Due to their utter lack of comprehensive domestic policies more sophisticated than lowering taxes on the wealthy and giving outrageous handouts to multinational corporations, Republican presidential candidates have fought to make foreign policy the central issue of this election cycle. Forced to resort to fear-mongering about the threat of a terrorist group two continents away and riling up conservative voters with paranoid doomsday prophecies, they are desperately trying to exploit a false narrative that Democrats are “weak” when it comes to foreign policy and dealing with Daesh (ISIS/ISIL).
But when one listens to the jingoistic bravados spouted off by Republican presidential candidates, it becomes increasingly obvious that the Republican plan for dealing with the Islamic State is entirely divorced from reality. Consider, the instance, the words of firebrand religious extremist Sen.Ted Cruz (R-TX). A man despised by all except the most devout of evangelical voters, Cruz failed to attend a Wednesday Senate hearing titled “U.S. Strategy to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and U.S. Policy Toward Iraq and Syria.”
Instead, Cruz was lobbying for campaign dollars and spouting off some truly atrocious nonsense that passes for “a strong foreign policy” among Republicans these days:
“We will utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.”
While he clearly thinks the imagery is cute, nothing has made it more obvious that Ted Cruz has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. He certainly hasn’t consulted with any actual military men on the subject, nor is he familiar with any basic military history of the country he claims to love so dearly. Maj. Gen. Robert Scales (ret.), Vietnam veteran and former commandant of West Point, laughed when queried on the issue. “That’s just another one of those phrases that people with no military experience throw around.” The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, General. Paul Selva, disgustedly noted that this “not the way that we apply force in combat. It isn’t now, nor will it ever be.”
The indiscriminate bombing of the Middle East, and the insinuated use of nuclear weapons by Mr. Cruz is not only a monstrous crime against humanity, but the one of the most counterproductive things our nation could do in its efforts to stop Daesh. It shows a horrifying disregard for human life that would deeply exacerbate the situation on the ground, radicalizing thousands with the cruelty of Cruz and providing Daesh with not only ideological justification but all the recruitment propaganda they need. Ted Cruz is a threat to our national security and one of the most dangerously ignorant men in American politics. He is utterly unfit to command anything – and judging from his disastrous legislative career, similarly unfit to govern.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.