Pat Buchanan

"If these negotiations [with Iran] fail, there are two grim alternatives," said Sen. Richard Durbin, "a nuclear Iran, or war, or perhaps both."

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham returned from the Munich security conference saying that even John Kerry agrees that President Obama's Syrian policy has failed. They are urging another look at air strikes.

North Korea is warning that should the annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises go forward in March, it could mean war, possibly nuclear war.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino III this week compared his country's situation to Czechoslovakia in 1938, and the disputed islets off his coast in the South China Sea to the Sudetenland. Like Hitler in Europe, Aquino is saying, China is on the march in Asia.

Aquino wants the world, i.e., us, to stand up to China.

At Davos, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe compared Japan's clash with China over the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea to German-British tensions on the eve of World War I. Though they were major trading partners, like China and Japan, said Abe, Germany and Britain went to war.

China's foreign ministry charged Abe with "saying these things for the purpose of escaping Japan's history of aggression."

China was enraged by Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine where Japanese war dead are commemorated, including Hideki Tojo and 13 other Class A war criminals.

Asia today is like "19th-century Europe, where military conflict is not ruled out," said Henry Kissinger at Munich.

Cal Coolidge's admonition not to panic -- "If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you" -- is often wise counsel. Yet, any of these five situations could bring about a war, a war involving us.

For we are obligated by treaty to defend South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. And the Obama "pivot" to Asia is seen by Beijing as a U.S. strategic move to contain China's rise to superpower status.

The possibility of America being dragged into a new war is growing.

For not only is Beijing bullying its coastal neighbors, the Middle East is descending into a maelstrom.

Libya is disintegrating. Egypt is moving toward a new military dictatorship. Sinai is a no man's land. Syria is three years deep in a civil-sectarian war with 130,000 dead. Sunni and Hezbollah groups car-bomb one another in Lebanon. Iraq is being torn asunder by Sunni Islamists in Anbar, newly battling the Shia regime in Baghdad. Tribalism tears at Yemen. Afghanistan may see a return of the Taliban when we go.

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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