Fire Bell in the Night for the Ayatollah

Fire Bell in the Night for the Ayatollah

By Patrick J. Buchanan

As tens of thousands marched in the streets of Tehran on Wednesday in support of the regime, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps assured Iranians the “sedition” had been defeated.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari is whistling past the graveyard.

The protests that broke out a week ago and spread and became riots are a fire bell in the night for the Islamic Republic.

The protesters denounced President Hassan Rouhani, re-elected last year with 57 percent of the vote, for failing to curb inflation or deliver the benefits he promised when Iran signed the nuclear deal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, commander in chief and head of state, in power three decades, was also denounced, as were Iran’s interventions in wars in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen.

In 2009, the uprising of millions in Tehran was driven by middle-class rage over an election stolen by the populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This past week’s protests began in the working class, in what might be called Iran’s “fly-over country.”

The protesters were Red State and Tea Party types, demanding their own version of “Come Home, Iran” and “Iran First!”

The charge against Rouhani is that he has failed to deliver the good times promised. Against the ayatollah and the mullahs, the charge is that what they have delivered — power and wealth to the clerics, social repression, foreign wars — are not what the Iranian people want.

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The greater long-term threat of the protests is to the Islamic regime.

For if the protests are about people being denied the freedom and material goods the young enjoy in the West, the protesters are demanding what theocracies do not deliver. How could the ayatollah and the mullahs, who restrict freedom by divine law, accept democratic freedoms without imperiling their own theological dictatorship?

How could the Republican Guard surrender its slice of the Iranian economy and end its foreign interventions without imperiling its reason for being — to protect and promote the Iranian Islamic revolution?

Half of Iran’s population is 31 or younger. This new generation was not even born until a decade after the Revolution that overthrew the Shah.

How does a clerical regime speak to a people, 40 million of whom have smartphones connecting them to an outside world where they can see the freedom and prosperity they seek, but their government cannot or will not deliver?

The protesters are also telling Rouhani’s “reformers,” in power now for five years, that they, too, have failed.

Rouhani’s dilemma? To grow Iran’s economy and improve the quality of life, he needs more foreign investment and more consumer goods. Yet any surge in material prosperity Rouhani delivers is certain to undermine the religious faith undergirding the theocratic regime.

And as any transfer of power to the elected regime has to come at the expense of the clerics and the Guard, Rouhani is not likely to get that power.

Thus, he and his government are likely to continue to fail.

Bottom line: The Islamic Republic of Iran was not established to create a materially prosperous and socially free society, because, in the ayatollah’s theology, such societies, like the USA, are of the devil and corruptive of the people.

Social freedom is irreconcilable with Iranian theocracy.

And Iranian hard-liners, clerical and military, are not going to permit protests demanding Western freedom and material goods, to cause them to commit what they believe would be ideological suicide.

Yet the U.S. and President Trump also face a dilemma.

If as Trump says, we wish the Iranian people well, how do we justify scraping the nuclear deal in which Iranians have placed so much hope, and reimposing the sanctions that will restore the hardships of yesterday?

How does America proclaim herself a friend of the Iranian people, if we are trying to persuade Europeans to abrogate the nuclear accord and reimpose the sanctions that impoverish the Iranian people?

Will we urge the Iranians to rise up and overthrow their regime, as we did the Hungarians in 1956, which resulted in their massacre by Soviet tanks sent into Budapest? Ike’s response: He sent Vice President Nixon to greet the surviving Hungarian patriots fleeing across the Andau Bridge into Austria.

After Desert Storm in 1991, George H.W. Bush urged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam Hussein. When the Shiites did rise up, they, too, were massacred, as our Army from Desert Storm stood by in Kuwait.

If there is an Iranian uprising and it results in a Tiananmen Square slaughter in Tehran, do we really want the U.S., which would not likely intervene to save the patriots, held morally accountable?

The Iranian protests suggest that the Islamic Revolution, after 40 years, is failing the rising generation. It is hard to see how this is not ominous news for the Iranian regime.

As it was not on the side of the Soviets, time is not on the side of the ayatollahs either.

We need not go to war with them. Time will take care of them, too.

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Will War Cancel Trump’s Triumphs?

Will War Cancel Trump's Triumphs?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Asked what he did during the French Revolution, Abbe Sieyes replied, “I survived.”

Donald Trump can make the same boast.

No other political figure has so dominated our discourse. And none, not Joe McCarthy in his heyday in the early ’50s, nor Richard Nixon in Watergate, received such intensive and intemperate coverage and commentary as has our 45th president.

Whatever one may think of Trump, he is a leader and a fighter, not a quitter. How many politicians could have sustained the beatings Trump has taken, and remained as cocky and confident?

And looking back on what may fairly be called The Year of Trump, his achievements have surprised even some of his enemies.

With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border. The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.

The economy, with the boot of Barack Obama off its neck, has been growing at 3 percent. The stock market has soared to record highs. Unemployment is down to 4 percent. And Trump and Congress just passed the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan.

With deregulation, which conservative Republicans preached to deaf ears in the Bush I and Bush II eras, Trump and those he has put into positions of power have exceeded expectations.

Pipelines Obama blocked have been approved. Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge has been opened to exploratory drilling. We have exited a Paris climate accord that favored China over the U.S.

Though Beijing’s trade surplus with us is returning to record highs, a spirit of “America First” economic nationalism is pervasive among U.S. trade negotiators,

The one justice named to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, appears in the Antonin Scalia tradition. And under Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Senate judiciary committee is moving conservatives and strict constructionists onto U.S. appellate and district courts.

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Politically, however, the year brought bad news, with portents of worse to come. In November, the Republican Party was thrashed in Virginia, losing all state offices, and then lost a Senate seat in Alabama.

Given polls showing Trump under water and the GOP running 10 points behind the Democratic Party in favorability, there is a possibility the GOP could lose the House in 2018.

And though Democrats have three times as many seats at risk in 2018, the GOP losing the Senate is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Should that happen, the conservative dream of a recapture of the U.S. Supreme Court could swiftly vanish.

Recall: Democratic Senates turned down two Nixon nominees and Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork, forcing both presidents to name justices who evolved into moderates and liberals on the high court.

But it is in the realm of foreign policy where the real perils seem to lie. President Trump has been persuaded by his national security team to send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, for use against the tanks and armor of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Should Petro Poroshenko’s Kiev regime reignite the war in his breakaway provinces bordering Russia, Vladimir Putin is less likely to let him crush the rebels than to intervene with superior forces and rout the Ukrainian army.

Trump’s choice then? Accept defeat and humiliation for our “ally” — or escalate and widen the conflict with Russia.

Putin’s interest in the Donbass, a part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union for centuries, is obvious.

What, exactly, is ours — to justify a showdown with Moscow?

In this city there is also a powerful propaganda push to have this country tear up the nuclear deal John Kerry negotiated with Iran, and confront the Iranians in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Persian Gulf.

But how much backing would Trump have for another U.S. war in that blood-soaked region, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?

Who would stand with us, and for how long?

When Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and pledged to move our embassy there, we had to veto a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution condemning us. Then the General Assembly denounced the U.S. in a resolution supported by all our key NATO allies, Russia and China, and every Arab and Muslim nation.

A day later, Trump complained on Twitter that we have “foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East.”

What then would justify a new $1 or $2 trillion war with the largest nation on the Persian Gulf, which could send oil to $200 a barrel and sink the global economy?

Cui bono? For whose benefit all these wars?

The Korean War finished Truman. Vietnam finished LBJ. Reagan said putting Marines into Lebanon was his worst mistake. Iraq cost Bush II both houses of Congress and his party the presidency in 2008.

Should Trump become a war president, he’ll likely become a one-term president.

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Is America Up for a Second Cold War?

Is America Up for a Second Cold War?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

After the 19th national congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October, one may discern Premier Xi Jinping’s vision of the emerging New World Order.

By 2049, the centennial of the triumph of Communist Revolution, China shall have become the first power on earth. Her occupation and humiliation by the West and Japan in the 19th and 20th centuries will have become hated but ancient history.

America will have been pushed out of Asia and the western Pacific back beyond the second chain of islands.

Taiwan will have been returned to the motherland, South Korea and the Philippines neutralized, Japan contained. China’s claim to all the rocks, reefs and islets in the South China Sea will have been recognized by all current claimants.

Xi’s “One Belt, One Road” strategy will have brought South and Central Asia into Beijing’s orbit, and he will be in the Pantheon beside the Founding Father of Communist China, Mao Zedong.

Democracy has been rejected by China in favor of one-party rule of all political, economic, cultural and social life.

And as one views Europe, depopulating, riven by secessionism, fearful of a Third World migrant invasion, and America tearing herself apart over politics and ideology, China must appear to ambitious and rising powers as the model to emulate.

Indeed, has not China shown the world that authoritarianism can be compatible with national growth that outstrips a democratic West?

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Over the last quarter century, China, thanks to economic nationalism and $4 trillion in trade surpluses with the United States, has exhibited growth unseen since 19th-century America.

Whatever we may think of Xi’s methods, this vision must attract vast numbers of China’s young — they see their country displace America as first power, becoming the dominant people on earth.

What is America’s vision? What is America’s cause in the 21st century? What is the mission and goal that unites, inspires and drives us on?

After World War II, America’s foreign policy was imposed upon her by the terrible realities the war produced: brutalitarian Stalinist domination of Eastern and Central Europe and much of Asia.

Under nine presidents, containment of the Soviet empire, while avoiding a war that would destroy civilization, was our policy. In Korea and Vietnam, Americans died in the thousands to sustain that policy.

But with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the breakup of the USSR, it seemed that by 1992 our great work was done. Now democracy would flourish and be embraced by all advanced peoples and nations.

But it did not happen. The “end of history” never came. The New World Order of Bush I did not last. Bush II’s democracy crusade to end tyranny in our world produced disasters from Libya to Afghanistan.

Authoritarianism is now ascendant and democracy is in retreat.

Is the United States prepared to accept a world in which China, growing at twice our rate, more united and purposeful, emerges as the dominant power? Are we willing to acquiesce in a Chinese Century?

Or will we adopt a policy to ensure that America remains the world’s preeminent power?

Do we have what is required in wealth, power, stamina and will to pursue a Second Cold War to contain China, which, strategic weapons aside, is more powerful and has greater potential than the Soviet Union ever did?

On his Asia tour, President Trump spoke of the “Indo-Pacific,” shorthand for the proposition that the U.S., Japan, Australia and India form the core of a coalition to maintain the balance of power in Asia and contain the expansion of China.

Yet, before we create some Asia-Pacific NATO to corral and contain China in this century, as we did the USSR in the 20th century, we need to ask ourselves why.

Does China, even if she rises to surpass the U.S. in manufacturing, technology and economic output, and is a comparable military power, truly threaten us as the USSR did, to where we should consider war to prevent its expansion in places like the South China Sea that are not vital to America?

While China is a great power, she has great problems.

She is feared and disliked by her neighbors. She has territorial quarrels with Russia, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan. She has separatists in Tibet and Xinjiang. Christianity is growing while Communism, the state religion, is a dead faith. Moreover, the monopoly of power now enjoyed by the Communist Party and Xi Jinping mean that if things go wrong, there is no one else to blame.

Finally, why is the containment of China in Asia the responsibility of a United States 12 time zones away? For while China seeks to dominate Eurasia, she appears to have no desire to threaten the vital interests of the United States. China’s Communism appears to be an ideology disbelieved by her own people, that she does not intend to impose it on Asia or the world.

Again, are we Americans up for a Second Cold War, and, if so, why?

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Red Lines & Lost Credibility

By Patrick J. Buchanan

A major goal of this Asia trip, said National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, is to rally allies to achieve the “complete, verifiable and permanent denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Yet Kim Jong Un has said he will never give up his nuclear weapons. He believes the survival of his dynastic regime depends upon them.

Hence we are headed for confrontation. Either the U.S. or North Korea backs down, as Nikita Khrushchev did in the Cuban missile crisis, or there will be war.

In this new century, U.S. leaders continue to draw red lines that threaten acts of war that the nation is unprepared to back up.

Recall President Obama’s, “Assad must go!” and the warning that any use of chemical weapons would cross his personal “red line.”

Result: After chemical weapons were used, Americans rose in united opposition to a retaliatory strike. Congress refused to authorize any attack. Obama and John Kerry were left with egg all over their faces. And the credibility of the country was commensurately damaged.

There was a time when U.S. words were taken seriously, and we heeded Theodore Roosevelt’s dictum: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”

After Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1991, George H.W. Bush said simply: “This will not stand.” The world understood that if Saddam did not withdraw from Kuwait, his army would be thrown out. As it was.

But in the post-Cold War era, the rhetoric of U.S. statesmen has grown ever more blustery, even as U.S. relative power has declined. Our goal is “ending tyranny in our world,” bellowed George W. Bush in his second inaugural.

Consider Rex Tillerson’s recent trip. In Saudi Arabia, he declared, “Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against … ISIS is coming to a close … need to go home. Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home.”

The next day, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responded:

“We wonder about the statements attributed to the American secretary of state about the popular mobilization forces. … No side has the right to intervene in Iraq’s affairs or decide what Iraqis do.”

This slap across the face comes from a regime that rules as a result of 4,500 U.S. dead, tens of thousands wounded and $1 trillion invested in the nation’s rebuilding after 15 years of war.

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Earlier that day, Tillerson made a two-hour visit to Afghanistan. There he met Afghan officials in a heavily guarded bunker near Bagram Airfield. Wrote The New York Times’ Gardiner Harris:

“That top American officials must use stealth to enter these countries after more than 15 years of wars, thousands of lives lost and trillions of dollars spent was testimony to the stubborn problems still confronting the United States in both places.”

Such are the fruits of our longest wars, launched with the neo-Churchillian rhetoric of George W. Bush.

In India, Tillerson called on the government to close its embassy in North Korea. New Delhi demurred, suggesting the facility might prove useful to the Americans in negotiating with Pyongyang.

In Geneva, Tillerson asserted, “The United States wants a whole and unified Syria with no role for Bashar al-Assad … The reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.”

Well, perhaps? But our “rebels” in Syria were routed and Assad not only survived his six-year civil war but with the aid of his Russian, Iranian, Shiite militia, and Hezbollah allies, he won that war, and intends to remain and rule, whether we approve or not.

We no longer speak to the world with the assured authority with which America did from Eisenhower to Reagan and Bush 1. Our moment, if ever it existed, as the “unipolar power” the “indispensable nation” that would exercise a “benevolent global hegemony” upon mankind is over.

America needs today a recognition of the new realities we face and a rhetoric that conforms to those realities.

Since Y2K our world has changed.

Putin’s Russia has reasserted itself, rebuilt its strategic forces, confronted NATO, annexed Crimea and acted decisively in Syria, re-establishing itself as a power in the Middle East.

China, thanks to its vast trade surpluses at our expense, has grown into an economic and geostrategic rival on a scale that not even the USSR of the Cold War reached.

North Korea is now a nuclear power.

The Europeans are bedeviled by tribalism, secessionism and waves of seemingly unassimilable immigrants from the South and Middle East.

A once-vital NATO ally, Turkey, is virtually lost to the West. Our major Asian allies are dependent on exports to a China that has established a new order in the South China Sea.

In part because of our interventions, the Middle East is in turmoil, bedeviled by terrorism and breaking down along Sunni-Shiite lines.

The U.S. pre-eminence in the days of Desert Storm is history.

Yet, the architects of American decline may still be heard denouncing the “isolationists” who opposed their follies and warned what would befall the republic if it listened to them.

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Trump — American Gaullist

Trump -- American Gaullist

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If a U.S. president calls an adversary “Rocket Man … on a mission to suicide,” and warns his nation may be “totally destroyed,” other ideas in his speech will tend to get lost.

Which is unfortunate. For buried in Donald Trump’s address is a clarion call to reject transnationalism and to re-embrace a world of sovereign nation-states that cherish their independence and unique identities.

Western man has engaged in this great quarrel since Woodrow Wilson declared America would fight in the Great War, not for any selfish interests, but “to make the world safe for democracy.”

Our imperialist allies, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, regarded this as self-righteous claptrap and proceeded to rip apart Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire and to feast on their colonies.

After World War II, Jean Monnet, father of the EU, wanted Europe’s nations to yield up their sovereignty and form a federal union like the USA.

Europe’s nations would slowly sink and dissolve in a single polity that would mark a giant leap forward toward world government — Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.”

Charles De Gaulle lead the resistance, calling for “a Europe of nation-states from the Atlantic to the Urals.”

For 50 years, the Gaullists were in constant retreat. The Germans especially, given their past, seemed desirous of losing their national identity and disappearing inside the new Europe.

Today, the Gaullist vision is ascendant.

“We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government,” said Trump at the U.N.

“Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect. …

“In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.”

Translation: We Americans have created something unique in history. But we do not assert that we should serve as a model for mankind. Among the 190 nations, others have evolved in different ways from diverse cultures, histories, traditions. We may reject their values but we have no God-given right to impose ours upon them.

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It is difficult to reconcile Trump’s belief in self-determination with a National Endowment for Democracy whose reason for being is to interfere in the politics of other nations to make them more like us.

Trump’s idea of patriotism has deep roots in America’s past.

After the uprisings of 1848 against the royal houses of Europe failed, Lajos Kossuth came to seek support for the cause of Hungarian democracy. He was wildly welcomed and hailed by Secretary of State Daniel Webster.

But Henry Clay, more true to the principles of Washington’s Farewell Address, admonished Kossuth:

“Far better is it for ourselves, for Hungary, and for the cause of liberty that, adhering to our wise, pacific system, and avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning brightly on the western shore as a light to all nations, than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of fallen or falling republics in Europe.”

Trump’s U.N. address echoed Clay: “In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government’s first duty is to its people … to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.”

Trump is saying with John Quincy Adams that our mission is not to go “abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” but to “put America first.” He is repudiating the New World Order of Bush I, the democracy crusades of the neocons of the Bush II era, and the globaloney of Obama.

Trump’s rhetoric implies intent; and action is evident from Rex Tillerson’s directive to his department to rewrite its mission statement — and drop the bit about making the world democratic.

The current statement reads: “The Department’s mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world.”

Tillerson should stand his ground. For America has no divinely mandated mission to democratize mankind. And the hubristic idea that we do has been a cause of all the wars and disasters that have lately befallen the republic.

If we do not cure ourselves of this interventionist addiction, it will end our republic. When did we dethrone our God and divinize democracy?

And are 21st-century American values really universal values?

Should all nations embrace same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, and the separation of church and state if that means, as it has come to mean here, the paganization of public education and the public square?

If freedom of speech and the press here have produced a popular culture that is an open sewer and a politics of vilification and venom, why would we seek to impose this upon other peoples?

For the State Department to declare America’s mission to be to make all nations look more like us might well be regarded as a uniquely American form of moral imperialism.

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A ‘Read-My-Lips’ Moment for Trump?

A 'Read My Lips' Moment for Trump?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Having cut a deal with Democrats for help with the debt ceiling, will Trump seek a deal with Democrats on amnesty for the ‘Dreamers’ in return for funding for border security?”

The answer to that question, raised in my column a week ago, is in. Last night, President Donald Trump cut a deal with “Chuck and Nancy” for amnesty for 800,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program who came here illegally as youngsters, in return for Democratic votes for more money for border security.

According to preening Minority Leader Pelosi, the agreement contains not a dime for Trump’s Wall, and the “Dreamers” are to be put on a long glide “path to U.S. citizenship.”

Trump denies this is amnesty, and says the Wall comes later.

Fallout? Among the most enthusiastic of Trump backers, disbelief, disillusionment and wonderment at where we go from here.

Trump’s debt-ceiling deal cut the legs out from under the GOP budget hawks. But amnesty would pull the rug out from under all the folks at those rallies who cheered Trump’s promise to preserve the country they grew up in from this endless Third World invasion.

For make no mistake. If amnesty is granted for the 800,000, that will be but the first wave. “There are reasons no country has a rule that if you sneak in as a minor you’re a citizen,” writes Mickey Kaus, author of “The End of Equality,” in The Washington Post.

“We’d be inviting the world. … (An amnesty) would have a knock-on effect. Under ‘chain migration’ rules established in 1965 … new citizens can bring in their siblings and adult children, who can bring in their siblings and in-laws until whole villages have moved to the United States.

“(T)oday’s 690,000 dreamers would quickly become millions of newcomers who may well be low-skilled and who would almost certainly include the parents who brought them — the ones who in theory are at fault.”

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Trump is risking a breach in the dam. If the populists who provided him with decisive margins in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania feel betrayed, it’s hard to blame them.

Why did Trump do it? Clearly, he relished the cheers he got for the debt ceiling deal and wanted another such victory. And with the rampant accusations of a lack of “compassion” for his cancellation of the temporary Obama administration amnesty, he decided he had had enough heat.

It is not easy to stand up for long to the gale force winds of hostile commentary that blow constantly through this city.

Trump’s capitulation, if that is what turns out to be, calls to mind George H. W. Bush’s decision in 1990 to raise the Reagan tax rates in a deal engineered for him by a White House-Hill coalition, that made a mockery of his “Read my lips! No new taxes!” pledge of 1988.

For agreeing to feed the beast of Big Government, rather than cut its rations as Reagan sought to do, Bush was called a statesman.

By the fall of ’92, the cheering had stopped.

Can Trump not know that those congratulating him for his newfound flexibility will be rejoicing, should Bob Mueller indict his family and his friends, and recommend his impeachment down the road?

What makes pre-emptive amnesty particularly disheartening is that the Trump policy of securing the border and returning illegal immigrants to their home countries appears, from a Census Bureau report this week, to be precisely the prescription America needs.

In 2016, paychecks for U.S. households reached an average of $59,039, up 3.2 percent from 2015, a year when they had surged.

U.S. median household income is now at its highest ever.

Yet there are inequalities. Where the median family income of Asian-Americans is above $81,400, and more than $65,000 for white Americans, the median family income of Hispanic families is $47,675, and that of African-American households far less, $39,490.

Consider. Though black Americans are predominantly native-born, while high percentages of Hispanics and Asians are immigrants, from the Census numbers, Hispanics earn more and Asians enjoy twice the median family income of blacks, which is below where it was in 2000.

Still, black America remains steadfastly loyal to a party that supports the endless importation of workers who compete directly for jobs with them and their families. Writes Kaus, “The median hourly wage (of DACA recipients) is only $15.34, meaning that many are competing with hard-pressed, lower-skilled Americans.”

Looking closer at the Census Bureau figures, Trumpian economic nationalism would appear to have its greatest appeal to the American working class, a huge slice of which is native-born, black and Hispanic.

The elements of that policy?

Secure the border. Halt the invasion of low-wage workers, here legally and illegally, from the Third World. Tighten the labor market to force employers to raise wages in our full-employment economy. Provide tax incentives to companies who site factories in the USA. Impose border taxes on the products of companies who move plants abroad.

Put America and American workers first.

Will any amnesty of undocumented workers do that?

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Tribalism Marches On!

Tribalism Marches On!

By Patrick J Buchanan

Recently, a columnist-friend, Matt Kenney, sent me a 25-year-old newspaper with his chiding that my column had been given better play.

Both had run in The Orange County Register on June 30, 1991.

“Is there no room for new nations in the New World Order?” was my title, and the column began:

“In turning a stone face toward embattled Slovenia and Croatia, President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker have not only put America’s chips on the wrong horse. They have bet on a losing horse.

“Can the U.S. Government seriously believe that a Yugoslavia of such disparate peoples, all of whom wish greater freedom, most of whose republics wish to be free of Belgrade, is a viable nation?”

The State Department had denounced “these unilateral steps by Croatia and Slovenia” to break free: “As Secretary Baker made clear last Friday, we will neither encourage nor reward secession.”

Croatia and Slovenia are today free and members of NATO.

A month later in 1991, George H. W. Bush, in what Bill Safire dubbed his “Chicken Kiev” speech, warned that Ukraine’s desire to break free of Moscow manifested a “suicidal nationalism.”

Today, Ukraine is independent and the Bush-GOP establishment wants to send weapons to Kiev to fight pro-Russia secessionists.

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As nationalism tore apart Yugoslavia and the USSR in the 1990s, and surged to propel British secession from the EU and Donald Trump’s triumph in 2016, that primal force appears on the march again.

Wrote The Wall Street Journal Monday:

“Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban barely mentions his political rivals as he campaigns for a fourth term. Instead, he is targeting the European Union and its biggest members. ‘Our fiercest opponents are not in Hungarian opposition parties,’ Mr. Orban said in a speech last week, ‘They are abroad … Berlin, Brussels.’

“In neighboring Poland,” the Journal goes on, “government rhetoric is even harsher. Politicians have one-upped each other in attacking France and Germany, arguing they are forcing multicultural liberal democracy on more traditional Poles.”

Not only in the east of Europe but also in the west, nationalism is surging. Wrote The New York Times Friday:

“The accelerating battle over Catalonia’s status hit warp speed this week. Catalan lawmakers voted to go ahead with an Oct. 1 referendum on separating from Spain. Spain’s constitutional court declared the vote suspended. And Catalan politicians said they would proceed anyway.”

Yesterday, thousands of Catalans paraded through Barcelona under a banner proclaiming “Goodbye, Spain!” It was the Catalan National Day, which commemorates the 1714 capture of Barcelona by Philip V, the first Bourbon monarch of Spain.

Spain’s wealthiest region, Catalonia believes it is being milked by Madrid for the benefit of regions that contribute far less.

The question being raised by Catalonia is one America has faced before. Do peoples in a democratic republic have a right to declare their independence, secede, and establish a new nation, as the 13 colonies did in 1776 and the Confederate States of America sought to do in 1861?

Though America was born of secession, the U.S. establishment since the Cold War has been far more transnationalist and globalist than a great champion of new nations. Perhaps that is because the New World Order proclaimed by Bush I in 1991 envisioned the U.S. as the benevolent global hegemon.

Another ethnonational secession may be declared even before the Catalans go to the polls Oct. 1.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has scheduled a referendum for Sept. 25 — on independence from Iraq. Should it go forward, a massive vote to secede seems certain. And Kurds are relying on U.S. support. For they have sustained many casualties and shed much blood backing us in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State.

Yet while our sentiments may cheer the cause of an independent Kurdistan, our national interests may call for caution.

For though the Kurds, 30 million in number, are probably the largest ethnic group on earth without a nation-state of their own, creating a Kurdish homeland could ignite a Middle East war the Kurds could lose as badly as did the Confederate States.

Why? Because, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919-20 not only left millions of Kurds in Iraq, it left most of them in Turkey, Iran and Syria.

A free and independent Kurdistan carved out of Iraq could prove a magnet for the 25 million Kurds in Iran, Turkey and Syria, and a sanctuary for Kurd rebels, causing those nations to join together to annihilate the new country.

Then, there is Kirkuk, seized by the Kurds after the Iraqi army fled from an invading ISIS. The city sits on some of the richest oil deposits in Iraq.

Yesterday, Massoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, told the BBC that if the Kurds vote for independence and Baghdad refuses to accept it, they will forcibly resist any Iraqi attempt to retake the city.

Tribalism appears to be doing to the Bush New World Order what it did to Mikhail Gorbachev’s Soviet Union.

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