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Cole writes: "Texas Senator Ted Cruz is throwing his hat into the ring for the 2016 presidential race today. Cruz has called for six or seven strong US interventions abroad, whetherin the form of invasions, air strikes, or covert coups d'etat."

Ted Cruz. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Ted Cruz. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


All the Wars and Coups of President Ted Cruz

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

24 March 15

 

exas Senator Ted Cruz, one of three Cuban-Americans in the Senate, is throwing his hat into the ring for the 2016 presidential race today. Cruz has made a career out of slamming President Obama for being weak and presiding over the collapse of countries like Yemen (as though Cruz could have done anything about that if he had been president). I figure if you total them all up, Cruz has called for six or seven strong US interventions abroad, whether in the form of invasions, air strikes, or covert coups d’etat. It is hard to tell exactly, since he doesn’t typically demonstrate any detailed knowledge of the situation and just wants to take a “strong posture” rather than detailing any practical steps.

Ted Cruz appears to insist that Iran entirely cease its civilian nuclear enrichment program, which Cruz believes to be aimed at creating a warhead. “ Iran must stop or we will stop them,” he says. Cruz attempted to derail President Obama’s negotiations with Iran aimed at ensuring that the program remains purely civilian. The alternative to those negotiations is ultimately a war. The only plausible way to make Iran cease producing enriched uranium as fuel for its nuclear reactors is to invade it and overthrow its government a la Iraq. So, war then.

Not satisfied with taking steps against Iran that would likely lead to hostilities, Cruz warns that Iran will not only get a nuclear bomb but will give it to Venezuela. He hints around that President Nicolas Maduro should be overthrown before that can happen. Venezuela has a strong class divide, with Maduro supporting the working classes and his opponents aiming at returning power to the country’s wealthy elite. Cruz is with the latter.

Cruz’s response to the rise of Daesh (ISIL, ISIS) in Iraq is to “bomb them back to the stone age” and to annihilate them within a couple of months. Gen. Dempsey told him that was not possible (you can’t defeat a guerrilla movement from the air, and intensive bombing of Daesh territory would just kill thousands of civilians in cities like Mosul). Cruz issued a press release saying Dempsey doesn’t know what he is talking about. His first priority in fighting ISIL, he said, was to close the border with Mexico to prevent infiltration. Bombing Iraq intensely probably counts as fighting a war.

Cruz wants to fight a proxy war with the Russian Federation by arming Ukrainian fighters.

Cruz wants to wage an economic war on the Palestinians, seeking to halt all US aid to the Palestine Authority of Mahmoud Abbas.

In a way the most dangerous Ted Cruz war of all is on the earth’s environment, since he favors increasing the carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere by humans burning fossil fuels and is a global warming denialist. Given that humanity has only a couple of decades to make the changes necessary to keep warming in the 3.5 degrees F. range (already pretty bad), a Cruz presidency would probably be enough in and of itself to drive us to a five degree increase.

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+87 # CAMUS1111 2015-03-24 14:03
Cruz is nothing more or less than an American(?)fasc ist provocateur. He is a menace to humanity everywhere.
 
 
+54 # Ken Halt 2015-03-24 17:23
Why are we even allowing another Texan to run for national office? All Texans should be barred from holding federal position (except dog catcher) until they agree that democracy requires cooperation with others and unwavering respect for the separation clause of the first amendment to the US Constitution! If that isn't enough to forestall his campaign, he was born outside the US and might be a Canadian mole sent here to promote a pipeline through the US for the export of northern tar sands. As I think about that last sentence it seems more plausible with every moment that passes...
 
 
+17 # ericlipps 2015-03-25 04:43
Quoting Ken Halt:
Why are we even allowing another Texan to run for national office? All Texans should be barred from holding federal position (except dog catcher) until they agree that democracy requires cooperation with others and unwavering respect for the separation clause of the first amendment to the US Constitution! If that isn't enough to forestall his campaign, he was born outside the US and might be a Canadian mole sent here to promote a pipeline through the US for the export of northern tar sands. As I think about that last sentence it seems more plausible with every moment that passes...

That'd really get Rick Perry's old pals in the Texas secessionist movement riled up.
 
 
+31 # RMDC 2015-03-25 07:06
-- the Texas secessionist movement

Why don't they just seceed and get it over with. They want to be both in and out. If they are in they want to run the nation, and if they are out they want to leave. I say to Texas, just fucking go away. Take Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Dick Cheney, and George Bush with you. You can all live in the utopia of cowshit and tumbleweeds.
 
 
+3 # futhark 2015-03-25 11:54
Better secession than acting on the power given by Congress to the Texas state legislature in its Act of Admission in 1845 to split into up to 5 states. 10 senators from Texas instead of 2!
 
 
+4 # bmiluski 2015-03-25 13:57
And while we're at it....how about ALL the red states seceeding. After all, most of our federal-aid dollars go to those states.
 
 
+8 # Merlin 2015-03-25 07:25
Hi Ken,
Here is an interesting look at Cruz, his connection to Zionism and right wing Christians and his fundraising. He got $500,000 on the first day of his campaign. Although a second tier player he has some impressive money backers.

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/unapologetic-christians-rightwing?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=fbea2d2738-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-fbea2d2738-398532849
 
 
+2 # futhark 2015-03-25 11:52
Yeah, we already have way too many dangerous Canadian subversives in the is country: William Shatner, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Morley Safer, Avril Lavigne, Dan Aykroyd, Donald Sutherland... Who needs one as president?
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2015-03-25 13:55
Why make the dogs suffer?
 
 
+22 # Farafalla 2015-03-24 22:22
He can't be president. He was born in Calgary, Canada. We would need to change the Constitution to let that clown be president. He's a waste of time.
 
 
+21 # jsluka 2015-03-25 01:00
I believe that is incorrect; you do not have to be born in the territory of the US to be President, you just have to be a "natural born" US citizen. You are a US citizen no matter where you are born as long as one of your "natural" parents is a US citizen. Otherwise, you are a citizen if you are born in the territory of the US. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me here.
 
 
+36 # ericlipps 2015-03-25 04:46
Quoting jsluka:
I believe that is incorrect; you do not have to be born in the territory of the US to be President, you just have to be a "natural born" US citizen. You are a US citizen no matter where you are born as long as one of your "natural" parents is a US citizen. Otherwise, you are a citizen if you are born in the territory of the US. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me here.

You're correct. The first Congress passed legislation stating that Americans born abroad to American citizen parents are U.S. citizens. There are plenty of other reasons Ted Cruz shouldn't be president, starting with the fact that he's nuts.
 
 
+8 # RMDC 2015-03-25 07:09
Well, the "birthers' who Said for years that Obama was not born in the US will tell you that a presidential candidate MUST be born in the US territory.

Besides, Cruz's parents were Cubans. What is his claim to being an American? He's a Cuban and his father was a follower of Castro. How's he going to explain that? Maybe he is a Cuban agent and a pawn of the Castro brothers. The Castro communists are trying to take over the US government. Oh, that is really great. All the Teaparty nuts will be up in arms.
 
 
+13 # jmcg 2015-03-25 08:58
Actually, his mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth. While I appreciate the delicious schadenfreude of being able to turn the birthers arguments against them, it won't do any good, in that they will find ways to justify their hypocrisy and inconsistency.

I believe that we are far better served by dropping the birther bullshit and focusing on why a Cruz presidency would be a disaster for not just the U.S., but the entire world.
 
 
+6 # bmiluski 2015-03-25 09:14
Well put...jmcg.
 
 
+4 # punditalia 2015-03-25 14:27
The situation is far from clear. One of my daughters was born in Rome in 1976. My wife is Italian and I'm American. She was listed as US citizen by the Italians. When we registered her birth at the US Consulate, we were told that she was not eligible to be President and that in order to retain her US citizenship she would have to reside in the US for at least two years been the ages of something like 14 and 27. She hasn't done that and is still a US citizen, so something has changed. Ted Cruz is older and the conditions of his birth are similar, or even more confused. His father was Cuban, his mother American and he was born in Canada. There's certainly more room for a birther controversy here that there ever was with Obama, but that dragged on for a while. That Cruz is an idiot doesn't change anything, as mental deficiency is clearly not a disqualificatio n. Being a Canadian-born Cuban might be however. There are precedents are both sides. Alexander Hamilton, born in the Bahamas, was considered ineligible. John McCain, born in the Panama Canal Zone was considered eligible enough to make it to the election. George Romney, born in Mexico, sought the Presidency, but didn't get past the primaries. Cruz is now a rich Texan. Laws don't usually apply to them.
 
 
+35 # Merlin 2015-03-24 22:39
Yup, the circus has begun. If the powers that run these things, and they are the ones who essentially choose the nominee, (with their control of the MSM and the money they spend,) want an establishment guy, they need a way for him to sound reasonable to the voting public. They, and we, know there is not one of the current crop of crap that does that. Listen to one of their choices… Jeb. However if the rest of these wannabes sound extreme, why then, Jeb comes off as downright centrist, no matter how far out into the oligarchy he really is. (After all “W” was sold as a “compassionate conservative!” Now that was bizarre!)

It is my fantasy, (no more than that,) that people like Walker, Cruz and now Cotton, are the “point men” constantly pushing the extreme further to the right. That is their “job.” Now if they can succeed, like Walker, so much the better, (and they would like that,) but success is not their real job. So in my fantasy, Cruz is not expecting to win. Everything he does is part of the Kabuki dance. He is a supporting actor, helping the real candidate look good and get elected. One can fantasize a number of reasons or benefits the chosen pick would gain. Like distracting the public, (its all about crazy Cruz until his 15 minutes is up), rallying the extreme troops or perhaps taking the heat when floating trial balloons (i.e. throwing a lot of shit on the wall to see what sticks. He gets all the blame.) If they win he is rewarded. Lots of positions to fill!
 
 
+16 # maddave 2015-03-25 00:25
Hey, Merlin!

You wrote "If the powers that run these things, and they are the ones who essentially choose the nominee, (with their control of the MSM and the money they spend,) want an establishment guy, they need a way for him to sound reasonable to the voting public."

Well, Sir, you have obviously not been paying attention: Candidates for the nomination as POTUS (especially on the conservative right wing) are chosen by comedians, late-night talk show hosts, John Stewart, SNL, Comedy Central, etc. Immediately following every election, they go into a panic over their imagined failure of our Democracy to supply enough clowns to fill the next election's Clown Car.

Oh, ye of such little faith! Despair NOT! Led TODAY by Texas Senator Cruz, a bumper crop of certified Bozo's is anxiously chomping at the bit to gain your spotlight. Some, like Cruz, are already providing great material.

To follow an American national election properly, one MUST have a keen appreciation for the humor that lurks in the ridiculous and the absurd! Ah, yes. 2016 promises to be a vintage year.
 
 
+8 # Merlin 2015-03-25 02:58
# maddave 2015-03-25 00:25
“To follow an American national election properly, one MUST have a keen appreciation for the humor that lurks in the ridiculous and the absurd! Ah, yes. 2016 promises to be a vintage year.”

Yes indeed! Good idea to stock up on popcorn! (Maybe buy popcorn stock?) 2016 is already shaping up to have a smaller clown car with more clowns in it. I wonder if they will figure out how to get a second 15 minutes of stardom each. I would sure cheer them on. 15 minutes each of people like Santorum, Paul, Cain and Bachman etc., just wasn’t enough. Maybe they could create a sitcom based around the debates. Maybe call it “Elephant Blues.” (Hey, thats a catchy tune title! Could be used as their theme song.)
 
 
0 # karenvista 2015-03-26 19:55
Quoting Merlin:
If they win he is rewarded. Lots of positions to fill!



Yeah, let me recommend Court Jester!
 
 
+13 # Old Uncle Dave 2015-03-24 23:39
There's no need to give Cruz any coverage. There's no way he'll get the nomination. The GOP isn't *that* crazy yet. I think Cruz is just trying to raise his national profile, thinking about 2020, when the GOP might be *that* crazy.
 
 
+26 # jsluka 2015-03-25 01:03
The GOP isn't "that" crazy yet? Yes they are. There are no limits to GOP crazy, a la Einstein's famous dictum "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
 
 
+13 # janie1893 2015-03-25 00:35
makes me wish there was a God, because if Cruz becomes president, we will need all the help we can get.
 
 
+16 # ericlipps 2015-03-25 04:49
Quoting janie1893:
makes me wish there was a God, because if Cruz becomes president, we will need all the help we can get.

Reminds me of the faux bumper sticker I came up with when right-wing TV evangelist Pat Robertson was running back in 1988:
ROBERTSON FOR PRESIDENT '88
HE'LL BRING AMERICA TO ITS KNEES
 
 
+11 # backwards_cinderella 2015-03-25 04:02
I think he's a decoy. Another clown trotted out to distract everyone from what the GOP/Koch Bros are really doing. He's no more serious about becoming president than Sarah Palin was.
 
 
+7 # kath 2015-03-25 06:34
We have a winner!
 
 
+15 # walt 2015-03-25 05:43
A mere look at the audience Cruz is trying to satisfy tells all. The Republican Tea Party is the bane of the country and dangerous to all of us and the world as well. The most frightening part of it all is that Cruz probably means the insane comments he spews.
 
 
+17 # fredboy 2015-03-25 07:27
He is one of the most dangerous individuals to ever seek the presidency. And clear evidence that many Americans, the victims of post-9/11 PTSD and sustained brainwashing, are boiling over with fear and hatred and paranoia.

This is a very, very, very dangerous time for America.
 
 
+11 # Larry 2015-03-25 08:00
I agree that the real function of a Cruz candidacy is to (a) inflame the most extreme quarters of the party, and (b)by not so much pushing the rhetorical envelope as ripping it to shreds, making the encoded fascism, racism, bigotry, warmongering and gun worship of the other Reicht-wing candidates seem almost reasonable. But the most dangerous thing about a troll like Cruz is that his antics distract us from talking about the real problem in this country: The large segment of the American people who will eagerly vote for a more amiable, charismatic fascist like Jeb Bush.
 
 
+6 # progressiveguy 2015-03-25 08:32
That's right. Even Texas republicans don't want Cruz to be president. They want to use him now as an attack dog so the eventual republican candidate will seem more moderate.
 
 
+7 # Larry 2015-03-25 08:45
And while the white-hot (and I do mean white) rhetoric of a Cruz is merely cringe-inducing for the sane, it is perceived by white supremacists their ilk as a call to action.
 
 
+6 # bmiluski 2015-03-25 09:16
I just heard that Ted Cruz has signed up for ObamaCare...... ...ha, ha, ha,. Seems he was on his wife's insurance plan. But since she quite her job to work on his election bid....they have no insurance.
Why they didn't sign up with a regular insurance company beats me. After all they have the money.
 
 
+9 # fredboy 2015-03-25 09:20
I was one of the first journalists in the U.S. to cover the GOP-evangelical marriage and its purpose. Was there on Day 1, the first 'Washington for Jesus.'

The Cruz selection of Falwell's Liberty U. fulfills the shift. The GOP has displaced and replaced Christianity among evangelicals. They now support and have long supported policies and beliefs that oppose the teachings of Christ. They are anti-Christian.

Their God is the GOP and its dictates. Marching, as is their way, in obedience.

Their Madonna is Ayn Rand, an atheist and quite cruel humanist. They worship her beliefs.

When historians look back they will see a near perfect capturing and orchestration of the lesser minds of our generations, the frightened, the hateful, and the obedient. They will see this as the major crack and division in what was the United States of America and what was Christianity. Both will likely disintegrate. Let's only hope there will be enough good and courageous souls around to offset the impact of the vicious and move forward with positive notions.
 
 
+6 # reiverpacific 2015-03-25 10:02
Like all fully-fledged reactionaries, this (hopefully) overblown blimp on the Tea-Party radar is an international US-centric ignoramus, shoot-from-the- hip warmonger who never served in any military himself but would, like Torquemada Cheney, happily send the youth of his country out to senseless, murderous combat, death, crippling injury, madness or suicide if -Gawd forbid- he ever got within shouting distance of the presidency which also carries the armageddon-unle ashing red button responsibility.
We're not just talking about the US here but the whole of global civilization in its various stages of development and all our earthly relations.
That alone should make anyone capable of it think about supporting this self-aggrandizi ng nut-case, who must have got his law degree out of sympathy rather than any academic ability, 'cause his diction comes over as that of a rather slow village idiot, which must describe the mentality of his supporters and prospective voters (we've been down this road before with Dan Quayle, Dimwits Bush and Sarah Palin).
And I'd no idea that he was "Cuban-American "; I thought he was from Canada. Probably wants to invade that country too and hand it back to the Mafia, C.I.A. and the spawn of the old Batista fascist dictatorship.
He also sounds more and more like that ol' Francisco Franco lover, Patrick Buchanan.
Oye-oye, vat a prospect: only in Texas -and infotainment-du lled America (with appropriate apologies to all good Texans).
 
 
+3 # JSRaleigh 2015-03-25 14:17
Why won't Ted Cruz release his long form birth certificate?
 
 
+5 # CAMUS1111 2015-03-25 14:38
Natural born? Judging from the fascist crap that comes out of his mouth, I'm fairly certain Cruz was born anally; is that natural?
 

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