not impossible) for the Presidential DebaternCommission to justify excludingrnBuchanan, as it did Perot in 1996.rnBuchanan won’t be running against anrnincumbent president, as Perot has bothrntimes. Even accepting federal matchingrnfunds—and the spending limitahons thatrngo with them —may turn out to be arnblessing in disguise. As both Perot andrnSteve Forbes have proved, money doesn’trnnecessarily translate into votes. But ever)’rndisaffected Democrat or Republican whornsends Pat five dollars will almost certainlyrnvote for him come November. The morernbroad-based Buchanan’s fundraising efforts,rnand the smaller his a’crage contribuhon,rnthe greater his electoral base.rnWe’ve always argued here at Chroniclesrnthat there are no political solutions torncultural problems. Even a rigorous systemrnof tariffs, for instance, wouldn’t addressrnthe cultural problem of free trade:rnthat Americans think of themselves asrnconsumers first, and as members of localrncommunities, states, and a nation second,rnor not at all. But a vigorous and viablernBuchanan campaign (or even —rncommit the thoughtcrime —a Buchananrnpresidency) could prove more of a culturalrnforce than a political one, refocusingrnpublic debate from narrow policy issuesrnand personality politics to the broaderrnquestions that must be addressed if ourrnnation is to survive: preserving nationalrnsovereignty, renouncing our foreign adventurism,rnlimiting immigration, protectingrnwhat’s left of our industrial base,rnreturning power to states and local communities,rncurtailing the tvrannv of thernfederal government, restoring the Constitutionrnof the Framers.rnThe Old Republic was laid to rest atrnAppomattox Court House; the Northeastern-rnbased commercial republic thatrntook its place perished in the Great Depressionrnand New Deal; todav, the middle-rnclass. Middle American industrialrndemocracy that has characterized postwarrnAmerica is crumbling. Unless wernstop the transformation now, it von’t bernmuch longer before America —in an’ ofrnits historic forms-ceases to be a nation.rnIf not now, when? If not Pat, who?rnGo, Pat, go.rn-Scott P. RichertrnTHE FUTURE OF NATO loomsrnlarge in the Clinton administration’s attemptrnto create an autonomous zone ofrnAmerican military presence and politicalrninfluence in the Balkans that would bernindependent of the ups and downs ofrnWashington’s relations with its WesternrnEuropean partners. By imposing its ownrnpost-Yugoslav architecture, this administrationrnhopes to ensure that its Balkanrnbridgehead will outli’e the eventualrndemise of NATO.rnWhile anti-traditionalist, “globalist”rnneoimperialism provides the ideologicalrnunderpinning for the obsessive anti-Serbrnbias of U.S. policy, the desire to establishrnan effectively irreversible Pax Americanarnin Southeast Europe is the “rational” basisrnof the strategy (which also has its Turkish,rnRussian, and Middle Eastern components).rnThis unsubtle exercise in dividernet impera creates instabiliU’ that will demandrnthe presence of its creator as thernguarantor of the status quo. By creating arnstring of small, highh dependent, and inherentlyrnweak statelets and quasi-states —rnDayton-Bosnia, “Kosova,” and the FormerrnYugoslav Republic of Macedoniarntoday, with an “independent” Montenegro,rnan “autonomous” Sanjak, and arn”cantonizcd” Vojvodina soon to follow—rnthe United States is ensuring that Tuzla,rnPristina, and Skopje will remain its assetsrneven if it has to close its bases inrnKaiserslautern, Frankfurt-Main, and Pirmasens.rnOne consequence of this approach,rnwhich culminated in the bombing campaignrnagainst Serbia last spring, is tiiat therndemise of NATO is now more likely. Despiternthe self-congratulatory rhetoric atrnthe NAPO summit in Toronto last October,rnthe writing is on the wall. Only arnweek later, on October 11, the Neu’ YorkrnTimes reported that “a plan to create a defensernarm for the 1 5-nation EuropeanrnUnion is stirring fears among Americanrncivilian and militar’ officials.” Whilerncouching their comments in the languagernof economic efficiency and prudentrnmanagement, U.S. officials privatelyrnadmit that the key issue concernsrncomnrand-and-coutrol structures thatrnmay eventually rob NyTO of any meaning.rnIntra-European military cooperationrnoutside of NATO has been increasing forrnsome years, initiated by a Franco-Germanrnprogram that created joint units.rnBut last June, at a summit in Cologne,rnEuropean Union leaders decided to takernconcrete steps by the end of 2000 to buildrnup a capacity for “autononrons action,rnbacked up by credible militan’ forces” inrnfuture regional crises, even if the UnitedrnStates decides to stay out.rnSenior NATO diplomats admit thatrnthe Cologne decisions created concernrnin Washington. In addition, high-rankingrnAmerican officers at NATO headquartersrnare unhappy about a Frenchrnplan for a European general staff and arnmilitary council of 15 European Unionrnambassadors. At the end of July, PresidentrnJact[ues Chirac sent all other E.U.rncountries —including four non-NA’I’Ornmembers —an “action plan” proposingrnboth civilian and military standing committeesrnfor a new European defense system.rnThe plan also calls for “a Europeanrnmilitary staff progressivelv organized tornassume the triple functions of o ersight,rnanalysis and planning.” Concerted effortsrnb’ U.S. officials to undermine thernFrench initiative soon followed, withrnBritain predictably siding with the Clintonrnadministration.rnThe French argue that it is unacceptablernfor Europe to spend 60 percent asrnmuch as America spends on defense, butrnget only a small fraction of the defense capabilit)’rnin return. The reply from Washingtonrnand Eondon is that the Europeansrnought to carr’ out a “defense capabilitiesrninitiative” within NATO to reshape thernalliance’s fighting forces, rather than developrna defense structure parallel to thernalliance. “I don’t think the debate will bernresolved an where else but within NATO,”rnthe new E,.U. commissioner for externalrnaffairs, Christopher Patten of GreatrnBritain, declared at the European Commissionrnin Brussels last fall.rnThe U.S. initiati’e is hardly more popularrnwith the Europeans than the Frenchrn”action plan.” It would demand significantrnincreases in military spending bvrnNATO’s European members —in Germany’srnease, up to $22 billion more overrnthe next ten years —without any majorrnchange in the political aird militaryrnchains of comnrand. The political pricernmay prove even higher, especially inrnGermany, wliere the left remairrs deeplyrndivided over the countr)”s role in NATOrnin general, and its participation in thernwar against Serbia in particular.rn”NATO bombs that destroyed therneconomy and infrastructure in Serbiarnwere aimed against the Serbian people,”rndeclares Oskar Lafontaine, the formerrnleader of the German Social DemocraticrnParty, in his new book. The Heart Beatsrnon the Left Side. In excerpts published byrnthe Bonn daily Die Welt, Lafontainernaccuses NATO of violating the U.N.rnCharter as well as its own, and of floutingrninternational law. Condemning thern”cynical, pretentiously moral lamenting”rnf)/CHRONICLESrnrnrn