Christmas 2018: Not the Worst of Times

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” goes the old Christmas carol. “‘Tis the season to be jolly.” Yet if there were a couplet less befitting the mood of this capital city, I am unaware of it.

“The wheels are coming off,” was a common commentary on the Trump presidency on Sunday’s talk shows. And the ostensible causes of what is looking like a panic in the political establishment?

The December crash of the stock and bond markets, the worst since the Great Recession. The shutdown of a fourth of the U.S. government over the Trump border wall. The president’s decision to pull 2,200 troops out of Syria. Resignation, in protest of Donald Trump’s treatment of U.S. allies, by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

But there has to be more to it than this. For America has endured, in the lifetime of its older generations, far worse Christmases than this.

By Christmas 1941, America had just suffered the worst attack in her history. At Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, some 2,400 soldiers, sailors and Marines had died, six battleships were destroyed or crippled, and scores of warplanes were smashed on their runways.

By Christmas 1941, the Japanese had landed in the Philippines where, in six months, they would inflict on the United States the worst military defeat in its history with the loss of 23,000 troops killed or captured, most of them on Bataan Peninsula and the island fortress of Corregidor.

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Franklin Roosevelt had temporarily abandoned the Philippines as indefensible, as they were on the far side of the Pacific, and had adopted a “Europe First” strategy, believing Nazi Germany to be the greater threat.

For, by Christmas 1941, Hitler controlled all of Europe from the Pyrenees and the Atlantic to the suburbs of Leningrad and Moscow, and from northern Norway above the Arctic Circle to the Western Sahara.

Beyond Hitler’s empire lay Stalin’s. Beyond that lay Japan’s Empire of the Sun, which occupied Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, the coast of China and much of Southeast Asia.

By Christmas 1941, a Japanese attack on the Malay Peninsula was underway that would lead to the surrender of Singapore in February, the greatest strategic defeat ever suffered by the British empire.

Nine years later, at Christmas 1950, thousands of American troops were being evacuated from Hungnam, the North Korean port city to which they had retreated before hordes of Chinese troops.

Veterans of Mao’s revolution had been sent to drive Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s forces away from the Yalu River on China’s border, and back across the 38th parallel into South Korea.

The Korean War would end in bloody stalemate, after Harry Truman, facing defeat, declined to run again and left office with only a fourth of the nation behind him, and his nemesis Sen. Joe McCarthy victorious and exultant in 1952, along with President Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.

Does our situation at Christmas 2018 remotely compare in gravity with those times? Does whether Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies prevail in Syria remotely compare in seriousness with whether Hitler or his former ally and successor in tyranny, Stalin, would prevail?

An unacknowledged cause of establishment frustration and rage at Trump’s pullout from Syria and Afghanistan is the growing realization that the post-Cold War new world order it has sought and still seeks to create is likely never to be. Indeed, it is now visibly slipping away. The American people refuse to subscribe to its global agenda.

They will not pay the price in blood, treasure and distraction from our own troubles here at home. Trump’s victory was America’s way of saying, “Goodbye to all that!” And it is this dawning recognition that helps explain the establishment’s exasperation.

While cable news and social media are on fire over the shutdown and the pullout from Syria, the Silent Majority, one imagines, is more focused on an earlier event, 2,000 years ago, that has made a far greater impact upon mankind, and that yet inspires hope that, in the end, all can be well. That event was perhaps best described in the last Advent gospel of Luke:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And a Merry Christmas to all.

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Why the Authoritarian Right Is Rising

Why the Authoritarian Right Is Rising

By Patrick J. Buchanan

A fortnight ago, Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party won enough seats in the Hungarian parliament to rewrite his country’s constitution.

To progressives across the West, this was disturbing news.

For the bete noire of Orban’s campaign was uber-globalist George Soros. And Orban’s commitments were to halt any further surrenders of Hungarian sovereignty and independence to the European Union, and to fight any immigrant invasion of Hungary from Africa or the Islamic world.

Why are autocrats like Orban rising and liberal democrats failing in Europe? The autocrats are addressing the primary and existential fear of peoples across the West — the death of the separate and unique tribes into which they were born and to which they belong.

Modern liberals and progressives see nations as transitory — here today, gone tomorrow. The autocrats, however, have plugged into the most powerful currents running in this new century: tribalism and nationalism.

The democracy worshippers of the West cannot compete with the authoritarians in meeting the crisis of our time because they do not see what is happening to the West as a crisis.

They see us as on a steady march into a brave new world, where democracy, diversity and equality will be everywhere celebrated.

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To understand the rise of Orban, we need to start seeing Europe and ourselves as so many of these people see us.

Hungary is a thousand years old. Its people have a DNA all their own. They belong to a unique and storied nation of 10 million with its own language, religion, history, heroes, culture and identity.

Though a small nation, two-thirds of whose lands were torn away after World War I, Hungarians wish to remain and endure as who they are.

They don’t want open borders. They don’t want mass migrations to change Hungary into something new. They don’t want to become a minority in their own country. And they have used democratic means to elect autocratic men who will put the Hungarian nation first.

U.S. elites may babble on about “diversity,” about how much better a country we will be in 2042 when white European Christians are just another minority and we have become a “gorgeous mosaic” of every race, tribe, creed and culture on earth.

To Hungarians, such a future entails the death of the nation. To Hungarians, millions of African, Arab and Islamic peoples settling in their lands means the annihilation of the historic nation they love, the nation that came into being to preserve the Hungarian people.

President Emmanuel Macron of France says the Hungarian and other European elections where autocrats are advancing are manifestations of “national selfishness.”

Well, yes, national survival can be considered national selfishness.

But let Monsieur Macron bring in another 5 million former subject peoples of the French Empire and he will discover that the magnanimity and altruism of the French has its limits, and a Le Pen will soon replace him in the Elysee Palace.

Consider what else the “world’s oldest democracy” has lately had on offer to the indigenous peoples of Europe resisting an invasion of Third World settlers coming to occupy and repopulate their lands.

Our democracy boasts of a First Amendment freedom of speech and press that protects blasphemy, pornography, filthy language and the burning of the American flag. We stand for a guaranteed right of women to abort their children and of homosexuals to marry.

We offer the world a freedom of religion that prohibits the teaching of our cradle faith and its moral code in our public schools.

Our elites view this as social progress upward from a dark past.

To much of the world, however, America has become the most secularized and decadent society on earth, and the title the ayatollah bestowed upon us, “The Great Satan,” is not altogether undeserved.

And if what “our democracy” has delivered here has caused tens of millions of Americans to be repulsed and to secede into social isolation, why would other nations embrace a system that produced so poisoned a politics and so polluted a culture?

“Nationalism and authoritarianism are on the march,” writes The Washington Post: “Democracy as an ideal and in practice seems under siege.” Yes, and there are reasons for this.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” said John Adams. And as we have ceased to be a moral and religious people, the poet T. S. Eliot warned us what would happen:

“The term ‘democracy’ … does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces you dislike — it can be easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God (and he is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler and Stalin.” Recall: Hitler rose to power through a democratic election.

Democracy lacks content. As a political system, it does not engage the heart. And if Europe’s peoples see their leaders as accommodating a transnational EU, while failing to secure national borders, they will use democracy to replace them with men of action.

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Fatal Delusions of Western Man

Fatal Delusions of Western Man

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“We got China wrong. Now what?” ran the headline over the column in The Washington Post.

“Remember how American engagement with China was going to make that communist backwater more like the democratic, capitalist West?” asked Charles Lane in his opening sentence.

America’s elites believed that economic engagement and the opening of U.S. markets would cause the People’s Republic to coexist benignly with its neighbors and the West.

We deluded ourselves. It did not happen.

Xi Jinping just changed China’s constitution to allow him to be dictator for life. He continues to thieve intellectual property from U.S. companies and to occupy and fortify islets in the South China Sea, which Beijing now claims as entirely its own.

Meanwhile, China sustains North Korea as Chinese warplanes and warships circumnavigate Taiwan threatening its independence.

We today confront a Chinese Communist dictatorship and superpower that seeks to displace America as first power on earth, and to drive the U.S. military back across the Pacific.

Who is responsible for this epochal blunder?

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The elites of both parties. Bush Republicans from the 1990s granted China most-favored-nation status and threw open America’s market.

Result: China has run up $4 trillion in trade surpluses with the United States. Her $375 billion trade surplus with us in 2017 far exceeded the entire Chinese defense budget.

We fed the tiger, and created a monster.

Why? What is in the mind of Western man that our leaders continue to adopt policies rooted in hopes unjustified by reality?

Recall. Stalin was a murderous tyrant unrivaled in history whose victims in 1939 were 1,000 times those of Adolf Hitler, with whom he eagerly partnered in return for the freedom to rape the Baltic States and bite off half of Poland.

When Hitler turned on Stalin, the Bolshevik butcher rushed to the West for aid. Churchill and FDR hailed him in encomiums that would have made Pericles blush. At Yalta, Churchill rose to toast the butcher:

“I walk through this world with greater courage and hope when I find myself in a relation of friendship and intimacy with this great man, whose fame has gone out not only over all Russia, but the world. … We regard Marshal Stalin’s life as most precious to the hopes and hearts of all of us.”

Returning home, Churchill assured a skeptical Parliament, “I know of no Government which stands to its obligations, even in its own despite, more solidly than the Russian Soviet Government.”

George W. Bush, with the U.S. establishment united behind him, invaded Iraq with the goal of creating a Vermont in the Middle East that would be a beacon of democracy to the Arab and Islamic world.

Ex-Director of the NSA Gen. William Odom correctly called the U.S. invasion the greatest strategic blunder in American history. But Bush, un-chastened, went on to preach a crusade for democracy with the goal of “ending tyranny in our world.”

What is the root of these astounding beliefs — that Stalin would be a partner for peace, that if we built up Mao’s China she would become benign and benevolent, that we could reshape Islamic nations into replicas of Western democracies, that we could eradicate tyranny?

Today, we are replicating these historic follies.

After our victory in the Cold War, we not only plunged into the Middle East to remake it in our image, we issued war guarantees to every ex-member state of the Warsaw Pact, and threatened Russia with war if she ever intervened again in the Baltic Republics.

No Cold War president would have dreamed of issuing such an in-your-face challenge to a great nuclear power like Russia.

If Putin’s Russia does not become the pacifist nation it has never been, these guarantees will one day be called. And America will either back down — or face a nuclear confrontation.

Why would we risk something like this?

Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation.

Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers’ wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history.

But the greatest risk we are taking, based on utopianism, is the annual importation of well over a million legal and illegal immigrants, many from the failed states of the Third World, in the belief we can create a united, peaceful and harmonious land of 400 million, composed of every race, religion, ethnicity, tribe, creed, culture and language on earth.

Where is the historic evidence for the success of this experiment, the failure of which could mean the end of America as one nation and one people?

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Fake News and War Party Lies

Fake News and War Party Lies

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“I have in my possession a secret map, made in Germany by Hitler’s government — by the planners of the New World Order,” FDR told the nation in his Navy Day radio address of Oct. 27, 1941.

“It is a map of South America as Hitler proposes to reorganize it. The geographical experts of Berlin, however, have ruthlessly obliterated all the existing boundary lines … bringing the whole continent under their domination,” said Roosevelt. “This map makes clear the Nazi design not only against South America but against the United States as well.”

Our leader had another terrifying secret document, “made in Germany by Hitler’s government. …

“It is a plan to abolish all existing religions — Protestant, Catholic, Mohammedan, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish alike. … In the place of the churches of our civilization, there is to be set up an international Nazi Church…

“In the place of the Bible, the words of ‘Mein Kampf’ will be imposed and enforced as Holy Writ. And in place of the cross of Christ will be put two symbols — the swastika and the naked sword. … A god of blood and iron will take the place of the God of love and mercy.”

The source of these astounding secret Nazi plans?

They were forgeries by British agents in New York operating under William Stephenson, Churchill’s “Man Called Intrepid,” whose assignment was to do whatever necessary to bring the U.S. into Britain’s war.

FDR began his address by describing two German submarine attacks on U.S. destroyers Greer and Kearny, the later of which had been torpedoed with a loss of 11 American lives.

Said FDR: “We have wished to avoid shooting. But the shooting has started. And history has recorded who fired the first shot.”

The truth: Greer and Kearny had been tracking German subs for British planes dropping depth charges.

It was FDR who desperately wanted war with Germany, while, for all his crimes, Hitler desperately wanted to avoid war with the United States.

Said Cong. Clare Boothe Luce, FDR “lied us into war because he did not have the political courage to lead us into it.”

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By late 1941, most Americans still wanted to stay out of the war. They believed “lying British propaganda” about Belgian babies being tossed around on German bayonets had sucked us into World War I, from which the British Empire had benefited mightily.

What brings these episodes to mind is the wave of indignation sweeping this capital over “fake news” allegedly created by Vladimir Putin’s old KGB comrades, and regurgitated by U.S. individuals, websites and magazines that are anti-interventionist and anti-war.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman says the “propaganda and disinformation threat” against America is real, and we must “counter and combat it.” Congress is working up a $160 million State Department program.

Now, Americans should be on guard against “fake news” and foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

Yet it is often our own allies, like the Brits, and our own leaders who mislead and lie us into unnecessary wars. And is not meddling in the internal affairs, including the elections, of regimes we do not like, pretty much the job description of the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy?

History suggests it is our own War Party that bears watching.

Consider Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Who misled, deceived, and lied about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, the “fake news” that sucked us into one of our country’s greatest strategic blunders?

Who lied for years about an Iranian nuclear weapons program, which almost dragged us into a war, before all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies debunked that propaganda in 2007 and 2011?

Yet, there are those, here and abroad, who insist that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program. Their goal: war with Iran.

Were we told the whole truth about the August 1964 incident involving North Vietnamese gunboats and U.S. destroyers Maddox and C. Turner Joy, which stampeded Congress into voting a near-unanimous resolution that led us into an eight-year war in Southeast Asia?

One can go back deeper into American history.

Cong. Abe Lincoln disbelieved in President Polk’s claim that the Mexican army had crossed the Rio Grande and “shed American blood upon American soil.” In his “spot” resolution, Lincoln demanded to know the exact spot where the atrocity had occurred that resulted in a U.S. army marching to Mexico City and relieving Mexico of half of her country.

Was Assistant Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt telling us the truth when he said of our blasted battleship in Havana harbor, “The Maine was sunk by an act of dirty treachery on the part of the Spaniards”?

No one ever proved that the Spanish caused the explosion.

Yet America got out of his war what T.R. wanted — Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, an empire of our own.

“In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

So said Winston Churchill, the grandmaster of fake news.

Dalton Trumbo Had It Coming

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Dalton Trumbo was a socialist, but he loved being rich.”

So says Bryan Cranston, who stars in “Trumbo,” out this week, and plays the screenwriter who went to prison with the Hollywood Ten in the time of Harry Truman.

Actually, Trumbo was not a socialist. Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Trumbo was a Stalinist, a hard-core Communist when the Communist Party USA was run from Moscow by the Comintern, agents of the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century.

Trumbo was not what Lenin called a “useful idiot,” a liberal simpleton. He was the real deal, a Bolshevik who followed every twist and turn in the Moscow party line.

When Hitler signed his infamous pact with Stalin, and Germany and Russia crucified Poland and Hitler overran France, Trumbo justified the Nazi brutality, “To the vanquished all conquerors are inhuman.”

As Churchill led his country in defying Hitler, Trumbo, in his 1941 novel, “The Remarkable Andrew,” trashed Britain as no democracy, as it had a king, and charged FDR with “black treason” for seeking to aid the Brits in their desperate fight to stave off defeat by the Nazis.

A talented screenwriter who wrote “Roman Holiday,” “Spartacus” and “Exodus,” Trumbo was attracted to revolutionary violence.

Invited to do a screenplay of William Styron’s “Confessions of Nat Turner,” about the Virginia slave who led a rampage of rape and murder in 1831, Trumbo wrote back:

“[I]n carrying through his rebellion Turner did nothing more than accept a principle of white Christian violence which had enslaved all of Africa, and used it for the first time in American history as a weapon against white Christians.”

Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical

Biographer Larry Ceplair quotes Trumbo as describing America as “fundamentally” racist, with racism “the keystone of national policy both domestic and foreign…

“How many gooks have we killed in Korea? How many slopes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia? Millions, and we’re still killing more of them. Our thirst for the blood of dark-skinned sub-humans is insatiable.”

Why is Hollywood making a movie about Trumbo?

To whitewash the traitor and his comrades who were blacklisted for refusing to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee about their Communist Party membership and affiliations.

In promoting “Trumbo,” Hollywood’s flacks write of the late 1940s as the “darkest days” in American history.

They were dark all right. But probably less dark for Tinseltown Bolsheviks than the hundreds of millions who fell under the rule of the revolutions and regimes they supported in those years.

Between 1946 and 1950, Stalin murdered the Russian POWs we sent back in Operation Keelhaul, imposed his barbarous rule on 10 Christian nations of Eastern Europe, blockaded Berlin, built an atom bomb with the aid of American traitors Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, helped Mao Zedong conquer China and begin a slaughter of Chinese that would exceed the millions attributed to Stalin himself.

Hollywood Traitors

In 1950, Stalin backed Kim Il-Sung’s invasion of South Korea that left millions dead, including 33,000 Americans. The film script, “An American Story,” found in Trumbo’s papers, reveals deep sympathy for North Korea during that war.

As Allan Ryskind, son of Hollywood writer Morrie Ryskind, writes in “Hollywood Traitors,” his definitive new book published by Regnery, “There appeared to be no corkscrew twist in the Soviet line [Trumbo] wouldn’t embrace.”

With all its attendant favorable publicity, “Trumbo,” is designed to accomplish several goals. No only to heroize the Hollywood Ten, but to demean John Wayne and the other patriots who, along with Ronald Reagan of the Screen Actors Guild, helped clean the treasonous vermin out of their town and industry.

The villainess of “Trumbo,” played by Helen Mirren, is Hedda Hopper, the anti-Communist columnist who had considerable clout in Hollywood and backed Ronald Reagan, Ryskind Sr. and John Wayne, who eventually drove the Communists from their midst.

Larger issues are raised by this film.

If one has been a Communist, or a Nazi, and supported that evil ideology and its aims, what is one’s moral obligation to one’s country?

Is it not to step forward, and tell the truth?

What was the duty of Congress, if not to expose ideological treason in the most powerful cultural force in the America of that day?

What was the duty of the leaders of a great industry that found a nest of traitors in their midst, whose deepest allegiance was to our mortal enemy?

For remaining mute, refusing to testify before the Congress, the Hollywood Ten are portrayed as martyrs to the First Amendment.

Yet, as Communists, they were providing aid and comfort to the greatest enemies free speech and freedom of the press ever had.

Had the Hollywood Ten supported a subversive party in Stalin’s Moscow, what would have happened to them might have been slightly worse than not getting screen credits for the movies they wrote.

By joining a criminal conspiracy dedicated to the overthrow of the government established to protect our freedoms, and the imposition of Communist tyranny, the Hollywood Ten got what they deserved.

By their treason, they blacklisted themselves.

Their War, Not Ours

Their War, Not Ours

By Patrick J. Buchanan

As the Islamic warriors of ISIS rolled down the road from Mosul, John McCain was an echo of French Premier Paul Reynaud, when word reached Paris that Rommel had broken through in the Ardennes:

“We are now facing an existential threat to the security of the United States of America,” said McCain.

But nothing that happens in Mesopotamia is going to threaten the existence of the United States. As for the terrorist threat from ISIS, for us it is neither greater nor less than it was a week ago.

The existential threat here is to Iraq. Its survival as one nation is now in question, with the possibility it could be torn apart in a civil and sectarian war. But this is preeminently Iraq’s problem, not ours.

And if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his 900,000-man army, and Shia militia cannot defend Baghdad from a few thousand Islamist warriors, America is under no obligation to do it for them.

Maliki told us to go home three years ago. We did. And before we plunge back into that misbegotten war, let us consider what the real threats are — to America.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria consists of fanatics who seek to carve a caliphate out of territory they now control from Aleppo in Syria to 60 miles north of Baghdad.

Yet they have halted before Baghdad. And among the reasons is that Iraq’s Shia majority is not going to allow Sunni zealots to capture their cities, smash their shrines, and murder their fellow Shia.

They will fight, as the Iraqi army did not.

Secondly, ISIS has as allies in the north and west of Iraq Sunnis who detest Maliki and wish to be rid of him. But these Sunni are not demanding a Taliban regime to abolish smoking and drinking. Nor are they fighting to cut off the heads of their Shia countrymen.

If ISIS goes beyond the liberation of the Sunni triangle to trying to take over all of Iraq, they will lose many Sunni allies and find themselves facing Iraq’s Shia majority, backed up by Iranian forces, virtually alone.

But while the Iraqi army and Shia militia may well hold Baghdad, it is hard to see how Maliki can soon reconquer the Sunni provinces. For the Sunnis want no part of him or his regime.

Nor does Maliki seem capable of taking back Kirkuk, which the Kurds seized in the chaos as a step toward independence.

What should America do? Take a hard look at our entire Middle East policy.

Consider. We are now providing weapons to the Free Syrian Army to oust Bashar Assad. “Assad must go!” blared Barack Obama in one of his many ignored ultimata.

But should Assad fall, the result will be the persecution of the Syrian Christians, a massacre of the Alawites, and a possible takeover of the country by the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front and ISIS.

Is any of that in America’s interests?

Vladimir Putin lately raised a valid question: Why, in Syria, are the Americans on the same side as the people who took down the twin towers? Indeed, why are we?

And who is fighting al-Qaida and ISIS in Syria, battling those McCain calls an “existential threat” to American security?

Bashar Assad. Hezbollah. Iran. Russia.

Tehran has reportedly volunteered to work with us in providing military aid to prop up the Maliki regime and keep ISIS out of Baghdad.

If we regard the survival of the Maliki regime to be in our national interests, why would we not green-light the Iranians to do this?

When Hitler turned on his partner Stalin, the United States rushed military aid to save the monster whom FDR and Truman took to calling “Good Old Joe” and “Uncle Joe” at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam.

Is the Ayatollah somehow worse than Stalin?

Yet, consider, too, how our allies in the Gulf and Middle East have behaved in Syria.

The Turks, clamoring for the overthrow of Assad, looked the other way as jihadists moved into Syria. The Gulf states and Saudis have reportedly sent money and military aid to the extremists.

Are the Turks and Gulf Arabs aiding these jihadists in the belief they will not turn on them, if and when Assad and Maliki fall? Do they think that by feeding this tiger ISIS, it will eat them last?

We may be entering the early stages of a sectarian war between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. The ISIS claim of having executed 1,700 captured Shia soldiers in Iraq is surely intended to ignite one.

If it happens, this war could spread to Lebanon, Jordan and down into the Gulf states where Shia outnumber Sunnis in Bahrain and in the oil-producing provinces of the Saudi northeast.

Does the Middle East today — Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon — look like what we were promised by George Bush and his neocon advisers when they were beating the drums for a U.S. invasion of Iraq?

Hillary, Hitler & Cold War II

Hillary, Hitler and Cold War II

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In assessing the motives and actions of Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton compared them to Adolf Hitler’s. Almost always a mistake.

After 12 years in power, Hitler was dead, having slaughtered millions and conquered Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals.

And Putin? After 13 years in power, and facing a crisis in Ukraine, he directed his soldiers in the Crimea to take control of the small peninsula where Russia has berthed its Black Sea fleet since Napoleon.

To the Wall Street Journal this is a “blitzkrieg.”

But as of now, this is a less bloody affair than Andrew Jackson’s acquisition of our Florida peninsula. In 1818, Gen. Jackson was shooting Indians, putting the Spanish on boats to Cuba and hanging Brits. And we Americans loved it.

Still, there are parallels between what motivates Putin, a Russian nationalist, and what motivated the Austrian corporal. Hitler’s war began in blazing resentment at what was done to Germany after Nov. 11, 1918.

The Kaiser’s armies had defeated the Russian Empire, and the Italians at Caporetto, and fought the Western Allies to a stand still in France, until two million Americans turned the tide in 1918. When Berlin accepted an armistice on President Wilson’s Fourteen Points, not a single Allied soldier stood on German soil.

But, at Paris, the Allies proceeded to tear a disarmed Germany apart. The whole German Empire was confiscated. Eupen and Malmedy were carved out of Germany and given to Belgium. Alsace-Lorraine was taken by France. South Tyrol was severed from Austria and given to Italy. A new Czechoslovakia was given custody of 3.25 million Sudeten Germans.

The German port of Danzig was handed over to the new Poland, which was also given an 80-mile wide strip cut out of Germany from Silesia to the sea, slicing her in two.

The Germans were told they could not form an economic union with Austria, could not have an army of more than 100,000 soldiers, and could not put soldiers west of the Rhine, in their own country.

Perhaps this Carthaginian peace was understandable given the Allied losses. It was also madness if the Allies wanted an enduring peace.

Gen. Hans Von Seeckt predicted what would happen. When we regain our power, he said, “we will naturally take back everything we lost.”

When Hitler came to power in 1933, he wrote off the lands lost to Belgium, France and Italy — he wanted no war with the West — but set out to recapture lost German lands and peoples in the East.

He imposed conscription in 1935, sent his soldiers back into the Rhineland in 1936, annexed Austria in 1938, demanded and got the return of the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia at Munich in 1938.

He then sought to negotiate with the Polish colonels, who had joined in carving up Czechoslovakia, a return of Danzig, when the British issued a war guarantee to Warsaw stiffening Polish spines.

Enraged by Polish intransigence, Hitler attacked.

Britain and France declared war. The rest is history.

What has this to do with Putin?

He, too, believes his country was humiliated and shabbily treated after the Cold War, and sees himself as protector of the ethnic Russians left behind when the Soviet Union came apart.

Between 1989 and 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev had freed the captive nations of Eastern Europe, allowed the Soviet Union to dissolve into 15 nations, and had held out a hand of friendship to the Americans.

What did we do? Moved NATO right onto Russia’s front porch. We brought all the liberated nations of Eastern Europe into our military alliance, along with three former Soviet republics.

The War Party tried to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, which was established to contain and, if necessary, fight Russia. Had they succeeded, we could have been at war with Russia in 2008 over Georgia and South Ossetia, and today over Crimea.

Now we hear new calls for Ukraine and Georgia to be brought into NATO. Are these people sane?

Five U.S. presidents who faced far more violent actions by a far more dangerous Soviet Union — Truman, Ike, JFK, Johnson, Reagan — refused even to threaten force against Russia for anything east of the Elbe river.

These presidents ruled out force during the Berlin Blockade of 1948, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the smashing of Solidarity in Poland in 1981.

Yet, today, we are committed to go to war for Lithuania and Estonia, Obama is sending F-16s to Latvia where half a million Russians live, and the War Party wants Sixth Fleet warships moved into the Black Sea.

If there is a Cold War II, or a U.S.-Russia war, historians of tomorrow will as surely point to the Bushes and Clintons who shoved NATO into Moscow’s face, as historians today point to the men of Paris who imposed the Versailles treaty upon a defeated Germany in 1919.