Recently, pundits and politicians apparently agreed that the time was ripe for a fresh round of Pat Buchanan bashing, following reports that Buchanan was likely to bolt the Republican Party. In one gloriously orchestrated week, the Washington Post, the New York Times and even the normally conservative Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard unleashed vicious and usually poorly argued attacks on Buchanan. Later, even judicial egghead Robert Bork weighed in with a strange digression into Buchanan's supposed "anti-Semitism" tacked onto the end of an unrelated Wall Street Journal essay he wrote.
One of the most preposterous claims made by these attack dogs is that Buchanan is self-evidently wrong to question whether American involvement in World War I was good for America or for Europe. For the record, Buchanan is absolutely right.
The key to understanding America and Europe in the 20th century is World War I, and on this topic Buchanan reveals himself to be a much wiser steward of America's interests than his fellow Republicans. Indeed none of Buchanan's main points regarding World War I are especially groundbreaking to anyone familiar with 20th century history. The "Great War" was truly an early interventionists' war, involving no interests worth 116,000 American dead. The war was not a struggle between good and evil. Nor was it simply a clash between peaceful democracies and aggressive tyrants. It was in fact a purely European power struggle in the late colonial era, in which the USA had no more reason for military involvement than we do today over the affairs of Yugoslavia, Iraq, or the Republic of Sudan.
Nowadays, columnists can peck away on their keyboards and express with great certainty that America must be willing to fight wherever there is injustice, virtually regardless of American interests. But this is really a post-1917 vision of America's role in the world. After all, nobody ever questions why an earlier America didn't intervene in the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, the Franco-Prussian War, or the Russo-Japanese War. So why World War I?
All America got for joining the European war in 1917 (besides a lot of dead men) was our share of a worldwide influenza epidemic and a field test for the invasive central planning model of government. Even Britain's own Winston Churchill shared Mr. Buchanan's opinion that American involvement in 1917 led to the war's worst possible outcome--ending the chance for negotiated settlement by making plausible the demand for Germany's unconditional surrender. By 1920, the American public--4.6 million of who had just returned victorious from Europe--overwhelmingly sensed this, which is why we refused to join globalist Woodrow Wilson's new League of Nations.
Conventional historians also agree that the severe terms imposed upon Germany at Versailles in 1919 fostered the conditions that spawned Hitler and World War II. Germany was physically split in two and lost a great deal of territory, plus all of her colonial possessions. It was demilitarized and treated like a pariah state. All this, when the Germans had seemed so close to winning just months before the Armistice, and Germany itself had not been invaded.
Germany's sudden collapse under the weight of American intervention even provided fodder for anti-Jewish sentiment: Europe's self proclaimed Jews who called themselves "Zionists" were accused of "stabbing Germany in the back" by soliciting a pledge from the British for a "Jewish homeland" in Palestine (the Balfour Declaration). These zealots were also associated with communist uprisings in Germany at war's end. Right or wrong, such are the genies released in the chaos of total war.
The controlled media and controlled politicians would rather nobody discuss and debate history, especially nobody as smart and honest as Pat Buchanan. What are they afraid of, that we'll learn something?