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Among the nations aiding Ukraine in its resistance to the Russian invasion, America has been foremost. Yet the war interests of our two nations are not identical.

To the U.S., the imperative is that the war be contained, not expanded, and that we not be drawn into a wider war with Russia.

For the independence, territorial integrity and democratic rule of Ukraine, while championed by the U.S., are not vital U.S. interests. None of them justifies a war with Russia that could imperil the security and, if it escalated to nuclear weapons, the very survival of our country.

That America is not “all in” in Ukraine is obvious. Before Feb. 24, the U.S. never brought Ukraine into NATO, never gave it an “Article 5” war guarantee, never agreed to fight alongside it if attacked.

From the first February days of this war, we ruled out U.S. “boots on the ground” or U.S. participation in a “no-fly zone,” which would require U.S. pilots to shoot down Russian planes.

These decisions and declarations about what we would not do testified to the limits of the U.S. commitment to Ukraine, as well as to our reluctance to take serious risks to ourselves on Kyiv’s behalf.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s goal, however, the defeat of the Russian invaders and their expulsion from Ukraine, would require greater support from the U.S. and NATO than he is receiving or is likely to receive.

The U.S. and NATO are willing to supply Ukraine with the weapons to defend themselves and defeat the Russians in battle, but neither NATO nor the U.S. is prepared to fight the Ukrainians’ war for them.

When it comes to the fighting and dying, this is their war, not ours.

To shame NATO and the U.S. more fully and openly into his war, Zelenskyy is accusing reluctant Western nations of being appeasers cut from the same bolt of cloth as Neville Chamberlain at Munich.

What is Zelenskyy saying?

Our cause is Europe’s cause. Our cause is NATO’s cause. Our cause is democracy’s cause. Our cause is the world’s cause. If we go down, we will be only the first to fall to Vladimir Putin’s empire. Others will follow.

Henry Kissinger has said that, in any negotiated settlement, Ukraine will likely have to cede some territory to Russia. Ideally, said Kissinger, “the dividing line should be a return to the status quo” before the 2022 invasion. Russia has held Crimea and parts of Luhansk and Donetsk since 2014.

“Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine,” said Kissinger, “but a new war against Russia itself.”

A livid Zelenskyy replied: “It seems that Mr. Kissinger’s calendar is not 2022, but 1938 … Nobody heard from him then that it was necessary to adapt to the Nazis instead of fleeing them or fighting them.”

These cracks in the coalition backing Ukraine are certain to become more pronounced, as Russia appears to be consolidating control of the Donbas, which Putin has set as his principal goal.

Italy, France and Germany are all in contact with Putin. All are pressing for negotiations. None has insisted on what Zelenskyy has at times demanded: Russia’s surrender of Ukrainian territory it has held since 2014.

East European nations, familiar with Russian rule, echo Zelenskyy in calling for the defeat, humiliation and expulsion of Russia from Ukraine.

When and if a ceasefire comes and negotiations begin, there seems certain to be a fracturing of the coalition backing Ukraine.

For while Russia was defeated in its offensives to capture Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa, Moscow has succeeded in capturing Mariupol, the Sea of Azov and the “land bridge” it sought from Russia to Crimea — and appears to be moving toward dominance of the entire Donbas.

Ukraine is also blockaded by Russian warships from exporting its wheat and corn, upon which a number of developing nations depend to feed their populations and avert malnutrition and even famine.

And with Russia making slow but steady gains in the Donbas, Putin does not appear to be holding a weak hand in any negotiations.

With the Ukrainians and Russians exchanging artillery fire in the Donbas, Zelenskyy asked the U.S. for its High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS.

With strike capabilities of almost 50 miles, this could put Russia itself in range. But U.S. officials say they have assurances from Ukrainian leaders that HIMARS will not be used against Russian territory.

The Kremlin has warned that any nation sending advanced weapons to Ukraine will face harsh repercussions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has charged the West with declaring “total war” on Russia.

What this suggests is that the war is now generating greater risks and dangers for the U.S. than any additional rewards we might realize from “weakening” Russia with further fighting.

It may be time to tell Zelenskyy not only what we will and will not provide but what we believe are the acceptable terms for a truce.

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, NATO, Russia, Ukraine 

Ideology is political religion, said the conservative sage Russell Kirk.

And what is the defining dogma of the political religion, or ideology, of America in 2022?

Is it not that, “All men are created equal”?

Yet, as with every religion, a basic question needs first to be asked and answered about this defining dogma of liberal ideology.

Is it true? Are all men truly created equal? Are all races and ethnic groups equal? Are men and women equal? Are all religions equal? Or do we simply agree to accept that as true — and treat them all equally?

All Americans, we agree, have the same God-given rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the same constitutional rights in the Bill of Rights, and the same civil rights, enshrined in federal law.

But where is the historic, scientific or empirical proof of the defining dogma of American democracy that “all men are created equal”?

Thomas Jefferson, the statesman who immortalized the words, did not believe in equality, let alone equity. How he lived his life testifies to this disbelief.

When he wrote the Declaration of Independence that contained the famous words, Jefferson was a slave owner. In that document, he speaks of the British as “brethren” connected to us by “ties of our common kindred,” ties of blood.

But not all of those fighting against us were the equals of the British.

There were, Jefferson wrote, those “merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

In an 1815 letter to John Adams, Jefferson celebrated “a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents … The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society.”

Jefferson was an aristocrat, not a democrat.

Abraham Lincoln opposed slavery but did not believe in racial or social equality. Though he cited Jefferson’s “all men are created equal” at Gettysburg, he had conceded in an 1858 debate with Stephen Douglas that, “We cannot, then, make them equals,” adding that the white race in America should retain the superior position.

With the Brown v. Board of Education decision desegregating public schools in 1954, and the civil rights acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968, a national effort was undertaken to bring about the social and political equality that Jefferson’s words of 1776 seemed to promise but failed to deliver.

At Howard University in 1965, Lyndon Johnson took the next step, declaring: “Freedom is not enough … We seek … not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.”

Yet, over half a century after the civil rights revolution, incomes and wealth are not equal. Nor is there equal representation in professions like law, medicine and higher education.

President Joe Biden’s people have pledged to Black America that they will mandate and deliver that equality of results. If equity does not now exist, the Biden administration will impose it.

And why not?

If all men (and women) are created equal, the most reasonable explanation for a consistent inequality of riches and rewards between men and women, and black and white, is that the game has been rigged. An inequality of riches and rewards exists because “systematic racism” coexists in American society alongside “white privilege.”

The remedy is also clear. As Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” told The New York Times’ Ezra Klein: “Racist policies are defined as any policy that leads to racial inequity … intent of the policymaker doesn’t matter. It’s all about the fundamental outcome.”

Thus, a policy that ensures an equal place at the starting line but consistently fails to deliver an equal place at the finish line is, de facto, racist.

If Asian and black kids start kindergarten in the same class, and Asian kids in 12th grade are studying calculus while most black kids are still trying to master algebra, racism alone, by Kendi’s rule, can explain such a regular result.

The solution to persistent inequality?

Mandate equity; mandate equality of results; mandate equal rewards for black and white. Compel the government to produce policies that deliver an equality of results.

But what if inequalities have another explanation?

What if Asian Americans are naturally superior in mathematics?

What if an inequity of rewards in society is predominantly a result of an inequality of talents and abilities?

What if it is more true to say that, based on human experience, no two men were ever created equal, than to say all men are created equal?

As Kirk said, ideology is political religion.

What we witness today is the refusal of true believers in egalitarian ideology to accept that their core doctrine may not only not be true, but may be demonstrably false.

What we are witnessing in America is how true believers behave when they realize the church at which they worship has been erected on a bright shining lie and reality must inevitably bring it crashing 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: Antiracism, Racism 

For half a decade now, America’s media elite have been obsessed with former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s conversion to Trumpism.

Press and TV are daily consumed with his actions and prospects and the future of the party he captured in 2016.

Perhaps it is time to consider the prospects of President Joe Biden and the political future of his embattled presidency.

What are the odds that Biden, like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama before him, will run again in 2024, win reelection, serve out a second term and transfer his office to the 47th president on Jan. 20, 2029?

My guess: The odds of that happening are roughly the same as the odds that last-minute entry Rich Strike would win the Kentucky Derby, as he left the starting gate at Churchill Downs at 80-1.

Consider the first hurdle Biden faces on the way to renomination in 2024 — the midterm elections five months off.

Since the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 reached record highs in January, both have seen eight weeks of wipeouts of trillions of dollars in value as we approached bear-market territory by the end of last week.

Stock portfolios, pensions and retirement benefit plans have been gutted. These massive market losses are also a lead indicator pointing to a recession right ahead, just as voters pass judgment on a Democratic Party that controls the White House and both houses of Congress.

But even before we reach recession, Americans have already been living with a Biden inflation of 8% that has lasted for months and affected all the necessities of normal life, such as groceries and gasoline.

And the worst seems yet to come.

The Federal Reserve has reversed course from its easy money days and begun to raise interest rates to squeeze the Biden inflation out of the economy. What lies ahead may remind people who were around then of Jimmy Carter’s “stagflation,” where interest rates hit 21% to kill an inflation that reached 13%.

As for the crisis on the southern border, it is deeper than ever. Some 234,000 migrants were caught illegally entering the U.S. in April alone, with thousands of others evading any contact with U.S. authorities.

This is an invasion rate of some 3 million illegal migrants a year.

Shootings, killings, carjackings, criminal assaults, and smash-and-grab robberies in record numbers are the subject of our nightly news.

And the latest national polls suggest the country is holding Biden responsible. The president’s approval rating is down to 39%, and only 1 in 3 Americans think he is doing a good job handling the economy and that the nation is headed in the right direction.

Now the omicron variant of COVID-19 is making a comeback; infections are again over 100,000 a day.

Biden might find consolation from how his predecessors overcame midterm defeats. Clinton in 1994 lost 54 House seats and won reelection easily in 1996. Obama lost 63 House seats in 2010 to come back and win handily over Mitt Romney in 2012.

Why cannot Biden ride out the anticipated storm in this year’s midterms and come back to win election in 2024, as did Clinton and Obama?

Age has something to do with it. Clinton was 50 in his reelection year 1996. Obama was 51 in his reelection year 2012. And both were at the peak of their political powers.

Biden, on election day 2024, will be two weeks shy of his 82nd birthday. Should he serve out a second term, he would not leave the White House until he had turned 86. Biden has been America’s oldest president since the day he took office.

Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers wrote of “energy in the executive” as being an indispensable attribute of good government.

Does Biden, with his shuffling gait, regular gaffes, and physical and cognitive decline manifest that attribute of which Hamilton wrote?

The likely scenario for Biden?

His party sustains a crushing defeat in November comparable to what Clinton and Obama suffered. But the party does not immediately rally around Biden as present and future leader, as it did with Clinton and Obama. Critics inside the Democratic coalition begin to blame Biden for the loss.

Ambitious Democrats, sensing disaster if Biden tops the ticket in 2024, begin to call for him to stand down and give way to a younger candidate, a new face, in 2024.

One or two progressives declare for president, and the pressure builds on Biden to avoid a personal and political humiliation in the 2024 primaries by standing down, as Harry Truman did in 1952 and Lyndon Johnson did in 1968.

By early 2023, Biden will have adopted the line that dealing with the challenge of China and Russia and, at the same time, coping with recession and inflation require his full attention. And these preclude a national political campaign for reelection.

And then President Joe Biden announces he will not run again.

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: 2022 Election, Democratic Party, Joe Biden 

“The demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” said Russia’s new ruler Vladimir Putin in his 2005 state of the nation address.

“As for the Russian people,” Putin went on, “it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.”

From Putin’s standpoint, the statement was then and remains today understandable.

Consider. When Putin entered his country’s secret service, Berlin was 110 miles deep inside a Soviet-occupied East Germany. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria were member states of the Warsaw Pact.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were republics of the USSR. Ukraine was the most populous and ethnically closest of the Soviet republics to Russia itself.

And today? Berlin is the capital of a united, free and democratic Germany, a member of NATO, that is beginning a rearmament campaign triggered by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria are members of the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Former Soviet republics Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are also members of that Western alliance established to contain Russia.

Sweden and Finland, neutral through the Cold War, are applying for membership in NATO.

Ukraine, backed by the U.S. and NATO, is fighting a war to push the Russian army out of its territory, a war that has the support of almost every country on the continent of Europe.

Even the falls of the British and French empires at the end of World War II do not match as geo-strategic disasters the collapse of the Soviet Empire and breakup of the Soviet Union since the end of the Cold War.

How goes the Russian war in Ukraine launched on Feb. 24?

Russia has enlarged the territory it controls in Crimea and its Luhansk and Donetsk enclaves in the Donbas. And now, with the fall of Mariupol, Moscow controls the entire Sea of Azov and has completed its land bridge from Russia to Crimea.

But Russia has failed to capture and been forced by the Ukrainian army to retreat from Kyiv and Kharkiv, the largest cities in Ukraine, and Putin has seen his forces humiliated again and again.

Yet, withal, Russia today remains a great power.

The largest nation on earth with twice the territory of the U.S., Russia has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and exceeds the U.S. and China in tactical nuclear weapons. It has vast tracks of land and sits on huge deposits of minerals, coal, oil and gas.

But Russia also has glaring weaknesses and growing vulnerabilities.

While Putin has built up impressive forces in the Arctic, the Baltic Sea, with Finland and Sweden joining the Western alliance, is becoming a NATO lake. Russian warships sailing out of St. Petersburg to the Atlantic have to traverse the coastal defenses of 11 present or future NATO nations: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Britain and France.

Among the questions that Russia, shrunken in so many ways from the great U.S. rival of the Cold War it once was, must answer is, “Quo Vadis?”

Where does Mother Russia go from here?

Bitter at their losses in the Cold War and post-Cold War years, many Russian nationalists are urging the regime to align with today’s great power antagonist of the United States, Xi Jinping’s China.

This is a recipe for a Second Cold War, but how would that war avail the Russian nation and its people?

In any Russia-China alliance, there is no doubt who will be senior partner. And it is not the U.S. that covets and wishes one day to control the resources of Russia from Novosibirsk to the Bering Sea.

China’s population of 1.4 billion people is 10 times Russia’s. East of the Urals, China’s population is 50 to 100 times the size of Russia’s in Siberia and the Far East.

What of a U.S.-Russia detente as Moscow’s future rather than Cold War II?

During some of the coldest days of the Cold War, U.S. presidents like Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan sought to find common ground on which to stand with Russia to avoid conflict.

Ike invited the “Butcher of Budapest,” Nikita Khrushchev, for a 12-day U.S. visit in 1959. Nixon initiated a “detente” with Leonid Brezhnev, who had ordered the Warsaw Pact to crush the “Prague Spring” in 1968. Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev negotiated the dismantling of an entire class of nuclear weapons in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

Given the hostility Putin has generated by his invasion of Ukraine, Western leaders may be unable to bring Russia in from the cold. But if we isolate Russia, push it out of the West, Moscow has only one direction in which to go — east, to China.

In 230 years, the United States has never gone to war with Russia. Not with the Romanovs nor with the Stalinists, not with the Cold War Communists nor with the Putinists.

U.S. vital interests dictate that we maintain that tradition.

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, History • Tags: China, NATO, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin 

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.”

 
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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