is gaining on Trump. Bernie
is gaining on Hillary nationwide. (He will of course win NH by a wide margin.)
These new tendencies trouble me because a Sanders/Rubio matchup cannot be won by the Democrat.
I will confess that a Sanders/Trump contest might
result in a narrow Dem win, but only because The Donald is divisive and unpredictable and bizarre.
I predict that many of my readers are now itching to complain about Hillary
and her neocon streak. Doing so is quite fair -- I've registered many such complaints myself. That said, your comment may not be published if you give me reason to suspect that you are a shill operating on automatic pilot. If your attitude is "I don't care who wins, as long as Hillary loses," seek another blog.
Look: Obama did not go to war with Syria in 2013, despite the pressures to do so. Peace generally prevailed during the Bill Clinton years, despite his foreign policy bungles.
Dems prefer approaches that do not involve the regular military forces. Drones, yes; special forces, yes; CIA subversion, yes. Boots on the ground? Not so much.
Obama was bad, but Romney would have been much, much worse. A President Romney would have mired us in a Syrian war -- which could easily have morphed into an American/Russian war by this point.
Hillary will probably be as bad as Obama (unless she is playing a very
devious "long con" with the neocon Establishment, a possibility not to be ruled out). That said, I honestly do not believe that she wants to place American troops in harm's way, and I am quite certain that she does not want war with Putin. She's too smart for that.
Rubio will be worse. Much, much, MUCH worse.
Marco Rubio is to neconservatism as Cyd Charisse was to gams: The Ultimate Exemplar.
(Am I the first writer in twenty years to use the word "gams"? Am I the only one who recalls Cyd Charisse?)
Rubio is the darling of the Kristols and the Kagans and that whole PNAC crowd. Here's what Bob Parry wrote not long ago, in a piece titled "Neocons Make Rubio Their Favorite"
In October, The Wall Street Journal detailed Rubio’s ever-hardening line on Putin which is, by subtle extension, an attack on Trump’s foreign policy bona fides. Rubio said, “We are barreling toward a second Cold War, and strong American leadership is the only force capable of ensuring that peace and security once again prevail,” and promised that “under my administration, there will be no pleading for meetings with Vladimir Putin. He will be treated as the gangster and thug that he is. And yes, I stand by that phrasing.”
Also not coincidentally, the boyish charmer with a Hispanic name, Cuban roots and a compelling immigrant back story is pitching his transformative candidacy with a catchy campaign slogan that sounds vaguely, perhaps even ominously familiar: “Marco Rubio: A New American Century.”
Yes, Rubio has gone “Full-Neocon” and the echoes of grand designs past don’t stop with his blatant campaign slogan. On Nov. 5, Rubio gave a sweeping speech in New Hampshire outlining his defense policies that could, according to an expert at the Cato Institute, add upwards of $1 trillion dollars on top of current budget projections over the next decade.
Like the neoconservative brand he has franchised, Rubio has been waiting for the catalyzing event he can leverage into to transformative program to “rebuild” the world’s largest military and extend its already global-spanning reach.
But that’s the double-edged sword of Rubio’s Establishment bid — he’s a perfectly-crafted neoconservative Ken Doll who hits all their marks, but, at the same time, he’s an animatronic Establishment robot who reliably recites a well-worn message at least half of all GOP voters are currently rejecting out of hand.
of Rubio quotes should chill your soul:
“Look at Vietnam and look at China, countries that we have engaged. They are no more politically free today than they were when that engagement started.”
Believe it or not, that's his rationale for ramping up a new Cold War.
“Empowering and supporting Syria’s opposition today will give us our best chance of influencing it tomorrow.”
Pressed by host Martha MacCallum on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” about whether any military action by the United States now means we’re at war with Russia, Rubio responded with talk of setting up a “safe zone” in Syria. This zone could be used as a sort of base for moderate rebel groups opposed to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, from which they could continue to wage war. Considering that Rubio had just a minute before stated that Russia is bombing these groups in order to eliminate them and prop up Assad, it’s hard to see how putting these rebels under official U.S. protection would not put our forces in direct conflict with the Russian military.
Not only that. We know that there are no moderates among the rebels
, at least none with any muscle. We've been stretching the term "moderate" in such a way as to include Al Qaeda.
is important, even though it comes to us by way of the dreaded Cato Institute (and was published by the even more dreaded Arianna Huffington)...
Moreover, Rubio's form of internationalism operates like a workman with only a hammer: every problem looks like a nail. In this case, the first and usually only solution to foreign problems is military. Indeed, it seems that the mere availability of military action requires reliance on military action. Anything else--diplomacy, economic sanctions, even threatening future military action--is the worst form of "appeasement," another meaningless yet all-purpose insult.
Indeed, Rubio might discuss whether he believes peace itself to be evidence of an "isolationist" policy. For instance, he declared: "I will use American power to oppose any violations of international waters, airspace, cyberspace or outer space." Wow, any violations. He also promised to treat as a casus belli "the economic disruptions caused when one country invades another, as well as the chaos caused by disruptions in choke points such as the South China Sea or the Strait of Hormuz." Does that mean America has to fight any war involving any trading partner?
When one contemplates the adverse consequences of this policy of perpetual intervention and war, one might start feeling some "isolationist" tendencies. For when it comes to Rubio, "isolationist" really means good old-fashioned common sense. Don't go to war unless you have to. Don't try to solve other people's problems. Don't turn small problems into bigger ones. Don't risk your own people's lives and money in misbegotten crusades abroad. Especially when none of those issues ever struck you as vital enough to impel you to serve in the military.
Far from highlighting Rubio's qualifications for the presidency, his foreign policy views demonstrate a world view which is both simplistic and dangerous. When coming from the Florida Senator, "isolationist" should be viewed as a compliment.
During a December debate, Rubio more or less stated that removing Assad was so damned important that the elevation of ISIS to power in Syria was an acceptable outcome.
“If we are to defeat our enemies we need to be clear-eyed that toppling a government and allowing radical Islamic terrorists to take over a nation is not benefiting our national security interests,” said Cruz, referring to Obama’s Syria policy goals. “Putting ISIS or Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of yet another state in the Middle East is not benefiting our national security.”
Rubio’s stance couldn’t be more different. At the event, he argued unequivocally in favor of efforts to take down Assad.
“As long as Assad is in power you’re going to have in place someone that creates the conditions for the next ISIS to pop up, for the next ISIS to emerge,” Rubio said Thursday. “This simplistic notion,” he concluded, “that ‘leave Assad there because he’s a brutal killer, but he’s not as bad as what’s going to follow him,’ is a fundamental and simplistic and dangerous misunderstanding of the reality of the region.”
What dangerous doubletalk!
You want to talk reality? The reality (as we have demonstrated in many previous posts) is this: "The West" -- along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- created
the Syrian rebellion in order to topple Assad. Empowering ISIS was the whole point
of that operation.
Trump annoys me. Hillary infuriates me. Sanders disappoints me (at least on the foreign policy front). Cruz can induce vomiting.
But nobody scares
me like Marco Rubio.