Skip to comments.Pat Buchanan's The American Cause: "A Season for Sadness"
Posted on 09/14/2001 6:07:26 PM PDT by ouroboros
A Season for Sadness
After we penned a lament for those lost in Tuesday's tragedy, someone logged onto our message board accusing us of "laps[ing] into old Cold War jingoism" because we did not "call for America to withdraw from its arrogant, bullying foreign policy." Since then we've received calls here at The Cause expressing a similar sentiment.
Several points must be made. First, the ashes of tragedy give birth to heroes, and the great ones of this disaster are not armchair critics or think-tank scribblers. The real heroes of September 11 are passengers who vowed to die before they allowed a plane to plow into their capitol city. They are rescue workers whose mission of mercy cost them their lives. And they are families desperately, bravely clutching photos and awaiting word. Rather than arguing policy over the graves of the fallen, a good nation should circle round our broken and resolve that they will not be forgotten.
We have said before and remain convinced that rampant interventionism is the spawning pool of international terror, and that our global adventuring has fomented resentment around the world. But this is no time for "I told you so" games. When our nation comes under attack, compounding the assault with self-criticism is callous in the extreme. Once the full freight of this tragedy settles, we can unpack probable causes and potential culprits, and we may well find our own hubris at fault. But now is not the time.
For those who saw war-mongering behind our conviction that any associated with these perpetrators must pay, we say that anti-imperialism and pacifism bear no relation. The former argues that great powers cease to be so when they splinter their strength by blustering into other nations' wars. But when war comes calling - as it did Tuesday morning - passivity is no virtue.
We must therefore respond -- not in wanton revenge, but with precise determination. Those who say "We are at war with all fundamentalist Islamic entities waging war against the United States" risk rewarding the terrorists by igniting a massive conflict in the Middle East. We cannot declare war on an amorphous enemy or embark on aspirin factory crusades. But in this case, a proportionate response based on reliable information is well within the scope of justice.
As for re-evaluation of our empire-building, that will come with time. We don't advocate paralysis, but for now, we have no interest in receiving prophet's credit or joining the chorus of hegemony gone wrong. This discussion will continue for months, and some will recognize that no defensive measure, from missile shield to security super-structure, will deter a madman with a skyscraper in his sights, thus we must find the taproot of his rage. Others will realize that the ruthlessness propelling our assailants did not grow from a hatred of our goodness, but from animosity born elsewhere. Amid those questions, there will room to re-orient our policies, but until our dead are buried and our suffering are comforted, claiming prescience will not help us heal.
You must have a finely honed hair trigger. I did not "go off" towards Buchanan as you did, upon reading this article. His statements were reasoned and measured.
As he says, let us fight this battle another day and now draw together as Americans.
Truth hurts, don't it?
Contrary to the views of some of our more bellicose FRiends here, it is indeed possible to be bitterly critical of US foreign policy and at the same time demand justice be done for this wanton attack on innocent American civilians. The call for a re-examination of US involvement overseas and the requirement that the US response to this week's attacks not be hasty or indiscriminate (i.e., that it be focused on the guilty parties) both stem from the same desire: to prevent thousands more Americans from becoming victims of future terrorism.
Pat again sets forth the best direction for America's future interests at this time in history. Wars require an exit strategy. Is it in America's interest to push for a 'final solution' that calls for the unconditional surrender and disarnament of all Arab states followed by the killing of all males under two?
US budget policy is aimed at 'one war at a time'. How much will we expend in cost and people for what indefinite future? If the President and Congress decides we are the World's Army of One, then we need to triple the military budget, start the draft and prepare for a three front conflict. Russia is still in the wings and China is poised to pick up the pieces. The direction the country should move is to protect America and its Constitution for this Century. Let's find the culprit and not bleed ourselves to death.
Buchanan is cursed -- like many of us -- by a desire to be liked. It is the main reason why many hate him: becuase he is so easy to like, he is a gentle, loving man with a terrific sense of humor. I might argue, however, that the horror of this carnage suggests the need for a serious review of our foreign policy over the past ten years in the short term, before more damage can be done.
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