CPAC's Foreign Policy Split: Old Hawks and Young Doves

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The Conservative Politcal Action Conference (CPAC) for the last few years has embraced the Paul family, with both Ron and Rand Paul having won straw polls in the past. But that doesn't mean that the Republican party is ready to abandon its stance for Paul-style skepticism towards aggressive foreign policy, military intervention, and regime change.

What do the party elite think about going to war? And how does it differ from how the conference attendees think about war? Reason TV's Matt Welch hit the conference floor to find out how conservatives think we should react to the rise of ISIS and Russia's aggresive expansion under Putin.

Runs about 3:45.

Produced by Todd Krainin. Hosted by Matt Welch.

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  1. The boomer hawks will slowly dwindle away !

    1. old hawks need perpetual war to keep their donors happy. hence the ignoring and marginalization of anyone who calls for less spending on the military industrial machine.
      This week it seems that the left media is stumping for Jeb Bush over Clinton.

      It is on now and becoming ever clear that both sides are exactly the same. it’s just the republicans turn to be in the white house.

  2. I don’t want a Dove or a Hawk. I want somebody who will keep us strong at a reasonable price, fight like hell when it is really necessary, and stay out of it when it isn’t. And is smart enough to know the difference.

    1. +1 Serenity Prayer

      1. Is that the one where Shepherd Book shot Niska’s men in the kneecaps?

        1. They were awake, they were armed, and they were facing him.

        2. Aloha snackbar

    2. OK, but what’s the chance of that person also having great hair and a colgate smile?

      1. +1 Ted McGinley

    3. I don’t want a Dove or a Hawk. I want an Eagle – an American Eagle!

      (thrusts chin up in air, smiles to cheering crowd)

      1. How about a flaming golden HAWK.

      2. Where’s Buttplug? he usually eats these things.

  3. Kids these days. In my day, when the Hun or the Jap got outta line, you sent the boys down there to raise hell!

    1. Sometimes shit needs blown to hell and asses need to meet boots.

  4. War is the health of the state. When we fight wars we restrict civil liberties, spend more tax dollars, centralize authority, all the things libertarians are usually against. We should avoid wars.

    1. Thank you. I thought this was the consensus before seeing some of the quasi hawks comment here

      1. Name one besides Cytotoxic and perhaps John.

        1. Ive seen others here and there.

          1. Something something Brian Williams Unicorn.

          2. That could be true among some of our lurkers/new posters/trolls.

          3. Lots of posters here go on about how non-intervention is a largely discredited, ‘unrealistic’ policy.

            1. But there’s a difference between “let’s avoid wars” and “let’s never intervene”.

              1. A thin Red line?

                1. Sean Penn sucks though

              2. I think the whole adventure in the ME is a mess, and should never had happened. Now. Can we name ONE war in the 20th Century that we should have go to?

            2. Citation needed.

              1. Its Gilmore’s phrasing I used, but there’s others

            3. Lots of posters here go on about how non-intervention is a largely discredited, ‘unrealistic’ policy.

              If you include the conservatives in your head that may be true.

              1. Winston, Gilmore, Immaculate Trouser, John, Cyto…

                    1. “TRAITOROUS HERETICS” -FDA and Bo

                      You should form a two-man person club or something.

                    2. I never make the list.

                      *skulks back to Mises*

                    3. I’ve got a little list ? I’ve got a little list

                  1. David Wall, Tulpa.

                    WTF? I was just arguing against a passel of anti-Islamic bigots last night. Essentially by myself, I might add.

                    1. Why?

                      Why not spend your time more productively developing something with higher odds of success, such as a perpetual motion machine?

                1. add me to that list.

                2. I wish people would call Cytotoxic by his full name. We have another poster, Cyto, who is nothing like the Canadian Armchair General.

                  1. Agreed. Cyto is not Cytotoxic.

                    1. See, THIS is why we need government regulation of Teh Interweb.

                    2. Indeed, his handle is rather derivative whereas mine is original and clever.

                3. Mrs. Beasley, Chief, McCloud

            4. It is unrealistic. You yourself have been asked several times how to approach specific problems in foreign policy without response.

              That’s not to say our recent wars are the apex in wisdom (OIF was particularly unwise), but that it is more complex than the interventionist/non-interventionist dichotomy and that your preference for avoiding war — while generally a good thing — is not equivalent to interventionism.

              1. Hit me with some policy questions oh superior objectivist

              2. This is primarily because most “problems in foreign policy” should not be addressed at all.

                The difference in opinion starts with the question of can this be, fixed by us, or fixed now, or should it be addressed with watching,waiting and readiness.

                Most of these conversation go off the rails at this point. Hawks with military action are like liberals with some perceived injustice, something must be done NOW! And if it does not work it is because we did not spend enough on it or continue it long enough.

            5. Lots of posters here go on about how non-intervention is a largely discredited, ‘unrealistic’ policy.

              Because it is.

              1. See?

                It hasn’t worked in many cases, but that never discredits intervention. It was a failure to go big enough, or to stay long enough, or something.

                This is the same argument we have with Progressives, every government program is good, and if it did not work that is only because we did not do it enough.

                You can’t fix stupid. (or persuade either)

                1. You have erected a straw man here. Not every military action is necessary. I would have preferred a punitive raid in response to 9/11. Kill as many as could be identified as being remotely connected. Then leave.

                  I’m conflicted over Iraq. Removing Sadam was a good thing and a bad thing. I would support cutting Iraq into at least two states. With the US behind the Kurdish north, maybe even a base with an armored division, spec ops, and a combined air wing. Though I’m not totally convinced about a large base maybe spec ops and some material support for the Kurds.

                  I am definitely not above fighting a war over something like oil if the situation were dire enough.

        2. The thread the other night was filled with stupid. Reading the “kill all the brown people” comments was disturbing, but I agree it was limited essentially to two posters.

          And was Cyto trying to be the warmonger version of Buttplug? What was with the whole “I declare myself victor in this argument, and you are all envious” shtick?

          1. I was reading the thread, cyto failed to make any cogent points

            1. I actually want to understand why he and John (and most of the Team Red presidential hopefuls) have such a warboner for Iran.

              He just came across as a belligerent drunk.

              1. John and most of the team red hopefuls seem to have, in their minds, a valid reason. Cytotoxic on the other hand thinks that if any country doesn’t have what he thinks is freedom then the US military is required to set those people free by killing them.

                1. Cytotoxic on the other hand thinks that if any country doesn’t have what he thinks is freedom then the US military is required to set those people free by killing them.

                  AND the immoral pig supports this policy without having any skin in the game whatsoever. Just another bloodsucking leach who wants America to protect him free of charge. What’s more, his understanding of military capability is that of a soccer mom. SO not only is he an immoral pig, he’s wrong in ability for his policy to effect change.

                  (No offense meant to the upstanding Canucks here.)

                  1. AND the immoral pig supports this policy without having any skin in the game whatsoever. Just another bloodsucking leach who wants America to protect him free of charge.

                    I advocate policy, you get angry and bring the ad hom. And I win. Every time.

                    1. Actually, I have never seen you win anything except the “Troll of the day” award.

                      But I am sure you will continue to “win friends and influence people”, so carry on.

                2. Cytotoxic on the other hand thinks that if any country doesn’t have what he thinks is freedom then the US military is required to set those people free by killing them.

                  That’s a lie I have never held that position. Apologize immediately please.

                  1. That’s a slight exaggeration of this, which you’ve said in various ways many times.

                    Cytotoxic|8.8.12 @ 1:04PM|#

                    …as long as the aggressor nation is “more rights-respecting” than the victim?

                    As long as the right-respecting nation is either increasing freedom in the other nation that isn’t rights-respecting or acting in self-defense, it can’ be an aggressor by definition.

                    1. No it isn’t. That is quite different. Words have meaning.

                  2. I lol

                  3. Even if you don’t hold that position, there are “hawks” out there who do, and it is this mentality that is the problem.

                    But it would be one thing it ‘defending freedom” were the justification for all the illegal U.S. military actions around the world. At least then, there could be the pretense of a moral high ground.

                    But for most military-industrial complex whores, it’s about power, pure and simple. It’s about imposing a certain order upon the world, no matter the cost to the world…or America.

                    We have no right or responsibility to play world police.

          2. That’s essentially his statement to anyone who dares disagree with The Canadian Chickenhawk.

            1. That’s my response when they get down to ad hom and lies, which they always do.

          3. I’m pretty sure Cytotoxic has legit psychological problems, his behaviour is basically textbook narcissistic personality disorder. And, important to note that he’s just towing the Objectivist Party Line when it comes to foreign policy, a lot of his arguments about how ‘freer nations get to kill as many people as they like from less free nations’ is just standard Church of Rand logic.

            1. Doesn’t matter. We’re right; you can’t lay a finger on our arguments.

          4. “I declare myself victor in this argument, and you are all envious” shtick?

            Because that’s all that there was left to do. My opponents were down to ad hom and distortion and fallacy as usual, and I wanted to go to bed. It was time to note my victory and pack it in. Also, it pisses the right people off.

    2. Avoid them when possible – win them when necessary.

      Been a long time since we did either.

        1. SON OF A BITCH!!!!

          Now I understand why I keep getting my ass kicked while carrying a toothpick and yelling at people.

          /looks for big stick

      1. From a military perspective, we’ve won every war we’ve fought since Vietnam. Making Iraq and Afghanistan into stable, self-sustaining places is not a military problem.

        1. Sure – but it takes competent political leadership as well as military skill to win wars. The Democrats purposely gave away the victory in Vietnam.

          Our dimwitted political leaders in both parties decided to turn a successful punitive raid in Afghanistan into an unwinnable nation-building exercise while doing the same in Iraq. Idiots.

          1. Our dimwitted political leaders in both parties decided to turn a successful punitive raid in Afghanistan into an unwinnable nation-building exercise while doing the same in Iraq. Idiots.

            DESPITE the lessons learned in Vietnam and the results of the Russian foray into Afghanistan staring them directly in the face.

            Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to…

            …do retarded shit!

            1. Kipling and his poetry are world famous, and still they didn’t listen when he told what happens on the “plains of Afghanistan.”

              1. Besides poetry Kipling wrote “The Man Who Would Be King”, and our strategists could have watched Michael Caine and Sean Connery in the John Huston movie of the same name.

            2. The Vietnam War lessons should have been learned from the War of Independence, where the British essentially lost because of their own infighting, their need to haul all supplies except water across an ocean, and the lack of a centralized government structure to capture and induce surrender.

              The US lost Vietnam for the exact same reasons the US won independence.

              1. Lessons learned from Vietnam that are directly applicable to Iraq/Afghanistan:

                1. Have an achievable objective.
                2. Have an exit strategy before engaging in hostilities. (Define victory so you know when to stop)
                3. Nation building cannot work where the population doesn’t want a new nation.
                4. (Iraq specific) Don’t involve yourself in someone else’s civil war.
                5. The notion that “inside every gook, is an American trying to get out” doesn’t apply to ragheads andy more than it did gooks. (Not everyone shares our values…know what motivates the people involved.)

                1. Yeah, I don’t see a lot of ?strategy? going on in the current military actions.

                2. 6. Lie about WMDs to gain public support for illegal campaign.

                  1. Do you think if Saddam had had the WMD’s it would have been a good enough justification to preemptively invade a sovereign nation?

                  2. So sick of this stupid argument. Even if Saddam had WMD by the shit ton why should we go to war ? He wasn’t going to employ them against us, he valued his regime.

                    1. Because he was a nutter with a grudge against America from the stupid decision to intervene against him in ’91 and worse let him stay in power. He had to go. W didn’t start a war in Iraq, he ended it and won victory, and then ruined that victory with a nation-building project from hell.

                3. You forgot ‘don’t handicap your forces with restrictions’. Once Nixon started bombing North Vietnam, it brought the VietCong to their knees.

                4. That’s a good list.

        2. Ah, but did we achieve the objective?

          It appears we did not.

          If our objective was to tear Iraq apart, locate any weapons of mass destruction, and make sure everyone knew what would happen if they behaved like THAT again. (keep in mind this originally started because he invaded Kuwait and we had a treaty that required us to defend them) Then we succeeded.

          However, we immediately switched to making Iraq into a republican democracy that was to be a shining beacon transforming the middle east. It is pretty clear we did not achieve that.

          And this is the point, we do have a great military, but some objectives can’t be achieved using military power.

          There is a saying that to a carpenter with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We are in the mode that since we have the best military, everything looks like a military problem.

          Our military is the best at “killing people and breaking things”. We have even gotten good at being selective about who we kill and what we break. But if the object is to build something, our military is the wrong tool, and building takes a long time.

    3. When we fight wars we restrict civil liberties, spend more tax dollars, centralize authority

      The evidence of this is pretty inconsistent. America’s indian wars and the War with Spain did not make America less free. The Civil War left America freer.

      1. The Civil War did restrict civil liberties, spend more tax dollars and centralize authority.

        It also led to the end of slavery, which is a huge, huge benefit, but it did those other things to. Because that’s generally what happens in wars.

    4. There is no issue more important to the libertarian cause than peace. War is the most liberty-destroying thing out there.

      1. Public education and the federal reserve are worse. Israel has been at war most of its existence and is getting freer.

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  6. You can’t hug your family with nuclear arms.

    1. You haven’t met my family.,,

    2. Tell that to Star Child from Kiss

    3. I had so totally forgotten that bumper sticker.

      That reminds me of another old bumper sticker, the one that goes, “it will be a great day when schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to have a bake sale to buy a bomber.” I remember having to tailgate the hell out of someone to try to read it.

  7. Sounds like a plan to me dude.

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  8. My ancestors left Europe for a reason, let the Europeans deal with their own problems. Same with the Asians. Any country that can sell us cars can take care of themselves. I’m looking at you Japan and Korea. Our military should be only used to blow shit up and kill people not build nations.

    1. The military, like any goverent beaurocracy, will always find reasons to expand.

    2. Our military should be only used to blow shit up and kill people not build nations.

      If we actually used it that way then we wouldn’t be at war very often nor for very long. However, this would give the warboner crowd a case of permanent blue balls.

    3. How secure do you think we’d be if East Asia and West Europe had been overrun by Communism? Which they would have been without our intervention.

      Taking responsibility for their defense is also a smart move — it makes it harder for them to switch sides.

      1. Their economies would have collapsed

        1. That took 80 fucking years for the USSR. Too slow.

      2. You make the same mistake every so-called anti-communist makes — you hate communism, yet you don’t believe it is as incompetent as your own propaganda makes it out to be.

        Communism’s collapse is inevitable, and in fact faster if left to its own inept devices. Cuba would have long since had its own counter-revolution if we hadn’t given the regime such dandy excuses for staying in power to survive against its self-declared mortal enemies.

        If communism had overrun South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia — great, more and better examples of what a shoddy ideology it is.

        1. “Anti-communists” never seem to have much actual faith in the free market.

          1. It’s astounding how little faith they have in what they espouse. They are like lefties who think passing a law solves all problems, who think wanting something is as good as passing laws, and think the right words are more important than results.

            Statists the lot of ’em.

            1. I don’t do faith, but way to set yourself up as a religious believer.

        2. If communism had overrun South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia — great, more and better examples of what a shoddy ideology it is

          And then the communist countries and the neutrals, content at the peaceful demonstration of different economic systems, would have tipped their hats to the capitalists, thanked them for giving them a shot, and disappeared from history. They certainly wouldn’t have seen expansion or war or revolution as a way to achieve their aims after finding their economic systems a failure. No, absolutely not.

          Anti-communists were worried about the Soviets for the same reason that libertarians worry about the state: not because there is any question about the efficacy of the system, but because those who are wrong have nukes and soldiers ready and willing to execute their will.

          1. Indeed. Anarchists are ever in fantasy land.

      3. Taking responsibility for their defense is also a smart move — it makes it harder for them to switch sides.

        No it doesn’t. Dependency always results in hostility.

  9. Always with the “warboner” thing. Why do non-interventionists have the same thing with dicks that the gun control freaks do?

    I’m tired of these old cliches; let’s have some new cliches.

    1. I only use the warboner label for those that truly have one. Cytotoxic and maybe 2 others that post here deserve that label. I really think he sits in a dark room spanking the monkey over thoughts of bombing the shit out of people in the Middle East.

      1. Nah, the lights are on. He wants to see the ICBM decal he put on the shaft.

      2. Warboner is a label you use on posters whose arguments you can’t or won’t comprehend, and certainly can’t argue against.

      1. It’s settled, then. Wargasm.

        1. I wish someone would use these terms in a debate.
          “Senator Graham, why do you consistently have a warboner?”

          Ol’ Lindsey would huff and puff himself blue. It would really show how silly the perpetual warmongers are.

      2. Shouldn’t wargasm be saved for completion? Warboner is arguing for war, wargasm is for when the hostilities are initiated.

  10. I wholeheartedly disagree with the man at 2:39 who describes Libertarians as “just normal people walking around here right now”

    Libertarians are not, by any means, what one would call “normal” and they most certainly should not be treated like “people” – they are subhuman creatures that adhere to regressive ideologies and it should be legal to physically abuse them on sight.

    1. I know! After all, we don’t want to become Somalia where people can just go around attacking other … wait …

    2. Libertarians are not, by any means, what one would call “normal” and they most certainly should not be treated like “people” – they are subhuman creatures that adhere to regressive ideologies and it should be legal to physically abuse them on sight.

      You, on the other hand, are a ‘liberal’ thinking person who treats everyone with respect and one who believes in equal treatment and protection under the law because you are ‘progressive’ in your thinking.

      1. I think you need to recalibrate.

    3. I’d love to see you pussy leftoids come out from behind a laptop, start picking fights with conservatives and libertarians, and get your pathetic asses kicked.

  11. “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

    Douglas MacArthur

    Besides, we’ve shed enough patriots blood on the tree of Liberty. What we haven’t refreshed it with in a while is some tyrants blood. Now I wonder where oh where we can find some of that? 🙂

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  13. Reason is forever decrying dichotomies like GOP-Dem and left-right as useless and fraudulent except when it’s the useless and fraudulent hawk-dove dichotomy.

    1. That’s the most important dichotomy.

      1. To disseminate the lies and fallacies that peacenazis use for ‘arguments’.

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