The GOP Debate
Unable to sleep the other night, I flipped to a repeat of the Faux News New Hampshire GOP food-fight as a means of inducing slumber. Instead, my blood pressure soared as I endured the smugness of Fox News journalists and the smarmy ignorance of our would-be emperors.
With the noble exception of Dr. Paul, these mighty warriors want to take the fight to the “Islamo-Fascists.” Here is a sampling of the tough talk from swaggering presidential wannabes in the thrall of the War Party:
Sam Brownback—“I think you’re going to need a long-term U.S. presence in, I think, particularly in the Kurdish region in the north and the Sunni region in the west, that you’re going to have a long-term -- invited by those governments, and you’re going to need it to assure the Turks that the Kurds aren’t going to pull out and to assure the Kurds that the Turks aren’t going to come in. I think that’s what you have to do in looking at the reality.”
Mike Huckabee—“We have to continue the surge. And let me explain why, Chris. When I was a little kid, if I went into a store with my mother, she had a simple rule for me. If I picked something off the shelf of the store and I broke it, I bought it.
I learned don’t pick something off the shelf I can’t afford to buy.
Well, what we did in
John McCain—“It’s working because we’ve got a great general. We’ve got a good strategy. Anbar province: Things have improved… are succeeding, and the great debate is not whether it’s apparently working or not. The great debate is going to take place on the floor of the United States Senate, the middle of this month. And it’s going to be whether we set a date for withdrawal, which will be a date for surrender, or whether we will let this surge continue and succeed.”
Duncan Hunter—“We’ve got 129 battalions in the Iraqi army that we’re training up. We’re training them up, we are getting them into the fight. When those Iraqi battalions are battle-hardened and they start to rotate into the positions on the battlefield, displacing American forces, the American forces can then rotate out, come back to the
Tom Tancredo—“But let me get back to a central point here, and that is why we’re there and, in fact, with whom we are at war. The war is not actually in
Mitt Romney—“This is not about broken pottery, and it’s also not about just getting out because we made a mistake. This is a global conflict going on. Radical, violent jihad. This effort ranges from
I’m perfectly willing to concede that we have an Islamic problem, but “victory” will only be achieved through defensive means. As Serge Trifkovic has written, “The victory will not come by conquering
The goal should be isolation from sources of disorder. That implies first and foremost sealing our borders. But it also must mean a change in foreign policy, disengaging from the
Non-state actors like al-Qaeda thrive under conditions of instability and disorder, the very conditions we have created in
What is disturbing is that after four years of this nonsense, most of the GOP is still committed to the enterprise and seems eager to spread the disorder and destruction throughout the rest of the
Among presidential aspirants, Ron Paul is the only principled non-interventionist. During Wednesday’s debate, Paul identified the Neocons as the problem and with deftness and precision put the issue into perspective. "I am less safe, the American people are less safe for this. It's the policy that is wrong. Tactical movements and shifting troops around and taking in 30 more and reducing by five, totally irrelevant. We need a new foreign policy that said we ought to mind our own business, bring our troops home, defend this country, defend our borders.”