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
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.