aNewDomain — Senator Ted Cruz, by most measures the second most popular presidential candidate among Republican primary voters after Donald Trump, is catching flak for his call to carpet-bomb ISIS.
Granted, Cruz’s understanding of warfare isn’t sophisticated. Called out on the fact that Vietnam-style carpet-bombing of the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria would kill a lot more noncombatant civilians than wild-eyed jihadis, Cruz tried to recast carpet-bombing — which is, by definition, indiscriminate — as precise.
You would carpet-bomb where ISIS is, not a city, but the location of the troops,” Cruz said. “You use air power directed — and you have embedded special forces to direction the air power. But the object isn’t to level a city. The object is to kill the ISIS terrorists.”
Granted: This man is an idiot.
Bringing up the rear, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that, in the unlikely event he were to become commander-in-chief, he would establish a “no fly zone” over Syria and shoot down any Russian jet that entered that airspace. Christie doesn’t seem aware of the detail that Russia is bombing ISIS as part of a coalition with France, Great Britain and, um, the United States.
Stupulated: Christie is a madman.
Then there’s Donald Trump, number one in the Republican polls for five months running, who says — and resays — that the United States should murder not just “the terrorists,” but members of their families. “And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. They, they care about their lives. Don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families,” he said.
To his credit, Trump had previously said that ISIS was not our fight. But mama, he’s all crazy now.
As The New York Times headline read today: “Realities of Mideast Often Eluded the Candidates” in Tuesday’s debate.
But I have a question. If the Republicans are nuts — and they are — what does that make the Democrats?
Since taking office in 2009, President Obama has vastly expanded Bush’s drone assassination program. And talk about indiscriminate. As numerous studies have proven, 98 percent of the thousands of Muslims killed by American drones in Pakistan, Yemen and East Africa were innocent civilians — and as for the remaining two percent, none were security threats to the United States, but rather local “militants” who oppose those local governments. If you’re a civilian on the ground in areas under siege by American hunter-killer drones, it’s hard to see the difference between “carpet-bombings” and “collateral damage.” You’re just as dead either way.
Hillary Clinton, leading the polls on the Democratic side, has never met a war she didn’t like. As a senator, she voted to invade Afghanistan, a war now widely viewed as a mistake. She even voted to invade Iraq, despite the fact that her own voters disapproved of a Republican-led war of aggression. As secretary of state, of course, she helped destroy Libya and Syria by arming and funding radical Islamists against secular leftist dictators, reducing both countries to dangerously unstable, failed states.
When Trump said she was responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, and that she was stupid, he was right.
Even self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders would continue Obama’s drone program, albeit on a reduced scale. He also voted for the war against Afghanistan.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, running in single digits in the polls, called for a “discussion” about drones, not their elimination. Here, let me start: There are drones. The use of drones to kill people should be banned. Discuss.
O’Malley, like many of the Republicans, favors war against ISIS. He just wants to do it with a coalition.
Fact is, Democrats are just as enamored of war as Republicans.
The only difference is one of tone. Obama and Hillary bomb and blast and kill, and talk about it using carefully calibrated phrasing in a measured tone.
Republicans do the same thing, but with bombast.
Give the GOP crazies this much: at least they’re honest.
For aNewDomain and the new SkewedNews, I’m Ted Rall.
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