Human Events, an outstanding conservative website and required regular reading for those seeking to escape the Media Class spin, has regular contributions from some good people, including the inimitable Ann Coulter. It also has Pat Buchanan. There was a time when Buchanan was a frequent voice on KSFO, a conservative Talk Radio Station known in the Bay Area as ‘Hot Talk’. At that time, Buchanan was a conservative supporter of the Republican Party and was an articulate and forceful proponent of family values and an opponent of abortion. He was also on the nationalist wing of the Republican Party. With the emergence of George W Bush, Buchanan parted company from the Republicans.
Somewhere along the line, and no doubt the Bush declaration of the war on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq regime was the cataclysmic event, Buchanan revealed himself to be an isolationist. I believe that at this time he wrote a book or an article that accused the Bush Administration of being too much influenced by Jewish neo-cons and that the US-led military actions in the Middle East were governed by Israel’s interests. This stance got him roundly condemned on KSFO as an anti-Semite and he was no longer welcome as a guest contributor. Ultimately, Buchanan revived Ross Perot’s Reform Party and ran against Bush in the 2004 election.
I was disappointed when he was accused of anti-Semitism and barred from KSFO, for it seemed to me perfectly legitimate to question Israeli/Jewish influence on US foreign policy. On this website we do not give credence to the view that President Bush’s war on terror has been motivated either by Jewish pressure or ‘Big Oil’ pressure. However it ought to be possible to argue such things without being bracketed with National Socialism or Communism. The charge of anti-Semitism is often used by some on the Right in much the same way as charges of homophobia or racism are used by Leftists – as a means to smear and silence opponents without having to rebut with argument. I do not believe Buchanan is an anti-Semite.
One thing is certain and it is that once Buchanan took up the ‘anti-war on terror’ cause he began to be looked on much more favorably by the Media Class. Anyone who opposes Bush’s War is a friend of the Media Class, at least for the time being, and especially if it is someone from the Right of politics. I remember when the BBC and its Leftist Media allies were gunning for Mrs. Thatcher. They were suddenly searching for anyone of her former or current colleagues willing to be critical of her. Any political minnow from her Party who was prepared to criticize her or her policies was suddenly promoted to celebrity status. Boring and ineffectual Tories with no power base in the Party or the country at large found themselves courted and flattered by the Media and interviewed daily on BBC programs. Most became drunk on the Media adulation, believing that they had suddenly become powerful, influential and interesting. Of course, they were merely being used by the Media Class to serve its own agenda, but they did not realize this any more than today’s Cindy Sheehan realizes that she only gets the microphone and TV cameras whilst she expresses the Media’s anti-Bush rage. If and when Hillary becomes President and sends the troops into Iran or Syria, Cindy’s anti-war protests will be studiously ignored and we will be asking ‘Who was Cindy? What was she?”
This week Buchanan wrote a piece on the Human Events website arguing that the war on terror was not a mortal threat and that other internal issues were more dangerous than the external Islamic threat 1. I will not go over the details of his piece since readers can visit the website and read for themselves. I have criticized him in the ensuing email pages 2 for I think he is dangerously wrong to downplay the terrorist threat of a nuclear attack on US soil. Of course there are many threats to the US way of life both elsewhere in the world and within the internal political and moral battleground that now afflicts the US, but they are not reasons for dismissing the huge threat that Islamic Imperialists pose and to suggest that some nuclear explosions in major cities would not transform our people’s world (and end the lives of millions) is surely preposterous. Not surprisingly, Buchanan has some supporters and they have emailed. They are a mixed bunch of isolationists, Leftists and those conservative Bush-haters who, blinded by his various betrayals (open-borders; big spending; education-policy partnerships with Kennedy etc), can no longer see the wood for the trees.
But what can explain the sloppiness of Buchanan’s reasoning, for he is an intelligent conservative with a good pedigree? I think he has been seduced by the Media, though he will not be aware of it. His break with the Republican Party consigned him to the margins of mainstream politics, an uncomfortable place for one who had long been at the center of things. But then the Media Class got its anti-Bush/anti-War campaign under way and saw a use for a conservative politician it otherwise detested. Buchanan is only of interest to the Media Class as long as he can be used against Bush to divide and demoralize the war effort. It is only because of this that he is presented as an important voice and offered a seat on weekend TV political shows. Thus he is driven to find new (and preposterous) arguments and is thus little different than Cindy Sheehan who becomes ever more shrill and ridiculous in the search for a TV camera and microphone.
It is sad that Buchanan has been reduced to this for he was once an authentic conservative voice. We have argued before on this website, that to oppose a war that one’s troops are fighting, is a slippery slope for nationalists and leads to some very strange bedfellows. We have argued this about the BNP in the UK and it applies just as much in the US. There is that old saying about lying with dogs and catching fleas, but it also a slope that can lead little by little to treachery for it inevitably gives comfort to the enemy!
There is much to criticize about the War on Terror and the President’s leadership of it and it can even be argued that Iraq and Afghanistan were not the best targets (though on this website we think they were as good as any), but surely fighting the war against the Islamic Imperialists anywhere is better than not fighting them. Leftists wish to see the US lose anywhere and wish for its ultimate destruction, but nationalists and conservatives surely cannot share such sentiments. Is fighting the war, perhaps not in the best place or not with the most effect, more objectionable than giving comfort to our enemies and demoralizing and endangering our troops? Buchanan, and those who tread the same route, should forget the Media invitations and ask themselves why they are sharing the kennels with dogs.
Mr Radical responds:
1 October 2007
My colleague, Mr. Right, is right on target with his criticisms of Pat Buchanan’s recent article in Human Affairs, but I think two further points need to be made. First, Buchanan seems to be suggesting that the leaders of Iran and other Islamic fanatics with access to deadly weaponry, will never actually employ these weapons against the US for fear of deadly retaliation. How does he know that these people will make such careful calculations? History is littered with contrary examples. Hitler misjudged the resolve of the UK when he invaded Poland, and again in 1940. Hitler also misjudged the power and policies of the US. Stalin in turn misjudged Hitler and was unprepared for the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The Japanese misjudged the power and determination of the American people when they attacked at Pearl Harbour. Saddam Hussein clearly misjudged the chances of retaliatory invasion when he invaded Kuwait and again misjudged the US after 9/11. The Iranian leaders, like all dictators, surround themselves with sychophants and are cushioned from the real world. They keep themselves busy posturing and have little time to study history or the world around them. With no domestic opposition to offer cautionary advice, they quickly become over-confident.
Secondly, Buchanan shows no awareness of fanaticism and madness. Hitler, at some point in his time as Fuhrer, slid into madness and cared nothing for the consequences – for the rest of the world nor the German people. If he had possessed the atom bomb, he would likely have used it against the USA without any regard for retaliation. We have to assume, from their speeches and actions that the leaders of Islamic terror and the current Iranian leaders are prepared to pursue suicidal policies.
Buchanan, having embraced the false and unrealistic doctrine of Isolationism and then become dependent on Media exposure in order to avoid political marginalization, has been reduced to peddling dangerous nonsense.
1. Human Events – Is Terrorism a Mortal Threat?
2. Human Events – Is Terrorism a Mortal Threat? – Comments Page 5