Sen. Cotton’s Fabric of War

by | Mar 17, 2015

Sen. Tom Cotton and Bill Kristol

Freshman Senator Tom Cotton arrived in the Senate with a real bang. First he authored an unprecedented letter to the leaders of Iran trying to convince them (but really the American public) that the US government is an unreliable negotiating partner. Then his real ignorance about Iran became glaringly obvious, as he demanded that Iran give up a nuclear weapons program that does not exist (shades of Iraq, where the same was demanded of Saddam Hussein).

How did such a relative unknown come to challenge a sitting Senator and win? The Project for a Kristolian Century had no small role. As Mondoweiss reported:

[Bill] Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel bankrolled the Cotton campaign with $1 million as he went down to the wire against Mark Pryor last fall.

Phillip Weiss also pointed out that mega-money donors like Sheldon Adelson, whose one issue is Israel, kicked in a goodly amount as well.

This weekend, as part of his case for “calling [Iran’s] bluff,” he cited Iran’s “control of Tehran” as evidence of its appetite for regional dominance. OK, no one should be held to account for a slip of the tongue, and Cotton’s Harvard education belies some of the mainstream Left’s mischaracterization of him as some kind of countrified half-wit.

But perhaps his smarts lead him to dissemble for effect? Clever!

Whatever the case, the true Tom Cotton came out Monday, as he registered a particularly passionate argument for…a massive increase in military spending!

“The world is growing more dangerous,” he said, “and our defense spending is wholly inadequate to confront the danger.”

One wonders in that case, just how much is enough? Is spending as much as the rest of the world combined still not enough to assume the role of sole superpower? Then perhaps the price of such a “prize” is simply too high. Perhaps it should be up to people like Cotton and Bill Kristol and Sheldon Adelson to put up the money.

“I yield the floor, but I will never yield in the defense of America’s national security or on any front,” Senator Cotton said with a flourish, as he called for the United States to take up the role of policeman of the world:

In our globalized world, our domestic prosperity depends heavily on the world economy, which of course requires stability and order. Who provides that stability and order? The United States military.

But what stability and order is he talking about that has been produced by US military intervention?

Is it the “order” in Iraq after the 2003 invasion produced the rotten fruits of al-Qaeda and ISIS? The “order” in Libya after the 2011 invasion that has delivered that nation to ISIS and al-Qaeda? The “order” produced by US backing of coups d’etat in places like Ukraine — 6,000 miles away and of no consequence to the US — that has led to the death of more than 6,000 people and the looming threat of a nuclear war with Russia? Embracing al-Qaeda in Syria to defeat ISIS and afterward the chief enemy of ISIS, Assad? Is Cotton’s US to wander the world seeking the ruin of countries in the name of ever-elusive stability?

Is this disorder in fact order? Is chaos order? Is war peace? Are we always at war with Eastasia? And, most concerning, is Tom Cotton the future fabric of US politics?


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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