Skip to comments.Casting a Paul on American Strength: In defense and foreign policy, Rand Paul is a menace.
Posted on 04/21/2014 6:27:52 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Again and again, conservatives have cut Senator Rand Paul at least some slack when his pronouncements have moved in the realm of, but not fully shared, his fathers nuttiness on foreign affairs. Its almost as if some nuttiness of his own was allowable as long as it didnt go as far as his fathers did.
But just about every fortnight or so, a new Rand Paul speech or a newly resurfaced old video or news report shows not only that the senator is dangerously neo-isolationist and militarily penurious, but that he is also bizarrely spiteful toward those who disagree. Worse, just as in some of his fathers rants, the Kentuckians pronouncements bend toward wacky conspiracy theories of the blame America first variety. It recently emerged, for example, that just two years ago, he still was trafficking in the Buchananite fantasy that United States trade policy made it somehow culpable for Japans and Germanys anger, which led to World War II.
The latest video to resurface is from a 2009 speech at Western Kentucky University, unearthed by David Corn at Mother Jones. In it, Senator Paul peddles the old leftist theory one that is hideously insulting to the motives and character of former vice president Dick Cheney that the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was driven by the desire to increase the profits of the Halliburton oil-field-services company that Cheney once led.
We need to be fearful of companies that get so big that they can actually be directing policy, the senator said. He went on to blame Halliburton also for doing such shoddy work that our soldiers are over there dying in the shower from electrocution. Noting that Cheney in 1995 had defended the decision not to press the 1991 Desert Storm engagement any further, Paul said: Dick Cheney then goes to work for Halliburton. Makes hundreds of millions of dollars, their CEO. Next thing you know, hes back in government, and its a good idea to go into Iraq. . . . [And] 9/11 became an excuse for a war they already wanted in Iraq.
There are plenty of arguments to be made both for and against the 2003 decision to go to war, but to say that Cheney willingly put the lives of his countrymen at risk in order to make money from a company he no longer worked for is simply beyond the pale. And Cheney wasnt the only one guilty of war profiteering, according to the Book of Paul. At a GOP event in Montana during the 2008 presidential campaign, he said: Most of the people on these [congressional] committees have a million dollars in their bank account all from different military-industrial contractors. We dont want our defense to be defined by people who make money off of the weapons.
This is slanderous. Maybe there are a few Republicans out there who really do think Cheney is Darth Vader, and that multiple congressmen are equally corrupt and vicious. But Senator Paul has peddled similarly crazy and insulting notions about Ronald Reagan namely that he and a war caucus stupidly armed Osama bin Laden and radical jihadists in Afghanistan, to ill result. Every part of this formulation, from a major speech he made at the Heritage Foundation, was dead wrong.
This propensity not just to disagree with others on foreign policy but also to denigrate them (and often to mischaracterize their actions or positions) is a staple of Pauls remarks. In a January piece for The National Interest, he complained about name-calling in foreign-policy disputes: It seems everybodys got a name for themselves and even nastier names for their opponents. . . . If you dont label yourself first, your enemies will. Then he proceeded to engage in . . . name-calling. Criticizing the neoconservatives who preach a doctrine that is hostile to diplomatic engagement, he wrote: To this crowd, everyone who doesnt agree with them is the next Chamberlain.
Again and again, he characterizes his opponents as flat-out warmongers, such as those within the Christian community [who] are such great defenders of the promised land and the chosen people that they think war is always the answer, maybe even preemptive war. Choices are always binary in his world one must either follow his way of diplomacy or, as in his Heritage speech, take the position that war is the only option. In a recent speech at the Center for the National Interest, he built the same militaristic straw man. Those who favor bigger defense forces and more robust postures, he said, have the attitude that diplomacy is distrusted and war is, if not the first choice, the preferred option.
The worst warmongers in Paul World are always the nefarious neocons, sometimes directly associated with Israel, who are blamed for such a wide assortment of ills and bad motives that an uninformed listener might think they are more dangerous to world peace than the Soviets ever were.
On substance, Pauls antipathy for American international engagement, and for just about any aspect of the Bush administrations war on terror, is so strong that he (1) was among only 18 senators (and only four Republicans) who refused to sign a letter demanding strong terms for any agreement with Iran on its nuclear program; (2) suggested that a nuclear-armed Iran could be accepted and contained; (3) actually compared the remarkably humane American facility for terrorists at Guantanamo Bay to the American mistreatment of blacks and Japanese; (4) argued against tweaking Vladimir Putin and said that Ukraine is rightly within Russias sphere of influence, just when Putin was beginning to threaten Crimea in effect, giving Putin a green light; (5) later, was one of only two senators to vote against sanctions to punish Russia for its aggression; (6) denied that the United States is in any way a battlefield for terrorists; and (7) hinted that years of aid to Egypt were wasted (as if decades of peace in the Sinai were immaterial).
And this is not even counting the senators long-standing advocacy for an ever-leaner Pentagon, even though the Defense Department already has borne the brunt of Obama-era budget cuts. Senator Pauls dovishness seems to know no bounds.
Granted, there is much to like about Rand Pauls steadfastness on domestic policies. The cause of limited government has few such stalwart champions. But Paul is obviously considering a presidential race. This is frightening. A presidents first duty is to defend our nation and our international interests. By this standard, Rand Pauls record and views are woefully, and sometimes nastily, shoddy.
Quin Hillyer is a contributing editor for National Review.
I would have had a lot more sympathy for this argument ten years ago. Now, I look at what we have achieved, or failed to achieve, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wonder whether it was worth all our dead boys.
Three years after we leave, things will be back to the way they were, if not worse. Shouldn’t we have just bombed the crap out of Afghanistan, or fought a limited Special Forces action, and left Saddam Hussein alone? It seems more so to me with each day that passes.
All that rhetoric from W about Muslims wanting American-style freedom was in vain. They want nothing of the sort. They want the whip of the State on their backs. Let them fester in poverty and ignorance for another ten thousand years; they are unworthy of a single drop of American blood to lift them out of their medieval squalor.
On most domestic issues the Pauls are ok. On financial issues they are very good. But when it comes to outside our borders... well let’s just say that their views make El-Presidente’s look good.
The GOPe smearing of Rand Paul is in full sway. They will start on Ted Cruz also. This is all about getting around to jamming Jeb Bush or a Jeb like candidate down our plebe throats.
Seeing as that is exactly how the federal government intends to strip Americans of their rights, I'll stand with Rand on that one.
I'd take Rand Paul's foreign policy over the incredibly destructive and wasteful foreign policy that the neocons and NR wanted and gave this nation over the last decade.
Nope, not buying it. America is due for some isolationism. We will help protec Israel is asked, and the rest of the world is on its own. Too many American lives have been lost just to watch politicians give away the sacrifice they made.
The RINO Establishment begins laying the groundwork for the Jeb Coronation....
Did he also hint that Pope Francis is Catholic or that bears crap in the woods?
If you want the man the rinos hate, it’s Ted Cruz, McConnell’s Rand Paul is doing OK with the GOPe.
There is zero warmth for Cruz, from the GOPe.
For years now we have not had to concern ourselves with attacks coming from either the Iraqi or Afgan gov'ts.
Think that would have happened without the wars?
The Iraqi and Afghan governments were not the problem. The terrorist groups who are the problem are still out there.
They most certainly were. Saddam was terrorizing the world by making everyone think he had WMD and he was funding suicide bombers. The Taliban were terrorists themselves.
The latest video to resurface is from a 2009 speech at Western Kentucky University, unearthed by David Corn at Mother Jones. In it, Senator Paul peddles the old leftist theory... He went on to blame Halliburton also for doing such shoddy work that our soldiers are over there dying in the shower from electrocution. ... Dick Cheney then goes to work for Halliburton. Makes hundreds of millions of dollars, their CEO. Next thing you know, hes back in government, and its a good idea to go into Iraq. . . . [And] 9/11 became an excuse for a war they already wanted in Iraq.It isn't any accident that he echoes the left.
Rand Slams Congress for Funding Egypt's Generals: 'How Does Your Conscience Feel Now?'Sen. Rand Paul is hammering his fellow senators for keeping billions in financial aid flowing to Egypt's military -- even as Cairo's security forces massacre anti-government activists. [by "anti-government activists" is meant church-burning Christian-murdering jihadists][Posted on 08/15/2013 5:44:10 PM PDT by Hoodat]
So what's the problem? According to all the evidence I've seen, Halliburton did in fact do shoddy work that did in fact result in soldiers getting electrocuted in the shower... and avoided being held to account thanks to its connections to the RINO Establishment that is now crapping itself in fear of Rand Paul gaining traction.
Sh-it pits Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the core sources of islamic terrorism. Both still get away with it.
Paul is right. His opponents have been warmongers. That’s their owly thing ‘on the table’.