Thursday, March 24, 2011

Perpetual War

Up until the Libyan bombing campaign started, there were hosts of right-wingers, neoconservatives, and Republicans using the situation to call out President Obama for "dithering" while people died.

As soon as the bombs started to fall, and especially because France was involved, we've heard nothing but outrage from many of those same people. I try to keep up with the talking points by listening to local right-wing radio, and what I heard yesterday ran like a laundry list of arguements that were previously dismissed in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

Of course, one of the most absurd of these arguments can be found coming out of the mouth of Newt Gingrich, who argues to go to war before he argues against it.

Our topic of discussion here is not the Libyan war itself, but how our politics and culture talk about and respond to it. Mainstream Republicans have a foreign policy elite, and they are the folks who have never met a war they didn't want to start. They have an outsized place at the political table, despite their advocated policies falling flat on their face for the last decade. That's who the GOP Representatives listen to, that's who the next GOP President will listen to, and when they turn the volume up loud enough for long enough (as with Iraq) most of the Democrats go right along with them.

The Democrats. I got an email yesterday from Democracy for America asking me to fill out a survey on how that group should react to the war in Libya. Because they don't already have a position.

The Tea Party is showing its true colors when it comes to interventionism and foreign policy. They will listen to the neocons every single time, and search the world for monsters to destroy. That's not good, considering how many monsters they already see at home.

The hatred for this President is so deep and all-encompassing that these individuals continue to find fault even when Obama is pursuing the policies they themselves propose. If he isn't attacking, he's dithering. If he is attacking, he's doing it wrong. If the UN is involved, he's abandoning American leadership in the world. If the UN isn't involved, he's not able to rally the allies.

And yet, for the 8 years of Bush Wars, we heard that anyone who questioned the "Decider's" decisions were unpatriotic and didn't support the troops. I guess that's why all the pundits on the right, even as they excoriate the President for not going to war sooner going to war whatever the day's critique is, they make sure to mention that they are 100% "behind the troops."

Because saying it is what is important.

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