PAT BUCHANAN: Is democracy versus autocracy the new cold war? | Chroniclers
“He might be an SOB, but he’s our SOB.”
So said President Franklin D. Roosevelt of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, and how very American. For, from its earliest days, America came to an understanding with the autocrats when the national interest demanded it.
George Washington danced a jig in 1778 when he learned that our diplomats had made an alliance with the King of France Louis XVI. The alliance, he knew, would be essential to an American victory.
In April 1917, the United States went to war “to make the world safe for democracy” in collusion with four of the world’s greatest empires: the British, French, Russian and Japanese. All four annexed new colonial lands and peoples from our decisive victory for democracy.
During World War II, we provided massive military aid to Joseph Stalin’s USSR, who used it to crush, conquer and communitarize half of Europe.
Antonio Salazar, dictator of Portugal, was a founding member of NATO. During the Cold War, we allied ourselves with autocrats Syngman Rhee from South Korea, Ferdinand Marcos from the Philippines, the Shah from Iran and General Augusto Pinochet from Chile. NATO’s second largest army is under the autocratic regime of Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
Our main allies in the Arab world are Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew a democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and the various kings, princes, sultans and emirs along the Persian Gulf.