FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

An Open Letter to Pat Buchanan

by NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN

Dear Pat Buchanan,

I have often admired your writings, in particular your strong articles before and after the Iraq invasion. You spoke out when others did not. You wrote powerfully against globalization, the hollowing out of America, of the trade deficit and on other issues, warning against the dire consequences that would follow.

Your piece today, “To Punish Bush is to Punish America” undoes all that good work.

If Iraq “is the worst strategic blunder in our lifetime”, why should the unrepentant author of that folly go unpunished? And you say to let him go is to punish America? Well, I’m sure there were those who felt that to punish Ken Lay would be to punish Enron.

You have only to read your own columns over the past two years to be convinced of the enormous economic, cultural and military punishment that the country has already received under the Bush Administration. It is impossible to understand how you, in good conscience, can ask anyone to vote for this president, especially since he himself has sought no accounting for all that has gone wrong. Indeed, he has pretended as though everything is right. When asked during the second debate, he could not even come up with a single heartfelt example of a mistake, saying specifically that Iraq was NOT a mistake. Phony or dumb? It doesn’t matter. Either way, the country is the victim. And here you are saying punishing him is punishing America! Since when have we started equating the president with the nation? Most recently, Saddam’s Iraq did. Or are you suggesting that if Bush leaves office, we would become like Iraq?

Your excuse is that Kerry is worse. Well, if you, as an American patriot, could sit in Washington DC inveighing against one war, why was it any worse for Kerry to protest another war, one about which he had first-hand knowledge? Is everyone opposing any ongoing war to be classed a traitor? And by your logic, are those who brought Abu Ghraib to world notice traitors too?

Now that’s smearing, just the kind you accuse Kerry of having done.

Yes, Kerry may not be the best candidate in the world. But that is hardly the point. If a president has committed impeachable offenses, would you plead to keep him in office just because the vice-president is not to your liking? Any intelligent person knows these are two different questions.

From your own writings: the disingenuous forced-march to war, the deliberate raising of phony threats, the sly conflation of Iraq and Al Qaeda to serve his purpose, the fake claim of WMD’s, NAFTA, the corporatization of government policies including the growth of outsourcing, the trade deficit, the wink at illegal immigration, the outsourcing of Middle East policy to Israel, are eloquent arguments why Bush does not deserve a single day longer in office. In a political environment less fearful and befuddled there would long ago have been a motion to impeach the president for Iraq (As Clinton was for far less. I don’t remember your stance on that impeachment, but I’m fairly certain you did not oppose it on the sole plea that Gore would be worse). So why this apology for Bush?

It would have been quite different to say that you couldn’t support Bush, though you were not endorsing Kerry. Instead you have actually endorsed the reelection of the most incompetent administration in recent memory (starting with not thwarting 9-11 to today’s missing motherlode of explosives in Iraq).

So unpersuasive is your case that it would be difficult to imagine any thinking person being swayed by your endorsement. Reasonable people might even conclude, given your earlier writings, that you had somehow compromised your integrity in some backroom deal. Personally, I think your last paragraph is most indicative of what is at work — the tribal instinct. You are correct — when the shooting starts, it’s time to come home. Except one imagine that home to be America, not Bush’s corporate backoffice. Heaven knows why an intelligent man like you would confuse the two.

Not long ago, you were sharpening your wit on Dan Rather who, according to you, was so carried away by his animus against Bush that he had put himself in a predicament at the end of a long career where he had to eat his own words. The same might be said of you, Kerry, and all your fine columns over the years. I think they might go well with some salsa.

NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN

NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN is a writer living on the West Coast. His writings can be found on http://www.indogram.com/gramsabha/articles. His blog is at http://njn-blogogram.blogspot.com. He can be reached at njn_2003@yahoo.com.

 

/>Niranjan Ramakrishnan is a writer living on the West Coast.  His book, “Reading Gandhi In the Twenty-First Century” was published last year by Palgrave.  He may be reached at njn_2003@yahoo.com.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail