Pat Buchanan

Is the end of America's long and costly war in Mesopotamia to be an Iraq incorporated into a Shia crescent led by Tehran?

Arnaud de Borchgrave reports that Israel, having supplied Mikheil Saakashvili's army with weapons and training prior to his invasion of South Ossetia, had hoped to use Georgian airfields to fly strikes against Iran. The Russians are said to be furious and considering new military aid to Syria.

Now one reads of Dutch intelligence agents, who had infiltrated Iran's nuclear program to sabotage it, being withdrawn, as the Dutch believe a U.S. strike on Iran may be imminent.

Vice President Cheney is in Tbilisi promising $1 billion in new aid, as Prime Minister Putin of Russia is asking why, if this aid is humanitarian, it is being brought into the Black Sea in U.S. warships.

In Moscow, President Medvedev and his foreign minister are talking of a Russian sphere of influence like the one the United States has demanded for two centuries with its Monroe Doctrine -- a sphere from which all foreign military blocs and foreign troops are to be excluded.

This is a direct challenge to administration and neocon plans to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. John McCain may declare, "We are all Georgians now!" -- but, are Americans, or Europeans, truly willing to go to war with a nuclear-armed Russia to keep Joseph Stalin's birthplace under a regime led by an erratic hothead who launched what may be the dumbest war in history, which he lost within 24 hours?

In June of 1914, a powerful flotilla of the Royal Navy was anchored in the German port of Kiel on a friendly visit where British naval officers visited German warships on the invitation of Adm. Von Tirpitz, and the Kaiser himself inspected the great new British battleship George V, in the uniform of a British admiral.

The festive occasion was interrupted and ended by news of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo in the Balkans, where neither British nor Germans had vital interests.

Six weeks later, the two nations had plunged into the bloodiest war in history. Today, as Republicans celebrate the last hours of a hugely successful convention, and Democrats seethe at the hiding they took, are we as a nation drifting inexorably for new confrontations and larger and wider wars?

Who is minding the store, as we party in St. Paul?

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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