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Buchanan Against 'Global Plantation'

No one debunks the plutocratic design of the "Global Plantation" better or stronger than Pat Buchanan. He made his position clear in a May 8, 1999, commencement address to the graduating class of South Carolina's prestigious military academy, The Citidal. What follows is the abbreviated text of that address. The theme of the speech was "We Must Restore This Nation's Military Power ... America Must Retrench and America Must Rearm." The speech was entitled "A Republic, Not an Empire," which is also the title of Buchanan's new book on the subject of U.S. foreign policy and his proposals for its reform.... This country is not only about to cross over into a new century [but] we are [also] entering upon a new and potentially dangerous decade. Indeed, as this era that the historians have already designated "the American Century," approaches an end, it may be instructive to look back to the close of the 19th century, when the British empire was the world's preeminent power.

For the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, Rudyard Kipling was asked to pen some verses to the greatness and glory of his nation. As he wrote of Britannia's "dominion over palm and pine," Kipling struck a note of unease, of apprehension, that the mighty empire on which the sun never set might itself also pass away.

Kipling proved prophetic. In two decades, the British empire was fighting for its life on the fields of France. In half a century, that empire had vanished from the earth. And so it was with all the great nations that had strode so confidently onto the world's stage at the start of this bloodiest of centuries -- all except America. The Austro-Hungarian, German, Russian, and Ottoman empires perished in World War I. Japan's was destroyed in World War II; the Brit ish and French expired soon after. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, in that triumph of human freedom and American perseverance, the empire of Lenin and Stalin collapsed, leaving the United States as the world's sole superpower.

In the phrase of our foreign policy elite, we have become the world's "indispensable nation." But it is just such hubristic rhetoric that calls forth apprehension, for it reflects a pride that all too often precedes a great fall.

Long ago, Teddy Roosevelt admonished us: "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Today, we have whittled down the stick, even as we raised the decibel count. My apprehension is traceable, too, to a belief that our republic has begun to retrace, step by step, the march of folly that led to the fall of the British and every other great empire.

Among the lessons America should have learned from Vietnam, said Gen. Colin Powell, is that before you commit the army, you must first commit the nation ...

Did the Founding Fathers dedicate their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the cause of liberty, so that the republic they would create could emulate the empire they overthrew? Is it America's destiny to be the policemen of the world?

In his Farewell Address, our greatest president implored us to stay out of Europe's endless quarrels: "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?" Washington asked. "Why ... entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European Ambition, Rivalship, Interest, Humour, or Caprice?"

When the Greeks rose in rebellion against the Ottoman Turks in a Balkan war, John Quincy Adams, our greatest Secretary of State advocated America's non-intervention. "Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled," said Adams, "there will [America's] heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy."

... All of us pray for the success and safe return of the men and women we have sent into battle. They are some of the best and bravest of our young. And no matter our disagreements, those are our sons and our daughters out there.

But all of us, as citizens of a republic, must debate the decisions as to when, where and whether to put their lives at risk.

[The U.S war against Serbia in 1999 was] not the first time America has heard the siren's call to empire. A century ago, we heeded it, and annexed the Philippines. In the fall of 1898, leaders from Grover Cleveland to Sam Gompers implored us to resist the temptation.

"The fruits of imperialism, be they bitter or sweet," said William Jennings Bryan, "must be left to the subjects of monarchy. This is one tree of which citizens of a republic may not partake. It is the voice of the serpent, not the voice of God, that bids us eat."

America did not listen. And hard upon the annexation of the Philippines came the declaration of an Open Door policy in China, that plunged us into the politics of Asia, out of which would come war with Japan, war in Korea and war in Vietnam.

Today, this generation is facing the same question. Quo vadis, America? Whith er goest thou, America?

Will we conscript America's wealth and power to launch utopian crusades to reshape the world in America's im age? Or shall we again follow the counsel of Washington and Adams, and keep our lamp burning bright on the Western shore?

Every citizen needs to take part in deciding the destiny of this republic, for we have now undertaken foreign commitments that no empire in history has ever sustained. We have assumed the role of German empire in keeping Russia out of Europe, of the Austrian empire in policing the Balkans, of the Ottoman empire in keeping peace in the Middle East, of the Japanese empire in containing China, of the British empire in patrolling the Gulf and maintaining freedom of the seas.

How long can America continue to de fend scores of countries around the world on a defense budget that has fallen to the smallest share of the U.S. econ omy since before Pearl Harbor?

As we [saw] a limited air war in the Balkans stretch U.S. power to where F-16s [were] cannibalized for spare parts, our Air Force [ran] low on laser-guided munitions, our Apache helicopters [took] weeks to be deployed, and our Pacific fleet [was] stripped of carriers, it is clear: The long neglect of America's military must come to an end.

We must restore this nation's military power, or we are headed for humiliations such as have marked the fall of every great nation that has ever embarked on the imperial course we now pursue.

America must retrench; and America must rearm. To make up for this lost decade, let us restore America's defenses to what they were when the decade began. Let us make our country, again, invincible on land, sea, and air, and build the missile defense that a great president, Ronald Reagan, sought as his legacy to America. To be prepared for war, Washington reminded us, is the best guarantee of preserving peace ...