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July 21, 2006

No, This Is Not 'Our War'


by Patrick J. Buchanan

My country has been "torn to shreds," said Fouad Siniora, the prime minister of Lebanon, as the death toll among his people passed 300 civilian dead, 1,000 wounded, with half a million homeless.

Israel must pay for the "barbaric destruction," said Siniora.

To the contrary, says columnist Lawrence Kudlow, "Israel is doing the Lord's work."

On American TV, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the ruination of Lebanon is Hezbollah's doing. But is it Hezbollah that is using U.S.-built F-16s, with precision-guided bombs, and 155-mm artillery pieces to wreak death and devastation on Lebanon?

No, Israel is doing this, with the blessing and without a peep of protest from President Bush. And we wonder why they hate us.

"Today, we are all Israelis!" brayed Ken Mehlman of the Republican National Committee to a gathering of Christians United for Israel.

One wonders if these Christians care about what is happening to our Christian brethren in Lebanon and Gaza, who have had all power cut off by Israeli air strikes, an outlawed form of collective punishment, that has left them with no sanitation, rotting food, impure water, and days without light or electricity in the horrible heat of July.

When summer power outrages occur in America, it means a rising rate of death among our sick and elderly, and women and infants. One can only imagine what a hell it must be today in Gaza City and Beirut.

But all this carnage and destruction has only piqued the blood lust of the hairy-chested warriors at The Weekly Standard. In a signed editorial, "It's Our War," William Kristol calls for America to play her rightful role in this war by "countering this act of aggression by Iran with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait?"

"Why wait?" Well, one reason is that the United States has not been attacked. A second is a small thing called the Constitution. Where does George W. Bush get the authority to launch a war on Iran? When did Congress declare war or authorize a war on Iran?

Answer: It never did. But these neoconservatives care no more about the Constitution than they cared about the truth when they lied us into war in Iraq.

"Why wait?" How about thinking of the fate of those 25,000 Americans in Lebanon if we launch an unprovoked war on Iran? How many would wind up dead or hostages of Hezbollah, if Iran gave the order to retaliate for the slaughter of their citizens by U.S. bombs? What would happen to the 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, if Shi'ites and Iranian "volunteers" joined forces to exact revenge on our soldiers?

What about America? Richard Armitage, who did four tours in Nam and knows a bit about war, says that, in its ability to attack Western targets, al-Qaeda is the B team, Hezbollah the A Team. If Bush bombs Iran, what prevents Hezbollah from launching retaliatory attacks inside the United States?

None of this is written in defense of Hamas, Hezbollah, or Iran.

But none of them has attacked our country, nor has Syria, whom Bush I made an ally in the Gulf War, and to whom the most decorated soldier in Israeli history, Ehud Barak, offered 99 percent of the Golan Heights. If Nixon, Bush I, and Clinton could deal with Hafez al-Assad, a tougher customer than son Bashar, what is the matter with George W. Bush?

The last superpower is impotent in this war because we have allowed Israel to dictate to whom we may and may not talk. Thus, Bush winds up cussing in frustration in St. Petersburg that somebody should tell the Syrians to stop it. Why not pick up the phone, Mr. President?

What is Kristol's moral and legal ground for a war on Iran? It is the "Iranian act of aggression" against Israel, and that Iran is on the road to nuclear weapons, and we can't have that.

But there is no evidence Iran has any tighter control over Hezbollah than we have over Israel, whose response to the capture of two soldiers had all the spontaneity of the Schlieffen Plan. And, again, Hezbollah attacked Israel, not us. And there is no solid proof Iran is in violation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, which it has signed but Israel refuses to sign.

If Iran's nuclear program justifies war, why cannot the neocons make that case in the constitutional way, instead of prodding Bush to launch a Pearl Harbor attack? Do they fear they have no credibility left after pushing Bush into this bloody quagmire in Iraq that has cost almost 2,600 dead and 18,000 wounded Americans?

No, Kenny boy, we are not "all Israelis." Some of us still think of ourselves as Americans, first, last, and always. And, no, Mr. Kristol, this is not "our war." It's your war.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.


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  • Patrick J. Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party’s candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of the new magazine, The American Conservative. Now a commentator and columnist, he served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national television shows, and is the author of seven books.

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