In general, I like and agree with most of what conservative news sites offer. But it’s in one area in particular that I can’t understand why conservatives don’t hold a conservative viewpoint. That area is foreign policy. It’s a bit of a touchy subject and a sacred cow to many conservatives.
As a conservative, I can agree wholeheartedly when others attack the Obama Administration for (in no particular order) Obamacare, taxes, spending, debt, immigration, gun control, government education, socialism and even specific foreign policy issues like foreign aid or the Benghazi debacle.
And we’re all familiar with the emotionally charged retort from liberals on these issues. If it’s not that we’re racist, it’s that we “hate America.”
But we know better than that. Of course we don’t “hate America.” We’re not blaming America. We love America. But we’re disgusted with what Obama has done to America, and continues to do. We’re disgusted with what spineless politicians in both parties have done to America.
But on foreign policy, conservatives often use the same empty, emotional retort. It’s all fine and dandy to condemn Obama’s foreign policy, but as soon as you discuss the relationship between terrorism and our foreign policy, they say you’re “blaming America first.” And they win the argument every time, because media viewers respond best to emotional retorts. That’s why liberals use the “racist” and “sexist” retort so often. Because it works.
What I don’t understand is that there’s nothing conservative about our foreign policy. More appropriate descriptive words might be extravagant, imperialist, expansive, expensive, big or, well, liberal.
Buck Sexton from The Blaze was invited on MSNBC to “debate” Glenn Greenwald whose columns on U.S. national security and civil liberties regularly appear in the UK’s Guardian.
The Blaze did a write-up about the interview and called Greenwald a “blame America” blogger. Now, I don’t agree with Greenwald on everything either. But I and many other conservatives, Constitutionalists and libertarians (no, not liberaltarians) agree that the U.S. should defend first and foremost this country and not the borders of countries halfway around the world. In fact, I don’t think we should be wasting money, resources and American lives at all in that part of world, unless we’re fighting a defensive war.
And we also agree that actions have consequences. If we choose to occupy the Middle East, bomb the Middle East, order predator drone strikes on Middle Easterners that make collateral damage out of men, women and children, we’ll have to expect the atrocities that occur as a result. The CIA calls that “blowback.” (Yes our own CIA. If you disagree with what they say, you must hate America.)
Here was Buck Sexton’s reply to Greenwald:
“It’s deeply disingenuous to suggest that fighting against terrorism is in fact, the cause of terrorism. If you look at the writings of Zawahiri, if you look at the public pronouncements of Osama bin Laden — before 9/11 — they had a whole slew of issues that they were claiming, unmitigated, unrestricted warfare against any American, and by the way, any Israeli, any Jew, anywhere in the world. So the notion this is justified — of course they want to justify it in their minds — but there is no justification for these acts and they will always find another grievance for this kind of terror.”
First of all, let’s not kid ourselves. We’re not “fighting terrorism.” If we are truly fighting terrorism, then why in the world do we provide funding, weaponry and training to militant Islamic groups like Al-Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army? If we’re truly fighting terrorism, then why did the CIA create Al-Qaeda in the first place? Why was bin Laden our ally? Why did the U.S. provide chemical and biological (and other) weapons to Saddam Hussein who then used them on his own people and still continued to receive them from the U.S. government?
Our political leaders’ attitude toward militant Islamic groups in the Middle East is the same toward the dictators that the U.S. government helps to prop up. The U.S. will pay dictators to be our puppets, but as soon as they deviate from what we’ve prescribed them to do, they’re “overthrown” or just assassinated. And then they’re replaced. (That’s how we fight for “free elections” around the world.)
Our government uses terrorist organizations to its geopolitical advantage. It’s all about establishing control in that region and securing our oil interests. “Fighting terrorism” is simply the excuse. Just like in our own country, 4th Amendment liberties are routinely violated because law enforcement is fighting a “war on terror” where anybody can be considered an enemy combatant. But neoconservatives should be perfectly fine with that because fighting terrorism is also the excuse given by Homeland Security and the TSA.
Second of all, no one is saying that terrorist attacks on Americans are justified. That’s a pure straw man argument. Greenwald pointed out that the U.S. has had a liberal foreign policy for decades, not just since the 90’s. This longstanding policy is bound to create more enemies than it destroys.
That’s not justifying terrorist attacks. It’s explaining why Muslims who already have a penchant for violence are so easily recruited by terrorist organizations. If the Middle East did not have to deal with any kind of foreign occupation at all, and they weren’t funded by the U.S. or any other country, terrorist organizations there would crumble. Sure, there would be a few die-hard militant Muslims left, but they’d have a very difficult time finding any others to join them, because there just wouldn’t be much of an incentive.
Criticizing our government’s various policies is not blaming America. It’s blaming those responsible for coming up with the foolish policies. And those responsible for writing these policies obviously care little for America.