A Russophobic Rant From Congress

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Hopefully, Russians realize that our House of Representatives often passes thunderous resolutions to pander to special interests, which have no bearing on the thinking or actions of the U.S. government.

Last week, the House passed such a resolution 411-10.

As ex-Rep. Ron Paul writes, House Resolution 758 is so “full of war propaganda that it rivals the rhetoric from the chilliest era of the Cold War.”

H. R. 758 is a Russophobic rant full of falsehoods and steeped in superpower hypocrisy.

Among the 43 particulars in the House indictment is this gem:

“The Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008.”

Bullhockey. On Aug. 7-8, 2008, Georgia invaded South Ossetia, a tiny province that had won its independence in the 1990s. Georgian artillery killed Russian peacekeepers, and the Georgian army poured in.

Only then did the Russian army enter South Ossetia and chase the Georgians back into their own country.

The aggressor of the Russo-Georgia war was not Vladimir Putin but President Mikheil Saakashvili, brought to power in 2004 in one of those color-coded revolutions we engineered in the Bush II decade.

H.R. 758 condemns the presence of Russian troops in Abkhazia, which also broke from Georgia in the early 1990s, and in Transnistria, which broke from Moldova. But where is the evidence that the peoples of Transnistria, Abkhazia or South Ossetia want to return to Moldova or Georgia?

We seem to support every ethnic group that secedes from Russia, but no ethnic group that secedes from a successor state.

This is rank Russophobia masquerading as democratic principle.

What do the people of Crimea, Transnistria, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Luhansk or Donetsk want? Do we really know? Do we care?

And what have the Russians done to support secessionist movements to compare with our 78-day bombing of Serbia to rip away her cradle province of Kosovo, which had been Serbian land before we were a nation?

H.R. 758 charges Russia with an “invasion” of Crimea.

But there was no air, land or sea invasion. The Russians were already there by treaty and the reannexation of Crimea, which had belonged to Russia since Catherine the Great, was effected with no loss of life.

Compare how Putin retrieved Crimea, with the way Lincoln retrieved the seceded states of the Confederacy — a four-year war in which 620,000 Americans perished.

Russia is charged with using “trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure” and interfering in Ukraine’s “internal affairs.”

This is almost comical.

The U.S. has imposed trade barriers and sanctions on Russia, Belarus, Iran, Cuba, Burma, Congo, Sudan, and a host of other nations.

Economic sanctions are the first recourse of the American Empire.

And agencies like the National Endowment for Democracy and its subsidiaries, our NGOs and Cold War radios, RFE and Radio Liberty, exist to interfere in the internal affairs of countries whose regimes we dislike, with the end goal of “regime change.”

Was that not the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, along with John McCain, prancing around Kiev, urging insurgents to overthrow the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych?

Was Nuland not caught boasting about how the U.S. had invested $5 billion in the political reorientation of Ukraine, and identifying whom we wanted as prime minister when Yanukovych was overthrown?

H.R. 578 charges Russia with backing Syria’s Assad regime and providing it with weapons to use against “the Syrian people.”

But Assad’s principal enemies are the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaida affiliate, and ISIS. They are not only his enemies, and Russia’s enemies, but our enemies. And we ourselves have become de facto allies of Assad with our air strikes against ISIS in Syria.

And what is Russia doing for its ally in Damascus, by arming it to resist ISIS secessionists, that we are not doing for our ally in Baghdad, also under attack by the Islamic State?

Have we not supported Kurdistan in its drive for autonomy? Have U.S. leaders not talked of a Kurdistan independent of Iraq?

H.R. 758 calls the President of Russia an “authoritarian” ruler of a corrupt regime that came to power through election fraud and rules by way of repression.

Is this fair, just or wise? After all, Putin has twice the approval rating in Russia as President Obama does here, not to mention the approval rating our Congress.

Damning Russian “aggression,” the House demands that Russia get out of Crimea, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria, calls on Obama to end all military cooperation with Russia, impose “visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions,” and send “lethal … defense articles” to Ukraine.

This is the sort of ultimatum that led to Pearl Harbor.

Why would a moral nation arm Ukraine to fight a longer and larger war with Russia that Kiev could not win, but that could end up costing the lives of ten of thousands more Ukrainians?

Those who produced this provocative resolution do not belong in charge of U.S. foreign policy, nor of America’s nuclear arsenal.

The New Blacklist

The New Blacklist

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“There is a gay mafia,” said Bill Maher, “if you cross them you do get whacked.”

Maher, the host of HBO’s “Real Time,” was talking about the gay activists and their comrades who drove Brendan Eich out as CEO of Mozilla. Eich, who invented JavaScript and co-founded Mozilla in 1998, had been named chief executive in late March.

Instantly, he came under attack for having contributed $1,000 to Proposition 8, whereby a majority of Californians voted in 2008 to reinstate a ban on same-sex marriage. Prop 8 was backed by the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church and the black churches, and carried 70 percent of the African-American vote.

Though Eich apologized for any “pain” he had caused and pledged to promote equality for gays and lesbians at Mozilla, his plea for clemency failed to move his accusers. Too late. According to The Guardian, he quit after it was revealed that he had also contributed — “The horror, the horror!” — to the Buchanan campaign of 1992.

That cooked it. What further need was there of proof of the irredeemably malevolent character of Brendan Eich?

Observing the mob run this accomplished man out of a company he helped create, Andrew Sullivan blogged that Eich “has just been scalped” by gay activists. Sullivan went on:

“Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole thing disgusts me, as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.”

Yet, the purge of Eich, who, from his contributions — he also gave to Ron Paul — appears to be a traditionalist and libertarian — is being defended as a triumph of the First Amendment.

James Ball of The Guardian writes that far from being “a defeat for freedom of expression,” Eich’s removal is a “victory — the ouster of a founder and CEO by his own people, at a foundation based on open and equal expression.”

Eich’s forced resignation, writes Ball, “should be the textbook example of the system working exactly as it should.”

Ball seems to be saying that what the gay mob did to Eich at Mozilla is what the heroes of Maidan Square did in driving President Viktor Yanukovych out of power and out of his country.

This is how the democracy works now.

Mitchell Baker, the executive chairwoman of Mozilla Foundation, who escorted Eich out, said in her statement: “Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech.

Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”

George Orwell, thou shouldst be living at this hour.

What Baker is saying is that you have freedom of speech, so long as you use your speech to advocate equality.

And what do we do with those who use their freedom of speech to express their view, rooted in religion and history, that traditional marriage is not only superior to same-sex marriage, the latter is a contradiction of the natural and moral law.

And what of those institutions that teach and preach that outside traditional marriage sexual relations are wrong?

One such is the 2,000-year-old Catholic Church whose 1976 catechism, “The Teaching of Christ,” describes homosexual acts as “sexual vices” and “sexual perversions.”

Is that just yesterday’s church and yesterday’s belief?

Well, one of the compilers of that catechism was Donald W. Wuerl of Angelicum University in Rome, who would appear to be the same cleric as Cardinal Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., who is now one of the inner circle advising Pope Francis I.

Yet, it is not only Catholic, Mormon, Evangelical and Protestant churches that believe this, but the Islamic faith, perhaps a majority of Americans, and more than a majority of the world’s peoples.

Up until last year, Barack Obama opposed same-sex marriage.

What the Brendan Eich episode teaches us, where a man was driven from a position he had earned, because of his beliefs, and was abandoned and left undefended by false friends and gutless peers in Silicon Valley, is this:

In the new dispensation, opposition to same-sex marriage disqualifies you from leadership and may legitimately be used to bring about the ruin of your career.

This is the new blacklist.

The old blacklist declared that if you were a member of the Communist Party that toadied to Stalin, and you refused to recant and took the Fifth Amendment, you would not be permitted to work in Hollywood. We are Americans, said that Hollywood, and we believe in American values.

Now, nearly seven decades later, the Stalinists of the ’40s are martyr-heroes in Hollywood. And in Silicon Valley conservatives and traditionalists who oppose same-sex marriage are to be denied top jobs and driven into social exile.

The new blacklist means that while diversity of races, genders and sexual orientations is mandatory, diversity of thought and opinion is restricted. In Silicon Valley, they burn heretics.

The Palin Doctrine

Is victory for either side worth yet another U.S. war?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On U.S. military intervention in Syria’s civil war, where “both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line ‘Allahu akbar’ … I say let Allah sort it out.”

So said Sarah Palin to the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. And, as is not infrequently the case, she nailed it.

Hours later, Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, at length, echoed Palin: “Those who are urging the US to get more deeply involved in the Syrian conflict now are living in the past.”

Four fundamental changes make it “no longer realistic, or even desirable, for the US to dominate” the Middle East as we did from the Suez crisis of 1956 through the Iraq invasion of 2003.

The four changes: the failures of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the Great Recession, the Arab Spring and emerging U.S. energy independence.

Indeed, with $2 trillion sunk, 7,000 U.S. troops dead, 40,000 wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans dead, and millions of refugees, what do we have to show for this vast human and material waste?

Can a country with an economy limping along, one that has run four consecutive deficits in excess of $1 trillion, afford another imperial adventure?

On the Shiite side of the Syrian civil war are Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar Assad. On the Sunni side are the al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, Sunni jihadists from across the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Is victory for either side worth yet another U.S. war?

Ought we not stand back and ask: What vital interest is imperiled here?

And even if Americans favor one side or the other, how lasting an impact could any U.S. intervention have? The region is in turmoil.

Since the Tunisian uprising that dethroned an autocratic ally, dictators have fallen in Egypt and Libya. There have been a Shiite revolt in Bahrain, a civil war in Yemen and a civil-sectarian war in Syria that has cost 90,000 lives. Iraq is disintegrating. Al-Qaida is in Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, the Maghreb region and Mali.

Now the muezzin’s call to religious war is heard.

“How could 100 million Shiites defeat 1.7 billion (Sunnis)?” roared powerful Saudi cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, calling for a Sunni-Shiite war. Al-Qaradawi denounces Assad’s Alawite sect as “more infidel than Christians and Jews” and calls Hezbollah “the party of the devil.”

“Everyone who has the ability and has training to kill … is required to go” to Syria, said al-Qaradawi.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have made a comeback, and the United States is negotiating with the same crowd we sent an army to oust in 2001. And the press reports we will be leaving behind $7 billion in U.S. military vehicles and equipment when we depart.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the most successful Turkish leader since Kemal Ataturk, appears to have lost his mandate, with hundreds of thousands pouring into streets and squares both to denounce and to defend him.

The United States, says Rachman, “has recognised that, ultimately, the people of the Middle East are going to have to shape their own destinies. Many of the forces at work in the region — such as Islamism and Sunni-Shia sectarianism — are alarming to the West but they cannot be forever channelled or suppressed.”

Did those clamoring today for intervention in Syria learn nothing from Ronald Reagan’s intervention in an earlier Arab civil war, the one in Lebanon? Result: 241 dead Marines, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut bombed and hostages taken.

Reagan left office believing his decision to put Marines in Lebanon was his greatest mistake. And to retrieve those hostages, he acceded to a transfer of weapons to Iran, an action that almost broke his presidency.

Yet it is not only in the Middle East that we are “living in the past,” in a world long gone. As Ted Galen Carpenter writes in Chronicles, under NATO we are committed to go to war with Russia on behalf of 27 nations.

If Russia collides with Estonia or Latvia over the treatment of their Russian minorities, we fight Russia. For whose benefit is this commitment?

Today Japan spends 1 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. Yet the USA is committed to go to war to defend not only the home islands but the Senkaku islets and rocks in the East China Sea that China also claims.

Are the Senkakus really worth a war with China?

NATO was established to defend Europe. Yet Europe spends less on its own defense than we do. Sixty years after the Korean War, we remain committed to defend South Korea against North Korea. Yet South Korea has an economy 40 times as large as North Korea’s.

Former Rep. Ron Paul asks: Why, when U.S. debt is larger than our GDP and we are running mammoth annual deficits, are we borrowing money abroad to give away in foreign aid?

Good question. As for those ethnic, sectarian and civil wars raging across the Middle East, let Allah sort it out.

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Original Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/

Buchanan: Anti-interventionism is On the Rise in the GOP

Pat Buchanan on the Radio

By Jeff Poor, Media Reporter – Listen at The Daily Caller

On Laura Ingraham’s Monday radio show, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan said the anti-interventionist foreign policy views of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are catching on.

Buchanan, author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?,” took particular aim at conservative editor Bill Kristol, who on Sunday said Paul is “running to the left of the Obama administration.”

“I think Bill Kristol is pretty much on all fours with Lindsey Graham and John McCain,” Buchanan said.

“And I think the country — even the Republican Party, which is still very hawkish, I think has soured on the wars. I mean, what did we gain with all these losses in blood and treasure and diversion and all the rest of it? And they don’t want any more wars. But there’s no doubt about it — within the Republican Party, if your raising, you know beating the drum, and say we’re going to stand up to x, y and z, Republican tend historically to respond.

But I do think this: Rand Paul-Ron Paul-Pat Buchanan, if you will, anti-interventionist position is growing in strength and numbers. And if you antagonize and alienate that now, and you go for hard for a McCain position, I think you cannot win the presidency in the United States. You may still win the nomination.”

Buchanan said Paul’s dramatic speaking filibuster earlier in the month exposed just how much support he now commands. “Rand Paul … pretty much owns … the old social conservative movement, the right-to-life folks, the people with moral traditional values…

Read more and listen at The Daily Caller…

Who Speaks Now for the GOP?

Senator Rand Paul

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Last Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul rose on the Senate floor to declare a filibuster and pledge he would not sit down until either he could speak no longer or got an answer to his question about Barack Obama’s war powers.

Does the president, Paul demanded to know, in the absence of an imminent threat, have the right to order U.S. citizens killed by drone strike on U.S. soil?

By the time he sat down, 13 hours later, Paul had advanced to the front rank of candidates for 2016, and established himself as a foreign policy leader whose views must be consulted equally with those of John McCain.

How did he pull this off?

First, Attorney General Eric Holder arrogantly refused to rule out the possibility that President Obama could order execution by drone-strike of U.S. citizens, even here in the United States.

When Rand demanded to know what Holder was talking about, all across America people tuned in.

Here was a deadly serious issue: Had we, in our determination to prosecute the war on terror ferociously, begun to sacrifice our constitutionalist rights?

Libertarians, conservatives and liberals have all grown alarmed at the steady expansion of drone attacks from the Af-Pak to Yemen and Somalia and Lord knows where else, and from bin Laden jihadists in Afghanistan to Islamist propagandists like Anwar al Awlaki and his 16-year-old son, both U.S. citizens, in Yemen.

Whom do we have a right to kill? Americans are asking. What are the borders of the battlefield upon which we may designate an individual an enemy and kill him without warning?

Has America become part of that battlefield? Paul asked.

After hours of speaking, Paul had attracted a vast audience on C-SPAN and Twitter. Soon, colleagues who do not share all of his libertarian views — Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas — came down to the floor to speak for Rand and give him time to rest on his feet.

To see these new Republicans standing by Rand Paul presented the image of a band of brothers standing up for principle. Rarely has this Republican Party looked better than it did on Wednesday.

Then to the well of the Senate marched Rand’s Kentucky colleague, the minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to bestow his benediction. It was “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Schmaltzy, perhaps, but in a cynical age, inspiriting.

What made Rand’s presentation so appealing was that he began it alone, inviting the mockery of the media. Second, it was done with simplicity and dignity, without histrionics or demagoguery.

Third, it was evident that a genuine principle of Rand’s philosophy was at stake. Finally, like his father Ron and Jimmy Stewart, Rand has a bumpkin quality that fairly drips honesty and sincerity.

Agree or disagree, it is hard not to like the guy.

But the play would have been incomplete without the foils.

Thursday morning, John McCain, fresh from putting on the feed bag with Barack at the Jefferson Hotel, where he exited flashing his thumbs-up on how wonderfully the dinner had gone, came to the floor to declare himself disgusted with Sen. Paul and to pronounce his filibuster “ridiculous.”

McCain was followed by Lindsey Graham, who lectured the senators who stood by Paul that he did not recall them being exercised about drone strikes when George W. Bush was president.

McCain and Graham both seemed deliberately to miss the point.

Paul was not attacking the use of drones against enemies on a battlefield. He wanted to know if Obama now regarded America as a battlefield, and if he regarded U.S. citizens as possible enemy combatants who may be targeted and killed without due process of law.

Paul’s victory was conceded when a letter arrived from Holder conceding that he and the president now agreed with Sen. Paul.

What Paul achieved in a half day of speaking from the Senate floor is astonishing. There is a new tent pole in the GOP that stands as tall as any of the rest.

McCain and Graham, who are routinely trotted out by Big Media to speak for the party — can they any longer claim to do so?

Last week, they seemed isolated. And, on the weekend, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy declared Paul’s performance “fantastic,” and backhanded the Republicans who attacked him.

Paul himself handled McCain’s insults well. “I treat Sen. McCain with respect,” he told Mike Huckabee. “I don’t think I always get the same in return.”

Henceforth, be the issue sending weapons to Syrian insurgents, or launching a war on Iran, the media will have to consult Sen. Paul, who can credibly claim to speak for a large segment of the GOP.

The hegemony of the neocons and the lockstep conformity of a vast a slice of the GOP that cost Reagan’s party its primacy during the Bush wars, seems to be coming to an end.

Mind of the New Majority

Patrick Buchanan working as an aide to Richard Nixon in 1969

By Michael Brendan Dougherty – The American Conservative Magazine

Pat Buchanan is more than a conservative—he’s Nixon meets Spengler.

Patrick J. Buchanan stood beside a window in Chicago’s Conrad Hilton hotel during the 1968 Democratic convention and looked over the panorama of dissent raging below. At about two in the morning, the phone rang—it was Nixon. “Buchanan, what is happening there?”

“I said, ‘Listen’,” Buchanan recalls, then pantomimes how he stuck the phone out the hotel window. “All you could hear was ‘F-you Daley! F-you Daley!’”

“That’s what’s going on,” he told Nixon, and hung up. He smiled taking it in.

Later the police, tired of the verbal abuse being hurled at them, charged into the park and at the protestors, looking for a brawl. “The cops shouldn’t have done it,” says Buchanan, remembering the savage way they beat the demonstrators. “But the country saw the pictures of cops racing into the park. And the country was with the cops.”

The continental plates of America’s politics were grinding into new positions beneath Buchanan’s feet. That shift tilted ethnic whites and eventually Southern evangelicals into the Republican coalition, awarding the party five of the next six presidential elections, including two 49-state victories. In a phrase crafted by Buchanan, Nixon called it “the great silent majority.” Buchanan prefers to call it the New Majority.

In the generalizations of political history, Buchanan—as a wordsmith and veteran of two Republican White Houses—is lumped with the broad postwar conservative movement. Since the Cold War ended and that movement degenerated into a set of interlocking cliques, he has been identified more finely as a “paleoconservative.” The man who wrote incendiary editorials on Goldwater’s behalf for the St. Louis Globe Democrat, who attends Latin Mass regularly, and who injected the term “culture war” into the heart of political discourse is certainly a conservative. But that label is incomplete.

In media, he is the pioneer pundit. Sean Hannity and scores of others from all political backgrounds learned the trade from him. His three-hour radio show with Tom Braden evolved into a television program and later spawned “Crossfire” and “The McLaughlin Group.” But few other columnists or talking heads match his depth. If a cable news program is on in the background and you hear the words “Agincourt” or “the snows of Canossa,” it is Buchanan, inevitably, speaking them.

But he is not just a media figure, either. In that time of tumult before the 1968 election, National Review publisher Bill Rusher asked Pat, “Are you Nixon’s ambassador to the conservatives, or are you our ambassador to Nixon?….

Continue reading at The American Conservative Magazine

How Bill Kristol Purged the Arabists

By Patrick J. Buchanan

After taping John Stossel’s show on March 16 in New York, the Mrs. and I took the 10 a.m. Acela back to Washington. Once we had boarded the train, who should come waddling up the aisle but Bill Kristol.

The Weekly Standard editor seemed cheerful, and we chatted about the surge in Mitt Romney’s popularity and prospects.

I did not ask what he had been doing in New York, but thanks to the website Mondoweiss, I found out. Kristol was there for a March 16 “debate” with Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street, the pro-Israel organization, at B’nai Jeshurun synagogue on the Upper West Side.

After listening to Kristol, writes Phil Weiss, “I am still reeling.”

“Kristol was treated like royalty and came off as … a Republican Party warlord,” bragging “about how all the hostile elements to Israel inside the Republican Party were purged over the last 30 years — (and) no one (now) dared to question the power of the Israeli lobby.”

“The big story in the Republican Party over the last 30 years, and I’m very happy about this,” said Kristol, is the “eclipsing” of the George H.W. Bush-James Baker-Brent Scowcroft realists, “an Arabist old-fashioned Republican Party … very concerned about relations with Arab states that were not friendly with Israel … .”

That Bush crowd is yesterday, said Kristol. And not only had the “Arabists” like President Bush been shoved aside by the neocons, the “Pat Buchanan/Ron Paul type” of Republican has been purged.

“At B’nai Jeshurun,” writes Weiss, “Kristol admitted to playing a role in expelling members of the Republican Party he does not agree with.” These are Republicans you had to “repudiate,” said Kristol, people “of whom I disapprove so much that I won’t appear with them.”

“I’ve encouraged that they be expelled or not welcomed into the Republican Party. I’d be happy if Ron Paul left. I was very happy when Pat Buchanan was allowed — really encouraged … by George Bush … to go off and run as a third-party candidate.”

Kristol’s point: Refuse to toe the neo-con line on Israel, and you have no future in the Republican Party.

Ben Ami seemed equally exultant: “We’ve won the war; we won the war,” he told the audience. Ninety-nine percent of Congress now votes almost 100 percent pro-Israel.

But Ben Ami appeared nervous about how this unanimity in the Congress behind Israel had been achieved:

“I very seriously and absolutely do believe that a significant percentage of American members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are intimidated on this issue (of Israel). … They worry about the ramifications of speaking out. … They are worried about the attacks that they will receive.”

Ben Ami said the 50 members who have criticized Israel are courageous, but, “Another 200 are scared to do it.” Haaretz.com reports Ben Ami as saying congressmen “live in fear” of the Israeli lobby.

Kristol laughed at this and dared Ben Ami to name them.

When Ben Ami brought up the destruction of Palestinian rights on the West Bank and said Hillary Clinton repeatedly raises this issue with Israel, writes Weiss, “Kristol sniggered.”

It’s a “myth,” said Kristol, that Arabs care about Palestinians. The Israeli occupation on the West Bank can last for 45 or 60 years more. Bill Kristol on Palestinian rights sounds like Bull Connor talking about Negro rights in Birmingham in 1965.

Another source says Kristol predicted that Sen. Joe Lieberman, whose voting record is closer to Socialist Bernie Sanders’ than to conservative Jim DeMint’s, will be secretary of state in the Romney administration.

A former head of the Israel lobby AIPAC describes Lieberman as “the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in the Congress.”

Joe led the cheers for our last three Middle East wars — and has pushed for two more, against Syria and Iran.

About Kristol’s comments, a point of personal privilege.

George W. Bush never “encouraged” me to go third party. At the Iowa straw poll in 1999, he asked me to stay in the party, and party chair Jim Nicholson came to my home to make the same request.

At the synagogue, Kristol was never asked about his role in the Iraq War that he and his collaborators pressured Bush to wage as “Israel‘s fight against terrorism is our fight.”

Some 4,500 Americans died in that war, 35,000 were wounded, and 100,000 Iraqis perished, leaving half a million widows and orphans.

Result: U.S. influence in the Middle East is at a nadir. Al-Qaida has spread into Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Syria and North Africa.

Now the neocons are worming their way into the Romney camp, dropping us hints on whether John Bolton or Joe Lieberman will be the next secretary of state.

Has Gov. Romney imbibed the Kristol Kool-Aid that caused the war and cost the party Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008?

Hard to believe, but we should find out before November.