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In order to have our WikiLeaks Symposium available in digestible pieces we will re-publish the contributions as individual pieces over the next several days.—The Editors.

Gentlemen and Honor

First, gentlemen do not read other men’s private correspondence.

Secondly, in The Wise Men Know What Wicked things Are Written on the Sky Russell Kirk wrote: “It is not the mission of the United States to establish universally some imitation of the American political and economic order.  Every people must find their own way to order and justice and freedom.” Still, an enormous (likely Sisyphean) job has been given to the Departments of State and Defense and the CIA. They have been tasked with transforming other nations to become more “American.” Of course this is planned with little thought given to whether the culture and history of these nations has in anyway prepared them to emulate the United States, or whether the peoples of these countries desire to be transformed into well behaved democratic capitalists. Yet, diplomats cajole and negotiate, armies are dispatched, and bribes (both piratical and those styled as “aid”) are employed to encourage other nations to do our bidding. We are not surprised when WikiLeaks confirms that pride, avarice, envy and lust play their part in international relations. We are disappointed when reminded of America’s part in fostering these vices in order to suit our purposes. 

Finally, it appears likely to me that good men may die because the “non combatants” of WikiLeaks choose to reveal secrets regarding our military activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. While I would prefer that we did not have any of our warriors in those nations (or in any other foreign nation unless the result of formal declaration of war or involved in joint training exercises) I would reserve a special place in Hell for WikiLeakers, and their co-conspirators, if a single soldier dies due to their wickedness.

An America that did not depend on foreign lenders to fund our enormous national debt could be much more plain spoken in foreign affairs. An America that did not depend on $28 billion a month in foreign oil could be much more honest in our foreign affairs. An America that respected the cultures and histories of other nations sufficiently to allow them to find their own paths to order, justice and freedom could be much more patient in foreign affairs. Until we have our domestic affairs in order we cannot be independent, we dare not speak plainly. As a nation we live in fear that the piper will come to collect his due. God grant us the fortitude to get our house in order and the wisdom to appreciate that reasonable men will only emulate those who they truly admire.

Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

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