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.
If we’d fought these wars to win in 2001-2005, including naming the enemy for what he is, there would be no subject matter for a thread such as this.
When we re-named “Operation: Infinite Justice” in 2001 because it was offensive to mohammedans, I knew we were in deep sh*t.
That’s my kind of anti-war. I don’t mind crushing your enemies, driving them before you or even the lamentation of their women on the nightly news. I am anti-stagnant-war just taking and giving casualties tit-for-tat.
In your case, the army should have been sent marching on Hanoi. Korea has been cited as the reason we did not.
The lesson of Korea was not that a war to win invites intervention but that a war of skirmishes over a border produces far more death than a war of movement, at least for the vastly superior advancing side. 1/3 of American deaths in Korea occured during the North’s invasion, the Chinese counter-attack and retaking the southern half of the peninsula. 2/3 of American deaths happened after the line was stabilized at the 38th parallel because Truman ordered the military to go no further. And if Stalin had wanted to use the nuclear bomb over Korea or Brezhnev or Mao over Vietnam, that should have been left up to them. Would have been the last thing they ever did. The overriding rule should have been “You start it - We finish it.”
In Afghanistan, there needs to be coordination with Pakistan on this simple strategy: No sanctuaries; they drive the Taliban over the border where we annihilate them.
And how did that happen... was it just an accident?
I can boil down several existing problems about the US military.
1) The “Madeleine Albright” approach. As secretary of state, she directed unsupported, small detachments of US military to every corner of the world, to be nothing more than targets. The US currently has forces in 80 countries, but they are only critical in a half dozen places.
2) Having only a limited amount of resources, the US has decided to go for a very limited number of very advanced, and very expensive, systems. But quality must always be balanced with quantity, or the enemy will have the advantage of what they have neglected.
3) The US needs a Foreign Legion, much like the French Foreign Legion. But we need a mercenary corporation, like Xe (Blackwater) stationed outside the US, to provide high quality, light infantry duties for situations where it is just too expensive to use our armed forces. Things like peacekeeping and disaster recovery can get transport and logistical support from the US military, but if done by mercenaries, would only cost a fraction as much. Importantly, their leaders would be ex-US officers.
4) The congress needs to quit playing social engineering experiments on the military. The needs of the military are determined by the mission, not what a professor of “Lesbian Womyn’s Studies” at UC Berkeley thinks. Even more so, they need to quit playing games with the VA.
During the 19th century, all our wars resulted in valuable land acquisition. Since we started fighting Utopian "wars to end all wars," America has gained nothing except high taxes and endless debt, as far as the eye can see. Oh yeah, we also got a lot of "national greatness" too.
I was lucky to get to Korea when the line was stabilized in 52.
If I had been there in 50/51 when the 8th Army was in full retreat except for the 1st Marines of course and entire regiments were nearly destroyed, I probably wouldn't be here today.
I am part of the “Anti-war” right for reasons described in this very article (infact I am more CONSERVATIVE) than some of them on the right- Remember during Clinton when conservatives railed AGAINST: ‘Nation Building’ & ‘Police Action’ by our military: I have returned to this position, and figure if you hamstring our military by “rules of engagement” (and give them a purposes for which they WEREN’T MEANT: NATIONBUILDING) then you’re better off briging them home?!
Whatever happened to the original mission in Afghanistan: ‘Get Bin Laden, and dismantle Alqaeda’? Instead we are battling the middle of an islamic civil war where most participants are stuck in mud huts.
It was forgotten when the previous administration renamed the mission from "Infinite Justice" to "Enduring Freedom."
I agree 100% with your post. Well said.
I would be more in favor of the never ending war if our leaders were more upfront and admit they are “playing the great game” in Asia as was played in the late 19th by other players. It is of strategic importance primarily of hydrocarbon flows, but no all we get our lecures about muslim fanatics (greatly tempered by PC) and democracy.
Mullah Omar hates your health care, and he greatly wants to institute the cap and trade policy to save you and the polar bears.
The GWOT has devolved into a wealth transfer scheme, ex: My tax dollars to Diane Feinstein’s joint bank account. Dhimminitude is the basis of Islam in my reckoning, and since our “elite” makes no mention of it I also reckon they could care less about our impending dhiminitude. But hey the Islomaniacs will get France first, Sophia Loren in a burqua, ha, ha.
They gave up on catching bin Laden long ago, because if they ever caught him it would be a reason for our troops to come home. As it stands, they can keep these billion dollar military contracts, and big government security projects going until they bankrupt us.
Spending what we don't have on overseas wars and nation-building, or spending what we don't have on social programs we can't afford -- take your choice, because so far both Parties are selling the same crap policies with the only difference being where the emphasis is put.
If the author is correct about a change in Republican foreign policy attitudes, it will come not a moment too soon!
And as Ron Paulies work so diligently to further weaken teh GOP so they can fulfill their dream of a libertarian takeover, you remove what little opposition we had.
In the meantime, you embolden our enemies to regroup, retrain and eventually, attack us again.
I wonder why Ron Paulies wish to consider themselves Republicans when everything they do is speak out, oppose and further weaken the party?
I wonder too why they desire the country to fight war here on our streets, conisdering we have been under attack from radical Jihadists for 3 decades.
Three times now on our own soil and Ron Paulies wish everybody to just ignore it all, go back to sleep, don’t worry, the cult of Ron Paul will fix everything.
Sounds an awful lot like what we hear from Obamaites
Plus, I'm tired of the "War on Terror" targeting my fingernail clippers.
Osama bin Laden isn't available to answer that question... he's been one with the rubble since Tora Bora (John Kerry's protestations notwithstanding).
As far as dismantling Al Qaeda, that's a trap we never should have fallen into. Al Qaeda can dismantle itself with a simple name change any time and still live to fight on. They've done it dozens of times before and since 9/11. Hell, American Democrats and media still talk about "Al Qaeda in Iraq" (aka "Al Qaeda of the Two Rivers") like they're a different team playing in a different league in another sport. They're like the San Francisco baseball Giants to the New York football Giants. All they did was add "in Iraq" to their name, and in the eyes of the most powerful political party on earth, the media and most Americans, that makes them an entirely seperate entity. And no matter how many U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians die at their hands, they're not worth fighting because we shouldn't be there anyway (another vicious lie).
"Al Qaeda", or whatever disposable pseudonym the jihadists put on their business cards, isn't the extent of the enemy. Men willing to do violence on behalf of the pedophile prophet are in unlimited supply, and they're fungible. An al Qaeda terrorist can become a Hizballah terrorist who can become a Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami terrorist before dying as an al-Itihaad al-Islamiya terrorists. Along the way, he raises a couple of boys who start planting IEDs in Afghanistan as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists. Eventually, Al Qaeda goes down the memory hole with the Hartford Whalers and the Houston Oilers... and the mass murder goes on.
We're not at war with a terrorist organization. We're at war with Islam... or at least, it's at war with us. Until we come to terms with that uncomfortable truth and what it really means, we're powerless to stop it.
Bump to that.
It wasn't forgotten. If anything, it was obsessed upon. Bush made the war exclusively about al Qaeda early on. Why? Same reason "Infinite Justice" was scrapped... same reason he attended mosque on 9/14/2001. He had to downplay the Muslim component and attribute the attacks to a single group because he was going to enlist the Muslim world into his fight against terrorism. He was going to help them create an outpost of freedom in the Muslim world. I can give Bush the benefit of the doubt and presume he knows in his heart that Islam is truly a force of evil, evil in the realest sense -- and I can see how and why he chose to go this route, with the belief that free men will ultimately reject Islam. I don't agree with it, but I can work my way through his reasoning and still believe he was a good and decent man trying to do the right thing.
The reason it all fell apart was the Iraq War, where ironicaly, Bush's vision is coming to fruition. They lost the American people because they didn't attack the lies that became coventional wisdom -- the biggest one being that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11. We lost Congress on that lie in 2006 and the bottom caved in. We'll eventually lose the war because of it.
Let's put most of that blame on the administration which talked about a "religion of peace" while allowing so many Islamists to continue breathing air for seven years.
“Anybody who ever made the mistake of going into Afghanistan with an army got their ass kicked “
Not true, but oft repeated anyway.
That’a another thing I find comical about so called anti-war, their readiness to just wipe out over one fifth of the world’s population because they disagree with their religion.
And, we wonder why Muslims just might have a problem with us?
If the goal is to win this thing, like it or not, agree with their beliefs or not, we will need Muslims on our side informing us and infiltrating the enemy.
Crim did indeed.
Likewise we do not have to wipe out every Muslim. We do, however, have to wipe out those who insist on the imposition of sharia. Sooner, or later.
I’m holding you responsible for the PC attitudes of our “leaders” who never mention the words “jihadists” or “dhiminitude”, being too afraid to upset their leftist friends and losing their “respectable” conservative lable. Enough of your Political Correctness and blame shifting, have a good day I’m done responding to you.
Your my kind of war monger, I could vote for you, simply because I’m tired of the PC and the people responsible for the PC who are destroying this country with their spendthrift ways and their hate America attitude.
True but Alexander’s social engineering program failed as well.
Here, Here, any grouping of jihadis spouting off about sharia and dhiminitude need a dose of JDAMs followed by an infantry sweep to kill off the survivors. BTW the following might be unPC and upset the respectable conservatives, I don’t care where those jihadis are residing even if they have official Saudi funding they need JDAMs and they need em now.
Wasn’t just Alexander that took over the joint. The Arabs, Mongols, and others did so for hundreds of years at a time.
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