Skip to comments.Return of the Antiwar Right
Posted on 12/21/2009 4:23:40 PM PST by rabscuttle385
For eight long years under George W. Bush, conservatives endorsed a dont ask, dont tell foreign policythey did not really ask why their country was at war and Republican leaders did not tell, or bother, Americans with any of the gory details. Missions were accomplished, we fought them over there so we didnt have to fight them here and troops were supported by simply supporting the wars they fought, with little to no dissent. But why were we fighting? What was victory? How many had to die? What was the cost? Conservatives did not ask-Republican politicians did not tell.
But some Republicans are finally asking. Regarding President Obamas decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, columnist Reihan Salam writes: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican known for his independent streak, has made a conservative case for withdrawal. Says Chaffetz: Our military is not a defensive force for rough neighborhoods around the world. They are trained to be an offensive, mission-driven military force to protect the United States of America. They are not trained to be nation builders or policemen If our mission in Afghanistan is simply to protect the populace and build the nation, then I believe the time has come to bring our troops home. Is Chaffetzs position on Afghanistan a sign of things to come? Salam thinks so, writing: my guess is that by the 2010 congressional elections, dozens of Republican candidates will be doing the same across the country.
We can only hope. As a conservative, I have long found it perplexing that to a large extent the American Right has been defined by its enthusiasm for going to war virtually anywhere, for virtually any reason and often for no good reason.
The notion of defending ones country is something patriots of all political stripes can subscribe to. But that every military action our government commits to should automatically be considered righteous and unassailable is a bizarre position for conservatives, given their natural distrust of government in every other sphere. The Wilsonian idea of making the world safe for democracy has never been the language of hard-headed conservative realists, but maniacal ideologues, and yet the liberal dispensation and celebration of such utopian rhetoric by the last Republican president, his party and most self-described conservatives, left the Right a confused mess.
Thats what makes sane conservatives like Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. of Tennessee so refreshing. Says Duncan: There is nothing conservative about the war in Afghanistan. The Center for Defense Information said a few months ago that we had spent over $400 billion on the war and war-related costs there. Now, the Pentagon says it will cost about $1 billion for each 1,000 additional troops we send to Afghanistan Fiscal conservatives should be the ones most horrified by all this spending. Conservatives who oppose big government and huge deficit spending at home should not support it in foreign countries just because it is being done by our biggest bureaucracy, the Defense Department.
Indeed. Democratic Congressman Barney Frank has said that there would be enough money for national healthcare if we hadnt spent so much money on the Iraq war. When debating liberals like Frank, it would be nice if conservatives could point out that Americans shouldnt be spending so much money, periodinstead of just arguing in favor of a different government program.
As our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan inch closer toward the decade mark, it seems many Americans are beginning to realize that their own security, both personally and nationally, is more at risk from big government than protected by it. Support for Obamas outrageously expensive agenda, his performance and his popularity continues to plummet and a recent Pew survey found that 49% of Americans believe the U.S. should start minding its own business globally. Says Duncan: We have now spent $1.5 trillion that we did not havethat we had to borrowin Iraq and Afghanistan. Eight years is long enough. In fact, it is too long. Lets bring our troops home and start putting Americans first once again.
If current trends are any indication, the basic conservative sentiment that government should mind its own business might be seeing new light, even concerning foreign policy. Writes Antiwar.coms Justin Raimondo: it is clear that a great many conservative Republicans are undergoing a transition: faced with the consequences of eight years of dangerous and debilitating militarism, some are beginning to question the basic premises of interventionism.
Its about time. And at this particular juncture, conservatives who still cannot muster any skepticism toward big government abroad-while hypocritically railing against it at homeshould finally give up any pretense of being for limited government, concede Barney Franks argument, and quit calling themselves conservative altogether.
Heads up. FYI.
I am tending more and more to be anti-war. I am a conservative and love, love our troops. However, these endless wars and our men coming home maimed for life and even dead is becoming less pallitable to me. I want to know if both sides finance the wars and make tons of money and this is yet another redistribution scheme of wealth, courtesy of our rogue government.
Our military over in the combat zones are armed and killin’ bad guys.
I do want more R&D to find better ways to defeat IEDs.
Other than that I an content to have out troops over there killing them rather than the Jihadies running around the malls killing unarmed civilians here. We have enough Jihadies here already - we don’t need any more.
My passion for defending our country against a bunch of Muhammeds hiding in caves has been waned once the real enemy took control of our country.
Although not as sensational 3500 being crushed to death by big towers falling on them, I can guarantee that the tens of thousands of deaths of our family members and freinds because their healthcare has been rationed will be every bit as sad and horrific to us all in the long run.
I guess money we spend in Iraq and Afghanistan is money not spent on ACORN is the silver lining I see.
Given what I’ve read about the current ROE, it seems that our troops are there to provide realistic moving targets.
That being the case, unless the ROE is changed, I’d say bring them home.
If you’re not fighting to win, you shouldn’t be in the action.
“dont tell foreign policythey did not really ask why their country was at war and Republican leaders did not tell, or bother,”
Pretty BS. The President had to defend his policy and position almost every friggen day.
Having been a soldier under Democrat leadership (Vietnam), I say the second a Dem becomes commander in chief it is time to bring the troops home. The only outcome will be you will be maimed or killed -— or neither of those but simply find the cause abandoned later on. The minute a pinko takes command it is time to turn the guns on Washington!
Conservatives were in the past very against nation building I am against nation building myself. We are broke and have enough of our own problems to think about and there is always the fact that obama is not giving our troops all they need so more will die I would assume and obama is not worth dying for.
If we’d fought WW2 the way we’re fighting this “war on terror” (and I include Dubya as well as Obama) we’d still be working our way through Normandy and Guadalcanal.
Morale is being undermined...both on the field and at home...
Too many sucumb to it appearently...
The ROE was changed on purpose...to inflate the casualty rate...this will dutifully be reported by the state media...which will in turn push poll and show “support declining”....
Obama WANT’s to flee...to give up and cut and run...but he CANT until enough people like you say:
“That being the case, unless the ROE is changed, Id say bring them home.
If youre not fighting to win, you shouldnt be in the action.”
So all Obama and the liberals have to do is drag thier feet and wait you out...
It appears to be working all too well...
We should do whatever it takes to eradicate the enemy in Afghanistan as soon as possible and then leave. Or just leave if the current “strategy” will remain standing around waiting to get shot.
Trying to nation build in that hellhole is a fruitless endeavor that leeches money and American lives.
It’s disgraceful that the Taliban stills exists despite 8 years of engagement. It should have been over in a matter of weeks. Frag the bad guys, don’t stand around propping up Hamid Karzai.
Short of “scorched Earth” there is no way that country is going to be conquered and held.
Amen to that.
As a conservative, the writer should know better than to buttress the left's anti-war talking points with the left's cartoonish characterization of the right.
The enthusiasm was for the defense of our nation in light of the horrific attacks that preceded it. But if he insists on denying Saddam Hussein's involvement in those attacks, if he insists on pretending there was no established relationship with al Qaeda, there's nothing I can do for the man. He'd rather believe the lie... it better suits his agenda. No fact(s) will move him from that.
All that being said, I want our troops home and I want them home now. It kills me to see them fighting for this monster they're forced to call a Commander in Chief. He means them harm and he will deliver. Evil is at the wheel now.
You nailed it.
That is the biggest bunch of Ron Paul garbage I have ever read.
We conservatives, especially those of us who saw war, do not have "an enthusiasm for war," but we understand freedom isn't free and what it costs to have freedom, ours and others.
What all too many "anti-war" left or right fail to realize is that as you protest, hinder and undermine our efforts, you prolong it, instead of supporting get in and get it done.
If you have forgotten September 11, 2001 and why we engaged in Afghanistan, I pity you all and wonder who you will seek to keep you free in the future.
Even more pitiful is seeing left-leaning libertarians masquerading as conservatives.