March 31, 2014
By Richard Land
Holy Scripture reveals to us timeless truths about human anthropology. We are told by the prophet Jeremiah that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). The word translated as "desperately wicked" is more accurately rendered "incurable," and thus "the heart of every man is incurably wicked and can be redeemed to righteousness by God only through Jesus Christ" (Criswell Study Bible).
Furthermore, in Paul's Epistle to the Romans, we are told that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23), confirming that there are no exceptions to the sinful and catastrophic impact of Adam's fall on the entire human race.
What does that have to do with the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea? Actually, this eternal truth about man's sinfulness and selfishness has enormous relevance to the foreign policy issues causing such turmoil in the world today.
In Romans (13:1-7) we are told that God ordained the civil magistrate to punish those that "do that which is evil" and reward those who "do that which is good" and that in doing so, they "beareth not the sword in vain," referring to the power of the police (domestically) and the military (internationally).
In other words, in a world wracked by sin in which willful, selfish men seek to exploit, dominate, and enslave the weak and the helpless, there must be cops on the beat to protect the vulnerable and victimized.
Since the end of World War II, America has been the reluctant, but necessary, chief of police, making sure there are cops on the beat who prevent bigger countries from brutalizing and conquering weaker ones. This policy function kept a significant portion of the world free from Soviet and Communist domination until the Soviet Union's demise in 1991, an event lamented by Vladimir Putin (the former KGB colonel) as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." Unfortunately, the current leader of the free world, President Obama, doesn't see the last half of the 20th century as one where America was the successful guarantor of freedom and human rights. Instead, in 1983, the future president wrote an article stating that President Reagan's muscular and robust defense build-up "reflected our 'distorted national priorities' rather than what should be our goal: a 'nuclear free world.'" (Jonah Goldberg, "Obama in Denial on Russia," USA Today, March 4, 2014).
President Obama's goal of a nuclear free world, or even a world where there is no nuclear proliferation, is now much further away from realization than it was just a few weeks ago. Why?
In 1991, when the Soviet Union disintegrated, the newly independent Ukraine (inheriting part of Moscow's nuclear arsenal), was for one brief moment the world's third leading nuclear power. Ukraine had control of over 1,800 nuclear weapons, more than any nation but the U.S. and Russia.
The Clinton Administration, rightly concerned about these weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists, made it a high priority to urge the Ukraine to give up its weapons in return for economic aid and security guarantees. The Ukraine did so in return for the "Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances" in which the Ukraine gave up its nukes and signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Russia, Britain, and the U.S. pledged to protect Ukraine's "territorial integrity." This pledge has proven to be the emptiest of promises as the Russian aggression in Crimea and its threat to seize further Ukrainian territory illustrate vividly. Does anyone really think that if the Ukraine still possessed even a small portion of its former nuclear arsenal Crimea would now be "annexed" by Russia?
As the rest of the world digests the sad and tragic events of the last few weeks, non-nuclear nations are drawing the necessary conclusions from this new world "disorder"-the good cops are no longer on the beat, and the only way to protect themselves from the bullies with nuclear weapons (Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and sooner rather than later, Iran) is to go nuclear themselves.
Don't think those discussions aren't going on in Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and other places around the globe. And the more nations that have nuclear weapons, the more likely they are to be used.
The world has become a much more dangerous and destabilized planet. It always does when the good cops are no longer on the beat.