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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Are Illinois & Puerto Rico Our Future?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Gov. Bruce Rauner and his legislature in Springfield do not put a budget together by Friday, the Land of Lincoln will be the first state in the Union to see its debt plunge into junk-bond status.

Illinois has $14.5 billion in overdue bills, $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations, and no budget. “We can’t manage our money,” says Rauner. “We’re like a banana republic.”

Speaking of banana republics, Puerto Rico, which owes $74 billion to creditors who hold its tax-exempt bonds, and $40 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, has already entered bankruptcy proceedings.

The island’s imaginative 38-year-old governor, Ricardo Rossello, however, has a solution. Call Uncle Sam. On June 11, Rossello held a plebiscite, with a 23 percent turnout, that voted 97 percent to make Puerto Rico our 51st state.

“(T)he federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico,” said Rossello. Washington cannot “demand democracy in other parts of the world, and not respond to the legitimate right to self-determination that was exercised today in the American territory of Puerto Rico.”

Had the governor been talking about the island’s right to become free and independent, he would have had a point. But statehood inside the USA is something Uncle Sam decides.

Rossello calls to mind Count Mountjoy of Grand Fenwick, who, in “The Mouse that Roared,” plotted to rescue his bankrupt duchy by declaring war on the U.S., sailing to America to surrender, and then demanding the foreign aid America bestows on defeated enemies.

Yet Puerto Rico’s defaults on its debts may soon be our problem. Many bond funds in which Americans have invested their savings and retirement money are full of Puerto Rican bonds.

According to The New York Times, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas and Guam are in the same boat. With 100,000 people, the Virgin Islands owe $6.5 billion to pensioners and creditors.

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Then there is Connecticut, a state that has long ranked in the top tier in per capita income and wealth.

Connecticut, too, appears wobbly. Rising pension benefits, the cost of servicing the state debt and falling tax revenue due to fleeing residents and companies like Aetna and General Electric, have dropped Connecticut to near the national bottom in growth prospects.

“The state’s population is falling: Its net domestic out-migration was nearly 30,000 from 2015 to 2016. In 2016, it lost slightly more than 8,000 people, leaving its population at 3.6 million,” reports Fox News: “(R)ecent national moving company surveys (show) more people leaving Connecticut than moving in. In 2016, the state also saw a population decline for the third consecutive year.”

As its example of a welfare state going belly up, the EU offers us Greece. And questions arise from all of these examples. Is this an inexorable trend? Has the old New Deal formula of “tax and tax, spend and spend, and elect and elect” finally run its course?

Across the West, social welfare states are threatened by falling revenues, taxpayer flight, rising debt as a share of GDP, sinking bond ratings and proliferating defaults.

Record high social welfare spending is among the reasons that Western nations skimp on defense. Even the Americans, who spent 9 percent of GDP on defense under President Kennedy and 6 percent under President Reagan, are now well below that, though U.S. security commitments are as great as they were in the Cold War.

Among NATO nations, the U.S. is among the least socialist, with less than 40 percent of GDP consumed by government at all levels. France, with 57 percent of GDP siphoned off, is at the opposite pole.

Yet even here in America we no longer grow at 4 percent a year, or even 3 percent. We seem to be nearing a point of government consumption beyond the capacity of the private sector to provide the necessary funds.

Some Democrats are discovering there are limits to how much the government can consume of the nation’s wealth without adversely affecting their own fortunes. And in the Obamacare debate this week, Republicans are running head-on into the reality that clawing back social welfare benefits already voted may be political suicide.

Has democratic socialism passed its apogee?

Native-born populations in the West are aging, shrinking and dying, not reproducing themselves. The cost of pensions and health care for the elderly is inexorably going up. Immigration into the West, almost entirely from the Third World, is bringing in peoples who, on balance, take more in social welfare than they pay in taxes.

Deficits and national debts as a share of GDP are rising. Almost nowhere does one see the old robust growth rates returning. And the infrastructure of the West — roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, airports, subways, train tracks — continues to crumble for lack of investment.

The days of interstate highway systems and moon shots seem to be behind us. Are Puerto Rico and Illinois the harbingers of what is to come?

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Trump: America for the Americans!

Trump: America for the Americans!

By Patrick J. Buchanan

As the patriotic pageantry of Inauguration Day gave way to the demonstrations of defiance Saturday, our new America came into view. We are two nations now, two peoples.

Though bracing, President Trump’s inaugural address was rooted in cold truths, as he dispensed with the customary idealism of inaugurals that are forgotten within a fortnight of the president being sworn in.

Trump’s inaugural was Jacksonian.

He was speaking to and for the forgotten Americans whose hopes he embodies, pledging to be their champion against those who abandon them in pursuit of higher, grander, nobler causes. Declared Trump:

“For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed.”

Is this not true? American wages have stagnated as scores of thousands of factories were shut down or shipped abroad. Five of the six wealthiest counties in the U.S. today, measured by median household income, are the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Inaugurals should lift us up, wailed the media, this was “dark.”

And Trump did paint a grim picture — of “mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our … students deprived of all knowledge, and the crime and the gangs and the drugs…”

But is this not also a reality of America 2017?

Indeed, it carries echoes of FDR’s second inaugural: “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. … The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Some of the recoil to Trump’s speech is surely traceable to an awareness by those covering and commenting upon it — that this was a searing indictment of them and their own ruling class.

With America’s political elite sitting behind him, Trump accused them of enriching “foreign industry,” not ours, of subsidizing other countries’ armies but neglecting our own, of defending other nation’s borders while leaving America’s borders unprotected.

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Then, in the line that will give his address its name in history, he declared: “From this day forward it’s going to be only America First.”

Prediction: Trump’s “America First” inaugural will be recalled as the most controversial, but will be among the most remembered.

What did Trump mean by “America First”?

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

What does it mean for the world?

“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of other nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.”

Denounced as isolationism, this is in an old and great tradition.

Ronald Reagan talked of America being a “shining city on a hill” for other nations to emulate.

John Quincy Adams declared:

“Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled there will America’s hearts, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher of the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

When the Hungarian patriot Louis Kossuth came to America seeking aid for the revolution of 1848, Henry Clay told him:

“Far better is it for ourselves, for Hungary, and for the cause of liberty, that … 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 among the ruins of fallen or falling republics in Europe.”

The charge of “isolationist” was thrown in the face of Clay. But he prevailed, and America stayed out of Europe’s wars until 1917 when Woodrow Wilson, fatefully, plunged us in.

In 1936, FDR said, “We shun political commitments which might entangle us in foreign wars. … We are not isolationists except insofar as we seek to isolate ourselves completely from war. … I hate war.”

What Trump was saying in his inaugural is that we will offer our free and independent republic as an example to other nations, but it is not our providential mission to reshape the world in our own image.

“We will reinforce old alliances” that are in our interests, Trump declared. But we are approaching the end of an era where we fought other nations’ wars and paid other nations’ bills.

We will no longer bleed and bankrupt our country for the benefit of others. Henceforth, America will be of, by, and for Americans.

Is that not what the nation voted for?

Memo to Trump: ‘Action This Day!’

Memo to Trump: 'Action This Day!'

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“In victory, magnanimity!” said Winston Churchill.

Donald Trump should be magnanimous and gracious toward those whom he defeated this week, but his first duty is to keep faith with those who put their faith in him.

The protests, riots and violence that have attended his triumph in city after city should only serve to steel his resolve.

As for promptings that he “reach out” and “reassure” those upset by his victory, and trim or temper his agenda to pacify them, Trump should reject the poisoned chalice. This is the same old con.

Trump should take as models the Democrats FDR and LBJ.

Franklin Roosevelt, who had savaged Herbert Hoover as a big spender, launched his own New Deal in his first 100 days.

History now hails his initiative and resolve.

Lyndon Johnson exploited his landslide over Barry Goldwater in 1964 to erect his Great Society in 1965: the Voting Rights Act, Medicare and Medicaid. He compromised on nothing, and got it all.

Even those who turned on him for Vietnam still celebrate his domestic achievements.

President Nixon’s great regret was that he did not bomb Hanoi and mine Haiphong in 1969 — instead of waiting until 1972 — and bring the Vietnam War to an earlier end and with fewer U.S. casualties.

Nixon’s decision not to inflame the social and political crisis of the ’60s by rolling back the Great Society bought him nothing. He was rewarded with media-backed mass demonstrations in 1969 to break his presidency and bring about an American defeat in Vietnam.

“Action this day!” was the scribbled command of Prime Minister Churchill on his notepads in World War II. This should be the motto of the first months of a Trump presidency.

For the historic opportunity he and the Republican Party have been given by his stunning and unanticipated victory of Nov. 8 will not last long. His adversaries and enemies in politics and press are only temporarily dazed and reeling.

This great opening should be exploited now.

Few anticipated Tuesday morning what we would have today: a decapitated Democratic Party, with the Obamas and Clintons gone or going, Joe Biden with them, no national leader rising, and only the power of obstruction, of which the nation has had enough.

The GOP, however, on Jan. 20, will control both Houses of Congress and the White House, with the real possibility of remaking the Supreme Court in the image of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have indicated they are willing to work with President Trump.

There is nothing to prevent the new GOP from writing history.

In his first months, Trump could put a seal on American politics as indelible as that left by Ronald Reagan.

A partial agenda: First, he should ignore any importunings by President Obama to permit passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a lame-duck session — and let the trade deal sink by year’s end.

On Jan. 20, he should have vetted and ready to nominate to the high court a brilliant constitutionalist and strict constructionist.

He should act to end interference with the Dakota Access pipeline and call on Congress to re-enact legislation, vetoed by Obama, to finish the Keystone XL pipeline. Then he should repeal all Obama regulations that unnecessarily restrict the production of the oil, gas and clean coal necessary to make America energy independent again.

Folks in Pennsylvania, southeast Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia should be shown, by executive action, that Trump is a man of his word. And when the mines open again, he should be there.

He should order new actions to seal the Southern border, start the wall and begin visible deportations of felons who are in the country illegally.

With a new education secretary, he should announce White House intent to work for repeal of Common Core and announce the introduction of legislation to put federal resources behind the charter schools that have proven to be a godsend to inner-city black children.

He should propose an immediate tax cut for U.S. corporations, with $2 to $3 trillion in unrepatriated profits abroad, who will bring the money home and invest it in America, to the benefit of our economy and our Treasury.

He should take the president’s phone and pen and begin the rewriting or repeal of every Obama executive order that does not comport with the national interest or political philosophy of the GOP.

Trump should announce a date soon for repeal and replacement of Obamacare and introduction of his new tax-and-trade legislation to bring back manufacturing and create American jobs.

Donald Trump said in his campaign that that this is America’s last chance. If we lose this one, he said, we lose the country.

The president-elect should ignore his more cautious counselors, and act with the urgency of his declared beliefs.

Aborting the Trump Revolution

Aborting the Trump Revolution

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In taking that $915 million loss in 1995, and carrying it forward to shelter future income, Donald Trump did nothing wrong. By both his family and his business, he did everything right.

In a famous 1947 dissent, Judge Learned Hand wrote:

“[T]here is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. … Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.”

This writer’s father spent his career as a tax accountant who studied tax codes and utilized every permissible deduction to keep his clients’ tax bills as low as legally possible.

That was his business, as it is the business of every accountant, including those who prepare the returns of the politicians and journalists piling on Trump as some sort of scofflaw tax cheat who has evaded his moral obligations to the state.

One needs a machete to cut through this hypocrisy.

Hillary Clinton benefited from a $700,000 loss on her 2015 income taxes. In the days of poverty in Arkansas, she took a $2 deduction for a contribution to charity of Bill’s old underpants.

Five weeks before Election Day, Trump’s taxes have displaced the former Miss Universe as the critical issue, as determined by the anti-Trump media.

Their motivation is not difficult to discern. Their goals are two. First, make Trump unacceptable as an agent of change. Second, keep the people distracted from their determination to rid America of the incompetent and corrupt ruling class that controls this capital city.

Consider but a few of the disasters that establishment does not want discussed or debated, or the American people thinking about, when they head for the polls in November.

There is the great betrayal of the American working class, the deindustrialization of the country, and the loss of economic independence it took America a century to achieve.

This disaster was produced by the trade deals enacted by Beltway politicians for the corporate contributors of their campaigns whose highest loyalty is to the bottom line of a balance sheet.

On behalf of these specials interests, U.S. politicians made the People’s Republic of China the greatest manufacturing power on earth and halted the traditional annual rise in wages of our working men and women.

Beijing is now using the wealth compiled to build up their air, naval and missile forces to push us out of Asia and back across the Pacific.

Then there is the illegal invasion of America and Europe by the impoverished masses of the south, who have never before been fully assimilated into any Western nation.

Unrivaled since the last days of the Roman Empire, this invasion has Americans pleading for a security wall on their border, propelled Britain’s exit from the EU, and could yet cause a breakup of Europe.

What is at stake here? Ultimately, Western civilization.

We have wars going with no end in sight in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen. We have Beltway hawks howling for a “no-fly zone” and the shooting down of Syrian planes, through the chairman of the Joint Chiefs warns this could mean war with Russia.

The War Party does not want Americans heading to the polls thinking of the thousands of dead and wounded and trillions of dollars lost in their misbegotten adventures in the Middle and Near East.

Trump is new to national politics. Yet, with all the mistakes he has made, and all the savagery of the media attacks upon him, he is still, remarkably, very much in the race for president of the United States.

That his crowds remain huge and his following loyal, and that he remains competitive, testifies to the depth of the detestation of our cultural, political and media elites out there in Middle America.

But what happens if Hillary Clinton’s media acolytes keep the country’s focus on trivial pursuits, and she prevails?

What happens to America, if the uprisings and rebellions in the two parties – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the GOP, the Bernie Sanders revolt in the Democratic Party — are turned back, and we get in 2017 the same old people and same old policies we repudiated in 2015 and 2016?

What happens if the election, in which America demanded change in both parties, results in change in neither party?

One wonders: Do America’s reigning elites believe the Trump movement is but a passing phase? Do they believe that the rise of populist and nationalist parties across Europe is but a seasonal epidemic of the flu that will die out, after which we can all get back to building the New World Order of Bush I and Barack Obama?

Will history look back upon 2016 as a system failure?

The Real Existential Threats of 2016

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2016, the national debt is projected to reach $19.3 trillion.

With spending on the four biggest budget items — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense — rising, and GDP growing at 1 percent, future deficits will exceed this year’s projected $600 billion.

National bankruptcy, then, is among the existential threats to the republic, the prospect that we will find ourselves in the not-too-distant future in the same boat with Greece, Puerto Rico and Illinois.

Yet, we drift toward the falls, with the issue not debated.

Ernest Hemingway reminded us of how nations escape quagmires of debt: “The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

“Debauching the currency,” Lenin’s depiction, is the way we will probably destroy the debt monster.

Hemingway’s second option, war, appears to be the preferred option of the war chiefs of the Beltway’s think-tank archipelago, who see in any Putin move in the Baltic or Black Sea casus belli.

What our Cold War leaders kept ever in mind, and our War Party scribblers never learned, is the lesson British historian A. J. P. Taylor discovered from studying the Thirty Years War of 1914-1945:

“Though the object of being a Great Power is to be able to fight a Great War, the only way of remaining a Great Power is not to fight one.”

Another existential threat, if Western man still sees himself as the custodian of the world’s greatest civilization, and one yet worth preserving, is the Third-Worldization of the West.

The threat emanates from two factors: The demographic death of the native-born of all Western nations by century’s end, given their fertility rates, and the seemingly endless invasion of the West from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Concerning the demographic decline and displacement of Western man by peoples of other creeds, cultures, countries, continents and civilizations, there is an ideological clash within the West.

Some among our elites are rhapsodic at the change. Worshiping at the altars of diversity and equality, they see acquiescing in the invasion of their own countries as a mark of moral superiority.

Angela Merkel speaks for them, or did, up to a while ago.

To those who believe diversity — racial, ethnic, religious, cultural — is to be cherished and embraced, resistance to demographic change in the West is seen as a mark of moral retardation.

Opponents of immigration are hence subjects of abuse — labeled “racists,” “xenophobes,” “fascists,” “Nazis” and other terms of odium in the rich vocabulary of Progressive hatred.

Yet, opposition to the invasion from across the Med and the Rio Grande is not only propelling the Trump movement but generating rightist parties and movements across the Old Continent.

It is hard to see how this crisis resolves itself peacefully.

For the hundreds of millions living in Third World tyranny and misery are growing, as is their willingness to risk their lives to reach Europe. And national resistance is not going to dissipate as the illegal immigrants and refugees come in growing numbers.

What the resisters see as imperiled is what they treasure most, their countries, cultures, way of life and the future they wish to leave their children. These are things for which men have always fought.

And, in America, is diversity leading to greater unity, or to greater rancor, separatism and disintegration? Did anyone imagine that, 50 years after the civil rights laws, we would still be having long hot summers in Ferguson, Baltimore and Milwaukee?

The crisis that South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun had posthumously predicted in his “Disquisition on Government” has also come to pass.

The country would divide into two parties, Calhoun said. One would be the party of those who pay the taxes to government, the other the party of those who consume the benefits of government.

The taxpayers’ party would engage in constant clashes with the party of the tax-consumers.

In 2013, the top 1 percent of Americans in income paid 38 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 50 percent of income-earners, half the nation, paid only 3 percent of all income taxes.

A question logically follows: If one belongs to that third of the nation that pays no income taxes but receives copious benefits, why would you vote for a party that will cut taxes you don’t pay, but take away benefits you do receive?

Traditional Republican platforms ask half the country to vote against its economic interests. As a long-term political strategy, that is not too promising.

During the New Deal, FDR’s aide Harold Ickes, declared in what became party dogma, “We shall tax and tax, spend and spend, and elect and elect.”

And so they did, and so they do. But this is a game that cannot go on forever.

For, as John Adams reminded us, “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Has Trump Found the Formula?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Stripped of its excesses, Donald Trump’s Wednesday speech contains all the ingredients of a campaign that can defeat Hillary Clinton this fall.

Indeed, after the speech ended Clinton was suddenly defending the Clinton Foundation against the charge that it is a front for a racket for her family’s enrichment.

The specific charges in Trump’s indictment of Clinton: She is mendacious, corrupt, incompetent and a hypocrite.

“Hillary Clinton … is a world-class liar,” said Trump. She faked a story about being under fire at a Bosnia airport, the kind of claim for which TV anchors get fired. She has lied repeatedly about her email server.

She lied to the families of victims of the Benghazi massacre by implying the atrocity was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video, not the premeditated act of Islamist terror she knew it to be.

Drop “world-class” and Trump’s case is open and shut.

His second charge: “Hillary has perfected the politics of personal profit and theft” and “may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.”

Particulars?

Bill Clinton got $750,000 for a speech from a telecom company facing State Department sanctions for providing technology to Iran. The Clintons got the cash; the telecom company got no sanctions.

“Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while 9 investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

Trump added, “She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund — doing favors for oppressive regimes … for cash.”

Together, she and Bill have raked in $153 million since 2001 in speaking fees from “lobbyists, CEOs and foreign governments.”

These figures are almost beyond belief.

Sherman Adams had to resign as Ike’s chief of staff for accepting a vicuna coat from Bernard Goldfine, who had problems with federal regulators.

When ex-President Reagan, after brain surgery, visited Japan to receive that nation’s highest honor, The Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, and got a $2 million fee from the media company that hosted his nine-day visit, our liberal editorial pages vomited out their revulsion and disgust.

Where are those media watchdogs today?

Rather than condemning the Clintons’ greed, their conflicts of interest and their egregious exploitation of their offices, the media are covering for Hillary and digging for dirt on Trump.

To substantiate his charge of incompetence, Trump notes that Clinton as Senator voted for arguably the greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history, the invasion of Iraq.

She pushed the attack that ousted Col. Gadhafi and unleashed terrorists who took over much of Libya and murdered our ambassador.

She played a leading role in launching the insurrection against Bashar Assad that has left hundreds of thousands dead, uprooted half of Syria and sent millions of refugees to seek asylum in Europe.

Primary beneficiary: ISIS, with its capital in Raqqa.

And the hypocrisy charge?

Though Hillary and Bill Clinton profess to be the fighting champions of women’s equality and gay rights, they have banked millions in speaking feels and tens of millions in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Islamic regimes under whose rule women are treated as chattel and homosexuals are flogged, beheaded and stoned to death.

Why do major media let them get away with such hypocrisy?

Because, ideologically, politically, socially, morally and culturally, the major media are with them.

While making the case for the indictment of Hillary Clinton, Trump also outlined an agenda with appeal not only to nationalists, populists and conservatives but working-class and minority Democrats.

If Trump is elected, an economic system “rigged” to enable big corporations to leave and take factories and jobs abroad, and bring their goods back free of charge to kill companies that stay in America, will end.

“Globalism” will be replaced by “Americanism.”

Trade and tax policies will be rewritten to provide incentives for companies to bring jobs and factories here. Was this not also Bernie Sanders’ message? He stood against NAFTA in the 1990s when the Clintons colluded with Bush Republicans to impose it.

In his peroration, Trump spoke of what we Americans had done, how we had lost our way, but how we could, together, make her great again. His finale was surprisingly aspirational, hopeful, inclusive.

In the political year just ended, several unmistakable messages have been delivered.

First, the record turnout for Trump and remarkable turnout for Ted Cruz represented a repudiation of Beltway Republicanism.

Second, the amazing success of 74-year-old Socialist Bernie Sanders in keeping Clinton embattled until California, showed that the Democratic young have had enough of Clintonism.

A majority of the nation said loud and clear: We want change.

Hillary Clinton’s vulnerability is that Americans distrust her; no one believes she represents change; and she has no agenda and no vision.

Her campaign for president is all about her.

As Trump noted, even her slogan is, “I’m with her.”

Rough and raw as it was in parts, Donald Trump’s speech on Wednesday contains the elements of a campaign that can win.