Saturday, January 12, 2019

January 12, 2019


MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


FOUR GREAT COLUMNS by Pat Buchanan: the Border Crisis, the Middle East, Democrat Prospects in 2020, and Reasons for Us to Hope

Friends,

Today I send on to you four very recent columns by Patrick J. Buchanan, and dispense with much of my customary (and often long-winded) commentary. As usual, Pat’s short epistolary columns hit the mark with an economy of words: he is able to draw vivid pictures and by so doing, grasp deeply and cleanly the points he is making, and make them understandable to his readers.

First, there is Pat’s concise but convincing take on whether President Trump, facing a veritable cultural, humanitarian and eventually ethnic crisis on the southern border, should declare a national emergency. And he focuses it in broader terms of America First and what it would mean to American citizens and for the future of our country. Then, he deals, again concisely but fully, with the near complete failure of American interventionist, hegemonic foreign policy in Syria and other faraway locations—“How the War Party Lost the Middle East.” 

In the third column Buchanan examines the prospects for the Democrats and the Left in 2020: are there grounds for us to hope, despite what appears to be the increasing demographic transformation of the country and the hyper-frenetic and massive attacks on the president—and his followers, that is, on us.

The final essay is Pat’s Christmas column, in a way, his meditation on Hope—a Hope that continues throughout the encroaching darkness of our time—a Hope that came to us in a manger some 2,000 years—a Hope that, when things look the very worst, instills in us courage and determination to fight the good fight and do our duty, whatever that may be and wherever that may carry us.

Memo to Trump: Declare an Emergency
By Patrick J. Buchanan Friday - January 11, 2019

In the long run, history will validate Donald Trump's stand on a border wall to defend the sovereignty and security of the United States. Why? Because mass migration from the global South, not climate change, is the real existential crisis of the West.

The American people know this, and even the elites sense it.

Think not? Well, check out the leading liberal newspapers Thursday.

The Washington Post and The New York Times each had two front-page stories about the president's battle with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on funding the border wall.
Inside the first section, the Post had more stories, including one describing walls in history from China's Great Wall to the Berlin Wall to the Israeli West Bank wall to the wall separating Hungary from Serbia.

Inside the Times was a story on a new anti-immigration party, Vox, surging in Andalusia in Spain, and a story about African migrants being welcomed in Malta after being denied entry into Europe.  Another Times story related how the new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has pulled out of a U.N. pact on migration, declaring, "Brazil has a sovereign right to decide whether or not it accepts immigrants."

Half the columns on the op-ed pages of the papers dealt with Trump, immigration and the wall. And there was nothing significant in either on the Democrats' hot new issue, a Green New Deal.

Consider. In 1992, this writer's presidential campaign had to fight to have inserted in the GOP platform a call for "structures" on the border. Now, the whole Western world is worried about its borders as issues of immigration and identity convulse almost every country.

Looking ahead, does anyone think Americans in 2030 are going to be more concerned about the border between North Korea and South Korea, or Turkey and Syria, or Kuwait and Iraq, or Russia and Ukraine, than about the 2,000-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico?  Does anyone think Pelosi's position that a wall is immoral will not be regarded as absurd?

America's southern border is eventually going to be militarized and defended or the United States, as we have known it, is going to cease to exist. And Americans will not go gentle into that good night.

Whatever one may think of the face-off Tuesday with "Chuck and Nancy," Trump's portrait of an unsustainable border crisis is dead on: "In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 violent killings."

The Democrats routine retort, that native-born Americans have a higher crime rate, will not suffice as new atrocities, like those Trump related, are reported and repeated before November 2020.

What should Trump do now? Act. He cannot lose this battle with Pelosi without demoralizing his people and imperiling his presidency.

Since FDR, we have had presidential government. And when U.S. presidents have been decisive activists, history has rewarded their actions. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. On taking office, FDR declared a bank holiday. When Britain was barely hanging on in World War II, he swapped 50 destroyers for British bases. He ordered U.S. ships to chase down German submarines and lied about it. Truman fired General MacArthur.
Reagan fired the striking air controllers and ordered the military to occupy Grenada to stop Marxist thugs who had taken over in a coup from taking 500 U.S. medical students hostage. Critics raged: Reagan had no right to invade. But the American people rewarded Reagan with a 49-state landslide.

Trump should declare a national emergency, shift funds out of the Pentagon, build his wall, open the government and charge Democrats with finding excuses not to secure our border because they have a demographic and ideological interest in changing the face of the nation.

For the larger the share of the U.S. population that requires welfare, the greater the need for more social workers, and the more voters there will be to vote to further grow the liberal welfare state.

The more multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual America becomes — the less it looks like Ronald Reagan's America — the more dependably Democratic it will become. The Democratic Party is hostile to white men, because the smaller the share of the U.S. population that white men become, the sooner that Democrats inherit the national estate.

The only way to greater "diversity," the golden calf of the Democratic Party, is to increase the number of women, African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics, and thereby reduce the number of white men.

The decisive issues on which Trump was elected were not the old Republican litany of tax cuts, conservative judges and increased defense spending.  They were securing the borders, extricating America from foolish wars, eliminating trade deficits with NAFTA nations, the EU and China, making allies pay their fair share of the common defense, resurrecting our manufacturing base, and getting along with Russia.

"America First!" is still a winning hand
----------------------------------------------------------------------
How the War Party Lost the Middle East
By Patrick J. Buchanan  Tuesday - January 1, 2019

"Assad must go, Obama says."  So read the headline in The Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2011.

The story quoted President Barack Obama directly:

"The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. ... the time has come for President Assad to step aside."

France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's David Cameron signed on to the Obama ultimatum: Assad must go! Seven years and 500,000 dead Syrians later, it is Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron who are gone. Assad still rules in Damascus, and the 2,000 Americans in Syria are coming home. Soon, says President Donald Trump.

But we cannot "leave now," insists Sen. Lindsey Graham, or "the Kurds are going to get slaughtered."

Question: Who plunged us into a Syrian civil war, and so managed our intervention that were we to go home after seven years our enemies will be victorious and our allies will "get slaughtered"?

Seventeen years ago, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban for granting sanctuary to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.  U.S. diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad is today negotiating for peace talks with that same Taliban. Yet, according to former CIA director Mike Morell, writing in The Washington Post today, the "remnants of al-Qaeda work closely" with today's Taliban.

It would appear that 17 years of fighting in Afghanistan has left us with these alternatives: Stay there, and fight a forever war to keep the Taliban out of Kabul, or withdraw and let the Taliban overrun the place.

Who got us into this debacle?
 
After Trump flew into Iraq over Christmas but failed to meet with its president, the Iraqi Parliament, calling this a "U.S. disregard for other nations' sovereignty" and a national insult, began debating whether to expel the 5,000 U.S. troops still in their country.

George W. Bush launched Operation Iraq Freedom to strip Saddam Hussein of WMD he did not have and to convert Iraq into a democracy and Western bastion in the Arab and Islamic world.

Fifteen years later, Iraqis are debating our expulsion. Muqtada al-Sadr, the cleric with American blood on his hands from the fighting of a decade ago, is leading the charge to have us booted out. He heads the party with the largest number of members in the parliament.

Consider Yemen. For three years, the U.S. has supported with planes, precision-guided munitions, air-to-air refueling and targeting information, a Saudi war on Houthi rebels that degenerated into one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 21st century. Belatedly, Congress is moving to cut off U.S. support for this war. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, its architect, has been condemned by Congress for complicity in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate in Istanbul. And the U.S. is seeking a truce in the fighting.

Who got us into this war? And what have years of killing Yemenis, in which we have been collaborators, done to make Americans safer?

Consider Libya. In 2011, the U.S. attacked the forces of dictator Moammar Gadhafi and helped to effect his ouster, which led to his murder. Told of news reports of Gadhafi's death, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joked, "We came, we saw, he died."

The Libyan conflict has since produced tens of thousands of dead. The output of Libya's crucial oil industry has collapsed to a fraction of what it was. In 2016, Obama said that not preparing for a post-Gadhafi Libya was probably the "worst mistake" of his presidency.

The price of all these interventions for the United States?

Some 7,000 dead, 40,000 wounded and trillions of dollars.

For the Arab and Muslim world, the cost has been far greater. Hundreds of thousands of dead in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya, civilian and soldier alike, pogroms against Christians, massacres, and millions uprooted and driven from their homes.

How has all this invading, bombing and killing made the Middle East a better place or Americans more secure? One May 2018 poll of young people in the Middle East and North Africa found that more of them felt that Russia was a closer partner than was the United States of America.

The fruits of American intervention?

We are told ISIS is not dead but alive in the hearts of tens of thousands of Muslims, that if we leave Syria and Afghanistan, our enemies will take over and our friends will be massacred, and that if we stop helping Saudis and Emiratis kill Houthis in Yemen, Iran will notch a victory.

In his decision to leave Syria and withdraw half of the 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, Trump enraged our foreign policy elites, though millions of Americans cannot get out of there soon enough. In Monday's editorial celebrating major figures of foreign policy in the past half-century, The New York Times wrote, "As these leaders pass from the scene, it will be left to a new generation to find a way forward from the wreckage Mr. Trump has already created."

Correction: Make that "the wreckage Mr. Trump inherited."

 ----------------------------------------------------------
2020: Year of the Democrats? Maybe Not
By Patrick J. Buchanan   Friday - December 28, 2018

If Democrats are optimistic as 2019 begins, it is understandable. Their victory on Nov. 6, adding 40 seats and taking control of the House of Representatives, was impressive. And with the party's total vote far exceeding the GOP total, in places it became a rout.

In the six New England states, Republicans no longer hold a single House seat. Susan Collins of Maine is the last GOP senator. In California, Democrats took the governorship, every state office, 45 of 53 House seats and both houses of the legislature by more than 2-to-1. In the Goldwater-Nixon-Reagan Golden State bastion of Orange County, no GOP congressman survived.

Does this rejection of the GOP in 2018 portend the defeat of Donald Trump in 2020, assuming he is still in office then?

Not necessarily.

For consider. Nancy Pelosi may want to close out her career as speaker with solid achievements, but she could face a rebellion in her party, which is looking to confront and not compromise with Trump. The national debt may be surging, but Capitol Hill progressives will be demanding "Medicare-for-all" and free college tuition. Trump-haters will be issuing reams of subpoenas and clamoring for impeachment. Other Democrats, seeing the indulgent attention their colleagues are getting from the media, will join in. Chairman Jerrold Nadler's House Judiciary Committee may have to accommodate the sans-culottes.

Is this what America voted for?

By the Ides of March, a dozen Democrats may have declared for president. But looking over the field, no prospective candidate seems terribly formidable, and the strongest, unlike Barack Obama in 2008, are too old to set the base afire.
According to a USA Today poll, 59 percent of Democrats say they would be "excited" about "someone entirely new" leading the party in 2020. Only 11 percent say they would prefer a familiar face.

Yet, who did these same Democrats view most favorably? Joe Biden, a 76-year-old white male first elected to the Senate when Richard Nixon was president. Biden polls better than any of his rivals, with 53 percent of all Democrats saying they would be "excited" about his candidacy, and only 24 percent saying he ought not run a third time for president.

The candidate who comes closest to Biden in exciting the base is 77-year-old Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. Bernie's problem? Almost as many Democrats believe he should not run again as would be excited about having him as nominee.

As for Elizabeth Warren, the USA Poll must be depressing news. Twenty-nine percent of Democrats would be excited about her candidacy, but 33 percent believe the 69-year-old Massachusetts Senator should not run.

Beto O'Rourke, the three-term Congressman from Texas who put a scare into Sen. Ted Cruz in November is less well-known than Bernie or Biden. But those excited about an O'Rourke run outnumber those who think he should not run.

Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, both African-American, are less well-known but have more Democrats excited about their running than are opposed to it. However, as Harris is from California and Booker from New Jersey, both blue states that Democrats are almost certain to carry in 2020, and both are from a minority that already votes 90 percent Democratic, even their appeal as vice presidential nominees would not seem to equal that of O'Rourke or Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who won re-election while his state was going Republican.

Yet, Brown, too, at 66, is eligible for Medicare. A Biden-Brown ticket would present problems for the GOP. But could a Democratic Party that ceaselessly celebrates its racial and ethnic diversity and appeal to women and millennials get away with nominating a ticket of two white males on Social Security?

Other problems are becoming acute within the Democrats' coalition of blacks, gays, Asians, Hispanics, women and LGBT, fraying the seams of the party.

After Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan praised the Women's March co-president Tamika Mallory, and declared Jews to be the enemy in a speech last February, the Women's March movement has splintered.

Asian-Americans who vote Democratic nationally are growing bitter over diversity policies in the Ivy League and elite schools that admit black and Hispanic students over Asian students with far higher test scores.

The BDS movement (boycott, divest, sanctions), targeted against Israel, is angering Jewish Democrats while gaining support on campuses.

Elizabeth Warren opposes BDS, but also opposes efforts to punish those who champion BDS. "I think the boycott of Israel is wrong," said Warren at a town hall meeting, but added that "outlawing protected free speech activity violates our basic constitutional rights."

In identity politics, loyalty to race, ethnic group and gender often trump the claims of party. The diversity Democrats celebrate is one day going to pull their party apart, as the social, cultural and racial revolutions of the 1960s pulled apart the party of FDR and LBJ.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Christmas 2018: Not the Worst of Times
By Patrick J. Buchanan   Tuesday - December 25, 2018

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly," goes the old Christmas carol. "'Tis the season to be jolly." Yet if there were a couplet less befitting the mood of this capital city, I am unaware of it.

"The wheels are coming off," was a common commentary on the Trump presidency on Sunday's talk shows. And the ostensible causes of what is looking like a panic in the political establishment? The December crash of the stock and bond markets, the worst since the Great Recession. The shutdown of a fourth of the U.S. government over the Trump border wall. The president's decision to pull 2,200 troops out of Syria. Resignation, in protest of Donald Trump's treatment of U.S. allies, by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

But there has to be more to it than this. For America has endured, in the lifetime of its older generations, far worse Christmases than this.


By Christmas 1941, America had just suffered the worst attack in her history. At Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, some 2,400 soldiers, sailors and Marines had died, six battleships were destroyed or crippled, and scores of warplanes were smashed on their runways.
By Christmas 1941, the Japanese had landed in the Philippines where, in six months, they would inflict on the United States the worst military defeat in its history with the loss of 23,000 troops killed or captured, most of them on Bataan Peninsula and the island fortress of Corregidor.

Franklin Roosevelt had temporarily abandoned the Philippines as indefensible, as they were on the far side of the Pacific, and had adopted a "Europe First" strategy, believing Nazi Germany to be the greater threat.

For, by Christmas 1941, Hitler controlled all of Europe from the Pyrenees and the Atlantic to the suburbs of Leningrad and Moscow, and from northern Norway above the Arctic Circle to the Western Sahara. Beyond Hitler's empire lay Stalin's. Beyond that lay Japan's Empire of the Sun, which occupied Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, the coast of China and much of Southeast Asia.

By Christmas 1941, a Japanese attack on the Malay Peninsula was underway that would lead to the surrender of Singapore in February, the greatest strategic defeat ever suffered by the British empire.

Nine years later, at Christmas 1950, thousands of American troops were being evacuated from Hungnam, the North Korean port city to which they had retreated before hordes of Chinese troops. Veterans of Mao's revolution had been sent to drive Gen. Douglas MacArthur's forces away from the Yalu River on China's border, and back across the 38th parallel into South Korea. The Korean War would end in bloody stalemate, after Harry Truman, facing defeat, declined to run again and left office with only a fourth of the nation behind him, and his nemesis Sen. Joe McCarthy victorious and exultant in 1952, along with President Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.

Does our situation at Christmas 2018 remotely compare in gravity with those times? Does whether Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies prevail in Syria remotely compare in seriousness with whether Hitler or his former ally and successor in tyranny, Stalin, would prevail?

An unacknowledged cause of establishment frustration and rage at Trump's pullout from Syria and Afghanistan is the growing realization that the post-Cold War new world order it has sought and still seeks to create is likely never to be. Indeed, it is now visibly slipping away. The American people refuse to subscribe to its global agenda.

They will not pay the price in blood, treasure and distraction from our own troubles here at home. Trump's victory was America's way of saying, "Goodbye to all that!" And it is this dawning recognition that helps explain the establishment's exasperation.

While cable news and social media are on fire over the shutdown and the pullout from Syria, the Silent Majority, one imagines, is more focused on an earlier event, 2,000 years ago, that has made a far greater impact upon mankind, and that yet inspires hope that, in the end, all can be well. That event was perhaps best described in the last Advent gospel of Luke:

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

And a Merry Christmas to all.
--------------------------------------------------------

No comments:

Post a Comment

                                                  May 8, 2021     MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home:  ...