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George W. Bush Redux
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For me there are a number of good reasons to favor the candidacy of Ron Paul, but the area where he is most distinct from the other Republicans is foreign policy, where he supports desperately needed non-interventionism. The following, which appeared on the Foreign Policy website speaks for itself regarding where Rick Perry would take us if he is elected. Feith and Luti were associated with the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon which used fabricated intelligence from Iraqi National Council head Ahmed Chalabi, cherry-picked other information, and stovepiped the whole lot without any caveats up to the White House to support an invasion of Iraq. Perry would be a return to George W. Bush foreign policy, quite likely staffed by the same crew that brought us the Global War on Terror.

Perry…has…held an increasing number of meetings with foreign policy experts of all stripes. These meetings, which have sometimes gone on for hours, have helped Perry brush up on a range of issues, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to proliferation, from Middle East policy to international trade, according to those familiar with the meetings. The experts that he has reached out to include former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, former NSC strategy guru William Luti, former Assistant U.S. Attorney and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy, former Pentagon official Charles “Cully” Stimson, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe Daniel Fata, former Pentagon China official Dan Blumenthal, the Heritage Foundation’s Asia expert Peter Brookes, and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalizad. Politico reported that Donald Rumsfeld helped Perry set up the initial meeting with Feith, Luti, McCarthy, and Fata (Stimson was invited but couldn’t attend), but there have been several more since then and the Perry team is continuing to fly in experts to meet with the governor in Texas. Foreign policy hands with knowledge of the prospective candidate’s identity, which is still taking shape, told The Cable that Perry is planning to stake out political territory as a defense-minded but internationally engaged candidate, contrasting himself with the realism of Jon Huntsman, the ever-changing stance of Mitt Romney, or the Tea Party budget cutting focus of Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul. “He will distinguish himself from other Republicans as a hawk internationalist, embracing American exceptionalism and the unique role we must play in confronting the many threats we face,” one foreign policy advisor with knowledge of Perry’s thinking told The Cable. “He has no sympathy for the neo-isolationist impulses emanating from some quarters of the Republican Party.”


(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: 2012 Election, Republicans 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    ““He has no sympathy for the neo-isolationist impulses emanating from some quarters of the Republican Party.””

    If Perry really wants to be President he should keep these thoughts to himself. He wouldn’t want to become associated in the public mind with the big-deficit interventionists and Wall Street bailout types who wrecked the economy and paved the way for Obama’s election.

  2. tbraton says:

    “He has no sympathy for the neo-isolationist impulses emanating from some quarters of the Republican Party.”

    I guess that means he approves of Obama’s war against Libya. How dreary. I think of Perry as “George W. Bush, without the brains.” Even more dreary.

  3. Preventing mass-murder is so dreary.

  4. Perry makes Romney look good. Mitt has very little consistent ideology, but his number crunchy abilities might lead to a less aggressive foreign policy.

  5. Rick Perry is as ignorant about foreign affairs as was George W. Bush. Gathering a staff of neocon warmongers suggests what way he would take the country. Should Perry ever gain the White House.


  6. tbraton says:

    “Preventing mass-murder is so dreary.”

    And you think our intervening in Libya has prevented the killing of Libyans? We seem to be party to the killing of many Libyans in order to protect other Libyans, who seem to be doing a good job of killing other Libyans in turn. This is like a bad replay of the famous line in Vietnam: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

  7. eep says:

    Jeez, the Neocons have found their bellicose imperialist. He also tried to push through the Trans-Texas Corridor. I read it would have been used by Mexican truck drivers to deliver Chinese goods throughout America and up to Canada. He doesn’t have the interest of Americans at heart.

  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Preventing mass-murder is so dreary.”

    But it never seems to work out that way does it? How many Libyans has O saved so far? Do you have any idea? Of course not.

    History suggests that American involvement will only deepen divisions and accelerate the body count. We’ve got bigger fish to fry here at home. Whoppers, in fact. Time to shuck “the white man’s burden”.

  9. Fighting mass murder with mass murder is indeed dreary.

  10. He would actually be the third George W Bush in Washington in as many presidencies.

  11. I’ve touched a nerve. Let me get this straight: do you oppose NATO’s Libya intervention because you care so much about Libyans or because you care so little?

  12. I oppose the US bombardment, invasion and occupation of other countries because I oppose having my tax dollars used to slaughter and otherwise abuse other people. I am made materially complicit to mass murder even against my consent. It’s not a matter of whether I “care so much about Libyans” or other victims of US global imperialism. Not harming others is the minimum standard to be adhered to whether you care about them or not.

  13. “I’ve touched a nerve. Let me get this straight: do you oppose NATO’s Libya intervention because you care so much about Libyans or because you care so little?”

    Because we’re broke!

  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Let me get this straight: do you oppose NATO’s Libya intervention because you care so much about Libyans or because you care so little?”

    If you want a straight answer you need to ask a straight question. The straight answer to the question you didn’t ask is that it’s none of our goddamn business.

  15. Ken Hoop says:

    Let me understand. After the US lied its way into Iraq, botched the occupation, and turned Iraq over to Iran, you trust the US ruling elite to know and tell the truth about conditions in Libya AND to lead NATO in bringing stability and tranquility

    To say nothing of the Afghan debacle made only worse by US intrusion.

  16. Ken Hoop believes that the U.S. government, based on the Bush administration’s deception and poor performance in Iraq, has lost the authority to do anything at all with respect to foreign policy. He and the other commenters seem to have forgotten that the Arab League, in addition to the other NATO nations and the Libyan rebels themselves, requested that NATO intervene to prevent a humanitarian disaster. Those who claim that NATO worsened the humanitarian conditions in Libya do so not out of concern for the Libyans and not based on facts. They do so out of a doctrinaire adherence to isolationist ideology or out of support for a dictator. Either way, those positions are destructive to American interests and, thankfully, unconvincing to a majority of Americans.

  17. A.C. says:

    Because it’s none of our business, it’s not relevant to our national security, it’s certainly not worth risking American lives for, and it’s not the kind of foreign policy that a wise republic engages in, as our founding fathers foresaw and told us by the way. Why do you support it Adam Holland? Better yet, why on earth do you think the leftist clowns at the SPLC blog are worth reading? Inquiring minds wanna know…

  18. A.C.: Libya is certainly relevant to the security of the NATO nations, contrary to your assertions to the contrary. I support living up to the responsibilities that come along with our alliances. More to the point, I oppose denying that crimes against humanity committed in Libya have no bearing on the rest of the world. Most Americans do not want to live in the sort of nightmarish world which you so readily tolerate.

    As to your comment re SPLC: WTF?

  19. There’s a typo in my previous comment. I mean to say that crimes against humanity in Libya most certainly have a bearing on the rest of the world, including us. Just saying it ain’t so doesn’t make the problem go away.

  20. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “They do so out of a doctrinaire adherence to isolationist ideology or out of support for a dictator.”

    In my experience, so long as the doctrinaire ideologues of interventionism get to salve their overgrown and highly selective consciences they don’t care what price American soldiers or taxpayers have to pay, and they have never had much patience for keeping track of “collateral damage” to civilian populations.

    I’ve noticed that fanatic interventionists use the word “humanitarian” the way that Communists used the word “liberation”, and it is probably significant that many fanatic interventionists either used to be Communists themselves or came from that kind of milieu.

  21. Here’s a friendly suggestion, Adam: if your concern for the Libyan rebels is keeping you awake at night, then quit your job, sell everything you own, catch a flight to Benghazi and fight for them yourself.

    You have my blessing.

  22. tbraton says:

    “I’ve touched a nerve. Let me get this straight: do you oppose NATO’s Libya intervention because you care so much about Libyans or because you care so little?”

    Both. Just as we made sure that no foreign power intervened in our civil war (which cost more American lives than any other war we have engaged in), we should keep our noses out of other people’s civil wars, whether in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, you name it.

  23. “Soldier Class”: Now that the Deputy Minister of the Interior who served as Gaddafi’s chief of security has defected to Egypt (he did so today with his family), we will be learning all the sordid details of the regime’s past, present and planned future misdeeds. Then you can eat your words about how the injuries caused to civilians by NATO and the rebels were worse than the alternatives.

    Your opposition to any intervention based on humanitarian considerations is duly noted and gets to the heart of your real disagreement with the intervention. I respectfully disagree with you about this. The idea that all humanitarian impulses are in fact cynically motivated speaks more to the cynicism of the person who believes that. The U.S. gained independence with the assistance of Europeans who supported the idealism of our revolution. Our example has served as the template for oppressed people around the world. “Soldier Class” calls that something like communists enslaving other countries in the name of “liberation”. Soldier, that comparison strikes me as completely off-base. What we’re doing in protecting the Libyans from the dictator who would slaughter them by the thousands is America at its finest. You should be proud of what our military is doing there.

  24. eep says:

    Adam, why Libya and not Bahrain? What in your opinion will replace Gaddafi?

    The French were playing global chess against the British when they supported the US. John Adams had to pull the Democratic-Republicans back from helping the French in their war against Britain. He knew it was suicidal. He knew better than to go looking for monsters to destroy. Right now the US is in debt and is committing suicide.

    We are supposed to support a rebellion by Libyan Iraq War veterans to be on the right side of history and because Arab Autocrats want it?

    Western pure hearted politicians must be thinking about those poor Libyan rebels who had to fight Americans in Iraq. Gaddafi, the greedy bastard wanted to keep all the oil to himself. All those poor western Oil companies wouldn’t have run of the place as their wont. The Iranians know what happens to people who do not share. They get a kind leader like the Shah who teaches them to share.

    Then there are the people who just want to live their lives in peace and are caught up in power struggles from the most unsavory parts of humanity. I don’t see how they win either way.

  25. tbraton says:

    “The U.S. gained independence with the assistance of Europeans who supported the idealism of our revolution. Our example has served as the template for oppressed people around the world.”

    We won our independence principally because of the aid of France, and the expense of doing so contributed to the financial crisis that ultmately led to the downfall of the French monarchy. Is that the example you really want the U.S. to follow? Your foolish advice was certainly not followed by George Washington and his successors who resisted calls for the U.S. to assist the French Revolutionaries.

    “What we’re doing in protecting the Libyans from the dictator who would slaughter them by the thousands is America at its finest. You should be proud of what our military is doing there.”

    I’m sure the military is proud of the way they are killing Libyans by using drone missiles. Has our body count reached thousands yet? Killing Libyans in order to save Libyans seems like a pretty complicated balancing act that must require a pretty advanced algorhithm to calculate.

  26. tbraton – – Yes, US Civil War was greatest catastrophe in history of America. More Americans killed in it than in all other wars combined. And all for essentially nothing because slavery would have died a natural death (which could have been accelerated by buying out the slaveowners, as advocated by Lincoln).

  27. tbraton: Your slanders of our military speak for themselves. You should be ashamed, but you’re not. The U.S. military is not targeting innocent Libyans with drone attacks; it’s fighting a madman who revealed, both through his actions and through his own statements and those of his son, his intentions to massacre not only those who oppose him, but those who live in the same cities as those who oppose him. Your denial of Gaddafi’s crimes and your invention of American ones are both very unfortunate.

    eep: What the U.S. is doing in Libya is very far from “national suicide”. The military may be overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan at present, but that doesn’t make Libya our death knell. Do you honestly believe what you write? You are correct when you say that John Adams was right to want to avoid another war with the British Empire, which was then the greatest military power on earth. But you are wrong to equate that power with that of Libya. Libya’s military power is a joke. Gaddafi’s ace in the hole is that he has a gun to the head of his own people. NATO’s challenge will be to prevent him from using that gun.

  28. eep: I will admit that Gaddafi shares with King George III a certain fashion sense (, a tendency toward madness, and aspirations to rule large swathes of the world. (Gaddafi has indicated his intention to lead a unified Africa.) The resemblances end there, however.

  29. eep says:


    Libyan Rebel Commander brags on Libyan Iraq War Veterans and Al Qaeda. He says they are good Muslims.

    Who is going to stop them from using their guns on their people to create a Taliban style dystopia? Where are the Libyan versions of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson? Where are the Libyan humanist ideals and intellectual treaties on good government? Where have they intellectually wrestled with the diseases of civilization? I can’t find anything new concerning who is uprising since around March. The rebels aren’t much different than Gaddafi in how they treat people:

    The War against Islam started with Desert Storm. Now we are in half a dozen Muslim countries, going broke because of it. The US has been bleed to death not by another Empire but people that live in caves!

    Oil companies have been quivering with concerns that Gaddafi would nationalize oil in Libya since at least 2009.

    I don’t think it will end well. If the West has it’s way I doubt Libyans will get western prosperity and liberalism. Egypt hasn’t changed for the better. There was more freedom in Iraq during Saddam’s rule. The white man’s burden is a thankless job. Countries like Saudi Arabia don’t want freedom in the Middle East. They actively undermine it.

  30. CTC80 says:

    You have no idea what’s going on in Libya! The “rebels” are a coalition of monarchists, Al Qaeda, and foreign soldiers! There are refugee ships leaving Behngazi (rebels) to escape to Tripoli (Gaddafi) because the rebels are murdering civillians! Gaddafi passed out 2 million weapons to civillians. A dictator could not do this or those guns would be immediately turned back on them.

    Killing people is never good especially when those people never did anything to us. We have the rule of law and being on foreign soil doesn’t change that. Murdering people from 30,000 feet is not noble. What if China was dropping bombs from drones over Cleveland?

    The world does not see America as a beacon of hope, they fear us. If you think that is a good position to be in, you’re crazy. With our current economic woes, the last thing we want to be is feared. People will lie in wait until the bully is weakened and then fight back. We are weak right now and we better stop being the bully on the block.

    The government has not spoken for a majority of the people for a long time. That can be seen by the minimal voter turn out. Up until the progressive era (WWI) the turnout was 80-90%, now it’s less than 60. This is because there is no real choice. You get debt and deficits for war with both parties, you get corporate welfare from both parties, you get social welfare from both parties. Ron Paul finally gives us a reason to vote!

  31. CTC80 says:

    Adam – you are exactly right! I love to see people standing up for what’s right no matter who’s wrong.

    Also look at the Government Sachs connection. They lost a billion dollars of the Libyan’s money. Gaddafi went to the oil companies and told them they needed to give him the money or he was going to nationalize the oil fields.

    Adam Holland – first off you are wrong about Gaddafi. How do you explain him passing out AKs to his people? What about the fact that he is often seen in public with no protection? Secondly, even if Gaddafi was the horrible man that you say, what would give the US government the right to spend my hard earned money to pick a side? They aren’t even spending our money, they’re spending our grandkids’ money!

    I don’t believe in collectivism in any form. If individuals want to go to Libya and help the rebels, let them go. Of course, nobody would go voluntarily. Assuming the right to use confiscated dollars to fund one side of a civil war is patently wrong! Sending young men and women to kill people that have never threatened them or their country is wrong! The troops agree wtih Ron Paul! He has received more money from active duty and retired military that all the other Republican candidates combined!

  32. CTC80: You say that the troops agree with Ron Paul, and that your views represent theirs. Are you saying Ron Paul and the U.S. military believe, as you do, that opposition to Gaddafi equals support for al-Qaeda? How dare you slander our troops by putting such absurd and false statements in their mouths! I am no supporter of Ron Paul — far from it — but even he must recognize that popular opposition to Gaddafi derives from his horrible oppression of the Libyan people. In fact, if you take the time to calm down and think about it, even you must recognize that.

  33. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I want to thank all the paleo-conservatives on this site for waking me up. I was a huge George W. Bush supporter a couple of years ago, but then I saw the light. I get sick every time I hear Rush, Hannity and their ilk constantly defend Big Government Republicanism. I just hope Ron Paul wins this time around, Perry and Romney would be just as bad as McCain…

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