The United States Can’t Afford To Take A ‘Holiday From History’
‘Our adversaries know the challenges they pose to us are linked. The belief that we can abandon allies in one part of the world and not hurt allies elsewhere simply doesn’t hold water. In fact, it is naïve and dangerous.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding support for our allies:
“There is evil in the world. And for the better part of the last century, America and our allies were squarely in its crosshairs. Unfortunately, we tend to forget that.
“On September 12, 2001, George Will coined the phrase, saying that the free world’s ‘holiday from history’ was over. When Russia escalated its lawless invasion of Ukraine last year, many observers, including former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, invoked the same idea.
“The West is at a crossroads. Increasingly, fringe voices on the left and right are insisting that it’s not America’s business to lead. They seem willing to accept American decline and to assume that their lack of interest in history means history won’t be interested in them.
“Meanwhile, many of our allies are waking up to their own commitments to collective defense.
“And as the world was reminded last February in Ukraine, and again on October 7th in Israel, some of our friends and fellow democracies have never had the option of taking a holiday from history.
“Israel has no choice but vigilant self-defense because murderous theocrats and terrorists have vowed to wipe it off the map.
“Ukraine has no choice but all-out resistance because an authoritarian thug with delusions of Soviet glory has spent years butchering its people and carving up its sovereign territory.
“Half a world away, the free people of Taiwan have no choice but to stare down the threat from a communist superpower intent on bringing their island to heel.
“It’s hard to ignore the growing strategic alignment between these authoritarian forces.
“They share an interest in one another’s violent pursuits and in undermining the West, especially America.
“Take the growing strategic partnership between Russia and Iran.
“The Obama Administration foolishly welcomed Putin’s intervention in Syria. And it gave Russia influence in the Middle East it hadn’t had since the 1970s – mostly at America’s expense.
“Iran and its terror proxies were glad to see Putin prop up Bashar Assad. Under Russian protection, Syria became a training ground and logistics superhighway from Tehran’s terror network. And as terrorists challenge America and Israel in the region, Russia is the beneficiary.
“It’s a symbiotic relationship for the bad guys. And it’s only continued to grow.
“Russia defends Iran at the UN, and Iran is now providing the same lethal drones its terrorist proxies use to attack American forces in Syria and Iraq directly to Russia for use against Ukraine.
“The world’s largest state sponsor of terror – with American, Israeli, and Arab blood on its hands – is also sponsoring Russia’s war against our friends in Europe.
“As one good analysis put it recently, ‘When Hamas terrorists, Hizballah mercenaries, and Iranian theocrats chant ‘Death to America’ after murdering Israelis, they’re not confused.’ And it’s hardly surprising that Putin has aligned his regime with this terror, given the devastation his forces inflict on civilians in Ukraine.
“Meanwhile, China isn’t just keeping a close eye on the World’s resolve to resist Russian aggression and Iran-backed terrorism. They’re getting more directly involved.
“Just yesterday, a summit of the PRC’s so-called ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ – a massive influence operation aimed at bringing more parts of the world under Beijing’s thumb – featured Vladimir Putin as a guest of honor. Yet another sign that Russia and China are serious about their ‘friendship without limits’.
“Beijing has released a flurry of statements, responding to terrorist savagery by condemning Israel’s self-defense operations and conspicuously avoiding any mention of Hamas.
“The PRC is stepping up its coordination with, and support for, Iran. It is no surprise that the regime that wants to break the will of a free Taiwan is eager to see its fellow travelers in Tehran and Moscow do the same to Israel and Ukraine.
“Our adversaries know the challenges they pose to us are linked. The belief that we can abandon allies in one part of the world and not hurt allies elsewhere simply doesn’t hold water. In fact, it is naïve and dangerous.
“The people of Israel have a right to defend themselves. And the United States has an interest in our closest ally in the Middle East rooting out terrorists like Hamas.
“Ukraine has a right to sovereignty. And the United States has an interest in Europe – our largest trading partner and strongest ally – not facing an emboldened thug at its gates.
“Taiwan and other Asian democracies have a right to self-determination. And the United States has an interest in helping Asian partners stand up to Chinese aggression.
“We need to remember America is a superpower. Our interests are global. And with global interests come global responsibilities.
“Our alliances matter. Our credibility matters.
“Our friends on the front lines of authoritarian aggression and terrorist savagery don’t have the opportunity to take a holiday from history. And America can’t afford to, either.
“In the coming days, it will be the Senate’s responsibility to take strong and decisive action – to put maximum support behind Israel’s self-defense, equip Ukraine for victory as it defines it, and help Taiwan deter growing threats.
“The prosperity America has known for the better part of a century is the product of our leadership. Preserving it means standing with our friends and investing in our own strength.”