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What Should We Fight for?
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“We will never accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea,” declaimed Rex Tillerson last week in Vienna.

“Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”

Tillerson’s principled rejection of the seizure of land by military force — “never accept” — came just one day after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and pledged to move our embassy there.

How did Israel gain title to East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Golan Heights? Invasion, occupation, colonization, annexation.

Those lands are the spoils of victory from Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War.

Is Israel being severely sanctioned like Russia? Not quite.

Her yearly U.S. stipend is almost $4 billion, as she builds settlement after settlement on occupied land despite America’s feeble protests.

What Bibi Netanyahu just demonstrated is that, when dealing with the Americans and defending what is vital to Israel, perseverance pays off. Given time, the Americans will accept the new reality.

Like Bibi, Vladimir Putin is a nationalist. For him, the recapture of Crimea was the achievement of his presidency. For two centuries that peninsula had been home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and critical to her security.

Putin is not going to return Crimea to Kiev, and, eventually, we will accept this new reality as well.

For while whose flag flies over Crimea has never been crucial to us, it is to Putin. And like Israelis, Russians are resolute when it comes to taking and holding what they see as rightly theirs.

Both these conflicts reveal underlying realities that help explain America’s 21st-century long retreat. We face allies and antagonists who are more willing than are we to take risks, endure pain, persevere and fight to prevail.

This month, just days after North Korea tested a new ICBM, national security adviser H. R. McMaster declared that Trump “is committed to the total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

If so, we are committed to a goal we almost surely are not going to achieve. For, short of a war that could go nuclear, Kim Jong Un is not going to yield to our demands.

For Kim, nuclear weapons are not an option.

He knows that Saddam Hussein, who had given up his WMD, was hanged after the Americans attacked. He knows the grisly fate of Moammar Gadhafi, after he invited the West into Libya to dismantle his nuclear program and disarm him of any WMD.

Kim knows that if he surrenders his nuclear weapons, he has nothing to deter the Americans should they choose to use their arsenal on his armed forces, his regime, and him.

North Korea may enter talks, but Kim will never surrender the missiles and nukes that guarantee his survival. Look for the Americans to find a way to accommodate him.

Consider, too, China’s proclaimed ownership of the South China Sea and her building on reefs and rocks in that sea, of artificial islands that are becoming air, missile and naval bases.

Hawkish voices are being raised that this is intolerable and U.S. air and naval power must be used if necessary to force a rollback of China’s annexation and militarization of the South China Sea.

Why is this not going to happen?

While this area is regarded as vital to China, it is not to us. And while China, a littoral state that controls Hainan Island in that sea, is a legitimate claimant to many of its islets, we are claimants to none.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan are the other claimants. But though their interests in the fishing grounds and seabed resources may be as great as China’s, none has seen fit to challenge Beijing’s hegemony.

Why should we risk war with China to validate the claims of Communist Vietnam or Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless regime in Manila? Why should their fight become our fight?


China’s interests in the sea are as crucial to her as were U.S. interests in the Caribbean when, a rising power in 1823, we declared the Monroe Doctrine. Over time, the world’s powers came to recognize and respect U.S. special interests in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Given the steady rise of Chinese military power, the proximity of the islets to mainland China, the relative weakness and reluctance to confront of the other claimants, China will likely become the controlling power in the South China Sea, as we came to be the predominant power in the Western Hemisphere.

What we are witnessing in Crimea, across the Middle East, in the South China Sea, on the Korean peninsula, are nations more willing than we to sacrifice and take risks, because their interests there are far greater than ours.

What America needs is a new national consensus on what is vital to us and what is not, what we are willing to fight to defend and what we are not.

For this generation of Americans is not going to risk war, indefinitely, to sustain some Beltway elite’s idea of a “rules-based new world order.” After the Cold War, we entered a new world — and we need new red lines to replace the old.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2017

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, China, Russia 
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  1. This generation of Americans is not going to risk war – but who believes that what we think counts for anything except voting for promises to us quickly broken as soon as the tallies are counted? Our democracy has become a sham, because there is no accountability to the voters the day after an election, only to elites and their deep state.

    The Empire is on autopilot, with its many sorrows to be visited upon those outside the de facto oligarchy.

    • Agree: Talha, SolontoCroesus
  2. Mulegino1 says:

    It would be better if Pat’s article had been entitled “What Should We Not Have Fought For?” since the answers would be so much easier:

    We should NOT have fought any war against a decrepit colonial power (Spain) in order to acquire an American colony (the Philippines) in the Western Pacific at enormous cost to them and the loss of America’s true historical vocation to be a great tellurocratic power serving as a homeland to the European peoples desiring refuge from the dynastic squabbles and wars of that continent.

    We should NOT have involved ourselves in the European civil wars of the Twentieth Century (the First and Second World Wars) for the sake of destroying the economic enemy of the City of London and Wall St., since our involvement ultimately resulted in the ongoing cultural and spiritual destruction of the ancestral homeland of the American people.

    We should NOT have fought a Cold War with the Soviet Union, since that unnecessary conflict ultimately led to our own republic being converted into a rapacious world empire which would ultimately devour the very substance of our own people.

    We should NOT have intervened in the civil wars in Korea and Vietnam. The former led to a current world crisis and the latter to terrible social strife here at home.

    We should NOT have fought any wars for Zionist hegemony in the Middle East, or to secure the natural resources of other nations (which we ourselves possess in abundance).

    We should NOT have fought a “Global War on Terror” since that conflict led to the destruction of our most fundamental freedoms here at home.

    We should NOT have provoked and poked at the Russians and Chinese in their own spheres of interest as this may precipitate the destruction of most of humanity.

    Other than that…

  3. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In extra-national matters, Mr. Buchanan is once again “we, we, we,” all the way home. By reliably conflating the “interests” of Americans and those of our rulers, he serves the latter as the right edge of the 3 x 5 card of Establishment punditry.

  4. Let’s just back up and look at the big picture, Mr. Buchanan and readers. Lets’ leave out all the details about who started which war, whether the US should have been involved, what our strategy should be in the future… blah… blah.

    AMERICA! IS! BEYOND! BROKE! Do you people get this?! I don’t mean just even-Stephen broke, like with zero in the bank and no cash flow right now. I mean $20,000,000,000,000 in the hole via Treasury bonds and around 10X that in future obligations – that’s peoples’ pensions promised to them, S. Security, health care obligations and all that.

    That’s about 200 large owed per actual taxpaying (not filing, but paying) American family, just for the actual present debt, the 20 Trillion. There’s no way to get out of this hole without hyperinflation or default, either of which will eliminate the US dollar as “real” money.

    Besides the fact that the US military is full of women, homos, and assorted trans-what-have-you’s and could not fight any serious enemy, we don’t have any money for more war. What are we going to do, call for a cease-fire with the Chinese to allow the container ships passage with the parts we need for helicopters and missiles?

    There’s really no point in even writing about any of these details. We need to stay home and get prepped for what’s coming financially. I like Pat Buchanan, and he has written about Feral budget issues before, but he seems to have a blind spot for the financial aspect of what’s going on in America.

    • Agree: fish
  5. bjondo says:

    never fight for jew
    never fight for britain

  6. What America needs is a new national consensus on what is vital to us and what is not, what we are willing to fight to defend and what we are not.

    What do you mean “we” kemosabe?

    The United States has turned itself into a collection of tribes with very little in common outside of the fact that we work here. What does the white accountant in Minnesota have in common with the black itinerant janitor in Atlanta? What does the Chinese engineer in Seattle have in common with the Mexican bus boy in New Jersey? What does the Jewish lawyer in Chicago have in common with the white truck driver in West Virginia?

    There is no “we” in any real sense of the word. There are several tribes that are not bound by race or history (remember American history is now just a long litany of evil white people discriminating against PoC) or culture.

    We will fight small wars at the behest of Jews because those wars don’t require the full support of the various American tribes. You can get away with these targeted wars with gung-ho white kids from rural areas and the South.

    If I was China or Russia, I’d play nice with the ring-leader of the American tribes, the ultimate tribe. America’s interests are now Jewish interests, so work with those in charge, knowing that every year that passes the United States becomes weaker as the various tribes grow ever more fractious.

  7. Ben Frank says:

    In the real world there are “spheres of influence”. People hate to use that phrase because our grandfathers used it, and it reminds us of history, which can be upsetting because people suffered.
    In reality, outside of Europe every country is largely under the umbrella of US, China or Russia. Ignoring that reality could cost millions of war deaths.
    Mexico is to US approximately as Ukraine to Russia and Vietnam to China. They are all smaller, neighboring countries with long historical connections.
    Leftism is denial, delusion and dissociation, which is why it kills.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  8. Rurik says:

    Is Israel being severely sanctioned like Russia? Not quite.

    unless we find a way to end the Fed, then we have to get used to eternal and slavish support for every desire from the collective Jewish whim du jour

    and perhaps it serves us right that the ‘the Jews’ hate our guts and want to see us suffer

    perhaps for our infinite bovine apathy, and our leaders endless and eternal venality to all things Mammon, we deserve what we’re getting

    they call us cows, and why not? That’s what we act like!


    or stop crying about slavish support for Israel as your communities become unrecognizable

  9. Virgile says:

    Rex Tillerson is the reverse echo of Trump.
    Trump says Bashar al Assad withh stay until 2021 ( New Yorker Robon Wright 11 dec 2017), Tillerson says Bashar al Assad should leave now

    It seems that Rex Tillerson is talking more hawkish that the hawks. Is he playin the game of provocation so he is fired for a good reason ?

  10. I challenge anybody on this site to come up with greater irony.
    Ukraine is making engines for North Korean rockets, that will have soon nuclear warheads, destined to fall on US population.
    And US is supporting Ukraine.
    Come on!
    Show me the greater crazyness

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  11. There’s a documentary called WHY WE FIGHT?

    Maybe someone should make a documentary called WHY WE INVITE?

    I mean “We are the world” is closer to ‘We are the turd”.

    Get a load of this:

  12. @bjondo

    That takes care of every war since ~1900.

    Well, you could argue that WWI was fought for Wall Street which had loaned the allies (mostly Britain and France) $2.3 billion dollars vs. $23 million to Germany. If the allies went under, they’d default on those loans and crush the Wall Street banks.

    (The strain of attempting to repay those loans caused huge problems for Europe throughout the 1920s and was one of the reasons that the Allies’ terms to the Germans were so harsh; they needed German money to pay back the Americans. And guess where Germany got a lot of the money needed to pay reparations? You guessed it, loans from Wall Street.)

    J.P. Morgan and others funneled money to U.S. journalists and papers to promote the war. They only needed to control a relatively small number of paper to control public opinion. Sound familiar.

    Apparently, it’s been pretty easy to control the sheeple since the advent of mass media. Jews are just the latest masters of that art.

    • Replies: @bjondo
    , @Thirdeye
  13. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    That’s an interesting and new-to-me concept, CoaCS. If I got this right, Americans are the new Red Man. It’s something I need to think about a bit more, but it makes some sense. The white man, still, is a fairly big tribe compared to any comparable Indian tribe back in the day, and I mean, relatively speaking. It won’t stay that way if things keep going the way they have been.

    Could I post this whole thing on, maybe with any additions you’d like to make?

  14. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    I challenge anybody on this site to come up with greater irony.

    Challenge accepted and overcome. There are over 500 posts on stupidity right here. Don’t talk to me about stupidity, young lady. I look in the eye of the beast daily. (No, I don’t work at a university or in the military, why do you ask?)

  15. @Achmed E. Newman

    Hey, have it.

    Maybe having grown up around Native Americans, I understood that, yes, you can lose your land and culture. For thousands of years, the Indians controlled North and South America. Then, with a few hundred years, it was gone. In the blink of an eye, your world disappeared. It must have been like aliens landing for them.

    In the Indians’ defense, they faced an advisary that was technologically and organizationally light years ahead of them. They really had no chance. What excuse do modern whites have? We can end of all of this tomorrow. We simply choose not to. The Indians never had that choice.

    • Replies: @anon
  16. L.K says:


    For while whose flag flies over Crimea has never been crucial to us, it is to Putin. And like Israelis, Russians are resolute when it comes to taking and holding what they see as rightly theirs.

    Sigh… Buchanan’s comparison is totally flawed.

    To begin with, Israel takes “risks” almost entirely at other people’s expenses, mainly but not exclusively, their tool, the ZUSA…

    A very reasonable case can be made that modern Crimea actually belongs with Russia…
    No such case can be made regarding “Israel’s” land grabs…

    On another forum, a poster wrote, in this connection, in a reply to Buchanan’s piece:

    The major difference between Crimea and Palestine is the Crimeans voted ( overwhelmingly for reunification) and the Palestinians have few rights and nothing to say because the Israeli political process demands that to be so.

    • Agree: Beefcake the Mighty
  17. Bayan says:

    Russia and Israel have good reasons for annexing their respective loots. Problem is there is no country in the world that does not have excellent reasons for annexing this or that part of its neighbour. We have entered an officially accepted era of chaos.

  18. KenH says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    There is no “we” in any real sense of the word. There are several tribes that are not bound by race or history (remember American history is now just a long litany of evil white people discriminating against PoC) or culture.

    Yeah, but we only need to abolish whiteness (i.e., white people) to usher in multiracial utopia.

  19. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    The white race is its own worst enemy. Look at the utterly senseless and ruinous WW1 for example.

    • Replies: @anon
  20. eah says:

    What Should We Fight for?

    A Civic Nationalist asks this and only this question — but a White Nationalist also asks: Who should we fight for?

  21. NickG says:

    As ever, an incisive piece by Pat Buchanan.

    What America needs is a new national consensus on what is vital to us and what is not, what we are willing to fight to defend and what we are not.

    Given that traditional ‘blood and soil’ nationalism, at least for those of European descent, is now considered badthought and a hate-crime by goodthinkers. And as far as the oft promulgated ‘proposition nation’ thing is concerned, the currently promulgated proposition seems to be the sentiment underpinning Emma Lazarus’ ‘zeroth amendment’ found at the base of the Statue of Liberty (added in 1903, some 27 years after the statue was dedicated in 1886) :

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

    It’s certainly not down to the US Constitution, given that its effect is no longer down to what is written in the document and subject to amendment by due constitutional process, but rather its effect is subject to judicial fiat of the whims and mores of the members of the supreme court’s goodthink justices.

    It would seem to be that rather than worrying about the South China sea or the machinations in the Black Sea, ‘what America needs’ is a national consensus on what America actually is.

    So what is America?

    I’m sure the good Mr Buchanan could wax lyrical on this one; I for one hope he does….Sir?

  22. anon • Disclaimer says:

    In Niall Ferguson’s biography of the Rothschilds, he wrote that the Rothschilds had more power than any monarch or other leader in all of Europe. “If the Rothschilds said there would be war, then there would be war; if no war, then no war.”

    That means that the Rothschilds must have approved WWI.

    Jews were the major beneficiaries of WWI.

    Yes, “whites” were stupid to kill their own kin, but let’s wise up: WWI, and WWII, were maneuvered by, propagandized by, and managed by Jews.

    Jews don’t consider themselves White. Or German, or Polish, or Russian, or French, or Italian. (The British consider themselves Jewish, so that’s a major part of the problem.)

    The record goes from, “I’m not White I’m Jewish,”

    White does not exist.

    Consider the frequency with which Jews use other people’s children, armies, blood, and treasure to fight for their benefit and to kill their enemies (which is what Jews did in WWII).

    Blood libel!!
    Blood libel!!

  23. bjondo says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    wall st certainly wanted their money
    britain needed amer to win
    and the jew delivered (far more than jp)
    to receive the balfour declaration’s promise

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  24. KenH says:

    What America needs is a new national consensus on what is vital to us and what is not, what we are willing to fight to defend and what we are not.

    This might be possible were it not for Jewish power and influence. Jews, via AIPAC and their many shabbos goys, define what is vital to us and what is not and anyone who dissents is shouted down as an “anti-semite” or isolationist. In 2017 the latter term means anyone who refuses to fight wars to benefit Israeli interests.

    American presidents and most leaders in the Western world are nothing more than Israel’s satraps.

  25. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    How committed are “leftists” to a “pro-diversity” stance globally?

    In what non white majority countries are we seeing priority for “diversity”, for “antiracism”, for mass immigration from peoples different than the majority population?

    Diversity just means finding anything white and Chasing Them Down until its acceptably non white

    Its anti white
    Its W- G-

  26. Nixon was pro-Israel because the Soviets were funding the Arabs.
    If we don’t currently have a dog in this fight, why have our troops go into harm’s way?
    If we do have a dog in this fight, let’s do funding and arms deals with that dog. And no one else. And NOT send our troops over.
    At the moment, the US is sending money to ALL sides. Look how many countries get our financial support!
    Because we’re so nice.

  27. Corvinus says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    “The United States has turned itself into a collection of tribes with very little in common outside of the fact that we work here.”

    You continue to underestimate the typical American who has work and personal relationships within and between ethnic groups/races. It’s more like the white accountant in Minnesota and the black janitor at his firm share accounts of growing up, or the Chinese engineer in Seattle who talks to the Mexican bus boy everyday at lunch. Those interactions occur on a daily basis. Perhaps you are devoid of these experiences or refuse to acknowledge their existence; regardless, it is a reality that these occurrences happen on a daily basis throughout our great land.

    “We will fight small wars at the behest of Jews because those wars don’t require the full support of the various American tribes.”

    Your Jew fixation is duly noted.

    • Replies: @Anon
  28. bluedog says:
    @Ben Frank

    So is rightism but those who embrace the right simply refuse to face it,they embrace mom’s apple pie, we are the exceptional nation the shinning light and any other term you wish to call it rather than the war faring nation we are and always have been…

  29. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Your horror at any animadversions cast on Jews and acquiescence at any on Christians is duly noted.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  30. If the American Soldiers would realize that they do not fight that much for Democracy they would have doubts.

    If the American Soldiers would realize that they fight for the big business and the big money makers and especially for non-elected people and organisations in the background – they would have changed the sides since decades.

    Just look at the statements and remarks from Smedley Butler…

    At the moment the craziest thing is the Russia-phobia like in the time from McCarthy.

    While Americans point with the finger on Russia they ignore who has the remote on their elections since decades.It doesn’t matter if there are Democrats or Republicans – both are different sides from the same coin.It looks more like “Plutocracy first”.Money rules America.Just an example from today: the decision about Net Neutrality.

    As long as the Americans believe the stories in “their own” mass media they have to go on to fight the wars for a small state in the Middle East and the high society who is profiting from.

    Is or was it true that members of the congress have to sign a paper that they are supporting Israel with billions of American taxpayer money and if not the politicians will lose the financial support?

    Cui bono? Who is profiting from the Jerusalem decision? America first?

    Also I have to thank unzreview for publishing comments.

  31. Corvinus says:

    “Your horror at any animadversions cast on Jews and acquiescence at any on Christians is duly noted.”

    It’s not horror, it’s pity that you have thoroughly duped.

    • Replies: @Anon
  32. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Learn to English. Maybe from Tiny Duck.

  33. Thirdeye says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    You’re exactly right about the US entering WWI to protect bankers who were exposed to risk on loans to Britain. They were pushing the US into the war before the Balfour deal was a twinkle in Chaim Weizman’s eye.

    For some perspective on the true role of the Balfour Declaration (it was about getting Jews on board with the US march to war, not the other way around):

  34. Thirdeye says:

    See my response to CoaSC’s post. It was the old-line bluebloods who led the rush to war.

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