Scott Walker

Scott Walker's Turn to Beat the War Drums on Radical Islam

While earlier this week Rand Paul told voters if they're eager for war they should look elsewhere.

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Gage Skidmore

Scott Walker is scheduled to make a foreign policy address at the Citadel in South Carolina today. He will vie, as almost every other Republican presidential candidate has, to appear as toughest on "radical Islam" and most ready to take the country to war. More than four months from the first primaries and caucuses of 2016, this shtick is getting old. There are 17 Republican candidates and most of them match up on most positions; it's a contest lacking substance.

Here's how Walker starts, based on a text provided by his campaign:

"The United States faces some serious threats in the world today. There are some who would question whether our leaders are capable of rising to the challenges of our time and whether our country is capable of continued greatness. They suggest that our best days may have already come and gone. 

"I do not share that view of America. You see the greatness of America is certainly not determined by the politicians in Washington who merely follow while others lead, or spend all of their days discussing a problem but never acting.

What? Walker says the greatness of America is not determined by politicians in Washington, but he's comfortable with those same politicians taking America to war. Because of the little guy. Walker continues:

"The future leaders of this exceptional country are sitting in this room—and in similar places across America. Those of you who will join the military, like others on the front lines today, at their posts around the world and across our services, you are modern day patriots."

The grunts will go and fight for America because they believe in its greatness, even though the politicians who don't determine that greatness are determining where the grunts are deployed to go to war, while their own asses are stapled to the desk.

And then comes the obligatory "truthtelling" about radical Islam:

"At the very least, you deserve a commander-in-chief who tells you the truth.

"And here it is: we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. It will not go away overnight. This is a generational struggle. And these radical groups will continue to grow if we do not destroy them.

"Yes, the world is complex, but some things are simp­­­le: there is good and there is evil.

"America is a force for good in the world. Radical Islamic terrorists are agents of pure evil. 

Maybe trying to be a third (or fourth, or fifth) term for George W. Bush will work better for Walker than it did for McCain in 2008. But if it'll work for any candidate, it'll probably work best for Jeb Bush. Virtually every Republican candidate has made a point to point out they will "tell the truth" about radical Islam. Then they call it a simple problem with a simple solution (like the post-9/11 War on Terror, the Afghanistan War, and the Iraq War were all supposed to be) that today's leaders don't have the fortitude to go through with. It's a weak argument based on tired rhetoric.

Even Rand Paul has used the talking point about "radical Islam" and the current administration's refusal to call the problem by its names, even as it has expanded the war on terror to target more and more radical Islamist groups around the world with only the most tenuous relationship to Al-Qaeda, the original enemy on which the legal justification for the war on terror was pinned.

At least Paul, unlike Walker and the other Republican candidates, understands, and has in the past stressed, the connection between interventionism and the boom times radical Islamists have enjoyed recently. The message has been muddled as Paul looks to make himself more attractive to Republican base voters. The effort's failed so far, with Paul dipping in the polls. Perhaps he is trying a different tack. At a rally in Seattle, Paul told the crowd, which reportedly included some Bernie Sanders supporters, that if they were "eager for war" he could recommend at least 10 other candidates. Differentiating himself from the rest of the field, rather than trying to appear as the best version of the generic establishment Republican most of the candidates are vying to be, seems like the more fruitful approach to finding new supporters.

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  1. something something…..something something something….TRUMP

  2. Jimmy Carter is the last president who didn’t at least bomb somebody.

    “And here it is: we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. It will not go away overnight. This is a generational struggle. And these radical groups will continue to grow if we do not destroy them.

    This is why the Republicans are the stupid party. Walker is stating a conventional Republican talking point, first off. It’s not some truth bomb he’s laying out for the electorate. Pretty much every Republican in Washington will say this.

    Second, you get the canard that something would be different if Obama just said we are at war with radical Islam. As if that would actually change a damn thing about what has happened over the last few years. All the while Republicans skate without having to acknowledge their own foreign policy screw-ups.

    Neither political party ever says its wrong, but on foreign policy, there seems to be a particularly nasty habit of doubling down on stupid. Probably because most voters are detached from the consequences.

    1. Second, you get the canard that something would be different if Obama just said we are at war with radical Islam.

      Jesus, for serious. I mean, he won’t say the magical incantation, therefore we aren’t really still prosecuting the War on Terror! Fuck.

      1. Well, it counters to magical belief that if do not say islamist militants have anythinh to do with islam we will not offend anybody.

        1. Or, it adds to the way both parties simply use the language that pleases their base to do basically the same things. Obama didn’t end the War on Terror mocked by the left all throughout Bush’s presidency. He simply adopted new terminology and the left clapped liked trained seals.

        2. “if do not say islamist militants have anythinh to do with islam we will not offend anybody.”

          I really don’t think it’s so much about not *offending* people as it is about trying not to alienate the 1,000,000,000 Muslims in the world while we try to fight a few thousand of them. It would make our mess a lot easier to handle if we stuck to only fighting the few thousand rather than try to launch a jihad to rid the world of Islam, don’t you think?

          1. Nobody here is talking about getting rid of all Muslims. Nonetheless, radical Islamists are the enemy, and they must be identified. Instead, we find ourselves fighting ‘terror’. No wonder it goes badly.

            1. Yes, they are. The GOP, along with Mickey here, consistently want to drag the discussion away from psychopathic extremists and turn it into a “generational conflict of civilizations”, pretending that there’s something fundamentally destructive about Islam. Why else the obsessive need to call out teh libruls for not blaming Islam for terrorism?

              1. Well, Islam clearly has a worse problem than other religions. I would say it’s more a problem of Arab influence but pretending it isn’t so doesn’t make it less so.

                1. Sooo. . . You concede my point?

          2. “The real enemy here is extremist Islamic theology”.

            I would suggest that if a given Muslim individual reads that sentence and feels offended or alienated, that’s a problem. The reason is that that sentence is completely and utterly true.

            ISIS and Al Qaeda are the equivalent of the 19th and early 20th century Ku Klux Klan. They are a tiny minority violently acting out on beliefs that the population as a whole is sympathetic with. The underlying problem isn’t the thousands of terrorists, but the hundreds of millions of people who think things like “adulterers and apostates from Islam should be killed”.

            What we’ve done for the last few decades is ignore the ideological problem while shooting or bombing the violent minority (and, naturally, some innocent people as well). This is never, ever going to work. A culture that devalues the lives of people who depart from orthodoxy will always be a culture that produces people who KILL those who depart from orthodoxy.

            1. But nobody here is advocating that Islam as a whole is fundamentally problematic, I’m told.

    2. Well its telling that the FP formula is “same basic policy, but with more crusaderish-rhetoric”

      Tho while I hear the GOP people saying “destroy ISIS” with fervor… You do not hear them saying “troops” or “invade”

      It’s same-old same-old

  3. “At least Paul, unlike Walker and the other Republican candidates, understands, and has in the past stressed, the connection between interventionism and the boom times radical Islamists have enjoyed recently.”

    There’s no sugar coating it: Scott Walker == Adam Lanza

    1. “boom times radical Islamists have enjoyed”

      The economic undertone is odd, what does it even mean? Low unemployment for young Jihadists? Record profits at Beheaders Inc.?

      1. Well, ISIS is the wealthiest terrorist organization the world has probably ever seen.

        1. Because of our interventionism. Got it

        2. What was Gengis Khan, p?t? de foie gras?

          1. Genghis Khan was no more of a terrorist than any other conquering government in history. He was just way better at it than the rest.

            For the sake of this discussion, it’s best to keep at least a nominal distinction between terrorists and gubmint.

            1. That gets back to my original comment. “Boom times” are usually reserved for independent nations with their own economies. For example, you wouldn’t say that the activity of one governing entity contributed to the “boom times” of some isolated criminals under the jurisdiction, yet completely separate, from another governing entity without people dismissing you as being completely disingenuous.

              The terminology struck me as BS because he is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He wants radical islamists to be seen as rogue criminals who somehow have the same economic power as a nation.

              1. I don’t really get the point. I’ve heard plenty of people talk about prohibition leading to boom times for organized crime. I don’t think boom times has to refer to a state or is particularly used in that way, if I’m getting the point. Beyond that, our invasion of Iraq did allow for the rise of ISIS.

                1. No, the collapse of Syria did. Even if ISIS didn’t exist beforehand, the people that made it what it is would have just joined some other Jihadist outfit like Nusra. In this alternate reality where America kept Sadaam in place, Sadaam is probably funding these Sunni anti-Assad outfits (enemy of my enemy), ISIS and Nusra don’t fight each other because they are as one, and the Kurds are weaker.

                  1. When did Saddam and Assad become enemies? Weren’t we asked to believe that Saddam donated all of his WMD’s to Assad right as the invasion started so that they wouldn’t be discovered as he was destroyed?

                    1. They became enemies in 1978 or earlier. Syria was the only Arab nation to side with Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. The Syria Baathists just weren’t bloody enough for the Iraqi Baathists.

                    2. So why the 2003 weapons transfer?

                    3. To fuck over teh America and so Assad could get wepon. Not saying it happened but that’s how they would both benefit.

  4. OT: What’s the deal with these lemonade stands? I’m almost certain this has already been brought up, But Jerry Seinfeld’s charity lemonade stand getting busted is worth a second look.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..117ba8eaac

    Some killjoy neighbor called the cops on Jerry Seinfeld and his family for setting up a roadside lemonade stand for charity in East Hampton, New York, the New York Post reported.

    In a photo posted to Instagram, Seinfeld, his son Julian and two friends playfully depicted the moment police shut down the stand, posing with hands behind their heads in surrender. An officer and his squad car can be seen in the background.

    1. Some killjoy neighbor called the cops on Jerry Seinfeld and his family for setting up a roadside lemonade stand for charity in East Hampton, New York, the New York Post reported.

      Snobbish, busy body motherfuckers combined with exuberant policing.

      1. If the neighbor had been selling Seinfeld photos you can bet your bottom dollar ol’ Jerry would be that killjoy neighbor calling the cops.

  5. Walker just continues to disappoint. I had real hopes for him.

    Ah, well. There’s still Trump to lead us to greatness with a ‘uuuuge victory.

    1. Trump has the hat. It’s the red hat. Like Pootie Tang’s belt….it’s the hat, man.

      1. Sine yo pitty on the runny kine.

        1. wah dah tah, my damie

    2. I’m starting to think that it’s a mistake to have faith in any politician.
      They always seem to disappoint.

  6. “”There are some who would question…””

    God, do they really need to bite Obama’s schtick?

    It’s so shopworn, I’d think they could at least crib some Mussolini or perhaps Pope Urban II, a la “Deus vult”

  7. “there are some who would question… they suggest that our best days may have already come and gone.”

    There are also some who believe that Scott Walker screws goats and then throws them in wood chippers. They suggest that he does it out of some really sick and twisted mental disorder. But, I want to make it clear that I don’t believe that he literally throws them into wood chippers.

  8. An Ed article and-surprise surprise-it’s shit. Look, repeating Walker’s (admittedly mostly banal) points does not refute them. Yes, we have to identify the enemy: radical Islamists. No, America’s interventions are not the primary reason they are booming (although it didn’t help in Libya). That’s because of state sponsors of terror. Many of America’s interventions have been good at baulking radical Islamists, particularly in Yemen and Somalia.

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