The Antiwar Right: Our Time Is Near by Justin RaimondoSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 08:42
by Justin Raimondo | December 09, 2009
Neocons like Reihan Salam are worried that Republicans will soon "begin to abandon the president en masse over Afghanistan." As well they might be: Salam, a self-described advocate of "a Pax Americana foreign policy," and a fellow at the New America Foundation – a corporate-funded let’s-promote-"new"-but-safely-conventional-ideas, formerly headed up by James Fallows – knows his enemies, and is preparing to meet them, albeit not head on. Before the battle is joined, however, he wants to define the enemy – in his own terms, of course.
There are plenty of antiwar conservatives to cite, including politicians: the primary example being Rep. Ron Paul, whose presidential campaign mounted an amazingly successful challenge to the GOP Establishment – and, as a result, earned the undying enmity of the neocons. There are others: John Duncan, Republican of Tennessee, Rep. Walter B. "Freedom Fries" Jones (R-North Carolina) – whose stunning turnaround on the war provoked a neocon hissy-fit and an electoral challenge, both of which he survived – but Senor Salam chose Jason Chaffetz, a freshman Republican from Utah, perhaps because he’s the newest addition to a growing group. But also, perhaps, because it’s easier to characterize his "antiwar" views in a certain, limiting way.
"Among grassroots conservatives," Salam avers, "there is a growing sense that the U.S. military is too hamstrung by concern about civilian casualties and political correctness to wage an effective military campaign under Obama, which implies that there is little point in offering him political support." According to Salam, Chaffetz "makes this point explicitly," but this is not at all clear. Here is what Chaffetz actually says:
"We must redefine the Rules of Engagement: A politically correct war is a lost war. If we are going to sacrifice lives and resources in this fight, we must go in with everything we have. We must be committed to win. But then we must go home. Anything short of an all-out commitment to accomplish the mission puts too many American lives at risk."
Rather than saying that the strategy we’re pursuing isn’t bloodthirsty enough – a typically neoconnish criticism – Chaffetz appears to be advocating a Colin Powell-esque approach: go in with overwhelming force, or else don’t bother. The reference to political correctness may be a thrust at the new counterinsurgency doctrine recently adopted by the Petraeus-CNAS clique within the administration, the centerpiece of which is the goal of "protecting" the Afghan population from … itself. Go figure.