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Patrick J. Buchanan

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Is ‘Autocracy’ America’s Mortal Enemy?

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In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden declared to the nation and world: "We are engaged anew in a great battle for freedom. A battle between democracy and autocracy."

On her trip to Taiwan, Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed Biden: "Today, the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy. America’s determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and in the world remains iron-clad."

But is this truly the world struggle America is in today?

Is this the great challenge and threat to the United States?

Are autocracy and democracy in a climactic ideological crusade to determine the destiny of mankind?

For if that is the future, it is surely not America’s past.

Indeed, in the two-century rise of the United States to world preeminence and power, autocrats have proven invaluable allies.
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How, When, Do We Come Together Again?

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When 30 FBI agents showed up at Mar-a-Lago to cart off boxes of documents, it was an authorized, legitimate and justified procedure to retrieve national security secrets being illegally kept there.

Or it was an unprecedented regime raid on the home and office of the foremost political rival of President Joe Biden that called to mind a “Third World country,” the East German “Stasi,” the KGB or the Gestapo.

And Jan. 6, 2021?

That was a riot, a disgraceful breach of the Capitol, involving assaults on Capitol cops that deserved to be and are being punished.

No, it was more than that. Far more. It was an “insurrection,” a “fascist coup,” an act of treason led by far-right extremists to abort the transfer of power from the winner of the election of 2020 to the loser. It ranks right up there with the 1814 burning of the Capitol by the British.

Such is the magnitude of the divide in America, a divide that extends far beyond our clashing views of Jan. 6 and the Mar-a-Lago raid.
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Is a US-Russia War Becoming Inevitable?

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At the NATO summit in Madrid, Finland was invited to join the alliance. What does this mean for Finland?

If Russian President Vladimir Putin breaches the 830-mile Finnish border, the United States will rise to Helsinki's defense and fight Russia on Finland's side.

What does Finland's membership in NATO mean for America?

If Putin makes a military move into Finland, the U.S. will go to war against the world's largest nation with an arsenal of between 4,500 and 6,000 battlefield and strategic nuclear weapons.

No Cold War president would have dreamed of making such a commitment -- to risk the survival of our nation to defend territory of a country thousands of miles away that has never been a U.S. vital interest.
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Why Would US Give a War Guarantee – to Finland?

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Seeing Russia invade Ukraine, historically neutral Finland has undergone a late conversion and decided to join NATO immediately.

Why? Because NATO membership means the world’s strongest power, the United States, under Article 5 of NATO, would go to war against Russia, should it cross Finland’s border.

Nervous about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions, Finland wants America legally and morally bound to fight Russia on its behalf, should Putin invade Finland as he invaded Ukraine.

From the Finnish point of view, this is perfectly understandable.

But why would the United States consent to go to war with Russia, the largest nuclear power on earth, for violating Finland’s frontiers?

Finland is not Alaska; it is not Canada; it is 5,000 miles away. And no one ever asserted during the Cold War, or for the decades since, that Finland was a US vital interest.
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Is Ukraine’s War Now America’s War?

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Last week, sources leaked to The New York Times that, in Ukraine’s targeting and killing of Russian generals and the sinking of Russia’s Black Sea flagship, the Moskva, US intelligence played an indispensable role.

Apparently, our intel people identified and located for the Ukrainian forces what became the targets of their deadly attacks.

Why US intelligence would do this seems inexplicable.

By claiming credit for Ukraine’s most visible military successes, we diminish the achievements of that country’s own forces.

By bragging publicly that we helped engineer the killing of Russian generals and the sinking of the cruiser Moskva, we taunt Russian President Vladimir Putin. We provoke him into retaliating in kind against us, thereby raising the possibility of a wider US-Russia war that could escalate into World War III.

Moreover, US boasting like this plays right into Putin’s narrative that Russia is facing and fighting in Ukraine a US-led alliance that is out to crush Russia.
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Will Putin Submit to US-Imposed 'Weakening'?

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"Once war is forced upon us, there is no alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory -- not prolonged indecision." So said Gen. Douglas MacArthur in his April 1951 address to Congress after being fired by President Harry Truman as commander in chief in the Korean War.
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Is Global ‘Democracy’ America’s Mission?

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"In the battle between democracy and autocracy, democracies are rising to the moment, and the world is clearly choosing the side of peace and security," said President Joe Biden in his State of the Union address.

"This is a real test. It’s going to take time."

Thus did Biden frame the struggle of our time as the US leading the world’s democracies, the camp of the saints, against the world’s autocrats, the forces of darkness.

But is "democracy" really America’s cause? Is "autocracy" really America’s great adversary in the battle for the future?

Not all autocrats, after all, are our enemies, nor are all democrats our reliable friends.

When Ukraine was invaded, the U.N. General Assembly voted on a resolution which "deplores in the strongest terms" Russia’s "aggression" against Ukraine.
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US Vital Interests Dictate an End to This War

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Speaking to Congress, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for many things from the United States.

He wants us to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. He wants the Soviet-era MiGs that NATO allies (from their Warsaw Pact days) have in their arsenals. He wants Russian-made S-300 antiaircraft systems in NATO inventories transferred to Kyiv.

He wants the US to sanction every Russian official who does not repudiate this war on Ukraine. He wants all US companies to pull out of Russia. He wants all Russian-made goods kept out of US markets.

In short, Zelenskyy wants the US as a full-fledged ally in Ukraine’s war against the Russian invaders.
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How Solid Are US War Guarantees?

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When several NATO nations revealed that they had dozens of Russian-made MiG-29s, the idea arose to fly them to Ukraine and turn them over to Ukrainian pilots familiar with the MiGs. America would provide F-16s to replace the MiGs. Poland had an even better idea. Warsaw would fly its 27 MiG fighter jets to the U.S. Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The planes would be turned over to the Americans there, repainted and flown to Ukraine.
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