When 911 happened we instinctively rallied as a country. We put aside out cultural arguments about gay marriage and abortion and stood together as we looked on in horror at the unfathomable carnage at ground zero. Our concern was rightfully on the victims and their families and then on the people who perpetrated this terror.
George W. Bush became the face of 911. He used it at every turn to inspire, provoke and even shock us into agreeing with him. And there’s no denying the fact that Bush used the backdrop of 911 to persuade Americans to get into a war we had no business fighting.
Sadaam Hussein, like all normal middle eastern dictators was a menace, a tyrant and bombed his own people. But this is par for the course in this tribal seventh century part of the world. We already had an opponent in Afghanistan. There was no need to pick a fight with someone else.
But Bush sold his plan with the full force of congress behind him. Funny, Bush never worked so hard at building the economy or making the business climate more friendly.
The money wasted on this quagmire is well into the trillions. The same increment our national debt is measured in. 4,486 American soldiers have died in Iraq. And even if we could have stabilized the region by staying indefinitely, how does that benefit America?
Donald Trump has gone after these sacred war cows and not thought twice about it. It’s as if Trump wants America to finally hear the truth from someone who is not beholden to either party. The democrats were as vocal as Trump. But the problem with their critique is it was just partisan grandstanding. The democrats were hoping that Bush would fail because they hated Bush. Conservatives backed Bush because he was supposedly one of them. So we lost over 4000 lives and trillions of dollars in order to prove a point. And that failed concept is the fact that we can’t remake a region in our own image. And it’s not our constitutional duty to do so. In fact both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington firmly believed that we should avoid foreign entanglements. I’m sure both founders have rolled over in their graves several times. The United States has even gone a step further into nation building.
Neo-conservatives are aghast over Donald Trump’s foreign policy ideas. They still believe Vladimir Putin and Russia are more inclined toward naked aggression than being a partner in the war on ISIS. Boots on the ground is their solution to everything. And starting world war III is economic stimulus. But that only worked to get us out of the Great Depression. Constant war is not a formula for economic prosperity.
In this most recent presidential debate, Trump was booed for his foreign policy ideas, most notably when he was addressing the catastrophic failures of 911. Many conservatives can’t make themselves believe that our government was as incompetent as it seems to have been. It’s a non-starter. “Don’t talk about 911! George W. Bush got us through!”
He also created a giant new department called Homeland Security. Bush was not a small government conservative and in reality only paid lip service to these principles to garner enough votes to win two elections. If you remember, both elections were very close, especially the first one. And W was not a gifted speaker so he never really projected self confidence in the way a president is supposed to. We all cheered when he completed a sentence successfully.
Donald Trump has made it okay to believe the government dropped the ball on 911 and then proceeded to use the event as pretext for another unconstitutional world remodeling project.
And Americans across the ideological spectrum are done with wars we don’t need to fight. Let’s bring the boys home and work on a real strategy to defeat ISIS quickly and efficiently.
The majority of Americans want the borders secured before we do anything else. And before we proceed, we ought to have a vigorous debate about ground troops. We really don’t need to lose any more American lives trying to remake the world in our image.
People in the so called conservative movement think that Donald Trump has no salient ideas on foreign policy. Admittedly Trump speaks in simple terms and has big ideas that seem to lack nuance. But there’s no question that he is humiliating the neocon donor class with a few simple truths. Which makes Trump supporters and a few detractors even more confident that Donald Trump will be a great commander in chief.