Byron York: DeSantis’ critics say he’s out of “the mainstream” on Ukraine. They’re wrong. He’s mainstream, they’re not.
What to make of DeSantis’s answers? Has he taken Putin’s side against America? Has he moved to the extremes, the crazy fringes, of the Ukraine debate? No, he hasn’t. There is a range of opinion on what the U.S. should do in the Ukraine matter, and DeSantis occupies an entirely legitimate position, no matter what his more excitable critics might say.
Lindsey Graham just claimed that Ronald Reagan would begin shooting down Russian planes right now.
He would? Does Lindsey Graham realize that Regan faced the actual Soviet Union, in full expansionist empire/funding terrorism mode, and had ample opportunity to “start shooting down Russian jets” over his eight year presidency? Does Graham think that Reagan wanted to give the order to begin World War Three, but kept missing his opportunities?
It is imperative to remember that Ronald Reagan actually used US forces very little. He mounted a very small expedition to Grenada, a casualty-free intervention. He agreed to insert US Marines into Lebanon as peacekeepers — and then deeply regretted the decision, when terrorists blew up their base.
Through the CIA, he funded anti-Soviet mujahadeen fighters. He did not send US jets to “shoot down Russian planes” or helicopters in Afghanistan.
And he fired a cruise missile at Qadaffi.
Here are Reagan’s actual rules for sending US troops into harm’s way.
If Reagan was the man who sent the Marines to Lebanon, he was also now to be the man who decided he would be the man to remove them. To get out. He knew that this was a bad situation. Doing this would send a signal of weakness to some (and indeed, years later Osama Bin Laden said just that.) But Reagan had no intention of committing Americans to a full-scale war in the Middle East. And the MFN peacekeeping operation with the British, French and Italians had failed abysmally. So….he pulled out the troops. And home they came.Which prompted Reagan to eventually write out a set of four principles. Four principles, he would write in his memoirs, that were specifically designed “to guide America in the application of military force abroad, and I would recommend it to future presidents.”
Here they are:
Reagan Rule 1: The United States should not commit its forces to military actions overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.
Reagan Rule 2: If the decision is made to commit our forces to combat abroad, it must be done with the clear intent and support to win. It should not be a halfway or tentative commitment, and there must be clearly defined and realistic objectives.
Reagan Rule 3: Before we commit our troops to combat, there must be reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for and the actions we take will have the support of the American people and Congress. (We felt that the Vietnam War had turned into such a tragedy because military action had been undertaken without sufficient assurances that the American people were behind it.)
Reagan Rule 4: Even after all these other tests are met, our troops should be committed to combat only as a last resort, when no other choice is available.
Does this sound like the rules being pushed by Lindsey Graham, David Frum, Bill Kristol and all the rest of the neocons?
No, of course not. Because what they are contending for is not a continuation of Regan’s use-of-force policies, but the Bush family’s promiscuous rules for using force. Use it early, use it often, and use it incompetently.
Remember, Bill Kristol was part of Bush the Elder’s administration — at least, he was an advisor to VP Dan Quayle, and got himself mentioned in a lot of “news” articles as “Quayle’s Brain” — not part of the Regan Administration. It was Bill Kristol who invented “National Greatness Conservatism,” in which America can only repent for its sins, and prove its greatness, by constantly sending our troops all over the face of the earth to fight all the dragons the chickenhawk Kristol was certain were in need of a good slaying.
And it was in Bush the Younger’s administration when these “defense intellectuals” had their greatest impact, using 9/11 as grounds to put their theories of “Muscular Foreign Policy Idealism” to the test.
They seem to be the only people on the planet who have not yet realized that their theories failed, bloodily and humiliatingly.
And they know that they are pushing Bush’s policy of foreign intervention promiscuity, not Reagan’s.
But the Bushes are very badly tarnished brand, and Reagan remains a strong one. So they lie and claim the Bushie Foreign Policy they’re pushing is really Reagan’s.
It’s not. They’re liars and scumbags, weak men determined to send strong men off to die so they can get high huffing on some Secondary Testosterone.
We all who lived back in the 1980’s how the Media Gutter Dwellers treated Reagan just the same was they did Trump their usual Lies and gutter level stuff especially Gary Trudeau in his putrid Doonesbury comics
Liberasl have lied about Ronny for 70 year. They still hate him; and lie about himbecaise of hate.
Ronnie called liberal GOP “Neo Commies”. Reagan hater Dick – dad of Ronny hater Liz – convinced the Press ( MSM 50 years ago) that they could confuse and likely mislead low info conservatives by changing the m to n!
Cheney was right. IT worked.
How many low info conservatives voted for the Nanny State liberal “Bubya” aka GWB?
I never voted for the liberal GWB! Did vote Ronny 9 times!