Foreign Policy

Rand Paul: We Are Not All Georgians Yet

|

Jack Hunter, co-author of Sen. Rand Paul's book The Tea Party Goes to Washington, thinks that Sen. Paul saved us from war with Russia. How? By preventing a unanimous consent vote pushed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) from passing, a vote that would have demanded the president fight to get the republic of Georgia into NATO.

Details at the Daily Caller:

Behind the scenes, Rubio moved to have a unanimous consent vote that would have hastened Georgia's entry into NATO. The unanimous consent vote never happened because Senator Rand Paul single-handedly prevented it.

This is not a triviality. Make no mistake: Bringing Georgia into NATO could lead to a new military conflict for the United States, which is why any move that would facilitate Georgia's entry into the alliance should be publicly debated. Rubio's attempt to push this through by unanimous consent — that is to say, without any formal debate or vote — is highly suspect and calls into question the senator's better judgment.

Hunter goes on to discuss the cross-partisan forces, often led by John McCain, to more tightly link the fates of Georgia and the United States, and the danger of conflict with Russia such a link creates.

James Antle at American Spectator with more on Rand Paul, and this blocked Georgia vote:

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a fellow Tea Party triumph from last year's election, had bipartisan support for an amendment to bring the former Soviet republic of Georgia into NATO. "It called for the President to lead a diplomatic effort to get approval of Georgia's Membership Action Plan during the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago," a Rubio spokesman explained in an email.

Paul blocked the amendment. He believed that NATO expansion in this sensitive area could embroil the United States in Georgia's conflicts with a nuclear-armed Russia, potentially risking war.

Matt Welch wrote back in 2008 on McCain and Georgia, and reviewed Paul and Hunter's book in Reason's June 2011 issue.

Advertisement

NEXT: Sexting by Minors Is Much Less Common Than You Think

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Can anyone fill me in on why we still (or ever) needed NATO? …anyone?

    1. Apparently Communism was such a superior system that if it wasn’t for a massive military alliance it would have consumed the entire world and “won” the Cold War.

      It’s arguable that in the nuclear age it was ever actually needed (a simple treaty with West Germany, Austria, & Italy would have sufficed, since the Soviets would have had to go through them at some point).

      It is certainly not needed now, and I have no idea why neocons have such a hard-on for what seems to me like a 1914-style setup for domino failure.

      1. setup for domino failure

        That’s a feature to them, not a bug, Jimbo. You do understand that they want war, right? That they’re War Pigs, in the Black Sabbath sense?

        Anything that makes triggers for war more sensitive is something they want.

        1. What a stupid comment. Apparently the War Pigs lost their big chance for a war when peace broke out 20 years ago or so. Damn.

          Until the mid-80’s we couldn’t have hoped to win a conventional war against the Warsaw Pact.

          1. Wow, you actually believe CIA propaganda. Congratulations on being really fucking stupid. That takes effort.

          2. Wow, you actually believe CIA propaganda. Congratulations on being really fucking stupid. That takes effort.

            1. Wow Epi I never saw it that way. Your arguments are so trenchant and convincing. Do tell us more.

              1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                You’re a fucking sociopath. Why would I waste my time with you?

                1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

              2. Stop concern trolling Objectivism, cytotox. We know you are big, dumb neo-con out to make me look bad.

            2. Sorry, Epi, I was there talking with high ranking US military in 1984. The Soviets could have rolled all the way to Paris; we were out-gunned at least 3:1 and out-manned about 5:1. Only initiating a nuclear war could have prevented it.

              1. Only initiating a nuclear war could have prevented it.

                Even that’s somewhat questionable. If there’s one thing that Russia has been consistent on, it’s that their leaders really don’t care how many of their people get killed, as long as the country survives. Their losses in WW1 and WW2 were on a scale that still boggles the mind.

              2. Sorry, Epi, I was there talking with high ranking US military in 1984.

                No offense, but convenient claims made by anonymous people on the Internet…well, you know.

                I was growing up at the time, not in the military of course, and read similar stuff in books about then-current warfare. They also thought the Soviets had more nukes than us, which of course was found out to be totally false after the collapse; either totally sloppy intelligence or lying to increase defense budgets.

                And frankly, I’m not sure how the Soviets would have been able to supply their forces once they got deep into Western Europe.

      2. The flaw in your nuclear deterrent was that Truman didn’t have the balls to use nukes in Korea (after basing his military budget on use of nukes).

        We never had the nerve for first-use of nukes. So we had to be capable of at least stopping the Warsaw Pact.

        1. The Atlantic Ocean would have stopped the Warsaw Pact.

          Oh, by “stop the Warsaw Pact” you mean “take on the burden of defending all western Europe”. I don’t consider that a responsibility of ours.

          1. It would have stopped the Nazis too. I guess we didn’t want to be the only relatively free country in the world (except Canada).

            1. Funnily enough, Germany declared war on us because they were in an alliance with Japan and got dragged into a fight that they didn’t need at the time considering that they had their hands full with Russia. Maybe there is a lesson in there for us.

              1. Hitler was the worst military strategist ever. End of lesson.

              2. Hitler was the worst military strategist ever. End of lesson.

                1. Do you think Germany would have declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor if they hadn’t been in a treaty with Japan?

                  1. Probably not. Maybe Gingrich’s “1945” was right.

          2. Someone clearly hasn’t watched Red Dawn lately. We must remain ever-vigilant of the potential for a mass Cuban/Soviet airborne invasion into the midwest.

            I am going to guess that the remake of that classic film (featuring i believe the Chinese…invading Detroit… no, really….) was an absolute atrocity, based on the complete deafening silence following its release.

            I congratulate myself on remembering the name “Sakashvili” off the top of my head.

            1. Holy shit, it got released? I thought it was still in production. Man, that must have been bad.

              1. ….hmmm….

                Apparently there’s a reason I havent heard about it. Release delayed 2 yrs…. in a row.

                http://screenrant.com/red-dawn…..al-140969/

                I recall it was supposed to come out Nov 2010. Now its 2012.

                And sorry… its North Koreans now… not chinese… although apparently that was a detail they adjusted in post production. Pppt!!. They all look the same!

                1. They do in Hollywood. Chinese playing Japanese, Japanese playing Vietnamese–it’s a vicious cycle of mix-and-match Asians.

                  1. I still haven’t gotten over Sulu being Korean now. That’s like making Chekov Polish.

            2. (featuring i believe the Chinese…invading Detroit… no, really….)
              ————————-
              how about we just give them Detroit. For real. It’s a win-win.

              1. Honestly any of the East Asiatics could probably run it better than it is now. Hell, even the Vietnamese are doing fairly well these days (now that they’ve opened an evil capitalist stock market).

                1. Vietnamese Evil Capitalist Stock Market, band name or album?

                  1. Actually it’s the name of the corporation running the stock market.

                    Better yet – would you invest in “HOSE”?

                    On 8 August 2007, HoSTC was renamed and upgraded to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE).

                    1. Holy shit really? The Ho Chi Minh Stock Market Exchange?

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

                      Capitalism wins again.

            3. I thought it got hung up when the studio ran out of money and couldn’t finish post production work.

          3. The Pacific Ocean didn’t stop us from kicking Japan’s ass. What makes you think the Atlantic would save ours?

            1. Um, the fact that none of our opponents had anything even close to the navy that we had/have except for Japan?

        2. You’re quite the war pig yourself, aren’t you. How repulsive.

          1. Oh yeah – just like witches at black masses.

          2. Herp derp derp all the bad guys will just go away we don’t need to spend money on an army dum dee dum dum dum.

            1. Bloodthirsty moron troll is bloodthirsty moron.

              1. mmmm… blood.

                1. Makes the grass grow, I was told as a youth. But man, the neighbors look at you funny when you pour blood on the front lawn.

            2. Means never having to pay an army.
              HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

              1. Epi on the rag is never pretty or pleasant or intelligent.

                1. Epi on the rag

                  Like, every day?

      3. As the Brits put it, NATO was designed to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down. Germany itself didn’t reconstitute a military and join NATO until 1955.

    2. Ever? Seriously? Look up the Cold War and cross-reference with Joseph Stalin.

      After FDR handed him half of Europe in ’43, we decided he couldn’t have the other half.

      Now – either Nato has to move east or it will become irrelevant. If we are going to stay in it, we should require far more participation from Europeans, bring some of our units home, and move the rest east.

      1. Move east to what purpose? What is the existential world threat that it’s supposed to be countering? Can’t anyone see, this is exactly how shit went down nearly 100 years ago. Entangling alliances are not a good thing.

        And who cares if the Soviets took over western Europe. The French & Italians probably would have preferred it that way. Not our business. It’s not like they had the amphibious capability to do anything to us. It would have been teh same nuclear standoff.

        1. Gojira|12.5.11 @ 2:48PM|#

          Move east to what purpose?

          You ask too many questions. Guards! Strap this man to a chair and play him Frank Capra propoganda until he’s volunteering his next-born children to defend Azerbijan from the lOOMING RED MENACE… or the ISLAMIC FRONT OF IRAN aimed at conquest of White Women Worldwide…. “From the Halls of montezooooma, to the shores of Tripoli~~~~!!!”:

    3. Matt|12.5.11 @ 2:38PM|#

      Can anyone fill me in on why we still (or ever) needed NATO? …anyone?

      I’d always sort of thought NATO was like the cheerleading squad for the Marshall Plan, and simply never got decomissioned.

    4. Can anyone fill me in on why we still (or ever) needed NATO? …anyone?

      It’s a modern day Delian League.

    5. TEH RED SCARE !

  2. What a bunch of nonsense. Debate whether or not to admit Georgia – but Russia isn’t going to start a war with Nato because we won’t let them bully a piss-ant little country any more.

    1. Sure. Let’s push Russia further into putins arms…

    2. Maybe. But the Russians are a little bit paranoid and nuts. They are slowly depopulating. And they are trying to recapture Russian ethnic minorities to make up for it. They very well might view this as us making an existential threat. Yeah, that is crazy. But the Russians are kind of crazy. I don’t know they wouldn’t do that.

      The bottom line is, is the US willing to go to war for Georgia? If not, and I don’t think we are, then this whole thing is just a bluff. And bluffs are never a good idea.

      I don’t think you have to be the typical Rothbardian nut on this side ranting about the evil Roosevelt fighting the friendly Nazis to think maybe this is a bad idea.

      1. The Iranians are paranoid and nuts. The Russians are just paranoid. The Cold War wouldn’t have stayed cold otherwise.

        1. The cold war almost didn’t stay cold. Why risk World War III over Georgia?

          1. John, the voice of reason in a discussion about possible war…the sky must be falling.

            1. My voice is always reasonable. It is only MNG who ever says otherwise. And that is because he is a douchebag who never bothers to read any posts he doesn’t like

              1. John, I still think you have a bit of a Iranian hairtrigger. I appreciate they’re nuclear threat, but there are more options than escalating the conflict to a shooting war (and throwing the US into another energy draining fight) or succumbing to the will of the caliphate.

                1. LIT,

                  Find one place where I haven’t said exactly that? I have always said there is more than one way to stop them. And we may not be able to stop them even through military means. Just no one ever bothers to listen because they are either Rothbard nuts or just noxious douchebags like MNG>

                  1. For some reason I just recalled a conversation I had with an Iraqi-born ex-Muslim soldier I knew in the Army.

                    His strategy for defeating Islamists: Announce that the next time any Muslim terrorist attacks anyone in any non-Muslim country, we will nuke Mecca.

                    I didn’t think that was a particularly good idea, but it was an interesting take from a guy who grew up in that culture.

  3. so if every country becomes a NATO member, does that mean the organization can be even more ineffectual than the UN?

  4. We are all NATO now

  5. Wait, we’re supposed to *defend* Georgia? Oops…

  6. Old Soldier you are missing the point. Even if it didn’t lead to war, it’s a gigantic strategic move that by its very nature will antagonize the Russians. What is the strategic imperative if not to antagonize the Russians? Doesn’t sound like sound policy to me – and it definitely needs debating.

    1. I’m not advocating adding Georgia – I don’t care. I also don’t care if the fucking worthless Russians are “antagonized”. Fuck them.

      They said the same thing about the Poland, then the Baltics, then Ukraine. The Russians were very butt-hurt every time. So what?

      1. So only bad things can come of this expansion.

      2. Ukraine isn’t in NATO.

        1. Ukraine was a Nato candidate for years – and may decide to join in the future. The Russians still want to run the place. The Ukrainians still remember the famine Stalin sponsored.

  7. So what? Sir, methinks you are ignorant of Russian history . . . Poland is one thing. But Georgia is another thing entirely, for strategic, cultural and economic (energy) reasons. I am not saying the Russians will strike if Georgia becomes a NATO member. I am saying that the Russians view Georgia much differently – go ahead, ask a Russian if you know one. Not to mention the fact that your glib “who the fuck cares” attitude about Russia – a nation that possesses thousands of nuclear weapons – ignores a very wise historical maxim: Russia is neither as strong or as weak as she appears.

    1. I don’t know. I think if we admitted Georgia into NATO, Russia would still have no qualms about invading and dare us to actually follow through with a full-scale retaliation. Their probably correct assumption would be that Georgia’s not worth getting embroiled in for the US and other NATO countries. They’ll call our bluff and we either go full throttle against them or we betray Georgia. Both are bad options.

      1. Russia would like nothing more than to see NATO castrated.

    2. I for one think Stalin’s birthplace should be steadfastly ignored.

  8. Ok Old Soldier, so your foreign policy is this: We are America! Fuck everyone else! Yee-Haw! The Russians have nukes? Fuck em’. The world has to do what WE say! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! The whole world is just a bunch of pussies, and we are all John Wayne, Old Soldier warriors! Yee-Haw!

    1. + 400 Face-Fucking Points

  9. 1) Like OS said, Fuck Russia

    2) Fuck NATO. Useless at best.

    3) Love Georgia totally rooted for them in 2008, but…not America’s fight. Let them arm themselves (which they’ve done) and wait until Russia implodes/the Caucsuses go crazy/Russia gets into a really stupid fight. Then take back Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    1. Then take back Ossetia and Abkhazia.

      Two areas that never belonged to them apart from provisionally.

      1. What? Is Alaska only part of America ‘provisionally’?

        1. The BIG difference is the majority of the population of Alaska didn’t want seperation from America. Ossetia & Abkhazia didn’t wan to be part of Georgia.

          1. Yeah…after Abkhazia drove out half its own population. It’s Georgian population.
            Same with SO.

  10. Kudos to Paul. Saakashvili is just as mad as Putin.

    1. Yep, if we let Georgia joint NATO we are giving Saakashvili the power to start a war with Russia. Just look what happened in 2008, he attacked Russian forces in South Ossetia proclaiming that he was stopping a Russian invasion and most of the NATO countries bought his lies until too late.

      1. No he didn’t. Do some research. That was a Russian set-up all the way. The Russians had an Armor lined up in column on the roads leading to Georgia when the Georgians supposedly attacked – quite the coincidence.

        Why would the Georgians wait until the day AFTER the U.S. Marine battalion training their departed to attack? (The Russians still owe the USMC some Humvees)

  11. So is Rubio catching any shit for this unanimous consent stunt?

    1. No, he is still trying to figure out if he is a natural born citizen.

  12. This would be a diplomatic kerfuffle, and nothing more. Why?

    Because the Russians know as well as we do that if they rolled tanks into Georgia, there wouldn’t a goddam thing NATO or the US could or would do about it.

    Aside from the acute military/logistical problems and lack of force projection capabilities, the Western Eurpean NATO members need Russian gas. So they aren’t going to war with Russia over some half-Russian country that none of the Better Sorts would ever even visit.

    1. It’s occurred to me that if the U.S. were to develop fusion next week, with, say, a five-to-ten-year plan for deployment, Russia would become a complete, nuclear-armed disaster.

      1. So would a lot of countries and even a good part of the USA which is based on carbon fuels.

      2. Don’t worry, Pro L, we’re safe. And even if the gas and oil markets dried up once fusion rolled out, a cheap, incredibly plentiful energy source would do wonders the world over and drive alot more growth than destruction. The only countries that would miss out were those that didn’t adopt it.

        1. That’s true, I’m sure, but if all you’ve got is oil, the transition will be harder for you.

        2. We’ll never quit pumping oil. Even if energy generation went to something else tomorrow, we’d keep pumping it because it’s useful stuff. There’s all kinds of fun things you can do besides burn it.

    2. So why admit Georgia if it won’t goddamn mean anything. Just so words get put on paper?

      1. Just so words get put on paper?
        ————————
        dude, this is the US by-gawd Senate we’re talking about. Did you expect something more than words on paper?

        1. I…I…no 🙁

  13. NATO is lilke a mini-UN, without all the nasty bits. I disagree with the others who said it was never needed. The concept of uniting with others for a common idea (democracy) v. (totalitarianism), even if you don’t have a lot to bring to the table (like Denmark or Belgium, etc.), and risking annihilation, had it’s mertis.

    Today, not so much.

    1. Not all that long ago, there was some sort of movement to create an overt caucus within the UN of the liberal nations. Guess that didn’t work out to well.

    2. Actually NATO has one very nasty bit, the requirement that Americans fight and die for places like Albania and maybe in the future Georgia. No, thanks.

  14. It isn’t possible to have an intelligent exchange on foreign policy on this board because all of the neo-con scum hanger-ons turn it into a pissing contest of mouth breather arm chair generals playing Stratego with a military dynamic that out lived even its supposed usefulness twenty years ago.
    Some ways, you guys are worse than White Indian.

    1. And a troll is born.

      Hilarious considering AR’s actual FP views.

    2. Funny, you used to be such a hawk when you were alive……………..

  15. Mark Rubio jumped into bed with McCain and Graham the second he was sworn in. Fuck him. But in this effort, if he manages to further degrade the relevancy of NATO by setting them up to break promises, then more power to him. While I didn’t love the deceased War Powers Act, I sure didn’t like the idea that the NATO treaty overrode it.

    1. On foreign policy, Rubio has a cold war mentality. It’s in his blood, regardless of when his family came to the US. He needs to grow, and hangin’ with Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham won’t get him there.

  16. I’m not sure it’s a good thing to brag that we sold out an ally when they got invaded by Russia.

    1. An ally? Do you think Georgia will lend us a hand if Canada invades?

  17. We died a little inside when the Soviet Union fell.

    *sniff*

    1. You are right. Back then we would never strip search old ladies at airports or detain people without charges indefinitely. Only the commies did that shit.

  18. Paul is a fucking sissy. Only sissies think wars are bad things. Killing people builds character.

    1. Killing people builds character.

      Especially if they are brown sheep-fuckers whose most effective weapons are glorified ad-hoc land-mines. Killing those frighteningly powerful enemies gives me a raging hard-on.

  19. From the same article:

    As if that wasn’t enough, Paul later pushed for a vote on revoking congressional authorization for the war in Iraq. The president had announced that the war was effectively over, so Paul reasoned that the body the Constitution authorizes to declare war should ratify that decision. Paul’s bill failed, despite a Democratic Senate majority eager to take credit for ending the Iraq war.

    While only a few Republicans joined Paul’s rebellion, there were some interesting names on the list. Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Dean Heller of Nevada voted with Paul on Iraq. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah backed Paul on terror detainee rules. All three are Tea Party favorites.

    Some of the Democratic votes were also revealing. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, once declared the Iraq war a failure. But he voted to authorize it under President Bush and has now voted against de-authorizing it under President Obama.

    Sucks to be you, Team Blue.

  20. While Rand did “block” this largely meaningless resolution, he actually only called for a voice vote. Rand just said “I’m calling for the yeas and the nays”. And that ended this little farce entirely. It’s actually pretty hilarious.

    No bill should ever be enacted on a voice vote at all. For internal Senate procedural matters, fine, a voice vote if they want it. But passage should require a recorded vote.

    Rand used the same tactic to squelch the more odious amendment to the Defense Authorization Act. I find it bizarre that Reason doesn’t seem to have taken note of that despite writing about it and having a featured video opposing it. However, it turns out McCain and Levin had prior agreement to squelch it in conference. So it was never going to be part of the final bill. The whole thing was a total neocon puppet show. By asking for the recorded vote, enough Dems were going to vote against it (fearing their Leftish supporters) so it failed with both Levin and McCain ending up voting against their own (phony) amendment.

    Even so, Rand is terrific for flushing out these phonies staging their usual pillow fights, wasting time writing meaningless amendments that they know will never pass and then trying to use voice votes to pass controversial measures like calling on Obama to bring Georgia into NATO or the potentially more dangerous amendment to the Defense Authorization Act.

    Looking at the comments here, Reason needs more moderation. Most of these posters are kinda trollish.

  21. I am so disappointed in Marco Rubio because I had such high hopes for him as being a champion for the Constitution and for Americans’ liberties. When I heard he voted FOR the NDAA law, that was when I realized he was not who I thought he was and now I hear he was fighting to get Georgia into NATO, I realize that he definitely is not the man I voted for. He has changed or else perhaps he is showing his true colors. Shame on Marco Rubio and kuddos to Rand Paul, who opposed him on both issues.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.