Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Isolationist" GOP?

I've been aggravated with the media (shocking, I know) and even Sen. McCain, for referring to the GOP candidates' foreign policy statements in the NH debate as "isolationist." Apparently, any candidate calling for disengagement in Libya, or who indicates a greater reluctance to use military force than has been our recent practice, makes him or her, by definition, an "isolationist."

Tony Blankely effectively refutes that claim here:

I was one of the first GOP internationalist-oriented commentators or politicians to conclude that the Afghanistan War effort had served its initial purpose and that it was time to phase out the war. As a punitive raid against the regime that gave succor to Osama bin Laden, we had removed the Taliban government and killed as many al-Qaida and Taliban fighters as possible...

But as the purpose of that war turned into nation building, even GOP internationalists had a duty to reassess whether, given the resources and strategy being brought to the new purpose, such policy was likely to be effective.

Now many others in the GOP and in the non-isolationist wing of the Democratic Party are likewise judging failure in Afghanistan to be almost inevitable. That is not a judgment driven by isolationism. Neither are we isolationist in our judgment (along with the opinion of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and almost the entire uniformed chain of command) that we see no national interest in Libya.

This is not isolationism; it is a rational effort at judging how best to advance American values and interests in an ever-more witheringly dangerous world. The charge of isolationism should be reserved for the genuine article. Such name-calling advances neither rational debate nor national interest.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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