The Right Side
DEMOCRACY, NOT IMPERIALISM
by William Dipini, Jr.
American Reporter Correspondent
THE BRONX, N.Y. -- Is the war on terrorism really about global hegemony? Is it really about power? Even if it was about power, should America use that power when it is in our nation's interest to do so? Should we stand reserv ed in the periphery of an active dangerous system and wait for a state to emerge as a superpower to test our powers for us?
Of course not. Pat Buchanan, however, believes so.
Buchanan's belligerent stance against the Bush administration's "neocon" war on terrorism and his boisterous outcry that the spread of democracy is anti-American interventionism is preposterous and irrational.
In his virulent March 24, 2003 column "Whose War?" in The American Conservative, Buchanan alleged that neoconservatives here at home had exploited the tragedy of 9/11 to compel America into an all-out war against their log-time foe, Islam. He maintained that prior to the attack, the neoconservative coterie - Bill Bennett, Paul Wolfowitz, Charles Krauthammer, Richard Perle, Irving Kristol, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and many others - had been cooking up a global imperialism and interventionism plan to efface Arab and Islamic countries from the face of the Earth.
"The neocons seek American empire, and Sharonites seek hegemony over the Middle East," he wrote.
After perusing Buchanan's columns and plumbing the issue, I utterly disagree that the war on terror is an American desire for hegemony; a war caused by neo-conservatism; a war that would benefit only Jews. This man embraces a misapprehension about international relations.
The Buchanan Crusade against American foreign policy commenced way before 9/11. In fact, Buchanan's 2000 campaign slogan was "A Republic, Not an Empire." He has always been a noninterventionist and even opposed the first Iraqi war in 1991.
Anti-Semitism is the rationale for his churlish and unseemly behavior. He despises Jews. Buchanan's personal crisis is that ex-liberal Jews have played a major role in shaping America's Middle East foreign policy. The neoconservatives are about "one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud." ("The Fight on the Right," May 16, 2003).
What is peculiar and nasty with this line is that it emanates from Hitler's Third Reich slogan "Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer," (as cited by Peter Robinson in "The Fight on the Right").
This traditional, paleo-conservative wannabe had the audacity to connect Hitler and the Nazi motto with neoconservatives, Jews and the war on terror. He even said that there would never be peace in Israel because the despotic Ariel Sharon has President George W. Bush on a fixed headlock. The last time I heard, however, Sharon relinquished Jericho to the Palestinians and declared to the majority of Jewish settlers in the West Bank area that they have to pack up and leave.
What does he know about America's interests anyway? During his 2000 presidential campaign, Buchanan said, "We need a party that will stand up for conservatism, for an America first foreign policy, that will defend our borders, that will defend life," (Nader-Buchanan debate, "Meet the Press," Oct. 1, 2000).
"America first foreign policy" "Defend our borders?" "Defend life?" An accurate delineation of his foreign policy position is "Islamic terrorism first, American foreign policy last."
Am I wrong to say that Buchanan sympathizes with Islamic terrorists? In his extravagant 2004 book, "Where the Right Went Wrong," Buchanan argues that our presence in the Middle East was the primary cause for 9/11. That is, Americans got what they deserve.
To contend that American foreign policy is the primary factor that breeds Islamic terrorism is a specious argument because Islamic terrorism is a universal phenomenon.
Brian E. Birdnow, professor of history at Saint Louis University, responded to Buchanan's fallacious assertion that 9/11 occurred because of our presence in the Islamic world ("Where Pat Buchanan Went Wrong," Oct. 4, 2004): "If this is true how does Buchanan explain Islamic terrorism in India, Sudan, Indonesia, and the Philippine Islands? These nations are not defiling the Sacred Soil of Islam, yet they are targets of terrorist attack. What about terrorist acts committed in the 1980s by the likes of Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, the Libyans, and others?"
What is wrong with Buchanan? To argue that this war is not in America's interest is insane and a big slap in the face to me and my family and other families who lost their loved ones.
Islamic terrorists attacked my home, New York City, on Sept. 11 because they hated my way of life. Had it not been for my quitting my job as a security guard at 7 World Financial Center two weeks before these sick terrorists knocked the building down with airplanes, I would have not been sitting in front of my 17-inch monitor composing this column. I would have not been sitting beside my 10-year-old-son explaining to him why I am writing this column.
Buchanan is confused. He acknowledges that the world is becoming more ominous ("The Stillborn Empire"); yet, he despises Wilsonian interventionism and prefers to sit back and relax and drink Kool-Aid. His position is the defense strand of political realism. He believes that war exceeds benefits and that democracy is the antithesis of what is good ("A Republic, Not a Demo cracy").
Yes, Buchanan is against interventionism because Wilson was from the other side of the political spectrum-he was a Progressive. Buchanan, on the contrary, is a traditional conservative-a hard-core realist, Southern Confederacy style.
Looking back over the last 60 years, however, one cannot overlook the reality that Wilsonian interventionism has made the world more peaceful. How does Buchanan expect to protect our borders by espousing non-interventionism in an anarchical system that is arguably degenerating into multipolarism? How can we protect our homeland if weaker states-many of whom are our enemies-are working diligently (some are collaborating with other states) towards the creation of weapons systems?
Buchanan embraces an irrational view of the world. He stubbornly refuses to see that Islamic terrorism is a threat to America. He sees America as the fifth century B.C. Athens struggling for global hegemony and the Islamic world as Melos. Buchanan needs to break the shackles of ignorance inside Plato's Cave, see the light, and take a real glimpse of reality.
This is not a war for global hegemony. This is a march for freedom against a bevy of Islamic killers who wants to end our way of life and will do anything to prevent the unprecedented spread of democracy we see today throughout the Middle East.
William Dipini Jr. is a government student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and can be reached at mailto:email@example.com.