We Are NOT At War: The Right-Wing Obsession To Declare Their Delusions

What is it about the conservative mindset that needs to turn every contentious encounter into full scale warfare? It seems that no matter the subject, if there is some unresolved difference the affair must be escalated to combat mode. We see this with everything from the drug war, to the class war, to the annual lunacy of the War on Christmas.

The so-called “War on Terror” is just as ludicrous. It is impossible to declare war on a tactic, just as you cannot declare war on a group of narcotics or a feeling or the mole people who live beneath the Earth’s crust. Wars are carried out between nations that can be engaged militarily and concluded with definable resolutions. There is no opposing general who can surrender his sword at the end of a war on terror (or Christmas) and agree to conditions for peace.

Nevertheless, conservatives are insistent that war be waged on anything they dislike. They have a psychological predisposition that researchers have studied and documented. Some of these studies were discussed in an article on Salon by Paul Rosenberg who noted that…

“Conservative fears of nonexistent or overblown boogeymen — Saddam’s WMD, Shariah law, voter fraud, Obama’s radical anti-colonial mind-set, Benghazi, etc. — make it hard not to see conservatism’s prudent risk avoidance as having morphed into a state of near permanent paranoia, especially fueled by recurrent ‘moral panics,’ a sociological phenomenon in which a group of ‘social entrepreneurs’ whips up hysterical fears over a group of relatively powerless ‘folk devils’ who are supposedly threatening the whole social order.”

Today these right-wing paranoids are clamoring over whether President Obama should declare war on ISIL, a stateless assembly of militants who have no national identity or homeland. The notion that the United States should declare war on such a non-entity is absurd. That doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a concerted and decisive response to the brutal hostility of these terrorists. But it isn’t war. The politicians and pundits who are fixated on such a declaration are merely consumed with surface-level theatrics and partisan politics.

As evidence of their rank partisanship, Republicans are citing the murders of two American journalists as the justification for declaring war. However, there have been a lot more Americans killed by terrorists before this without a demand for such a declaration. What makes this different? Is it the manner in which the victims were killed? Or is it the person in the White House at the time?

Selective Patriotism

There is a distinct difference between the reactions by Republicans to terrorist activity during the Obama administration and during the administration of his predecessor, George W. Bush. When Bush was in charge there were also a couple of Americans who died in the same fashion as James Foley and Steven Sotloff. They were Nick Berg and Paul Johnson [Edit: Also Daniel Pearl]. After they were killed Republicans insisted that the country must rally around the President and unite against the terrorist enemy.

However, today the right-wingers are anything but united. They castigate Obama as being weak and indecisive. They even blame him outright for the deaths of innocents. Yesterday, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros told Bill O’Reilly that Obama “has a world view that is very anti-American.” O’Reilly didn’t disagree. Clearly there is a selective component to what the right calls patriotism. If a Republican is at the helm during a catastrophe he must receive our unquestioning support in the struggle against our foes. But no such loyalty is afforded a Democratic president. To the contrary, he is belittled and insulted and demeaned in the face of the enemy who, ironically, hold the same view of him as Republicans do.

It is notable that all of this vitriol comes at a time when Obama has achieved some significant victories over the terrorists. His policy of conducting airstrikes has resulted in pushing back ISIL from many of the cities they had bragged about capturing. We have regained control of the Mosul dam in Iraq. We have killed the leader of the Somali terrorist group that was responsible for murdering dozens of people in a Nairobi mall. And today there are reports that we have terminated both the right-hand man to ISIL leader Al-Baghdadi and his chief explosives expert. All of this has occurred while conservatives have baselessly complained that Obama hasn’t been doing anything at all.

I’ve noted before that by denigrating the President at times like these it has the effect of emboldening the enemy by creating a false and dangerous impression of Obama as a weakling that they can easily overcome. It almost seems that that is their objective, so that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil will take place that they can blame on Obama. Whatever their purpose, it is plain that they apply one standard of judgment for Republicans and another dangerously negative one for Democrats. And above all they have resolved to put their cynical, dishonest politics ahead of the welfare of the country. And they call that patriotism.


12 thoughts on “We Are NOT At War: The Right-Wing Obsession To Declare Their Delusions

  1. It is also worth noting that the Obama girls have managed to be good kids and stay out of trouble, a testament to their parents, but you will never, ever hear the parents get any credit from right-wingers who claim to support “family values.” Some of the criticism of Michelle Obama has been intensely personal and nasty, yet when a Republican is in the WH, any criticism of the FLOTUS is declared off-limits. Perhaps if Laura Bush ever had an opinion, it would have reflected well on her husband, because clearly she is the smarter of the two.

  2. It doesn’t matter WHAT Barack Obama
    does, to the Right, it’s wrong! He could
    never have pleased them from Day 1.
    Their ‘Sink the ship to drown the Captain’
    strategy has cost all Americans, not that
    they even pretend to care. He cannot trust
    them and, frankly, neither can we! Their Hate
    for this man consumes them. Just look at
    their faces when they are speaking. You can
    see the Hate seeping out of their pores as
    they recite their carefully crafted talking points.
    The people we pay good money to made it
    quite clear. Their #1 goal was to make this man
    a 1 term President, PERIOD! They didn’t even
    mention US! Why? Because to them we are
    expendable, reduced to Collateral Damage.
    They have disgraced themselves, but even worse,
    Our Country…………..

  3. Not having a plan and staying on vacation with all that is going on. I’ve never had a job that if I took off for no good reason, like a death in the family, when I was most needed, I probably wouldn’t have had that job when I got back, or you can say I was proud to stay and do my job. I was a construction supervisor, working 80-100.hours a week on some projects sometime s more, not that I wanted to work that many hours, nor did my works, but they looked up to me for being there making sure they had the tools, material and plan. You can not micro manage people from behind a desk or on the golf courses. He could have at least visited the boarder and see what can be done there. Yes he is the president, but being that you need to able to pull people together is what is needed and manage it. I don’t we this in our president, and that is the main reason people like myself talk bad about him. He needs to inform the people of America on a timely basis and have a plan. Also, we.have ISIS threatening America, killing American citizens and taking over nearly two countries. Something needs to be done, and if it’s not call War than what is it.

    • Your comment is the epitome of the problem with right-wingers. Obama HAS been doing something. In fact, he has been having much success, as noted in the article above. You, and your teabagging comrades, simply refuse to recognize it even after it has been pointed out to you. ISIL is in retreat due to Obama’s actions. So wake the fuck up. Just because he doesn’t telegraph our plans beforehand doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

      • You call me a right winger? Let me tell you something. I am not and will never be a party voter, I vote for who I think Loves this country and I look at their resume, what have they done, not what they say their going to do, unless their have something to back it up. I voted for Bill Clinton, and I think he did a great job. But looking at Obama, before he was elected, what a community organizer, what the he’ll do you people think that this man can do for.our country. He hasn’t done anything but divide us. Keep drinking his cool aid. His time will not end quick enough. So you will know, I didn’t vote for Bush either, I agreed with him going in to afghanistan after the terrorist cells, but going in to Iraq and calling me a terrorist if I did agree with himz he was a asshole president, that spent more money than any president before him, until Obama came along. How as a nation can still be giving money to these other countries at this time when we can’t even pay our own bills. Our southern boarder is more open than ever before, and Obama wants to just like Bush wave his pen and make all illegals legal, putting them on our welfare, food stamps and healthcare system. I’m tired of me paying your bills, so get a job and get off the golf course…

        • You say you aren’t a right winger, but you repeat the same ignorant points they have.

          • Oh yes, he lies, lies lies.
            Never seen a President that lies like him and you drank his cool aid. ANOTHER OBAMA LIE – CLAIMED IRAQ WAR WAS OVER THE…: http://youtu.be/GPr6q_8Mz_k

    • Do you see the gray in that man’s hair? He is working for YOU and me 24/7…. With a high stressed job like his with NO HELP from the right and haters hating everyday he has done a very good job… Let him go on the golf course anytime he needs if it helps him to relax a bit… This President is smart and he plans and thinks before he jumps… And as for the boarder… What was he suppose to do? Go there and shake their hands and tell them welcome to America?

    • “You can not micro manage people from behind a desk or on the golf courses. ”

      You’re right. But you’re so far off the mark it is pathetic. The President doesn’t have to – and should not- micromanage people. Micromanaging is for small minded control freaks. The President should assemble a team of competent subordinates, establish strategy, and leave them to implement tactics.

      Criticizing the President (or anyone) for taking down time is stupid and contrary to best practices.

  4. As an interested bystander from Australia… I have to ask…You have got to be bloody kidding me?!?

    As a Senator Obama voted against the Iraq Invasion (PT.2) and is still having to clean up a bloody mess that Cheney, (using W as a sock puppet,) created to enrich Halliburton to the tune of 40 BILLION.

    This completely bogus WMD hunt – the entire world knew it was a lie (or if WMDs were there America had given them to Saddam in the 80s to use on the Iranians) has cost 2 TRILLION plus, crippled an already underfunded VA hospital system, squandered 4,000 American lives and HALF A MILLION Iraqi lives and you people want to blame OBAMA for playing golf while NOT having a plan?!? And I’m pretty sure he actually said “We don’t have a plan YET” After the UNMITIGATED DISASTER of the SHRUB years you should count your lucky stars you’ve got somebody there who actually thinks before committing more blood and or treasure to the gaping maw Boy George created. *

  5. He knew about ISIS months ahead, but he called them JV. He knew about the Southern Border and chose to ignore it. None of these things were a surprise, where he just heard about it in the news like we do. We pay him to be informed and and preemptive, to figure plans and strategies before they become big problems. In that light, golf as optics looks bad, but is not the real problem. His lack of foresight and judgement is. The glaring question is WHY did he down play ISIS when the Bin Laden document dump gave troves of info that showed the growth of Al Qaeda and other affiliates, including ISIS? WHY did he ignore the border, when Border Patrol was reporting the increasing influx of children from Central America ICE was calling for increase transportation vans way back in January? These are legitimate questions and deserve legitimate answers, not political spin.

    • Yes he knew, he knew what would happen if we pulled out of Iraq, we all did…all but the cool aid drinkers. George W. Bush in 2007 warning about the conseque…: http://youtu.be/6ZkExYK_YWk

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