GOP Foreign Policy Fight: Rand Paul vs. Rick Perry Edition

it's happeningTexas/U.S. SenateWith the 2016 election now less than 28 months away, something is happening in the Republican Party that doesn't appear yet to have a counterpart on the Democrat side—potential Republican contenders are arguing substantively over what kind of foreign policy the party and its 2016 standard-bearer should support. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) got the ball rolling last month when he blamed the unrest in the Middle East on George W. Bush's Iraq war.

Eight years ago, Paul's father, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) was the only Republican candidate that questioned the wisdom of George Bush's hyper-interventionist foreign policy. Republicans lost the 2008 election with a candidate, John McCain, who openly embraced the bulk of Bush's foreign policy. Four years later they lost again with another candidate, Mitt Romney, who openly embraced the bulk of Bush's foreign policy.

In the 2016 election, it's the Democrat candidate that's all but guaranteed to openly embrace the bulk of Bush's Obama's Bush-based foreign policy. And while a lot of the potential candidates on the Republican side are ready to reject Obama's foreign policy as not enough like Bush's, Rand Paul is doing his best to show that the Republican party has alternatives—alternatives that are good for its electoral success, good for America's fiscal health, and good for world affairs.

Texas Governor Rick Perry will have none of it. Writing in The Washington Post Perry likened the threat of a bunch of religious extremists waging a way against governments in the Middle East with the existential threat to the free world the Soviet Union posed, arguing:

In the face of the advancement of the Islamic State, Paul and others suggest the best approach to this 21st-century threat is to do next to nothing. I personally don't believe in a wait-and-see foreign policy for the United States. Neither would Reagan.

Reagan led proudly from the front, not from behind, and when he drew a "red line," the world knew exactly what that meant.

Paul is drawing his own red line along the water's edge, creating a giant moat where superpowers can retire from the world.

Paul rejected Perry's contentions in an op-ed published by Politico, arguing that he has not, in fact, advocated doing nothing in Iraq, and that his and Perry's and Obama's views on what to do in Iraq aren't all that different:

Perry says there are no good options. I've said the same thing. President Obama has said the same thing. So what are Perry's solutions and why does he think they are so bold and different from anyone else's?

He writes in the Washington Post, "the president can and must do more with our military and intelligence communities to help cripple the Islamic State. Meaningful assistance can include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sharing and airstrikes."

The United States is actually doing all of this now. President Obama has said he might use airstrikes in the future. I have also been open to the same option if it makes sense.

I support continuing our assistance to the government of Iraq, which include armaments and intelligence. I support using advanced technology to prevent ISIS from becoming a threat. I also want to stop sending U.S. aid and arms to Islamic rebels in Syria who are allied with ISIS, something Perry doesn't even address. I would argue that if anything, my ideas for this crisis are both stronger, and not rooted simply in bluster.

If the governor continues to insist that these proposals mean I'm somehow "ignoring ISIS," I'll make it my personal policy to ignore Rick Perry's opinions.

It's an old story—during the 2012 election many of the Republican candidates supported a residual force in Iraq, something Barack Obama supported too, yet during the election cycle Republicans and Obama supporters both pretended otherwise. In the end Obama benefited while Republicans sunk another election. The trouble with basing foreign policy on appearing "strong" is that it ignores whether the foreign policy is sound, choosing to bank on nationalist fervor instead.

The urge to "do something" in the face of Islamist advances in Iraq is strong, especially for politicians who fear looking "weak" in the eyes of what they assume is a militant-minded voting population. But as I argued last month, "doing nothing" in Iraq could be the best option for combatting ISIS—we will keep being drawn into slaying monsters overseas until the people overseas learn to slay them themselves. In the 2000s American men and women fought and died for Iraqis freedom. For the Iraqis to keep and preserve it, they will have to learn to fight for themselves.

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  • Andrew S.||

    If the governor continues to insist that these proposals mean I'm somehow "ignoring ISIS," I'll make it my personal policy to ignore Rick Perry's opinions.

    That's a good idea regardless of whatever Perry insists.

    How that man got elected, and how he was re-elected, I'll never know.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bible-beating fake cowboys are popular in Texas.

  • entropy_factor||

    you mom is popular in Texas, and probably mostly because she is a frickin' cow.

  • ||

    And bible-beating drone murderers (unfortunately real and not fake) are apparently popular in places like the south side of Chicago.

  • Spoonman.||

    It's pretty hard to complain if you're in Texas right now. (Other than that it's July and you're in Texas.) For a while at least half of all jobs added since the recession were in Texas.

    Is that something Perry and his magic hair accomplished? Of course not, but why rock the boat?

  • Jingo||

    As a Texan conservative, I can tell you Perry was a traitor. He betrayed us in the Texas State House and coordinated with Dewhurst and Straus to kill all conservative legislation and he misappropriated funds for his cronies numerous times, he also killed the TSA bill. The only bills he allowed were "token" social legislation like the abortion laws, which are really gimmicks to try and win over catholics (whose only social issue seems to be abortion because they know their faith is shrinking due to conversions to Protestanism so they try to outpopulate them).

    Perry is desperate because he's not gonna be governor anymore and he wants to be President so he's trying to destroy his competition, namely Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. I suspect he's doing everything he can to dig up dirt on Cruz because he's the bigger threat (Texas is Cruz country and Perry has no shot at the nomination if he can't win his home state). Perry is one of the most manipulative liars in political history. When he is in a GOP primary he claims to be against illegal immigration and promises to build a fence, and brings up secession but then when he is in a general election, he starts praising "the union" (which makes many Texans vomit), and then signs orders/bills giving welfare to illegals.

  • paranoid android||

    He's good enough, he's smart enough, and doggone it--uh, I forgot the third.

  • Hyperion||

    + 1 unnamed agency

  • Cytotoxic||

    In the future, after we've taken over and done our thing, someone should mark a gravestone for The Unnamed Agency and use it for peeing on.

  • Hyperion||

    You can feel free to take a pee in the men's room at any of the former agencies which will have all been converted to useful establishments, such as breweries and bordellos.

    EPA Ale House!

    DEA Brewery and cannabis shop!

  • Sudden||

    If the unnames agency is anything like the unknown soldier insofar as it's intended to represent all agencies, I'll gladly micterate upon it multiple times daily.

  • Swiss Servator, Alles Klar||

    "I just want to understand this, sir. Every time a rug is micturated upon in this fair city, I have to compensate the owner?"

  • entropy_factor||

    I loved watching Ron Paul troll Perry in the 2012 GOP debates. I hope Rand gets his swag ready, he will need to fend off mendacious attacks all the way through.

  • ||

    At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this is more than a GOP foreign policy fight. It's a fight for the American soul as it relates to other nations and for our standing in the rest of the world.

    The Democrats, by and large, have given up on dovishness and are full-bore in favor of a nation-building,war-mongering, meddlesome foreign policy that permits violations of the Geneva convention and infringement on national sovereignty as it relates to bombing campaigns, the rule of law and spying. And in this respect, they are very much aligned with most of the GOP.

    This fight is to restore a partisan divide on what we will accept as individuals those things the nation does in our name. Hopefully Rand Paul will win the fight and a counter to the current policy will again be restored. If not, hopefully he will continue the fight and siphon off enough people from other political groups to do the same. Because Pax Americana isn't working in more ways than one.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The Dems were only ever dovish when America should have been bombing and killing people-Afghanistan in the '90s-and aren't dovish when there is no American interest at all ie the Balkans. They are dominated by Liberal Internationalists whose vision for American foreign policy is even more altruistic than the neocon one. They are broadly copacetic.

    Lets leave nonsense like the Geneva Convention and 'dovishness' out of things. Lets just get back a self-interested foreign policy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Bullshit. Who got America into WWI? WWII? Korea? Vietnam? All Democrats. They're only doves when a Republican is in the White House.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I was referencing a more recent time frame, and my point does not contradict yours. American foreign policy was dominated by Top Liberal Men in the '90s.

  • ||

    What was Gulf War I?
    Panama?
    Grenada?

  • Cytotoxic||

    1. Bad idea that was left off in such a way that necessitated Gulf War 2.

    2. A response to an increasingly unstable dictator who we couldn't control and threatened American interests.

    3. Fighting communism! Fuck yeah!

  • ||

    Ok. Now tell me what they all have in common.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Is it BOOSH?

  • ||

    I know you're fucking with me now. Anybody with a half a brain knows it's "neocon warmongering by a GOP administration."

    And that shit doesn't sell now that the people we are attacking are biding their time and then striking back at us.

    And that's the difference in places like Panama and Iraq. The majority of Catholics aren't going to want to wage a jihad,on America when we invade/prop up/muscle Panama. When we do it to a country in the Middle East, otoh, Muslims will.

  • MSimon||

    Yeah. Leave the Muslims alone. They fight back. And even better they want to conquer the whole world. We haven't seen ambition like that since communism was ascendant.

  • Restoras||

    No drones?

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    The last three ground wars have all been Republican, only one of which was remotely justifiable.

    The neocons have reduced the Reagan/Goldwater branch to an afterthought. There are two parties of war now, and they generally only disagree about percentages, not policies.

  • ||

    Lets leave nonsense like the Geneva Convention and 'dovishness' out of things. Lets just get back a self-interested foreign policy.

    Yeah, nonsense like the accepted rules of warfare we signed on to. Or the foreign policy that is essentially an expansion of the NAP. That's real nonsense there.

    Or,I guess it would be to someone that thinks Obama's greatest achievement is murderdroning as many brown people he has.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Needs more brown babaiez.

    I don't care that we 'signed onto' rules of warfare. The only rule America need be concerned with is 1) fight wars that protect American individual rights and 2) do it in such manner that destroys the enemy at minimal cost to us. Anything else is altruistic trash that immorally sacrifices Americans for the sake of others.

    'Dovishness' in Afghanistan got plenty of people killed on 9/11. Being a dumb pussy is not an extension of the NAP. Further, since all dictatorships are violations of the NAP, it is within the NAP's bounds to destroy any dictatorship anywhere.

  • ||

    Well, when you fail to fight with principle 1 in mind, principle 2 really isn't relevant, is it?

    As for dovishness causing 9/11, I'll refer you back to Gulf War I, our bases in Saudi Arabia and the meddlesome aftermath with our no-fly zone bullshit. That's what led to the Anubis that caused 9/11, not our willingness to leave them,to their own devices.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Principle 2 is absolutely relevant! Our campaign in Afghanistan has been severely knee-capped by bad ROEs designed to 'win hearts and minds' and put the lives of Afghans above our own. It is evil and has wrecked that campaign.

    While Gulf War 1 was a bad idea and so were the bases in SA, they categorically did NOT cause 9/11. OBL was already laying the foundations of AQ before that. The Islamists hate us for our freedoms and have said so. Stick your fingers in your ears and throw a tantrum all you like but A is A. The real root of 9/11 was allowing the Iranian Islamic state to exist. Failure to invade Afghanistan after it hosted AQ was another milestone, as was excessive deference to Pakistan during the '80s anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan.

  • ||

    I said principle 2 doesn't matter if you ignore principle 1. And we ignored principle 1 when we invaded Afghanistan and conducted a war of conquest rather than a war of retribution against those that carried out the act.

    As for OBL laying the foundation for AQ prior,,gulf war 1 and the bases in Saudi Arabia were certainly good for recruiting.

    And do they really hate us for our freedom? A few may, but by and large the people over there want to become more free. Look at the beginning of the Arab spring in Iran. Those people wanted some moral support and they probably would have gotten their government,to cave. Min stead, we send arms to Libya and Egypt and create a hostile Islamic group of states all across North Africa.

  • creech||

    "The Islamists hate us for our freedoms and have said so"
    Interesting. Can you quote what OBL said that indicated 9/11 was an action caused by AQ's hatred of our freedoms?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The Al-Qaeda Reader is a fascinating read.

  • Sudden||

    1) fight wars that protect American individual rights and 2) do it in such manner that destroys the enemy at minimal cost to us

    I honestly have little problem with this, but would only amend by addition of "3) Upon having destroyed said enemy, fucking leave and allow the residents of said shithole to figure out their own form of governance without our paternal nudging."

  • Cytotoxic||

    Ah yeah that's kind of implied by #1 but fair enough.

  • antisocial-ist||

    Dovishness' in Afghanistan got plenty of people killed on 9/11.

    Not enforcing our immigration policy got plenty of people killed on 9/11. Almost all of the terrorist were in the country illegally on expired visas. If I were a paleo- conservative/libertarian politician I would hammer that point every chance I got.

    See, we don't need to spend trillions playing world cop, just enforce our laws, and protect the homeland. Make the NSA focus on actual threats instead of recording everything.

    I honestly think that position could get a lot of votes, but the stupid party will never try it.

  • retiredfire||

    A thousand times: YES!

  • sarcasmic||

    The Democrats, by and large, have given up on dovishness and are full-bore in favor of a nation-building,war-mongering, meddlesome foreign policy that permits violations of the Geneva convention and infringement on national sovereignty as it relates to bombing campaigns, the rule of law and spying. now that one of their own is in the White House, and they'll be protesting again the moment there's a Republican in there

    -ftfy

    Seriously. Look at the last five major conflicts. With the exception of Bush, they were all started by Democrats. They're only doves when there's a Republican in the White House.

  • Idle Hands||

    Rick Parry is good for exactly one thing, trolling Californians.

  • ||

    Parry is good at deflection.

  • Idle Hands||

    so your saying he's good at dodgeball?

  • ||

    Um...

  • Idle Hands||

    Volleyball?

  • Idle Hands||

    Oh, Spelling.

  • ||

    Dingdingding

  • BakedPenguin||

    I doubt he's good at spelling. But back to your point, I'm sure he's good at ducking hard questions and deflecting.

    "tRick Parry - not the President America wants, the President America Deserves - 2016"

  • ||

    WHOOSH!!!!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Not exactly. My jokes just didn't come off.

  • pmains||

    Touche.

  • pmains||

    Also, Reason does not allow me to add an accent mark over the e in "touch'e". What's up with the nativist comment filter?

  • Rich||

    Just be more touché feelé with the filterbot.

  • kilroy||

    You mean like é?

  • pmains||

    Hm. I was told by filterbot that I was using a non-English script and needed to repent.

  • kilroy||

    You should check your account balance with the squirrels. Using alternate characters has a high surcharge. I tip them in pecans which they seem to enjoy... on Mondays... sometimes.

  • ||

    They mostly like walnuts at night. Mostly.

  • Sudden||

    I get the thrust of your riposte

  • Hyperion||

    Perry is a dullard. And Romney has already proven that hair can no longer get you elected. It takes more, like minority status.

    Apparently, to get the GOP nomination though, it still takes telling SoCons that we have to kill people overseas, because that's the right thing to do, because freedom.

    If our government really wanted to handle the threat of radical Islam the best way possible, they would just totally ignore the entire region. The folks in that region will be so busy resuming their 7th century tribal warfare that they will forget the USA even exists. The only reason they remember us now is that we keep fucking around over there all of the time so that they can't.

    When the religious fanatics in the region kill enough of each other, maybe the sane folks will finally get control of the situation. Or maybe they'll just be another Saddam Hussein who constantly appears on the teevee prattling off impotent rhetoric about destroying the Great Satan, while we all go about our daily stuff. To me, that option sound a lot better than sending hundreds or thousands of our young men to die, to fix something that is not fixable by us.

  • Idle Hands||

    IMHO Romney/Fatso/Bush and Nikki Haley will be the ticket, so you should probably take your medicine now and get it over with.

  • Hyperion||

    America's no longer buying war mongering, unless team blue is selling it, because you know, they're doing it for the right reason. So, Hitlary war monger beats team red war mongers.

    War mongering + first female potus + war on wiminz + moar drug warz = WIN/WIN.

  • Idle Hands||

    "first female potus + war on wiminz"

    That's why the GOP will put a women/token minority on the ticket and Haley meets both criteria.

  • Idle Hands||

    No way Hillary wins the general election.

  • Hyperion||

    Prediction?

    Hildebeast is like a +40 on my prediction list right now. Women vote will turn out for her, no matter how much women hate her, they will vote for her in droves, because war on women + first female potus. Sure most conservative women will not vote for her, but all of team blue and lots of independent will, it will be more than enough.

    If anyone comes even close to Hillary in the Dem primaries, team Clinton will take that person down, they might wind up in the bottom of the Potomac, with concrete shoes on.

    Seriously, does anyone who is not demented, like that woman? She is beyond detestable.

    But team stupid will run another Romney/McCain. Like you just said, Fat Boy or Boosh 3, they really are that stupid. The GOP establishment will never let Rand near the nomination. And if he did manage to pull of the miracle, they will all support Hillary over him. Hell, I think they like Hillary better than any of their possible candidates anyway, she is after all, the biggest NeoCon out there besides McCain.

  • Sudden||

    If anyone comes even close to Hillary in the Dem primaries, team Clinton will take that person down, they might wind up in the bottom of the Potomac, with concrete shoes on.

    The Clinton machine isn't what it was. Per the recent book Blood Feud, the rivalry between the Clintons and Obamas is splintering the Dem donor base. I predict the Obama machine gets fully behind Fauxcahauntus, and she secures the nomination.

    The Dem rank and file know Hilary has high negatives and frankly, very few respect her and only previously registered any support because they thought she was the First Female POTUS. Lizzy Warren comes riding in without any pro-BOOOOSH war votes besmirching her record and saying all the right proggie capitalism-hate and her whole primary campaign turns into a victory lap.

  • Hyperion||

    White Squaw may be the only one thing that the GOP can count on to hand them 2016. The only other chance would be Rand, and they are not about to let that happen.

  • ||

    Warren is unelectable outside of New England and the west coast. Hell, she probably couldn't even carry Illinois. She's a shrill intellectual and not the kind of populist woman Team Blue will want to nominate. There's no way they let her run.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Lizzy is polling very poorly right now and even worse with Liberals than moderates. Hillary dominates the Dem crowd but contrary to what Hyperion says Hillary's negatives are pretty high (or so I here). If the next economic cycle swings on by it will be a slaughter for team blue.

  • Hyperion||

    contrary to what Hyperion says Hillary's negatives are pretty high

    I didn't say her negatives are not high. They are sky high, but the electorate's love for non-sense like war on wiminz and first female potus, will outweigh all of the negatives.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The War on Women didn't work though. White women did not especially go to Obama it was minorities.

  • ||

    without any pro-BOOOOSH war votes besmirching her record

    Being pro-bush war doesn't hurt Obama much.

  • ||

    I half agree with you. I also think Hillary will win but it will happen regardless of who a Team Red runs. The people on the left have concocted a winning formula: minority candidate + promise free shit + vilify opponent with compliant media = win

    It will win every Presidential election until we get involved in another major war and the sitting Dem gets blamed for it...and it still may work after that.

  • Sudden||

    It will win every Presidential election until we get involved in another major war and the sitting Dem gets blamed for it...and it still may work after that.

    Jesus Christ this portends a grim future. At what point do we begin considering seppukku?

  • ||

    At what point do we begin considering seppukku?

    Seppuku? Um, when the time comes, point your knife the other direction.

  • Restoras||

    No need for seppukku. Just stock up on things that will be valuable in a short- to medium-term crisis/collapse.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    If our government really wanted to handle the threat of radical Islam the best way possible, they would just totally ignore the entire region. The folks in that region will be so busy resuming their 7th century tribal warfare that they will forget the USA even exists.

    This.

    In the past, we at least, had an excuse. Oil. But this paradigm has been overcome by technology. We no longer have a dog in this fight.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Oh, and...

    Thay h8 us four R FREEDUMZ!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Well, they do. But they hate each other more and are killing each other. The Iraqi insurrectionists are already killing each other.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Cyto, let us assume, for a moment that you're right. Let's say they hate us for our freedom. Who fucking cares? Let em hate away.

    When they attack us, we retaliate. Until then, fuck em'. What are you going to do, bomb them into liking us?

    Do you like to be told how to live? I'm guessing you don't. Why do you think it's okay to tell others how to live?

  • Hyperion||

    What he means is that they hate Westernism. Well, that's true, the true Islamists hate it. But that is a problem for their people, not us.

    Like you said, we aren't going to win people over by bombing them, that just creates more hateful radicals. Want them to love us more? Just spread around more internet, let them see what they are missing. That is all we have to do, nothing more.

  • ||

    If we have to fly drones over them and drop things, why should we drop bombs when we can from penthouse mags, booze, smokes and iPods filled with NWA and Rush? I'm pretty sure we'd get better results with the latter.

  • Sudden||

    If our government really wanted to handle the threat of radical Islam the best way possible, they would just totally ignore the entire region. The folks in that region will be so busy resuming their 7th century tribal warfare that they will forget the USA even exists.

    As tempting as it would be to agree, I think this is a bit of a myopic view personally.

    Even if we cease our militarism abroad, our cultural imperialism is ubiquitious. We live in an era where ever the poor in the most economically backasswards nations that litter Mother Gaea have cell-phones with full internet. The exposure to a broad range of Western products from fast food to porn to substance abuse is fairly broad, and that is something that devout Muslims see as a threat to the holiness and virtue of their coreligionists.

  • Hyperion||

    Even if I agree with that, and I do, I still hold to the premise that the best way to handle this, is to do nothing. If people don't want to live under Islam, they have to solve that themselves, we will just make it worse, and get a lot more people killed while we're at it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The problem is that the Muslim radicals see our freedom-loving culture contaminating and corrupting their, which is why they hate us for our freedoms.

  • Restoras||

    I agree with you Cyto, but if we ignore that entire region and let them kill each other until they do sort it out, it will be better for us.

    There is no way to know reliably what will come next there so it doesn't really seem like a good idea to be mucking around when a) we don't know what we are doing, and b) we can't predict the future.

    If ISIS does establish a state - it will be easier to deal with that than what we are trying to deal with now.

  • Hyperion||

    They hate Westernism, that's for sure. But if we aren't over there fucking with them, they can focus their wrath at their own populations, and that will be when they will eventually start losing ground. Most of the world doesn't want to live in the dark ages. But droning wedding parties isn't going to win us any love.

  • Homple||

    "Perry is a dullard."

    The successful governor of a large state is probably not a dullard. Prone to the occasional verbal infelicity, but not a dullard.

    The trouble with the chattering classes and those who court their approval is that they conflate nice talk with intelligence.

  • setTHEline||

    I think you're finding some false correlation between intelligence and political success. The correlation you're looking for is between the **appearance** of intelligence and political success. Perry is just as likely a dullard as your average college-educated citizen (which is almost everyone these days), but he's done better at convincing his peers that he's more intelligent than them and should in charge.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Rand Paul keeps insisting that we are funding ISIS's Syrian allies, but that is simply wrong. ISIS has no allies in Syria-ISIS is as much an enemy to the rebels as the regime.

  • Hyperion||

    You mean he's wrong that ISIS in Syria is not the allies of ISIS Iraq?

    Because you aren't saying that we haven't been/are not aiding Syrian rebels, correct?

  • Homple||

    We're splitters.

  • pmains||

    No allies in Syria? None whatsoever? According to Breitbart:

    Another Syrian rebel group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, the terror group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

    The 1,000-member Dawud Brigade, based in the town of Sarmin, located in Syria’s Idlib province, has thrown its weight behind the Islamic State. The entire rebel brigade had reportedly arrived Sunday in Raqqa, the city that the Islamic State has turned into its main Syria headquarters.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The main Syrian rebel groups are against ISIS.

    You mean he's wrong that ISIS in Syria is not the allies of ISIS Iraq?

    That's the same group. There is only one ISIS.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    There is only one ISIS.

    WRONG!

  • pmains||

    OK. So now we've gone from "ISIS has no allies in Syria" to "[t]he main Syrian rebel groups are against ISIS."

    By the "main Syrian rebel groups", I suppose you primarily have the FSA in mind, which is accurate.

  • Adam||

    The problem is that the "FSA" is actually not a single group, but a disparate group of militias that put up an organized, unified face near the beginning of the armed conflict with the regime. The fact is that the various groups that make up the FSA are at varying degrees opposing or supporting, and I mean varying in the fullest sense of the term. There is very little unity within in the FSA, with most of of it in specific regional alliances. There are groups around Aleppo that are fighting against ISIS (and/or Jabhat An-Nusra, who is also fighting against ISIS).

    Of course the recent public declaration of the establishment of the Caliphate only deepened the divisions. And we can't leave out the Kurds, who will fight anyone who doesn't give them control of the northeast.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), it's much more muddy than this.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The biggies-FSA, Tawhid, Nusra, Arar-Al Sham, and others are all fighting ISIS.

  • Adam||

    But, the non-biggies, add up to a shit-pot of fighters, almost all of them Jihadist-type Syrians. I know most of the news in the States doesn't confirm this, but Arabic news does; as well as my friends here along the Syrian border who either were in one of the groups or have relatives still in them.

  • Adam||

    ...should have said, "...some of the Arabic news does..." Certainly not all of it.

  • Rich||

    Perry says there are no good options. I've said the same thing. President Obama has said the same thing.

    This agreement on "no good options" might indicate potential agreement on "doing nothing" being a cost-effective approach.

  • Idle Hands||

    Your insane Rich that would make them look "weak", better to pass a bill that does nothing or exasperates the problem than keep the status quo.

  • Rich||

    OK, pass the "Do-Nothing Act of 2014" and be done with it.

  • Hyperion||

    I support this act, more than any other act ever conceived. Where do I sign up for my support?

  • Mr. Soul||

    umm, you can bet that any act entitled Do Nothing will do plenty. Every bill they enact has a bizzaro title, such as Affordable, PATRIOT, No Child, etc.

    I would support a Do Something Bill long before a Do Nothing Bill.

  • Hyperion||

    You want this current bunch of corruptocrats in our congress do something? Why?

    Let's up the ante with that DO NOTHING bill. We will allow one exception. The one thing they will be allowed to do is to repeal anything they have already passed. Besides that, NOTHING.

  • setTHEline||

    Mr. Soul is pointing out the ridiculous way in which Bills are named. Misnomers are Congress's MO. Therefore, a Do Something Bill would be far preferable because it would, in fact, Do Nothing.

  • Idle Hands||

    Their already trying to do that with Immigration Reform. Mark my words any reform that passes under these clowns will exasperate the problems we have now.

  • Homple||

    "Mark my words any reform that passes under these clowns will exasperate the problems we have now."

    And that exacerbates me.

  • Idle Hands||

    More than immigration reform?

  • Homple||

    Depends on the definition of "reform".

  • Idle Hands||

    We'd have to pass it to see whats in it.

  • Homple||

    That's my entire objection to what people are calling "immigration reform" -- it won't get a reasoned public debate.

  • Hyperion||

    Rand has to pander to the SoCons, if he will ever have a chance at potus, cause SoCons like them some furener killin, because they hate us for our freedoms, dontchaknow?

  • Jerry on the sea||

    It's a good thing we don't have to worry about the Shiites either -- oh, wait:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....utes.html.

  • Homple||

    Are you implying that they've already hit th fan?

  • Tim||

    Just kill everybody who isn't us-happy now?

  • ||

    Yes.
    -cytotoxic

  • Cytotoxic||

    What's it like to be this mendacious and deluded sloopy? Does it hurt being this big a cunt?

  • ||

    Have I misstated your position as it relates to the Middle East in general, and Muslims specifically?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    There he goes again. Rand, I mean. Getting all substantive, accurate, nuanced and shite.

    Look, Rick Perry's glasses told me that Rand is an isolationist dickweed, therefore, obviously, he is.

  • Hyperion||

    What did his hair tell you? Surely the hair spoke to you also, no?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Rick Perry's hair took me to a fancy restaurant and bought me a fantastic steak dinner. His hair leaves policy to the glasses and focuses on building powerful coalitions instead.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't trust those glasses. If he wore a monocle and always had an orphan peasant at his side to polish it, that might get my attention to see if he has something to say worth listening to, you know, like abolishing all these damn roads.

  • Sudden||

    Germany didn't become a world footballing superpower until they stopped waging perpetual war against the rest of the planet.

    Therefore, the U.S. will never become a world footballing superpower.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's called soccer.

  • Tim||

    It's called "turn the fuckin channel".

  • sarcasmic||

    That's what I say about sports in general. Watching adults play child games has never amused me.

  • Tim||

    Yeah but at least with other sports there is a slight chance that something interesting might happen.

  • Idle Hands||

    Leave it to the Brits to invent the sport and call it soccer and then get pissed when everyone calls it that.

  • Hyperion||

    Futebol. Pronounced 'Foo-chee-baw'

  • Sudden||

    I refer to American football as merely football. I refer to soccer as world football or internation football.

    I have no problem using the term football for soccer, but it is world/internation football that gets the modifying noun. Not our football.

  • Hyperion||

    I tend to call it European football. Isn't that were it originated?

  • Flatulent Monkey||

    I prefer, "Dirt Hockey."

  • MegaloMonocle||

    It's called soccer kickball.

  • Idle Hands||

    I don't ever want to live in a world where soccer is as popular here as it is in Germany.

  • Idle Hands||

    The three major sports we have Baseball, Basketball and Football are far and a way superior sports. If soccer overtakes those sports in my lifetime here we will have officially reached peak stupid in this country.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    After soccer becomes the national sport, we'll be one step away from men carrying purses European man-bags.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    I have zero interest in most sports, but I noticed something the few times I happened upon the World Cup on TV. Many foreign soccer players are really good-looking - manly really. I suspect the growth in interest is because women and gay men in America are watching. And, if you're a straight man and your watching you probably are secretly the ghay.

  • Sudden||

    Except the best team, Ze Germans, is pretty much ugly up and down the roster. I suppose Lahm is average, Neuer might be a reliable fantasy for the girls that like the clean cut preppy with muscles, but the rest of that squad is a trainwreck.

    Mueller looks like some creepy seriel killer in the sequel for Hostel, Ozil looks like he was crossbred with a fly (or Peter Lorre) based on his bulging eyes. Klose looks old enough to be Jack Palance's dad.

  • Hyperion||

    Mueller looks like some creepy seriel killer

    Wait, are you saying that there are Germans who DO NOT look like some creepy serial killer?

  • ||

    Ozil looks like he was crossbred with a fly (or Peter Lorre)

    Lol. I said the same thing almost verbatim to Banjos during the final.

  • Ted S.||

    It's nice to see I'm not the only person who spots the resemblance between Mesut Özil and Peter Lorre. :-)

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And, if you're a straight man and your watching you probably are secretly the ghay.

    +1 brightly colored shoe

  • Sudden||

    International football will never replace the NFL or come near it competition wise. Baseball will always have a spot in the hearts of Americans as the sport of Americana, plus its easy to attend a game and pay casual attention.

    But basketball? Fuck basketball. I'd rather watch the commentariat of Jezebel lecture me on my white male privilege than view the first three quarters of a basketball game. I can think of no more boring nor profoundly stupider sport than basketball.

  • Idle Hands||

    That's just like, your opinion man.

  • antisocial-ist||

    I can think of no more boring nor profoundly stupider sport than basketball.

    Then you've never seen curling.

  • pmains||

    You just say that because you don't have the stones to play.

  • Sudden||

    :slow clap:

  • Hyperion||

    That makes no sense, we've been waging all out war against the rest of the planet since like 1918. We even created new wars, like the drug war, to fill in the gaps where we didn't have any real boogeymen to fight against. We should have won 10 world cups by now!

  • Tim||

    Didn't the 2012 primaries prove conclusively that he is "crazier than a shithouse rat"?

  • Hyperion||

    It at least proved that he's sort of dumb.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No Perry was just kind of charmingly inept and BAD on television.

  • Mr. Soul||

    When he got flummoxed, I so wanted him to say "I Don't Know" and then get (Nickelodeon) Green Slimed. Hopefully he learned you can't do that on television.

  • ||

    Says the Ford era Canadian.

  • Sudden||

  • ||

    In the 2000s American men and women fought and died for Iraqis freedom.
    For the Iraqis to keep and preserve it, they will have to learn to fight for themselves.

    In the 1940s American men and women fought and died for Europeans freedom. For the Europeans to keep and preserve it, they will have to learn to fight for themselves.

    End Nato.

  • Cytotoxic||

    End American membership in NATO -better version

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    For the Europeans to keep and preserve it

    What makes you think the majority of Euros want to keep and preserve it? From what I've seen, they're practically falling all over themselves to reinstate some sort of totalitarian shit-mongering.

    It reminds one of the fable of the the Bat and the Scorpion.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) got the ball rolling last month when he blamed the unrest in the Middle East on George W. Bush's Iraq war.

    Rand is just dead wrong about that. This is just the latest installment in the thousand-year Sunni/Shi'ite war. There might be a few minor rearrangements of the players if we hadn't conquered Iraq, but they'd still be killing each other pretty much the way they are now.

    The ME in general, and Sunni/Shi'ite fighters in particular, weren't peaceful pastoralists before we invaded Iraq, aided Israel, or even existed as a country. Let's stop pretending the entire planet is puppets on an American string, shall we?

  • Hyperion||

    How about we just stop pretending that all people from all cultures think, or should even think, exactly like we do.

    Didn't we start this shit in the 50s when we decided that we could coerce Syria into becoming a Western loving democracy of some sort? How is that working out? Do we ever learn anything?

  • MegaloMonocle||

    I concur. I'd even go one step further:

    We should hope that nobody thinks like we do, because a society built to service a fascist nanny state is nothing to strive for.

  • pmains||

    Sure, but in terms of just Iraq, Saddam seemed to be holding down the fort for the time being. Anti-Saddam terrorist groups existed in Iraq, but nobody was taking a sledge hammer to the tomb of the Prophet Jonah. Christians weren't fleeing the country by the hundreds of thousands. Iraq was in no immediate danger of being overrun by a group like ISIS or falling into the orbit of their neighbor, Iran.

  • Homple||

    Saddam's regime was oppressive and it would most likely have gotten fully depraved if inherited by one of his sons, but things are probably worse now than if we had left the place alone.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    We're off into pure speculation now, but I see no reason why Iraq would have been immune to the Islamist uprising with the catchy Western name "Arab Spring."

    It took down some well-entrenched dictators (Quadafhy and Mubarak), and put at least one other (Assad) into a full-blown civil war.

    If Iraq had stayed out of the Arab Spring, it probably would have been due to a truly spectacular crackdown by the Hussein regime.

  • Adam||

    I'd say Syria, and Assad, are the best analogy to use when you analyze the situation. Probably not ironic that they were both Ba'thists, and had an almost identical approach to ruling their respective countries. And I'd agree, there's no reason to assume that Hussein wouldn't have found himself with similar problems.

  • MSimon||

    Going into Iraq was a bad idea. Leaving Iraq after the situation was stabilized was worse.

  • retiredfire||

    during the 2012 election many of the Republican candidates supported a residual force in Iraq, something Barack Obama supported too

    Um, maybe my memory is off a little, but hadn't O-pull-out-o removed all troops by the 2012 election and even said in a pre-election debate that he didn't want to have troops there indefinitely when asked if he supported a residual force?

  • REMant||

    As in GB, Liberals are a minority forced to choose between flaming Tories and socialists. Calling any of them compassionate conservative is the same as calling them fascist.

  • TheAtomicOption||

    "Republicans lost the 2008 election with a candidate, John McCain, who openly embraced the bulk of Bush's foreign policy. Four years later they lost again with another candidate, Mitt Romney, who openly embraced the bulk of Bush's foreign policy."

    Let's be honest though, these are NOT the reasons why those guys lost their elections. I wouldn't even put foreign policy on a top 10 list of things that make voters actually change chad.

    That said it would be nice if there was some actual difference of opinion again on whether we should be spending ~1/3 of our oversized federal budget on a military big enough to bully the rest of the world.

  • BDub||

    The last thing I want to see, is an Ettin arguing with itself. They can both shut-up. The solution is not going to come from the problem.

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