Pat Buchanan Asks "What Should We Fight For?"

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via,

“We will never accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea,” declaimed Rex Tillerson last week in Vienna.


“Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”

Tillerson’s principled rejection of the seizure of land by military force - “never accept” - came just one day after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and pledged to move our embassy there.

How did Israel gain title to East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Golan Heights? Invasion, occupation, colonization, annexation.

Those lands are the spoils of victory from Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War.

Is Israel being severely sanctioned like Russia? Not quite.

Her yearly U.S. stipend is almost $4 billion, as she builds settlement after settlement on occupied land despite America’s feeble protests.

What Bibi Netanyahu just demonstrated is that, when dealing with the Americans and defending what is vital to Israel, perseverance pays off. Given time, the Americans will accept the new reality.

Like Bibi, Vladimir Putin is a nationalist. For him, the recapture of Crimea was the achievement of his presidency. For two centuries that peninsula had been home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and critical to her security.

Putin is not going to return Crimea to Kiev, and, eventually, we will accept this new reality as well.

For while whose flag flies over Crimea has never been crucial to us, it is to Putin. And like Israelis, Russians are resolute when it comes to taking and holding what they see as rightly theirs.

Both these conflicts reveal underlying realities that help explain America’s 21st-century long retreat. We face allies and antagonists who are more willing than are we to take risks, endure pain, persevere and fight to prevail.

This month, just days after North Korea tested a new ICBM, national security adviser H. R. McMaster declared that Trump “is committed to the total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

If so, we are committed to a goal we almost surely are not going to achieve. For, short of a war that could go nuclear, Kim Jong Un is not going to yield to our demands.

For Kim, nuclear weapons are not an option.

He knows that Saddam Hussein, who had given up his WMD, was hanged after the Americans attacked. He knows the grisly fate of Moammar Gadhafi, after he invited the West into Libya to dismantle his nuclear program and disarm him of any WMD.

Kim knows that if he surrenders his nuclear weapons, he has nothing to deter the Americans should they choose to use their arsenal on his armed forces, his regime, and him.

North Korea may enter talks, but Kim will never surrender the missiles and nukes that guarantee his survival. Look for the Americans to find a way to accommodate him.

Consider, too, China’s proclaimed ownership of the South China Sea and her building on reefs and rocks in that sea, of artificial islands that are becoming air, missile and naval bases.

Hawkish voices are being raised that this is intolerable and U.S. air and naval power must be used if necessary to force a rollback of China’s annexation and militarization of the South China Sea.

Why is this not going to happen?

While this area is regarded as vital to China, it is not to us. And while China, a littoral state that controls Hainan Island in that sea, is a legitimate claimant to many of its islets, we are claimants to none.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan are the other claimants. But though their interests in the fishing grounds and seabed resources may be as great as China’s, none has seen fit to challenge Beijing’s hegemony.

Why should we risk war with China to validate the claims of Communist Vietnam or Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless regime in Manila? Why should their fight become our fight?

China’s interests in the sea are as crucial to her as were U.S. interests in the Caribbean when, a rising power in 1823, we declared the Monroe Doctrine. Over time, the world’s powers came to recognize and respect U.S. special interests in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Given the steady rise of Chinese military power, the proximity of the islets to mainland China, the relative weakness and reluctance to confront of the other claimants, China will likely become the controlling power in the South China Sea, as we came to be the predominant power in the Western Hemisphere.

What we are witnessing in Crimea, across the Middle East, in the South China Sea, on the Korean peninsula, are nations more willing than we to sacrifice and take risks, because their interests there are far greater than ours.

What America needs is a new national consensus on what is vital to us and what is not, what we are willing to fight to defend and what we are not.

For this generation of Americans is not going to risk war, indefinitely, to sustain some Beltway elite’s idea of a “rules-based new world order.” After the Cold War, we entered a new world — and we need new red lines to replace the old.


hedgeless_horseman Future Jim Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:12 Permalink

 Revolutionary Call to Arms...15.  Research your two senators and one congressman at Make a list of their 10 biggest donors, and send the list to your "representative" in an email or letter.16.  Read, War is a Racket, by Major General Smedley D. Butler.17.  Read, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.18.  Watch the online video of the TED Talk, A radical experiment in empathy, by Sam Richards.…

In reply to by Future Jim

caconhma SWRichmond Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:04 Permalink

People on ZH's board have no clue who Putin is. This is all.A hint: Putin is a zionist puppet. He is not a Russian nationalist. Thanks to Putin and his Mafiosi government, Russia with 145 million has the GDP of Australia.Today Russia is like N. Korea: nothing of any value (outside of natural resources) except nukes and ICBMs.

In reply to by SWRichmond

wildbad a Smudge by an… Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:51 Permalink

introduce blockchain voting without party rules
defund the CIA NSA TSA DHS and FBI
devolve all federal activities back to the states in 10 years
except for a limited defense force
close overseas based
fiver year term term senate and house
tighten lobbyist rules
free airtime for national candidated
throw the clintons in a dungeon

...end the fed

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

JRobby chumbawamba Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:11 Permalink

Our incumbent culture. Not one forced on us by globalist "citizens of the world" (tax dodgers)A new Representative GovernmentThe right to expell illegal immigrants that have no desire to become citizens and refuse to assimilate.The right to bear firearms 

In reply to by chumbawamba

rejected hedgeless_horseman Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:45 Permalink

And then?As for Vietnam vets,,, many have never broke the massive propaganda of their time. Many have,,, me for one. The propaganda shit goes with all wars,,,Vietnam for the Gulf of Tonkin False Flag.Saddam was WMD. A thug.Qaddafi was giving Viagra to his troops to rape children. Assad was gassing his own people. A thug.Iran for building its nonexistent nuke.Afghanistan for not giving up OBL.Yugoslavia for genocide (which was a lie).Russia for reacquiring the Crimea which has been theirs for centuries.North Korea for not giving up on the only protection they have from the worlds bully and because Kim is a fat thug.China for building up some islands that threaten only the US.Cuba for simply choosing Communism. ( Vietnam is communist but we do business with them)  and lately for their loud crickets.Venezuela for kicking out American oligarchs.Niger and Somali, no real reason given to Americans..... just because.

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

HRClinton hedgeless_horseman Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:51 Permalink

I'd fight Hillary, Podesta...I'd fight the Plantation (((Owners))) and their DS Enforcers, if they tried to keep me on the USrael Plantation. I'd fight them, if they tried to dictate to me, how I try to make quid-pro-quo exchanges with other people, and if they thought that they could muscle in on the action in some way. To do so, would amount to them acting as slave owners.  It would amount to them treating me as their slave, their property, their chattel, their vassal, their subject. I categorically repudiate all these, and claim my Rights as Fundamental Human Rights.BTW, HH, keep telling yourself that you have a Bill of Rights on the USrael Plantation. How charming, how quaint, how nostalgic. I too used to think and feel the same way, till I had an Epiphany on the road to Freedom.

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

Consuelo Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:05 Permalink

  "He knows that Saddam Hussein, who had given up his WMD, was hanged after the Americans attacked. He knows the grisly fate of Moammar Gadhafi, after he invited the West into Libya to dismantle his nuclear program and disarm him of any WMD."Uh -- Pat...?You're smarter than that...

BritBob Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:06 Permalink

You certainly have to fight if your territory gets invaded. Especially if this is done after whipping up propaganda and creating a false sovereignty grievance. The Falklands war against Argentina had to be fought. Even the left-wing press supported the war. How can Argentina claim the Falklands when she has never legally owned them?Falklands- Never Belonged to Argentina (1 pg):

Consuelo Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:11 Permalink

  Poor Pat - he's still fighting the virus...Fully cured of the disease, he'd realize that the existence and essence of America is not dependent upon finding an enemy and vanquishing it...

RussianSniper Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:12 Permalink

I am willing to not only fight, but to die to turn the fucking channel at the airport gates.How did it ever come to this?Endless parade of pole smokers, liars, jews, and thieves.FUCK cnn.Fuck fake news.Turn to the Cartoon Network.Stream Bugs Bunny cartoons 24/7.  

Mena Arkansas Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:13 Permalink

What America needs is a new national consensus on what is vital to us and what is not, what we are willing to fight to defend and what we are not.I thought we already had AIPAC, ziocon think tanks and israeli whitehouse agents like Kushner to tell us where and when .mil will be deployed.

Endgame Napoleon Reaper Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:21 Permalink

No, the Israelis are just doing what is best for their country. If that is good for us, it is good for them. There is nothing inherently sinister about self preservation. People of all types can trample each other in that effort; that is wrong. But the Israelis are not hiding bombs in schools and shooting rockets into the Palestinian villages. They are on the receiving end of that. If that were happening in the US, the government would act to protect the citizenry in the national self interest.

In reply to by Reaper

Endgame Napoleon Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:15 Permalink

What we need is more serious, clutter-free discussion of important issues from people like Pat in forums where a lot of Americans are engaged. Instead, we get a 24/7 tabloid jamboree, with no featured “entertainment” that gets anywhere close to a vital, national interest. A consensus on [first priorities], whether that is where to spend taxpayer money in a debt-laden country or what is essential for defense, would be unifying, but politicians and [the media] are just stoking division for its own sake or to win, not to determine what is really important.

pods Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:16 Permalink

Hey Pat, the USA will defend dollar hegemony, wherever it takes us.Oh, and we will fight anywhere we can if debt creation starts to roll over, ala 2008.Other than that, we are an excellent neighbor.pods