What Lies Behind the Malaise of the West?

What Lies Behind the Malaise of the West?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Is it coincidence or contagion, this malady that seems to have suddenly induced paralysis in the leading nations of the West?

With lawyer-fixer Michael Cohen’s confession that he colluded with Donald Trump in making hush money payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, America’s stage is set for a play that will run two years.

As Democrats test the waters for a presidential run by savaging Trump, the establishment Trump detests and defeated in 2016 will use every weapon in its considerable arsenal to break and bring him down, as it did half a century ago to Richard Nixon.

By spring 2019, Americans will be unable to escape the vitriol on cable and social media. And the outside world will see America again as a house divided. Our politics will be even more poisonous than now, and it is not easy to see what would bring our warring tribes together again.

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Consider, then, the situation of our old ally Great Britain.

Prime Minister Theresa May was just forced to pledge that she would not lead her party in the next election — to survive a no-confidence vote in Parliament. A third of all Tory members voted to throw her out.

The no-confidence vote was called after May had to cancel a vote on the Brexit plan she had negotiated with the EU, when it was evident that a coalition of Tories and Labor would vote to kill her plan.

May has been humiliated. Yet her humiliation solves nothing. The clock is running toward a March deadline for concluding a Brexit deal. And no plan acceptable to both Parliament and the EU is on the table.

The possibility exists that Britain could simply crash out of the EU, causing severe economic damage to both.

Realizing this, Brussels has left the door open if Britain should vote in a second referendum to remain in the EU. But calling and carrying out that referendum would be a betrayal of the 52 percent of the British people that voted to restore full national independence.

While London wanted to stay in the EU in 2016, England voted to leave. Northern Ireland wanted to stay, as did Scotland, though 45 percent of Scots had earlier voted to declare their own independence from Great Britain.

In France, after four Saturdays of anarchy, arson, looting and vandalism of her national monuments, President Emmanuel Macron capitulated to the rioters. He withdrew the fuel tax that triggered the uprisings. He agreed to have his government add $113 a month to those earning the minimum wage, and to let workers get overtime pay and Christmas bonuses tax-free, and to revoke higher social charges on modest pensions.

The cost of Macron’s retreat is estimated at $11 billion, 0.4 percent of France’s GDP. Saturday will tell us if his appeasement bought peace.

The political collapse of Macron has been extraordinary.

In 2017, he won almost two-thirds of the national vote, and his La Republique en Marche! won an absolute majority of the National Assembly.

Today, one poll puts Macron’s approval at 21 percent. The idea that he can replace Angela Merkel as the recognized leader of the EU seems ridiculous.

As for Merkel herself, hailed as leader of the West in the time of Trump, her party and coalition lost so much support in the recent election that she stepped down as leader of the CDU and pledged not to run for another term as chancellor.

Europe’s fourth-largest economy, Italy, is now led by a coalition of the populist-left Five Star Movement and populist-right Lega party. The coalition seeks greater freedom on spending than Brussels is willing to allow, and a halt to migration from across the Med.

With Poland and Hungary at odds with Brussels over alterations in their political systems, the EU has never seemed less united.

What are the underlying causes of these 21st-century crises of Western democracies?

Certainly, globalization, with its creation of ties among transnational elites at the expense of nation-states and their indigenous peoples is one. Capitals — Washington, London, Paris, Berlin — seem ever more distant from the countries they rule.

Then there is demography. The native-born of almost all Western nations are aging, shrinking and dying. Death rates exceed birth rates. While peoples of the West are living longer, they are producing fewer children to replace them.

At the same time, Western elites have welcomed foreign workers and left borders unsecured against mass migration. And the people coming in, almost all now from the Third World, are not assimilating as the children of 19th- and 20th-century European immigrants to the USA had largely done by 1960.

A consequence and related cause is the rise of tribalism, or ethno-nationalism, the search for identity and community with one’s own. Loyalties to family, tribe, neighborhood, culture and country appear paramount, rising above intellectual and political alignments.

The heart has reasons of which reason knows nothing, said Pascal. And so it does.

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The Unpardonable Heresy of Tucker Carlson

The Unpardonable Heresy of Tucker Carlson

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Our diversity is our greatest strength.

After playing clips of Democratic politicians reciting that truth of modern liberalism, Tucker Carlson asked, “How, precisely, is diversity our strength? Since you’ve made this our new national motto, please be specific.”

Reaction to Carlson’s question, with some declaring him a racist for having raised it, suggests that what we are dealing with here is not a demonstrable truth but a creed not subject to debate.

Yet the question remains valid: Where is the scientific, historic or empirical evidence that the greater the racial, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of a nation, the stronger it becomes?

From recent decades, it seems more true to say the reverse: The more diverse a nation, the greater the danger of its disintegration.

Ethnic diversity, after all, tore apart our mighty Cold War rival, splintering the Soviet Union into 15 nations, three of which — Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia — have since split further along ethnic lines.

Russia had to fight two wars to hold onto Chechnya and prevent the diverse peoples of the North Caucasus from splitting off on ethnic grounds, as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan had done.

Ethnic diversity then shattered Yugoslavia into seven separate nations.

And even as we proclaim diversity to be our greatest strength, nations everywhere are recoiling from it.

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The rise of populism and nationalism across Europe is a reaction to the new diversity represented by the Arab, Asian and African millions who have lately come, and the tens of millions desperate to enter.

Center-left and center-right parties are losing ground in European elections because they are seen as feckless in meeting what more and more indigenous Europeans believe to be an existential threat — mass migration from across the Med.

Japan’s population has ceased to grow, and each year brings fewer toddlers into its schools. Yet Tokyo resists the racial and ethnic diversity greater immigration would bring. Why, if diversity is a strength?

What South Koreans dream of is uniting again with the 22 million separated members of their national family who live in the North, but share the same history and blood.

This summer, in its Basic Law, Israel declared itself an ethnonational state and national home of the Jewish people. African migrants crossing the Sinai to seek sanctuary in Israel are unwelcome.

Consider China, which seeks this century to surpass America as the first power on earth. Does Xi Jinping welcome a greater racial, ethnic and cultural diversity within his county as, say, Barack Obama does in ours?

In his western province of Xinjiang, Xi has set up an archipelago of detention camps. Purpose: Re-educate his country’s Uighurs and Kazakhs by purging them of their religious and tribal identities, and making them and their children more like Han Chinese in allegiance to the Communist Party and Chinese nation.

Xi fears that the 10 million Uighurs of Xinjiang, as an ethnic and religious minority, predominantly Muslim, wish to break away and establish an East Turkestan, a nation of their own, out of China. And he is correct.

What China is doing is brutalitarian. But what China is saying with its ruthless policy is that diversity — religious, racial, cultural — can break us apart as it did the USSR. And we are not going to let that happen.

Do the Buddhists of Myanmar cherish the religious diversity that the Muslim Rohingya of Rakhine State bring to their country?

America has always been more than an idea, an ideology or a propositional nation. It is a country that belongs to a separate and identifiable people with its own history, heroes, holidays, symbols, songs, myths, mores — its own culture.

Again, where is the evidence that the more Americans who can trace their roots to the Third World, and not to Europe, the stronger we will be?

Is the Britain of Theresa May, with its new racial, religious and ethnic diversity, a stronger nation than was the U.K. of Lloyd George, which ruled a fourth of mankind in 1920?

Was it not the unity Bismarck forged among the diverse Germanic peoples, bringing them into a single nation under the Kaiser in 1871, that made Germany a far stronger and more formidable power in Europe?

Empires, confederations and alliances are multiethnic and multicultural. And, inevitably, their diversity pulls them apart.

The British Empire was the greatest in modern history. What tore it apart? Tribalism, the demands of diverse peoples, rooted in blood and soil, to be rid of foreign rule and to have their own place in the sun.

And who are loudest in preaching that our diversity is our strength?

Are they not the same people who told us that democracy was the destiny of all mankind and that, as the world’s “exceptional nation,” we must seize the opportunity of our global preeminence to impose its blessings on the less enlightened tribes of the Middle East and Hindu Kush?

If the establishment is proven wrong about greater diversity bringing greater strength to America, there will be no do-over for the USA.

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Are Bibi and Bolton in the Wheel House Now?

Are Bibi and Bolton in the Wheel House Now?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Brushing aside the anguished pleas of our NATO allies, President Trump Tuesday contemptuously trashed the Iranian nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Great Britain, President Emmanuel Macron of France and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were put on notice that their ties to Iran are to be severed, or secondary sanctions will be imposed on them.

Driving the point home, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin ordered Airbus to cancel its $19 billion contract to sell 100 commercial planes to Iran.

Who is cheering Trump’s trashing of the treaty?

The neocons who sought his political extinction in 2016, the royals of the Gulf, Bibi Netanyahu, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC had warned Iranians that the Americans were duplicitous.

When Trump finished speaking, Bibi launched strikes on Iranian bases in Syria, and flew to Moscow to persuade Vladimir Putin not to give the Iranians any air defense against Israeli attacks.

Iranian forces responded with 20 missiles fired at the Golan, which ignited a massive Israeli counterstrike Thursday night, a 70-missile attack on Iranian bases in Syria.

We appear to be at the beginning of a new war, and how it ends we know not. But for Bibi and National Security Adviser John Bolton, the end has always been clear — the smashing of Iran and regime change.

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Tuesday, Trump warned that Iran is on “a quest for nuclear weapons,” and “if we do nothing … in just a short period of time, the world’s worst sponsor of state terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapon.”

And where is the evidence for this Bush-like assertion?

If Iran is on a “quest” for nukes, why did 17 U.S. intel agencies, “with high confidence,” in 2007 and 2011, say Iran did not even have a nuclear weapons program?

Saddam Hussein could not convince us he had no WMD, because the nonexistent WMD were the pretext, the casus belli, for doing what the War Party had already decided to do: invade Iraq.

We were lied into that war. And how did it turn out?

Why has the Foreign Relations committee not called in the heads of the U.S. intelligence agencies and asked them flat out: Does Iran have an active nuclear bomb program, or is this a pack of lies to stampede us into another war?

If Iran is on a quest for nukes, let the intel agencies tell us where the work is being done, so we can send inspectors and show the world.

Efforts to pull us back from being dragged into a new war have begun.

The Europeans are begging Iran to abide by the terms of the nuclear deal, even if the Americans do not. But the regime of Hassan Rouhani, who twice defeated Ayatollah-backed candidates, is in trouble.

The nuclear deal and opening to the West were the reasons the children of the Green Movement of 2009 voted for Rouhani. If his difficulties deepen because of reimposed U.S. and Western sanctions, his great achievement, the nuclear deal, will be seen by his people as the failed gamble of a fool who trusted the Americans.

Should Rouhani’s regime fall, we may get a Revolutionary Guard regime rather less to the liking of everyone, except for the War Party, which could seize upon that as a pretext for war.

What happens next is difficult to see.

Iran does not want a war with Israel in Syria that it cannot win.

Iran’s ally, Hezbollah, which just swept democratic elections in Lebanon, does not want a war with Israel that would bring devastation upon the nation it now leads.

The Russians don’t want a war with Israel or the Americans.

But as Putin came to the rescue of a Syria imperiled by ISIS and al-Qaida, to save his ally from a broad insurgency, he is not likely to sit impotently and watch endless air and missile strikes on Syria.

Trump has said U.S. troops will be getting out of Syria. But Bolton and the generals appear to have walked him back.

There are reports we are reinforcing the Kurds in Manbij on the west bank of the Euphrates, though President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that the Kurds vacate all Syrian border towns with Turkey.

Americans are also reportedly on the border of Yemen, assisting Saudi Arabia in locating the launch sites of the rockets being fired at Riyadh by Houthi rebels in retaliation for the three years of savage Saudi assault on their country.

Meanwhile, the news out of Afghanistan, our point of entry into the Near East wars almost a generation ago, is almost all bad — most of it about terrorist bombings of Afghan troops and civilians.

Is the foreign policy that America Firsters voted for being replaced by the Middle East agenda of Bibi and the neoconservatives? So it would appear.

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