Right after the decade Auden called “low and dishonest,” at the tail end of the Battle of Britain, and about a year after the Soviet-Nazi Non-Agression Pact, in September of 1940, Germany, Italy and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact. With the Soviets as a silent partner, the Axis powers were born. For approximately the next five years they plunged the world into war. It ended badly for them.

History taught us how it happened. Some took note. Others refused, and still refuse, to learn from history. As such, they are blind to the lessons of yesterday and the challenge of today

For over the last week Moscow and Beijing signed the “Friendship Without Limits” (though probably with benefits) Agreement, with nations like Iran and North Korea as today’s silent partners. Russia is a nation that just can’t say no

She’s a diplomatic trollop, an alliance slut, a geopolitical codependent. Whenever a coalition of the vile forms she just can’t wait to jump in the sack and indulge herself. Last time, Hitler had a surprise for her. No doubt Xi is planning, down the line a bit, the same gambit.

Given we have a Neville Chamberlain leading this country right now, though a potential Churchill in the person of the Governor of Florida waits in the wings, we are in a dangerous period. Our defense budget does not keep up with inflation. Our fleet is being downsized. The Air Force seems more concerned with hard left social engineering than with any military purpose. Our Pentagon delusionally calls climate change our biggest national security threat.

All this draws snickers and contempt from Beijing and Moscow, as Chamberlain’s paper waving at Heston drew the same response from the German chancellery. We are sleepwalking into the abyss because we haven’t the will to deter our potential adversaries.

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We’re making a go of it in Ukraine, you say? It’ll be a sideshow if the Chinese directly challenge our ally in Taiwan. The American fleet, the aforementioned downsized force, will be on the firing line then. No Ukrainian proxies to do the heavy lifting when that balloon goes up.

It’s said that Union Cavalry General John Buford said on the first day of Gettysburg that he could already see the dismal scenario unfolding if the Union didn’t gain the initial initiative. He saw Union troops mowed down just as they had been at Fredericksburg, as if it already happened.

Anyone who understands history can almost see the late 30s and early 40s transpiring yet again. Crimea and Ukraine are taking the place of the Rhineland and Austria. Taiwan may come to be the modern equivalent of Poland. We’ve heard this song before.

Alarmist? Warmongering? It’s because sane individuals want to avert war that we must bolster our defenses and confront aggression. Ukraine is a first stop on that journey. If we care about our freedom, if we prize the safety of our allies, if really want to stop a larger conflict, it won’t be the last.