Posts Tagged ‘Pat Buchanan’

Pat Buchannan is Still an Idiot

September 11, 2012

At least I think so, judging from his latest Townhall column. I might as well quote the whole thing.

What is Bibi Netanyahu up to?

With all his warnings of Iran’s “nuclear capability,” of red lines being crossed, of “breakout,” of the international community failing in its duty, of an “existential threat” to Israel, what is the prime minister’s game?

The answer is apparent. Bibi wants Iran’s nuclear program shut down, all enrichment ended, all enriched uranium removed and guarantees that Iran will never again start up a nuclear program.

And if Tehran refuses to surrender its right even to a peaceful nuclear program, he wants its nuclear facilities, especially the enrichment facility at Fordow, deep inside a mountain, obliterated.

And he wants us to do it.

How has Bibi gone about getting America to fight Israel’s war?

He is warning, indeed threatening, that if we do not set a date certain for Iran to end enrichment of uranium, and assure Israel that we will attack Iran if it rejects our ultimatum, Israel will bomb Iran and start the war itself.

Fail to give us assurances that you will attack Iran if Iran refuses to surrender its nuclear “capability,” Bibi is warning, and we will attack Iran, with all the consequences that will have for you, for us and for the Middle East.

This is diplomatic extortion.

Thus far, Obama has called Bibi’s bluff, assuming it is a bluff.

The United States has refused to set a date certain by which Iran must end all enrichment. Hillary Clinton said this weekend that we are “not setting deadlines.” And the election, which could give Obama a free hand to pursue his own timetable and terms for a deal with Tehran, is only eight weeks off.

If Obama, no fan of Bibi, wins, he can tell Bibi: We oppose any Israeli pre-emptive strike. If you attack Iran, we will not support you. Nor will we follow up an Israeli attack with an American attack.

Bibi’s dilemma: Despite his threats of Israeli strikes on Iran, Tehran is taunting him. His Cabinet is divided. The Shas Party in his coalition opposes a war, as do respected retired generals, former Mossad leaders and President Shimon Peres.

And the Americans have sent emissaries, including Secretary Leon Panetta, to tell Bibi we oppose an Israeli attack. The Pentagon does not want war. Three former U.S. Central Command heads oppose a war. And last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey said he does not wish to be “complicit” in any Israeli attack.

Implied in the word “complicit” is that Dempsey believes an Israeli first strike on Iran could be an act of aggression.

The Israelis were furious, but suddenly the war talk subsided.

From the clashes, public and private, between these two close allies, it is apparent the United States shares neither Israel’s assessment of the threat nor Israel’s sense of urgency.

Why not? Why, when Netanyahu says Israel is facing an “existential threat,” do the Americans dismiss it?

The first reason is the elephant in the room no one mentions: Israel’s own nuclear arsenal. If Fordow is a difficult target for Israel to destroy with conventional air strikes, it could be annihilated with a single atom bomb.

And Israel has hundreds.

Indeed, if Israel has ruled out use of an atomic weapon, even when it says its very existence is threatened, and neoconservatives claim that Iran’s mullahs are such death-wishing fanatics they cannot be deterred even by nuclear weapons, what is Israel’s awesome atomic arsenal for?

What this suggests is that the Israelis do not believe what they are saying. Their nuclear deterrent is highly credible to all their neighbors. Their existence is not in imminent peril. And the mullahs are not madmen.

When Ronald Reagan was about to take the oath, suddenly those mullahs, assessing that the new American president might be a man of action, not just words, had all the U.S. hostages winging their way home.

When the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner in 1988, the Ayatollah Khomeini, founding father of the Islamic Republic, ended his war with Iraq on unfavorable terms, fearing America was about to intervene on the side of Saddam Hussein.

Like all rulers, good and evil, Iran’s leaders want to preserve what they have — families, homes, lives, privileges, possessions, power. When suicide missions are ordered, you do not read of ayatollahs or of Iranian politicians driving the truck or wearing the vest.

Moreover, the latest report of the international inspectors reveals that while Iran increased its supply of uranium enriched to 20 percent since last spring, an even larger share of that 20-percent uranium has been diverted to make fuel plates for Iran’s U.S.-provided research reactor to make medical isotopes.

If there is no reason to go to war with Iran, there is every reason not to go to war. Notwithstanding the alarmist rhetoric of Bibi and Ehud Barak, President Obama should stand his ground. And on this one, Gov. Romney should stand with the president, not the prime minister.

Let’s do a little alternate history/fantasy here. What if there were terrorists operating throughout the Southwest, demanding that the region be returned to Mexico, its rightful owner? What if Brazil were ruled by fanatic Catholics who were funding these terrorists and demanding the destruction of the Protestant Entity to the north? What if we had good evidence that Brazil was developing nuclear weapons and its president proclaimed that the United Stated was a cancer that he would destroy? Does Pat Buchanan seriously believe that we wouldn’t be organizing military action against Brazil? Why in the world don’t we want the Israelis to defend themselves against a regime that has openly proclaimed its desire to exterminate them? Isn’t one holocaust per century enough?

And, contrary to what Pat Buchanan believes, this isn’t really a case of Israel dragging us into its war. Perhaps he has forgotten, but seizing a country’s embassy and holding its diplomatic personnel hostage is an act of war. Iran has, in fact, been at war with the US for over 30 years. Just because our leaders like to pretend that isn’t the case, doesn’t mean that Iran’s leaders are so blind. The truth is that Israel is preparing to do what we ought to have done a long time ago.

 

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Pat Buchanan Strikes Again

December 8, 2011

After explaining that World War II could have been avoided, if only the allies had been a little more patient with Hitler, Pat Buchanan tops himself in his latest column in which he puts the blame for the Pearl Harbor attack squarely where it belongs, on FDR. That’s right, Franklin Delano Roosevelt provoked the attack by his hostile actions toward the Japanese.

Edited by historian George Nash, “Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath” is a searing indictment of FDR and the men around him as politicians who lied prodigiously about their desire to keep America out of war, even as they took one deliberate step after another to take us into war.

Yet the book is no polemic. The 50-page run-up to the war in the Pacific uses memoirs and documents from all sides to prove Hoover’s indictment. And perhaps the best way to show the power of this book is the way Hoover does it – chronologically, painstakingly, week by week.

Consider Japan’s situation in the summer of 1941. Bogged down in a four-year war in China she could neither win nor end, having moved into French Indochina, Japan saw herself as near the end of her tether.

Inside the government was a powerful faction led by Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoye that desperately did not want a war with the United States.

The “pro-Anglo-Saxon” camp included the navy, whose officers had fought alongside the U.S. and Royal navies in World War I​, while the war party was centered on the army, Gen. Hideki Tojo​ and Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka, a bitter anti-American.

On July 18, 1941, Konoye ousted Matsuoka, replacing him with the “pro-Anglo-Saxon” Adm. Teijiro Toyoda​.

The U.S. response: On July 25, we froze all Japanese assets in the United States, ending all exports and imports, and denying Japan the oil upon which the nation and empire depended.

Stunned, Konoye still pursued his peace policy by winning secret support from the navy and army to meet FDR on the U.S. side of the Pacific to hear and respond to U.S. demands.

U.S. Ambassador Joseph Grew implored Washington not to ignore Konoye’s offer, that the prince had convinced him an agreement could be reached on Japanese withdrawal from Indochina and South and Central China. Out of fear of Mao’s armies and Stalin’s Russia, Tokyo wanted to hold a buffer in North China.

On Aug. 28, Japan’s ambassador in Washington presented FDR a personal letter from Konoye imploring him to meet.

Tokyo begged us to keep Konoye’s offer secret, as the revelation of a Japanese prime minister’s offering to cross the Pacific to talk to an American president could imperil his government.

On Sept. 3, the Konoye letter was leaked to the Herald-Tribune.

On Sept. 6, Konoye met again at a three-hour dinner with Grew to tell him Japan now agreed with the four principles the Americans were demanding as the basis for peace. No response.

On Sept. 29, Grew sent what Hoover describes as a “prayer” to the president not to let this chance for peace pass by.

On Sept. 30, Grew wrote Washington, “Konoye’s warship is ready waiting to take him to Honolulu, Alaska or anyplace designated by the president.”

No response. On Oct. 16, Konoye’s cabinet fell.

First of all, what Buchanan somehow does not understand is that the militarist government of Japan was every bit as vicious and nasty as the Nazis in Germany. The “Asian Holocaust” does not get nearly as much attention as the European one, perhaps because the victims were Asians and not European, but the Japanese war crimes in China and elsewhere were as bad as anything the Germans did. The Japanese may have killed as many as ten million people. This was an evil regime that had to be ended.

In one sense, Buchanan is correct. The sanctions that Roosevelt placed on the Japanese did indeed induce them to attack. But he seems to sidestep just why the sanctions were placed on Japan, namely because of the aggressive war they were waging in China. Roosevelt probably also understood that an east Asia dominated by the Japanese Empire would not be in America’s strategic interests. Denying Japan the oil their empire needed seems like a good idea to me.

I do not believe that it is clear that Prince Konoye was negotiating in good faith or that he could have delivered on any agreement if he was.The militarist government had seized power in Japan through a policy of assassination and intimidation. The army in Korea had invaded Manchuria in 1932 without bothering to consult with the civilian government. They were not very interested in following the laws of their own country. They were much less willing to follow international norms treaties

I don’t doubt that there was a faction in the Japanese government that wanted to avoid war with the US. They had a good idea that Japan would not win such a war. But I find it difficult to imagine that the Japanese would simply withdraw from China after spending so much in men and material to conquer it for four years. I think that the Japanese would have attempted to draw out the negotiations as long as possible, perhaps making motions of withdrawing while consolidating their defenses. An actual withdrawal and admission of defeat would have been an unacceptable loss of face. I don’t believe the army would have followed an order to withdraw. Most likely, Prince Konoye would have been murdered and the negotiations with the US ended.

Pat Buchanan ends his column.

Out of the war that arose from the refusal to meet Prince Konoye​ came scores of thousands of U.S. dead, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the fall of China to Mao Zedong, U.S. wars in Korea and Vietnam, and the rise of a new arrogant China that shows little respect for the great superpower of yesterday.

I don’t see how an east Asia dominated by an aggressive Japan would have been any better.

 


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