Thomas Sipos: Born-Again Antiwar Conservatives Denounce Obama’s Libya War

Thomas Sipos at Libertarian Peacenik:

Truly, we are living in Orwellian times. Not long ago, right-wing radio hosts were united in supporting America’s Mideast wars. Then last week, President Obama attacked Libya.

That’s a conundrum for right-wingers. Do they support American At War! against yet another Muslim nation — or do they oppose their much-hated bogeyman, Barack Obama.

Well, the dust has cleared, and the Party Line is settled. With remarkable unity, right-wing radio hosts have become “born again antiwar, fiscally conservative, Constitutionalists.” Marching in surprising lockstep (as though there really is a Party Line), they’re all denouncing the Libyan War.

I guess they hate Obama even more than they love bombing Muslims.

I first began hearing conservative radio hosts denounce Obama’s Libyan War on Sunday, March 20th. Since then, I’ve heard the following conservative radio hosts denounce the Libyan War: Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Mancow, Michael Smerconish, Lou Dobbs, and

Mark Levin.

Their reasons for opposing the war include the Constitution (i.e., that Congress did not declare war — and why was this not a problem when Bush attacked Afghanistan or Iraq?), the financial cost of war, the fact that we don’t know which faction represents what principles (i.e., who will replace Gaddafi), and that innocent civilians are being killed.

Again, why were none of these valid concerns when Bush attack Afghanistan or Iraq?

Mike Savage suggested that Gaddafi’s opposition includes al-Qaeda, and that this was one of Obama’s motives. As Savage put it, “It seems that Obama never misses an opportunity to support radical Islam.”

Apolitical shock jocks are taking a more moderate approach. Here in Los Angeles, the Bill Handel Show‘s “morning team” has remained supportive of intervention in Libya. And on the John and Ken Show, both John and Ken said that they can’t bring themselves to give a damn about Libya, one way or another. As John put it, “Libya is just such a dirty, ugly nation.” When Ken said that if the U.S. doesn’t intervene, Libya may devolve into civil war, John replied, “Good. There’s only six million of them. Maybe if there’s a civil war, they’ll all kill each other.”

The Bill Handel and John and Ken shows are reputedly conservative, a charge that both shows deny. Bill Handel has even spoken favorably of socialized medicine. I agree that neither of these local, drive-time shows are representative of right-wing radio.

But right-wing radio hosts (as opposed to shock jocks) have seemingly embraced an “anti-Obama/anti-Libya War” Party Line. I thus expect that libertarian embarrassment Wayne Allyn Root will soon release his own anti-Libyan War screed, with special emphasis on bashing Obama. It’s safe to do so now in conservative circles.

Authentic libertarians likewise oppose the Libyan War. And some may say, “So what if Root is following the conservative crowd? At least an anti-Libyan War position is correct.”

Yes, the antiwar position is correct. But why a person advocates antiwar matters. If a person advocates antiwar out of sincerity, integrity, and courage, then you can be assured that person will continue to advocate antiwar when the going gets tough.

If, on the other hand, a person advocates antiwar out of craven opportunism, then that person is an unreliable ally. He’ll only be antiwar so long it remains popular, and will switch to pro-war when that becomes more profitable.

In 2008, Ron Paul advocated antiwar to Republican howls and jeers — and stood his ground. That’s sincerity, integrity, courage — that’s real leadership!

In 2003, Karen Kwiatkowski was a Pentagon whistleblower on the Iraq War — and was denounced by right-wingers for it. Kwiatkowski is a woman of substance — and of sincerity, integrity, courage, and real leadership. (Read Kwiatkowski’s latest piece.)

The antiwar movement needs real leaders, not fair-weather opportunists who are obsessed with a personal hatred for Obama. America’s decades-long foreign policy fiascoes transcend any president.


See followup pieces at Libertarian Peacenik blog:
Wayne Allyn Root Parrots Conservatives on Libya and What Motivates Born-Again Antiwar Conservatives?

24 thoughts on “Thomas Sipos: Born-Again Antiwar Conservatives Denounce Obama’s Libya War

  1. Pingback: Many frequent Root critics leave positive comments on his latest article about the war in Libya | Independent Political Report

  2. Robert Capozzi

    tms: The antiwar movement needs real leaders, not fair-weather opportunists…

    me: Or, we can take what we can get.

  3. AroundtheblockAFT

    Smerconish has steadily moved away from support for the war in Afghanistan for years now. And he is not a “conservative.”

    As for many of the other hosts, I get the impression if Obama had consulted Congress and won approval under the war powers act, they’d have been happy to bomb the crap out of Libya.

    A White House toady – maybe it was Maddow? – suggested this morning that if this military action lasts more than a few weeks then it would be appropriate for Obama to go to Congress.
    That would be good – while they might approve what is already going on, at least that would smoke out those who really support U.S. intervention in civil wars and those who don’t.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    A brief fisking. I assume that no one will incorrectly peg me as pro-war, pro-this-war, or pro-W.A.R., but:

    —–
    Their reasons for opposing the war include the Constitution (i.e., that Congress did not declare war — and why was this not a problem when Bush attacked Afghanistan or Iraq?), the financial cost of war, the fact that we don’t know which faction represents what principles (i.e., who will replace Gaddafi), and that innocent civilians are being killed.

    Again, why were none of these valid concerns when Bush attack Afghanistan or Iraq?
    —–

    I myself have argued that Congress did not declare war in Afghanistan or Iraq. That does not mean the situation is not materially different than Libya in this respect.

    In both prior cases, Congress was consulted and did approve in advance of the operations — in the case of Iraq, after months of debate, and months before the actual attack.

    In the case of Libya, if there was any congressional approval at all, it came in the form of a private meeting between Obama and congressional “leadership” in which he informed them of what he was about to do, rather than asking Congress for permission to do it (and I have no information to suggest that even such a private meeting occurred — I’m merely inferring the possibility from some past history).

    In the case of Iraq, the costs of the war were extensively debated beforehand and part and parcel of Congress’s decision to approve the action was the implication that it would appropriate the money to pay for the action. The unrealistically low figures of the pro-war crowd carried the debate and turned out to be ludicrously incorrect, but the discussion did take place.

    In the case of Libya, Obama just went and did it, hoping that Congress would pick up the check.

    In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the US took an active role in CHOOSING the regime which would replace the regime being attacked.

    In Libya, Obama seems to neither know nor particularly care who will replace Gaddafi (but appearances might be deceiving — for all we know, the US may already be pulling the strings in Benghazi, or there may be a “provisional government in a box” sitting on the tarmac at Andrews AFB awaiting transport to “liberated” Tripoli).

    On the final point, yes, definite hypocrisy — opponents of every war decry the killing of innocent civilians, supporters of every war either claim that it’s not happening or write it off as “collateral damage.”

    —–
    I thus expect that libertarian embarrassment Wayne Allyn Root will soon release his own anti-Libyan War screed
    —–

    It’s impossible to tell for sure without access to server clocks, but it appears that Root published his piece before you published yours.

  5. LibertarianGirl

    LibertarianGirl // Mar 24, 2011 at 8:50 am

    if wayne jumped into a raging river to save small crippled children , sipos would still find a way to make it sound ugly

    me again_”Yes, the saving crippled children position is correct. But why a person advocates saving crippled children matters. If a person advocates saving crippled children out of sincerity, integrity, and courage, then you can be assured that person will continue to advocate saving crippled children when the going gets tough.

    If, on the other hand, a person advocates saving kids out of craven opportunism, then that person is an unreliable ally. He’ll only be pro-saving kids so long it remains popular, and will switch to pro-not saving children when that becomes more profitable.”

    man Wayne only jumped in that river to look good , lol

  6. paulie

    ”Yes, the saving crippled children position is correct. But why a person advocates saving crippled children matters. If a person advocates saving crippled children out of sincerity, integrity, and courage, then you can be assured that person will continue to advocate saving crippled children when the going gets tough.

    If, on the other hand, a person advocates saving kids out of craven opportunism, then that person is an unreliable ally. He’ll only be pro-saving kids so long it remains popular, and will switch to pro-not saving children when that becomes more profitable.”

    man Wayne only jumped in that river to look good , lol

    That about sums it up.

    On the other hand, I’ve been hoping for a cross-fertilization between the antiwar movement and TEA parties for a long time. If it’s finally happening, I am not going to complain and nitpick.

    Yeah, some of our allies on this might go back to supporting wars next time a Republican is in office. Just like they did after Serbia and before Afghanistan. And just like other temporary allies only opposed Bush’s war, but not Obama’s. So what? We still need their help.

    And some of them will be coercive social conservatives who nevertheless critique the warfare-welfare state. Glad for their help too.

    The odd thing is that Sipos has said before, unless I’m imagining things, that he is willing to work with all those who oppose wars – Marxists, paleocons, you name it.

  7. paulie

    It’s impossible to tell for sure without access to server clocks, but it appears that Root published his piece before you published yours.

    In Sipos’ defense, regardless of what the timestamp says, he may not have read Root’s article exactly when it was published. Certainly it’s plausible that he saw it a few hours later.

    It’s also likely that his timestamps are not in the same time zone as IPR’s.

    See the followup pieces on Sipos’ blog.

  8. paulie

    tms: The antiwar movement needs real leaders, not fair-weather opportunists…

    rc: Or, we can take what we can get.

    p: With RC on this one.

  9. TinFoilCap & JockeyShorts to Match

    The Military Is Not Defending The United States of America: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVO0G2qA7n8&feature=player_embedded

    It’s ALL in the master plan. Please understand.

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” – Carroll Quigley-(Bill Clinton said Quigley was his mentor during 1993 Inaugural Address) speaking of the Globalists’ American political strategy since the early twentieth century.

    “The Council on Foreign Relations is the American branch of a society which originated in England … [and] … believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one-world rule established.” – Carroll Quigley, speaking of the their political goal since the early twentieth century.

    Explaining the left-right paradigm to a co worker!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kw7j4lbDB4

    Nobody is listening, Maw! Time to go Paw Paw ! Okay.

  10. Mike B.

    Don’t forget that the right-wingers have had there “Road to Damascus” moment and now they’ve become born-again economic libertarian’s especially since Obama took office in 2009.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    “t’s also likely that his timestamps are not in the same time zone as IPR’s.”

    I didn’t even look at the IPR timestamp.

    The timestamp on Root’s piece, on his blog, is 5:43pm on March 22nd.

    The timestamp on Sipos’s piece, on his blog is one minute later 😉

  12. paulie

    LOL….Then it’s even less likely that Sipos saw Root’s article immediately. I think he actually did write this first, and gets genuine credit for his “Root whisperer” abilities. 😀

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    I agree that the timestamps indicate that it’s unlikely Sipos saw Root’s piece before “predicting” it.

    Just for the record, though, I don’t discount Root’s … integrity of belief I guess would be a reasonable term for it … as steeply as Sipos does.

  14. Robert Capozzi

    Hmm, given that Sipos and Root are both in the predictions business, maybe they could team up in some form…. 😉

  15. paulie

    TLK

    I agree that the timestamps indicate that it’s unlikely Sipos saw Root’s piece before “predicting” it.

    Just for the record, though, I don’t discount Root’s … integrity of belief I guess would be a reasonable term for it … as steeply as Sipos does.

    Me neither.

  16. LibertarianGirl

    me neither … and for the record , motives are like assholes , everyone has them and they are impossible to know unless you are a mind-reader.

    personally , I dont care what your motives are for being anti-war , saving children or feeding hungry etc , just that you be it:)

  17. Assessing Motives

    Of course you can assess motives. It’s done every day in courts of law. It’s done by examining the “facts and circumstances” and extrapolating from that.

    People assess and judge other people’s motives in relationships (business and personal) every day.

    Root assess Obama’s motives all the time.

    If you don’t try to determine and judge other people’s motives in your daily life, you’re a very unusual person.

    I suppose Forrest Gump didn’t assess motives; he accepted everything at face value.

  18. LibertarianGirl

    they can be assessed , doesn’t mean they’re correct, you know how many times Ive met people who didnt talk to me , and then i assigned a motive of ‘theyre just stuck up or didnt like me , only to find out they were just shy or something. Ive also assessed motives correctly , thats not the point , the point is , in matters of importance like ending A war or doing something good , does it really matter?

  19. Gains

    It is fair that you cannot objectively determine motives. Laws that are based on determining such ephemeral and unprovable claims are most often used to persecute groups. They are also often used to prevent “future crime”.

    For me, effects are the number one thing to determine danger and responsibility. Guessing at motives is really mostly useful in the subjective decision of what to do about the problem for the best effect.

  20. Assessing Motives

    You go into a store. Used cars, computers, appliances … doesn’t matter what.

    The salesman says, “Hey, I want you to be happy with this product. That’s why I work in sales. I want to help people. If I didn’t think you’d love this product, I’d refuse to sell it to you!”

    Do you say, well, he says he’s looking out for me. I guess I’ll just take his word.

    Or do you doubt his stated motive, based on the facts and circumstances (i.e., his self-interest in earning a commission), ignore his claims of the product’s wonders, and instead do your own investigation of the product’s merits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *