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Did We Vote for War?
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“How do you like the Journal’s war?”

So boasted the headline of William Randolph Hearst’s New York flagship that week in 1898 that the United States declared war on Spain.

While Hearst’s Journal, in a circulation battle with Joe Pulitzer’s World, was a warmongering sheet, it did not start the war.

Yet the headline comes to mind reading the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial pages seem to have concluded that on Nov. 4 America voted for new wars in the Middle East, and beyond.

On Nov. 13, the Journal’s op-ed page was given over to Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Assuming nuclear talks with Iran conclude unsuccessfully by the Nov. 24 deadline, they write, we have four options.

Two involve continued or tougher sanctions. The other two are a preemptive war featuring U.S. air and missile strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, or a U.S. attack to bring down Bashar Assad’s regime.

“Taking Mr. Assad down would let Tehran know that America’s withdrawal from the Middle East and President Obama’s dreams of an entente with Iran are over.”

It would surely do that.

But taking down the Syrian regime could also lead to a slaughter of Christians and Alawites, an al Qaida-ISIS takeover in Damascus, war with Iran, and attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and across the Middle East.

Which raises a question: What is this FDD?

Answer: A War Party think tank that in 2011, according to Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website and Eli Clifton of Salon, took in $19 million from five rabidly pro-Israel givers.

Home Depot’s Bernard Marcus gave $10.7 million, hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer $3.6 million. Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-Macau casino kingpin, chipped in $1.5 million.

Last week, Adelson and media mogul Haim Saban spoke of plans to dump hundreds of millions into the presidential campaigns of 2016.

What does the pair want from our next president? According to the Washington Post’s Phil Rucker and Tom Hamburger, action on Iran:

“Saban said that fundamentalist Iranians represent a real threat. If necessary to defend Israel, and as a last resort, he added, ‘I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches.'”
Echoed the 81-year-old Adelson, “I would not just talk. I would take action.”

Last year, at Yeshiva University, Adelson, who pumped $150 million into the 2012 campaign, said the U.S. should fire a nuclear missile into the Iranian desert as a warning to end their nuclear program, or the next atom bomb would be dropped on Teheran.

This billionaires boys club wants to buy U.S. foreign policy and a U.S. war on Iran. And the propagandists of FDD are paid to produce that war, in which they will not be doing the fighting and dying.

Back to the Journal. On Nov. 15, its lead editorial declared that the great “question before President Obama and Europe is how to stop the Napoleon of the Kremlin.”
Putin is Napoleon? Has the Journal lost it?


Vladimir Putin is 62. By age 40, Napoleon’s empire encompassed nearly all of Europe. France had swallowed Belgium, Holland, parts of Germany and the Italian coast to Rome. The Emperor had alliances with Austria, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and a truncated Prussia. Virtually all the resources, industries and populations of Continental Europe were at the service of the French Empire.

Putin has reacquired Crimea, which belonged to Russia before the United States was a nation, and is about the size of Vermont.

Napoleon made it to Moscow. Does the Journal think Putin will make it to Paris, as Czar Alexander I did, or to Berlin, as Stalin did?

The Journal hails the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 18-0 vote to arm the Ukrainians, and urges Congress to do the same.

And what would be the result of U.S. heavy weapons arriving in Kiev?

Would Putin recoil in shock and awe and scurry out of Crimea?

Probably not, as the Journal itself concedes, “In 15 years running Russia, Mr. Putin has never stood down.”

And if Putin, seeing U.S. weapons arriving in Kiev, sent in the Russian army to annex Luhansk and Donetsk, took Mariupol on the Black Sea coast, established a land bridge to Crimea, and then offered to negotiate, what would Kiev do?

Even with U.S. weapons Ukraine cannot defeat Russia.

What would we do? Accept defeat? Send U.S. advisers or troops into Ukraine? Launch strikes on Russian forces? Blockade Crimea? Are we really prepared for war with Russia, over Donetsk?

Since Nov. 4, the Journal and its neocon allies have been cawing for U.S. troops to fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria, for U.S. air strikes on Assad’s regime, for bombing Iran, and for arming Ukraine to fight the Russians in a war that Kiev would surely lose.

Was this what America voted for on Nov. 4?

Is this what the Grand Old Party has on offer — endless war?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

Copyright 2014

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Republicans, Russia 
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  1. PeterB says:

    These organizations with the wonderful sounding names are usually just fronts for one agenda or another. For one example, Zuckerberg craftily set up two groups pushing for the same thing on immigration, but each pretended to be separate, one appealing to the Democratic Party base of voters and the other working the Republican side of the street. It’s all a game of deception; defense of democracies my eye.
    Even with US weapons the western part of Ukraine cannot defeat the eastern Ukrainians as long as the latter can get weapons supplied to them by the Russians, sent as a counter to the influx of US arms. There’s no need for any actual Russian incursion nor does it seem they would even want to. The Crimea never voted to join Ukraine in ’54 in the first place. They’ve now voted to leave that mess behind and bail out of the dysfunctional and bankrupt state that is the current Ukraine; anybody in their right mind would do so too were they in that situation.
    Iran is not Afghanistan. We’ve been kept busy and spent fortunes in a primitive country fighting tribesmen armed only with small arms and IUDs. Iran is a much more advanced country, eighty million strong. The war advocates are irresponsibly claiming that just a few missiles here and there would do the job, that it’d be a cakewalk. More likely it would end up being a thirty year slog. Bringing back the draft for an unpopular war would have all kinds of unforeseeable repercussions domestically. Failed, unpopular wars always have all sorts of consequences.

  2. Vendetta says:

    “Sure, all the people they elect are evil maniacs, but you can’t blame the American people for that.”

    – John Dolan

    The Republicans were elected in as a punishment for Obama’s fecklessness, because they were the only anti-Obama option available. There’s your ultimate damnation, Obama. There’s your ultimate contribution to “Peace”.

    I still can’t get over that. An honorable man would have refused the Prize and given it to some Third World doctor or diplomat who actually did something to deserve it. That would have been a statement, that would have shown integrity and bravery.

    I could easily see Pope Francis doing that. Obama missed his chance though, as he always, always does.

  3. We no longer have much influence over what’s done in our name and at our expense.

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Looks like more wars for Israel are on the horizon.

  5. Jim says:

    A nuclear attack on Iran? Getting into a war with Russia over the Crimea? These people are bat-shit crazy.

  6. Retired says:

    I agree. We should shake the dust off our boots and bring our boys and girls home. Maybe drop a few hundred thousand pounds of bombs on our way out.
    If I think Rand Paul is electable I may vote for him. Not much else I can do except pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

  7. Yes, it’s long past time to bring the troops home. My God. We have the greatest military in the history of the world, and we’ve become addicted to abusing it. We started down the slippery slope in Korea more than half a century ago.

    Just for a change, we should try staying home and keeping our powder dry.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The basic fact is that, with a trillion-dollar military, war is no longer the commitment it used to be. As mobilizations, requisitions and suchlike are no longer necessary, pols will keep meddling in little wars here and there to show the voters that they’re tough on national security, willing to defend the gates of Vienna, or whatever excuse is in vogue. The constitutional demand for congressional approval can be circumvented through AUMF’s, clandestine operations, black budgets and whatnot.

    In the short term, meddling in Islam’s wars in the Middle East will be just too tempting. So, to answer Pat’s rhetorical question, yes, there’ll be endless war.

    On the flip side, if reconstruction is not attempted everything becomes much cheaper. The combat phases of Gulf Wars I/II, Libya, and drone operations in Pakistan cost billions, not trillions. Actually, these operations cost so much less than the big-ticket items in the federal budget that, over time, few people will care enough to stop them.

  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    We have the greatest military in the history of the world.

    That “greatest military” was not able to intercept or shoot down even one of the four planes on September 11, 2001.

    What good were all those bases scattered all over the world with American soldiers and planes? How did they defend the homeland?

    What good were all those French colonies and military bases all over Africa when the panzers’ closed in on Paris?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  10. KA says:

    “Answer: A War Party think tank that in 2011, according to Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website and Eli Clifton of Salon, took in $19 million from five rabidly pro-Israel givers.”

    FDD -Freedom For Defense of Democracy? Didn’t Sheldon say something about democracy in Israel?

    Sheldon” “I don’t think the Bible says anything about democracy. I think God didn’t say anything about democracy. God talked about all the good things in life. He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state, otherwise Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?”

    FDD is fighting for democracy! Israel is fighting for secular cosmopolitan urban egalitarian progressive country as evidenced by fight against terrorism which promotes religiosity,parochialis,intolerance,inequality,biases,and medievalism. ,!!!
    How did America get here? How does ombudsman allow NYT and CNN criticize the killing of Jewish citizen but allow it keep quiet on daily violences against persons,families,and neighborhoods of Palestinian Arabs?
    An atmosphere of controlled messages and filtered information have clouded the responses and has destroyed the moral fabrics, has numbed the concerns America deserves ,has normalized hatred,biases,and complicitiy in crimes ,has allowed silenct participation in ever enlarging breadth and scope of criminality of Israel.

  11. @Anonymous

    What part of “we should try staying home and keeping our powder dry” did you not understand?

    You are talking to an old isolationist here. We don’t need anything more than the huge, amazing, rich continent we already own. George Washington could see the potential, and he advised us, yes we the future generations of the United States, against foreign entanglements and divisions at home. Read his farewell address.

    Our military is indeed the best ever. Just try fighting a real war against it. You will get your ass kicked. It’s all that and answerable to civilian authority too. The world has never seen anything like it.

    I agreee completely that we could afford to close some foreign bases. Thats obvious. It requires a complete change in our strategy, which won’t happen.

    Terrorist acts like 911 are crimes, not military actions. The responsibility for allowing them to happen rests with law enforcement and intelligence, not military. But we can wonder where the F-16s were that day… I didn’t say we have always had the best political leadership.

  12. Bliss says:

    Is this what the Grand Old Party has on offer — endless war?


    Once Obama is out of the White House you all are going to miss his “weak” foreign policy.

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