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Seeing Russia invade Ukraine, historically neutral Finland has undergone a late conversion and decided to join NATO immediately.

Why? Because NATO membership means the world’s strongest power, the United States, under Article 5 of NATO, would go to war against Russia, should it cross Finland’s border.

Nervous about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions, Finland wants America legally and morally bound to fight Russia on its behalf, should Putin invade Finland as he invaded Ukraine.

From the Finnish point of view, this is perfectly understandable.

But why would the United States consent to go to war with Russia, the largest nuclear power on earth, for violating Finland’s frontiers?

Finland is not Alaska; it is not Canada; it is 5,000 miles away. And no one ever asserted during the Cold War, or for the decades since, that Finland was a U.S. vital interest.

Why, then, would we consent, in advance, to go to war with Russia over Finland?

President Joe Biden said last week that NATO has an “open door” policy and Finland and Sweden are welcome, and he looks forward to their joining.

Consider what Biden is actually saying and doing here.

He is ceding to Finland, a country of 5.5 million people with an 830-mile border with Putin’s Russia, the right to obligate the United States of America to go to war with Russia, if Russia attacks Finland.

What patriot would commit his own country, in perpetuity, to go to war on behalf of another country not his own?

Why would America surrender to the Finns our freedom of action in deciding whether or not to fight a nuclear-armed Russia?

NATO is not a country club; it is a military alliance Putin regards as an enemy. Every member of that alliance is obliged to treat an attack on any one of its 30 members as an attack on all, and all are obligated to come to the defense of the nation attacked.

By welcoming Finland into NATO, Biden is offering Helsinki the kind of war guarantee Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain gave to Poland in the spring of 1939, which led to Britain’s having to declare war on Sept. 3, 1939, two days after Germany invaded Poland.

How did that work out for Britain and the empire?

In his farewell address, President George Washington warned his countrymen against “permanent alliances.” In conscious echo of our first president, Thomas Jefferson warned against “entangling alliances.”

NATO is a military alliance that has been in existence since 1949. While it began with the U.S., Canada and 10 European nations, it ended the Cold War with 16. We have since added 14 more.

Six of the nations NATO added since the Cold War — Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania — were members of the USSR’s Warsaw Pact. Three of the newest NATO members — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania — are former republics of the Soviet Union.

The last quarter-century of NATO’s encroachment into Russia’s space and onto Russia’s front porch has been a leading cause of the worsening relationship between the world’s two great nuclear powers.

The repeated refusal of Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to rule out NATO membership for Ukraine was a primary cause of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This does not absolve Putin of culpability in launching the war on Ukraine, but it should tell us that any new members of NATO, in Russia’s “near abroad,” especially a new NATO member with an 830-mile border with Russia from the Baltic to the Arctic, is running a real risk and raising the possibility of war.

Indeed, with Russia’s war in Ukraine in stalemate, having failed to achieve its objectives in Kyiv, Kharkov and Odessa, Russian officials have repeatedly raised the prospect of a desperate resort to tactical nuclear weapons to stop the bleeding. “Escalate to de-escalate” is the slogan.

Bringing Sweden and Finland into NATO, which has already elicited rage from Moscow and ominous threats, is unlikely to reduce whatever pressure currently exists to escalate to nuclear war.

A basic question needs answering: Why, 30 years after the Cold War ended, are we still expanding NATO?

Russia does not threaten the United States. As for any threat that it poses to its European neighbors, let them deal with it. Together, NATO Europe is far more populous and economically powerful than Russia, and militarily capable of providing for their own defense.

Why should this be our obligation more than 30 years after the Cold War — and counting?

With small but modernized military forces, Finland, if attacked, can resist Russia. Why, then, let ourselves be obligated to go to war on Finland’s behalf, a war that could result in an escalation to nuclear war, the avoidance of which was a goal of every president, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan?

Turkey is now warning that it may exercise its rights as a NATO member to veto membership by Sweden and Finland. Anyone think Turkish President Recep Erdogan would declare war on Russia, if it invaded Finland?

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

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Finland, NATO, Russia, Ukraine 

In the storm that erupted over the leaked draft opinion of Justice Samuel Alito, which would overturn Roe v. Wade, a secondary alarm has arisen among our elites.

If Roe is overturned, it is said, a whole raft of Supreme Court rulings rooted in the same principles and legal reasoning could be overturned as well.

Pillars of our progressive society could come crashing down.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, legal scholars Melissa Murray and Leah Litman wrote that Alito’s draft opinion “declares that the Constitution ‘makes no reference to abortion’ and argues that abortion rights were ‘entirely unknown in American law,’ throughout most of the nation’s history.”

Yet, the scholars argue, the same “is true of contraception, which the court held states could not restrict in Griswold v. Connecticut. It’s true of … interracial marriage and same-sex marriage, which the court has held could not be prohibited in Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges. It’s true of sexual intimacy between consenting adults, which the court held states could not prohibit in Lawrence v. Texas.”

If a woman’s right to an abortion no longer exists, we are being forewarned, the right to birth control, gay rights, interracial marriage and same-sex marriage could be the next to fall to the Alito ax.

Yet, the idea that a state legislature, in this decade, would enact a new statute that outlaws sexual relations between gays and lesbians or rejects any constitutional right to same-sex marriage — and the Supreme Court would uphold that statute — seems an absurdity.

Still, the raising of such fears tells us something about those advancing this line of argument. They are worried about the fate of cherished reforms that they have managed to impose upon the nation and its people through autocratic decisions of the Supreme Court.

What the pro-abortionists are saying is that many court decisions declaring new rights are not at all deeply rooted in the Constitution or in the hearts and minds of the population.

They are saying that there are more Americans than you might imagine who would like to see the work of the Supreme Court, of which progressives are most proud, undone.

They are saying that the rights discovered and declared in the gay rights and same-sex marriage decisions, for example, had to be imposed by the court. Else, they might never have become federal law. The nation as a whole would never have embraced them.

Again, what does this fear that if the Alito decision overturning Roe becomes law, all these other decisions are in peril as well, tell us?

It suggests that the national establishment lacks faith that the American people have truly and fully embraced the social reforms that progressives have gotten the Supreme Court to impose by fiat.

Consider.

Earl Warren was appointed chief justice by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953. A year later, Warren delivered his unanimous ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed racial segregation in all public schools — 10 years before Congress was able to pass the Civil Rights Act.

While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were enacted democratically, by the Congress, Brown and subsequent court decisions mandating forced busing to bring about racial integration and a prescribed racial balance were enacted autocratically.

They were imposed by unelected justices, serving for life, against whose rulings U.S. citizens had no recourse. And Brown and its progeny were resisted in a way the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not.

During these same decades, Supreme Court decisions were handed down outlawing all Bible instruction and voluntary prayer in public schools and forbidding virtually all religious expressions in the public square.

The nation was formally, officially and involuntarily secularized.

A democratically elected Congress would never have enacted these proscriptions. It took an autocratic court to impose them, by exploring and then discovering in the Constitution exactly what the court had decided to impose upon the American people, without the people’s consent.

Abortion was declared a constitutional right and legalized in every state, including that half of the nation that regarded it as shameful, sinful or criminal, in that it snuffed out the life of an unborn child.

Whatever else these court decisions do, they show a lack of confidence in the ruling class in its ability to persuade the majority to agree and enact a law, and a reliance upon the court to impose autocratically what progressives could not persuade the country to enact democratically.

President Joe Biden says this generation of Americans is in a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism.

But were the decisions to outlaw the Bible and school prayer in the public schools, to declare that a right to abortion, homosexuality and same-sex marriage can be found in the penumbras of the Constitution, arrived at democratically or autocratically?

Perhaps the solution is to have court decisions discovering new rights subjected to national referenda, so the whole nation can say “Yea” or “Nay” after they are handed down.

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Judicial System, Roe vs. Wade, Supreme Court 

Last week, sources leaked to The New York Times that, in Ukraine’s targeting and killing of Russian generals and the sinking of Russia’s Black Sea flagship, the Moskva, U.S. intelligence played an indispensable role.

Apparently, our intel people identified and located for the Ukrainian forces what became the targets of their deadly attacks.

Why U.S. intelligence would do this seems inexplicable.

By claiming credit for Ukraine’s most visible military successes, we diminish the achievements of that country’s own forces.

By bragging publicly that we helped engineer the killing of Russian generals and the sinking of the cruiser Moskva, we taunt Russian President Vladimir Putin. We provoke him into retaliating in kind against us, thereby raising the possibility of a wider U.S.-Russia war that could escalate into World War III.

Moreover, U.S. boasting like this plays right into Putin’s narrative that Russia is facing and fighting in Ukraine a U.S.-led alliance that is out to crush Russia.

Indeed, why are we going beyond assistance to the Ukrainians in defending themselves, into making this American’s war?

When Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Poland following her visit to Kyiv, she virtually embraced the idea of the Ukraine-Russia war as now being America’s war, declaring, “America stands with Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine until victory is won.”

Accompanying Pelosi to Kyiv was a delegation of House Democrats, one of whom, Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, echoed Pelosi in Poland:

“The United States of America is in this to win.”

Their visit followed that of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who came out of Kyiv and declared the U.S. strategic goals in Ukraine’s war:

“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kind of things it has done in invading Ukraine.”

These statements by U.S. leaders reinforce Putin’s line that Russia is besieged by a U.S.-led Western alliance that fears and detests Mother Russia and wishes to see her defeated and diminished.

Our enemies in the West who seek to destroy Russia are like those we fought in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, Putin now claims. And intervention in Ukraine was necessary to prevent today’s neo-Nazis from dragging Ukraine into their larger conspiracy to destroy Russia.

Consider Putin’s words of a week ago:

“The forces that have always pursued a policy of containing Russia … do not want such a huge and independent country that is too big for their ideas … They believe it endangers them simply by the fact of its existence, although this is far from reality. It is they who endanger the world.”

We are hated for who and what we are, says Putin. And our military operation is an act of legitimate self-defense against the same kind of “Nazi filth” we fought in the Great Patriotic War.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov describes the recent surge in heavy Western weapons shipments to Ukraine as “NATO … going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy.”

By cutting Republicans out of her delegation to Kyiv, Pelosi appears to want to make the war not only America’s war, but her party’s cause.

That seems to be a motive as well behind Biden’s consciously exceeding any Western leader in the language he uses on Putin, calling him a “killer,” a “murderous dictator,” a “pure thug,” a “butcher,” a “war criminal,” guilty of “genocide,” who “for God’s sake … cannot remain in power.”

Such language is designed to showcase Biden as the world’s leading anti-Putinist and the most morally outraged of all the world’s leaders at what Russia is doing in Ukraine.

But, again, like the public boasting of U.S. intel agents over our role in the sinking of the Moskva and killing of the Russian generals, the effect is to disqualify the U.S. president from any role in negotiating a truce or an end to this war.

How do we benefit from having no leader-to-leader communication with the Kremlin, which President John F. Kennedy retained in the Cuban missile crisis to end it?

NATO Europe, which is supporting the Ukrainian resistance, is not on board with the U.S. plans to cripple Russia permanently.

America needs to recognize that our objectives in this war are not the same as Ukraine’s.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would like to have the U.S. plunge in and fight alongside Kyiv, devastate and defeat the Russian army, and expel Russia not only from the regions invaded this year but also from Crimea, which Putin annexed in 2014 .

America’s vital interests in this war, however, are to prevent it from becoming a U.S.-Russia war or a third world war or a nuclear war.

The U.S. goal of imposing a crushing defeat of Russian aggression is secondary to our far more vital interest in avoiding a U.S.-Russia war.

America’s interests are best served by an early and negotiated peace. Such a goal rules out imposing humiliating terms on Russia, which cause Moscow and Putin to escalate militarily — to survive politically.

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

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Joe Biden, Russia, Ukraine 

In February, five Supreme Court Justices voted in camera to overturn Roe v. Wade and send the issue of abortion back to the states, where it resided until 1973.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett had all signed on to the majority opinion overturning Roe that had been drafted by Justice Samuel Alito.

The right-to-life movement was only weeks away from a stunning victory in its half-century struggle to overturn Roe.

This suggests that the leak to Politico of the Alito draft was the work of a saboteur seeking to derail the course of the court by the media explosion he or she knew it would ignite.

Whoever leaked Alito’s draft, it was a violation of an oath, an unethical act and a betrayal that ought to see the perpetrator fired in disgrace and disbarred permanently from the practice of law.

But the crucial issue now is for the Alito Five, even if unwedded to the exact language of the Alito opinion, to stay the course until the ruling comes down in late June.

For, on the substance of the abortion issue, Alito’s opinion is dead on:

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe … enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

“We hold that Roe … must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”

Indeed, at the time of Roe, January 1973, the U.S. had a long history of punishing “abortionists,” and the laws under which they were prosecuted were “spurred by a sincere belief that abortion kills a human being.”

The nation remains divided, and the issue is best decided in this democracy, Alito argues, not by unelected justices on the Supreme Court but by democratically elected representatives of the American people.

Pro-abortion Democrats say a woman’s “right to choose” must remain paramount and sacrosanct. But the “right to choose” what?

As President Joe Biden just described it bluntly this week, it is the right to choose to “abort a child.”

But at what point in a pregnancy does the pre-born child’s right to life supersede a woman’s right to abort that child. And who decides?

A New York Times front-page map this week shows that if Roe is overturned, states with liberalized abortion laws such as Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington, New York and most of New England would not be significantly affected.

It is the Republican states, the Trump states, the Mountain West and the South, where the overturning of Roe will free up Christians and social conservatives to write the regulations and restrictions that were abolished and outlawed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe.

These states are where the post-Roe abortion wars will be fought.

But is this not how a democratic republic is supposed to work?

Remarkable, is it not? Those who do not cease to talk about right-wing threats to “our democracy” are today the loudest and most insistent that abortion not be sent back to the states for the people and their democratically chosen representatives to decide.

While Democrats see their base energized today, we are six months away from the election. And if the Alito draft becomes law, pro-choice Democrats will have to sustain their outrage and fight political battles in virtually all the red states.

Pro-life Republicans and conservatives should stand with the Alito Five and what they have done and what, hopefully, they are about to do.

For this is what a vast slice of the party and the conservative movement has fought for, worked for, marched for and prayed for, for half a century.

If Roe is overturned, it is never coming back. It is gone for good. No Supreme Court will ever reinstate it. It will be on the ash heap of history, as President Ronald Reagan used to say.

If Biden, Nancy Pelosi’s House and Chuck Schumer’s Senate majority want to make abortion the issue of 2022 by passing a federal law codifying Roe v. Wade, if they want to die on that hill, it’s their call.

Democrats claim 60% of the nation wants Roe preserved and only 1 in 5 Americans wants Roe overturned.

Why, then, do they not pass that law codifying Roe at the national level and rely upon Roe’s supporters to produce pro-choice laws in the states where they do not today exist?

If the Alito draft opinion survives and Roe is overturned, pro-lifers will have many people to thank.

Foremost among these are President Donald Trump, who elevated to the Supreme Court three of the five justices who voted with Alito, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, who saw to it that these three alone would make it.

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Abortion, Roe vs. Wade, Supreme Court 

“Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand.”

In the movie classic “Cool Hand Luke,” the convict Luke, played by Paul Newman, explains that to his fellow inmates after winning the pot in a hand of poker without even a pair of deuces.

President Joe Biden should take notice. For, right now, “nothing” is the hand he is looking at going into the 2022 election.

With the economy the predominant issue, the last business day of April brought disquieting news for Democrats.

“Nasdaq Caps Worst Month Since 2008,” blared Saturday’s lead headline in The Wall Street Journal. “Dismal Data Fuel Stagflation Fears,” ran the top headline in the Financial Times.

“Market Plunge Reflects Alarm of Pain Ahead,” blared The New York Times. Subhead: “Decline in April was worst in two years.”

“Trajectory in Question as Markets Tank Again,” said page one of The Washington Post. To what was the Post referring?

Nasdaq had closed down over 4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down over 900 points on the day. The S&P 500 was off 3.6% Friday, raising April’s loss to nearly 9% of its value. Not since World War II has the S&P begun a year with a worse performance.

This bloodbath in the markets is piled atop an 8.5% inflation rate and a shrinkage of 1.4% in the GDP over the first quarter. If a similar decline follows in the second quarter, the economy on which Biden’s party stands or falls in November will officially be in recession.

With Biden’s disapproval rating already running 10 points higher than his 42% approval, the economic issue could bring an even larger rout of House Democrats than would be normal at the midterms.

The issue now ranked second as a national concern is the crisis on the border where 2 million illegal migrants crossed over in Biden’s first year and the “gotaways” who evaded every U.S. official while sneaking in are estimated in the hundreds of thousands.

Some 8,000 migrants now cross the U.S. border every day. And according to the Biden administration itself, half again that many will be crossing daily if Title 42, which enables border authorities to turn back migrants into Mexico for health concerns, is lifted this month.

Third in voters’ concern is the explosion in violent crime, especially “mass killings” that involve four victims dead or wounded, not including the perpetrator. This year, mass killings are nearly matching the record number set in Biden’s first year.

There was a time when mass murder, like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago by the Al Capone gang, or Charlie Starkweather’s murderous rampage across the Great Plains in 1958, were rare events.

Now people shooting up malls, trains and subways, and running down people with cars and trucks are daily occurrences.

Biden is not responsible for the explosion of carjackings and mass killings or cop shootings. But his party has come to be identified with its left wing’s campaign to “defund the police” and refocus on the “root causes” of crime, the social conditions said to produce criminals, rather than the criminals themselves.

The Republican Party has come to be identified with solutions that involve more police, more prosecutors and more prison cells and inmates, which, increasingly, is where the country is at.

In addition to the issues turning against the Democrats, Biden has himself become a drag on the party. His low poll numbers, verbal foot faults, visible frailty and perceived “cognitive decline” all handicap efforts to portray him as a strong, engaged and decisive leader.

The wild card in Biden’s poker hand is the war in Ukraine.

Biden has funneled \$3.7 billion into the Ukrainian war effort and sent Javelin and Stinger missiles and, lately, heavy artillery. He is pressing Congress for an additional \$33 billion — \$20 billion of that in military aid — over the next five months of this fiscal year.

Thus far, the U.S. political class in this capital has been largely united and supportive of the Ukrainians.

But dissent is rising. Why, it is being asked, are we so focused on the Eastern borders of Ukraine when the Southern border of the United States is being breached illegally by 200,000 invaders every month, and thousands more “gotaways” — some of whom are sex traffickers, drug dealers, terrorists and members of Mexican cartels.

The future of the United States is not likely to be altered in a significant way by who eventually controls Mariupol or the Sea of Azov.

But more than 2 million migrants every year walking into the United States at will cannot but have an impact on the future character and composition of the nation that has lost control of its border.

Is whether Moscow controls Luhansk and Donetsk, which it did for the duration of the Cold War and for decades before, more important to us than whether the America we grew up in becomes more of a Third World than a Western nation?

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

 

“Once war is forced upon us, there is no alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory — not prolonged indecision.”

So said Gen. Douglas MacArthur in his April 1951 address to Congress after being fired by President Harry Truman as commander in chief in the Korean War.

And what is now America’s goal with our massive infusion into the Ukraine war of new and heavier NATO weapons?

Said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on his return from a Sunday meeting in Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy:

The United States wants “to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”

“Russia,” said Austin, has “already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops … and we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability.”

Thus, the new, or newly revealed, goal of U.S. policy in Ukraine is not just the defeat and retreat of the invading Russian army but the crippling of Russia as a world power.

The sanctions imposed on Russia and the advanced weapons we are shipping into Ukraine are not only to enable the country to preserve its independence and territorial integrity but also to inflict irreversible damage on Mother Russia.

Putin’s Russia is not to recover soon or ever from the beating we intend to administer, using Ukrainians to deliver the beating, over an extended period of time.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has seen through to the true objectives of some NATO allies:

“There are countries within NATO that want the Ukraine war to continue. They see the continuation of the war as weakening Russia. They don’t care much about the situation in Ukraine.”

But to increase steadily and substantially the losses to Russia’s economy, as well as its military, the war must go on longer.

And a long war translates into ever-greater losses to the Ukrainians who are alone in paying the price in blood of defeating Russia.

Is Austin committed to fighting this war to the last Ukrainian?

How many dead Russian soldiers — currently, the estimate of Russian losses is 15,000 of its invasion force — will it take to satisfy Austin and the Americans?

To achieve, say, a loss of 50,000 dead Russians, how many Ukrainians would have to lose their lives as well? How many Ukrainian cities would have to share the fate of Mariupol?

Clearly, the Joe Biden-Lloyd strategy of indefinitely bleeding Russia contradicts MacArthur’s dictum: “War’s very object is victory — not prolonged indecision.”

Does a war to bleed the other side to death also contradict the moral conditions for a just war?

Then there are the practical considerations.

When we say we will so weaken Russia that it cannot threaten its neighbors again, we are talking about conventional weapons and power.

Nothing done in Ukraine in this two-month war has diminished the Russian arsenal of 6,000 nuclear weapons, the world’s largest stockpile.

And the more we destroy Russian conventional power, the more we force Moscow to fall back onto its ace in the hole — nuclear weapons.

Asked Tuesday about the risk of a nuclear war emanating from the conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov replied.

“The risks now are considerable. I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.”

Putin put it this way:

“If anyone sets out to intervene in the current events from the outside and creates unacceptable threats for us that are strategic in nature, they should know that our response will be lightning-fast …

“We have all the tools for this that no one else can boast of having. … We’ll use them if needed. And I want everyone to know that.”

Tactical nuclear warheads aboard hypersonic missiles would seem to fit precisely what Putin was describing.

Which raises the question:

Will Putin accept a U.S.-induced permanent reduction in Russia’s standing as a great nation? Or would Russia resort to weapons that could avoid that fate and avoid as well the long and debilitating “forever war” some Americans want to impose on his country?

If we are going to bleed Russia into an irreversible strategic decline, is Putin a ruler of the mindset to go quietly into that good night?

Are Putin & Co. bluffing with this implied nuclear threat?

When Georgia invaded South Ossetia in 2008, Putin’s Russian army reacted instantly, ran the Georgians out and stormed into Georgia itself.

When the U.S. helped to overthrow the pro-Russian government in Kyiv in 2014, Russia plunged in and took Crimea, the Sevastopol naval base, and Luhansk and Donetsk.

When Ukraine flirted with joining NATO and Biden refused to rule out the possibility, Putin invaded in February.

When he warns of military action, Putin has some credibility.

And in this talk of using tactical atomic weapons to prevent the defeat, humiliation and diminution of Russia itself, is Vladimir Putin bluffing?

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

 

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”

So wrote William Butler Yeats in the wake of the Great War of 1914-1918 that had ravaged the Christian civilization he had known.

In France on Sunday, the center held, as President Emmanuel Macron rolled up a crushing 59% to 41% victory in the runoff election against ethno-nationalist Marine Le Pen.

Four years ago, Le Pen got 34% in the runoff. And the highest vote that her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the National Front, ever received was 18%. While Marine Le Pen lost Sunday, her positions continue to attract converts.

So terrified of Le Pen was the European establishment that before Sunday’s election, the leaders of Spain, Portugal and Germany intervened in France’s politics by imploring the French people to vote against her.

This runoff is “for us, not an election like any other,” wrote German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez in Le Monde.

France faces a “choice between a democratic candidate … and a far-right candidate, who openly sides with those who attack our freedom and our democracy.”

More than 4 in 10 French voted for the candidate the EU leaders had described as anti-democratic.

In the first round of voting, Le Pen, along with rabid leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon and the hard right’s Eric Zemmour, who ran third and fourth, behind Le Pen, together carried 52%.

Thus did three of the top four candidates for the presidency of France, and a majority of the French nation, show support for an idea that all three of them shared — hostility to NATO.

In ruling France for the next five years, Macron, himself a critic of U.S. leadership and NATO, will have to keep this constituency in mind.

And Macron knows it. On his night of triumph, he conceded that many of those who voted for him were motivated not by an appreciation of what he had accomplished, but by a fear of Le Pen.

In the East of Europe, however, change may be on the horizon.

Major media — Newsweek, the New York Post and Daily Mail — are reporting rumors, based partly on recent videos of Russia’s president, that Vladimir Putin may be suffering from cancer.

Also, news that Sweden and Finland may be joining NATO as the 31st and 32nd members of the alliance has caused a sharp reaction from Moscow, which is warning of a redeployment of nuclear weapons to the Baltic.

Again, have people thought through what it would mean to bring Finland, a nation the size of Germany with an 830-mile land border with Russia, into NATO?

With 4% of Russia’s population, Finland would need NATO ground troops to man the border bases and crossing points into that country, and some of those troops would likely have to be Americans.

They would be staring across that chilly border directly at Russians, as in East and West Berlin in Cold War days.

Last Friday, in a press conference, Gen. Rustam Minnekayev said Russia seeks full control of all of southern Ukraine to give it “another way out to Transnistria” — the breakaway state internationally recognized as part of Moldova.

Minnekayev charged Moldova with oppressing the Russian-speaking population of Transnistria, an echo of the claim the Kremlin used to justify the invasion of Ukraine.

Was this weekend’s missile attack on Odessa an indicator of that Russian intent?

Putin’s ally in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, in his sixth term, having held the top office for three decades, is now 68, and his last election victory in 2020 was almost universally regarded as fraudulent.

Would Moscow, having lost Ukraine, sit still as Sweden and Finland moved onto the threshold of NATO and accept a neutrality for Belarus that would leave Russia without two of the three critical components of his Russian Federation as allies?

China’s largest city, Shanghai, is today in a lockdown ordered by Xi Jinping, as China suddenly seems no longer the country that showed the world how to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic that began in Wuhan.

President Joe Biden may be making trips to New Hampshire, but few believe he will be running again in 2024, as the manifestations of his cognitive decline appear more frequent and disturbing.

Yet, one recalls.

Woodrow Wilson suffered an incapacitating stroke during a national tour to sell the peace treaty and League of Nations he had negotiated at Paris to the country and the Senate in 1919, yet survived his successor Warren Harding, who died in office in 1923.

As Macron was rolling up his election victory, Ron Klain, Biden’s White House chief of staff, chortled at the outcome.

“An interesting observation, just FYI,” tweeted Klain. “President Macron appears to have secured a double-digit victory over LePen, at a time when his approval rating is 36%. Hmmm … ”

If Macron can pull it off, why can’t Biden, Klain is contending here.

Unconvincingly.

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

 

Asked if the U.S. should send troops to fight beside the Ukrainians, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said Sunday the time may have come.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “will only stop when we stop him,” said Coons.

“We are in a very dangerous moment where it is important that … we in Congress and the administration come to a common position about when we are willing to go the next step and to send not just arms but troops to the aid in defense of Ukraine.”

“If the answer is never, then we are inviting another level of escalation in brutality by Putin.”

In response, the White House affirmed President Joe Biden’s declaration that U.S. troops are not going to be sent to fight Russians in Ukraine, as this would open the door to World War III.

Said Biden last month: “The idea that we’re going to send in offensive equipment and have planes and tanks and trains going in with American pilots and American crews, just understand … that’s called World War III, OK? Let’s get it straight here, guys.”

Biden added, “We will not fight the third world war in Ukraine.”

Since Biden made these remarks, however, the red line against direct U.S. aid to the Ukrainian military has shifted, though the prohibition against the introduction of U.S. troops and air power has remained.

The present U.S. position might be summarized thus:

As U.S. forces fighting and killing Russians in Ukraine would ignite a U.S.-Russia war, which could escalate to nuclear war, we are not going to take that first step and risk the security and survival of our country, even if our staying out of this two-month war means the defeat of Ukraine.

Call it the Eisenhower position.

In 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower refused to use U.S. forces to intervene to halt Russian tanks from crushing the Hungarian Revolution that had risen up against Soviet occupation and rule.

Ike was unwilling to cross the Yalta line dividing Europe and chose to let the Hungarian Revolution fail rather than potentially ignite a war in which our own soldiers and nation would be at risk.

Ike literally put America first, ahead of the Hungarians.

Where does Biden’s refusal to follow Coon’s urgings leave the rival belligerents in this Ukraine-Russia war?

Putin has suffered a series of setbacks since his invasion began.

He has failed to capture any of the three largest cities in Ukraine: Kyiv, the capital, or Kharkiv, the second largest city, or Odessa, the third largest city and principal port on the Black Sea.

Putin suffered a humiliating defeat and retreat in the battle of Kyiv and has lost a fourth of the forces with which he started the war.

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the cruiser Moskva, has been sunk, reportedly by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles.

Yet Putin has had his successes as well.

If Mariupol, Ukraine’s major port on the Sea of Azov falls, as is expected, Putin will have his “land bridge” from Russia to Crimea. North of Crimea and in the west of Luhansk and Donetsk, Putin has also added to the lands he has held since 2014.

Russia’s capture and annexation of the Donbas could be called a victory by Putin. Capture of Kharkiv or Odessa, the latter of which would give Putin control of the entire Black Sea coast of Ukraine, making Kyiv the capital of a land-locked country, would constitute a triumph.

Which brings us to the debate now shaping up in the USA.

Neocons and war hawks are taking the position that the visible defeat of the Russian army and its expulsion from Ukraine, and Putin’s humiliation and ouster, must be America’s goals. And these goals should be nonnegotiable. Failure to achieve these ends, it is said, would amount to a defeat for NATO and the United States.

The problem with this victory scenario?

Putin has sent many signals that before he accepts the defeat of his army and country and his own removal and trial as a “war criminal” who engaged in “genocide,” he will use battlefield nuclear weapons from his arsenal of 6,000 such weapons to win the war.

Wednesday Putin announced Russia’s test of a giant new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Dissenters believe that Putin may not be bluffing, that an early and negotiated end to this war may be necessary to avoid a wider conflict that could escalate into World War III.

But, as ever, they are being charged with timidity and cowardice and letting pass a historic opportunity to administer to authoritarian Russia the defeat it invited with this invasion and that it richly deserves.

Yet, recall: To avoid war with Russia, President Harry Truman refused to breach Joseph Stalin’s Berlin Blockade. Eisenhower let the Hungarian revolution be drowned in blood and told the Brits, French and Israelis to get out of Egypt. President John F. Kennedy let the Berlin Wall go up. President Lyndon B. Johnson let the Prague Spring be crushed by the Warsaw Pact.

The sooner this war ends, the better for 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.”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia, Ukraine 

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.”

So reads Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution.

Historically, that constitutional duty — to protect America’s states against invasion — has been the province of the president of the United States, the chief executive, who today is Joe Biden.

How did Biden’s predecessors do in discharging their duty to secure America’s borders?

During the War of 1812, President James Madison assigned the defense of New Orleans against an invading British army that had just burned the Capitol and White House to Gen. Andrew Jackson.

On Jan. 8, 1815, Jackson crushed the battle-hardened and numerically superior British force that had invaded our country.

Jackson was also the chosen instrument of President James Monroe to punish and expel Indian marauders raiding Georgia from Spanish Florida in 1818.

Exceeding his mandate, the resolute Jackson entered Florida, expelled the Spanish governor and annexed the peninsula for the United States after executing two British subjects and almost igniting a war with Great Britain.

In 1845, President James K. Polk sent an American army to Texas to validate our claim to all the land north of the Rio Grande that had belonged to the Lone Star Republic when it seceded from Mexico in 1836 and joined the Union in December of 1845.

President Andrew Johnson sent an army to the Mexican border to effect the removal of a French army and Paris-backed regime that had colonized Mexico while the Union was preoccupied with the Confederacy.

The French departed, leaving behind the hapless Habsburg emperor they had installed to face a firing squad.

When Pancho Villa conducted his murderous raid into Columbus, New Mexico, in 1916, Woodrow Wilson sent Gen. John Pershing with an army of 6,000 into Mexico to run him down. They never caught Villa.

By Dwight Eisenhower’s first term, 1 million illegal immigrants had moved into the United States from Mexico. Ike commissioned his friend and West Point classmate Gen. Joseph Swing to effect their removal.

All of these incidents involved America’s southern border, and each of the presidents of that day took seriously their constitutional duty to defend the nation’s borders against invasion, violent or nonviolent.

And how has President Joe Biden discharged that obligation?

In Biden’s first year as president, some 1.7 million Illegal migrants were intercepted crossing into the United States.

The monthly figure from Fiscal Year 2021 was exceeded by the March 2022 figure of 220,000 migrants crossing over into the USA. If sustained, this rate would translate into an invasion of 2.6 million people, predominantly young and predominantly male, in this fiscal year alone.

“Gotaways,” those who breach our borders without ever being stopped and identified by Border Patrol or other authorities, are now estimated at 30,000 a month. Among these clandestinely crossing our border monthly are cartel members, child molesters, drug traffickers and sex offenders. We don’t know who they are, but we do know where they are. They are now our neighbors inside our homeland.

Biden is now planning in May to lift Title 42, which requires that unvaccinated migrants seeking entry at the border remain in Mexico.

According to ABC, the Department of Homeland Security is bracing for as many as 18,000 migrants per day at the US southern border if Title 42 is revoked.

Most of these migrants still come from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but growing numbers now come from all over the world. They are of every race, nationality, culture, creed and ethnicity, and they are steadily converting America from a First World Western nation into a predominantly Third World country.

By failing or refusing to do his constitutional duty to defend the nation from invasion, Biden is letting this happen. Through his passivity and inaction, he is remaking America. What we are witnessing is the Third Worldization of the USA.

What do these endless thousands of migrants at the southern gates of our country bring with them? A desire for a better life, surely, but also a vast dependency on a deeply indebted America for social welfare, housing, health care and education

Most come with little in the way of skills and almost nothing in the way of personal wealth or a knowledge of our history, heritage and language.

Their first act on the road to residency and eventual citizenship in this country is to break the laws of the United States by first breaking into our country.

A move is afoot to impeach Biden for his failure to do his constitutional duty and defend the southern border of the United States from the invading millions of illegal migrants.

But that would make impeachment the subject of national debate, not the massive illegal migration and the changes it is producing in the character of our country.

Indeed, who stands first in line to succeed an impeached and convicted Joe Biden? Kamala Harris, Biden’s designee to act as America’s “border czar.”

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

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Joe Biden 

The prime ministers of Sweden and Finland, Magdalena Andersson and Sanna Marin, both signaled Wednesday that they will likely be applying for membership in NATO.

The “prospect” is most “welcome,” says The Washington Post: “Finland and Sweden Should Join NATO.”

The editorial was titled “A Way to Punish Putin.”

Before joining the rejoicing in NATO capitals, we might inspect what NATO membership for these two Nordic nations would mean for the United States.

Finland is a nation the size of Germany, but with a population only 4% of that of Russia and a border with Russia that is 830 miles long.

Should Finland join NATO, the United States, under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, would be obligated to go to war with the world’s largest nuclear power to retrieve Finnish lands that an enraged Russia might grab.

Moscow has already indicated that, should Sweden and Finland join NATO, Russia will introduce new nuclear weapons into the Baltic region.

Why is it wise for us to formally agree, in perpetuity, as NATO is a permanent alliance, to go to war with Russia, for Finland?

Given the war in Ukraine and concomitant crisis in Eastern Europe, it is understandable why Stockholm and Helsinki would seek greater security beneath the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

But why would we voluntarily agree to give Sweden and Finland these war guarantees? Why would we commit to go to war with Putin’s Russia, a war that could, and likely would, escalate to the use of tactical nuclear weapons, especially if Russia were losing?

Finland was neutral during the Cold War. Sweden has been neutral since the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century.

How did we suffer from their neutrality?

In Helsinki and Stockholm, the benefit of a U.S.-NATO commitment to go to war for Finland or Sweden is understandable.

But how does it benefit our country, the USA, to be obligated to go to war with a nation that commands the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons — over some quarrel in the Baltic Sea or Gulf of Finland that does not affect us?

Asked for his view on Sweden and Finland’s campaign to join NATO, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had a note of warning:

“We have repeatedly said that the (NATO) alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation and its further expansion will not bring stability to the European continent.”

Should Putin’s Russia clash with Finland or Sweden today, the U.S. is free to respond, or not to respond, as it sees fit, depending on our own assessment of risks and rewards.

Why not keep it that way? Why surrender our freedom of action in some future collision involving our main adversary?

History holds lessons for us here.

In March 1939, six months after Munich, when Czechoslovakia disintegrated into its ethnic components, Britain issued an unsolicited war guarantee to Poland, then negotiating with Germany over the port city of Danzig taken from Germany by the victorious Allies after World War I.

When Germany, on Sept. 1, 1939, invaded Poland, Britain was obligated to declare war on Germany over a matter that was not a vital interest of Great Britain or its worldwide empire.

Lest we forget, it was the Bucharest Declaration of 2008, opening the door to membership in NATO for Ukraine and Georgia, that led to the recent crises in Eastern Europe and the current war.

The Russia-Georgia War of August 2008, the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, and Putin’s annexation of Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine all proceeded from NATO’s decision in 2008 to open the door to membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine today is partly due to the U.S. and Ukraine’s refusal to rule out NATO membership for Kyiv.

No NATO nation today has a border with Russia nearly as long as that of Finland. If Finland joins NATO, will we put U.S. boots on the ground along that 830-mile border with Russia? Will U.S. warplanes fly in and out of Finnish airfields and air bases up to the border of Russia?

Collective security is said to be a good idea.

But the core of NATO security is provided by U.S. war guarantees, while most of the collecting is done by our 29 NATO allies, which could become 31 by summer’s end.

Otto von Bismarck predicted that the Great War, when it came, would be ignited by “some damn fool thing in the Balkans.”

And World War I was indeed triggered by the assassination of the Austrian archduke in Sarajevo in June 1914. The Germans came in in part because the kaiser had given Austria a “blank check” for war.

What enabled America to stay out of both world wars for years after they began was our freedom of “entangling alliances” when they began.

But today we not only lead an alliance of 30 nations, but we are adding two more members, one of which has a border of 830 miles with Russia.

How long does our luck last?

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

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Finland, NATO, Russia, Ukraine 
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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