Onward the Revolution!
Having cheerfully confessed he knows
little about economics, John McCain is advancing himself
as a foreign-policy president, a "realistic
idealist," he told the World Affairs Council of Los
But judging from the content of his
speech, McCain is no more a realist than he is a
Speaking of our
five-year war in Iraq, McCain declares, "It would
be an unconscionable
act of betrayal, a
stain on our character as a nation, if we were to
walk away from the Iraqi people and consign them to the
horrendous violence, ethnic cleansing, and possible
genocide that would follow a reckless, irresponsible and
Fair point. There is surely a great risk
in a too-rapid withdrawal.
But if a U.S. withdrawal, after 4,000
dead and 33,000 wounded, and a trillion dollars sunk,
runs the risk of a genocidal calamity, what does that
tell us about the wisdom of those who marched us into
What threat did Saddam ever pose
comparable to the cataclysm McCain says we face if we
pull out? Who, Senator, put American on the horns of so
horrible a dilemma?
"Whether they were in Iraq before is
McCain warns, "al-Qaida is there now." And that
is surely true.
But if al-Qaida was not in Iraq before
we invaded, why did we invade? And if al-Qaida is there
now, what was the magnet that drew them in, if not the
U.S. occupation McCain himself championed?
"For decades in the
Middle East we had a strategy of relying upon autocrats
to provide order and stability. We relied on the Shah,
the autocratic rulers of Egypt, the generals of
Pakistan, the Saudi royal family. … We can no longer
delude ourselves that relying on these outdated
autocrats is the safest bet."
Speaking of self-delusion, does McCain
believe the "democrats" lately elected in
Pakistan will be tougher on al-Qaida and the Taliban
Pervez Musharraf, who has twice escaped
assassination for having sided with us?
Does McCain think this new crowd in
Islamabad will be more pro-American than the general,
when the people who voted them in are among the most
anti-American in the Islamic world?
From Richard Nixon to George Bush I, we
expelled Moscow from Egypt, won the Cold War, brought
peace between Egypt and Israel, and created a worldwide
alliance, including Hafez al-Assad of Syria, that drove
Saddam`s army out of Kuwait.
What has the Bush-McCain democracy
crusade produced, save electoral victories for the
Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas? And if we dump
the sultan of Oman, President Mubarak, and the king of
Saudi Arabia, who does McCain think will replace them?
If undermining Arab autocrats is good
for America, why is that also the goal of Osama bin
McCain proposes a "League of
Democracies" to unite a hundred nations for peace
and freedom. "Revanchist Russia," however, is to
be black-balled from McCain`s league and thrown out of
What would this accomplish other than
undoing the work of Reagan in bringing Moscow in from
the cold, driving Russia into the arms of China,
restarting the Cold War and recreating the
Beijing-Moscow axis it was Nixon`s great achievement to
What McCain is proposing is a
re-division of the world into the forces of light and
the forces of darkness. Moral clarity at last! Has he
forgotten the fate of that earlier rabbit warren of the
righteous, the League of Nations?
Does our "realistic idealist"
think a NATO of 25 nations that has mustered a piddling
16,000 soldiers, most of them noncombatants, to
stand beside us in
Afghanistan is going to confront a nuclear-armed
"Nations have no permanent friends
and no permanent enemies. Only permanent interests,"
What is critical, especially in wartime,
is not whether a regime is autocratic or democratic, but
whether it is hostile or friendly.
Gen. Washington, at war with democratic
Great Britain, is said to have danced a jig when he
heard we had Louis XVI as an ally. During our Civil War,
built blockade-runners for the Confederacy, while
the czar docked his ships in Union harbors. Russia
"was our friend/When the world was our foe,"
wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes.
When Nixon launched his airlift to save
Israel in the Yom Kippur War, autocratic Portugal let us
use the Azores. Democratic
France denied Reagan over-flight permission in the
1986 raid on Libya. Two brave U.S. pilots died as a
To root one`s attitude toward nations
based upon their internal politics rather than their
foreign policies is ideology. And policies rooted in
ideologies, from Trotskyism to democratism, end up on
the Great Barrier Reef of reality.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to VDARE.COM readers;
his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,
Paul Craig Roberts.