Americans Souring on Biden — and Washington


President Joe Biden went to California to campaign for Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The California recall election turned out well for the Democrats.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom sinking in the summer polls, the party had been staring starkly at the prospect of losing the nation’s largest state and seeing its governor replaced by talk-show host Larry Elder, who had vaulted into the lead among the 46 candidates seeking to replace Newsom.

Elder had rallied Republicans and started to surge, which terrified the Democrats. Not only might they lose Newsom, but they could get in the governor’s mansion in Sacramento what leftists took to calling “the black face of white supremacy.”

Result: A panicked Democratic Party defeated the recall by nearly 2-1, with Californians voting to retain Newsom in roughly the same percentages as they had voted to elect Joe Biden president almost a year ago.

That leaves California securely in Democrat control.

Not in 15 years has a Republican won statewide office. Every elected governor and U.S. senator after 2006, every lieutenant governor and attorney general, has been a Democrat.

The Congressional delegation has 53 members, and the Democrats outnumber Republicans 42-11. Democrats also have 3-1 majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

Richard Nixon carried his home state on all five presidential tickets on which he ran, and Ronald Reagan never lost California. But the era that began when Barry Goldwater won the June 1964 primary against liberal Gov. Nelson Rockefeller is history.

Yet, everything is not coming up roses for Biden.

An Economist poll finds his approval rating underwater, with 49% disapproving of Biden’s performance in office to 46% in approval.

The latest Quinnipiac poll, out Tuesday, is more ominous. It has 50% of the country disapproving of the Biden presidency, with only 42% approving, the first time Biden’s rating has fallen into negative territory. More worrisome: Independents disapprove of Biden by 52-34.

When broken down by issues, the news is no better.

On his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Biden’s rating has plunged from 53-40 approval in August to 48% approving and 49% disapproving now. Fifty-five percent disapprove of his handling of his duties as commander in chief.

His mastery of foreign policy was supposed to be his strong suit. But here the numbers are even worse. Only a third of the nation, 34%, approves of his handling of foreign policy, while 59% disapprove.

On the economy, Biden also gets a negative rating, with 42% of the country approving of the job he is doing to 52% against.

With Biden’s numbers underwater overall and on the three major issues — the economy, foreign policy and his handling of the coronavirus — Democrats have to be looking nervously at November 2022.

“If there ever was a honeymoon for President Biden, it is clearly over,” says Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy. “This is, with few exceptions, a poll full of troubling negatives … from overall job approval, to foreign policy, to the economy.”

What makes this especially ominous for Democrats is that the recent negative news is likely to continue on many fronts, while the possibilities of positive achievements appear limited.

Biden conceivably could pull off twin victories this fall in Congress — with passage of both the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package and the $3.5 trillion family infrastructure bill. If so, this would put him in the history books as a transformative president alongside Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

But Biden faces problems on many fronts.

First among them is the return of inflation. The soaring price of food and fuel is beginning to be felt. There is new skittishness in the markets. And the jobs picture is not as rosy as was anticipated this summer.

While the country credits the president for ending America’s longest war, the future news out of Afghanistan is likely to be filled with stories of the Americans left behind and Afghan allies facing executions.

The invasion across our southern border is now producing 220,000 border crossers every month.

We are still in the fourth wave of the coronavirus, with the number of American dead, already over 670,000, rising at a rate of 2,000 a day.

If the wave does not break, this will depress the mood of a country that believed, just a few months back, that the worst was behind us and brighter days lay ahead.

And the poll numbers are not only the worst Biden has received. They are not all that good for the nation either.

Seventy percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the USA. The president’s disapproval exceeds his approval rating by eight points, just eight months in office. Republicans and Democrats in Congress both get negative ratings from the American people. And only 37% of registered voters approve of the Supreme Court’s handling of its role. Half the country disapproves.

If all three branches of the U.S. government have lost or are losing the confidence of their countrymen, what does that suggest is the future for our democratic republic?

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



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Who and What Is Tearing the US Apart?


In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, former President George W. Bush’s theme was national unity—and how it has been lost over these past 20 years. “In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks,” said Bush,


“I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures.”


Though he surely did not realize it, Bush had himself, moments before, given us an example of how that unity was destroyed when he drew a parallel between the terrorists of 9/11 and the Trump protesters of Jan 6. Said Bush:


“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit.”


What is Bush saying here? That Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran shot to death trying to enter the House chamber on Jan. 6, and Mohamed Atta, who drove an airliner into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in a massacre of close to 3,000 people, are “children of the same foul spirit.”


Query: Was not Bush himself here giving us an example of the “malign force” that “turns every disagreement … into a clash of cultures”? Bush did not mention his own contribution to our national divide: his invasion of a country, Iraq, that did not threaten us, did not attack us, and did not want war with us—to disarm it of weapons it did not even have.


Which contributed more to the loss of America’s national unity? The four hours of mob violence in the Capitol the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, or the 18-year war in Iraq that Bush launched in 2003?


“In those fateful hours” after 9/11, said Bush, “Many Americans struggled to understand why an enemy would hate us with such zeal.” Yet, well before 9/11, Osama bin Laden, in his declaration of war on us, listed his grievances. Our sanctions were starving the children of Iraq. Our military presence on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, home to mecca, was a national insult and a blasphemous outrage to Islam.


After 9/11, Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. President Barack Obama attacked Libya and plunged us into the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars. Thus, over 20 years, we have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands—Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, soldiers, and civilians alike—and driven hundreds of thousands more from their homes and their countries. 


Are Americans really as oblivious, as Bush suggests, as to why it was that our enemies “hate us with such zeal”? Many of these peoples want us out of their countries for the same reason that 18th- and 19th-century Americans wanted the French, British, and Spanish out of our country and out of our hemisphere. Yet, it is not only the Bush and Obama wars that have made us so many enemies abroad and so deeply divided us at home. 


Our southern border is being overrun by illegal immigrants whose number, since President Joe Biden took office, has been running at close to 2 million a year, with 30,000 “get-aways” a month. These last are mostly males who never make contact with the Border Patrol as they move on to their chosen destinations. They are coming now not only from Mexico and the northern tier countries of Central America but also from some 100 countries around the world.


Americans fear they are losing their country to the uninvited and invading millions of the Global South coming to dispossess them of their patrimony. They never voted for this invasion and have wanted their chosen leaders to stop it. Former President Donald Trump earned their trust because he tried and, to a great degree, succeeded.


Unlike previous generations, our 21st-century divisions are far broader—not just economic and political, but social, moral, cultural, and racial. Abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgender rights divide us. Socialism and capitalism divide us. Affirmative action, Black Lives Matter, urban crime, gun violence and critical race theory divide us. Allegations of white privilege and white supremacy, and demands that equality of opportunity give way to equity of rewards, divide us. In the COVID-19 pandemic, the wearing of masks and vaccine mandates divide us.


Demands to tear down monuments and memorials to those who were, until lately, America’s greats—from Christopher Columbus to George Washington to Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, from Abraham Lincoln to Robert E. Lee to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson—divide us.


We are even divided today on the most fundamental of questions: Is America now, and has it always been, a good and great country, worthy of the loyalty and love of all its children, of all its citizens? And are we Americans proceeding toward that “more perfect union” or heading for a reenactment of our previous violent disunion?


COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM



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Who and What Is Tearing the US Apart?


An American flag flies on a fireboat as it sails past lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center while taking part in a 9/11 commemorative flotilla in the Hudson River on September 10, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, former President George W. Bush’s theme was national unity — and how it has been lost over these past 20 years.

“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks,” said Bush, “I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures.”

Though he surely did not realize it, Bush had himself, moments before, given us an example of how that unity was destroyed when he drew a parallel between the terrorists of 9/11 and the Trump protesters of Jan 6. Said Bush:

“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit.”

What is Bush saying here?

That Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran shot to death trying to enter the House chamber on Jan. 6, and Mohamed Atta, who drove an airliner into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in a massacre of close to 3,000 people, are “children of the same foul spirit.”

Query: Was not Bush himself here giving us an example of the “malign force” that “turns every disagreement … into a clash of cultures”?

Bush did not mention his own contribution to our national divide: his invasion of a country, Iraq, that did not threaten us, did not attack us, and did not want war with us — to disarm it of weapons it did not even have.

Which contributed more to the loss of America’s national unity?

The four hours of mob violence in the Capitol the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, or the 18-year war in Iraq that Bush launched in 2003?

“In those fateful hours” after 9/11, said Bush, “Many Americans struggled to understand why an enemy would hate us with such zeal.”

Yet, well before 9/11, Osama bin Laden, in his declaration of war on us, listed his grievances. Our sanctions were starving the children of Iraq. Our military presence on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, home to Mecca, was a national insult and a blasphemous outrage to Islam.

After 9/11, Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. President Barack Obama attacked Libya and plunged us into the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars.

Thus, over 20 years, we have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands — Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, soldiers and civilians alike — and driven hundreds of thousands more from their homes and their countries.

Are Americans really as oblivious, as Bush suggests, as to why it was that our enemies “hate us with such zeal”?

Many of these peoples want us out of their countries for the same reason that 18th- and 19th-century Americans wanted the French, British and Spanish out of our country and out of our hemisphere.

Yet, it is not only the Bush and Obama wars that have made us so many enemies abroad and so deeply divided us at home.

Our southern border is being overrun by illegal immigrants whose number, since President Joe Biden took office, has been running at close to 2 million a year, with 30,000 “get-aways” a month. These last are mostly males who never make contact with the Border Patrol as they move on to their chosen destinations. They are coming now not only from Mexico and the northern tier countries of Central America but also from some 100 countries around the world.

Americans fear they are losing their country to the uninvited and invading millions of the Global South coming to dispossess them of their patrimony. They never voted for this invasion and have wanted their chosen leaders to stop it.

Former President Donald Trump earned their trust because he tried and, to a great degree, succeeded.

Unlike previous generations, our 21st-century divisions are far broader — not just economic and political, but social, moral, cultural and racial.

Abortion, same-sex marriage and transgender rights divide us. Socialism and capitalism divide us. Affirmative action, Black Lives Matter, urban crime, gun violence and critical race theory divide us. Allegations of white privilege and white supremacy, and demands that equality of opportunity give way to equity of rewards, divide us. In the COVID-19 pandemic, the wearing of masks and vaccine mandates divide us.

Demands to tear down monuments and memorials to those who were, until lately, America’s greats — from Christopher Columbus to George Washington to Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, from Abraham Lincoln to Robert E. Lee to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson — divide us.

We are even divided today on the most fundamental of questions:

Is America now, and has it always been, a good and great country, worthy of the loyalty and love of all its children, of all its citizens?

And are we Americans proceeding toward that “more perfect union” or heading for a reenactment of our previous violent disunion?

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



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20 Years after 9/11 — Are We Better Off?


In this photo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, firefighters and rescue workers battle smoldering fires at the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York. (Photo by FEMA/AFP via Getty Images)

When the hijacked planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that first 9/11, the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan and providing sanctuary for al-Qaida.

Today, the Taliban are in control of Afghanistan and providing sanctuary to al-Qaida. What then did our longest war accomplish?

The Afghan army and government we stood up and sustained for decades has collapsed. The U.S. military has withdrawn. U.S. citizens and thousands of Afghans who fought alongside us have been left behind.

The triumphant Taliban of today are far stronger than were the Taliban of 2001 who fled at the approach of the Northern Alliance. Al-Qaida is now present in many more countries than it was when we first launched the Global War on Terror.

Nor is the America of 2021 the hubristic self-confident country of George W. Bush and the neocons who were going to convert the Middle East into something like our Middle West and advance from there “with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

Our country is a changed place from 2001. Gone are the unity, confidence and resolution. And how have all our interventions gone?

Call the roll.

Afghanistan is a lost cause, receding anew into the darkness.

There are reports the Chinese may be interested in establishing a residence at Bagram Air Force Base.

Saddam Hussein is long gone. But the Iraq we invaded to strip of weapons of mass destruction it did not have is now dominated by Iranian-backed Shiite militia. Only at the sufferance of the Baghdad regime are 2,500 “non-combat” U.S. troops permitted to hang on.

Syria, where we intervened to support anti-Assad rebels — and retain 900 U.S. troops — is a human rights hellhole.

Bashar Hafez al-Assad is victorious in his civil war thanks to Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah intervention on his behalf. The million Syrian refugees who fled west during that civil war have helped to turn Lebanon into a failed state.

In Libya, where Barack Obama’s air attacks helped bring down the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Russians, Turks and Egyptians battle for control. The Americans are nowhere to be found.

Despite our support for Saudi air strikes that turned Yemen into a second humanitarian disaster, Houthi rebels still control the north of the country and the capital, Sanaa.

Looking back at the half dozen Mideast wars in which we have engaged since that first 9/11, where are we better off now than we were then? Al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram and their variants have established a presence in Arab, Asian and African countries far beyond Afghanistan.

Looking forward, where do we Americans go from here?

How do we sustain all the commitments that have bled and drained us for 20 years, when our adversaries and enemies appear to be growing stronger, while our own claim to being the world’s last superpower is increasingly subject to challenge?

Like Donald Trump before him, Joe Biden appears to be giving up on nation building, pulling our troops out of the Middle East, staying out of its future wars, and addressing the challenges of Russia and China.

But how long can we defend a Europe that refuses to defend itself from a Russia that is stronger and more assertive than it was two decades ago, when Vladimir Putin succeeded the feckless Boris Yeltsin.

In the Arctic, Baltic, Belarus, Ukraine and the Black Sea, Putin is more assertive and Russia less intimidated than it was in 2001.

Only one in three NATO countries meets the commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defense, as Europeans today identify immigration as the major threat to the continent.

Among the malingerers is the Germany of Angela Merkel, retiring chancellor who approved the Nord Stream II pipeline that will soon double Germany’s dependence on Russia for natural gas.

How long can the U.S. sustain its new policy of containment of Xi Jinping’s China? How long can we contain China’s expansion in the South and East China Sea at the expense of the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan?

In the year 2000, China’s economy was smaller than Italy’s. Today, it is a peer-competitor of the United States, with four times our population.

Beijing manufactures more than we do, has a growth rate that has exceeded ours for decades, and runs an annual trillion-dollar trade surplus with us in produced goods.

And the China of 2021 is more aggressive and confrontational than was the China of Y2K. How long can we keep 30,000 troops in South Korea and remain responsible for deterring Kim Jong Un’s North Korea from attacking the South?

In relative terms, America is not so dominant a power as it was 20 years ago, while her adversaries seem stronger and more united. Our most powerful rival, Xi Jinping’s China, seems belligerent and bellicose compared with the China we brought into the World Trade Organization.

Looking back, and looking ahead, the trend line is not good.

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



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Is Democracy Versus Autocracy the New Cold War?


“He may be an SOB, but he’s our SOB.” So said President Franklin D. Roosevelt of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, and how very American. For, from its first days, America has colluded with autocrats when the national interest demanded it. 


George Washington danced a jig in 1778 when he learned that our diplomats had effected an alliance with France’s King Louis XVI. The alliance, he knew, would be indispensable to an American victory. In April 1917, the U.S. went to war “to make the world safe for democracy” in collusion with four of the world greatest empires: the British, French, Russian, and Japanese. All four annexed new colonial lands and peoples from the victory for democracy we were decisive in winning.


In World War II, we gave massive military aid to Joseph Stalin’s USSR, which used it to crush, conquer and communize half of Europe. Antonio Salazar, dictator of Portugal, was a founding member of NATO. During the Cold War, we allied with autocrats Syngman Rhee of South Korea, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, the shah of Iran, and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile.


The second largest army in NATO is under the autocratic rule of Turkish President Recep Erdogan. Our major allies in the Arab world are Egypt’s Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew a democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and the various kings, princes, sultans, and emirs along the Persian Gulf. Yet, President Joe Biden has defined the global struggle as between democracy and autocracy and said, “Democracy will and must prevail.”


“We agree with that strategic vision,” echoed The Washington Post. But is this an accurate depiction of great power rivalry today? If the autocratic-democratic divide is the fault line, on which side do Erdogan, Sisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fall? Are we really in an ideological war with Vladimir Putin’s Russia today, as we were during the Cold War with Stalin’s USSR?


We have quarrels with Putin over Crimea and the Donbas, and he wants to keep Ukraine and Georgia from joining NATO. But where is the evidence that Putin seeks to change our democratic form of government into an autocracy? Putin’s objections to us are to our policies, not our democracy.


Back in the 1950s, Nikita Khrushchev had boasted that America’s grandchildren would live under Communism. When has Putin proclaimed any such grand ideological Kremlin goal?


Is our quarrel with China ideological in character? China is a great and growing economic and military power, with quarrels with most of its neighbors. It has trade issues with Australia; a border dispute with India in the Himalayas; and differences with Vietnam, the Philippines, and four other nations over who owns the islets in the South China Sea. China also claims Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands occupied by Japan.


But with the exceptions of Taiwan and Hong Kong, which it claims as sovereign Chinese territory, Beijing has not pressed any nation to adopt a political system similar to that of China’s Communist Party. It coexists with Communist Vietnam, autocratic Myanmar, theocratic Afghanistan, and democratic India, Australia, and Japan.


Beijing’s quarrel with us is not that America is “a democracy.” China’s objections are that we block its ambitions and back the nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia that thwart its strategic goals. The quarrel is not ideological, but political and strategic. 


Why, then, turn it into a war of systems? Where is the evidence that Beijing is trying to communize her neighbors, or change their political systems to conform to her own?


However, there is considerable evidence to demonstrate that the United States actively seeks to subvert the rule of Putin in Russia. Though Putin’s Kremlin is accused of having hacked the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016, even if true, how would that compare with U.S. interference today in the internal affairs of Russia?


Are Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe objective and neutral in their coverage in Russia? Do the many nongovernmental organizations and the National Endowment for Democracy take a hands-off approach to the internal politics of Russia? What did the Kremlin do to advance the political ambitions of Donald Trump to compare with what our diplomatic and governmental institutions and quasi-government agencies appear to be doing to undermine Putin and advance the candidacy of Alexei Navalny?


If American democracy is in an ideological war with Russia, who is on the offensive here? Who wishes to change whose political system?


“The U.S. national interest and the promotion of democracy, or at least political stability, abroad are not so easily separated,” writes The Washington Post. But where did America acquire the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations to change them to conform to our own?


If our goal is to democratize Russia and China, i.e., change their political systems to conform more closely with our democratic one, is that not tantamount to a declaration of ideological war by us? Is this not the essence of ideological warfare? And who, then, is the aggressor in this new ideological war?


COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM



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Is Democracy Versus Autocracy the New Cold War?


Pictured are Chinese and American toy soldiers. (Photo credit: PETER PARKS/AFP/GettyImages)

“He may be an SOB, but he’s our SOB.”

So said President Franklin D. Roosevelt of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, and how very American. For, from its first days, America has colluded with autocrats when the national interest demanded it.

George Washington danced a jig in 1778 when he learned that our diplomats had effected an alliance with France’s King Louis XVI. The alliance, he knew, would be indispensable to an American victory.

In April 1917, the U.S. went to war “to make the world safe for democracy” in collusion with four of the world greatest empires: the British, French, Russian and Japanese. All four annexed new colonial lands and peoples from the victory for democracy we were decisive in winning.

In World War II, we gave massive military aid to Joseph Stalin’s USSR, which used it to crush, conquer, and communize half of Europe.

Antonio Salazar, dictator of Portugal, was a founding member of NATO. During the Cold War, we allied with autocrats Syngman Rhee of South Korea, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, the shah of Iran, and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile. The second largest army in NATO is under the autocratic rule of Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Our major allies in the Arab world are Egypt’s Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew a democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and the various kings, princes, sultans, and emirs along the Persian Gulf.

Yet, President Joe Biden has defined the global struggle as between democracy and autocracy and said, “Democracy will and must prevail.”

“We agree with that strategic vision,” echoed The Washington Post.

But is this an accurate depiction of great power rivalry today?

If the autocratic-democratic divide is the fault line, on which side do Erdogan, Sisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fall?

Are we really in an ideological war with Vladimir Putin’s Russia today, as we were during the Cold War with Stalin’s USSR?

We have quarrels with Putin over Crimea and the Donbas, and he wants to keep Ukraine and Georgia from joining NATO. But where is the evidence that Putin seeks to change our democratic form of government into an autocracy?

Putin’s objections to us are to our policies, not our democracy.

Back in the 1950s, Nikita Khrushchev had boasted that America’s grandchildren would live under communism. When has Putin proclaimed any such grand ideological Kremlin goal?

Is our quarrel with China ideological in character?

China is a great and growing economic and military power, with quarrels with most of its neighbors.

It has trade issues with Australia, a border dispute with India in the Himalayas, and differences with Vietnam, the Philippines, and four other nations over who owns the islets in the South China Sea. China also claims Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands occupied by Japan.

But with the exceptions of Taiwan and Hong Kong, which it claims as sovereign Chinese territory, Beijing has not pressed any nation to adopt a political system similar to that of China’s Communist Party.

It coexists with Communist Vietnam, autocratic Myanmar, theocratic Afghanistan, and democratic India, Australia, and Japan.

Beijing’s quarrel with us is not that America is “a democracy.” China’s objections are that we block its ambitions and back the nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia that thwart its strategic goals.

The quarrel is not ideological, but political and strategic.

Why, then, turn it into a war of systems? Where is the evidence that Beijing is trying to communize her neighbors, or change their political systems to conform to her own?

However, there is considerable evidence to demonstrate that the United States actively seeks to subvert the rule of Putin in Russia.

Though Putin’s Kremlin is accused of having hacked the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016, even if true, how would that compare with U.S. interference today in the internal affairs of Russia?

Are Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe objective and neutral in their coverage in Russia? Do the many nongovernmental organizations and the National Endowment for Democracy take a hands-off approach to the internal politics of Russia?

What did the Kremlin do to advance the political ambitions of Donald Trump to compare with what our diplomatic and governmental institutions and quasi-government agencies appear to be doing to undermine Putin and advance the candidacy of Alexei Navalny?

If American democracy is in an ideological war with Russia, who is on the offensive here? Who wishes to change whose political system?

“The U.S. national interest and the promotion of democracy, or at least political stability, abroad are not so easily separated,” writes The Washington Post.

But where did America acquire the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations to change them to conform to our own?

If our goal is to democratize Russia and China, i.e., change their political systems to conform more closely with our democratic one, is that not tantamount to a declaration of ideological war by us?

Is this not the essence of ideological warfare?

And who, then, is the aggressor in this new ideological war?

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



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Has Biden’s End to the ‘Forever War’ Forever Crippled His Foreign Policy?


Joe Biden participates in a debate. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed Congress on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the country was united behind him.

The America First Committee, the largest anti-war movement in our history, which had the backing of President Herbert Hoover and future Presidents John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford, was closing its doors and enlisting.

When President George W. Bush stood atop the ruins of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan after the attack of 9/11, the country was united behind him.

President Joe Biden, however, knows no such unity. Any foreign policy coalition he once had, any consensus he enjoyed, is gone.

Following the evacuation of 6,000 Americans and 118,000 Afghans from Kabul airport — a remarkable feat over two weeks by the U.S. military — Biden and his foreign policy team are taking fire from all sides.

Interventionists in both parties believe Biden’s decision to pull out all U.S. forces by Aug. 31 precipitated the collapse of the Afghan army and regime, which led to disaster and defeat in the “forever war.”

To the War Party, Biden “lost Afghanistan.”

Though the Trump wing of the GOP favored an earlier pullout, it has seized on the debacle of the withdrawal to inflict maximum damage on the president and party that “rigged” the vote and “stole” the election of 2020. Among the major media, Biden has sustained major defections.

Demands are being heard for the resignation or firing of his entire security team: Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Their credibility is shot. Yet, as the country still supports the pullout from Afghanistan, what shattered the foreign policy consensus?

Answer: The initial panic at Karzai International Airport. Afghans clinging to the sides of departing planes. A teenage boy caught in the wheel well. Desperate Afghan friends trying to crash the gates. The U.S. reliance on the Taliban to vet our citizens and allies at the airport.

The ISIS massacre of 13 American soldiers and wounding of 20 others, and the deaths of 150 Afghans by a suicide bomber.

Video of Biden checking his watch as coffins of the fallen were carried out of the plane at Dover. The U.S. drone strike on ISIS-K that killed 10 members of an extended Afghan family.

Finally, the “left behinds” — hundreds of U.S. citizens and tens of thousands of Afghans, all now potential hostages of a triumphant Taliban, with the Afghans facing the prospect of torture and murder.

All these stories, photos and videos are indelibly fixed in America’s mind and inextricably linked to Joe Biden. They will forever define his legacy. And they have created a coalition of opponents and critics that may be sufficient to block or impede any bold foreign policy decision Biden chooses to take.

This coalition, and what lies ahead for America, could cripple Biden’s capacity to conduct foreign policy and so discredit his team as to make it unable to speak for America on the world stage.

Has the ongoing Afghan debacle, by shattering the consensus on which Biden depended, induced a foreign policy paralysis?

Consider. Should al-Qaida or ISIS, energized by the U.S. humiliation in Afghanistan, choose to attack the 900 U.S. troops in Syria, or the 2,500 in Iraq, what would Biden do?

Retaliate? Send in more troops as needed if the fighting escalates? Or get out and end the U.S. involvement in these other forever wars?

What decision would be acceptable to Biden and his critics?

The shock of the U.S. defeat and retreat in Afghanistan has surely shaken Ukraine and Taiwan, if they believed they had some guarantee from America to come to their defense.

But would the American people be prepared to intervene militarily and assist Ukraine in a war with Russia over the Donbas or Crimea?

Would we be willing to face down China over its claim to Taiwan?

We are not obligated by treaty to come to the defense of either of those nations. And many Americans do not believe either cause is worth the cost of a war with a nuclear power such as Russia or China.

Bottom line: If Joe Biden, as commander-in-chief, draws a red line, what reason is there to believe the country will back him up if it comes to enforcing it?

President Barack Obama drew a red line against Syria’s use of chemical weapons in its civil war. When Syrian President Bashar Assad appeared to cross it, Obama called on the country to back him up in enforcing his red line.

Country and Congress refused. They wanted no part of Syria’s civil war, no matter what Assad was doing while fighting it.

And Obama? He did nothing.

August in Afghanistan may have shattered irredeemably the foreign policy consensus and coalition Biden could rely upon.

There is no guarantee today that the country will back up its commander-in-chief in doing what he deems necessary to the national security.

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



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