Subscribe: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Patrick Buchanan
http://realclearpolitics.com/articles/rss_patrick_buchanan.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
america  americans  bush  economy  fed  freeman  nato  new  obama  percent  states  united states  united  war  world  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Patrick Buchanan

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Patrick Buchanan





Last Build Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2009
 



Why Europe Won't Fight

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0600

During what the Times called a "fractious meeting," NATO agreed to send 3,000 troops to provide security during the elections and 2,000 to train Afghan police. Thin gruel beside Obama's commitment to double U.S. troop levels to 68,000. Why won't Europe fight? Because Europe sees no threat from Afghanistan and no vital interest in a faraway country where NATO Europeans have not fought since the British Empire folded its tent long ago. Al-Qaida did not attack Europe out of Afghanistan. America was attacked. Because, said Osama bin Laden in his "declaration of war," America was occupying the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, choking Muslim Iraq to death and providing Israel with the weapons to repress the Palestinians. As Europe has no troops in Saudi Arabia, is exiting Iraq and backs a Palestinian state, Europeans figure, they are less likely to be attacked than if they are fighting and killing Muslims in Afghanistan. Madrid and London were targeted for terror attacks, they believe, because Spain and Britain were George W. Bush's strongest allies in Iraq. Britain, with a large Pakistani population, must be especially sensitive to U.S. Predator strikes in Pakistan. Moreover, Europeans have had their fill of war. In World War I alone, France, Germany and Russia each lost far more men killed than we have lost in all our wars put together. British losses in World War I were greater than America's losses, North and South, in the Civil War. Her losses in World War II, from a nation with but a third of our population, were equal to ours. Where America ended that war as a superpower and leader of the Free World, Britain ended it bankrupt, broken, bereft of empire, sinking into socialism. All of Europe's empires are gone. All her great navies are gone. All her million-man armies are history. Her populations are all aging, shrinking and dying, as millions pour in from former colonies in the Third World to repopulate and Islamize the mother countries. Because of Europe's new "diversity," any war fought in a Muslim land will inflame a large segment of Europe's urban population. Finally, NATO Europe knows there is no price to pay for malingering in NATO's war in Afghanistan. Europeans know America will take up the slack and do nothing about their refusal to send combat brigades. For Europeans had us figured out a long time ago. They sense that we need them more than they need us. While NATO provides Europe with a security blanket, it provides America with what she cannot live without: a mission, a cause, a meaning to life. Were the United States, in exasperation, to tell Europe, "We are pulling out of NATO, shutting down our bases and bringing our troops home because we are weary of doing all the heavy lifting, all the fighting and dying for freedom," what would we do after we had departed and come home? What would our foreign policy be? What would be the need for our vaunted military-industrial complex, all those carriers, subs, tanks, and thousands of fighter planes and scores of bombers? What would happen to all the transatlantic conferences on NATO, all the think tanks here and in Europe devoted to allied security issues? After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the withdrawal of the Red Army from Eastern Europe and the breakup of the Soviet Union, NATO's mission was accomplished. As Sen. Richard Lugar said, NATO must "go out of area or out of business." NATO desperately did not want to go out of business. So, NATO went out of area, into Afghanistan. Now, with victory nowhere in sight, NATO is heading home. Will it go out of business? Not likely. Too many rice bowls depend on keeping NATO alive. You don't give up the March of Dimes headquarters and fund-raising machinery just because Drs. Salk and Sabin found a cure for polio. Again, one recal[...]



March Madness, 1939

Tue, 07 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0600

Let us go back to Munich. On Sept. 30, 1938, at Munich, Chamberlain signed away the Sudetenland rather than fight to keep 3.5 million Germans under a Czech rule imposed upon them at the Paris peace conference in violation of Wilson's principle of self-determination. Why did Britain not fight? Because Britain had no alliance with Prague and Chamberlain did not "give two hoots" who ruled the Sudetenland. Also, Britain had no draft, no divisions to send to France, no Spitfires, no support from America or her dominions, no ally save France, who had been told that, if war came, the United States would not deliver the planes France had purchased. U.S. neutrality laws forbade it. In his meetings with Chamberlain, Hitler had warned that Poland and Hungary would also be entering claims for ancestral lands ceded to the Czechs at Paris in 1919. Thus, after Munich, Warsaw had seized coal-rich Teschen, which held tens of thousands of Poles. Hungary, in the "Vienna Award" of Nov. 2, 1938, got back lands in Slovakia and Ruthenia where Hungarians were the majority and Budapest had ruled before 1919. Neither Britain nor France resisted these border revisions. Came then March 1939, when Czechoslovakia began to crumble. On March 10, to crush a Slovakian push for independence, Czech President Emil Hacha ousted Slovak Prime Minister Father Tiso, occupied Bratislava and installed a pro-Prague regime. On March 11, Tiso fled to Vienna and appealed to Berlin. On March 13, Tiso met Hitler, who told him that if he did not declare independence immediately, Germany would not interfere with Hungary's re-annexation of Slovakia. Budapest was moving troops to the border. On March 14, Slovakia declared independence. Ruthenia followed, dissolving what was left of Czechoslovakia. Adm. Horthy, told by Hitler he could re-annex Ruthenia but must keep his hands off Slovakia, occupied Ruthenia. Hacha now asked to meet with Hitler to get the same guarantee of independence Slovakia had gotten. But Hitler bullied Hacha into making the Czech remnant a protectorate of Germany. Thus, six months after Munich, the Germans of Czechoslovakia were where they wished to be, under German rule. The Poles were under Polish rule. The Hungarians were under Hungarian rule. And the Slovaks were under Slovak rule in their new nation. But 500,000 Ruthenians were back under Budapest, and 7 million Czechs were back under German rule -- this time Berlin, not Vienna. Ethnonationalism had torn Czechoslovakia apart as it had the parent Hapsburg Empire. Yet, no vital British interest was imperiled. And though Hitler had used brutal Bismarckian diplomacy, not force, Chamberlain was humiliated. The altarpiece of his career, the Munich accord, was now an object of mockery. Made a fool of by Hitler, baited by his backbenchers, goaded by Lord Halifax, facing a vote of no confidence, on March 31, 1939, Chamberlain made the greatest blunder in British diplomatic history. He handed an unsolicited war guarantee to the Polish colonels who had just bitten off a chunk of Czechoslovakia. Lunacy, raged Lloyd George, who was echoed by British leaders and almost every historian since. With the British Empire behind it, Warsaw now refused even to discuss a return of Danzig, the Baltic town, 95 percent German, which even Chamberlain thought should be returned. Hitler did not want a war with Poland. Had he wanted war, he would have demanded the return of the entire Polish Corridor taken from Germany in 1919. He wanted Danzig back and Poland as an ally in his anti-Comintern Pact. Nor did he want war with a Britain he admired and always saw as a natural ally. Nor did he want war with France, or he would have demanded the return of Alsace. But Hitler was out on a limb with Danz[...]



Should We Kill the Fed?

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0600

The Federal Reserve. "(T)he very people who devised the policies that produced the mess are now posing as the wise public servants who will show us the way out," writes Thomas Woods in "Meltdown." Already in its sixth week on the New York Times best-seller list, this eminently readable book traces the Fed's role in every financial crisis since this creature was spawned on Jekyl Island in 1913. The "forgotten depression" of 1920-21 was caused by a huge increase in the money supply for President Wilson's war. When the Fed started to tighten at war's end, production fell 20 percent from mid-1920 to mid-1921, far more than today. Why did we not read about that depression? Because the much-maligned Warren Harding refused to intervene. He let businesses and banks fail and prices fall. Hence, the fever quickly broke, and we were off into "the Roaring Twenties." But, the Fed reverted, expanding the money supply by 55 percent, an average of 7.3 percent a year, not through an expansion of the currency, but through loans to businesses. Thus, when the Fed tightened in the overheated economy, the Crash came, as the stock market bubble the Fed had created burst. Herbert Hoover, contrary to the myth that he was a small-government conservative, renounced laissez-faire, raised taxes, launched public works projects, extended emergency loans to failing businesses and lent money to the states for relief programs. Hoover did what Obama is doing. Indeed, in 1932, FDR lacerated Hoover for having presided over the "greatest spending administration in peacetime in all of history." His running mate, John Nance Garner, accused Hoover of "leading the country down the path to socialism." And "Cactus Jack" was right. Terrified of the bogeyman that causes Ben Bernanke sleepless nights -- deflation, falling prices -- FDR ordered crops destroyed, pigs slaughtered, and business cartels to cut production and fix prices. FDR mistook the consequences of the Depression -- falling prices -- for the cause of the depression. But prices were simply returning to where they belonged in a free market, the first step in any cure. Obama is repeating the failed policies of Hoover and FDR, by refusing to let prices fall. Obama, with his intervention to prop up housing prices and Bernanke with his gushers of money to bail out bankrupt banks and businesses are creating a new bubble that will burst even more spectacularly. The biggest myth, writes Woods, is that it was World War II that ended the Great Depression. He quotes Paul Krugman: "What saved the economy and the New Deal was the enormous public works project known as World War II, which finally provided a fiscal stimulus adequate to the economy's needs." This Nobel Prize winner's analysis, writes Woods, is a "stupefying and bizarre misunderstanding of what actually happened," Undoubtedly, with 29 percent of the labor force conscripted at one time or another into the armed forces, and their jobs taken by elderly men, women and teenagers with little work experience, unemployment will fall. But how can an economy be truly growing 13 percent a year, as the economists claim, when there is rationing, shortages everywhere, declining product quality, an inability to buy homes and cars, and a longer work week? When the cream of the labor force is in boot camps or military bases, or storming beaches, sailing ships, flying planes and marching with rifles, how can your real economy be booming? It was 1946, a year economists predicted would result in a postwar depression because government spending fell by two-thirds, that proved the biggest boom year in all of American history. Why? Because the real economy was producing what people wanted: cars, TVs, homes. Businesses were responding to[...]



Is Notre Dame Still Catholic?

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0600

To Catholics, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, a premeditated breach of God's Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill." The case is closed for all time. Any who participate in an abortion are excommunicated. Catholic politicians from Nancy Pelosi to Joe Biden who support a "woman's right to choose" have been denounced from pulpits and denied Communion. Obama, however, is the most pro-abortion president ever. On his third day in office, by executive order, he repealed the Bush prohibition against using tax dollars to fund agencies abroad that perform abortions. He supports partial-birth abortion, where a baby's soft skull is sliced open with scissors in the birth canal and its brains sucked out to ease its passage, a procedure Sen. Pat Moynihan said "comes as close to infanticide as anything I have seen in our judiciary." In the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, a bill to save the lives of infant survivors of abortion. He voted to allow doctors and nurses to let these tiny babies die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste. Barack is committed to signing the Freedom of Choice Act, which would repeal every federal and state restriction on abortion. He has smoothed the path for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Notre Dame, a university that teaches that all innocent human life is sacred, will thus honor a leader determined to ensure that a woman's right to destroy her unborn child in the womb remains unrestricted. There is thus a direct clash between what Notre Dame professes to stand for and what Notre Dame is doing. Says Ralph McInerny, a philosophy professor since 1955: "By inviting Barack Obama to be the 2009 commencement speaker, Notre Dame has forfeited its right to call itself a Catholic University. ... (T)his is a deliberate thumbing of the collective nose at the Roman Catholic Church to which Notre Dame purports to be faithful. "Faithful? Tell it to Julian the Apostate." McInerny calls Father Jenkins' invitation to Obama worse than the "usual effort of the university to get into warm contact with the power figures of the day. It is an unequivocal abandonment of any pretense at being a Catholic university." An honorary degree, writes Catholic author George Weigel, is a statement that here is a man we should admire and emulate. But how can a Catholic university say that about a man who means to appoint Supreme Court justices who will keep constitutional and legal the systematic slaughter of the unborn that has taken 50 million lives in 35 years? Can Father Jenkins not see the contradiction here that renders Notre Dame a morally incoherent institution? Diocesan Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend has told Father Jenkins he will not be attending commencement because of Obama's support of embryonic stem cell research. Said the bishop, "While claiming to separate policies from science, (Obama) has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life." Pope Benedict has yet to be heard from. But on his visit to the United States, he declared that any appeal to academic freedom "to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission." Does not honoring the most visible pro-abortion advocate in America "betray the identity and mission" of Notre Dame? Father Jenkins says the invitation "should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life." But what Notre Dame is saying with this invitation is that Obama's 100 percent support for policies and programs that[...]



Can Uncle Sam Ever Let Go?

Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:00:02 -0600

"Relics of another era" -- thus did Stephen Meyer, in Parameters in 2003, begin his essay "Carcass of Dead Policies: The Irrelevance of NATO." NATO has been irrelevant for two decades, since its raison d'etre -- to keep the Red Army from driving to the Rhine -- disappeared. Yet Obama is headed to Brussels to celebrate France's return and the 60th birthday of the alliance. But why is NATO still soldiering on? In 1989, the Wall fell. Germany was reunited. The Captive Nations cast off communism. The Red Army went home. The USSR broke apart into 15 nations. But, having triumphed in the Cold War, it seems the United States could not bear giving up its role as Defender of the West, could not accept that the curtain had fallen and the play was closing after a 40-year run. So, what did we do? In a spirit of "triumphalism," NATO "nearly doubled its size and rolled itself right up to Russia's door," writes Richard Betts in The National Interest. Breaking our word to Mikhail Gorbachev, we invited into NATO six former member states of the Warsaw Pact and three former republics of the Soviet Union. George W. Bush was disconsolate he could not bring in Georgia and Ukraine. Why did we expand NATO to within a few miles of St. Petersburg when NATO is not a social club but a military alliance? At its heart is Article V, a declaration that an armed attack on any one member is an attack on all. America is now honor-bound to go to war against a nuclear-armed Russia for Estonia, which was part of the Russian Empire under the czars. After the Russia-Georgia clash last August, Bush declared, "It's important for the people of Lithuania to know that when the United States makes a commitment -- we mean it." But "mean" what? That a Russian move on Vilnius will be met by U.S. strikes on Mother Russia? Are we insane? Let us thank Divine Providence Russia has not tested the pledge. For can anyone believe that, to keep Moscow from re-establishing its hegemony over a tiny Baltic republic, we would sink Russian ships, blockade Russian ports, bomb Russian airfields, attack Russian troop concentrations? That would risk having some Russian general respond with atomic weapons on U.S. air, sea and ground forces. Great powers do not go to war against other great powers unless vital interests are imperiled. Throughout the Cold War, that was true of both America and Russia. Though he had an atomic monopoly, Harry Truman did not use force to break the Berlin blockade. Nor did Ike intervene to save the Hungarians, whose 1956 revolution Moscow drowned in blood. John F. Kennedy did not use force to stop the building of the Berlin Wall. Lyndon Johnson fired not a shot to halt the crushing of Prague Spring by Soviet tanks. When Solidarity was snuffed out on Moscow's orders in 1981, Ronald Reagan would not even put the Polish regime in default. In August 1991, George Bush I, in Kiev, poured ice water on Ukraine's dream of independence: "Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local despotism. They will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred." Many Americans were outraged. But outrage does not translate into an endorsement of Bush's 43's plan to bring Ukraine into NATO and risk war with Russia over the Crimea. Bush 43 bellowed at Moscow last summer to keep hands off the Baltic states. But his father barely protested when Gorbachev sent special forces into all three in 1991. Bush I's secretary of state, Jim Baker, said it was U.S. policy not to see Yugoslavia break up. Bush 43 was handing out NATO war guarantees to the breakaway republics. "Washington ... succumbed to victory disease and kept kicking Russia whil[...]



The Weimar Solution

Tue, 24 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0600

"For every $100 in paper money, in deposits, in cash, in currency, in existence in 1929, by the time you got to 1933 there was only about $65, $66 left. And that extraordinary collapse in the banking system, with about a third of the banks failing ... with millions of people having their savings essentially washed out, that decline was utterly unnecessary. "(T)he Federal Reserve had the power and the knowledge to have stopped that. And there were people at the time who were ... urging them to do that. So it was ... clearly a mistake of policy that led to the Great Depression." Is Bernanke fighting the war of 1929 in 2009? Surely, today, with the explosion in M1, the basic money supply, there is no shortage of dollars out there, even if they are not circulating fast enough. To end our recession, Bernanke may be running an even greater risk: hyper-inflation. This has destroyed more nations than deflation or even depression. Recall: It was French military intervention in the Ruhr in 1923, to force payment of war reparations, and Weimar's decision to let the currency fall and pay the French in cheap marks that led to the wipeout of the German middle class, the discrediting of that democratic republic and the Munich beer-hall putsch of Adolf Hitler. "The first panacea for a mismanaged nation," said Ernest Hemingway, "is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists." Which brings us to last week's shocker. The Fed will buy up $300 billion in long-term Treasury bonds and spend $750 billion more buying sub-prime mortgages to remove them from the balance sheets of ailing big banks, to get the banks lending again. Bernanke is printing money to buy U.S. bonds. This new gusher from the Fed, after the $700 billion TARP bailout, comes on top of a Congressional Budget Office estimate that this year's deficit will be $1.85 trillion, 13.1 percent of gross domestic product, more than twice the share of the U.S. economy of the largest previous postwar deficit. Concluding the dollar is being abandoned in a frantic Fed effort to stop the recession, markets reacted instantly. The dollar plunge was the steepest since the Plaza Agreement of 1985. Gold shot up to $950 an ounce. Silver had a 12 percent run-up, the sharpest ever. Oil prices surged above $50 a barrel. Commodity markets advanced. The Fed seems to have confirmed the fears of Premier Wen Jiabao, who said that China is "definitely a little worried" about the value of the U.S. bonds Beijing has purchased with the dollars piled up from her trade surpluses with the United States. Can one blame the Chinese? They have already been burned on their U.S. investments. And if the defense of the dollar against its ancient enemy inflation is being abandoned, and protecting the dollar is to take a back seat to the Fed's fight to avoid deflation, than it is indeed time to get out of the dollar and dollar-denominated assets. For inflation is theft. It make liars and cheats of governments. By eroding the value of a currency, inflation punishes savers and creditors and rewards debtors. And what nation is the biggest debtor of them all? The United States of America. Insidiously, inflation consumes the value of cash, savings, municipal bonds, corporate bonds, Treasury bonds and T-bills. Friends who lent America money, who bought our debt in good faith, are robbed and made fools of, while speculators who bet against America by shorting the dollar in the currency markets are vastly rewarded. Given the $3.6 trillion budget Obama plans, the $1.8 trillion in red ink he will run by Oct. 1 and the trillions the Fed is pumping into the [...]



Systemic Failure

Fri, 20 Mar 2009 00:30:00 -0600

It all began with the corruption called sub-prime mortgages. The motivation was not wicked. Democrats wanted to raise home ownership among African-Americans from 50 percent to the 75 percent of white folks. Rove Republicans wanted to do the same for Hispanics. Banks were morally pressured by politicians into making home loans to folks who could not remotely qualify under standards set by decades of experience with mortgage defaults. Made by the millions, these loans were sold in vast quantities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There they were packaged, converted into mortgage-backed securities and sold to the big banks. The banks put scores of billions of dollars worth on their books and sold the rest to foreign banks anxious to acquire Triple-A securities, backed by real estate in America's ever-booming housing market. Computer whizzes devised exotic instruments -- derivatives, which could soar in value, making instant multimillionaires, but also plummet, based on rises and dips in the underlying value of the paper. Came now young geniuses at AIG to insure the banks against catastrophic losses, should the U.S. housing market crash. As the risk was minuscule, premiums were tiny. Payouts, however, should it come to that, were beyond AIG's capacity. In AIG's Financial Products division, based in Connecticut and London, brainiacs were creating other exotic instruments, such as credit default swaps to guarantee against losses and insure profits. To keep these wunderkinds at AIG, they were promised million-dollar retention bonuses. Who kept the game going? The Federal Reserve, by keeping interest rates low and money gushing into the economy, created the bubble that saw housing prices rise annually at 10, 15 and 20 percent. As the economy grew, however, the Fed began to tighten, to raise interest rates. Mortgage terms became tougher. Housing prices stabilized. Homeowners with sub-prime mortgages now found they had to start paying down principal. People losing jobs began to walk away from their houses. Belatedly, folks awoke to the reality that housing prices could go south as well as north, and all that paper spread all over the world was overvalued, and a good bit of it might be worthless. And, so, the crash came and the panic ensued. Who is to blame for the disaster that has befallen us? Their name is legion. There are the politicians who bullied banks into making loans the banks knew were bad to begin with and would never have made without threats or the promise of political favors. There is that den of thieves at Fannie and Freddie who massaged the politicians with campaign contributions and walked away from the wreckage with tens of millions in salaries and bonuses. There are the idiot bankers who bought up securities backed by sub-prime mortgages and were too indolent to inspect the rotten paper on their books. There are the ratings agencies, like Moody's and Standard & Poor's, who gazed at the paper and declared it to be Grade A prime. In short, this generation of political and financial elites has proven itself unfit to govern a great nation. What we have is a system failure that is rooted in a societal failure. Behind our disaster lie the greed, stupidity and incompetence of the leadership of a generation. Does Dr. Obama have the cure for the sickness that ails the republic? He is going to borrow and spend trillions more to bring back the good old days, though it was the good old days that brought us to the edge of the abyss into which we have fallen. Then he is going to spend new trillions to give us benefits we do not now have, though the national debt is surging to 100 percent of the[...]



Of Patriots and Assassins

Tue, 17 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0600

Educated at Yale and Harvard Law, Freeman has served his country in Delhi, Taipei, Bangkok and Beijing. He was Ronald Reagan's deputy assistant secretary of state for Africa and Bill Clinton's assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. George Bush I named him ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Freeman was our man in Riyadh when Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and 500,000 U.S. troops arrived to evict the army of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. In 1997, Freeman succeeded George McGovern as president of the Middle East Policy Council -- and he began to speak out. He opposed the bombing of Serbia and said aloud what few privately deny: Reflexive support for Israel's repression of the Palestinian people is high among the reasons America is no longer seen as a beacon of liberation in the Arab and Muslim world. Freeman echoed the Obama of yesterday, who bravely blurted, "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people." At MEPC, however, Freeman committed a great crime. He published "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, which went onto the New York Times best-seller list -- and put Freeman on AIPAC's enemies list. Hence, when his name surfaced as Blair's choice to chair the NIC, the Israel Firsters went berserk, with Steven Rosen declaring him to be a "textbook case of the old-line Arabism" that infected the Department of State when Gen. George Marshall was secretary. And who is Rosen? A former fixture at AIPAC, Rosen faces imminent federal criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act for transferring top-secret Pentagon documents to the Israeli Embassy. Rosen's accomplice, Larry Franklin, is serving a 12-year sentence. Picking up the Rosen dog whistle, the neocommentariat came howling. To Gabriel Schoenfeld, late of Commentary, Freeman is a "China coddling Israel basher." Tom Piatak of Chronicles found no fewer than five blogs from National Review Online, in two hours, savaging Freemen, two by Jonah Goldberg and two by Michael Rubin. Rich Lowry of NR calls Freeman "Chas of Arabia," a diplomat of "odious" views, a "lap dog" and "blinkered ideologue" who enjoys "pandering to and making excuses for the world's dictators and terrorists." To The New Republic's Jonathan Chait, Freeman is a "fanatic." To Jeffrey Goldberg of Atlantic, formerly of the Israeli Army, Chait's piece was dead on. To TNR ex-publisher Marty Peretz, Freeman is a "bought man." To Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard, Freeman is a "shill for the Saudis," who defends "corrupt Arab states that foment and support terror." Freeman is denounced as a shill of Saudi Arabia -- by people who have spent careers shilling for the Israeli lobby and Likud. Within this smear bund (Murray Rothbard's phrase), who has given America a tenth of the patriotic service and loyalty of Chas Freeman? What were the specific charges? That, in private life, Freeman advised a Chinese company. Would the Israel Firsters have used that argument against Al Haig or Henry Kissinger? Saudi contributions to MEPC should disqualify Freeman, they say. But what did they say when Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, David Wurmser and the rest with inextricable ties to Israel stove-piped to the press the cherry-picked War Party propaganda lies about a "Prague connection" between Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence, yellow cake from Niger, Saddam and al-Qaida, Saddam and the anthrax attacks, "mushroom clouds," "aluminum tubes" and WMD? Who among them questioned State's decision to hand the Iran portfolio to Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a creation and front of AIPAC? Realizing the assaults would not end, Fre[...]



A Sellout of Our Unemployed

Fri, 13 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0600

Is this a slur on the patriotism of some of our congressmen? You betcha. What other conclusion can one reach after Congress refused to require that employers on construction projects, paid for by U.S. tax dollars in the stimulus bill, verify that their workers are Americans? For that is precisely what Congress did. The first paragraph of the front-page story in USA Today says it all. "Los Angeles -- Tens of thousands of jobs created by the economic stimulus law could end up filled by illegal immigrants, particularly in big states like California where undocumented workers are heavily represented in construction, experts on both sides of the issue say." According to the Center for Immigration Studies, illegal aliens will take 300,000 of the 2 million construction jobs to be created by the stimulus bill. The CIS figure is based on Census Bureau estimates that 15 percent of all construction workers are illegal aliens or immigrants who are not authorized to work in the United States. Robert Rector of Heritage Foundation concurs with the figures on the number of jobs Congress just voted to give to non-Americans. "Without specific mechanisms to ensure that workers are U.S. citizens or legally authorized to work, it is likely that 15 percent of these workers, or 300,000, would be illegal immigrants." Other experts put the figure far higher than 15 percent, and certainly higher in California and other Southwestern states, where illegals tend to congregate. In taking these jobs, illegals will be shouldering aside unemployed Americans. Yet Congress could have, with one vote, guaranteed that virtually every job paid for by U.S. taxpayers would go to U.S. workers. How? By mandating that all beneficiaries of stimulus money use the E-Verify program of the Department of Homeland Security, which lets employers check the validity of the Social Security number of all new hires. E-Verify is available on a voluntary basis. It is simple, swift and easy to use. Indeed, E-Verify is becoming standard operating procedure for U.S. businesses that wish to obey the law. According to NumbersUSA, U.S. businesses have used E-Verify in 3 million inquiries this year alone. That is almost half the total of 6.6 million inquiries for all of 2008 and five times the rate of use in 2007. E-Verify is a smashing success with an accuracy rate of over 99 percent that holds out promise of a day when every employer in America will be able to ensure that every employee is an American or someone authorized to work here. At its rising rate of use, one-fourth to one-third of all new hires could soon be checked by E-Verify. Isn't this what we all want, what we have all sought -- an easy, verifiable, non-intrusive, inexpensive way for businesses to assure that those they hire are in our country legally? No, it is not. For Tuesday night, the Senate voted to strip away this protection of American workers from the unfair competition of illegal aliens. The Senate voted 50 to 47 to end E-Verify in six months, when current funding runs out. Sen. Jeff Sessions' proposal to give this successful program five more years was rejected 50 to 47. Republicans and seven Democrats voted to save E-Verify. But only Democrats voted to kill it. How did Harry Reid kill the E-Verify provision that was in the House version of the stimulus package? The Senate was not even allowed to vote on it. And when the two bills were reconciled in the Pelosi-Reid conference, E-Verify disappeared. This was a huge victory for La Raza and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whose lobbyists have labored long to ensure that their member companies pay no price for dump[...]



Lyndon Baines Obama

Tue, 10 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0600

Democratic registration was twice that of the GOP. The liberal press was gleefully writing the obituary of "The Party That Lost Its Head." Decades might pass, it was said, before the GOP recovered from its fatal embrace of right-wing radicalism and foolish rejection of the leadership of Govs. Nelson Rockefeller and William Scranton. Wrote Robert Donovan in the opening lines of his book, "The Future of the Republican Party": "The devastating defeat of Barry Goldwater at the hands of voters in all sections of the country but the Deep South has damaged, weakened and tarnished the party. For years to come ... the two-party system will be crippled." Donovan and all the rest were wrong. The GOP came roaring back in 1966 to capture 47 House seats and eight new governorships. In 1968, Nixon led the party out of the wilderness and into a White House it would hold for 20 of the next 24 years. Full of hubris in 1965, Lyndon Johnson had seized his moment. He had launched a Great Society that would outdo his beloved patron FDR. He would dispatch 500,000 troops to Vietnam to "bring the coonskin home on the wall" and create a "Great Society on the Mekong." Those were heady days of "guns-and-butter." By 1968, LBJ's coalition was shredded. Gov. George Wallace had torn away the populist right. Sens. Gene McCarthy, George McGovern and Robert Kennedy had rallied the antiwar left against him. LBJ and Hubert Humphrey were left to preside over a shrinking center. Why did LBJ fail? He overloaded the circuits. He tried to do it all. He misread a national desire for continuity after Kennedy's death as a mandate for a lunge to the left and a great leap forward with the largest expansion of government since the New Deal. By 1968, racial riots had torn apart almost every great city. The most prestigious campuses had been rocked by student violence. Thousands of antiwar demonstrators had taken to the streets. And 100 to 200 body bags were coming home from Vietnam every week. By the winter of 1968, Lyndon Johnson was a broken president. History never repeats itself exactly. But Barack Obama is making the same mistakes today that LBJ made in 1965. He has ordered 17,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan, as the situation deteriorates and the NATO allies pull out. He has no exit strategy. He has read a repudiation of George Bush as a mandate for a government seizure of wealth and power that exceeds anything attempted in the Great Society. Fully half of the $3.55 trillion in spending Obama will preside over this year will not be covered by tax revenue but by red ink. The money will have to be borrowed from abroad or printed by the Fed. Not only is Barack running a deficit four times as large as Bush's largest, he has called for $1 trillion in new taxes on America's most successful, who have already seen their savings and pensions ravaged. He wants a cap-and-trade system to deal with a global-warming or climate-change crisis many scientists believe is a hoax. He is going to provide health care for all, including immigrants, millions of whom arrive uninsured every year. He is going to plunge scores of billions more into education, though education has eaten up the wealth of an empire, as SAT scores sink further and further below the apogee of 1964, before LBJ and the feds barged in. He is going to ask Congress for authority to spend another $750 billion rescuing the banks. He is going to find the cure for cancer. He is going to ensure every kid gets a college education. He is going to drop half of all wage-earners off the tax rolls, while the top 2 percent, who already pay 40 percent of all income taxes, are for[...]



Afghanistan South

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0600

Prediction: After all U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea have come home, there will be a U.S. army on the Mexican border. For this is where the fate of our republic will be decided, as the fate of Europe will be decided by the millions streaming north from the Maghreb and Middle East, sub-Sahara and South Asia. Last year, 6,000 Mexicans died in drug-related killings in a war where the tactics are massacre, murder, kidnapping and beheading. President Felipe Calderon has ordered another 5,000 troops and 1,000 police to the border. Primary target: Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso. Some 2,500 federal troops are already in Juarez, where in 2008 there were 1,600 drug-related murders. Gun battles occur every day. Nationally, 45,000 army troops and police are committed to this war that Mexico is not winning. For, according to the March 3 Washington Times, the Pentagon now estimates the cartels field more than 100,000 foot soldiers. The chief of police of Juarez just resigned after a cartel threatened to kill an officer even 48 hours if he did not. To prove its seriousness, the cartel murdered four cops, including the chief's deputy. Last year, 50 police officers in Juarez were murdered. "The decision I am taking is one of life over death," said Chief Roberto Oduna. The chief would seem to have a point. In January, his predecessor's head was found in an ice cooler outside a police station. The mayor keeps his family in El Paso, as they have been threatened with decapitation. Friday, the State Department declared, "Corruption throughout Mexico's public institutions remains a key impediment to curtailing the power of the drug cartels." Calderon retorts that, while the murders may be committed in Mexico, the cash and guns come from the United States. With oil revenue down since the price dropped $100 a barrel, and remittances down from Mexican workers in the United States as the U.S. economy tanks, tourism, too, has begun to die. Beheadings in and around Acapulco have not helped. Warnings have been issued to U.S. college kids to avoid Mexico on spring break, as kidnappings for ransom are rampant. Restaurants and bars in Juarez that catered to folks from El Paso and soldiers from Fort Bliss are shutting down. In February, in the resort town of Cancun, a retired army general sent to create an elite anti-crime unit was kidnapped, tortured and shot. Mexican troops raided Cancun's police headquarters and arrested the chief and dozens of his officers in connection with the murder. Add a collapsing global economy to a losing war with drug cartels, and Mexico is at grave risk of becoming a failed state, a narco-state, with a 2,000-mile border with the United States. How does one win a drug war when millions of Americans who use recreational drugs are financing the cartels bribing, murdering and beheading to win the war and keep self-indulgent Americans supplied with drugs? There are two sure ways to end this war swiftly: Milton's way and Mao's way. Mao Zedong's communists killed users and suppliers alike, as social parasites. Milton Friedman's way is to decriminalize drugs and call off the war. When Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1972, Milton, writing in Newsweek, objected on ethical grounds: "On ethical grounds, do we have the right to use the machinery of government to prevent an individual from becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict? For children, almost everyone would answer at least a qualified yes. But for responsible adults, I, for one, would answer no. Reason with the potential addict, yes. Tell him the consequences, yes. Pray for and with him, yes.[...]



Obama Has No Mandate For Radicalism

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0600

Barack has no mandate for this. He was even behind McCain when the decisive event that gave him the presidency occurred -- the September collapse of Lehman Brothers and the market crash. Republicans are under no obligation to render bipartisan support to this statist coup d'etat. For what is going down is a leftist power grab that is anathema to their principles and philosophy. Where the U.S. government usually consumes 21 percent of gross domestic product, this Obama budget spends 28 percent in 2009 and runs a deficit of $1.75 trillion, or 12.7 percent of GDP. That is four times the largest deficit of George W. Bush and twice as large a share of the economy as any deficit run since World War II. Add that 28 percent of GDP spent by the U.S. government to the 12 percent spent by states, counties and cities, and government will consume 40 percent of the economy in 2009. We are not "headed down the road to socialism." We are there. Since the budget was released, word has come that the U.S. economy did not shrink by 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter, but 6.2 percent. All the assumptions in Obama's budget about growth in 2009 and 2010 need to be revised downward, and the deficits revised upward. Look for the deficit for 2009 to cross $2 trillion. Who abroad is going to lend us the trillions to finance our deficits without demanding higher interest rates on the U.S. bonds they are being asked to hold? And if we must revert to the printing press to create the money, what happens to the dollar? As Americans save only a pittance and have lost -- in the value of homes, stocks, bonds and other assets -- $15 trillion to $20 trillion since 2007, how can the people provide the feds with the needed money? In his speech to Congress, Obama promised new investments in energy, education and health care. Every kid is going to get a college degree. We're going to find a cure for cancer. Who is going to pay for all this? The top 2 percent, the filthy rich who got all those Bush tax breaks, say Democrats. But the top 5 percent of income earners already pay 60 percent of U.S. income taxes, while the bottom 40 percent pays nothing. Those paying a federal tax rate of 35 percent will see it rise to near 40 percent and will lose a fifth of the value of their deductions for taxes, mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Yet, two-thirds of small businesses are taxed at the same rate as individuals. Consider what this means to the owner of a restaurant and bar in Los Angeles open from noon to midnight, where a husband and wife each put in 80 hours a week. At year's end, the couple finds they have actually made a profit of $500,000 that they can take home in salary. What is the Obama-Schwarzenegger tax take on that salary? Their U.S. tax rate will have hit 39.6 percent. Their California income tax will have hit 9.55 percent. Medicare payroll taxes on the proprietor as both employer and salaried employee will be $14,500. Social Security payroll taxes for the proprietor as both employer and employee will be $13,243. In short, U.S. and state income and payroll taxes will consume half of all the pair earned for some 8,000 hours of work. From that ravaged salary they must pay a state sales tax of 8.25 percent, gas taxes for the 50-mile commute, and tens of thousands in property taxes on both their restaurant and home. And, after being pilloried by politicians for having feasted in the Bush era, they are now told the tax deduction they get for contributing to the church i[...]



Return of the War Party

Fri, 27 Feb 2009 00:00:00 -0600

On being chosen by Israel's President Shimon Peres to form the new regime, Likud's "Bibi" Netanyahu declared, "Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since the war of independence." Echoing Netanyahu, headlines last week screamed of a startling new nuclear breakthrough by the mullahs. "Iran ready to build nuclear weapon, analysts say," said CNN. "Iran has enough uranium to make a bomb," said the Los Angeles Times. Armageddon appeared imminent. Asked about Iran's nukes in his confirmation testimony, CIA Director Leon Panetta blurted, "From all the information I've seen, I think there is no question that they are seeking that capability." Tuesday, Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a front spawned by the Israeli lobby AIPAC, was given the Iranian portfolio. AIPAC's top agenda item? A U.S. collision with Iran. In the neocon Weekly Standard, Elliot Abrams of the Bush White House parrots Netanyahu, urging Obama to put any land-for-peace deals with the Palestinians on a back burner. Why? "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now part of a broader struggle in the region over Iranian extremism and power. Israeli withdrawals now risk opening the door not only to Palestinian terrorists but to Iranian proxies." The campaign to conflate Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria as a new axis of evil, a terrorist cartel led by Iranian mullahs hell-bent on building a nuclear bomb and using it on Israel and America, has begun. The full-page ads and syndicated columns calling on Obama to eradicate this mortal peril before it destroys us all cannot be far off. But before we let ourselves be stampeded into another unnecessary war, let us review a few facts that seem to contradict the war propaganda. First, last week's acknowledgement that Iran has enough enriched uranium for one atom bomb does not mean Iran is building an atom bomb. To construct a nuclear device, the ton of low-enriched uranium at Natanz would have to be run through a second cascade of high-speed centrifuges to produce 55 pounds of highly enriched uranium (HUE). There is no evidence Iran has either created the cascade of high-speed centrifuges necessary to produce HUE or that Iran has diverted any of the low-enriched uranium from Natanz. And the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors retain full access to Natanz. And rather than accelerating production of low-enriched uranium, only 4,000 of the Natanz centrifuges are operating. Some 1,000 are idle. Why? Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the IAEA, believes this is a signal that Tehran wishes to negotiate with the United States, but without yielding any of its rights to enrich uranium and operate nuclear power plants. For, unlike Israel, Pakistan and India, none of which signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and all of which ran clandestine programs and built atom bombs, Iran signed the NPT and has abided by its Safeguards Agreement. What it refuses to accept are the broader demands of the U.N. Security Council because these go beyond the NPT and sanction Iran for doing what it has a legal right to do. Moreover, Adm. Dennis Blair, who heads U.S. intelligence, has just restated the consensus of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that Iran does not now possess and is not now pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Bottom line: Neither the United States nor the IAEA has conclusive evidence that Iran either has the fissile material for a bomb or an active program to build a bomb. It has never test[...]



Courage, Mr. Holder

Tue, 24 Feb 2009 00:00:00 -0600

One point Holder did allude to, without specifics, was this: "It is not safe for this nation to assume that the unaddressed social problems in the poorest parts of the country can be isolated and will not ultimately affect the larger society." Fair point. And what are some of those social problems? A 70 percent illegitimacy rate in black America, an incarceration and crime rate seven times that of white America, a 50 percent dropout rate in many urban high schools, African-American graduates reading and computing on average at eighth-grade levels. And about these problems what is the black leadership doing? Unlike Bill Cosby, the heroic Holder was virtually mute. Rather, he is upset that "on Saturdays and Sundays" we don't go to church or hang out together. But why are the free associations of Americans, of whatever creed or color, any of Eric Holder or Big Brother's business? Having insulted us, perhaps Holder will start doing his own sworn duty. For one area where he has a lead role is enforcing the nation's laws -- in particular, the U.S. immigration laws. For the federal failure to enforce these laws is a contributory cause of one of those "unaddressed social problems in the poorest parts of the country." Case in point -- rampant unemployment among minority youth. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, among African-Americans 18 to 29 with only a high-school degree, unemployment is now 20 percent. Among black adults who do not have a high-school diploma, it is 24 percent. Among teenagers under 18, black unemployment is 30 percent. Among native-born Hispanics with only a high-school diploma, the unemployment rate is 13.6 percent. Among high-school dropouts, 16 percent. Among Hispanic 16- and 17-year-olds, the jobless figure is 40 percent. As these figures were compiled in December, before the last two months of sweeping layoffs, they surely understate the situation. And with both black and Hispanic dropout rates now reaching 50 percent in major cities, the social dynamite is piling up. Last month, USA Today reported that the FBI estimates there are now 1 million gang members in the United States -- up 200,000 from 2005 -- and these gangs are responsible for 80 percent of all U.S. crimes. From other studies, young Hispanics are 19 times as likely as white youth to join gangs, while African-Americans are 15 times. These millions of teenagers, and unskilled and less-educated young adults with no jobs and little prospect of finding them, are recruiting pools for criminal gangs. Who is getting the jobs for which these native-born black and Hispanic young could quality? Illegal aliens hold literally millions of them. Last week, the CIS reported, "An estimated 6 to 7 million illegal immigrants are currently holding jobs. Prior research indicates they are overwhelmingly employed in lower-skilled and lower-paid jobs." Exactly what sort of jobs? "Illegals are primarily employed in construction, building cleaning and maintenance, food preparation, service and processing, transportation and moving occupations and agriculture." With the exception of agriculture, a majority of the workers in these occupations are native-born Americans. Thus, illegal aliens are taking jobs Americans are not only willing to do, but are doing, and taking 7 million of these jobs from young Americans now out of work. By failing to enforce U.S. immigration laws, the government of the United States is selling America's workin[...]



The Long Retreat

Fri, 20 Feb 2009 00:00:00 -0600

"(O)nce war is forced upon us," said MacArthur, "there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. "In war, there is no substitute for victory." But if victory over the Taliban has been ruled out by the United States, have the Taliban ruled out a victory over the American Empire to rival the one their fathers won over the Soviet Empire? What price are we prepared to pay, in "prolonged indecision," to avert such an end to a war now in its eighth year? America had best brace herself for difficult days ahead. For stepping back from the dreary prognosis for Afghanistan, a new reality becomes clear. The long retreat has begun. Whether it is in the 23 months Gen. Petraeus favors, or the 16 months Obama promised, the United States is coming home from Iraq. The retreat from Central Asia is already underway. Expelled from the K-2 air base in Uzbekistan in 2005, the United States has now been ordered out of the Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan. Abkhazia and South Ossetia, ripped away from Georgia by Russia last August, are never going to be returned. And we all know it. Georgia and Ukraine, most realists now realize, are not going to be admitted to NATO. We're not going to fight Russia over the Crimea. And the U.S. anti-missile missiles and radars George Bush intended to deploy in Poland and the Czech Republic will not now be deployed. For Washington has fish to fry with Russia, and the price of her cooperation is withdrawal of U.S. military forces from her backyard and front porch. And the warm words flowing between Moscow and Washington suggest the deal is done. With tensions rising in Korea, too, it is hard to believe President Obama will bolster ground forces on the peninsula, when even Donald Rumsfeld was presiding over a drawdown and a shifting of U.S. troops away from the DMZ. In Latin America, the United States seems reconciled to the rise of an anti-American radical-socialist coalition, led by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and embracing Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba. Partisans of President Bush may blame Obama for presiding over a strategic retreat, but it is the Bush administration that assured and accelerated such a retreat. As Robert Pape of the University of Chicago writes in The National Interest: "America is in unprecedented decline. The self-inflicted wounds of the Iraq war, growing government debt, increasingly negative current-account balances and other internal economic weaknesses have cost the United States real power in today's world of rapidly spreading knowledge and technology. If present trends continue, we will look back at the Bush administration years as the death knell of American hegemony." Pape's harsh verdict is rooted in his reading of history, that the "size of an economy relative to potential rivals ultimately determines the limits of power in international politics." In other words, when a great nation's share of world product shrinks, the nation's strategic position follows. Between 2000 and 2008, the U.S. share of world product plunged from 31 percent to 23 percent, and is expected to fall to 21 percent by 2013 -- a decline of 32 percent in 13 years. China's share of world product over the same period will more than double to 9 percent. Pape went back to the 19th century to correlate the rise of the great powers like Britain and the commensurate growth in their share of world product. He found[...]