Scott Walker Ready to Start a War on 'Day One' of His Presidency; Jeb Bush the Voice of 'Maturity'

The race to the militant right on Iran


Gage Skidmore

The Iran nuclear deal is not finding a lot of support on the Republican side. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), one of more than a dozen Republican presidential candidates, had previously been cautiously supportive of negotiations between Iran, the U.S., and five other countries over Iran's nuclear energy program, but like other Republicans he condemned the deal as not going far enough. Unfortunately, the debate on the Republican side isn't over how a better deal might look or even over whether to support it, but over how quickly a Republican would tear it up if they were president. Briefly about interventionism vs. non-intervention, the Republican foreign policy debate seems to have devolved into a race to take the most militant position.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another Republican presidential candidate, thought he had a winner in that race when in his campaign announcement he promised he'd "terminate" the Iran deal on day one of his presidency—January 20, 2017, a year and a half from now—no matter what America's European allies who signed on to the deal to thought about it. That rhetoric drew a response urging caution and "maturity" from Jeb Bush, brother of George W. Bush, a president critics often accused of believing the same thing Thursday he did on Tuesday no matter what happened on Wednesday. The younger Bush explained why Walker's bluster was wrong and dangerous.

Via The Weekly Standard:

A voter asked Bush to explain the differences between the Obama administration's handling of Iran and his own, had he been president. Bush gave an exhaustive and highly critical assessment of Obama's failings and offered, at the end, a promise of sorts. "One thing that I won't do is just say, as a candidate, 'I'm going to tear up the agreement on the first day.' That's great, that sounds great but maybe you ought to check in with your allies first, maybe you ought to appoint a secretary of state, maybe secretary of defense, you might want to have your team in place, before you take an act like that." 

…At a press availability after the town hall, a reporter asked Bush why he would not "say what some of your competitors have, that you're going to get rid of the agreement." Bush responded: "Of course not. Because on 12:01 on January, whatever it is, 19th, I will not probably have a confirmed secretary of state, unlikely, won't have a national security team in place. I would not have consulted with our allies. I would not have had the intelligence briefings to make decisions. If you're running for president, you know, I think it's important to be mature and thoughtful about this."

Jeb Bush is right. While Congress can still vote against the deal, as I've written here before, the deal is a multilateral one, not just one between the U.S. and Iran. One of the few lessons the Obama administration learned from George W. Bush's presidency is that going alone doesn't work. Sometimes that lesson's been applied wrongly—as when the U.S. jumped in to join a European intervention into Libya's civil war, one that helped turn the former dictatorship into a bastion for Al-Qaeda and ISIS. But sometimes it's applied correctly, as it was in negotiations with Iran. Disengaging the U.S. from the issue of Iran's nuclear energy program and its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty would have been the best option, but negotiating those commitments with Iran and several other world powers is far preferable to negotiating it one-on-one or dropping bombs.

Given an opportunity to respond to Bush, Walker doubled down, saying he was ready to be president and start a war on day one if he had to. Via The Weekly Standard again:

"He may have his opinion. I believe that a president shouldn't wait to act until they put a cabinet together or an extended period of time," Walker said. "I believe they should be prepared to act on the very first day they take office. It's very possible—God forbid, but it's very possible – that the next president could be called to take aggressive actions, including military action, on the first day in office. And I don't want a president who is not prepared to act on day one. So, as far as me, as far as my position, I'm going to be prepared to be president on day one." 

That statement doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that Walker is prepared to be president on day one, rather it suggests he's prepared to prove he's prepared to be president on day one, which may actually prove he's not. For what it's worth, Jeb Bush followed up his comments by insisting he didn't support the deal and urged Congress to reject it.

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  1. …but over how quickly a Republican would tear it up if they were president.

    Didn’t we get a post the other day about how all GOP’ers say that but once in office find their inner doves? Let’s not again start believing things candidates say.

    1. Bullshit Fist….they’ll undo it…..just like they undid Obamacare, No Child Left Behind, etc.

    2. How does tearing up the agreement = going to war

      We are currently not at war with Iran, we have just imposed sanctions against them.

      Tearing up the agreement would mean we could re-impose sanctions (for just us the EU could keep the agreement if they liked).

      This “there’s either an agreement with Iran or there’s war with Iran” is a Progressive canard.

  2. The reality is neither Europe, Israel nor the Gulf States are going to stand by and do nothing and let Iran get nuclear weapons. So when the day comes and they finally drop the mask and either test a nuke or it becomes undeniable they are about to, their neighbors will have no choice but to launch a war in hopes of winning before Iran gets and can deliver nukes.

    It doesn’t matter what you think of Iran’s intentions or how much you want peace. That is what is going to happen. So this deal by giving Iran all its frozen assets at virtually no cost ensures that they are at some point going to either get nukes or be close enough their neighbors feel they have no other choice. Absent a revolution in Iran, there is going to be a war. It is just a question of who gets drug into it.

    1. So let Europe, Israel, or Saudi Arabia handle it.

      1. Sure. I just doubt that is going to happen. I would love to think we wouldn’t get drug into a large regional war in the Middle East. But seriously, can you imagine us not being drug in? I can’t.

        1. *starts to sing “Imagine”….then realizes how much I hate that song and punch myself in the face*

          1. Do you hate it because it is hopelessly divorced from reality or just because the melody sucks?

            1. yes

              1. +1 Dreamer

            2. How about because it is a smarmy, imbecilic vision of what, to me, sounds like hell.

        2. Do you really think the American people have the stomach for another war in the middle east? Sure, I can see us continuing drone strikes and maybe air strikes and no-fly zones in perpetuity. But it is going to be a generation before we forget about the lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan the way our parents forgot the lessons learned in Vietnam. It’ll be at least 2030 before we are ready to put boots on the ground there again.

          1. Depends on the circumstances. Let us get hit with another 911 and we will be willing to put a lot more than boots on the ground. The difference will be we won’t have any interest in nation building.

            The tragedy of Iraq is not an American one. It is that it likely represents the last time America ever tries to deal with the Middle East in anything approaching a civilized way. If the US ever comes back, it is going to be very ugly for those on the other end of it.

            1. It’s going to be hard to pull off “another 9/11”. I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m just saying you can’t assume it will happen.

              Also, I thought we’d have no interest in Iraq nation building back in 2003, considering how well things were going in Afghanistan at the time… but here we are.

              1. I wish I believed this. But there are cities in the country that are in so much trouble that I strongly suspect that a major attack could be planned and prepared for without anybody noticing.

                Probably not a Nuke; in spite of TV movies about college kids building one in Dad’s garage, handling fissionable material is non-trivial, and the government is at least TRYING to pay attention to that. But say a large section of Detroit suddenly vanishes in a fuel-air detonation? What then? Think the American People might get angry enough to turn the Arabian Peninsula into a large sheet of faintly glowing glass? I think it’s possible, and I don’t think we’d like the fallout, in any sense of the word.

            2. I still hear this when reading posts about another 911.

              It’s difficult for me to remember the raw fear and anger after the attack. For people not much younger than me I doubt they will remember it at all. I agree with your statement, it is going to be very ugly for those on the other end of it.

              1. I completely disagree. Unless it is an actual nation attacking us, we are not going to do anything more than blindly lash out, just like last time.

                1. Okay Rywun, we are just going to sit around and die. And we didn’t blindly lash out last time. Last I looked all of the leaders of Al Quada who were behind it ended up dead or in prison and the Taliban ended up living in exile hiding in Pakistan.

                  How the fuck can you say something like that? Blindly lash out? Like Bush put up a map of the ME and threw darts at it and bombed whatever country the darts hit?

                  Stop it already.

                  1. Last I looked all of the leaders of Al Quada who were behind it ended up dead or in prison and the Taliban ended up living in exile hiding in Pakistan.

                    And the region is more dysfunctional than ever. How is that working out for us?

                    If there is another 9/11, tell me – which nation are we going to go to war with?

            3. “The difference will be we won’t have any interest in nation building.”

              I really wish I could believe this. I fear that we are going to get provoked into invading the middle east again, and that we will be mad enough to stay. Now, if we had the mentality of the Victorian British in India, that might not be absolutely awful. We don’t. It’s gonna be a mess.

              I’d like to see a pattern, over some decades, of ever time some collection of extortionist swine gets up in our face we take out the top level of their government AND LEAVE. Not every time somebody calls us evil names, mind, but when somebody fires on American citizens or materially damages American vital interests. Establish that dealing with us over the negotiating table is EVER so much nicer than dealing with us on a battlefield.

              Y’see that’s what bothers me about the Iran Deal. I don’t think THEY think that if they break it, there will be any downside.

              1. Y’see that’s what bothers me about the Iran Deal. I don’t think THEY think that if they break it, there will be any downside.

                Yes. And that is the miscalculation that is going to cause the war. Weakness causes more wars than strength. I wish I could get that through Reason’s thick skulls.

                1. I’m convinced that the Iranian leaders want hegemony in the ME and will keep trying until they get it. If we let them do that, they will own the Persian gulf and control much of the East-to-West flow of goods through the region. And it will hurt Europe and the Mediterranean more than us–especially once the Panama canal is widened.

                  1. Well, the war with Saudi Arabia they’d need to undertake to accomplish this would be extremely ugly.

                2. Weakness causes more wars than strength.

                  And we’re in such a weak position largely because we removed Iran’s major nemesis in the region in a fit of pique 12 years ago.

      2. So let Europe, Israel, or Saudi Arabia handle it.

        Stop making sense.

    2. Here’s the thing. The only thing preventing Iran from ascending into full membership status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the current Sino-Russian counterweight to NATO, are the UN sanctions. Now that the UN has moved to lift those sanctions, the ascension of Iran into the SCO seems likely. If and when Iran fully enters into the SCO, Europe and the rest aren’t going to do shit.

      1. So, we’ve always been at war with Eastasia?

        1. Yes, but never a land war.

      2. Maybe not Europe but Israel will have nothing to lose and the Gulf Stats have China by the balls with their oil. Long term, thanks to the fracking revolution, the middle east is going to be China’s problem. They are the ones who are now dependent on Middle East oil. The US is nearly self sufficient in oil. China is not and never will be.

        1. China is not and never will be.

          If they succeed in their annexation of the Spratly Islands, that equation would change. Perhaps we should encourage this instead of fighting it.

          1. I would rather Japan have that and keep the Chinese vulnerable.

          2. Perhaps we should encourage this instead of fighting it.

            Um isn’t that interventionist?

            1. Not necessarily. I’m sure you can figure out why.

              1. Interventionist on China’s part. And the US can encourage it by convincing other countries to let China do it, which is interventionist on the US’s part.

                1. Ah, I see. I was thinking of it the other way around. I meant that if the 7th Fleet left the region, China would be encouraged to adopt a more aggressive posture toward their claims in the South China Sea. I don’t think the US Navy leaving a region of the world could be defined as interventionist by any meaningful definition of the word, yet it might encourage another actor to take certain actions, no?

                  1. If the US where to put diplomatic pressure on Japan, etc., to accept whatever China is doing, would that be interventionist?

          3. Doesn’t China have lots of natgas to frack?

            1. I think so, but their mineral rights system is so fucked up they are too stupid to make it happen. The Chinese fracking industry hasn’t gotten off the ground. Fracking seems to be like building and running aircraft carriers; something non western countries are just too stupid and backward to be able to do.

              1. Maybe they are content with their current rate of earthquakes.

                1. Maybe they are content with their current rate of earthquakes.

                  I would hope that is sarcasm, but I have little confidence that it is.

                  You leftists believe anything that seems to call for the end of the Industrial Revolution. Luddites, every one.

              2. “I think so, but their mineral rights system is so fucked up they are too stupid to make it happen. ”

                Correct about the mineral rights. The other key factors are infrastructure – pipelines, hubs, distribution – and expertise/experience – Halliburton etc. No one else has the right combo of elements and it would take a decade to develop even in Europe.

            2. China also isn’t afraid of nuclear boogie men.

              1. But nuclear stinks. It is uneconomic.

          4. Annexing them is one thing, defending them in a war quite another.

        2. They are the ones who are now dependent on Middle East oil.

          Oil is fungible. As OPEC found out to its dismay. China is no more dependent on Middle Eastern oil than is Europe.

          If the US won’t sell oil because we’re using our own reserves, that’s oil the other oil producing areas (Russia, ME, South America) will sell.

          We’re not dependent on ME oil, not because of our large reserves, but because the ME is dependent on *oil revenues* – cutting us off just means we buy from someone else while the ME producers have to find new buyers.

          Same thing for China.

          1. Oil is fungible. As OPEC found out to its dismay. China is no more dependent on Middle Eastern oil than is Europe.

            You miss the point. Sure oil is fungible and sure China can get oil from other places. It will just cost them a lot more money. Being oil self sufficient means spikes in oil prices don’t make you poorer since you make up for the money you lose via more expensive oil but the money you make from selling the oil you produce.

            Thanks to fracking, a 1973 styel oil shock would have much less of an effect on the US economy than it would have 20 years ago and would be devastating to the Chinese.

            1. Remember that in 1973 we had the Nixon price controls that kept supply and demand from balancing out. Hopefully we won’t have something that stupid again.

      3. Why do sanctions prevent Iran from being an SCO member? Why is the SCO that important? Kazakhstan and Russia are both members and Kazakhstan’s government does NOT like Putin.

        1. Why do sanctions prevent Iran from being an SCO member?

          According to the SCO by-laws, nations under UN sanction can’t be full members.

          Why is the SCO that important?

          Because it paves the way for Iran to enter into memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with China and/or Russia concerning defense. You may ask “so what”? But remember that it’s an MoU that got us in the situation concerning Ukraine.

          Kazakhstan and Russia are both members and Kazakhstan’s government does NOT like Putin.

          Yes, but they still continue military cooperation and their oil pricing discount scheme.

          1. But remember that it’s an MoU that got us in the situation concerning Ukraine.

            You mean the MoU that the USG ignored? What do you mean by ‘got us into Ukraine’? Are you talking about America’s tolkien trainers and rifles?

            1. One does not simply enter Kiev.

            2. You mean the MoU that the USG ignored?

              Yes, which was the correct choice. However, it was a question that we had to deal with because we decided on entering a potentially entangling agreement. And our choice to ignore it has had negative consequences concerning certain Eastern European countries’ perception of the wisdom of making deals with America. Again, I think the price was worth it. But you can’t deny that the defense pacts (formal or informal) with China or Russia that are the whole reason Iran aspires for full membership in the SCO would complicate dealing with a nuclear Iran, even if China o Russia eventually decided to throw Iran under the bus.

            3. tolkien trainers

              That’s a lovely johno there.

    3. The reality is neither Europe, Israel nor the Gulf States are going to stand by and do nothing and let Iran get nuclear weapons.

      Europe will, I have no doubt.

      Whether the Gulf States can do anything about it is highly questionable.

      1. Whether the Gulf States can do anything about it is highly questionable.

        I am pretty sure the nuclear weapons they will buy from Pakistan will resolve your doubts about that.

    4. The reality is neither Europe, Israel nor the Gulf States are going to stand by and do nothing and let Iran get nuclear weapons.

      Israel maybe, the Gulf States? What could they do about it? Iran is certainly not as fortified as Israel, but the Arab militaries are not exactly impressive – some neat toys gifted by the US that they can barely operate or keep working.

      And Europe? They talk. At great length. Whether you want them to or not. I mean, FFS, they’re bailing *Greece* out again. They have no strength of will to stop lending money to someone who’s shown they’re just going to wipe their arses with it, let alone be willing to take direct action against another country.

      1. The Gulf States have a ton of money, access to Iran and a patron in Pakistan that has nukes and would be willing to sell them if doing so is necessary to contain Iran.

        The entire Middle East is majority Sunni with small Shia Minorities except for two places, Iran and Iraq. The Shias are loathed by the majority Sunnis and the feeling is mutual. Forget Iran wanting to destroy the US or even Israel, though they would happily do both if they could. What they really want is to take over the middle east and reestablish the Persian Empire and end Sunni dominance of the Muslim world. The Saudis and the Suni Arabs are more terrified of the Iranians than the Israelis. A nuclear Iran is effectively a death sentence for them. They are not going to roll over and die.

    5. There is not going to be a war. Nobody is going to nuke anybody. This is all grist for right-wing parties in Israel and the US.

      1. broken clock and all that

    6. So when the day comes and they finally drop the mask and either test a nuke or it becomes undeniable they are about to

      OMG, you are so deluded. They would be caught waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before that even had a sliver of a chance of happening.

      1. Yeah, just like the norks were.

  3. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another Republican presidential candidate, thought he had a winner in that race when in his campaign announcement he promised he’d “terminate” the Iran deal on day one

    Scott Walker Ready to Start a War on ‘Day One’ of His Presidency

    In other news, Krayewski lies.

    1. “take aggressive actions, including military action, on the first day in office.”

      Sounds like Walker is ready to start a war if he needs to. Or do you think Iran will attack us first?

      1. Iran has ALREADY attacked America.

        1. Wait, I thought that was the Saudis.

          1. It can be both. We’ve been attacked a lot over the years.

        2. Cyto has a point.

          A state of war has existed with the current regime since it took power.

          We’ve just been too polite to say so.

          Now, whether and to what extent we actually fight this war is the interesting question.

          1. What, because of the hostage taking?

            By that standard, aren’t we at war with like half the world?

        3. Iran has ALREADY attacked America.

          You mean when they shot down one of our civilian airliners and refused to apologize? Oh wait, that’s what the US did to Iran.

      2. Terminating a deal =/= starting a war. Unless you’re Richman or, apparently, Krayewski.

        1. But taking military action is…

          1. Don’t you feel even a little bit slimy taking a phrase out of one statement, using ellipses, and then shoving it into another?

          2. But taking military action is…”

            Just like Adam Lanza?

        2. No, it isn’t, but military action = ready to start a war, unless you’re into that whole Obama “kinetic military action isn’t really war” thing. L2R

          1. “Ready to start a war” implies eagerness, while Walker’s actual words read as pragmatic. By the same reasoning, Reagan was “ready to start a war” on day one, and consequently never needed to.

            1. This, and what OMWC said. Fuck the peacenazis are as mendacious as ever.

          2. Military action does not always start a war. In fact it usually doesn’t.

            1. Depends what you mean by military action. There’s the penis-waving sort like “we’re here, look at our big guns, don’t fuck with us” then there’s the bomb the schools and civilians so that we annihilate your country type of action.

              I prefer stay at home and lick our wounds, because as a country we have many cuts and bruises that need to be addressed

    2. Ehhh:

      “It’s very possible, God forbid that this would happen, but very possible, that the next president could be called to take aggressive actions, including military actions, on their very first day in office.”

      1. And it is possible. Unlikely in the extreme, but certainly possible.

        1. Technically right is the best kind of right?

          1. It has a higher probability than all of the oxygen atoms in my office suddenly rushing to one side of the room. It has a lower probability than my next dump burning my ass because of the hot enchiladas (New Mexico chile) I ate for lunch. There’s your bounds.

            1. If both happen at the same time you’re in for a rough afternoon.

              1. Morning. I’m very anal about scheduling my poops.

  4. 1) Unfortunate to learn so early that Scott Walker is a war-boner-lovin’ idiot. Good to know – not that I’m voting for any of these schmucks anyway (Vote Almanian – 2016: I Probably Won’t Make It Any Worse)

    2) the deal is a multilateral one, not just one between the U.S. and Iran matters NOT ONE FUCKING WHIT, Ed. We can sign off any agreement at any time if it no longer “serves the interest of the US”, whatever that means any more.

    No, I don’t want another cowboy in office, but I also don’t want some pseudo process hound who thinks we can’t pull out of an agreement if we think it’s bad because “well, Europe and shit signed on, so….” SO WHAT? Have the appropriate conversations, then get the fuck out.

    Or – if it’s a great deal (we still don’t know, really, do we?), then Walker’s an idiot for wanting to back out of it. But we don’t know right now.

    Fuck, I hate political campaigns….

    1. 1) He’s not, at least this article provides no evidence he is.

      1. Vote some guy – 2016. You’ll never even know I’m here!

        1. You can always tell a Milford man.

  5. Sorta OT =

    Washington Post, raising the bar in quality Presidential Candidate Coverage, does Buzzfeed Listicle/Slide Show on “Top Ten Trump Denunciations

    The only thing notable about them… is that most of them aren’t even “denunciations” at all. They’re so desperate to amp up the “Look at that Douchebag Trump” narrative that they scrape the barrel of his twitter for all his “i used to love them, but its all over now” remarks



    ” [Macy’s chief executive] Terry Lundgren…He goes, ‘Donald, hi.’ He’s like my best friend. I said, ‘Terry, what’s your problem?’ He said, ‘You’re very controversial.’ … He said, ‘Donald, I had calls from Hispanic people saying they’re going to boycott Macy’s.’ I told him what to do. I said, ‘Terry, be tough. They’ll be gone one day.'”


    “”Let me tell you about NBC. I love the people at NBC. We had a tremendous success with ‘The Apprentice’… “They’re friends of mine, although I probably will never speak to them again…. So NBC comes to my office and they want me to do ‘The Apprentice’ so bad….I said, ‘I can’t. I’m going to run for president'”…

    Tommy Hilfiger

    “””Tommy Hilfiger, who I love, tenanted my building, great guy. [He did a copy of “The Apprentice” and it] didn’t work out.””

  6. But sometimes it’s applied correctly, as it was in negotiations with Iran.

    So, because the Obama administration followed the correct process, the treaty is a good one? Or is it, because the Obama administration followed the correct process, it doesn’t matter if the treaty is a good one or not?

  7. Terminating the deal on day one: Sounds good to me.

    The interesting question isn’t “Will we nuke Iran on day one.” Because we’re not going to start bombing or invading Iran anytime soon. It would be helpful if we could have a more realistic conversation about this.

    So we terminate the deal on day one. What happens next, realistically? Unilateral sanctions? Very strongly worded memos? What?

    1. Very strongly worded memos?

      Those are guaranteed, regardless.

    2. The good thing about the deal is that it lifts sanctions against Iran. The only thing better would have been to lift them unconditionally.

      1. Unconditionally lifting sanctions wouldn’t have been a “deal”. What then would be the point of having all those trained foreign service personnel at State?

  8. One of the few lessons the Obama administration learned from George W. Bush’s presidency is that going alone doesn’t work.

    Bullshit alert. Going it alone worked in deposing Sadaam and had nothing to do with the failures of nation-building (doesn’t matter how many do it, it still won’t work). ‘Multilateralism’ is a liberal canard. Having lost the argument for outright non-intervention, this kind of ‘soft-power’ bullshit is the fallback for Ed and the like.

    1. Nevermind bullshit, it’s just wrong. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq were unilateral actions.

      1. That too. And there would not have been anything wrong with them being unilaterial actions.

      2. ^^ this

        “Coalition of the Willing”, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

      3. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq were unilateral actions.

        Only 80% or so unilateral.

        1. I hate the word unilateral because it usually means bomb the fuck out of someone

    2. Fuck you Ed and go die in a fire for allowing Cytoxic to make sense.

      And yeah, Reason has decided that since Iraq’s follow on government couldn’t deal with a Islamic invasion from Syria 10 years after Saddam ended up on the end of a rope, the Iraq war worked out well for Saddam and the Iranian leaders must take the results in Iraq to mean there is no worries about a US invasion going badly for them.

      It is fucking nuclear grade stupid.

      1. Ed didn’t allow it. That’s a constant.

        1. Oh yes he did. And damn him to hell for doing it. But Reason is just delusional on these subjects. They rewrite history, make up facts, contradict themselves and are willing to give up any shred of integrity or intellectual consistency just to ensure that their position is always that the US is wrong and no other country is ever an aggressor or in any way a dangerous enemy to the US.

          1. Slow down John, reason hasn’t reached LRC territory…yet.

            1. I though it had been pulling back from that starting a few years ago, then the anti-ISIS campaign happened and it got Rand’s support. Reason just couldn’t handle Rand’s APOSTASY. I mean, how dare he support a war on a group that has threatened Americans multiple times! TOE THE LION

      2. I don’t think they are saying the war worked out well for Saddam. They are saying it worked out badly for everyone (except maybe defense contractors and western politicians). The results in Iraq mean that the US is less likely to start another war anytime soon. Not because we’re afraid Iran might win, but because we’re afraid everyone might lose again.

        1. No. Go back and read their posts. They are not that subtle. And even if they were, it is still a stupid point. All Iraq means is that we won’t stick around to rebuild the country not that we will just roll over and let Iran bomb us and our allies.

          Seriously, if Iran were to launch a war against the Saudis or actually nuke Israel, reason’s answer would be “there is nothing we can do about it, look at Iraq?” Actually it would be because they are that fucking stupid and that religiously committed to the idea that no other country could ever be a threat to the US.


  9. It’s ok, Reason, relax. Walker really isn’t going to engulf the world in a nuclear holocaust. Ask mommy for a new pair of Pullups and a dry pair of pants and get back to worrying about food trucks.

  10. What a coincidence, so was Obama.

    1. Like an unplanned pregnancy?

  11. One of the few lessons the Obama administration learned from George W. Bush’s presidency is that going alone doesn’t work.

    An example of when W “went it alone” would be helpful, here. Because the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Iranian sanctions, certainly weren’t unilateral.

    What did Bush do in the Mideast that was unilateral, anyway?

    1. What did Bush do in the Mideast that was unilateral, anyway?

      Hold King Abdullah’s hand as they went out for a stroll?

      1. Naturally, the one “multi-cultural” thing W did, and he gets mocked for it.

        Which is great, don’t get me wrong. Multi-culti posing should always be mocked.

        1. Our close relationship with Saudi Arabia should be scrutinized for reasons unrelated to social appearances. It is not any kind of exaggeration to say that Saudi Arabia is the birthplace and nurturing ground of Islamic terrorism.

          1. It’s a birthplace and nurturing ground along with Iran and the rest of the Gulf. Iran is a better ally than those fuckers.

    2. Well, unilaterally had a shoe thrown at him, so that means he’s a BOOOOOSHPIIIIIG!!!!111!!!!


      1. What shrike fails to do, however, is give credit where credit is due. Did you see Bush’s uncanny evasion of that shoe? Was he genetically designed solely for shoe-dodging?

        1. When you bomb a region of the world, I think the secret service puts the president through a crash shoe-dodging defense course.

            1. If you can dodge a wrench shoe, you can dodge a ball…

    3. Made us unilaterally hated even more?

      Then we get Obummer who smiles and shakes hands with every leader in the Middle East all the while drone striking the crap out of their countryside.

      Because you know there’s a big difference between shooting missles from tanks with our soldiers in them, and shooting missles with drones controlled by our soldiers.

      I guess that’s what BHO meant when he said withdraw troops. Replace with drones controlled by troops. In a fucked up way it makes sense if you think about it

  12. I’d say we’re far more likely to go to war with ISIS, especially if the latest shooter shows ties to them. We’re heading that way, anyhow.

    1. It would be hard to top Bush and Obama for interventionist stupidity, but yeah, that would do it.

      1. I think we’re reluctant to get into yet another war over there, but people aren’t going to quietly sit around if we keep experiencing domestic terror. War fever is not something the U.S. is immune to.

        1. Yet we seem to completely immune to boogie fever.

        2. if we keep experiencing domestic terror

          But there really isn’t any, not anything significant. I outraged a bunch of people on NRO by pointing out that, even if you classify every Muslim in the US who went nuts and killed someone over the past eight years as a terrorist (I don’t), it still doesn’t add up to a good weekend in Chicago.

      2. We are at war with ISIS.

        Bombing people is an act of war, right?

        1. You’re right, of course, but I meant war-war, not the unilateral, unauthorized mini acts of war this administration loves to commit.

          1. War-lets get a pass.

        2. I am surprised there is not a bigger call to hire mercs to fight ISIS.

      3. Well we’re getting Hillary next so she’ll be stupid and lie about it, so it will be even more fun and interesting

  13. So Walker makes yet another very mediocre candidate. Looking at both the D and R field so far, I can’t help but think that you could randomly select a group of completely ordinary folks of electable age to fill the selection field and we get a much more interesting, intelligent, and dynamic debate and range of view points. Given how much statists on both left and right believe that “top men” can solve every problem, it’s remarkable just how deficient a group they put forward. We have people who think only with their war boners, and people who are economically illiterate to such an extent that they think deodorants affect food supplies. It’s truly reached the point where it’s a huge farce.

    1. +1 phone book

    2. You want a return to folk medicine/ Gojira

      You think Book learning is for fags/ Warty

    3. “Top men” is a sexist comment, you should be more sensitive!

  14. So is there such a thing as an “anti-war” libertarian? I see plenty of “US should not intervene anywhere” statements which might be a good libertarian foreign policy for the US, but it isn’t anti-war or describing what good libertarian foreign policy for other countries. We have Richman complaining that the US is blocking UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel, overlooking the pesky fact that those Resolutions are still interventionist. Krayewski saying that there needs to be more multilaterialism, that neighboring countries are the ones that should be invading rather than the US, saying that my statement that “libertarian foreign policy” would involve the US leaving Iraq to its fate being a “strawman”. And plenty of people on this board saying that Europe needs to defend itself from Russia, rather than depend on the US.

    I get the feeling that libertarian foreign policy hasn’t really moved beyond Interwar “Isolationism” and Cold War politics and is still affected by Rothbard’s fondness for Leninist Revolutionary Defeatism.

    1. WInston, you might start by sorting “anti-war” from “pacifist”. You seem to be decrying the lack of an aggressively pacifist foreign policy, as your concern with other countries going to war implies that we should stop them, no matter what, or something.

      Libertarianism has plenty of room for self-defense. So saying that Europe should defend itself against Russia, and the Mideast should defend itself against, err, the Mideast, are perfectly libertarian positions in general.

      Here’s this libertarian’ foreign policy:

      (1) Countries should generally have the capability to defend themselves.
      (2) Countries should defend themselves when they are attacked.
      (3) “Attack” should be read to include not just the military forces of a foreign sovereign crossing your borders, but also their “deniable” proxies. IOW, Russia has attacked the Ukraine, and Iran has attacked Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.

      How’s that for a start?

      1. America has also been attacked many times by Iran’s proxies.

        Libertarianism does have room for military action. Too bad a chunk of libertarians are more anti-USG than pro-freedom, hence the reflexive knee jerk nonsense in this subject.

        1. I think you have been suckered into believing that “they hate us for our freedoms,” and you have also missed where the USG deliberately plays up the WoT in order to further erode liberty and concentrate its power.

          I realized years ago that I run a much greater risk of falling down the stairs on any given morning than I do being a victim of terrorism. So why is there no War on Stairs in the name of increasing security?

          1. I wasn’t ‘suckered’ into anything. That’s just the truth no matter how much you don’t like it. They hate us for our freedoms; that is a fact. They have said as much over and over, and demonstrated as much by attacking Hebdo and cartoonists.

            The WoT is silly because Terror is a tactic not an enemy.

            So why is there no War on Stairs in the name of increasing security?

            An imbecilic comparison. You don’t have a right to a stairs-free world. You do have a right to security of the person and freedom of expression, both of which are under siege from The Terrorists.

            1. Well I guess we should give up all our liberties, starting with our protections against unlawful search and seizure and our First and Second amendment protections so that we can continue to enjoy our “freedom” and thus annoy those bearded assholes half a world away.

              My comparison was imbecilic to satire the imbelic position that I’m supposed to give up my freedom in order to protect me from those who hate my freedom. That makes so much sense.

              I know, I know — it’s fine to be monitored 24/7 by the NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA, ATF, and FDA because if you have nothing to hide, there’s no need worry.

              1. I’m glad you realize that you’re an imbecile.

                Don’t see anyone here saying we should give up freedoms and liberty for security–and I sure don’t see anyone here imbecilic enough to equte deliberate murder with accidental tripping.

                But you keep arguing with those voices in your head.

        2. Define what you mean by “America being attacked” and “many,” please.

      2. Way to avoid the abortion question…

        1. +1 artisanal, deep-dish circumcision

        2. I don’t see anything about ass sex or Mexicans in there, either.

      3. we should stop them

        Who’s this we? I thought the government and society are not the same?

      4. Libertarians say:

        – no difference between drones and “boots on the ground”
        – gtfo of the Middle East
        – we’re sick of leaders who make excuses to go blow shit up

    2. So far as I know, being libertarian and being a pacifist are two different things. Most libertarians would have no problem defending themselves if attacked (individually as well as a nation). They prefer to trade with others peacefully rather than invade them, or bully them into submission. They don’t believe in using force to impose their values on those that don’t share them. So, if you’re a fundamentalist douchebag who thinks women must be covered and gays must be stoned, that’s your problem. Hopefully one day you’ll experience your own Reformation and Enlightenment and you’ll move out of your Dark Ages mentality. But it’s not a libertarians job to try to bomb you into the 21st-century. If you want to call that being anti-war, I guess you can.

      1. But it’s not a libertarians job to try to bomb you into the 21st-century. If you want to call that being anti-war, I guess you can.

        I’ve seen in this very site, articles on how multilateralism is better than unilateralism, how Egypt is better to bomb Libya than the US and how the UN should tell Israel what to do. Is that antiwar?

        1. And Ed of course forgot that the US did have allies in attacking and Iraq and Afghanistan. And the latter even had UN support and the former involved UN resolutions.

        2. No, I would say the examples you cite are not antiwar.

          However, I suspect that Reason does not require its writers to pass some sort of ideological purity test the way publications like Salon presumably do. That’s one of the things that makes it a more thought-provoking read. That said, it wouldn’t hurt the magazine’s editors to sometimes take a harder stance on bullshit. Part of an editor’s job is to weed out crap like “Chris Kyle is just like Adam Lanza” before going to press (or the online equivalent). It’s not just about correcting grammatical errors.

    3. I think many libertarians fundamentally don’t understand war. I will fully admit to not truly understanding it myself. But what I do recognize is that war is a terrible thing that will come to your door at times even if you don’t want it to. Envy isn’t just for the domestic political left. There really are “bad people” who really want to do harm to others. They are unconcerned with quaint notions like “innocence” or “international law” or “rules of engagement”. While I am no fan of TR, the saying “walk softly and carry a big stick” should IMO be the motivating principle of libertarian foreign policy. It doesn’t mean the military budget must grow ad infinitum, it doesn’t mean we should all be obsequious to the national security state, it doesn’t mean that our chief export should be munitions. What it does mean is that the government of our country should place our freedom above all else and when push comes to shove should exercise on our behalf overwhelming force to see that such an end is met and for the next generation no one dares question it again.

      Sometimes you beget far more war than you deserve by feigning far more peace than truly exists.

      1. All of that. The problem that Reason has is that they cannot comprehend that weakness can cause wars and in fact is what usually causes them. Reason thinks that any war can be avoided and we can live in peace if we just try hard enough. And sadly, the world doesn’t work that way.

        1. I have learned a lot tangentially from reading things on Reason. The Germans and the Western Allies fought a very different war than the Germans and Russians did. Rules only go as far as people are willing to follow them. To me, “trust, but verify” doesn’t mean trust first and verify later, it means exercise trust in proportion to what you can verify.

          1. The Germans and Russians were fighting to the death. Every German knew capture by the Russians mean a near certain long death in the gulag and every Russian knew capture by the Germans meant either death at their hands or at Stalin’s hands when they made it back. So the conflict was an entirely different level of brutality. I have read accounts of several German officers who fought on both fronts and they said the knowledge that they would end up in a nice POW camp if they were captured made the war in the West significantly less urgent than that in the East.

        2. A large part of our weak position is due to the idiocy of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. We removed two major enemies of Iran from their borders in 2001 and 2003 and now marvel at how they dominate their neighbors.

          Chamberlain is the scapegoat in interventionist circles for his 1938 agreement with Hitler to give him the Sudetenland, but the reality is that by that point there was very little Britain could have done to stop him from just taking it. They had no access to the area, no way to move troops there. The real point of no return was in 1935 when the French stood idly by as he militarized the Rhineland in violation of treaty, but pop history’s forgotten that because there’s not an obvious individual to blame.

          Obama probably made a very bad deal, but Bush set him up in an awfully weak position even if he were a good negotiator.

          1. Yeah Bush did start a lot of this crap, but he didn’t force Obama into dropping more bombs than he ever did.

            I was in the military before, I know what war is like. I am weary of it, as most Americans are now claiming to be.

      2. I have it on good authority that if you speak to people kindly and with compassion, no one anywhere would ever want to do harm to you. I saw this principle at work in several 90s movies where the white teacher “reached” the tough kids in an urban school.

        1. There are people who can be reasoned with, and people who can’t. Gandhi was able to shame the British. The Belgians would have just shot him. You have to be able to distinguish the one from the other and act accordingly.

        2. They take off the dress and put on the leather jacket – that is how you know they mean business.

      3. Which cannot by any measure describe the state of the Middle East, whose tensions any any threat posed to the West, are largely the creation of Western meddling.

        And if you can start making exceptions to small government for the remote threat of outright war against the US, I don’t know why I can’t make exceptions for the actual real existence of Americans lacking access to healthcare, which surely factors into liberty and doesn’t even involve blowing people up.

        1. I never made any exception. War is a terrible thing that should be avoided. When it can’t be avoided, then it should be won decisively.

          That says nothing about the size of government.

          1. Tony finds any excuse to let the world know of his kleptocratic fantasies.

          2. Don’t mind Tony, he’s a fucking retard.

          3. That says nothing about the size of government.

            It does strongly imply it though.

            1. It does strongly imply it though.

              Are you fucking dense? I don’t expect you to know my entire posting history, but you could have at least read my original post on the subject in this thread.

        2. “access to healthcare,”

          After all , it’s right there in the Constitution, cuzactly like the war powers.

          1. Ahem, “General Welfare.” Because, like the Commerce Clause, the Founders really intended it to overshadow all the express and implied limits placed on government power.

  15. So, I just want to point out that the US could have avoided all this if we’d have banned teh evul Confe-derp-rate flag sooner.

    Reap as ye have sown, US. Now the chickens come home to roost, and you’ve got one in every pot, and two in the BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH. Payback’s a bitch….


    1. Didn’t the Chattanooga shooter have a picture taken with a US flag? Ban it!

    2. Which Slate article comment section did you lift this from?

  16. Someone saying what Walker is saying is gonna get a better result if you think we are the good guys. What we just negotiated and what Bush said is exactly what the bad guys wanted. Which guy do you think they would be more willing to ignore, step on, or bluff.

    Of course, if you are confused about who the bad guys are, or how bad they be, then you might not care.

  17. Bush really is trying to win the general by losing the primary (how that works in practice I haven’t figured out). Walker is apparently banking on primary voters seeking the biggest most outlandish asshole. Guess Trump throws a wrench in that plan.

    1. No no. It’s Trump then Cruz. Walker isn’t even in the same league.

  18. One of the few lessons the Obama administration learned from George W. Bush’s presidency is that going alone doesn’t work.

    We left our three biggest allies in the ME (Israel, Egypt, Saudi), who are under the most immediate threat from a nuclear Iran, out of the Iran negotiations and they really, really don’t like this deal. Maybe not “going it alone” (which AFG and IRQ weren’t either, but FTSOA…) but hardly multilateral in any meaningful sense.

    It’s like negotiating a peace treaty with the Norks and not letting South Korea, Japan, or the Phillippines participate. Very, very dumb.

    1. Are Israel, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt on the UN Security Council? No? Then fuck’em because that’s what this is all about. It’s not about them.

  19. seems scott walker is going to do what so many others do. they take what people like about them and just keep shoving more of it down your throat. the catch is they stop thinking if it’s appropriate to the situation, and that leads to all sorts of trouble for everybody else.

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