The disloyal Israel-First/Neoconservative (IF/NC) crowd seems to be having a collective and hopefully fatal seizure over Mr. Trump’s pledge to be strictly even-handed and neutral in the ongoing war between Israel and the Arabs — a war both sides clearly intend to fight to the death.
Now, many past presidential candidates have said much the same thing, but they have always added that silly, ahistorical mantra that the United States will defend Israel’s “right to exist.” But Trump did not add that mantra of the brain-dead, and so has markedly distressed the Israel-Firsters and Neocons. Indeed, they always have opposed Trump because, it seems, they sense that he will always put America first and let those individuals, nations, and groups irrelevant to the republic’s security and economic prosperity swing in the wind. I think — or at least hope — they are right.
What makes the current Israel First/Neocon seizure so hearteningly severe are not only Trump’s words and apparent America-First foreign policy inclinations, but the fact that he is getting so very many votes. “Could it possibly be,” ponder the likes of Bill Kristol, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Max Boot, Eliot Cohen, Robert Kagan, Michael Bloomberg, Peter King, Elliott Abrams, Eric Edelman, Michael Chertoff, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Bolton, “that Americans are not genuinely happy, proud, and eager to have their fellow citizens and soldier-children dying uselessly in wars motivated in large part by the U.S. interventionism we advocate and by America’s subservience to a country that does nothing but degrade the republic’s security and drain its treasury?” “Could it be,” the IF/NC’ers are wondering, “that Trump and the increasing number of voters supporting him know that we Israel-Firsters and Neocons have played them for fools, corrupted their political system and media, and done our best to keep their kids dying in wars meant to serve a foreign nation’s interests at the cost of their own?” Well, it is too soon to tell, but the words of the Israel Firsters and Neocons and their fierce hatred of Trump surely suggest that they fear their war-causing disloyalty has been identified and — at long last — their jig is about up.
Facing the next-to-last last ditch, the disloyal are nearly frantic in their support for Senator Marco Rubio. And why not? Rubio is a thorough-going IF/NC, and — as he has little money of his own — is on the payroll, according to the media, of two pro-Israel, Jewish-American billionaires. Rubio also has denounced the Founders’ approach to foreign policy, expressing his belief that the IF/NC approach to U.S. foreign policy — that is, America at war everywhere, all the time, to protect Israel — is superior to John Quincy Adams’ republic-preserving advice that the United States must never go abroad “in search of monsters to destroy.”
But Rubio, after his Super Tuesday shellacking, is circling the drain until the Florida primary sends him barreling toward the sewer, and the Neocons and Israel Firsters, as Jacob Heilbrunn has written in the National Interest, have only one place to go, and that is to Hillary Clinton, who already has few of both detestable species on her team, but, the media says, only one pro-Israel, Jewish-American billionaire.
Mr. Heilbrunn’s excellent article notes that the IF/NC was originally based in the Democratic Party and so in a sense would be going home if they side with Clinton. That they were once aligned with the Democrats is clearly true, but being aligned with is much different than being part of, and I would argue that the IF/NC have never been anything but a one-issue party of their own.
Their party — best identified as the Disloyal Party or perhaps just as Copperheads — has never had any goal other than protecting the interests of Israel and keeping the United States steadily involved in the Israel-Arab war by promoting and purchasing a U.S. foreign policy that results in wars to install “democracy” abroad, but which are, in reality, only wars that are intended to annihilate Israel’s enemies, while unnecessarily making Israel’s enemies America’s. Can any clear thinking person really believe, for example, that “Foundation for Defense of Democracies” is anything but an IF/NC tool for fomenting war against Muslims in order to protect what they describe as “the only democracy” in the Middle East?
The use of the democracy angle by the IF/NC crowd is amply demonstrated in a recent article by one of its leading lights, Max Boot, titled “The GOP’s Apologists for Tyrants.” In this piece, Mr. Boot denounces Republican presidential candidates Trump, Cruz, and Kasich for “their support for dictators” and their clear lack of enthusiasm for unnecessary overseas democracy mongering and interventionist wars. Mr. Boot lauds the usual Copperhead line and insists that overthrowing Saddam, Gaddafi, and others was the correct thing to do. The only problem, he says, is that the U.S. government did not go far enough in waging those useless and massively counterproductive wars. Only the Israel First-owned Marco Rubio, Boot declares, refuses to “embrace genocidal tyrants,” which means the Copperheads were betting that they could count on Rubio for more war.
Well, Mr. Boot, no, Trump, Cruz, and Kasich are not seeking to “embrace genocidal tyrants,” but rather are looking out for America first. They know that neither Saddam nor Gaddafi was ever a serious national-security threat to the United States; indeed, both were key and extraordinarily lethal allies — and ones we did not have to pay — in the war against the Islamists.
Saddam kept Iraq’s door locked tight and so prevented the Islamists located east of Iraq from moving westward in large numbers, and he made the Iranians little more than marginal players in the Levant. How are things looking in that area now, Mr. Boot? Gaddafi kept the Islamists at bay in much of North Africa and murdered or incarcerated every Islamist that Libya’s military and security services could get their hands on, but IF/NC wanted a pro-democracy war in Libya and got it. How are affairs in the Maghreb going these days, Mr. Boot?
And do not forget, Mr. Boot, that you and your IF/NC sidekicks insisted that the U.S. government go democracy mongering in the Middle East in the name of the Arab Spring, and then you supported the military coup in Egypt that destroyed a democratically elected regime. Now, Mr. Boot, how is all of that working out? Finally, what about that clever IF/NC plan to build a new, pro-Western democracy in Afghanistan, how is that doing? Could you check on the progress of democracy there and get back to me?
What I think Mr. Trump is saying, Mr. Boot, is that it is too bad/so sad that there are murderous dictators loose in the world, but as long as they pose no life-and-death threat to the United States there is no reason for America to militarily intervene and give them — as the saying goes — the boot. After all, if the dictators are not killing Americans and/or threatening genuine U.S. national interests, who cares? Humans are hard-wired for war, so let them fight. The U.S. government exists only to defend the republic, its commerce, and its citizens and their liberties; it is under precisely zero obligation — legal, moral, or one dreamed up by disloyal U.S. citizens — to defend any set of foreigners against the murderous machinations of the dictators who rule them or the enemies who threaten them.
The wars that disloyal IF/NC Copperheads like you champion, Mr. Boot, have invariably been greatly counterproductive for U.S. national security, the national debt, and, especially, for those you and your colleagues care the least about; namely, the parents, wives, husbands, and children who suffered the loss or maiming of their loved ones in the military while they were fighting in the unnecessary wars you and your kind demand that America fight for only one reason, to make the world safe for Israel.
So, Mr. Boot, if you and the rest of your wretched and disloyal IF/NC associates want to go to the Democratic Party and side with IF/NC’er Hillary Clinton, please go immediately and trumpet your departure from the roof tops. After all, what could be more appropriate than today’s Copperheads — a kind of snake that sneaks and strikes without warning — joining the Democratic Party, the original incubator and home of the Civil War’s Copperheads? In the decade before that war, Massachusetts’s Senator Charles Sumner was speaking when he saw one of his pro-slavery foes enter the Senate Chamber and walk toward his seat. Sumner stopped and asked, I paraphrase here, the other senators to witness that a slug was slithering across the chamber’s floor looking for a chair to adhere to. For the Republican Party, the movement of the entire IF/NC crowd to the Democratic Party would be a Godsend, a veritable slithering slug migration that would find no shortage of fellow slugs waiting for them in Hillary’s camp, and there probably would be enough chairs for all of them to adhere to.
There is, then, nothing that could strengthen the Republican Party more and attract more voters to its side than to be shed of you, Mr. Boot, and your disloyal fellow Copperheads. Be gone, good riddance, and praise God for cutting out the festering IF/NC malignancy from the Republican Party so that it can once again stand for something more than endless war and Israel First.