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Last week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted 168-55, more than 3-1, to provide new guidance for receiving Holy Communion.

Behind the decision?

Bishops’ alarm that the public religious practice of President Joe Biden is conveying a heretical message to the faithful and the nation.

At Sunday Mass, Biden regularly receives Communion. Yet he not only supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to have an abortion, but his new administration also provides ample funding of abortions.

Restrictions that existed in the Trump era, such as the Hyde Amendments that prohibit taxpayer-funding of abortions, are about to be lifted in the Biden presidency.

If the “teaching document” the bishops are expected to produce is consistent with traditional doctrine, a series of collisions on moral issues is about to shake the American Catholic Church and Democratic Party.

For that majority of U.S. bishops, who believe pro-choice Catholic politicians should be denied Communion, will likely collide not only with Biden and their fellow bishops but with the Vatican. Pope Francis had wanted to avert this now seemingly inevitable showdown on the issue.

Even if the document does not mention him by name, Biden will be pressed by the media to explain how he can back government funding of the killing of the unborn and still receive Holy Communion.

Pope Francis will be pressed as to whether the U.S. bishops are wrong to insist that U.S. Catholic leaders who defy Catholic doctrine on one of the great moral issues of the age should not be treated as devout Catholics.
If the bishops produce a teaching document that is consistent with traditional Catholic doctrine, what will it say?

Abortion is the killing of an unborn child, a grave moral crime and sin. No Catholic may be a party to it. Political leaders who endorse abortion rights and vote to fund abortions contribute to a systemic moral evil and a scandalizing of the faithful. And they should neither receive nor be given Holy Communion. To do so is to give moral sanction to their misconduct.

The major argument raised against a denial of Communion to pro-abortion Catholics is the deeper division in the church it could create.

“The choice before us at this moment,” said Washington, D.C., Cardinal Wilton Gregory at the bishops’ gathering, “is either we pursue a path of strengthening unity among ourselves or settle for creating a document that will not bring unity but may very well further damage it.”

But is episcopal collegiality a higher cause than standing up for the right to life of millions of unborn who are about to be done to death?

Is a perceived unity among bishops more important than public witness to the truth that the unborn in America have been destroyed for 50 years at an annual rate that exceeds the COVID-19 pandemic at its worst?

Is clarity about doctrinal truth less important than fraternity?

No one can know what is in the heart and soul of Biden, who visibly manifests a devotion to his Catholic faith unrivaled in any national politician of his generation.

Still, there is no denying the message Biden’s appearance receiving Communion gives off. It is that to be pro-abortion and fund abortions does not necessarily conflict with being a good Catholic.

Pro-life Bishop Kevin Rhoades of South Bend, Indiana, dissents: “There is a special obligation of those who are in leadership because of their public visibility.”

Rhoades previously objected to Notre Dame’s conferring of its prestigious Laetare Medal on Vice President Biden, citing his support for abortion and same-sex marriage: “I disagree with awarding someone for ‘outstanding service to the Church and society’ who has not been faithful to this obligation.”

Asked Friday how he felt about the possibility that Catholic bishops would vote to deny him Communion, Biden dismissed the idea and walked away: “That’s a private matter, and I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Where is this going?

The bishops have scheduled a decision by their next conference to write a report that seems certain to be read as a rebuke to Biden.

While this will divide the Catholic community, the pope is unlikely to give the document his support. Hence, its effect will be restricted to those dioceses whose bishops agree with it — and choose to deny Communion to the president of the United States.

Biden will be pressed to speak to the issue of abortion and the bishops’ decision to deny him Communion. His attendance at Mass and taking Communion will become matters of deepening controversy. His attendance at Sunday Mass may be marked by demonstrations.

And he will be charged with hypocrisy — for pretending to be the kind of Catholic that a majority of American bishops contend he is not.

With many states having adopted new restrictions on abortion that appear to conflict with Roe v. Wade, the issue of abortion appears about to be returned to the Supreme Court — and to the front burner of U.S. politics.

Not good news for Joe Biden.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Abortion, Catholic Church, Joe Biden 

By a vote of 30-1 in the House, with unanimous support in the Senate, Juneteenth, June 19, which commemorates the day in 1865 when news of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, has been declared a federal holiday

It is to be called Juneteenth Independence Day.

Prediction: This will become yet another source of societal division as many Black folks celebrate their special Independence Day, and the rest of America continues to celebrate July 4 as Independence Day two weeks later.

Why the pessimism? Consider.

Days before Congress acted, the Randolph, New Jersey, board of education voted to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. A backlash ensued, and the board quickly voted to rescind its decision.

Still under fire, the board voted to drop all designated holidays from the school calendar and replace them with the simple notation “Day Off.”

The school board had surrendered, punted, given up on trying to find holidays that the citizens of Randolph might celebrate together.

But the “day off” mandate created another firestorm, and the board is now restoring all the previous holidays, including that of Columbus.

The point: If we Americans cannot even agree on which heroes and holidays are to be celebrated together, does that not tell us something about whether we are really, any longer, one country and one people?

Do we still meet in any way the designation and description of us as the “one united people” that John Jay rendered in The Federalist Papers:

“Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.”

Does that depiction remotely resemble America in 2021?

Today, we don’t even agree on whether Providence exists.

We hear constant worries these days about a clear and present danger to “our democracy” itself. And if democracy requires, as a precondition, a community, a commonality, of religious, cultural, social and moral beliefs, we have to ask whether these necessary ingredients of a democracy still exist in 21st-century America.

Consider what has happened to the holidays that united Americans of the Greatest and Silent Generations.

Christmas and Easter, the great Christian Holy Days and holidays of that era, were expunged a half-century ago from the public schools and the public square — replaced by winter break and spring break.

The Bible, the cross and the Ten Commandments were all expelled as contradicting the secularist commands of our Constitution.

Traditional Christian teachings about homosexuality and abortion, reflected in public law, are now regarded as hallmarks of homophobia, bigotry, sexism and misogyny — i.e., of moral and mental sickness.

Not only do Americans’ views on religion and morality collide, but we also seem ever more rancorously divided now on matters of history and race.

Was Christopher Columbus a heroic navigator and explorer who “discovered” America — or a genocidal racist? Was the colonization of America a great leap forward for civilization and mankind, or the monstrous crime of technically superior European peoples who came to brutally impose their religion, race and rule upon indigenous peoples?

Three of the six Founding Fathers and most of the presidents of the first 60 years of our republic were slave owners: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, James Polk and Zachary Taylor, as well as the legendary senators Henry Clay and John Calhoun.

A number of Americans now believe that Washington and Jefferson should be dynamited off Mount Rushmore at the same time the visages of the three great Confederates — Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. Stonewall Jackson and Confederate President Jefferson Davis — are dynamited off Stone Mountain, Georgia.

From all this comes a fundamental question.

Is the left itself — as its cultural and racial revolution dethrones the icons of America’s past, who are still cherished by a majority — irreparably fracturing that national community upon which depends the survival of the democracy they profess to cherish?

Are they themselves imperiling the political system at whose altar they worship?

The country is not the polity. The nation is not the state. Force Americans to choose between the claims of God, faith, family, tribe and country — and the demands of democracy — and you may not like the outcome.

A question needs to be put to the left in America.

If your adversaries in politics are indeed fascists, racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes and bigots, as you describe them, why would, or should, such people accept and embrace your rule over them — simply because you managed to rack up a plurality of ballots in an election?

Free elections to decide who governs are, it is said, the central sacrament of democracy. But why should people who are described with every synonym for “deplorable” not reject the politics of compromise and instead work constantly to overthrow the rule of people who so detest them?

Winston Churchill called democracy “the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried”

Are both sides sticking with democracy — for lack of an alternative?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Black Lives Matter, Political Correctness 

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

Karl Marx’s comment came to mind as President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to equate their tete-a-tete at the G7 confab in Cornwall, England, to the Atlantic Charter conference of 80 years ago.

Those were historic days, to which these days cannot compare.

In August 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt met secretly on warships off Newfoundland to confer and commit to a set of principles that were to govern the world after the defeat of a then-triumphant Nazism.

Aboard HMS Prince of Wales, the battleship that brought Churchill across the Atlantic, Americans and British sang together, defiantly and movingly, an old and venerable hymn.

“Onward, Christian Soldiers!

Marching as to War,

With the Cross of Jesus,

Going on Before.”

Four months later, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Prince of Wales would be sunk by Japanese fighter-bombers along with its sister ship, the battlecruiser Repulse, in the South China Sea.

When Churchill arrived in Placentia Bay off the Canadian coast, the Battle of Britain had been won, Adolf Hitler had turned on his former ally Joseph Stalin, and German armies were advancing from victory to victory in the USSR.

The danger then was that the Nazis might win the war.

And what did Biden, landing at Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall, identify for the U.S. troops there as the “existential threat” facing today’s world?

Said Biden: “When I first was elected vice president with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were — the greatest physical threats. … You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming.”

“This is not a joke,” Biden assured the troops.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Army Gen. Mark Milley told Congress the following day that, over at the Pentagon, they had a somewhat different ranking of threat assessments.

Said Milley: “Climate change does impact, but the president is looking at a much broader angle than I am … from a strictly military standpoint, I’m putting China, Russia up there.”

Kicking off the first day’s discussion of the seven leaders from the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, Johnson laid out his vision for the post-COVID-19 world.

Building on Biden’s theme to “build back better,” Johnson said that we should ensure that “we’re building back better together. And building back greener. And building back fairer. And building back more equal … perhaps in a more feminine way.”

Johnson knows his media audience.

In the 12,400-word closing communique, the G7 accused Russia of threatening Ukraine while China was guilty of human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The anti-China commentary was said to have been inserted at the request of President Biden.

But no concrete action was agreed upon in the communique that would unduly upset either Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Indeed, the Chinese embassy in London dismissed the whole G7 exercise, with Reuters quoting a spokesman as saying, “The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone.”

That Chinese diplomat came as close to describing the reality at the Cornwall confab as anyone present.

For the G7 meeting — of the heads of government of seven of the world’s 10 largest economies — and the gatherings this week of NATO and the European Union in Brussels appear designed more to send messages than to portend action.

What are those messages?

“America is back!” The prodigal son has come home. The bad old days of The Donald are over. We are united again and agreed we must stand together and raise our differences behind closed doors, not raucously in open forums.

And the struggle for the future lies in competition, not conflict, between autocrats and democrats, to determine which system works better for its people.

To show solidarity, the G7 agreed to contribute 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine shots to poor and needy nations by the end of 2022. Half will come from the USA.

And what are the geopolitical realities largely left unaddressed?

Russia continues to hold Alexei Navalny in prison, to stand behind the dictator Alexi Lukashenko in Belarus and to support the pro-Russian rebel resistance in the Donbas.

China is not surrendering any of the reefs it claims in the South China Sea. Beijing continues to squeeze the political life out of Hong Kong, and its persecution persists in Xinjiang. And the Chinese military exercises in the Taiwanese waters and air space will continue and grow more aggressive.

Wednesday’s meeting between Biden and Putin is the event toward which these preliminary meetings — the G7, NATO and EU gatherings — have been pointing.

And from the signals Putin has been sending, he intends to disagree firmly and frankly with Biden, who has called him a “killer.”

Following the Putin summit, Biden will hold his own separate press conference, by himself. What, one wonders, are the Americans afraid of?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 

In 1859, Abraham Lincoln related the tale of an Eastern monarch who charged his wise men with discovering words that would everywhere and always be true.

The wise men went away and returned to present the monarch with this six-word sentence: “And this, too, shall pass away.”

So, the question: How long will Sen. Joe Manchin’s hour of power last before it, too, passes away?

What will Manchin make of it? And what will his legacy be?

For, at present, Manchin is the man in the arena, the indispensable senator as far as Democrats are concerned. He alone can make or break virtually the entire agenda that progressives had anticipated whistling through both houses in the first session of the 117th Congress.

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer must meet Manchin’s demands or see their initiatives fail, one by one, in the U.S. Senate.

What has given this moderate Democrat from West Virginia such an opportunity to write himself into the history books?

It is the unique political circumstances of 2021.

For as long as the 50-50 Republican-Democrat balance holds in the Senate, Manchin’s power to decide the fate of the Democratic agenda is unrivaled and extraordinary.

For if Manchin votes against a liberal initiative, he can kill it simply by denying it a Democratic majority. And even if a piece of legislation is supported by a slim Senate majority, Manchin can kill it by refusing to strip Senate Republicans of the right to filibuster it, to talk it to death.

The only way Democrats can be assured of victory in a Senate vote is by persuading Manchin to not only vote for the bill but also vote to strip the Senate GOP of their filibuster rights.

And this last thing Manchin has pledged he will never do.

Outraged Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill are frustrated at Manchin’s stance, denouncing him as a self-centered obstructionist.

But that hardly seems the case.

Manchin is putting his remarkable but temporary power behind his principles, and Senate practice and tradition, and voting both his own and his constituents’ convictions.

He is placing his belief in bipartisan support on major legislation ahead of any particular piece of Democratic legislation. He is refusing to provide his 50th vote in the Senate to bring about an outcome that he believes would further contribute to the division of the country.

Manchin made clear his intentions this month when he declared that not only will he vote against the House-passed For the People Act, but he will also vote against ending a Republican filibuster designed to kill it.

Manchin is thus setting up a high hurdle for Chuck Schumer: You must round up 10 Republican votes to achieve passage of our agenda items, or those items probably ought not to become law.

We must not use our temporary majority, Manchin is saying, to destroy what the Senate has historically been.

Black leaders have accused Manchin of using what former President Barack Obama calls a “Jim Crow relic” — the filibuster — to kill the Democrats’ top political priority in Congress this year.

But Manchin’s position seems historically sound and wise.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, after Selma, Alabama, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, signed by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson, just days after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, were all subjected to Senate filibusters. And all overcame the hurdle, even when the requirement for shutting off debate was 67 votes, or two-thirds of the Senate.

Bipartisanship was then considered a necessity for the passage of major legislation.

Is it too much to ask, before we enact a voting rights law that would strip the 50 states of their constitutional powers to set the rules and regulations for elections within their borders, that significant sectors of both parties in Congress should support it?

In March, the Rev. Al Sharpton threatened to charge Manchin with “supporting racism” if he refused to help kill the filibuster for the For the People Act.

“The pressure that we are going to put on (Sen. Kyrsten) Sinema and Manchin is calling (the filibuster) racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism. … Why would they be wedded to something that has those results? Their voters need to know that.”

Does this sentiment not prove Manchin’s point?

If the senator, who has consistently voted for his party’s agenda, can be charged with racism for standing on principle and tradition, does that not suggest that Manchin is right about the poisoned character of our politics?

Indeed, George Washington himself is said to have told Thomas Jefferson that the framers created the Senate to “cool” House legislation, as a saucer was used to cool hot tea.

No. History is not going to condemn Joe Manchin for voting his conscience and convictions in the face of the abuse he is receiving.

History is more likely to judge Manchin’s actions as meeting standards that former President John F. Kennedy set for senators in “Profiles in Courage.”

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Democratic Party, Republican Party 

“Take away this pudding; it has no theme,” is a comment attributed to Winston Churchill, when a disappointing dessert was put in front of him.

Writers have used Churchill’s remark to describe a foreign policy that lacks coherence or centrality of purpose.

For most of our lifetimes, this has not been true of the United States. The goal of our foreign policy has been understandable and defined.

From 1949-1989, it was Cold War containment of the Soviet Empire and USSR.

Ronald Reagan believed in a “rollback” of communism, once telling an aide that his policy might be summed up as: “We win. They lose.”

At the Cold War’s end, George H. W. Bush said America would now lead mankind in the creation of “a New World Order.”

George W. Bush was going to deny to all “axis of evil” nations — North Korea, Iran, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq — access to the “world’s worst weapons,” with our ultimate goal being “ending tyranny in our world.”

According to the Biden Democrats of today, America’s goal is the preservation of “a rules-based international order,” which is less inspiring than “Remember the Alamo!” or “Remember Pearl Harbor!”

What are the causes that actually animate Americans?

A March survey of 2,000 registered voters, done by the Center for American Progress, reveals that most Republicans still share the foreign policy priorities of Donald J. Trump.

Asked to identify their first three foreign policy priorities from a list of a dozen, two-thirds of Republicans, 65%, gave as their principal concern “Reducing illegal immigration.” And 57% of Republicans put “Protecting jobs for American workers” right behind it. Independents agreed that these should be the top twin goals of U.S. foreign policy.

What does this tell us?

Economic nationalism is alive and well in the GOP, and securing the border remains a central concern of America’s center-right.

In third position, at 31% among Republicans, was “Taking on China’s economic and military aggression.”

Only 9% of Republicans listed “Fighting global poverty and promoting human rights” as top foreign policy priorities. Last among GOP priorities, at 7%, was “Promoting democratic rights and freedoms abroad.”

Indeed, this was the least popular foreign policy option among all voters.

Conclusion:

The priorities of the Bush presidencies and the neocons — democracy crusades, free trade, the New World Order, open borders — have failed to recapture the constituencies they lost in the Trump years.

While “Combating global climate change” rests near the bottom of Republican concerns at 10%, it is the No. 1 priority of Democrats, with 44% listing it first.

When it comes to “Ending US involvement in wars in the Middle East,” that goal ranks 5th among all voters. Democrats, Republicans and independents all support that objective.

Since the last CAP survey in 2019, the greatest change is the reduced concern over “terrorist threats” from al-Qaida and ISIS. Fewer than 1 in 4 voters now view this as a top priority.

As Matthew Petti writes in an analysis of the CAP survey, today, Americans “prioritize getting out of Middle East wars over confronting Middle East adversaries.”

This survey would thus seem to provide public support for the Trump-Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan, and for Biden’s effort to reengage with Iran and renew the 2015 nuclear deal.

Also ranked high among Democrats and independents, but less so among Republicans, is “Improving relationships with allies.”

What does the survey tell us?

Illegal immigration and economic nationalism energize the GOP rank-and-file; climate change does not. There is no enthusiasm in either party for new democracy crusades. And there seems to be no enthusiasm in either party for a clash with Iran, North Korea, Russia or China.

Only 14% of Democrats wish to address China’s “military and economic aggression,” though 31% of Republicans do.

But the overall impression here is one of democratic confusion.

We Americans are all over the lot about what our foreign policy should be and what it should do. One is reminded of an insight from Walter Lippmann about U.S. foreign policy confusion before World War II:

“When a people is divided within itself about the conduct of foreign relations, it is unable to agree on the determination of its true interest. It is unable to prepare adequately for war or safeguard successfully its peace. Thus, it course in foreign affairs depends, in Hamilton’s words, not on reflection and choice, but on accident and force.”

Should we energetically promote democracy worldwide, because it is the right and moral thing to do, though the American people clearly do not see this as America’s cause?

Should we intervene to help Ukraine retrieve Crimea?

Should we fight to prevent China from consolidating rocks, reefs and islets of the East and South China Seas?

Is preserving the independence of Taiwan, which we conceded half a century ago is part of China, worth a war with a nuclear-armed China?

What role should U.S. public opinion play in the shaping of U.S. foreign policy?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, China, Russia 

Speaking in Tulsa on the 100th anniversary of the racial atrocity there, Joe Biden belatedly turned to the issue of voting rights, to explain why he is having such difficulty winning passage of the party’s priority legislation.

“I hear all the folks on TV saying, ‘Why doesn’t Biden get this done?'”

“Well, because Biden only has a majority of, effectively, four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.”

Biden was referring to Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

“But we’re not giving up,” Biden hastily added.”Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed For the People Act to protect our democracy. The Senate will take it up later this month, and I’m going to fight like heck with every tool at my disposal for its passage.

“To signify the importance of our efforts, today I’m asking Vice President Harris to help … lead them. … With her leadership and your support, we’re going to overcome again, I promise you. But it’s going to take a hell of a lot of work.”

Thus did Biden designate Kamala Harris as his field commander in winning Senate passage of a voting rights bill that would cancel out many GOP victories in state legislatures in enacting voting reforms.

Sunday, Harris, who is also Biden’s point person on the border crisis, will be in Guatemala to learn what causes Latin American peoples of color to leave the land they were born in and travel 1,000 miles for a chance to live, work and raise their families in a nation established by and for white supremacists.

But when she returns, Harris will face a showdown — with Joe Manchin.

For Manchin, who has the decisive Democratic vote in the Senate, not only opposes elements of the Democrats’ voting rights bill. He has declared that ending the Senate filibuster would “be to destroy our government,” and he will never cast a vote to kill it.

In April, Manchin was emphatic in The Washington Post, “There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster.”

Yet, as long as that filibuster exists, 60 Senate votes are needed to pass major legislation. And if the filibuster is not eliminated, Democratic voting rights proposals don’t have a snowball’s chance of being enacted.

Hence, if Manchin is telling the truth and holds his ground, Harris is headed for a fruitless and failed assignment this June that will reveal her to be a leader without clout in the Senate whence she came.

Thus, in publicly handing Harris the portfolio on both the Democrats’ voting rights bill and border crisis, Biden may have set up his vice president for a great fall and a major humiliation. Yet, Harris is said to have asked Biden for the assignment.

As for Manchin, he is sitting in the catbird seat in the Democratic Party. He holds the whip hand over both Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Biden. For if the West Virginian refuses to bend or break on the filibuster, then not only will the voting rights bill fail in the Senate, so, too, could gun control, D.C. statehood, climate change, and immigration legislation.

All could suffer the same fate as the Jan. 6 Commission.

The Washington Post reports Senate staffers are saying that there is “panic” in the Democratic caucus that Manchin will stand his ground and refuse to kill the filibuster, no matter the pressure the party puts on him.

Recognition by the White House of the leverage Manchin and Sinema wield was evident in press secretary Jen Psaki’s effort to soften Biden’s crack about “the two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.”

Psaki brushed aside any suggestion that Biden was being caustic about the two senators saying, “I don’t think he was intending to convey anything other than a little bit of commentary on TV punditry.”

But the issues and stakes involved are becoming evident to everyone.

A coalition of progressive groups, on Thursday, called on Schumer to hold a Senate vote to kill the filibuster. More than 100 groups sent a letter to the majority leader arguing that the Republican senators who blocked a bill to create a commission to probe the Jan. 6 Capitol attack showed, “it is clearer than ever that the filibuster needs to be eliminated.”

The groups added: “We call on you and the Senate Democratic caucus to eliminate the filibuster as a weapon that Sen. McConnell can use to block efforts to defend and strengthen our democracy and make our government work for the American people.”

If Joe Manchin holds his ground this June, he will prevail, the filibuster will survive, the For the People Act will die a deserved death, and Joe will become legend in West Virginia.

And if Manchin stands his ground, the big loser is Kamala Harris.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Democratic Party, Fili, Kamala Harris 

Through the long Memorial Day weekend, anyone who read the newspapers or watched television could not miss or be unmoved by it: Story after story after story of the fallen, of those who had given the “last full measure of devotion” to their country.

Heart-rending is an apt description of those stories; and searing are the videos of those who survived and returned home without arms or legs.

But the stories could not help but bring questions to mind.

While the service and sacrifice were always honorable and often heroic, never to be forgotten, were the wars these soldiers were sent to fight and die in wise? Were they necessary?

What became of the causes for which these Americans were sent to fight in the new century, with thousands to die and tens of thousands to come home with permanent wounds?

And what became of the causes for which they were sent to fight?

The longest war of this new century, the longest in our history, the defining “endless war” or “forever war” was Afghanistan.

In 2001, we sent an army halfway around the world to exact retribution on al-Qaida for 9/11, an attack that rivaled Pearl Harbor in the numbers of dead and wounded Americans.

Because al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden had been given sanctuary by the Taliban in Kabul, who refused to give him up, we invaded, overthrew that Islamist regime and cleansed Tora Bora of al-Qaida.

Mission accomplished. But then the mission changed.

In control of a land that had seen off British and Soviet imperialists, we hubristically set about establishing a democracy and sent hundreds of thousands of Americans to hold off the rebel resistance for two decades while we went about nation-building.

We did not succeed. All U.S. troops are to be gone by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. And the Taliban we ousted has never been closer to recapturing power in Kabul.

Today’s issue: How do we save the Afghans who allied with us in this war, so that they do not face the terrible vengeance of a victorious Taliban.

The second American war of this century was the invasion and occupation of Iraq, to strip its dictator, Saddam Hussein, of weapons of mass destruction with which he intended to attack the United States.

Begun in 2003, the war has lasted 18 years. No WMD were ever found. Most U.S. troops have come and gone. And today, the Baghdad regime rules at the sufferance of Shiite militia who look to Tehran for guidance and support.

Afghanistan and Iraq cost us 7,000 dead and 40,000 wounded.

Were they necessary wars? Were they wise? Were they worth it?

In the second decade of this century, we intervened in Syria to back the “good rebels” seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad and became the indispensable ally in Saudi Arabia’s murderous air war to stop the Houthi rebels from consolidating power in Yemen.

In both Syria and Yemen, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians have been wounded, killed, uprooted or driven into exile. Both countries are listed among the humanitarian catastrophes of the 21st century.

Having helped to inflict so much damage on those countries, did we succeed in our missions?

Today, after six years of fighting, the Houthi still control the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, and Assad just won a fourth term as president with 95% of the vote.

In 2011, President Barack Obama ordered U.S. air attacks on Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya, beginning a NATO intervention that would lead to his overthrow and lynching.

In 2020, however, the future of Libya was not being decided by the European Union or U.S. but fought over by proxy forces supported and supplied by Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia. And Barack Obama had conceded that the worst mistake of his presidency was not to plan for the aftermath of his 2011 decision to topple the Libyan dictator.

Again, the men and women sent to the Middle East to fight these wars did their duty and deserve the gratitude of their countrymen that they received this Memorial Day weekend.

But where is the accounting from those who sent them to fight, bleed and die in what turned out to be unwinnable wars — or, at the least, wars they were not given the requisite weapons or forces to win?

What makes these questions of importance, and not only to historians, is that the cry of the hawk may be heard again in the land.

We hear calls to confront Iran before the mullahs build an atom bomb, and to challenge Putin and arm Ukraine to retake Crimea and push Russia out of the Donbass. We hear talk of the American Navy contesting Beijing’s claims in the East and South China Seas, including to Taiwan.

The stories of Memorial Day should make us think long and hard before we launch any more unnecessary, unwise, or unwinnable wars.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 

After nine people were shot to death by a public transit worker, who then killed himself in San Jose, the latest mass murder in America, California Governor Gavin Newsom spoke for many on the eve of this Memorial Day weekend.

“What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us?”

Good question. Indeed, it seems that the country is coming apart.

In May, Congress, to address a spate of criminal assaults on Asian Americans, enacted a new hate crimes law to protect them.

May also witnessed a rash of assaults on Jewish Americans to show the attackers’ hatred of Israel and support for the Palestinians in the Gaza war.

The terms “racist” and “racism” are now commonplace accusations in political discourse and a public square where whites are expected to ritually denounce the “white privilege” into which they were born.

In the year since the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter “Defund the Police!” campaign, the shootings and killings of cops and citizens in our great cities have skyrocketed.

In March, and again in April, 167,000 immigrants were caught crossing our southern border illegally. The invaders are now coming not only from Central and South America but also from Africa, the Islamic world and the largest and most populous continent, Asia. And their destiny may be to replace us.

For as the endless invasion proceeds, native-born Americans have ceased to reproduce themselves. Not since the birth dearth of the Great Depression and WWII, when the Silent Generation was born, has the U.S. population experienced such a birth decline as today.

At the same time, a war of all against all in America seems to raise the question, to which recitation of the cliche — “Our diversity is our greatest strength” — no longer seems an adequate response:

Is there no limit to the racial, religious, ideological, political, cultural and ethnic diversity the nation can accommodate before it splinters into its component parts?

In professions of religious belief, atheists, agnostics and secularists have become our largest “congregation,” followed by Catholics and Protestants, both of which are in numerical decline.

Diversity of faiths leads to irreconcilable, clashing opinions about morality on the most divisive social issues of our era: abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, etc.

Racial diversity, too, is bringing back problems unseen since the 1960s.

America was almost 90% white in 1960, but that figure is down to 60% and falling. In 25 years, we will all belong to racial minorities.

Are we Americans still united in our love of country? Do we still take pride in what we have done for our own people and what America has done for the world in the 400 years since Jamestown?

Hardly. Part of the nation buys into the academic and intellectual elites’ version of history, tracing America’s birth as a nation to the arrival of the first slave ship in Virginia in 1619.

We not only disagree about our history; some actually hate our history.

That hate can be seen in the statues and monuments destroyed, not just of Confederate military heroes but of the European explorers who discovered America, the Founding Fathers who created the nation, and the leaders, from Thomas Jefferson to Andrew Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt, who built the America we became.

Yet, tens of millions from all over the world still see coming to America as the realization of a life’s dream.

Some look at Western civilization as 500 years of colonialism, imperialism, genocide, slavery and segregation — practiced against people of color. This is the source of the West’s wealth and power, it is said, and that wealth and power should be redistributed to the descendants of the victims of Western rapacity.

For many, equality of opportunity is no longer enough. We must make restitution, deliver reparations and guarantee a future where an equality of rewards replaces an equality of rights.

Meritocracy must yield to equity. Elite high schools, such as Thomas Jefferson in Virginia, Stuyvesant in New York and Lowell in San Francisco, must abandon their emphasis on grades, tests and exams to gain admissions and prove progress.

And these schools must be remade to mirror the racial and ethnic composition of the communities where they reside.

And a new cancel culture has taken root in America.

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, a CNN commentator, was fired for suggesting that Native American institutions and culture played no significant role in the foundation and formation of the American Republic.

“We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes, we have Native Americans,” Santorum said, adding: “There isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”
Impolitic though this rendition was, was it wholly false?

Something is seriously wrong with a country that professes to be great but whose elite cannot abide the mildest of heresies to its established truth.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 

When the U.S. created NATO, a primary purpose of the alliance was to serve as a western wall to defend Germany against the 400,000 Russian troops on the eastern side of the Elbe River.

Seventy years later, Germany has decided to double its dependence on Vladimir Putin’s Russia for the natural gas needed to run the German economy, despite the opposition of her great protector, the USA.

The Biden administration decided to waive sanctions on Matthias Warnig, the ally of Putin whose company, Nord Stream 2 AG, is laying the pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany that is now 95% complete.

When done, Nord Stream 2 will make Moscow Germany’s principal supplier of natural gas, and cut Kyiv out of hundreds of millions in transit fees it annually receives for letting Russian gas pass through Ukraine to Germany.

Previously, Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had seemed resolute in opposition. Said Blinken:

“We think the (Nord Stream 2) pipeline is a bad idea. It advances Russia’s interests and undermines Europe’s interests and our own. It actually goes against the very principles that the EU has set out in terms of energy security and not being too dependent on any one country, notably, in this case, Russia.”

As late as March, the Biden administration had made clear its commitment to complying with sanctions legislation put in place with bipartisan support in Congress, and had called on companies involved in Nord Stream 2 to “immediately abandon work on the pipeline.”

Ukraine is stunned and outraged. Its parliament, the Rada, has passed a resolution urging Congress to “use all available tools provided by US law to completely and irreversibly stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline by applying blocking sanctions against all participants in this Russian geopolitical project.”

Why did Biden and Blinken fold? Was it to set the table for the Biden’s June summit with Putin?

The decisive factor was probably that Nord Stream 2 is just about complete and America’s principal continental ally, Germany, is wholly committed to the project. Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who is leaving office this year, approved the deal with Putin’s Russia and her legacy is now tied to its completion.

Germany’s dependence on Russian gas is certain to grow as Berlin, as it plans to do, phases out its coal and nuclear power plants.

This raises a question about NATO, and the commitment of its 30 members to treat an attack against one as an attack against all.

Would a Germany that is doubling its dependency on Russia for the natural gas that fuels its economy be willing to go to war against that same Russia, and send German troops to fight alongside NATO?

Would Berlin be willing to declare war on its own gas station?

Biden’s climbdown on opposition to Nord Stream 2 is startling from another standpoint. He and his team have shown themselves to be true climate change zealots who want to see gas and oil rapidly phased out.

On his first day in office, Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, enraging the Canadians and killing off 11,000 American jobs. Biden then outlawed any new drilling permits for oil or gas on federal lands.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just told a Canadian energy company, Enbridge, it must shut down a controversial oil and gas pipeline that passes under the Straits of Mackinac, amid rising fears that a spill would be catastrophic to the region.

For 67 years, Enbridge has moved oil and gas from western Canada through Michigan and the Great Lakes to refineries in Ontario.

But Michigan now says that this one section of the pipeline is too risky to continue operating.

Earlier in May, America got a wake-up call about the vulnerability of its energy supply. Colonial Pipeline, which carries refined gasoline and jet fuel from Texas up the East Coast to New York, was forced to shut down after being hit by ransomware.

The attack was apparently the act of a criminal group, not a nation-state. But the damage done was considerable.

Half the gas stations in several states on the Eastern seaboard had to close when their gasoline pumps were exhausted by long lines of panicked motorists. To get their pipeline fully operating again, Colonial had to pay millions.

This demonstrated the vulnerability of the U.S. energy system and its new technology to the kind of cyberattacks that enemies far more serious than the criminal gang who launched the attack on the Colonial Pipeline could launch.

Fifty years ago, we confronted a grave threat to U.S. energy security and independence: an oil embargo imposed by the Saudis and other Arab OPEC countries in retaliation for Richard Nixon’s military aid that enabled Israel to survive and prevail in the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

Are we still prepared for something of that magnitude?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Germany, Joe Biden, Nord Stream 2, Russia, Ukraine 

When he took the floor of the Senate to reject the Democrats’ Jan. 6 Commission, Mitch McConnell may have salvaged his party’s chances to recapture the House in 2022.

For that commission, being spun as a “bipartisan” effort to learn what “really happened” in the Capitol that fateful day, is a Democratic scheme to have the left’s version of events on Jan. 6 enshrined as the official history of the United States.
And what is the left’s version?

It is that the forced entry and five-hour occupation of the Capitol by hundreds of Trumpists was “an attempted coup d’etat,” an “armed insurrection,” an act of “domestic terrorism,” the “worst attack on the Capitol since the British burned it down in the War of 1812” — and a “threat to our democracy” unrivaled since the Civil War.

Moreover, those who shouted, “Hang Mike Pence!” were out to kill the vice president to prevent his doing his duty and overseeing the count of the electoral votes that would make Joe Biden president.

And the instigation and inspiration for the assault was Donald Trump’s two months of promoting the “Big Lie” that the presidential election had been “rigged” and “stolen,” as was his rally speech on the Mall that day that called on his followers to march on the Capitol.

This is the party line the establishment wants written into the record as the official version of events that day.

But is that the truth, or is that a painted-up version of the truth?

While the mob that breached the Capitol in the afternoon of Jan. 6 was no “normal tourist visit,” as one GOP congressman has suggested, nor was it an attempted coup or an armed insurrection.

No statue in the Capitol was pulled down, as would have been the case had antifa or BLM invaded the building. No painting was desecrated. No act of arson was committed. No gun was drawn, or brandished, or fired by Proud Boys or Oath Keepers or Trumpists within the building.

The lone victim of gunfire in the Capitol that day was an Air Force veteran with a decade of service, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot in the neck by a Capitol cop from the other side of a closed door to the speaker’s chamber.

Babbitt was engaged in an unlawful act, but nothing she was trying to do justifies her being shot to death. Four months later, we still do not know the identity of the cop who killed her.

This is not to excuse what went on during that invasion of the Capitol, which was a shameful disgrace. Cops were assaulted and injured as the crowd smashed its way in. Windows were shattered. Offices, including the speaker’s, were ransacked. Crimes were committed.

But the people who should sort this out and allocate blame where it belongs are police and FBI investigators and U.S. and D.C. prosecutors, not political partisans in the warring parties of a polarized nation.

Democrats had anticipated that the commission hearings would rivet the nation and media’s attention all this year, with the final report coming out at year’s end. This would enable the Democrats and their media allies to make Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 — the worst day of his presidency — and not the record of Joe Biden — the issue of 2022.

When Trump labeled this commission idea a “Democratic trap,” he nailed it. Republican Senate Whip John Thune also got it right:

“Anything that gets us rehashing the 2020 election… is a day lost on being able to draw a contrast between us and the Democrats’ very radical left-wing agenda.”

To establish the commission, which was approved on Wednesday by the House, Senate Democrats now need to find 10 Republican votes, which, after McConnell’s declared opposition, they do not have.

This “national commission” gambit is an old one in U.S. politics

In 1967, after urban riots in the Black communities of Newark and Detroit, LBJ appointed a National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Liberal Democratic Governor Otto Kerner was named chairman and ultra-liberal Republican Mayor John Lindsay of New York vice chairman.

Early in election year 1968, the Kerner Commission declared that white racism was the underlying cause of the Black riots.

And this has since been a recurring theme of the left.

Again, this not to excuse what took place on Jan. 6.

But if it was an insurrection, an act of sedition, an attempted coup, an act of domestic terrorism, the conspirators should be charged in court, for each of these is a specific crime. And if anyone plotted to kill Mike Pence, then they should be charged with that and put on trial.

But it would be folly for the GOP to cooperate in a Democratic scheme to indict the GOP and Trump presidency in the court of public opinion for abetting something close to treason, which did not happen.

The Jan. 6 national commission idea, understandably supported by every congressional Democrat, belongs in the dumpster.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2021 Creators.com.

 
Pat Buchanan
About Pat Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

In his White House years, Mr. Buchanan wrote foreign policy speeches, and attended four summits, including Mr. Nixon’s historic opening to China in 1972, and Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik summit in 1986 with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mr. Buchanan has written ten books, including six straight New York Times best sellers A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong; State of Emergency; Day of Reckoning and Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War.

Mr. Buchanan is currently a columnist, political analyst for MSNBC, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He is married to the former Shelley Ann Scarney, who was a member of the White House Staff from 1969 to 1975.