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Fallujah: High Tide of Empire?
http://www.amconmag.com ^

Posted on 05/02/2004 9:02:01 AM PDT by fourfivesix

Fallujah: High Tide of Empire?

by Pat Buchanan

At Versailles, 1919, Lloyd George, having seized oil-rich Iraq for the empire, offered Woodrow Wilson mandates over Armenia and Constantinople. “When you cease to be President we will make you Grand Turk,” laughed Clemenceau.

As there were “no oil fields there,” writes historian Thomas Bailey, “it was assumed that rich Uncle Sam would play the role of Good Samaritan.” Though unamused, Wilson accepted the mandates.

Fortunately, Harding won in 1920 and reneged on the deal. Lloyd George and Churchill were left to face the Turks all by their imperial selves. Had we accepted Constantinople, Americans would have ended up fighting Ataturk’s armies to hold today’s Istanbul.

After 9/11, however, our neoconservatives, who had been prattling on about “global hegemony” and a “crusade for democracy” since the end of the Cold War, sold President Bush on their imperial scheme: a MacArthur Regency in Baghdad.

And so it is that we have arrived at this crossroads.

What Fallujah and the Shi’ite uprisings are telling us is this: if we mean to make Iraq a pro-Western democracy, the price in blood and treasure has gone up. Shall we pay it is the question of the hour. For there are signs Americans today are no more willing to sacrifice for empire than was Harding to send his nation’s sons off to police and run provinces carved out of the Ottoman Empire.

In bringing Bush’s “world democratic revolution” to Iraq, we suffer today from four deficiencies: men, money, will, and stamina.

First, we do not have the troops in country to pacify Iraq. Some 70 percent of our combat units are committed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Korea already. If we are going to put more men into Iraq, U.S. military forces must expand.

Those who speak of democratizing Iraq as we did Germany tend to forget: in 1945, we had 12 million men under arms and four million soldiers in Europe. German resistance disappeared in 1945 with the death of Hitler. There was no guerrilla war against us. Today, our army is only 480,000 strong and scattered across 100 countries. And we have 129,000 troops in an Iraq that is as large as California and an escalating war against urban guerrillas.

Second, we are running out of money. The U.S. deficit is $500 billion and rising. The merchandise trade deficit is headed toward $600 billion, putting downward pressure on a dollar that has been falling for three years. Nations with declining currencies do not create empires, they give them up.

Then there is the deficit in imperial will. President Bush sold the war on Iraq on the grounds that Saddam was a man of unique evil who could not be trusted with a weapon of mass destruction. Today, whatever threat Saddam posed is gone.

While America supported the president in going to war, we have not bought into the idea that we must democratize the Islamic world or we are unsafe in our own country. Polls show that nearly half the nation believes we should start coming home.

Which brings us to our fourth deficiency, stamina. Empire requires an unshakeable belief in the superiority of one’s own race, religion, and civilization and an iron resolve to fight to impose that faith and civilization upon other peoples.

We are not that kind of people. Never have been. Americans, who preach the equality of all races, creeds, and cultures, are, de facto, poor imperialists. When we attempt an imperial role as in the Philippines or Iraq, we invariably fall into squabbling over whether a republic should be imposing its ideology on another nation. A crusade for democracy is a contradiction in terms.

While it would be nice if Brazil, Bangladesh, and Burundi all embraced democracy, why should we fight them if they don’t, and why should our soldiers die to restore democracy should they lose it? Why is that our problem, if they are not threatening us?

What Iraq demonstrates is that once the cost in blood starts to rise, Americans tend to tell their government that enough is enough, put the Wilsonian idealism back on the shelf, and let’s get out.

If attacked, Americans fight ferociously. Unwise nations discover that. Threatened, as in the Cold War, we will persevere. But if our vital interests are not threatened, or our honor is not impugned, most of us are for staying out of wars.

That is our history and oldest tradition. It may be ridiculed as selfish old American isolationism, but that is who we are and that is how we came to be the last world power left standing on the bloodstained world stage after the horrific 20th century.

Americans will cheer globaloney. They just won’t fight and die for it. Nor should they.

May 10, 2004 issue Copyright © 2004 The American Conservative


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antiwarright; fallujah; iraq; patbuchanan
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1 posted on 05/02/2004 9:02:01 AM PDT by fourfivesix
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To: fourfivesix
Buchanan again proves he is as dim as a liberal or leftist and is in fact identical to the left in their anti-Americanism and cynicism.

Buchanan's comments are little different than what one hears in the nation or other leftist sources.

2 posted on 05/02/2004 9:06:48 AM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: fourfivesix
Interesting read, and pretty much correct.
3 posted on 05/02/2004 9:09:12 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: tallhappy
Well what do you disagree with?
4 posted on 05/02/2004 9:10:08 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: jpsb
There is plenty to argue with.

Pat B. is wrong this point:
"First, we do not have the troops in country to pacify Iraq. "

Wrong. Abizaid has corrected this misperception. We dont need more troops. Even in fallujah we barely used the forces and power we had, very restrained. What we NEED are Iraqi security forces that can help patrol the streets that are reliable.

Of course, if it was explained in these terms it would exlplode the big myth that Pat B. is trying to convey, that this is about 'empire'. It isnt. It's about supporting a positive political development, ie, democratic Iraq. That will be done mainly by Iraqis, not Americans.
6 posted on 05/02/2004 9:17:10 AM PDT by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - I salute our brave fallen.)
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To: fourfivesix
"While America supported the president in going to war, we have not bought into the idea that we must democratize the Islamic world or we are unsafe in our own country. Polls show that nearly half the nation believes we should start coming home."

Well we should at least understand that Islamofascism is a political threat to western culture, values, and to our security. Erasing that political creed and its tentacles of terrorism is important for our national security, just as fighting was communist Soviet empire was.
7 posted on 05/02/2004 9:20:25 AM PDT by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - I salute our brave fallen.)
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To: WOSG
If we don't need more troops then why are we keeping troops in country past their rotation date? How come we can't take, hold and secure rebellious cities?
8 posted on 05/02/2004 9:21:09 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: fourfivesix
"Second, we are running out of money. The U.S. deficit is $500 billion and rising. The merchandise trade deficit is headed toward $600 billion, putting downward pressure on a dollar that has been falling for three years. Nations with declining currencies do not create empires, they give them up."

Pat, what B*LL!! We ALL know that 80% of US Federal budget is non-military. that is right $400 billion on military and $1700 billion on the rest. If we have a deficit, it is due to domestic boondoggles, medicare and other things - NOT the fact that we are spending some small slice of our budget (and it is small, even the $80 billion was just 4% of the budget) in stabilizing Iraq.

BTW, *everything* Pat says about Iraq could be said about Afghanistan. Should we pull out there too and let AL Qaeda take it back?!?
9 posted on 05/02/2004 9:24:48 AM PDT by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - I salute our brave fallen.)
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To: WOSG
"Well we should at least understand that Islamofascism is a political threat to western culture"

I agree, but our leaders keep telling us this is not a war on Islam, radical or otherwise, so it isn't. It is a war on terror, not radical Islam. For the moment radical Islam is free to preach all the hate they want, US will do nothing.

10 posted on 05/02/2004 9:25:27 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: WOSG
"Pat, what B*LL!! We ALL know that 80% of US Federal budget is non-military. that is right $400 billion on military and $1700 billion on the rest. If we have a deficit, it is due to domestic boondoggles"

Again I agree, but Pat is still right, the USA is broke and in debt, big time.

11 posted on 05/02/2004 9:27:36 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: jpsb; tallhappy
Well what do you disagree with?

The truth?

Nobody can state clearly what we're trying to accomplish with this war, how we're going to accomplish it and what our exit strategy is.

I hear pie-in-the-sky euphanistic dreamy terms like "building a democracy", "liberating the Iraqi people" etc. That's not reality.

The Iraqis don't want our version of liberty. They either watch us die or take part in killing us.

Who exactly are we supposed to "hand over" power to? The main factions are the Sunnis, Shiites, Baathists and the Kurds. Now we have a few thousand foreign fighters mixed in. All of these groups either hate us or are completely useless.

Even if we could take them out of the mix (which we can't) who's left to run the place?

12 posted on 05/02/2004 9:29:27 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: jpsb
I'd refer you to Abizaid's comments in his press conference this week. Exact question came up. Abizaid wanted the extra as a mobile reserve due to recent events. He says we DONT NEED MORE US troops.

Your questions are as (mis)leading as the usual press queries. We cant take any city we want to in Iraq. We choose not to, because our goal is for Iraqis to rule themselves, so we prefer Iraqi political solutions not imposed US military solutions to the various challenges.

So please, read the press conferences of the CENTCOM Generals. They are the true debunkers of much of this nonsense from civilian critics who arent there.
13 posted on 05/02/2004 9:30:48 AM PDT by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - I salute our brave fallen.)
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To: jpsb
Because we dont have the will to destroy them. We are afraid of the fallout and that is the reason why the predators and parasites whom we have elected to run this country have screwed up.
Fallujah is a nightmare. We did not do what we said we would do and the dems along with their pals, the liberal media will play this up as a big defeat for W.
14 posted on 05/02/2004 9:31:19 AM PDT by winodog
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To: tallhappy
Outside of Japan and Germany and South Korea--where in all of them we still maintain troops fifty years later . . .

Outside of them, where else has America been successful at nation building long-term?
15 posted on 05/02/2004 9:32:13 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: fourfivesix
Those who speak of democratizing Iraq as we did Germany tend to forget: in 1945, we had 12 million men under arms and four million soldiers in Europe. German resistance disappeared in 1945 with the death of Hitler. There was no guerrilla war against us.

True. Add to that heavy German war losses (and all the other losses of the war and the previous World War) and the cultural ties between Americans and Germans and you can see that Germany (or at least the part under our control) was apt to follow our model in a way that many other defeated countries wouldn't. To take 1945 as typical is a mistake.

Japan's turnaround was more remarkable, but like Germany their defeat came after a long war and we left the emperor in power. The country followed him rather than us (though having someone with McArthur's charisma didn't hurt us).

16 posted on 05/02/2004 9:33:04 AM PDT by x
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To: jpsb
Ahem, USA is far from 'broke' ... our economy is growing 4% this year, better than any other industrial nation.

This is partly thanks to Bush's tax cuts of course. Those tax cuts the Democrats claim "created" the deficit, although I personally believe it is more to do with our lack of fiscal discipline at budget time.

Let me put my own conspiracy theory out there:
THIS IS ANOTHER BUSH ELECTION YEAR, AND ANOTHER YEAR WHERE PAT B IS GETTING HIS DIGS IN AGAINST THE BUSH CLAN HE SO HATES.

17 posted on 05/02/2004 9:33:38 AM PDT by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - I salute our brave fallen.)
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To: jpsb
The problem with Patrick, of course, is his hidden agenda.

He's been beating the "Zionist Cabal" drum for some time now. I agree with him in large measure on the desirability to keep ourselves to our own affairs. PJB's theory falls apart when confronted with the fact that the Islamists will attack us at home without provocation.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

18 posted on 05/02/2004 9:35:12 AM PDT by section9 (Major Motoko Kusanagi says, "John Kerry: all John F., no Kennedy..." Click on my pic!)
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To: WOSG; jpsb
I ruined the whole point of my post with a typo:

"We *can* take [militarily] any city we want to in Iraq."
19 posted on 05/02/2004 9:35:33 AM PDT by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - I salute our brave fallen.)
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To: WOSG
Even in fallujah we barely used the forces and power we had

what forces and power would you have used?

20 posted on 05/02/2004 9:35:37 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: WOSG
What we NEED are Iraqi security forces that can help patrol the streets that are reliable.

No, we don't need that, they do. The Iraqis.

If they don't want a freer country, we certainly can't impose one on them. We remove threats to our interests (pretty much done), make sure future threats are contained and suppressed - then get the hell out and let the Iraqis set the course for their country.

The whole Fallujah story is demonstrating how ridiculous our efforts are becoming. If we have no interest in even avenging harm done to us, why are we staying? What's the point?

21 posted on 05/02/2004 9:36:52 AM PDT by Hank Rearden (Is Fallujah gone yet?)
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To: WOSG
running out of money may not seem to be a huge problem at the moment, but once mortage rates go back up above 8%, then the public will see that deficits do matter. Pat as usual is mostly right.
22 posted on 05/02/2004 9:38:11 AM PDT by Elkhound4
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To: x; fourfivesix; jpsb; WOSG
Yes.

Outside of Japan and Germany and South Korea--where in all of them we still maintain troops to this day--where else have we been successful in nation building long term?
23 posted on 05/02/2004 9:39:03 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: WOSG
"This is partly thanks to Bush's tax cuts of course."

Bush's 'tax cuts' on the credit card for this generation are tax increases for the next.

24 posted on 05/02/2004 9:45:44 AM PDT by ex-snook (Neocon Chickenhawk for War like Liberal Cuckoo for Welfare. Both freeload.)
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To: fourfivesix
It's another of Pat's essays on the evils of the Joos ... how they tricked dumb old George Bush. Buchanan is a fascist who disguises himself as a conservative. Now that he is out of the loop, he sounds more like the Democrats. Pat, good riddence.
25 posted on 05/02/2004 9:49:35 AM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Marginalizing the Fascist Left is the only option)
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To: WOSG
SoD Rumsfield purged the penegon of top commenders that disagreed with his troops require accessment, and as you have noted, recent events are proving the accessment incorrect. Should other Cities turn into Fallujah's as they very well could, we might be in serious trouble and suffer serious loses.
26 posted on 05/02/2004 9:49:39 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: section9
PJB's theory falls apart when confronted with the fact that the Islamists will attack us at home without provocation.

Why would they?

27 posted on 05/02/2004 9:50:11 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: winodog
I agree, not doing what we said we were going to do was a big mistake, not a fatal mistake, but we'd better learn to stop talking the talk if we are not going to walk the walk.
28 posted on 05/02/2004 9:52:13 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: Age of Reason
Philippines
29 posted on 05/02/2004 9:52:58 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: jpsb
How come we can't take, hold and secure rebellious cities?

We can, in a heartbeat.

Neither world nor American opinion would put up with the carnage involved.

30 posted on 05/02/2004 9:55:02 AM PDT by metesky (You will be diverse, just like us.)
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To: WOSG
"We *can* take [militarily] any city we want to in Iraq."

Of course we can--but only in a manner that helps to win America's objectives.

That is what makes this conflict so difficult, and the enemy knows that.

The larger battle being fought is for world opinion.

31 posted on 05/02/2004 9:55:09 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: WOSG
I did not even notice the typo, I read it as "can". I have lots and lots of experience at correctly reading posts with typos since I read mine own posts too.
32 posted on 05/02/2004 9:56:55 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: WOSG
"What we NEED are Iraqi security forces that can help patrol the streets that are reliable."

Which we don't have. The Iraqi forces have proven themselves unreliable. THerefore we have to use U.S. troops to do jobs that the Iraqi's should do but can't be trusted to.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3648489.stm

http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20040422-114403-9180r.htm

"It's about supporting a positive political development, ie, democratic Iraq. That will be done mainly by Iraqis, not Americans."
Iraqis by and large have shown that they don't want democracy and those Iraqis who do aren't ready for it. All they want is for us to go and let them start slaughtering each other.

33 posted on 05/02/2004 9:56:57 AM PDT by fourfivesix (President Bush aids terrorism by not firing George Tenet)
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To: fourfivesix
What a bitter loser growing more so with every passing year...
34 posted on 05/02/2004 9:59:51 AM PDT by AmericaUnited (It's time someone says the emperor has no clothes.)
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To: x
For instance, allied soldiers were still being killed in Germany long after the Nazis surrendered in May 1945. Indeed, some were killed as late as 1949. A 2000 History Today article about the Nazi "Werewolves" a guerrilla/terrorist movement founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1944, which fought the occupying forces of Britain, America, and the Soviet Union until at least 1947. (The History Today article can be found here; it was first cited by opinionjournal.com's "Best of the Web" in this context.)
35 posted on 05/02/2004 10:00:15 AM PDT by metesky (You will be diverse, just like us.)
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To: fourfivesix
bump
36 posted on 05/02/2004 10:02:04 AM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: fourfivesix; x
Minutemen of the Third Reich.(history of the Nazi Werewolf guerilla movement)
37 posted on 05/02/2004 10:03:30 AM PDT by metesky (You will be diverse, just like us.)
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To: section9
"when confronted with the fact that the Islamists will attack us at home without provocation"
Without provocation? What do you call the aspirin factories that the Klinton bombed to take his lewinsky affair off the frontpage news? I call it provocation.
38 posted on 05/02/2004 10:04:25 AM PDT by fourfivesix (President Bush aids terrorism by not firing George Tenet)
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To: Hank Rearden
The get the hell out argument is becoming more persuasive everyday. We all know that the real enemy is radical Islam, so if we leave we will have to return. But if we are not going to fight the enemy and try to build a nation that Iraqis do not seem to want, what is the point of staying their?

Not sold on this argument yet, but it is a valid argument. Iran will soon have nukes, will patistan, which has nukes remain secular? Is any of this our business? Fortress America looking better and better every day.

39 posted on 05/02/2004 10:05:10 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: VRWC For Truth
Obviously you didn't read the article. Buchanan never once mentions Zionism or Israel. Drop the fascist libel. The compassionate socialism of Bush's domestic policies come closer to national socialism than Buchanan ever has.
40 posted on 05/02/2004 10:07:33 AM PDT by fourfivesix (President Bush aids terrorism by not firing George Tenet)
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To: metesky
"Neither world nor American opinion would put up with the carnage involved."

Then we can't.

41 posted on 05/02/2004 10:07:45 AM PDT by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: fourfivesix
Pat Buchanan increasingly rides to the sound of his own gums.
42 posted on 05/02/2004 10:12:00 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: fourfivesix
Oh, I did read it.

It's the same tirade that Fascist boy has been on, since he got booted out of the loop.

43 posted on 05/02/2004 10:14:47 AM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Marginalizing the Fascist Left is the only option)
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To: jpsb
The Philippines have been fraught with turmoil, with martial law, with political violence--for much of the hundred years since the U.S. acquired it from Spain.

Even more than a century later, the success of the Philippines is too early to judge.
44 posted on 05/02/2004 10:17:39 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Elkhound4
but once mortage rates go back up above 8%, then the public will see that deficits do matter

That's a good point.  But the debt now is financed by issuing bonds at the current interest rate, which debt holders buy.  When rates go up, the face value of these bonds will decline, but only if they are sold before their expiration date..  Otherwise, they mature at today's low rate and are retired.  Does current debt have to worry about future interest rates?   I'm not sure it does.
45 posted on 05/02/2004 10:18:08 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: gcruse
I bow to your logic and learned reasoning.
46 posted on 05/02/2004 10:18:42 AM PDT by fourfivesix (President Bush aids terrorism by not firing George Tenet)
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To: fourfivesix
post 42
47 posted on 05/02/2004 10:20:20 AM PDT by fourfivesix (President Bush aids terrorism by not firing George Tenet)
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To: VRWC For Truth
I'm a little slow this morning. Explain to me how Buchanan is a fascist for opposing war when fascism has been proven to be agressive, bellicose and pro-war?
48 posted on 05/02/2004 10:25:16 AM PDT by fourfivesix (President Bush aids terrorism by not firing George Tenet)
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To: WOSG
Pat, what B*LL!! We ALL know that 80% of US Federal budget is non-military. that is right $400 billion on military and $1700 billion on the rest. If we have a deficit, it is due to domestic boondoggles, medicare and other things - NOT the fact that we are spending some small slice of our budget (and it is small, even the $80 billion was just 4% of the budget) in stabilizing Iraq.

I think you're putting words in Pat's mouth here. He wasn't arguing about what was causing the deficits and the related fall in the dollar.

He was only making the argumant that the dollar is in trouble. And that nations with currency problems typically don't go on empire building adventures.

49 posted on 05/02/2004 10:27:46 AM PDT by Beenliedto (A Free Stater getting ready to pack my bags!)
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To: gcruse
Pat Buchanan is afraid of the sound of guns.

(Real ones, of course. The ones he used to hear in his head as he rode off to run for president don't count.)
50 posted on 05/02/2004 10:28:40 AM PDT by RichInOC ("Lock and load!" is a military command, not a campaign slogan.)
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