Should we fight for the Ukraine?

Murray Rothbard, in the context of the 1980 Afghan war, quoted Canon Sydney Smith – a great classical liberal in early 19th century England who wrote to his warmongering Prime Minister, thus:

“For God’s sake, do not drag me into another war!

I am worn down, and worn out, with crusading and defending Europe, and protecting mankind; I must think a little of myself.

I am sorry for the Spaniards – I am sorry for the Greeks – I deplore the fate of the Jews; the people of the Sandwich Islands are groaning under the most detestable tyranny; Baghdad is oppressed, I do not like the present state of the Delta; Tibet is not comfortable. Am I to fight for all these people?

The world is bursting with sin and sorrow. Am I to be champion of the Decalogue, and to be eternally raising fleets and armies to make all men good and happy?

We have just done saving Europe, and I am afraid the consequence will be, that we shall cut each other’s throats. No war, dear Lady Grey! – No eloquence; but apathy, selfishness, common sense, arithmetic!”

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