Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took to the pages of Time.com to explain why he will vote no on war—whether missile strikes or something more "kinetic"—with Syria. Here's a snippet:
War should occur only when America is attacked, when it is threatened or when American interests are attacked or threatened. I don't think the situation in Syria passes that test. Even the State Department argues that "there's no military solution here that's good for the Syrian people, and that the best path forward is a political solution."
The U.S. should not fight a war to save face. I will not vote to send young men and women to sacrifice life and limb for stalemate. I will not vote to send our nation's best and brightest to fight for anything less than victory. If American interests are at stake, then our goal should not be stalemate.
Beyond the clarity of his position, I admire the senator's credibility, which is iron-clad on this.
In a world where Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals frequently flip sides to establish or maintain fleeting partisan advantage, I don't think anyone worries that Paul will sing a different tune if and when a Republican starts literally calling the shots. That's hard to say for Syrian war supporters such as Nancy Pelosi, Robert Menendez, and other Democrats who were against Iraq but are all for this. And it's hard to trust that many newborn non-interventionists in the GOP are staking their positions out of principle (for more on that, read Matt Welch's "This Time It's War").