Thursday, June 1—My final American Interest was published today in Chronicles. In the aftermath of the Second Revolution, the column has outlived its purpose. Pontificating on the evils of one-worldism, empire, global hegemony, propositional nationhood, jihadist infiltration, foreign interventionism, and “nation-building” was a necessary and often frustrating task, back in the awful days of George W. Bush and his four immediate successors. It is not so anymore.
I had continued writing it in the aftermath of the Spring of ’24, increasingly in the tone of friendly advice rather than acidic warning. Being mild in tenor and approving in sentiment is not conducive to interesting ideas, however, and it is gratifying to admit that neither advice nor warning from us old-timers is much needed in today’s “foreign-policy community” in Washington. Its dwindling crew is composed of solidly educated civil servants rather than ideologues or foreign agents, and the ship of state is in capable and trustworthy hands for the first time since Calvin Coolidge, a century ago.
Another reason it is time to bid farewell to the American Interest is editorial. With the print run nearing half a million, it is time for Chronicles to refocus on “American culture” in the proper sense of die Kultur, the sum of the life of a community and its mores. I hope the Young Turks in the Fleming Tower will see that necessity and act accordingly, but I am not certain of their ability to resist the temptation of establishmentarianism. They are human and therefore subject to Lord Acton’s dictum. All those Veuve Clicquot empties in the bins of top-floor offices are not a good sign.
Friday, June 2—Flew to Boston for the third Samuel Francis Memorial Lecture at Harvard.
Our youthful Director of Homeland Security chose an apt title, “The Lonely Prophet,” for his address. It was all rather grand, but Sam would have deemed the speaker’s adulatory tone worthy of a barbed quip. The focus was on the supposed harmony between some of Sam’s ideas and the vision behind this administration’s security policies, such as the completion of the “Friendship Fence” along the southern border, the “phased” repatriation of illegal immigrants (as well as Islamic activists regardless of status), the “permanent moratorium” on immigration from “culturally unaffiliated countries or communities,” and the “active discouragement of deviants” from joining the military and security services. The speaker concluded by saying that “Dr. Francis and his fellow turn-of-the-millennium patriots clearly did not expect that America would return to a properly limited federal government in their lifetime,” but they nevertheless provided the ideas that nurtured the Second Revolution:
Thanks to such great Americans as Sam Francis, this country’s public servants no longer seek to reconfigure the United States in accordance with the multiculturalist ideology, but consciously strive for the neutrality of the state apparatus within the patriotic paradigm while defending this country’s core national, state, and security interests, and doing so resolutely and humanely.
Last year’s lecture by the Vice President, “The Movement That Moved,” had a different tenor, with its impassioned plea for the return to the legacy of our forebears and the culture they created. The new regime is increasingly self-confident, however, and I am certain Sam would approve of its policies while remaining skeptical of its rhetoric.
Saturday, June 3—Started the day with a long espresso and an excellent NPR commentary, by a soft-spoken cleric with a Slavic name, on the evils of liberté, égalité, fraternité. Treating the French Revolution as a major catastrophe in the history of mankind is long overdue. The good father concludes by saying that “knowing the past enables us to discern meaning in the present and trust God with our future.” It does indeed, but such reminders are becoming a tad too frequent on this reformed institution’s airwaves. I suspect that some of its pre-2024 editors still on the payroll are trying a little too hard to prove their ideological bona fides under the new regime.
Lunched with a journalist just back from Paris. It seems that the evacuation of Muslims from France did not go quite as smoothly as reported. In some areas—Toulon and Marseilles, in particular—it was an ugly business, and some details are not for the faint of heart. The underlying pattern is clear, however: When Europeans feel sufficiently threatened, they do not just react—they overreact with stunning ferocity. In retrospect, he says, we can look upon 2008, with the anti-hijab legislation and the release of Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, as the beginning of Europe’s recovery. He nevertheless concedes that nativist movements would not have prevailed were it not for the financial meltdown of 2023-24 that made the Second Revolution possible here at home.
It is also noteworthy, he says, that most of the ruling parties in Europe—the BNP, Vlaams Belang, Front National, the Freedom Party—are resolutely dismantling the social and political framework of the European Union, while preserving its “functional core.” This trend is reflected in the British proposal to revive the name of the European Economic Community. Of course, the monster needs to be destroyed, not reformed. Agreements on free trade, customs, etc., are useful, and they can be bilateral or multi-lateral, but the Leviathan in Brussels should never be allowed to raise its ugly head again.
Sunday, June 4—The morning chat shows are still focused on the historic importance of the Russo-Chinese lightning occupation of Mecca and Medina. The televised demolition of the Kaaba, along with the bird’s-eye view of the Black Stone being pounded to a powder and cast into the Red Sea, has had a tonic effect worldwide. The joint announcement by Presidents Belov and Chang that the cult of “Submission” was thereby abolished yielded surprisingly little violent response from its stunned devotees.
Long predicated on the idea that the sine qua non of Islam was Allah’s victory in this world, not in that to come, the definitive demonstration to the contrary was more convincing than anyone would have thought. There is no mystery, however: The problem of the Muslim world has never been one of inadequate natural resources or dysfunctional political systems. Ernest Renan, who started his study of Islam by praising its ability to manifest “what was divine in human nature,” ended it by concluding that “Muslims are the first victims of Islam” and that, therefore, “to liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service that one can render him.” That such service is being rendered by the Russians is OK with me, so long as it is being done.
In the short interval since the delivery of the coup de grâce in Saudi Arabia, evangelistic websites and organizations working in the Arab, Turkish, Urdu, Farsi, and other Middle Eastern and Central Asian languages have been inundated with inquiries by former Muslims desperate to learn about Isa al-Masih. This is great and glorious news. The task of helping our fellow men who had been trapped in Islam can now proceed hand-in-hand with helping our fellow Christians, here at home, to become aware of who they are and to become proud, once again, of their civilizational and spiritual legacy.
Monday, June 5—Pat Buchanan’s latest book, Annihilation Averted, is finally out. He will turn 90 in November, but his prose is as crisp today as it was in State of Emergency two decades ago. His argument is that America could not have been completely de-Americanized between 1965 and 2024, because her long-suffering silent majority had never given up on the vision of itself as a real nation, a distinct people with shared civilizational and religious roots. The Second Revolution was made possible by the fact that, even after decades of indoctrination, most Americans still preferred the notion of “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none” to the propositional orthodoxy of the treasonous elite. Their instinctive distrust of the Duopoly’s claim to America’s “exceptionalism” has saved the day. The moral absolutism that the hegemonists substituted for rational argument could be challenged only once the economic collapse was under way, however; and it was challenged, although a lot of blood was shed, and a lot of treasure was squandered in the meantime.
Tuesday, June 6—The fact that the National Endowment for Democracy is still in existence troubles me deeply. According to a long feature in today’s New York Times, the NED is “helping democracy and promoting American values” by supporting, inter alia, China’s anti-abortionists, South Africa’s dwindling Boers, and Christian missionaries all over the Muslim world. Now that America has recovered her sanity, all such experiments in “exporting democracy” should cease, or else be limited to non-taxpayer-funded endeavors. The objective of our government is to maintain the security and freedom of this country and to uphold her traditions and values. It is not to promote them by funding overseas groups and entities, however worthy and vulnerable they may be. Doing so reminds me of the bad old days of a regime of global social work. Old habits seem to die hard, including the desire to remake the world in one’s own image.
America’s national-interest-based foreign policy should refrain from meddling in the affairs of foreign countries. We must never again succumb to George W. Bush’s arrogant belief that “history has called America and our allies to action,” or to Madeleine Albright’s hubristic assertion, “We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.” Such millenarian kitsch is as tasteless as it is dangerous. The notion that “we” are “indispensable” or “on the right side of history” prompted megalomaniacal strategies that were inimical to the political and constitutional tradition of the United States. The notion that “history” is an entity on a linear march is a gnostic myth worthy of jihadists, Nazis, and communists, but not of a democratic republic.
Wednesday, June 7—The news that the Border Patrol is not recruiting new officers for the fist time in years reflects the success of the 2,000-mile, double-line Friendship Fence, a technological marvel that has reduced illegal immigration almost to zero. Had it not been erected, every major U.S. city would have looked like Los Angeles by now—and Los Angeles would look like Mexico City. As it happens, America will not become a Third World country after all. Federal legislation to end all social-welfare benefits for illegal aliens and a crackdown on major businesses that chronically hire illegal aliens have helped resolve the problem, but the long-term solution came only with the 2026 Repatriation Act. It is not the prettiest piece of legislation, but it is certainly among the more useful ones.
Srdja Trifkovic is Chronicles’ foreign-affairs editor.
This article first appeared in the June 2008 issue of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.