Apparently Pat Buchanan’s new book continues his rants about the supposedly nefarious influence of Jews—er, excuse me, I mean neocons on the Grand Old Party:
I’m reviewing it for TCS. I wondered what his source was for the following passage, on pp. 53-54: “In 1996, Irving Kristol had written: ‘With the end of the Cold War, what we really need is an obvious ideological and threatening enemy, one worthy of our mettle, one that can unite us in opposition.’ On 9/11 opportunity had knocked. The neoconservatives had a new ‘enemy. . . worthy of our mettle’ . . .”
So I looked up the Irving Kristol essay in question. I think what Kristol is actually saying is that attempts to understand American foreign policy are doomed to end in frustration since that policy will never be coherent absent such a threat. But whatever Kristol meant–and whatever else he has written–we have reason to doubt that this comment was entirely serious. Here are the lines immediately following the passage Buchanan quotes: “Isn’t that what the most successful movie of the year, ‘Independence Day,’ is telling us? Where are our aliens when we most need them?”
Update: from Slate’s Timothy Noah:
Let’s turn to page 42 of Where the Right Went Wrong. In a passage introducing the group of Iraq hawks who called themselves “the Vulcans,” Buchanan observes that the best known members
were Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. Perle’s depiction of his delight at first meeting the future president reads like Fagin relating his initial encounter with the young Oliver Twist.
Question: can you be this kind of Jew baiter and not expect to be called an anti-Semite?