Monday, November 11, 2019

Politicians suffer identity crisis, should let veterans lead instead

President Donald Trump withdraws U.S. troops from Syria and is broadly attacked.

Hillary Clinton accuses fellow Democrat Tulsi Gabbard of being a “Russian asset,” and Congresswoman Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, calls Clinton the “queen of warmongers.”

Back when the Soviets really were the “evil empire” Reagan said they were, Democrats attacked Reagan for his aggressive stance. Today, Democrats demand hostility toward Russia, now that they’re no longer Communists.

Republicans in recent history championed a strong military, not hesitating to use it against enemies real and imagined. But Reagan’s “peace through strength” doctrine — successful in collapsing the Soviets — no longer delivers the “peace” dividend it once did. With the strongest military ever, we haven’t had peace for two decades.

Idaho’s U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, who despite his rhetoric won’t actually support bringing our troops home, favors relocating Kurdish troops to America instead, even though the FBI says we can’t vet refugees from those lawless regions sufficiently to ensure we aren’t bringing Islamic terrorists to live in Boise or Twin Falls.

Some believe Trump got elected by pledging to end U.S. involvement in endless wars, and recent polls find strong support for that pledge. An Economist poll found 57 percent of Republicans support withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria.

Astoundingly, 76 percent of Democrats oppose withdrawal.

In explaining why he opposes withdrawing U.S. troops from Yemen, a Democratic state legislator told me the question is “whether we hang on two more years in hopes that we get a competent president who can chart a decent course in Yemen.” In other words, American troops should remain in harm’s way because this guy doesn’t like Donald Trump.

Similarly, Democrats who opposed endless wars under President George W. Bush went silent when President Barack Obama took over, notching 540 drone strikes in his presidential belt, which along with intended targets are documented to have killed 324 innocent civilians.

“Turns out I’m really good at killing people,” Obama said, according to Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their book, “Double Down: Game Change 2012.”

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