Categorized | News, Opinion


I like Senator Marco Rubio.  He’s a rising star in the GOP.  And Senator Rubio is still better than either President Obama or VP Biden.  But his speech on foreign policy was terrible.  It could have been written by Senator Lindsey Graham.  That is no compliment.

Here’s the text and some highlights, or maybe lowlights:

On the one hand, I found liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans working together to advocate our withdrawal from Afghanistan, and staying out of Libya. On the other hand I found myself partnering with Democrats like Bob Menendez and Bob Casey on a more forceful foreign policy. In fact,  resolutions that I co-authored with Senator Casey condemning Assad and with Senator Menendez condemning fraudulent elections in Nicaragua were held up by Republicans. I recently joked that today, in the U.S. Senate, on foreign policy, if you go far enough to the right, you wind up on the left.

What right do we have to condemn any world leader?  No matter if he or she deserves it.  Should Congress speak on every question?

Would it have occurred if, after the war, we had minded our own business, and left the world to sort out its affairs without our leadership?

We did not have the option of disengagement during the Cold War.  But what about since 1991?  Rubio favors to use his word in this speech, “muscular” intervention:

In those instances, where the veto power of either China or Russia impede the world’s ability to deal with a significant threat, the U.S. will have to organize and lead coalitions with or without a Security Council resolution.


And this concept is neither novel nor partisan. President Clinton acted exactly in this way in Kosovo with the support of congressional leaders like Senator Lieberman.

I know this is not the last time I need to say this:  Kosovo was a deliberate attack on a nation (Yugoslavia/Serbia) that did NOTHING to us!  The so-called genocide was contrived.  No one should be proud of the 1999 incursion.  If President Obama would apologize to the Serbs, I’d write a blog in SUPPORT.  Sen. Rubio ought to be ashamed of himself here.

Rubio supports the fall of Assad – and that we should push him out:

The current situation in Syria is an example of such an approach. The fall of Assad would be a significant blow to Iran’s ambitions. On those grounds alone, we should be seeking to help the people of Syria bring him down.

Maybe Senator Rubio should consider the ICC trial just concluded:  The former Liberian leader Charles Taylor. Convicted of helping rebels in a another country who committed proven atrocities:

The tribunal found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity by supporting notoriously brutal rebels in return for “blood diamonds.”

Presiding Judge Richard Lussick said the warlord-turned-president provided arms, ammunition, communications equipment and planning to rebels responsible for countless atrocities in the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone civil war. Lussick called the support “sustained and significant.”

We supported the Libyan rebels and they committed alleged human rights violations; should our leaders be charged by the ICC?

(I of course do not believe in the ICC.  The next President ought to issue an executive order forbidding any executive branch cooperation with the International Criminal Court and Congress should pass a law in effect placing them on the terrorist list.  That would be a good start.)

But intervention always brings blowback.  And sometimes blowback is not foreseeable.

Senator Rubio advocates the same failed Wilsonian ideals that has impoverished a great nation:

First, we must be a clear and consistent advocate for freedom. To be free isn’t limited to holding elections; it’s a way of governance. And in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador, elected leaders have used their power to undermine fundamental freedoms by attacking the press, the courts and their political opponents.

Second, we need to commit to being a reliable partner as our neighbors cope with significant security challenges. Both Mexico and Colombia need our continued commitment to win their respective wars against criminal organizations. And we must also make it abundantly clear that we will not tolerate Iran exporting violence and terrorism to our hemisphere.

Third, we must reject protectionism and instead embrace the ultimate goal of a free trade area of the Americas. The recently approved free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama was a good step. We need to move forward to bring both Canada and Mexico into the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

And fourth, we should move aggressively to form a strong energy partnership with Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and a post-Chavez Venezuela. A stable Western Hemisphere displacing an unstable Middle East and an increasingly belligerent Russia as the center of the world’s energy production would create countless jobs for Americans and energy security for the world.

This is a recipe for more intervention and more hatred of the US and Americans.  Senator Rubio rejects the sound wisdom of John Quincy Adams:

And I disagree with voices in my own party who argue we should not engage at all. Who warn we should heed the words of John Quincy Adams not to go “abroad, in search of monsters to destroy”.

I made an error.  This appears to be more from Sen. Rubio’s speech:

The atrocities of Joseph Kony would still be largely unknown. But in fact, millions now know because an American filmmaker made a short film about it and then distributed it on another American invention YouTube.


And long after the last American soldier has left Afghanistan, God willing there will be millions of strong, productive and independent Afghan women because today they are the first girls in generations to attend school in that country thanks to America’s generosity.

So, let’s lose our freedoms and acquire trillions in debt so that Afghan girls can go to school!  Or that a warlord in Africa is arrested?  I reject the Rubio doctrine.  With all due respect, I say, he can send his kids to war for feel good reasons but don’t send mine.  I cannot support Senator Rubio for Vice President.  I am sure President Paul can do better.




About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Steve Edwards says:

    I agree 100% with you Ken. It would take a lot of discourse to explain it, but really it shouldn't. People should have the right idea by now. Keeping Virginia free is the best thing to do right now. Not the world, not even the Universe. Just Virginia, and America too, If they want to come along.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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