State of the Union

America Sleepwalks Towards a Clash With the Turks in Syria

The war for dominance in the Middle East, following the destruction of ISIS, appears about to commence in Syria—with NATO allies America and Turkey on opposing sides.

Turkey is moving armor and troops south to Syria’s border enclave of Afrin, occupied by the Kurds, to drive them out, and then drive the Syrian Kurds out of Manbij further south as well.

Says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “We will destroy all terror nests, one by one, in Syria, starting from Afrin and Manbij.”

For Erdogan, the Kurdish YPG, the major U.S. ally in Syria, is an arm of the Kurdish PKK in Turkey, which we and the Turks have designated as a terrorist organization.

While the Kurds were our most effective allies against ISIS in Syria, Turkey views them as a mortal peril and intends to deal with that threat.

If Erdogan is serious, a clash with the United States is coming, as our Kurdish allies occupy most of Syria’s border with Turkey.

Moreover, the U.S. has announced plans to create a 30,000-man Border Security Force of Kurds and Arabs to keep ISIS out of Syria.

Erdogan has branded this BSF a “terror army,” and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has called BSF members “traitors.”

This U.S. plan to create a BSF inside Syria, Damascus declares, “represents a blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity and unity of Syria, and a flagrant violation of international law.”

Does the Syrian government not have a point?

Now that ISIS has been driven out of Raqqa and Syria, by what authority do U.S. forces remain to arm troops to keep the Damascus government from reimposing its authority on its own territory?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave Syria the news on Wednesday.

The U.S. troop commitment to Syria, he said, is now open-ended.

Our goals: Guarantee al-Qaeda and ISIS do not return and set up sanctuary, cope with rising Iranian influence in Damascus, and pursue the removal of Assad’s ruthless regime.

But who authorized this strategic commitment of indefinite duration in Syria, when nearly two decades in Afghanistan have failed to secure that nation against the return of al-Qaeda and ISIS?

Again and again, the American people have said they do not want to be dragged into Syria’s civil war. Donald Trump won the presidency on a promise of no more unnecessary wars.

Have the American people been had again?

Will they support a clash with NATO ally Turkey to keep armed Kurds on Turkey’s border, when the Turks regard them as terrorists?

Are we prepared for a shooting war with a Syrian army, backed by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, to hold onto a fourth of Syria’s territory in alliance with Kurds?

The U.S. coalition in Syria said this week the BSF will be built up “over the next several years” and “be stationed along the borders…to include portions of the Euphrates river valley and international borders to the east and north.”

Remarkable: An American-created border army is going to occupy and control long stretches of Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq, over Syria’s objections. And the U.S. military will stand behind the BSF.

Are the 2,000 troops in Syria really up to that task, should the Turks decide to cleanse the Syrian border of Kurds, or should the Syrian regime decide to take back territory occupied by the Kurds?

Who sanctioned this commitment to a new army, which, if Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies and the Turks do not all back down, risks a major U.S. war with no allies but the Kurds?

As for Syria’s Kurds casting their lot with the Americans, one wonders: Did they not observe what happened when their Iraqi cousins, after helping us drive ISIS out of Mosul, were themselves driven out of Kirkuk by the Iraqi army, as their U.S. allies watched?

In the six-year Syrian civil war, which may be about to enter a new phase, America faces a familiar situation.

While our “allies” and adversaries have vital interests there, we do not. The Assads have been in power for the lifetime of most Americans. And we have never shown a desire to fight in Syria.

Assad has a vital interest: preservation of his family regime and the reunification of his country. The Turks have a vital interest in keeping armed Kurds out of their border regions adjacent to their own Kurdish minority, which seeks greater independence.

The Israelis and Saudi royals want the United States to keep Iran from securing a land bridge from Tehran to Damascus to Lebanon.

The U.S. War Party wants us to smash Iran and remain in the Middle East forever to assure the hegemony of its favorites.

Have the generals taking us into Syria told the president how and when, if ever, they plan to get us out?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

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Trump’s Jarring Remarks Shroud Broader Immigration Questions

President Trump “said things which were hate-filled, vile, and racist. …I cannot believe…any president has ever spoken the words that I…heard our president speak yesterday.”

So wailed Senator Dick Durbin after departing the White House.

And what caused the minority leader to almost faint dead away?

Trump called Haiti a “s—hole country,” said Durbin, and then asked why we don’t have more immigrants from neat places “like Norway.”

With that, there erupted one of the great media firestorms of the Trump era.

Trump concedes he may have disparaged Haiti. Yet he also insists he did not demean the Haitian people.

Still, by contrasting Norway as a desirable source of immigrants with Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa, Trump raised a question that is roiling the West.

Trump is saying with words, as he has with policies, that in taking in a million people a year, race, religion, and national origin matter if we are to preserve our American unity and character.

Moreover, on deciding who comes and who does not, Americans have the sovereign right to discriminate in favor of some continents, countries, and cultures, and against others.

Moreover, in stating his own preferences, Trump is in a tradition as old as the republic.

The original 13 colonies did not want Catholics here. Ben Franklin feared Pennsylvania was being overrun by stupid Germans: “Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.”

Just as anti-immigrant parties have arisen in Europe to stem the flood of refugees from the Mideast and Africa, so was an American party (“Know-Nothings”) formed to halt the surge of immigrants during the Irish Potato Famine of 1845 to 1849.

Lincoln wanted slaves repatriated to Africa. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Chinese and Japanese exclusion acts were passed.

“Californians have properly objected” to Japanese migrants, said vice presidential nominee Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “on the sound basic ground that…the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results.”

After the Great Migration of Italians, Poles, Jews, and East Europeans from 1890 to 1920, the Immigration Act of 1925 established quotas based on the national origins of the American people in 1890, thus favoring Brits, Scots-Irish, Irish, and Germans.

Civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, a major figure in Dr. King’s March on Washington, said of the Harding-Coolidge restrictive quotas: “We favor reducing immigration to nothing…shutting out the Germans…Italians…Hindus…Chinese and even the Negroes from the West Indies. The country is suffering from immigration indigestion.”

The Senate floor leader of the 1965 Immigration Act addressed what were then regarded as valid concerns about the future racial and ethnic composition of the country. Senator Edward Kennedy pledged: “Our cities win not be flooded with a million immigrants annually…the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. …S. 500 will not inundate America with immigrants from…the most populated and economically deprived nations of Africa and Asia.”

What Kennedy assured America would not happen did happen.

Today, the issue of immigration is tearing countries and continents apart. There are anti-immigrant parties in every European nation. Turkey is being bribed to keep Syrian refugees out of Europe.

Boatloads of Africans from Libya are being turned back in the Med. After building a wall to keep them out, Bibi Netanyahu has told “illegal aliens” from Africa: get out of Israel by March or go to jail.

Angela Merkel may have suffered irreparable political damage when she let in a million Mideast refugees. The larger concentrations of Arabs, Africans, and Turks in Britain, France, and Germany are not assimilating. Central European nations are sealing borders.

Europe fears a future in which, with shrinking numbers of native-born, it’s swamped by peoples from the third world.

Yet the future Europeans are resisting is the same one American elites have embraced. Among the reasons, endless mass migration here means the demographic death of the GOP.

In U.S. presidential elections, persons of color whose roots are in Asia, Africa, and Latin America vote four-to-one Democratic, and against the candidates favored by America’s vanishing white majority. Not for the first time, liberal ideology comports precisely with liberal political interests.

Mass immigration means an America in 2050 with no core majority, made up of minorities of every race, color, religion, and culture on earth, a continent-wide replica of the wonderful diversity we see today in the U.N. General Assembly.

Such a country has never existed before. Are we on the Yellow Brick Road to the new Utopia—or the path to national suicide?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

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‘Little Rocket Man’ Wins the Round

After a year in which he tested a hydrogen bomb and an ICBM, threatened to destroy the United States, and called President Trump “a dotard,” Kim Jong Un, at the gracious invitation of the president of South Korea, will be sending a skating team to the “Peace Olympics.

An impressive year for Little Rocket Man.

Thus the most serious nuclear crisis since Nikita Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba appears to have abated. Welcome news, even if the confrontation with Pyongyang has probably only been postponed.

Still, we have been given an opportunity to reassess the 65-year-old Cold War treaty that obligates us to go to war if the North attacks Seoul, and drove us to the brink of war today.

2017 demonstrated that we need a reassessment. For the potential cost of carrying out our commitment is rising exponentially.

Two decades ago, a war on the Korean Peninsula, given the massed Northern artillery on the DMZ, meant thousands of U.S. dead.

Today, with Pyongyang’s growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, American cities could face Hiroshima-sized strikes, if war breaks out.

What vital U.S. interest is there on the Korean Peninsula that justifies accepting in perpetuity such a risk to our homeland?

We are told that Kim’s diplomacy is designed to split South Korea off from the Americans. And this is undeniably true.

For South Korean President Moon Jae-in is first and foremost responsible for his own people, half of whom are in artillery range of the DMZ. In any new Korean war, his country would suffer most.

And while he surely welcomes the U.S. commitment to fight the North on his country’s behalf as an insurance policy, Moon does not want a second Korean war, and he does not want President Trump making the decision as to whether there shall be one.

Understandably so. He is looking out for South Korea first.

Yet Moon rightly credits Trump with bringing the North Koreans to the table: “I give President Trump huge credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, and I’d like to thank him for that.”

But again, what are the U.S. interests there that we should be willing to put at risk of nuclear attack tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Korea and our bases in Asia, and even our great cities, in a war that would otherwise be confined to the Korean Peninsula?

China shares a border with the North, but is not treaty-bound to fight on the North’s behalf. Russia, too, has a border with North Korea, and, with China, was indispensable to saving the North in the 1950-53 war. But Russia is not committed by any treaty to fight for the North.

Why, then, are Americans obligated to be among the first to die in a second Korean War? Why is the defense of the South, with 40 times the economy and twice the population of the North, our eternal duty?

Kim’s drive for a nuclear deterrent is propelled by both fear and calculation. The fear is that the Americans who detest him will do to him and his regime and country what they did to Saddam Hussein.

The calculation is that what Americans fear most, and the one thing that deters them, is nuclear weapons. Once Soviet Russia and Communist China acquired nukes, the Americans never attacked them.

If he can put nuclear weapons on U.S. troops in Korea, U.S. bases in Japan, and U.S. cities, Kim reasons, the Americans will not launch a war on him. Have not recent events proven him right?

Iran has no nuclear weapons and some Americans clamor daily for “regime change” in Tehran. But because Kim has nukes, the Americans appear more anxious to talk. His policy is succeeding.

What he is saying with his nuclear arsenal is: As you Americans have put my regime and country at risk of annihilation, I am going to put your cities at risk. If we go down in your nuclear “fire and fury,” so, too, will millions of Americans.

The whole world is watching how this plays out.

For the American Imperium, our system of alliances, is held together by a credible commitment: If you attack any of our scores of allies, you are at war with the United States.

From the Baltic to the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf, from the South China Sea to Korea and Japan today, the costs and the risks of maintaining the imperium are growing.

With all these promissory notes out there—guarantees to go to war for other nations—one is inevitably going to be called.

And this generation of Americans, unaware of what their grandfathers obligated them to do, will demand to know, as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan: What are we over doing there, on the other side of the world?

“America First” is more than a slogan.

Patrick J. Buchanan’s latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

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Haley Calls Embarrassing Emergency Meeting at the U.N.

Ambassador Nikki Haley at the United Nations. Credit: IPP Photo Archive/CreativeCommons

Was our handling of these riots any business of the U.N.?

Conservatives have demanded that the U.N. keep its nose out of our sovereign affairs since its birth in 1946. Do we now accept that the U.N. has authority to oversee internal disturbances inside member countries?

Friday’s session fizzled out after Iran’s ambassador suggested the Security Council might take up the Israeli-Palestinian question or the humanitarian crisis produced by the U.S.-backed Saudi war on Yemen.

The episode exposes a malady of American foreign policy. It lacks consistency, coherence and moral clarity, treats friends and adversaries by separate standards, and is reflexively interventionist.

Thus has America lost much of the near-universal admiration and respect she enjoyed at the close of the Cold War.

This hubristic generation has kicked it all away.

Consider. Is Iran’s handling of these disorders more damnable than the thousands of extrajudicial killings of drug dealers attributed to our Filipino ally Rodrigo Duterte, whom the president says is doing an “unbelievable job”?

And how does it compare with Gen. Abdel el-Sissi’s 2012 violent overthrow of the elected president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, and Sissi’s imprisonment of scores of thousands of followers of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Is Iran really the worst situation in the Middle East today?

Hassan Rouhani is president after winning an election with 57 percent of the vote. Who elected Mohammed bin Salman crown prince and future king of Saudi Arabia?

Vladimir Putin, too, is denounced for crimes against democracy for which our allies get a pass.

In Russia, Christianity is flourishing and candidates are declaring against Putin. Some in the Russian press regularly criticize him.

How is Christianity faring in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan?

It is alleged that Putin’s regime is responsible for the death of several journalists. But there are more journalists behind bars in the jails of our NATO ally Turkey than in any other country in the world.

When does the Magnitsky Act get applied to Turkey?

What the world too often sees is an America that berates its adversaries for sins against our “values,” while giving allies a general absolution if they follow our lead.

A day has not gone by in 18 months that we have not read or heard of elite outrage over the Kremlin attack on “our democracy,” with the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails.

How many even recall the revelation in 2015 that China hacked the personnel files of millions of U.S. government employees, past, present and prospective?

While China persecutes Christians, Russia supports a restoration of Christianity after 70 years of Leninist rule.

In Putin’s Russia, the Communist Party is running a candidate against him. In China, the Communist Party exercises an absolute monopoly of political power and nobody runs against Xi Jinping.

China’s annexation of the Paracel and Spratly Islands and the entire South China Sea is meekly protested, while Russia is endlessly castigated for its bloodless retrieval of a Crimean peninsula that was recognized as Russian territory under the Romanovs.

China, with several times Russia’s economy and 10 times her population, is far the greater challenger to America’s standing as lone superpower. Why, then, this tilt toward China?

Among the reasons U.S. foreign policy lacks consistency and moral clarity is that we Americans no longer agree on what our vital interests are, who our real adversaries are, what our values are, or what a good and Godly country looks like.

Was JFK’s America a better country than Obama’s America?

World War II and the Cold War gave us moral clarity. If you stood against Hitler, even if you were a moral monster like Joseph Stalin, we partnered with you.

From Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946 to the end of the Cold War, if you stood with us against the “Evil Empire” of Reagan’s depiction, even if you were a dictator like Gen. Pinochet or the Shah, you were welcome in the camp of the saints.

But now that a worldwide conversion to democracy is no longer America’s mission in the world, what exactly is our mission?

“Great Britain has lost an empire,” said Dean Acheson in 1962, “but not yet found a role.”

Something of the same may fairly be said of us today.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

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A Fire Bell in the Night for the Ayatollah

Wikimedia Commons

As tens of thousands marched in the streets of Tehran on Wednesday in support of Iran’s regime, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, assured Iranians the “sedition” had been defeated.

Jafari is whistling past the graveyard.

The protests that broke out a week ago and spread and became riots are a fire bell in the night for the Islamic Republic.

The demonstrators denounced President Hassan Rouhani, re-elected last year with 57 percent of the vote, for failing to curb inflation or deliver the benefits he promised when Iran signed the nuclear deal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, commander in chief and head of state, in power for three decades, was also denounced, as were Iran’s interventions and wars in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Yemen.

In 2009, the uprising of millions in Tehran was driven by middle-class rage over an election stolen by the populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This past week’s protests began in the working class, in what might be called Iran’s “fly-over country.”

The protesters were red state and tea party types, demanding their own version of “Come Home, Iran” and “Iran First!”

The charge against Rouhani is that he has failed to deliver the good times promised. Against the ayatollah and the mullahs, the charge is that what they have delivered—power and wealth to the clerics, social repression, foreign wars—are not what the Iranian people want.

The greater long-term threat of the protests is to the Islamic regime itself.

For if the protests are about people being denied the freedom and material goods the young enjoy in the West, the protesters are demanding what theocracies cannot deliver. How can the ayatollah and the mullahs, who restrict freedom by divine law, accept democratic freedoms without imperiling their own theological dictatorship?

How can the Republican Guard surrender its slice of the Iranian economy and end its foreign interventions without imperiling its reason for being—to protect and promote the Iranian Islamic revolution?

Half of Iran’s population is 31 or younger. This new generation was not even born until a decade after the revolution that overthrew the Shah.

How does a clerical regime speak to a people of whom 40 million have smartphones connecting them to an outside world on which they can see the freedom and prosperity they seek but their government cannot or will not deliver?

The protesters are also telling Rouhani’s “reformers,” in power now for five years, that they, too, have failed.

Rouhani’s dilemma? To grow Iran’s economy and improve the quality of life, he needs more foreign investment and more consumer goods. Yet any surge in material prosperity that Rouhani delivers is certain to undermine the religious faith undergirding the theocratic regime.

And as any transfer of power to the elected government has to come at the expense of the clerics and the Guard, Rouhani is not likely to see that happen.

Thus, he and his government are likely to continue to fail.

Bottom line: The Islamic Republic of Iran was not established to create a materially prosperous and socially free society, because, in the ayatollah’s theology, such societies, like the United States, are of the devil and corruptive of the people.

Social freedom is irreconcilable with Iranian theocracy.

And Iranian hard-liners, clerical and military, are not going to permit protests to cause them to commit what they believe would be ideological suicide.

Yet the United States and President Trump also face a dilemma.

If, as Trump says, we wish the Iranian people well, how do we justify scrapping the nuclear deal in which Iranians have placed so much hope, and reimposing the sanctions that will restore the hardships of yesterday?

How does America proclaim herself a friend of the Iranian people if we are trying to persuade Europeans to abrogate the nuclear accord and reinstitute the sanctions that impoverish the Iranian people?

Will we urge the Iranians to rise up and overthrow their regime, as we did the Hungarians in 1956, which resulted in their massacre by Soviet tanks sent into Budapest? Ike’s response: he sent Vice President Nixon to greet the surviving Hungarian patriots fleeing across the Andau Bridge into Austria.

After Desert Storm in 1991, George H.W. Bush urged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam Hussein. When the Shiites did, they, too, were massacred, as our Army from Desert Storm stood by in Kuwait.

If there is an Iranian uprising and it results in a Tiananmen Square slaughter in Tehran, do we really want the U.S., which would not likely intervene to save the patriots, held morally accountable?

The Iranian protests suggest the Islamic Revolution, after 40 years, is failing the rising generation. It is hard to see how this is not ominous news for the Iranian regime.

As was the case with the Soviets, time is not on the side of the ayatollahs.

We need not go to war with them. Time will take care of them, too.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

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Will War Cancel Out Trump’s Triumphs?

Asked what he did during the French Revolution, Abbe Sieyes replied, “I survived.”

Donald Trump can make the same boast.

No other political figure has so dominated our discourse. And none, not Joe McCarthy in his heyday in the early ’50s, nor Richard Nixon in Watergate, received such intense and intemperate coverage and commentary.

Whatever thinks of Trump, he is a leader and a fighter, not a quitter. How many politicians could have sustained the beatings Trump has taken and remained as cocky and confident?

And looking back on what may fairly be called the Year of Trump, his achievements have surprised even some of his enemies.

With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border. The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.

The economy, with the boot of Barack Obama off its neck, has been growing at a rate of 3 percent. The stock market has soared to record highs. Unemployment is down to 4 percent. And Trump and Congress just passed the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan.

On deregulation, which conservative Republicans preached to deaf ears in the Bush I and Bush II eras, Trump and those he has put into positions of power have exceeded expectations.

Pipelines Obama blocked have been approved. Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge has been opened to exploratory drilling. We have exited a Paris climate accord that favored China over the U.S.

Though Beijing’s trade surplus with us is returning to record highs, a spirit of “America First” economic nationalism is pervasive among U.S. trade negotiators.

The one justice named to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, appears in the Antonin Scalia tradition. And under Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee is moving conservatives and strict constructionists onto U.S. appellate and district courts.

Politically, however, the year brought bad news, with portents of worse to come. In November, the Republican Party was thrashed in Virginia, losing all state offices. It then lost a Senate seat in Alabama.

Given polls showing Trump underwater and the GOP running 10 points behind the Democratic Party in favorability, there is a possibility the GOP could lose the House in 2018.

And though Democrats have three times as many Senate seats at risk in 2018, the GOP losing the Upper Chamber is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Should that happen, the conservative dream of a recapture of the U.S. Supreme Court could swiftly vanish.

Recall: Democratic Senates turned down two Nixon nominees and Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork, forcing both presidents to name justices who evolved into moderates and liberals on the high court.

But it is in the realm of foreign policy where the real perils seem to lie. President Trump has been persuaded by his national security team to send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, for use against the tanks and armor of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Should Petro Poroshenko’s Kiev regime reignite the war in his breakaway provinces bordering Russia, Vladimir Putin is less likely to let him crush the rebels than to intervene with superior forces and rout the Ukrainian army.

Trump’s choice then? Accept defeat and humiliation for our “ally”—or escalate and widen the conflict with Russia.

Putin’s interest in the Donbass, a part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union for centuries, is obvious.

What, exactly, is ours—to justify a showdown with Moscow?

In Washington there is also a powerful propaganda push to tear up the nuclear deal John Kerry negotiated with Iran, and confront the Iranians in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf.

But how much backing would Trump have for another U.S. war in that blood-soaked region, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria?

Who would stand with us, and for how long?

When Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and pledged to move our embassy there, we had to veto a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution condemning us. Then the General Assembly denounced us in a resolution supported by all our key NATO allies, Russia, China, and every Arab and Muslim nation.

A day later, Trump complained on Twitter that we have “foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East.”

What then would justify a new $1 or $2 trillion war with the largest nation on the Persian Gulf, which could send oil to $200 a barrel and sink the global economy?

Cui bono? For whose benefit all these wars?

The Korean War finished Truman. Vietnam finished LBJ. Reagan said putting Marines into Lebanon was his worst mistake. Iraq cost Bush II both houses of Congress and his party the presidency in 2008.

Should Trump become a war president, he’ll likely become a one-term president.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

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Did the FBI Conspire to Stop Trump?

Former FBI Director James Comey. lev radin / Shutterstock

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The original question the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign was supposed to answer was a simple one: Did he do it?

Did Trump, or officials with his knowledge, collude with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack the emails of John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee, and leak the contents to damage Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump?

A year and a half into the investigation, and still no “collusion” has been found. Yet the investigation goes on, at the demand of the Never Trump media and Beltway establishment.

Hence, and understandably, suspicions have arisen.

Are the investigators after the truth, or are they after Trump?

Set aside the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory momentarily, and consider a rival explanation for what is going down here.

That, from the outset, Director James Comey and an FBI camarilla were determined to stop Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. Having failed, they conspired to break Trump’s presidency, overturn his mandate, and bring him down.

Essential to any such project was first to block any indictment of Hillary for transmitting national security secrets over her private email server. That initial objective was achieved 18 months ago.

On July 5, 2016, Comey stepped before a stunned press corps to declare that, given the evidence gathered by the FBI, “no reasonable prosecutor” would indict Clinton. Therefore, that was the course that he, Comey, was recommending.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, compromised by her infamous 35-minute tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton—to discuss golf and grandkids, of course—seconded Comey’s decision.

And so Hillary walked. Why is this suspicious?

First, whether or not to indict was a decision that belonged to the Department of Justice, not the FBI. Comey’s preemption of Justice Department authority was astonishing.

Second, while Comey said in his statement that Hillary had been “extremely careless” with security secrets, in his first draft, Clinton was declared guilty of “gross negligence”—the precise language in the statute that justifies indictment.

Who talked Comey into softening the language to look less than criminal? One man was FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife, Jill, a Virginia state senate candidate, received a munificent PAC contribution of $474,000 from Clinton family friend and big bundler Terry McAuliffe.

Also urging Comey to soften the fatal phrase “gross negligence” was key FBI agent Peter Strzok. In text messages to his FBI lover Lisa Page, Strzok repeatedly vented his detestation of the “idiot” Trump.

After one meeting with “Andy” (McCabe), Strzok told Page an “insurance policy” was needed to keep Trump out of the White House.

Also, it appears Comey began drafting his exoneration statement of Hillary before the FBI had even interviewed her. And when the FBI did sit down with her, Hillary was permitted to have her lawyers present.

One need not be a conspiracy nut to conclude that the fix was in, and a pass for Hillary was wired from the get-go. Comey, McCabe, and Strzok were not going to recommend an indictment that would blow Hillary out of the water and let the Trump Tower crowd waltz into the White House.

Yet if Special Counsel Robert Mueller cannot find any Trump collusion with the Kremlin to tilt the outcome of the 2016 election, his investigators might have another look at the Clinton campaign.

For there a Russian connection has been established.

Kremlin agents fabricated, faked, forged, or found the dirt on Trump that was passed to ex-British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, and wound up in his “dirty dossier” that was distributed to the mainstream media and the FBI to torpedo Trump.

And who hired Steele to tie Trump to Russia?

Fusion GPS, the oppo research outfit into which the DNC and Clinton campaign pumped millions through law firm Perkins Coie.

Let’s review the bidding.

The “dirty dossier,” a mixture of fabrications, falsehoods, and half-truths, created to destroy Trump and make Hillary president, was the product of a British spy’s collusion with Kremlin agents.

In December 26’s Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough writes that the FBI relied on this Kremlin-Steele dossier of allegations and lies to base their decision “to open a counterintelligence investigation (of Trump).” And press reports “cite the document’s disinformation in requests for court-approved wiretaps.”

If this is true, a critical questions arises.

Has the Mueller probe been so contaminated by anti-Trump bias and reliance on Kremlin fabrications that any indictment it brings will be suspect in the eyes of the American people?

Director Comey has been fired. FBI number two McCabe is now retiring under a cloud. Mueller’s top FBI investigator Peter Strzok and lover Lisa have been discharged. And Mueller is left to rely upon a passel of prosecutors whose common denominator appears to be that they loathe Trump and made contributions to Hillary.

Attorney General Bobby Kennedy had his “Get Hoffa Squad” to take down Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. J. Edgar Hoover had his vendetta against Dr. Martin Luther King.

Is history repeating itself—with the president of the United States the designated target of an elite FBI cabal?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

All of us at TAC wish you a Merry Christmas holiday and the best wishes for 2018. Our 501(c)(3) depends on your generosity to make the biggest impact possible. Please consider your tax deductible donation to our magazine, here.* Thank you!

*Contribute $250 or more before December 31 and receive an autographed copy of Robert Merry’s brand new book, President McKinley: Architect of a New Century!

50 comments

Republicans Bet the Farm

President Trump, every Republican senator, and the GOP majority in Speaker Paul Ryan’s House just put the future of their party on the line.

By enacting the largest tax cut since the Reagan administration, the heart of which is cutting the corporate rate from 35 to 21 percent, Republicans have boldly bet the farm.

They have rewritten America’s tax code to reflect their belief that cutting taxes on the private sector will produce the prosperity they have promised. If it happens, the GOP will reap the rewards, if not by 2018, then in 2020.

Democrats, as the Party of Government, egalitarian and neo-socialist, have come to see their role as redistributing wealth from those who have too much — to those who have too little. For, as men (and women) are born unequal in ambition, ability, talent, energy, personality and drive, free markets must inevitably produce an inequality of results.

The mission of Democrats is to reduce those inequalities. And as the very rich are also the very few, in a one-man, one-vote democracy the Democratic Party will always have a following.

Winston Churchill called this the philosophy of failure and the gospel of envy.

Republicans see themselves as the party of free enterprise, of the private not the public sector. They believe that alleviating the burden of regulation and taxation on business will unleash that sector, growing the economy and producing broader prosperity.

By how they voted Wednesday, Republicans yet believe in “supply-side” economics. In the early ’80s, this was derided as “voodoo economics” and “trickle-down” economics, and pungently disparaged by John Kenneth Galbraith as an economic philosophy rooted in the belief that, if you wish to feed the sparrows, you must first feed the horses.

The problem for Democrats is that Reaganomics worked, and is seen historically to have been successful. In 1984, growth was near six percent and Reagan rode to a 49-state landslide over Fritz Mondale who, at his San Francisco convention, had declared he would raise taxes.

Thus the importance of what happened Tuesday and Wednesday on Capitol Hill should not be underestimated.

On their legislative agenda, Republicans broke out of a slump. Though they got not a single Democratic vote in either chamber, they showed they can govern alone. On the lead item on the GOP-Trump agenda — taxes — they delivered. They shifted policy dramatically toward Republican philosophy. They wagered their future on their convictions. And the splenetic rage among Democrat elites suggests that they know they have suffered a defeat difficult to reverse.

Moreover, though the bill that came out of Congress is unpopular, the nation will not vote on Trumpian management of the economy until November 2018, after the early returns from the tax cut have come in.

And the Democratic Party has also been put into a tight box.

As Democrats have denounced the tax bill for exploding the debt by $1.5 trillion, how do they propose to pay for all the free stuff, including free tuition and infrastructure, that they will have on offer?

There are only two options: borrowing and growing the national debt themselves or raising taxes, as Mondale promised to do.

Another problem for Democrats is the new $10,000 limit on the tax deduction for state and local income and property taxes.

In blue states like Oregon, Minnesota, New Jersey, Vermont, Hawaii, the top state income tax rate is eight to 10 percent. In Jerry Brown’s California and Andrew Cuomo’s New York, it hits 13 percent—before adding property taxes on homes and condos in Manhattan and second homes out on Long Island.

Virtually eliminating state and local tax deductions is going to cause some of the rich to consider relocating to low-tax or no-tax red states in the Sun Belt like Florida. And it is going to put pressure on blue state pols to cease adding to the state and local tax burdens that Uncle Sam is no longer helping to carry.

Stepping back from all the Sturm und Drang of 2017, the Trump-Republican record of achievement, of meeting commitments made in the campaign of 2017, is not unimpressive.

The largest tax cuts in decades. Elevation of Neil Gorsuch to the Antonin Scalia seat on the Supreme Court. A record number of new U.S. appellate court judges approved by the Senate. The U.S. is out of the Paris climate accord and out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

NAFTA is being renegotiated. Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be open for drilling. The U.S. is at full employment, with minority unemployment near record lows. The stock market has consistently broken records, with the Dow having added 5,000 points. The Obamacare individual mandate tax is gone. Obama-era regulations have been cut and some eliminated.

And one year deeper into Russiagate, and still there is no proven collusion between candidate Trump and the Russians.

Indeed, the Robert Mueller investigators appear now to be coming under as much scrutiny and suspicion for how they behaved during the election and transition as Vladimir Putin and the Russians.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

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Who Wants War With Iran—and Why?

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. Credit: Flickr/Creative Commons/U.S. Mission Photo/Eric Bridiers

In the run-up to Christmas, President Donald Trump has been the beneficiary of some surprising good news and glad tidings.

Sunday, Vladimir Putin called to thank him and the CIA for providing Russia with critical information that helped abort an ISIS plot to massacre visitors at Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Monday found polls showing Trump with his highest approval ratings in months. Stocks soared 200 points at the opening bell in anticipation of the pre-Christmas passage of the Republican tax bill. The Dow has added a record 5,000 points in Trump’s first year.

And the Russiagate investigation may have busted an axle. Though yet unproven, charges are being made that Robert Mueller’s sleuths gained access to Trump transition emails illicitly.

This could imperil prosecutions by Mueller’s team, already under a cloud for proven malice toward the president.

Recall: Daniel Ellsberg, who delivered the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, walked free when it was learned that the White House “Plumbers” had burgled his psychiatrist’s office.

With things going Trump’s way, one must ask: What was U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley doing last week at what looked like a prewar briefing at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in D.C.?

Looming behind Haley was part of what was said to be an Iranian missile fired at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

Though the rocket had Iranian markings, it was not launched from Iran, or by Iranians. Houthi rebels, for two years victims of a savage war waged by the Saudis—using U.S.-made planes, missiles, bombs, and drones—say they fired it at the Riyadh airport in retaliation for what the Saudis have done to their people and country.

If so, it was a legitimate act of war.

Indeed, so great is the Yemeni civilian suffering from a lack of food and medicine, and from malnutrition and disease, Trump himself has told the Saudis to ease up on their air, sea, and land blockades.

As there is no evidence as to when the Houthis acquired the missile, or where, the question arises: What was Haley’s motive in indicting Iran? Was this part of a new propaganda campaign to drum up support for America’s next big Mideast war?

There are reasons to think so.

Haley went on: “It’s hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it.”

But Iran is Shiite, while al-Qaeda, which brought down the Twin Towers aided by 15 Saudi nationals, is Sunni. So, too, are ISIS, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in Somalia, and Islamic Jihad. Most Mideast terrorist groups are Sunni, not Shiite.

As for these Mideast “conflicts,” which did Iran start?

We started the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO started the war in Libya. The U.S. helped trigger the horrific Syrian civil war by arming “rebels.” Only when President Bashar al-Assad looked like he was about to fall did Russia and Iran intervene on his side.

As for the “Shiite crescent,” from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut, who created it?

Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was Sunni-dominated. It was the Americans who overthrew him and brought Shiite power to Baghdad.

In Syria, it was U.S.- and Sunni-backed “rebels,” allied at times with al-Qaeda, who drew Iran and the Shiite militias in to save Assad.

And the Israelis called the Shiite Hezbollah movement into being by invading and occupying South Lebanon in 1982. As Yitzhak Rabin ruefully said, “We let the Shia genie out of the bottle.”

Are we now to fight a new Mideast war against a larger enemy than any of the others we have fought before, to clean up the bloody mess we made of the region by our previous military interventions?

Before we march, with Haley as head cheerleader, Trump should consider the likely consequences for his country, the Middle East, and his presidency.

A war in the Persian Gulf would send oil prices soaring and stock markets plummeting, even as it would split us off from our major allies in Europe and Asia. The Airbus-Boeing deal to sell Iran 300 commercial aircraft would be dead.

While the U.S. would prevail in an air, naval, and missile war, where would the troops come from to march to Tehran to “democratize” that nation? Do we think a bloodied revanchist Iran would be easier to deal with than the one with which John Kerry negotiated a nuclear deal?

Would Hezbollah go after U.S. soft targets in Beirut? Would Iraqi Shiite militias go after Americans in the Green Zone? Would the Shiite majority in Bahrain and the oil-rich northeast of Saudi Arabia rise up and rebel?

And who would our great fighting Arab ally be?

The answer to that last question is Jared Kushner’s new friend: a 32-year-old Saudi prince who has become famous for putting down $500 million each for a chateau near Versailles, a yacht on the Riviera, and a painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

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Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly

On Aug. 9, 1974, Richard Nixon bowed to the inevitability of impeachment and conviction by a Democratic Senate and resigned.

The prospect of such an end for Donald Trump has this city drooling. Yet, comparing Russiagate and Watergate, history is not likely to repeat itself.

First, the underlying crime in Watergate, a break-in to wiretap offices of the DNC, had been traced, within 48 hours, to the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

In Russiagate, the underlying crime—the “collusion” of Trump’s campaign with the Kremlin to hack into the emails of the DNC—has, after 18 months of investigating, still not been established.

Campaign manager Paul Manafort has been indicted, but for financial crimes committed long before he enlisted with Trump.

Gen. Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying about phone calls he made to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, but only after Trump had been elected and Flynn had been named national security adviser.

Flynn asked Kislyak for help in blocking or postponing a Security Council resolution denouncing Israel, and to tell Vladimir Putin not to go ballistic over President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

This is what security advisers do.

Why Flynn let himself be ensnared in a perjury trap, when he had to know his calls were recorded, is puzzling.

Second, it is said Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey for refusing to cut slack for Flynn.

But even Comey admits Trump acted within his authority.

And Comey had usurped the authority of Justice Department prosecutors when he announced in July 2016 that Hillary Clinton ought not to be prosecuted for having been “extremely careless” in transmitting security secrets over her private email server.

We now know that the first draft of Comey’s statement described Clinton as “grossly negligent,” the precise statute language for an indictment.

We also now know that helping to edit Comey’s first draft to soften its impact was Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. His wife, Jill McCabe, a candidate for state senate in Virginia, received $467,000 in campaign contributions from the PAC of Clinton bundler Terry McAuliffe.

Comey has also admitted he leaked to the New York Times details of a one-on-one with Trump to trigger the naming of a special counsel—to go after Trump. And that assignment somehow fell to Comey’s predecessor, friend, and confidant Robert Mueller.

Mueller swiftly hired half a dozen prosecutorial bulldogs who had been Clinton contributors, and Andrew Weinstein, a Trump hater who had congratulated Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to carry out Trump’s travel ban.

FBI official Peter Strzok had to be been removed from the Mueller probe for hatred of Trump manifest in texts to his FBI lady friend.

Strzok was also involved in the investigation of Clinton’s email server and is said to have been the one who persuaded Comey to tone down his language about her misconduct, and let Hillary walk.

In Mueller’s tenure, still no Trump tie to the hacking of the DNC has been found. But a connection between Hillary’s campaign and Russian spies—to find dirt to smear and destroy Trump and his campaign—has been fairly well established.

By June 2016, the Clinton campaign and DNC had begun shoveling millions of dollars to the Perkins Coie law firm, which had hired the oppo research firm Fusion GPS, to go dirt-diving on Trump.

Fusion contacted ex-British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who had ties to former KGB and FSB intelligence agents in Russia. They began to feed Steele, who fed Fusion, which fed the U.S. anti-Trump media with the alleged dirty deeds of Trump in Moscow hotels.

While the truth of the dirty dossier has never been established, Comey’s FBI rose like a hungry trout on learning of its contents.

There are credible allegations Comey’s FBI sought to hire Steele and used the dirt in his dossier to broaden the investigation of Trump—and that its contents were also used to justify FISA warrants on Trump and his people.

This week, we learned that the Justice Department’s Bruce Ohr had contacts with Fusion during the campaign, while his wife actually worked at Fusion investigating Trump. This thing is starting to stink.

Is the Trump investigation the rotten fruit of a poisoned tree?

Is Mueller’s Dump Trump team investigating the wrong campaign?

There are other reasons to believe Trump may survive the deep state-media conspiracy to break his presidency, overturn his mandate, and reinstate a discredited establishment.

Trump has Fox News and fighting congressmen behind him and the mainstream media is deeply distrusted and widely detested. And there is no Democratic House to impeach him or Democratic Senate to convict him.

Moreover, Trump is not Nixon, who, like Charles I, accepted his fate and let the executioner’s sword fall with dignity.

If Trump goes, one imagines, he will not go quietly.

In the words of the great Jerry Lee Lewis, there’s gonna be a “whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.”

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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What Should We Fight For?

“We will never accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea,” declaimed Rex Tillerson last week in Vienna.

“Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”

Tillerson’s principled rejection of the seizure of land by military force—“never accept”—came just one day after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and pledged to move our embassy there.

How did Israel gain title to East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights? Invasion, occupation, colonization, annexation.

Those lands are the spoils of victory from Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War.

Is Israel being severely sanctioned like Russia? Not quite.

Her yearly U.S. stipend is almost $4 billion, as she builds settlement after settlement on occupied land despite America’s feeble protests.

What Bibi Netanyahu just demonstrated is that, when dealing with the Americans and defending what is vital to Israel, perseverance pays off. Given time, Washington will accept the new reality.

Like Bibi, Vladimir Putin is a nationalist. For him, the recapture of Crimea was the achievement of his presidency. For two centuries that peninsula had been home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and critical to her security.

Putin is not going to return Crimea to Kiev, and eventually we will make our peace with it.

For while whose flag flies over Crimea has never been crucial to us, it is to Putin. And like the Israelis, the Russians are resolute when it comes to taking and holding what they see as rightly theirs.

Both these conflicts reveal underlying realities that help explain America’s 21st-century long retreat. We face allies and antagonists who are more willing than are we to take risks, endure pain, persevere, and fight to prevail.

This month, just days after North Korea tested a new ICBM, national security adviser H.R. McMaster declared that Trump “is committed to the total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

If so, we are committed to a goal we almost surely are not going to achieve. For, short of a war that could go nuclear, Kim Jong-un is not going to yield to our demands.

For Kim, nuclear weapons are not an option.

He knows that Saddam Hussein, who had given up his WMD, was hanged after the Americans attacked. He knows the grisly fate of Moammar Gaddafi, after he invited the West into Libya to dismantle his nuclear program and disarm him of any WMD.

Kim knows that if he surrenders his nuclear weapons, he has nothing to deter the Americans should they choose to use their arsenal on his armed forces, his regime, and him.

North Korea may enter talks, but Kim will never surrender the missiles and nukes that guarantee his survival. Look for the Americans to find a way to accommodate him.

Consider, too, China’s proclaimed ownership of the South China Sea and her building on reefs and rocks in that sea artificial islands that are becoming air, missile, and naval bases.

Hawkish voices are objecting that this is intolerable and U.S. air and naval power must be used if necessary to force a rollback of China’s annexation and militarization of the South China Sea.

Why is this not going to happen?

While this area is regarded as vital to China, it is not to us. And while China, a littoral state that controls Hainan Island in that sea, is a legitimate claimant to many of its islets, we are claimants to none.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Taiwan are the other claimants. But though their interests in the fishing grounds and seabed resources may be as great as China’s, none has seen fit to challenge Beijing’s hegemony.

Why should we risk war with China to validate the claims of communist Vietnam or Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless regime in Manila? Why should their fight become our fight?

China’s interests in the sea are as crucial to her as were U.S. interests in the Caribbean when, as a rising power in 1823, we declared the Monroe Doctrine. Over time, the world’s powers came to recognize and respect U.S. special interests in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Given the steady rise of Chinese military power, the proximity of the islets to mainland China, and the relative weakness of the other claimants, China will likely become the controlling power in the South China Sea, as we came to be the predominant power in the Western Hemisphere.

What we are witnessing in Crimea, across the Middle East, in the South China Sea, and on the Korean peninsula, are nations more willing than we to sacrifice and take risks, because their interests there are far greater than ours.

What America needs is a new national consensus on what is vital to us and what is not, what we are willing to fight to defend and what we are not.

For this generation of Americans is not going to risk war indefinitely to sustain some Beltway elite’s idea of a “rules-based new world order.” After the Cold War, we entered a new world—and we need new red lines to replace the old.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

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The Loose Cannon the Neocons Wanted in NATO

President George W. Bush (of the U.S. and former Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia in Tbilisi in May 2005. (White House photo)

Even interventionists are regretting some of the wars into which they helped plunge the United States in this century.

Among those wars are Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest in our history; Libya, which was left without a stable government; Syria’s civil war, a six-year human rights disaster we helped kick off by arming rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad; and Yemen, where a U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign and starvation blockade is causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

Yet, twice this century, the War Party was beaten back when seeking a clash with Putin’s Russia. And the “neo-isolationists” who won those arguments served America well.

What triggered this observation was an item on Page 1 of Wednesday’s New York Times that read in its entirety:

“Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, led marchers through Kiev after threatening to jump from a five-story building to evade arrest. Page A4”

Who is Saakashvili? The wunderkind elected in 2004 in Tbilisi after a “Rose Revolution” we backed during George W. Bush’s crusade for global democracy.

During the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, Saakashvili sent his army crashing into the tiny enclave of South Ossetia, which had broken free of Georgia when Georgia broke free of Russia.

In overrunning the enclave, however, Saakashvili’s troops killed Russian peacekeepers. Big mistake. Within 24 hours, Putin’s tanks and troops were pouring through Roki Tunnel, running Saakashvili’s army out of South Ossetia, and occupying parts of Georgia itself.

As defeat loomed for the neocon hero, U.S. foreign policy elites were alive with denunciations of “Russian aggression” and calls to send in the 82nd Airborne, bring Georgia into NATO, and station U.S. forces in the Caucasus.

“We are all Georgians!” thundered John McCain.

Not quite. When an outcry arose against getting into a collision with Russia, Bush, reading the nation right, decided to confine U.S. protests to the nonviolent. A wise call.

And Saakashvili? He held power until 2013, and then saw his party defeated, was charged with corruption, and fled to Ukraine. There, President Boris Poroshenko, beneficiary of the Kiev coup the U.S. had backed in 2014, put him in charge of Odessa, one of the most corrupt provinces in a country rife with corruption.

In 2016, an exasperated Saakashvili quit, charged his patron Poroshenko with corruption, and fled Ukraine. In September, with a band of supporters, he made a forced entry back across the border.

Here is the Times’ Andrew Higgins on his latest antics:

“On Tuesday … Saakashvili, onetime darling of the West, took his high-wire political career to bizarre new heights when he climbed onto the roof of his five-story apartment building in the center of Kiev…

“As … hundreds of supporters gathered below, he shouted insults at Ukraine’s leaders … and threatened to jump if security agents tried to grab him.

“Dragged from the roof after denouncing Mr. Poroshenko as a traitor and a thief, the former Georgian leader was detained but then freed by his supporters, who … blocked a security service van before it could take Mr. Saakashvili to a Kiev detention center and allowed him to escape.

“With a Ukrainian flag draped across his shoulders and a pair of handcuffs still attached to one of his wrists, Mr. Saakashvili then led hundreds of supporters in a march across Kiev toward Parliament. Speaking through a bullhorn he called for ‘peaceful protests’ to remove Mr. Poroshenko from office, just as protests had toppled the former President, Victor F. Yanukovych, in February 2014.”

This reads like a script for a Peter Sellers movie in the ’60s.

Yet this clown was president of Georgia, for whose cause in South Ossetia some in our foreign policy elite thought we should go to the brink of war with Russia.

And there was broad support for bringing Georgia into NATO. This would have given Saakashvili an ability to ignite a confrontation with Russia, which could have forced U.S. intervention.

Consider Ukraine. Three years ago, McCain was declaring, in support of the overthrow of the elected pro-Russian government in Kiev, “We are all Ukrainians now.”

Following that coup, U.S. elites were urging us to confront Putin in Crimea, bring Ukraine, as well as Georgia, into NATO, and send Kiev the lethal weapons needed to defeat Russian-backed rebels in the East.

This could have led straight to a Ukraine-Russia war, precipitated by our sending of U.S. arms.

Do we really want to cede to folks of the temperament of Mikhail Saakashvili an ability to instigate a war with a nuclear-armed Russia, which every Cold War president was resolved to avoid, even if it meant accepting Moscow’s hegemony in Eastern Europe all the way to the Elbe?

Watching Saakashvili losing it in the streets of Kiev like some blitzed college student should cause us to reassess the stability of all these allies to whom we have ceded a capacity to drag us into war.

Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

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Is Michael Flynn’s Defection a Death Blow?

Why did General Michael Flynn lie to the FBI about his December 2016 conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak?

Why did he not tell the FBI the truth?

As national security advisor to the president-elect, Flynn had called the ambassador. Message: Tell President Putin not to overreact to President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Trump will be president in three weeks, and we are committed to a new relationship.

Not only was this initiative defensible, it proved successful.

Putin accepted the loss of his diplomats and country houses on Long Island and the Eastern Shore. Rather than expel U.S. diplomats in retaliation, he invited them and their families to the Kremlin’s New Year’s parties.

“Great move…(by V. Putin),” tweeted Trump, “I always knew he was very smart.”

This columnist concurred: “Among our Russophobes, one can hear the gnashing of teeth.”

“Clearly, Putin believes the Trump presidency offers Russia the prospect of a better relationship with the United States. He appears to want this, and most Americans seem to want the same. After all, Hillary Clinton, who accused Trump of being ‘Putin’s puppet,’ lost.”

Flynn, it now appears, was not freelancing, but following instructions. His deputy, K. T. McFarland, sent an email to six Trump advisors saying that Obama, by expelling the Russians, was trying to “box Trump in diplomatically.”

“If there is a tit-for-tat escalation,” warned McFarland, “Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia.” Exactly.

Flynn was trying to prevent Russian retaliation. Yet as the ex-director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, he had to know his call to Kislyak was being monitored and recorded.

So again, why would he lie to the FBI about a conversation, the contents of which were surely known to the people who sent the FBI to question him?

The other charge of lying about a call with Kislyak was Flynn’s request for Russian help in getting postponed or canceled a Security Council vote on a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

Obama’s White House was backing the anti-Israel resolution. And Bibi Netanyahu had asked Trump to weigh in to block the vote.

Bottom line: Flynn, acting on instructions, tried to prevent a U.N. condemnation of Israel, and to dissuade Russia from a mass expulsion of U.S. diplomats, lest this poison the well against a rapprochement for which the American people had voted.

In the court of public opinion, Flynn’s actions would find broad support. Rather than deny knowledge of them, Trump should have taken credit for them.

Why the general would lie to the FBI about conversations he had to know U.S. intelligence had recorded is a puzzling question, but now also an irrelevant one, water over the dam.

For Trump’s general is now the newly conscripted collaborator of the media-Mueller-Democrat-deep state conspiracy to overturn the election of 2016 and bring down the Trump presidency.

After 18 months, we have no evidence Trump colluded with Russia in hacking the emails of the DNC or John Podesta, which is what the FBI investigation was supposedly about.

There is no conclusive evidence Flynn committed a crime when, as national security advisor-designate, he tried to prevent Obama from sabotaging the policies Trump had run on—and won on.

Yet there is evidence Russian intelligence agents colluded with a British spy in the pay of the oppo research arm of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign—to find dirt on Donald Trump.

And there is evidence that James Comey’s FBI wanted to hire the British spy who appeared to have access to the Russian agents who appeared to possess all that wonderful dirt on the Donald.

It is hard to see how this ends well.

This weekend, after Flynn’s admission that he lied to the FBI, Beltway media were slavering like Pavlov’s dogs at anticipated indictments and plea bargains by present and former White House aides, Trump family members, and perhaps Trump himself.

The joy on the TV talk shows was transparent.

Yet the media have already been badly damaged: first, by the relentless broadsides against them by Trump and cheering for those attacks by a huge slice of the country; second, by their reflexive reaction. The media have behaved exactly like the “enemy” Trump said they were.

In this us-versus-them country, the media now seem to relish the role of “them.” The old proud journalistic boast to be objective and neutral reporters, observers and commentators, is gone.

We are all partisans now.

As last Friday’s sudden 300-point drop in the Dow reveals, if Trump’s enemies bring him down, they will almost surely crash the markets and abort the recovery that took hold in his first year.

And if the establishment, repudiated by Trump’s victory, thinks they will be restored to the nation’s good graces if they destroy Trump, they are whistling past the graveyard.

When Caesar falls, the cheering for Brutus and Cassius tends to die down rather quickly. Then their turn comes.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

40 comments

‘Little Rocket Man’ May Be in the Captain’s Chair, After All

Uri Tours / Flickr

In the morning darkness of Wednesday, Kim Jong Un launched an ICBM that rose almost 2,800 miles into the sky before falling into the Sea of Japan. 

North Korea now has the proven ability to hit Washington, D.C.

Unproven still is whether Kim can put a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop that missile, which could be fired with precision, and survive the severe vibrations of re-entry. More tests and more time are needed for that.

Thus, U.S. markets brushed off the news of Kim’s Hwasong-15 missile and roared to record heights on Wednesday and Thursday.

President Donald Trump took it less well. “Little Rocket Man” is one “sick puppy,” he told an audience in Missouri.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council that “if war comes … the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” She than warned Xi Jinping that “if China does not halt the oil shipments” to North Korea, “we can take the oil situation into our own hands.”

Is Haley talking about bombing pipelines in North Korea—or China?

The rage of the president and bluster of Haley reflect a painful reality: As inhumane and ruthless as the 33-year-old dictator of North Korea is, he is playing the highest stakes poker game on the planet, against the world’s superpower, and playing it remarkably well.

Reason: Kim may understand us better than we do him, which is why he seems less hesitant to invite the risks of a war he cannot win.

While a Korean War II might well end with annihilation of the North’s army and Kim’s regime, it would almost surely result in untold thousands of dead South Koreans and Americans.

And Kim knows that the more American lives he can put at risk, with nuclear-tipped missiles, the less likely the Americans are to want to fight him.

His calculation has thus far proven correct.

As long as he does not push the envelope too far, and force Trump to choose war rather than living with a North Korea that could rain nuclear rockets on the U.S., Kim may win the confrontation.

Why? Because the concessions Kim is demanding are not beyond the utterly unacceptable.

What does Kim want?

Initially, he wants a halt to U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which he sees as a potential prelude to a surprise attack. He wants an end to sanctions, U.S. recognition of his regime, and acceptance of his status as a nuclear weapons state. Down the road, he wants a U.S. withdrawal of all forces from South Korea and international aid

Earlier administrations—Clinton, Bush II, Obama—have seen many of these demands as negotiable. And accepting some or even all of them would entail no grave peril to U.S. national security or vital interests.

They would entail, however, a serious loss of face.

Acceptance of such demands by the United States would be a triumph for Kim, validating his risky nuclear strategy, and a diplomatic defeat for the United States.

Little Rocket Man would have bested The Donald.

Moreover, the credibility of the U.S. deterrent would be called into question. South Korea and Japan could be expected to consider their own deterrents, out of fear the U.S. would never truly put its homeland at risk, but would cut a deal at their expense.

We would hear again the cries of “Munich” and the shade of Neville Chamberlain would be called forth for ritual denunciation.

Yet it is a time for truth: Our demand for “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” is not going to be met, absent a U.S. war and occupation of North Korea.

Kim saw how Bush II, when it served U.S. interests, pulled out of our 30-year-old ABM treaty with Moscow. He saw how, after he gave up all his WMD to reach an accommodation with the West, Moammar Gadhafi was attacked by NATO and ended up being lynched.

He can see how much Americans honor nuclear treaties they sign by observing universal GOP howls to kill the Iranian nuclear deal and bring about “regime change” in Tehran, despite Iran letting U.N. inspectors roam the country to show they have no nuclear weapons program.

For America’s post-Cold War enemies, the lesson is clear: Give up your WMD, and you wind up like Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein. Build nuclear weapons that can threaten Americans, and you get respect.

Kim Jong Un would be a fool to give up his missiles and nukes, and while the man is many things, a fool is not one of them.

We are nearing a point where the choice is between a war with North Korea in which thousands would die, or confirming that the U.S. is not willing to put its homeland at risk to keep Kim from keeping what he already has—nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

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Why Many Christian Conservatives Support Roy Moore

Why would Christian conservatives in good conscience go to the polls on December 12 and vote for Judge Roy Moore, despite the charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers leveled against him?

Answer: That Alabama Senate race could determine whether Roe v. Wade is overturned. The lives of millions of unborn may be at stake.

Republicans now hold 52 Senate seats. If Democrats pick up the Alabama seat, they need only two more to recapture the Senate, and with it the power to kill any conservative court nominee, as they killed Robert Bork.

Today, the GOP, holding Congress and the White House, has a narrow path to capture the third branch, the Supreme Court, and to dominate the federal courts for a decade. For this historic opportunity, the party can thank two senators, one retired, the other still sitting.

The first is former Democratic majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

In 2013, Harry exercised the “nuclear option,” abolishing the filibuster for President Obama’s judicial nominees. The Senate no longer needed 60 votes to confirm judges. Fifty-one Senate votes could cut off debate, and confirm.

Iowa’s Chuck Grassley warned Harry against stripping the minority of its filibuster power. Such a move may come back to bite you, he told Harry. Grassley is now Judiciary Committee chairman.

And this year a GOP Senate voted to use the nuclear option to shut down a filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who was then confirmed with 55 votes.

Yet the Democratic minority still had one card to play to block President Trump’s nominees—the “blue slip courtesy.”

If a senator from the state where a federal judicial nominee resides asks for a hold on proceedings by not returning a blue slip, the Judiciary Committee has traditionally honored that request and not held hearings.

Senator Al Franken of Minnesota used the blue slip to block the Trump nomination of David Stras to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Franken calls Stras too ideological, too conservative.

But Grassley has now decided to reject the blue slip courtesy for appellate court judges, since their jurisdiction is not just over a single state like Minnesota, but over an entire region.

Thus have the skids been greased for a conservative recapture of the federal judiciary unseen since the early days of FDR.

Eighteen of the 179 seats on the U.S. appellate courts and 119 of the 677 seats on federal district courts are already open. More will be opening up. No president in decades has seen the opportunity Trump has to remake the federal judiciary.

Not only are the federal court vacancies almost unprecedented, a GOP Senate and Trump are working in harness to fill them before January 2019, when a new Congress is sworn in.

If Republicans blow this opportunity, it is unlikely to come again. For the Supreme Court has seemed within Republican grasp before, only to have it slip away because of presidential errors.

Nixon had four nominees to the Supreme Court confirmed and Gerald Ford saw his nominee, John Paul Stevens, unanimously confirmed. But of those five justices, Stevens and Harry Blackmun joined the liberal bloc, and Chief Justice Warren Burger and Lewis Powell voted for Roe v. Wade.

Of Reagan’s three Supreme Court nominees confirmed, Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy cast crucial votes in 5-4 decisions to defeat the strict constructionists led by Antonin Scalia.

George H.W. Bush named Clarence Thomas to the court, but only after he had elevated David Souter, who also joined the liberal bloc.

Hence, both Trump, by whom he nominates, and a Republican Senate, with its power to confirm with 51 votes, are indispensable if we are to end judicial dictatorship in America.

And 2018 is the crucial year.

While Democrats, with 25 Senate seats at risk, would seem to be facing more certain losses than the GOP, with one third as many seats at stake, history teaches that the first off-year election of Trump’s presidency could prove a disaster.

Consider. Though Ike ended the Korean War in his first year, he lost both houses of Congress in his second. Reagan enacted one of the great tax cuts in history in his first year, and then lost 26 seats in the House in his second.

Bill Clinton lost control of both the House and Senate in his first off-year election. Barack Obama in 2010 lost six Senate seats and 54 seats and control of the House. And both presidents were more popular than Trump is today.

If the election in Virginia this year is a harbinger of what is to come, GOP control of Congress could be washed away in a tidal wave in 2018.

Hence, 2018 may be a do-or-die year to recapture the third branch of government for conservatism.

Which is why that December 12 election in Alabama counts.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.” To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

The U.S.-Saudi Starvation Blockade

Our aim is to “starve the whole population—men, women, and children, old and young, wounded and sound—into submission,” said First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill.

He was speaking of Germany at the outset of the Great War of 1914-1918. Americans denounced as inhumane this starvation blockade that would eventually take the lives of a million German civilians.

Yet when we went to war in 1917, a U.S. admiral told British Prime Minister Lloyd George, “You will find that it will take us only two months to become as great criminals as you are.”

After the Armistice of November 11, 1918, however, the starvation blockade was not lifted until Germany capitulated to all Allied demands in the Treaty of Versailles.

As late as March 1919, four months after the Germans laid down their arms, Churchill arose in Parliament to exult, “We are enforcing the blockade with rigor, and Germany is very near starvation.”

So grave were conditions in Germany that General Sir Herbert Plumer protested to Lloyd George in Paris that morale among his troops on the Rhine was sinking from seeing “hordes of skinny and bloated children pawing over the offal from British cantonments.”

The starvation blockade was a war crime and a crime against humanity. But the horrors of the Second World War made people forget this milestone on the Western road to barbarism.

Now today, a comparable crime is being committed against the poorest people in the Arab world—and with the complicity of the United States.

Saudi Arabia, which attacked and invaded Yemen in 2015 after Houthi rebels dumped over a pro-Saudi regime in Sanaa and overran much of the country, has imposed a land, sea, and air blockade, after the Houthis fired a missile at Riyadh this month that was shot down.

The Saudis say it was an Iranian missile, fired with the aid of Hezbollah, and an “act of war” against the kingdom. The Houthis admit to firing the missile, but all three deny Iran and Hezbollah had any role.

Whatever the facts of the attack, what the Saudis, with U.S. support, are doing today with this total blockade of that impoverished country appears to be both inhumane and indefensible.

Almost 90 percent of Yemen’s food, fuel, and medicine is imported, and these imports are being cut off. The largest cities under Houthi control, the port of Hodaida and Sanaa the capital, have lost access to drinking water because the fuel needed to purify the water is not there.

Thousands have died of cholera. Hundreds of thousands are at risk. Children are in danger from a diphtheria epidemic. Critical drugs and medicines have stopped coming in, a death sentence for diabetics and cancer patients.

If airfields and ports under Houthi control are not allowed to open and the necessities of life and humanitarian aid are not allowed to flow in, the Yemenis face famine and starvation.

What did these people do to deserve this? What did they do to us that we would assist the Saudis in doing this to them?

The Houthis are not al-Qaeda or ISIS. Those are Sunni terrorist groups, and the Houthis detest them.

Is this now the American way of war? Are we Americans, this Thanksgiving and Christmas, prepared to collude in a human rights catastrophe that will engender a hatred of us among generations of Yemeni and stain the name of our country?

Saudis argue that the specter of starvation will turn the Yemeni people against the rebels and force the Houthis to submit. But what if the policy fails? What if the Houthis, who have held the northern half of the country for more than two years, do not yield? What then?

Are we willing to play passive observer as thousands and then tens of thousands of innocent civilians—the old, sick, weak, and infants and toddlers first—die from a starvation blockade supported by the mighty United States of America?

Without U.S. targeting and refueling, Saudi planes could not attack the Houthis effectively and Riyadh could not win this war. But when did Congress authorize this war on a nation that never attacked us?

President Obama first approved U.S. support for the Saudi war effort. President Trump has continued the Obama policy. The war in Yemen has now become his war and his human rights catastrophe.

Yemen today is arguably the worst humanitarian crisis on earth, and America’s role in it is undeniable and indispensable.

If the United States were to tell Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that we were no longer going to support his war in Yemen, the Saudis would have to accept the reality that they have lost.

Indeed, given Riyadh’s failure in the Syrian Civil War, its failure to discipline rebellious Qatar, and its stalemated war and human rights disaster in Yemen, Trump might take a hard second look at the Sunni monarchy that is the pillar of U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

America the Unserious

Some members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the National Anthem before a game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on October 15, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. Credit: Keith Allison/CreativeCommons

How stands John Winthrop’s “city upon a hill” this Thanksgiving?

How stands the country that was to be “a light unto the nations”?

To those who look to cable TV for news, the answer must at the least be ambiguous. Consider the issues that have lately convulsed the public discourse of the American republic.

Today’s great question seems to be whether our 45th president is as serious a sexual predator as our 42nd was proven to be, and whether the confessed sins of Senator Al Franken are as great as the alleged sins of Judge Roy Moore.

On both questions, the divide is, as ever, along partisan lines.

And every day for weeks, beginning with Hollywood king Harvey Weinstein, whose accusers nearly number in three digits, actors, media personalities, and politicians have been falling like nine pins over allegations and admissions of sexual predation.

What is our civil rights issue, and who are today’s successors to the Freedom Riders of the ’60s? Millionaire NFL players “taking a knee” during the national anthem to dishonor the flag of their country in protest of racist cops.

And what was the great cultural issue of the summer and fall?

An ideological clamor to tear down memorials and monuments to the European discoverers of America, any Founding Father who owned slaves, and any and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen.

Stained-glass windows of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been removed from the National Cathedral. Plaques to Lee and George Washington have been taken down from the walls of the Episcopal church in Alexandria where both men worshipped.

But the city that bears Washington’s name is erecting a new statue on Pennsylvania Avenue—to honor the four-term mayor who served time on a cocaine charge: Marion Shepilov Barry.

Whatever side one may take on these questions, can a country so preoccupied and polarized on such pursuits be taken seriously as a claimant to the status of “exceptional nation,” a model to which the world should look and aspire?

Contrast the social, cultural, and moral morass in which America is steeped with the disciplined proceedings and clarity of purpose, direction, and goals of our 21st-century rival: Xi Jinping’s China.

Our elites assure us that America today is a far better place than we have ever known, surely better than the old America that existed before the liberating cultural revolution of the 1960s.

Yet President Trump ran on a pledge to “Make America Great Again,” implying that while the America he grew up in was great, in the time of Barack Obama it no longer was. And he won.

Certainly, the issues America dealt with half a century ago seem more momentous than what consumes us today.

Consider the matters that riveted America in the summer and fall of 1962, when this columnist began to write editorials for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. What was the civil rights issue of that day?

In September of ’62, Governor Ross Barnett decided not to allow Air Force vet James Meredith to become the first black student at Ole Miss. Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent U.S. Marshals to escort Meredith in.

Hundreds of demonstrators arrived on campus to join student protests. A riot ensued. Dozens of marshals were injured. A French journalist was shot to death. The Mississippi Guard was federalized. U.S. troops were sent in, just as Ike had sent them into Little Rock when Governor Orville Faubus refused to desegregate Central High.

U.S. power was being used to enforce a federal court order on a recalcitrant state government, as it would in 1963 at the University of Alabama, where Governor George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.

As civil rights clashes go, this was the real deal.

That fall, in a surprise attack, Chinese troops poured through the passes in the Himalayas, invading India. China declared a truce in November but kept the territories it had occupied in Jammu and Kashmir.

Then there was the Cuban missile crisis, the most dangerous chapter of the Cold War.

Since August, the Globe-Democrat had been calling for a blockade of Cuba, where Soviet ships were regularly unloading weapons. When President Kennedy declared a “quarantine” after revealing that missiles with nuclear warheads that could reach Washington were being installed, the Globe urged unity behind him, as it had in Oxford, Mississippi.

We seemed a more serious and united nation and people then than we are today, where so much that roils our society and consumes our attention seems unserious and even trivial.

“And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?” wrote the British poet Thomas Macaulay.

Since 1962, this nation has dethroned its God and begun debates about which of the flawed but great men who created it should be publicly dishonored. Are we really a better country today than we were then, when all the world looked to America as the land of the future?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

Is America Up for a Second Cold War?

After the 19th national congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October, one may discern Premier Xi Jinping’s vision of the emerging New World Order.

By 2049, the centennial of the triumph of Communist Revolution, China shall have become the first power on earth. Her occupation and humiliation by the West and Japan in the 19th and 20th centuries will have become hated but ancient history

America will have been pushed out of Asia and the western Pacific back beyond the second chain of islands, Taiwan will have been returned to the motherland, South Korea and the Philippines neutralized, Japan contained. China’s claim to all the rocks, reefs and islets in the South China Sea will have been recognized by all current claimants.

Xi’s “One Belt, One Road” strategy will have brought South and Central Asia into Beijing’s orbit, and he will be in the Pantheon beside the Founding Father of Communist China, Mao Zedong.

Democracy has been rejected by China in favor of one-party rule of all political, economic, cultural and social life.

And as one views Europe, depopulating, riven by secessionism, fearful of a Third World migrant invasion, and America tearing herself apart over politics and ideology, China must appear to ambitious and rising powers as the model to emulate.

Indeed, has not China shown the world that authoritarianism can be compatible with national growth that outstrips a democratic West?

Over the last quarter century, China, thanks to economic nationalism and $4 trillion in trade surpluses with the United States, has exhibited growth unseen since 19th-century America.

Whatever we may think of Xi’s methods, this vision must attract vast numbers of China’s young — they see their country displace America as first power, becoming the dominant people on earth.

What is America’s vision? What is America’s cause in the 21st century? What is the mission and goal that unites, inspires and drives us on?

After World War II, America’s foreign policy was imposed upon her by the terrible realities the war produced: brutalitarian Stalinist domination of Eastern and Central Europe and much of Asia.

Under nine presidents, containment of the Soviet empire, while avoiding a war that would destroy civilization, was our policy. In Korea and Vietnam, Americans died in the thousands to sustain that policy.

But with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the breakup of the USSR, it seemed that by 1992 our great work was done. Now democracy would flourish and be embraced by all advanced peoples and nations.

But it did not happen. The “end of history” never came. The New World Order of Bush I did not last. Bush II’s democracy crusade to end tyranny in our world produced disasters from Libya to Afghanistan.

Authoritarianism is now ascendant and democracy is in retreat.

Is the United States prepared to accept a world in which China, growing at twice our rate, more united and purposeful, emerges as the dominant power? Are we willing to acquiesce in a Chinese Century?

Or will we adopt a policy to ensure that America remains the world’s preeminent power?

Do we have what is required in wealth, power, stamina and will to pursue a Second Cold War to contain China, which, strategic weapons aside, is more powerful and has greater potential than the Soviet Union ever did?

On his Asia tour, President Trump spoke of the “Indo-Pacific,” shorthand for the proposition that the U.S., Japan, Australia and India form the core of a coalition to maintain the balance of power in Asia and contain the expansion of China.

Yet, before we create some Asia-Pacific NATO to corral and contain China in this century, as we did the USSR in the 20th century, we need to ask ourselves why.

Does China, even if she rises to surpass the U.S. in manufacturing, technology and economic output, and is a comparable military power, truly threaten us as the USSR did, to where we should consider war to prevent its expansion in places like the South China Sea that are not vital to America?

While China is a great power, she has great problems.

She is feared and disliked by her neighbors. She has territorial quarrels with Russia, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan. She has separatists in Tibet and Xinjiang. Christianity is growing while Communism, the state religion, is a dead faith. Moreover, the monopoly of power now enjoyed by the Communist Party and Xi Jinping mean that if things go wrong, there is no one else to blame.

Finally, why is the containment of China in Asia the responsibility of a United States 12 time zones away? For while China seeks to dominate Eurasia, she appears to have no desire to threaten the vital interests of the United States. China’s Communism appears to be an ideology disbelieved by her own people, that she does not intend to impose it on Asia or the world.

Again, are we Americans up for a Second Cold War, and, if so, why?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

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Reining in the Rogue Royal of Arabia

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stands with Deputy Crown Price of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud before a bi-lateral meeting held at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Mar. 16, 2017. (DOD photo by Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

If the crown prince of Saudi Arabia has in mind a war with Iran, President Trump should disabuse his royal highness of any notion that America would be doing his fighting for him.

Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, the 32-year-old son of the aging and ailing King Salman, is making too many enemies for his own good, or for ours.

Pledging to Westernize Saudi Arabia, he has antagonized the clerical establishment. Among the 200 Saudis he just had arrested for criminal corruption are 11 princes, the head of the National Guard, the governor of Riyadh, and the famed investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

The Saudi tradition of consensus collective rule is being trashed.

MBS is said to be pushing for an abdication by his father and his early assumption of the throne. He has begun to exhibit the familiar traits of an ambitious 21st-century autocrat in the mold of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

Yet his foreign adventures are all proving to be debacles.

The rebels the Saudis backed in Syria’s civil war were routed. The war on the Houthi rebels in Yemen, of which MBS is architect, has proven to be a Saudi Vietnam and a human rights catastrophe.

The crown prince persuaded Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE to expel Qatar from the Sunni Arab community for aiding terrorists, but he has failed to choke the tiny country into submission.

Last week, MBS ordered Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh, where Hariri publicly resigned his office and now appears to be under house arrest. Refusing to recognize the resignation, Lebanon’s president is demanding Hariri’s return.

After embattled Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a missile at its international airport, Riyadh declared the missile to be Iranian-made, smuggled into Yemen by Tehran, and fired with the help of Hezbollah.

The story seemed far-fetched, but Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the attack out of Yemen may be considered an “act of war”—by Iran. And as war talk spread across the region last week, Riyadh ordered all Saudi nationals in Lebanon to come home.

Riyadh has now imposed a virtual starvation blockade—land, sea and air—on Yemen, that poorest of Arab nations that is heavily dependent on imports for food and medicine. Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni are suffering from cholera. Millions face malnutrition.

The U.S. interest here is clear: no new war in the Middle East, and a negotiated end to the wars in Yemen and Syria.

Hence, the United States needs to rein in the royal prince.

Yet, on his Asia trip, Trump said of the Saudi-generated crisis, “I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing.”

Do they? In October, Jared Kushner made a trip to Riyadh, where he reportedly spent a long night of plotting Middle East strategy until 4 a.m. with MBS.

No one knows how a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would end. The Saudis has been buying modern U.S. weapons for years, but Iran, with twice the population, has larger if less-well-equipped forces.

Yet the seeming desire of the leading Sunni nation in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, for a confrontation with the leading Shiite power, Iran, appears to carry the greater risks for Riyadh.

For, a dozen years ago, the balance of power in the Gulf shifted to Iran, when Bush II launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, ousted Saddam Hussein, disarmed and disbanded his Sunni-led army, and turned Iraq into a Shiite-dominated nation friendly to Iran.

In the Reagan decade, Iraq had fought Iran as mortal enemies for eight years. Now they are associates, if not allies.

The Saudis may bristle at Hezbollah and demand a crackdown. But Hezbollah is a participant in the Lebanese government and has the largest fighting force in the country, hardened in battle in Syria’s civil war, where it emerged on the victorious side.

While the Israelis could fight and win a war with Hezbollah, both Israel and Hezbollah suffered so greatly from their 2006 war that neither appears eager to renew that costly but inconclusive conflict.

In an all-out war with Iran, Saudi Arabia could not prevail without U.S. support. And should Riyadh fail, the regime would be imperiled. As World War I, with the fall of the Romanov, Hohenzollern, Hapsburg and Ottoman empires demonstrated, imperial houses do not fare well in losing wars.

So far out on a limb has MBS gotten himself, with his purge of cabinet ministers and royal cousins, and his foreign adventures, it is hard to see how he climbs back without some humiliation that could cost him the throne.

Yet we have our own interests here. And we should tell the crown prince that if he starts a war in Lebanon or in the Gulf, he is on his own. We cannot have this impulsive prince deciding whether or not the United States goes to war again in the Middle East.

We alone decide that.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.3

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That Bloodbath in Old Dominion

Credit: Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

The day after his “Silent Majority” speech on Nov. 3, 1969, calling on Americans to stand with him for peace with honor in Vietnam, Richard Nixon’s GOP captured the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey.

By December, Nixon had reached 68 percent approval in the Gallup Poll, though, a year earlier, he had won but 43 percent of the vote.

Contrast Nixon’s numbers with President Trump’s.

Where Trump won 46 percent of the vote against Hillary Clinton, his approval rating is now nearly 10 points below that. He has less support today than on the day he was elected, or inaugurated.

Tens of millions of Americans are passionately for Trump, and tens of millions are passionately against him. The GOP problem: The latter cohort is equal in intensity but larger in number, and this is especially true in purple and blue states like the commonwealth of Virginia.

There is no way to spin Tuesday as other than a Little Bighorn, and possible harbinger of what is to come.

In George Washington’s hometown of Alexandria and Arlington County, Democratic candidate Ralph Northam won 4-1. In Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the most populous D.C. suburbs, Northam won 2-1.

Gillespie rolled up the landslides.

As there are two Americas, there are two Virginias.

Consider. Of all the delegate seats in the Virginia assembly allocated to Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, the GOP can today claim only one.

Northern Virginia is taking on the political and socioeconomic profile of San Francisco.

Another and perhaps insoluble problem for the GOP, not only in the Old Dominion, is demography.

Democrats rolled up their largest margins among African-Americans, Hispanics, single women, immigrants and the young. And these voting blocs are growing.

Gillespie ran up his largest margins among white males near and past retirement age and married white women. These Middle Americans are in inexorable demographic decline.

The Greatest Generation is passing on, and baby boomers born between 1946 and 1951 are now on Medicare and Social Security.

Yet reports of the GOP’s demise are grossly exaggerated.

Though Gillespie lost by nine points, Jill Vogel, who ran for lieutenant governor on Trumpian issues, lost by six.

By 2-1, Virginians do not want their Confederate monuments torn down. Northam, sensing this, moved toward Gillespie’s position as the campaign went on. Also, among the 27 percent of Virginians who regarded taxes and immigration as the top issues, Gillespie won by nearly 4-1.

It was health care concerns, the No. 1 issue, that buried the GOP.

As for mainstream media rage and revulsion at the “racism” of Gillespie ads suggesting Northam supported sanctuary cities and was soft on the MS-13 gang, this reflects an abiding establishment fear of the Trumpian issues of illegal immigration and crime.

Then there was the Republican messenger.

A former chairman of the RNC, Washington lobbyist and White House aide, Gillespie is an establishment Republican unconvincing in the role of a fighting populist conservative. His speeches recalled not Trump’s run, but that of the Republicans Trump trounced.

Ed Gillespie was Virginia’s version of Jeb Bush.

Message from the Old Dominion: A purple state, trending blue, with its economy recession-proof as long as Uncle Sam across the river consumes 20 percent of GDP, is a steepening climb for the GOP. You must have a superior candidate, comfortable with cutting issues, to win it now.

Republicans are being admonished to drop the monuments-and-memorials issue and respect why NFL players might want to “take a knee” during the national anthem.

But if to win in Northern Virginia the GOP must move closer to the Democratic Party, why would the rest of the state want to vote for the Republican Party?

During the campaign, both candidates moved rightward.

Northam rejected sanctuary cities and accepted Lee and Jackson on Richmond’s Monument Avenue, and Gillespie ran Trumpian ads, even if they seemed to clash with the mild-mannered candidate himself.

The lesson for 2018:

While the solid support of Trumpians is indispensable for GOP victory, it is insufficient for GOP victory. Republican candidates will have to decide how close they wish to get to President Trump, or how far away they can risk going and survive.

Facing this choice, Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker decided to pack it in. Other Republicans may follow. But a house divided will not stand.

Republicans should recall that off-year elections are often problematic for incumbent parties. In 1954, President Eisenhower lost both houses of Congress. After pardoning Nixon in 1974, Gerald Ford lost 49 seats. In 1982, Ronald Reagan sustained a 27-seat loss.

In 1994, Bill Clinton lost 53 seats and control of the House. In 2010, Barack Obama lost 63 seats and control of the House.

If the nation chooses to turn Congress over to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in 2018, will that be all Trump’s fault? Or should perhaps some credit go to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and venerable political tradition?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

 

 

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