End of an Unserious
Patrick J. Buchanan
October 19, 2001
In September, 1929, “the Roaring Twenties,” “the Era of Wonderful Nonsense,” of sex, booze, and jazz, ended with the stock market crash that began the Great Depression. There followed the “low dishonest decade” of poet W.H. Auden’s depiction, as Western statesmen sought to appease their way to security and peace.
On September 11, 2001, as the two 767s smashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, bringing them crashing to earth with 5000 dead Americans, another unserious era, of sex scandals and stock market silliness, came to an end.
Recall, if you will, the summer of 2001. The story that had CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News transfixed was The Saga of Gary Condit. Nightly, talk-show hosts demanded answers to the great questions: Why did Gary throw away the watch box? Where did stewardess Anne Marie Smith spend her D.C. nights? By September 11, the story seemed about to end in a great courtroom drama, with Anne Marie charging Gary with libel -- for denying she committed adultery.
What will the decade be remembered for? The Trial of O. J. Who killed Jon-Benet Ramsey? The Oval Office trysts of Bill and Monica. Condit Summer.
Meanwhile, not to worry about the world. For America is “the last superpower,” the “indispensable nation.” The New Economy will take us to “Dow 36,000!” “Pax Americana” and “Global Democracy” are our destiny.
On September 11, the frivolous era came to an end. Suddenly, for the first time since Gen. Jackson drove the British army out of Louisiana, the enemy was inside the gates, slaughtering thousands.
Why? Because we adopted an open-borders policy that left tens of millions of illegal aliens wandering about America, few of whom had any loyalty to us, some of whom were willing to murder us on the orders of their foreign masters. To keep the cost of labor down, we let millions of strangers, and not a few enemies, into our home. Never before has America been so vulnerable, and corporate greed and craven politicians did it to us.
Tuesday, the U.S. reported that industrial production fell for the 12th straight month. Bethlehem Steel became the latest U.S. company to go Chapter 11. U.S. factories now produce at 75% of capacity. Last year, the U.S. trade deficit in manufactures hit $324 billion and the merchandise trade deficit $450 billion. The de-industrialization of America is well advanced.
In a triumph of the globalists, America has become again what she has not been in generations: a dependent nation. For the loss of our economic independence, we may thank the free-trade-uber-alles crowd. They tell us their high principles prevent them from saving the U.S. industries their polices are designed to kill. But, routinely, they loot our tax dollars to bail out their banker friends and foreign collaborators from Indonesia to Russia to Argentina.
With the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the U.S. had a chance to dissolve old Cold War alliances and adopt an America First policy of non-intervention in wars that were none of our business. Instead, we launched the Gulf War, expanded NATO to Russia’s border, went nation-building in Somalia, invaded Haiti, plunged into the Balkans, smashed Serbia, and imposed sanctions that may have killed half a million Iraqis. Today, U.S. war commitments in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Gulf, Central Asia, and the Taiwan Strait exceed those of Ronald Reagan. Yet, Mr. Bush has only half the Army, Navy, and Air Force Mr. Reagan had. Never has America been so over-extended.
How has the American Empire profited the American people? Only the Brits are with us in Afghanistan, and they will take a pass on the next war planned by our warhawks: The invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, once-friendly regimes from Jordan to Malaysia squirm to distance themselves from the “indispensable nation.”
With the FBI warning of a 100% chance of terrorist attacks, with anthrax scares shutting down Congress, with daily calls to curtail civil liberties, questions arise: Are we more or less free and secure than when we began to build this “New World Order”? Are we better off now than we were before we ignored our Founding Fathers and decided to go abroad “in search of monsters to destroy.”
The President has moved with great prudence in the Afghan war. Let us go in, get them, get out, and go home, and let the Arab and Islamic world work out its own destiny. But of this we may be sure. History will hold the globalists and latter-day imperialists of Left and Right accountable. Their epitaph is already written: “On the altar of global empire, they sacrificed their country.”
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