Forget Insurrection. Aiding the Enemy is Treason. | Opinion

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In April 1949, the world reeled from unspeakable horrors. An estimated 85 million people suffered agonizing deaths in WWII: 45 million soldiers were smeared across battlefields; 25 million people starved to death; and 11 million Jews, gays and other minorities drew their last breath in Hitler’s maniacal death camps.

Allied forces emerged from the war determined to forge a collective defense for the future. The North Atlantic Treaty established NATO and gave teeth to a free world order governed by the rule of law.

Prized for its armed deterrence, NATO delivered somber recognition that although Hitler was gone, the power-lust, brutality and villainy that drives men like him would remain. For NATO signatories still limping from the war, the question wasn’t if Hitler-caliber evil would reappear on the global stage, but when.

Inviting an enemy to attack NATO allies is treason

NATO, a binding war and peacetime treaty, is more than an aspiration. Under the revered and foundational text of the U.S. Constitution, treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate are the Supreme Law of the Land.

For 75 years, America and her European allies have pledged under the treaty that an armed attack against any NATO member would trigger the same military obligations from all NATO members. Under NATO’s article 5, in the event of such an attack, each member state vows to take “such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

Last week, in insult to and derogation of this commitment, an ex-president who tried to stay in power by force publicly encouraged Russia, a present enemy, “to do whatever the hell they want” to NATO allies, to punish them for failure to dedicate 2% of their GDP to defense spending.

Since he invaded Ukraine in 2022, Putin has threatened America and NATO with the use of nuclear weapons. Any such attack by Russia at Trump’s behest would trigger NATO’s collective military obligations and activate wartime responses with unfathomable consequences.

Putin is a war criminal and KGB agent who jails critics, poisons political opponents, and throws adversaries out of windows. As he brandishes his world-annihilating nuclear arsenal, he is wanted before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Trump’s suggestion that he attack NATO allies wasn’t just stupid. It put America and her allies in real danger, in aid and comfort to a current enemy. It was treason.

An alarmed world reacts to Trump’s ignorance

Trump’s new level of asininity hit the world stage just as the American intelligence community was learning about Russia's nuclear capacity to disable American defense space satellites. Although Trump’s support is strongest among uneducated voters, his demonstration of ignorance still sent shockwaves around the world. The rebukes were swift:

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General: Trump’s comments “undermine all of our security including that of the US, and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: “Any relativization of NATO’s guarantee of assistance is irresponsible and dangerous and is solely in Russia’s interests.”

Charles Michel, president of the European Council:Reckless statements on #NATO’s security and Art 5 solidarity serve only Putin’s interest. They do not bring more security or peace to the world…”

President Joe Biden: Trump just “sent a dangerous, and shockingly, frankly, un-American signal to the world … The whole world heard it … No other president in history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator…”

Any of these world leaders might have educated Trump and America’s ignorance that the only time the NATO mutual defense pact has ever been invoked was when European allies came to the aid of the United States after the attacks of 9/11. NATO allies went to war for 20 years for us.

Receiving benefits for decades then refusing to reciprocate makes us look like a mentally challenged bully unfit to lead.  

Trump would start WWIII to serve his own ego

In seeking to destroy democratic governments, Trump isn’t the only useful idiot at Putin’s disposal. Right-wing media idiots like Tucker Carlson are also in the game, and it’s working. After the Senate approved $60 billion in bipartisan aid to Ukraine last week, Trump’s mouthpiece, Speaker Mike Johnson, promised it would not see a vote in the House.

My grandfather Gus Wirthwein fought in WWII. One of the lucky ones, he got to come home with both legs to his farm in Huntingburg, Indiana. At day’s end, he liked to drink beer (Pabst) in front of a campfire and carve walnuts. He’d talk about the crops, the neighbor’s foal, the weather — near anything, except he would never talk about what happened to him during the war.

I only pray he doesn’t know what Trump has done, and what he will do to NATO and the free world if given another chance.

Sabrina Haake is a 25-year litigator specializing in 1st and 14th Amendment defense. Her columns appear in OutSFL, Chicago Tribune, Salon, State Affairs, Howey Politics, and RawStory. She and her wife split their time between South Florida and Chicago. Follow her on substack.


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