Guest post by Pastor David Carr
President Donald Trump has shaken up politicians’ love affair with aimless, ruinous wars and failed nation building, but too many in the establishment, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, just can’t let it go.
When the president denounced “endless wars” in his State of the Union remarks, he was anything but radical: He stuck to the wise advice of our Founding Fathers. George Washington said, “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.” James Madison said Americans find peace “the greatest of their blessings.”
Later American leaders, liberal and “conservative,” forgot that lesson. By the end of his presidency, Bill Clinton bombed Iraq with a cost of more than $1 billion a year. George W. Bush mismanaged the war in Afghanistan and got us mired in Iraq. Barack Obama did the same in Syria.
McConnell’s latest grandstand said plain as day this is all just fine with him.
An establishment “who’s who” of Democrats and Republicans backed McConnell’s resolution against “precipitously” withdrawing troops from Syria or Afghanistan. This was a “sense of the Senate” vote, so it is nonbinding and just serves to thumb President Trump in the eye.
The senator should tread carefully on these matters. Given the thousands of dollars he has received from defense interests over the years, his willingness to do the bidding of warmongers deserves closer scrutiny. <https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/industries?cid=N00003389&cycle=CAREER>
While McConnell’s neocon showboating got a majority of Senate support, it is telling that three of the most conservative senators – Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and John Kennedy of Louisiana – voted “no” and instead supported our troops and our president’s sound goal to bring them home. They cast a pro-life vote for those endangered by unnecessary war.
And at least on this issue, they’ve got major support on the other side of the aisle, including likely presidential contenders Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar.
Our state’s own Sen. Rand Paul would also have opposed McConnell’s resolution, but was reportedly not able to be in the Senate chamber due to a judicial hearing that day. He told Fox News, “I support the president on this. I think to call it a ‘precipitous withdrawal’ after 17 years is ludicrous.” <https://video.foxnews.com/v/5996918714001/#sp=show-clips>
Paul rightly said our nation must “learn how to declare victory,” having killed Osama bin Laden and disrupted our terrorist attackers years ago.
The people overwhelmingly agree with Paul and with the president. In a recent poll by Politico, 25 percent of Americans “strongly support” withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Syria, while 31 percent “somewhat support” this position. Totaling to 56 percent, that support dwarfs the 27-percent opposition to Trump’s policy. <https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000168-2f50-db11-ab7d-3ff974f40000>
With more than 2,000 troops now deployed to Syria and 14,000 other American servicepersons now in Afghanistan, we are putting many of our bravest men and women in harm’s way for no purpose. Our warmongering has belied our commitment to protecting human life and to safeguarding American interests.
Trump wants to change that, to restore our founders’ vision. McConnell should get aboard that effort.
Pastor David Carr is founder and CEO of the King of Kings Radio Network in Somerset, Kentucky, broadcasting in seven different states through FM Radio and the Internet.