Published On: Mon, Jul 26th, 2010

Some wise words from Joe Scarborough

Public domain photo/ Marylandstater via wikimedia commons

Public domain photo/ Marylandstater via wikimedia commons

To my delight this past weekend I found the latest issue of Cato’s Letter in my mailbox. For those who don’t know, Cato’s Letter is a quarterly publication from the Cato Institute.

On the cover was the title “Showing Restraint Abroad” by former Florida congressman and host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough.

I have always found Scarborough to be one of the most reasonable and truly conservative of all the talk show talking heads and I’ve expressed this in earlier writings and his piece proved to be just as thoughtful and insightful as I believed the man was.

In this article Scarborough discusses the foreign policy of the past couple decades and how the political parties have behaved toward foreign policy.

Scarborough comes right out of the box correcting what many liberals claim as the reason for the Republican defeat in 2008, they were “too conservative”.

He says, “Republicans didn’t lose in 2008 because they were too conservative. Republicans lost in 2008 because they were too radical. They were too radical when it came to spending, they were too radical when it came to foreign policy, and they were too radical in their rhetoric.”

Scarborough explains that one of the most difficult things to explain to a conservative is the definition of a conservative foreign policy, not what is currently considered a conservative foreign policy like I tried to articulate in my recent piece, How is this explained? Libertarian Alex Snitker is viewed favorably by only 4% of conservatives.

The definition of a conservative foreign policy has changed dramatically over the decades and particularly over the past 10 years.

Scarborough points out what most of my readers have heard incessantly from yours truly, that there isn’t much difference between the Republican and Democratic views of foreign policy.

He does say that that he understood and believed in what we were doing in Afghanistan in 2001, but what’s happening in 2010 makes no sense.

Scarborough makes this forceful declaration: “And if Leon Panetta (the CIA Director) is to be believed-that al Qaeda has been reduced to a quivering mass of a terrorist movement-great. Let’s declare victory and bring the troops home.”

One of the most poignant things Scarborough talks about is his experience as a Republican congressman during the Clinton era.

During the Clinton administrations not so judicious use of the military in the 90s, Scarborough asks, “We conservatives need to ask why it is that the same cautious Republicans who resisted Bill Clinton’s calls for military use in Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti, Sudan, and Iraq adopt George W. Bush’s preemption strategy without question.”

He continues saying, “Why did so few conservatives criticize Wilsonian pronouncement that the USA would lead a global democratic evolution that would ‘end tyranny on the globe’?”

Scarborough doesn’t let up asking “Why did the same Republicans who quoted Colin Powell’s doctrine to justify a restrained approach in the 1990s attack Powell in 2002?”

The Republicans once said that the Clinton cabinet “viewed foreign policy as an extension of social work.”  They would constantly lecture Clinton about all his military adventurism and even got former Secretary of State Albrights to accuse the GOP of standing in the way of their humanitarian missions for the US military.

But soon as the Democratic commander-in-chief left and the Republican counterpart took over these concerns faded fast. Sound familiar? We saw it again in 2008.

Mr. Scarborough closes with what people of my mindset find quite obvious, saying, “Fiscally, we need to understand that this country has borne a disproportionate share of the world’s security responsibilities for too long. We need to begin to show some restraint and back away from some of our long standing military commitments.”

He closes by saying that “the United States military is overstreched, we are facing crippling debt, our economy is in crisis, or people are war-weary, and America’s days as the world’s watchman are over.”

Joe Scarborough did a fantastic job in this piece and everyone with an interest in foreign policy should read it. It’s definitely a message that needs to be heard.

Read: Joe Scarborough Quotes


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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