Given the amount of Pat Buchanan articles recirculated on alt-right websites, it is obvious that he is one of their alleged intellectual leaders. He was an unabashed supporter of Trump during the GOP primaries and presidential campaign not because he thought Hillary Clinton was the worst of two bad choices but because he believed Donald Trump was the next coming of the savior of conservatism.
He recently penned an article called, “Is Kim Jong Un Mad?” He usually titles his articles in the form of a question. To answer this one, it is obvious and the general consensus of the world: an emphatic YES! But not Buchanan. He comes to the opposite conclusion with this declaration:
No. He is targeting us because we have 28,000 troops on his border. If U.S. air, naval, missile and ground forces were not in and around Korea, and if we were not treaty-bound to fight alongside South Korea, there would be no reason for Kim to build rockets to threaten a distant superpower that could reduce his hermit kingdom to ashes.
For someone supposedly well-respected and connected, that analysis is so naive he belongs in the Obama administration drawing up foreign policy. Other than this bombastic declaration, the article actually dedicates precious little ink to the subject of the title. Instead, he cites Washington’s Farewell Address as if the world of the 18th century is somehow akin to the world of the 21st century.
He laments the fact that we have positioned military assets in the Baltic states, that we make noise about China building islands of military value in the South China Sea, that we maintain a base in the Philippines, that NATO countries do not pay their fair share towards their own defense. He states his preferable foreign policy: “It would restore to the United States the freedom it enjoyed for the 150 years before NATO…” Lest Buchanan need a history lesson, the United States was involved in foreign conflicts aplenty before NATO.
Getting back to the subject at hand- North Korea- let’s look at another nuclear state- Iran. Would Buchanan sleep better at night knowing that Iran had nuclear weapons and had issued threats against Israel using those weapons? My guess is that he would since he would view America’s support of Israel just another “foreign entanglement” that George Washington warned against many years ago. But what if Iran had the means to launch a nuclear device further away than Israel, which they do? What if they threatened Europe? Would he excuse Iran for having nuclear aspirations? Or is our presence in the Persian Gulf and Iraq also justification for Iran’s nuclear weapons?
In the case of North Korea, we know they definitely have nuclear weapons since North Korea has made no attempts to cover up the fact. In fact, Kim Jong Un relishes the reality. He has also made no bones about their attempt to develop a ballistic missile that would delivery a nuclear payload on the Western United States.
Is Buchanan such an ass that he honestly believes that if the United States was to remove all 28,000 troops from South Korea and mothball our Pacific fleet in San Diego that North Korea would see the errors of their way? Even if we provided the means for Japan and South Korea to defend themselves from a ballistic missile attack with a defense system and they built up their own military, does Buchanan honestly believe the midget madman who starves his own people would give up their nuclear weapons and apologize to their neighbors?
Buchanan and many on the alt-right are so wrong in this area that it is laughable. The United States withdrawing and cowering within its own borders will not change the behavior of despotic madmen and would only embolden them. This is not Buchanan “thinking outside the box.” This is Buchanan and his ilk thinking and believing we still live in the 18th century. And that makes him an ass.