercourse such as fornication), unfounded accusations of zina, drinking alcohol, highway robbery and some forms of theft.

Here is mercy itself. Only “some forms of theft” are punishable by execution, stoning, cutting off limbs or whipping.

Capital Offenses

We would vastly expand the roster of offenses punishable by the methods listed.

For example: The sale or ingestion of hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, Vitamin D and other poisonous substances falsely claimed to treat COVID-19.

For example: Denying that the mRNA vaccines are 100% safe and effective.

For example: Refusing to sport a facial mask when alone out of doors.

Each would be punishable by execution, stoning, cutting off limbs or whipping. Perhaps worse.

But let it go for now. Let us return to the main road…

Like Messieurs Wilson and Johnson, Mr. Bush was no traitor — except perhaps a traitor to the good senses.

Yet he was a fool to believe he could transform these alien cultures. A fool?

No. A dunce.

Fools, Drunks and the United States of America

We wonder what fool idea will next prevail.

War with China?

In the economic realm, perhaps Modern Monetary Theory? Or the Green New Deal?

We know only that the fools are busy. Principal among them are the fools of the Federal Reserve.

They are a menace to American happiness.

“God has a special providence for fools, drunkards and the United States of America,” said Germany’s Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck.

Let us be glad of it. We hazard the United States of America will require God’s special providence in the times to come…


Brian Maher

Brian Maher
Managing Editor, The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning