Good sense (relatively) from Cruz and Trump

I wouldn’t vote for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, but they advocate a less dangerous foreign policy than Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush or even Hillary Clinton.

TedNRCover-775x1024They both recognize that U.S. military interventions in the Middle East have been disasters and that further military intervention is unlikely to produce any better result.   They both think that the best way to fight ISIS is to get out of the way of the enemies of ISIS – Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

[Update 12/17/2015.  On the other hand, Ted Cruz thinks carpet bombing is the route to victory over ISIS, which cancels out any seemingly sensible thing  he might have said.  See the new Juan Cole link below. ]

That makes them significantly different from Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, who want to send ground troops to the Middle East.

The problem with Cruz and Trump is that, while reluctant to increase the number of America’s foreign enemies, they are eager to wage political war against domestic enemies.

trumpweb21n-1-webFor Cruz, these are atheists, secularists, abortionists and gays.  For Trump, these are Mexicans, Muslims and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

This is in contrast to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who seek harmony at home while treating the lives of foreigners in majority-Muslim countries as expendable.

I don’t see why Trump, who wants to bar Muslims from the United States, is morally worse than Rubio, Bush or Clinton, who support aggressive wars resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslim bystanders.

As the cartoonist and columnist Ted Rall put it:

There is … something wonderfully refreshing about Donald Trump’s gleeful deployment of the S-word.

“She [Hillary Clinton] is the one that caused all this problem with her stupid policies,” Trump said … .  “You look at what she did with Libya, what she did with Syria. Look at Egypt, what happened with Egypt, a total mess. She was truly — if not the — one of the worst secretaries of state in the history of the country. She talks about me being dangerous.  She’s killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity.”

Trump is absolutely right. Hillary voted for the invasion of Iraq, which killed a million people. As I’ve pointed out, it wasn’t just an immoral decision — it was a stupid one, since anyone with a half a brain could see at the time that Saddam probably didn’t have WMDs, and that Bush’s war would be a disaster.

As secretary of state, Clinton never met a war she didn’t love. Under her watch and following her counsel, the United States armed radical jihadis who are now terrorists, helped topple Moammar Gaddafi, expanded a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Libyans and reduced one of the most advanced nations in Africa into a failed state.

Then she turned around and did the same exact thing to Syria.

Source: Ted Rall for Counterpunch

As for myself,  I would like to get rid of the murderous ISIS organization, all other things being equal, but I don’t consider ISIS a serious threat to the United States and sending large numbers of American troops back to the Middle East would merely unite the people in the region against us.  What we Americans can do is stop supporting Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates and Turkey in their war against the enemies of ISIS.


How Cruz and Rubio expose the GOP’s rift on foreign policy by Michael Crowley for POLITICO.

Trump: Hillary Clinton ‘killed’ people with ‘stupidity’ by Maxwell Tani for Business Insider.

No, GOP, you can’t win by carpet-bombing by Juan Cole for Informed Comment.  [added 12/17/2015]

Rand Paul’s Approach to ISIS Is Better Than All His Republican Rivals in Election 2016 by Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic [added 12/17/2015]

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