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Reply to "Is Pat Buchanan right?"

Statements about Women
In a 1983 syndicated column, Buchanan wrote, "Rail as they will about 'discrimination,' women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism."

In Right from the Beginning, his autobiography, Buchanan wrote that "The real liberators of American women were not the feminist noise-makers, they were the automobile, the supermarket, the shopping center, the dishwasher, the washer-dryer, the freezer." He also wrote, "If a woman has come to believe that divorce is the answer to every difficult marriage, that career comes before children ... no democratic government can impose another set of values upon her."

Statements about Segregation and the Civil War
As a member of the Nixon administration, Buchanan urged President Richard Nixon not to visit Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. He said that a visit would "outrage many, many people who believe Dr. King was a fraud and a demagogue and perhaps worse.... Others consider him the Devil incarnate. Dr. King is one of the most divisive men in contemporary history." Buchanan's defenders argue that his comments must be considered in the context of Buchanan being a consultant, and that they are not necessarily his beliefs.

Buchanan believes that the U.S. Civil War was not fought over slavery, and has ridiculed opponents of the display of confederate flags in state capitals.

The War Between the States was about independence, about self-determination, about the right of a people to break free of a government to which they could no longer give allegiance. How long is this endless groveling before every cry of 'racism' going to continue before the whole country collectively throws up?
Buchanan also defended Apartheid South Africa, asking, "Why are Americans collaborating in a U.N. conspiracy to ruin her with sanctions?"

Buchanan's defenders counter charges of racism by pointing out that Buchanan's running-mate in his 2000 presidential bid is African-American, and that he had reportedly offered the spot to Alan Keyes, another African-American conservative.

Statements about Israel, Hitler, the Holocaust, and Accused Nazis
Buchanan once referred to Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occpied territory" in a column. During the run-up to the first Gulf War, which was broadly supported by U.S. public opinion, Buchanan said "There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East -- the Israeli defense ministry and its 'amen corner' in the United States."

On Buchanan's 1996 campaign site was an article blaming the death of White House aide Vincent Foster on the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. The article also alleged that Foster and Hillary Clinton were Mossad spies. The campaign later removed the article.

In a frequently quoted 1977 column, Buchanan wrote,

Though Hitler was indeed racist and anti-Semitic to the core, a man who without compunction could commit murder and genocide, he was also an individual of great courage, a soldier's soldier in the Great War, a political organizer of the first rank, a leader steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him ... Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.
Buchanan has also called Spanish dictator Francisco Franco a "Catholic savior".

In the Reagan White House, Buchanan pushed for Reagan to visit the burial site of Nazi troops, over the objections of some Jewish groups. Buchanan allegedly wrote the phrase "Succumbing to the pressure of the Jews" repeatedly in his notebook during a meeting. Buchanan was credited with crafting Ronald Reagan's line that the SS troops buried at Bitburg were "victims just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps."

Buchanan vocally asserted the innocence of some accused Nazi war criminals, most famously Ivan Demjanjuk -- a guard at the Treblinka and Sobibór death camps -- comparing his trial to the Salem witch trials. In a 1990 New York Post column defending Demjanjuk, Buchanan claimed that the diesel engine used to kill victims at Treblinka could "not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody." When asked for his source, Buchanan cited an article about children surviving the fumes of idling diesel engines while trapped in a tunnel. However, there was ample oxygen in the tunnel, and the primary cause of death in diesel-powered chambers was asphyxiation on carbon monoxide rather than carbon monoxide poisoning. It is estimated that gas chambers powered by diesel engines were used to suffocate between 1.5 and 2.5 million people at the Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibór, and Chelmno death camps. (See The_Holocaust for more information)

On May 1, 2004, a three judge panel of the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Demjanjuk could be stripped of his US citizenship because the Justice Department had presented "clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence" of Demjanjuk's service in Nazi death camps.

In relation to Buchanans statements, William F. Buckley has written, "I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism." (National Review, December 30, 1991)

Statements about Canada
Buchanan has a history of unflattering references to Canada. On October 31, 2002, Buchanan denounced Canadians as anti-American, described the country as a haven for terrorists, and applied the label "Soviet Canuckistan" on his MSNBC television show. His comments followed a warning issued by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs stating that Canadians born in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Syria should be cautious while travelling to the United States, prompted by a U.S. law requiring photos and fingerprints of anyone born in those countries and visiting the U.S., as well as the case of Maher Arar.

Following Buchanan's comment, many Canadians proudly adopted "Soviet Canuckistan" as an ironic, humorous self-reference. At the same time, some Canadians (primarily Albertans) adopted the term to express dislike for the Canadian political system and leadership.

In 1990, he stated that if Canada were to break apart due to the failure of the Meech Lake constitutional accord, "America would pick up the pieces." In 1992, he stated that "for most Americans, Canada is sort of like a case of latent arthritis. We really don't think about it, unless it acts up."

So, is he?