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lundi, 12 novembre 2018

Patrick Buchanan et la fin de l’Amérique

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Patrick Buchanan et la fin de l’Amérique

Ex: https://echelledejacob.blogspot.com

 
On sait que Patrick Buchanan, qui commença sa carrière avec Nixon, tient à Washington D.C. le rôle de “vieux sage” du parti républicain, et aussi représentant de la fraction dite “paléoconservatrtice” regroupant les conservateurs historiques qui entretiennent une hostilité certaine à l’encontre d’un establishment globaliste et néocon. Du fait de cette position d’hostilité à l’encontre de l’establishment, les “paléos” se regroupent derrière Trump bien qu’ils soient en général très critique de sa politique extérieure, tout en reconnaissant qu’elle est essentiellement le fait de l’appareil militaro-industriel sur lequel Trump cherche à s’appuyer.

Buchanan suit avec attention la situation interne du système de l’américanisme (“D.C.-la-folle”). Il avait cru déceler quelque signe d’un apaisement qui aurait pu se concrétiser après les élections à mi-mandat, entre les deux factions qui s’écharpent, – trumpistes et antitrumpistes. Cet article signale que cet espoir n’a valu que pour quelques heures, que l’espoir d’un arrangement s’est complètement évanoui avec l’attitude de Trump(que Buchanan approuve après tout) vis-à-vis de la presse et surtout la liquidation du ministre Session. Buchanan juge que Trump, comme son modèle Andrew Jackson en d’autres temps, est dans la position avantageuse de pouvoir choisir le moment de l’attaque...

Désormais, Buchanan croit qu’il s’agit de la phase finale de la bataille qui s’engage, qu’il n’y aura pas de compromis, que l’un des adversaires doit l’emporter et l’autre être réduit complètement sinon disparaître.L’enjeu, c’est “l’âme de l’Amérique”. Mais allons plus loin, comme Buchanan le suggère sur la fin de son article : l’enjeu, c’est l’Amérique elle-même, et son sort est déjà réglé parce qu’il est absolument impossible d’envisager l’élimination physique de l’un ou l’autre adversaire, et qu’il est désormais évident que ces deux-là ne peuvent plus vivre ensemble...

« La guerre à Washington ne se terminera pas avant la fin de la présidence de Donald Trump. Tout le monde semble le ressentir maintenant. C’est une guerre sans merci qui ira jusqu’au bout.

» La trêve postélectorale qui a eu lieu lorsque Trump a félicité la chef de la minorité de la Chambre, Nancy Pelosi, – “Je lui reconnais beaucoup de crédit pour ce qu’elle a fait et ce qu’elle a accompli”, – n’a duré que quelques heures, c’est désormais de l’histoire ancienne. » Avec la démission forcée du procureur général Jeff Sessions et son remplacement par son chef de cabinet, Matthew Whitaker, la confrontation tant attendue avec Robert Mueller apparaît très probable. Sessions s’était récusé pour la supervision de l’enquête du conseil spécial sur le Russiagate, Whitaker n'a rien fait de semblable. [...]


» Depuis deux ans, Trump est sous le feu d’allégations non prouvées et de suspicions selon lesquelles lui et les plus hauts responsables de la campagne se sont entendus avec la Russie de Vladimir Poutine pour critiquer et publier les emails de la campagne Clinton et du Comité national démocrate. Il est grand temps que Mueller prouve ces accusations ou admette qu’il a bluffé, qu’il termine son enquête et rentre chez lui.

» Désormais, selon les mots de T.S. Eliot, Trump semble avoir trouvé “la force de choisir le moment de la crise”. Son attitude vis-à-vis de l’enquête de Mueller rappelle celle de Andrew Jackson vis-à-vis de Nicholas Biddle : “Tu as essayé de me tuer, moi je te tuerai”.

» Les démocrates du Congrès ont averti Trump que s’il entravait de quelque manière que ce soit le travail du bureau de Mueller, il risquait la destitution. Eh bien, nous verrons. [...]


» Nous savons ce que la gauche pense de la "base" de Trump. Hillary Clinton nous l’a dit : la moitié de ses partisans, dit-elle, est une “bande de de déplorables” qui sont “racistes, sexistes, homophobes, xénophobes, islamophobes – choisissez ce qui vous va”.

» Comment la gauche peut-elle “s'unir” avec des gens comme ça ? Comment la gauche ne devrait-elle pas essayer de chasser du pouvoir par tous les moyens nécessaires de tels “racistes” ? C’est le constat qui a engendré les Antifa. Quant à ceux de droite, voyant la gauche dénigrer les grands héros du passé, démolir leurs monuments, purger de tout christianisme leurs écoles publiques, – ils en sont venus à la conclusion que leurs adversaires sont antichrétiens et anti-américains.

» Comment unifier une nation où les camps opposés croient tout cela ?


» L’enjeu de la guerre de l’establishment contre Trump est l’âme de l’Amérique, une guerre dans laquelle l’idée même de la possibilité d’un compromis est considérée comme une trahison. »

jeudi, 07 janvier 2016

Will Mideast Allies Drag Us Into War?

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Will Mideast Allies Drag Us Into War?

By

Ex: http://www.lewrockwell.com

The New Year’s execution by Saudi Arabia of the Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was a deliberate provocation.

Its first purpose: Signal the new ruthlessness and resolve of the Saudi monarchy where the power behind the throne is the octogenarian King Salman’s son, the 30-year-old Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman.

Second, crystallize, widen and deepen a national-religious divide between Sunni and Shiite, Arab and Persian, Riyadh and Tehran.

Third, rupture the rapprochement between Iran and the United States and abort the Iranian nuclear deal.

The provocation succeeded in its near-term goal. An Iranian mob gutted and burned the Saudi embassy, causing diplomats to flee, and Riyadh to sever diplomatic ties.

From Baghdad to Bahrain, Shiites protested the execution of a cleric who, while a severe critic of Saudi despotism and a champion of Shiite rights, was not convicted of inciting revolution or terror.

In America, the reaction has been divided.

The Wall Street Journal rushed, sword in hand, to the side of the Saudi royals: “The U.S. should make clear to Iran and Russia that it will defend the Kingdom from Iranian attempts to destabilize or invade.”

The Washington Post was disgusted. In an editorial, “A Reckless Regime,” it called the execution risky, ruthless and unjustified.

Yet there is a lesson here.

Like every regime in the Middle East, the Saudis look out for their own national interests first. And their goals here are to first force us to choose between them and Iran, and then to conscript U.S. power on their side in the coming wars of the Middle East.

Thus the Saudis went AWOL from the battle against ISIS and al-Qaida in Iraq and Syria. Yet they persuaded us to help them crush the Houthi rebels in Yemen, though the Houthis never attacked us and would have exterminated al-Qaida.

Now that a Saudi coalition has driven the Houthis back toward their northern basecamp, ISIS and al-Qaida have moved into some of the vacated terrain. What kind of victory is that — for us?

In the economic realm, also, the Saudis are doing us no favors.

While Riyadh is keeping up oil production and steadily bringing down the world price on which Iranian and Russian prosperity hangs, the Saudis are also crippling the U.S. fracking industry they fear.

The Turks, too, look out for number one. The Turkish shoot-down of that Russian fighter-bomber, which may have intruded into its airspace for 17 seconds, was both a case in point and a dangerous and provocative act.

Had Vladimir Putin chosen to respond militarily against Turkey, a NATO ally, his justified retaliation could have produced demands from Ankara for the United States to come to its defense against Russia.

A military clash with our former Cold War adversary, which half a dozen U.S. presidents skillfully avoided, might well have been at hand.

These incidents raise some long-dormant but overdue questions.

What exactly is our vital interest in a permanent military alliance that obligates us to go to war on behalf of an autocratic ally as erratic and rash as Turkey’s Tayyip Recep Erdogan?

Do U.S.-Turkish interests really coincide today?

While Turkey’s half-million-man army could easily seal the Syrian border and keep ISIS fighters from entering or leaving, it has failed to do so. Instead, Turkey is using its army to crush the Kurdish PKK and threaten the Syrian Kurds who are helping us battle ISIS.

In Syria’s civil war — with the army of Bashar Assad battling ISIS and al-Qaida — it is Russia and Iran and even Hezbollah that seem to be more allies of the moment than the Turks, Saudis or Gulf Arabs.

“We have no permanent allies … no permanent enemies … only permanent interests” is a loose translation of the dictum of the 19th century British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston.

Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian jet and the Saudi execution of a revered Shiite cleric, who threatened no one in prison, should cause the United States to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the alliances and war guarantees we have outstanding, many of them dating back half a century.

Do all, do any, still serve U.S. vital national interests?

In the Middle East, where the crucial Western interest is oil, and every nation — Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Libya — has to sell it to survive — no nation should be able drag us into a war not of our own choosing.

In cases where we share a common enemy, we should follow the wise counsel of the Founding Fathers and entrust our security, if need be, to “temporary,” but not “permanent” or “entangling alliances.”

Moreover, given the myriad religious, national and tribal divisions between the nations of the Middle East, and within many of them, we should continue in the footsteps of our fathers, who kept us out of such wars when they bedeviled the European continent of the 19th century.

This hubristic Saudi blunder should be a wake-up call for us all.

vendredi, 12 septembre 2014

Bluster and Bluff in the Baltic

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Bluster and Bluff in the Baltic

“I say to the people of Estonia and the people of the Baltics, today we are bound by our treaty alliance. … Article 5 is crystal clear: An attack on one is an attack on all. So if … you ever ask again, ‘who’ll come to help,’ you’ll know the answer — the NATO alliance, including the armed forces of the United States of America.”

That was Barack Obama in Tallinn, Estonia, last week, reissuing a U.S. war guarantee to the tiniest of the Baltic republics — which his Cold War predecessors would have regarded as certifiable madness.

From 1945 to 1989, no president would have dreamed of issuing a blank check for war in Eastern Europe. Our red line was in the heart of Germany. It said to Moscow: Cross the Elbe, and we fight.

That red line was made credible by hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops permanently stationed in West Germany.

Yet Truman did not use force to break the Berlin Blockade. Ike did not use force to save the Hungarian rebels. JFK fulminated, and observed, when the Wall went up. When Leonid Brezhnev sent Warsaw Pact armies into Czechoslovakia, LBJ did nothing.

Why did these presidents not act? None believed there was any vital U.S. interest in Eastern Europe worth a war with Russia.

And, truth be told, there was no vital interest there then, and there is no vital interest there now. If we would not risk war with a nuclear-armed Russia over Hungary or Czechoslovakia half a century ago, why would we risk it now over Estonia?

Cold War presidents routinely issued captive nations resolutions, declaring our belief in the right of the peoples behind the Iron Curtain to be free. But no president regarded their liberation worthy of war.

What has changed?

When did the independence of the Baltic republics, miraculous and welcome as it is, become so critical to us that if Russia intrudes into Estonia, we will treat it as an attack on our homeland?

In 1994, George Kennan called the expansion of NATO into the old Soviet bloc “a strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.”

Yet we not only brought into NATO all the Warsaw Pact nations, George W. Bush brought in the Baltic republics.

To see the folly of what we have done, consider Ukraine, which has been involved in a military and political collision with Russia ever since we colluded in the overthrow of its pro-Russian regime.

As neocons cheered the ouster of the corrupt and incompetent, but democratically elected, Viktor Yanukovych, Vladimir Putin moved to secure and annex Crimea, and pro-Russian separatists sought to break away from Kiev and achieve independence or reunification with Russia.

A question arises: Why do not the pro-Russian separatists of Donetsk and Luhansk have the same right to secede from Ukraine, as Ukraine had to secede from the Soviet Union?

And why is this quarrel any of America’s business? Was it the business of Czar Alexander II when the 11 Southern states seceded from the Union and, then, West Virginia seceded from Virginia?

Under the new government of Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine sent its forces to the southeast to crush the separatists.

They failed. Rising casualties and a separatist drive on the city of Mariupol have apparently persuaded Kiev to seek a ceasefire and peace.

Needless to say, those who celebrated the overthrow of the pro-Russian regime in Kiev are now apoplectic at Kiev’s apparent defeat.

Yet, on Sept. 5, the New York Times wrote, “The Americans have no illusion that Ukraine could ever prevail in a war with Russia.”

That is realism. But if Ukraine’s cause is militarily hopeless, what would be Estonia’s chances in a clash with Moscow? Estonia has three percent of Ukraine’s population and is less than one-tenth its size. If Moscow decided to take Estonia, it could do so in 48 hours.

And should Putin engage in so rash an act, what would NATO do?

Would 28 NATO nations declare war and send troops? Would the United States declare war on Russia and conduct air strikes on Russian forces inside and outside Estonia?

Would we send aircraft carriers into the Baltic Sea? Would we start a war with Russia that could lead to early use of tactical atomic weapons, devastating Estonia and causing massive deaths?

How would NATO save Estonia without destroying Estonia?

To eliminate second thoughts about our war guarantee to Estonia, some in Washington are calling for permanent U.S. bases and the stationing of U.S. troops in the Baltic states, so that any Russian incursion would lead to U.S. causalities and a definite clash with Russia.

Presumably this threat would deter Russia in perpetuity.

But if it doesn’t deter Putin, or if a future Russian ruler regards it as a bluff and chastises Estonia, what do we do then? Put the B-2s on alert and go to DEFCON-2, as we did in the Cuban missile crisis?

 

vendredi, 23 mai 2014

A Left-Right Convergence?

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A Left-Right Convergence?

By

Ex: http://www.lewrockwell.com

Last summer, in this capital of gridlock, a miracle occurred.

The American people rose as one and told the government of the United States not to drag us into another Middle East war in Syria.

Barack Obama was ready to launch air and missile strikes when a national uproar forced him to go to Congress for authorization. Congress seemed receptive until some Hill offices were swarmed by phone calls and emails coming in at a rate of 100-1 against war.

Middle America stopped the government from taking us into what even the president now concedes is “somebody else’s civil war.”

This triumphal coming together of left and right was a rarity in national politics. But Ralph Nader, in “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State,” believes that ad hoc alliances of left and right to achieve common goals can, should, and, indeed, shall be our political future.

To call this an optimistic book is serious understatement.

Certainly, left and right have come together before.

In “Those Angry Days,” Lynne Olson writes of how future presidents from opposing parties, Gerald Ford and John F. Kennedy, backed the America First Committee to keep us out of war in 1941, and how they were supported by the far-left Nation magazine as well as Colonel Robert McCormick’s right-wing Chicago Tribune.

Two decades ago, Ross Perot and this writer joined Ralph and the head of the AFL-CIO to stop NAFTA, a trade deal backed by America’s corporate elite and its army of mercenaries on Capitol Hill.

Congress voted with corporate America — against the country.

Result: 20 years of the largest trade deficits in U.S. history. Transnational corporations have prospered beyond the dreams of avarice, as Middle America has seen its wages frozen for a generation.

In 2002, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry joined John McCain and George W. Bush in backing war on Iraq. Teddy Kennedy and Bernie Sanders stood with Ron Paul and the populist and libertarian right in opposing the war.

The Mises Institute and The American Conservative were as one with The Nation in opposing this unprovoked and unnecessary war.

The left-right coalition failed to stop the war, and we are living with the consequences in the Middle East, and in our veterans hospitals.

As America’s most indefatigable political activist since he wrote “Unsafe at Any Speed” in 1965, Ralph is calling for “convergences” of populist and libertarian conservatives and the left — for 25 goals.

Among these are many with an appeal to the traditionalist and libertarian right:

—Break up “Too Big to Fail” banks. Further direct democracy through use of the initiative, referendum and recall.

—End unconstitutional wars by enforcing Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress alone the power to declare war.

—Revise trade agreements to protect U.S. sovereignty. End “fast track,” those congressional surrenders of constitutional authority to amend trade treaties negotiated by the executive.

From the subtitle, as well as text, of his most recent book, one may instantly identify whom it is Ralph sees as the main enemy. It is megabanks and transnational corporations without consciences whose highest loyalty is the bottom line, the kind of men Jefferson had in mind when he wrote: “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”

Where such men see a $17 trillion economy, we see a country.

Undeniably, there has been a growing gap and a deepening alienation between traditional conservatives and those Ralph calls the “corporate conservatives.” And it is not only inside the conservative movement and the GOP that the rift is growing, but also Middle America.

For America never voted for NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, mass immigration, amnesty, or more H-1Bs to come take the jobs of our workers. These votes have been forced upon members of Congress by leaders carrying out their assignments from corporate America and its PACs, which reward the compliant with campaign checks.

Both parties now feed at the same K Street and Wall Street troughs. Both have oligarchs contributing tens of millions to parties and politicians who do their bidding.

In 1964, a grassroots conservative movement captured the Republican Party and nominated Barry Goldwater. In 1972, a grassroots movement of leftist Democrats nominated George McGovern.

Neither movement would today survive the carpet-bombing of big money that would be called in if either came close to capturing a national party, let alone winning a national election.

Because they have principles and visions in conflict, left-right alliances inevitably fall out and fall apart. Because they are almost always on opposite sides of disputed barricades, it is difficult for both to set aside old wounds and grievances and come together.

A social, moral, and cultural divide that did not exist half a century ago makes it all the more difficult. But if the issue is keeping America out of unnecessary wars and restoring American sovereignty, surely common ground is not impossible to find.

jeudi, 08 mai 2014

The Philanthropic Superpower

If a single word could sum up the goal of Barack Obama’s Asia tour, it would be “reassurance.”

Obama went to Tokyo to reassure Japan that, should China attempt to seize its Senkaku Islands, America will fight at her side.

He reassured Seoul of our commitment to defend South Korea.

He went to Manila to reassure the Filipinos, who threw our Navy out of Subic Bay at the end of the Cold War, that America will be there in any clash with Beijing in the South China Sea.

Yet, as Clyde Prestowitz writes in the Financial Times, while we are committed to go to war to defend all three countries if attacked, none of them is obligated to go to war if we are attacked.

What Tokyo, Seoul and Manila get out of their alliances with the United States is easy to see — the security of a superpower’s pledge to come and fight their wars for them.

But what do we get out of these commitments, other than an obligation to go to war with a nuclear-armed China or North Korea over shoals, rocks and borders on the other side of the world that have nothing to do with the peace or security of the United States?

Saudis, Turks and Israelis are angry because Obama backed down from his “red line” warning to Bashar Assad, when Syria’s army allegedly used chemical weapons.

They were all counting on the United States to attack their enemy, Syria, and we let them down. Now after the red line fiasco and the U.S. failure to stop Vladimir Putin from annexing Crimea, our allies want reassurances that we will not fail in our obligations again.

But if Assad’s alleged use of sarin or chlorine is a moral outrage, why did his neighbors not punish him themselves?

Why is this America’s duty? Why is Syria America’s war?

Historically, great powers and empires exact tribute, exploit colonies, and demand conscripts of their protectorates.

America is something new in the way of world powers. We not only provide the legions to protect “allies,” but provide the tribute in the form of foreign aid, IMF and World Bank loans, and bailout billions.

Moreover, America has thrown open her home market, largest in the world at $17 trillion, to Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and even China, and invited them to come and capture it from our manufacturers.

In a quarter century, these trade partners have run up $10 trillion in trade surpluses at our expense, eviscerating our industrial base to where Detroit looks like Dresden in 1945.

But while we preach free trade our partners practice protectionism.

The Chinese undervalue their currency to keep imports low and exports high. We are too timid to confront them. The Europeans put value-added taxes on imports from the USA, and rebate the VAT on exports to the USA.

The Japanese, who look on trade as a form of warfare, killed our TV industry and now own huge slices of our auto market.

Last year, Tokyo ran a $60 billion trade surplus at our expense. After our trade deal with South Korea, Seoul’s trade surplus at our expense shot up 25 percent to a record $20 billion. China ran a $318 billion trade surplus with us in 2013, up from $313 billion in 2012.

Our trade deficits finance both the growth of our allies and our adversaries.

For Beijing has used its hoard of dollars from trade surpluses with the U.S. to finance the military buildup that threatens us and our allies, whom Obama pledges to defend against China, with the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

Does this make sense?

We pay three-fourths of the cost of defending NATO Europe.

But why is the defense of Europe seemingly more important to us than to the Europeans themselves?

The EU is as rich as America. Why were U.S. F-16s and U.S. troops sent to the Baltics and Poland, and U.S. warships to the Black Sea? Russians occupying buildings in Luhansk and Donetsk are no threat to America.

Where are the French and German troops in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland?

Neither China nor Russia nor Iran nor Syria threatens us. Yet, we are constantly goaded by allies to confront them for reasons that have virtually nothing to do with our security and almost everything to do with their agendas.

This role of philanthropic superpower is simply not sustainable.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll reveals that while only 19 percent of Americans want this country more active in world affairs, 47 percent want it to become less active. This confirms a Pew poll where 53 percent of Americans said the United States “should mind its own business internationally.”

As China’s military power grows, and U.S. armed forces shrink, our allies had best prepare for the day, not too distant, when America decides she will no longer play the philanthropic superpower, and gives up the role and goes home.

As all world powers eventually do.

mercredi, 05 mars 2014

Tune Out the War Party!

 

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Tune Out the War Party!

By

Ex: http://www.lewrockwell.com

With Vladimir Putin’s dispatch of Russian troops into Crimea, our war hawks are breathing fire. Russophobia is rampant and the op-ed pages are ablaze here.

Barack Obama should tune them out, and reflect on how Cold War presidents dealt with far graver clashes with Moscow.

When Red Army tank divisions crushed the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956, killing 50,000, Eisenhower did not lift a finger. When Khrushchev built the Berlin Wall, JFK went to Berlin and gave a speech.

When Warsaw Pact troops crushed the Prague Spring in 1968, LBJ did nothing. When, Moscow ordered Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski to smash Solidarity, Ronald Reagan refused to put Warsaw in default.

These presidents saw no vital U.S. interest imperiled in these Soviet actions, however brutal. They sensed that time was on our side in the Cold War. And history has proven them right.

What is the U.S. vital interest in Crimea? Zero. From Catherine the Great to Khrushchev, the peninsula belonged to Russia. The people of Crimea are 60 percent ethnic Russians.

And should Crimea vote to secede from Ukraine, upon what moral ground would we stand to deny them the right, when we bombed Serbia for 78 days to bring about the secession of Kosovo?

Across Europe, nations have been breaking apart since the end of the Cold War. Out of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia came 24 nations. Scotland is voting on secession this year. Catalonia may be next.

Yet, today, we have the Wall Street Journal describing Russia’s sending of soldiers to occupy airfields in Ukraine as a “blitzkrieg” that “brings the threat of war to the heart of Europe,” though Crimea is east even of what we used to call Eastern Europe.

The Journal wants the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush sent to the Eastern Mediterranean and warships of the U.S. Sixth Fleet sent into the Black Sea.

But why? We have no alliance that mandates our fighting Russia over Crimea. We have no vital interest there. Why send a flotilla other than to act tough, escalate the crisis and risk a clash?

The Washington Post calls Putin’s move a “naked act of armed aggression in the center of Europe.” The Crimea is in the center of Europe? We are paying a price for our failure to teach geography.

The Post also urges an ultimatum to Putin: Get out of Crimea, or we impose sanctions that could “sink the Russian financial system.”

While we and the EU could cripple Russia’s economy and bring down her banks, is this wise? What if Moscow responds by cutting off credits to Ukraine, calling in Kiev’s debts, refusing to buy her goods and raising the price of oil and gas?

This would leave the EU and us with responsibility for a basket-case nation the size of France and four times as populous as Greece.

Are Angela Merkel and the EU ready to take on that load, after bailing out the PIIGS — Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain?

If we push Russia out of the tent, to whom do we think Putin will turn, if not China?

This is not a call to ignore what is going on, but to understand it and act in the long-term interests of the United States.

Putin’s actions, though unsettling, are not irrational.

After he won the competition for Ukraine to join his customs union, by bumping a timid EU out of the game with $15 billion cash offer plus subsidized oil and gas to Kiev, he saw his victory stolen.

Crowds formed in Maidan Square, set up barricades, battled police with clubs and Molotov cocktails, forced the elected president Viktor Yanukovych into one capitulation after another, and then overthrew him, ran him out of the country, impeached him, seized parliament, downgraded the Russian language, and declared Ukraine part of Europe.

To Americans this may look like democracy in action. To Moscow it has the aspect of a successful Beer Hall Putsch, with even Western journalists conceding there were neo-Nazis in Maidan Square.

In Crimea and eastern Ukraine, ethnic Russians saw a president they elected and a party they supported overthrown and replaced by parties and politicians hostile to a Russia with which they have deep historical, religious, cultural and ancestral ties.

Yet Putin is taking a serious risk. If Russia annexes Crimea, no major nation will recognize it as legitimate, and he could lose the rest of Ukraine forever. Should he slice off and annex eastern Ukraine, he could ignite a civil war and second Cold War.

Time is not necessarily on Putin’s side here. John Kerry could be right on that.

But as for the hawkish howls, to have Ukraine and Georgia brought into NATO, that would give these nations, deep inside Russia’s space, the kind of war guarantees the Kaiser gave Austria in 1914 and the Brits gave the Polish colonels in March 1939.

Those war guarantees led to two world wars, which historians may yet conclude were the death blows of Western civilization.

mercredi, 27 mars 2013

Saddam Hussein’s Revenge

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Saddam Hussein’s Revenge

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Ex: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/

Ten years ago, U.S. air, sea, and land forces attacked Iraq. And the great goals of Operation Iraqi Freedom?

Destroy the chemical and biological weapons Saddam Hussein had amassed to use on us or transfer to al-Qaida for use against the U.S. homeland.

Exact retribution for Saddam’s complicity in 9/11 after we learned his agents had met secretly in Prague with Mohamed Atta.

Create a flourishing democracy in Baghdad that would serve as a catalyst for a miraculous transformation of the Middle East from a land of despots into a region of democracies that looked West.

Not all agreed on the wisdom of this war. Gen. Bill Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, thought George W. Bush & Co. had lost their minds: “The Iraq War may turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in American history.”

Yet, a few weeks of “shock and awe,” and U.S. forces had taken Baghdad and dethroned Saddam, who had fled but was soon found in a rat hole and prosecuted and hanged, as were his associates, “the deck of cards,” some of whom met the same fate.

And so, ’twas a famous victory. Mission accomplished!

Soon, however, America found herself in a new, unanticipated war, and by 2006, we were, astonishingly, on the precipice of defeat, caught in a Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict produced by our having disbanded the Iraqi army and presided over the empowerment of the first Shia regime in the nation’s history.

Only a “surge” of U.S. troops led by Gen. David Petraeus rescued the United States from a strategic debacle to rival the fall of Saigon.

But the surge could not rescue the Republican Party, which had lusted for this war, from repudiation by a nation that believed itself to have been misled, deceived and lied into war. In 2006, the party lost both houses of Congress, and the Pentagon architect of the war, Don Rumsfeld, was cashiered by the commander in chief.

Two years later, disillusionment with Iraq would contribute to the rout of Republican uber-hawk John McCain by a freshman senator from Illinois who had opposed the war.

So, how now does the ledger read, 10 years on? What is history’s present verdict on what history has come to call Bush’s war?

Of the three goals of the war, none was achieved. No weapon of mass destruction was found. While Saddam and his sons paid for their sins, they had had nothing at all to do with 9/11. Nothing. That had all been mendacious propaganda.

Where there had been no al-Qaida in Iraq while Saddam ruled, al-Qaida is crawling all over Iraq now. Where Iraq had been an Arab Sunni bulwark confronting Iran in 2003, a decade later, Iraq is tilting away from the Sunni camp toward the Shia crescent of Iran and Hezbollah.

What was the cost in blood and treasure of our Mesopotamian misadventure? Four thousand five hundred U.S. dead, 35,000 wounded and this summary of war costs from Friday’s Wall Street Journal:

“The decade-long [Iraq] effort cost $1.7 trillion, according to a study … by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Fighting over the past 10 years has killed 134,000 Iraqi civilians … . Meanwhile, the nearly $500 billion in unpaid benefits to U.S. veterans of the Iraq war could balloon to $6 trillion” over the next 40 years.

Iraq made a major contribution to the bankrupting of America.

As for those 134,000 Iraqi civilian dead, that translates into 500,000 Iraqi widows and orphans. What must they think of us?

According to the latest Gallup poll, by 2-to-1, Iraqis believe they are more secure — now that the Americans are gone from their country.

Left behind, however, is our once-sterling reputation. Never before has America been held in lower esteem by the Arab peoples or the Islamic world. As for the reputation of the U.S. military, how many years will it be before our armed forces are no longer automatically associated with such terms as Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, renditions and waterboarding?

As for the Chaldean and Assyrian Christian communities of Iraq who looked to America, they have been ravaged and abandoned, with many having fled their ancient homes forever.

We are not known as a reflective people. But a question has to weigh upon us. If Saddam had no WMD, had no role in 9/11, did not attack us, did not threaten us, and did not want war with us, was our unprovoked attack on that country a truly just and moral war?

What makes the question more than academic is that the tub-thumpers for war on Iraq a decade ago are now clamoring for war on Iran. Goal: Strip Iran of weapons of mass destruction all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran does not have and has no program to build.

This generation is eyewitness to how a Great Power declines and falls. And to borrow from old King Pyrrhus, one more such victory as Iraq, and we are undone.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? [1]” Copyright 2012 Creators.com [2].