Warhawk Liz Cheney on Ukraine: Isolationism 'Has Always Been Wrong'

Posted: Feb 27, 2022 2:15 PM
Warhawk Liz Cheney on Ukraine: Isolationism 'Has Always Been Wrong'

Source: Jim Bourg/Pool via AP

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) claimed Sunday that isolationism has always been "wrong" and "dangerous" after some public figures called for a noninterventionist strategy for the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Asked by host Margaret Brennan on CBS's "Face the Nation" about Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance telling a podcast host he does not care what happens in Ukraine and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) saying that the U.S. should not send troops to Ukraine to fight because it is "not in our security interest," Cheney said isolationism has "always been wrong."

"We've been down that road before," Cheney said. "We've seen isolationism in both parties, and it's always been wrong, and it's always been dangerous. America cannot defend and maintain our own freedom and security if we think that we're going to simply withdraw from the world and not lead."

Vance, also the author of "Hillbilly Elegy," said during an appearance on Stephen Bannon's show earlier this month that he does not care about Ukraine, arguing instead that the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is more important.

"I don't really care what happens to Ukraine one way or the other," he said. "I do care about the fact that in my community right now the leading cause of death among 18-45-year-olds is Mexican fentanyl that’s coming across the southern border."

Vance has since indicated that he does care and attributed the blame for the situation in Ukraine to the elites.

And Hawley told CBS News last week that the U.S. cannot afford to send more troops to Europe and explained that the U.S. should decrease military presence in Europe to focus on the threat of China.

"I'm opposed to having them involved in the fighting," he said. That is not in our security interest, we can take other actions, and should in Europe that are tough on Russia. We've got to keep focus on our number one security priority and that's East Asia. That's China."

Pointing to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of a "democratic, sovereign nation" in Ukraine, Cheney said the isolationist position is "wrong morally" and "indefensible."

"We are watching today the brutality of Vladimir Putin as he attempts to invade a democratic, sovereign nation," Cheney said. "And anyone who thinks that U.S. freedom and security is going to be maintained, if we take a step back and don't lead, you simply need to look at what's happening in Ukraine to recognize that those who fill the void when the U.S. steps away, are people like the Russians, like the Chinese, like the Iranians." 

"And so the idea that the world will be safe and that America will be able to be safe and free with an isolationist approach is wrong," she continued. "It's also wrong morally. You know, America stands for freedom. America was founded on fundamental principles of freedom. And I think it's, it's indefensible for people to abandon those or suggest that we have no view as between Russia and Ukraine in this battle."