Sock Time or Patriotism?

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

Pat
Buchanan might be America's best-known anti-interventionist, but
come wartime and his lips are zipped.

On
the March 18 Buchanan and Press, Buchanan discussed Senate
Minority Leader Tom Daschle's criticism of George Bush before his
March 17 address. He said to his co-host:

With
due respect to your party, I think you have got to stop acting
like the Dixie Chicks [a Texan trio, one of whose members said
on March 10 during a London concert that she was ashamed George
Bush is from Texas]. These guys are supposed to be responsible
political leaders and they're not supposed to be trashing the
commander in chief 48 hours before he sends American troops
into combat. Give it a rest until after the war is over.

He
later prescribed, “Tell Tom and Nancy Pelosi, also, who started
up again today on the president, put a sock in it until the war
is over!”

Buchanan
justified the anti-war moratorium on patriotic grounds in a commentary
on President Bush's speech:

He
said Saddam Hussein and his sons have 48 hours to get out of
town, and, if they don't, we're going to take them down and
take down the regime. So, that's what's coming, upcoming, folks.
And when that happens and when Americans go into battle, it
seems to me that the right thing to do for patriots, when American
lives are at risk and Americans are dying, is to unite behind
the troops until victory is won.

To
borrow a fine solecism from the movie O
Brother, Where Art Thou?
, “That don't make no sense.”

The
great anti-totalitarian thinker Ludwig von Mises observes in Omnipotent
Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War
, “Patriotism
is the zeal for one's own nation's welfare, flowering, and freedom.”
Patriotism thus entails opposition if one believes invading Iraq
will harm America's welfare and freedom.

Imagine
President Bush or his successor goes on to invade New Zealand as
part of fulfilling a “Manifest Oceania.” According to Buchanan's
prescription, anti-war patriots would be obliged to shut up until
the victory parade through Wellington.

Where's
the logic or honor in that?

Regarding
support for troops, an anti-war patriot who opposes war in wartime
pursues a course he believes will hasten troops' withdrawal from
unnecessary peril. He supports them by trying to bring them home.

Is
it to be argued that opposition in wartime is inherently unpatriotic?
If so, Russian opponents of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were
traitors, as would be American opponents of conquering New Zealand.
Please.

I'm
sure some people oppose invading Iraq because they think it will
damage America, just as some support invading because they think
it will damage America. My claim is that support for or opposition
to invading Iraq isn't ipso facto patriotic. I believe there are
patriots who oppose invasion, patriots who support invasion, enemies
of America who oppose invasion, and enemies of America who support
invasion.

Pat
Buchanan has written and spoken copiously against an American invasion
of Iraq. He believes George Bush's policy is detrimental to America,
and neither he nor anyone who loves America and opposes that policy
should gag himself at this most crucial time.

That's
what amor patriae is about.

March
20, 2003

Myles
Kantor [send him mail]
is a columnist for FrontPageMagazine.com and president of the
Center for Free Emigration,
which agrees with Frederick Douglass that “It is a fundamental truth
that every man is the rightful owner of his own body.”

Myles
Kantor Archives


     

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts