essence of Buchananism is not anti-Semitism, or protectionism,
or isolationism. The core belief that animates these derivative
elements of Buchananism is that American government throughout
the twentieth century has been a disgrace and a fraud. Buchanan
is as much a Blame America First radical as the leftists of the
late 1960s. His claim that the United States had no business getting
into World Wars I and II follows from his belief that for the
past hundred years, and right up till today, the American government
has been hijacked by elite and ethnic interests that do America
harm. He believes the American government stupidly and malevolently
sent hundreds of thousands of men to their deaths. Today, he doesn't
want America to lead the world because he doesn't think America
is worthy of leading the world. He doesn't want to export our
ideals because he doesn't believe in American ideals. For all
of his reactionary nostalgia for an America that allegedly once
was, he objects to the core principles of the American experiment.
That's why, like the New Left, he objects to the American Century."
Kristol, "A Party of Appeasement,"
The Weekly Standard, October 11, 1999
Let me see if I got Kristol right
Buchanan is as much a Blame America First radical as the leftists
of the late 1960s."
Buchanan] doesn't want to export our ideals because he doesn't
believe in American ideals."
Buchanan's] claim that the United States had no business getting
into World Wars I and II follows from his objections to the core
principles of the American experiment."
you have it. Straight from the pen of William Kristol, self-appointed
arbiter of who does or does not qualify as an American patriot.
this hyperbole. All this hysteria. All leveled at a fellow Republican
no less, by William Kristol, a smug neocon laptop bombardier who
wouldn't recognize a "core principle of the American experiment"
if it bit him on the ass.
a hardline defender of laissez-faire capitalism I take exception
to Buchanan's protectionism. As a Chinese-American I take exception
to Buchanan's Eurocentric nativism. But I am not about to deliberately
misrepresent what Buchanan stands for in order to avoid dealing
with his unorthodox (but correct) premise about what constitutes
a moral and practical American foreign policy.
TREATY OF VERSAILLES AND THE RISE OF NAZI GERMANY
should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World
War . If you hadn't entered the war the Allies would have made
peace with Germany in the Spring of 1917. Had we made peace then
there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism,
no breakdown in Italy followed by Fascism, and Germany would not
have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned Nazism
in Germany. If America had stayed out of the war, all these 'isms'
wouldn't today be sweeping the continent of Europe and breaking
down parliamentary government and if England had made peace
early in 1917, it would have saved over one million British, French,
American, and other lives."
Churchill Interview with William Griffen,
Editor of New York Enquirer, August, 1936
reminded Griffen that by spring of 1917 the warring nations were
ready to sue for peace. Pyrhhric "victories" at Jutland,
Verdun and the Somme had taken the fight out of Germany, Britain
and France. Numerous peace overtures had already been put forth
by Germany and Austria, and neutral Swedish, Danish and American
negotiators were offering to act as mediators.
Woodrow Wilson wanted to "make the world safe for democracy."
Woodrow Wilson was Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the
World's Newest Superpower. Therefore Woodrow Wilson would get
his "War to End All Wars." The rest, as they say, is
OVER YOUR OWN MEMORY
Churchill's history lesson grated on the Wilsonian Globocops'
ears, so it was dropped down the Memory Hole, as if it never happened
at all. Today we are monotonously subjected to simplistic and
ignorant "history lessons" comparing nonintervention
to Chamberlainesque "appeasement" and intervention to
Churchillian "firmness." As a different Winston, this
one fictional, put it:
Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia.
He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with
Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that
knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case
must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which
the Party imposed if all records told the same tale
then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls
the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls
the present controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its
nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now
was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple.
All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your
own memory. 'Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink.'"
Smith, Ministry of Truth
from the dystopian political novel 1984
by George Orwell
PERRY'S TREATY OF KANAGAWA AND THE RISE OF JAPANESE FASCISM
what about fascist Japan during the Thirties?" a Humanitarian
Interventionist huffily demanded of me in an email. "Of course
you oppose American intervention today, now that China is being
unfairly being set up by American Triumphalists as the New Evil
Empire. But I'll bet you would have sung a different tune if this
were 1937 and Japan was in the middle of the Rape of Nanking."
what about fascist Japan during the Thirties? Again, as with Nazi
Germany, the answer is not hysteria, but history. Not "the
lie passed into history [which] became truth," but "the
past [which] though of its nature alterable, never had been altered."
Selectively plucking historical events out of their larger historical
context hardly qualifies as genuine respect for history.
this American account of Admiral Perry's "Opening" of
avowed American expansionist, Perry believed that 'our people
must naturally be drawn into the contest for empire.' Perry prepared
diligently for the formidable task of inducing Japan to negotiate
a document advantageous to the United States. In 1846, Japan...
expelled an American emissary, leading Perry to conclude that
a resolute show of force would prove essential to the "opening"
of Japan. On July 8, 1853, Perry stormed boldly into Edo (Tokyo)
Bay. The Japanese resisted Perry's proposals, and he temporarily
returned with seven warships, three of them steam driven... To
impress the Japanese with American technological and military
might, he exhibited a quarter-scale steam locomotive, a telegraph
apparatus by Samuel Morse, a daguerreotype camera, and an illustrated
history of the Mexican War, featuring the American naval bombardment
of Veracruz. The Japanese yielded, and on March 31, 1854, they
signed the Treaty of Kanagawa, [which] established American consular
privileges... and granted most-favored-nation trading status to
the United States."
[So that's how one gets MFN. Somebody memo Bill Kristol.]
~Bell & Howell Information and Learning Great Events:
Commodore Perry's Expedition to Japan 1853
Now consider this Japanese account:
1638, [Tokugawa Iemistu, the third shogun] ordered the country
closed to all foreign countries but China and Holland. This policy
of isolation was called sakoku, and lasted until... Admiral Perry
arrived... to open Japan's doors. This two century period greatly
influenced the culture and the mentality of Japanese. Two centuries
of peace made the Japanese military weak. There were very few
naval forces to stop the four steamships. So the shogunate had
no choice other than to abandon the policy of sakoku. Japan
was suddenly dragged onto the stage of worldwide imperialist politics.
[Emphasis added.] The shogunate had almost no diplomatic experience
with foreign countries. So the commerce treaty concluded with
the United States was very unfavorable to Japan... Today, most
historians consider the arrival of Perry the trigger that caused
the fall of Edo Shogunate" [and the rise of Japanese
Major Events in Japanese History
And the following American account:
Japanese were impressed with the sophisticated American military
technology which forced them to give up their isolation in 1854.
The shogunate system was abolished the Shogun being the
military leader of Japan, who could not successfully cope with
the American fleet. Emperor Meiji responded to this situation
by changing his policy toward the west... reflected in the Charter
Oath which... represented a major shift in government policy from
the previous 'seclusion" period.'"
East Asia Global Studies:
China, Japan and Korea Interactive Study Guide
Japanese militarists were quick studies. They would rapidly adopt
not only the technology, but the ideology of this "avowed
American expansionist" who forced unwelcome change on their
society at gunpoint. Japanese militarists soon came to believe
that "our people must naturally be drawn into the contest
for empire." China and Korea, Japan's peaceful and oblivious
neighbors, would soon pay a heavy price for Perry's imperialistic
Japanese History: Overview: