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Good, Bad, and Ugly GOP Foreign Policy: Chris Christie among Worst as No Republican Stands for Peace

August 11, 2015 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The GOP’s ten-man “adult” debate in Cleveland was spirited, but shed little light on foreign policy. There were important differences among the participants, but few were exposed. For instance, elsewhere Donald Trump opined that Crimea was Europe’s problem and asked why Washington still defended South Korea. These are important sentiments which indicate that the bombastic billionaire has more functioning brain cells than do his more mainstream opponents.

No multi-candidate forum can delve deeply into such complex issues. However, even those Republicans who have attempted to impress by giving formal foreign policy addresses have come up short. The GOP contenders have been largely captured by a reflexive, even rabid interventionism which ignores consequences and experience.

The position of several candidates can be summarized as “kill a foreigner for Jesus.” They profess to love God even as they seek to wreak death and destruction around the globe. Leading the hawks is Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate’s unabashedly pro-war caucus. In the hawkish middle some candidates demonstrate hints of reluctance—Ted Cruz and John Kasich broke with neoconservative orthodoxy on Syria and the Balkans, respectively. Sen. Rand Paul brings up the rear, uncomfortably gyrating between his father and the GOP conventional wisdom.

At least he admitted that “invading Iraq was a mistake.” The others almost uniformly ignore the disastrous consequences of that conflict. Rick Santorum believes the Islamic State magically “came about because they hate everything that we believe in,” rather than as an off-shoot of al-Qaeda created by Bush’s war. However, when it comes to Iran everyone, including Paul, prefers to play for votes by posturing as champions of Israel even if it means another Middle Eastern war.

Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush have given longer addresses, attempting to play the role of profound international thinkers, yet all offered the usual neocon clichés, huffing and puffing about American greatness, insisting on the panacea of U.S. “leadership,” and acting as if a presidential frown is enough to bring the globe into line with Washington’s dreams of glory. Indeed, they apparently believe that simply intoning “leadership” is sufficient to resolve America’s many international challenges.

Christie easily staked his claim to being most committed to violating Americans’ civil liberties through surveillance of dubious value. He cited the importance of intelligence after his party ignored the warnings of intelligence professionals and shaded the evidence to back the Bush invasion of Iraq. He denounced Edward Snowden: “When …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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