Patrick J. Buchanan

Is America Up for a Second Cold War?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Authoritarianism is now ascendant and democracy is in retreat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reining in the Rogue Royal of Arabia

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

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

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

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

The Saudi tradition of consensus collective rule is being trashed.

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

Yet his foreign adventures are all proving to be debacles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We alone decide that.

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

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That Bloodbath in Old Dominion

Credit: Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

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

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

Contrast Nixon’s numbers with President Trump’s.

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

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

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

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

Gillespie rolled up the landslides.

As there are two Americas, there are two Virginias.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then there was the Republican messenger.

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

Ed Gillespie was Virginia’s version of Jeb Bush.

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

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

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

During the campaign, both candidates moved rightward.

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

The lesson for 2018:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Nobody’s Quaking in Their Boots, Anymore

President Trump and Supreme Leader Ali Khomeini. CreativeCommons, Shutterstock.

A major goal of this Asia trip, said National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, is to rally allies to achieve the “complete, verifiable and permanent denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Yet Kim Jong Un has said he will never give up his nuclear weapons. He believes the survival of his dynastic regime depends upon them.

Hence we are headed for confrontation. Either the U.S. or North Korea backs down, as Nikita Khrushchev did in the Cuban missile crisis, or there will be war.

In this new century, U.S. leaders continue to draw red lines that threaten acts of war that the nation is unprepared to back up.

Recall President Obama’s, “Assad must go!” and the warning that any use of chemical weapons would cross his personal “red line.

Result: After chemical weapons were used, Americans rose in united opposition to a retaliatory strike. Congress refused to authorize any attack. Obama and John Kerry were left with egg all over their faces. And the credibility of the country was commensurately damaged.

There was a time when U.S. words were taken seriously, and we heeded Theodore Roosevelt’s dictum: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”

After Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1991, George H.W. Bush said simply: “This will not stand.” The world understood that if Saddam did not withdraw from Kuwait, his army would be thrown out. As it was.

But in the post-Cold War era, the rhetoric of U.S. statesmen has grown ever more blustery, even as U.S. relative power has declined. Our goal is “ending tyranny in our world,” bellowed George W. Bush in his second inaugural.

Consider Rex Tillerson’s recent trip. In Saudi Arabia, he declared, “Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against … ISIS is coming to a close … need to go home. Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home.”

The next day, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responded:

“We wonder about the statements attributed to the American secretary of state about the popular mobilization forces. … No side has the right to intervene in Iraq’s affairs or decide what Iraqis do.”

This slap across the face comes from a regime that rules as a result of 4,500 U.S. dead, tens of thousands wounded and $1 trillion invested in the nation’s rebuilding after 15 years of war.

Earlier that day, Tillerson made a two-hour visit to Afghanistan. There he met Afghan officials in a heavily guarded bunker near Bagram Airfield. Wrote The New York Times’ Gardiner Harris:

“That top American officials must use stealth to enter these countries after more than 15 years of wars, thousands of lives lost and trillions of dollars spent was testimony to the stubborn problems still confronting the United States in both places.”

Such are the fruits of our longest wars, launched with the neo-Churchillian rhetoric of George W. Bush.

In India, Tillerson called on the government to close its embassy in North Korea. New Delhi demurred, suggesting the facility might prove useful to the Americans in negotiating with Pyongyang.

In Geneva, Tillerson asserted, “The United States wants a whole and unified Syria with no role for Bashar al-Assad … The reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.”

Well, perhaps? But our “rebels” in Syria were routed and Assad not only survived his six-year civil war but with the aid of his Russian, Iranian, Shiite militia, and Hezbollah allies, he won that war, and intends to remain and rule, whether we approve or not.

We no longer speak to the world with the assured authority with which America did from Eisenhower to Reagan and Bush 1. Our moment, if ever it existed, as the “unipolar power” the “indispensable nation” that would exercise a “benevolent global hegemony” upon mankind is over.

America needs today a recognition of the new realities we face and a rhetoric that conforms to those realities.

Since Y2K our world has changed.

Putin’s Russia has reasserted itself, rebuilt its strategic forces, confronted NATO, annexed Crimea and acted decisively in Syria, re-establishing itself as a power in the Middle East.

China, thanks to its vast trade surpluses at our expense, has grown into an economic and geostrategic rival on a scale that not even the USSR of the Cold War reached.

North Korea is now a nuclear power.

The Europeans are bedeviled by tribalism, secessionism and waves of seemingly unassimilable immigrants from the South and Middle East.

A once-vital NATO ally, Turkey, is virtually lost to the West. Our major Asian allies are dependent on exports to a China that has established a new order in the South China Sea.

In part because of our interventions, the Middle East is in turmoil, bedeviled by terrorism and breaking down along Sunni-Shiite lines.

The U.S. pre-eminence in the days of Desert Storm is history.

Yet, the architects of American decline may still be heard denouncing the “isolationists” who opposed their follies and warned what would befall the republic if it listened to them.

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

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Their America, And Ours

Peace Cross, Bladensburg, Md. CreativeCommons/Flickr/David

“Meet you at Peace Cross.”

In northwest D.C. in the 1950s, that was an often-heard comment among high schoolers headed for Ocean City.

The Peace Cross, in Bladensburg, Maryland, was a 40-feet concrete memorial to the 49 sons of Prince George’s County lost in the Great War. Paid for by county families and the American Legion, it had stood since 1925.

Before the Beltway was built, Peace Cross, at the junction of U.S. Route 1 and Maryland Route 450, was a landmark to us all.

Last month, two federal judges from the 4th Circuit ruled that Peace Cross “excessively entangles the government and religion” and must come down. A suggested compromise was to saw the arms off, so the monument ceases to be an offensive cross.

One wonders: At what moment did Peace Cross begin to violate the Constitution?

Answer: Never. No alteration has been made to the cross in a century. The change has come in the minds of intolerant judges and alienated elites where the dirty creek of anti-Christian bigotry now flows into the polluted stream of anti-Americanism.

Both are manifest in the rampage to rip down memorials to the men who brought Western Civilization to the New World and made America the great and good country we were blessed to inherit.

Monday, on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show, White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly called Robert E. Lee “an honorable man,” who chose to defend the people among whom he had been raised.

“It was always loyalty to state first in those days,” said Kelly, when asked his view on Alexandria’s Episcopal Church taking down plaques to its greatest parishioners, Lee and George Washington.

An explosion of outrage greeted Kelly’s defense of Lee.

Yet, what has changed in half a century? As Ingraham noted, FDR, an icon of liberalism, referred to Lee as “one of our greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen.”

Asked in 1960 how he could keep a portrait of a man who tried to “destroy our government” in his Oval Office, President Eisenhower wrote his critic back:

“General Robert E. Lee was one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history…

“To the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.

Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.”

Have some terrible new truths been unearthed about Lee we did not know in 1960?

No. The change has taken place in the poisoned minds of modernity.

Some will never concede there was principle or honor in the cause of a South that declared independence in 1860-61, emulating the 13 colonies that declared their independence in 1776.

In his tribute to Lee in 1960, Ike addressed what was at issue in 1860 that brought on the war.

“We need to understand that at the time of the War Between the States the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.”

Ike refers not to a “Civil War,” but to the “War Between the States.” And correctly so. For the South did not seek to bring down the U.S. government, or overturn Lincoln’s election, or seize power in the capital—but to leave the Union, to secede, as Jefferson and John Adams voted to secede from Britain in 1776.

Asked on Fox News about what is happening today with the public insults to our national anthem and the desecration of our monuments, Justice Clarence Thomas raises questions being asked by many Americans:

“What binds us? What do we all have in common anymore? … We always talk about E pluribus unum. What’s our unum now? We have the pluribus. What’s the unum?”

The spirit that produced the war in the 1860s, and lasting division in the 1960s, is abroad again. A great secession of the heart is underway.

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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It’s Trump’s Party Now

“More is now required of us than to put down our thoughts in writing,” declaimed Jeff Flake in his oration against President Trump, just before he announced he will be quitting the Senate.

Though he had lifted the title of his August anti-Trump polemic, “Conscience of a Conservative,” from Barry Goldwater, Jeff Flake is no Barry Goldwater.

Goldwater took on the GOP establishment in the primaries, voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, defiantly declared, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” and then went down to defeat battling to the end after the assassination of JFK made LBJ invincible.

The real “Mr. Conservative” was a true profile in courage.

Flake, with only 18 percent approval in Arizona, decided to pack it in rather than get waxed in his own primary. With Falstaff, Flake appears to believe that “discretion is the better part of valor.”

Sen. Bob Corker is another summertime soldier calling on colleagues to stand and fight Trump while he retires to Tennessee.

It’s no wonder the establishment is viewed with such derision.

Flake calls Trump “dangerous to our democracy.” But the real threat Trump represents is to the GOP establishment’s control of the party’s agenda and the party’s destiny.

U.S. politics have indeed been coarsened, with Trump playing a lead role. Yet, beneath the savagery of the uncivil war in the party lies more than personal insults and personality clashes.

This is a struggle about policy, about the future. And Trump is president because he read the party and the country right, while the Bush-McCain Republican establishment had lost touch with both.

How could the Beltway GOP not see that its defining policies—open borders, amnesty, free trade globalism, compulsive military intervention in foreign lands for ideological ends —were alienating its coalition?

What had a quarter century of Bushite free trade produced?

About $12 trillion in trade deficits, $4 trillion with China alone, a loss of 55,000 plants and 6 million manufacturing jobs.

We imported goods “Made in China,” while exporting our future.

U.S. elites made China great again, to where Beijing is now challenging our strategic position and presence in Asia.

Could Republicans not see the factories shutting down, or not understand why workers’ wages had failed to rise for decades?

What did the democracy crusades “to end tyranny in our world” accomplish?

Thousands of U.S. dead, tens of thousands of wounded, trillions of dollars sunk, and a Mideast awash in blood from Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, with millions uprooted and homeless. Yet, still, the GOP establishment has not repudiated the mindset that produced this.

With the Cold War over for a quarter of a century, what is the case now for America, $20 trillion in debt, going abroad in search of monsters to destroy?

Consider. Bush-Obama “open borders” brought in tens of millions of Third World peoples, legally and illegally, to rising resistance from Americans forced to bear the economic and social costs.

What was the GOP establishment’s reply to the opposition to amnesty for illegals and calls for a moratorium on legal immigration, to assimilate the tens of millions already here?

To call them nativists and parade their moral superiority.

Flake and Corker are being beatified by the Beltway elites, and George W. Bush and John McCain celebrated for their denunciations of Trumpism.

Yet no two people are more responsible for the blunders of the post-Cold War era than McCain and Bush.

About which of half a dozen wars were they right?

Yesterday’s New York Times recognized Trump’s triumph:

“Despite the fervor of President Trump’s Republican opponents, the president’s brand of hard-edged nationalism—with its gut-level cultural appeals and hard lines on trade and immigration —is taking root within his adopted party.”

Moreover, a new question arises:

Can the GOP establishment believe that if Trump falls, or they bring him down, they will inherit the estate and be welcomed home like the Prodigal Son? Do they believe their old agenda of open borders, amnesty, free trade globalism and democracy-crusading can become America’s agenda again?

Trumpism is not a detour, after which we can all get back on the interstate to the New World Order.

For though unpleasant, it is not unfair to say that if there was one desire common to Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump voters, it was be rid of the regime resting on top of all of us.

Should Trump fall, and a restored establishment attempt to reimpose the old policies, there will be a truly uncivil war in this country.

After the Trumpian revolt, there is no going back. As that most American of writers, Thomas Wolfe, put it, “You can’t go home again.”

Traditionalists have been told that for years. Now it’s the turn of the GOP establishment to learn the truth as well.

Goldwater lost badly, but the establishment that abandoned him never had its patrimony restored. It was the leaders they abhorred, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, to whom the future belonged.

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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Interventionists leading Trump to the Rubicon

As their U.S. allies watched, the Kurdish peshmerga fighters were run out of Kirkuk and all the territory they had captured fighting ISIS alongside the Americans. The Iraqi army that ran them out was trained and armed by the United States.

The U.S. had warned the Kurds against holding the referendum on independence on Sept. 25, which carried with 92 percent. Iran and Turkey had warned against an independent Kurdistan that could be a magnet for Kurdish minorities in their own countries.

But the Iraqi Kurds went ahead. Now they have lost Kirkuk and its oil, and their dream of independence is all but dead.

More troubling for America is the new reality revealed by the rout of the peshmerga. Iraq, which George W. Bush and the neocons were going to fashion into a pro-Western democracy and American ally, appears to be as close to Iran as it is to the United States.

After 4,500 U.S. dead, scores of thousands wounded and a trillion dollars sunk, our 15-year war in Iraq could end with a Shiite-dominated Baghdad aligned with Tehran.

With that grim prospect in mind, Secretary Rex Tillerson said Sunday, “Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against … ISIS is coming to a close … need to go home. Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home.”

Tillerson meant Iran’s Quds Force in Iraq should go home, and the Shiite militia in Iraq should be conscripted into the army.

But what if the Baghdad regime of Haider al-Abadi does not agree? What if the Quds Force does not go home to Iran and the Shiite militias that helped retake Kirkuk refuse to enlist in the Iraqi army?

Who then enforces Tillerson’s demands?

Consider what is happening in Syria.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, largely Kurdish, just annihilated ISIS in Raqqa and drove 60 miles to seize Syria’s largest oil field, al-Omar, from ISIS. The race is now on between the SDF and Bashar Assad’s army to secure the border with Iraq.

Bottom line: The U.S. goal of crushing the ISIS caliphate is almost attained. But if our victory in the war against ISIS leaves Iran in the catbird seat in Baghdad and Damascus, and its corridor from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut secure, is that really a victory?

Do we accept that outcome, pack up and go home? Or do we leave our forces in Syria and Iraq and defy any demand from Assad to vacate his country?

Sunday’s editorial in the Washington Post, “The Next Mideast Wars,” raises the crucial questions now before us.

Would President Trump be willing to fight a new war to keep Iran from consolidating its position in Iraq and Syria? Would the American people support such a war with U.S. troops?

Would Congress, apparently clueless to the presence of 800 U.S. troops in Niger, authorize a new U.S. war in Syria or Iraq?

If Trump and his generals felt our vital interests could not allow Syria and Iraq to drift into the orbit of Iran, where would we find allies for such a fight?

If we rely on the Kurds in Syria, we lose NATO ally Turkey, which regards Syria’s Kurds as collaborators of the PKK in Turkey, which even the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.

The decision as to whether this country should engage in new post-ISIS wars in the Mideast, however, may be taken out of our hands.

Saturday, Israel launched new air strikes against gun positions in Syria in retaliation for shells fired into the Golan Heights.

Damascus claims that Israel’s “terrorist” allies inside Syria fired the shells, to give the IDF an excuse to attack.

Why would Israel wish to provoke a war with Syria?

Because the Israelis see the outcome of the six-year Syrian civil war as a strategic disaster.

Hezbollah, stronger than ever, was part of Assad’s victorious coalition. Iran may have secured its land corridor from Tehran to Beirut. Its presence in Syria could now be permanent.

And only one force in the region has the power to reverse the present outcome of Syria’s civil war—the United States.

Bibi Netanyahu knows that if war with Syria breaks out, a clamor will arise in Congress to have the U.S. rush to Israel’s aid.

Closing its Sunday editorial the Post instructed the president:

“A failure by the United States to defend its allies or promote new political arrangements for (Syria and Iraq) will lead only to more war, the rise of new terrorist threats, and, ultimately, the necessity of more U.S. intervention.”

The interventionist Post is saying: The situation is intolerable. Confront Assad and Iran now, or fight them later.

Trump is being led to the Rubicon. If he crosses, he joins Bush II in the history books.

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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Each Traditional-Nationalist Movement Has Common Cause

Demonstrators waving with flags at demonstration of the Austrian Identitarian Movement in Vienna, 2016. Credit: By Johanna Poetsch /Shutterstock

Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democratic—and the model for mankind’s future.

Equality, diversity, democracy—this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars Liberal Man worships.

But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking. And even Europe seems to be rejecting what America has on offer.

In a retreat from diversity, Catalonia just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician peoples of Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.

The right-wing People’s Party and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of Austria’s vote, delivering the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was plagiarized from the Freedom Party. Summarized it is: Austria for the Austrians!

Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, and Veneto will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.

South Tyrol (Alto Adige), severed from Austria and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by Hitler to appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism. Even the Sicilians are talking of separation.

By Sunday, the Czech Republic may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes the Washington Post, Babis “makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO’s mission is outdated.”

Platform Promise: Keep the Muslim masses out of the motherland.

To ethnonationalists, their countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many may nod at Thomas Jefferson’s line that “All men are created equal,” but they no more practice that in their own nations than did Jefferson in his.

On Oct. 7, scores of thousands of Poles lined up along the country’s entire 2,000-mile border—to pray the rosary.

It was the centennial of the Virgin Mary’s last apparition at Fatima in Portugal in 1917, and the day in 1571 the Holy League sank the Muslim fleet at Lepanto to save Europe. G. K. Chesterton’s poem, “Lepanto,” was once required reading in Catholic schools.

Each of these traditionalist-nationalist movements is unique, but all have a common cause. In the hearts of Europe’s indigenous peoples is embedded an ancient fear: loss of the homeland to Islamic invaders.

Europe is rejecting, resisting, recoiling from “diversity,” the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual future that, say U.S. elites, is America’s preordained mission to bring about for all mankind.

Indeed, increasingly, the indigenous peoples of Europe seem to view as the death of their nations and continent, what U.S. liberal elites see as the Brave New World to come.

To traditionalist Europeans, our heaven looks like their hell.

Thus Poles fall on their knees to pray to the Virgin Mary to spare them from threats of an Islamic future, as their ancestors prayed at the time of Lepanto, and of Vienna in 1683, when the Polish King John Sobieski marched to halt the last Muslim drive into the heart of Europe.

European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve “illiberal” ends. And it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right. For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or a party in power, that holds deeply nationalist views.

European elites may denounce these new parties as “illiberal” or fascist, but it is becoming apparent that it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. For more and more Europeans see the invasion of the continent along the routes whence the invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem but an existential crisis.

To many Europeans, it portends an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they are not going to be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that long ago lost their toxicity from overuse.

And as Europeans decline to celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled by American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be treated equally in nations created for their own kind.

Europeans seem to admire more, and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse America of the Eisenhower era, than on the America of 2017.

And Europe seems to be moving toward immigration policies more like the McCarran-Walter Act of 1950 than the open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.

Kennedy promised that the racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not be overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that it would.

So, why is liberalism dying?

Because it is proving to be what James Burnham called it in his 1964 “Suicide of the West” — the ideology of Western suicide.

What we see in Europe today is people who, belatedly recognizing this, have begun to “rage, rage, against dying of the light.”

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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Reagan Was Mocked and Underestimated, Too

Three decades ago, as communications director in the White House, I set up an interview for Bill Rusher of National Review.

Among his first questions to President Reagan was to ask him to assess the political importance of Barry Goldwater. Said Reagan, “I guess you could call him the John the Baptist of our movement.”

I resisted the temptation to lean in and ask, “Sir, if Barry Goldwater is John the Baptist, who would that make you?” What brings the moment back is Laura Ingraham’s new book: “Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump.” Thesis: Donald Trump is a conservative populist and direct descendant and rightful heir to Ronald Reagan.

To never-Trumpers this is pure blasphemy. Yet the similarities are there.

Both men were outsiders, and neither a career politician. Raised Democratic, Reagan had been a Hollywood actor, union leader and voice of GE, before running for governor of California.

Trump is out of Queens, a builder-businessman in a Democratic city whose Republican credentials were suspect at best when he rode down that elevator at Trump Tower. Both took on the Republican establishment of their day, and humiliated it.

Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy designed to prosper Americans first.

Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot.

He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally, but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can’t control its borders isn’t really a country any more.

Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of “peace through strength.” And, like Ike, both built up the military.

Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day — the Soviet Union in Reagan’s day, Russia and China in Trump’s time.

And both were regarded in this capital city with a cosmopolitan condescension bordering on contempt. “An amiable dunce” said a Great Society Democrat of Reagan.

The awesome victories Reagan rolled up, a 44-state landslide in 1980 and a 49-state landslide in 1984, induced some second thoughts among Beltway elites about whether they truly spoke for America. Trump’s sweep of the primaries and startling triumph in the Electoral College caused the same consternation.

However, as the Great Depression, New Deal and World War II represented a continental divide in history between what came before and what came after, so, too, did the end of the Cold War and the Reagan era.

As Ingraham writes, Trumpism is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the 1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and “America First,” as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s.

Which bring us to the present, with our billionaire president, indeed, at the barricades.

The differences between Trump in his first year and Reagan in 1981 are stark. Reagan had won a landslide. The attempt on his life in April and the grace with which he conducted himself had earned him a place in the hearts of his countrymen. He not only showed spine in giving the air traffic controllers 48 hours to get back to work, and then discharging them when they defied him, he enacted the largest tax cut in U.S. history with the aid of boll weevil Democrats in the House.

Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war with GOP leaders on the Hill.

Moreover, we seem close to war with North Korea that would be no cakewalk. And the president appears determined to tear up the Obama nuclear deal with Iran that his own national security team believes is in the national interest.

Reagan was, as Trump claimed to be, an anti-interventionist. Reagan had no wish to be a war president. His dream was to rid the world of nuclear weapons. This does not sound like Trump in October 2017.

Steve Bannon may see the 25th Amendment, where a Cabinet majority may depose a president, as the great threat to Trump.

But it is far more likely that a major war would do for the Trump presidency and his place in history what it did for Presidents Wilson, Truman, LBJ and 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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Trump Embraces the Culture War

Donald Trump on the campaign trail in March 2016. Credit:Windover Way Photography

To attend the Indianapolis Colts game where the number of the legendary Peyton Manning was to be retired, Vice President Mike Pence, a former governor of Indiana, flew back from Las Vegas.

With him in the stadium was his wife Karen. In honor of Manning, she wore a No. 18 jersey as “The Star Spangled Banner” began.

The Pences stood, hands over hearts. A dozen San Francisco 49ers took a knee. When the national anthem ended, Pence walked out. His limousine took him back to the airport to fly to LA.

“A stunt! That plane trip cost taxpayers $250,000,” wailed a media that was rarely critical of Michelle Obama’s million-dollar junkets with Sasha and Malia.

The president took credit for Pence’s walkout, tweeting, “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled.”

Pence’s statement: “I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

As Pence had left his press pool in the motorcade, and said he might not be too long, the walkout may not have been entirely spontaneous. But the game had been on Pence’s calendar for weeks.

What does this episode tell us?

In the culture wars, Trump has rejected compromise or capitulation and decided to defend the ground on which his most loyal folks stand.

Example: While The Washington Post was reporting Monday that Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, and Denver had now joined Los Angeles in replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, Trump issued a Columbus Day proclamation of bristling defiance.

“Five hundred and twenty-five years ago, Christopher Columbus completed an ambitious and daring voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. … a remarkable and then-unparalleled feat that helped launch the age of exploration and discovery. The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that … changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation.”

Columbus, said Trump, was a “skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents and has inspired countless others to pursue their dreams and convictions — even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity.”

The Admiral of the Ocean Sea “was a native of the City of Genoa, in present day Italy, and represents the rich history of important Italian American contributions to our great Nation. … Italy is a strong ally and a valued partner,” said Trump.

His proclamation failed to mention indigenous peoples.

How did CNN receive it? Not at all well.

“Trump’s Praise of Columbus Omits Dark History,” ran the CNN headline. Lede sentence: “Never mind the disease and slavery wrought by Christopher Columbus’ voyage — or the fact that he didn’t actually ‘discover’ the New World.”

Trump’s proclamation closed a week in which he rolled back the Obamacare mandate requiring employers and institutions, against their religious beliefs, to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing pills to employees.

Religious groups cheered. The ACLU fumed. The in-your-face defiance of the dictates of political correctness has solidified Trump’s base behind him.

And Americans are coming to accept our new reality: On the essentials of nationhood — ancestry, morality, faith, culture, history, heroes — we really are no longer one nation and one people.

All weekend, viewers of cable TV were treated to self-righteous wailing from the acolytes of Colin Kaepernick, patron saint of the 49ers, that “taking the knee” to protest racism and racist cops is a most admirable exercise of the First Amendment right to protest.

What Trump’s folks are saying in response is this:

“You may have a First Amendment right to disrespect our flag, or even to burn it, but you have no right to make us listen to you, or respect you, or buy tickets to your games, or watch you on Sunday.”

And with shrinking audiences watching NFL games, declining attendance, and advertisers beginning to bail, the NFL appears belatedly to be getting the message.

Jerry Jones, owner of one of the most valuable franchises in the league, has told players that anyone who does not show respect for the flag during the national anthem does not play that day for the Dallas Cowboys.

“President Trump has a duty to unite us, not divide us” is the mantra of our elites. Yet since the ’60s, it is these elites who have been imposing the social, moral, and cultural revolution the American people never voted for and which has by now divided us irretrievably.

Call them “deplorables” if you will, but Trump does seem to relish going out to defend the views, values, and beliefs of the people who put him where he is. He does not recoil from political conflict.

People who stand by you in a fight are not all that common in politics. When Trump exhibits this quality, he receives in reciprocity the kind of loyalty even his enemies concede he has.

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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