I swear, I think conservatives get a daily email with talking points for social media. The current favorite meme is the question” “why do liberals support terrorists?”
The simple answer is, we don’t. We stand up for muslims while conservatives paint them as extremists but we certainly don’t stand up to radical Islam. The conservative rant against ISIS is nearly frantic. They post video clips of Dr. Ben Carson who calls for boots on the ground and economic sanctions; when reminded that the Obama administration is already using economic sanctions against those who fund ISIS and the president has asked Congress for the authorization of the use of force, there is no pleasing them.
Efforts to point out that organizations who are identified as “Christian” like the KKK or the Westboro Baptist Church as an example of extremism on the part of Christians is met with considerable angst.
Let’s not forget that Republicans have the clear edge when it comes to giving aid and comfort to terrorists. Let’s begin locally and expand on this.
Costa Mesa Congressman Dana Rohrabacher briefly dabbled in a second career with Afghani “freedom fighters” known as the Mujahideen. Who are the mujahideen? They eventually became the Taliban, which was formed shortly after Rohrabacher spent time with them. It was an Afghan faction of Mujahideen, Islamic fighters supported by the US who had fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the late 1970s). So when our troops went to Afghanistan after 9/11, weapons we provided the mujahidden were used to shoot at our troops.
Sainted former President Ronald Reagan supported terrorists in the middle East and Central America. From the story in Salon:
Not only did Reagan deal with terrorists as president, as revealed in the Iran-Contra scandal, the preponderance of evidence now supports the charge that his campaign negotiated with Iranian hostage-takers while he was running for president in 1980, to delay the release of hostages before the election, which could have helped Carter win reelection — what was known as “The October Surprise.” Given that Reagan wasn’t president then, but was negotiating to thwart a president’s attempt to get hostages released, this is not simply questionable behavior, it is arguably an act of treason. Democrats’ reluctance to vigorously investigate Reagan’s misdeeds — the exact opposite of GOP attitudes toward Clinton and Obama — has left much of the true story still shrouded in mystery, but what we do know is damning enough in itself, and still cries out for a truly thorough investigation.
First of all, there’s no doubt that Reagan himself set the precedent of dealing with terrorists — and encouraging more hostage-taking. He and his administration convinced themselves they were dealing with “moderates” in Iran. But they also famously sent Donald Rumsfeld to Iraq to hang out with Saddam Hussein, and collaborated with Osama bin Laden in building up the most extreme mujahideen elements fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan — the very forces that eventually gave birth to the Taliban. When his own hand-picked “Tower Commission” confirmed the basic facts of the Iran-contra scandal, Reagan went on national TV and said, “A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.”
And then there was the Iran-Contra scandal; please explain how the Contras, the “moral equivalent of our founding fathers” per Reagan, were not terrorists? From Salon:
“In all, there were eight arms shipments to Iran from Aug. 12, 1985 through Oct. 28, 1986. The first two came from Israel, with the promise that the U.S. would replenish them, but thereafter the U.S. sent them directly — and began skimming the profits to send to the Nicaraguan contras, who were themselves something of a terrorist organization, responsible for a pattern “including rape, torture, kidnappings, mutilation and other abuses” against the civilian population. In all, 2,512 TOW anti-tank missiles were sent to Iran, along with 18 Hawk anti-aircraft missiles and more than 240 Hawk spare parts. These were all vital weapons in Iran’s ongoing war with Iraq.”
The Contras were funded largely through the sale of illegal drugs exported to the US. Not sure the Founding Fathers would approve of Reagan’s comparison.
One could easily argue that the policies of the George W. Bush administration led to the creation of ISIS, that radical terrorist organization conservatives are so intent to get. There are unclassified documents that show the Bush administration sought to remove Saddam Hussein from power even before 9/11, and the unnecessary invasion of Iraq was all extremists needed to wage war against the West.
Soon after 9/11, the Bush administration led the country with confidence and bravado, calling out an Axis of Evil and offering a bold new plan to remake the map of the Middle East. Unfortunately, bringing democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq proved more difficult than Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Bush had promised Americans when selling both wars. While Dick Cheney still holds the senile view that Obama is to blame for Iraq’s current demise, the reality is that William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and all the other necons who wrote essays like Bombing Iraq Isn’t Enough in The New York Times (as early as 1988) failed to accurately predict the future. The Bush Doctrine policy of “preventive war” not only failed to prevent future conflicts in Iraq and the Middle East, but also created a power vacuum that emboldened renegade and genocidal groups like ISIS.
Bush’s famous “they hate our freedoms” quote now seems like an insultingly vapid way to analyze the current situation in Iraq. The decision to invade in 2003 opened up a Pandora’s box of problems and unforeseen catastrophes and while Obama inherited the war in 2008, there was nothing he could have done (short of invading Syria or implementing another surge in Iraq) to eliminate the threat of a group like ISIS. With so much effort and sacrifice from the U.S. Armed Forces just to build a new Iraqi government and survive daily attacks from insurgents, it was impossible to foresee the ascent of a group that even Al-Qaeda has disassociated itself with and feels is “not playing nice” with other terrorist groups.
Looking into the crystal ball only weeks after 9/11, President Bush envisioned a Middle East where democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq would propel other nations to aspire to our political value system. In 2014, a sad testament to the futility of neoconservative wishful thinking illustrates that we still have to continue military engagements in Iraq because a terrorist group (not named Al-Qaeda) is conquering territory. The tremendous cost imposed upon this country by hopeful neoconservatives and a naïve President Bush “leading from in front” was said to be the removal of a dictator in favor of self determination; not the collapse of Iraq.
So when it comes to supporting Terrorists, ask conservatives why they have done so for so long?