All the Wars and Coups of President Ted Cruz

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) –

Texas 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.

Related video:

Wotchit General News: “Ted Cruz Says He’d Sign Iran Letter Again”

26 Responses

  1. I would love to see Cruz chosen by the republicans for their candidate. I don’t see the American people electing this extremist joker. Because George W got to be president, everyone from Texas believes they can also be president. I want to think that the W presidency was a freak accident in American history, aided and abetted by the Supreme Court.

    • Be careful what you wish for. Very few people thought GWB had a chance of becoming president. And you have an evern worse supreme court today than in 2000.

    • One underestimates the intelligence and perspicacity of the American people only at ONE’s own peril. Just think: George W. Bush; Ronald Reagan; and, most particularly Dick Cheney!

    • There were Texas democrats who registered Republican to vote for Cruz because they couldn´t imagine him winning in the general election. If the Democratic party splits over Israel, the election could be thrown into the House of Rep., and any yahoo the Republicans nominate would be president. George Bush wasn´t an anomaly – he´s slightly under par.

  2. This article explains a comment Cruz made about Obama…”This administration likes to use detente which is a French word for surrender.”

    Let us all pray together…Dear Lord, not another Texan in the White House.

    • JEB Bush was also born and raised down there. Texas politicians never got over losing at the Alamo AND the Civil War. That John Wayne movie made it even worse.

      I mean George is a carpetbagger with two yankee parents and Cruz is a Cuban from Canada with a Commie parent, but he did go to high school in Texas, sooo he’s probably got the war fever too. It’s a good thing Cruz is a 2%er. He’ll drop out of the race after New Hampshire.

  3. Meh. Another vicious bastard foisted on the American political scene by our Ivy League Diploma mills and a supine media (if Cruz is a product of what colleges and universities call, in over-used academic verbiage, “excellence”, we clearly need to turn that term into a negative one – kind of like what the GOP did with “liberal”). Read what acquaintances say about him (NB, acquaintances since he has few friends, and those only in agreement with his politics) and you get the pro forma “super-smart”, before a litany of colorful adjectives or appositives, the most common of which is “asshole” followed in close succession by “arrogant”, “abrasive”, “strident”, and “crank”. (Link to: link to

    And on top of the steamy pile of excreta that is his foreign policy vision, we can add more steamy piles on the domestic front: closing the IRS, his end runs around even the Republican clown car in order to shut down the government, and let’s not even get started on his hates on the poors by his Crusade to take away Jonny’s (or Mindy’s, or Robert’s, or insert your name here) health care and repeal the ACA.

    Alas, his is but another feral reptile of means to regale us with Horatio Alger tales of can-do and boot-straps. His smug arrogance and self-assuredness reminds me of W. – maybe it’s just Texas or something in the water down there, but do we really want someone self-assured making war with our tax dollars against a people we cannot defeat, and shouldn’t even want to fight in the first place? Been there. Done that. Didn’t work.

    Sigh – he’s seven years younger than me, so it appears, given the current blossoming of soon to be rotting fruit on the GOP tree that will call for more wars, my life will finish counting more Friedman units. If we can’t go after Iran there is always Venezuela or maybe Norway (we’d get both oil and fish farms!)

  4. All of which demonstrates the logic of someone devoted to nurturing an Armageddon. Cruz is obsessed with self-fulfilling prophecy, and has been brought up to think himself anointed. link to
    This is his cognitive filter, the iron-clad belief that shapes his acts. I’m watching the end-time TV ministers salivate.
    A few weeks ago, we saw Scott Walker spin tales of the magic of Reagan’s Bible, as if it were the Blutfahne, the Fahnenweihe style power of consecration. This is the psychosis infecting the Republican party.

    • Does Cruz speak in the tongues? These Republican thumpers are like the mutants worshipping the bomb in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

    • Cruz’s father is the religious fanatic. Maybe Cruz believes, or maybe he cynically sees extremism as good for business. Meaning he doesn’t believe the End Times are coming because he will lead capitalism to a thousand-year reich using religion to control the masses.

  5. I seriously wonder if he is a sociopath. He has the intellect and he seems to have no concern for others. I honestly have trouble understanding how someone so “smart” can’t get global warming, among other things. I’m seriously at a loss to tie his intelligence to his rhetoric. It goes beyond normal political distrust/misunderstanding. He seriously comes across as paranoid. I just don’t get it.

    • I honestly have trouble understanding how someone so “smart” …

      If they don’t have a moral compass they are free to go anywhere they want if they can.

    • Uh, most of our high elected officials are socio-paths of (unfortunately) reasonably good intelligence (probably in my time Reagan and W excepted), with a nonetheless long litany of crimes under their belts that reach from Chile to Cambodia to Iran to, frankly, our own communities (where Jonny/Jane can’t read or write not because his/her school is under-funded but because s/he hasn’t been fed). There are plenty of conservatives in academe to the point where in grad school I learned to engage with no one concerning politics in my department (and it was a part of the school of arts and humanities!) Ignorance and callous disregard for human welfare can reign as supreme in an Ivory Tower in the northeast as it can in Kansas (or Oklahoma, or Texas, or wherever the Confederate or Revanchist mindset holds sway).

    • He believes paranoia can provoke the vast redneck zombie army into overthrowing modern democracy and restoring the rich to an absolute monopoly of power. If poor blacks and even his poorer white supporters must be sacrificed for the benefit of superior achievers like himself, that’s free competition. I see nothing in capitalism that requires the oligarchs to give a damn about the long term.

  6. Canadian-borne freshman U.S. Senator Cruz of Texas has held his very first ever elected position for almost four months and is already looking at the White House as a future.

    Elected as if by magic in Texas, the real question to ask is why he was not reconsidered for his position as a clerk for any Supreme Court Justice?

    Freshman Senator Cruz has shown himself to be an irrational, bellicose naked opportunist who plays to emotion, h8 and faux-folksy religiosity.

    Perfect for Texas but bad for our country.

  7. Much has been made of the argument that Cruz holds American citizenship by virtue of his mother´s citizenship (too bad it did not work like that for Barack Obama). But does he hold Cuban citizenship through his father? If he does can a dual national run for the Presidency?

  8. Many of us have seen the bumper sticker that reads, “Don’t mess with Texas!” My response has been that Texas is so messed up that no one would want to bother any further. Rafe Cruz is another Ivy Leaguer who is a carpetbagger, both George Bushes and Dick Armey as other examples, having invaded the Lone Star (a beer?) State with the intention of using the easily fooled people to advance some narrow upper East Coast slicker-than-crude agenda. While some may bristle at this assessment, my question is: “Where are all of the native, born and bred Texans who might best represent their state?”
    I saw Rafe during his marathon monologue in the Senate.* One of the more entertaining moments was his performance of “Green Eggs and Ham.”** This was fun. And, it was further proof that Rafe is not very well informed about his subject matter. As is known, “Green Eggs and Ham” was written by Dr Seuss (Theodor Geisel) in 1960, over ten years before Rafe saw the light on his first day in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Green Eggs and Ham” – itself – was written in response to a bet between Geisel and Bennett Cerf to see if “Dr Seuss” could write a book with as few words as possible. Needless to say, Geisel won (what? I don’t know).
    However. What Rafe misses in what has become an American institution is the purpose of the book, the need to be conservative with one’s verbiage whenever the occasion arises. Rafe has – once again – missed the point. But, having been raised during his formative years in a place that might not have had the same affection for Geisel’s work employing economy of vocabulary, we might excuse him. Rafe has basically gone against the grain on many issues but effaced the board entirely with his employment of “Green Eggs and Ham” during his very, very, very liberal use of language on the floor of the United States Senate on September 24th, 2013.
    And, once again, Rafe has revealed himself to be a true liberal in his thinking and actions. He has used his sense of privilege and entitlement to an extent seen only in those who think that they can get away with anything. As we’ve seen with others of the carpetbagger pattern, willful ignorance seems to be an honoured quality, even a prerequisite to seeking political office. But, why do they seem to always wind up in Texas?

    * link to
    ** link to

    • Texas is the perfect confluence of the South’s racism & Christian dominionism, the West’s selfishness, both regions’ worship of using guns to steal and rule land, and via the oil industry, Wall Street’s megalomaniacal greed. The oil boom made Texans swing to the right out of resentment that the Federal government redistributed its bounties to the rest of the country while regulating its vast pollution industries. The old Texas oligarchy’s careful dampening of the Civil Rights Movement to avoid nasty incidents like Selma allowed the state to pretend it had nothing to be guilty about regarding race. Absent that, equality-hating groups like the Libertarian Party and R. J. Rushdoony’s Christian fascist movement grew like weeds here in the ’70s, planting lies that the Reaganites and their successors mainstreamed into accepted truths.

      Later came the demographic swing endangering white majority rule in Texas, exacerbated by illegal Mexicans and legal Asians. Texans are convinced that they (white only) are the source of all that is good in America and that everyone else is trying to steal their treasure via such evils as immigration, redistribution, and multiculturalism. Those of us Texans who feel otherwise just get steamrolled by fanatics energized by this paranoia. Texas is the Vatican (or ISIS) of a new religion founded on the worst possible combination of American exceptionalism, libertarian selfishness, Confederate race/tribe barbarism, and Christian imperialism.

      In other words, we Texans worship inequality in all possible categories, because we’re sure we will be the winners, more sure than anyone else in America or the world.

  9. Here’s his real danger. He knows how to run on emotion, keywords that get the juices of the disinformed flowing. We think to dismiss him with reason, facts, justice, fairness. Republicans know hate and fear gets people to the polls. Gerrymandering and voter suppression by race also helps. 

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