War in the Cards for 2015?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
January 02, 2015 "ICH"
- “If you see 10 troubles coming down the
road, you can be sure that nine will run
into the ditch before they reach you,” said
Calvin Coolidge, whose portrait hung in the
Cabinet Room of the Reagan White House.
Among the dispositions shared
by the two conservatives was a determination
to stay out of other people’s wars.
Peering into 2015, there
are wars into which our interventionists are
eager to plunge that represent no immediate
or grave threat to us.
One is the war the Islamic
State group is waging in Syria and Iraq, a
menace so great, we are told, it may require
U.S. ground troops.
But why? Syria and Iraq
are 5,000 miles away. And because of its
barbarism and incompetence, the Islamic
State is losing support in the Sunni lands
it now occupies.
The Kurds have halted the
group’s advance toward Irbil, Iraq. Shiite
militias, no friends of ours, have halted
its advance toward Baghdad. The Islamic
State is under steady drone and air attack
by the U.S. and Arab allies. Iran is
providing men and materiel to Damascus and
Baghdad in their battle against the group.
Now the Turks and Gulf
Arabs, including the Saudis, appear to have
awakened to the threat and are weighing in
against the Islamic State.
Why not let them do the
By staying out of the two
world wars of the 20th century until the
other great powers were fully engaged and
horribly bled, America emerged triumphant
with the fewest casualties and least damage.
That used to be called
Moreover, compared with
Nazi Germany, imperial Japan, Stalin’s USSR
and Mao’s China, the Islamic State doesn’t
even make the “JV,” to use Barack Obama’s
Last month, the drums were
beating for an attack on North Korea for
what Sen. John McCain called a “new form of
warfare” and what Sen. Lindsey Graham called
“cyberterrorism” aided by China.
In “A Reply to Kim’s
Cyberterrorism,” The Wall Street Journal
urged a “forceful response” to deter “future
attacks.” Swiftly, there followed the
crashing of North Korea’s Internet system.
Query: If reports are true
that Sony Pictures was hacked by ticked-off
ex-employees yet North Korea’s Internet was
brought down by a U.S. cyberattack, who is
the cyberterrorist now?
Perhaps some of those
Iranian technicians in Natanz who watched
their centrifuges breaking down and blowing
up from the Stuxnet virus have some thoughts
But the most determined
push for war in 2015 will come from neocons
and interventionists who want a U.S.-Putin
confrontation and regime change in Russia.
And as Russia has a nuclear arsenal to match
our own, this is a matter of real gravity.
Because of U.S.-EU
sanctions on Russia for its role in Ukraine
and the collapse in the price of oil,
Russia’s principal export, the ruble has
lost half its value, and the economy faces a
contraction of 5 percent in 2015.
Real hardships lie ahead
for the Russian people. But it seems they
are not blaming Vladimir Putin for their
troubles. They are blaming us.
“According to the
respected Moscow ‘Levada Center,’ which
measures political sentiment in Russian
society,” the New York Observer reports, “74
percent of Russians have negative feelings
towards the USA. … In the 1990s, 80 percent
had positive attitude toward America.
“Currently, 76 percent of
Russians hate Obama personally and only a
meager 2 percent like him. … These are the
maximum peaks of anti-American feelings in
Russia in years. … Just last week Visa and
MasterCard completely stopped their
operations in Crimea, leaving more than 2
million people there without access to their
One Moscow supermarket is
using American flags as doormats, and
customers are wiping their feet on them.
Before going home,
Congress voted to levy new sanctions on
Russia and authorized U.S. lethal weapons to
be sent to Kiev to enable Ukraine to retake
Luhansk and Donetsk and perhaps Crimea.
Obama signed the bill.
With Republican hawks
taking over all congressional committees
dealing with foreign and defense policy,
peace and war, in the new year, there will
be a competitive clamor that Obama send the
guns to Kiev.
And what happens then?
Will Putin abandon the
rebels and face the rage of the Russian
people for backing down? Will Putin wait for
the U.S. anti-tank weapons and ammunition to
arrive and be sent to eastern Ukraine?
Or will Putin, a decisive
sort, send in the Russian army before the
U.S. weapons arrive, hive off a land bridge
to Crimea – and maybe more for bartering
purposes – and call Obama’s bluff?
In his New Year’s message
to the Russian people, Putin hailed the
annexation of Crimea as an achievement that
will “forever remain a landmark in the
Doesn’t sound as if he’ll
be giving Crimea up any time soon.
“It’s tough to make
predictions, especially about the future,”
said the wise Yogi Berra. But one prediction
seems not too risky.
Either Obama and Putin
enter negotiations over Ukraine or the war
in Ukraine, with 4,700 dead since April,
gets bigger and wider.
Patrick J. Buchanan is
the author of the new book "The Greatest
Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat
to Create the New Majority." To find out
more about Patrick Buchanan and read
features by other Creators writers and
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