The Bloodthirsty Nativism of Tom Cotton – Shane Smith

There’s not much to write about Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton that he hasn’t already said himself. His over-the-top war rhetoric cottonhucklebeeis quickly earning him a reputation as chief warmonger on the planet. He became an online sensation when, in 2006, a letter written by him to the New York Times began making the rounds in the Republican blogosphere, in which he suggested that magazine’s journalists should be jailed for a story detailing how the government had been tracking terrorist financing. Think of him as the neoconservative answer to Rand Paul. Whereas Rand Paul has been making attempts to move the GOP away from the interventionist bent, Cotton has surged forth as an equal and opposite force to counter Paul with his brand of scorched-earth warmongering.

His views on foreign policy orbit an ice-covered moon of predictable neoconservative bromides. He supports expanding drone use, dynamiting talks with Iran, and then Iran itself, presumably. He has thoroughly imbibed the entire “I pledge unconditional support for Israel” shibboleth. His support for expanding the Guantanamo Bay prison was made clear at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on February 5th, when he opined that the only thing wrong with the prison was that it had too many empty cells. As for the current detainees, well, “they can rot in Hell. But as long as they don’t do that, then they can rot in Guantanamo Bay.” Charming. This is the type of talk that really gets the base rowdy and wild.

But this is nothing more than militant nationalism, raw and unhinged. It’s the same “we wanna see some carnage” nationalism that hung thick in the air after the 9/11 attacks, but crystallized and made permanent in one person. It’s an unreflective hubris that rules out any negative consequences of any military action taken, and refuses to trace current events to their origins. This simple-minded faith doesn’t have time to be bothered with history, or understanding motives, and when the seeds of the current conflict bear fruit, this progenitor of future conflicts won’t have the slightest inkling that he had a hand in creating it.

Read the rest via The Bloodthirsty Nativism of Tom Cotton by Shane Smith —

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