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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
Clancy Sigal
It’s the Pits: the Miner’s Blues
Robert K. Tan
Abe is Taking Japan Back to the Bad Old Fascism
April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail