Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough yelled at Rep. Peter King (R-NY) because he said that the congressman wanted to continue a war in Afghanistan that started when the soldiers dying today were only children.
During an appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to hype his flirtation with a 2016 presidential run, King was asked if he was trying to balance out the isolationism of possible primary opponents Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“You do believe that the Republican Party’s foreign policy has been too expansive over the past decade?” Scarborough wondered. “We’ve even, dare I say, as a country, engaged in military adventurism that has not put the United States first.”
“I have to disagree with you,” King replied. “We had to be in Afghanistan, not so much because of what happens in Afghanistan, per se. But if we, for instance, once we’re out of Afghanistan, what’s going to happen to Afghanistan, what’s going to happen as far a destabilization?”
“How long should we stay in Afghanistan, Peter?” Scarborough pressed. “Another 12 years?”
“Listen, we’ve been in Germany now for 60 years,” King insisted. “If we pull out of Afghanistan, how will it be different from Sept. 10th, 2001? If we pull out there’s going to be a vacuum, there’s going to be the Taliban, there’s going to be Al-Qaeda and also it’s going to be the Pakistan Taliban. We’re talking about Islamist terrorists who are poised to come at us.”
Scarborough pointed out that the difference between now and 2001 is that Al-Qaeda was no longer geographically centered in Afghanistan.
“Al-Qaeda is not geographically centric anywhere now, it’s in Yemen, it’s in Africa, it is across the globe,” the MSNBC host noted. “We can’t be the world’s 9-1-1.”
“That’s the type of exaggerated debate that does not help us,” King charged.
“Peter! It’s not an exaggerated debate!” Scarborough shouted. “We have been in Afghanistan since 2001! There are people dying in Afghanistan this week that were 5, 6, 7 years old when the war started, Peter! It is not our job to be the world’s policeman and to be there for the next 20 years!”
“It is our job to protect the United States of America, and I’m saying if we arbitrarily withdraw from Afghanistan, we leave ourselves open for another attack,” the New York Republican argued.
“Arbitrarily withdraw? We’ve been there for for over 12 years!” Scarborough yelled. “How long do you want to stay in Afghanistan?”
King recommended that troops remain in the country “for at least the next three of four years.”
“What happens in three or four years?” Scarborough barked. “They’re still going to be there. They’re still going to be there ten years from now. They’re still going to be there 20 years from now.”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast July 19, 2013.