Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle on The Five expressed her desire for Russian President Vladimir Putin, or someone like him, to briefly hold power in the United States, and "get it done right." That is, dramatically escalate our war in Iraq until the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIL or ISIS) is eliminated.
Let's not deprive Guilfoyle of context, though. In an Obama-bashing session Tuesday, co-host Greg Gutfeld lauded a proposal by London Mayor Boris Johnson to strip of their citizenship any Brits who go into terrorist zones, and questioned why our president isn't doing something similar.
Gutfeld: Can we actually do this without violating their so-called civil liberties?
Guilfoyle: Um, guess what? I don't care. In fact, I hope we violate a lot of their civil liberties. This is war, this is terror. There should be no mercy involved, because they have shown none. Can I just make a special request on the magic lamp? Can we get, like, Netanyahu, or, like, Putin in for 48 hours, you know, head of the United States. I don't know, I just want somebody to get in here and get it done right, so that Americans don't have to worry and wake up in the morning fearful of a group that's murderous and horrific like ISIS.
First, it seems that Guilfoyle has overstated the threat of ISIL. "The FBI and Homeland Security Department say there are no specific or credible terror threats to the U.S. homeland from the Islamic State militant group," reports the Associated Press.
Second, Guilfoyle isn't the first neoconservative to fall for the idea that central-power weilding strongmen like Putin are effective leaders. They aren't.
Perhaps the Fox personality isn't familiar with Russia's equivalent to America's War on Terror: the Chechen Wars. Putin wasn't around for the first one, which lasted less than two years. But when he took power in 2000, he dragged out the second bloody domestic conflict until mid-2009. Officially. The insurgency continues to this day, with over 600 reported terrorist crimes in the region just last year. The most recent suicide bombing on Russian soil happened this past December. I think he'd need more than 48 hours to take on ISIL.
Guilfoyle's comments seem particularly off-color, since Russia's latest military aggression is an unjustified land grab in Ukraine. Did Putin "get in there and get it done right"? He quickly, successfully seized Crimea, but six months later it's proven to be a 10,000-square-mile money pit. Additionally, the war has brought the ruble to its lowest value in years, has turned the European Union against Russia with sanctions, and is putting the country on the brink of recession.
Big government begets bigger government. The Fox host admits civil liberties don't mean shit to her at the first tenuous sign of danger thousands of miles away. Lucky for her, violating rights is one of the Kremlin's favorite hobbies. Just ask a Russian libertarian: Dissident media is censored, activists and journalists face prison time, and exiling is in again.
The Obama administration has many faults, but if neoconservatives want authoritarians, they can shuffle off to Russia and spare the rest of us.