During Thursday’s broadcast of Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough whined about the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that President Obama put forth on Wednesday in regards to the ongoing situation with ISIL in the Middle East. The former Republican Congressman stated during a panel discussion that he feels the President has no strategy and that this measure is “half-assed.” Scarborough said that America needs to go in to “win the war” and not take an incremental approach. He then used the wars in Korea and Vietnam as examples of the United States not utilizing a ‘win the war’ approach, obviously ignoring the fact that hundreds of thousands of troops were sent in both cases.
Per the President’s AUMF that is to go before Congress for debate, the United States will not send any additional combat troops to fight on the ground. The 2,600 troops that are already in Iraq will continue to serve in a training capacity. Also, airstrikes against ISIL will continue. Local forces from Iraq and surrounding countries will be used to combat ISIL on the ground. For Scarborough and others on the right, this is unacceptable, as America needs to go big or not at all.
Scarborough unleashed one of his typical smug rants where he pointed out all the important people he knows and talks to who agree with him, because as we all know, Joe knows best. He also continually said this was a “half-assed” action by President Obama due to the fact that he doesn’t know what he is doing.
“The mistake that Americans have made time and time and time again is they have gone into war half-assed. A little bit here, a little bit there, we’ll see what happens. They end up using American men and women as targets for enemies, for suicide bombers, for snipers to blow their brains out. If you are going to war, go to war to win war. If you’re not going to go to war to win war, then keep our men and women home. This right now continues to seem, to me at least, to make more of a halfway approach.”
He also pointed out to panel member Harold Ford, Jr. that he would not vote for the AUMF if he were currently in Congress. This led to further discussion about not going all-in when it comes to war, with Scarborough complaining that the United States made the same mistakes in Korea and Vietnam by taking incremental approaches. Finally, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who was also sitting on the panel, stopped him dead in his tracks and let Joe know he was way off base.
“What led us into Vietnam was the military claiming we could do all of these things and we couldn’t. We had half a million troops in Vietnam, twice as many in Iraq. No comparison.”
Dean not only highlighted how inaccurate Scarborough’s comparison was, but also pointed out just how far many on the right want to go with this military action against ISIL. Heck, if half a million troops wasn’t enough in Vietnam and represented America being half-assed, how many do they want to be sent to Iraq and Syria now? A million? More? When is the endgame? Is there one?
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).