Patrick J. Buchanan

America Sleepwalks Towards a Clash With the Turks in Syria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does the Syrian government not have a point?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have the American people been had again?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trump’s Jarring Remarks Shroud Broader Immigration Questions

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

So wailed Senator Dick Durbin after departing the White House.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Kennedy assured America would not happen did happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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‘Little Rocket Man’ Wins the Round

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

An impressive year for Little Rocket Man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The whole world is watching how this plays out.

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

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

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

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

“America First” is more than a slogan.

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

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Haley Calls Embarrassing Emergency Meeting at the U.N.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This hubristic generation has kicked it all away.

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

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

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

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

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

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

How is Christianity faring in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan?

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

When does the Magnitsky Act get applied to Turkey?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Fire Bell in the Night for the Ayatollah

Wikimedia Commons

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

Jafari is whistling past the graveyard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social freedom is irreconcilable with Iranian theocracy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Will War Cancel Out Trump’s Triumphs?

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

Donald Trump can make the same boast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who would stand with us, and for how long?

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

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

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

Cui bono? For whose benefit all these wars?

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

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

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

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Did the FBI Conspire to Stop Trump?

Former FBI Director James Comey. lev radin / Shutterstock

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

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

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

Hence, and understandably, suspicions have arisen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so Hillary walked. Why is this suspicious?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For there a Russian connection has been established.

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

And who hired Steele to tie Trump to Russia?

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

Let’s review the bidding.

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

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

If this is true, a critical questions arises.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Republicans Bet the Farm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Who Wants War With Iran—and Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If so, it was a legitimate act of war.

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

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

There are reasons to think so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And who would our great fighting Arab ally be?

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

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

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Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what security advisers do.

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

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

But even Comey admits Trump acted within his authority.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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