“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, February 12, 2016

“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded,” wrote James Madison, "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

How Republics Perish

by Patrick J. Buchanan, February 12, 2016

If you believed America’s longest war, in Afghanistan, was coming to an end, be advised: It is not.

Departing U.S. commander Gen. John Campbell says there will need to be US boots on the ground "for years to come." Making good on President Obama’s commitment to remove all US forces by next January, said Campbell, "would put the whole mission at risk." 
“Afghanistan has not achieved an enduring level of security and stability that justifies a reduction of our support. … 2016 could be no better and possibly worse than 2015."

Translation: A US withdrawal would risk a Taliban takeover with Kabul becoming the new Saigon and our Afghan friends massacred. 
Fifteen years in, and we are stuck. 

Nor is America about to end the next longest war in its history: Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter plans to send units of the 101st Airborne back to Iraq to join the 4,000 Americans now fighting there, 
"ISIS is a cancer," says Carter. After we cut out the “ tumor" in Mosul and Raqqa, we will go after the smaller tumors across the Islamic world. 

When can Mosul be retaken? "Certainly not this year," says the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart. 

Vladimir Putin’s plunge into the Syrian civil war with air power appears to have turned the tide in favor of Bashar Assad. 

The “ moderate" rebels are being driven out of Aleppo and tens of thousands of refugees are streaming toward the Turkish border. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is said to be enraged with the US for collaborating with Syrian Kurds against ISIS and with Obama’s failure to follow through on his dictate – “Assad must go!" 

There is thus no end in sight to the US wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, nor to the U.S.-backed Saudi war in Yemen, where ISIS and al-Qaida have re-arisen in the chaos.

Indeed, the West is mulling over military intervention in Libya to crush ISIS there and halt the refugee flood into Europe. 

Yet, despite America’s being tied down in wars from the Maghreb to Afghanistan, not one of these wars were among the three greatest threats identified last summer by Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

“Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security" said Dunford, "If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I would have to point to Russia … if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming."

Dunford agreed with John McCain that we ought to provide antitank weapons and artillery to Ukraine, for, without it, "they’re not going to be able to protect themselves against Russian aggression."

But what would we do if Putin responded by sending Russian troops to occupy Mariupol and build a land bridge to Crimea? Send US troops to retake Mariupol? Are we really ready to fight Russia? 

The new forces NATO is moving into the Baltic suggests we are.
Undeniably, disputes have arisen between Russia, and Ukraine and Georgia which seceded in 1991, over territory. But, also undeniably, many Russians in the 14 nations that seceded, including the Baltic states, never wanted to leave and wish to rejoin Mother Russia.

How do these tribal and territorial conflicts in the far east of Europe so threaten us that US generals are declaring that “Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security"?

Asked to name other threats to the United States, Gen. Dunford listed them in this order: China, North Korea, ISIS.

But while Beijing is involved in disputes with Hanoi over the Paracels, with the Philippines over the Spratlys, with Japan over the Senkakus – almost all of these being uninhabited rocks and reefs – how does China threaten the United States?

America is creeping ever closer to war with the other two great nuclear powers because we have made their quarrels our quarrels, though at issue are tracts and bits of land of no vital interest to us. 

North Korea, which just tested another atomic device and long-range missile, is indeed a threat to us. 

But why are US forces still up the DMZ, 62 years after the Korean War? Is South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of the North and twice the population, incapable of defending itself?

Apparently slipping in the rankings as a threat to the United States is that runaway favorite of recent years, Iran.

Last fall, though, Sen. Ted Cruz reassured us that “the single biggest national security threat facing America right now is the threat of a nuclear Iran."

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded," wrote James Madison, "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." 

Perhaps Madison was wrong.

Otherwise, with no end to war on America’s horizon, the prospect of this free republic enduring is, well, doubtful.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at

Read more by Patrick J. Buchanan


  1. Obama’s Budget Proposes Drastic Increases in War Spending

    This Republican notion that Obama is shrinking the military could not be more wrong!

    By Tom Engelhardt / Tom Dispatch February 11, 2016

    To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from here.

    Here’s my little joke of the month: How do you spell Pentagon? M-O-R-E.

    Whether it’s funny or not, it couldn’t be more accurate. And that urge for more is fed endlessly by an American military that has increasingly become the only “option” on that mythical “table” in Washington where all options are supposedly kept. Recently, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter previewed the proposed new Pentagon budget for 2017, and one thing is evident: war is in the money. The Obama administration wants to double the funding for the war against the Islamic State to $7 billion, money to be ponied up by a Congress that refuses to declare war on the Islamic State.

    At the same time, the proposed budget calls for a quadrupling to $3.4 billion of what might be considered next-war funding. Think of it as financing for a prospective future European face-off against Vladimir Putin & Co. Yes, Russia, a rickety energy state facing plunging oil prices and rising discontent, turns out, according to Carter, to be America’s latest looming enemy du jour. The defense secretary is planning to use that $3.4 billion to “stockpile heavy weapons, armored vehicles, and other military equipment” across Central and Eastern Europe, station “a full armored combat brigade” (4,000 or more troops) in the region, and “construct or refurbish maintenance facilities, airfields, and training ranges in seven European countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.” (All of them, except half of Germany, were once part of the Soviet bloc.)


    1. {...}

      Leaving the money aside for a moment, consider how perfectly this latest announcement caps the varying strategies of the Obama administration and the Pentagon over the last half-decade.

      If you remember, way back in 2011 the Iraq War officially ended and U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan were winding down. At that moment, the Obama administration proclaimed a new global strategy. Washington, which had been bogged down in the Greater Middle East for the previous decade, was going to turn the page and shift its emphasis to the planet's rising power, China. Who doubted, after all, that the U.S. had a military duty to confront, deal with, and contain that country?

      This new militarized strategy was called a “pivot to Asia.” Of course, Washington had never left Asia. Still, troops and new weaponry were to be moved into the region, a policy the Obama administration initiated with the highly publicized deployment of, or sale of, major weapons systems to places like Singapore and Indonesia and the highly publicized stationing of new U.S. troops (in relatively small numbers) in Australia. All this had barely begun, however, when, from Afghanistan to Iraq, not to speak of Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen, things began to go awry. And soon enough, Washington would find itself pivoting back to the Greater Middle East big time (though without stopping its slow build-up in Asia).

      Meanwhile, the U.S. military had also begun pivoting to a place where it had been largely absent in the past: Africa. In the last few years, as Nick Turse has reported at this site, it has acquired a network of 60 small bases, outposts, and access points across that continent; American drones are now in African skies and its drone bases there multiplying; and U.S. special operations teams seem to be training proxy forces everywhere on the continent. Although this has been happening largely under the media radar, there can be little question that a "pivot to Africa" is underway.

      Which brings us back to that proposed 2017 Pentagon budget. The skyrocketing funding to move new U.S. troops and equipment into the former Soviet areas of Europe and build (or build up) yet more "facilities" there means that, in 2016, we may be witnessing a “pivot to Europe” as well. You could think of it all collectively as the Pentagon’s pivot to more or less everywhere, or just spell it out as M-O-R-E and be done with it.


  2. Obama was never the great progressive that he claimed he was. He sold out. He lied.

    Hillary Clinton will be more of the same but worse.Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the War Machine.

    Why is this happening?

    We live in an Orwellian nightmare where we are told that these wars are being waged for freedom and democracy, when in reality, they are being waged for political power and corporate profit. We will spend $600 billion on the Pentagon and have a merchandise trade deficit with China, north of $330 billion.

  3. The Cold War and the creation of the National Security State in 1947 gave birth to the biggest military expenditures that the world has known to date. Not only that --our culture is permeated with military worship.

    Color guards at every public event, ROTC in our schools, posters of enlisted men and women on our streets (paid for by their families) and airline pilots always urging us to stand at attention when military personnel are onboard. Presidents obliged to proclaim at the State of the Union that we have a military second to none to thunderous applause.

    How can a people so enamored with its military think rationally? Does the country need 12 carrier groups? 800 plus bases overseas? Pivoting East to contain China? One thing is certain: if we continue on this path national bankruptcy is assured.

    Spengler 1

  4. Why was the Super Bowl so militarized?

    1. And, who thought those god-ugly red hats were a good idea. I thought the N. Koreans had already invaded.

    2. ...From the fighter jets soaring overhead to the armed troops patrolling Levi Stadium, Super Bowl 50 was a highly militarized event, its 70,000 spectators and millions of television viewers subject to a showcase of war propaganda and heavy security crackdown.

      To much fanfare, the Armed Forces Chorus, comprised of 50 men and women from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force, kicked off the massive sports event by singing "America the Beautiful” from the field. CBS’ broadcast of the song cut away to footage of uniformed troops standing at attention, with text on the screen reading, “United States Forces Afghanistan.” The clip was a nod to a brutal war and occupation, now stretching into its 15th year, as top generals press for an even slower withdrawal.

      Following the national anthem, the U.S. Navy flew its signature Blue Angels Delta formation over the cheering stadium, located in Santa Clara, Calif. The Navy is open about the propaganda purposes of such flights, stating in a press release they are intended to demonstrate “pride” in the military. In a country that dropped 23,144 bombs on Muslim-majority countries in 2015 alone, the war planes are not just symbolic...

      ...The heavy-handed display follows revelations that some NFL teams have long been accepting payment from the Department of Defense to honor and celebrate the military and its service members.

      Some were open about their profiteering aims. Military weaponry was also displayed off the field on Sunday, when the arms giant Northrop Grumman released a 30-second television advertisement for a terrifying and futuristic fighter jet complete with lasers.

      Meanwhile, at the stadium and in surrounding communities, a real crackdown took place. The Super Bowl was determined by Homeland Security to be a “level one” security event, prompting a massive deployment of police and troops. Service members in uniform carried automatic rifles as they patrolled the stadium, and camouflaged Humvee vehicles with roof gun mounts were seen throughout the area.

  5. "When can Mosul be retaken? "Certainly not this year," says the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart."

    This statement surely doesn't square with what we're seeing, does it?

  6. Imagine what would be happening had Putin not crashed the party.

    1. That's the B-list Party.

      The A-list Party is a little South of there.

  7. I can hardly wait to see the Saudi army that shows up.

    1. I'm getting older every day. I imagine I'll miss that show. :)

    2. Hang in there pal and try not to notice that by the time you finally get it all figured, you get kicked out.

    3. It seems all too convenient to be coincidental, don't it? :) :)

  8. The real tragic farce is Americans, with no military connections or experience celebrating a militaristic culture that creates the US that do not exist, does not win wars, wrecks one country and society after another, stirs up the crazies bent on revenge making us less safe.

  9. The good news is, we don't have troops out there in the field taking casualties every day,

    and $7 Billion is a long, long way from $180 Billion.

  10. Fractured concrete blown out by rusted rebar is a far greater threat to the average American than some Islamist crazy.

  11. I’m going to watch a Hubble Hangout on gravitation waves.

    1. Scientists at Washington’s National Science Foundation and Moscow State University have confirmed the discovery of Albert Einstein’s gravitational waves. The breakthrough, possibly the biggest in physics in a century, could be the key to new understanding of the universe.

    2. That thing, I'm afraid, is well over my head. If you get hit by a rogue (gravitational) wave, do you

      go back in time?

      Leap forward?

      Wish you were never born?

      Literally, never be born?

    3. Disappear, along with the rest of the Solar System (Galaxy?)

    4. I mean, Damn! "Ripples in Space/Time?"

      You gotta admit, that sounds like a fucked-up day.

  12. Gravitation Waves

  13. Just think of it as great big tugs, ocean waves, on the fabric of space/time, which is no fabric at all, and which doesn't really exist without an observer, and you are half way there....

    1. ......then think that YOU create the gravitational waves, and you are all the way there.

      To become wealthy out of this, all you need is a gravitational wave salesman, a Quirk of some kind....and some buyers, of course, created by quirks....

  14. If all this fighting in the Mideast were created by corporations and the lust for profit a solution could be at hand.

    Alas, things are not so simple.

    A truly warped kind of thinking by so many moslems needs to be addressed as well...that is to say the you will do as we say or we will kill you kind of thinking.

    This thinking prevailed long before American corporations, or America, came on the scene.....80 million dead Hindus are just a part of the long sad story....

  15. .

    If all this fighting in the Mideast were created by corporations and the lust for profit a solution could be at hand.

    Don't be silly, son. Who wants solutions when you can have job security? Job security.


  16. Dark Matter Matters !

  17. Feeling dizzy lately ?

    A little light headed perhaps ?

    Underweight ?

    Needing to add a few pounds ?

    Try the benefits of Quirk's Gravity Waves, limited time free trial offer.

    Write to:

    Quirk's Gravity Waves
    Box 00000000001
    Detroit, Michigan

    1. (three free quarks included, one 'up', two 'down', gluons extra)

  18. Number of refugees arrested in the United States on terrorism-related charges since 2001 : 10

    Number of natural-born U.S. citizens : 320

    Chances an American charged with Islamic State–related terrorism in the past two years was a convert to Islam : 2 in 5

    Percentage of Islamic State recruitment videos released since January 2014 that target an English-speaking audience : 4

    Portion of Americans who worry that a family member will be a victim of terrorism : 1/2

    Number of people killed by political or religious extremists on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001 : 93

    Percentage of these deaths attributable to far-right-wing political extremism : 52

    Percentage of U.S. Muslim doctors who say their religion has caused patients to refuse their care : 9

    Number of times TSA inspectors attempted to sneak fake weapons through passenger checkpoints last year : 70

    Number of those attempts that were successful : 67


  19. Once again our own Jack Hawkins, a self confessed criminal, a Jew hater, Zionist basher and slanderer extraordinaire, blames Israel for Moslem terror. He has a pattern of doing this......

    Jack HawkinsFri Feb 12, 08:48:00 PM EST
    Nothing quite like the lack of factual information requied before our "O"rdure jumps to conclusions not yet substantiated by law enforcement.

    Looks as much like another false flag Mossad operation, this time targeting an Arab Christian refugee from Israel than it does a Moslem terrorist attack.

    But sadly for Jack law enforcement has confirmed this guy, innocently named "Mohammed" Berry was looked at by the FBI 4 years ago, took trips to the middle east...

    He also used a machete and is confirmed to have scoped out the Israeli-arab owned restaurant and actually went in asking where was the owner from... Haifa Israel...

    Once again, this blog allows Jack Hawkins to post such garbage about Israel and the Mossad with any deletions or censorship.

    Thus this blog endorses said statements...

    Deuce it's your dog making these hideous statements....