TAMPA, January 31, 2013 — Republicans behind John McCain and the neoconservatives have picked the wrong fight. With the Democrats in the ascendancy and feeling confident enough to attack the Second Amendment for the first time in almost two decades, the Republicans need to pick some battles they can win if they want to survive the decade as a relevant political party.
Gun ownership would be a good one if their record on defending this right were better. Opposing Chuck Hagel’s confirmation as Secretary of Defense is not.
Senator and 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain made news today saying that Hagel was “on the wrong side of history” in opposing the troop surge in Iraq.
The troop surge during the Iraq War may or may not have achieved a temporary tactical objective, depending upon who you ask. It really doesn’t matter, because history will judge not only the Iraq War but the entire, neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) as an utter failure.
The U.S. government’s invasion of Iraq removed a secular dictator who presided over a relatively modern, stable Middle Eastern nation and replaced it with utter chaos, out of which emerged an Islamic state with strong ties to the supposedly most dangerous American enemy in the region, Iran.
Apparently incapable of learning from even the most recent history, the U.S. government has achieved similar results supporting various Middle Eastern revolutions collectively known as “the Arab Spring.”
It is also about to achieve Viet Nam-like results in Afghanistan, where a Taliban return to power is likely when the U.S. government finally declares “victory” and triumphantly cuts its losses and gets out.
The whole, multi-decade adventure in the Middle East will have squandered trillions, cost millions of lives on all sides, and not only achieved nothing, but actually made the landscape in the Middle East much worse. If Islamic fundamentalism truly is a threat to the Western world, then PNAC has increased that threat by orders of magnitude.
History will judge PNAC and the neoconservatives harshly. The American public is already there. Americans are finally beginning to question the wisdom of trying to remake the rest of the world through military intervention. They are beginning to ask the crucial questions. What is the cause and effect relationship between invading Middle Eastern backwaters and my relative freedom or security? If we had not invaded Iraq, exactly how and why would I be less free?