Let’s engage in some imagining. 

Let’s imagine that Russia and China form a new organization, called the Russia Asia Treaty Organization, or RATO. One day they invite Nicaragua, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, and Mexico to become members. All of them agree. 

The U.S. government objects. “What is the purpose of extending RATO to our part of the world?” U.S. officials angrily ask. 

RATO responds: “You have nothing to worry about. RATO is an entirely peaceful organization, just like NATO.”

Russia and China ask Nicaragua, Venezuela, Chile, and Guatemala if it would be okay for RATO to install military bases, nuclear missiles, tanks, and troops in their countries. They enthusiastically say yes. 

“Wait right there, busters!” U.S. officials exclaim. “We don’t want RATO bases, nuclear missiles, tanks, and troops over here in our part of the world.”

RATO officials respond, “You have absolutely nothing to worry about. These are all defensive in nature. RATO, like NATO, is a peace-loving organization.”

U.S. officials reply, “Well, we don’t like it one bit. But to avoid war, we won’t stop you from installing those bases, nuclear missiles, tanks, weaponry, and troops in those countries. 

However, our Red Line is Cuba. We will not permit you to install bases, nuclear missiles, tanks, weaponry, and troops in Cuba. Do not cross our Red Line, or we will be forced to invade Cuba and effect regime change there in order to prevent this from happening. Remember: This is our Red Line. Do not cross it.”

One day, RATO announces that it is going to install bases, nuclear missiles, tanks, weaponry, and troops in Cuba, with the full consent of Cuba. RATO ships containing such items begin moving toward Cuba, with the full intent of crossing the U.S. Red Line. 

Immediately, the president of the United States orders a full-scale military invasion of Cuba in an attempt to effect regime change there and install a pro-U.S. regime into power. 

In accordance with the RATO treaty, RATO begins furnishing money and weaponry to Cuba. U.S. troops get bogged down in Cuba and are unable to reach Havana. U.S. officials contemplate using nuclear weapons against Havana as a way to shorten the war, thereby saving the lives of U.S. soldiers, as they did with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. RATO warns that any use of nuclear weapons will bring immediate retaliatory measures. 

Now, ask yourself the following question: What would be the position of American interventionists in the RATO/U.S./Cuba war?

There is no doubt about it. 

Let’s do some more imagining. Let’s imagine the following conversation between a questioner and an American interventionist:

Questioner: Are you supporting the U.S. invasion of Cuba?

Interventionist: Why, of course I am. I’m a patriot.

Questioner: But the U.S. is the invader. Why would you support an invader?

Interventionist: The U.S. had no choice. It had to invade Cuba to prevent RATO from installing its nuclear missiles in Cuba.

Questioner: But Cuba is a sovereign, independent country. Doesn’t it have the right to join RATO and doesn’t RATO have the right to install its nuclear missiles in Cuba?

Interventionist: We don’t feel comfortable having RATO’s nuclear missiles pointed at us from only 90 miles away. 

Questioner: But does feeling uncomfortable give the U.S. the right to start a war against another country?

Interventionist: We didn’t start this war. RATO did. If RATO had not threatened to install its nuclear missiles in Cuba, the U.S. would never have invaded Cuba. By knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally crossing our Red Line, RATO bears the responsibility for starting this war. 

Questioner: But the U.S. is the invader. Isn’t that all that matters?

Interventionist: Of course not. It is easy to see that RATO provoked the U.S. into invading Cuba by crossing our Red Line. That’s what brought on this war.

Questioner: I see. Now, could we please turn our attention to Ukraine? I now understand why you’re opposing RATO for provoking the U.S. invasion of Cuba by crossing the U.S. Red Line, but please remind me again as to why you’re supporting NATO, given that it provoked the Russian invasion of Ukraine by crossing Russia’s Red Line. 

Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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