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By Justin Raimondo (Antiwar.com )

The expected Election Day Republican “wave” that broke over our heads is a disaster for the anti-interventionist cause in the immediate sense – but there may be a silver lining.

The disaster is embodied in the various GOP warmongers who will be placed in key positions in Congress, and a good case could be made that among the worst of the worst will be the probable majority leader in the House: Eric Cantor.

Cantor is a walking, breathing stereotype, a neocon through and through, who pays lip service to the “tea party”-ish idea of limiting government spending, but is in reality committed to lavishing tax dollars on any project as long as it can be somehow construed as contributing to US security. Thus, ForeignPolicy.com references his views on “foreign aid” and the budget:

“Cantor told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the president’s proposed budget might have to be rejected outright if Republicans take power – after separating out U.S. aid for Israel, of course.”

Cantor is a big fan of Israel’s, and has gone so far as to say that, in the context of tensions between Washington and Tel Aviv over the settlements and other issues, “Israel is not the problem” – leaving unspoken the presumption the US is at fault. In line with the Israel lobby’s campaign to goad us into war with Iran, he demands that the US cease negotiations with Tehran, impose draconian sanctions unilaterally, and openly threaten the use of force.

Another rabid Republican interventionist is Sen. John Kyl, the junior Senator from Arizona, and currently the minority whip. If the Republicans take the Senate, he’ll be in a position to stake out his claim on foreign policy issues, in which he has taken an inordinate interest in the past. His major shtick is opposition to the START treaty, and he shares this opposition with his Senate Republican colleague, Jim DeMint, of South Carolina. As ForeignPolicy.com puts it:

“Most incoming Tea Party candidates don’t focus on foreign policy, but many will owe allegiance to DeMint because he has been filling their campaign coffers. They could be inclined to follow suit with his unilateralist, militaristic worldview, which many see as based on his neoconservative ideology rather than a realistic pursuit of U.S. interests in [a] multipolar world order.”

One example of his influence over the tea party candidates: DeMint was an early endorser of Rand Paul, whose move toward neoconnish foreign policy positions provoked my ire in this column. Now that Rand has been elected, will he embrace the neocons, or will he stay true to his nationwide libertarian constituency? Of course, if we were talking about his father, Ron Paul, we would have nothing to worry about. As it is, however …

Senator John McCain will retain his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and, if the GOP wave is big enough to take the Senate, he’ll be the chairman. Together with Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), who is slated to become chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, the two of them will be pressuring President Obama to keep capitulating to Gen. David Petraeus and the hawks in the Pentagon. The crunch will come when it comes time to “draw down” the troops in Afghanistan, in the summer of 2011.

Far worse than anyone I have yet mentioned is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, who never saw a war she didn’t salivate at the prospect of and has called for the assassination of Fidel Castro. She is a militant supporter of Israel, constantly criticizes the US for not kowtowing quickly enough to Tel Aviv, and is a vocal supporter of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a Marxist terrorist organization that has provided much of the phony “intelligence” purporting to show Iran is developing nuclear weapons. She will be chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee when the GOP takes the House.

The big problem with a Republican-dominated House is that those GOPers who take an interest in foreign policy issues are invariably hawks: these are the committed neocons, like Cantor and Kyl. The tea partiers, for their part, avoid the issue, focused exclusively as they are deficits, taxes, and budget-cutting.

There is, however, a silver lining to all this:

The Empire is going bankrupt. Our invasion of Iraq is estimated by economist Joseph Stiglitz to cost some 3 trillion dollars, when all is said and done. Neocons Bill Kristol and the heads of the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation came out with an op ed warning the tea party types not to go near their precious “defense” budget with the cost-cutter’s knife. But the tea partiers are unlikely to listen to Kristol & Co., or, indeed, any members of the Republican establishment, who, after all, presided over the spendthrift Bush administration all the while proclaiming their support for what they called “big government conservatism.

Objectively, the momentum for cost-cutting will run up against the neocons’ militarism, and a conflict seems inevitable. Yet nothing is inevitable when it comes to human affairs, so we’ll just have to see what happens.

Another discouraging aspect of the GOP’s triumph is that it will give Obama very little room to maneuver on domestic matters – and he’ll have little choice but to concentrate more of his attention on foreign policy. This is not good, from an anti-interventionist viewpoint, because the President will no doubt use foreign policy issues to gain Republican support for his domestic initiatives. This increases the influence of the McCain-Cantor-Petraeus more-troops-to-Afghanistan lobby – but it gets worse….

Although I have often suggested that Obama might turn to war in order to pump some semblance of life into the economy, now we have David Broder, the mandarin of the establishment columnists, saying the same thing. After describing the President’s helplessness before the vagaries of the business cycle, he avers:

“What else might affect the economy? The answer is obvious, but its implications are frightening. War and peace influence the economy.

“Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II. Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise, and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

“The nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.”

Aside from the fact that the war did not lift us out of the Depression – see Robert Higgs for the real story – this scenario is perfectly credible. As a self-described political pragmatist, the President is prone to taking the easy way out, and while the economy may not improve as war preparations are ratcheted up, this is not likely to deter either Obama or his Keynesian economic advisers, who believe that any and all government spending – including military spending – is the key to recovery.

In the short term, the contours of the electoral disaster for the antiwar movement are large, but in the mid-to –long term the contradictions of the “tea party” movement may start to rip this winning coalition apart. Are “defense” expenditures and extravagantly expensive “nation-building” projects boondoggles, or are they essential for the survival of the Republic? This is a debate that will break out in the GOP sooner rather than later, and the results should be … interesting.

Postscript: More silver lining – at least the war criminal lost.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

The American Conservative magazine is back, after a short hiatus, and I have the cover article. Go check it out here.

The Antiwar.com Autumn tour is far from over. Next up:

NOVEMBER 10, 6:30 p.m. Western Connecticut State University (Westside Classroom Building, WS Room 218, 43 Lake Avenue Ext., Danbury, CT 06811). Hosted by the Ridgefield Liberty Co-op. $1,000 prize essay contest encourages students to submit a thoughtful essay after the talk. Free admission.

On November 11th, the Boston Chapter of Come Home America will be hosting my talk on “How We Can Organize a Left-Right Alliance Against the War Parties—and Why We Must.” The event will be held at the Arlington Street Church (351 Boylston Street, Boston, MA) at 7 p.m. Free admission.

NOVEMBER 18, 7:30 p.m. University of California at Berkeley (20 Barrows Hall, Barrow Lane and Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704). Hosted by Students for Liberty. Free admission.

Justin Raimondo writes a column for antiwar.com.  He is a regular contributor to The American ConservativeChronicles magazine. He also writes for Taki’s Top Drawer. He is the author of several books.


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7 Comments

  1. D Costa on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    “We need Cantor out of congress”–a passionate statement made by Justine Raimondo we can all agree with and dvocate because it is true and must be done–if we are to save our Republic.

    Truthteller Justine Raimondo in his article “Election 2010: A disaster for peace” posted on the website: Mycatbirdseat.com also wrote the following:

    “The disaster is embodied in the various GOP warmongers who will be placed in key positions in Congress, and a good case could be made that among the worst of the worst will be the probable majority leader in the House: Eric Cantor.

    Cantor is a walking, breathing stereotype, a neocon through and through, who pays lip service to the “tea party”-ish idea of limiting government spending, but is in reality committed to lavishing tax dollars on any project as long as it can be somehow construed as contributing to US security. Thus, ForeignPolicy.com references his views on “foreign aid” and the budget:

    “Cantor told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the president’s proposed budget might have to be rejected outright if Republicans take power – after separating out U.S. aid for Israel, of course.”

    Cantor is a big fan of Israel’s, and has gone so far as to say that, in the context of tensions between Washington and Tel Aviv over the settlements and other issues, “Israel is not the problem” – leaving unspoken the presumption the US is at fault. In line with the Israel lobby’s campaign to goad us into war with Iran, he demands that the US cease negotiations with Tehran, impose draconian sanctions unilaterally, and openly threaten the use of force.”

    Eric Cantor is a cancer in the body of American politics that needs to be throughly irradiated to eradicate it completely and totally– and we need to call in the Zionist Jewish medical mafia with all of their chemotherapy and radiation equipment–[which they have used to kill millions of cancer patients] to have this job done–so this cancer is no more.

    Justine Raimondo is fearless when it comes to exposing our foremost enemy: Israel and Zionist dual citizens and other Zionist traitors who continue to destroy America.

  2. Mahatma Mahdi Marquis de Interregnum on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Once again it proves the Republic died in the 2000 election. The Corporations have the power and control, not the people. The voting is just an act for the people, just another circus.

    Rhetorical Despotism. Religion always leads to it. It leads to self-fulfilling prophecy and justifications for all manner of obscenities. It shields evil behind walls of self-righteousness which are proof against all arguments against the evil. If feeds on deliberately twisted meanings to discredit opposition. It is called ‘securing your power base.’ It leads directly to hypocrisy which is always betrayed by the gap between actions and explanations. They never agree. Ultimately, it rules by guilt because hypocrisy brings on the witch hunt and the demand for scapegoats. Powerbases are very dangerous because they attract people who are truly insane, people who seek power only for the sake of power.

  3. D Costa on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Can anyone name another group of people [or another race] who is doing [and who has done] so much harm to America and the Middle Eastern Islam countries as well as to the freedom and individual liberties of people in America[and the Middle East] as well as to the entire globe [through their international influence] as the Ashkenazi Mongolians [who call themselves "Jews"] that are running our country?

    These people perpetrated 9/11 in order to wage illegal wars against Muslim countries as well as to set up a police state in the US.

    They also have ruined America financially, economically, politically and culturally-– have destroyed jobs, stolen homes of the Middle class American through the fraudulent foreclosures–even foreclosing on homes of Americans whose mortgage had been paid off.

  4. G Street on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Regarding the upcoming caving of T Party principles to money: “many will owe allegiance to DeMint because he has been filling their campaign coffers…”

    If DeMint had stood against Vick Rawl instead of Alvin Greene, he might have been removed from office. This makes the T Party money even more suspect.

    The Greene apologists say Rawl ran a poor campaign and only had 4% name recognition. However, Greene ran no campaign and arguably had NO name recognition. Yet Green got 59% of the vote. How nice for him.

    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen… I can’t even find the words to express the prospect of her as chair of foreign affairs…

  5. Jerzy on the 05. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    These Tea-Partyers will show their true colours. They are nothing but Neocon whores in Libertarian drag.

  6. D Costa on the 05. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Just imagine this war rheotoric of David Broder and people like shameless Bill Krystol against a nation that has done no wrong to America! And lies of Rupert Murdock and those of all the prostitutes hired by him on the Fox channel that include Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Oliver North, Sean Hannity and the rest of them–who try to sell us the war. These people dont think twice about the value of human life when it comes to non-Jewish people even if people like Palin, Huckabee, North and Hannity are not Jewish but bought by the Jews–just like Winston Churchill was bought by them [his mother was Jewish and he is not really the Englishman we thought he was].
    We also have crypto Jews who hide their Jewish ancestry to deceive the public because they know that the society in general does not trust Jews [FDR, Truman, Eisenhower].

    The only country that deserves a war from America is Israel based on all the crime Israel has perpetrated against America and the rest of humanity. Iraq and Afghanistan did not hurt America on 9/11. Israel did. Egypt, Syria, Labanon did not bomb the USS Liberty, Israel did. Israel also did the Lavon Affair.

    Muslims have done no harm to America. Our problem is the Jewish problem. Arabs are not spying on America. US congress and senate dont have Arabs. Neither does Hollywood.

    Somebody need to watch the safety of John Boehner [R-Ohio] who will be the speaker of the house in 2011 unless Jewish conspirators kill him in an plane crash or a car accident or even get him murdered like they murdered JFK so that Eric Cancer can be the speaker of the house.

  7. Earlaiman on the 05. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Once upon a time,in an earlier life, I once sailed a small boat upon the great oceans of our world.

    It was in the midst of a long and slow passage in warm tropical waters which I detected one morning that I had an unwanted stowaway onboard.

    A rat? Possibly… but certainly not a live one, for this passenger made his or her presence known only by the stench of her or his rotting and corrupted flesh.

    Days passed, the stench growing ever stronger and all-pervasive, as I tore the boat apart looking for a dead body, somewhere!

    We had reached a point where I was in a frenzy, and I could no longer sleep below on my off watch. Nor, could either of us endure the few minutes in the galley which were required to keep ourselves fed on hot or warm food and drink. We lived, ate and slept on deck, on the windward side of the boat!

    I had built this boat myself, every inch of it, with my own hands, and I thought I knew of every cubic inch of space where some animal might have crawled into to die and waste away! I had searched them all, a number of times, to no avail!

    The stench was so all-pervasive and overpowering that it was futile to even try to track it down like a bloodhound… I would have puked after the first few minutes, and I could never have gotten very near to it.

    Thus, I sat dispirited on the weather side of the deck one afternoon, in the shade of the mains’l as I pondered, “Where in hell can this stench be coming from?

    Languidly, my right hand, which had been steadying me against the roll and pitch of the boat in the stiff sou’east trades wandered, it seemed of its own accord, down into and through the large bronze Dorade ventilator which gulped and scooped fresh air down and into the boat.

    It encountered something wet, slimy and sticky!

    I jerked my hand out of the ventilator! Slime and stench emerged,and flew all about! Yuck!

    The remains of a large, very dead, semi-liquefied and highly aromatic flying fish of respectable size flew out of the ventilator, all over me, and slid across the deck.

    I dashed to the rail, chucked-up what was left of my luncheon over the side of the boat, and reached for the switch on the deck wash-down pump.

    Twenty minutes later, I and my boat had been washed down; the Dorade ventilator and its baffle/drain box had been thoroughly hosed out and sprayed with detergent and an aerosol.

    The air down below had begun to clear, and I was thinking of a sound night’s sleep that night in my own bunk!

    It seems to me that you folks in America have suffered from the same kind of problem, and the stench is becoming quite unbearable, even from where I sit, well to windward of you!

    I don’t know if you have Dorade ventilators or Dorade baffle/drain boxes installed on your political system, but I do recognize the stench of dead and purifying vermin when I smell it!

    I would suggest that you take a close look down around the Washington D.C. area and in some state Capitals here and there in your nation, and see if you cannot root out and dispose of some of the dead and corrupted flesh which you may find.

    Free, open and closely monitored elections are the only way to do it, I am afraid. You will not have the convenience of simply dashing over to the rail to puke, and a high-pressure deck wash-down pump and hose with which to clean up the mess, nor a simple application of Dettol and Aerosol to restore order and habitable fitness down below, but you had better start somewhere, and soon.

    It is getting late, and once you cannot remain on board anymore because of the stench of corruption, you are going to have to abandon ship ere she sink and take you down with her and, you are going find it difficult to find a place to go.

    It is a big ocean out there, and a small life raft is hardly noticeable floating alone in the middle of it.

    You say you do not have liferafts where you live?

    Oh, my God! You are in trouble! You had better start cleaning house immediately!

    Earlaiman

    .

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