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Rubio’s Costly, Confrontational Anti-Iranian Policy

Marco Rubio wants [1] to remind us just how reckless and aggressive he would be if he were president:

The U.S. should undertake a systematic effort to isolate Iran in the Middle East. The Islamic Republic, its clients and proxies, should find no sanctuary in the region. The U.S. must do all it can [bold mine-DL] to counter Iran’s nefarious plots in places like Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, Syria or Yemen.

It is striking that Rubio’s vision of an aggressive and ambitious U.S. policy in the region never really touches on how any of this serves American interests. He says that the U.S. “must” counter Iran everywhere that it has influence (and even in Yemen, where it has very little), and should not allow Iran to have any “sanctuary.” That would seem to imply that his agenda extends into Iran as well. There is no attempt to weigh the costs of this extremely confrontational policy, and likewise no attempt to identify benefits that the U.S. is supposed to get from all this frenetic anti-Iranian activity. If the U.S. must “do all it can” to counter Iran, that suggests that Rubio favors an escalation of U.S. involvement in multiple conflicts. We already know [2] he thinks [3] the U.S. hasn’t done enough to back the Saudis in Yemen, and he has long favored a more interventionist policy in Syria, and it’s anyone’s guess how many more unnecessary conflicts he would be prepared to have the U.S. join in the name of “countering” Iran.

U.S. interests are an afterthought for Rubio in this argument, and it’s no surprise. If he had to demonstrate some connection between this aggressive foreign policy agenda and keeping the U.S. secure, he wouldn’t be able to do it, because it doesn’t exist. Neglecting U.S. interests is what an “indispensable leadership role in the world” seems to require, and maintaining that role is the only justification that Rubio needs. The good news is that Rubio’s consistent identification of “indispensable leadership” with constant war and confrontation should help drive most Americans to oppose this role for the U.S. in the world.

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20 Comments To "Rubio’s Costly, Confrontational Anti-Iranian Policy"

#1 Comment By In Sum On July 29, 2015 @ 2:03 pm

Once again Rubio makes you wonder what country he thinks he’s living in.

We don’t need new enemies or to further alienate existing ones. America should be living up to its own code of self-sufficiency, individual responsibility, and non-interference in other people’s business. We should be withdrawing from the Middle East and advising countries in the region to settle matters among themselves.

Instead, Rubio wants to drag us deeper into their messes. And being the kind of guy who expects his donors to pay his debts for him, Rubio expects American taxpayers to foot the bills for his dumb and un-American foreign-policy notions.

#2 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 29, 2015 @ 2:21 pm

I am a broken record.

Having removed minus cause Irans nearest buffer, I would be curious what his plan is to accomplish this.

Not that it is anything new.

#3 Comment By Myron Hudson On July 29, 2015 @ 2:25 pm

Rubio dreams of Empire. It’s PNAC all over again. Empires create their own reality. Which makes no sense to the rest of us.

#4 Comment By cfountain72 On July 29, 2015 @ 3:55 pm

“The U.S. should undertake a systematic effort to isolate Iran in the Middle East.”

Now it’s official: Rubio admits that he is the real ‘isolationist’.

One has to wonder what plots is he referring to? The plot to fight ISIS? Or the plot to undermine al Qaeda?

It has been said before, but bears repeating: who does he think we are? This is not our business. Iran should find no sanctuary in their own country!? Allow Saudi Arabia and Iran and Syria and Palestine and, yes, Israel to come to their own agreement, of their own choosing. The persistent neocon phobia of actually sitting down and talking with their alleged ‘enemy’ is the true example isolationism and weakness.

Peace be with you.

#5 Comment By MV On July 29, 2015 @ 7:59 pm

Myron’s point about this being PNAC all over again is spot on. Accordingly, it’s quite fitting that Rubio’s slogan is “New American Century.”

God help us if this buffoon gets elected.

#6 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 29, 2015 @ 9:17 pm

“Myron’s point about this being PNAC all over again is spot on.”

There’s only one problem. What has transpired as to the use of force has not been Empire building. Not even close.

And for the record, well managed empires that distribute the goods among its charges are very positive, once you get out of the post modern empire bad critique.

It would actually be a refreshing to have a candidate who says,

“Our security is dependent on owing as much territory as we can grab.”

But that is not what has been happening in modern US history.

#7 Comment By cfountain72 On July 30, 2015 @ 8:54 am

EliteCommInc:

I would beg to disagree. Gaining an empire (aka “as much territory as we can grab”) may seem glamorous and all, but it truly fails to see the end game. Rome, Persia, Britain, Portugal, Spain, USSR…they failed in most part because they stretched themselves far too thin. They created a desire among their subject colonies to pull away, not towards, their mother country. And now we view them as mere shadows of their former selves. What we have now may indeed be worse than an ’empire’, but that doesn’t mean empire is in any way desirable.

We simply have no business trying to directly influence the actions of foreign nations, unless these actions directly impact us, or our treaty commitments (which need to be rolled back as well).

Peace be with you.

#8 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 30, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

” . . .Rome, Persia, Britain, Portugal, Spain, USSR…they failed in most part because they stretched themselves far too thin . . ”

Well, I think you addressed your own observation and my point about the manner in which one manages their empire.

Second, you have cobbled together quite a mixed political construct to redress the matter. My response is here is very simple,

one can measure an empire by their longevity or one can measure an empire via impact before, during and after. And on that score in most cases in my view, when Empires have been largely “benign” and nonhostile to those they govern, the results are largely postive.

And I agree if what you want is to merely survive then by all means — do whatever it takes to survive.

But the term empire brandished about as some defacto negative is an incorrect frame and wholly uninformative. The French and English empires made huge miscalculates and organizational mistakes by not fully incorporating Africans into their system. One could argue that had they not so entitled that the Afrcans would have developed quite well on their own and no small number of the African Societies had systems that by western standards highly functional and successful, including technology, which colonies incorporated minus the credit.

Interestingly enough, for whatever the issues, nearly all of the colonial remnant native populations adopted systems predicated on the colonial powers. I am treading carefully here, because there are enormous consequences if rule is not benign, the British and the French so discovered late in the game and it cost them. Much of Europe never got it and refuse to acknowledge as much to this day.

There is hard empire and there is soft empire. But despite its ailments, I am not inclined to condemn British rule in the colonies and think, I prefer it to the rather unenlightened founders, whose choices mirrored many of the poor choices of Europeans in Africa. But empire alone does not and should not engender fear.

There’s a reason why many ME leaders long for a regional caliphate. But it seems the new entreaty to the same desires to remove christians as opposed to peaceable living among/with them.

I respond in closing with this scripture reference . . .

“Beware of those who come crying peace, peace, when there is not peace.”

And Christ’s admonition, “Think ye I have come to bring peace. Nay, but a sword . . .”

#9 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 30, 2015 @ 6:26 pm

I just wanted to be clear here. I am sometimes labled a troll for my views, expecially about the founding of the country. I am expressing what I understand the record to reflect from the viewpoint of a conservative.

Just so you know, I am not attempting to provoke for the sake of provocation.

The empire of the US was a fairly loose fitting given the meaning of the term. We have held few territories since the final expansion west, in that regard.

#10 Comment By Emilio On July 31, 2015 @ 12:03 am

The US attracts and assimilates immigrants so successfully that in two centuries it grew from a few million to a few hundred million and global hegemony, all the while maintaining a fairly coherent ethno-national identity. The rights of Englishmen claimed by a relative handful on a coast now belong to continental multitudes from Europe, and many from Africa and Asia, all called Americans. This is an accomplishment that empires might dream of.

Furthermore, countries all over the world hold the US as primary ally and protector, and legitimize the global order it built. All this power fills some with pride, and some with apprehension. Hawks are proud of this legacy, doves are fearful and warn of an empire. The best are the doves whose job is to be hawkish. The most credible critics of imperious behavior are always those with deep experience in diplomatic, military or intelligence affairs, from within the bowels of “the empire,”

#11 Comment By Barry On July 31, 2015 @ 9:34 am

“Hawks are proud of this legacy,…”

No. Hawks want war. Hawks happily snuggle up to whatever nasty governments are momentarily useful, pumping them full of weapons and money.

Any legacy of freedom is not due to hawks.

#12 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 31, 2015 @ 1:43 pm

“The most credible critics of imperious behavior are always those with deep experience in diplomatic, military or intelligence affairs, from within the bowels of “the empire,””

Your understanding of assimilation might need some fleshing out. But this I found a bit off key for me. Because those you point out have not demonstrated this credibility of late. I am not sure we have demonstrated much skill as luck in our policy choices in that our size and force allows us a lot of room for error and adjustment.

The way the US has or at least created some level of successful assimilation is that it had very stricts immigration policies and upon arrival, very little was done to assist immigrants. You arrived. You made your way, fought for your place, etc. So assimilation was not the US doing for you but allowing you to do . . . and many faced barriers of language and culture, but onoy blacks, faced one that was inescapable and none of them arrived via invitation or through Ellis Island.

But in each case, those desiring to citizens fought to make their loyalties known. When the country called them to fight, even if it derived them little benefit to do so – they fought. They learned the language. They sent their kids to school to learn what being a citizen meant, and they struggled with the all that they means.

The US did not assimilate the immigrants did. And that is the point of shift in US policy. The country has reversed cource, people are no longer expected to bend to her, their is a cry that we bend to all comers.

Hawks are birds of prey. But they are not at way all the time. There are territorial, they protect their turf. And what is happening today is a call among those on the left and the right to go out and engage in needless preying.
________________________

“Any legacy of freedom is not due to hawks.”

Then you misread history. There are times, when freedom must fought for, at least as humans understand history. I would like to say the Civil War was the ultimate expression of that. But that was first cause about maintaining the status quo.

But certainly given the encroachments into Texas, a US territory, warranted a fight to defend them from Mexican rule. That was defending their freedom, and in thse circumstances a dove just will not do. Pearl Harbor warranted a response. Dovish behavior would not have done. I don’t think either Germany or Japan would have been satisfied with their respective regions. Our entry into WWII required doves. Give me a Patton over an Eisenhower in such circumstances.

On immigration, I will take a Miss Coulter, Sen Cruz, Or a Donald Trump any day of the week over the current executive, Sec. Clinton, or any of the so called statisticians that contend what we must do —

No. Hakws have their place. Dogs of war have their place. And it is the job of civilians on occassion to remind them what that place is.

And openly admit, I am no fan of the public.

#13 Comment By Emilio On July 31, 2015 @ 8:57 pm

Well, I did not point to any specific critics nor enumerate their number or volume of dissent, at least in this post. And you’re right that they aren’t exactly numerous. Also, hawk and dove terminology can be useful only to a point, after which they collapse into generalities and caricatures, like calling the US an empire, that limit a deeper understanding better served by speaking of tendencies. Is Obama a hawk or dove? In fact, he has varied tendencies, but in the big picture he’s certainly more dovish than the declared alternative. As far as occasional luck mitigating our errors as a polity, I couldn’t agree more.

“The US did not assimilate the immigrants did. And that is the point of shift in US policy. The country has reversed cource, people are no longer expected to bend to her, their is a cry that we bend to all comers.”

You’re right about how newcomers historically assimilated into the US, I just don’t see too many radical changes. I am an immigrant myself, and from what I can tell based on a healthy amount of personal experience, the services available to promote the assimilation of immigrants are generally meager. To be an immigrant, relative to established natives, requires as much self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, grit and willingness to self-assimilate as ever. What is the shift in policy to which you refer?

#14 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 2, 2015 @ 10:46 am

“What is the shift in policy to which you refer?”

California, the court systems now allow non-citizens on juries (including interpreters, I could be wrong, but I think the legislature passed that measure. It was a stunning revelation to me, just how bled what US citizenship means.

That is the most unique example, certainly not the most pervasive. And it has been an ongoing erosion in every area of what it means to be a US citizens. And no society, can maintain it’s identity by engaging in that process.

Education, the justice system, politics, and financials, property ownerships/rent control . . .

My parents immograted here from two different countries and they learned the language, they bent to the system, that did nt require them to change their morality, dump their language or forget where they were from.

They understood, in making a new life, in a new land, they must bend to the land. We aren’t learning much from what has been occuring in Europe.

#15 Comment By Emilio On August 3, 2015 @ 2:48 am

I have found no sign of such a law being in effect, to the contrary, citizenship is a requirement for serving on a jury in California and nationwide. But you’re right that Gov Brown had to [4] that would have allowed non-citizens to serve on California juries. It was a bridge too far.

There was a failed effort on another prong earlier this year, on a bill [5], a very close vote that looks a bit more likely to pass in the near term than the jury issue.

#16 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 5, 2015 @ 10:36 am

That such bills even reach consideration and need to be vetoed bolsters my position. And that they are currently a “brerting.idge too far” is disconcerting.

But in light of all of the other considerations:education accommodations, housing . . . employment, etc. It’s a fairly daunting task to undermine the damage and it requires very stark realizations — one that we cannot do it. The US must maintain a strict and clear lines on who is permitted in and then granted citizenship. The effort should be made tougher, not easier.

This is not a new topic here and I have provided extensive data on the hegative impacts of illegal immigration, beyond crime, as if that shouldn’t be enough.

#17 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 5, 2015 @ 2:27 pm

In vetoing jury duty, the corrent governor let stand a provision allowing illegal immigrants to get licenses in a state or country they ought to barred from practicing law.

So excuse me while I reject any advocacy you suggests is not bending to the demands of foreigneers visiting and worse those here illegally.

Utterly disasterous

#18 Comment By Emilio On August 5, 2015 @ 10:50 pm

I appreciate your views, and of course I understand the reasoning as well as the reason for the upset. I have a completely different take of the picture, which I will try to summarize here briefly:

Europeans illegally “immigrated” to the lands of Native Americans, creating a country by force which at its inception limited naturalization to immigrants who were free white persons of good character, excluding American Indians, indentured servants, slaves, free blacks, and Asians. Otherwise, until the anti-Chinese Page Act of 1875, there were no restrictions on immigration in these United States. But by global standards, in that small span of time, less than a hundred years, the US had fully milked Europe with its unrestricted immigration policy to outgrow all major European powers in population and GDP. Domestically, as the country was expanding at an unprecedented rate, absorbing massive waves of German and Irish peasants, enduring the concurrent rise in poverty and crime, even the anti-Catholic, nativist Know Nothings couldn’t muster enough support to actually pass any laws. Their wing in California had more success against the Chinese later, when the ethnic and cultural purity of the white man again overtook all other considerations. That act of 1875 was the first immigration law pretty much since the founding. This is how the United States became what it is, a sudden world power on the wings of unrestricted white immigration. Right now, our current population growth is a third of what it was in that past era of expansion, and has been steady and stable near 1% for half a century. We are smoothly floating along according to the numbers. 

#19 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 7, 2015 @ 11:09 am

Speaking of improper frames. Good greif.

“Europeans illegally “immigrated” to the lands of Native Americans, creating a country by force which at its inception limited naturalization to immigrants who were free white persons of good character, excluding American Indians, indentured servants, slaves, free blacks, and Asians. Otherwise, until the anti-Chinese Page Act of 1875, there were no restrictions on immigration in these United States. But by global standards, in that small span of time, less than a hundred years, the US had fully milked Europe with its unrestricted immigration policy to outgrow all major European powers in population and GDP.”

This is the post modern cultural critque. And it is completely one that can apply to our discussion. A game played by youth, inundated with theory misapplied by their professors, adjuncts and consequently by students.

Oy ve’

The Europeans did immigrate to into native american territory. The native americans by and large did not think of the land in the same form as Europens, not even close. The same could be said of most native peoples, and when I say native peoples I mean before Europeans, because it was not uncommon for native peoples in the lands we are speaking themselves at one point to have been foreigners at one time or another.

So before we can even address immgration before immigration was immigration, it’s a good idea to get the internals straight. And the above suggestion you make is completely inadequate and false. The legals frame work that would be understood as an immigration policy in the time you reference would be formal and informal treaty agreements about mutual living. Minus that there was no illegality to speak of. Don’t liberals ever tire of obliterating meaning to advance their nonsense. If I am emotional about anything, it is the weariness, of having to unflod the ,ayers of falsehoods , hiding the liberal agenda. And it comes with every issue. It is admittedly, irritating.

Now if you wanted to talk about treaty violations, that’s fine. There is a case for violatios of treaties and even those informal agreements made between parties. But you avoid even that and the reason you do is because that discussion actually bolsters the point of why every nation has borders and immigration and border laws.

To the question of immigration laws, you are incorrect the United States established an immigration policy as early as 1790’s, if memory serves. by global standars, is convenient, but it doesn’t mean anything. The US established policies to immigration as has nearly every country on the planet. And even if correct, I am unclear how any of that justifies immigration violations today. It does not. History can be instructive, but one must have history correct to begin with, and you are very far off the mark, in frame and details.

Look, if our goal here is to indict whites because they came to the US, and made laws to benefit themselves as white, that is a different case and as well as a so what? Citizensship was not formally required one to be white. And more importantly, once one met whatever was required, color condifderations were and are illegal as to citizenship. If want to pick a bone about wjiteness, at least pick one that is pertinent to other citizens.

Your numbers game makes no sense, despite its prevelance.

1. It has no bearing on the issue of the damage done by illegal immigrants and the impact on the law, social and political structure of sloppy management.

2. We have an immigration process. Complaining that it is long hard or burdensome is lost on me. It’s bureacracym and that is the nature of bureacracy, which is why less is more in my view. But most imortantly of all, it should be hard to become a US citizen. It’s hard enough to be a citizen and harder still if you are occupy certain socio-economic groups. I am unpersuaded.

3. The numbers argument is popular but it doesn’t really say much. So we stop immigration completely. The suggestion here is that the US would would fall apart. Yawn, The country would make adjustments as it always does. Floating on the umbers is convenient, but it doesn’t explain why we need X numbers in order to stay afloat and more than other point —-

it is an entirely different discussion. A discussion about changing immigration olicy to meet demand is not what we are talking about nor is it pertinent. It does nothing to illuminate or respond the 11 million plus who are here in violation of the law and whose presence costs more than is gained.

Nearly all of your commentary is irrelevant to the issue.

#20 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 7, 2015 @ 11:18 am

Just a note,

before attempting the statistical advance about how many Latinos will occupy the planet, so we had better embrace them . . . or as you paint it need them (though you don’t say it directly).

Take a look at the numbers of employed 40 per week versus those unemployed.

And as for you hegemony tack . . . I suggest you consider the displaced peoples native to South America and their treatment by the mixed European landlords.

And as for blacks, the remain fodder in Latin America, most noteably in Brazil. For “Latin America” black lives don’t matter . . . 9over stated, but i think you get my point). In fact, that is the game here, whites prefer dealing with Latinos than addressing gthe heavey consequences of black slavery. I suggest Latinos look to their own house on the issue of hegemocy and discrimination based on immigration or anything else.