Rand Paul

Does Rand Paul Think the Beheading of American Journalists Justifies War Against ISIS?

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Jacob Sullum

On Friday, as Robby Soave noted this afternoon, Rand Paul told the Associated Press that if he were president, he "would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily." But at a Q&A session in Dallas earlier that same day, the Kentucky senator seemed deliberately noncommittal on the question of whether ISIS is in fact "a threat to our national security." Asked what the "strategy" should be with regard to ISIS, he said:

I think the strategy has to be that you have an open debate in the country over whether or not ISIS is a threat to our national security. And it's not enough just to say they are. That's usually what you hear—you hear a conclusion. People say, "Well, it's a threat to our national security." That's a conclusion. The debate has to be: Are they a threat to our national security?

Our national security doesn't have to be just stopping at our borders. It can include our embassy personnel. It can include our soldiers. It can include citizens, and people involved in business, and journalists—things like that. So I think it is a real debate.

What I would do, if you want a strategy, you have to go to the American people. You have to go to Congress. I would convene a joint session of Congress, and I would ask for permission from Congress and say, "These are the reasons why I think ISIS is a threat to us. This is why we should be involved." If [President Obama] doesn't do that, then I think he doesn't galvanize support, we look weak to the world, and in the end we don't really have a strategy.

By and large, as I will argue in my column tomorrow, Paul strikes a much more cautious note on foreign intervention than national politicians typically do. But his definition of "national security" to include the safety of Americans in other countries potentially opens the door to military action anywhere U.S. citizens live. That does not necessarily mean Paul would treat the beheading of American journalists as a casus belli, but it sounds like he might.

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  1. That does not necessarily mean Paul would treat the beheading of American journalists as a casus belli, but it sounds like he might.

    What kind of press does he think any future candidacy is going to get if he doesn’t?

    1. Maybe the one good thing that will come out of a RP candidacy is teaching libertarians to appreciate the practicalities and compromises of politics and governing. I couldn’t ask for anything more, so make all the excuses you want and I won’t shame you for them.

      1. The best thing that will come from an RP candidacy is the massive aneurism that it will give people like you.

        1. Toni and his ilk are incapable of having aneurysms. However, Hemorrhoids are another matter entirely.

        2. If by aneurism you mean giant sigh of relief that it’s not someone who might actually win.

          1. It took you 21 minutes to think of that comeback?

            You’re like a member of the Algonquin Round Table who was reincarnated with fetal alcohol syndrome.

            1. You are responsible for the several heads that turned to the sound of my laughter, prompted as it was by your comment.

              Well done.

      2. Have you ever read a foreign policy thread on here?

        1. I’ve read threads on many topics. Opinions vary widely. Not so much the opinion that “I’m right and everyone else is evil.”

          1. Tony- have you ever been wrong about anything? Including your characterizations of what libertarians believe, which don’t seem to change even when you get repeatedly corrected?

      3. Maybe the one good thing that came out of an Obama presidency is that every member of TEAM BLUE had to come to terms with their inner neocon and basically support all the policies of that fascist George W. Bush.

        Close Gitmo-Fail
        End US involvement in Iraq-Fail
        Cease military adventurism-Fail

        When you can admit that your beloved leader has basically adopted the same line as his predecessor, then we can talk about a potential Rand Paul presidency. Until then, you’re just as full of shit as every other war-mongering Democrat, be they your NSA loving Feinstein or your female John McCain in Hillary.

        1. Absolute Bush cocksucking nonsense. And if you want Gitmo closed talk to your congressman and persuade him or her to have your jurisdiction house them. Obama is not failing to close it because he lost their phone number.

          1. Gee, didn’t the dem control both houses of congress until 2010? Who was president way back then?

            1. No checking with Wikipedia tony!

            2. Ah yes the two years in which the Democratic party was all-powerful. What with the Senate being a majority vote institution and all, and what with Gitmo NIMBY being a totally Republican thing.

              1. I must confess, the way your mind can alter reality to suit you is impressive.

          2. Hahahaha. I don’t like George Bush anymore than I like Obama. I don’t particularly like Rand Paul, although he’s likely the best of bad options, or any other person who would desire the near absolute power of the Presidency.

            You can’t come to terms with your own, to borrow a phrase, Obama cocksucking.

            Where is the admission of the huge realization you’ve had about Obama’s inability to refute neocon policy in a world of tantalizing opportunities to intervene and expand presidential power? You’re too invested in a political party to realize it has the same ideology as the opposition.

        2. It’s not war-mongering when they do it. Ask them.

  2. Well, Rand, you’re in Congress, so why not introduce an act or resolution on the subject?

  3. I think the strategy has to be that you have an open debate in the country over whether or not ISIS is a threat to our national security.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the terrorists have won.

    *mic drop*

    /progtard TEAM RED All Them Crazy Muhfuckas

  4. I knew those fuckin’ heads would only lead to trouble.

    1. “But I would remind you that some 17,000 people were beheaded in France during George Washington’s presidency. We can conclude with a measure of certitude that at least one in 17,000 was American, or had ties to the fledgling Republic.”

      And under John Adams we had a “quasi war” with France. Sure, it wasn’t over beheadings but over harassment of American merchant shipping. But the beheadings didn’t help.

      And can they find some actual examples of American citizens beheaded? Tom Paine came close, but they let him off with all his parts intact.

    2. From mofopolitics … the moderator said,
      “I don’t have a moral aversion to obliterating Mecca.”

      WTF?! The. government. is. fucked, but casually nuking all those people is not good.

      Step 1 (to the insanity) Declare (NO SHIT) War on Saudi Arabia
      Step 2. Nuke them IF other military options fail

      1. Neutron bombs. Wouldn’t want to damage any of the oil infrastructure, ya know.

  5. When they get to the point of killing Americans, then yes, warlike measures should be on the table…for Congress. If a full war is a no go, then a quasi war, like with the French.

    1. I think we’re already involved in a quasi-war with ISIS.

    2. The term you are looking for is “punitive expedition”.

      The U.S. really doesn’t like punitive expeditions, viewing them as leaving the job half-done. The thinking seems to be that if the guy is worth attacking militarily, leaving him standing at the end is like allowing Hitler to live.

      Complicating matters is that a punitive campaign against ISIS almost guarantees a breaking of the U.S. Gulf State alliances.

      1. a breaking of the U.S. Gulf State alliances.

        Well, fuck them. What has Mississippi done for us lately?

      2. Complicating matters is that a punitive campaign against ISIS almost guarantees a breaking of the U.S. Gulf State alliances.

        Why? It seems to me that most of the ME hates IS. Syria, Syrian rebels, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Russia, China, and even al-Qaida are opposed to IS. See “Brutal Rise of Islamic State Turns Old Enemies Into New Friends”.

  6. My take on this is that the U.S.govt alliance with Saudi Arabia has led it into an untenable situation.

    ISIS is the Saudi model of governance being applied to Syria and Iraq; the imposition of a wahhabi theocracy that ethnically cleanses the region of non wahhabi muslims. When the U.S. govt refused to provide military support for these guys (because of congress reluctance), the gulf arabs decided to do it without U.S. help, and gave money, arms and reinforcements to ISIS.

    And any move against ISIS risks alienating the gulf arabs and creating huge problems for the US govt which wants the oil to keep flowing, paid for in U.S. dollars that everyone must trade for.

    Additionally, any attack on ISIS would strengthen the Iranian allied shiites that ISIS is attacking.

    Moreover, the gulf arab leaders are riding a tiger; their populations are increasingly hateful towards the U.S. and supportive of groups like ISIS; any move by the leadership against ISIS will further erode their popularity and the rage that goes against the U.S. will be directed at the local governments.

    At this point, all of the U.S. government’s allies are tacitly supportive of an entity that has declared open season on U.S. citizens. And the U.S. government has so little influence that the allies feel the cost/benefit calculation of openly or covertly opposing ISIS leaves them worse off than if they tacitly support them.

    1. Fair analysis. It is a mess.

    2. My understanding is that the House of Saud is very concerned with ISIS. Now, I bet they funded them in Syria as a counterweight to Assad’s Shi’ite backers in Iran, but ISIS ended up getting bigger than the Saudis hoped. The caliphate supporters such as ISIS and bin Laden before them have always been vocal about seeking to overthrow the house of Saud (percieved as too cozy with the West and decadent).

      1. The House of Saud is not monolithic. I can guarantee that there is a powerful faction that supports ISIS: the guys who run the religious police and manage the state-supported imams.

        In a away, the challenge to the gulf rulers is the same as confronted the U.S. when the Arab spring hit Egypt. In Egypt, you had a people power movement calling for an end to repression by a corrupt self-aggrandizing oligarchy – all the things that Americans also believe they stand for; putting the U.S. actions (supporting a corrupt undemocratic bunch of looters) against its mythos.

        The gulf arab monarchs and rulers paint themselves as divinely appointed rulers and guardians of the faith; the faith they preach is a very aggressive, harsh, totalitarian one; and totally at odds with the rulers’ often venal lives and their alliances with the U.S.

        The rulers are playing their bad hand better than the U.S. did; their lives depend on it – whereas all Hillary was staking was the loss of a couple of paragraphs of hagiographic praise in a few magazine articles.

        1. whereas all Hillary was staking was the loss of a couple of paragraphs of hagiographic praise in a few magazine articles.

          In fairness, she was never going to lose that hagiographic praise.

    3. So. Time to nuke ’em all, then?

    4. ” any move against ISIS risks alienating the gulf arabs “

      what?

      Saudi Arabia is out there begging the US to wipe them from the face of the earth.

      Bahrain, Qatar, are our allies

      Kuwait and UAE won’t do fuck all if we told them not to.

      Yes, there is some popular sentiment in support of ISIS in the gulf; but ‘popular sentiment in the gulf’ is a fickle, fleeting, ephemeral thing. They know what side their bread is buttered on, and their future isn’t banking on a Caliphate.

      While I think your first point – that we should be cutting ties with Saudi Arabia – is right on, I think everything else you claim is way way way overblown. including ‘strenthening Iran’ (as though we haven’t done enough of that already)

      The fact is, we want strong nation-states in the region: not one series of failed states after another. The rules of these nations do as well, and aren’t keen on a self-declared Caliph running wild in the ‘hood.

      1. Saudi Arabia is out there begging the US to wipe them from the face of the earth.

        Citation? Because the article admits that there has been a policy of tacit support (and I suspect that the support includes current support by an important faction of the Saudi royal family).

        ISIS didn’t suddenly get the ability to fight a multi-front war without significant logistical support from state-actors.

        1. “tarran|9.2.14 @ 6:03PM|#

          Citation?

          King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is “rapid” action.
          ..
          “Lack of action would be “unacceptable”in the face of the [beheading] phenomenon, King Abdullah said.

          “It is no secret to you, what they have done and what they have yet to do. I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: ‘Fight terrorism with force, reason and (necessary) speed’.”

          You are right that Gulf states have helped aid in financing ISIS.

          That doesn’t mean they’re happy with where they’ve gone and what they’re doing now. If anything, the Gulf states are famous for playing all sides of an issue. Its an Arab thing.

          1. Saudi King: “Beheadings are OUR thing!”

          2. “Kill them all, because the madrassas we’re bankrolling have been sorely lacking in inspiration since you pulled out of Iraq.”

          3. The Saudis have a very nice air force – they could be using it instead of waiting for someone else to do their dirty work.

        2. “SIS didn’t suddenly get the ability to fight a multi-front war without significant logistical support from state-actors.”

          See Qatar.

  7. if you want a strategy, you have to go to the American people.

    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing–after they’ve tried everything else!”

    1. Rambo “do we get to win this time?”

      I want pictures! Given all those tax dollars, I want to see ISIS stuff and people being blown up. Where are the pictures? Bush I and II had all those pics on the news championed by Sexy Rumsfeld- showing us the stuff blowing up.

      What good are high taxes if we can’t see the stuff explode?

  8. “A new US military incursion will not end ISIS; it will provide them with the recruiting tool they most crave, while draining the US treasury. Just what Osama bin Laden wanted!

    [?] A lack of strategy is a glimmer of hope. Perhaps the president will finally stop listening to the neocons and interventionists whose recommendations have gotten us into this mess in the first place! Here’s a strategy: just come home.”

    -Ron Paul

    Looks like the apple fell far from the tree. At least Ron recognizes that the President waiting before acting, and waiting out our allies who would like nothing more than for us to do it all over again, is am improvement. Something phony Libertarians just can’t bring themselves to admit…and that would be both Rand and Nick Gillespie.

    1. Looks like the apple fell far from the tree.

      It’s almost like they’re two different people or something. Weird…

  9. ” That does not necessarily mean Paul would treat the beheading of American journalists as a casus belli, but it sounds like he might”

    When your definition of ‘intervention’ is so conceptually enormous, and assume that every intervention inevitably leads to “War”*, you can be pretty damn sure every politician is going to fail the purity test at least once-per-speech.

    *(“war”, as in, the thing we do when we contrive a reason to airstrike something under one set of authorizations or another. I’m not sure the thing we think of when we say, “War With Russia” is exactly the same thing as “bombing ISIS”)

    Whether or not Rand thinks ‘headless journalists’ is a casus belli or not, there’s probably plenty of more substantive reasons to bomb them regardless. Execution of Americans on video serves only to influence popular will. Is that a threat to our ‘national security’? No. But that doesn’t mean a policy of eliminating the jihadmongers (via proxy or otherwise) isn’t in our best interests.

  10. Is he saying that if the president doesn’t ask Congress heads are gonna roll?

    Thanks, I’ll be here all week, try the veal…

  11. I like Rand Paul, but this is a terrible answer.

    More important than the question of whether intervention is justified or not is that of whether it is beneficial — and there is no way to determine this without a prepared overarching strategy or reasoning for intervention/not intervention for that specific case. I haven’t seen any actual ideas on how to apply military force such that it would advance our interests in the region (whatever *those* are), and any intervention, no matter how justified, is setting itself up for failure by not having all this thought out beforehand.

    “We plan to have a plan if we feel the American people think it justified”… ain’t much of a plan.

    1. He sounds like he is trying to placate the TEAM RED base

  12. Just use drones to wipe them from the face of the earth, no need for another trillion dollar ground war.

    Here’s my way of dealing with the war on Islamic terrorism: do it the American way, sub it out. We have the biggest gun in the world, but we don’t make the best use of it; paradoxically, having the biggest gun in the world *should* mean that you rarely have to use it.

    So I advise subbing the war on terror out to the Iranians. Make a global announcement that the nation of Iran is now responsible for destroying ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc., or we will destroy the Iranian government. This whole thing has always been about Iran; if you want to end it, you have to get to the root of the problem. We would order Iran to not only stop funding these killers, but to actively hunt them down and destroy them (with help from American intelligence services). If they failed to meet our requirements, we would destroy a component of the Iranian government in order to keep them in line, and to show them that we are done playing whack-a-mole across the ME, and are serious about the business of ending Islamic terrorism.

    But that would take a bigger set of balls (and a more perceptive brain) than any our current executive “leadership” has to offer.

    1. Libertariaus, your comment is so stupid that I worry reading it gave me cancer.

      1. Why the ad hominem? Libertariaus’ comment is an unusual perspective, but your smear indicates you don’t really have a cogent counter. You made some seemingly informed comments above. Why not here?

        1. What the fuck is there to say to a comment that suggests that the Shiites in Iran are somehow responsible for a movement dedicated to basically murdering all Shiites, and which is making good on that goal in Iraq?

          I don’t think we could give them more incentive than they already have to deal with ISIS.

        2. First of all what I wrote is not an ad hominem. If I *had* written an ad hominem, I’d have written something like “The U.S. threatening Iran into attacking ISIS must be a bad idea because Libertarius thinks it’s a good idea.”

          Nor is it really an insult of libertarius. I addressed his argument, which is literally the most moronic idea I have ever read on the issue. The only way Libertarius’s idea could be changed to render it even stupider would involve adding laser-pistol wielding Jesus riding a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

          Iran is already fighting a proxy war against Isis. In fact, Isis views Iran as its main enemy (they are heretics, after all). And, Iran, being hostile to the U.S. is not going to react to threats by Obama to bomb them by deciding that maybe they should get serious about Isis.

          The man who made that comment is demonstrating such a gaping ignorance of the middle east that I question if he knows that the Earth is actually round.

          1. The Catholic Church forced DaVinci to say the Earth moved ’round the sun, because the Pope threatened to encode his stuff if he refused.

    2. You mean Saudi Arabia, not Iran. Iran is Shi’a and al-Qaida & IS are Sunni, like Saudi Arabia.

      The caliphate is a Sunni conception, not a Shi’a one.

      1. The caliphate is a Sunni conception, not a Shi’a one.

        What are the Fatimids, chopped liver?

      2. Oops – they’re destroyed. My bad.

        /Libertarius

    3. Libertarianism is all about how well forcing third parties to do your bidding is, in practical as well as moral terms.

      I do congratulate you for coming up with something that neither non-interventionists nor realists nor any other camp would possibly agree with. It’s… unique.

      1. tarran, you’re such a pussy and a moral coward, you sit and watch Americans being decapitated and say, “Well, we should consider the Islamic terrorists’ point of view. If they feel bad enough to decapitate Americans on camera, maybe we should examine what we are doing to give them such cold fuzzies in the first place.”

        You’re all fucking pussies who hide behind feel-good rationalizations, and who define your ideology in terms of what it is not (i.e., “non-interventionism”) because you aren’t man enough to actually stand *for* something, least of all your own right to exist–or that of your fellow Americans.

        1. Because clearly when an American travels to a war zone the entire nation bears a responsibility for either ensuring their well-being or avenging them when their well-being is revoked.

          Clearly.

          Sorry. But TOO FUCKING BAD. I’m sympathetic to their family’s loss. But I bear ZERO fucking responsibility to deal with it.

          You’re the fucking pussy for not having the balls to stand up to your own base irrational instinct and swallowing your ill-considered pride.

          Fucking pussy.

        2. First, Libertarius (or may I call you On The Road to Mandalay?) I should congratulate you on appending your response to the wrong comment. It really underscores your ability to get things right.

          Secondly, reading your comment, I realize that I have hurt your feelings by implying you were really, really stupid. I wish to assure you that I don’t consider you a complete moron. I am supremely confident, for example, that given 30 seconds and an opportunity to remove your socks you could successfully count to potato.

          Thirdly, I wish to impart some advice. That painful feeling you feel is known as butt-hurt. I suggest you examine your rectum. I think you will find that someone has inserted a butt-plug into it, and that is the true source of your butt-hurt. If I may be so bold, you should do it right away; if left in too long, it will lead to something called an impacted bowel, which is very painful and cured only with a very painful combination of enemas and laxatives.

  13. Do we want another pol who pokes his finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing? Maybe Rand should read “Profiles in Courage?”

    1. I dunno about going to a Kennedy for moral guidance.

  14. What’s news here? Rand has always come down hard on the Dove side, and his reluctance to deal with a strong foreign policy has been ever known. His present attitude is illustration #1 why he would do better as a third party candidate. He’ll never be nominated by the Repubs.

  15. I don’t think the beheading of anyone in and of itself is a threat to security, but the whole ISIS situation as a whole is very troubling.

    Fact is, we’ve made a lot of mistakes over there, from the initial invasion, to not making sure things were right when we left.

    I’m not sure what the best solution is, maybe just bombing the hell out of ISIS why we wait for Iraq’s army to get their act together.

    1. Kroneborge|9.2.14 @ 7:30PM|#
      “I’m not sure what the best solution is, maybe just bombing the hell out of ISIS why we wait for Iraq’s army to get their act together.”

      Yeah, what the hell. Just bomb here and there until Kroneborge is happy! Villages? Random assemblies of people? Who cares? Not Kroneborge!
      I haven’t seen posts from you in a while. You haven’t gotten any smarter.

  16. It’s very easy to report on Rand Paul.

    Whatever the “position du jour” is – is what he will repeat. He has absolutely no original idea or personal ideals which mean anything except “elect me for something”. To wit:

    1. He doesn’t believe women should have reproductive rights – instead, GUBMENT should tell them what to do – and by extension, arrest or prosecute them when they don’t.

    2. He believes in the single biggest BIG GUBMENT issue of Capital Punishment – that is, he believes The State should have the right to judge (remember, a judge is just a lawyer with political connections) and KILL IT’S OWN CITIZENS.

    3. He now believes that the State of KY should change their laws to allow him to put his name on the ballot for both Senate and President.

    C’mon. Is this really the best you have? Heck, Obama held more to his core principles that this dude (and that’s not saying much).

    1. I’m not sure you understand how “to wit” works, given that your first two points don’t actually support your argument that he has no personal ideas (side note — unless you meant, he doesn’t have your personal ideas), and neither side of those issues is what you could call “original”.

    2. 2. He believes in the single biggest BIG GUBMENT issue of Capital Punishment – that is, he believes The State should have the right to judge (remember, a judge is just a lawyer with political connections) and KILL IT’S OWN CITIZENS.

      Nonsense.

      Whatever power the government has is delegated to it by the citizens (the “deriving its just powers” part of the Declaration of Independence). That includes the use of force to defend against, and retaliate for, violations of rights. In the absence of government, I would be justified in killing someone who murdered one of my friends or family members, so there’s nothing wrong with me delegating to the government my right to do that.

      Whether capital punishment is effective is a separate question, but it’s not a libertarian issue.

      1. I don’t know what you’re talking about. The death penalty is definitely a libertarian issue. It’s not one that all libertarians agree on, but it’s an issue.

        1. It’s not something on which libertarian principles yield a position, unlike, say, drug prohibition, or censorship, or a military draft. If Bob wants to grow marijuana in his land, stopping him would be initiation of force, which no one has the right to do and therefore no one can delegate doing so to the government. But if Bob, without cause, strangled Chuck, Bob is subject to being killed by anyone who wants to, and that task may be delegated.

          Libertarians as individuals will have views on the wisdom or efficacy of that, of course, the same as they will have views on whether or not a low-carb diet is good for you or whether the Transformers movies suck, but just as with those questions, libertarianism does not provide an answer.

          1. David Emami|9.3.14 @ 12:07AM|#
            “It’s not something on which libertarian principles yield a position,”

            I beg to differ.
            Exactly how much power over humans do you wish to yield to the government?
            Are you happy allowing the government to decide who lives and who dies? Well, if you are, I think you’re testing the limits of ‘libertarian’.

            1. Exactly how much power over humans do you wish to yield to the government?

              That’s a question of weighing risks, not a question of principles like initiation of force. Just about anything anybody does has a often-infinitesimal but non-zero chance of harming or killing someone. If we’re assuming the existence of government at all (if not, there’s no point discussing what powers it should have), then any government official also creates risks. It may be the risk of executing an innocent person, or a cop hitting a bystander during a shootout, or him running over someone in his patrol car, or giving a driver a fatal allergic reaction because he gave someone a speeding ticket with peanut residue on it from the donuts he was eating.

              Libertarianism answers “is the government permitted to do this?” questions, not “will the government do this well? questions. For example, in the highly-unlikely event that it was proved that state schools taught some subject better than private schools did, I would still be against state schools, because permitting them violates libertarian principles. Yes, there is a a very high correlation between “does government lack the authority to do this?” and “will government screw this up?”, but they are still separate questions and shouldn’t be muddled.

              1. “Yes, there is a a very high correlation between “does government lack the authority to do this?” and “will government screw this up?”, but they are still separate questions and shouldn’t be muddled.”

                Uh, no.
                The government should be conceded the minimum powers required to keep the peace and enforce contracts; minimum ‘authority’.
                Because the government is largely incompetent everywhere and we yield those powers where we have no other choice.
                Now you’re arguing that we should let the government take lives, even if they are mistaken, since, uh, well, I’m not sure why and I doubt you know either.
                The questions are not separate and I’ll be more than happy to allow *you* to put your life on the line as a result of the decisions of 12 people who couldn’t get out of jury duty.

                1. Now you’re arguing that we should let the government take lives, even if they are mistaken, since, uh, well, I’m not sure why and I doubt you know either.

                  At what point did I say we should do this? I said we may do this. That’s my point: that these are separate questions, and while “may it?” can be answered by libertarian principles, “should it?” cannot be.

                  I’ll be more than happy to allow *you* to put your life on the line as a result of the decisions of 12 people who couldn’t get out of jury duty.

                  All that means is that you don’t consider the risk to outweigh the benefit. And I might even agree with you. But libertarianism does not tell us what the right level of risk is. It’s a subjective question.

      2. …”In the absence of government, I would be justified in killing someone who murdered one of my friends or family members, so there’s nothing wrong with me delegating to the government my right to do that.”…

        So long as you GUARANTEE that power never makes a mistake, you might have a point.
        IOWs, you don’t have a point.

        1. So long as you GUARANTEE that power never makes a mistake, you might have a point.

          By that standard, I have no right to defend myself against attack, because I can’t guarantee that I won’t make a mistake in doing that. Or are you claiming that it’s alright to make a mistake defending against an attack but not when retaliating for one, or that it’s alright to make a mistake exercising one’s rights but not OK to delegate such exercise to someone who might make a mistake?

          1. “By that standard, I have no right to defend myself against attack, because I can’t guarantee that I won’t make a mistake in doing that.”

            Isn’t that a surprise!

            1. Your refusal to attempt to support your position is duly noted.

              Are you claiming that you can guarantee never to make a mistake when defending yourself?

              1. David Emami|9.3.14 @ 12:32AM|#
                “Your refusal to attempt to support your position is duly noted.”

                As is your stupidity.

                1. And to think that sometimes, I naively hope that discussions among libertarians will involve less ad-hominem and such than elsewhere.

                  1. Forget it, Dave. It’s Sevotown.

          2. Let’s put it another way:
            You had better damn guarantee the person you kill was the person attacking you, or you become a murderer.

            1. Let’s put it another way:
              You had better damn guarantee the person you kill was the person attacking you, or you become a murderer.

              That doesn’t change the rightness or wrongness of having the government do that on my behalf. All it means is that the government official exercising my delegated rights must suffer the same penalty for error that I would if I made the error. So, in the case of a wrongful execution, the executioner and prosecutor would be in for a murder charge.

              Yes, I know that as we have things now, they wouldn’t be, but that’s what the problem is, not the death penalty — and in many arenas besides.

              1. David Emami|9.3.14 @ 1:16AM|#
                …”All it means is that the government official exercising my delegated rights must suffer the same penalty for error that I would if I made the error.”

                Pedantry doesn’t help your argument.
                Go away.

                1. At least I’m supporting my argument, rather than tossing around insults and fallacies.

  17. It’s pretty funny to see the contortions that an obvious phony will make to gain the votes of the John McCain wing of the RP. Libertarians want their fellow libertarians (and I count myself as one, though– you know– I’m not in the Krazy Krack-up Kult Klub) to vote for this turd? Yeah, no thanks.

    I’m less sanguine than Tony is about a Paul/Clinton match-up. I think he has a genuine chance since he’ll peddle that end the Fed bullshit to people who don’t know what they are talking about.

    It’s a sad commentary on the Left that the best they got is to run 1992 over again and deliver up a pro-corporate, neocon who didn’t express any reservations about her vote on the Iraq War until she was running in the Democratic primaries amongst people who were clearly pissed off what a calamity the nation had become in 2008.

    1. You mean like the contortions those on the left have made to accommodate Barack Obama’s support of George W. Bush’s policies?

      Your lack of consistency probably serves you well based on your claim to be a libertarian and a socialist at the same time.

    2. Meh. The best we have is a former first lady, senator, and secretary of state, and current globally recognized figure. I’m sure Rand Paul, former eye doctor, shows up in international newspapers from time to time. As for political positions, at this point, I’ll take someone who at least believes in science.

      1. Tony|9.2.14 @ 10:42PM|#
        “Meh. The best we have is a former first lady, senator, and secretary of state, and current globally recognized figure.”

        Yeah, globally recognized as a scum-bag.

      2. Shorter Tony: Famously corrupt lawyer/political opportunist “believes in science”, unlike that medical doctor!

        Also, nice job boosting Hillary’s accolades by mentioning the fact that she has been elected to the Senate. If only Rand Paul had achieved some similar political office.

      3. I’m sure Rand Paul, former eye doctor, shows up in international newspapers from time to time.

        Yes, and probably more often than did a certain jive community organizer turned US Senator before he began campaigning for the presidency.

    3. american socialist|9.2.14 @ 8:50PM|#
      “It’s pretty funny to see the contortions that an obvious phony will make to gain the votes of the John McCain wing of the RP.”

      Amusing to watch the parasite known as commie-kid to post lie after lie after lie after lie…

    4. Oh, and commie-kid offers this steaming pile of crap:
      “fellow libertarians (and I count myself as one, though– you know– I’m not in the Krazy Krack-up Kult Klub)”

      Yeah, commie-kid. Libertarians are moral cripples and parasites just like you.
      Fuck you.

    5. “It’s a sad commentary on the Left that the best they got is to run 1992 over again”

      Not true. Unlike the GOP, the Dems actually give other candidates a chance…..for example Obama was one of them.

      How about that dude who is mayor of San Antonio or something – spoke at the last convention?

      There are a number of folks on the left who may want to throw their hat in – however, the party power structure always holds to a certain “seniority” and the safe bets, which is why Hillary is first in line.

      It’s a long way until 2016. There are probably dozens of good and qualified centrists and lefties out there – all of who would run on the Dem ticket, since the GOP primary voters won’t let a Huntsman, etc. slip through.

  18. I don’t understand why many think the default libertarian position is always to do nothing. Group A is suppressing the rights of group B. We can stop group A= more rights for group B= liberty= libertarian. The Constitution does promise these rights, not to citizens but to everyone.

    Not that we could do everything in the world, but the idea that sitting on our asses watching people get slaughtered cuz it’s libertarian is really fucking stupid. At best it’s neutral. The revolutionary war was more ambiguous liberty-wise than ISIS.

    1. Indeed we should do something when it can make a difference. What can the US do that matters in a region 6000 miles away with a 5000 year history of conquest that is relevant to you and me?

    2. Marktaylor|9.2.14 @ 11:12PM|#
      “I don’t understand why many think the default libertarian position is always to do nothing.”

      Maybe because you don’t have a clue as to the issue or the alternatives. Or maybe you hope people will buy into you false equivalence.
      ————–
      “The revolutionary war was more ambiguous liberty-wise than ISIS.”
      Book a flight and head right on over there. On your dime.
      Bullshit.

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  20. Obama is mailing it in, thinking about his future outside of the white house. Two Americans beheaded by ISIS loudly condemned him (it was probably scripted) before death, and not a word out of him. Do you stand by your mission against ISIS in Iraq, or take a libertarian route and leave that nation alone? No response or strategy from a man known for his eloquence.

    I can’t help but compare Rand and Obama in their early rise to prominence. Obama did nothing of importance as some junior senator and reneged on a number of promises made to the black community. He associated himself with whack jobs and hard leftists, and rose to power on blanket anti war sentiments, charisma and promises of vague changes.

    Rand has been a central figure in a significant political movement (libertarian, Tea party) and has either started conversation or pushed legislation on a number of important issues. His anti drone stance even brought fans from the left. When has Obama ever done something like that? Substance vs. Style, pure and simple.

    And who cares if Clinton wins? She won’t have both the house and senate, and will spend the rest of her term trying to distance herself from the ACA, which, by the way, is now leading to overcrowding at some hospitals.

    1. This may have some truth to it – except the fact that Obama was vastly better educated and experienced in things (outside of being a fake eye doc) and also actually stood for issues.

      Rand is inexperienced and doesn’t stand for anything. There is a difference!

      After folks like GW, Reagan, etc. it’s hard to hold up some kind of “experience” standard for the POTUS. One was an actor the other a dry drunk…neither had much going except talking points.

      1. *This may have some truth to it – except the fact that Obama was vastly better educated*

        Hahahaha. Right.

        *and experienced in things (outside of being a fake eye doc)*

        Yes, being a “fake constitutional scholar” is way better than being an actual eye doctor.

        *and also actually stood for issues.*

        Like how he was against gay marriage before he was for it? Or being against GTMO before he was for it? Like that?

      2. *After folks like GW, Reagan, etc. it’s hard to hold up some kind of “experience” standard for the POTUS. One was an actor the other a dry drunk…neither had much going except talking points*

        Both Bush 43 and Reagan were Governors of two of the largest states in the Union, both of which, if spun off as separate nations, would have larger economies and populations than a vast majority of UN member states.

        Troll smarter, not harder, my bruv.

  21. who’s saying that the one (now two) deaths is justification – even Rand Paul isn’t putting it that way – these are incidents in the middle of a large scale situation rife with dire implications – this article’s title is simplistic and misrepresents the contents of the article

  22. If ISIS beheads an American journalist overseas with a sword, then it clearly is probably not a threat to American security. Particularly if the journalist lives in a neocon politicians district.

    What if ISIS beheads an American libertarian overseas who is attempting to teach them about the nonaggression principle? Should that be deemed a threat to American security? Or should it be deemed an opportunity to befriend ISIS and sell them more efficient trade goods – like perhaps guillotines?

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