February 22, 2010

CPAC and the Wars

by Jon Utley

Antiwar sentiment was a major issue for the first time at this year's giant CPAC meeting in Washington. Thousands of young conservatives attended, some 5,000, and for the first time, Ron Paul was voted the favorite presidential candidate with 31% of the vote. His speech about how governments use wars to take over dictatorial power was constantly interrupted with roaring applause. Top leaders of the conservative movement spoke, . . .

Sarah Palin was not there. Romney spoke including praise for Bush and Cheney and came in 2nd in the straw poll with 22%. He was followed by Sarah Palin with 7% and Tim Pawlenty with 6%. Gingrich and Huckabee both came in with 4%.

Most different this time was the strong antiwar contingent of mainly Ron Paul supporters. Even many YAFers (Young Americans for Freedom) seem to have turned to antiwar sentiment, judging from the voting. There were still several pro-war panels including one arguing how Americans needed to limit our freedoms in order to save ourselves from Islamic fanatics and fascism. Another argued for war with Iran. However, there were also important speakers arguing for constitutional limits on the executive, such as Dimitri Simes of the Nixon Center, Pat Nolan of Justice Fellowship, Bruce Fein and others, certainly much more than in Bush times. . . .


Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Terrorized by 'War on Terror'," Washington Post, March 25, 2007

["The best victory is to win without actually fighting. Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."--Jon Basil Utley, "Sun Tzu and America's Way of War,", February 3, 2010]

[What we are talking about today is our reaction to 9/11 - because that is really what the war on terror has been - a reaction, not a strategy.

After 9/11 - a ruthless, tragic, terrible event, burned into our minds and our hearts - the United States had alternatives. We could have, as we had done in so many other cases of terrorism, pursued the criminals through the system of law enforcement. This would have meant a slower process, a process that would have been less emotional and less political, and would have required international police and intelligence cooperation. After 9/11, we had the sympathy of the world, and strong offers and guarantees of their support. It would have taken time - although in retrospect, this approach would have taken far less time, less money and destroyed fewer lives and livelihoods than what we really did. A conservative approach would have saved trillions of dollars. It would have educated Americans on the rule of law and the Constitution, rather than blinding them to it. And a conservative approach, because it cares about history and culture and community, would have ensured that Americans more deeply understood terrorism, and how to prevent it. Instead, we are repeatedly lied to by our government, on everything, but particularly on the real lack of success, the real cost and the extreme risk of our ongoing and endless "War on Terror."--Karen Kwiatkowski, "American Military Policy and the War on Terrorism,", February 23, 2010]

[The neocon mindset about Muslims is much like the mindset of plantation owners in the Old South. As long as the slaves were obedient, respectful, and subservient, everything was fine. Oh, sure, slaves would periodically complain about their condition in life but, by and large, such complaints were considered acceptable. What was not acceptable was resistance and opposition to slavery itself, especially when it turned violent. That was when a message had to be sent. Such an uppity attitude simply could not be tolerated.--Jacob G. Hornberger, "Why Neocons Hate Muslims,", February 23, 2010]

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