FINLAY LEWIS – They could caucus in a phone booth. They are known as â€œrealists,â€ and their default position on questions of foreign policy and national security is one of skepticism about the value of interventions abroad and of respect for privacy at home. In a debate largely being litigated within the ranks of the Republican Party on Capitol Hill, the realists donâ€™t have a prayer of prevailing in an up-or-down vote against the neoconservative wing of the party, proponents of an interventionist ethos to embed American values in lands far removed from domestic shores and traditions.
RON PAUL – By the end of last month, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Advisor HR McMaster were scheduled to deliver to President Trump their plans for military escalations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. President Trump would be wise to rip the plans up and send his national security team back to the drawing board â€“ or replace them. There is no way another â€œsurgeâ€ in Afghanistan and Iraq (plus a new one in Syria) puts America first. There is no way doing the same thing over again will succeed any better than it did the last time.
BARNEY FRANK – There were so many encouraging signs for liberals in the election results this year that one of the most significant has been overlooked.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – The Republican Party has stood up with remarkable consistency for the post-9/11 U.S. government policies of widespread surveillance, indefinite detention without trial, torture, and extraordinary rendition. It has also supported government subsidies for religious institutions, government restrictions on immigration and free passage across international boundaries, government denial of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, government attacks on public use of public space (for example, the violent police assaults on the Occupy movement), and government interference with womenâ€™s right to abortion and doctorsâ€™ right to perform it.
WES BENEDICT — The long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been back in the news recently, and we just had the bizarre spectacle of the Republican National Committee Chairman saying he didn’t like Obama’s war in Afghanistan, while the DNC chastised him for failing to support the troops.