Are America’s Wars Just and Moral?

Are America's Wars Just and Moral?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“One knowledgeable official estimates that the CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies,” writes columnist David Ignatius.

Given that Syria’s prewar population was not 10 percent of ours, this is the equivalent of a million dead and wounded Americans. What justifies America’s participation in this slaughter?

Columnist Eric Margolis summarizes the successes of the six-year civil war to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

“The result of the western-engendered carnage in Syria was horrendous: at least 475,000 dead, 5 million Syrian refugees driven into exile in neighboring states (Turkey alone hosts three million), and another 6 million internally displaced. … 11 million Syrians … driven from their homes into wretched living conditions and near famine.

“Two of Syria’s greatest and oldest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, have been pounded into ruins. Jihadist massacres and Russian and American air strikes have ravaged once beautiful, relatively prosperous Syria. Its ancient Christian peoples are fleeing for their lives before US and Saudi takfiri religious fanatics.”

Realizing the futility of U.S. policy, President Trump is cutting aid to the rebels. And the War Party is beside itself. Says The Wall Street Journal:

“The only way to reach an acceptable diplomatic solution is if Iran and Russia feel they are paying too high a price for their Syria sojourn. This means more support for Mr. Assad’s enemies, not cutting them off without notice. And it means building up a Middle East coalition willing to fight Islamic State and resist Iran. The U.S. should also consider enforcing ‘safe zones’ in Syria for anti-Assad forces.”

Yet, fighting ISIS and al-Qaida in Syria, while bleeding the Assad-Iran-Russia-Hezbollah victors, is a formula for endless war and unending terrors visited upon the Syrian people.

What injury did the Assad regime, in power for half a century and having never attacked us, inflict to justify what we have helped to do to that country?

Is this war moral by our own standards?

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We overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003 and Moammar Gadhafi in 2012. Yet, the fighting, killing and dying in both countries have not ceased. Estimates of the Iraq civilian and military dead run into the hundreds of thousands.

Still, the worst humanitarian disaster may be unfolding in Yemen.

After the Houthis overthrew the Saudi-backed regime and took over the country, the Saudis in 2015 persuaded the United States to support its air strikes, invasion and blockade.

By January 2016, the U.N. estimated a Yemeni civilian death toll of 10,000, with 40,000 wounded. However, the blockade of Yemen, which imports 90 percent of its food, has caused a crisis of malnutrition and impending famine that threatens millions of the poorest people in the Arab world with starvation.

No matter how objectionable we found these dictators, what vital interests of ours were so imperiled by the continued rule of Saddam, Assad, Gadhafi and the Houthis that they would justify what we have done to the peoples of those countries?

“They make a desert and call it peace,” Calgacus said of the Romans he fought in the first century. Will that be our epitaph?

Among the principles for a just war, it must be waged as a last resort, to address a wrong suffered, and by a legitimate authority. Deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

The wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen were never authorized by Congress. The civilian dead, wounded and uprooted in Syria, and the malnourished millions in Yemen, represent a moral cost that seems far beyond any proportional moral gain from those conflicts.

In which of the countries we have attacked or invaded in this century — Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen — are the people better off than they were before we came?

And we wonder why they hate us.

“Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return,” wrote W. H. Auden in “September 1, 1939.” As the peoples of Syria and the other broken and bleeding countries of the Middle East flee to Europe and America, will not some come with revenge on their minds and hatred in their hearts?

Meanwhile, as the Americans bomb across the Middle East, China rises. She began the century with a GDP smaller than Italy’s and now has an economy that rivals our own.

She has become the world’s first manufacturing power, laid claim to the islands of the East and South China seas, and told America to keep her warships out of the Taiwan Strait.

Xi Jinping has launched a “One Belt, One Road” policy to finance trade ports and depots alongside the military and naval bases being established in Central and South Asia.

Meanwhile, the Americans, $20 trillion in debt, running $800 billion trade deficits, unable to fix their health care system, reform their tax code, or fund an infrastructure program, prepare to fight new Middle East war.

Whom the Gods would destroy…

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Obama’s Trampling on God’s Turf Now

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Yes, Virginia, there is a religious war going on. It is for the soul of America. And traditional Christianity is besieged.

In a January visit to the Vatican, American bishops were warned by Benedict XVI that “radical secularism” posed “grave threats” to their Catholic faith. Your religious freedom is being circumscribed, said the pope. The U.S. government may seek to force you to collaborate in what are “intrinsically evil practices.”

No sooner had the bishops returned home than President Obama instructed them that, under Obamacare, all Catholic schools, hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes and homeless shelters must provide the “morning after” pill, contraceptives and sterilizations for all employees, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

The Church was given 18 months to comply.

Should Obama’s order stand, the Church will be forced by the state to adopt practices that it has always taught are immoral and to engage in acts it believes are intrinsically evil.

Welcome to Obama’s America.

Last week, the Komen Foundation, which funds breast cancer research, sought to extricate itself from the country’s culture wars by severing ties to America’s No. 1 abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

As professor Robert George writes, in 2010, Planned Parenthood sold 300,000 abortions at $500 each, earning $164 million. Nine of 10 pregnant women who come into its clinics are sold an abortion.

Moreover, the organization is “under congressional and criminal investigation … for allegations including failure to report criminal child sex abuse, misuse of health care and family planning funds, and failure to comply with parental involvement laws regarding abortions.”

In the 1950s, such an institution would be regarded as organized crime and its officers and employees would be up on felony charges or sitting in a penitentiary. We live today in a different America.

Thus, the media-political-cultural elite came down on Komen with both feet, berating the foundation for abandoning women suffering from breast cancer, until Komen caved and restored the $650,000 it contributes annually to Planned Parenthood, though that sum is not one-tenth of one percent of PP’s annual budget.

The Komen officer who advised the foundation to sever ties was cashiered on Feb. 7.

Also on Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned, two to one, the democratic decision of a majority of Californians who voted in 2008 to outlaw homosexual marriage.

The people of California, said the Jimmy Carter judicial appointee and the Bill Clinton appointee, violated the 14th Amendment, which mandates the equal protection of the law.

That the Congress that took office in 1865, the year Richmond fell, meant to elevate homosexual unions to the same moral plane as matrimony when it enacted the 14th Amendment is an absolute absurdity.

What has happened to America in half a century seems, to many raised in that other America, like something out of Orwell.

Can it be that Californians must now wait on the U.S. Supreme Court — make that Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote — to tell them whether they can or cannot write their own marriage laws?

How did it come to be that we Americans must all wait for nine judges on the Supreme Court to tell us whether homosexual marriage is or is not a constitutional right?

Where did justices get the power to decide whether laws enacted by the people or their elected representatives will be allowed to stand in this republic? Where did these nine justices get the right to be sole and final arbiters of what the Constitution and the laws say and do not say?

As law professor and author William Quirk muses, in introducing the new book “Judicial Monarchs” by William Watkins, Jr.:

“‘Notes of the (Constitutional) Convention do not record Ben Franklin standing up and saying: ‘I’ve got a good idea. Let’s find nine really bright people and turn over most of our important decisions to them.’ Would the Convention authorize an institution that defines its own powers?”

Not the convention our Founding Fathers attended.

Yet since the Warren Court came into being six decades ago, the Supreme Court has usurped that power — to remake America. And the American people have meekly submitted to its tyrannical rule.

The justices used the Ninth Amendment to declare homosexuality and abortion constitutional rights, though both were crimes when the Bill of Rights was adopted. They used the First Amendment to purge Christianity from our public schools and public life and reduce our cradle faith to the same level as Santeria and Scientology.

Now the radical secularists in Obama’s entourage are so puffed up with success, so confident the future belongs to them, they have crossed the line between church and state to impose their values directly on Christian institutions.

This time they have overplayed their hand. Traditionalist Christians and their allies have been given a glorious opening to inflict a stinging defeat and humiliation on these arrogant intruders on God’s turf.

On this one, Obama ought to be forced into a public retreat.

Saving Professor Bernanke

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Elections don’t matter!” conservatives have long groused. “No matter who you vote for, things never change.”

Well, we may have an exception here.

Scott Brown told Massachusetts’ voters if they elected him to what David Gergen calls “the Kennedy seat” in the Senate, he would go to Washington and run a sword through Obamacare.
Continue reading “Saving Professor Bernanke”

Distortions — or Truths?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

We should have “an honest debate” on health care, said Barack Obama in his Aug. 22 radio address, “not one dominated by willful misrepresentations and outright distortions.”

Among the “phony claims” made against the House bill, says the president, are that it provides funding for abortions, guarantees coverage for illegal aliens, contains “death panels” and represents a federal takeover of the health care system. Continue reading “Distortions — or Truths?”

Sarah and the Death Panels

by Patrick J. Buchanan

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

Of Sarah Palin it may be said: The lady knows how to frame an issue.

And while she has been fairly criticized for hyperbole about the end-of-life counselors in the House bill, she drew such attention to the provision that Democrats chose to dump it rather than debate it

And understandably so. For if Congress enacts universal health care coverage, we are undeniably headed for a medical system of rationed care that must inevitably deny care to some terminally ill and elderly, which will shorten their lives, perhaps by years. Consider:

Democrats call Medicare the model of government-run universal health care. But Medicare is a system whereby 140 million working Americans pay 2.9 percent of all wages and salaries into a fund to pay for health care for 42 million mostly older Americans. And Medicare is already going bust.

If Obamacare is passed, the cost of health care for today’s 47 million uninsured will also land on those 140 million. And if Obama puts 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens on a “path to citizenship,” as he promises, they, too, will have their health care provided by taxpayers.

Here is the crusher. The Census Bureau projects that, by 2050, the U.S. population will explode to 435 million. As most of these folks will be immigrants, their children and grandchildren, the cost of their heath care would also have to be largely born by middle-class and wealthy taxpayers.

Now factor this in.

In 2000, the average American male in a population of 300 million lived to 74; the average female to 80. But in 2050, the average male in a population of 435 million Americans will live to 80 and the average female to 86. And, according to U.N. figures, 21 percent of the U.S. population in 2050, some 91 million Americans, will be over 65, and 7.6 percent, or 33 million Americans, will be over 80 — and consuming health care in ever-increasing measures.

Now if a primary purpose of Obamacare is to “bend the curve” of soaring health care costs, and half of those costs are incurred in the last six months of life, and the number of seniors will grow by scores of millions, how do you cut costs without rationing care? And how do you ration care without denying millions of elderly and aged the prescriptions, procedures and operations they need to stay alive?

Consider two beloved Americans: Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Since he was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago, Sen. Kennedy has had excellent care, including surgery and chemotherapy, which have kept him alive and, until very recently, active.

For a decade, President Reagan, because of round-the-clock care, lived with an Alzheimer’s that had robbed him of his memory and left him unable to recognize his own family and close friends.

In the future, will a man of Kennedy’s age, with brain cancer but without the means of offsetting his own health care costs, be kept alive, operated on, given chemotherapy — by a government obsessed with cutting health care costs?

Will a bureaucracy desperate to cut costs keep alive for years the tens of thousands of destitute 80- and 90-year-old patients with Alzheimer’s, as was done with Ronald Reagan?

What if, in 2050, Palin and her husband are not here. And 42-year-old Trig, with Down syndrome, has been in an institution for years, and the cost of his care and that of hundreds of thousands like him with Down syndrome is draining the resources of the health care system?

Will there not be voices softly suggesting a quiet and merciful end?

In Oregon, the law permits doctors to assist in the suicide of terminal patients who wish to end their lives. Let us assume numerous patients have Alzheimer’s and, so, cannot be part of the decision to end their lives. Who then makes the decision to continue or end life? Would it be unfair to call the decision-makers in those cases a death panel?

Almost a third of all unborn babies in America have their lives terminated each year with the consent of their mothers. Fifty million since Roe v. Wade have never seen the light of day. For many, the quality of life now supersedes in value the sanctity of life. That is who we are.

Between 2012 and 2030, 74 million baby boomers will retire, cease to be the major contributors to Medicare and become the major drain on Medicare. How long will an overtaxed labor force in a de-Christianized America be wiling to pay the bill to keep all those aging boomers alive?

Rationed care is coming, and the death panels will not be far behind.

Angry White Men

by Patrick J. Buchanan

To hear the Obamaites, those raucous crowds pouring into town hall meetings are “mobs” of “thugs” whose rage has been “manufactured” by K Street lobbyists and right-wing Republican operatives.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs compares them to the Young Republicans of the “Brooks Brothers riot” during the Florida recount.

But is it wise for the White House to denigrate and insult scores of thousands with the fire and energy to come to town meetings in August, and who appear to represent millions? Is this depiction fair or accurate?

Most K Street lobbyists could not organize a two-car funeral. They don’t storm meetings. They buy friends with $1,000 checks. And if GOP operatives are turning out these crowds, why could they not turn them out for John McCain, unless Sister Sarah showed up?

The Obamaites had best wake up. Opposition to health-care reform is surging, and Barack Obama’s campaigning has gone hand-in-hand with collapsing support, just as George W. Bush’s barnstorming did for Social Security reform.

There is an anger out there unseen since Ross Perot was leading Bush I and Bill Clinton in the presidential trial heats in 1992.

Who are these folks? Why are they angry?

In his essay “Decline of the American Male” in USA Today, David Zinczenko, editor of Men’s Health, give us a clue. “Of the 5.2 million people who’ve lost their jobs since last summer, four out of five were men. Some experts predict that this year, for the first time, more American women will have jobs than men.”

Ed Rubenstein, who has written for Forbes, National Review and the Wall Street Journal, blogs on VDARE.com that if one uses the household survey of job losses for June-July, Hispanics gained 150,000 positions, while non-Hispanics lost 679,000. Guess who got the stimulus jobs.

Going back to the beginning of the Bush presidency, Rubenstein says that “for every 100 Hispanics employed in January 2001, there are now 122.5. … (But) for every 100 non-Hispanics employed in January 2001, there are now 98.9.”

Since 2001, Hispanic employment has increased by 3,627,000 positions, while non-Hispanic positions have fallen by 1,362,000. For black and white America, the Bush decade did not begin well or end well, and it has gotten worse under Obama.

African-Americans remain loyal, but among white folks, where Obama ran stronger than John Kerry or Al Gore, he is hemorrhaging.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, which showed him falling to 50 percent approval, whites, by 54 percent to 27 percent, felt Obama behaved “stupidly” in the Sgt. Crowley-professor Gates dustup.

Fifteen straight months of job losses by non-Hispanics explains the anger, but columnist Lowell Ponte raises an issue that may explain who is protesting health-care reform and why.

Under the civil rights legal doctrine of disparate impact, used in the New Haven firefighters case, if tests for hirings and promotions consistently produce results disadvantageous to minorities, the tests are, de facto, suspect as inherently discriminatory, and the results are tossed out. New Haven canceled the promotions for firefighters when all but one of the firemen who passed the test were white, and not a single African-American made the cut.

The city argued that New Haven was acting true to the letter of the Civil Rights Act, which says that tests that consistently produce a disparate and unfavorable impact on African-Americans must go.

Ponte applies the disparate impact doctrine to the trillion-dollar health-care reform.

Who are the principal beneficiaries? The 47 million uninsured who will be covered. Who are the principal losers? The elderly sick who, in the name of controlling costs, are going to lose benefits, be denied care at the end of their lives and have their lives shortened. For half of all health-care costs are in the last six months of life, and cost control is priority No. 1.

Here is where the disparate impact hits. Among those who benefit most — the uninsured — African-Americans, Hispanics and immigrants are overrepresented. Among the biggest losers — seniors and the elderly sick — well over 80 percent are white. Ponte quotes Fox News’ Dick Morris:

“The principal impact of the Obama health-care program will be to reduce sharply the medical services the elderly can use. No longer will their every medical need be met, their every medication prescribed, their every need to improve their quality of life answered.”

Under Obamacare, adds Morris, “the elderly will go from being the group with the most access to free medical care to the one with the least access.”

America is already divided ideologically and politically on health-care reform. And with seniors having to sacrifice care, while the young are all insured, a generational divide is opening.

Now Nobel prize-winner and New York Times pundit Paul Krugman writes in his “The Town Hall Mobs” column that, as did Richard Nixon’s men, “cynical political operators are … appealing to the racial fears of working-class whites.”

Pulitzer prize-winning black columnist Cynthia Tucker says 45 percent to 65 percent of all vocal opponents of Obamacare are motivated by racial hostility to a black president.

We are headed for interesting times.