Pat Buchanan on War & Peace

2000 Reform Candidate for President


Wrote Nixon's Vietnam speech that led to Kent State killings

Nixon withdrew Americans from combat and promised to reduce the U.S. role in Vietnam, but what was most remembered in the first term was the speech that he delivered on April 30, 1970, when he appeared to be expanding the war, when he said that American forces were being sent to "clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border" and that if "the world's most powerful nation acts like a pitiful, helpless giant, the forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and free institutions throughout the world." The speech, written by Pat Buchanan, was considered a disaster even by Buchanan's White House colleagues; protests flared up on campuses all over the country and on May 4, four student were killed and nine wounded by National Guardsmen who shot protesters at Kent State in Ohio.
Source: Ike and Dick, by Jeffrey Frank, p.342-3 , Nov 5, 2013

Pre-emptive war doctrine is a formula for endless conflict

The US has unthinkingly embarked upon a neoimperial policy that must involve us in virtually every great war of the coming century-and wars are the death of republics. If we continue on this course of reflexive interventions, enemies will one day answer our power with the weapon of the weak-terror, and eventually cataclysmic terrorism on US soil. But for Bush this war was not, as Clausewitz would have it, an extension of politics, but a moral imperative that transcended politics. Bush holds that the war on terror is between good and evil and it will not end until we eradicate all terror networks of a global reach. Bush holds to a policy of preemptive and preventative war. This is a formula for endless conflict. “
Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p. 13-17&34-35 , Sep 1, 2004

Bush’s war risks the safety of America

The price of U.S. occupation of Iraq, the price of U.S. empire in the Muslim world, is terror. The Islamic terrorists of 9/11 were over here because we were over there. We were attacked by suicide bombers in New York for the same reason that our Marines were attacked by a suicide bomber in Beirut. We took sides in a religious civil war, their war, and they want us out of that war. The fifteen hijackers from Saudi Arabia did not fly into the World Trade Center to protest the Bill of Rights. They want us off sacred Saudi soil and out of the Middle East. Is there anything over there--oil, bases, empire--worth risking an atomic bomb on U.S. soil?
Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p. 85 , Sep 1, 2004

Iraq War is imperial overstretch & may cause US collapse

An Eastern monarch asked his wise men to come up with words that would everywhere and always be true. The wise men reflected, and they gave the king these words:

"This, too, shall pass."

It is true. All republics, all empires, all civilizations pass away. The Roman republic began to die the day that Caesar's legions crossed the Rubicon to make him dictator of Rome. 400 years later, the world's greatest empire fell.

In our time, empires collapse more suddenly. The 20th century was a graveyard of empires. The Austro-Hungarian, German, Russian, and Ottoman perished in the Great War. A Soviet empire that spanned a dozen time zones succumbed to a collapse of faith and will in 1989. All the empires of the 20th century are gone. Only the American empire endures.

But the invasion of Iraq and the war to impose democracy upon that Arab and Islamic nation that has never known democracy may yet prove a textbook example of the imperial overstretch that brought down so many empires of the past.

Source: Where the Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p. 2-3 , Aug 12, 2004

No conceivable gain from conflict with China

From the US vantage point, war with China would be suicidal folly. There is no conceivable gain that could justify the risks such a conflict would entail for our country, or the damage that could be done.

From China's standpoint, war with America would be a disaster. China would lose a naval war in the strait and be humiliated. Should she attack US bases in Japan, Korea, and Guam with chemical or nuclear weapons, terrible retaliation would follow.

However, because reason argues that a war between us would be folly for both does not mean war cannot come through miscalculation. The March of Folly is the history of the great powers.

But a desire to avoid war does not argue for appeasement. America should instead use her immense leverage with China to steer her off her current course--or cease subsidizing her soaring growth.

Source: Where the Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p.145 , Aug 12, 2004

Applying our model of "freedom" means endless war with Islam

In 2002, Bush said, "the requirements of freedom apply fully to the entire Islamic world." By "freedom," the president means America's concept of freedom: The right to worship as we desire, write as we please, say what we will, live as we like. But Islam means "submission"--submission to the will of Allah. To Muslim believers, Christian missionaries have no right to proselytize in their land. In some Islamic countries, to attempt to convert Muslims is punishable by death. Millions reject the separation of mosque and state. Sharia--Islamic rules about how men and women should live--should, millions of Muslims believe, be law in all Islamic countries. Consider the reaction across the Islamic world to Salman Rushdie's blasphemous Satanic Verses.

If President Bush believes ours is the "single surviving model of human progress," and our ideas of freedom "apply fully to the entire Islamic world," we are headed for endless wars with an Islamic world.

Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p. 24 , Aug 12, 2004

2002: Launched "American Conservative" to oppose Iraq war

In the summer of 2002, I launched American Conservative, a magazine dedicated to opposing an invasion of Iraq, for which the war drums were, by then, already loudly beating. In the first column for our biweekly, I raised a question about our coming invasion: "What comes after all the celebratory gunfire when wicked Saddam is dead?" In answering my own question, I predicted the following:

With our MacArthur Regency in Baghdad, Pax Americana will reach apogee. But then the tie recedes, for the one endeavor at which Islamic peoples excel is expelling imperial powers by terror and guerilla war. They drove the Brits out of Palestine and Aden, the French out of Algeria, the Russians out of Afghanistan, the Americans out of Somalia and Beirut, the Israelis out of Lebanon....

We have started up the road to empire and over the next hill we shall meet those who went before. The only lesson we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.

Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p. 29 , Aug 12, 2004

Don't let War on Terror morph into War for Empire

What neoconservatives are about is the antithesis of strategy. They do not want to narrow America's list of enemies to those who attack us. They want to broaden the theater of war and multiply our enemies, to escalate "the Firemen's War" into a war for American hegemony. Should Bush adopt their strategy, it would be us against the Islamic world with Europe neutral and Asia rooting for our humiliation. Thus, it needs to be said: It is vital to the defeat of Al Qaeda, the security of our homeland, and our critical interests in an Arab world of twenty-two nations and an Islamic world of fifty-seven nations from Morocco to Malaysia that we not let our war on terror be conflated and morphed into the neoconservatives' war for empire. If we do, we will lose our war, isolate America, and bankrupt our republic.
Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p. 58 , Aug 12, 2004

By 2025, Iran will have atomic bomb, and 95 million people

By 2005, Iran will have 94.5 million people, a population far greater than that of any European nation but Russia. The technology of the atomic bomb will be 80 years old, and Iran, which already has ballistic missiles, will almost surely have acquired the bomb. And since the atomic age began, no nation with atomic weapons has ever had its homeland invaded or a major war launched upon it. The only nuclear nation ever attacked was Israel, by pin-prick Scud strikes from an Iraq that was being demolished.

As the North Koreans have shown the world, even a rogue nation can get a respectful hearing from the US if it can build an atom bomb.

Source: The Death of the West, by Pat Buchanan, p.108 , Oct 15, 2002

FactCheck: Nukes do not protect a country from attack

Buchanan asserts in The Death of the West, that "since the atomic age began, no nation with atomic weapons has ever had its homeland invaded or a major war launched upon it. The only nuclear nation ever attacked was Israel, by pin-prick Scud strikes from Iraq." That statement is simply untrue; for example:Those might not be "major wars" but they are certainly more than "pin-pricks" like the Iraqi Scud strikes. Even just looking at 9/11--an attack on the homeland of the United States (atomic weapons since 1945)--belies Buchanan's theory that attaining nukes makes a country immune from attack
Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on The Death of the West, p.108 , Oct 15, 2002

No all-out terror war: do the job and then exit

What took place [in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack] was an atrocity. What is coming may qualify as tragedy. For the mass murder of our citizens has filled this country with a terrible resolve that could lead it to plunge headlong into an all-out war against despised Arab and Islamic regimes that turns into a war of civilizations, with the United States almost alone.

When our Marines were massacred [in Beirut], Reagan did not send a mighty army to avenge them. He used US power to exact a price, then extricated us from that war. There is no vital American interest at risk in all these religious, territorial and tribal wars from Algeria to Afghanistan. Let us pay back those who did this, then let us extricate ourselves. Either America finds an exit strategy from empire, or we lose our republic.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Op-Ed page , Sep 18, 2001

Avoid slaughtering innocents or more terrosism will follow

We are told the first target of America’s wrath will be the Taliban. But if we rain fire and death on the Afghan nation, a proud, brave people we helped liberate from Soviet bondage, we too will slaughter hundreds of innocents. And as they count their dead, the Afghans too will unite in moral outrage; and, as they cannot fight cruise missiles or Stealth bombers, they will attack our diplomats, businessmen, tourists.
Source: Los Angeles Times, Op-Ed page , Sep 18, 2001

Doesn’t matter to US whose flag flies over Jerusalem

If Palestine wants to fight and die and unite the Arab states around them, we cannot stop them. It’s not vital to America’s security whose flag flies over Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (in Boston Globe, p. A19) , Oct 18, 2000

Iraq: end sanctions that kill kids, or pay price later

For ten years, we’ve maintained rigid sanctions on Iraq, resulting in the premature deaths of 500,000 children. Will the parents of those children ever forgive us? Even our European Allies recoil. By keeping these sanctions fastened on Iraq, we flout every tenet of Christianity’s Just War doctrine, and build up deposits of hatred across the Arab world that will take decades to draw down. One day our children shall pay the price of our callous indifference to what is happening to the children of Iraq.
Source: Speech at AntiWar.com conference, San Mateo, CA , Mar 24, 2000

Israel: Provide for self-defense, but concede land for peace

Israel will not know peace as long as it occupies Arab land.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.382-3 , Oct 9, 1999

Palestine: a flag, a land, a capital in Jerusalem

Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.383 , Oct 9, 1999

Iran & Iraq: Abandon dual containment strategy

It is time to abandon a sterile policy of dual containment for a more active diplomacy , especially with Iran. Nothing Iran’s regime has done, despicable as it may be, compares with what Mao’s men did. As for Saddam, murderous though he may be, he is not a threat to America. Should he use a weapon of mass destruction... his destruction would be total -- and he knows it.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.381 , Oct 9, 1999

Israeli lobby should not dominate Mideast policy

Q: In your book, you also seem to express great concern about the influence that Jews have had on American foreign policy.
A: I don’t know why you singled out American Jews.
Q: Because you did.
A: There are 16 ethnic lobbies. We mentioned every single one of them.
Q: You say that “the Israeli lobby is the most powerful of ethnic lobbies.” That’s your view?
A: The Israeli lobby is the most powerful of ethnic lobbies in terms of dominating foreign policy. Let me make an honest statement to you. If Pat Buchanan becomes president of the US, the foreign policy of this country and the Middle East policy of this country will be made in the Oval Office by the president of the US alone. We need a foreign policy that puts our own country first. What I am saying is AIPAC, the Israeli lobby or any other lobby, is not going to dominate foreign policy if Pat Buchanan becomes president. Our policy in the Middle East should be based on American values and American interests.
Source: Interview on “Meet the Press” , Sep 12, 1999

Casualties “in the service of the UN” breaches sovereignty

What were they fighting and dying for [in the American Revolution]? They were fighting and dying so that America would be sovereign-be free-be independent-and retain her liberty from all these world organizations from London and Brussels-from anywhere.

Look how far we have gone, my friends. When those 16 young Americans were shot down in the so-called friendly fire incident in Iraq, the vice-president of the United States issued a formal statement saying, “The parents of these young men and women can be proud they died in the service of the United Nations.:

These 16 Americans did not take an oath to the United Nations. They took an oath to the Constitution of the United States-to you and me. And when I get to the oval office, never again will young Americans be sent into battle except under American officers and to fight under the American flag.

Source: United We Stand America Conference, p.320 , Aug 12, 1995

Israelis are our friends; but must bear some responsibility

Buchanan said Bush and Gore have been unquestioning supporters of Israel during the recent conflict in the Middle East. He said Israel bears some responsibility for provoking Palestinian attacks by extending Jewish settlements in the West Bank. “Of course the Israelis are our friends, but we’ve got to have a more even-handed policy,” he said. “We have friends in the Arab world, and we have to be friends to the idea of justice in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.”
Source: Zachary Coile, San Francisco Examiner , Oct 27, 2000

Kuwait War benefited Iran; not US

I did not believe Kuwait was vital to the US. Saddam, after all, had stolen Kuwait’s oil to sell it, and Saudi Arabia could be defended without a war on Baghdad. The nation most likely to acheive hegemony in the Gulf is Iran. Iraq, a third as large and populous, was the Arab counter. If we destroyed it, Iran would be the beneficiary and the US would be left with the obligation to contain both nations, an open-ended commitment America would be unwilling to sustain.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.327 , Oct 9, 1999

Pat Buchanan on Balkans

In long term, Serbs & Kosovars & Albanians will resent US

For 78 days, US pilots flew thousands of missions against Serbia, destroying bridges, electrical grids, and, yes, even hospitals, schools and the occasional embassy. Yet, before launching his war, Clinton never received the authorization of Congress. But as a consequence of our triumph over Serbia, our young men and women are in Kosovo policing territory that has been violently contested for hundreds of years.

As of now, we do not know if US troops will end up fighting Serbs, or Kosovar Albanians, or first one, then the other. But it is a near certainty that the US will one day be forced to pull out of Kosovo, after having earned the lasting hatred of Serbs--a people who never harmed the US--and of the Albanians, whose aspirations will not be satisfied until the US helps to carve out an ethnically pure Greater Albania.

If 78 days of bombing could not eject Milosevic from power, how does forcing the people of Serbia to endure a brutal winter without fuel or heat advance our goal?

Source: Speech at AntiWar.com conference, San Mateo, CA , Mar 24, 2000

Balkan policy is a neo-imperialist failure

NATO, a defensive alliance, launched an offensive war against a nation that threatened no member of that alliance, dissipating its moral authority. Serbia is smashed. Montenegro and Macedonia are destabilized. Kosovo was purged first of Albanians, then of Serbs. And lies in ruins. US relations with China and Russia have been damaged. For what? So we and NATO could police in perpetuity a Balkan province that has not the remotest connection to US vital interests. Such are the fruits of neo-imperialism.
Source: Speech at AntiWar.com conference, San Mateo, CA , Mar 24, 2000

End sanctions that hurt innocent Serbs

Buchanan criticized “smashing” Serbia with a 78-day bombing campaign, and then denying Serbs heating oil & aid in removing the debris of war. “This immoral policy shames us as a people,” Buchanan said. “We are putting old men, women, and children under a sentence of death for failing to do what NATO itself could not do: overthrow Milosevic.” Better ways to punish rogue states, Buchanan said, include cutting off overseas assets of dictators, denying them loans & levying tariffs to deny them hard currency.
Source: NY Times, p. A22, on 2000 election , Dec 17, 1999

Balkans: Let Europe police their own backyard

The Balkan wars that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia have lasted for nearly a decade, but until we attacked Belgrade in 1999, America remained unaffected. We have no vital interest in that blood-soaked peninsula to justify a permanent military presence. The Balkans are not our backyard; they are Europe’s backyard, and responsibility for policing the peninsula belongs to them, not us.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.385 , Oct 9, 1999

We attacked Yugoslav territory without Congress’ approval

Before Clinton ordered air strikes on Yugoslavia in the early 1999, US forces had never fought in the Balkans. But today there are 8,000 US troops in Bosnia and a US occupation army in Kosovo. America engaged in acts of war against a nation that did not perpetrate any act of violence against the US or its allies. Clinton’s original ultimatum to Yugoslavia--to attack its troops and sovereign territory if it did not remove its forces from Kosovo--was made without the formal approval of Congress.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p. 29 , Oct 9, 1999

Kosovo conflict is illegal and unconstitutional

Buchanan called the conflict over Kosovo “an illegal and unconstitutional war, launched without authorization by Congress. There is not now, and there never has been, any vital US interest in whose flag flies over Pristina to justify the loss of a single platoon of US Marines.”
Source: Associated Press on 2000 presidential race , Jun 18, 1999

Prefers “least-bad peace” patrolled by Europeans & locals

Rather than wading deeper into this bloodsoaked peninsula with “all means necessary” to win, what the US needs today in the Balkans is a least-bad peace, patrolled by Europeans, where Serbs rule Serbs, Croats rule Croats, and Albanians rule Albanians.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Disaster called Kosovo” , Jun 5, 1999

Intervention causes the disaster we sought to avoid

When Mr. Clinton launched this misguided crusade, he claimed that if we did not intervene, the Balkans would be destabilized, the Kosovar Albanians would be victimized, and NATO’s credibility would be compromised. Our mindless intervention has produced precisely the disaster we sought to avoid. After weeks of bombing and billions of American tax dollars, a million Albanians have been displaced, Milosevic’s ground forces control all of Kosovo, and NATO is deeply divided.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Disaster called Kosovo” , Jun 5, 1999

No vital US interests; no right of US attack

America has no vital national interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo’s capital, and no right to attack and kill Serbs fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their country.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Disaster called Kosovo” , Jun 5, 1999

War in Yugoslavia is none of our business

Mr. Buchanan opposed from early on the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia. “We are now in a foreign war that’s none of our business.” Buchanan contended that his antiwar stance will be his definitive rallying cry.
Source: NY Times, p. A10, col. 1, “A Crowded Race”, on 2000 election , May 29, 1999

NATO should not be the air arm of the KLA

NATO was created to defend Western Europe against Soviet aggression, not to serve as the air arm of some highly suspect ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’ in its war of secession from the former Yugoslavia. What has Slobodan Milosevic done to the Albanians that Mr. Clinton’s ‘strategic partners’ in Beijing have not done to the Tibetans?
Source: Press release quoted on “Geraldo Rivera Show” , May 6, 1999

Other candidates on War & Peace: Pat Buchanan on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Religious Leaders:
New Testament
Old Testament
Pope Francis

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021