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“There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money,” is an insight the famed biographer James Boswell attributed to Samuel Johnson.

Clients of the late Bernie Madoff, however, might take issue.

Over four decades, Madoff, acclaimed as the greatest fraudster of them all, ran a Ponzi scheme that swindled 40,000 people, including his closest friends, out of $65 billion.

But if “getting money” is among the most innocent of callings, America has more than its fair share of the goodly people who excel at it.

According to Forbes’s 35th annual ranking of billionaires, last year witnessed a population explosion. Some 660 new billionaires were added to the number for a total of 2,755.

And more than one in every four billionaires is an American.

According to Forbes, the richest man in the world is Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, with $177 billion.

Last year was the fourth in a row that Bezos led the list. His wealth exceeds the entire GDP of almost 150 nations.

Directly behind Bezos, at No. 2, is Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, whose wealth rose to $151 billion.

Numbers 4 and 5 were Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, with $124 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook with $97 billion.

“As a class billionaires added about $8 trillion to their total net worth from last year, totaling $13.1 trillion,” says the Washington Post.

“The United States had the most billionaires, at 724, extending a rapid rise in wealth that hasn’t happened since the Rockefellers and the Carnegies roughly a century ago. China, including Macau and Hong Kong, had the second highest number of billionaires: 698.”

This tripling of the wealth of the world’s billionaires and 30% increase in their number came during a year when America and the West endured the worst pandemic in a century and worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.

“While most of the world’s wealthiest people prospered during the pandemic, thanks in part to stock prices,” writes the Post, “millions of Americans grappled with job loss, food insecurity, debt, eviction and poverty.”

Query: Where was the outrage?

In previous times like these, where the rich got richer and the poor and working class rode the rails, we would have heard the excoriations of economic populists and echoes of TR’s “malefactors of great wealth” and FDR’s “forces of entrenched greed.”

But Forbes’ report of the population explosion among billionaires in 2020 passed seemingly without protest.

The dogs did not bark. Why not?

One reason: Whatever one may think of Bezos, Amazon, in 2020, was indispensable for delivering food and medicines to tens of millions of Americans who, given the “lockdowns,” depended on such deliveries for survival. You don’t castigate people providing your food and medicine.

Also, today’s billionaires’ boys club has come to understand how to make its astonishing wealth acceptable, by ingratiating themselves with their old ideological enemies.

Set up a tax-exempt foundation, fund it with billions of dollars, invite in liberals to sit on the board, and, at munificent salaries, to run it and distribute its income to liberal causes. The way to diminish leftist resentment at huge piles of private wealth is to give them a cut.

No wonder Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax went nowhere.

However, they did it, America’s most successful capitalists have learned the lesson some previous generations of capitalists did not — how to preserve their wealth, privilege and economic power and avoid such derisive terms as “capitalist pig.”

Yet, of greater interest, and import, is that the China of the new Great Helmsman, Xi Jinping, a one-party Communist dictatorship, coexists with hundreds of Chinese billionaires.

What would Marx, Lenin, Stalin or the Mao of the Revolution that triumphed in 1949, who put his country through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, say of Chinese oligarchs and plutocrats, each of whom possessed at least a billion dollars in wealth?

Politically, China remains under an ever-tightening Communist rule.

But today, there are inequalities of wealth between the working poor and middle class, and the well-to-do and rich, that would have been anathema to the revolutionaries who founded Communist China.

Is China running a capitalist economy to generate the wealth to consolidate Communist Party control of the nation and grow China’s economic, military and geostrategic power until China displaces America as the first power on earth? So it would appear.

One wonders: Has China found the formula for global ascendancy that eluded the Soviet Union of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev?

Use state capitalism and market incentives to build the economic wealth that can be translated into the growth to enable China to ascend to a level of power where it is indisputably the first nation on earth?

Are the Chinese billionaires the geese laying the golden eggs for the Chinese Communist party? Is Communist doctrine being updated to accommodate the most successful Communist country of them all?

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Billionaires, Democratic Party, Inequality 

“Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”

So declared Sen. Tim Scott, a Black Republican, in his televised rebuttal to Joe Biden’s address to Congress.

Asked the next day what he thought of Scott’s statement, Biden said he agrees. “No, I don’t think the American people are racist.”

Vice President Kamala Harris also agreed with Scott, “No, I don’t think America is a racist country.”

What makes these rejections of the charge of racism against America significant is that Biden and Harris both seemed to say the opposite after Derek Chauvin was convicted.

Biden had called George Floyd’s death “a murder (that) ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism… that is a stain on our nation’s soul.”

Harris had said much the same: “America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans — and Black men, in particular — have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human.”

But which is the predominant view of Biden and Harris about the moral character of the country they were elected to lead?

Is it a vicious slander, as Scott implied, to call America a “racist country”? Or is America’s soul, as Biden and Harris said, so stained by “systemic racism” that this country has treated Black Americans “as less than human” for the 400 years of her existence.

Has America been a curse for the 40 million Black people whose numbers have multiplied 10-fold since the abolition of slavery in 1865, and whose freedoms and material prosperity have grown accordingly?

Or has America been a blessing to Black people?

This is not just a gotcha question.

For the clashing commentaries of Biden and Harris reflect an ideological divide within their own coalition over a most basic issue: Is America a good country?

We have been on this terrain before.

Between LBJ’s landslide in 1964 and the breaking of his presidency in 1968, the Democratic Party had split into three factions, all at war with one another.

There was the Lyndon Johnson-Hubert Humphrey establishment that controlled the presidency and the party machinery. There was the Robert Kennedy-Gene McCarthy-George McGovern anti-establishment and anti-war left.

And there was the populist-right George Wallace bloc, containing millions of flag-waving blue-collar Democrats in northern industrial states and Southern Dixiecrats who detested the leftist radicals on cultural and patriotic grounds.

That Democratic Party disintegrated in the convention hall and the streets of Chicago in August of 1968, opening the door to the GOP era of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Today’s Democratic Party encompasses three similar blocs.

There is the Biden liberal establishment that controls the media, the academy, the Congress, the administration. There is the Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren-AOC progressive-socialist wing. And there is, today, a new militant and radical third force.

Included in its ranks are Black Lives Matter, antifa and protesters who burn Old Glory, tear down statues, monuments and memorials, assault cops, smash and loot stores and riot at will.

This is the “Abolish Ice!” and “Defund the Police!” faction of the party that detests the old America and favors open borders to alter it forever. This anarchic element is rendered moral sanction by journalists and politicians who share its malignant view of American history.

The Biden-Harris statements on the conviction of Chauvin were tailored to pander to this crowd.

Yet, in his address to Congress, Biden also made a statement that sounded like a Biden plagiarism of Trumpian nationalism:

“All the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: ‘Buy American.’ American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America that create American jobs.”

Biden is scrambling to keep one foot in every camp in his coalition by appearing to agree, at times, with them all.

The problem: While one part of his party believes America is a good and great country deserving of loyalty and love, another believes America is racist in its soul — a land whose character is defined, as it has ever been, by white supremacy, white privilege and white rule of people of color.

This leftist rage, however, is partly rooted in urban myth.

Consider. Last year, in D.C., our nation’s capital, there were 200 homicides and 980 people shot, mostly Blacks.

How many were the victims of rogue cops or Proud Boys?

Can you lead a country about whose history you profess shame?

And how long will Americans follow leaders who appear to agree with those who hate what America was and, yes, what America is?

In 2020, Trump united the Democrats. But with Trump gone, Biden must do the uniting of his disparate party himself.

And his need to behave, at times, like a believer in the racial indictment of the America he grew up in is probably not something Joe Biden can credibly and indefinitely pull off.

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 

“How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg?” asked President Abraham Lincoln, who answered his own question:

“Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

And Congress’ saying that D.C. is a state would equally contradict truth and reality, as our nation’s capital lacks all of the attributes of a 51st state of the Union.

Whence came our capital of Washington, D.C.?

The city was carved out of Maryland and Virginia in 1790, which voted to cede 100 square miles on the Potomac for a capital city of the United States to become the domicile of the federal government.

In 1846, Virginia’s share of the land, some 32 square miles, was ceded back. What was left was today’s Washington, D.C., of 68 square miles.

Is that sufficient for a state of the Union? Only if one wishes to change the character and composition of that Union.

Consider. The smallest state for 230 years has been Rhode Island. At 1,214 square miles, it is still 18 times as large as D.C. If D.C. were to become a state, it would be a microstate, smaller than every one of the 24 remaining counties of the state, Maryland, from which it was carved.

The Maryland counties that border D.C., Montgomery and Prince George’s, are eight times the size of Washington, D.C., and each has a million people, dwarfing the 700,000 residents of D.C.

Directly across the Potomac in Virginia is Fairfax County, also eight times as large as D.C., and with hundreds of thousands more people.

Supporters of statehood say D.C. has more people than Wyoming.

True, but Wyoming is also roughly the size of the United Kingdom, and more than 1,000 times the size of Washington, D.C.

Even by the standards of American cities, Washington ranks no higher than 20th in population.

Texas — with Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth — and California — with Los Angeles, San Jose, San Diego and San Francisco — both have four cities larger and more populous than our aspiring city-state of D.C.

By the terms of its admission to the United States as a state, the Republic of Texas was ceded a right to split into as many as five states of the Union, which it was joining. FDR’s future vice president, the Texan John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner, was all for it.

“An area twice as large and rapidly becoming as populous as New England should have at least ten Senators,” Garner told The New York Times in April 1921, “and the only way we can get them is to make five States, not five small States, mind you, but five great States.”

Statehood for little D.C. could start a trend where mega-cities like Chicago and New York, with five and 10 times the size and population of D.C., secede from their respective states and seek full statehood as well.

What is at the root of this drive to make D.C. a state?

The answer may be found in the political character of our capital city.

Since the 23rd Amendment was ratified, 60 years ago, D.C. residents have voted in 15 presidential elections. In all 15 elections, D.C.’s three electoral votes have gone to the Democratic nominee.

Even in the 49-state Nixon and Reagan landslides of 1972 and 1984, D.C. went four- and five-to-one Democratic. In eight presidential elections since 1990, the GOP nominee has failed to win 10% of the D.C. vote.

Since the mid-1970s, D.C. has had home rule and, in every election since, has chosen a Democratic mayor and a Democratic city council.

How irredeemably Democratic is D.C.?

Voter registration statistics in the city as of last December was 403,000 Democrats and 30,000 Republicans, a ratio of 13-1.

Which brings the question: What is D.C.’s grievance that America must somehow rectify by making it a state?

Answer: Democrats want D.C. to have two senators to cement their control of the U.S. Senate, as they pack the Supreme Court by expanding the number of justices from nine to 13.

This is a naked national power grab — pure and simple.

If the real concern were the inability of the D.C. electorate to vote for members of Congress, that could be remedied — by returning the residential portions of D.C. to Maryland, whence they came, or by allowing D.C. residents to vote in Maryland’s congressional elections.

Making D.C. a state would send two Democrats to the Senate indefinitely. But it would violate the constitution and compact under which the nation was founded. And it would start a stampede for other disfiguring alterations, like packing the Supreme Court by adding four new justices.

Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and American Samoa could soon follow and enter claims to become states of the American Union.

And a second unraveling of the republic would begin.

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Democratic Party, Washington DC 

How can America unite again to do great things if we are led by people who believe America suffers from a great sickness of the soul, an original sin that dates back to her birth as a nation?

Consider.

After his long night of prayer for “the right verdict” to be pronounced — Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts — Joe Biden stepped before the White House cameras to tell us what it all meant.

George Floyd’s death, said Biden, “was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism… that is a stain on our nation’s soul — the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans.”

Astonishing. Biden is saying that when Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd for nine minutes as the life drained out of him, the world, for once, was getting a good, close look at the diseased soul of America.

What Chauvin was doing to Floyd, said the president of the United States, is a reflection of the kind of justice America delivers to Black Americans.

This is no aberration, Biden was saying. This is the routine reality.

Biden was introduced by Kamala Harris, who said much the same:

“America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans and Black men in particular have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human.”

At Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield delivered what The Wall Street Journal called, “a recitation of America’s sins (that) could have come from China’s Global Times.”

Said Thomas-Greenfield:

“I have… seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles. … Racism is the problem of the racist. And it is the problem of the society that produces the racist.”

What our diplomat to the world is saying is that our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are interwoven with white supremacy and that America, to this day, continues to breed racists.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at a Congressional Black Caucus event after the verdict, turned her eyes heavenward in gratitude:

“Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice….For being there to call out to your mom — how heartbreaking was that … And because of you … your name will always be synonymous with justice.”

Implication: Floyd died to redeem America of her original sin of racism.

All in all, quite a commentary on our leaders.

For, again, our president and vice president are saying that this people and country still suffer from a sickness of the soul that dates back to its formative days.

The 1960s radicals who vilified our country as “Amerika” were rightly called “anti-American.” Today, the difference between what they said about America and what our highest elected leaders are saying is hard to discern.

Our enemies have picked up on this. In Anchorage, after Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Beijing out for repression in Hong Kong and “genocide” in Xinjiang, China’s foreign minister was right back in his face.

You Americans should look to your own sins and clean up your house before lecturing the world on political morality, he said. Today, that Chinese foreign minister could cite Biden and Harris as his chief witnesses that America is a nation sick in its soul.

We hear our leaders’ attacks on America. Where is their defense?

What other nation has provided the same measures of personal and political freedoms and material blessings for 40 million Black people as has the United States?

If people of color are treated “as less than human” in America, as Harris says, why are so many people of color seeking desperately to get across our Southern border to build their future here?

What is the real truth about race in America that goes unmentioned in the mainstream media’s endless hunt for encounters between Black men and white cops?

The main perpetrators of violent crimes against Black Americans — are other Black Americans. Black men, ages 16 to 40, are 3% of the U.S. population but commit roughly a third of America’s violent crimes.

Defund police, restrict police, remove police and you will get more of what the police prevent — crimes, especially violent crimes, in your community.

When Biden and Harris spoke of “systemic racism” afflicting our society, they were not describing their enlightened selves. And it was Hillary Clinton who identified the people the leftist elites have in mind:

“You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. … The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. … Some of those folks… are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

What Clinton, Biden and Harris are all saying is that, though the moral sickness of racism pervades our society, we are the vaccinated ones.

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 

When President Joe Biden announced he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of 9/11, GOP hawks like Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham responded predictably.

“Grave mistake,” muttered McConnell.

“Insane,” said Graham, “dumber than dirt and… dangerous.”

Of more interest were the responses of conservative Republicans who commended the president. Among them were Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a group that contains several potential candidates for the GOP nomination in 2024.

Donald Trump himself weighed in Sunday, saying Biden’s decision was “wonderful,” but Joe should have stuck to Trump’s May 1 deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Adding a veteran’s voice to the broad consensus was the American Legion which called for an end to America’s “forever war,” and repeal of congressional authorizations to fight this war.

While many older Republican leaders remain wedded to a Bush foreign policy, some of the prospective leaders of the party seem to be adopting their own versions of “America First.”

Opportunity may be at hand. The door may be open for a leader to articulate a new U.S. foreign policy vision, beginning with a review of our Cold War commitments that became irrelevant with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and breakup of the Soviet Union three decades ago.

Consider. NATO, which dates back to 1949, today contains 30 allied nations, while U.S. security treaties with South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand all date back to the 1950s.

How do all these war guarantees to other nations secure our vital interests, when our first vital interest is to stay out of any great war?

According to The New York Times, a 2020 survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found, “Republican voters preferred a more nationalist approach, valuing economic self-sufficiency, and taking a unilateral approach to diplomacy and global engagement.”

Almost half of Republicans surveyed agreed that the “United States is rich and powerful enough to go it alone, without getting involved in the problems of the world.”

A survey by pollster Tony Fabrizio found that “only 7 percent of Republicans prioritize national security and foreign policy issues.”

The opportunity is transparent.

As domestic concerns are predominant — the COVID-19 pandemic, the invasion across our Southern border, soaring crime rates, race relations as raw as they have been in decades — it is time for U.S. statesman to look out for America and Americans first, and let the world look out for itself.

Biden is a perfect foil — a trans-nationalist and globalist committed to the whole panoply of old security treaties and war guarantees that had existed for a generation even before he came to Washington 50 years ago.

The favorable reaction to his pullout from Afghanistan should have told Biden that. And it should tell Republicans that now may be the time to seize the moment.

Let Republicans openly reject the Biden administration’s unilateral commitments to fight China for tiny reefs claimed by the Philippines in the South China Sea and Japan in the East China Sea.

And, surely, it is time for that “agonizing reappraisal” of NATO promised by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in the 1950s.

Why are we still committed, under NATO, to go to war with Russia on behalf of Germany, when the Germans, with their Nord Stream 2 pipeline, are doubling their dependency on Russia’s natural gas?

According to the Atlantic Council President Richard Haas, the U.S. should abandon its policy of “strategic ambiguity” as to what we would do if China attacks Taiwan — and make a commitment to defend Taiwan.

But why should the United States commit to a war with China for an island President Richard Nixon conceded in 1972 was part of China?

Among the reasons Trump won in 2016 is that he offered a foreign policy of easing tensions with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, getting us out of the endless wars of the Middle East, and making free-riding allies pay the cost of their own defense.

Yet, though, currently, we have commitments to fight for 29 NATO nations, there is a push on among our foreign policy elites to add new nations, such as Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Finland and Sweden.

But, again, why surrender our freedom to decide whether to fight?

As for South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, each could build a nuclear deterrent, as Israel, Pakistan and India have done. If a war were to be fought with China that could go nuclear, why would we want to be a mandatory participant?

Among the reasons the U.S. emerged victorious in the 20th century was that we stayed out of the two world wars longer than any of the other great powers.

“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up,” wrote G. K. Chesterton. Sound advice. But some of these fences were built before most Americans were born, and the world has changed.

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 

“It is time to end the forever war.”

So said President Joe Biden in his announcement that, as of Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, all U.S. troops will be gone from Afghanistan.

The longest war in our history, which cost 2,400 dead, 20,000 wounded and $2 trillion, is ending — but only for Americans, not Afghans.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured our NATO allies in Brussels that we are all leaving with our mission accomplished:

“Together we went into Afghanistan to deal with those who attacked us and to make sure that Afghanistan would not again become a haven for terrorists who might attack any of us.

“We have achieved the goals we set out to achieve,” the secretary said. “Now it’s time to bring our forces home.”

But while the U.S. military did not lose a major battle, we Americans did not win this war. Our enemies are stronger, and they control more territory today than they have since their overthrow in 2001.

They have reconstituted themselves under fire, control half of the country and can cut roads to the capital of Kabul. And in our mission to build a democratic Afghanistan that could sustain itself long after we depart, we failed.

And we have no guarantee al-Qaida will not reestablish itself in Afghanistan. For the most probable successors to the regime we are leaving behind are the same Taliban we drove from power in 2001.

And while the Taliban did not defeat us, they have bled the Afghan army we helped to create and train, and outlasted the United States and a NATO alliance that emerged victorious from a 40-year cold war with the Soviet Empire.

As we depart Afghanistan before summer’s end, the 7,500 NATO troops there will be leaving with us. That this is viewed as no strategic victory may be seen from the reaction of those who most consistently supported the war, conservative Republican senators.

Said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Biden’s announcement:

“Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. … Foreign terrorists will not leave the United States alone simply because our politicians have grown tired of taking the fight to them.”

Said Lindsey Graham:

“It is insane to withdraw at this time given the conditions that exist on the ground in Afghanistan. … A full withdrawal from Afghanistan is dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous … President Biden will have, in essence, canceled an insurance policy against another 9/11.”

Said the ranking Republican on armed services, Jim Inhofe:

“No one wants a forever war, but … any withdrawal must be conditions-based. Arbitrary deadlines would likely put our troops in danger, jeopardize all the progress we’ve made … lead to civil war in Afghanistan — and create a breeding ground for international terrorists.”

But if we failed in Afghanistan, why did we fail?

Our enemies, the Taliban, motivated by a religious faith many would call fanaticism, were more willing to sacrifice, suffer, fight, bleed and die for longer than we or our Afghan allies.

The Taliban are Eric Hoffer’s “True Believers.”

Also, it is their country, after all, not ours. It is everything to them, not so much to us. They are steeped in the traditional Afghan hostility to foreigners and hatred of those who come to their land to tell them how they should live and rule themselves.

The Taliban captured the flags of anti-colonialism, nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism.

There is talk that, should the Taliban topple the government, bring down the regime and engage in reprisals and atrocities, American troops might surge back in.

My sense is no. When we go this time, we’re gone for good. Like the Brits in the 19th century and Russians in the 20th, when we go, we will not return.

Yet, Afghanistan is only one of the “forever wars” into which our interventionists plunged us that have proven so ruinous to the republic.

The greatest blunder came in 2003, when George W. Bush was persuaded by the neoconservatives to invade Iraq and covert that country into America’s model democracy for the Middle East.

Our 18-year struggle in Iraq following the invasion of 2003 has proven even most costly in lives and treasure than the war in Afghanistan.

After Iraq came the intervention in Syria’s civil war to back rebels seeking to oust President Bashar Assad. After that came the U.S.-NATO intervention in the Libyan civil war and America’s intervention on the side of Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s civil war.

For a generation now, we have been stomping barefoot on anthills and throwing rocks into bees’ nests across the Middle and Near East.

And to what avail?

The nation-builders, the democratists, the liberal interventionists, the New World Order crowd are, today, being repudiated by Biden’s decision to write off their 20-year project in the Hindu Kush.

One wonders: Will they soon start calling Biden an isolationist?

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Afghanistan, American Military, Joe Biden 

What are Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping up to?

In recent days, Russian tanks, artillery, armor, trucks and troops have been moving by road and rail ever closer to Ukraine, and Moscow is said to be repositioning its 56th Guards Air Assault Brigade in Crimea.

Military sources in Kyiv estimate there are now 85,000 Russian troops between six and 25 miles from Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders.

“I have real concerns about Russia’s actions on the borders of Ukraine. There are more Russian forces massed on those borders than at any time since 2014 when Russia first invaded,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” Blinken added this warning:

“President Biden’s been very clear about this. If Russia acts recklessly, or aggressively, there will be costs, there will be consequences.”

What “costs” and what “consequences” were left unstated.

Earlier, Biden personally assured President Volodymyr Zelensky of America’s “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbass and Crimea.”

What does that mean?

When Putin was a young KGB officer, the Black Sea was a virtual Soviet lake, dominated in the west by Warsaw Pact members Bulgaria and Romania, and on the north and east by the USSR. Turkey occupied the south bank.

Today, three of the six countries that front on the Black Sea — Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey — are NATO members. Two of the others, Ukraine and Georgia, openly aspire to become members of NATO.

If Russia feels a sense of loss and forced isolation, who can blame them?

The transparency of the Russian military buildup suggests that it is more of a message to the U.S. and NATO than any preparation for an invasion.

Putin seems to be saying: Ukraine’s admission to NATO or a stationing of U.S. or NATO forces in that country would cross a red line for Russia. And we will not rule out military action to prevent or counter it.

The record suggests that Putin is not bluffing.

We have been here twice before.

In 2008, when Georgia invaded South Ossetia, a province that had broken free of Georgia in the 1990s, Putin sent troops into South Ossetia, drove the Georgians out, and then invaded Georgia and occupied part of that country as an object lesson.

And though the U.S. had regarded Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as a friend and Georgia as a potential NATO ally, George W. Bush did nothing.

Again, in 2014, when a U.S.-backed coup overthrew the elected and pro-Russian regime in Kyiv, Putin occupied and annexed Crimea and assisted pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass in breaking free of Kyiv’s control.

In short, when it comes to Ukraine, Russia has demonstrated that it has its own red lines, which it will back up with military action.

The U.S. and NATO, however, have shown repeatedly that while they will give moral support and provide military aid to Ukraine, they are not going to fight Russia over Ukraine, or to wrest Crimea or the Donbass from Putin’s control.

A similar test is taking place in the South and East China seas.

Also on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Blinken was asked if the United States would fight to defend Taiwan, which is being harassed and threatened by Xi Jinping’s China, which claims the island as its sovereign national territory.

“Are we prepared to defend Taiwan militarily?” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked.

Blinken’s response:

“What we’ve seen, and what is of real concern to us, is increasingly aggressive actions by the government in Beijing directed at Taiwan, raising tensions in the Straits. And we have a commitment to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act … All I can tell you is it would be a serious mistake for anyone to try to change the existing status quo by force.”

Since Biden’s presidency began, China has been sending military aircraft, fighters and bombers, into Taiwanese air space, circumnavigating the island with warships, and openly warning that any declaration of independence by Taipei would mean war with Beijing.

Thus, Russia has made clear what it would fight to prevent — Ukraine’s accession to NATO and NATO troops on its soil. And China has made clear what its red line is, what it would fight to prevent — the declared independence of Taiwan.
But U.S. policy in both cases seems to be one of “strategic ambiguity,” leaving the issue open as to what we would do.

A question arises: Are Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China, with their advantages of geographic proximity, threatening military action to jointly test the resolve of the Biden administration, and colluding to do so — one in Ukraine, the other in the South and East China Seas?

And, should we fight for Ukraine, how many NATO allies would be there beside us? And should we fight to keep Taiwan free, how many Asian allies would fight China alongside us?

Recent actions by Putin and Xi make the questions no longer academic.

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 

When the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines first proved their efficacy, preventing nearly 95% of coronavirus infections in those who got the shots in test trials, a vexing issue immediately arose.

Who should get priority in receiving these life-saving shots?

Generally speaking, the answer, while differing slightly from state to state, was that those most vulnerable to the virus, and those most vital to battling it, should be inoculated first.

The most vital were doctors, nurses and emergency medical personnel in hospitals receiving infected patients. The most vulnerable were the elderly in nursing homes with comorbidities and compromised immune systems who would be the least likely to survive an infection.

As the age for early inoculations dropped from 75 to 65, and then 50, and communities began to be vaccinated in greater numbers, a new issue arose: race. Blacks, peoples of color and the poor were not receiving inoculations at the same rate as the white and wealthy.

Efforts were made to rectify any such inequity.

However, almost no voice arose to say the world’s poor should be inoculated at the same time and at the same rate as Americans — with vaccines Americans had invented and produced.

That role has now been filled. In The Washington Post of April 6, Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, writes: “An equitable vaccine rollout must prioritize the most vulnerable around the world.”

“Vast disparities are emerging in vaccine access — both within countries and between them,” says Walker, “especially for Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities.

“Within countries, the gaps are stark. In the United States… White people remained nearly two times more likely to be vaccinated than their neighbors of color at the end of March. In Brazil, Indigenous populations are 10 times more likely to die of covid-19 than the general population… And in India, many members of poor Muslim and Dalit communities are denied access to the limited vaccine supply that is available…

“Rich nations are hoarding the vaccines. Whether it’s the European Union blockading international vaccine exports entirely, or the United States stockpiling 30 million AstraZeneca doses, a wave of vaccine nationalism is depriving the world of much-needed supply.”

What must we Americans do to end the inequity?

Embrace a new policy of vaccine globalism and egalitarianism.

“The United States could… vaccinate the world — mobilizing the resources of the U.S. military and other agencies to manufacture, ship and distribute doses around the world. … To paraphrase the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., vaccine inequality anywhere is a threat to global health everywhere.”

Walker reflects what might be called Ford Foundation values. But are these American values?

Is it wrong for the U.S. government to put Americans first in the distribution of life-saving vaccines, ahead of people from any other country? Is it wrong for the U.S. to ensure that every American who wants a shot gets one, before taking on the task of vaccinating the rest of the world?

Is it wrong for America to put Americans first?

“Vaccine nationalism” seems but a synonym for vaccine patriotism.

If and when we have a surplus sufficiently large to send our vaccines abroad, would it be wrong to prioritize nations that are tried and true friends and allies like Canada and Britain?

When it comes to moral obligation, especially when it involves a matter so serious as human life, ought not one’s own family and friends, community and country come first?

Again, vaccine nationalism mandates putting fellow Americans first in receiving vaccines Americans discovered, tested and produced, even if that contradicts Ford Foundation values?

While all peoples may be equal in their God-given rights to liberty and life, the duty of the U.S. government is to protect and defend first and foremost the rights, and the health and safety of American citizens.

King may have written, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” But America is not responsible for “justice everywhere” — a utopian concept — but to establish justice to the degree it can in the USA.

Nor is inequality always a manifestation of injustice.

Easter Sunday is just behind us, the day Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ who taught, “Greater love than this hath no man that he lay down his life for his friend.”

Such individuals are saints, and that is indeed sanctity.

But natural law teaches that, when it comes to love and loyalty, one puts one’s own family and country first.

“Vaccine inequality,” says Walker, is “a crisis to be solved… We must move away from vaccine nationalism to vaccine equity.

“An equitable vaccine rollout must prioritize and protect the most vulnerable in our societies — from the Dalit community in India, to Indigenous populations in Brazil, to essential farm workers and grocery store clerks throughout the United States.”

Sorry, but India’s Dalit community is Narendra Modi’s responsibility. The indigenous population of Brazil is Jair Bolsonaro’s responsibility. And the “farm workers and grocery store clerks in the USA” are ours.

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Anti-Vaxx, Coronavirus 

Last Monday, in a single six-hour period, NATO launched 10 air intercepts to shadow six separate groups of Russian bombers and fighters over the Arctic, North Atlantic, North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea.

Last week also brought reports that Moscow is increasing its troop presence in Crimea and along its borders with Ukraine.

Joe Biden responded. In his first conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden assured him of our “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbass and Crimea.”

Though Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and we have no treaty obligation to fight in its defense, this comes close to a war guarantee. Biden seems to be saying that if it comes to a shooting war between Moscow and Kiev, we will be there on the side of Kiev.

Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov answered that if the U.S. sends troops to Ukraine, Russia will respond.

Again, is Biden saying that in the event of a military clash between Ukrainians and Russians in Crimea, Donetsk or Luhansk, the U.S. will intervene militarily on the side of Ukraine?

Such a pledge could put us at war with a nuclear-armed Russia in a region where we have never had vital interests, and without the approval of the only institution authorized to declare war — Congress.

Meanwhile, off Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, which Beijing occupies but Manila claims, China has amassed 220 maritime militia ships.

This huge Chinese flotilla arrived after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken put Beijing on notice that any attack on Philippine planes or ships challenging Beijing’s claim to rocks and reefs of the South China Sea that are in Manila’s exclusive economic zone will be backed by the U.S.

Our 70-year-old mutual security treaty with Manila covers these islets and reefs, said Blinken, though some are already occupied and fortified by China.

Apparently, if Manila uses force to assert its claims and expel the Chinese, then we will fight beside our Philippine allies. This amounts to a war guarantee of the kind that forced the British to declare war on Germany in 1939 over the invasion of Poland.

Two weeks ago, 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the largest incursion yet by Beijing over the waters between Taiwan and Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. As national security correspondent Bill Gertz writes in today’s Washington Times:

“China is stepping up provocative activities targeting regional American allies in Asia … with an escalating number of military flights around Taiwan and the massing of more than 200 fishing ships near a disputed Philippines reef.

“China also raised tensions with Japan, announcing last week that Tokyo must drop all claims to the disputed Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited island chain that Japan has administered for decades but that Beijing recently claimed as its territory.

“The most serious provocation took place March 29. An exercise by the People’s Liberation Army air force that included 10 warplanes flew into Taiwan’s air defense zone is what analysts say appeared to be a simulated attack on the island. It came just three days after an earlier mass warplane incursion.”

While China appears clear about its aims and claims to virtually all of the islands in the South China Sea and East China Sea as well as Taiwan — it is less clear about its intentions as to when to validate those claims.

As for the U.S., does the present foggy ambiguity as to what we may or may not do as China goes about asserting its claims serve our vital interests in avoiding war with the greatest power on the largest continent on earth?

If red lines are to be laid down, they ought to be laid down by the one constitutional body with the authority to authorize or declare war — Congress. And questions need to be answered to avoid the kinds of miscalculations that led to horrific world wars in the 20th century.

Are the reefs and rocks the Philippines claim in the South China Sea, claims contradicted by China, covered by the U.S. mutual security treaty of 1951? Are we honor-bound to fight China on behalf of the Philippines, if Manila attempts to reclaim islets China occupies?

What is our obligation if China moves to take the Senkakus? Would the United States join Japan in military action to hold or retrieve them?

What, exactly, is our commitment to Taiwan if China attempts to blockade, invade or seize Taiwan’s offshore islands?

John F. Kennedy in the second debate with Richard Nixon in 1960 wrote off Quemoy and Matsu in the Taiwan Strait as indefensible and not worth war with Mao’s China.

With its warnings and threats, China is forcing America to address questions we have been avoiding for about as long as we can.

China is saying that it is not bluffing: These islands are ours!

Time to show our cards.

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 

If Joe Biden’s American Jobs Program, outlined in Pittsburgh, is enacted, then the federal government will take a great leap forward toward irreversible control of the destiny of the Republic.

To finance this leap, to subsidize this giant stride toward socialism, U.S. corporations are to be forced to turn over to the government a far larger slice of their earnings. The corporate tax rate is to be raised from 21 to 28%. And that is only the first of the new or added taxes to come — on incomes, capital gains and estates.

The bait to lure Republicans into embracing this $2.3 trillion in Great Society II and Green New Deal spending is the modest fraction to be allocated to infrastructure — airports, bridges, roads, ports, public transit.

Most of the rest is to be used to grow social programs and launch new ones. Biden plans to lead the nation into a new “forever war,” an endless war on climate change. Meanwhile, the Chinese pump ever more carbon into the atmosphere, as Americans sacrifice to take it out.

Make no mistake. “Sleepy Joe” is determined to emulate, not Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, but FDR and LBJ, and to be remembered as a president who raised federal power to new heights.

The significance of what Biden has already done, with his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, cannot be denied.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit with hurricane force in March 2020, the U.S. was looking at yearly trillion-dollar deficits. Then, in that final year of the Trump presidency, came a massive surge in federal spending of some $4 trillion.

The final 2020 deficit exceeded $3 trillion. and the U.S. debt now exceeds the gross domestic product for the first time since World War II.

But unlike 1945, when the war was all but over and federal spending was about to recede dramatically, today, the riptide of new spending is coming in stronger and stronger.

Why? The reasons are many.

First, fear of the social, economic and political consequences of a recession is far greater in Congress and the country than the fear of an outbreak of inflation, which seems to have been contained.

Second, the drivers of deficit spending are growing bolder as the traditional resistance grows weaker. Inside the Republican Party, once a church preaching small government and balanced budgets, the deficit hawks are going the way of the passenger pigeon — toward extinction.

Then there are the other driving forces of larger deficits.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the major entitlements and principal budget elements, are all programmed for growth.

Nor did Donald Trump extract us from the draining wars of the Middle East.

Also, for a decade, the Federal Reserve has held interest rates down and inflation has not been the threat it was at the end of the 1970s when Chairman Paul Volcker brutally squeezed it out of the economy.

The only way interest rates can go now is up, and with the federal debt as huge as it is today, interest rates do not need to rise too far to consume a large chunk of the federal budget.

Over the last century, it has been the fate of the Republican Party to retreat, regroup, resist and retreat again on this macroissue of deficits and debt.

When Cal Coolidge left office in 1929, the federal budget claimed 3% of GDP. The Crash of 1929, the Great Depression and the Second World War followed. All saw huge increases in the federal government’s claim on the nation’s wealth.

But when the Depression and war ended, Eisenhower Republicans made no effort to repeal FDR’s New Deal. And when Barry Goldwater was nominated in 1964 and went down to crushing defeat, LBJ, who cut his teeth in the New Deal, used his massive majorities on the Hill to launch his Great Society, programming new spending far into the future.

When Ronald Reagan came to power on a promise to restrain the federal government, he enlisted the private sector, with his tax cuts, to be the locomotive of progress. But even Reagan failed, by his own admission, to restrain the deficits.

The financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 brought us our first trillion-dollar deficit. And while Trump unleashed the private sector with his tax cuts — unemployment was at record lows across the board on March 1, 2020 — the pandemic and the economic crisis it engendered brought about a bipartisan clamor for government to resolve the crises.

So, where are we?

There appears to be no historical evidence that once a Western democracy expands central power and control of the nation’s resources that it ever willingly gives up those gains.

Yesterday’s gone. Yet, Biden’s remaking of America must be resisted. As was said at Waterloo, “The Guard dies but does not surrender!”

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

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
Pat Buchanan
About Pat Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

In his White House years, Mr. Buchanan wrote foreign policy speeches, and attended four summits, including Mr. Nixon’s historic opening to China in 1972, and Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik summit in 1986 with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mr. Buchanan has written ten books, including six straight New York Times best sellers A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong; State of Emergency; Day of Reckoning and Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War.

Mr. Buchanan is currently a columnist, political analyst for MSNBC, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He is married to the former Shelley Ann Scarney, who was a member of the White House Staff from 1969 to 1975.


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