Rand Paul

What Happened on Friday Afternoon That Banished Rand Paul's Doubts About War Against ISIS? [UPDATED]

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Last Friday, 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." Although that statement was widely interpreted as an endorsement of military action against ISIS, it seemed to me that the libertarian-leaning Kentucky senator might have been merely reiterating his view of what the president should do if he determines that ISIS is a threat to national security. But during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News last night, Paul made it clear that he is ready to wage war on ISIS:

Hannity: We have ISIS saying, "We'll see you in New York. We're going to raise the flag of Islam in the White House." And now they have beheaded two Americans. Have they declared war on us?

Paul: Yeah, without question, they are a threat. And in the past, you know, Hillary Clinton has said ISIS is not a threat to the United States.

Hannity: Is that a declaration of war? In other words, the 9/11 Commission  report said, after 9/11, they were at war with us; we were at war with them. Has ISIS declared war against us through their actions?

Paul: Absolutely. And I think what we should do is come to the American people….If I had been president, I would have called a joint session of Congress this August, called everybody back from recess, and said, "This is why ISIS is a threat to the country. This is why I want to act, but I want to do it in a constitutional manner, and I want the entire American public to come together." To galvanize support and say, "You know, this is something we can't take. We're not gonna let our enemies behead our journalists. We're not gonna let them become strong enough to attack our embassy."

On Tuesday I asked, "Does Rand Paul think the beheading of American journalists justifies war against ISIS?" The answer, it seems, is yes. Since American journalists, students, businessmen, and diplomats live and work in nearly every country on Earth, this strikes me as a dangerously open-ended rationale for military intervention. Furthermore, the certainty that Paul now expresses about the threat posed by ISIS was not at all apparent at a Q&A session in Dallas last Friday. Here is what he said at that event, which was sponsored by the Republican Liberty Caucus:

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?

Just a few hours later, Paul made his statement to the Associated Press, which in light of his comments on Hannity signaled his support for a war that aims to "destroy ISIS militarily." At that point Paul, who earlier in the day had presented himself as undecided on the question of whether ISIS poses a threat that justifies war, was firmly convinced that it does. The sudden evaporation of Paul's doubts reeks of political desperation. As Hannity noted, Paul is eager to shed the "isolationist" label, and this is his opportunity.

To his credit, Paul insists that any military action against ISIS must be authorized by Congress, and he continues to highlight the unintended consequences of U.S. intervention in Libya and Syria (as he did on Hannity). Furthermore, his endorsement of war against ISIS may provoke an illuminating debate among libertarians and others who tend to be skeptical of foreign intervention about what counts as a threat to national security. But given his sudden conversion and the weakness of the reasons he has offered, it is hard to take Paul seriously on the subject.

Addendum: In a Time essay posted today, Paul cites, in addition to the safety of the American embassy in Iraq, "the plight of massacred Christians and Muslim minorities" as a justification for war against ISIS, which he describes as "a global threat." Now he is getting even further afield from something that could legitimately be described as a threat to U.S. national security. In Dallas last week, Paul ridiculed President Obama's justification for war in Libya, which hinged on the threat that Muammar al-Qaddafi's forces posed to the residents of Benghazi. Why is "the plight of massacred Christians and Muslim minorities" a more valid argument for attacking ISIS in Iraq? "A more realistic foreign policy," Paul wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, "would recognize that there are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but also that America cannot police or solve every problem across the globe." Paul still has not explained why the problem of ISIS is one the U.S. has to solve.

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  1. This is why I want to act, but I want to do it in a constitutional manner, and I want the entire American public to come together.” To galvanize support and say, “You know, this is something we can’t take. We’re not gonna let our enemies behead our journalists. We’re not gonna let them become strong enough to attack our embassy.

    FUCK YOU! Because I don’t feel that way. And my opinion won’t even be considered. You want to go kill the barbarians? You do it on your own. But just know that America (at least this American) is not galvanizing behind you. Your warboner is yours to stroke alone, Rand. I’m not going to cheer you on.

    1. When did “gonna” become an accepted alternative spelling for “going to” in mainstream publications? I’ve only noticed it since the early 00’s, and I just thought the media were doing that to make Bush look dumb.

      1. The same reason we no longer say “doth” and and “hast thou”, etc. Language changes.

        1. Believe me, I’m all about descriptive over prescriptive linguistics. I was just asking when, not why, this shift occurred. I really only started noticing it in news articles about 10 years ago. Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, the trend seems to have really taken off between the years 1980 to 2000. However, that’s not specific to printed news media.

          While the sociolinguistic “whys” of the phenomenon would be fascinating (to me) to investigate, I was more interested in the “when”.

        2. NO! This is America! We need a national language czar, a ‘Common core for English’ if you will.

          Its working so well for the French.

          1. While I agree with David Crystal that English’s current dominance is a result of 200-semodd years of British economic and military strength followed by American economic and military strength, I believe English’s “open source” nature also has something to do with that.

            1. Yeah, one of the most interesting things about English (to me) is the way it just grabs useful words and phrases from other languages.

      2. Makin’ fun o’ the nig’ prez, y’all.

    2. So when people take over an area and kill American citizens there and say they are not going to stop until they get here, it is a “warboner” to go and do something about it before they do? Really?

      Why should we not take these people at their word? They are the ones saying they are at war with the US. We didn’t say that. In fact, Obama ignored them. Hell, truth be known he probably sent them arms at some point. Now, they have declared war on us. What is wrong with giving them the war they claim to want and have started? Why do we have to wait for them to come and try to kill us? I don’t want a fair fight with these assholes. Do you?

      1. Here’s the problem: In the current zeitgest of American bed-wettery any Islamist militant group that gains sufficient control over an area (that we want to control) automatically is considered to be ready to “attack the homeland,” whether or not that is actually true. This is one of the reasons we’ve almost entirely remade our society in the image of paranoid security fetishists in response to what essentially are cave-based wack jobs who got lucky with some box cutters and some planes about a decade ago.

        And by lucky, I mean lucky that our intelligence services had their heads so far up their asses that they could see the plaque on the back of their own teeth. That kind of lucky.

        1. I don’t think a doctrine of “any time an Islamist group takes control of an area and kills Americans and threatens to do more, the US will intervene and destroy said group and turn the place back over to whoever is left” is a problem.

          Again, it is not like we are going out and looking for trouble here like we did in Syria. If they had not killed any Americans and said they no intention of ever attacking the US, do you honestly think there would be any support for doing anything about this outside of the staff of the Weekly Standard? I don’t.

        2. Well Al Qaeda attacked the homeland and it didn’t control any territory. It was just a band of paramilitaries living as a guest of the Taliban in Afghanistan. It was arguably far weaker than ISIL is right now.

          ISIL actually control territory, including oil fields and pipelines. They have more money than Al Qaeda ever had due to looting the banks in Mosul.

      2. Every 2 bit terrorist group under the sun has made the same threats. Hell, North Korea has threatened us repeatedly.

        1. These people have carried those threats out and killed Americans. And these people hold ground. Yes, we should attack them. Why should we wait for them to attack us?

          I fail to see how the philosophy of every nation in the world or terrorist group gets a free attack killing however many Americans they can before we do anything and by the way they are free to kill as many individual Americans as they can catch in their area of the world and we won’t do anything is a very good way to operate.

          Wouldn’t be easier to say “anyone who kills an American and threatens to do more will likely find a cruise missile coming through their front door”?

          1. These people have carried those threats out and killed Americans. And these people hold ground. Yes, we should attack them. Why should we wait for them to attack us?

            Because they killed private American citizens who were traveling in a war zone.

            And because outside of a terrorist act on US soil, they are not a threat.

            In the end, the cost/benefit just isn’t there for me. I’d much rather pursue a policy of “taking our ball and going home” and see where that ultimately leads.

            1. Because they killed private American citizens who were traveling in a war zone.

              Since when does being in a war zone make it okay to murder him? If he had been caught in a crossfire, sure. But they kidnapped him and murdered him.

              And because outside of a terrorist act on US soil, they are not a threat.

              That is the entire point. You go and kill them now so that they are unable to kill us later. They are the ones who declared war. Not us. We are not obligated to wait for them to come to the US.

              And your cost benefit analysis assumes that they won’t do anything more. Yeah, if they hadn’t declared war and said they were coming for us, sure, why go to war over one journalist. But that is not reality. Reality is they are going to do what they said they are going to do and attack us wherever they can. It is suicidal and stupid to stand around and wait for them to finally succeed before doing something.

          2. It’s like pro wrestling. The heel gets to use an illegal hold 3 times before the good guy can. And then chances are the good guy gets disqualified.

      3. Since when are words, force?

        Do we go to war with the Norks when they threaten us or kill the odd soldier?

        No, we don’t. This is media driven hysteria, which has created an opportunity for the warmongers to score political points at the expense of other people’s lives. It’s disgusting.

        1. ^This.

          1. +1 “Remember the Maine!”

        2. Do we go to war with the Norks when they threaten us or kill the odd soldier?

          If they didn’t have nuclear weapons and confronting them didn’t involve destroying the country of South Korea sure.

          Every situation is different. As general rule if someone kills Americans and threatens to do more, our government has a duty to do something about it. Protecting its people is the primary job of a government.

          How is your position anything other than declaring open season on all Americans anywhere they can be found? I can’t see these people anything that would cause you to life a finger against them. Maybe if they attacked American soil, but as long as they only killed a few people, not even then. But even if you did, what you are saying is that any American who leaves the country is open game for any terrorist group because the government won’t do anything to deter or stop them if they kill you. Yeah, that is a hell of way to run things.

          1. If they didn’t have nuclear weapons and confronting them didn’t involve destroying the country of South Korea sure.

            So for you it’s not about not killing innocent people, so long as the right innocent people get killed?

            How is your position anything other than declaring open season on all Americans anywhere they can be found?

            I’m not saying those criminals responsible for the beheadings shouldn’t be brought to justice. Just that we don’t need a war to do so.

            Congress can issue Letters of marque.

            1. I’m not saying those criminals responsible for the beheadings shouldn’t be brought to justice. Just that we don’t need a war to do so.

            2. fucking squirrels.

              The are the effective government of a large area of Iraq and Syria. Sending in the FBI is not going to help. They are a effectively a government and have declared war.

              1. And as long as they are over there, they are not a threat.

      4. Two dead American journalists is not worth another 10 years, 4,500 dead soldiers, and $1 trillion.

        1. If the alternative is peace sure. But that is what you people don’t get. It won’t be just two journalists. They are going to continue to attack and kill Americans every time they can. So the question is do you sit around and wait for them to do that or do you kill them before they get the chance.

          That is what you people refuse to accept. Leaving them alone won’t do us any good. They don’t care if we leave them alone. They want to kill us and nothing we do is going to change that.

          1. The minute ISIS establishes a beach head in Long Beach, I’ll grab my guns and walk down to the beach and engage them.

            1. The minute the Germans establish a beach head on Long Island, we will do something.

              The minute the Japanese invade California we will do something,

              You people really are dumber than even I thought you were. No one, and I mean no one, would take the position that a country has to wait until their territory is attacked before responding to a declaration of war and violence directed against its citizens abroad.

              I don’t think you believe that. You have just lost the argument and won’t admit it. No one is that fucking stupid.

              1. John; “you lost and you’re stupid”

                This is you’re a troll.

              2. No one, and I mean no one, would take the position that a country has to wait until their territory is attacked before responding to a declaration of war and violence directed against its citizens abroad.

                No one is making this argument. At this point ISIS has murdered 2 Natalee Holloways, are we invading Aruba next? The response needs to be proportional and a thorough cost-benefit analysis presented before a Declaration of War is justified.

              3. ISIS is not Imperial Japan…give me a break John.

                If anything Europe could mop ISIS up pretty quick if it wanted to. Let them figure it out.

                There is no reason for the US to be involved at all except to be Europe’s mercenary force protecting their energy interests.

              4. Well, we did wait until the minute the Japanese attacked American soil.

              5. No John, they really are that stupid. According to the NAP, you can’t take action against the guy who clenches up his fist and says he’s going to punch you in the balls, until after you’re on the ground holding your balls with both hands.

        2. Destroying them militarily isn’t the same thing as trying to make them a mini me United States.

          We destroyed the Taliban and Saddam in quick order. Nation building was what got us in trouble.

          Personally I’m for leaving our foot soldiers out of this at any rate. There are several other countries in the area to whom ISIS is a threat. Let them fight for themselves for a change.

          I still remember pictures of young Kuwaiti elites partying in nightclubs while our young were fighting for their country during Gulf War I.

          1. We should not try to rebuild Iraq. Just destroy these people and let Iraq reoccupy the territory. After that, it is the Iraqi’s problem. I don’t care if the Iraqis want to kill each other, just as long as neither side declares war on the US and intends to do us harm.

            1. We are in agreement but I want to see the locals get their hands dirty or we do nothing for now.

              One of the ruling Saudi’s was in the news lately warning Europe that ISIS would be there in a month and in the US in two.

              They want us back in there to do their jobs for them The Saudis are scared shitless of the Islamists, politically and militarily.

              Let Shiite Iran take on these Sunni Islamists. Iran Shiites are always making bold threats to destroy Israel and the US. Let’s see how badass they are. That serves a very interesting purpose of studying their military in action rather than faked photos of cardboard fighter jets they have claimed to have developed.

              Let’em walk the walk for a change.

              I’m not saying we should not do anything but let’s not be so quick to fight their battles for them. I actually want to see the Saudis and/or Iran do it.

          2. We destroyed the Taliban

            ORLY?

            And watch your usage of the “we” word, would you?

            1. If you choose to exclude yourself from the common meaning of the word “WE’ when refering to one’s country that is certainly your right, whatever country you are a citizen of.

              I choose not to.

              As to the ORLY snark. Yes WE destroyed them. As to allowing them to regroup, reman, and rearm in Pakistian that is another topic.

              The picking of nits isn’t a very attractive personality trait.

      5. So when people take over an area and kill American citizens there

        “Journalists” who were there on some adrenaline junkie tour.

        Also that last one beheaded was Israeli.

    3. First of all, Rand hasn’t figured out that 9/11/2001 was an Israeli Mossad operation.

      Rothschild Zionism forces Jewish people to occupy Palestine in the most horrible human rights violations in history (Jimmy Carter), and Rothschild Zionism has dictated our horrible United States foreign policy ever since it attacked us on 9/11. It’s the foundation for all our modern illicit war and tyranny at home.

      The airplanes were a cover for Mossad demolition operatives, and a ruse to blame 19 hijackers directed by a guru in a cave.

      We have it all on film. There is no flaming jet fuel running down the sides of the twin towers. Rather the jet fuel was gone in seconds, in a brilliant gigantic fireball. Hardly enough time to “warm up any steel”.

      The ‘whodunit’ is solved when you consider Zionists owned, operated, and provided security for, the World Trade Center at that time.

      None of Kroll Associates 4000 Israeli employees reported for duty that Tuesday morning in September. Even Larry Silverstein had a doctor’s appointment. There was an unprecedented 36 hour extended power outage the weekend prior.

      Zionists like Michael Chertoff, with dual Israeli/U.S. passports were in charge that day.

      Rand is kissing the Zionist ring, shaking hands with the secret societies, making secret agreements, and taking secret oaths.

      Rand’s effort to run for POTUS has him joining the dark side of the monolithic and ruthless conspiracy. He should switch to “End the Fed.

    4. Considering that presidents haven’t followed Constitutional process since Korea when going to war, and that the current POS liar-in-chief doesn’t even tell congress before he starts launching cruise missiles, a candidate that proposes following the Constitution is the best news you’re going to get.

      You may not want to go to war. And your position is part of the debate Paul mentions. But in the final analysis, the members of congress are supposed to vote whether to go to war or not. When they do, you’re still free to disagree – but that IS the way the system is supposed to work.

      Paul apparently thinks ISIS is a threat. You do not. It’s America.

  2. “would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.”

    You mean ask congress to declare war for the first time since WW2?

    Seems like a calculated statement. Congress is not likely to do that.

    1. Notice he didn’t use the phrase ‘declare war’, and Congress is more than happy to hand out an AUMF.

      1. Notice he didn’t use the phrase ‘declare war’, and Congress is more than happy to hand out an AUMF.

        In the interview, Hannity actually gave Bush’s authorization for the Iraq War as an example of the sort of thing Paul was talking about, and Paul agreed.

        1. You know, the AUMF for Iraq is pretty much a declaration of war. The one against the 9/11 terrorists might’ve been okay, if it weren’t in fact used as a general authorization to kill bad guys.

  3. And in the past, you know, Hillary Clinton has said ISIS is not a threat to the United States.

    A suspicion creeps over me. An inkling. A vague notion.

    1. Hillary Clinton is no different than Joe Biden who said: “I’m not Jewish, but I’m a Zionist!”

      9/11 was an inside job and Israel was the ringleader.

      Perhaps we should bring down Old Glory and fly the Israeli flag? Ours should have been flown upside down ever since that horrible day.

  4. Paul is right that you have to explain why these people are a threat and get Congress to buy off on doing something. You can’t fight a war without popular support and you can’t have popular support for a war no one understands. Beyond the Constitutional issues of needing Congress’ approval to go to war, there are practical ones as well.

    How about we go back to the Powell Doctrine of fighting wars only when there is a clearly defined end state and doing so with overwhelming force? You could apply that here. The end state is the return of territorial integrity to the country of Iraq. Doing that doesn’t imply an endless commitment. And the overwhelming force part is pretty easy.

    Syria is a bit more of a difficult issue. I don’t think anyone wants to fight a war to restore the territorial integrity of Assad and no one wants to try and put a new government in there. So punt. Kill these bastards by the bushel and run them out of Iraq and figure out Syria later.

    These people have popped up and concentrated themselves and gave us a tremendous opportunity to no only murder a ton of these people that otherwise would hiding and causing problems but also to discredit and humiliate them and make them look like losers as they run back to Syria after proclaiming the Caliphate.

    1. “only when there is a clearly defined end state”

      “and figure out Syria later.”

      Hmmmmm…

      1. We are not going into Syria. Our end state is the restoration of the territory of the Iraqi government. That is very clearly defined.

        Yes, Syria does not give us a clearly defined end state. So that is why we are not going there.

        1. Your “clearly defined end state” appears not to be so clearly defined.

          1. Which part of “restore Iraq’s territory” is unclear to you?

            1. The part where that represents a “clearly defined end state.”

              1. Can you not read a map? If you can, then it is pretty clear. If you can’t, then you might try learning.

                1. The point is that Iraq as a country was drawn up out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire following WW1, without respect to the myriad ethnic divisions in the area.

            2. I understand your endpoints John, but I don’t see how you end up in a viable long term military position. The remaining forces of ISIL would just retreat beyond the Syrian border and continue to launch raids across that border.

              So you’d be stuck with another Korean type DMZ. Or worse a Viet Cong in Cambodia situation. And I don’t think most Americans want to end up there.

        2. And when ISIS is driven out, it’s clear to all that the Iraqi government can’t defend its borders, so it’s only reasonable to leave thousands of troops behind until the Iraqis get back on their feet a second time.

    2. John, no disrespect but it’s a stretch to call ensuring another nation’s territorial integrity a clearly defined objective. In fact, it’s about as open-ended a commitment as I can think of. You effectively make yourself their army.

    3. We need a separation of church and state in this country. I’m embarrassed to admit I wish we could swap Presidents.

      Putin expelled all the Rothschild Oligarchs from the Russian government. Of course the Jewish owned media isn’t going to publish that.

      Rothschild Zionism forces Jewish people to occupy Palestine by killing women and children if necessary. Rothschild Zionism has dictated the horrible U.S. foreign policy ever since it attacked us on 09/11/2001.

        1. If our outgo exceeds our income our upkeep will be our downfall.

          If everyone stopped borrowing money it would be a revolution. It would be the revolution we need without bloodshed.

          This is what end the Fed is about. If everyone stopped borrowing money it would reflect in government by design. Politicians would loathe to spend any of it.

          Our money would start to grown in the U.S. Treasury to end the need for any credit from a bank. Our money would begin to be worth more as time went by instead.

          That’s why we want to end the Fed.

  5. So thugs killing 3 Americans is reason start a war that will kill thousands, including at least 3 innocent bystanders? How many military personnel will get killed in the process?

    Someone needs to do a cost/benefit on this. This is shitty, but it isn’t reason to start a war.

    1. They only killed a couple of thousand at Pearl Harbor. Yet, we launched a war that killed millions. All over a few battleships and a few thousand people.

      The logic is the same there as you are using here. An attack on your citizens or your military is still an attack. I don’t see how you can “well if it is just a couple, that is okay”. And as far as the “thousands killed”, well maybe they should have thought about that before they started killing Americans and saying they were not going to stop until they got to New York?

      Do you ever consider anyone but the United States responsible for anything? No one made Isis invade Iraq. No one made them behead Americans. No one made them say they were going to attack the US. Why is it the US’s fault they did and why shouldn’t the US be able to take them at their word?

      1. If we are going to make a WW2 analogy, we didnt declare war on Germany when they invaded Poland.

        We didnt care about the territorial integrity of Poland.

        But once Japan attacked us directly (and I dont consider the beheading of US journalists in Iraq to rise to that level), we declared war on Japan and Germany (and Italy? I know we did, but I want to say it was belated).

        1. Actully, idiot Hitler declared war on us. One of many smart moves that the fuhrer made.

          1. According to the Reason boards, that didn’t matter. ISIS has declared war on us. But the consensus here is that that doesn’t give us the right to do anything. We can only do anything if another country directly attacks American territory and does sufficient damage and kills enough Americans to justify the resulting war.

            That is the Reason doctrine in a nutshell.

            1. We can only do anything if another country directly attacks American territory and does sufficient damage and kills enough Americans to justify the resulting war.

              Correct.

              1. Think about what you just said. By your logic after Germany declared war on the US in 1941, the US should have done absolutley nothing and waited until German planes were bombing New York before waging war in its own defense.

                You have just lost this argument. When a country or group declares war on you, you do not have to wait for them to attack. They declared war. That means it is okay to defend yourself. In fact, it is a really good idea to do so.

                Are you really that stupid or just that much of a pacifist fanatic?

                1. “or group”

                  Here’s the problem.

                2. By your logic after Germany declared war on the US in 1941, the US should have done absolutley nothing and waited until German planes were bombing New York before waging war in its own defense.

                  The Blitz showed Hitler’s willingness to wage all out war with England, and possibly it’s closest ally, the USA. So how about his deal; when ISIS starts to attack and hold ground in London, we’ll take them seriously enough to go play war in Iraq.

                  1. Okay,

                    So if Hitler hadn’t been at war with England and had declared war on the US, your position is that we should have just ignored it? Again, the absurdity of that statement speaks for itself.

                3. When a country or group declares war on you, you do not have to wait for them to attack. They declared war. That means it is okay to defend yourself. In fact, it is a really good idea to do so.

                  Depends on how credible of a threat they are. I mean, if Luxembourg declared war on the US, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

                4. I have lost nothing.

                  Germany initiated aggression against European nations. That gives us moral grounds to intervene. It DOES NOT, however, obligate us to intervene. That decision is based upon a cost/benefit analysis of the likely outcomes, both financial and wrt national security.

                  In this situation:

                  a. We will incur no financial burdens.

                  and

                  b. This organization poses no more of a threat to the US than numerous other organizations throughout the globe (that we aren’t attacking).

                  There is no need for intervention in this situation other than to look tough and stroke the war boner. Which will invariably create unanticipated future consequences.

                  Three Americans are not worth going to war over. PERIOD!

                  1. So we only get to defend ourselves if an “aggressive nation” declares war? And last I looked ISIS invaded Iraq from Syria. That looks pretty agressive to me.,

                    Beyond that, your position is absurd. Declaring war on another nation is “aggressive”. All you are arguing is “well, they really don’t mean it”.

                    We have a case where a group has declared war on the US and you guys don’t think the US should do anything but stand around and wait until enough bodies pile up to make it okay to do something, provide doing that is really easy and doesn’t kill very many people.

                    It is impossible to take that position seriously. I am sorry but it just is.

              2. Osama’s declaration of war on the US wasn’t taken seriously either.

          2. One of many smart moves that the fuhrer made.

            Japan was scared that he would have demanded the quid pro quo of them declaring war on Russia. He let that pass, which I suspect he later regretted.

        2. We wouldn’t care about Iraqi integrity if they were not killing Americans. It is the killing Americans and threatening to do more that is the problem.

      2. An uniformed enemy attacked our military capability on our soil. It’s a just a bit different. If we went to war everytime bad guys killed a couple Americans, we’d be going to ‘war’ all over the place. Oh wait…

        1. So Steve, any time an American leaves the coutnry he can expect no protection from the government? If you are overseas, anyone can kill you at any time and the governmetn wont’ do anything about it?

          Is that your position? If so, that is crazy. Moreover, when a group declares war on the US and says they are going to make war on us, why do we have to wait for them to actually attack us? This is not pre-emptive self defense. They say they are at war with us and will kill us and attack us at every opportunity. Why do we have to wait for them to do it? Isn’t it better to attack now before it is a fair fight? We didn’t start this. They did.

          1. So John, when you travel, you expect American military on call for your personal protection? I’m IN the military and ain’t that naive. Travel at your own risk, maintain SA and know the local laws, customs, threats, etc. Get in trouble? Contact the embassy. Journalists covering a war zone do that at their own risk.
            But I guess you’re the kind of guy who screams in a foreign jail, “You can’t do this to me, I’m an American!”

            1. No Steve. I expect the military to make war on any country or group that is making war on the US. That is why we call it THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT.

              1. making war on the US

                Great, lemme know when they get here.

          2. They say they are at war with us and will kill us and attack us at every opportunity.

            So it makes sense to start sending even more US citizens over to Iraq?

            1. No. It makes sense to start sending bombs there. You know kill them before they can kill us.

              1. No. It makes sense to start sending bombs there. You know kill them before they can kill us.

                You can’t win with air power alone. It can’t be done.

                To defeat an enemy you need to send in troops to control territory. It’s the only way.

                At this point I’m not so sure that that’s a good idea. Yes they’re killing Americans. Americans who were stupid enough to go there. They’re not killing Americans in America, nor are they capable. Until they are, I say it’s not my problem.

          3. John, the government isn’t there to protect us. It’s not in the Constitution and even if it were the only way they could do that is by 1) not letting anyone ever leave without permission, and 2) creating a police state.

            Just sayin’.

            1. Restoras,

              There is this thing we like to call the Preamble. It states.

              We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense,

              COMMON DEFENSE. Defense of US citizens and property is a basic duty of the federal government.

              1. Yes, I know it.

                Provide For the common defense does not mean Guarantee the Safety of US citizens at all times and in all places.

                1. I’d also point out that the government already is actively providing for the common defense and given the lack of successful attacks on the US over the past 100 years has done so quite successfully.

                  1. What the fuck was 9/11 if not a successful attack?

                    1. And Pearl Harbour ?

              2. Not when they plop their asses into hostile territory to take pictures!

      3. So every time a common criminal kills an American overseas, we send in the Marines, eh John?

        None of this would be happening if the US hadn’t preemptively invaded a sovereign nation. And you want to double down? A PROVEN failure and we need more of the same?

        What did Einstein say about insanity?

        1. So every time a common criminal kills an American overseas, we send in the Marines, eh John?

          No. But when a group takes over an area of the world and kills Americans and says they are at war with the US, then yes we do.

          For the fifth time ISIS has declared war on the US. They are killing Americans and have said they are going to continue to do so and won’t stop until they have gotten here.

          That is not just some criminal gang killing an American. They say they are at war with us. Explain to me why the US is obligated to pretend they don’t or somehow should not do anything until they have killed a sufficient number of Americans to make war justified in your mind?

          1. For the fifth time ISIS has declared war on the US. They are killing Americans and have said they are going to continue to do so and won’t stop until they have gotten here.

            I don’t care. We have no business being there.

            When they carry out attacks against us in places we actually have the right to be, THEN, John, you can go kill them and furiously rub your war boner.

            Not until.

            1. When they carry out attacks against us in places we actually have the right to be, THEN, John, you can go kill them and furiously rub your war boner.

              Your position is that it is okay to make war on America as long as you just kill a few people. And other countries always have the right for the first strike. They can declare war, say they are going to make war and the US will not do anything until that country has launched a strike devastating enough to make defending ourselves justified.

              That seems to be your position. And that is insane.

              1. If Americans want to venture into a hot zone, then they’re on their own. At least that’s my position. It’s not the job of the military to protect American reporters who mosey into someone else’s war. Sorry.

                As far as waging war goes, I don’t believe ISIS is capable of launching attacks on America. If they were, then I’d say bomb them until they are no longer a threat to Americans in America, and then leave them the fuck alone. Let the Middle East burn. Not my problem.

              2. John, do you really believe, for one second, that ISIS can take over the US?

                I don’t believe they can even mount an attack that could kill a hundred people.

                They are not a threat to the US, our way of life, our finances or even more than a handful of our citizens. Organized crime in the US poses more of a threat.

                They are a bunch of thugs, waging a civil war and they want us out of it. Obliging them, costs us nothing, except the face lost in attempting to force democracy down the throats of people who don’t want it.

                We were wrong. Admit it and leave the psychos to killing each other. The Iraq war was a HORRIFIC mistake.

                DON’T double down on bad decisions. Short of completely annihilating a population, you can’t force people to do shit against their will using bullets and bombs. See:

                Korea
                Vietnam
                Gulf War I
                Afghanistan
                Iraq

                1. No point Fd’A. You’re not agreeing with his straw man so he’s taken his ball and gone home.

                2. “I don’t believe they can even mount an attack that could kill a hundred people.”

                  Most people didn’t think Al Qaeda could kill a hundred people and yet they managed to kill thousands.

                  While I too think it’s to early to get deeply involved in a war with ISIL, I understand John’s point of view.

                  I would like to see the President go before Congress to ask for the military authorization to start a limited air campaign against ISIL vs the current approach of just bombing them without any authorization.

                  1. Yes, it’s easy to kill a lot of people if you set your mind to it. Always has been.

                    So let’s do the math.

                    We lost 3000 people on 9/11. We then went to war and lost another 4500. And after 13 years of killing, spending over a trillion dollars and gutting our military we have exactly the same problems we did before going to war.

                    So, was going to war the right way to deal with a terrorist treat? Do you want to feel better or do you actually want results? I say, leave the good intentions to the progs, I’d rather see results.

        2. So every time a common criminal kills an American overseas, we send in the Marines

          Well, at least there is some precedent (1)(2) for that.

      4. Yeah, and they killed 3 thousand on 9/11 – and we launched two full-scale invasions over the past decade that have achieved precisely jack shit in terms of making the hajis scared to fuck with us.

        If anything, we have done the one thing that gives politicians nightmares – we have accustomed these people to the idea that politicians can be killed like normal men.

        The Middle East is nothing but a hornet’s nest, one with an infinite amount of hornets, and we KEEP FUCKING THROWING ROCKS AT IT.

        Its almost as if this shit provides significant personal benefits to those who advocate this approach.

        1. Life sucks sometimes. They are not going to quit. And if your position is “ah fuck it, we will just let them murder us by the hundreds because doing something about it is really hard”, you are being honest I guess. I don’t think that position is going to be very popular and I also don’t’ think it is consistent with the basic duties of a government to protect its people.

          1. “ah fuck it” Wrong; false choice. We can understand why the attack us (hint: it’s in their videos) and perhaps come up w/ a better strategy than whack-a-mole.

          2. It’s not really hard. It’s just really unprofitable. Currently, the cost of maintaining one soldier in Afghanistan, depending on who you ask is around $815,000 to $850,000 a year. So even sending one platoon would cost the taxpayers, that is you and me, around $17,000,000. Do you think that’s a good use of money to avenge the deaths of two journalists who, knowing the danger, chose to travel to a war zone?

            1. Who says we should send soldiers? You don’t have to maintain a bomb, it explodes.

              Making war is not the same as building nations. I don’t support an occupation. I support killing these people.

              1. Fair enough, but you and I know that’s not how it’s going to go down.

              2. Bombing won’t accomplish anything. The only way to eradicate ISIS is by counter-insurgency. There is no political will or national resolve for that at this point.

                1. Not true Restoras. These people done us the great favor of forming an Army. They have massed themselves. This isn’t an insurgency going on in Iraq. They have formed an Army, taken over, and declared themselves the government.

                  1. Sure. But unless you are advocating the use of nuclear or chemical weapons there is no way you can bomb an army like ISIS out of existence. If you think you can win a war from the air I think you don’t have a clear understanding on the limitations of air power.

              3. Oh Jesus, so you believe in the myth of airpower alone getting the job done? And we’re the stupid ones…
                IF you were able to convince this crowd that intervening is the right approach, you have to put boots on the ground if you want any hope of shaping the outcome. But I guess you’d prefer to make some craters, piss off more fence-sitters and create an all-new vacuum to be filled by another ISIS.

                1. Oh, you can win a war from the air…

                  You just need the will to wipe out an entire population.

                  The bottom line is…bullets and bombs will not change people’s minds. If they don’t want what you’re selling, they will simply wait you out.

                  Proof:

                  Iraq and Afghanistan

                  1. A fair point which I pointed out. Curtis Lemay agrees. If only ISIS lived in densely populated regions in house made of wood and paper…

                  2. And the terrain there is a lot more compatiable for a bombing campaign to be successful than the mountains like Afghanistan.

                    Let the Iranis and Saudis, with a few manly warriors from Kuwait, lead the way.

                    Seriously though, the Kurds are begging us for armaments to fight ISIS. I say we give it to them.

                    1. Seriously though, the Kurds are begging us for armaments to fight ISIS. I say we give it to them.

                      Then you’re at war with Turkey.

                      The only way to win, is not to play.

                      STAY OUT OF THE AFFAIRS OF OTHER NATIONS! We caused all of this.

                2. It doesn’t have to, and should not be, US boots on the ground. I don’t mind if they use up the .00002% of my tax money that goes toward a cruise missle or two.

                  That’s my only point in this discussion.

          3. They’re *not* murdering us by the hundreds.

            As we’ve seen, two invasion, a 10+ year ongoing occupation, and innumerable drones strikes, have done fucking nothing to help the situation.

            Actually, they make it worse.

            Maybe, *just maybe*, its time to try the ‘ah fuck it’ doctrine.

      5. They only killed a couple of thousand at Pearl Harbor. Yet, we launched a war that killed millions.

        Military base on US soil vs 2 adrenaline junkies on foreign soil there on their own volition.

  6. When did “gonna” become an accepted alternative spelling for “going to” in mainstream publications?

    I can’t get too worked up about it being used in the context of quoted statements. As part of a formal written position statement, that’s another thing entirely.

    1. If this is accurate, you may have just lost my support for your candidacy, senator.

      1. Im not a Single Issue Voter, but asking for congressional approval makes him better than most candidates.

        I wish he would clarify that he specifically wants a declaration of war. Thats another step in the right direction.

      2. He has to do this or Clinton will make him look like a pansy to all the ignorant people who vote.

        1. Winning an election is not sufficient reason to send people to their deaths. Sorry.

          1. You, sir, are obviously not a politician.

            1. Why thank you X. I don’t think I’ve ever been paid such a wonderful compliment here at H&R.

          2. Winning an election is not sufficient reason to send people to their deaths.

            Context is key.

            ISIS will not be a thing by 2016 and today Obama has already unilaterally (congress did not vote) put the US at war with ISIS.

            Those deaths are hypothetical deaths in an alternative universe where Rand Paul won the 2008 election for the presidency.

      3. If this is accurate, you may have just lost my support for your candidacy, senator.”

        Do you plan to boycott the election ?

        I can’t think of a better alternative than Paul.

  7. If ISIS is such a threat, it should be easy to build an alliance that uses Saudi, Iraqi, Turkish, and Jordanian troops on the ground – with some American coordination and air support.

    Let’s see if they are willing to back up their warnings with troops. Otherwise, fuck it.

    This won’t happen because Obama can’t take time off from fundraising and golf to attend the necessary meetings and make the calls. But that’s another story.

    1. I think it would be an easy task to build an alliance like that. Why we are not is a good question. And there is no reason for this to involve very many US ground troops. No one in the area wants these assholes holding any ground. We shouldn’t have any problem getting people to go in on the ground.

      1. Pretty simple really.

        Obama and the senior leads at State are lazy, unimaginative, and incompetent.

        I would hope a President Paul would hire better diplomats and show more leadership.

      2. I’m categorically against US military involvement, but I think workin’ the ol’ diplomatic channels to get the neighboring states into some sort of coalition where they could, oh, start carryin’ their own goddamn water would be an excellent role for the US. And it would have the added bonus of being the only real path towards a long-term solution.

    2. This won’t happen because Obama can’t take time off from fundraising and golf to attend the necessary meetings and make the calls. But that’s another story.

      It also won’t happen because Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, and Jordan will not defend themselves to save their own lives.

      The US has created an international culture of dependance.

      Why the hell haven’t these countries just set up their own alliance by now?

      1. Why piss off Sunnis, Wahhabists, and other interested parties in your country when you can let the Americans come in and do it?

  8. If 2 journalists were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber would we be gearing up for war on ISIS? I don’t think so. It’s amazing to me how the graphic nature of their murders has swayed so many people. “They’re beheading Americans!! We must act!” Tragic, yes. Pisses me off, yes. But it doesn’t change anything on a national (non-reactionary) level.

    1. Pisses me off, yes.

      I am not pissed off.

      Being pissed off seems like being pissed if an amateur parachuter dies because the chute he packed didn’t open.

  9. I don’t know why anyone is surprised. He is, after all, a politician.

    1. THIS

      The most libertarian politician possible would still disappoint me if elected.

  10. Three Americans who pretty much walked up the steps and put their heads in the guillotine.

    Yes, I know, journalists are sacred do-gooders and truth-seekers, and all that. What would be the general reaction if they had been arms dealers, or trying to sell black market medical supplies?

    1. Journalists knowingly and willingly enter war zones, and places occupied by radical zealots. I don’t see how everyone else in the country has an affirmative duty to protect or avenge them given the chances they decide to take.

    2. I agree. Any journalist who’s stupid enough to visit these bloodthirsty animals is basically choosing to commit suicide.

  11. Damnit, Rand.

  12. Its stuff like this that is why its important to remember that Rand Paul is a *Republican*.

    1. meh.

      His plan is near identical to what Obama is doing today about ISIS. Bombing ISIS and arming random people.

      The only difference is he would have asked Congress before he did it and actually explained his plan and reasoning for it.

  13. It is inevitable that, should Senator Rand seek and secure the Republican nomination for President, that there will be “civil” (or not so civil) war here on Reason.

    What’s your guess of the numbers of commenters who will

    1. Proudly claim that they are not voting

    2. Vote for the Libertarian candidate

    3. Somehow rationalize and vote for Mrs Clinton.

    1. This is exactly the sort of combination of rational national defense policy and libertarian street cred that will get Rand elected President.

      He’s playing his cards exactly right.

    2. I would guess the editors will split evenly between #2 and #3.

      1. No every election cycle there is a good portion of editors who chose #1.

        I predict Mangu will pick #1 at least.

      2. A few of them will claim to do be doing 1 or 2 while secretly doing 3.

        1. yeah cuz they are secretly hiding their agenda to avoid criticism in the comments…

          Give me a fucking break.

    3. 1. 20%
      2. 20%
      3. Counting trolls?

    4. 3. Somehow rationalize and vote for Mrs Clinton.

      It will be fun reading those comments.

      Good times.

  14. If I had been president, I would have called a joint session of Congress this August, called everybody back from recess, and said, “This is why ISIS is a threat to the country. This is why I want to act, but I want to do it in a constitutional manner, and I want the entire American public to come together.”

    But you’re in Congress. Why wait for the prez?

    1. Without Harry Reid, he would have been speaking to an empty room.

    2. Because he doesn’t seem to understand that Congress doesn’t have to wait for the president to ask, that they can *order* the man to act.

      All this ‘leader’ bullshit has gotten in their heads.

      Of course, ordering a war would make Congress *responsible* for the consequences and they don’t want that.

      Far better to vote on some half-assed ‘AUMF’ and sit on the fence.

  15. Which part of “restore Iraq’s territory” is unclear to you?

    I’ll bite. What is the mechanism by which this ‘territory” is to be restored, and how do you define “restored”? Are we talking in perpetuity? What the fuck, we could always use another state.

    1. I think it means restored to arbitrary lines drawn with a ruler during WWI without any regard to the religious, tribal or racial makeup of the people who actually lived there.

      1. Some of this violence is decades overdue and we should stay out if we want a more stable region in the long term.

      2. Ruled by a government that can barely accomplish anything and saw much of its military desert at the first sign of invaders.

        But it’s all an easy fix. Just drive out ISIS and Iraq should be fine.

      3. I think it means send in troops AGAIN and protect the Iraqis from themselves until a stable government accidentally forms out of the ether, because god knows the Iraqis aren’t gonna do it themselves and we sure as hell are no good at doing it for them.

  16. We can only do anything if another country directly attacks American territory and does sufficient damage and kills enough Americans to justify the resulting war.

    That is the Reason doctrine in a nutshell.

    Shouldn’t you be cancelling your subscription, or something?

    reason is just an unending cascade of disappointments for you.

    1. Actually, this was one time I really am guilty of at least trying to construct a strawman. I honestly didn’t think you people were that fucking stupid. That is nothing but a straw man meant to show the absurdity of your position.

      I was wrong. That is what you idiots actually believe.

      1. Well, I at least thought you had an argument until you mentioned dropping bombs with no ground presence. Then you became the idiot. No strategy, no end state (that airpower can affect),no grasp of the limits of airpower. Nothing, but knee jerk and retribution.

  17. You’re nuts. Why don’t we declare war on France? I’m sure some American tourist roaming the streets of Paris has been a victimized by a purse snatcher. We’re the World’s Policeman, after all.

    1. Why don’t we declare war on France?

      Because France hasn’t declared war on us. If, however, France starts murdering US tourists and declares war on us, then yes, we don’t have to wait for them to attack the US mainland. It is the “they have declared war” part that is apparently just so horrible and contrary to your personal narrative that you refuse to accept it.

  18. This isn’t about them beheading journalists. It’s about them having the resources and the stated intention to commit terrorist attacks on US soil.

    1. By this logic you folks should have invaded Quebec in the 1970s to stop the FLQ, which threatened U.S. officials multiple times, actively planned operations against them, and had the resources to engage in cross border attacks.

      1. If the FLQ actually controlled 30% of Quebec’s territory, that might have been a good idea.

        1. Oh so now we’re qualifying on territorial claims. I didn’t realize we were moving the goal posts based on what doesn’t fit your initial claims. So now it’s intent to attack and 30% of an arbitrary British mandate. Good to know.

          1. Parts of “having the resources” means controlling trritory. Groups that control territory have obvious advantages and are obviously more of a threat than those that don’t.
            For one thing groups that don’t control territory have to hide from the local authorities, namely the government of Canada.

            In the case of ISIL, the iraqi government is obvsiously not capable of dealing with them themselves.

          2. No, its intent *and* CAPABILITY.

            *If* FLQ had had 30% of Quebec’s territory then they would have been a real danger.

            AS it was it was mostly a bunch of loud-mouthed amateurs and didn’t amount to much (regarding being a threat to the US).

            1. And again, if the hermit kingdom run by the Korean madmen with nukes and nothing to lose hasn’t been bombed yet, you folks are blowing hypocritical hot air, if we’re attacking people based on your criteria.

              1. Except the Norks’ threats have largely been retaliatory.

      2. The problem with that is that the assets were in place to accomplish the goal of shutting down FLQ, specifically the Canadian government. If Canada couldn’t maintain sovereignty over Quebec and the FLQ were engaged in operations to kill U.S. officials, of course the U.S. would invade to dismantle FLQ.

        1. I’m more pointing to the sheer ridiculous claim of “It’s about them having the resources and the stated intention to commit terrorist attacks on US soil.” as a justification. Because if that’s the case, you might as well start alphabetically with the list.

          1. Very few groups on that list BOTH control territory AND have a stated aim of attacking US soil. In fact the majority do neither.

            1. Yeah, like Iran and North Korea, both of which control territory and have a stated aim of attacking US soil. So when are you getting around to bombing them into the Stone Age?

              1. Iran does NOT have a stated aim of attacking US soil. Neither does North Korea.

    2. I think Hazel’s framed the discussion about right on this one. But, while I have no doubt as to their intention, I’m not so sure as to resources.

      1. They have a lot of money, billions of dollars, from looting the gold reserves held in Mosul’s banks.

        1. Al qaeda had tons of money.

          They accomplished one major attack, not much before that.

          1. ISIL has more. They looked half a billion dollars in Mosul alone.

      2. “But, while I have no doubt as to their intention, I’m not so sure as to resources.”

        And that’s a valid point. ISIL does control an amount of territory sufficient to at least rise to the level of a potentially viable threat. They control a territory of several million people, they have gold and hard currency assets of hundreds of millions and there are estimates that they are getting a minimum of $5 million a day from the oil they are selling on the black market. However, their estimated fighting strength is somewhere between 10,000 and 80,000. Furthermore, their military hardware is second rate and they have no air force or navy.

        So, they don’t represent any kind of significant military threat to the US. Currently, their primary means of direct aggression is essentially a terrorist type of attack.

        I think the US should probably maintain it’s current posture of using air attacks to support the local Iraqi and Kurdish forces. Perhaps, we should consider offering direct special forces support, in the nature of forward artillery observers. Though in todays environment, it’s quite possible that could be achieved solely through the use of drones.

        In any case, I think the President should request Congressional authorization for any further military actions.

    3. Hahahahahahahaha!

      Who doesn’t? Every single person in the world has the resources to commit terrorist attacks on US soil. That’s why people use terrorist tactics. You’re gonna go to war against everybody who threatens us? Do you have any idea how much that costs?

      They are goading us into spending another Trillion we can’t afford.

      1. I should say large scale attacks. Nobody cares about shit like the Boston Bombers.

        But ISIL could pull off something much bigger.

        1. Like what?

          And when they do, THEN we go kill them.

          It’s called the moral high ground.

          1. Fuck your moral high ground.

            Tell me, who are you going to attack when a dozen shopping malls and a few thousand people get blown up in San Diego, Miami, and New Orleans, and what fucking good will it do at that point?

            1. That’s exactly the response I’d expect from an immoral pig, such as yourself, Tulpa.

              Let’s kill people for actions not yet taken… Next, perhaps we can kill people for thinking about hostile acts?

              God, you are vile individual.

              1. “Let’s kill people for actions not yet taken”

                That’s a bull shit comment.

                ISIL has beheaded two Americans and posted the results for everyone to see. Furthermore, they have publicly bragged that they will launch future attacks on American soil.

                1. ISIL has beheaded two Americans and posted the results for everyone to see.

                  And as I’ve said before, killing two journalists is hardly justification to wage a war. Hunt those responsible down, bring them to justice. Fine. War is the option of last resort. Always. War is immoral, always, although at times required, as there is no other option. This is not one of those times. In fact, it’s not even close to one of those times.

                  Tulpa is arguing that threats are justification for starting a war. And THAT, my friend, is a bullshit comment.

              2. I’m surprised by this comment. How is it immoral to kill someone who is about to kill, or seriously injure, you? Do you have to wait for the mugger to stab you before you pull a gun on him and shoot him? Do you have to wait until the home invader shoots you, before you could shoot back?

                No, because these are clear examples where your life is in danger, and action is necessary.

                Having said that, I think we would do well to remember the three elements that need to be there, to justify self defense: ability, jeopardy, and opportunity. Many of the organizations around the world are equivalent to two-year-olds who are threatening “I’m going to kill you!”–they have expressed their intent, they have the opportunity right there to do it, but they have no ability. Similarly, there are many organizations that are the equivalent of scary bearded tattooed thugs in a bar: they clearly have the ability to do you harm, and they have the opportunity, sitting across the bar from you, but they are just sipping their beer, maybe quietly, but maybe they are making loud obnoxious comments about how your mother dresses you funny–but they have yet to do anything to demonstrate that they are a threat to life and limb.

                1. Now, where does ISIS fit within this? They not only have territory, but they have access to cash and to hundreds of airplanes; thus, they have ability to do us harm. They have expressed a desire to attack the United States, so they have jeopardy. The only thing they have left is opportunity…and I don’t see how they *can’t* attack us at this point!

                  Does this necessarily mean that sending troops back to Iraq, and invading Syria is the best course of action? Perhaps not. But if we decide to send troops to do such a thing, though, we ought to have a declaration of war of some sort. And I think the case can be made that we should do so.

                  I have the sickening feeling, though, that this President isn’t going to do anything until we lose a thousand people in an attack of some sort. He probably isn’t doing the type of analysis that I just did; nor is he going to make his case before Congress. He’s to naive to do anything like that. And we are going to suffer as a result.

        2. But, this is the problem, Hazel. It isn’t at all clear to me that a military campaign is going to do a whole lot to degrade their ability to engage in a large-scale attack. How much do you think 9/11 cost Al Quaeda?

          1. it’s not necessarily just money. If they can’t hold any territory, if we can reduce them to being hideouts under a hostile government , then hopefully they will be too busy trying to prevent themselves from being caught and killed to have time to devote to planning attacks in the US.
            Plus, we will have much better intelligence on them if they aren’t holding territory.

            We should have left Assad in power in Syria, IMO. That was clearly our mistake. It wasn’t in failing to support the opposition. it was in supporting them at all. The whole Arab Spring turns out to have done nothing but empower Muslim radicals.

            The notion that be withdrawing our support for authoritarian governments we were going to stimulate some sort of blossoming of Western Democracy across the region seems to have been doe-eyed naivety. The authoritarian governments were telling us that without them it would be the Islamic nutjobs in power, and guess what? they were right.

      2. I should say large scale attacks. Nobody cares about shit like the Boston Bombers.

        But ISIL could pull off something much bigger.

  19. The fucking Irony is that when Obama came into office, Al Qaeda was almost a spent force. So much so that he was able to pretend that the attacks in Benghazi has nothing to do with them.

    Somehow he managed to arrange things so that an even bigger, more powerful, group of islamist psychopaths would end up in control of half of Iraq and Syria, including several oil fields and pipelines and more money than Al Qaeda could have dreamed of.

    Now everyone is like Al Qaeda? What’s that? That piss-ant group of basement dwellers is NOTHING compared to ISIL.

    If I thought that Obama was a secret Muslim, I would assume that he had done this intentionally.

    1. So Obama “arranged” the Syrian civil war?

      1. He certainly supported the Arab Spring in all it’s myriad uprisings.

        And that hasn’t resulted in a shower of rose-petals , has it?

        What has the Arab Spring really done, other than empower Islamic radicals everywhere?

        1. I’ve posted this here once before.

          Ever action/inaction to every situation in the ME has ended in the Islamists favor.

          Iraq
          Egypt
          Libya
          Syria
          Yeman is on the bubble

          We dropped a few bombs in Somalia the other day but that might just be the begining.

          If he’s not a Muslim at heart then he is a bumbling idjit in foreign policy. I just don’t see how it can be any other way.

          It’s going to be cool to one day read all the “tell all” books that come after every administration. It will be some interesting reading fer sho.

          1. I call it as bumbling fool slash idiot proto-marxist who thinks the Islamists are his friends.
            Or rather, the progressive proto-marxists on the left are pulling his strings, and THEY think the Islamists are some kind of ally against capiutalism.

  20. Whatever one thinks of Rand’s position, it is wrong to accuse him of changing on a dime, from gleeful isolationism to warmonger. He has been remarkably consistent in his views of our military and its use. He is for reduction in our military presence abroad. He is against long, expensive, wars (especially if those wars are not needed to protect the country). He is for the constitutional process whereby a president must explain why said group/country are a threat and then ask for a declaration of war.

    He has never been a pacifist or isolationist, nor has he been a pollyanna about the state of radical Islam.

    I’m sorry he did not turn out to be the cool, hip, anti-violence libertarian that Jacob Slocum wanted him to be. That, however, does not justify the accusation of flip flopping or caving into the warmongers.

    1. You are correct. He never has. I don’t see anything wrong with is position.

      1. I don’t see anything wrong with is position.

        This does not give me hope for a sane foreign policy.

  21. “Does Rand Paul think the beheading of American journalists justifies war against ISIS?” The answer, it seems, is yes. Since American journalists, students, businessmen, and diplomats live and work in nearly every country on Earth, this strikes me as a dangerously open-ended rationale for military intervention.

    Not that I think intervention is wise in this case, but why the hell would this be an “open-ended rationale”? Precious few governments — even fucking evil ones like the USSR — will indiscriminately kill another country’s citizens in a public fashion, and claim a desire to continue doing the same. Obviously if it’s a third party the governing authority can’t necessarily be held responsible, but if it’s the government itself engaging in these acts then it is certainly both possible and necessary for this government to restrain itself in these acts of barbarism — and it is not excessive to desire satisfaction for this wrong up to and including military action.

    This is completely separate from the issue of practicality (which is virtually nil in this case), but is nonetheless worth discussion.

  22. Paul still has not explained why the problem of ISIS is one the U.S. has to solve.

    In fairness Obama has not either…and he didn’t even try to get Congressional approval for it nor laid out a plan to the American public….oh yeah and Obama is currently at war with ISIS.

    I don’t like Paul’s switch either…but it is a switch in the context that Obama (dragging the US into it without permission) is already at war with ISIS.

  23. Summary of Rand Paul in Time: I am not an interventionist. Now let’s intervene.

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