Rand Paul One of Four Senators To Introduce Bill To Block Military Funds To Syria

Credit: Gage Skidmore/wikimediaCredit: Gage Skidmore/wikimediaSens. Tom Udall (D-N.M), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have introduced legislation that would block military funds from going to Syria.

Text of the bill below, courtesy of Sen. Udall's office:

Title: To restrict funds related to escalating United States military involvement in Syria. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Protecting Americans from the Proliferation of Weapons to Terrorists Act of 2013”. 

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON FUNDS TO ESCALATE UNITED STATES MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN SYRIA.

(a) In General.—Except as provided under subsection (b), no funds made available to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities may be obligated or expended for the purpose of, or in a manner which would have the effect of, supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Syria by any nation, group, organization, movement, or individual.

(b) Exception.—The prohibition under subsection (a) does not apply to funds obligated for non-lethal humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people provided directly by the United States Government, through nongovernmental organizations and contractors, or through foreign governments. 

(c) Duration of Prohibition.—The prohibition under subsection (a) shall cease to apply only if a joint resolution approving assistance for military or paramilitary operations in Syria is enacted.

(d) Quarterly Reports.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 90 days thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to Congress a report on assistance provided to groups, organizations, movements, and individuals in Syria. 

(e) Non-lethal Humanitarian Assistance Defined.—In this Act, the term “non-lethal humanitarian assistance” means humanitarian assistance that is not weapons, ammunition, or other equipment or material that is designed to inflict serious bodily harm or death.

Assad’s opposition includes jihadists who are increasingly sidelining moderate rebels in Syria. Groups like Jabhat al-Nusra have connections to Al Qaeda and are hoping to establish an Islamic caliphate. While those who argue for intervention say that groups like Jabhat al-Nusra will not get their hands on whatever weapons the U.S. and other western nations send to rebels in Syria there is no way that this can be guaranteed.

Thankfully, there are at least four Senators who seem to realize that sending weapons to a region where Assad’s regime (with support from Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah) is fighting jihadist rebels as well as other opposition groups in a conflict that could overspill into Syria’s neighbors is not a good idea.

UPDATE: Looks like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) thinks the U.S. should locate Assad's chemical weapons, destroy them, and "get out."

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  • Pro Libertate||

    Jabhat? Jabba the Hutt?

  • A Serious Man||

    Goopta mo bossa Solo! Ho ho ho!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I find this curious, as there was a meme for a bit that bin Laden and his buddies named al Qaeda as a direct homage to Asimov's Foundation novels. That's complete nonsense, of course, but. . . .

  • Warrren||

    Tulpa sucka Koopa, ho ho ho!

  • Warrren||

    I hate it when the terraists win.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I would like to terraist Barsoom Mars.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You're thinking of terrorforming.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not to be confused with Torahforming.

  • Warrren||

    Or Torispelling

  • JW||

    You're thinking of terrierists. Those scruffy, little suicide bombers.

  • seguin||

    It could be Torahboring - which I think is putting holes into the Old testament using Japanese fighterbombers...

  • Lord Humungus||

    I prefer terrorfarming. Planting corn with explosives

  • Warrren||

    Food and Bombs!

  • Pro Libertate||

    The damned corn will grow. . .or it will pay the ultimate price for its heresy.

    There's also terrafirming, which is the hardening of the soil.

  • Lord Humungus||

    or terrafucking, when poor gaia gets raped by evil capitalists.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There's also terrafarming, which is, well, farming.

  • Warrren||

    Say no more! Nudge nudge wink wink.

  • seguin||

    MONNSANTOE KORPORASHUN!

  • Dibbler||

    Wonder who the new Oliver North will be.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Biden of course.

    And we are only sending some small arms and a few advisors - just to stabilize the situation until they hold peace talks ... or elections ... or some such shit.

  • Warrren||

    Peace, at hand it is.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "sideling moderate rebels"? Are we trying to say sidelining?

  • Warrren||

    Maybe they need aluminum siding.

  • BakedPenguin||

    No, we need to walk up beside them in a stealthy manner and then give them the guns.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You don't want to just approach them straight on, they'll think you're a narc.

  • sarcasmic||

    If Obama does arm the rebels linked to AQ, will that make the United States a state sponsor of terrorism?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It will make him Reagan II.

  • DK||

    Electric Boogaloo?

  • Warrren||

    Emetic Boogaloo.

  • Warrren||

    If he wrote the bill while crossing his fingers does that make it less potent?

  • Cytotoxic||

    God freakin' bless you Randall.

  • A Serious Man||

    Coming soon to a Congressional committee near you: Iran-Contra 2.0

  • Warrren||

    Al Queda-Chavista?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Are you Syri-ous?

  • Warrren||

    Syrah or Merlot?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    As the patent holders for cancer-causing puns, the makers of Batman & Robin now ask that you cease and desist from using their intellectual property without their consent.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Getting this threat means IP my pants.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    For my own sanity, I'll pretend that I didn't understand that pun.

  • Warrren||

    Then the torrentists win!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    John McCain didn't spend all those years in the Senate just so this little upstart can come in and not let him protect America's interests in Syria by arming unknown rebels.

  • SugarFree||

    Good job, Rand. Hopefully this doesn't turn out to be another windmill.

    And in before: "Rand Paul doesn't want to arm Al Qaeda with heavy weapons because Obama is black!!1!"

  • Warrren||

    Maybe we should give them airplanes.

  • ||

    No one is accusing anyone of racism regarding Obama, NutraSweet. Well, except for 90% of TEAM BLUE.

  • MJGreen||

    This is just more clever posturing on Rand's part. He's trying to make the anti-war groups think he's good on this issue.

  • SugarFree||

    My flippant comment was not meant to be dismissive of his effort. I hope he succeeds and he's not dismissed like he is so often.

  • Warrren||

    Who?

  • MJGreen||

    I know. I just expect that kind of reaction from some people. Rand Paul could be elected POTUS and pull all troops from Afghanistan, and he'd still be untrustworthy to progressives on that issue.

  • Gbob||

    It's an obvious dog whistle. Refusing to arm brown people? C'mon. Get with the program.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Only four Senators support a bill blocking an intervention that even the greatest fool could see has a high probability of ending in disaster.

    Shocking that Congress now has lower approval ratings than certain forms of castration.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, this will end in futility.

    Iraq was a "disaster".

  • Jordan||

    So I see that you still haven't figured out that invoking the GOP in order to deflect criticism from your messiah is not some sort of "GOTCHA" around here. Pathetic.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, I care about accuracy.

    Reagan's little adventure in the Falkland Islands was unnecessary but was certainly not a "disaster". Iraq was.

    Libya was not and neither will Syria be one.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I think you either meant "*Thatcher's* little adventure in the Falkland Islands", or "Reagan's little adventure in *Granada*".

    In either case, when it comes to partisan dipshittery, don't cross the streams.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, I meant Granada. So unimportant I forgot about it - but intervention nevertheless.

  • waffles||

    Grenada? My Dad was there when the marines landed. From his perspective it was no big deal.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not to be a pedant, but it's Grenada. Granada is in Spain. We haven't been at war with Spain in over 100 years.

  • Jon Lester||

    But we're still paying for it with the phone tax.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Oh, really? Iraq is a full-fledged BushHitler fucking disaster. Now that fact doesn't qualify ObamaStalin's deadly Afghanistan quagmire, the Libya regime toppling or a potential Syrian invasion as "non-disasters". Come on now! The Obama Kool-Aid cannot be that tasty!

    We know about Reagan's mischief. But he was clearly surpassed in warmongering by his felonious successors Bush I and Slick Willie. That's if you want to talk about past history.

    And clearly the criminal Obama has been no improvement over the wicked Bush II.

  • CE||

    I love the short title section:

    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the “Protecting Americans from the Proliferation of Weapons to Terrorists Act of 2013”.

    Always good to borrow a page from the statists' playbook. Now he can ask other 2016 prez candidates why they voted against stopping the flow of arms to terrorists.

  • Pro Libertate||

    PAPWTA? Really, he needs to work on his naming of bills.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    He should have added something about stopping violence against women and children.

  • Restoras||

    DJIA is down 360 - is shreeeek! going to tell everyone to buy, since, you know, the economy is so great & all?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Slight pullback is all. It will be slow until November after going straight up since the election.

  • Restoras||

    So, buy here? Is that what you are saying?

  • Lord Humungus||

    market correction!

    I'm sure it's of a temporary nature. Tapering QE to infinity and beyond!

  • Restoras||

    Markets only always go up so always buy the dips. Or is it, only dips always buy?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I rather suspect the market hasn't gone up because everyone is in love with Obama. In fact, didn't it take a nice dip after the election?

    Aside from Federal Reserve actions (and similar actions taken overseas), I'd say the only political influence on the market right now is the belief that the government isn't going to do much new to further harm the economy, because of the deadlock in Congress.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, gridlock is good.

    Single-party control always ends in disaster - we do best with a D POTUS and GOP House.

  • Lord Humungus||

    the trillion $$$ question is, how much of the market performance is QE and how much is real gains.

    Every QE announcement certainly gave a nice spike.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites.....013/06/Fed vs Equities.jpg

  • Lord Humungus||

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Stock prices follow earnings and earnings are at record highs.

    QE is just incidental.

  • Restoras||

    Yes, just keep repeating that Chip and I'm sure you will be just fine.

  • Raston Bot||

    Stock prices don't follow speculation?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Mr. PB obviously doesn't know how to read charts.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Charts are for people who don't understand fundamentals.

  • ||

    Hahahahahaha

  • KDN||

    Charts are for people who don't understand fundamentals.

    This is not nearly as true as I wish it were.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Obama got a pass for a while cuz the Market was up and everybody felt great and smart. If this nasty correction continues, the media will finally deal him his deserved tarring and feathering. Prepare the rail and a prison cell. Maybe they can get him and Bush together!

  • DK||

    (b) Exception.—The prohibition under subsection (a) does not apply to funds obligated for non-lethal humanitarian assistance ...

    Cue the White House to use NRA logic:
    Guns don't kill people, people kill people. We can't be responsible for what the jihadists do with those guns.

  • IceTrey||

    "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

    John Quincy Adams

  • Warrren||

    This Adams guy is clearly a terrsymp. His sort is as Un-American as they come.

  • sarcasmic||

    He was like old and rich and stuff. Besides, that was like a hundred years ago and stuff.

  • From the Tundra||

    Sounds like a cool place...

  • Restoras||

    Conveniently, statements like this were also written when we didn't have any mother effin' POWER and couldn't do jack squat if we wanted to.

    Now, unfortunately, we've got weapons and money (well, used to anyway) out the ying yang and lots of assholes in DC that want to win re-election or advance careers, all at the cost of billions of $ and a few human lives.

    I bet if the Founders had lots of weapons, soldiers, and money they'd have happily engaged in foreign entaglements whenever it suited them.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Eh, I'd say that Washington and Adams the First probably had a genuine commitment to avoiding entanglement abroad.

    After them, though...

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I bet if the Founders had lots of weapons, soldiers, and money they'd have happily engaged in foreign entaglements whenever it suited them.

    Considering many of them probably had family and friends that died during the Seven Years War, (which like WW 1 was a war of cascading alliances) maybe they wouldn't.

  • Restoras||

    I used to think that too. However, let's face facts. The colonies were poor and lacked for just about everything that made Europe a nasty, war-torn place to live for the previous 1,000 years. Very little industry, rudimentary infrastructure, a widely dispersed and small population, almost nothing to forage (steal from farmer), etc. etc.

    If those things had been in existence at the time of the revolution and just after, I can easily see the 18th century versions of the assholes we have now getting into all sorts of trouble. With other people's money and blood, of course.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Fair enough. I guess dealings with the Indian tribes of the time counts as "foreign" intervention as well.

  • MJGreen||

    More than that, Americans were all too eager to expand when they faced seemingly weak resistance. There were also those angling to invade Canada. If they had the power, it's easy to think the early American statesmen would sail back to England for some payback or get in on that action down Africa-way.

  • seguin||

    IIRC New England was already a major shipbuilding area before independence, so much so that the British government tried to shut it down because it was outcompeting their own yards...

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Man, what an asshole. Obviously he is not aware that in the modern world, we can't do that because...

    Well, surely there's a good reason. All the smart folk in Washington keep saying that there is.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Obviously words of a traitor in today's world.

  • Hugh Akston||

    UPDATE: Looks like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) thinks the U.S. should locate Assad's chemical weapons, destroy them, and "get out."

    Why does anyone in DC give a shit whether Syria has/uses chemical weapons?

  • sarcasmic||

    What's the point of having a big dick if you can't wave it around?

  • SugarFree||

    Only to the extent that they either want intervention, want to "prove" they came from Iraq to justify Bush's colossal waste of lives and money or a frothy mixture of both.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The latter point really pisses me off. I didn't support OIF, but if I did I'd like to imagine that I could put point-scoring aside for long enough to evaluate whether or not an intervention makes sense without seeing what it does for my self-esteem when it comes to having supported a failed intervention 10 years ago.

  • SugarFree||

    And there's the obvious point none of them want to face: If Saddam sent his vast array of chemical weapons to Syria so we couldn't find them, the war was a failure in the first fucking place.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That, too.

    Perhaps we'll get to hear frustrated Obama supporters complain that Syria sent their WMDs to Iran if they don't find the stockpiles they're looking for.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Saddam was a broken down 2-bit dictator but Bush supporters insist on concocting an elaborate WMD transfer theory in the hopes of salvaging a Bush legacy that is not in the shithouse.

    Again, Obama is not manufacturing evidence against Assad because he has no intention of occupying Syria.

  • ||

    Right, cause Team Blue is soooo much different than Team Red. Keep sucking that Obama cock Demfag.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    What planet are you from?

    Yes Obama would manufacture evidence and lie about chemical weapons. This is another technique he copied from Bush.

    But he will not occupy, merely bomb and enforce a no-fly zone so his "who knows who they are" rebel forces can throw into chaos yet another country that is not a threat to America.

    Which is exactly what a third-term Bush regime would have done.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I will say this: If we simply must intervene, that's the way to do it. Get in, destroy, topple, kill whatever it is that needs destroying, toppling, killing, then leave. With the admonition, "Don't do it again."

  • ||

    How does that benefit the politicians, though, ProL? You need to consider these things from the correct perspective.

  • SugarFree||

    Well, fuckhead Obama-felchers can go "hurr-durr, still not Iraq." Because anything Obama does short of Iraq is OK or something. And if it isn't short of Iraq, they'll switch to some other excuse why Obama is perfectawesome.

  • ||

    But...we're still in Iraq.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There's no place like Iraq.
    There's no place like Iraq.
    There's no place like Iraq.

  • SugarFree||

    Shh. They don't like to talk about reality.

  • Hugh Akston||

    SugarFree, I defy you to point to one time when Barack Obama has made a bad decision or mistake about anything.

    And please remember that he cannot be blamed for the actions of the Bush Administration, or maverick federal employees, or lone-wolf terrorists, or natural disasters, or obstructionist Republicans, or the Economy (except when it's doing well), or anything beyond the proscribed limits of his authority, or anything he read about in the newspaper like regular Americans.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Or anything he reads off of a teleprompter, which, after all, was written by someone he has no direct contact with.

  • Jordan||

    Damn, that was Shriek and Tony all wrapped in into one post. Well done. The only thing you forgot to say is "and even if he did all those things it's totally cool because I trust him."

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    OK, I'll play.

    Obama should NOT have doubled down in Afghanistan. It will cost upward to $100 billion and prove unnecessary.

    Obama is total failure in the WOD. I know he didn't campaign on slowing down the WOD but I was slightly optimistic.

    I hate the health care individual mandate.

    He is better on civil liberties but just barely. But he told us so in 2008.

  • ||

    Which civil liberties would those be exactly?

  • KDN||

    He cares about civil liberties. That makes him better. Isn't that enough for you?

    Also, the halfhearted attempt to close down Gitmo.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, strikes like that do require the use of the military and help perpetuate the arms industry. Not to mention that it's a whole lot easier to say "We won!" when you have limited, achievable objectives.

    So, for instance, let's say we want to take out Syria's chemical weapons. We locate the caches and blow them the fuck up. If we don't get them all, we do it again. Since the stated objective would be to "Blow up whatever caches we're aware of," the politicians will never be wrong, so long as we do that, which should be doable.

    Really, this seems the prudent course of action for intervention lovers. Wonder why they rarely do it that way?

  • Warrren||

    Because there is very little personal cost to turning the dial to 11.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Good point. So we should lash any politician who screws up any intervention.

  • Dweebston||

    The stated objectives and exit criteria are already wholly ambiguous. They'd strap just the goalposts to a transcontinental and wave goodbye.

  • Dweebston||

    ^just strap the

  • Warrren||

    So we should lash any politician who screws up any intervention.

  • SugarFree||

    Wonder why they rarely do it that way?

    For the same reason everyone wants a successful, multi-season TV show and almost no one makes mini-series any longer. The TV show has a longer tail.

    Occupation is the gift that keeps on bleeding, the superior distraction.

  • Pro Libertate||

    See, I think there's so much trouble in the world, we could just blow up different things in different countries. More Movie of the Week than series.

  • SugarFree||

    But what about the syndication market? Or spin-offs?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, there's always Rent-A-Drone, where little countries attack their quaint little enemies.

  • JW||

    But what about the syndication market? Or spin-offs?

    I think it's safe to declare Joey a WMD.

  • Tim||

    Valar Morghulis.

  • Tim||

    He would make a wasteland and call it peace.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I didn't say blow everything up. Just the few things the interventionists want blown up. Of course, this strategy loses any moral compass it might have if they want to blow up everything.

  • Tim||

    You know who else wanted to blow up some things but not others?

    Lyndon Johnson.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You've got to be committed to not getting involved. He wasn't.

  • Warrren||

    Luscious Blow Job?

  • Restoras||

    Your mom?

  • Raston Bot||

    Assuming it makes it out of committee, I look forward to the 96-4 defeat of this bill by the full Senate.

  • Dweebston||

    You foresee, or you're actually looking forward to that eventuality?

  • Raston Bot||

    the same way people look forward to their enslavement at the hands of robot overlords.

  • DaveAnthony||

    Don't forget to do those background checks on the rebels before you give them military grad weapons, Obama. You fucker.

  • Tim||

    I say we leave Assad and let the Russians and the Chinese fund the next ten year campaign to destroy jihadism.

  • Dweebston||

    I have this crazy idea. Bear with me, I'm only just articulating it for the first time. What if, rather than entrusting to the supreme burrito in the White House ultimate authority in committing the country to armed conflicts overseas, we polled the American public first?

    That's pretty cumbersome, so perhaps instead the American people could choose representatives from among their numbers to decide on their behalf whether the country should involve itself in foreign conflicts. Then that body of representatives would tell the president whether he's allowed to take this country to war.

    I feel like we should have been doing this all along.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    3 AM CALL! TICKING TIME BOMB!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Even fucking Bush got AUMFs. Let that sink in for a while.

  • Dweebston||

    Bush wasn't a visionary like the Sun King. Bush foresaw Congressional stalwarts sulking, and balked. The Sun King needs not waste his time on such trivialities.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Call me crazy, but in my opinion, Obama should've been impeached for attacking Libya without Congressional authorization.

  • Dweebston||

    Not just crazy, but RACIST.

  • ||

    And for Fast and Furious. And for NSA spying. And for the IRS' actions. And...well, you get the picture.

  • Pro Libertate||

    True, the articles of impeachment go on for several pages.

  • JW||

    What if, rather than entrusting to the supreme burrito in the White House ultimate authority in committing the country to armed conflicts overseas, we polled the American public first?

    Foreign Policy Idol?

  • PapayaSF||

    Unfortunately, I doubt there's anything we can do to prevent Syria (and Egypt) from imploding. Perhaps if we had knocked off Assad early on in a midnight B-2 raid. But now it looks like the Alawites will fight on to avoid being massacred by the other side, and the Iranians and Russians doesn't want Assad to lose and seem to have the power to prevent that. Perhaps the only "peaceful" solution is partitioning the country.

    However, I'll admit to a level of enjoyment when Sunni jihadis fight a despicable dictator backed by Hezbollah and an Iranian Shiite tyranny. If only both could lose.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The peaceful solution is to stay the fuck out of it. I just checked on Google Maps and Syria is like 8" away from the closest coast of the US.

  • Dweebston||

    Lebensraum, anyone?

  • Warrren||

    That's only two moves if you have the right resource cards!

  • Tim||

    Did you count Puerto Rico?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Does anyone?

  • Tejicano||

    He didn't count Guam either.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    English Major, ladies and gents:

    Rest assured, I got everyone’s emails and tweets yesterday about the “pick-up artist” on Kickstarter who was raising money for his handbook on how to bully women who don’t like you into sex while preserving your claims to believe you had consent should you need to tell the police. I was traveling, so the fact that the guy was scrubbing the actual “advice” that he was promising would be in his book off the internet, made following the story doubly hard, but Casey Malone saved all that stuff (here’s the cached version) and to that we are grateful.
  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    While we're on the topic of the endless war between PUAs and feminists, is there any chance that their mutual stupidity will lead to an implosion of both groups? Just wondering.

  • SugarFree||

    It's like watching someone continuing to stumble but never quite falling over. If she stopped for a second she could right herself, but she just plows forward, like an unstoppable tard locomotive.

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