Cain’s foreign policy: Vague while campaigning, hawkish in syndicated columns

Photo of Jamie Weinstein
Jamie Weinstein
Senior Editor
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

Though presidential candidate Herman Cain has been somewhat vague on the campaign trail about several important foreign policy challenges confronting America, over a dozen of his syndicated columns lend insight into his general foreign policy predisposition.

Since Cain’s precipitous rise to the top of the Republican presidential field, many foreign policy analysts and political observers have questioned whether he can continue to remain vague and refuse to give concrete positions on the most significant foreign policy challenges that face America. To mitigate this concern, Cain has staffed up with foreign policy professionals and his campaign recently told TheDC he plans on giving a major foreign policy-centered speech.

But the columns Cain wrote as a syndicated columnist with the North Star Writers Group (which later became North Star National) starting in February 2006 shed light on his foreign policy instincts. Of the 250 columns Cain wrote from the beginning of 2006 until he launched his presidential exploratory committee in January 2011, fewer than 10 percent focused on or included a significant commentary on foreign policy, according to an analysis by The Daily Caller.

These foreign policy columns tend to show the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO to be hawkish on a war on terror he believes “will be fought forever,” disdainful of Democrats and liberals who he argues are fighting a war against America with “words” and are acting as a “propaganda machine” for America’s enemies, and confident that America can overcome its perceived decline with “American-style strength.”

In a May 2006 column entitled “The Truth is Alien to the Left,” Cain argued that though polls showed that the American public had soured on the Iraq War, it was due to a “general lack of knowledge in the public about the success produced by our troops’ presence in Iraq.”

“[T]here have been no successful terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001,” Cain wrote, while listing the positive outcomes of the war in Iraq at the height of its unpopularity.

A month later, in a column entitled “Know Our Enemy,” Cain declared, in the aftermath of the killing of al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the arrest of “would-be terrorists in Canada,” that Americans should understand that the “War on terrorism is global and will be fought forever.”

“Our enemy is not the peaceful Muslims of the world, many of whom remain noticeably silent out of fear of reprisals of terrorists,” he cautioned in the column. “Our enemy is that group of Muslim terrorists whose sole objective is to kill all of us and end western civilization.”

At the end of July 2006, Cain would declare the war on terrorism to be “World War III.”

“The global conflict against Islamic terrorists does indeed confer upon it World War status,” he wrote, adding that “it is fundamentally different than any war we have fought.”

A week later in a column entitled “The Propaganda War,” Cain wrote that “liberals are fighting the war against our great nation with words instead of bullets.”

“Left unchallenged, their words can be just as lethal,” he noted.

In particular, Cain pointed to “liberal media outlets, liberals in the U.S. Congress and the United Nations” as the prime offenders and “the Israeli military, the U.S. military and the Bush administration” as their prime targets.

Cain essentially suggested that liberals had — intentionally or unintentionally — allied themselves with America’s enemies.

“The liberals’ propaganda machine has become the press operation of the Islamic terrorists who plot to destroy America, her military and western civilization,” he wrote.