Questions for Martha McSally: Are you a Neocon war monger like your endorser John Bolton?

In this continuing series, “Questions for Martha McSally,” we pose questions to
the McSally campaign about her positions on current hot topics — I am
not going to give her a free pass until after the GOP primary like our local media did in 2012 — and neither should you.

us-forces-afghanistan-AP-640x480Martha McSally, is running her third campaign for the congressional seat in CD2, but in all of this time she has never been called upon to address her views on foreign policy or national defense.

If you check Project Vote Smart, you get “We do not seem to have anything yet for this candidate.” If you check ThePoliticalGuide.com, all they have is  boilerplate empty platitudes and bumper sticker slogans supposedly taken from McSally’s campaign web site:

Forward Thinking National Security

We face powerful and determined threats across the globe. I have spent my life defending America from these threats, and I’m not about to stop now. We have to be discerning of their intent and capabilities; we must be decisive about the course we take. America cannot allow our enemies unfettered access to the vast ungoverned regions of our planet. We must clearly define our national interests, craft the strategy to safeguard those interests, and then focus our resources to ensure the safety, security, and future prosperity of our nation.

McSally’s own campaign web site still does not have a section for McSally on the issues, but only describes the “three pillars of my campaign” as “economy, leadership, government overreach.” There is nothing at all about foreign policy or national defense issues (other than the A-10 Warthog).

McSally barely touched upon foreign policy or national defense issues during the 2012 campaign, or since.

  • In February 2012, McSally said “We need to have conditioned based (vs time based) turn over of responsibility to Afghan security forces.” [Interview on azstarnet.com, 2/28/12].
  • In April 2012, McSally opposed President Obama’s announcing a proposed withdrawal from Afghanistan, and suggested that withdrawing from Afghanistan was a bad idea.[KGUN 9 News, 4/09/12].
  • In August 2012, McSally said that military cuts should be considered in reducing the nation’s debt.[Arizona Daily Star, 8/19/13]. But in October 2012, McSally said that she supported the doubling of defense spending since 2001 due to the two wars.[Arizona Daily Star, 9/19/12].
  • In February 2013, McSally appeared on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren, and approved of using drones, if necessary, to target American enemy combatants on foreign soil. [Fox News 2/7/13]. In April 2013, McSally testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of using drones in military operations. [McSally testimony, Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, 4/23/13].

Martha McSally’s one claim to fame, her opposition to wearing a head scarf while in Muslim countries, was not universally shared by her fellow female officers in the Air Force. Lt. Col. Cheryl Garner, USAF Best Defense guest columnist for Foreign Policy (March 2011) wrote Hey, it should be our choice – The Best Defense – Foreign Policy:

It was with tooth-grinding frustration that I read retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally’s 18 February column in the Washington Post. In my opinion, she’s done a disservice to women like me, currently serving in Afghanistan. Even more troublesome are the outright inaccuracies in her editorial, inaccuracies I feel compelled to dispel.

First, to the best of my knowledge, no commanders in Afghanistan are insisting that women who serve here have to wear a headscarf, or chador, as it is called locally. I bring this up because the very title of Col. McSally’s article, “Why American troops in Afghanistan shouldn’t have to wear headscarves,” implies that this is happening. Actually, I have yet to see this. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Women service members whose duties call for them to interact with Afghans daily are frequently forbidden by commanders from wearing chador, even if they want to.

Second, McSally portrays the chador as a religious item. That statement is highly debatable. There are in fact non-Muslims in Afghanistan who wear chador because it is considered culturally appropriate, a fact that is seemingly lost on McSally, who apparently fails to grasp the wide cultural variance within the Islamic world, as evidenced by her “apples to oranges” comparison of wearing the abaya in Saudi Arabia to wearing the chador in Afghanistan.

You should read the entire piece.

Martha McSally’s views on foreign policy and national defense just moved up to the top of my list of topics that I want to depose her ask her campaign questions about with this announcement on Thursday (the local media should do the same). Bolton PAC Makes First Endorsement:

Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton’s political-action committee will make its first endorsement on Thursday, backing former Air Force colonel Martha McSally in her race against Arizona Democratic representative Ron Barber.

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The John Bolton Super PAC (he also has a regular political action committee) will support candidates who share his vision for a muscular American foreign policy and the need to revive America’s role in the world.

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McSally will receive a total of $10,000 from Bolton’s organization . . . “I am honored to have the support and endorsement of Ambassador Bolton, a great American who has advocated for our freedom against enemies worldwide,” McSally said in a statement.

Batshit1Oh Hell No! On a Batshit Crazy scale of 1 to 10, John Bolton breaks the scale blowing past 11. Martha McSally is the first endorsement for Bolton’s Super PAC? And she calls this reckless war monger “a great American”?

This endorsement should be setting off  alarm bells and warning sirens all over Southern Arizona today. Shit just got real.

Since we know nothing at all about Martha McSally’s views on foreign policy or national defense, let’s take a refresher course on the views of her new endorser and campaign contributor, John Bolton, shall we? Here is the profile of John Bolton from Right Web:

john-bolton1John Bolton is a senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and the chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a rightist “pro-Israel” activist group that has been accused of fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment. A longtime national security hawk, Bolton is a former board member of the Project for the New American Century [the folks who brought you the Iraq War] and a past adviser to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. He is a frequent contributor to Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the Weekly Standard, and other right-wing media outlets.

Bolton has been a key Republican Party figure since he was tapped to serve in the Reagan administration in the 1980s, where he held a series of posts at USAID before joining a team of Federalist Society lawyers under Attorney General Edwin Meese.[1] He later worked in several high-level positions in the George W. Bush administration, including as the State Department’s chief diplomat on arms control and as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. A major focus of his work in and out of government has been to free U.S. military power from international constraint.

Bolton has long dismissed the legitimacy of the United Nations and other international institutions. In a 1994 speech at the World Federalist Association, Bolton infamously declared, “If the UN secretary building in New York lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”[2] He has also dismissed international treaties as nonbinding “political obligations”[3] and was a leading opponent of the International Criminal Court, which he once claimed would turn the “senior civilian and military leaders responsible for our defense and foreign policy” into “potential targets of the politically unaccountable Prosecutor in Rome.”[4]

Bolton’s recent involvement in politics has included serving as a foreign policy surrogate for the 2012 Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan presidential campaign and floating the possibility of running for president himself.

In October 2013, he launched an eponymous PAC and Super PAC, anointing them with a mission to “seek out and support candidates for nomination and election to federal office who are committed to restoring strong American national security policies.” Seeking to roll back an increasing libertarian influence on the GOP’s foreign policy, Bolton said in a statement that “We must be prepared to do what it takes to protect the idea of American exceptionalism and our basic Constitutional priorities—the preservation of which are essential not only to our security, but to our prosperity as well.”[5] As of April 2014, Bolton’s PACs had raised over $1 million between them but had yet to support any candidates for office.[6] [Until now]

Bolton is rumored to be considering a bid for president in 2016, making visits in 2013 to early primary states as part of what journalist Robert Costa described as “an informal national tour” to “give speeches, huddle with GOP leaders, and push back against the party’s libertarian shift. He’ll make the case for a muscular foreign policy.”

Arizona’s own Neocon war monger who never met a war that he did not want to start, Senator John McCain, has also endorsed Martha McSally. Supported Candidates – Country First PAC.

Our lame-ass political media in Arizona had better start asking lots of questions about the candidate’s views on foreign policy and national defense. There should be a GOP primary debate dedicated solely to these issues, and there should be one or more general election debates dedicated solely to these issues. The panel asking the questions should have the credentials to ask the questions, not some lame-ass local reporters who typically reproduce campaign press releases as “news” reports.

I will prepare a set of interrogatories questions for the McSally campaign in a future post.

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