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Joseph Farah: Pat Buchanan Has Adopted the Rheoric Of Yassar Arafat [Pat' Mideast Myopia]
WND ^ | 4/10/02 | Joseph Farah

Posted on 04/10/2002 4:22:54 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar


Posted: April 10, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

Hundreds of WorldNetDaily readers have written to me demanding to know why I don't fire Pat Buchanan as a columnist.

They say he's wrong in his Mideast analysis. They say it's not just that Buchanan's opinions about the Arab-Israeli conflict are wrong, but that he distorts facts. They say his prescription for peace in the region would lead inevitably to the destruction of the Jewish state. They suggest his hostility to Israel is a sign of a deep-seated anti-Semitism.

I agree with all those criticisms of Pat Buchanan – except the last.

In his April 2 WorldNetDaily column, Buchanan made several alarming and dangerous charges.

"Israel is at war with Palestine," he alleged.

Buchanan is wrong. This is not a matter of opinion. It's a matter of fact. There is no nation of Palestine. There never has been a nation of Palestine. And, I will boldly predict, there never will be a nation of Palestine.

In the history of the world, Palestine has never been more than a region, an arbitrarily named place. It's not an Arabic name, by the way. It's a name chosen by colonial Europeans. The Arabs who have lived in that region have never been set apart from their neighbors by a unique culture, a different language, a system of self-governance, a king, a constitution or even recognized borders. In fact, most "Palestinians" live in the nation of Jordan, and most of the people who live in Jordan could correctly call themselves Palestinians.

If there is a nation of Palestine today, it is not on the West Bank of the Jordan River, it is on the East Bank.

Maybe you think I'm splitting hairs. Maybe you think Buchanan means Israel is at war with the Palestinian people. Maybe he does mean that. But, if that's what he means, he's wrong again.

If Israel were at war with the Palestinian people, it has had many opportunities to destroy them. It has the firepower to wreak untold horrors on them. Yet it has never yielded to what must be, after the last nine years of terrorism and broken promises of peace, a very tempting option. In the face of daily aggression against its civilian population nothing short of guerrilla warfare, Israel has been a model of restraint.

Buchanan even justifies the terrorism of suicide bombers as "a tactic in a guerrilla war of national liberation being waged by the Palestinian people against Israeli occupation."

In other words, Pat Buchanan, an otherwise sensible man whose opinions I often value on many issues, has adopted the rhetoric of Yasser Arafat.

Someone needs to remind Buchanan that America has its own experience with suicide bombers. If the actions of Yasser Arafat, an Egyptian by birth, can be justified, how much of a stretch is it to rationalize the actions of Osama bin Laden, who, after all, seeks an end to U.S. military "occupation" of his homeland of Saudi Arabia?

Buchanan also makes the amazingly false statement that "Arafat is not recruiting terrorists." Arafat has done little else in his last 35 years of public life besides recruit terrorists. Only a week ago, WorldNetDaily first reported the capture of Palestinian Authority receipts showing Arafat personally signed checks to pay for suicide bombing missions. This is what he does. This is what he has always done. This is what he will continue to do until the day – pray God it is soon – he dies.

Buchanan then goes on to say, quite seriously, that "the only hope lies in a Palestinian state. A small state of their own would give Palestinians a huge stake in peace and in preventing acts of terror against Israel." Perhaps Buchanan hasn't heard – Arafat rejected the offer of a state proposed by Ehud Barak. Not only did he reject it, but he declared a jihad to punctuate the rejection.

Buchanan's theme throughout his lifetime of punditry is "America first." What he ought to recognize, but clearly doesn't, is that it is in America's vital national interest to support the one free nation and its only dependable ally in the Middle East.

I will not question Buchanan's motivations for writing such nonsense, only his good judgment.

And, by the way, I disagree with much of the commentary appearing in WorldNetDaily. That's one of the things that keeps it interesting and unpredictable.

So, in answer to all that mail, no, I will not fire Pat Buchanan for his badly mangled understanding of Mideast politics. He has the right to be wrong – even dangerously and badly wrong.


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TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/10/2002 4:22:54 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
Don't always agree with Farah, but it is my view that he hits the nail on the head in this article.
2 posted on 04/10/2002 4:30:00 AM PDT by Moby Grape
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To: Impeach the Boy
The Pales HAD a state. It was called TransJordan. They screwed it up. Pat hates Israel so much he will now sanction terror/suicide bombing as legitimate.
3 posted on 04/10/2002 4:38:35 AM PDT by LS
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To: LS
Pat Buchanan Has Adopted the Rheoric Of Yassar Arafat

Why wouldn't he? He hates Jews.

4 posted on 04/10/2002 5:01:08 AM PDT by Gurn
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To: 11th Earl of Mar;
I had come over time to the belief that Pat Buchanen was anti-Israel and, perhaps, anti-Jew. His consistent attacks on Israel and support for anything non-Israeli had gradually convinced me that it was so.

That's why the Richard Nixon/Billy Graham revelation was SOOOO telling. The conversation has Nixon clearly being anti-Semitic. His joy at finding Graham's alignment with his views about "Jews in the media" was followed with some statement to the effect that he (Nixon) was glad to discover Graham's anti-semitism.

Buchanen was part of Nixon's staff. If Nixon was glad that an outsider aligned with his anti-semitic views, one can only suppose that Nixon specifically CHOSE his staff with their views on this subject foremost in his mind.

This is an assumption on my part. But it is an assumption that is not illogical and is based on some compelling circumstantial evidence.

5 posted on 04/10/2002 5:05:58 AM PDT by xzins
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
I totally agree. I was right there with Pat on most issues until recently. It used to be that he was tough on Israel, but now it seems like he is pro-Palestinian. I know there are still patriots out there trying to contain the American Empire, but it is too late now. We will have to try dismantling the Empire again after this war is over. For now, the Palestinians are with the terrorists, and Israel is with us.
6 posted on 04/10/2002 5:09:40 AM PDT by sixmil
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To: LS
Pat hates Israel so much he will now sanction terror/suicide bombing as legitimate.

Imagine what Pat's response would be if the US were under constant attacks from terrorists by the name of Juan, Jose and Gomez. If they were holed up in Texas or across the border in Mexico, Buchanan would not be patting them on the back telling us they have a legitimate right to express themselves with bombs.

7 posted on 04/10/2002 5:12:29 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
He has the right to be wrong – even dangerously and badly wrong.

Indeed, but he abuses the privilege so!!! LOL!

8 posted on 04/10/2002 5:13:19 AM PDT by Cincinatus
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To: sixmil
the Palestinians are with the terrorists, and Israel is with us.

bump. That is worth repeating.

9 posted on 04/10/2002 5:13:36 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
I always wondered what the issue between the Vatican and Jews was all about. It seems more and more I'm getting a better idea. Pat merely adds to that!
10 posted on 04/10/2002 5:15:02 AM PDT by MoJo2001
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
PJB has taken Ramsey Clark's position on Iraq as well. The man has become a traitor in his utter hatred of Israel and his desperation for media attention. Perhaps they removed some brain cells along with his gall bladder.
11 posted on 04/10/2002 5:15:24 AM PDT by OldFriend
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To: Gurn
Indeed, Pat is an anti-semite. He's a Father Coughlin without a collar, an authoritarian conservative thug. An America run along Buchanan's lines might be more pleasant in some ways -- the trains would run on time and minorities (blacks, hispanics, jews, protestants, athiests, intellectuals, etc.) would know their places -- but it would not be a free country. I have long thought that scratching Pat would find a fascist.
12 posted on 04/10/2002 5:17:18 AM PDT by CatoRenasci
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To: MoJo2001
I was disappointed with the reports of the Pope's condemnation of Israel's fight against terror but that did not mention Arafat's suicide bombers.
13 posted on 04/10/2002 5:17:53 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
Great stuff from Joseph Farah who I see getting face time on TV these days. Pat should be kept as a columnist since he is good on so many "issues". But on the MidEast he better put on his dunce cap. Cause that's what he is even aside from his pro-Pallie slant. He tries to "understand" the Pallies way too much........

.......... while I have never seen him try to understand why Jews might feel the way they do. About the holocaust and Israel's safety for example.

14 posted on 04/10/2002 5:17:54 AM PDT by dennisw
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: 11th Earl of Mar
In all seriousness, do you think the Pope is really calling the shots over there at the Vatican? Or, do you think the Cardinals are merely espousing all of the Pope's views?? I'm just curious! I'm deeply disappointed in the Pope, but I don't waste too much time. He's not Jesus Christ and his opinion is rather irrelevant to me as a person!
16 posted on 04/10/2002 5:20:16 AM PDT by MoJo2001
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To: MoJo2001
I realize the Pope is not Jesus Christ, especially since I am Protestant, not Catholic.

However, I do believe the Catholic Church is seen by many as the voice of God. It was just recently that the Pope, on behalf of the Catholic Church, "confessed" to sins associated with anti-Semitism in WWII.

I would have thought that he, or his leadership, would also use this time to support Israel and denounce terrorism. I was wrong.

17 posted on 04/10/2002 5:27:54 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: xzins
Nixon also chose Leonard Garment as his White House counsel and of course Henry Kissinger.Human behavior can't be neatly pigeonholed or explained,since both were Jewish.I believe that Nixon was delusional at times and that may explain some of his statements and behavior,some of which had nothing at all to do with Jews.During his waning days in office,one of his closest spiritual advisors was the late Rabbi Baruch Korff of Providence,RI
18 posted on 04/10/2002 5:31:22 AM PDT by steamroller
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To: steamroller
Good information. Nixon is extremely complex and how this all fits I'll leave to his biographers. However, your point about not pigeonholing him is a good caution.

I don't know how the saying goes, but it's something like: "the best indication of integrity is what a man does when no one is looking." In other words, when we think we're in secret we act like our real selves.

We see that with Nixon and Graham in that exchange.

It's Buchanen's history of statements about Israel COUPLED with Nixon's anti-semitism that has strengthened my belief that Pat is anti-semitic.

19 posted on 04/10/2002 5:44:37 AM PDT by xzins
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To: CatoRenasci
Wow, protestants are a minority, I had no idea!
20 posted on 04/10/2002 5:47:42 AM PDT by billybudd
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To: billybudd
In Pat Buchanan's world they surely are. Actually, "churched" Protestants are a minority. Catholicism is the largest single Christian denomination in the US. The unchurched - which includes many who might have been nominally Protestant by heritage but have no church affiliation or participation at all - may be the largest group of Americans.
21 posted on 04/10/2002 5:59:24 AM PDT by CatoRenasci
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
Everyone seems to be convinced that PJB is antisemitic because he believe that the Palestinians have legitimate grievances that should be considered. I believe that is true, altho I think that they have forfeited their right to our sympathy by resorting to terrorism. Of course what PJB and I think is irrelevant. If Israel wants to destroy the terrorists (and I think that it has the right to try) then I would submit the two primary imediments are its own policy of tolerating Arafat (it could easily kill or capture him at any time) and Bush #43, who is obviously restraining Israel (which may also be responsible for problem #1, Arafat, altho Israel accepted him at Oslo in '92, and can't blame Bush #43 for that).

Of course, in the real world, Bush #43 and Israel have to accept that the political reality is that killing Arafat would probably just transform him from a powerless symbol of an impotent force to a martyr to the Palestinian state.

Given these realities, I doubt that Israel is going to "conquer a peace" by invading the West Bank. To the contrary, I think it is going to learn the lesson of the "tarbaby", which Sharon should have learned in Lebanon 20 years ago. How long do you think Sharon will keep Israeli troops and tanks in the West Bank before "declaring victory"?

22 posted on 04/11/2002 5:30:11 PM PDT by Rambro
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To: CatoRenasci
"I have long thought that scratching Pat would find a fascist."

Fascist: A Populist...who wins an election.

23 posted on 04/11/2002 5:48:28 PM PDT by okie01
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To: Rambro
He will keep the tanks in the West Bank until there are no more bomb-belts, AK-47s, or RPGs sitting in the homes of the "civilian population" and there are no more known terrorists living there. Why do you sound as though you wish Israel to fail in their war (which is ultimately OUR war)? Pat Buchanan, BTW, is a guy I used to just love, although I couldn't understand his position that the "Amen Corner" in the U.S. Congress was the only reason we went to war with Saddam in 1991. Sounded pretty anti-semetic to me, given that there was no other coherence to his argument. Oh, sorry: he did say that there would be "tens of thousands of American body bags". You remember, all those corn-fed kids with non-jewish names (which I can't recall, although one was certainly Irish in origin). Now a liberal democracy, and ally of the U.S., a country which respects human rights as best it can given its position as the most despised nation on earth, a nation under constant terrorist assault by psychopaths who live within its borders, now that nation has NO RIGHT to defend itself. Well, that's the detritus of a lingering anti-semetism right out of the days of the first "America First" movement. You know, the one that sympathized with the Nazis? Maybe that's an ad hominem attack on my part. I don't know. But before the Buchanan Brigadiers come in to flame me: what other explanation for Pat's utter lack of common sense or fairness regarding Israel?
24 posted on 04/11/2002 6:06:05 PM PDT by Burr5
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To: Burr5
What did I say to imply that I do not support the war against terrorism? To the contrary, I believe that I am at least more consistent in my support of it than Bush #43, or Sharon, since I would strike at the head of the evil, which Sharon insists is Arafat, rather than the tail, the Palestinian refugeee camps and towns, which I believe to be counter-productive.

What does annoy me is that any criticism of Israel or its policies is immediately branded "antisemitic". I think PJB has made and continues to make excellent points which are obviously in the minds of Bush #43 and his advisors. We need to understand the political realities so we can make informed decisions as to which policies and leaders to support.

If you are correct that Sharon will keep troops and tanks in the West Bank until the terrorism ends, I think they will be there a very long time. And any reprieve that is obtained will be very short lived.

Ultimately, Israel will have to recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people if it wants peace. However the Palestinians must also reject terrorism and adopt new leadership. Eventually they will realize that the means to their desired ends can best be gained by peaceful, nonviolent resistance as demonstrated by Gandi and Martin Luther King.

25 posted on 04/12/2002 4:57:07 AM PDT by Rambro
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