Iran

Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham Try to War-Demagogue Like It's 2004

But their rhetorical tricks no longer bewitch a war-weary nation.

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You could almost see the flushed glow of nostalgia rising in the cheeks of Nikki Haley Monday night when the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations snarled to Sean Hannity that the "only ones that are mourning the loss of [Qassem] Soleimani are our Democrat leadership, and our Democrat presidential candidates."

But as Haley and other hawks—such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.)—are already discovering, it ain't 2004 anymore.

"Despite Haley's claims," countered Mike Brest in the Washington Examiner, a conservative publication, "2020 Democratic front-runners former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren all labeled Soleimani a murderer, but they also questioned Trump's larger Middle East strategy."

"Even Haley's expanded definition of 'mourning'—in which she claims Democrats are arguing the world would be better with Suleimani still in it—strikes us as unfair," judged factchecker Declan Garvey at The Dispatch, another conservative publication.

Yet the "mourning" crack apparently didn't go far enough for the Democrat-batiting Rep. Doug Collins (R–Ga.). Echoing the disreputable they're not antiwar, they're on the other side discourse surrounding the Iraq War, Collins asserted to #MAGAtastic Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs Wednesday that Democrats are "in love with terrorists….They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani."

Rubio has also been peddling crude Manichaeism in place of persuasive argumentation:

To which one of the living exceptions to Rubio's bogus rule, Sen. Mike Lee (R–Utah), tartly responded: "I literally find it difficult to imagine how my friend Marco, who is smart, who listens carefully, who cares about these things, how he could emerge from that meeting at say that it was good. It was terrible. It was an unmitigated disaster."

In the three years after 9/11, Republicans discovered that they could preempt policy debate by saying variations of George W. Bush's September 20, 2001, formulation: "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Behind that blocking, they rushed through a series of heavy-handed initiatives many Americans would come to regret and oppose: the Iraq War, mass warrantless surveillance, torture.

But public opinion has long been upside-down on whatever the U.S. missions are in Afghanistan and Iraq. And after the instability-sowing, Iran-enhancing debacle of Barack Obama's intervention against Libyan ruler Mohammar Gaddafi, the worm decisively turned against military intervention in Syria.

"This will not be Iraq, this will not be Afghanistan, this will not be Libya," then-U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power tried gamely to insist while rallying the progressive troops to back a Syrian operation. But by then, interventionist promises had lost a lot of their potency.

Candidate Donald Trump capitalized on the vast gap between Beltway interventionists and the considerably less gung-ho population at large by campaigning in the long-submerged Jacksonian tradition of American foreign policy—irritably nationalist, dismissive of international institutions and mores, ready to rain hell (or at least threaten to) on anyone who messes with Washington, yet also contemptuous of nation-building and regime-change wars. His victory scrambled American politics, and it buttressed those withered Jacksonian poles under the GOP's big tent, which makes this week's atavistic chest-thumping that much more ineffective.

In 2004, so strong was the neoconservative pull on both the Grand Old Party and the country writ large that the Republican National Convention could import Democrats to deliver the warmongeriest speeches. Triumphant ideological scribblers dreamed of becoming a "majority party for the next few decades" by embracing the "death of small-government conservatism." Those Republican war skeptics who did pipe up were marginalized in the pages of National Review as "unpatriotic conservatives." It was enough to start and finish any foreign policy argument by selectively quoting George Orwell's famous quip that "Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist"—a line, written in besieged 1942 London, that Orwell himself later repudiated.

Well, that rhetorical dog no longer hunts. It's not just the anti-Trumpers at MSNBC sounding the alarm at Trump's Iranian policy. It's one of the most popular and influential Fox News hosts: Tucker Carlson, whose program Tuesday reached a staggering 5.6 million viewers.

"It's harder to get rich and powerful in Washington during peacetime, so our leaders have a built-in bias for war," Carlson said. "And so they descended on television studios over the weekend to describe in detail the kind of violence they're prepared to wreak on a country very few of them know anything about."

For years, observers have been pointing out foreign policy parallels between Trump and former Old Right presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, one of the aforementioned allegedly "unpatriotic" conservatives. So where's Pitchfork Pat on the Soleimani strike? "Killing Soleimani was just," he wrote this week. "But what is just is not always wise." More:

Oddly, what the America-haters of the Middle East seek is what Soleimani wanted, and what Trump promised in his campaign of 2016—an end to U.S. involvement in the forever wars of the Middle East.

Perhaps, rather than sending troops into Iraq and Kuwait to defend U.S. troops already there, we should accede to the local nationalist demands, start bringing our troops home, and let Iranians, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Yemenis and Afghans settle their quarrels.

At The American Conservative, which Buchanan co-founded in 2002 in part to agitiate against the pending Iraq War, founding editor Scott McConnell went so far as to declare the Iran action casus belli to regret his previous support for Trump.

"He has hired to key positions Beltway types who had nothing but contempt for him, and they have led him down well worn paths. One of those paths leads to a major war with Iran, an obsessively pursued project of the neoconservatives since long before 9/11," McConnell concluded. "It's now hard to see how a Hillary Clinton presidency could have turned out worse."

Regardless of what one thinks of Trump, or Hillary Clinton, or U.S. policy toward Iran, it is a cheering development that disreputable interventionist demagoguery is losing steam. "I think it's sad when people have this fake sort of drape of patriotism, and anybody that disagrees with them is not a patriot," Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) said Wednesday. Hopefully there will come a day soon when this weariness at playground political rhetoric translates into a restoration of Congress' long-squandered responsibility for deciding when and where America goes to war.

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  1. Party Like It’s 2004!

    Oh wait, that wasn’t much of a party, was it.

    1. “chemjeff radical individualist
      January.7.2020 at 6:07 pm
      When your response consists of an insult, I know I’ve hit the mark”

      So you’re saying I’m the most correct person on this board for over a decade?

      You’ve spent three days running from the question

      1. Well yo Havel remember that Pedo Jeffy is a little bitch, and a faggot coward.

        1. Vacslav?

          Weird typo lolol

      2. LOL
        Buttplug whining about insults is like Trump whining about psycho liars!
        (Why does Buttplug fail to provide a link?
        And why so many mindless echos???)

    2. chem….help yourself by better answer Buttplug’s question. Cuz I don’t think she is gonna leave you alone until you do. Heck, you could probably even say ‘No’. 🙂

      1. I love having it as ammunition.

      2. He can’t respond until he gets congressional approval

        1. He painted himself into a corner, and he knows it. He can’t insult anyone, so his usual MO is out the window, and he can’t answer, because I’m the most insulted poster on this board by light-years and he knows it.

          He has no moves. So he runs from his words.

          1. He could just take the L, admit he was wrong, and move on like a rational human being. It’s not the end of the world.
            I wouldn’t bet on it though

            1. Another good one.

            2. My mother used to tell me when I dug myself into a hole; stop digging.

              chemjeff radical individualist…are you listening? 🙂

              Make Reason Comments Great Again, prove Nardz wrong (he will not mind, I promise, being wrong just this one time), and answer Buttplug’s question. I think she is gonna stalk you for a long, long time until you answer….do you really want to be dealing with that ad infinitum?

              1. Jeff’s a radical “individualist”
                How could he ever take one for the team?

              2. “My mother used to tell me when I dug myself into a hole; stop digging.“

                Mine used to just tell me “keep digging. Let me know when you get to China or find any buried treasure”

                Then she would go back inside to watch Days of Our Lives in peace and quiet.

                1. LOL…that is funny. Shabbat Shalom, Echospinner.

        2. And also, good one lolol

  2. This article is outrageous sophistry. The questions of whether the strike was justified and whether we should go to war to topple the Iranian government are two different things. You can answer either one in the affirmative and the other in the negative.

    All Haley is saying is that the strike was justified. I don’t see her calling for war against Iran. Yet, Welch is claiming that her doing so is calling for war. No it isn’t. Welch can make a case against war with Iran but he can’t make a case against the strike itself. So, he just equates the strike with war and proceeds to use his case against a general war as a case against the strike.

    That is a textbook example of sophistry. There was a time when Welch was a reasonable and interesting writer. Like so many other writers on the center left, the rise of Trump seems to have completely broken him.

    1. “”All Haley is saying is that the strike was justified. I don’t see her calling for war against Iran. “”

      I haven’t seen anyone that matters calling for war. WW3 is yet another gaslighting of America.

      I think we were closer to WW3 when we sent troops to Syria. If we hit Russian assets and Russia retaliated would put us closer to WW3 than anything going on with Iran.

      1. Yes. Even if we went to war with Iran, how would such a war escalate? Is Russia going to risk nuclear war over Iran? I don’t think so. China certainly wouldn’t. Iran doesn’t have a friend in the world who would be willing to go to war with the US to defend it.

        I still think going to war with Iran right now would be stupid. But as dumb as it would be, it would not risk World War III. Going into Syria however created a real risk of conflict with the Russians as you point out.

        1. Yep.

          Iran want to be the biggest power in the ME. It cannot achieve that when it’s military hardware has been blown to bits. We can destroy most of their military infrastructure in a matter of days, perhaps hours. They saw what we did to Iraq’s military during shock and awe. They do not want that to happen to theirs.

        2. “Yes. Even if we went to war with Iran, how would such a war escalate? Is Russia going to risk nuclear war over Iran? I don’t think so. China certainly wouldn’t. Iran doesn’t have a friend in the world who would be willing to go to war with the US to defend it.”

          Even weirder that the people who claim to be so upset about it from the Right…are the biggest cocksuckers for war known to man.

      2. From my point of view at least, the whole WW3 thing was less about being concerned that Trump would advocate for an intentional war with Iran, and more about Trump bungling us into a larger war because he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

        1. You point of view plus a dollar will buy 90 cents worth of something.

          1. Aww, aren’t you cute.

            1. “chemjeff radical individualist
              January.7.2020 at 6:07 pm
              When your response consists of an insult, I know I’ve hit the mark”

              I guess you insulting him means he hit the mark.

              1. (he’s going to lie and claim it wasn’t an insult)

        2. And that is even a dumber argument than the WW3 argument. That argument is just the blind assertion that Orange man is bad for reasons that everyone knows but I can’t be bothered to explain.

          So, your point of view is even worse than the one we are talking about.

          1. Because Trump has such a history of rational, prudential, level-headed decision making, right?

            1. Trump responded to the attack on the US embassy in a perfectly rational way. He ordered marines in to defend it and then hit the people responsible in a very measured but effective strike. He also allowed Iran to save some face by their largely symbolic missile strike without retaliating and escalating the situation.

              He has handled it just fine. Your claims that he is irrational are contrary to the evidence. You are just a pathetic hack who makes the same stupid point over and over again.

              1. He also refused to retaliate against Iran for downing one of our drones.

            2. Trump has a greater history of rational, prudential, level-headed decision making, and thought, than you do, jeff.
              So we’ll feel free to disregard your hysterics

            3. Because Trump has such a history of rational, prudential, level-headed decision making, right?

              Actually, yes.

              He may talk up a shitstorm, but his actions seem pretty solid. Gods know he’s kept you and your prog brethren at bay for these past four years.

              And your only response is ‘orange man bad AND dum.’

            4. Trump has followed a rational, logical pattern where foreign policy is concerned from the start, while the media and liberals have been screeching that he hasn’t and that he’s just making kneejerk decisions in between circlejerks with Putin.

              Now, if you want to argue whether his rationale is the BEST of all options, that would be a valid argument, but that’s not what you or any of the other soyboys hoping to get laid for being so woke are saying.

          2. Unlike Trump’s fanbois around here, I don’t have blind faith in Dear Leader Stable Genius.

            1. “chemjeff radical individualist
              January.7.2020 at 6:07 pm
              When your response consists of an insult, I know I’ve hit the mark”

              So, again, you’re saying you’re wrong and they hit the mark.

              That quote is gonna get a lot of play.

              1. LMAO. Love it. Jeff may finally kill himself.

            2. Who hear does have blind faith in Trump or any past president?

              I’m going with 0. I don’t think most of the talk here is in defense of Trump per se, but defense of the office of the President, or defense of the Constitution.

              Smart minds know the difference between defending an idea and defending a person.

              1. Or to combat the lies and gaslighting told by the media.

            3. Pay up Pedo Jeffy, you lost the bet with Buttplug. Don’t be a cheat too.

            4. chemjeff radical individualist
              January.9.2020 at 1:26 pm
              Unlike Trump’s fanbois around here, I don’t have blind faith in Dear Leader Stable Genius

              No, you have blind faith in your hatred of and NPC talking points about Bad Orange Man.
              Notice how it’s never the pro-Trump people thinking in “Dear Leader” terms?

              1. No matter what Trump does, there is ALWAYS some rationalization or justification for it from the Trump fanbois around here.

                It’s “3D chess”, or “every president does it”, or “the Dems are worse”, or “WHATABOUT Obama”, or or or or something else.

                It’s cultish and wrong.

                1. “Trump fanbois”

                  “chemjeff radical individualist
                  January.7.2020 at 6:07 pm
                  When your response consists of an insult, I know I’ve hit the mark”

                  So, again, you’re saying you’re wrong and they hit the mark.

                  That quote is gonna get a lot of play

                2. “No matter what Trump does, there is ALWAYS some rationalization or justification for it from the Trump fanbois around here.”

                  No matter what Trump does, there is ALWAYS some hysterical condemnation or vilification of it from the Reason writers and cosmotarians around here.
                  It is cultish and wrong.

                3. When Iran downed the drone trump literally said he didn’t want to retaliate because no lIves were lost. But if they were it would be different.

                  Lo and behold Iran proxies launched a rocket attack a few months later that injures a few service members and kills a civilian contractor. Trump follows precisely what he said prior, and takes out the man orchestrating that attack since Americans were injured and killed.

                  5 days later Iran launches missiles into dirt. Trump does exactly what he said prior, and does not respond because no lives were lost or injured.

                  So, jeffymike, what do you think trump will do next time if they hit and no one is injured? And what do you think he’ll do if they attack and service members areceive killed or injured?

                  1. “There’s no way to know – he’s so unpredictable!”

        3. Except there’s not going to be a bungling into war. The Iranians can’t go to war with America and they know it. The theocracy maybe retarded but it’s not irrational. They can’t possibly even entertain the notion because one, they don’t have the financial resources to do it and b) its own population is restless and when you have a restless population you run the risk of getting toppled and getting the Mussolini treatment.

          America can take out its facilities in one week and then fight from the air without committing ground troops unless they want to invade and pull another Iraq.

          I’m just basing this on observation but I’m pretty sure Iran prefers to fund terrorism and fight by proxy like the little shits they are than actually go to war. The last real war they had was with Iraq and they fought to a stalemate lobbing grenades at each other like cartoon characters.

          Americans clutching their pearls over the killing of this evil man (a talented man as some idiot at The New Yorker described him) are useful idiots. This is a government that will shoot down air planes filled with innocent people without batting an eye and still hangs gays.

          Get your fucken priorities straight and be realistic.

          1. an evil talented man. Let’s be honest, he was an evil shit, but he was good at what he did, which is why killing him is doubly beneficial in my book. Similar to taking out Yamamoto or Reinhard Heydrich, whoever they replace him with will be hard-pressed to be anywhere as good at the job.

        4. SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP. YOU. STUPID. FAGGOT.

        5. the limitation of his actions seems to imply that he knows precisely what he is doing

      3. Trump did hit Russian assets though, back in Syria if I remember correctly. And Russia had to take it because they weren’t there in an official role but as “mercenaries”.

        Didn’t stop the Dems from screaming about the end of the world, and it didn’t cause the end of the world.

        1. Better to hit back 10 times as hard than 10 times as often.
          Trump has always followed this counter punch philosophy.
          So he gave the military the green light to unleash hell on the Syrians and Russian mercs.
          And boy, did they ever.

      4. I haven’t seen anyone that matters calling for war. WW3 is yet another gaslighting of America.

        And Welch is participating in it. The question is whether he is doesn’t understand that he is spouting nonsense or whether he is doing it deliberately.

    2. Um where do you see him doing that? The gist I get from his…meandering…prose is that he is cheering the fact that warmongers aren’t able to use the same tricks any more.

      To be sure, he doesn’t agree with any intervention in ME including the strike on Solemain. But that isn’t what the article is about. He is pointing out that the old tricks of questioning peoples’ patriotism and insisting on forever intervention doesn’t seem to be working any more. And he specifically points out that even conservatives are split on the question of the Strike as well as further intervention.

      I am unclear any more of where you are at on the ME situation, John. Personally, I am with Trump’s original claim that we ought to be done with that place. But there is ZERO chance that if Trump were to fulfill that promise, these Hawks wouldn’t be constantly on the news trying to drag us back in. Leaving the Middle East means probably a loss of the Iraqi Kurdistan. It probably means Iraq becomes much more closely aligned with Iran. It means that Iran and other terrorist institutions will likely, credibly, declare victory. And if we leave any assets- even civilian Embassy staff- in the region, you can bet that they will be attacked in the near term.

      This is the situation we can expect if Trump leaves the region. And the second any of the above comes to pass, we will see Lindsey Graham up there thumping the podium, demanding that patriotic americans must support going back to war. And I think it is a good sign that Conservatives are increasingly skeptical of that stuff.

      1. I am increasingly on the side of leaving. But, this article falsely equates this strike with advocating wider war.

      2. Absolutely in theory America should leave. I think this is the baseline premise to which these arguments begin and Welch is right about what he wrote.

        But the MIC is just too big, powerful and a fetish for the establishment.

        Just look at when Trump tried to leave Syria the reaction. Even Reason didn’t fully support it – at least to the extent I felt it should have.

      3. Trump made two promises in his election campaign:
        – We should end stupid, endless wars.
        – The Iran Deal was stupid and Iran is acting like a threat, and needs to be stopped.

        People are always focusing on the first promise, and pretending the second promise didn’t exist, and claiming somehow because he’s fulfilling his second promise, he’s being subverted by neo-cons.

        But there’s a middle ground between being a war hawk who wants to invade every country and overthrow their gov’t, and being an isolationist who wants to abandon all security commitments. But those are obviously the two easiest views, right? If you’re a war hawk, all you have to say is bomb, bomb bomb. If you’re an isolationist all you have to say is retreat, retreat, retreat. They don’t require any long-term strategic thinking.

        I think Trump believes the US should withdraw over time, but he doesn’t believe in an immediately unilateral withdrawal that hands over the region to terrorist proxies and bad actors.

    3. I feel like you’all accusing people of TDS are remembering the Bush and Reagan years incorrectly. Deranged opposition has been the lefts MO as long as Ive been old enough to understand politics.

    4. “The questions of whether the strike was justified and whether we should go to war to topple the Iranian government are two different things.”

      I’ve seen a lot of commenters here justifying the assassination because we’re already at war with Iran, and have been so for more than 40 years. If this is sophistry, I’ve yet to see you or anyone else complain.

      1. Iran has been making war against us for 40 years. And that fact does justify our taking out one of the people most responsible for waging that war. That fact, however, still doesn’t mean it is wise to invade and topple the government or escalate that war into a wider one.

        I have not seen you ever understand what is going on or make anything like a rational or interesting point. It would be nice if you would ever get any better.

        1. So, according to you America has been at war with Iran for 40 years, but neither side has been serious about it, and you hope that the war will continue, but remain the unserious affair it’s been up to now.

          1. Tell it to William Buckley or our troops who got blown up by Iranian EFPs, prick.

            1. ^This.

              We were taking relatively low casualties in Iraq until Iran got involved.

            2. Those troops still alive will be angry about sacrificing themselves in a war that America has no stomach to finish. John himself has no desire for regime change or a military defeat of Iran.

              1. “”John himself has no desire for regime change or a military defeat of Iran.””

                John is not talking about going to war with Iran so why would he desire either?

                1. “John is not talking about going to war with Iran ”

                  Because he’s saying we’ve been going to war with Iran for the past 40 years already.

                  1. Iran has been waging war against us for 40 years. The price of stopping that is invading and disposing of the government. That is a price that is not worth paying.

                    it is astounding that you are so fucking stupid you can’t understand such a simple point.

                    1. “Iran has been waging war against us for 40 years.”

                      Not true, at the beginning of the Trump administration the US and Iran and Hezbollah were cooperating in taking down ISIS, most notably in Mosul.

          2. “So, according to you America has been at war with Iran for 40 years”

            You might want to try reading what he said because that’s not what he said

      2. I don’t think you’ve seen anyone say that and I’ll suck Tony’s dick if you can prove otherwise.

        1. You don’t need my permission to do that thing.

          1. So you don’t have anything then.

            Put up or shut up.

            1. Tony’s dick: *sad dick noises*

              1. Wasn’t that his nickname in high school?

      3. Iran IS at war with the US.

        People seem to forget that the other side gets to make it’s own declarations and do things its way and we have no say.

        But we have every right to defend ourselves.

        1. Has the US been at war with the Iran since 1979? I’m not sure from your comment.

          1. No. But Iran has been waging war against the US. How can you be as stupid as you appear to be?

            1. I got it. I suppose it would be equally inaccurate to say that the US and Iran have been at war for 40 years.

    5. Pretty much every word that comes out of Welchie Boy’s mouth these days is lies and sophistry.

      I’m about 90% sure that even his claim to be married to some mysterious French woman is a lie.

  3. Who mourned for bin laden?

    1. Or more importantly, Gahddafi?

      An actual recognized leader even if he was a dictator.

      1. Especially considered Qaddafi was killed in an especially brutal manner and destroyed almost all hopes of the US convincing other leaders to cooperate with non-proliferation

        1. I’d say the Gaddafi fiasco is a major reason why the talks with North Korea haven’t gone farther than where they already are. It doesn’t matter if I trust you if I know you’re being replaced in 3 or 4 years by someone who’ll likely ignore any treaties we had and fuck me over

          1. It’s the only reason.
            Thanks to Obama and Clinton, Kim would be crazy to give up his nukes.
            Then, he sees Iran making noise about nuclear weapons development and get cash plus sanctions lifted in return.
            So what’s the logical thing to do?
            Start shooting off missiles and making noise about nuke development.
            People called Kim crazy and stupid back then, while failing to notice that his behavior was THE MOST LOGICAL course based on the precedents set by Obama.

            1. The situation is only different with Iran because they don’t have nukes at the moment.
              That, and not having the complete control over their population that Kim has, are the only reasons why there is the possibility of coming to an arrangement.
              Unfortunately, Congress is fucking it up now, while libertarians cheer them on because libertarianism seems to be entirely based on missing the forest for trees

        2. The damage Obama did to world peace and international relations will be felt for decades. If WW3 happens, it will be because of something he did. Not Trump.

  4. I had no idea Welch was such a big fox news fan.

    “”Perhaps, rather than sending troops into Iraq and Kuwait to defend U.S. troops already there, we should accede to the local nationalist demands, start bringing our troops home, and let Iranians, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Yemenis and Afghans settle their quarrels.””

    I agree. But liberals don’t, nor do the neocons. They opposed removing troops from Syria. They say it would abandon our allies. Removing troops from any of those places would.

    The problem is the US foreign policy is like a woman that want to find broken men to fix. Shias and Sunnis not getting along? We are here to help. We never stop and consider what the breakup will look like.

    1. People like Welch think FOX is the go to venue for what Libertarians and Conservatives get their ideas from. After all Lefties have Narrative producing Propaganda outlets so why wouldn’t non-Lefties?

      Its like unreason using Twatter as a source for what they do.

      Welch lives in a bubble and does not want to know how non-Lefties form their opinions.

      1. Typically fucking stupid, that ANYONE ON EARTH (except bloviaters) would think libertarians get anything Fox. BWAAA HAAAA

        To any other Trumptards, quoting Carlson — or Wallace — or Cavuto — or Napolitano — is done to show that principled conservatives don’t slurp Trump’s cock so noisily as Trump’s puppets. Yeah, yeah, hard for them to fathom.

        LIBERTARIANS ARE NON-LEFTIES *and* NON-RIGHTIES, BUT Lc1789 CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE WITH THAT. THE BIPOLAR “MIND” EXPLODES THAT RIGHT AND LEFT ARE NOT THE ONLY ALTERNATIVES! (LOL). SUCH TRIBAL GOOBERS DOMINATE THE AUTHORITARIAN WINGS, BOTH RIGHT AND LEFT … ARE SHRINKING TOWARD EXTINCTION … AND HAVE BEEN OBSOLETE FOR OVER 50 YEARS, NOW THAT OVER 60% OF AMERICANS SELF-IDENTIFY AS FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE AND SOCIALLY LIBERAL

        Welch lives in a bubble and does not want to know how non-Lefties form their opinions.

        Welch is a non-Lefty, you ignorant Trumptard.

        1. So you’re in a manic phase again. I’ll be sure to document that for the forthcoming petition to have Idaho forcibly institutionalize you.

    2. This. The only reason Iran is in iraq is because Iraqa “coalition” government only lasted the amount of time it took for the different versions of Islam to realize they hate each other as much, or more, than they hate us. And once that happened the shiite majority wanted more control and their politicians, imams, and militiamen began reaching out to other shiite militias, imams, and politicians in the region who could help them assert more dominance. As it so happens, Iran is right next door, has a shiite majority with a shiite paramilitary organization, and a thoecratical drive to become the dominant religion and government in the region.

      If we leave you literally can say goodbye to sunnis and kurds in iraq. They might last 5 years before their all forced out or killed like coptics in Egypt.

  5. One thing that the Trump presidency has done has successfully eliminated the concept of any type of fair reporting or fair analysis about national and geopolitical events. I mean, this article reads like someone taking things way too personally to really have any credibility on the subject.

    1. Journalism is dead. Long live click bait entertainment!

      1. Long live click bait enterinfotainment and sensationalist docudramas!

        1. I am so far behind the times!

          1. Can I at least get some great fucking titties to go with my infotainment?

            If you’re going to sell yourself, and nuke your integrity in the process, why pretend?

            1. Maybe Nick should recruit his editorial staff from available Pornhub video performers. He couldn’t do worse then Shikha and Boehm.

  6. Look for a major tug of war between the Dems and Libertarians to snag Soleimani for their presidential ticket.

    1. Proving, yet again, that the paleo-conservatives are kinda stoopid.

      1. KINDA?? (lol)

        They’re puppets on a string, as wacko as Bernie’s and Elizabeth’s puppets, just dancing from a different string. Total mind control of low-mentality voters, left and right. George Orwell’s Newspeak.

        1. Yep your one sock puppet just responded to the other one. Everyone knows your sock puppets. You look like a total asshole when you do it.

          1. Keep fucking up!

  7. really not much of a “counter” by Mike Brest

  8. But their rhetorical tricks no longer bewitch a war-weary nation.

    I found that the way to bewitch the war-wary nation is to get a Democrat in the white house.

    1. That is also the best way to get liberals to stop talking about what’s going on at the border.

    2. Look at this war

      *waves hands*

      presto chango

      *poof*

      KINETIC ACTION!!!

      *raucous applause*

      1. (Overheard at science convention)

        “ so what do you say babe. Interested in a little kinetic action after the lecture?“

  9. Perhaps, rather than sending troops into Iraq and Kuwait to defend U.S. troops already there, we should accede to the local nationalist demands, start bringing our troops home, and let Iranians, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Yemenis and Afghans settle their quarrels.

    The last time we did this ISIS took over half the country, killed about a million people, and inspired terrorist attacks around the world. It wasn’t Trump who decided that cost was too high and to return, it was Obama and all the Dems currently pretending they want us out.

    Just so we all understand: you think we should have stayed out and let the slaughter continue?

    1. The Iranian militias did a pretty good job of taking out ISIS.
      We can’t garrison the world.

      1. By pretty good job, you mean they contained them to the eastern half of Syria and the northern half of Iraq?

        1. Plus, the Iranian militias were more than a bit responsible for the formation and rise of IS in the first place…

    2. The last time we did this ISIS took over half the country, killed about a million people, and inspired terrorist attacks around the world.

      That’s complicated by the fact that Syria was imploding at the same time, and ISIS arose in the uncontrolled Syrian desert that lies between the two countries.

      US meddling in Syria arguably provided ISIS opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had to operate with relative impunity on the frontier between Iraq & Syria.

      Simply staying out of it and allowing the Iranian faction to win the civil war also arguably would have led to a quicker defeat of ISIS.

      1. Possibly, but then we’re pretty much looking at genocide (at worst) and ethnic cleansing (at best) of the Iraqi Sunni population.
        Don’t forget IS received support early on from many Sunnis because they had nobody else to defend them from those Iranian-run Shiite militias

        1. Possibly, but then we’re pretty much looking at genocide (at worst) and ethnic cleansing (at best) of the Iraqi Sunni population.

          That’s been a long time coming. Hussein made sure of that, not the US occupation.

          Don’t forget IS received support early on from many Sunnis because they had nobody else to defend them from those Iranian-run Shiite militias

          IS pretty much was the Arab Sunnis. Yes, they’re going to fight the Shi’ites, and they’re going to try to wipe out the Shi’ites. But they’re going to lose. I personally don’t think the US leaving 15 years from now makes a difference to that.

      2. ISIS arose in the uncontrolled Syrian desert that lies between the two countries.

        So they would have controlled a small area in a civil war. Without Iraq’s cities they could not claim to be a Caliphate and draw volunteers from around the globe and influence others into terrorist attacks. They would have remained a paramilitary group with local control largely indistinguishable from 100 others.

        Simply staying out of it and allowing the Iranian faction to win the civil war also arguably would have led to a quicker defeat of ISIS.

        Sounds like wishcasting especially since the Iranians were localized and others like Kurds made massive contributions supported by us. So how can we test this?

        I don’t remember 1% of the current reaction when Obama decided to re-enter Iraq. Do you? But if there was no need for us to go because Iran would have handled it there would have been, right?
        But even if Iran could have resolved it faster without us does that mean only 800k people die and 50k sex slaves taken instead of 1M and 100k ? Is that enough different to dispute that the better decision was not to leave in the first place? And isn’t this a similar circumstance to Trump’s options now? Further how many more would have died when the Iranian paramilitaries started attacking the Sunnis?

        We say we should “let them sort it out”. And when we’re not already there that’s my position. But we are already there and everyone who lectures us on this needs to understand they are saying letting those million people die was the right choice. Fine if that’s your opinion. But then why didn’t you (et al) speak up when Obama reversed himself and sent the troops back?

        Plus I want everyone on record so the next time someone who says that lectures me about not caring about brown people (Shikha Dalmia) I can throw it in their face. People try to avoid admitting this by wishcasting but if you’re not willing to say it openly I don’t care about your opinion. You’re not dealing with reality. You can’t claim to be anti-war and then criticize the US for not intervening because of racism (as did happen in Rwanda and would happen if we had not re-entered Iraq).

        As far as Trump goes he was handed this circumstance. As long as our troops are there he has the right to direct their defense against anyone attacking them. Doing so is not a war no matter how many unstable fearmongers (apparently now including Welch) wish it were so.

        1. So they would have controlled a small area in a civil war. Without Iraq’s cities they could not claim to be a Caliphate and draw volunteers from around the globe and influence others into terrorist attacks. They would have remained a paramilitary group with local control largely indistinguishable from 100 others.

          What’s your point? That no one but the US could have liberated Mosul?

          Sounds like wishcasting especially since the Iranians were localized and others like Kurds made massive contributions supported by us.

          They also made massive contributions not supported by us. A more decisive victory for Shi’ites in Iran rather than the US/UN’s clumsy attempts at pretending there can be a democratic coalition government would likely have deprived IS of the opportunity to seize territory in Iraq in the first place. Or quite possibly, Turkey would have said “fuck it” and taken back Mosul, which was illegally seized by the UK after the 1919 cease-fire anyway.

          I don’t remember 1% of the current reaction when Obama decided to re-enter Iraq. Do you?

          No. So?

          But if there was no need for us to go because Iran would have handled it there would have been, right?

          No. Because the whole point was that we didn’t want Iran taking control of the country. Iran was specifically told to stay out of it or else.

          But even if Iran could have resolved it faster without us does that mean only 800k people die and 50k sex slaves taken instead of 1M and 100k ? Is that enough different to dispute that the better decision was not to leave in the first place?

          Depends on whether you think the USA has the magic power to undo the last century of history.

          And isn’t this a similar circumstance to Trump’s options now?

          Yup. Almost like nothing has changed despite nearly 20 years of US occupation. How long does it take to force people to get along?

          Further how many more would have died when the Iranian paramilitaries started attacking the Sunnis?

          Well, how many did the US kill when the US started attacking them? Probably would be in a similar ballpark.

          But then why didn’t you (et al) speak up when Obama reversed himself and sent the troops back?

          Why do you assume I didn’t?

          People try to avoid admitting this by wishcasting but if you’re not willing to say it openly I don’t care about your opinion. You’re not dealing with reality. You can’t claim to be anti-war and then criticize the US for not intervening because of racism (as did happen in Rwanda and would happen if we had not re-entered Iraq).

          I don’t really care what color their skin is. I don’t see why their conflicts should be my conflicts, and I don’t think US troops having spent some time in their country has caused all their conflicts nor do I think US troops leaving their country will be the cause of their conflicts. Their conflicts are their conflicts. Full stop.

          Is Russia responsible for tribal feuding in Afghanistan? After all, they did withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. Or are the Afghans responsible?

          And for the record, I have never, ever, accused someone of being racist for not wanting to invade a country.

          I get that George Clooney is a douche, but he ain’t here, man, and he ain’t the guy you’re talking to.

          1. What’s your point? That no one but the US could have liberated Mosul?

            No. I rebutted your assertion that our departure from Iraq did not give rise to ISIS. An organization with that name might have existed but its capabilities and death toll would not have approached what did happen. Our Iraq departure allowed ISIS to transform itself into something capable of that.

            A more decisive victory … Or quite possibly,

            More wishcasting. There’s no reason to believe better outcomes would have been more likely than an extension of hostilities increasing the deaths and other miseries.

            Depends on whether you think the USA has the magic power

            We saw what happened with America returning, your argument relies on Iranian and/or Turkish magic power.

            Why do you assume I didn’t?

            You admitted it here:

            Q: I don’t remember 1% of the current reaction when Obama decided to re-enter Iraq. Do you?

            A: No.

            nor do I think US troops leaving their country will be the cause of their conflicts.

            Cause is the wrong word but substitute trigger or allow. This is exactly what happened last time.

            he ain’t the guy you’re talking to.

            Including et al means what while I’m saying “you” it’s a general comment referring to everyone taking the position addressed.

            Is Russia responsible for tribal feuding in Afghanistan?

            Partly. Afghanistan has remained more violent after that period than it was before largely because the Soviets destroyed their institutions which have never been effectively reconstituted. Similarly Iraq will probably have increased violence for some transition period (which may extend to indefinitely if Iran controls the government) and we bear some responsibility for that. Critics will say we are responsible for all violence but it is only the increase over the Hussein era which was pretty violent by non-wartime standards.

            I have never, ever, accused someone of being racist for not wanting to invade a country.

            Plenty of the et als have but it’s not just about invading. They incessantly claim that we are responsible for non-Americans and the only reason we refuse is because they are brown implying racism on our part. Consider the refugee debates. Essentially all of these people now claim we should be out of Iraq (and supported Obama’s first departure). This means they must agree with you that those million dead and 100k sex slaves were the best choice to make. Do you think they really believe that?

            I think most of them don’t but avoid admitting their current position is political opportunism by pretending this isn’t the choice. But if they do it’s an implicit admission their concern for brown people in other contexts is political opportunism instead of an expression of their moral standing.

  10. The Dispatch, another conservative publication

    USEFUL CONSERVATIVE PUBLICATIONS

  11. “The Dispatch, another conservative publication.”

    *snicker*. Yeah, absolutely. “conservative”.

    Don’t get why a terrorist dying is causing so many idiots to become bigger idiots, but c’est la vie. I guess outfits like Reason don’t need legitimacy.

  12. Welch,

    Zell Miller’s speech was Jacksonian. Bush’s military policy was not.

  13. Ooo, the Iranians are angry. It’s about to get ugly:

    https://twitter.com/Slickzaman1/status/1215024313386049539

  14. Completely OT: I finally got around to seeing Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell and I must say it was a pretty good call-out of the complicity of the media with the police in pushing false narratives but the final scenes really nail it. The part where the police finally find Eric Rudolph, the real bomber, and drive the metal spikes through his ankles, hook him to chains attached to the truck bumper, drag him around a gravel parking lot until he’s half dead, douse him in gasoline and set him on fire and then shove a live grenade up his ass had me and the rest of the patriotic American audience on our feet cheering for the demise of a very bad man and who gives a shit how he was dispatched except for the supporters of terrorist bombers and, really, don’t they deserve the exact same treatment?

    (I realize this has nothing at all to do with Trump and I apologize for interrupting the conversation here, but I just felt this was a heart-warming story of an evil man getting what he deserved and wanted to share it.)

  15. “You could almost see the flushed glow of nostalgia rising in the cheeks of Nikki Haley Monday night when the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations snarled to Sean Hannity that the “only ones that are mourning the loss of [Qassem] Soleimani are our Democrat leadership, and our Democrat presidential candidates.””

    Chris Matthews compared his death to Elvis and Princess Di’s, to give an example. Didn’t NBC cover his funeral LIVE?

    Cannot figure out why some think they are mourning his death.

  16. I don’t think Matt knows what he is talking about or his comparisons are not comparable. No one is cheering for war by commenting on the democrats fake rage at Trump doing something they didn’t have the balls to do or worse refuse to do. their refusal to do something is my take considering John Kerry’s recent back door overtures to Iran. the Democrats have a plan for Iran but I can’t see what it is other than learning how to oppress people.

  17. Pretty much confirmed that Iran shot down the Ukrainian airliner.

    1. Since that is going to help Trump, expect it to be called a quid pro quo with Iran and added to the impeachment atticles.

    2. I’ve wondered if they thought it was a U.S. military plan attacking after their barrage of missiles and shot it down

      1. Perhaps they thought it was on an attack profile and shot it down from a war ship.

        Oh wait, that was us downing an Iranian commercial airline in the 80s.

      2. But yeah, could be. Confusion leads to errors

      3. I’m sure it was accidental.
        I’m just curious how the coverage will compare to when mh17 was shot down over Ukraine…

        1. It was Trump’s fault. If Trump had not assassinated the kind and loving Iranian general, Iran would not have felt the need to shoot anything.

          Am I ready for CNN?

          1. Need to work in a racism angle

            1. Ah, good criticism.

              Grand leader of white supremacy Donald Trump demonstrated his anti-Muslim views by murdering a kind and loving Iranian general days prior to his daughter’s third birthday and continued his rampage by shooting down a plane full of innocent people.

              No one at CNN fact checks.

              1. I think that one’s ready for Don Lemon

          2. Needs more “austere religious scholar”.

            You might be able to get a 3AM slot with this effort, if you want the primetime slot you gotta step your game up.

          3. “It was Trump’s fault. If Trump had not assassinated the kind and loving Iranian general, Iran would not have felt the need to shoot anything”

            Pete Buttigieg:
            “Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat,” Buttigieg tweeted. “My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all 176 souls lost aboard this flight.”

    3. And the media is already starting to blame Trump for it.

      Because…REASONS.

  18. I like Nikki Haley and was disappointed in her latest statement. I thought she was positioning herself as a ‘reasonable’ Republican.

    1. You “love” Nikki Haley but didn’t know she was a hawk?

    2. She has been spouting warmongering bullshit since she was UN embassador. The only thing she is qualigfed to be is a watreess at a Waffle House in her inbred home state.

  19. The lap dogs are out in force today

    1. I give you credit for being informed, jfree.
      You have no idea what to do with that information, but you have it

  20. What I find interesting is that there is more uproar by liberals that Trump killed a general in a war zone, than Obama killing a wedding party not in a war zone.

  21. That photo makes the general look a little fond of chiffon in the wrist array. But he’s not gay, hey, hey.

    1. C’mon Punky…get funky!

  22. What a dimwitted idiot. There is no war, and now the possibility of future war has been greatly diminished.

  23. Such a target rich environment.

    14 Oct 2011 – Barack Obama ordered a predator drone missile attack on Ibrahim al-Banna, a senior operative of Al-Quaeda, at dinner at a restaurant in Yemen which killed nine people including Abdulrahman An sl-Alaki, born in Denver, Colorado, the 16 year old son of Anwar al-Awlaki an operational leader of al-Qaeda.

    3 Jan 2020. President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike on Iranian Qud General Qasem Soleimani which killed Soleimani and nine Iranian militia supporters meeting at Baghdad airport after Iranian missiles killed an American contractor and Iranian supporters attacked the U.S. Embassy.

    Democrats denounced Anwar al-Awlaki as a bad father and blamed the death of his son on his bad parenting. (The target al-Banna was not killed and is an on-going threat.)

    Democrats denounced Trump as a war criminal for killing a sworn enemy general at a meeting of international terrorists. (The target Soleimani is dead, he’s all messed up, as the sheriff said in NOTLD.)

    The Iranians “retaliated” by firing missiles that missed an military base, and declared that demonstration sufficient.

    Hmmm. Suppose Iranian leadership wanted that pesky militant general out of their way and actually welcomed his removal as a causus pacem?

    1. Well it was a demonstration by the Iranians. I wouldn’t call it a miss exactly.

      Considering a ballistic missile is basically a metal tube full of rocket fuel with a bomb on top fired from a long distance not bad actually.

      The attack was designed to avoid casualties that is clear. Plus troops were already on high alert in shelter and we detected the launches so more warning.

      Actually it looks to me like a success from the Iranian point of view. A show of force which did not provoke a counter attack. Plus they can spin it in their internal propaganda as they are already doing.

      So we can call it a win for both sides. We killed a bad guy and they shot some rockets.

      Doesn’t change anything from my point of view. I still favor the US disentangling itself from the Middle East militarily. Ending direct military involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria for starters.

      1. They have more accurate munitions available to them, if they were serious about hitting something in particular they would’ve used them instead.

        You’re exactly right, it was a show meant to save face domestically after Trump murderdroned their boy. Had they actually hit something we cared about this would’ve kept escalating, the Iranians know that and know what the logical end to all of that is and wisely chose to take the out they were given.

      2. All true but the fact remains Iran was humiliated. Shooting a few rockets in a show of force doesn’t make up for losing the commander of the Quuds force or whatever they call them.

        1. Well John they are already claiming they killed a bunch of people and did a lot of damage. We are covering it up. They can sell that to the Iranian public.

          Look their boy was a soldier right? He died a hero in the service of his country. No humiliation for them there. It is more likely to unify the people.

  24. Well, are they wrong? Do they devote more time to critiquing killing Souleimani than they do to, say, mourning the death of American soldiers, or Americans killed by illegal immigrants?

  25. I don’t believe Iran shot that plane down on accident. I think it was done deliberately to send a message.

    1. Those damn Ukrainians better stop helping Trump!

    2. Quick – Hannity is on better go watch.

    3. Who knows if it was shot down at all.

      What is interesting is the Canadians are suspicious. Canadians just don’t make stuff like this up.

      I would want to check the passenger list first off.

      1. More evidence coming out. Looks like they shot it down after all.

    4. My fun conspiracy theory.

      A spy from somewhere CIA, Mossad M16 whatever. Passing as a Persian from Canada with Canadian passport. Steals some vital information which cannot be let out using the opportunity of the confusion going on.
      He gets on the plane to Montreal.
      As this is happening the plot is discovered and the Iranians rush to identify the spy. They check the manifests of outgoing flights and spot him but the plane is already taking off.
      Commander quickly gets on the phone to the missile base and orders the plane shot down. “But commander it is a commmercial…”
      “I said NOW or I will personally come down there and execute you myself!”

      WHOOSH BOOM!!

      Somebody call Daniel Silva. He needs to write this book.

  26. Send Nikki Haley back to her damn Waffle House waitress job – it’s all she’s good for. Stupid warmonger bitch.

    1. She worked at Waffle House?

      “So ah what time is your shift over?”

  27. Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham Try to War-Demagogue Like It’s 2004. You could almost see the flushed glow of nostalgia rising in the cheeks of Nikki Haley Monday night when the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations snarled to Sean Hannity that the “only ones that are mourning the loss of [Qassem] Soleimani are our Democrat leadership, and our Democrat presidential candidates.”

    I see that Reason is going to continue to push the false narrative that a drone strike against an Iranian terrorist amounts to starting WWIII.

    What I still can’t figure out is whether you actually believe the nonsense you write or whether it amounts to deliberate propaganda.

    1. I’ve seen that talking point… that it is a lie that the DNC and press is mourning Soleimani (and each and every instance pointed out is somehow an outlier or doesn’t actually count).

      I’m really shocked at how few people are capable of following an argument. Because complex issues are hard, they have to go all in on the opposite of whatever their opponent says. So if Trump and his supporters say Soleimani was bad, then he must be good.

      They started with “look, no one is mourning the death of Soleimani”. But then they spent the next 4 days eulogizing and even lionizing him. And since republicans supported the drone strike killing him, they must not only say it was a bad idea, or too dangerous… but they have to go all the way to “it was illegal” and “it was never authorized by congress” and gnash their teeth.

      (this is extra rich since most of those folk were around and offering full support when Obama took out Qaddafi and toppled the Libyan government and thought he was magnificent for doing so, despite not even bothering to notify congress before or after, and never really offering a justification for US actions)

      You know, it is entirely possible to lament the strategy taken by Trump as being too dangerous without going all-in on the partisan stupidity.

      And even then, it would be OK to admit that maybe he actually got it right this time, even if you pass that off as getting lucky.

  28. Rubio has also been peddling crude Manichaeism

    That is hilarious coming from Reason. You were shitting your pants over the Iran nuclear deal. You published multiple pieces claiming that the ONLY two choices were appeasement and ransoms (which you strongly favored and continue to favor), and war. Those of us not on the short bus pointed out that the status quo with sanctions in place were a perfectly viable third option. Guess what? They were and they are now.

    Do you know who else writes for The Dispatch? Why, one of your recently back in favor conservatives, David French. Do you know what he said about the Soleimani strike?

    “Suleimani was an evil, evil man. There is much American blood on his hands. And he was killed lawfully, in a properly constitutionally-authorized conflict. There is much risk and peril to come, but Trump’s action was constitutionally legitimate, and that matters. A lot. /End”

    Huh, I guess he’s not invited to the cocktail parties again.

  29. Do you think that’s it? That the nation is war weary and Lindsey Graham’s powerful persuasive skills cannot penetrate that?

    Or do you think maybe it is because the President has been leading us in a “not war” direction, even has he navigates a conflict with Iran that has been blowing hotter of late, but dates back many decades?

    I mean, it seems pretty clear Trump doesn’t want a war. He’s willing to use the threat of war to put an end to attacks on shipping and oil production and our embassies and people in Iraq. But he’s made it pretty clear that he’s a reluctant warrior.

    But it couldn’t be that the American people aren’t following Bolton and Graham because the President isn’t following them….. so essentially only a handful of establishment politicians are for war with Iran. Nah… that makes no sense at all.

  30. That photo makes the general look a little fond of chiffon in the wrist array. But he’s not gay, hey, hey. https://armystatus.in

  31. Sigh! I sure miss Edith Efron (RIP). With her departure, Reason became a liberal rag.

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