How Mississippi could cause World War III

Mississippi senator Roger Wicker may be the most dangerous officeholder in Washington.  A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Wicker keeps publicly making proposals that would effectively have the United States at war with Russia.  His latest proposal, as reported in the HuffPost and National Review Online, is for the United States and "a strong coalition of like-minded nations" to consider imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine.  He is now the second member of Congress — joining GOP Representative Adam Kinzinger — to recommend the no-fly zone idea.  Kinzinger recently suggested on social media that a no-fly zone over Ukraine would "give the heroic Ukrainians a fair fight."

Senator Wicker, according to the HuffPost, explained his support for the no-fly zone as follows: "Tens of thousands of women and children fleeing from Kyiv west have created a humanitarian situation that the international community needs to step in and be involved in."  Previously, Senator Wicker suggested sending U.S. ground forces to Ukraine and said that in responding to Russian aggression in Ukraine that "nothing should be taken off the table," including a nuclear first strike.

 Fortunately, both Wicker's colleagues in the Senate and the Biden administration swiftly distanced themselves from his proposal.  But Wicker is in line to become the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee — and if the GOP takes back the Senate in 2023, he will likely chair the committee.  (The current ranking GOP member of the committee, Senator James Inhofe, has announced his retirement.)  It is doubtful that the GOP leader, Mitch McConnell, will do anything about this.

Have Senator Wicker and other war-mongers — yes, war-mongers — not learned from history?  When a great power meddles in a regional war, as in 1914 in the Balkans, the war usually escalates and widens.  In 1914, what German chancellor Otto von Bismarck once termed "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" led to the cataclysm of the First World War.  It is that analogy rather than "Munich" or the "domino theory" that should concern us the most. 

Perhaps Senator Wicker's Mississippi constituents can send him packing in 2024 (when he is up for re-election).  Until then, he should be moved to Senate committees where he can do less harm.

Image via Flickr, public domain.

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