Pat Buchanan On American Imperialism
By far, the best critique of U.S. foreign policy in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attack, and maybe the most courageous, available through the mainstream media, in our opinion, has come from Pat Buchanan - with former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter coming in a distant second.
An authentic, patriotic "White man", Buchanan does not have to worry as much about being called a traitor for speaking truthfully about the deleterious effects of U.S. foreign policy, as a non-White would, at this stage.
And speak truthfully, Buchanan has. On appearances on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox we have seen Buchanan, over the last week, make the most cogent arguments in reference to what is contributing to the "hatred" of America overseas as well as an accurate explanation of the folly of some in the Bush administration, the military industrial complex, and Inside the Beltway advisers, who now seem ready to bomb any country in the Islamic and Arab world that ever had a terrorist cross its borders.
We even saw the otherwise brilliant Dick Morris, on Fox the last night, calling for an invasion of Libya, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan, simultaneously!
He and so many others would do themselves and us all a tremendous favor by lowering the rhetoric and performing some really critical thinking regarding the consequences of broadening this "war on terrorism". A good start in this direction would be taking the time to read Pat Buchanan's two most recent op-eds which appeared in USA Today and the L.A. Times. Here they are:
U.S. Pays The High Price Of Empire
September 14, 2001
By Pat Buchanan
As the twin towers of the World Trade Center came down in flames, taking 5,000 Americans with them, an unserious era in U.S. history came to an end. "All is changed, changed utterly," wrote poet W.B. Yeats. President Bush has now received full authority to wage war against all who abetted the slaughter. It must be done. Our American family cannot permit the mass murder of our brothers and sisters to go unpunished. But as the president directs the moral outrage of his wounded nation, he will need the wisdom of Solomon.
Our enemy, we are told, is Osama bin Laden. But though he may be the instigator and financier of terror, the war crimes of Tuesday last were carried out by men who live among us. The enemy is already inside the gates. How many others among our 11 million "undocumented" immigrants are ready to carry out truck bombings, assassinations, sabotage, skyjackings?
We are told the first target of America's wrath will be the Taliban. But if we rain fire and death on the Afghan nation, a proud, brave people we helped liberate from Soviet bondage, we too will slaughter hundreds of innocents. And as they count their dead, the Afghans too will unite in moral outrage; and, as they cannot fight cruise missiles or Stealth bombers, they will attack our diplomats, businessmen, tourists. Apparently, our first ally is Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. Let us pray that his decision does not bring him down. A pro-Taliban takeover of his country would give fundamentalists the atom bomb. Commentators are demanding that Bush declare war on all who preach hatred against us or have harbored terrorists: Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. William Bennett wants China added to the enemies list. Some are clamoring for an invasion of Iraq. Yet U.S. air, naval and ground forces have been cut in half since Desert Storm. And in any declared war on all the rogue nations of the Islamic world, the first casualties would be our Arab allies: Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The second would be Western unity as North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations, facing the threat of an crushing oil embargo, begged off joining Bush's war coalition.
Consider the diplomatic dilemmas our president confronts. Does he, like his father in Desert Storm, enlist Syria in the war coalition, or are the Syrians enemies?
Does he reach out to President Mohammad Khatami, the elected leader of an Iran that is deeply hostile to the Taliban, or are they too on the enemies list?
Does Bush seek Vladimir V. Putin's help, or does Russia's war against the Chechens, who have committed acts of terror, disqualify them as allies? Do we press for peace between Yasser Arafat and the Israelis, or is that rewarding terror?
What took place last Tuesday was an atrocity. What is coming may qualify as tragedy. For the mass murder of our citizens has filled this country with a terrible resolve that could lead it to plunge headlong into an all-out war against despised Arab and Islamic regimes that turns into a war of civilizations, with the United States almost alone.
In the presidential campaign of 2000, we failed to make foreign policy the issue. But what I said then retains relevance: "How can all our meddling not fail to spark some horrible retribution .... Have we not suffered enough--from Pan Am 103, to the World Trade Center, to the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam--not to know that interventionism is the incubator of terrorism. Or will it take some cataclysmic atrocity on U.S. soil to awaken our global gamesmen to the going price of empire?"
"America today faces a choice of destinies. We can choose to be a peacemaker of the world, or its policeman who goes about night-sticking troublemakers until we, too, find ourselves in some bloody brawl we cannot handle."
In his intervention in Lebanon's civil war, President Reagan made a rare blunder. But when our Marines were massacred, he did not send a mighty army to avenge them. He used U.S. power to exact a price, then extricated us from that war. There is no vital American interest at risk in all these religious, territorial and tribal wars from Algeria to Afghanistan. Let us pay back those who did this, then let us extricate ourselves. Either America finds an exit strategy from empire, or we lose our republic.
Whose War Is This?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
September 28, 2001
In his resolve to hunt down and kill the Osama bin Laden terrorists he says committed the Sept. 11 massacres, President Bush has behind him a nation more unified than it has been since Pearl Harbor. But now Bush has been put on notice that this war cannot end with the head of bin Laden and the overthrow of the Taliban.
The shot across Bush's bow came in an "Open Letter" co-signed by 41 foreign-policy scholars, including William Bennett, Jeane Kirkpatrick, the publisher of The Weekly Standard and the editor in chief of The New Republic - essentially, the entire neoconservative establishment.
What must Bush do to retain their support? Target Hezbollah for destruction and retaliate against Syria and Iran if they refuse to cut all ties to Hezbollah and move militarily to overthrow Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Failure to attack Iraq, the neocons warn Bush, "will consti tute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism."
"Our purpose in writing is to assure you of our support as you do what must be done to lead the nation to victory in this fight," the letter ends.
Implied is a threat to end support if Bush does not widen the war to include all of Israel's enemies, or if he pursues the U.S.-Arab-Muslim coalition of Secretary of State Colin Powell. Among the signers is Richard Perle, chairman of Bush's own Defense Policy Board, a key advisory group.
This letter represents one side of a brutal policy battle that has erupted in the capital: Is it to be Powell's war or Perle's war?
A critical decision
The final decision Bush makes will be as historically crucial as Truman's decision to let MacArthur advance to the Yalu, and FDR's decision to hold up Eisenhower's armies and let Stalin take Berlin.
How the president will come down is unknown.
In his address to Congress a week ago, Bush declared: "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." The president seemed to be offering amnesty, or conditional absolution, to rogue states if they enlist in America's war, now, and expel all terrorist cells.
Even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is signaling that what matters is not where nations stood, but where they stand. On Sunday, he said on CBS: "What we are looking at today is how are these states going to behave going forward."
And Powell's coalition is coming together. Whether out of fear or opportunism, Libya, Syria, Iran and the Palestinian Authority have all denounced the atrocities of Sept. 11. Pakistan has joined the coalition. Sudan is cooperating.
But calls for a wider war dominate the neoconservative media. The Weekly Standard's opinion editor, David Tell, wants war not only on past sponsors of terror, but also on "any group or government inclined to support or sustain others like them in the future."
Bennett wants Congress to declare war on "militant Islam" and "overwhelming force" used on state sponsors of terror such as Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran and even China. The Wall Street Journal wants strikes "aimed at terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya and Algeria, and perhaps even in parts of Egypt."
On their lists
Terrorism expert Steve Emerson puts Lebanon's Bekaa Valley at the top of his list. Benjamin Netanyahu includes in the "Empire of Terror" to be obliterated: Hamas, Hezbollah, "the Palestinian enclave," as well as Iran, Iraq and Taliban Afghanistan. Tom Donnelly and Gary Schmitt of the Project for the New American Century want Iraq invaded now: "Nor need the attack await the deployment of half a million troops. ... The larger challenge will be occupying Iraq after the fighting is over."
As of now, Bush is laser-focused on bin Laden and the Taliban. But when that war is over, the great policy battle will be decided: Do we then dynamite Powell's U.S.-Arab-Muslim coalition by using U.S. power to invade Iraq? Do we then reverse alliances and make Israel's war America's war?
Allies would be at risk
If the United States invades Iraq, bombs Hezbollah and conducts strikes on Syria and Iran, this war will metastasize into a two-continent war from Algeria to Afghanistan, with the United States and Israel alone against a half-dozen Arab and Muslim states. The first casualties would be the moderate Arabs - Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states - who were our Cold War and Gulf War allies.
The war Netanyahu and the neo cons want, with the United States and Israel fighting all of the radical Islamic states, is the war bin Laden wants, the war his murderers hoped to ignite when they sent those airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
If America wishes truly to be isolated, it will follow the neoconservative line. Conservatives should stand squarely with President Bush - and Gen. Powell.
Tuesday, October 2, 2001