Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Morning Read -- Marco Rubio's "Cultivated Ignorance Of History"

Please take a moment or two to read Michael Brendan Dougherty on "foreign policy expert" Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio (Weak Tea-FL).  Here's a sample:
Rubio concluded, "The reason Obama hasn't put in place a military strategy to defeat ISIS is because he doesn't want to upset Iran."
I don't know how to say this respectfully. But this is dumber than a brick in a tumble-dryer: a clanging, dangerous error. Iran is one of the principal enemies of ISIS. It didn't even need to be persuaded to join the fight. It sees ISIS as another manifestation of the kind of Sunni extremism that threatens Iran's regional allies: Bashar al-Assad in Syria and the Shia-friendly government in Baghdad. If we really wanted to stick it to Iran, we'd be arming Islamic State fighters and providing "devastating air support" to them.
And given the record of Republican hawks over the last two decades, I wouldn't be surprised if a future Rubio administration ends up doing just that, through a mixture of hubris, democratizing enthusiasm, and sheer stupidity — just as the Bush administration cheered on democratic elections that empowered Hezbollah, and a war that led to a destabilized Iraq where Sunni extremism now flourishes. Bush was not alone: Other GOP hawks cheered on revolutions and civil wars that led not to liberal democracies, but terrorism, extremism, and anarchy.
Rubio has a reputation for foreign policy expertise because he chooses to talk about foreign policy often, promises large budgets to the Pentagon, and mostly pronounces the words correctly. Rubio's foreign policy consists of babyish moralizing, a cultivated ignorance of history, and a deliberate blindness to consequences. This is the same "foreign policy expertise" that led to a misbegotten war in Iraq and empowered Sunni insurgencies across the Middle East.  (our emphasis)

This empty suit is considered to be in the "top tier" of the Republican clown car presidential candidates by what passes for our political media horse race analysts.  As Dougherty notes, Glug Glug's reputation is based on not much more than the ability to stand in front of a microphone gulping water and yapping to a bunch of credulous stenographers in the media who know less than Glug Glug about history and world politics.  For someone positioning himself as a leader for the future (pause for laughter), Glug Glug's foreign policy, such as it is, is indistinguishable from that of the Cold Warriors and neo-cons of the past, from John Foster Dulles, through St. Ronnie of Hollywood, to George "Dumbya" Bush and Dick "The Dick" Cheney.  It would take more electrons than we have time for to demonstrate how damaging that reactionary world-view has been to America, but Iraq should suffice as the most vivid, recent template for Republican bumble-f**kery.

But, he's a Serious Contender.  A Seriously Dangerous Contender.

BONUS:  Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has more.

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