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Ron Radosh

Why Conservatives Should Rally for the President’s Resolution

September 4th, 2013 - 8:59 am

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As the Obama administration goes to Congress to seek support for a resolution authorizing a military strike against Syria, the deep divisions in both the Democratic and Republican parties are at present making it problematic, at best, that he will gain the votes he needs for a consensus in favor of action.

The divisions today are eerily reminiscent of those at the beginning of the Cold War, when pre-war isolationists or, to use the term they preferred then and prefer now, non-interventionists once again came forth on both the Left and Right to oppose a strong response to Soviet expansionism.

Before Pearl Harbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt had to face convincing a strong isolationist sentiment at home, as well as a reluctant Congress, to do anything that could involve the United States in war. After running for the presidency with a promise to keep the nation out of war, once in office Roosevelt acted to strengthen the British resolve through the Lend-Lease program as well as putting through the famous trading of bases for destroyers.

At home, the America First Committee, headed by Charles Lindbergh and which included old liberals and progressives such as John T. Flynn and Oswald Garrison Villard as well as conservatives such as Col. Robert McCormick and William H. Regnery, became very influential. During the years of the Nazi-Soviet pact, the American Communist Party created its own front group, the American Peace Mobilization, which argued that FDR was seeking to wage an imperialist war for oil and urged Americans to keep out of war and focus their opposition on the nefarious plans for intervention favored by the British Empire.

Pearl Harbor put an end to the America First Committee’s efforts, as the nation united behind the president and thousands of young men flooded the recruiting centers to volunteer to fight against the threat to America’s security. At the war’s end, as the Soviets moved effectively to use the turmoil and insecurity to expand communism as far as they could in the East and the West, a new opposition emerged on both Left and Right against taking a firm stand against Stalin and his cadre.

On the Republican side, “Mr. Republican,” as Senator Robert A. Taft was called, vigorously opposed anything that he thought would lead the United States to “globalism” and a new empire. Taft opposed every measure that the Truman administration took to offset Soviet advances — including the Truman Doctrine, the creation of NATO, and the Korean War. When the communists took over Czechoslovakia in a coup in late February of 1948, Taft argued that it did not indicate any aggression and that the country had been placed in Russian hands and was in their “sphere of influence.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Screw that crap.Ron....not going into Syria doesn't make us "isolationist"...we're already engaged from hell to breakfast...but this is just Barokeydoke's own @$$ covering and trying to get somebody to clean up his mess....best we stay out of Syria till this shakes out a little better
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Assads represent religious minorities in Syria who fear genocide at the hands or revolutionary Islamists. If you insist on using WWII analogies, attacking the Assads is like jumping into WWII on Hitler's side.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If we're going to start World War 3, I'd rather we not jump in on the side of Islamic Jihad.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (128)
All Comments   (128)
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I think Ron's point is very good ,but he probably picked a bad case to make it. Hard cases make bad law.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Radosh, you have lost it. This is the most ill-considered idea of all the closet liberal ideas you have ever advocated. An attack on Syria would be insanity. But perhaps you'd like to rent a boat and start a new Abraham Lincoln Brigade and sail to Syria yourself. The Russian and Chinese warships, which probably have missiiles that could shoot down a Tomahawk missile could knock some sense into your head - at 500 feet per second or better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This will not end well if we side with the Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Quadia).
This President has chosen the wrong side in every conflict in the middle east from the beginning. Sideing with the enemy is not the way to defeat the emeny.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have never been an isolationist but to pour blood and teasure into a situation like that in Syria is crazy.We don't even know who is fighting. I hate to see any young people but especially young American people so badly wounded....especially when those "saved" don't want to be saved and believe in a religion which wants most of the American people dead. I think their religion means a lot more to them than the freedom and Democracy in which we believe.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This situation is more like the Iran Iraq War, where Reagan showed the good sense to use each side against the other, and work towards a stalemate. In that war, it would have been bad to allow Iran victory spreading their radical islam to Iraq, and it would have been bad to allow Iraq a victory, since Iraq was a Soviet client state.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why would we want to aid in an islamist takeover of Syria? Assad is am Arab nationalist dictator and stooge of the Iranians, and no friend. But radical islamists are worse.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Isolationism in not possible in the interconnected world of the 21st Century. To employ a policy term that is no longer extant is a remarkable demonstration of vacuity. One wished the author would have demonstrated how our intervention in the middle east over the last 25 years have produced a stable region with reasonably humane governance
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OK, I'll bite. By stopping Saddam Hussein from taking over Kuwait, the US showed that old-fashioned conquest-as-theft was not going to work (except when Russia does it). GB I let down the Kurds, but GB II corrected that error, and now they have thier senmi-state (and Turkey knows where it can go).

On the other hhand, regarding the mediterranian area, US policy appears to consist of being nasty to Israel.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The commander who let his own men die at Benghazi and then went to bed early for a fundraiser is not a man anyone but a fool would follow into a fight of any kind. Retreat is the first option for the next three years. We have no red lines left, only yellow.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, that is there too. Obama wants to bomb Syria because his redline comments will hurt him politically. Fighting in Syria would mean following a craven politician who is only looking out for his political hide, and who will throw us under the bus as soon as he can.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No.

Using the WWII analogy is fraught with logic faults. By your logic, we should have intervened to help the communists by taking out the Nazis in the 1930s. It was like the Crips versus the Bloods, as both gangs wanted to take over European countries. The fascists won. (National Socialists versus Communist Socialists.)

The Nazis and Imperialists were clearly aggressors. Our joining that fight was true self-defense. Syria has two groups who hate our guts killing each other.

A true conservative should ask: "Why should we spend money we don't have to help a group who hates our guts? Wouldn't it be better to let them work out their own civil war? At $15T in debt, we need to focus on America and not playing cop to a dysfunctional culture. The deadliest situation for cops is intervening in a domestic dispute. Leave them to it."

A true liberal should say: "We need to be multi-cultural and tolerant, not jingoistic. The Muslim culture doesn't value life as we do in America, where every child is special. In the Muslim culture, only the first-born son is special. Women are chattel, as are many children. If they want to kill each other, we should be compassionate and tolerant of their culture, and understand that thousands of dead people doesn't mean what it does to us. Everybody's okay. We don't need to judge them by bombing them. Leave them to work out their own problems."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This piece is unmitigated hogwash. The president has less respect for his office than anyone in this country. Why in the heck should we support that? Not only would we not get any credit for it, (just watch what happens to Boehner et al when this is all done) it fails to consider the conservative approach at all. This advice is nonsense.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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