Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz Wages Jihad on Truth

Senator scaremongers to deflect from his lack of a real plan to deal with ISIS.

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Ted Cruz
Credit: Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

Listening to Ted Cruz's response to the terrorist attacks in Brussels raised a question: Is he a pitiful victim of hysteria, a calculated promoter of it or both? Major emergencies call for sober leadership and careful thought, but Cruz is intoxicated by his 150-proof ideology. 

It's hard to tell whom he hates more—terrorists or Barack Obama. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan's United Nations ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick, charged that when unwelcome events occur, Democrats "always blame America first." Cruz has the same reflex. His immediate impulse on hearing of the Brussels bombings was to attack the president of the United States. 

"Radical Islam is at war with us," he asserted in a statement. "For over seven years we have had a president who refuses to acknowledge this reality. And the truth is, we can never hope to defeat this evil so long as we refuse to even name it." 

There are two flaws in this argument. The first is that it's ridiculous. Apparently, Cruz's parents never recited the old adage about sticks and stones. Calling those in the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) by one name or another has no effect on their motivation or capabilities. It also has no effect on their ability to elude detection or survive drone strikes. Cruz's complaint is a hollow non sequitur. 

The second defect is that it's fictional. Obama doesn't deny that the Islamic State is Islamic. In his December Oval Office address, for example, the president said that "an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. This is a real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse." 

Often it seems as though Cruz is determined to prove that he can match Donald Trump at his worst in scaremongering and scapegoating. What the two share is a consistent policy of mangling the truth and offering solutions that sound fierce but are about as solid as a helium balloon. 

Cruz's fictions are part of a bigger fantasy: that Obama is so weak and craven that he is unwilling to protect Americans from those who want to kill us. 

"We need a president who sets aside political correctness," Cruz declared, acidly accusing Obama of "surrendering to the enemy to show how progressive and enlightened we are." 

It would come as a surprise to Osama bin Laden that Obama surrendered to al-Qaida—that is, if bin Laden had survived the Navy SEAL raid the president ordered. It would come as a surprise to the estimated 26,000 Islamic State fighters the U.S. has killed in its lengthy air campaign. 

This posturing is meant to keep voters from noticing that Cruz has no idea how to achieve his manly goals. He vows that as president, he would "utterly destroy ISIS." Somewhere he got the impression that stating an objective is tantamount to fulfilling it. 

But what would he actually do as commander in chief? Ground troops in Iraq are one possibility he will neither embrace nor reject. He prefers to stress another option: "We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion." 

If carpet-bombing were all it takes, we would have won the Vietnam War. Indiscriminate attacks that obliterate civilians would only guarantee that our supply of bloodthirsty enemies will never run out. 

Another bright idea is "arming the Kurds," who are among the groups fighting the Islamic State. But this would largely reaffirm Obama's policy. The U.S. has already provided a lot of weapons and equipment to the Kurds—enough to prompt outrage from the president of Turkey, who says we have created a "sea of blood" by helping Kurdish forces he regards as terrorists. 

The Brussels carnage was a chance for Cruz to inveigh against Muslims, calling on police to "patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods," a transparently unconstitutional proposal he struggled to explain. 
He repeated his claim that one of the San Bernardino terrorists was allowed to come here even though she "had publicly posted on social media calls to jihad"—which FBI Director James Comey says never happened. "These communications are private, direct messages, not social media messages," Comey noted. 

Cruz doesn't repeat this lie because he's unaware it's false. He repeats it because it serves his purpose in a way that an accurate statement would not. It's part of a pattern in his campaign, which is to twist reality to foster delusions and sow panic. 

He may not know how to defeat Trump, Clinton or terrorists, but when Cruz speaks, the truth is always losing. 

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc. 

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  1. He’s trying to ape Trump’s rhetoric and he knows Trump’s appeal has something to do with being angry and talking tough but beyond that he’s swinging wildly in the dark. He’s clueless and foolish. In the same way he apes American values such as appealing to the Constitution but obviously he would eviscerate it at his first chance and wouldn’t hesitate to stage a terrorist attack as a pretext to do so. First of all because he thinks that’s what Trump would do, and secondly because he is Canadian, and that has long been their dream – to undermine the Constitution and enact a Christian Caliphate named Gilead – I saw it in a movie. Or maybe read it on Wikipedia.

    1. In the same way he apes American values such as appealing to the Constitution but obviously he would eviscerate it at his first chance

      That is how I peg him too.

      Trump!

      Because you KNOW he is lying

      1. Get a room, you two

        1. Just me an an internet connection.

          Another euphemism?

  2. “We need a president who sets aside political correctness,” Cruz declared

    Ted Cruz just endorsed Donald Trump.

    1. Obama did to with his remark about “separation of powers limits the President”

      This election season is getting too funny for mere words.

      Trump!

      For the LULZ

  3. If a politician pushes big government policies or oppose illegal immigration, do libertarians hesitate to call him a “statist”? Or a “restrictionist”? Do they argue that terms like “big government” have racist connotations and insist on neutral terms? They do recognize the many perils of the expanding state? They won’t mumble on about “It depends what you mean, there are different thoughts on it”?

    Obama always struck me as hesitant to identify radical Islam as the cause of terrorism. I honestly don’t recall him saying “Islamic terrorists” or “Muslim terrorists” ever, although I could be wrong. I don’t think he even uses the more neutral “Islamic state” that much. When he was in India a girl in the audience asked him to define “Jihad”. You already know how he answered.

    Obama believes that terrorism is a committed by minority of a group who decided to pervert their peaceful ways. To him, “Islamophobia” is as simple as someone urging second thoughts on admitting refugees. There’s teeth to expressions like “Islamofascists” because they condemn an entire religion. Typical stuff from leftist playbook.

    But most of us know the truth is more simple. Islam does have a record of violence even if its written teachings are peaceful. Radicalization is common in supposedly moderate communities. Much of the middle east in stuck in the middle ages and some of the behavior we saw at refugee camps prove that. We KNOW who the enemy is, and we can say what it is. I don’t think Obama does.

    1. Erdogan said there is “One Islam”. Maybe Obama agrees?

    2. “even if its written teachings are peaceful.”

      Not even that is true. The Quran advocates violence and war against non-Muslims; it explicitly addresses, and blesses, sexual slavery; and it calls for universal discrimination against non-Muslims. Basically, it’s the least libertarian religion on the planet.

  4. Is he a pitiful victim of hysteria, a calculated promoter of it or both?

    Bought and paid for by the cronies?

  5. Reason’s response to Brussels is to keep on attacking Cruz.

    1. “Democrats “always blame America first.” Cruz has the same reflex. His immediate impulse on hearing of the Brussels bombings was to attack the president of the United States.”

      That’s just silly.

      No… Cruz isn’t acting on an instinct to blame America first. He is running for President and represents the opposite party of the current President. As such, his tactic is to blame the current President for everything: high taxes, low employment, damn furriners, bad weather, misbehaving pets, ugly women, and (most of all) terrorists. If the current President was taking the exact same actions, but had an (R) next to his name, Cruz would be singing his praises and blaming his (D) opponent’s ideals for all those bad things.

      1. Not the “opposite Party”. A different wing of the same Party.

    2. Of course. Why wouldn’t they.

      I’m anxiously awaiting the ‘Libertarian Case For Hillary’ cover story.

  6. Yep, clearly we must panic…NOW!

    terrorism in Europe since 1970

    1. Where is that plane crash into the side of a mountain? Islamic German pilot. Wasn’t that last year?

  7. Would you have preferred he started an Obama-like (and wildly inaccurate) description of the Crusades, while lecturing us that Islam is historically on an equal footing with Christianity when it comes to “killing in the name of…”?

    Cruz is aping Trump, who is aping the majority of the American electorate. Meanwhile, Obama continues to prove Reagan right by blaming the west, and often from actions that ended centuries ago, or at least equating ancient evils to those perpetrated today by the religion of peace. And while I believe blowback has in part led to some of the violence, you still have to blame the people carrying out the acts. Unless victim shaming has suddenly become fashionable on the left and I missed the memo.

    1. All of history is blowback.

      1. All of history except anything bad done by straight white men, you cisheteronormative white-privileged shitlord.
        -HuffPo writer

        1. OK. What is my prize? (this ought to be good)

          1. “You’ve won a lifetime of shame and ridicule from millenials.”
            ::Rod Roddy voice::

    2. “Meanwhile, Obama continues to prove Reagan right by blaming the west, and often from actions that ended centuries ago, or at least equating ancient evils to those perpetrated today by the religion of peace. “”

      Similarly, Chapman excoriates Cruz for ” unconstitutional” ideas like profiling…

      While meanwhile obama gives speeches justifying wholesale surveillance of the public, and arguing against any consumer encryption, and we are supposed to think he’s the “sensible” one

      1. I’m pretty sure Chapman is unhappy with Obama’s support of the surveillance state. Nowhere in here does he say that Obama’s approach is perfect.

        1. Chapman’s mouth is too full of Obama or he’s tell you himself.

        2. I’m pretty sure Chapman is unhappy with Obama…

          Pics or it didn’t happen.

      2. At least Cruz’s idea for combatting terrorism might stop some attacks. Obama’s idea for combatting terrorism after the San Bernadino attacks was to take guns away from republicans. Who are of course the real enemy of the left.

        1. Yep, marginalizing Muslims and violating their liberties has worked so well for places like France.

          1. So it was that marginalization that caused France to get bombed? Thanks for clarifying that one.

            1. Jesus you yokels are dense.

              1. I was just curious on your opinion of which thing caused what as I presumed you were hinting at the various attacks that have targeted France thus far. Does this indicate you think they were ‘asking for it’ by ‘marginalizing’ Muslims?

                I will admit that those jerkwads at Charlie Hebdo totally had it coming though, am I right? Drawing the Prophet indeed!

                /sarc

              2. Yes, “racial profiling” is horrible and unconstitutional and oppressive

                Obviously the sophisticated position is to clutch one’s pearls and suggest the “more enlightened view” is to provide an apologia for a creeping totalitarian surveillance-state by suggesting its all hunky-dory as long as its not RACIST, which is totes the worst

                Cruz obviously hates the constitution and all sophisticated, right-thinking people know this. Its *obvious*

                1. You do know that Islam is not a race? So let’s drop the “racist” schtick.

                  And if you have any knowledge of the Quran, you would know it is much more than a religion. It is just as much a political ideology as a religious one.

                  Any qualms about the government keeping tabs on white supremacist groups? Any problems with that Constitutionally? No.

                  Read about how sharia law treats non-muslims and get back with us.

  8. Also tell me why Cruz didn’t know Drug Prohibition was unConstitutional until it became politically expedient?

    1. Coming from someone in the bag for Trump, the irony of your comment is palpable.

  9. While there is some validity to the argument, what’s your real beef? A presidential candidate attacks the sitting president of the other party? This is somehow surprising? What did Obama run on? Bush is terrible on {insert issue}. That’s what politicians do.

    Expecting every stump speech to be a detailed national security strategy paper is kinda silly. Particularly on moving issues like this. I can’t think of a president who didn’t change quite a bit once the real national security briefings started. It is the job of a political candidate to get elected. Hopefully they’ll paint you a fairly accurate picture of their political philosophy before you pull the lever – but that’s about the most you can expect. You certainly can’t expect them to avoid opportunities to grunt: “other team bad….. Me Good!”

    Cruz has given us an idea of his general foreign policy principles and his take on Islamic terrorism. He’s no isolationist. He’s pretty gung-ho on the idea of using the military to fight Islamic terror groups.

    As for his critique of the President, it isn’t Cruz and the right who are playing at word games. This was an actual policy announced by the Obama administration – they would not follow Bush’s lead on the war on terror nomenclature, apparently hoping to avoid offending Muslims around the world who are not terrorists. This is the non-sequitur, not Cruz’ ridiculing of the policy.

    1. Forget it, Cyto. It’s Chapmantown.

    2. It needed to be said, I think.

  10. I read the first few paragraphs and thought this was a Shikha article. Shoddy journalism.

    1. Journalism needs to be changed to opinion. Excuse me.

  11. Cruz is undoubtedly the most shameless person on the Republican side. Trump has narcissism to explain his behavior but Cruz is smart enough to know how to deliberate manipulate the idiots in the Republican party who think a massive police force explicitly targeting Muslim communities is a good idea.

    I see no meaningful difference between Trump and Cruz.

    1. Well there is this:

      Trump!

      Because you KNOW he is lying

      1. NoTrump because you fear he is not lying.

        1. Well there is that.

          Except ALL politicians lie. It is part of the job description.

    2. True.

      Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was a New York Senator while the “sixth largest army in the world” from her town was doing exactly what Cruz proposes doing. And we get crickets. She headed up a gun-running exercise that directly armed terrorists. And we get crickets. She kept all of her fucking correspondence while SoS from the American people and deleted over half of it before she was forced to give it to the FBI. And we (mostly) get crickets.

      I wish the reason board would pass some sort of internal Fairness Doctrine, lest we think they’d rather support a known war-monger and almost-certain criminal over someone that wants to expand police patrols (which are perfectly legal) into neighborhoods he believed are more likely to harbor terrorists.

      1. What gun-running exercise while SoS? That one’s not ringing a bell for me.

        1. That’s what Chris Stevens was doing when he got killed. It’s an open secret at this point.

          1. Ah, OK thanks.

      2. Well Reason is now run by Progtarians so….

        I expect soon they’ll be running an article about how Americans giving up their guns is an ok consession or how yes means yes laws may infringe on rights a bit but are really just fine (I expect ENB will write that one).

    3. If you don’t see meaningful difference between them, it’s because you aren’t really looking. It’s that simple.

  12. The first is that it’s ridiculous. Apparently, Cruz’s parents never recited the old adage about sticks and stones. Calling those in the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) by one name or another has no effect on their motivation or capabilities. It also has no effect on their ability to elude detection or survive drone strikes. Cruz’s complaint is a hollow non sequitur.

    Stupidity or Mendaciousness? You decide!

    1. And that “or” is XOR, so don’t even think about weaseling out with ‘both’…

      1. How about XNOR ?

        Just to reverse the polarities.

      2. Do any human languages have an ‘XOR’ word, professor?

        1. Because it has its uses. Or maybe cultural appropriation from the geeks?

      3. It’s stupidity used mendaciously. (XOR being a false dichotomy)

        It’s stupid to think the naming is for ISIS or would affect them; it’s aimed at voters. It is mendacious to make such arguments.

  13. “Calling those in the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) by one name or another has no effect on their motivation or capabilities. It also has no effect on their ability to elude detection or survive drone strikes. Cruz’s complaint is a hollow non sequitur.”

    How many times has this nonsense been peddled lately on Reason? Cruz’s “let’s start policing all the Mooz-lem communities” comment was peak Trumpism but calling a spade a spade is not. Cruz isn’t criticizing the constant PC tap-dancing because of any effect (or lack thereof) on Islamic terrorists. He’s criticizing it because to call Islamic terrorism “un-Islamic” – as both Bush and Obama did and still do – is an outright fallacy and it has a distorting effect on what supporters of classical liberal societal and political systems understand as the enemy threatening their existence. Fundamentalist Islam is both a religious and political movement and is predicated on coercive physical expansion. Since when did engaging in truths become a bad thing? He’s said plenty of stupid shit in his attempted appeal to the Trumpeters but this isn’t it.

      1. Yes, it should be moderate Muslims and fanatic Muslims. The doctrines aren’t bifurcated, their adherents are.

  14. “It’s hard to tell whom he hates more?terrorists or Barack Obama. ”

    Whereas one can easily tell that Reason.com hates Trump more than terrorists.

    1. With Ted Cruz a very close second.

      I think terrorists are way down on that list, as a sizable contingent of Reason writers don’t really seem convinced that they actually exist.

      1. No kidding. I would have to go searching in their archives to find them actually deploring Islamic or any terrorists.

        1. If we just open the borders the power of free trade and libertarianism will overcome them and world peace will follow.

  15. Pretty simple. If you don’t want to deal with angry refugees from multiple countries don’t bomb multiple countries. No need to fellate Obama to make the case.

    1. And what about when they come anyway because they’re bombing each other? Or because they simply want your land for themselves?

    2. And if you don’t want to be genocided by savages, don’t have different religious beliefs from them. Or, kill them first. The second seems like the more moral option, though.

    3. Or if they believe that you need to convert to worshipping Allah as their God has commanded? It would certainly be easier to convert than argue the point I think.

    4. Or, you know, just don’t take the refugees in the first place. Even simpler.

  16. He wasn’t talking about naming ISIS, you mendacious twat. He was talking about ALL OF ISLAM’s terror problem. Which it has. But Steve “Team Hope and Change ’08” knew that and would rather invent strawmen.

  17. Cruz is a dipshit. So are all his remaining opponents, in various ways.

    It is truly sad that the next president will emerge out of so dismal a group as Trump, Hilary, Cruz and Bernie. Sure, Obama and W have both been awful, but either of them seems almost rational in comparison to the current crop.

    Each election, I keep thinking the major party candidates can’t get any worse, and I keep being proved wrong. At this rate, the next election cycle will feature some Kardassian, Kanye West, and Miley Cyrus as our would-be overlord.

    1. Agreed. It’s becoming more and more difficult to determine what, if any, the lesser evil is.

  18. I’m more bothered by the fact that Obama uses every terrorist attack as an opportunity to attack his political opponents, considering he is actually the President, and not just a candidate. By the looks of things, Obama not only doesn’t have a plan to stop ISIS – he doesn’t even seem to think that doing so would be a worthy objective.

  19. I totally agree with the premise of this article:

    We must vote for Hillary!

    You know this is the only sensible route because, as is kindly pointed out in this article, Cruz and Trump are both lying arseholes and are doing things for political points! Therefore Hillary is the only acceptable candidate since she says the fewest mean things about Muslims and Islam. I suppose it’s within the realm of possibility one could vote for Sanders since that’s still a vote against Cruz and Trump, but he’s an icky socialist whereas Hillary is simply the obvious and logical adult in a room full of children.

    /sarc

  20. I saw the title and was like, “Dafuq?” and then I saw the byline and was like, “Ahh, of course.”

  21. Let me preface my statement by saying that I am not a Donald Trump fan and I think that Hillary is terrible, a serial liar and the democrats should be ashamed that she is going to be their candidate.

    Ted Cruz is worse. If he were running against satan (which he will be if he gets the GOP nomination) I’d write in someone else.

    The bottom line, Clinton, Cruz and Trump are the three candidates with the most support from voters right now. Proof that the electorate is dumb.

    1. Anyone who thinks Ted Cruz is worse than Trump is overcome with a fit of hyperbole or has no idea wtf they are talking about.

      1. I would actually like to hear what mental gymnastics were undertaken to arrive at the conclusion that Cruz is not only worse than Satan (a documented anti-establishment type) but also worse than Trump who will literally say or do anything for a vote; up to, and including, purposefully inciting violence at not only his own political rally’s but other candidates as well.

        *sets up a lawn chair in skunkman’s yard*

        1. Of course Cruz is anti-establishment. That is why Neil Bush (Silvarado) works for him and Jeb Bush supports him.

  22. Couple of points
    The truth is not fearmongering
    Hillary also used these attacks to attack Obama, Trump and Cruz. So where is your attack article about her or is reason now full #votenoevilrepublicanever

  23. Look, I don’t blame Reason writers for not watching CNN. Heck, I barely ever watch it myself since I want actual news and not just the bizarre viewpoints of partisan journalists. But President Barack Obama has said that the Islamic State(ISIL or ISIS) is not Islamic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwp8qKvE-0g You don’t have to take my word for it, he said it on national television.

  24. It doesn’t matter that Cruz and Trump constantly lie because the stupid fucking GOP voter base believes them and any attempt by the Lamestream Media to point out their lies is derided as “liberal propaganda”.

    1. It doesn’t matter that Sanders and Clinton constantly lie because the stupid fucking DNC voter base believes them and any attempt by the Fauxnews Media to point out their lies is derided as “conservative propaganda”.

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  30. Sounds like the author is the pitiful victim of hysteria. I’m getting sick of the Islamaphobiaphobia

    Does he have a problem with Law Enforcement surveilling, or even attempting to infiltrate White Power “churches” in Idaho? Why not? Is it because they are white and the author is racist?
    Radical Jihadi imams and mosques pose a much more immediate and grave threat than White Nationalists in 2016.

    LE should be monitoring – constitutionally – Any group who espouses and then practices violence.

    How about 1%er Motorcycle gangs who traffic meth? If it is MS13- is that suddenly racist? The Mafia? Black Lives Matter most radical members – what if a BLM organizer was espousing murders of white citizens, and then murders took place? Where is the line drawn? Some people have a free pass to foment whatever they want to because of group identity politics?

    It seems if you preach and practice violence toward your fellow citizens, then that is why we have LEOs in the first place. Seems pretty reasonable to keep tabs on them and ask for help doing so amongst the peaceful members of their community.

  31. No. Saying that Obama can’t name the problem is truth to all but the pc tongue tied leftists who share Obama’s inabiltiy to connect the words Islamic and terrorist.

    Here’s Ted Cruz: “The fact that President Obama will not identify, he literally will not utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ and as matter of policy, nobody in the administration will say the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.'”

    Politifact searched the whitehouse.gov website among others and could not find a single example of the phrase and rated Ted Cruz’ remark as true. It said that the administration routinely uses terms like “violent extremists”.

  32. “The U.S. has already provided a lot of weapons and equipment to the Kurds”

    Through the Iraqi government which does not really want to give them the equipment and sometimes doesn’t at all. Why not directly whichCruz is advocating. This article has many more flaws but I don’t have that much time.

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