Buchanan, apologist for terrorists

The Hamas-led Palestinians hate us, Patrick Buchanan writes, because we have been withholding our usual aid from them ever since they elected as their leaders a jihadist terrorist organization devoted to the destruction of Israel. But Buchanan doesn’t stop there:

Terrorism has been described as waging war on innocents to break their political leaders. Is that not a fair description of what we are doing to the Palestinians? No wonder they hate us.

Concerning this blog entry, I got into the kind of discussion with a Buchananite I haven’t had for a long time.

Reader EG wrote:

I don’t see Buchanan as being an apologist for terrorism or Hamas. He seems to be making a good point about the hypocrisy of American policy and rhetoric. On the one hand, the USA has a fetishistic obsession with “promoting democracy”—even to the point of justifying war. On the other hand, when a people participate in a democratic election, they get punished by the USA for voting in the “wrong” government.

Now, I am no fan of Hamas, and I could care less about the Palestinians. Unfortunately, the same American hypocrisy applies to the West. Bush and company will praise “democracy” and our “democratic allies” in Europe and Canada, but they neglect certain items of interest. For example: the arrest and trial of Nick Griffin in the UK for giving a speech critical of Islam; the continued troubles of Le Pen and Bardot for expressing opinions; the banning of the popular Vlaams Blok in Belgium; the arrest of the leader of the National Front in Belgium for “hateful” pamphlets”; the multiple arrests of Norman Lowell in Malta for opposing immigration; arrests of nationalists in other European nations for expressing opinions; the constant attempts of the German government to ban the anti-immigration NPD; the various “hate laws” in Europe and the attempts of the EU commission on “racism and intolerance” to outlaw any meaningful pro-majoritarian politics in Europe; the attempts to bully Russia and Eastern Europe to adopt the same anti-white standards; sanctions against Austria because of Haider; the banning of books in Canada, including the burning of confiscated outlawed books (similar to what the Nazis did), etc etc etc….

Bush and the neocons have no problem with that because they agree with it, and, I suppose, wish to have similar de jure policies in America as well (de facto repression, in a real sense, already exists, ask Mike Regan from the 2006 Amren conference). To the Bushites, “democracy” means voting for those candidates that Bush and the neo-cons support, “free speech” means saying things that they approve of, “freedom” in general means pursuing policies and believing in ideals with the American/neo-con/Busheron “stamp of approval.”

This differs from Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism only in being more clever and subtle (and hypocritical) – provide the outward semblance of “freedom,” but make sure activity in support of Western racial and cultural interests is outlawed.

To the extent that Buchanan reveals this, all to the good. Of course, better for him to write about Europe and Canada than about the Palestinians, but he himself has a fetish in that direction. In that sense, you are right, and I’d wish he’d spend less time on the Middle East and more on Europe.

LA replied:

Buchanan said that WE are terrorists for withholding aid from a terrorist government, whose hatred of us is thereby justified. If you don’t understand that that is apologetics for terrorism, then you’re on another planet.

Are you now such a liberal that you believe that we are obligated to support any result of a democratic election?

Reader replied:

Are you such a liberal that you think we are obligated to “spread democracy?” Who cares if Iraq of Palestinians have “democracy.” I don’t even think WE should be a “democracy,” never mind anyone else.

Buchanan is correct. We justify going to war with Iraq- resulting in enormous bloodshed—for the ostensible reason of “democracy,” and the oppose a democratically elected government because it is “wrong.”

Using violence to impose your “way of life” on others is terrorism, I would say.

LA replied:

You are as confused as Buchanan. First you agreed with his argument that we owe millions of aid to the Palestinians, and shouldn’t withhold it just because we don’t like the results of their democratic election. Indeed, so in favor of democratization are you that you regard the U.S. promotion of democracy to mean a BLANK CHECK to subsidize ANY result of a democratic election. Indeed, our obligation to give them aid is so great that is we withhold it we are “terrorists.” Then you turn around and say that we shouldn’t care at all about the Palestinians, whether they have democracy or anything. But if that’s the case, why are we obligated to give them aid?

It’s amazing. On one hand you seem to be one of these paleo-libertarians who regards any coercion by the state as “terrorist,” as when you write, “Using violence to impose your way of life on others is terrorism, I would say.” Well, then, virtually every state that has ever come into existence is terrorist according to you, because every state in its founding has to use violence to impose its own order. Sounds like something Llewelyn Rockwell would say. But then, instead of being true to your paleo-libertarian convictions, you trump them with your anti-Israelism which says that the U.S. is obligated to spend its people’s money on subsidizing the Hamas government and that the U.S. is terrorist if it doesn’t do so. So, according to you, the state is not supposed to be coercive at all (and is terrorist if it is coercive), except when it uses its coercive powers to tax its people to pay terrorists seeking to destroy Israel (in which case it is terrorist if it REFUSES to pay terrorists).

In addition, you oppose democratization (as I do.) But then you turn around and say that democratization is so important that we are obligated (under penalty of being considered terrorists) to subsidize any people, no matter how vile, who hold an election. Instead of being true to your conviction that democratization is a bad idea, you leap onto the democratization bandwagon and say that we must be absolutely consistent in our insane devotion to democratization, to the the point of disregarding all other considerations and supporting any result of a democratic election. Democratization even obligates us to subsidize terrorists, and if we fail to do so, then we are terrorists.

This proves that your real conviction is not anti-democratization; your real conviction is to be anti-Israel and anti-U.S., since you call the U.S. “terrorist” for not subsidizing a group seeking to destroy Israel.

A similar contradiction is seen in the spectacle of Buchanan and his followers constantly alternating between saying we should have nothing to do with the affairs of Israel, and denouncing Israel as the worst state in existence and calling on it to commit suicide. Obviously if they were sincere about wanting “hands-off” on Israel they wouldn’t be involving themselves so passionately in taking sides against Israel.

The reader replied:
First, I am not “pro-Hamas.” You can cut that out right now. In point of fact, we should never have been giving money to the Palestinians in the first place. Of course we are not obligated to give them aid (and the same applies to EVERY other foreign nation; in my opinion our foreign aid and “loans” should be ZERO).

But—and here is the point—having already decided to fund the Palestinians (which, again, I disagree with), it is a bit interesting that this aid is to be cut off, because the U.S. doesn’t like the way the people there voted. Better not to have given any aid at all, but, once having given it, do we now make the aid contingent on the Bush definition of democracy—you are free to vote as long as you vote my way?

I thought I made it clear that Buchanan should stop obsessing over these topics. I thought I made it clear that my concern here is how the neocons define “democracy” with respect to the West. The principle is what bothers me, not Hamas. I could care less if every Palestinian on Earth would drop dead this minute—I don’t care about them. I DO care about the West. I DO care when the U.S. justice department investigates cities for violation of civil rights because white voters vote for white candidates, rather than for Hispanics. I DO care when majoritarian interests are outlawed in Europe.

The issue is one of principle. The U.S. cannot on the one hand make “democracy” the defining characteristic of our foreign policy, and then impose sanctions because we disagree with the outcome of an election. Really now. How dumb are these neocons? Of course in a free election, Arabs will end up voting for groups like Hamas. The only solution is to accept the more secular, more moderate dictators there and forget “democracy.” But if you are going to push “democracy” then you had better accept the consequences of elections. If you are hypocritical and define “democracy” as “voting for who we want you to vote for” , and you force that on people, then expect to be hated.

I need to rephrase my state coercion statement. Of course, I am no “libertarian”; in fact I support strong state intervention—internally. What I should have specified is that states imposing their way of life on other states is terrorism. Just as I don’t want Islamists pushing their “culture” on us, I do not think the U.S. should be in the business of telling other peoples how to run their nations.

So, yes, the U.S. should NOT fund Palestinians, but the reason for that should be that we have no obligation to support them, or anyone else—not because we are punishing them for the outcome of an election.

LA replied:

Notwithstanding all your explanations, you have not retracted your defense of Buchanan’s statement that the U.S. is terrorist for not funding Hamas, which was what this whole discussion was about.

You’re blind to your contradiction. You say that these issues don’t matter, that we shouldn’t be involved, and that you wish Buchanan would not obsess on these topics. Then you turn around and defend his statement that the U.S. is terrorist because it’s not involved in the way you think it ought to be involved. That’s exactly like Buchanan saying we shouldn’t be involved in the Mideast, and then calling for Israel to dismantle itself (i.e., when he attacks it for defending itself and calls for the “one-state” solution).

You oppose the democratization policy because it’s a bad policy, out of step with reality. I agree. Well, one of the consequences of such a policy is that it forces us to be hypocritical. But instead of saying, “See, our hypocrisy regarding aid to Hamas proves that democratization is unworkable, and therefore we should drop it,” you want to hold the U.S. to an irrational and crazy consistency to democratization, to the point of funding Hamas, and you call the U.S. terrorist if it doesn’t do that (or rather Buchanan, whom you are defending, says that). This shows that you’re driven not by principle but by reaction against a policy you don’t like, and so you will take any position, no matter how evil, to discredit that policy. And what I’ve just said characterizes most of the Buchananite and anti-war right.

You’re welcome to retract your defense of Buchanan’s statement that the U.S. is terrorist for not funding Hamas.


OK, I specifically state that my point is misunderstood.

The U.S. is terrorist for promoting “democracy” using violent means, and is terrorist for then not respecting the outcome of elections.

I agree we should not support Hamas per se.


Obviously this is not a retraction of your key point that is the subject of our discussion. In fact you have re-affirmed it.

(Note: The reader says he is not a Buchananite.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 31, 2006 06:54 PM | Send

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