Tucker Carlson’s loyalty and commitment towards providing a fair and accurate picture of President Trump has been witnessed and appreciated by many. Carlson has also proven himself to be highly effective in keeping leftists in check and revealing their inconsistencies. This week he took his mission a step further by positioning himself at the leading edge of the ideological battle between the two major belligerents in the American foreign policy debate: realists and liberal internationalists (commonly known as the “neocons”).
Most Americans are aware that the Republicans and Democrats are essentially one party when it comes to foreign policy. They’re all neocons, which has its origins during the Thirty Years War when America first began to expand its influence worldwide, while marginalising traditional isolationists at the same time. Of course, this has been one major reason why establishment politicians have been so anti-Trump: he is not a neocon, resulting in neoconservative warmongers perceiving him as an intruder. But, as Tucker Carlson’s presence makes clear, conservative isolationism has not gone away, and Trump’s election may symbolise a revival.
Carlson’s debate with two neoconservatives this week has been a welcome phenomenon, prompting the Atlantic writer Peter Beinart to say that the TV host is “offering a glimpse into what Fox News would look like as an intellectually interesting network”. Carlson’s expectations to have an intellectually interesting conversation with neocons may be naïve however, considering the fact that the latters’ main point of argument is “Putin is literally Hitler!”, but it did provide an insight into what really goes on inside the liberal internationalist brain.
First up was Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, a staunchly anti-Russia neoconservative who wants the US military to “keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault” (the crux of liberal internationalism, albeit usually communicated with more political correctness). Peters was interviewed by Carlson on Tuesday, when the latter made evident his support for a US-Russia alliance in order to defeat ISIS. As expected, Peters was completely blown over by this statement, and even went on to claim that ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi was not killed by Russian forces as reports claim, but instead by Coalition forces.
Peters, as the neocon he is, then resorted to accusing Russia of “bombing hospitals, clinics, refugee homes, schools” in Syria. This comes across as a bit rich, as the United States also committed such terrible acts, especially under Obama, who dropped over 26000 bombs in Syria in 2016 alone. Please also remember that both Russia and Syria have blamed America of bombing hospitals too. Peters went so far as to call Russia “terrorists” due to such aforementioned acts, does that mean Americans are terrorists too?
Compare this to Carlson’s focus on defeating ISIS while also transcending petty Cold-War-style conflicts, as made clear by him responding “I don’t know why we wouldn’t” when Peters asks him if he really wants to foster an alliance with Russia. As a global power who also aims at defeating ISIS and restoring stability in the Middle East, why wouldn’t America work with them to defeat ISIS and come to a solution on Syria? Isn’t that common sense? For the neoconservative, apparently it isn’t, thanks to their warped perception of Russia.
What’s also interesting is who armed ISIS? Was it not under the auspices of both Obama and Hillary Clinton that ISIS was able to expand to such a state and, partly thanks to the CIA, acquire the ability to wreak havoc in far-off regions like Europe and the Philippines? Using Peters’ logic, what does that make America? You may dismiss Obama funding ISIS as an alt-right conspiracy theory, but you cannot deny Obama’s contributions to ISIS’ growth through his careless withdrawal from Iraq.
Let’s also not forget that Hillary Clinton herself outlines her plan to overthrow Basher Al Assad in order to help Israel “deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability”. And how does she plan to do that? By funding Al Qaeda (which became ISIS). She even says that Al Qaeda is “on our side in Syria”. Obama also sold $150 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia, who in-turn funded ISIS. Also remember that ISIS’ presence in Libya is thanks to Hillary Clinton’s disastrous foreign policy measures. This is all apart from the fact that Obama and Hillary Clinton provided weapons and financial support to ISIS. It must also be emphasised that ISIS was, at first, considered to be a foreign policy asset by neoconservatives. The blunders of neoconservatism are galore.
Tucker Carlson’s crusade against a foreign policy ideology that has resulted in such instability should be applauded. Peters may have the impression that Carlson is calling for an alliance with “literally Hitler”, but the point remains that defeating ISIS is the objective, and Russia or Iran pose no direct threat to the US unless funded by Obama, which he did. The same people who now regret the war on Iraq, are calling for hostility against Iran using the same logic they used in 2003. Carlson is right in accusing Peters of making “shallow sweeping moral claims about countries we don’t fully understand” (another crux of neoconservatism that has resulted in this mess). This brings to light the other neoconservative interviewed by Carlson this week: former Mitt Romney adviser, Max Boot.
The session began with Boot hypocritically accusing his opponents of being immoral despite the fact that he himself supported the Iraq War, believing that it would stabilise the region. When Tucker pointed this out, Boot accused Tucker of the same thing, to which the former rebutted by revealing how Boot continued to support similar Iraq-style resolutions in Libya, and now Syria, despite the historic evidence that renders regime change as ineffective. Is it really legitimate for such an individual to use the moral-high-ground argument? Additionally, is it really moral to take down a leader who has given religious minorities a safe haven?
Boot’s accusations against Tucker didn’t end there. During an interview with the National Interest, Boot said Carlson “has become a Trump acolyte in pursuit of ratings…I bet if it were President Clinton accused of colluding with the Russians, Tucker would be outraged and calling for impeachment if not execution.” Boot also went on to claim that Carlson was someone who “basically parrots whatever the pro-Trump line is that Fox viewers want to see. If Trump came out strongly against Putin tomorrow, I imagine Tucker would echo this as faithfully as the pro-Russia arguments he echoes today.”
Yet such judgements are rendered invalid by the fact that Carlson has been critical of neocons even before Trump came into the political limelight. In fact, Carlson’s integrity is demonstrated by his opposition to President Trump’s seemingly irrational April decision to bomb an airbase in Syria. Carlson also shares a warm relationship with libertarian politician Ron Paul and paleo-conservative favourite Pat Buchanan, both proponents of conservative isolationism.
Boot also seems to have swallowed the left’s Russia conspiracy story, stating “You are laughing about the fact that Russia is interfering in our election process. That to me is immoral”. This is despite the fact that the story was proven to be false, and in fact an attempt by CNN to increase its ratings by misleading the American public.
What both interviewees resorted to during the debate was to accuse Tucker Carlson of being a Hitler-sympathiser due to his support for working with Russia. But as Carlson points out, the LendLease Act of 1941 saw billions of dollars being given to the USSR due to the impression that Hitler was a bigger threat than Stalin. Does that mean the congressmen who voted for this act were Stalinists?
This week, Tucker Carlson has taken on the American neoconservative establishment in a way that has severely invalidated it. He has revealed their inability to have reasonable debate, as evident in both Peters’ and Boot’s sweeping accusations made against both Carlson and Putin, something they share with domestic liberals. Carlson went so far as to question even whether Shi’ite Iran is actually a threat, considering how anti-American terrorists are mainly Saudi-funded Sunnis, something even dovish Democrats do not dare claim. It is clear that not only are neocons ineffective, but they are also ideologically invalid, which further supports the need to make America isolationist again.