State of the Union

What Truly Imperils a Free Society?

Memorial for shooting victim David McReynolds, 58, in Grant Park, Ga., in July 2012. Credit:/CreativeCommons/Jeff*

“The Barbarian cannot make … he can befog and destroy but … he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true.”

Hilaire Belloc’s depiction of the barbarian is recalled to mind as the statues honoring the history and heroes of the Republic and of the West continue to be vandalized and smashed.

A week ago, the statue of missionary and Catholic Saint Fr. Junipero Serra was beheaded at the Santa Barbara Mission he founded. A century-old Columbus statue in Central Park was defaced and spray-painted with: “Hate will not be tolerated.”

Baltimore’s monument to Francis Scott Key, who observed the bombardment of Fort McHenry on a British warship late in the War of 1812 and was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” was covered in red paint. “Racist anthem” was written across it.

In Berkeley, home of the Free Speech Movement, the university last week had to spend $600,000 to protect an invited speaker of the college Republicans from being assaulted.

But St. Louis was where the real action was. Friday, a mob hurled rocks and bottles injuring 11 cops, leaving one with a broken jaw. They smashed windows at the mayor’s residence and marched miles to the Central West End to berate diners on patios of restaurants with the menacing chant: “Off the sidewalk. Into the street.”

Saturday, the mob invaded and shut down a suburban mall, and then smashed windows across a nightlife district.

The protesters rationale: rage at a not-guilty verdict in the murder trial of ex-cop Jason Stockley in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith — in 2011.

Stockley’s police van had been struck by Smith’s car, who had been nabbed in an alleged drug deal and led police on an 80-mile-an-hour chase, at the end of which Stockley emptied his gun in Smith.

Yet even Attorney General Eric Holder declined to investigate.

On Sunday, Black Lives Matter showed up at the St. Louis’ police headquarters chanting, “Stop killing us!” But if the killing of black folks is a legitimate grievance, we need to ask: Who is killing them?

Last year, there were 4,300 victims of shootings in Chicago and 762 deaths. How many of those shootings were by cops?

How many of those shootings, mostly of blacks, were acts of “terrorism by White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan,” all of whom our ever-heroic Congress demanded that President Trump, in a joint resolution after Charlottesville, denounce.

Nowhere in the resolution was there any mention of Antifa, the “anti-fascist” fighters on the other side of the Charlottesville brawl, where a protester was run down and killed by a Nazi sympathizer.

What is it in their DNA that causes Republicans reflexively to sign on to a one-sided Democratic denunciation of President Trump for the sin of suggesting there were two parties to the Charlottesville brawl?

And are neo-Nazis really a threat to the republic?

In 1963, this writer was at Dr. King’s March on Washington, which began on the Monument grounds where George Lincoln Rockwell’s Nazis were yelling slurs. On the site where Rockwell’s Nazis stood, there stands today the African-American Museum.

When my father was a 21-year-old Al Smith Democrat in D.C. in the Calvin Coolidge era, scores of thousands of anti-Catholic Klansmen strode up Pennsylvania Avenue, and the national Klan numbered in the millions.

But is the KKK of today a serious threat to civil rights?

Lately, St. Louis and East St. Louis have boasted the highest murder rates in America. Is that the doing of white supremacists?

This morning we read there have been so many smashed and stolen bicycles that Baltimore is canceling its Bike Share program.

Did David Duke and his Klan friends steal all those bikes?

Who are the ones shouting down speakers? Who violently disrupts political rallies, on campuses and off? Who engages in mob violence after almost every police shooting of a black suspect? As for interracial assaults, rapes and murders, according to FBI crime statistics, these are primarily the work of black criminals against white victims.

The Justice Department should report on hate crimes by white racists. But from the stats, anti-white racism is far more common and far more manifest in crimes of violence. Who reports that truth?

Are Christian supremacists murdering Muslims in Europe, or are Muslim supremacists committing acts of terrorism in Europe and conducting genocide against Christians in the Middle East?

The left has been marinated in an ideology where the enemy is always to the right. People blinded by ideology, unable to see the true enemies of their civilization, end up losing it, and their lives as well.

“We sit by and watch the Barbarian,” wrote Belloc, “We tolerate him … We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond; and on those faces there are no smiles.”

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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Trump Loves Cheers, But Will Regret Cozying up to Dems

“Having cut a deal with Democrats for help with the debt ceiling, will Trump seek a deal with Democrats on amnesty for the ‘Dreamers’ in return for funding for border security?”

The answer to that question, raised in my column a week ago, is in. Last night, President Donald Trump cut a deal with “Chuck and Nancy” for amnesty for 800,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program who came here illegally as youngsters, in return for Democratic votes for more money for border security.

According to preening Minority Leader Pelosi, the agreement contains not a dime for Trump’s Wall, and the “Dreamers” are to be put on a long glide “path to U.S. citizenship.”

Trump denies this is amnesty, and says the Wall comes later.

Fallout? Among the most enthusiastic of Trump backers, disbelief, disillusionment and wonderment at where we go from here.

Trump’s debt-ceiling deal cut the legs out from under the GOP budget hawks. But amnesty would pull the rug out from under all the folks at those rallies who cheered Trump’s promise to preserve the country they grew up in from this endless Third World invasion.

For make no mistake. If amnesty is granted for the 800,000, that will be but the first wave. “There are reasons no country has a rule that if you sneak in as a minor you’re a citizen,” writes Mickey Kaus, author of “The End of Equality,” in The Washington Post.

“We’d be inviting the world. … (An amnesty) would have a knock-on effect. Under ‘chain migration’ rules established in 1965 … new citizens can bring in their siblings and adult children, who can bring in their siblings and in-laws until whole villages have moved to the United States.

“(T)oday’s 690,000 dreamers would quickly become millions of newcomers who may well be low-skilled and who would almost certainly include the parents who brought them — the ones who in theory are at fault.”

Trump is risking a breach in the dam. If the populists who provided him with decisive margins in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania feel betrayed, it’s hard to blame them.

Why did Trump do it? Clearly, he relished the cheers he got for the debt ceiling deal and wanted another such victory. And with the rampant accusations of a lack of “compassion” for his cancellation of the temporary Obama administration amnesty, he decided he had had enough heat.

It is not easy to stand up for long to the gale force winds of hostile commentary that blow constantly through this city.

Trump’s capitulation, if that is what turns out to be, calls to mind George H. W. Bush’s decision in 1990 to raise the Reagan tax rates in a deal engineered for him by a White House-Hill coalition, that made a mockery of his “Read my lips! No new taxes!” pledge of 1988.

For agreeing to feed the beast of Big Government, rather than cut its rations as Reagan sought to do, Bush was called a statesman.

By the fall of ’92, the cheering had stopped.

Can Trump not know that those congratulating him for his newfound flexibility will be rejoicing, should Bob Mueller indict his family and his friends, and recommend his impeachment down the road?

What makes pre-emptive amnesty particularly disheartening is that the Trump policy of securing the border and returning illegal immigrants to their home countries appears, from a Census Bureau report this week, to be precisely the prescription America needs.

In 2016, paychecks for U.S. households reached an average of $59,039, up 3.2 percent from 2015, a year when they had surged.

U.S. median household income is now at its highest ever.

Yet there are inequalities. Where the median family income of Asian-Americans is above $81,400, and more than $65,000 for white Americans, the median family income of Hispanic families is $47,675, and that of African-American households far less, $39,490.

Consider. Though black Americans are predominantly native-born, while high percentages of Hispanics and Asians are immigrants, from the Census numbers, Hispanics earn more and Asians enjoy twice the median family income of blacks, which is below where it was in 2000.

Still, black America remains steadfastly loyal to a party that supports the endless importation of workers who compete directly for jobs with them and their families. Writes Kaus, “The median hourly wage (of DACA recipients) is only $15.34, meaning that many are competing with hard-pressed, lower-skilled Americans.”

Looking closer at the Census Bureau figures, Trumpian economic nationalism would appear to have its greatest appeal to the American working class, a huge slice of which is native-born, black and Hispanic.

The elements of that policy?

Secure the border. Halt the invasion of low-wage workers, here legally and illegally, from the Third World. Tighten the labor market to force employers to raise wages in our full-employment economy. Provide tax incentives to companies who site factories in the USA. Impose border taxes on the products of companies who move plants abroad.

Put America and American workers first.

Will any amnesty of undocumented workers do 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.

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Tribalism in Europe Marches on—But to What End?

Recently, a columnist-friend, Matt Kenney, sent me a 25-year-old newspaper with his chiding that my column had been given better play.

Both had run in The Orange County Register on June 30, 1991.

“Is there no room for new nations in the New World Order?” was my title, and the column began:

“In turning a stone face toward embattled Slovenia and Croatia, President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker have not only put America’s chips on the wrong horse. They have bet on a losing horse.

“Can the U.S. Government seriously believe that a Yugoslavia of such disparate peoples, all of whom wish greater freedom, most of whose republics wish to be free of Belgrade, is a viable nation?”

The State Department had denounced “these unilateral steps by Croatia and Slovenia” to break free: “As Secretary Baker made clear last Friday, we will neither encourage nor reward secession.”

Croatia and Slovenia are today free and members of NATO.

A month later in 1991, George H. W. Bush, in what Bill Safire dubbed his “Chicken Kiev” speech, warned that Ukraine’s desire to break free of Moscow manifested a “suicidal nationalism.”

Today, Ukraine is independent and the Bush-GOP establishment wants to send weapons to Kiev to fight pro-Russia secessionists.

As nationalism tore apart Yugoslavia and the USSR in the 1990s, and surged to propel British secession from the EU and Donald Trump’s triumph in 2016, that primal force appears on the march again.

Wrote the Wall Street Journal Monday:

“Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban barely mentions his political rivals as he campaigns for a fourth term. Instead, he is targeting the European Union and its biggest members. ‘Our fiercest opponents are not in Hungarian opposition parties,’ Mr. Orban said in a speech last week, ‘They are abroad … Berlin, Brussels.’

“In neighboring Poland,” the Journal goes on, “government rhetoric is even harsher. Politicians have one-upped each other in attacking France and Germany, arguing they are forcing multicultural liberal democracy on more traditional Poles.”

Not only in the east of Europe but also in the west, nationalism is surging. Wrote the New York Times Friday:

“The accelerating battle over Catalonia’s status hit warp speed this week. Catalan lawmakers voted to go ahead with an Oct. 1 referendum on separating from Spain. Spain’s constitutional court declared the vote suspended. And Catalan politicians said they would proceed anyway.”

Yesterday, thousands of Catalans paraded through Barcelona under a banner proclaiming “Goodbye, Spain!” It was the Catalan National Day, which commemorates the 1714 capture of Barcelona by Philip V, the first Bourbon monarch of Spain.

Spain’s wealthiest region, Catalonia believes it is being milked by Madrid for the benefit of regions that contribute far less.

The question being raised by Catalonia is one America has faced before. Do peoples in a democratic republic have a right to declare their independence, secede, and establish a new nation, as the 13 colonies did in 1776 and the Confederate States of America sought to do in 1861?

Though America was born of secession, the U.S. establishment since the Cold War has been far more trans-nationalist and globalist than a great champion of new nations. Perhaps that is because the New World Order proclaimed by Bush I in 1991 envisioned the U.S. as the benevolent global hegemon.

Another ethno-national secession may be declared even before the Catalans go to the polls Oct. 1.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has scheduled a referendum for Sept. 25—on independence from Iraq. Should it go forward, a massive vote to secede seems certain. And Kurds are relying on U.S. support. For they have sustained many casualties and shed much blood backing us in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State.

Yet while our sentiments may cheer the cause of an independent Kurdistan, our national interests may call for caution.

For though the Kurds, 30 million in number, are probably the largest ethnic group on earth without a nation-state of their own, creating a Kurdish homeland could ignite a Middle East war the Kurds could lose as badly as did the Confederate States.

Why? Because, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919-1920 not only left millions of Kurds in Iraq, it left most of them in Turkey, Iran and Syria.

A free and independent Kurdistan carved out of Iraq could prove a magnet for the 25 million Kurds in Iran, Turkey and Syria, and a sanctuary for Kurd rebels, causing those nations to join together to annihilate the new country.

Then, there is Kirkuk, seized by the Kurds after the Iraqi army fled from an invading ISIS. The city sits on some of the richest oil deposits in Iraq.

Yesterday, Massoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, told the BBC that if the Kurds vote for independence and Baghdad refuses to accept it, they will forcibly resist any Iraqi attempt to retake the city.

Tribalism appears to be doing to the Bush New World Order what it did to Mikhail Gorbachev’s Soviet Union.

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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Trump Dumps the Do-Nothing Congress

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Shutterstock)

Donald Trump is president today because he was seen as a doer not a talker. Among the most common compliments paid him in 2016 was, “At least he gets things done!”

And it was exasperation with a dithering GOP Congress, which had failed to enact his or its own agenda, that caused Trump to pull the job of raising the debt ceiling away from Republican contractors Ryan & McConnell, and give it to Pelosi & Schumer.

Hard to fault Trump. Over seven months, Congress showed itself incapable of repealing Obamacare, though the GOP promised this as its first priority in three successive elections.

Returning to D.C. after five weeks vacation, with zero legislation enacted, Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were facing a deadline to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government.

Failure to do so would crash the markets, imperil the U.S. bond rating, and make America look like a deadbeat republic.

Families and businesses do this annually. Yet, every year, it seems, Congress goes up to the precipice of national default before authorizing the borrowing to pay the bills Congress itself has run up.

To be sure, Trump only kicked this year’s debt crisis to mid-December.

Before year’s end, he and Congress will also have to deal with an immigration crisis brought on by his cancellation of the Obama administration’s amnesty for the “Dreamers” now vulnerable to deportation.

He will have to get Congress to fund his Wall, enact tax reform and finance the repair and renewal of our infrastructure, or have his first year declared a failure.

We are likely looking at a Congressional pileup, pre-Christmas, from which Trump will have to call on Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, again, to extricate him and his party.

The question that now arises: Has the president concluded that working with the GOP majorities alone cannot get him where he needs to go to make his a successful presidency?

Having cut a deal with Democrats for help with the debt ceiling, will Trump seek a deal with Democrats on amnesty for the “Dreamers,” in return for funding for border security? Trump seemed to be signaling receptivity to the idea this week.

Will he give up on free-trade Republicans to work with Democrats to protect U.S. jobs and businesses from predator traders like China?

Will he cut a deal with Hill Democrats on which infrastructure projects should be funded first? Will he seek out compromise with Democrats on whose taxes should be cut and whose retained?

We could be looking at a seismic shift in national politics, with Trump looking to centrist and bipartisan coalitions to achieve as much of his agenda as he can. He could collaborate with Federalist Society Republicans on justices and with economic-nationalist Democrats on tariffs.

But the Congressional gridlock that exhausted the president’s patience may prove more serious than a passing phase. The Congress of the United States, whose powers were delineated in the late 18th century, may simply not be an institution suited to the 21st.

A century ago, Congress ceded to the Federal Reserve its right “to coin money (and) regulate the value thereof.” It has yielded to the third branch, the Supreme Court, the power to invent new rights, as in Roe v. Wade. Its power to “regulate commerce with foreign nations” has been assumed by an executive branch that negotiates the trade treaties, leaving Congress to say yea or nay.

Congress alone has the power to declare war. But recent wars have been launched by presidents over Congressional objection, some without consultation. We are close to a second major war in Korea, the first of which, begun in 1950, was never declared by the Congress, but declared by Harry Truman to be a “police action.”

In the age of the internet and cable TV, the White House is seen as a locus of decision and action, while Capitol Hill takes months to move. Watching Congress, the word torpor invariably comes to mind, which one Webster’s Dictionary defines as “a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibility.”

Result: In a recent survey, 72 percent of Americans expressed high confidence in the military; 12 percent said the same of Congress.

The members of Congress the TV cameras reward with air time are most often mavericks like John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Jeff Flake, who will defy a president the media largely detest.

At the onset of the post-Cold War era, some contended that democracy was the inevitable future of mankind. But autocracy is holding its own. Russia, China, India, Turkey, Egypt come to mind.

If democracy, as Freedom House contends, is in global retreat, one reason may be that, in our new age, legislatures, split into hostile blocs checkmating one another, cannot act with the dispatch impatient peoples now demand of their rulers.

In the days of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, Congress was a rival to even strong presidents. Those days are long gone.

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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Should Japan and South Korea Go Nuclear?

Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea. (Sagase48 / Shutterstock.com)

By setting off a 100-kiloton bomb, after firing a missile over Japan, Kim Jong Un has gotten the world’s attention.

What else does he want?

Almost surely not war with America. For no matter what damage Kim could visit on U.S. troops and bases in South Korea, Okinawa and Guam, his country would be destroyed and the regime his grandfather built annihilated.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting,” wrote Sun Tzu. Kim likely has something like this in mind.

His nuclear and missile tests have already called the bluff of George W. Bush who, in his “axis of evil” speech, declared that the world’s worst regimes would not be allowed to acquire the world’s worst weapons.

Arguably the world’s worst regime now has the world’s worst weapon, an H-bomb, with ICBMs to follow.

What else does Kim want? He wants the U.S. to halt joint military maneuvers with the South, recognize his regime, tear up the security pact with Seoul, and get our forces off the peninsula.

No way, says President Trump. Emerging from church, Trump added, “South Korea’s … talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”

On Monday, South Korea was accelerating the activation of the high-altitude missile defense implanted by the United States. Russia and China were talking of moving missile forces into the area. And Mattis had warned Kim he was toying with the fate of his country:

“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response.”

As the United States can only lose from a new Korean war in which thousands of Americans and millions of Koreans could perish, the first imperative is to dispense with the war talk, and to prevent the war Mattis rightly says would be “catastrophic.”

China has declared that it will enter a new Korean conflict on the side of the North, but only if the North does not attack first.

For this and other reasons, the U.S. should let the North strike the first blow, unless we have hard evidence Kim is preparing a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

But if and when we manage to tamp down this crisis, we should ask ourselves why we are in this crisis. Why are we a party to this frozen conflict from 1953 that is 8,000 miles away?

The first Korean War ended months into Ike’s first term. Our security treaty with Seoul was signed in October 1953.

That year, Stalin’s successors had taken over a USSR that was busy testing missiles and hydrogen bombs. China was ruled by Chairman Mao, who had sent a million “volunteers’ to fight in Korea. Japan, still recovering from World War II, was disarmed and entirely dependent upon the United States for its defense.

What has changed in six and a half decades?

That USSR no longer exists. It split, three decades ago, into 15 nations. Japan has risen to boast an economy 100 times as large as North Korea’s. South Korea is among the most advanced nations in Asia with a population twice that of the North and an economy 40 times as large.

Since the KORUS free trade deal took effect under President Obama, Seoul has been running surging trade surpluses in goods at our expense every year.

The world has changed dramatically since the 1950s. But U.S. policy failed to change commensurately.

The basic question that needs addressing:

Why do we still keep 28,000 troops in South Korea as a trip wire to bring us into a second Korean war from its first hours, a war that could bring nuclear strikes on our troops, bases, and, soon, our nation?

We cannot walk away from our Korean allies in this crisis. But we should look upon the North’s drive to marry nuclear warheads to ICBMs as a wake-up call to review a policy rooted in Cold War realities that ceased to exist when Ronald Reagan went home.

Consider: North Korea devotes 25 percent of GDP to defense. South Korea spends 2.6 percent, Japan one percent. Yet these mighty Asian allies, who run annual trade surpluses at our expense, require us to defend them from a maniacal little country right next door.

After this crisis, South Korea and Japan should begin to make the kind of defense effort the U.S. does, and create their own nuclear deterrents. This might get Beijing’s attention, as our pleas for its assistance with North Korea apparently have not.

Already involved in land disputes with a nuclear-armed Russia and India, China’s dominance of Asia—should Japan and South Korea acquire nuclear weapons—begins to diminish.

“As our case is new,” said Abraham Lincoln, “we must think anew and act anew.”

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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On Display This Week Was America at Her Best

Texas National Guard soldiers conduct rescue operations in flooded areas around Houston, Texas, August, 27, 2017. (Photo by 1Lt. Zachary West, 100th MPAD)

Like 9/11, Hurricane Harvey brought us together.

In awe at the destruction 50 inches of rain did to East Texas and our fourth-largest city and in admiration as cable television showed countless hours of Texans humanely and heroically rescuing and aiding fellow Texans in the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

On display this week was America at her best.

Yet the destruction will not soon be repaired. Nearly a third of Harris County, home to 4.5 million people, was flooded. Beaumont and Port Arthur were swamped with two feet of rain and put underwater.

Estimates of the initial cost to the Treasury are north of $100 billion, with some saying the down payment alone will be closer to $200 billion. In inflation-adjusted dollars, the cost of Harvey will exceed that of the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe after World War II.

Though the country has appeared united since the storm hit, it is not likely to remain so. Soon, the cameras and correspondents will go home, while the shelters remain full, as tens of thousands of people in those shelters have only destroyed homes to return to.

When the waters recede, the misery of the evacuees left behind will become less tolerable. Then will come the looters and gougers and angry arguments over who’s to blame and who should pay.

They have already begun. Republicans who balked at voting for the bailout billions for Chris Christie’s New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the coast in 2012 are being called hypocrites for asking for swift and massive federal assistance to repair red state Texas.

And whereas George W. Bush soared to 90 percent approval after 9/11, no such surge in support for Donald Trump appears at hand.

Indeed, the sneering and sniping began on his first visit to Texas.

He failed to celebrate the first responders, they said. He failed to hug any of the victims. He failed to show empathy. First lady Melania Trump wore spiked heels boarding Marine One for Texas.

A prediction: The damage done by Harvey—as well as the physical, psychic and political costs—will cause many to echo the slogan of George McGovern in 1972, when he exhorted the country to “come home, America.”

The nation seems more receptive now, for even before Harvey, the media seemed consumed with what ails America.

The New York and D.C. subway systems are crumbling. Puerto Rico is bankrupt. Some states, such as Illinois, cannot balance their budgets. The murder rates are soaring in Baltimore and Chicago. Congress this month will have to raise the debt ceiling by hundreds of billions and pass a budget with a deficit bloated by the cost of Harvey.

And the foreign crises seem to be coming at us, one after another.

Russia is beginning military maneuvers in the Baltic and Belarus, bordering Poland, with a force estimated by some at 100,000 troops — Vladimir Putin’s response to NATO’s deployment of 4,000 troops to the Baltic States and Poland.

The U.S. is considering sending anti-tank missiles to Kiev. This could reignite the Donbass war and bring Russian intervention, the defeat of the Ukrainian army and calls for U.S. intervention.

In the teeth of Trump’s threat to pour “fire and fury” on North Korea, Kim Jong Un just launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan. Trump’s answer: U.S. B-1Bs make practice bombing runs near the demilitarized zone. Reports from South Korea indicate that Kim may soon conduct a sixth underground test of an atomic bomb.

War in Korea has never seemed so close since Dwight Eisenhower ended the Korean War with an armistice more than 60 years ago.

Despite the opposition of his national security team, Trump is said to be ready to repudiate the Iranian nuclear deal in October, freeing Congress to reimpose the sanctions lifted by the deal.

This would split us from our NATO allies and, if Iran ignored the new U.S. sanctions or began anew to enrich uranium, force Trump’s hand. Is he, are we as a country, ready for another trillion-dollar war, with Iran, which so many inside the Beltway seem so eager to fight?

The U.S. and Turkey have urged Iraq’s Kurds to put off their nonbinding referendum on independence Sept. 25. The vote seems certain to endorse a separate state. A Kurdistan, seceded from Baghdad, would be a magnet for secession-minded Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iran, 30 million in all, and present a strategic crisis for the United States.

Along with the steady growth of entitlement spending, the new dollars demanded for defense, the prospect of new wars and the tax cuts the White House supports, Hurricane Harvey should concentrate the mind.

Great as America is, there are limits to our wealth and power, to how many global problems we can solve, to how many wars we can fight and to how many hostile powers we can confront.

The “indispensable nation” is going to have to begin making choices. Indeed, that is among the reasons Trump was elected.

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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GOP Coalition Has Gone to Battle Stations—Against Itself

Gage Skidmore / Flickr; Tony Alter / Flickr

Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, 2016, Republicans awoke to learn they had won the lottery. Donald Trump had won the presidency by carrying Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. All three states had gone Democratic in the last six presidential elections.

The GOP had won both houses of Congress. Party control of governorships and state legislatures rivaled the halcyon years of the 1920s.

But not everyone was jubilant. Neocons and Never-Trumpers were appalled, and as morose as they had been since the primaries produced a populist slaughter of what GOP elites had boasted was the finest class of presidential candidates in memory.

And there was this sobering fact: Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote. Her margin would rise to near three million, making this the sixth in seven presidential elections that the GOP lost the popular vote. Trump had cracked the Democrats’ “blue wall,” but a shift of 70,000 votes would have meant a third straight GOP defeat.

Seven months into the Trump presidency, the promise of a new Republican era has receded.It is not because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have proven to be such formidable adversaries, but because the GOP coalition has gone to battle stations—against itself.

Trump has taken to disparaging Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to pass health care reform, though the decisive vote to kill the bill came from John McCain, who, for his own motives and to media cheers, torpedoed McConnell’s effort and humiliated his party.

And as Allan Ryskind writes in The Washington Times, McConnell is responsible for Neil Gorsuch being on the Supreme Court. Had Mitch not kept his troops in line to block a Senate vote on President Obama’s election-year nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, there would have been no vacancy for Trump to fill with Gorsuch.

McConnell is also indispensable to the Trump-GOP effort to repopulate federal appellate courts with disciples of Antonin Scalia.

What purpose is served by the coach trashing his quarterback—in midseason?

Undeniably, Congress, which the voters empowered to repeal Obamacare, reduce tax rates and rebuild America’s infrastructure, has thus far failed. And if Congress fails to produce on tax reform, the GOP will have some serious explaining to do in 2018.

As for Trump, while public approval of his performance is at record lows for a president in his first year, he has fulfilled some major commitments and has had some major achievements.

He put Gorsuch on the court. He pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Accord. He persuaded NATO allies to put up more for defense. He approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Border security is markedly better. The economic news has been excellent: Record run-ups in the stock market, near full employment, growth approaching the 3 percent he promised. The coal industry has been liberated, and the Trump folks are renegotiating NAFTA.

Yet the divisions over policy and the persona of the president are widening. Trump is disliked and disrespected by many in his own party on Capitol Hill, and much of the Republican media proudly despise him.

And that form of bribery so familiar to D.C. trashing one’s president at the coaxing of the press, in return for plaudits to one’s “courage” and “independence”— is openly practiced.

More critically, there are disputes over policy that again seem irreconcilable.

Free-trade Republicans remain irredeemably hostile to economic nationalism, though countries like China continue to eat our lunch. In July, the U.S. trade deficit in goods was $65 billion, an annual rate of more than $780 billion.

Interventionists continue to push for confrontation with Russia in the Baltic States and Ukraine, for more U.S. troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, for scrapping the nuclear deal with Iran.

On social issues, the GOP seems split, with many willing to soft-peddle opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion and wait on a Supreme Court that ignited the culture wars to reverse course with new Trump appointees.

Even Cabinet members and Trump aides have let the media know they sharply dissent from Trump’s stand in the Charlottesville brawl. And the coming clash over statues of Confederate soldiers and statesmen is likely to split Northern and Southern Republicans.

The white working class that provided Trump’s his margins in the Middle West wonders why affirmative action, reverse discrimination at their expense, has not been abolished.

As for Speaker Paul Ryan and others committed to entitlement reform—paring back Social Security and Medicare benefits, while raising the contributions of the well-to-do to ensure the long-term solvency of the programs—they have not been heard from lately.

What seems apparent is that the historic opportunity the party had in January, to forge a coalition of conservatives and populists who might find common ground on immigration, trade, border security, spending, culture and foreign policy, is slipping away.

And the battle for the soul and future of the GOP, thought to have been suspended until 2020, is on once again.

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 Still Unites Us?

Decades ago, a debate over what kind of nation America is roiled the conservative movement.

Neocons claimed America was an “ideological nation” a “creedal nation,” dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Expropriating the biblical mandate, “Go forth and teach all nations!” they divinized democracy and made the conversion of mankind to the democratic faith their mission here on earth.

With his global crusade for democracy, George W. Bush bought into all this. Result: Ashes in our mouths and a series of foreign policy disasters, beginning with Afghanistan and Iraq.

Behind the Trumpian slogan “America First” lay a conviction that, with the Cold War over and the real ideological nation, the USSR, shattered into pieces along ethnic lines, it was time for America to come home.

Contra the neocons, traditionalists argued that, while America was uniquely great, the nation was united by faith, culture, language, history, heroes, holidays, mores, manners, customs and traditions. A common feature of Americans, black and white, was pride in belonging to a people that had achieved so much.

The insight attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville—”America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great”—was a belief shared by almost all.

What makes our future appear problematic is that what once united us now divides us. While Presidents Wilson and Truman declared us to be a “Christian nation,” Christianity has been purged from our public life and sheds believers every decade. Atheism and agnosticism are growing rapidly, especially among the young.

Traditional morality, grounded in Christianity, is being discarded. Half of all marriages end in divorce. Four-in-10 children are born out of wedlock. Unrestricted abortion and same-sex marriage — once regarded as marks of decadence and decline — are now seen as human rights and the hallmarks of social progress.

Tens of millions of us do not speak English. Where most of our music used to be classic, popular, country and western, and jazz, much of it now contains rutting lyrics that used to be unprintable.

Where we used to have three national networks, we have three 24-hour cable news channels and a thousand websites that reinforce our clashing beliefs on morality, culture, politics and race.

Consider but a few events post-Charlottesville.

“Murderer” was painted on the San Fernando statue of Fr. Junipero Serra, the Franciscan who founded the missions that became San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan Capistrano and Santa Clara.

America’s oldest monument honoring Columbus, in Baltimore, was vandalized. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia called for Robert E. Lee’s statue to be removed from Capitol and replaced by—Pocahontas.

According to legend, this daughter of Chief Powhatan saved Captain John Smith from being beheaded by throwing herself across his neck. The Chief was a “person of interest” in the disappearance of the “Lost Colony” of Roanoke Island, among whose missing was Virginia Dare, the first European baby born in British America.

Why did Kaine not call for John Smith himself, leader of the Jamestown Colony that fought off Indian attacks, to be so honored?

In New Orleans, “Tear It Down” was spray-painted on a statue of Joan of Arc, a gift from France in 1972. Besides being a canonized saint in the Catholic Church and a legendary heroine of France, what did the Maid of Orleans do to deserve this?

Taken together, we are seeing the discoverers, explorers and missionaries of North America demonized as genocidal racists all. The Founding Fathers are either slave owners or sanctioners of slavery.

Our nation-builders either collaborated in or condoned the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans. Almost to the present, ours was a land where segregationists were honored leaders.

Bottom line for the left: Americans should be sickened and ashamed of the history that made us the world’s greatest nation. And we should acknowledge our ancestors’ guilt by tearing down any and all monuments and statues that memorialize them.

This rising segment of America, full of self-righteous rage, is determined to blacken the memory of those who have gone before us.

To another slice of America, much of the celebrated social and moral “progress” of recent decades induces a sense of nausea, summarized in the lament, “This isn’t the country we grew up in.”

Hillary Clinton famously described this segment of America as a “basket of deplorables… racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic…bigots,” and altogether “irredeemable.”

So, what still unites us? What holds us together into the indefinite future? What makes us one nation and one people? What do we offer mankind, as nations seem to recoil from what we are becoming, and are instead eager to build their futures on the basis of ethnonationalism and fundamentalist faith?

If advanced democracy has produced the disintegration of a nation that we see around us, what is the compelling case for it?

A sixth of the way through the 21st century, what is there to make us believe this will be the Second American Century?

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 Trump’s Agenda Being Eclipsed?

“I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire,” said Winston Churchill to cheers at the Lord Mayor’s luncheon in London in November 1942.True to his word, the great man did not begin the liquidation.

When his countrymen threw him out in July 1945, that role fell to Clement Attlee, who began the liquidation. Churchill, during his second premiership from 1951-1955, would continue the process, as would his successor, Harold Macmillan, until the greatest empire the world had ever seen had vanished.

While its demise was inevitable, the death of the empire was hastened and made more humiliating by the wars into which Churchill had helped to plunge Britain, wars that bled and bankrupted his nation.

At Yalta in 1945, Stalin and FDR treated the old imperialist with something approaching bemused contempt.

War is the health of the state, but the death of empires.

The German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires all fell in World War I. World War II ended the Japanese and Italian empires — with the British and French following soon after. The Soviet Empire collapsed in 1989. Afghanistan delivered the coup de grace.

Is it now the turn of the Americans?

Persuaded by his generals — Mattis at Defense, McMasters on the National Security Council, Kelly as chief of staff — President Trump is sending some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to augment the 8,500 already there.

Like Presidents Obama and Bush, he does not intend to preside over a U.S. defeat in its longest war. Nor do his generals. Yet how can we defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent?

The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to continue eradicating the terrorist elements like ISIS, and to prevent Kabul and other cities from falling to a Taliban now dominant in 40 percent of the country.

Yet what did the great general, whom Trump so admires, Douglas MacArthur, say of such a strategy?

“War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.”

Is not “prolonged indecision” what the Trump strategy promises? Is not “prolonged indecision” what the war policies of Obama and Bush produced in the last 17 years?

Understandably, Americans feel they cannot walk away from this war. For there is the certainty as to what will follow when we leave.

When the British left Delhi in 1947, millions of former subjects died during the partition of the territory into Pakistan and India and the mutual slaughter of Muslims and Hindus.

When the French departed Algeria in 1962, the “Harkis” they left behind paid the price of being loyal to the Mother Country.

When we abandoned our allies in South Vietnam, the result was mass murder in the streets, concentration camps and hundreds of thousands of boat people in the South China Sea, a final resting place for many. In Cambodia, it was a holocaust.

Trump, however, was elected to end America’s involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars — Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan — he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.

Consider the wars, active and potential, Trump faces.

Writes Bob Merry in the fall issue of The National interest:

“War between Russia and the West seems nearly inevitable. No self-respecting nation facing inexorable encirclement by an alliance of hostile neighbors can allow such pressures and forces to continue indefinitely. Eventually (Russia) must protect its interests through military action.”

If Pyongyang tests another atom bomb or ICBM, some national security aides to Trump are not ruling out preventive war.

Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze.

Yet the country did not vote for confrontation or war.

America voted for Trump’s promise to improve ties with Russia, to make Europe shoulder more of the cost of its defense, to annihilate ISIS and extricate us from Mideast wars, to stay out of future wars.

America voted for economic nationalism and an end to the mammoth trade deficits with the NAFTA nations, EU, Japan and China.

America voted to halt the invasion across our Southern border and to reduce legal immigration to ease the downward pressure on American wages and the competition for working-class jobs.

Yet today we hear talk of upping and extending the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, of confronting Iran, of sending anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine to battle pro-Russia rebels in the east.

Can the new custodians of Trump’s populist-nationalist and America First agenda, the generals and the Goldman Sachs alumni association, be entrusted to carry it 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.”

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America’s Second Civil War

Civil War statue toppled by protesters in Durham N.C. this week. (You Tube)

“They had found a leader, Robert E. Lee — and what a leader! … No military leader since Napoleon has aroused such enthusiastic devotion among troops as did Lee when he reviewed them on his horse Traveller.”

So wrote Samuel Eliot Morison in his magisterial “The Oxford History of the American People” in 1965.

First in his class at West Point, hero of the Mexican War, Lee was the man to whom President Lincoln turned to lead his army. But when Virginia seceded, Lee would not lift up his sword against his own people, and chose to defend his home state rather than wage war upon her.

This veneration of Lee, wrote Richard Weaver, “appears in the saying attributed to a Confederate soldier, ‘The rest of us may have … descended from monkeys, but it took a God to make Marse Robert.'”

Growing up after World War II, this was accepted history.

Yet, on the militant left today, the name Lee evokes raw hatred and howls of “racist and traitor.” A clamor has arisen to have all statues of him and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen pulled down from their pedestals and put in museums or tossed onto trash piles.

What has changed since 1965?

It is not history. There have been no great new discoveries about Lee.

What has changed is America herself. She is not the same country. We have passed through a great social, cultural and moral revolution that has left us irretrievably divided on separate shores.

And the politicians are in panic.

Two years ago, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the giant statues of Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson on Richmond’s Monument Avenue “parts of our heritage.” After Charlottesville, New York-born-and-bred McAuliffe, entertaining higher ambitions, went full scalawag, demanding the statues be pulled down as “flashpoints for hatred, division, and violence.”

Who hates the statues, Terry? Who’s going to cause the violence? Answer: The Democratic left whom Terry must now appease.

McAuliffe is echoed by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate in November to succeed McAuliffe. GOP nominee Ed Gillespie wants Monument Avenue left alone.

The election is the place to decide this, but the left will not wait.

In Durham, North Carolina, our Taliban smashed the statue of a Confederate soldier. Near the entrance of Duke University Chapel, a statue of Lee has been defaced, the nose broken off.

Wednesday at dawn, Baltimore carried out a cultural cleansing by taking down statues of Lee and Maryland Chief Justice Roger Taney who wrote the Dred Scott decision and opposed Lincoln’s suspension of the right of habeas corpus.

Like ISIS, which smashed the storied ruins of Palmyra, and the al-Qaida rebels who ravaged the fabled Saharan city of Timbuktu, the new barbarism has come to America. This is going to become a blazing issue, not only between but within the parties.

For there are 10 Confederates in Statuary Hall in the Capitol, among them Lee, Georgia’s Alexander Stephens, vice president to Jefferson Davis, and Davis himself. The Black Caucus wants them gone.

Mount Rushmore-sized carvings of Lee, Jackson and Davis are on Stone Mountain, Georgia. Are they to be blasted off?

There are countless universities, colleges and high schools like Washington & Lee named for Confederate statesmen and soldiers. Across the Potomac from D.C. are Jefferson Davis Highway and Leesburg Pike to Leesburg itself, 25 miles north. Are all highways, streets, towns and counties named for Confederates to be renamed? What about Fort Bragg?

On every Civil War battlefield, there are monuments to the Southern fallen. Gettysburg has hundreds of memorials, statues and markers. But if, as the left insists we accept, the Confederates were traitors trying to tear America apart to preserve an evil system, upon what ground do Democrats stand to resist the radical left’s demands?

What do we do with those battlefields where Confederates were victorious: Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville?

“Where does this all end?” President Trump asked.

It doesn’t. Not until America’s histories and biographies are burned and new texts written to Nazify Lee, Jackson, Davis and all the rest, will a newly indoctrinated generation of Americans accede to this demand to tear down and destroy what their fathers cherished.

And once all the Confederates are gone, one must begin with the explorers, and then the slave owners like Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison, who seceded from slave-free Britain. White supremacists all.

Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay of Kentucky and John Calhoun must swiftly follow.

Then there are all those segregationists. From 1865 to 1965, virtually all of the great Southern senators were white supremacists.

In the first half of the 20th century, Woodrow Wilson and FDR carried all 11 states of a rigidly segregationist South all six times they ran, and FDR rewarded Dixie by putting a Klansman on the Supreme Court.

While easy for Republicans to wash their hands of such odious elements as Nazis in Charlottesville, will they take up the defense of the monuments and statues that have defined our history, or capitulate to the icon-smashers?

In this Second American Civil War, whose side are you 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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If We Erase Our History, Who Are We?

When the Dodge Charger of 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr., plunged into that crowd of protesters Saturday, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, Fields put Charlottesville on the map of modernity alongside Ferguson.

Before Fields ran down the protesters, and then backed up, running down more, what was happening seemed but a bloody brawl between extremists on both sides of the issue of whether Robert E. Lee’s statue should be removed from Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park.

With Heyer’s death, the brawl was elevated to a moral issue. And President Donald Trump’s initial failure to denounce the neo-Nazi and Klan presence was declared a moral failure.

How did we get here, and where are we going?

In June of 2015, 21-year-old Dylann Roof gunned down nine Christians at an evening Bible study in Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. A review of Roof’s selfies and website showed him posing with the Confederate battle flag.

Gov. Nikki Haley, five years in office, instantly pivoted and called for removal of the battle flag from the Confederate war memorial on the State House grounds, as a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally offensive past.”

This ignited a national clamor to purge all statues that lionize Confederate soldiers and statesmen.

In Maryland, demands have come for removing statues and busts of Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision. Statues of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson, President Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee have been pulled down in New Orleans.

After Charlottesville, pressure is building for removal of the statues of Lee, Jackson, Davis and Gen. “Jeb” Stuart from historic Monument Avenue in Richmond, capital of the Confederacy.

Many Southern towns, including Alexandria, Virginia, have statues of Confederate soldiers looking to the South. Shall we pull them all down? And once all the Southern Civil War monuments are gone, should we go after the statues of the slave owners whom we Americans have heroized?

Gen. George Washington and his subordinate, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, were slave owners, as was Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Andrew Jackson. Five of our first seven presidents owned slaves, as did James K. Polk, who invaded and annexed the northern half of Mexico, including California.

Jefferson, with his exploitation of Sally Hemings and neglect of their children, presents a particular problem. While he wrote in the Declaration of Independence of his belief that “all men are created equal,” his life and his depiction of Indians in that document belie this.

And Jefferson is both on the face of Mount Rushmore and has a memorial in the U.S. capital.

Another term applied to the “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville is that they are “white supremacists,” a mortal sin to modernity. But here we encounter an even greater problem.

Looking back over the history of a Western Civilization, which we call great, were not the explorers who came out of Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and England all white supremacists?

They conquered in the name of the mother countries all the lands they discovered, imposed their rule upon the indigenous peoples, and vanquished and eradicated the native-born who stood in their way.

Who, during the centuries-long discovery and conquest of the New World, really believed that the lives of the indigenous peoples were of equal worth with those of the colonizers?

They believed European Man had the right to rule the world.

Beginning in the 16th century, Western imperialists ruled much of what was called the civilized world. Was not the British Empire, one of the great civilizing forces in human history, a manifestation of British racial superiority?

And if being a segregationist disqualifies one from being venerated in our brave new world, what do we do with Woodrow Wilson, who thought “Birth of a Nation” a splendid film and who re-segregated the U.S. government?

In 1955, Prime Minister Churchill, imperialist to the core, urged his Cabinet to consider the slogan, “Keep England White.”

Nor is a belief in the superiority of one’s race, religion, tribe and culture unique to the West. What is unique, what is an experiment without precedent, is what we are about today.

We have condemned and renounced the scarlet sins of the men who made America and embraced diversity, inclusivity and equality.

Our new America is to be a land where all races, tribes, creeds and cultures congregate, all are treated equally, and all move ever closer to an equality of results through the regular redistribution of opportunity, wealth and power.

We are going to become “the first universal nation.”

“All men are created equal” is an ideological statement. Where is the scientific or historic proof for it? Are we building our utopia on a sandpile of ideology and hope?

Nevertheless, on to Richmond!

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 the American Empire Worth the Price?

“When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight,” Samuel Johnson observed, “it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

And the prospect of a future where Kim Jong Un can put a nuclear weapon on a U.S. city is going to cause this nation to reassess the risks and rewards of the American Imperium.

First, some history.

“Why should Americans be first to die in any second Korean war?” this writer asked in 1999 in “A Republic, Not an Empire.”

“With twice the population of the North and twenty times its economic power, South Korea … is capable of manning its own defense. American troops on the DMZ should be replaced by South Koreans.”

This was denounced as neo-isolationism. And, in 2002, George W. Bush declared the U.S. “will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”

Bluster and bluff. In 2006, Pyongyang called and raised and tested an atom bomb. Now Kim Jong Un is close to an ICBM.

Our options?

As Kim believes the ability to hit America with a nuclear weapon is the only certain way he has of deterring us from killing his regime and him, he will not be talked out of his ICBM. Nor, short of an embargo-blockade by China, will sanctions keep him from his goal, to which he inches closer with each missile test.

As for the “military option,” U.S. strikes on Kim’s missile sites could cause him to unleash his artillery on Seoul, 35 miles south. In the first week of a second Korean war, scores of thousands could be dead.

If North Korea’s artillery opened up, says Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the U.S. would be forced to use tactical atomic weapons to stop the carnage. Kim could then give the suicidal order to launch his nukes.

A third option is to accept and live with a North Korean ICBM, as we have lived for decades with the vast nuclear arsenals of Russia and China.

Now, assume the best: We get through this crisis without a war, and Kim agrees to stop testing ICBMs and nuclear warheads.

Does anyone believe that, given his youth, his determination to drive us off the peninsula, and his belief that only an ICBM can deter us, this deal will last and he will abandon his nuclear program?

Given concessions, Kim might suspend missile and nuclear tests. But again, we deceive ourselves if we believe he will give up the idea of acquiring the one weapon that might ensure regime survival.

Hence, assuming this crisis is resolved, what does the future of U.S.-North Korean relations look like?

To answer that question, consider the past.

In 1968, North Korea hijacked the USS Pueblo on the high seas and interned its crew. LBJ did nothing. In April 1969, North Korea shot down an EC-121, 100 miles of its coast, killing the crew. Nixon did nothing.

Under Jimmy Carter, North Koreans axe-murdered U.S. soldiers at Panmunjom. We defiantly cut down a nearby tree.

Among the atrocities the North has perpetrated are plots to assassinate President Park Chung-hee in the 1960s and ’70s, the Rangoon bombing that wiped out much of the cabinet of Chun Doo-hwan in 1983, and the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858, killing all on board in 1987.

And Kim Jong Un has murdered his uncle and brother.

If the past is prologue, and it has proven to be, the future holds this. A renewal of ICBM tests until a missile is perfected. Occasional atrocities creating crises between the U.S. and North Korea. America being repeatedly dragged to the brink of a war we do not want to fight.

As Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Sunday, such a war would be “catastrophic. … A conflict in North Korea … would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.”

When the lesson sinks in that a war on the peninsula would be a catastrophe, and a growing arsenal of North Korean ICBMs targeted on America is intolerable, the question must arise:

Why not move U.S. forces off the peninsula, let South Korean troops replace them, sell Seoul all the modern weapons it needs, and let Seoul build its own nuclear arsenal to deter the North?

Remove any incentive for Kim to attack us, except to invite his own suicide. And tell China: Halt Kim’s ICBM program, or we will help South Korea and Japan become nuclear powers like Britain and France.

Given the rising risk of our war guarantees, from the eastern Baltic to the Korean DMZ — and the paltry rewards of the American Imperium — we are being bled from Libya to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen — a true America First foreign policy is going to become increasingly attractive.

Kim’s credible threat to one day be able to nuke a U.S. city is going to concentrate American minds wonderfully.

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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After the Coup, What Then?

That the Trump presidency is bedeviled is undeniable.

As President Donald Trump flew off for August at his Jersey club, there came word that Special Counsel Robert Mueller III had impaneled a grand jury and subpoenas were going out to Trump family and campaign associates.

The jurors will be drawn from a pool of citizens in a city Hillary Clinton swept with 91 percent of the vote. Trump got 4 percent.

Whatever indictments Mueller wants, Mueller gets.

Thanks to a media that savages him ceaselessly, Trump is down to 33 percent approval in a Quinnipiac University poll and below 40 percent in most of the rest.

Before Trump departed D.C., The Washington Post ran transcripts of his phone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

Even Obama administration veterans were stunned.

So, it is time to ask: If this city brings Trump down, will the rest of America rejoice?

What will be the reaction out there in fly-over country, that land where the “deplorables” dwell who produce the soldiers to fight our wars? Will they toast the “free press” that brought down the president they elected, and in whom they had placed so much hope?

My guess: The reaction will be one of bitterness, cynicism, despair, a sense that the fix is in, that no matter what we do, they will not let us win. If Trump is brought down, American democracy will take a pasting. It will be seen as a fraud. And the backlash will poison our politics to where only an attack from abroad, like 9/11, will reunite us.

Our media preen and posture as the defenders of democracy, devoted to truth, who provide us round-the-clock protection from tyranny. But half the nation already sees the media as a propaganda arm of a liberal establishment that the people have rejected time and again.

Consider the Post’s publication of the transcripts of Trump’s calls with Mexico’s president and Australia’s prime minister.

When reporter Greg Miller got these transcripts, his editors, knowing they would damage Trump, plastered them on Page 1.

The Post was letting itself be used by a leaker engaged in disloyal and possibly criminal misconduct. Yet the Post agreed to provide confidentiality and to hide the Trump-hater’s identity.

This is what we do, says the Post. People have a right to know if President Trump says one thing at rallies about Mexico paying for the wall and another to the president of Mexico. This is a story.

But there is a far larger story here, of which this Post piece is but an exhibit. It is the story of a concerted campaign, in which the anti-Trump media publish leaks, even criminal leaks, out of the FBI, CIA, NSA and NSC, to bring down a president whom the Beltway media and their deep-state collaborators both despise and wish to destroy.

Did Trump collude with Putin to defeat Clinton, the Beltway media demand to know, even as they daily collude with deep-state criminals to bring down the president of the United States.

And if there is an unfolding silent coup by the regime Americans repudiated in 2016 — to use security leaks and the lethal weapon of a special counsel to overturn the election results — is that not a story worth covering as much as what Trump said to Pena Nieto?

Do the people not have a right know who are the snakes collaborating with the Never-Trump press to bring down their head of state? Is not discovering the identities of deep-state felons a story that investigative reporters should be all over?

If Greg Miller is obligated to protect his source, fine. But why are other journalists not exposing his identity?

The answer suggests itself. This is a collaborative enterprise, where everyone protects everyone else’s sources, because all have the same goal: the dumping of Trump. If that requires collusion with criminals, so be it.

The Justice Department is now running down the leaks, and the ACLU’s Ben Wizner is apoplectic: “Every American should be concerned about the Trump administration’s threat to step up its efforts against whistleblowers and journalists. A crackdown on leaks is a crackdown on the free press and on democracy.”

That’s one way to put it. Another is that some of these “whistleblowers” are political criminals who reject the verdict of the American electorate in 2016 and are out to overturn it. And the aforementioned “journalists” are their enablers and collaborators.

And if, as Wizner’s asserts, protecting secrets is tantamount to a “crackdown on the free press and democracy,” no wonder the free press and democracy are falling into disrepute all over the world.

By colluding, the mainstream media, deep state, and the special prosecutor’s button men, with a license to roam, may bring down yet another president. So doing, they will validate John Adams’s insight:

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit 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.

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Is Trump’s Russia Policy Being Hijacked?

In crafting the platform in Cleveland on which Donald Trump would run, America Firsters inflicted a major defeat on the War Party.

The platform committee rejected a plank to pull us deeper into Ukraine, by successfully opposing new U.S. arms transfers to Kiev.

Improved relations with Russia were what candidate Trump had promised, and what Americans would vote for in November.

Yet, this week, The Wall Street Journal reports:

“The U.S. Pentagon and State Department have devised plans to supply Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weaponry and are seeking White House approval … as Kiev battles Russia-backed separatists … Defense Secretary Mattis has endorsed the plan.”

As pro-Russia rebels in East Ukraine have armored vehicles, Kiev wants U.S. tank-killing Javelin missiles, as well as antiaircraft weapons.

State and Defense want Trump to send the lethal weapons.

This is a formula for a renewed war, with far higher casualties in Ukraine than the 10,000 dead already suffered on both sides.

And it is a war Vladimir Putin will not likely allow Kiev to win.

If Ukraine’s army, bolstered by U.S. weaponry, re-engages in the east, it could face a Moscow-backed counterattack and be routed, and the Russian army could take permanent control of the Donbass.

Indeed, if Trump approves this State-Defense escalation plan, we could be looking at a rerun of the Russia-Georgia war of August 2008.

Then, to recapture its lost province of South Ossetia, which had seceded in 1992, after Georgia seceded from Russia, Georgia invaded.

Putin sent his army in, threw the Georgians out, and recognized South Ossetia, as John McCain impotently declaimed, “We are all Georgians now!”

Wisely, George W. Bush ignored McCain and did nothing.

But about this new arms deal questions arise.

As the rebels have no aircraft, whose planes are the U.S. antiaircraft missiles to shoot down? And if the Russian army just over the border can enter and crush the Ukrainian army, why would we want to restart a civil war, the only certain result of which is more dead Ukrainians on both sides?

The Journal’s answer: Our goal is to bleed Russia.

“The point of lethal aid is to raise the price Mr. Putin pays for his imperialism until he withdraws or agrees to peace. … The Russians don’t want dead soldiers arriving home before next year’s presidential election.”

Also going neocon is Mike Pence. In Georgia this week, noting that Russian tanks are still in South Ossetia, the vice president not only declared, “We stand with you,” he told Georgians the U.S. stands by its 2008 commitment to bring them into NATO.

This would mean, under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, that in a future Russia-Georgia clash the U.S. could find itself in a shooting war with Russia in the South Caucasus.

Russia’s security interests there seem clear. What are ours?

Along with Trump’s signing of the new sanctions bill imposed by Congress, which strips him of his authority to lift those sanctions without Hill approval, these developments raise larger questions.

Is President Trump losing control of Russia policy? Has he capitulated to the neocons? These are not academic questions. For consider the architect of the new arms package, Kurt Volker, the new U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.

A former CIA agent, member of the National Security Counsel, and envoy to NATO, Volker believes Russian troops in Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk are all there illegally — and U.S. policy should be to push them out.

A former staffer of Sen. McCain, Volker was, until July, executive director of the neocon McCain Institute. He has called for the imposition of personal sanctions on Putin and his family and European travel restrictions on the Russian president.

In the Journal this week, “officials” described his strategy:

“Volker believes … that a change in Ukraine can be brought only by raising the costs for Moscow for continued intervention in Ukraine. In public comments, he has played down the notion that supplying weapons to Ukraine would escalate the conflict with Russia.”

In short, Volker believes giving antitank and antiaircraft missiles to Ukraine will bring Putin to the negotiating table, as he fears the prospect of dead Russian soldiers coming home in caskets before his 2018 election.

As for concerns that Putin might send his army into Ukraine, such worries are unwarranted.

Volker envisions a deepening U.S. involvement in a Ukrainian civil war that can bleed and break Russia’s Ukrainian allies and convince Putin to back down and accept what we regard as a just settlement.

Does Trump believe this? Does Trump believe that confronting Putin with rising casualties among his army and allies in Ukraine is the way to force the Russian president to back down and withdraw from Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk, as Nikita Khrushchev did from Cuba in 1962?

What if Putin refuses to back down, and chooses to confront?

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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Shall We Fight Them All?

Saturday, Kim Jong Un tested an ICBM of sufficient range to hit the U.S. mainland. He is now working on its accuracy, and a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop that missile that can survive re-entry.

Unless we believe Kim is a suicidal madman, his goal seems clear. He wants what every nuclear power wants — the ability to strike his enemy’s homeland with horrific impact, in order to deter that enemy.

Kim wants his regime recognized and respected, and the U.S., which carpet-bombed the North from 1950-1953, out of Korea.

Where does this leave us? Says Cliff Kupchan of the Eurasia Group, “The U.S. is on the verge of a binary choice: either accept North Korea into the nuclear club or conduct a military strike that would entail enormous civilian casualties.”

A time for truth. U.S. sanctions on North Korea, like those voted for by Congress last week, are not going to stop Kim from acquiring ICBMs. He is too close to the goal line.

And any pre-emptive strike on the North could trigger a counterattack on Seoul by massed artillery on the DMZ, leaving tens of thousands of South Koreans dead, alongside U.S. soldiers and their dependents.

We could be in an all-out war to the finish with the North, a war the American people do not want to fight.

Saturday, President Trump tweeted out his frustration over China’s failure to pull our chestnuts out of the fire: “They do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem.”

Sunday, U.S. B-1B bombers flew over Korea and the Pacific air commander Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy warned his units were ready to hit North Korea with “rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force.”

Yet, also Sunday, Xi Jinping reviewed a huge parade of tanks, planes, troops and missiles as Chinese officials mocked Trump as a “greenhorn President” and “spoiled child” who is running a bluff against North Korea. Is he? We shall soon see.

According to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump vowed Monday he would take “all necessary measures” to protect U.S. allies. And U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley bristled, “The time for talk is over.”

Are we headed for a military showdown and war with the North? The markets, hitting records again Monday, don’t seem to think so.

But North Korea is not the only potential adversary with whom our relations are rapidly deteriorating.

After Congress voted overwhelmingly for new sanctions on Russia last week and Trump agreed to sign the bill that strips him of authority to lift the sanctions without Hill approval, Russia abandoned its hopes for a rapprochement with Trump’s America. Sunday, Putin ordered U.S. embassy and consulate staff cut by 755 positions.

The Second Cold War, begun when we moved NATO to Russia’s borders and helped dump over a pro-Russian regime in Kiev, is getting colder. Expect Moscow to reciprocate Congress’ hostility when we ask for her assistance in Syria and with North Korea.

Last week’s sanctions bill also hit Iran after it tested a rocket to put a satellite in orbit, though the nuclear deal forbids only the testing of ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Defiant, Iranians say their missile tests will continue.

Recent days have also seen U.S. warships and Iranian patrol boats in close proximity, with the U.S. ships firing flares and warning shots. Our planes and ships have also, with increasingly frequency, come to close quarters with Russian and Chinese ships and planes in the Baltic and South China seas.

While wary of a war with North Korea, Washington seems to be salivating for a war with Iran. Indeed, Trump’s threat to declare Iran in violation of the nuclear arms deal suggests a confrontation is coming.

One wonders: If Congress is hell-bent on confronting the evil that is Iran, why does it not cancel Iran’s purchases and options to buy the 140 planes the mullahs have ordered from Boeing?

Why are we selling U.S. airliners to the “world’s greatest state sponsor of terror”? Let Airbus take the blood money.

Apparently, U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia are insufficient to satiate our War Party. Now it wants us to lead the Sunnis of the Middle East in taking down the Shiites, who are dominant in Iran, Iraq, Syria and South Lebanon, and are a majority in Bahrain and the oil-producing regions of Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. military has its work cut out for it. President Trump may need those transgender troops.

Among the reasons Trump routed his Republican rivals in 2016 is that he seemed to share an American desire to look homeward.

Yet, today, our relations with China and Russia are as bad as they have been in decades, while there is open talk of war with Iran and North Korea.

Was this what America voted for, or is this what America voted against?

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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Trump-Mueller Showdown Inevitable?

Given the bravery he showed in stepping out front as the first senator to endorse Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions deserves better from his boss than the Twitter-trashing he has lately received.

The attorney general has not only been loyal to Trump and his agenda, he has the respect and affection of ex-colleagues in Congress and, more broadly, of populists and conservatives nationally.

Trump’s tweets about Sessions are only demoralizing his base.

Yet the president is not wrong to be exasperated and enraged.

A yearlong FBI investigation into Russian hacking has failed to produce a single indictment. Yet the president watches impotently as a special counsel pulls together a lethal force, inside his own administration, whose undeclared ambition is to bring him down.

Trump’s behavior suggests that he sees the Mueller threat as potentially mortal.

How did we get to this peril point when there is no evidence that Trump or any senior aide colluded in the hacking? As for the June 2016 meeting with the Russians, called by Donald Trump Jr. when told by a friend that Moscow had dirt on Hillary Clinton, even that was no crime.

Foolish, yes; criminal, no. So, again, how did we get to where talk of impeachment and presidential pardons fills the air?

First, Attorney General Sessions, as a campaign adviser and surrogate for Trump who had met with the Russian ambassador, had to recuse himself from the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein then assumed oversight authority.

Trump then fired FBI Director James Comey and boasted to Russia’s foreign minister about having gotten the “crazy nut job” off his case. His Oval Office comments leaked. Comey then leaked notes of his meeting with Trump. Rosenstein then washed his hands of the mess by naming a special counsel.

And he chose a bulldog, ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Hence, where are we? Despite zero evidence of Trump or his aides colluding in the hacking, a counterintelligence investigation is evolving into a criminal investigation. Mueller is now hiring veteran investigators and prosecutors specializing in white-collar crime.

This is not a witch hunt. It is an Easter egg hunt on the White House lawn, where the most colorful eggs are likely to be the tax returns and the financial records of Trump, who built a real estate empire in a town where winners brag about how they gutted the losers.

Every enemy of Trump is going to be dropping the dime on him to Mueller. Moreover, there is no history of special counsels being appointed and applauded by the press, who went home without taking scalps.

Trump understands this. Reports of his frustration and rage suggest that he knows he has been maneuvered, partly by his own mistakes, into a kill box from which there may be no bloodless exit.

What Trump needs is a leader at Justice who will confine the Mueller investigation to the Russian hacking, and keep Mueller’s men from roaming until they hit prosecutorial pay dirt.

Consider now Trump’s narrowing options.

He can fire Jeff Sessions. But that will enrage Trump’s base to whom the senator is a loyal soldier. And anyone Trump nominates as AG would not be confirmed unless he or she pledged not to interfere with Mueller.

He could direct Rosenstein to fire Mueller. But Rosenstein would assume the Elliot Richardson role in the Saturday Night Massacre, when that AG refused to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, resigned, and was canonized as a martyr by the Never-Nixon media.

Even if Trump finds a Justice Department loyalist to play the role of Solicitor General Robert Bork, who carried out Nixon’s orders and fired Cox, this would only mean Mueller’s departure. Mueller’s staff of prosecutors and investigators would still be there, beavering away.

When Archibald Cox was fired, Nixon ordered his entire office shut down. Yet, within days of the firestorm, it was up and running again with a new special prosecutor. And impeachment resolutions were blossoming in the House.

Another Trump option would be to leave Mueller alone and hope for a benign outcome. But from reports of his rage at the recusal of Sessions and unwillingness of Rosenstein to restrict Mueller to the Russian hacking scandal, Trump seems to sense that an unrestricted investigation represents a mortal threat to his presidency.

And all the talk of impeachment and pardons suggests that this city can also see what lies over the next hill. After all, we have been here before.

From his history, Mueller is not a man to be intimidated by charges of bias. These will only steel his resolve to pursue with his subpoena power every document he wants, including tax returns, until he has satisfied himself.

The president is unlikely to view this process with indulgence, and patience does not appear to rank high among his virtues.

We are headed for a collision between President Trump and Director Mueller.

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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Are America’s Wars Just and Moral?

“One knowledgeable official estimates that the CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies,” writes columnist David Ignatius.

Given that Syria’s prewar population was not 10 percent of ours, this is the equivalent of a million dead and wounded Americans. What justifies America’s participation in this slaughter?

Columnist Eric Margolis summarizes the successes of the six-year civil war to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

“The result of the western-engendered carnage in Syria was horrendous: at least 475,000 dead, 5 million Syrian refugees driven into exile in neighboring states (Turkey alone hosts three million), and another 6 million internally displaced. … 11 million Syrians … driven from their homes into wretched living conditions and near famine.

“Two of Syria’s greatest and oldest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, have been pounded into ruins. Jihadist massacres and Russian and American air strikes have ravaged once beautiful, relatively prosperous Syria. Its ancient Christian peoples are fleeing for their lives before US and Saudi takfiri religious fanatics.”

Realizing the futility of U.S. policy, President Trump is cutting aid to the rebels. And the War Party is beside itself. Says The Wall Street Journal:

“The only way to reach an acceptable diplomatic solution is if Iran and Russia feel they are paying too high a price for their Syria sojourn. This means more support for Mr. Assad’s enemies, not cutting them off without notice. And it means building up a Middle East coalition willing to fight Islamic State and resist Iran. The U.S. should also consider enforcing ‘safe zones’ in Syria for anti-Assad forces.”

Yet, fighting ISIS and al-Qaida in Syria, while bleeding the Assad-Iran-Russia-Hezbollah victors, is a formula for endless war and unending terrors visited upon the Syrian people.

What injury did the Assad regime, in power for half a century and having never attacked us, inflict to justify what we have helped to do to that country?

Is this war moral by our own standards?

We overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003 and Moammar Gadhafi in 2012. Yet, the fighting, killing and dying in both countries have not ceased. Estimates of the Iraq civilian and military dead run into the hundreds of thousands.

Still, the worst humanitarian disaster may be unfolding in Yemen.

After the Houthis overthrew the Saudi-backed regime and took over the country, the Saudis in 2015 persuaded the United States to support its air strikes, invasion and blockade.

By January 2016, the U.N. estimated a Yemeni civilian death toll of 10,000, with 40,000 wounded. However, the blockade of Yemen, which imports 90 percent of its food, has caused a crisis of malnutrition and impending famine that threatens millions of the poorest people in the Arab world with starvation.

No matter how objectionable we found these dictators, what vital interests of ours were so imperiled by the continued rule of Saddam, Assad, Gadhafi and the Houthis that they would justify what we have done to the peoples of those countries?

“They make a desert and call it peace,” Calgacus said of the Romans he fought in the first century. Will that be our epitaph?

Among the principles for a just war, it must be waged as a last resort, to address a wrong suffered, and by a legitimate authority. Deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

The wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen were never authorized by Congress. The civilian dead, wounded and uprooted in Syria, and the malnourished millions in Yemen, represent a moral cost that seems far beyond any proportional moral gain from those conflicts.

In which of the countries we have attacked or invaded in this century — Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen — are the people better off than they were before we came?

And we wonder why they hate us.

“Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return,” wrote W. H. Auden in “September 1, 1939.” As the peoples of Syria and the other broken and bleeding countries of the Middle East flee to Europe and America, will not some come with revenge on their minds and hatred in their hearts?

Meanwhile, as the Americans bomb across the Middle East, China rises. She began the century with a GDP smaller than Italy’s and now has an economy that rivals our own.

She has become the world’s first manufacturing power, laid claim to the islands of the East and South China seas, and told America to keep her warships out of the Taiwan Strait.

Xi Jinping has launched a “One Belt, One Road” policy to finance trade ports and depots alongside the military and naval bases being established in Central and South Asia.

Meanwhile, the Americans, $20 trillion in debt, running $800 billion trade deficits, unable to fix their health care system, reform their tax code, or fund an infrastructure program, prepare to fight new Middle East war.

Whom the Gods would destroy…

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 Iran in Our Gun Sights Now?

“Iran must be free. The dictatorship must be destroyed. Containment is appeasement and appeasement is surrender.”

Thus does our Churchill, Newt Gingrich, dismiss, in dealing with Iran, the policy of containment crafted by George Kennan and pursued by nine U.S. presidents to bloodless victory in the Cold War.

Why is containment surrender? “Because freedom is threatened everywhere so long as this dictatorship stays in power,” says Gingrich.

But how is our freedom threatened by a regime with 3 percent of our GDP that has been around since Jimmy Carter was president?

Fortunately, Gingrich has found a leader to bring down the Iranian regime and ensure the freedom of mankind. “In our country that was George Washington and … the Marquis de Lafayette. In Italy it was Garibaldi,” says Gingrich.

Whom has he found to rival Washington and Garibaldi? Says Gingrich, “Maryam Rajavi.”

Who is she? The leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, or Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, which opposed the Shah, broke with the old Ayatollah, collaborated with Saddam Hussein, and, until 2012, was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State.

At the NCRI conference in Paris in July where Gingrich spoke, and the speaking fees were reportedly excellent, John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani were also on hand.

Calling Iran’s twice-elected President Hassan Rouhani, “a violent, vicious murderer,” Giuliani said, “the time has come for regime change.”

Bolton followed suit. “Tehran is not merely a nuclear weapons threat, it is not merely a terrorist threat, it is a conventional threat to everybody in the region,” he said. Hence, “the declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran.”

We will all celebrate in Tehran in 2019, Bolton assured the NCRI faithful.

Good luck. Yet, as The New York Times said yesterday, all this talk, echoed all over this capital, is driving us straight toward war. “A drumbeat of provocative words, outright threats and actions — from President Trump and some of his top aides as well as Sunni Arab leaders and American activists — is raising tensions that could lead to armed conflict with Iran.”

Is this what America wants or needs — a new Mideast war against a country three times the size of Iraq?

After Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, would America and the world be well-served by a war with Iran that could explode into a Sunni-Shiite religious war across the Middle East?

Bolton calls Iran “a nuclear weapons threat.”

But in 2007, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies declared with high confidence Iran had no nuclear weapons program. They stated this again in 2011. Under the nuclear deal, Iran exported almost all of its uranium, stopped enriching to 20 percent, shut down thousands of centrifuges, poured concrete into the core of its heavy water reactor, and allows U.N. inspectors to crawl all over every facility.

Is Iran, despite all this, operating a secret nuclear weapons program? Or is this War Party propaganda meant to drag us into another Mideast war?

To ascertain the truth, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should call the heads of the CIA and DIA, and the Director of National Intelligence, to testify in open session.

We are told we are menaced also by a Shiite Crescent rising and stretching from Beirut to Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran.

And who created this Shiite Crescent?

It was George W. Bush who ordered the Sunni regime of Saddam overthrown, delivering Iraq to its Shiite majority. It was Israel whose invasion and occupation of Lebanon from 1982 to 2000 gave birth to the Shiite resistance now known as Hezbollah.

As for Bashar Assad in Syria, his father sent troops to fight alongside Americans in the Gulf War.

The Ayatollah’s regime, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij militia are deeply hostile to this country. But Iran does not want war with the United States — for the best of reasons. Iran would be smashed like Iraq, and its inevitable rise, as the largest and most advanced country on the Persian Gulf, would be aborted.

Moreover, we have interests in common: Peace in the Gulf, from which Iran’s oil flows and without which Iran cannot grow, as Rouhani intends, by deepening Iran’s ties to Europe and the advanced world.

And we have enemies in common: ISIS, al-Qaida and all the Sunni terrorists whose wildest dream is to see their American enemies fight their Shiite enemies.

Who else wants a U.S. war with Iran, besides ISIS?

Unfortunately, their number is legion: Saudis, Israelis, neocons and their think tanks, websites and magazines, hawks in both parties on Capitol Hill, democracy crusaders, and many in the Pentagon who want to deliver payback for what the Iranian-backed Shiite militias did to us in Iraq.

President Trump is key. If he does the War Party’s bidding, that will be his legacy, as the Iraq War is the legacy of George W. Bush.

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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Americans Deserve to Know Who Is Leaking to the Press

For a year, the big question of Russiagate has boiled down to this: Did Donald Trump’s campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC?

And until last week, the answer was “no.”

As ex-CIA director Mike Morell said in March, “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians … there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark.”

Well, last week, it appeared there had been a fire in Trump Tower. On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russians — in anticipation of promised dirt on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

While not a crime, this was a blunder. For Donald Jr. had long insisted there had been no collusion with the Russians. Caught in flagrante, he went full Pinocchio for four days.

And as the details of that June 9 meeting spilled out, Trump defenders were left with egg on their faces, while anti-Trump media were able to keep the spotlight laser-focused on where they want it — Russiagate.

This reality underscores a truth of our time. In the 19th century, power meant control of the means of production; today, power lies in control of the means of communication.

Who controls the media spotlight controls what people talk about and think about. And mainstream media are determined to keep that spotlight on Trump-Russia, and as far away as possible from their agenda — breaking the Trump presidency and bringing him down.

Almost daily, there are leaks from the investigative and security arms of the U.S. government designed to damage this president.

Just days into Trump’s presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador forced the firing of Flynn.

An Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister in which Trump disclosed that Israeli intelligence had ferreted out evidence that ISIS was developing computer bombs to explode on airliners was leaked. This alerted ISIS, damaged the president, and imperiled Israeli intelligence sources and methods.

Some of the leaks from national security and investigative agencies are felonies, not only violations of the leaker’s solemn oath to protect secrets, but of federal law.

Yet the press is happy to collude with these leakers and to pay them in the coin they seek. First, by publishing the secrets the leakers want revealed. Second, by protecting them from exposure to arrest and prosecution for the crimes they are committing.

The mutual agendas of the deep-state leakers and the mainstream media mesh perfectly.

Consider the original Russiagate offense.

Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks. And who was the third and indispensable party in this “Tinker to Evers to Chance” double-play combination?

The media itself. While deploring Russian hacking as an “act of war” against “our democracy,” the media published the fruits of the hacking. It was the media that revealed what Podesta wrote and how the DNC tilted the tables against Bernie Sanders.

If the media believed Russian hacking was a crime against our democracy, why did they publish the fruits of that crime?

Is it not monumental hypocrisy to denounce Russia’s hacking of the computers of Democratic political leaders and institutions, while splashing the contents of the theft all over Page 1?

Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality.

Our mainstream media are like the fellow who avoids the risk of stealing cars, but wants to fence them once stolen and repainted.

Some journalists know exactly who is leaking against Trump, but they are as protective of their colleagues’ “sources” as of their own. Thus, the public is left in the dark as to what the real agenda is here, and who is sabotaging a president in whom they placed so much hope.

And thus does democracy die in darkness.

Do the American people not have a “right to know” who are the leakers within the government who are daily spilling secrets to destroy their president? Are the identities of the saboteurs not a legitimate subject of investigation? Ought they not be exposed and rooted out?

Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic?

Bottom line: Trump is facing a stacked deck.

People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for.

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

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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Russia Baiters and Putin Haters

Photo by Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

“Is Russia an enemy of the United States?” NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”
Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:

“Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.”

Yet, accommodating a sphere of influence for a great power is exactly what FDR and Churchill did with Stalin, and every president from Truman to George H. W. Bush did with the Soviet Union.

When East Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles rose up against Communist regimes, no U.S. president intervened. For those nations were on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to in 1945.

Bush I and James Baker even accused Ukrainians of “suicidal nationalism” for contemplating independence from Russia.

When did support for spheres of influence become un-American?

As for supporting “corruption over transparency,” ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned in disgust as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, our man in Kiev, of supporting corruption.

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

Will Magnitsky Act sanctions be slammed on China? Don’t bet on it. Too much trade. Congress will do what comes naturally — kowtow. Yet our heroic Senate voted 98-2 to slam new sanctions on Russia.

What are the roots of this hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin, whom a Fox analyst called “as bad as Hitler”?

During the Cold War, every president sought detente with a USSR that was arguably the most blood-soaked regime of the century.

When the Cold War ended in December 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into 15 nations. Moscow had given up her empire, a third of her territory, and half the population of the USSR. Marxist-Leninist ideology was dead. An epochal change had taken place.
Yet hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin seem to exceed anything some of us remember from the worst days of the Cold War.

Putin’s Russia is called imperialist, though Estonia, next door, which Russia could swallow in one gulp, has been free for 25 years.

Russia invaded Georgia. Well, yes, after Georgia invaded the seceded province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers.

Russia has taken back Crimea from Ukraine. True, but only after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev replaced the elected pro-Russian regime.

Russia has intervened to back Bashar Assad in Syria. Yes, but only after our insurgent allies collaborated with al-Qaida and ISIS to bring him down. Is Russia not allowed to support an ally, recognized by the U.N., which provides its only naval base on the Med?
Russia has meddled in our election. And we have meddled in the affairs of half a dozen nations with “color-coded revolutions.” The cry of “regime change!” may daily be heard in the U.S. Capitol.

Putin is not Pope Francis. But he is not Stalin; he is not Hitler; he is not Mao; and Russia today is not the USSR. Putin is an autocrat cut from the same bolt of cloth as the Romanov czars.

His cooperation is crucial to the peace of the world, the freedom of the Baltic States, an end to the Syrian civil war, tranquility in the Persian Gulf, and solving the North Korean crisis.

While our tectonic plates may rub against one another, we are natural allies. The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West.

If America stumbles into a war with Russia that all our Cold War presidents avoided, the Russia baiters and Putin haters will be put in same circle of hell by history as the idiot war hawks of 1914 and the three blind men of Versailles in 1919.

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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