Rand Paul to John Kerry: Why is it OK to bomb Libya but not Cambodia w/o Congress's Approval?
Between the sniper fire drawn a few weeks back by the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for Defense Secretary and the kabuki theater surrounding outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's testifying about Benghazi, it's easy to forget that Sen. John "Reporting for Duty" Kerry (D-Mass.) is about to start calling the shots at State.
Above is a great conversation between Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and the failed 2004 presidential candidate, who got his start in public life by (rightly) denouncing the Vietnam War in which he had served. Among the basic questions that Paul asks of Kerry: If the U.S. was wrong to bomb Cambodia without congressional authorization (and it was), then why was it A-OK for Obama to join in bombing runs over Libya?
Another excellent question raised by Paul: Why are we sending big fancy fighter jets to Egypt even as the leader of that country is going full Capt. Queeg, with a fixation on the Jews standing in for obsession about stolen strawberries?
This sort of common-sense exploration of the WTF that is U.S. foreign policy should be at the forefront of any American who gives a hell about limited, legitimate government and the Constitution.
Which helps to explain why Paul is about the only guy in the Senate making such inquiries: Most of the folks there couldn't care less about the Constution. That Rand Paul is so often alone in his line of thinking is sad and disturbing, but it's also one more reason why he is "the most interesting man in the Senate."
My one criticism of Paul here is his failure to press Kerry on his proferred excuse [about unauthorized bombing], that Obama had no time to ask Congress for action because Qadaffi was about to put thousands of Libyan rebels in Benghazi to the sword. Nonsense. Go look at the timeline leading up to the west's military intervention. Protests against Qadaffi broke out in mid-February; by February 21, Libyan diplomats were asking the UN for a no-fly zone. A day later Hillary was issuing public statements denouncing Qaddafi and by March 1 the Senate had passed a non-binding resolution — unanimously — encouraging the UN to impose that no-fly zone. It wasn't until March 15, however, that NFZ was finally approved and not until March 19 that France, backed by the U.S., began an air campaign over the country. Obama had nearly an entire month in which he could have asked for congressional approval but Kerry wants you to believe that his decision was made under some sort of emergency conditions, a la an invasion or nuclear attack, where the president had no choice logistically but to act on his own. Pitiful. He'll be confirmed with 95+ votes anyway.
If you haven't felt sick yet today, read Ed Krayewski's "4 Things You Need to Know about John Kerry."
Cheer up by reading Reason on Rand Paul.