Rep. Hamilton Fish III (video below) discusses his constitutional opposition to lend lease in 1941, the first time around.
I'm just coming up to speed on what is not only being described as but even officially labeled as "lend lease" for Ukraine -- the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022.
"Lend lease." Isn't that just, well, eternally glorious or something? Not that many Americans could explain what lend lease is, or why the verbal prompt still paints rosy emanations over Churchillian overtones. The awful fact is, lend lease was the op of ops. As described in fairly minute detail in American Betrayal, lend lease was at its heart a dictatorial assault on free government which, under cover of saving democracy abroad, seized democracy at home: namely, it seized Congress' core constitutional powers of war-making and the purse. As I learned in my course of research for American Betrayal, lend lease was also authored and shepherded into law by a number of bona fide communist lieutenants, notably in the Treasury and the White House.
Of course, there was always another way. If our elected representatives had so chosen, they could have voted to supply countries of their choice -- if, that is, they had first voted to negate our nation's neutrality laws -- all without creating a White House dictatorship run by a Soviet agent of influence named Harry Hopkins out to remake the world. Which it did.
But communists and other totalitarian monsters hate, simply hate, the people's house, parliaments, congresses, and have always sought to take them down by any and all means necessary. At least in 1942, most of the Republicans in the House voted against lend lease as a point of clear constitutional principle and in the interests of their own constituents. Eighty years later, we find ourselves down to merely ten stalwart representatives with even an inkling as to American interests let alone constitutional powers. They are: Andy Biggs of Arizona, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin.
The Senate, meanwhile, passed lend lease for Ukraine with a manly voice vote on April 6.
I find the timing of the lend lease bill "to lend or lease defense articles to that Government to protect civilian populations in Ukraine from Russian military invasion, and for other purposes" of special interest. Lend Lease for Ukraine was introduced by Sen Cornyn back on January 19 -- over one month before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The bill would gain 15 co-sponsors (now 21) also before the invasion took place.
Was drafting legislation to provide nearly unlimited military supplies to Ukraine the best way for a great power to try to avert war in the eastern side of Europe? A war that clearly promised to bring catastophe not only to the people directly harmed by the fighting but also to the food and energy supply that sustains the rest of the world? Of course not. War was their answer -- but what was the question? Meanwhile, as Senate co-sponsors of US military aid piled up, as recently as one week before the invasion, the Wall Street Journal reports, German chancellor Olaf Scholz sought to persuade Ukrainian president Zelensky to accept a security pact to avert war through Ukrainian neutrality:
that Ukraine should renounce its NATO aspirations and declare neutrality as part of a wider European security deal between the West and Russia. The pact would be signed by Mr. Putin and Mr. Biden, who would jointly guarantee Ukraine’s security.
Doubtless with visions of American "lend lease" dancing in his head, Zelensky said no. The agenda uber alles. What next? After so many wild nightmares have come true over the past couple of years, it hardly seems far-fetched to imagine that Ukraine could well become the graveyard of US defense systems, not be replenished anytime soon.