ordinary politician would be crawling on his belly through
the mud, backtracking, and begging for forgiveness. Buchanan
was not only unrepentant, but actually went on the offensive
over the weekend, on every talk show and newscast, attacking
both parties, "especially the Republicans," as "the
braying donkeys of interventionism." We are headed, he
said, for World War III unless the people wake up to the questions
posed in his book: the U.S., he said, should apologize for
"double-crossing" the Russians and going ahead with
NATO expansion, a clearly provocative act that could restart
the Cold War, unleash Russian nationalism, and lead to a military
confrontation with Moscow. "We are repeating the errors
that led to World War II," he warned, "and for heaven's
sake, stop it before we wind up starting World War III."
THEY AREN'T SAYING
is Buchanan's real sin, opposing the drive to war not
any of the made-up charges of "anti-Semitism" and
the spurious comparisons to Father Coughlin, the pro-FDR "radio
priest" whose bigotry was his undoing. The charges of
"homophobia" and "xenophobia" and all
the other phobias that supposedly bedevil Pat are not what
this debate is really about. These accusations are nothing
new, they are merely the same old recycled and already discredited
smears of two presidential campaigns ago. We are, after all,
talking about a book here, not some random off-the-cuff
remark deemed offensive by the politically correct. If you
want to know what the elites are really all riled up about,
then listen to what they are not saying.
AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
thing they are not saying is what is actually in the
book which leads many to believe that its harshest
critics have not even read A Republic, Not an Empire.
Don't you believe it. Not only have they read it, they have
pored over every line, and their natural reaction is fear
and loathing fear that Americans, especially conservatives
in an isolationist mood, will wake up to the war danger, and
loathing of a man who dares speak truth to power.
"NEWS" FROM SALON
they have read it, but are careful not to quote from it, except
in very brief and selective passages, fragments of sentences
torn out of context. Here, for example, is what passes for
"news" report from Salon's Washington correspondent,
flap began with the release of Buchanan's latest isolationist
screed, A Republic, Not an Empire, in which the on-again,
off-again host of CNN's Crossfire asserts that Hitler
and the Nazis posed no threat to the United States, and thus
the US had no business interfering in his plans to conquer
Europe the slaughter of 12 million innocents, including
6 million Jews, notwithstanding."
summary does not contain a single quote because the author,
the prolifically shameless Jake Tapper, is simply making it
up as he goes along. In the vapid world of Gen-Ex Journalism,
the assumption is that no one cares enough to check. But those
old-fashioned fuddy-duddies who insist on accuracy will note
that, in an important sense, Buchanan takes precisely the
opposite stance imputed to him by Tapper: on page 266 of A
Republic, Not an Empire, Buchanan avers that war with
the West could have been averted in time for the West
Britain not given the guarantee to Poland, Hitler would almost
surely have delivered the first blow to Stalin's Russia. Britain
and France would have had additional years to build up their
the German National Socialists and the Russian Communists
engaged in a fight to the death on the Eastern front, the
victims of the Holocaust in Belgium, Holland, France, etc.,
would have been saved. Anne Frank might be alive today. This
is Buchanan's thesis in the chapters dealing with World War
II, which the pundits have focused on to the exclusion of
all else. Throughout these chapters, the author's horror and
disgust at the great crime of the Holocaust is apparent, indeed
the possibility that Western nonintervention could have in
large part prevented that catastrophe is what appears
to motivate much of his critique. This naturally matters not
one whit to Tapper and the liberal-neocon "Get Buchanan"
Tapper finally does get around to quoting the book, however,
he manages to reveal his complete dishonesty as well as his
own rather embarrassing ignorance of history, to wit:
real ambitions lay in carving out an empire in the east,'
Buchanan writes. 'He had given up the idea of global empire
... Hitler saw the world divided into four spheres: Great
Britain holding its empire; Japan, dominant in East Asia;
Germany, master of Europe; and America, mistress of the Western
Hemisphere.' Thus, he argues, the US should have allowed Hitler
to conquer Poland and Czechoslovakia, since he could have
served a greater good for the US by balancing the power of
begin with, the idea that the US was ever going to go to war
with Germany over the fate of Poland or Czechoslovakia is
a figment of Tapper's perfervid but grievously uninformed
imagination. As the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudentenland and
finally Poland fell before the German blitzkrieg, FDR was
pledging "again and again and again," as he put it, "that
I am not going to send our boys off to war." The US did not
declare war against Germany and Italy even after Pearl Harbor,
and FDR's war message to Congress in the wake of the Japanese
attack did not even mention Germany. So much for Jake Tapper,
historian. Now, we move on to Jake Tapper, dissembler . .
CUT & PASTE SCHOOL OF SMEARMONGERING
is really wrong with the passage quoted above, however, is
not really so much the bizarre ignorance of history
bizarre in someone with the impressive title of "Washington
correspondent" for one of the most self-important and
little-read magazines on the Internet but the shameless
way in which Tapper falsifies the quote from A Republic,
Not an Empire. For the part quoted before the ellipses
appears nowhere near the rest of the quotation after
the ellipses. Tapper has simply cut and pasted the two together,
and the effect is to imply that Buchanan thinks we ought to
have handed over Europe and the Soviet Union to Hitler
in the belief that it would "balance the power of Stalin's
Russia," as Tapper describes it. But Buchanan says no
such thing. Indeed, he says the complete opposite: that Hitler's
dream of world domination would have been foiled far
sooner and the Nazi regime ended by Hitlerian hubris. Buchanan
approvingly quotes Harry Truman's view that US policy should
be to allow the two totalitarian regimes to destroy each other.
Elsewhere (p. 266) he makes the point that the exhausted Germans,
after taking on the Soviets, would be in no condition to turn
Westward, and would in any case be vulnerable to a formidable
TAPPER-IZATION OF A REPUBLIC, NOT AN EMPIRE
Tapper-ized quotation from Buchanan's book gives the deliberate
impression that Buchanan is a kind of Vichy Republican who
would have welcomed the Germans as they marched down the boulevardes
of Paris. As is so often the case in Tapper's journalism,
the truth is precisely the opposite: indeed the whole thesis
of the chapters on World War II is that Hitler was following
the familiar German foreign policy of Drang nach Osten,
the "drive to the East," and would have struck first
at Eurasia and not Western Europe.
McCAIN, DARLING OF THE LIBERAL MEDIA
spends most of his piece pumping the ignorant and opportunistic
accusations of presidential aspirant Senator John McCain,
who has become the Anti-Buchanan and the preferred instrument
of the media lynch mob. Liberals love him for his warmongering
during the Kosovo war he could hardly wait to bring
in the ground troops and take Belgrade, if you remember. Liberals
particularly like his support of silencing organizations such
as the National Right to Life Committee and independent citizens
groups through draconian (and completely phony) campaign finance
"reform" that violates the First Amendment rights
of ordinary citizens.
with their newfound enthusiasm for militarism, liberals exult
in the prospect of a McCain-Buchanan slugfest, in which the
"war hero" takes on the dreaded "isolationist."
Tapper touts McCain as coming from "a line of Navy royalty,"
chronicles the military career of the McCain clan, and reiterates
the story of McCain's experience at the infamous Hanoi Hilton,
a POW camp. He writes: "Buchanan, conversely, a legendary
teenage brawler who was arrested for fighting while at Georgetown
University, sought and received a medical deferment for rheumatoid
arthritis during the Vietnam war." But so what? While
Tapper may think that a world where Buchanan was drafted and
never lived to write books and run for office would be a better
world, I beg to differ.
as for McCain's much-touted status as a "war hero,"
why hasn't the media researched that as carefully as they've
combed the complete works of Patrick J. Buchanan? If they
did, they would find the following snippet from the US
News and World Report of May 14, 1973, in which McCain
described his experience as follows:
think it was on the fourth day [after being shot down] that
two guards came in, instead of one. One of them pulled back
the blanket to show the other guard my injury. I looked at
my knee. It was about the size of a football . . . when I
saw it, I said to the guard, 'O.K., get the officer' . . .
an officer came in after a few minutes. It was the man that
we came to know very well as 'The Bug.' He was a psychotic
torturer, one of the worst fiends that we had to deal with.
I said, 'O.K., I'll give you military information if you will
take me to the hospital.'"
OVER, JANE FONDA
last time I looked, giving information to the enemy was not
a qualification for war hero status. And what about the broadcast
statements purportedly made by McCain admitting to bombing
civilian targets and assuring his audience he was being treated
well by his North Vietnamese captors? A Washington Post
story [June 5, 1969] "Reds Say PW Songbird Is Pilot Son
of Admiral" reported that:
has aired a broadcast in which the pilot son of United States
Commander in the Pacific, Adm. John McCain, purportedly admits
to having bombed civilian targets in North Vietnam and praises
medical treatment he has received since being taken prisoner.
The English-Language broadcast beamed at South Vietnam was
one of a series using American prisoners. It was in response
to a plea by Defense Secretary Melvin S. Laird, May 19, that
North Vietnam treat prisoners according to the humanitarian
standards set forth by the Geneva Convention."
over, Jane Fonda, and give the future Senator and presidential
candidate that microphone. So much for the myth of the War
Hero versus the Cowardly Isolationist.
Tapper accuses Buchanan of "playing the victim"
in his response to the terrific storm of protest set off by
his book. Pat a victim? In spite of the virtually unprecedented
media pile-on, Tapper isn't buying it: "Pat Buchanan
Wednesday decided to play victim" in demanding "an apology
from the Vietnam war hero." But Buchanan was responding
to a statement by McCain, in which the war hero bloviated
on about how "Defeating Hitler's Germany and Tojo's Japan
was a very noble cause. And I wouldn't want any Republican
to ever think otherwise or any American for that matter."
IN SEARCH OF A MEAL
if Buchanan thought otherwise! It is really pointless to underscore
the passages in A Republic, Not an Empire in which
the author declares that, "whether or not it had been
America's war before December 7, it was our war now. In Yeat's
line, 'All changed, changed utterly.'" (p. 294) Does
anyone really believe that Jake Tapper, or McCain, or the
legions of media vultures exulting at the prospect of picking
at Pat's bones, care about the truth?
McCAIN HAVE NO SHAME?
owes Pat more than an apology. Out of sheer shame and what
should be, in any decent man, an almost unbearable chagrin,
McCain should drop out of the presidential race. Indeed he
would be doing us and himself a real favor if
he dropped out of politics altogether before journalists
in search of a story begin to uncover the truth about the
"war hero" status of the warmongering McCain. But
the pomposity and self-importance inherent in the character
of most politicians is, in McCain, amplified to the nth
degree, and so such an honorable course is entirely ruled
out in his case.
the Hate Buchanan crowd loved about McCain's statement on
Buchanan was precisely its overblown pomposity and moral posturing.
This, combined with the aura of military prowess, gave his
peroration just the right tone of hysterical self-righteousness,
a time when Americans are growing increasingly cynical about
public service and increasingly disillusioned about their
political leaders, I was disappointed to see my fellow Republicans'
reaction to recent comments and writings by Pat Buchanan concerning
our nation's role in defeating Nazi Germany. By continuing
to appease Buchanan, several of our candidates appear to have
put politics ahead of our party's principles."
LOW CAN YOU GO?
so Buchanan, like Hitler, is not to be "appeased."
Having written a book raising the question of whether Hitler
could have been defeated without direct US military intervention,
Buchanan is now equated with Hitler by a third-rate
politician on the make. Are we to be spared nothing?
Is there no outrage, no matter how low and demagogic, that
McCain and Tapper and their Bushian allies will not stoop
to in their campaign to destroy Buchanan? The answer to this
question appears to be an emphatic no.
is no place in the Republican party," declared the bombastic
McCain, for Buchanan and anyone who questions the Official
History as laid down by the court historians. One can only
wonder what other litmus tests for GOP membership will be
unilaterally declared by McCain and his Thought Police: must
all Republicans take a similarly enthusiastic view of World
War I and rejoice in the terms of the Treaty of Versailles?
And what about the Spanish-American war, that fatal step in
which we first donned the imperial purple? And, of course,
there is always Vietnam a war that most Americans think
we should never have allowed ourselves to get dragged into.
Are all these people to be excluded from McCain's "militarists
only" GOP? That is going to be a very exclusive club,
which could be comfortably housed under a very small tent.
But notice how the "big tent" theory, so often touted
by GOP "moderates," goes completely out the window
when it comes to Buchanan. Now why, do you suppose, is that?
Novak said it best on CNN's
Capital Gang this weekend: "The assault on
[Buchanan] by the media, by members of the media, some of
whom are reporters, not even commentators, and then Senator
McCain with the temerity to read him out of the party and
then accuse George Bush for not reading him out, I think it
all makes me a little ill."
ill but not discouraged. Far from it. For the gap between
what Buchanan wrote in A Republic, Not an Empire, and
what they are saying about it, is so great that any thinking
person can discern it by simply reading it. In their zeal
to obscure the real message of the book, the smear artists
and character assassins are in danger of creating a backlash
in precisely those quarters the Reform Party and other
dissident sectors of American society where Buchanan
is likely to find his base of support. Conservatives are used
to confronting and challenging the lies of the media. When
they find out that the liberals are at it again (with more
than a little help from their neoconservative friends), then
stand back and watch out. Bereft of its conservative
base, the GOP will wither on the vine, the captive plaything
of political hacks and northeastern Rockefeller Republicans.
Buchanan, if he leaves the GOP, will take the American Right
with him and that is what this fight is really all
about, at least from Buchanan's perspective.
NOTE ON STRATEGY
commentators, even Bob Novak, have remarked on the supposed
tactical blunder of releasing this book at a crucial moment
in his presidential campaign. But seen as part of Buchanan's
battle for the heart and soul of the conservative movement,
the publication of A Republic, Not an Empire makes
perfect sense and perfect timing. With the Cold War
era long since come to a close, and the conservative wing
of the GOP up in arms over foreign interventionism in Kosovo
and around the world, now is the perfect time to raise the
banner of America First and bring the noninterventionist message
to the American people as the political pundits, to
their horror, will soon discover.