To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Pat on “Meet the Press”
kidding of course, but after I watched Pat on “Meet the Press” this
morning I e-mailed him: “Have you ever thought of running for President?”
When he did last time out I supported him, up to the point where
I thought he went bonkers on China and trade. Now out of elective
politics, he is getting better all the time as a “wise man.” He
sent me his brand new book last week, Where
the Right Went Wrong, and I put it on a pile of books I’ve
promised to read, but after reading the first few pages I read the
whole thing. Except for the section on trade, which is still soft,
it is easily the best of his many books that I have read (with many
Tim Russert invited him on his NBC show along with Sen. Bob Graham
of Florida and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, mainly to discuss
Iraq. I’ve not done this before, but decided to cut Graham and Gingrich
from this memo and give you pure Pat. They were okay from their
viewpoints, but I think Pat stole the show.
RUSSERT: Pat Buchanan, in your book, Where the Right Went
Wrong, you write the following: “In 2003, the United States
invaded a country that did not threaten us, did not attack us and
did not want war with us to disarm it of weapons we have since discovered
it did not have. … Now our nation is tied down, our Army is being
daily bled in a war to create democracy in a country where it has
never before existed. … With the guerrilla war, U.S. prestige
You go on to write that Iraq was, “…the greatest strategic blunder
in 40 years, a mistake more costly than Vietnam.”
MR. PAT BUCHANAN: Certainly, Tim, I believe it is an unnecessary
war; it is an unwise war. The United States, by invading that country
and taking over its capital, we have inflamed the entire Middle
East and Arab and Islamic world. American prestige and support for
the president and the United States has never been lower in that
part of the world. And Mr. Rumsfeld’s question has been answered.
He asked, “Have we been creating more terrorists than we are killing?”
When he said that, some 5,000 insurgents were said to be in Baghdad
by General Abizaid. The latest count is 20,000. I believe this war
itself is creating a pool, a spawning pool out of which Osama bin
Laden can draw recruits. I think that there has been nothing that
has done more to put Osama bin Laden, if you will, in the mainstream
of the Arab cause of nationalism than what appears to the Arabs
to be a near-imperial adventure by the United States in Iraq.
MR. RUSSERT: Pat Buchanan, we are now hearing on the wires
that Mr. al-Douri, the number-two to Saddam Hussein, has been captured.
So we now – and there he is on the screen. We now have a situation
where Saddam Hussein and his number two are in captivity. Is the
world not safer without them presiding over the country of Iraq?
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, certainly, the Iraqi people are probably
safer as a consequence of the American liberation and overthrow
of Saddam Hussein. The problem, Tim, is this: Now, that Saddam Hussein
is gone, what we have is a situation in Fallujah and Ramadi where
Sunni fundamentalists are in control and the Shias are rising up
in the south, and we – and Americans are dying, and we do not have
enough troops, in my judgment, in place to win this war. What you
could have here and what the risk is: that having overthrown this
one devil, we could have seven devils enter in his place. This could
turn into a failed state in chaos and civil war, where the United
States is forced out or either forced to double our troops in there.
And if that happens, Tim, we’ve got ourselves a hellish situation
there. It was not a problem. Saddam was a criminal and a thug and
a brute, but he was no threat to a country that flew 40,000 sorties
over Iraq in 10 years. He did not shoot down a single one.
MR. RUSSERT: Would you send more American troops or would
MR. BUCHANAN: This is the question that, I think, should
be put to John Kerry and the president of the United States in the
debates: “Mr. President, if John Abizaid comes to you and says,
‘We can’t do it with the present complement, we need 75,000 more
American troops’ – what would you do, John Kerry? What would you
do, George W. Bush?” If it were up to me, Tim, I think I would execute
a strategic withdrawal from Iraq. I think it was a terrible mistake.
We’re going to pay consequences one way or the other. And my feeling
is probably it would be better for us in the long run if we withdrew.
MR. BUCHANAN: Who promised us, Tim, a cakewalk? Who promised
the president a rose garden? Who failed to prepare for what would
happen after we took Baghdad and Iraq? Who are the men responsible
for this and why has the president of the United States not removed
any of them? Most of them over in the Pentagon are the neoconservative
war hawks who planned, prepared and propagandized for a war in Iraq
as far back as 1996. This was their class project. I believe they
imposed it upon the president. The president bears full responsibility
for accepting it. But why he has not removed these people from office,
I cannot for the life of me understand.
MR. RUSSERT: Pat Buchanan, let me just jump in here, because
you…have written something in your book that I think is going
to be quite controversial and I want to put it on the screen and
share it… with you and our viewers and give a chance for our group
to respond to it. “U.S. dominance of the Middle East is not the
corrective to terror. It is a cause of terror. Were we not over
there, the 9/11 terrorists would not have been over here. And while
their acts were murderous and despicable, behind their atrocities
lay a political motive. We were attacked because of our imperial
presence on the sacred soil of the land of Mecca and Medina, because
of our enemies’ perception that we were strangling the Iraqi people
with sanctions and preparing to attack a second time, and because
of our uncritical support of the Likud regime of Ariel Sharon” in
Are you suggesting that our alliance with Israel is one of the reasons
that we were attacked on September 11?
MR. BUCHANAN: Sure. That’s one of the reasons given by Osama
bin Laden. In his fatwa of 1998, he wrote that there are three causes
of the problems and three causes for a declaration of war by all
Arabs and good Muslims against the United States. One, America’s
imperial presence on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia. Secondly,
the sanctions policy against Iraq which was persecuting and basically
starving, he said, the Iraqi people, and we were planning another
invasion. Third is the United States’ uncritical support of the
Ariel Sharon regime in Israel, which he argued is persecuting the
In my judgment, Chris, this one-sided support for Sharon, the refusal
to condemn that wall snaking through the West Bank, the agreement
to support Sharon’s claim to virtually half of the West Bank, this
has caused enormous hostility and animosity and hatred for this
country in that part of the world, not just among the Palestinians.
And if we want to drain off some of this hatred, this venom against
us, we have got to adopt a more evenhanded policy here. We have
got to stand up for the same rights for the Palestinian people,
a homeland, a nation, a state of their own, a viable one, on the
land their forefathers farmed for a thousand years, because those
are first our principles and secondly, that is in the national interest
of the United States of America. I don’t care what Ariel Sharon
MR. RUSSERT: They are not attacking us because they hate
us and hate our culture?
MR. BUCHANAN: This is the fundamental point. Are they attacking
us because of who we are and what they believe or are they attacking
us because of what we do? I believe it is our policies, not our
principles that are causing these attacks. Osama bin Laden wasn’t
sitting in some cave in Afghanistan and stumble on the Bill of Rights
and go bananas. It is because of what we are doing. Most fundamentally,
it wasn’t Israel number one. Number one, Saudi Arabia, female soldiers,
American soldiers sitting there on the land of Mecca and Medina.
MR. BUCHANAN: We also need to investigate whether there is
a nest of Pollardites in the Pentagon who have been transmitting
American secrets through AIPAC, the Israeli lobby, over to Reno
Road, the Israeli embassy, to be transferred to Mr. Sharon. Now,
I did not know until this weekend’s stories in The Washington
Post that this is exactly what is being talked about; that certain
individuals over there in Mr. Feith’s shop or beneath him have been
transmitting these secrets.
Now, the FBI have been asking questions. There are no conclusions.
No one should assume guilt on anyone’s part. But if this has been
going on, Tim, we are getting dangerously close to the T-word. And
I would urge the president of the United States to get out in front
of this, to take this investigation away from Mr. McNulty and give
it to Patrick Fitzgerald and let them look into it because if the
president can – I’m sure the president has no involvement in this.
But questions have been raised, and this is not something on the
Internet. This is The Washington Post doing this, moving
all this around, and so I think there clearly needs to be an investigation.