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February 18, 2006

It doesn’t matter if you’re right or left—Bush is wrong

By Michael Youther

It doesn't matter if you are Right wing, left wing—liberal, conservative—red state, blue state. We all want America to be a good place to live. We want decent jobs for ourselves and our children. We want to breathe fresh air and drink clean water. We have no desire to be the policeman of the world or rule an empire. We just want to live in peace.


I recently read Pat Buchanan’s book, Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency. I would recommend it to anyone, regardless of their politics. The biggest surprise to me was that even though Pat Buchanan is one of America’s leading right-wing conservative voices, I agree with everything he said in this book.

His view of the war in Iraq:

• “In 2003, the United States invaded a country that did not threaten us, did not attack us, and did not want war with us, to disarm it of weapons we have since discovered it did not have.” (Page 6—page numbers refer to Buchanan’s book)

He predicted what was in store for the United States as a result of its meddling in other countries’ business and politics.

• “… will it take some cataclysmic atrocity on U.S. soil to awaken our global gamesmen to the going price of empire? America today faces a choice of destinies. We can choose to be a peacemaker of the world, or its policeman who goes about night-sticking troublemakers until we, too, find ourselves in some bloody brawl we cannot handle.” (Page 15, as a Reform Party Candidate in 2000)

Buchanan’s book describes some of the leading neoconservatives and paints a frightening picture of how they think and where they are taking America—thanks to the Bush Administration.

• “The Leeden Doctrine: Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” (page 50)

• “The truth is that the benevolent hegemony exercised by the U.S. is good for a vast portion of the world’s population.” --Robert Kagan, quoted on page 55

The neoconservatives believe that U.S. and Israeli interests are identical (Page 45). If that were true, it would be the first time in history that the interests of two countries were the same. They want America to destroy Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, militant Islam; and eventually rule the world with a mixture of benevolence and nuclear weapons. Everyone has a place in their New World Order:

• “America does the bombing and fighting, the French, British and Germans serve as police in the border zones, and the Dutch, Swiss and Scandinavians provide humanitarian aid.” --Robert Kagan, quoted on Page 55

Unlike most of the conservative talking heads, Buchanan offers thoughtful insight on the attackers of September 11, 2001.

• “[Bin Laden’s] act of terror was designed to provoke America into blind rage, and his act of terror may have succeeded beyond his wildest expectations—in Iraq. …we make a terrible mistake if we do not reflect upon the motives and agenda of these Islamic warriors, and think how best to avoid playing the role they have assigned to us in their bloody drama.” (Page 104)

• “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…. [They] 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.” (Page 85)

If you recall the debate about NAFTA and Ross Perot’s warning of the “giant sucking sound” of jobs leaving America, you will love Buchanan’s chapter on “Economic Treason”.

• “Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, [Pat Buchanan] and the AFL-CIO opposed it, as did the American people. It did not matter. Before the vote, the bazaar opened, and members of Congress began selling their votes to the White House. NAFTA won. Ten years later, the returns are in.” (Page 164)

• “For seven decades, until 1970, Americans produced 96 percent of all they consumed. Now, a fourth of our steel is foreign-made, a third of our cars, half our machine tools, two-thirds of the clothes we wear, and almost all our shoes, radios, telephones, TVs, camera, VCRs, and bicycles.” (page 160)

• “From 1900 to 1970, America ran trade surpluses every year. We have now run thirty-three straight trade deficits, with the merchandise trade deficit now at $600 billion, or almost 6 percent of GDP. No great power has sustained trade deficits like these for decades without a collapse of its currency and the end of its supremacy.” (Page 163)

• “Every month of the first thirty-eight of George W. Bush’s presidency, manufacturing jobs disappeared. One is six have vanished since he took his oath, 2.6 million in all.” (Page 160)

• “Mexico now exports 90% more cars to the United States than we do to the world.” (Page 165)

• “…Boeing Corp., General Dynamics Co., Honeywell International Inc., General Electric Co.’s GE Aircraft Engines are all beginning to make Mexico a base for both parts and assembly.” (Page 165)

• “If aircraft parts can be made by Mexican workers for $20 a day and computers can be made by Chinese workers for $10 a day, what is ther left that cannot be manufactured more cheaply abroad?” (page 166)

The prevailing thought seems to be, “It does not make any difference whether a country makes computer chips or potato chips.” --Michael Boskin, chairman of the council of Economic Advisers under Bush I (page 161). This argument falls flat when you consider that the Pentagon opposed a law that would require a 65 percent American content in U.S. weapons (page 164). The reason: our national defense systems will not work, if two-thirds of their components had to be made in the U.S.A.—In other words, America’s ability to protect itself depends on parts made by other countries.

So what am I to think of this unexpected meeting of the minds between Pat Buchanan and me? Have I become a right-wing conservative without realizing it? Or is Pat Buchanan a closet liberal—I don’t think so.

The reality is that there are some things that every concerned American can agree on. Right wing, left wing—liberal, conservative—red state, blue state; it doesn’t matter. No matter how much Karl Rove and the Bush Administration want to keep us divided, there are some things that will always unite us.

We all want America to be a good place to live. We want decent jobs for ourselves and our children. We want to breathe fresh air and drink clean water. We have no desire to be the policeman of the world or rule an empire. We just want to live in peace.

That should be the goal of any good government.

Submitters Bio:
Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.