Skip to comments.Rand Paul Against the World (Trump and Paul versus the hawks)
Posted on 08/10/2018 2:15:10 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
Not long ago, Donald Trumps national security advisor John Bolton was promising regime change in Iran by the end of this year. Uber-hawk Bolton has long wanted war with Tehran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo isnt much different, and has even advocated bombing Iran. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has previously recommend U.S. airstrikes against Iranian targets.
Today, Bolton says the U.S. does not to seek regime change in Iran. So does Pompeo. So does Mattis.
President Trump has been known to be hawkish on Iran. Politico observed Wednesday: Trump has drawn praise from the right-wing establishment for hammering the mullahs in Tehran, junking the Iran nuclear deal and responding to the regimes saber rattling with aggressive rhetoric of his own . There are also powerful factions in Congress and Washington with inroads to the president that have been itching for regime change for years. The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran, says Senator Tom Cotton, once rumored to be Trumps pick to head the CIA.
So what, or who, is stopping the hawks?
Politico revealed Wednesday some interesting aspects of the relationship between Senator Rand Paul and the president, particularly on foreign policy: While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the [Trump] aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul .
On Iran, Politico notes, Trump has stopped short of calling for regime change even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Bolton support it, aligning with Paul instead, according to a GOP foreign policy expert in frequent contact with the White House.
But this part of the story was the most revelatory: Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran, this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East.
This is significant, not because Trump couldnt have arrived at the same position without Pauls counsel, but because its easy to imagine him embracing regime change, what with virtually every major foreign policy advisor in his cabinet supporting something close to war with Iran. Personnel is policy is more than a cliché.
Paul and Trump apparently like making fun of some White House staffers, as Politico also reported: the Kentucky senator and the commander-in-chief have bonded over a shared delight in thumbing their noses at experts the president likes to deride as foreign policy eggheads, including those who work in his own administration.
Eggheads indeed. For every foreign policy expert in Washington who now admits that regime change in Iraq was a mistake (and a whole slew of them wont even cop to that), you will find the same people making the case for regime change in other countries, including Iran, explaining how this time, somehow, Americas toppling of a despot will turn out differently.
So lets understand that the people pushing for regime change in Iran are seeking to destabilize and harm the country writes TACs Daniel Larison. Just as many of the same people did when they agitated for regime change in Iraq and again in Syria, they dont care about the devastation and chaos that the people in the country would have to endure if the policy works.
These are the same Washington foreign policy consensus standard bearers who would likely be shaping U.S. foreign policy unfettered if 2011 Libya liberator Hillary Clinton had become presidentor any other Republican not named Trump or Paul.
When it comes to who President Trump can turn to for a more sober and realist view of foreign policy, one who actually takes into account past U.S. mistakes abroad and tries to learn from them, at the moment it appears to be Paul against the Washington foreign policy world.
President Trump hired regime change advocates as advisors presumably because he wanted their advice, yet theres evidence to suggest that at least on Iran, certain hawks wings might have been clipped.
Most importantly, on arguably the most crucial potential foreign policy decision the president can makeone that could potentially start another disastrous U.S. Middle Eastern warit appears to be Rand Paul who is literally keeping the peace.
THAT'S the Trump non-interventionist conservatives voted for.
One can be a non-interventionist from a military standpoint and at the same time support the ouster of the mad mullahs by supporting the opposition in Iran and by crippling the country with much-deserved sanctions. And this is precisely what is happening.
Paul’s looking better and better for 2024 . . .
Indeed, while regime change in Iran would be a good thing, both for the US as well and perhaps more importantly, for the Iranians, achieving it by overt force would not be in our best interests. However, encouraging the nation at large to effect change from inside their own borders ( perhaps with some “help”), would likely bring about a softer line of leadership that would not be waving a sword at everybody and declaring them about to be obliterated.
Foreign policy is diplomacy first, influence (economic and social) second, and as a long and patient last resort, force.
We can not demand regime change. The Iranian people have to do that. We can be there for them but they have to develop a leader who is strong enough and wise enough or we will end up with another Iraq or Libya
This article seems to be right on the money. Speaking of money we are using that to squeeze Iran’s nuts.
Winning Without War, Wow.
“Today, Bolton says the U.S. does not to seek regime change in Iran. So does Pompeo. So does Mattis.
Seems to me if you really want to seek regime change, it’s best not to SAY you want regime change. That just allows the government to claim all the unrest is due to outside interference by the Great Satan. It rallies those who may be unhappy with the regime to side with them out of patriotism. Better to say we aren’t seeking regime change while supporting the dissidents.
And he is eligible, unlike Jindal, Rubio, Cruz, Haley, George P. Bush.
I don't think Trump was ever really a fan of regime change in Iran. Jeb Bush was less popular than ISIS among Republican voters in 2016 because everyone knew his family has been just a bunch of paid stooges of the Saudi royal family for years. Donald Trump knows this better than anyone else.
I like it. A lot.
Strong, painful sanctions can be persuasive. Iran is already in a world of hurt economically - the new sanctions will increase the pain.
Plus, Iran is watching what the president is willing to do to Turkey. No lightweight sanctions there- I expect Ergodan may have a changed attitude soon.
Uh huh. It is rather sophomoric to tell someone your gonna clean his clock and then expect him to not be preemptive or retaliatory, it’s called savvy.
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