rarely disagree with your opinions, however, I think you were
a bit too pessimistic in your
recent article (12/13) on the prospects of the New World
Order. It is true that powerful forces are pushing to throw
all of humanity into the blender of New World Order globalism,
but, at the same time, it is also true that powerful forces
are emerging to oppose this trend. You are one example of
this, as is Pat Buchanan, as is "The Battle In Seattle."
Also if you caught the Republican debate last night, Keyes,
Bauer, even Forbes were attacking different aspects of NWO
globalism and interventionism. What a change from 1992 when
almost everybody in the Republican party were complaining
that we hadn't marched on Baghdad yet."
struck me about the letter was how this reader had picked
up on the emotional subtext of that particular column. It
was a column about the meaning of the new spy scare as prelude
to a new cold war, complete with Russian spies, air raid drills,
and the revival of Boris Badinov and his slinky sidekick Natasha
on the Saturday morning cartoons. This is a development that
I find monumentally depressing. So depressing, indeed, that
I raised, at the end of my piece, the question of whether
we were headed "back to barbarism."
redivision of the world into power blocs, the rise of militantly
anti-Western ideologies, not only in the Islamic world but
in the former Soviet Union and China, the return of nuclear
saber-rattling, the heightened aggressiveness of US foreign
policy, the smug complacency of a hubristic and decadent intelligentsia
all this seems not like progress at all, but a bizarre
devolution that can only end in a complete reversion to barbarism.
God save us from the future it's going to be downhill
all the way."
ON A HOT TIN ROOF
when I finish work on a piece, a click goes off somewhere
in the inner recesses of my brain, like the "click"
heard by Brick in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin
Roof that tells him he's had enough to drink. This time,
there was no click, and I wondered if the night's labors
were over. Did I really want to end on such a down note? There
was something I wasn't saying, or had forgotten to say, lost
in contemplation of such a dark vision. And yet
ATOP A VOLCANO
I read this letter, however, it occurred to me that I had
fallen victim to a special kind of blindness. For in dealing,
day after day, with the manipulation of power and politics
by the elites in government and the media, I had forgotten
all about one vital factor the power of ordinary people
to make a difference. The smugness and complacency of our
decadent elites inevitably calls forth a disgusted response
on the part of ordinary people everywhere. Bereft of modesty,
or any capacity for self-discipline, the technocrats who run
our lives are busy designing "new international architectures"
for the post-cold war world and haughtily declaring the "obsolescence"
of national sovereignty while sitting atop a volcano
that will make short work of them in the end.
Fukuyama's famous thesis that we have come to "the end
of history" is all the rage with the foreign policy establishment:
it is a theory that suits their conceit, their fatuous certainty
that they represent the apex of human development. But Fukuyama's
"endism" is about to be stood on its head, as the
world enters into a phase of what Samuel P. Huntington calls
ONLY JUST BEGUN
a Harvard professor, and author of The
Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
the view that, far from ending, history is about to accelerate.
Forget the "inevitable" rise of Fukuyama's "world
homogenous state" we're in for a clash of civilizations,
with religion taking the place of ideology and the cultural
trumping the political as a factor in the new international
face-off. Instead of "progressing" to a world order,
in the Huntingtonian vision of futurity the monoculture is
under increasing challenge from competing traditions. In this
view, the future will not be determined by faceless transnational
bureaucrats and their corporate collaborators, but by the
rise of Islam, and of the Indian subcontinent, China, and
Japan as centers of resistance to global cultural homogeneity.
most of our foreign policy elite, the end of the cold war
has been the occasion for a mad triumphalism, a bacchanalia
of global preening and posturing: they dream of conquering
the Balkans, plundering the Caucasus, encircling Russia and
even taming China. But not Huntington, the stern realist,
who bridles at the hubris of the policymakers and writes "that
Western intervention in the affairs of other civilizations
is probably the single most dangerous source of instability
and potential global conflict in a multicivilizational world."
THE BELLY OF THE BEAST
faith in the ability of indigenous cultures to reassert themselves
in the face of the global MTV/MacDonald's monoculture is not
only reassuring, but also entirely believable. We can see
the consequences of this growing resistance not only abroad,
but in the growing resistance right here 'in the belly of
the beast' (as they used to say in the sixties) to globalism
and foremost is the Buchanan for President campaign, and the
tremendous excitement this is generating among conservatives
and others whose central concern is the issue of American
sovereignty. This is a development that I never expected to
last as long as it has: in 1992, when Buchanan first took
up the cudgels against the internationalist establishment,
it was hard to envision that either he or his movement would
endure. Under attack from every quarter for daring to take
on a sitting Republican president, and reviled for challenging
the bipartisan "consensus" in favor the Gulf war,
Pat endured a storm of abuse. I traveled throughout New Hampshire,
during the historic 1992 primary, and watched as a band of
thugs and disrupters shadowed him throughout the state, staging
violent incidents and interrupting press conferences in an
attempt to smear Pat as an anti-Semite. Good lord, I thought:
don't these people have jobs, don't they live anywhere?
But of course that was their job disrupting
the campaign. As to who was paying them, I leave to your imagination
. . .
they failed. I'll never forget that night, as news of Pat's
resounding victory was broadcast over the television set in
the hall where the Buchananites were gathered. A cheer, a
roar went up such as had not been heard in many a moon
and the sound of it echoes down through the years, as strong
and resonant as ever. Who would have thought that Buchanan
would survive the storm of vituperation that was unleashed
on his head? But he did, and more than that, he prospered
and so did the movement spawned by his candidacy. Who
would have imagined that, in the year 2000, we would see a
merging of the two major populist tendencies in American politics,
the Buchanan and Perot movements, rapidly evolving into a
formidable challenge to the status quo? Now there is
a cause for optimism!
PEACE, AND THE SOUL OF LIBERTARIANISM
the libertarian "dynamists" and "free traders"
over at Reason magazine excoriate Buchanan for opposing
"change" i.e. abortion, gay rights, and the
"right" to clone yourself at least a few
libertarians have not completely disappeared into a world
of science fiction, and still retain some interest in what
is going on in the real world. For them, Buchanan's
latest speech proves
the contention I have been making in this column for months:
that the Buchanan campaign represents the very soul of libertarianism
in its opposition to war and respect for individual human
life. In its concern for the fate of the victims of US foreign
policy, the essential humanism of Buchanan's vision comes
shining through as he denounces the barbaric policy of imposing
sanctions on "rogue nations":
Wilson called sanctions the 'peaceful silent deadly remedy.'
Today, they may fairly be called America's silent weapon of
mass destruction whose victims are almost always the weak,
the sick, the women and the young. When Arab terrorists murder
Israeli children, we Americans are rightly filled with horror
and disgust. But what do Arab peoples think of us when US
sanctions bring death to literally thousands of Iraqi children
every single month? Can a nation that declares piously it
will never stoop to assassinating tyrants, but wields a sanctions
sword that slaughters children, truly call itself 'the home
of the brave?'"
entitled his speech, delivered before an audience at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies, "Toward a More
Moral Foreign Policy" and this is really at the
heart of his opposition to internationalism sheer horror
at the crimes committed in the name of support for "democracy"
and "human rights" abroad. Once the most advanced
Arab country in terms of medical equipment and care,
Now, Iraq's doctors cannot even read medical journals; because
medical journals are embargoed. Childhood leukemia, a disease
with a cure rate of 70 percent in America, is now nearly always
fatal in Iraq. Disposable syringes must be used over and over
again. Their importation has been blocked out of fear that
medical syringes will be used to create anthrax spores. Ancient
X-ray machines leak radiation. Chlorine, a vital water disinfectant,
all the more necessary because Iraq's sewage treatment plants
were bombed in Desert Storm, is embargoed, lest it be diverted
into chlorine gas. Even the plastic bags needed for blood
transfusions are restricted."
IS THE REAL "COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE"?
is it that George Dubya is masquerading as the "compassionate
conservative," while saying not a word about the massive
suffering of an entire people except, perhaps, to endorse
MADELEINE, MORAL MONSTER
Buchanan's injection of morality into the debate over war
and peace not the warlike "morality" of the
global crusaders, but the distinctively Christian morality
of the devout Catholic who upholds the sanctity and worthiness
of the individual soul he is expressing the profoundly
libertarian conviction that violence is justified only in
self defense and only against those who initiate its use.
The three- and four-year-old kids who are starving to death
and suffering brain damage because Madeleine Albright believes
"it is worth it" (as she told Sixty Minutes)
never posed a threat to the US or any of its citizens. As
Buchanan puts it:
No, Madam Secretary, it is not worth it. A policy that sentences
thousands of Iraqi children to death every month, because
their parents will not rise up and overthrow a tyrant, is
unrighteous and immoral."
POLICY BASED ON JUSTICE
is a magnificent and eminently libertarian answer that underscores
the centrality of justice to Buchanan's vision: those
Iraqi kids are innocent. They don't deserve
to die and nothing, not any political or economic considerations,
can serve to justify their wanton murder. Perhaps the hostility
of the quasi-hip "dynamists" over at Reason
who only mention Pat's trade policies and completely
blank out his foreign policy views is traceable to
the Christian, and specifically Catholic roots of his noninterventionism.
Well, isn't that tough for these alleged rationalists
for all their alleged devotion to "reason"
and "liberty," La Postrel and her neocon buddies
have never been known to discuss the rationality of mass murder
in Iraq. In discussing the concept of a "just war,"
Buchanan notes that
doctrine demands that such a war be defensive, and never aggressive.
It must be waged only as a last resort, after all other means
of negotiating peace have been exhausted. The violence used
must be proportional to the threat. There must be a prospect
of victory so that soldiers are not sent to their death for
no purpose. In a just war, innocents may never be directly
targeted; and, after the fighting is over, there must be no
acts of vengeance."
is a clear evocation of the famous nonaggression axiom
enshrined at the center of libertarian political thought
applied to the realm of international relations. The idea
that individual human life is sacred, that it belongs, if
not to itself, then to God but not to any State
captures the spirit as well as the letter of the libertarian
creed. Of all the presidential candidates, only one dares
to raise the question: why are we killing the children
of Iraq? What, in God's name, have they ever done to us?"
His name is Pat Buchanan.
DAY OF INTROSPECTION
asking what are we doing to the children of Iraq and Myanmar,
of Cuba, and Libya, he poses another question: what are we
doing to ourselves? What kind of internal corruption
is eating away at the vitals of our republican form of government
that we can commit such crimes with impunity?
we end this American Century and this decade of national preeminence,
we remain a people divided over our role in the world. It
is a time for what Catholics call a "retreat," not
a withdrawal into isolationism, but a day of introspection.
Why is America, its economic and military power unrivaled,
its popular culture dominant in the world, so resented by
so many? Is it envy? Is it because we are an enlightened nation
and they are benighted? Or have we, too, succumbed to the
hubris of hegemony?"
GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST GLOBALISM
the new cold war is on, and the battle lines are being drawn,
but at least a new opposition is rising, and it is not restricted
to Buchanan and his movement, nor is it confined to the United
States. The fight against globalism is, by definition, global
and that is not an irony, but a simple fact. I am particularly
proud of that a rising percentage of our readers come from
outside the West we have regular readers in Japan,
Singapore, the Middle East, as well as throughout Eastern
Europe and the Balkans. Now there is yet another cause for
optimism that I am glad to acknowledge, one that contradicts
the dark thesis of a few columns ago and that is the
ongoing success and growth of Antiwar.com.
antiwar movement of the new millennium has its leaders, such
as Buchanan, its institutions, such as Antiwar.com, its cadre
of activists, intellectuals, and publicists, and a growing
mass following now developing the organizational forms necessary
to carry on the fight. Well, then, let the new cold war commence
because we're more than ready for it.