Rand Paul

What Do Libertarians Think About Rand Paul and ISIL? Let's Ask Them

Prominent libertarian writers weigh in.


Rand Paul
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Sen. Rand Paul's hawkish turn on ISIL surprised and dismayed some non-interventionists libertarians who thought the likely Republican presidential candidate's foreign policy views were closely aligned with their own. I agreed with my colleague Jacob Sullum, who wrote:

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.

Having no idea if this reaction was common among libertarian folks, I posed the following question to a few prominent libertarian writers:

"Rand Paul recently articulated support for U.S. military intervention against ISIL. What's your reaction?"

"Does this complicate the narrative that Rand Paul is a libertarian noninterventionist? Or is Rand Paul's argument for the necessity of bombing ISIL ultimately persuasive?"

Their responses are below. Some were disappointed that Paul came to this conclusion but remained broadly supportive of him; some hesitantly agreed with Paul's stance; and some took a strongly negative view.

David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute:

"I think Rand Paul and I agree that American meddling in the Middle East, particularly the Iraq war, led to the rise of ISIL. I conclude from that that we should stop meddling. He now believes that U.S. vital interests are at stake, and we should protect them with air strikes and other measures. I am not persuaded that any good will come of that, so I'm disappointed that Paul has come to this conclusion.

Rand Paul is not an isolationist. Hardly anyone is. He may not even be a noninterventionist. He is clearly a person with libertarian inclinations and an aversion to unnecessary foreign intervention. But few noninterventionists say 'no intervention, ever, under any circumstances.' In this case I think his argument for intervention is unpersuasive, but I do believe he has sought and continues to seek to rein in U.S. military intervention. On the whole he's the best influence on American foreign policy around these days."

Jack Hunter, editor of Rare and a former advisor to Rand Paul:

"Rand Paul calls himself a realist, which means he is somewhere between the interventionist hawks he is constantly criticizing and 'isolationism,' as lazy journalists constantly label him. He supported going into Afghanistan in 2001, but he has been against every other military intervention since, carried out or proposed. Opposing the war in Iraq and new wars in Libya and Syria was enough to have critics continue to slander him as an isolationist. ISIS apparently represents a significant threat in his mind, far greater than what the hawks pretended Gaddafi and Assad were. Now some libertarians are quick to say Rand's a hawk, a neocon, or worse.

It seems to me he's proving that he is the realist he has always claimed to be. Libertarians can take issue with the senator calling for these specific interventions. They can argue over where lines should be drawn when deciding to intervene. But they cannot argue that Paul is reluctant to go to war. That doesn't mean he won't intervene when he deems it necessary. I know libertarians who wouldn't even have gone into Afghanistan after 9/11. Obviously, libertarians differ.

I put ISIS in a separate category precisely because if it were not for the U.S. invasion in 2003, we would not be dealing with this mess right now, something Rand has repeatedly emphasized. In fact, this was my Facebook status just last night: 'Rand Paul: Don't poke hornet's nest. Hawks: We must poke hornet's nest! Rand Paul: Idiots, what do we do about these hornets now? Hawks: Rand Paul supports poking hornet's nests!'

The bipartisan foreign policy consensus has been, as Rand puts it, shoot first and ask questions later for some time. Rand Paul asks far more questions than he ever shoots. But sometimes he will shoot. If that's not a realist approach to foreign policy, I don't know what is."

Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist:

So I've been more interested in encouraging us to have a proper framework on how we discuss this issue more than advocating for a particular strategy, as I wrote about here.

And so, while people keep saying Rand Paul's perspective is changing, I think it's more like the 'New shit has come to light, man!' scene from Big Lebowski. It's not a changed view so much as that when you have a given framework, you might have a different plan of action based on the changing facts on the ground. So I see a consistent philosophy responding to different threats.

I've always felt it's been a false caricature of libertarians that we could never support military strikes against terrorists or other bad guys. We by and large don't accept the progressive understanding of man where we'll someday have a utopian world without war. We're not all singing 'Imagine' while sitting in a kumbaya circle. Small government types may be much less likely to see military strikes as the answer to questions that have little to do with our security interests, but bombing a makeshift Islamist army engaged in actions—and threats—against Americans may be such a time. Paul wants the folks who believe in such military action to make the case and have Congress sign off, which makes his approach more Constitutional than anyone else who is a presidential contender today.

Is the view that ISIS/ISIL must be bombed persuasive? Here are two positions that many of us find unpersuasive: 1) That it's our job to rid the world of bad guys, even if those bad guys aren't engaged in terrorist acts against us or even if they're responding at least in part to unnecessary meddling on our part. 2) That the global situation isn't a threat if we pretend it's not. Those have basically been the two main options offered in American discussions of late. I think Americans are clear that they find these options weak-sauce and they're kind of intrigued by a view such as Paul's that we don't fight unless we have a legitimate interest in doing so and we must—but then we fight hard. This is the thing so many foreign policy professionals miss when they mischaracterize those of us who oppose our recent high level of interventionism. It doesn't mean we're putting our head in the sand or afraid to fight, it means we know what a huge sacrifice it is to do these things and do them well and that we should only do it when we must.

OK, so the growth of ISIS/ISIL may have been aided by American-led removal of previous dictators, which is an excellent reminder about the wisdom of restraining our interventionism. This has been one point Paul has made. 

But speaking as someone who strongly opposed war with Iraq (but did, of course, support bombing Afghanistan), and as someone who thinks our model of nation-building instead of enemy-defeating is a fool's errand, here's why I'm at least open to hearing about a military response to ISIS. The group wishes to create a renewed Caliphate bent on aggressive military action against important allies in the Middle East as well as the United States, according to its stated goals. If you look at the course of history, you can at least puzzle out how this type of regime poses a threat to our self-government and how dealing with it now may be preferable to dealing with it when we're weaker and they're stronger in the years to come. I would hope that as part of this discussion we would make it very clear to Qatar and Turkey that they would be unwise to support this Caliphate and that we'd make it very clear to Jordan and the Saudis that this is more their problem than ours and that they should act on it if we are to remain allies. Really those countries in the region should be taking care of the legit threat in their midst. Assuming that these guys will fail to get the job done, which is not an unreasonable assumption, we should perhaps make the case for Congressionally and Constitutionally authorized action to decisively eradicate this threat. At the very least, we should be talking about the precise nature of the threat they pose—in the short and long term—and our options for handling that threat."

Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com:

"I see Senator Paul's stealth anti-interventionism is succeeding, and I suppose that's a good sign. So what's the 'more hawkish approach' the senator is supposedly advocating? Let's go over to his recent piece in Time magazine, where he says:

'If I had been in President Obama's shoes, I would have acted more decisively and strongly against ISIS.

'Some pundits are surprised that I support destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militarily. They shouldn't be. I've said since I began public life that I am not an isolationist, nor am I an interventionist. I look at the world, and consider war, realistically and constitutionally.'

Sounds pretty hawkish, eh? But look at what he's actually proposing:

1) 'I would have called Congress back into session—even during recess.' So what would that have accomplished? The same thing the mere threat of doing so did during the Syrian 'crisis'—ensured that there would be no American boots on the ground. For all the rhetorical hawkishness, the Biden-esque 'we'll follow them to the Gates of Hell!' posturing, when it comes right down to it members of Congress know perfectly well the American people aren't going to go for re-invading Iraq. So calling Congress back into session would've succeeded in limiting the president's options, reining in the temptation to go in there guns blazing, and no doubt put a time limit on current operations in progress.

2) 'The military means to achieve these goals include air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.' Taken out of context, this could be seen as a flinch on Sen. Paul's part: after all, aren't air strikes intervention? Well, yes, but then you get to the next sentence in his little essay:

3) 'Such air strikes are the best way to suppress ISIS's operational strength and allow allies such as the Kurds to regain a military advantage.' Shorter Rand Paul: let the Kurds do it. This is even less of an interventionist stance than President Obama, whom he criticized for waffling: after all, Obama is sending in troops, and more practically every day. Yet Rand is saying we don't need to directly intervene on the ground when there are already forces in the field capable of fighting and defeating ISIS.

This, however, is where things get a bit dicey. I don't think Rand Paul fully understands the implications and probably consequences of his proposal that 'We should arm and aid capable and allied Kurdish fighters whose territory includes areas now under siege by the ISIS.'

As Sen. Paul points out in his Time article, the Obama administration armed the Syrian rebels and this led directly to that country becoming 'a jihadist wonderland.' As he writes:

'In Syria, Obama's plan just one year ago—and apparently Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's desire—was to aid rebels against Assad, despite the fact that many of these groups are al-Qaeda- and ISIS-affiliated. Until we acknowledge that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria allowed ISIS a safe haven, no amount of military might will extricate us from a flawed foreign policy.'

That last sentence should put to rest the idea that Sen. Paul is bowing before the winds of war blowing from the direction of Washington.

There are 'no good options' in the region, says Paul, and in that he is exactly right. We cannot undo what we have done in Iraq and Syria: the former is splitting apart, and the latter is besieged by jihadists the U.S. has armed and unleashed. And I must say air strikes, which the senator endorses, won't stop ISIS: some kind of Sunni state will arise in that part of Iraq (and Syria). The only question is how, and by whom. This 'even Rand Paul' meme only seems to make sense—but when you look closely at what the senator is actually saying the argument that anti-interventionists are in retreat falls apart at the seams."

W. James Antle III, editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation:

"I don't want Iraq War III or involvement in a Middle Eastern civil war. My preference would be for this to remain the regional governments' war rather than ours for as long as possible—if Iran and ISIL are going to fight each other, that seems like a win-win scenario to me. It at least recalls Henry Kissinger's line about the Iran-Iraq war: can't they both lose?

But a jihadist state is a genuine national security danger in a way Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not. I could potentially get behind the basic contours of what Paul has outlined—a limited U.S. role and support for the Kurds with most of the heavy lifting done by regional governments. The kind of broad authorization of force envisioned by Frank Wolf is a nonstarter. Unfortunately, missions do tend to creep.

Ron Paul voted for the authorization of force that permitted the invasion of Afghanistan and he is correctly regarded as a libertarian non-interventionist. So in one sense, [Rand Paul's recent statements] shouldn't complicate it: non-interventionism isn't pacifism. Some military actions are necessary and just.

But in another sense, it obviously does complicate the narrative because some libertarians don't trust Rand Paul as much as Ron Paul. Those libertarians will say this is more proof that Rand is more like your average Republican than his dad. Second, Afghanistan was in response to an attack on the United States. While American journalists have been brutally murdered by ISIL, this is closer to a preventive war. I make a distinction between preventive wars, which I think are inherently bad, and preemptive wars, which I think can be justified. This is right on the line between preventive and preemptive, at least for right now."

Sheldon Richman, vice president of the Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of Future of Freedom:

"For a nanosecond I thought we might see a presidential contest between Dove Rand and Hawk Hillary. Obviously I was wrong.

Why did anyone think Rand Paul was a libertarian? During his campaign for the Senate, he said the label was 'an albatross around my neck.'"


NEXT: Is An American Citizen Running ISIL's Social Media Campaign?

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  1. Bush is LBJ, Obama is Nixon, and ISIS is the Khmer Rouge.

    1. Wait, are you saying Rand is Ford or Carter in this scenario? because now I’m confused.

      1. No you idiot, Rand is Goldwater. Or maybe he’s Deep Throat.

        1. George Wallace?

        2. Jennifer Lawrence is Deep Throat.

      2. No fair, you always take the cool characters and I get stuck playing Dukakis.

        1. Take off that stupid helmet and get out of the tank before someone takes a picture, for God’s sake!

    2. And all are misunderstood.

    3. Bush is LBJ, Obama is Carter, ISIS is ISIS, and California is the Khmer Rouge.

      1. I thought ISIS was ISIL…

        1. It IS what it IS.

          1. Or rather, it depends upon what you definition of IS is.

        2. It depends on what the meaning of IS IS.

    4. bush is bush, obama is IKE, ISIS is the
      spanish inquisition

      1. Obama ain’t IKE

  2. Let’s not delude ourselves that Rand Paul is some kind of secret libertarian. I really don’t want to sound like a Obama voter circa 2008. He’s not going to radically change anything when he runs for president, yes he believes in the free market and is probably closest to my ideal candidate since Goldwater. But remember he is a first and foremost a politician. Anyway all of this is moot because it will be Romney or Jeb or possibly both on the 2016 ticket and we all know it.

    1. Because Libertarians are all Ideological Purists

      (washes hands)

      1. Some sure do love Teh Purity Tests

    2. Further I think its hilarious that Reason has been bending themselves in knots trying to make Paul into this great libertarian hero. He doesn’t need to be pure he’s already so much better than everyone else on many issues it doesn’t matter if he sucks in some areas. Nobody is beyond criticism and that is okay.

      1. Even the purist of the pure Libertarian (whatever that looks like) cannot undo 100 years of Liberal indoctrination.

        As much as I would love to see the light bulbs light up above millions of heads in this country, it isn’t going to happen.

        I’ve always voted for the candidate closest to my views, but now I’m going to lower my standards. Not that it matters anyway. The vote count for 2016 is probably already in some computer file somewhere.

        But I’ll got through the motions. Rand is a good enough start, I guess. At least he stands a better chance for support among Libertarians, Tea-Party, Conservative and even some Republicans.

      2. You are correct, vote for Hillary, she is more libertarian than Rand.

    3. “He’s not going to radically change anything when he runs for president”

      Indeed, no president is capable of this so the point is somewhat moot doncha think?

      1. Exactly, I meant to add that in my rant.

    4. “I really don’t want to sound like a Obama voter circa 2008.”

      Obama’s track record was available for all to see in 2008, just like Rand Paul’s track record is available. And they look nothing alike.

    5. It remains to be seen whether Rand is simply playing by the establishment rules so he doesn’t get railroaded out of any serious contention for the presidency (like his father did) or whether is sold-out and a part of the establishment.

    6. sorry, jeb and romney are too far
      left for the base…not going to happen

  3. You misspelled Millennial in the headline.

  4. What Do Libertarians Millennials Think About Rand Paul and ISIL? Let’s Ask Them

  5. Most of these responses were well reasoned, the sole exception is Sheldon Richman who is clearly an idiot. Note, that libertarian, does not mean idiot, nor does Sheldon Richman get to create the official definition of libertarian. His aery dismissal says more about Sheldon that it does about Rand Paul.

    1. When Raimondo is more reasonable than you are…

    2. “Raimondo and Richman” = Mainstream Libertarians

      1. You see, each of those writers are libertarians, albeit from different universes. For example, whereas, Boaz is a libertarian from Earth-0, Hunter is a libertarian from Earth-2, the Justice Society of America universe. Raimondo is a libertarian from Earth-10, where the Nazis won and Richman is a libertarian from Earth-26.

        1. Which universe is the one where Superman landed in the Ukraine and became the leader of the Soviet Union? Bet Lex Luthor is the only libertarian in that universe.

          1. Earth-30.

            And I was able to answer that without Google.

            What that says about me, I’ll leave to you.

    3. Also, bonus points for “aery”

    4. the official definition of libertarian

  6. Why did anyone think Rand Paul was a libertarian?

    His voting record, you stupid fuck. I love Richman’s butthurt here. He’s so impotent and he knows it.

    Why is anyone talking to Raimondo? He doesn’t count. For anything.

    Hunter’s opinion is most reasonable, except for the canard about the invasion of Iraq leading to ISIS. This is false. The Syrian government created ISIS by releasing Islamists from prison and then refusing to bomb their positions or otherwise attack them until they started challenging the Iraqi government.

    1. Raimondo is a useful idiot. Plus he seems to be able to reach some of the younger, scruffier borderline-anarchist types that beltway libertarians can’t. Yes, I actually went there and promptly threw up a little in my mouth.

    2. Last year, Raqqa became the first city to fall to the rebels and jihadists fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

      Raqqa is now the ISIS HQ in Syria (which you probably already know).

      Now, not being able to read Assad’s mind, I’m a bit perplexed as to why he would allow a dissident government to be set up in eastern Syria. Allowing terrorists to rampage and behead people is one thing. Allowing them to set up shop as a competing government seems suicidal to somebody whose grasp on power is already tenuous.

      What if there is another explanation? Maybe he let the ISIS fighters go as a way of showing how “conciliatory” and “reasonable” he is, and now that strategy has backfired?

      Sometimes I think we give foreign leaders too much credit, assuming that they’re playing chess while we’re playing checkers. Is it not possible that Assad is playing pick-up-sticks?

      1. Raqqa was never bombed until the Iraq situation. ISIS was an Assad ploy.

      2. Since Obama’s playing Whac-a-mole, i’m not sure how helpful that is.

      3. Not sure of the timeline but it might have been because Assad didn’t want to give “Red Line” BarakO Bama any more justification to help the Islamist (once again).


  7. Hey, it only took you guys awhile to realize Rand Paul isn’t a libertarian. So how many years until you figure that out about Millenials?

  8. Paul’s not a perfect libertarian, but he’s the most libertarian politician at the national level by far. We’d be crazy to lessen our support now.

    1. I just think it is hilarious that if someone doesn’t believe exactly the same things you do on every issue we need to review our support.

      1. damn you and your quick fingers.

      2. I think you misunderstand things there. I tend to criticize deviations from traditional libertarian positions only when someone who does so is criticizing other libertarians (like the Reason writers).

        1. Meaning you avowedly support an anti-abortion, pro-intervention, prayer-in-schools candidate, but just viciously hate anyone else who dares tolerate such views in others. Got it. Sounds legit.

          1. I’ve never said abortion is a litmus test for libertarians. Paul is hardly an interventionist, and I’ve never heard him advocate government led prayer in school. My beef with SoCons is focused on instances where they advocate nap violations like restricting porn, gambling, getting government support for abstinence or faith based programs, etc

            1. Yes, but you seem to be viscerally agitated by people who may have socially conservative outlooks on porn, gambling, or abstinence even if they don’t want it to be enforced by government.

              Some of us have criticisms of the broadly decedant culture of the West while also opposing efforts by the state to reign that in. We realize that the problem isn’t legislation, it’s the cultural zeitgeist.

    2. It is odd how you want to throw all his supporters under the bus for believing some of the same things he believes.

      Keep hope alive, Bo.

    3. I think Amash might be more libertarian but I could be wrong.

    4. Absolutely. What’s a few more Middle Easterners blown to pieces so long as the guy with his finger on the button says things that make us nod our heads?

      1. I don’t think our government using my money to blow up Middle Easterners will lead to less Middle Easterners being blow up.

        1. Nonsense. We’ll eventually run out of Middle Easterners.


        2. I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to say there, but I do find it peculiar that you claim ownership of an institution that you have no stake in and money that you gave away.

          1. I have no stake in my government? And I donated my taxes to them?

            1. Your stake in the US government is indistinguishable from zero. Go vote and see how much effect you have on the outcome of the election.

              And the money you give to the government belongs to them, not you. Even if you gave it to them under coercion.

              1. Similarly, your possessions belong, in the sense of him being in possession of them, to a thief, even if you gave them to him under coercion.

              2. Tell that to 312 Franken voters in MN …if those 312 were legitimate votes.

                Did you know that in order to be convicted of voter fraud in MN the prosecution has to prove that you knew it was illegal and did it anyway?

                What did we get for it? Obamacare.

                1. And tell it to a handfull of dead Democrat voters that put LBJ into Congress for the first time.

                  If those dead Democrats hadn’t voted it could have drastically changed the history of this country ( or the future, however you look at it)

      2. Peacenik tears are tasty.

    5. First premise: libertarianism does not require strict pacifism.
      Second premise: constitutional minarchism that confers to the State the role of national defense is a legitimate variety of libertarianism.

      IF one accepts these premises, the fact situation in Iraq makes a declaration of war and military action against ISIS a reasonable issue for libertarian debate. ISIS has clearly violated the NAP, and it has done so against US citizens. It has openly declared its hostility against all Americans. Even if this was libertopia, it would be reasonable to debate the significance and appropriate response to ISIS’ violations of NAP and its open hostility.

      Rand Paul has taken a position in the debate. That’s all; it does not automatically excommunicate him from the libertarian faithful … unless one rejects the premises regarding pacifism and minarchism. St. Rothbard would certainly argue the premises are flawed. St. Friedman, I think, would approve of them.

      1. I don’t think that those who argue against such bombings of ISIS are quarreling with Rand’s notion of an open debate and congressional approval and declaration of war being a requirement, but rather they’re quarreling with the wisdom of his view on bombing ISIS (namely the position that we should).

        I find myself going back and forth on this. But I’ll unashamedly celebrate Rand for at least recognizing the process that should take place to authorize any such bombings.

    6. Paul’s not a perfect libertarian, but he’s the most libertarian politician at the national level by far.

      I don’t trust any “libertarian politician”. It’s oxymoronic. It’s akin to an ideological vegan running a slaughterhouse.

      1. Maybe not at any level, but anybody who wants to wield Presidential power definitely has a very obvious desire to reign over others.

        That being said, I agree with his policy positions more than almost any other political figure in America today. What would happen to those positions if he were President is another matter entirely.

        1. anybody who wants to wield Presidential power definitely has a very obvious desire to reign over others.

          Absurd. I imagine that plenty of people here would like to wield Presidential power, just to destroy it. I know I would.

          1. Meh, it’s like Frodo and the Ring. Sure, we want to throw it into the fires of Mount Doom and rid the planet of its stench, but having to trek to Mordor with it in our possession does affect us.

            1. *Rises to applaud that apt comparison*

            2. Oh, I didn’t mean to imply any of us wanted to make that trek. Now, if we could get the eagles to fly us….


      1. LOL newcomer troll.

  9. the Biden-esque ‘we’ll follow them to the Gates of Hell!’ posturing

    That was John McCain.

    1. Oops, I now see that Biden plagiarized it from McCain. McCain said he would follow bin Laden to the gates of hell and how Biden is saying the same thing about IS.

      1. To be fair, they both have a weekend golf-condo there.

        1. Bin Ladin was in downtown Philly?

          1. Close, Camden.

    2. It is profoundly ignorant for US politicians to make references to “the Gates of Hell”, or any other aspect of the extremist’s religion, when they are blathering about Islamic militants.

      A clever religious extremist can turn those words around to demonstrate that the speaker is plainly admitting his allegiance to the Dark Side. I’d wager that there are already such commentaries on Islamic websites.

      1. “Profoundly ignorant” is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind when i think of McCain or Biden! It’s the second or third thing, at best.

      2. Yes.

        Much as Bush stuck his foot in his mouth talking about The War On Terror as being a crusade.

  10. “if it were not for the U.S. invasion in 2003, we would not be dealing with thus mess right now,”

    Erm, Mr. Soave. Can I have a word with you?

    1. Well, technically I think he’s right – we wouldn’t be dealing with this ‘particular’ mess, but we would be dealing with another one though I’m not certain he believes the latter.

      1. ‘with thus mess’

        1. Neeever mind…

          1. /takes out pepper spray.

    2. why, he’s right, what insane reality
      do you live in

  11. Did Richman give his answer over Twitter?

  12. The only libertarians I recognized from the bunch were Raimondo and Richman. Boaz is more a minarchist paleoconservative, but the rest are neocons disguising themselves as “libertarian.”


      1. None shall pass!

        1. That’s what Gilmore said.

    2. The EVP of Cato is a “minarchist paleoconservative”?

      1. The True Libertarian is like a white tiger in an old growth forest surrounded by undiscovered Etruscan ruins.

        The ones who actually appear in daylight are always disappointing failures. Bo will tell you all about it.

        1. It’s interesting that you would keep putting blocks on your little Jenga tower when what I actually say is right here and so contrary to it.

          1. fascinating

          2. I’d secretly glue the blocks so he would think he is the Jenga master…….why’d you have to go and ruin it all!!??

    3. I think you have a rather unique interpretation of David Boaz.

    4. Is there like a three year period in which conservatives didn’t require a paleo or neo identifier? These political subgenres are getting as ridiculous as their musical counterparts.

  13. I just recently started reading Mollie Hemingway (misspelled above) and following her on Twitter. Never agree with anyone 100%, but I really enjoy her pieces. The one on media ignorance was great.

    1. I liked her defense of Rand utilizing a Big Lebowski scene. I hope that her next piece about ISIS includes “this aggression will not stand, man”

      1. “Say what you will about the tenets of ISIS at least it’s an ethos!”

      2. “Also, ISIS is not the preferred nomenclature, ISIL.”

    2. She’s one of the best libertarian leaning writers on the net right now.

      Sheldon Richman should quit writing for Reason and Mollie should start.

  14. I though Raimondo’s reasoning was interesting. We too often fail to take into account that our representatives are, for the most part, amoral opportunists; the remainder are simply evil. Acknowledging that they would be reluctant to authorize action with their names attached to it was insightful.

    1. And that I think is Rand’s central out here. He’s politicking to some extent right now. Broad swaths of the GOP rank and file view ISIS as some sort of 7th century boogie man and will not support any candidate who does not at least pay lip service to that notion. But Paul recognizes that by forcing congress to own it and put their name on a vote for an actual full throated declaration of war may be a way to get his colleagues to step down from the precipice. It’s something close to masterful politics.

      1. Many of them would vote for WAR before they vote against it .

        All the big name Dems authorized Bush to invade Iraq. It didn’t stop the 4th column (the press) for hanging the anchor around Bush’s neck after it went bad, and absoolved the Dems from any prior blessing they may have given it.

        1. They were all just caught up in the heat of the moment, with GWB telling them what their hearts meant.

  15. I think these coherent responses reflect the complexity of the situation.

    As for Rand Paul, the problem I think is that he can’t act like he’s in a bubble. Policies and actions are already in motion in the region so it’s kinda pointless, if not unrealistic, for him to say ‘stay out’ for its own sake. The U.S. is involved like it or not.

    Best to begin the process of not meddling and Paul does represent the first step towards that but in the meantime things happen. Like ISIS.

    Personally, it’s not an easy spot for American leadership to be in. The bigger over-arching concern is do they have the right leader in place to make the ‘best’ decision?

    I’m not convinced.

  16. I was all for hitting ISIL to protect the Yazidis. Beyond that, it’s the neighboring countries’ – who don’t seem to be agonizing over what to do – problem.

    1. An attractive position as is arming the Kurds. Kurds may be killed with state of the art American weapons “we” left behind. It’s kind of another militarization of the police, except it’s a DOD program to donate tanks to Islamofascists, or to US manufactured states like Iraq, that are incompetent to guard the weapons we leave them.

  17. So, if we don’t step in, what’s the worst case scenario?

    And if it’s bad enough for us to step in, why isn’t the rest of the world rushing to get involved?

    1. They’ll be beheading journalists in the streets of D.C. and New York?

      1. And does that support intervening or NOT intervening??

      2. They’ll be beheading journalists in the streets of D.C. and New York?

        And what is the downside?

    2. Because the ROTW (used loosely) is used to us stepping in and taking care of stuff, or at least leading the effort.

      So do we make this the big test for ROTW, or save that for the next Nigerian Schoolgirl type crisis or natural disaster?

      1. Yeah, that’s also my take.

        And really, no time like the present.

      2. The Nigerian Schoolgirl Crisis would be an excellent name for a band.

      3. The regional Muslim countrie are afraid to do it. What if ISIS kicks their army’s ass ? Then they are a weak leader in Arab eyes and a weak leader is an invitation to be overthrown.

        Also many in their local populations agree with, or sympathize with, the Islamist. If they attack “Muslim purists” they may face the wrath of the Arab street. Saudi Arabia especially.

        They are going to do their best for us to take care of their problem with ISIS for them and then publically blame us, regardless of the outcome, for meddling, for killng Muslims, and for being infidels.

        If we continue to refuse to build pipelnes and such that increase our energy output we continue to be open to such pressure.

        For the US to attack ISIS without Muslim boots on the ground is a no win situation for the US, regardless of outcome.

  18. It looks like Obama is doing something fairly close to what Paul proposes. Keep hitting IS with airstrikes and try to get all the neighbors in on the ground action. Just about everyone in the area hates IS, at least the sheiks and kings. Well, they make it look like they hate them at least. Once they realize that US troops will simply not be used in any large number, they are going to have to do something besides rake in oil money for once.

    1. The question remains: do these neighboring oil sheiks have sufficient military loyalty and support to actually step in and stop ISIS?

      The central problem with ISIS is that the populations of the broad ME tacitly support their vision.

      1. I wonder if they tacitly support the means being used to bring that vision into reality? Maybe they figure it’s all okay as long as it’s someone else’s head being removed, children being slaughtered, women being raped and/or enslaved – instead of their own.

      2. Give ISIS reign to alienate the local populations. The risk is that they won’t alienate them enough, but will still grow in power. It it’s a good idea, they can be bombed at that time, though.

        1. “Rein”, though “reign” might work as well.

          1. Rein works well on reindeers too!

      3. Saudi has the money to hire mercenaries to do it for them.

  19. Let’s ask people around here point blank:

    ISIS killed two Americans in cold blood and is a growing threat in the region.

    How should the United States respond?

    1. Repeal any laws that prohibit citizens from selling arms or from arming themselves and going over there to fight. Else, do nothing.

    2. Some American gangbangers killed a German tourist.

      How should Germany respond?

      1. I get what you’re saying but is it a fair analogy?


        By sending a stern letter on government letterhead saying they will ask Germans to not visit Florida ever again. All their business will go to…Georgia!

        1. Why would anyone go to Georgia?
          /supported by the Florida Man chamber of commerce

      2. Bad analogy, Mongo. Both US and Germany are rule-of-law nation states. The perps were not state actors. The IS beheaders were state actors, at least to the degree that IS is marginally a state.

        1. Excellent rebuttal.

          1. Except for the gangbangers with badges.

        2. I was thinking exactly along those lines.

          1. The journalists knew of the (extreme) risks involved. Everyone was warned to stay away from those psychos.

            Why aren’t we going to punish the Norks when they nab our buttinsky citizens?

            1. The problem with analogies, Mongo, is that they are never exact. The Norks are an entirely different sort of problem, and one outside the scope of this discussion.

              1. How about the first paragraph of my 3:02 comment?

            2. The journalists knew of the (extreme) risks involved. Everyone was warned to stay away from those psychos.

              Just try using this argument regarding rape.

              1. So when a person is raped in Canada the US has jurisdiction to prosecute the rapist?

    3. Let their enemies purchase arms from us on favorable terms

      1. But then we’d have to be sure

        1. They won’t just drop them in the streets at the first sign of trouble.

        2. They won’t turn around and just use them against Israel.

    4. Has anyone considered that ISIS might be doing these things in order to provoke us into another misguided adventure in the region, for the purpose of sowing more discord and animosity towards Americans in general, and to use as a tool for recruitment?

        1. Well, that …

          and it makes for a great recruiting video to attract new sociopaths.

          Make no mistake, this is a strain of orthodox Islam, and it is attractive to a particular type of sexually-repressed, bored young men.

          1. I don’t think anyone doubts that, but what is in question is what, if anything, to do about it.

            At the moment ISIS is more of a threat to its immediate neighbors, some of whom are our allies and some whom are not. Within this group of powers their are suspicions and animosities that each hold against the other – as it has always been.

            The fact that ISIS is a direct threat to these nations is cause for them to get together, put aside their differences for the purpose of containing and eradicating ISIS, and come up with a plan to deal with it. I think we can be part of that with air power but only part – and I’d add that Europe and Japan need to be at least as big a part in this as the US for the sole reason that they get far more of their oil form the ME than we do.

      1. Seriously. I’m starting to think that maybe Islamic militants are more knowledgeable about basic economics and logistics than American politicians.

        “Hey, we can get these idiots to spend trillions of dollars and impose draconian laws on their own citizens, all we have to do is get them emotionally invested in killing us!”

        1. I’m starting to think that maybe Islamic militants are more knowledgeable about basic economics and logistics than American politicians.

          “Hey, we can get these idiots to spend trillions of dollars and impose draconian laws on their own citizens, all we have to do is get them emotionally invested in killing us!”

          Have you ever read The Al Qaeda Reader? If I remember correctly, as far back as ’99 bin Laden was saying his plan was exactly that!

          1. I remember reading a similar book about the Taliban in 2004 that suggested something along those lines. I arrogantly assumed that there was no way the Taliban were that clever but now I’m starting to see bin Laden as a Machiavellian.

            1. Because our first exposure to bin Laden was him ranting in a cave, we always underestimated him as some ignorant goatfucker. In reality, he was the son of a billionaire construction magnate, and he earned degrees in economics and business administration. If there was one thing he did understand, it was how an attack that cost a cell of insurgents around 100,000 dollars could cause a state actor 1,000,000 dollars in its COIN response.

              1. I thought our first exposure to him was his 1993 truck bombing of the WTC.

        2. I’m starting to think that maybe Islamic militants are more knowledgeable about basic economics and logistics than American politicians.

          Not playing favorites for ISIS (I think they are actually Bad Guys) but to be fair I think almost everyone on the planet has a better grasp of economics and logistics than American politicians.

      2. Yes.

        1. It was definitely brought up when Al-Queda were top dogs. Their objective was to pull America into an expensive, protracted war.

          1. Expensive, protracted and unwinnable war. Unwinnable because sub-national actors like AQ can pick up and relocate.

      3. Restoras nailed it. If we don’t respond we’re showing weakness and they will ramp up their provocations. If we do respond and fail to obliterate them then they live to fight another day. That’s the problem with asymmetrical war.

        1. If we do respond and fail to obliterate them

          And we won’t obliterate them because that requires an ironclad stomach that is willing to tolerate the inevitable obliteration of the civilian targets they hide behind.

          The reason that U.S. hasn’t decisively won a military conflict since WWII is because that war showed what all wars going forward necessarily have to be: total war, in which civilians while not targets themselves, have to be considered collateral and no guilt can be felt because these civilians lacked the balls to throw of the chains of the forces that cohabitate.

          Americans, and the West writ large, haven’t the will for such devastation.

    5. Give their enemies the surplus stuff we have been giving the cops.

      1. Apparently we aren’t smart enough to know who their enemies even are.

        1. I don’t know who “we” is, but perhaps they are quite smart.

      2. Well, IS came in and took it from them once already.

    6. The fact that they murdered two people doesn’t move the national war apparatus a millimeter toward war. The fact that they are a growing threat to the region means that the nations in the region need to be the people that should primarily deal with this. The US can provide air support, but that costs money, and the sheiks and kings, if they really want to stop IS, should be willing to foot the bill for that.

      1. This seems a reasonable working framework for starters.

        1. And it turns the American Military into mercanaries.

          1. There’s no reason the military has to be involved. Have the Saudis put out a craigslist ad for Americans to go over and kill ISIS for $100k a year and you’ll get plenty of volunteers.

      2. Again, the inherent problem with this arguement is that ISIS has a greater appeal to fighting age Saudi and Syrian men than the Saudi and Syrian governments.

    7. Zero interest loans to anyone willing to build hones and infrastructure and forgiveness upon completion of your project, which would probably include active resistance against ISIS at some point.

      1. *homes

    8. I believe the President should express condolence to the families of the dead, and we’ll keep a sharp eye out to prevent the fuckers from bringing their sick shit to the US. But otherwise, caveat emptor on your travels. I wouldn’t be heading to Syria or Iraq to do any relief work…or reporting. If you do – I wish you good luck.

    9. Some airstrikes in Iraq-enough to defang them but not enough to make it easy for Iraq/Iran/Syria. Perhaps some ground specops. End all restrictions on weapons exports to Kurdistan and oil imports from Kurdistan. Recognize Kurdish independence if they declare it. Perhaps send some free weapons to Kurdistan.

      1. I’m OK with sending “free” weapons if Canadians pay for them instead of me.

        Like they pay for their “free” health care…when they’re not coming into Detroit for heart transplants and stuff.


      2. We would need to get Turkey on-board with a free and independent Kurdistan to avoid losing Turkey as an ally. And they are a valuable ally both because of their location and as the only moderate and democratic muslims in the region.

        But it would take a lot of persuading to get Turkey to go along with that because part of Kurdistan (defined as majority-Kurdish areas) are in Turkey.

        1. Turkey is already lost. Erdogan is taking that country to hell. All the more need for Kurdistan.

          1. And you do have a point. Kurdistan would not control the Dardenelles, but we could probably keep that ever-useful air base in Incirlik.

          2. THIS

            Turkey is the country allowing all these ISIS jihadis from West Europe to move into the area to wage jihad for the Islamic State. Erdogan is likely waiting for ISIS to take control unmolested before Turkey moves in to topple al-Baghdadi in internecine conflict and declare Erdogan the Caliph.

    10. Pass a law requiring ISIS not to kill any more Americans and couple it with a sternly worded warning.

  20. Fuck my opinions and the politicians. Let’s ask the people who will be losing limbs and lives if THEY want to kill some ISIL.

    1. You mean poll us some millenials?

  21. As usual, Sheldon is the only one who gets it right. I’ve called him a phony Libertarian for a long time. Amazing that Reason keeps running interference for him.

    1. As usual, Sheldon is the only one who gets it right. I’ve called him a phony Libertarian for a long time.

      Yes, I’ve called Richman a “phony” Libertarian for a long time too.

      Oh the joys of ambiguous pronouns!

    2. Has Reason ever proclaimed Rand to be a libertarian? Has Rand ever made that claim?

      1. Eventually they all seem to fail the Purity Test so there actually aren’t any libertarians, just libertarians in political clothing.


      2. I don’t think Rand Paul has ever made that claim on his own; that claim is frequently made on his behalf by non-libertarians.

        1. That is my point. He never said he was Libertarian, and his actions prove it. The criticism is directed here, at Reason, and Nick Gillespie in particular, who consistently paints Paul as the savior of the country and the Libertarian movement.

          Here is Nick telling you of the future of the country, and how Rand Paul will direct it toward a libertarian future.


          “Rand Paul and the inescapably libertarian future of red ? and blue ? politics”

          That is a supposed libertarian…Nick Gillespie.

          1. So it is impossible for a non-libertarian politician to act in accordance with libertarian principles some of the time, or to move the country in a more libertarian direction?

  22. I’m one of those who held my nose and became a Republican precinct committee officer (filed unopposed in a Democratic precinct) so I’d get a free vote for Ron. Now I’m wondering whether I’ll sacrifice half a Saturday to caucus and use it for Rand.

    1. Cult of personality: not just for Obama!

  23. Folks, the guy has said, on multiple occaisions (including his first major foriegn policy speech at Heritage), that he’s a realist on foreign policy. That he didn’t take the hard-line non-interventionist position shouldn’t really come as that much of a surprise. He hasn’t betrayed his principles on the issue. He’s taking the position that is consistent with what he’s claimed he thinks. If his position here makes you decide you won’t support him when you would previously, you probably weren’t paying all that much attention to what he was saying. That said, there is probably a huge swath that realists and non-interventionists can agree on, particularly in the context of the current political climate of unabashed hyper-interventionism.

    1. Take it one step further.

      What he is saying is that he supports taking trillions of dollars from our citizens by force of the IRS and using that money to tempt citizens (many with few other options) to join the military.

      I don’t think a lot of Paulies really understood how “centrist” his positions are/were – and also, they don’t understand that the closer he gets to actual power, the more his thinking will reflect the status quo in DC.

      He’s a populist. He will say or do whatever sounds good at the present time.

      But, yeah, he supports taking my money at the point of a gun and using it, along with our poverty rate and inequity, to recruit citizens for his armies…and then sending those people (are our expense) to kill and be killed. He supports that even though there is no rational expectation of a just cause in terms of our true national security.

      He basically supports a religious and moral crusade.

      Not exactly what a lot of Paulies expected. Obama starts looking quite good.

      1. Look what the cat dragged in.

        1. Cats usually don’t drag in retards.

      2. Last I checked, Paul Sr was okay with a taxpayer-funded military too.

        1. BIG difference between taxpayer funded defense and our current Security state!

          Damn – Is Nader then the only one who supports cutting it in 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4?

          Heck, I’m used to people selling out in politics, but never this quickly and this completely. Wading through the BS here, what I see when it comes down to it is “Yeah, Rand is no different than the people we have been yelling about for years but he’s my kinda guy, so I’ll be happy when he’s elected”.

          Let’s remember that he’s named after the Great Fiction Writer – ” Economically, wars cost money, in a free economy, where wealth is privately owned, the costs of war come out of the income of private citizens. A citizen cannot hope to recoup his own financial losses by winning”

          So true, Ayn, so true.

          The only reason people would back war would be:
          1. Propaganda makes them scared.
          2. They profit from it
          3. They are fundies themselves and believe in Crusades or end times.

          Paul is mostly #2 but a bit of #3, as he has already made it very clear the Christian faith should be a litmus test for government and for our Way of Life.

          1. Let’s remember that he’s named after the Great Fiction Writer

            Let’s also remember that you are usually full of shit; this instance being no exception. His full name is Randal Howard Paul and he was known as “Randy” growing up. His wife shortened that to “Rand.”

            1. Was Ron Paul all that much of a libertarian when Rand was born?

      3. Stupid is no way to go through life, son. The existence of a state-funded military isn’t a violation of the NAP.

      4. “But, yeah, he supports taking my money at the point of a gun and using it, along with our poverty rate and inequity, to recruit citizens for his armies..”

        if poverty rates determine a country’s military then India and a continental African Army should rule the world.

  24. I like Jack Hunter’s take.

    I think I still even disagree with Rand on this issue, but the idea that he has flip-flopped radically on this, and we need to go into attack mode just because we can’t wedge him into any pre conceived category is pretty silly. It’s a tough call, IMO. He might be right.

  25. What’s ISIS pegged at – 10K in number at this point? Nope, not worried about them, when I think I could find that many people among citizens of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee who could pick off a squirrel at 1000 yards (as Mike Church put it) and have their own guns.

    Throw in the rest of the US, and I think we can take these guys if they show up on our shores.

    So – how libertarian is Rand Paul? Don’t care. I don’t think we should “go get ’em” now, cause I don’t think ISIS is a real threat at this point.

    And if you’re a reporter, you might not want to take that assignment at the middle east desk….

    1. It’s probably more than 10,000, and that cute little comparison doesn’t help protect embassies in the ME.

      1. I’m stipulating “defend embassies” – I didn’t make that clear.

        And I’d evacuate embassies where a threat emerged – think Libya a couple years ago. We should have had those people out of there.

    2. Certainly you are correct now. But given the amount of territory they have already taken over, left to their own devices they will own – at minimum – most of Iraq and Syria and perhaps some of nearby countries.

      Still, they are unlikely to pose a threat to our continent – but when Israel nukes them, it’s gonna be a world changing event.

      I wish I could say there are better ideas out there. There are not. It’s going to be embarrassing for the neo-cons to see the end result of their ways. …to say nothing of 3-5 trillion down the drain.

      I guess I’m somewhat in the camp of letting it play out further – Islam has it’s way and they are going to have to learn by killing their own populations….like we did in the Civil War, etc. – at least we had the civility to make certain most killed were in the military.

      Islam is most certainly a threat to world peace. At the same time, I don’t think it’s possible to bomb or shoot 1.5 billion people into submission. We need to use porn and pork to tempt them (that is, all the western pleasures)…

      1. We need to use porn and pork to tempt them (that is, all the western pleasures)…

        Because that has worked so well over the past 1400 years.

        1. They were in the desert and had no access to pork and porn. I am reading about the Arabs in the 1950’s and few had ever seen a women’s face other than perhaps their wife or young daughters. Really.

          Modern communication, transportation, etc. does mean something.

          1. Have you heard of Jeddah? You get all the porn and pork you want there and as long as you don’t make waves, the Kingdom doesn’t care. It’s silly to think that frothing at the mouth zealots are that way only because they haven’t been exposed to vice. Many times, zealots froth at the mouth because they are honest-to-goodness zealots.

            Shocking, I know.

          2. Arabs in the 1950’s and few had ever seen a women’s face other than perhaps their wife or young daughters. Really

            And why is that? And just in the 1950’s? If not why not?

            Modern communication, transportation, etc. does mean something

            What does it mean?

            1. Why is that?
              Because their culture and Islam have been that way for centuries.

              The only reason they came out of that is that we (the west, but especially America and Britain) developed their countries and made deals for the oil.

              Until ARAMCO, the Saudi’s didn’t have roads, electricity, airports, medical care or anything else other than some sheep….

              All I am saying is they – in the end- will make the decisions about how they want to live. If the women don’t rebel and the youth don’t rebel, etc…then we don’t have much chance of changing their ways. It’s a male-centered soceity…

          3. Considering there’s footage of Islamic militants cutting people’s heads off while speaking in perfect middle class English (while ISIS members mourn the loss of Robin Williams) I think you’re severely overestimating the effects of Western culture.

            1. It takes time…..
              Look at China. They decided finally that civilization and trade was a good thing.

              Of course, they are largely hypocrites anyway – the Saudis always loved going to the USA or Europe and getting rid of their costumes and partying. But back at the ranch, they don the veil and robes….

              Bottom line, though, is that it’s unlikely we can kill our way to changing their culture and religion.

              1. Look at China. They decided finally that civilization and trade was a good thing.

                Glad to hear that one of the oldest – if not the oldest – advanced and continuously extant civilizations on the planet has finally come to the conclusion that civilization is a good thing.

              2. Yes, China, the government who run a black market on political prisoner organs is defined as ‘civilized’ by you. That says a lot more about you than China.

    3. But if they show up here they might blow up a landmark!

    4. If they show up here it will not be traditional pitched battles. They will use terror tactics, kidnapping and beheadings.

      During the American Revolution the Brits were frustrated because we refused to line up in open fields and fight the way proper white people were supposed to do. We hid behind stuff and sniped. And now someone else has taken that game to the next level.

      1. I’ll worry when they start to call themselves ISINYC.

  26. Hah, that’s funny – the Daily Caller guy being called a Libertarian. It’s a hack pub having no basis in actual reporting or truth – financed by the right wing echo chamber.

    “A conservative/Republican news spin organization founded by conservative reporter Tucker Carlson and former Dick Cheney aide Neil Patel. The Daily Caller’s announced objective is to be a “content” response tool to articles on The Huffington Post.”

    In this case we have a “bought and paid for” pub (reason) both declaring who are and who aren’t Libertarians…and then interviewing the other (mostly) bought and paid for pubs.

    I will say that antiwar.com is probably not as paid for as the others – this is a site I have personally financed over the years.

    1. So you bought and paid for it? Thats nice.

      1. Damn your quick fingers!

    2. this is a site I have personally financed over the years

      So it’s also “bought and paid for”. Literally.

      Good to know.

      1. Bunch of little donations – unlike Koch and Cato, Daily Caller, Reason, AFP and hundreds of other astroturf pubs….

        There is a slight difference which, I assume alludes y’all.

        1. You live in Massachusetts.

          Don’t use “y’all”.

        2. So I presume you have evidence that the Koch’s determine what Reason publishes, then right? I mean that is your idiotic point, is it not?

          1. Of course it is! Teh Kochtopus has its evil tentacles all over! Except, proggies don’t believe in evil, and well its ok when their guys do it, oh and the Kochs are actually sympathetic to some liberal causes, but still its Teh Kochtopus!

        3. “alludes”

          English, motherfucker.

          1. I think he meant “eludes” – but who knows?

        4. headinass. Show us the doll where the Koch Brothers touched you.

      2. Everything must be paid for.

    3. Hah, that’s funny – the Daily Caller guy being called a Libertarian. It’s a hack pub having no basis in actual reporting or truth – financed by the right wing echo chamber.

      Oh, and this is classic ad hominem.

    4. There is something familiar about this new poster…

      1. Yes, the straw smells familiar.

        1. Ha! I was thinking along the lines of a former prolific troll poster from Mass.

          1. This is not the first time ‘Little Joe’ has treated us to this sock. But it has been a while.

  27. What can IS manufacture? They seem to be able to raid and pillage to take military equipment, but can they make more? I don’t think so. What have they got? Some bombed out cities in the desert. Maybe they can get small arms smuggled into the area with no problem, but once they run out of the arms and ammunition they have captured, how do they get more? Yeah, AKs and rocket launchers can make their way into the area, but can tanks and artillery? I don’t know, I’m asking. But to me it seems that their capability is severely limited by their lack of manufacturing ability.

    1. They buy it with the oil money and ransom they reap. They have a functional ‘theft economy’.

    2. As if the French, Chinese, Ruskies or even the USA…..in addition to dozens of other countries – won’t sell and transfer weapons??

      Do not underestimate the intelligence of the Arab people and/or middle easterners in general. One generation after being nomads, the Saudis were getting advanced degrees in US universities and soon after flying the most modern aircraft in the world.

      We continually underestimate our foes and/or the forces we are up against.

      1. This:
        Do not underestimate the intelligence of the Arab people and/or middle easterners in general

        has nothing to do with this:
        But to me it seems that their capability is severely limited by their lack of manufacturing ability

        But cool straw man, brah.

        1. Yeah, the Vietnamese couldn’t make too many weapons either. Neither could the fighters in Iraq or Afghanistan.

          All of them kicked our asses.

          So, tell us the relevance of being able to make heavy weapons? The home team wins…

          On one hand, folks here say US won’t be attacked because Joe Blow has a pea shooter and can hit a squirrel.

          Then you say that you don’t see how they are gonna win territory with their limited weapons – even though they have already taken over 1000’s of square miles.

          Terrorism and “the home team”….win. Heck – one attack on the USA changed history and cost us trillions. It doesn’t take much. They have smarts…that’s all you need. That’s what all our other foes had too. No hubris…smarts!

      2. ” the Saudis were getting advanced degrees in US universities and soon after flying the most modern aircraft in the world.”

        Then maybe they should fly some of them over IS and drop their payloads if they are so smart and thereby “competent”.

        1. The Saudis are sunnis just like ISIS. Both believe in Sharia and “pure” Islam…convert or die. The biggest difference is probably that ISIS is more “inclusive”….a grass roots movement as opposed to a all powerful King.

          Some are saying that the goal of ISIS is to get rid of the Saudi Monarchy. In the full scheme of history, that may not be a bad thing.

          You can rest assured the Saudis are financing a lot of the weapons and other stuff being thrown around in the middle east.

      3. “A hundred years ago you were living in tents out here in the desert chopping each other’s heads off and that’s where you’ll be in another hundred.”

  28. It’s pretty funny how “libertarians ” make excuses for military action once their man in Congress starts talking about going to war. Except for Sheldon richman would it be fair to summarize the tedious posturing of prominent libertarians in the following ways…

    1. We hated the Iraq war as of 2006 (brave stance guys) but give no credit to the guy who ended it

    2. We think Barack Obama went to war in Syria

    3. a couple of air strikes in Libya is just as pernicious as Bush’s decade long wars in iraq and Afghanistan

    4. Instead of taking a principled anti-interventionist stance against an enemy that has never explicitly threatened us or attacked us, we’ll dredge up the canard about how their are libertarian exceptions to the idea of sending people 10,000 miles away to fight a war against a group that does not pose a threat to us

    5. We oppose military action against Isis, but we’re sure glad rand Paul is taking this position because it proves his chops as a “realist”. We like it when people adopt political positions that we don’t like because it makes our favored candidate more electable. Others would say we’re being used, but what’s a person with a political philosophy that routinely gets 1% of the vote to do other than to vote for a rank opportunist? It’s our moment, you see.

    1. Speaking of tedious…

    2. And circumstances change over time. Libertarians are having a healthy debate over the limits of non-interventionism.

      Sounds like someone is scared that libertarian ideas are gaining traction.

    3. Having an honest debate seems to be out of your intellectual reach.

      Your entire post is so much derp it’s not worth the time it takes to point out your intellectual dishonesty.

    4. Turd.Burglar.

    5. Just curious: are you going to once again vote for Democrats when they take giant donations from interest groups while whining about money in politics?

  29. Other than insisting on congressional approval for war, I don’t think there is a libertarian foreign policy.

    That being said, when someone like Rand is approaching the White House as someone who isn’t part of the Republican establishment, there are certain hoops he’s going to have to jump through. Remember, it isn’t libertarians that will choose the Republican nominee.

    And it’s not just Tea Party flavored Republicans who will make that choice either. It’s establishment Republicans, primarily, who ill make that choice. You need the establishment Republicans for more than just donations, too. You need their ideological support–you probably can’t win the Republican nomination unless you’re pro-life and you support gun rights, for instance.

    There are other issues that may not be absolutely necessary for to be on the “Republican” side of in order to win the nomination–but not being on the “right” side of those can hurt you a lot. …and opening yourself up to the charge that you’re an isolationist is one of them. They went after his dad for that last go ’round!

    Anyway, Rand Paul may not be a Libertarian, but if he became president, it would be the best thing, politically, that has happened to libertarians–ever. I’m tired of libertarianish protest votes–I want to see Rand Paul in the White House for reals. If to see that happen, Rand Paul has to stake out a position against ISIS, for goodness’ sake, by all means, that’s exactly what he should do.

    1. ” If to see that happen, Rand Paul has to stake out a position against ISIS, for goodness’ sake, by all means, that’s exactly what he should do.”

      So which principles are you NOT ready to dump for power or money?

      1. What libertarian principle is Rand Paul dumping?

        1. None. Craginmass is just angry that Rand deals with reality.

          1. He’s also a raging progtard. Is it a sock?

            1. Even the progtards are abandoning Obama?

              …even as Obama’s is beating the war drum?

              1. That may not have come across right. What I was trying to say…

                The progtards don’t even know what Obama wants to do–but they know they’re supposed to oppose whatever Rand Paul want to do! …so they condemn it as unconscionable.

                When it turns out Obama wants to do the same thing Rand Paul wanted to do, they’ll suddenly forget everything they said the day before. I guess they think that Rand Paul and his supporters will suddenly forget what they said the day before–and oppose whatever Obama wants to do?

                A never ending series of meaningless and incomprehensible position switches–such is the life of a progtard.

                1. No, I don’t think they’d pivot away from miliary action against ISIL just because Rand Paul was tacitly supportive of that. They’d simply recalibrate and say that action against ISIL was so obviously the right thing to do that even a libertarian* like Rand Paul saw the necessity of that.

                  Also, actual progressives have mixed feelings about Obama.

                  (*)Their characterization of him.

        2. What proggie projection of libertarian principle is Rand Paul dumping?


        3. Well, let me see…..

          Firstly, he supports Big Gubment to the extreme – the Security State being the #1 enemy of freedom. I didn’t think that was a Libertarian principle.

          He has made it clear that religious faith is the bedrock of our government and should be a litmus test.

          That doesn’t sound Libertarian.

          He wants to control the wombs and heads of people – that is, he doesn’t fully support decrim of ALL drugs and personal decisions re: reproductive rights.

          That doesn’t sound Libertarian.

          Now he wants to spend billions to go on foreign Crusades and kill people…including Americans…in an attempt to shape both the world view of others..and to change borders (nation building).

          That doesn’t sound Libertarian.

          1. “Firstly, he supports Big Gubment to the extreme – the Security State being the #1 enemy of freedom.”

            Sounds like you’re mischaracterizing what he said.

            Supporting a bombing strike in one particular instance isn’t supporting everything and anything that you want to throw up against the wall and call “Big Government or the Security State”.

            I don’t think there’s an elected member of Congress who has done more to criticize big government or the abuses of the security state than Rand Paul.

            “He has made it clear that religious faith is the bedrock of our government and should be a litmus test.”

            Do you have a link for that?

            After the last mischaracterization you made, I’m not going to buy that without seeing it for myself.

          2. He wants to control the wombs and heads of people – that is, he doesn’t fully support decrim of ALL drugs and personal decisions re: reproductive rights.

            He’s so far ahead of either Obama or the rest of Congress in decriminalization, it isn’t even funny.

            Sometimes our rights overlap and conflict with each other–which puts libertarian minded people on different sides of certain issues.

            Abortion is one of those issues. His father was pro-life, too. Very few libertarians would question Ron Paul’s libertarian credentials based on that. I don’t see why we should see Rand Paul any differently.

            Now he wants to spend billions to go on foreign Crusades and kill people…including Americans…in an attempt to shape both the world view of others..and to change borders (nation building).

            Sounds like yet another thing you just made up. Certainly, supporting a bombing campaign against ISIS in this instance isn’t any of those things.

      2. When I say, “Other than insisting on congressional approval for war, I don’t think there is a libertarian foreign policy”, what exactly do you hear?

        There are a lot of people with imaginary libertarian positions–positions they imagine are required to be libertarian but aren’t.

        As a small state libertarian, I think the purpose of government is to protect our rights.

        I think the purpose of our military is to protect our rights from foreign threats. Is ISIS a threat to our rights?

        If Rand Paul can make a case for that? He may not call it a libertarian position, but I’m not going to say it isn’t libertarian. …especially if it is!

        1. OK. What constitutes a legitimate causus beli then? If Cuba invades Jamaica, do we get involved? Assume NO American citizens are killed or imprisoned during or after the invasion.

          1. There are going to be gray areas–just like in life.

            Mutual defense alliances are effective to the extent that they serve our security interests. So long as a particular alliance is an effective means to defend our rights from foreign threats, it’s in our interests to abide by that alliance.

            Life is a marginal analysis. Investing our national resources into defense is like investing in anything else. You look at it on a case by case basis–and the variables are changing all the time.

            Within the context of the Cold War, our “alliance” with both the Mujaheddin and Mubarak made a lot sense. After the Cold War or given other variables, maybe it didn’t make much sense anymore. Maybe some of those security assets become liabilities. But just like with investing in the stock market, there’s no clear rule for when it’s always wise to make any particular investment.

            If someone attacks us, I think that changes somewhat. It’s almost always in our best interests to defend ourselves–although that has limits, too. For instance, I don’t think defending ourselves in Lebanon in 1982 made much sense at all.

            1. Mutual defense alliances are largely singular defense alliances whereby we are the ones responsible for defending others.

              1. Don’t tell that to the Sandinistas, various parts of Africa we fought proxy wars with during the Cold War, don’t tell that to the Iranians who fought a proxy war with Iraq, the Shining Path and Peru…

                The second half of the 20th Century was a big proxy war with people all over the world fighting dirty ads battles on our behalf. Stopping Soviet/ communist expansion is a big part of how and why we won the Cold War. Not everything we did in that regard was always in our best interests, but when it is…

                When we get in trouble is when we do things without really even considering our own best interests–like in Iraq.

                Usually, war is not in our best interests. Trade (like with China) is. Oh, if only we could get a free trade agreement with Iran!

          2. OK, I don’t know if we have a treaty obligation to defend Jamaica against foreign threats. If we do then we are should honor the treaty. The whole question about whether we should have such treaties and with whom is a matter for another day.

            Even if the Cubans did invade Jamaica and kill or imprison US citizens, I’m not sure that alone is a casus belli.

            1. “Even if the Cubans did invade Jamaica and kill or imprison US citizens, I’m not sure that alone is a casus belli.”

              Yeah, I’m not sure it is either. …but it might be! It depends on the situation.

              Like I said, I think Reagan made the right call in Lebanon, when we didn’t go to war when someone attacked us (much less Jamaica).

              You do the cost benefit analysis regardless. We should never go to war unless it’s in the best interests of American security–in the government’s job to protect our rights from foreign threats.

              And that isn’t an enabling principle. That’s a limiting principle.

              It’s why we didn’t invade Iraq in ’91. Ignoring that principle is why we invaded Iraq in 2003.

              If we go to war in Syria, it shouldn’t be to save the Syrians! It should only be done if it’s in America’s interests–not the interests of the Syrian people. If those happen to coincide, great!

              Otherwise, I know at least one libertarian that wants to object to a proposed Syrian War.

              1. “If we go to war in Syria, it shouldn’t be to save the Syrians! It should only be done if it’s in America’s interests–not the interests of the Syrian people. If those happen to coincide, great!”

                I think you missed the point of my question, but you gave me a segue way back to it. How does ISIS waging war in Syria provide us with a valid reason to declare war on ISIS? They are committing atrocities … but how does this translate into our going to war against them?

                1. I’m not sure about that either–that’s Rand Paul’s argument to make.

                  Like I said, I don’t agree with every argument just because it’s argued in libertarian terms; I’m just saying that the position Rand Paul is taking isn’t necessarily un-libertarian.

      3. The same ones you TEAM BLUE folks were willing to dump for power and money?

    2. Opposition to the US government giving US tax dollars to other countries (“foreign aid”) is a pretty universal libertarian foreign policy. Granted that’s not relevant here, but we do have one.

      1. This was supposed to be in response to Ken Shulz’s 2:16 post above.

      2. It’s a tough case to make in any particular instance, but there is one.

        Alliances are an extremely effective means of self-defense.

        Again, if the job of the government is, in part, to protect our rights from foreign threats, and the best and least expensive way to do that is by giving taxpayer dollars to an ally?

        Then maybe libertarians should get behind that.

        1. But our actual allies – Canada, Australia and UK (not a complete list) don’t require bribes to be our allies. People who remain our allies only because we bribe them are not actually our allies. And in the case of truly poor countries who are neighbors and generally well-disposed towards us, ie Haiti, we’re just propping up regimes since none of the money seems to ever reach the people who actually need it.

          1. Yeah, but sometimes what’s in our best interests is making alliances with people who aren’t like the Canadians and the British at all.

            I know it’s hard for people to get around, but sending Stingers to the Mujaheddin was a great idea! There’s no reason why the USSR had to collapse the way it did. It could have just periodically culled off its own people–like Stalin did in the past and like North Korea continues to do…

            More or less eliminating the USSR as a nuclear threat to the rights of the American people was a fantastic accomplishment, and sending Stingers to the Mujaheddin and missiles to places like Turkey is an important part of why we won the Cold War.

            I’d hate to think we couldn’t do what was in the best interests of American security just because it require us to work with people who aren’t like the Canadians or the British. Sometimes that’s necessary!

            1. Just for the record, too, although this probably doesn’t need to be pointed out to my fellow libertarians here, but just because I say something is libertarian doesn’t mean agree with it.

              Theoretically, there are hundreds of different positions that can be defended in libertarian terms–but I disagree with. Especially when we’re talking about taking any particular course of action.

              All the people who were interviewed for this post disagree on all sorts of topics–and all for libertarian reasons, too!

              We disagree with each other all the time. And that becomes especially easy to do with foreign policy. There are multiple libertarian takes on almost every issue–and of course they’re all wrong except for whatever one I happen to agree with!

              And the rest of you are all a bunch of phonies!

            2. Again, that list wasn’t by any means complete. I was using what I considered to be the best examples of permanent, natural US allies.

              And there’s a difference between sending limited aid in specific situations, and giving millions of dollars to Nigeria just because.

            3. Yes a truly wonderful idea, the minor problem that it lead to the collapse of a secular Afghan government and then people flying planes into buildings, who cares about that ?

              People will label libertarians as purists and unrealistic, but the reality is that America runs one of the most reckless and deadly foreign policies of any country in the world, you can find dozens of better REAL WORLD examples to emulate with better results. Running a foreign policy that stinks like something from old European colonial days is not libertarian.

              1. The Afghan government collapsed because of the Soviet invasion–not because we sent the resistance Stingers.

                And the suggestion that we shouldn’t have sent them Stingers in 1980 because some associated organization that didn’t even exist at the time would launch a terrorist attack against us 21 years later, 12 years after we won the Cold War is absurd.

                If you’re going to think like that, then we shouldn’t do or not do anything since Dog only knows what’s going to happen 21 years from now asa result of what we do or don’t do.

                Meanwhile, it should be clear to everyone that Al Qaeda was never and isn’t anywhere near as big a threat to the security and rights of the American people as the USSR was. I’d rather fight with Al Qaeda than the Soviet Union any day!

  30. The connection between libertarianism and isolationism has never made much sense. The emergence of ISIS does not serve the cause of liberty, neither in the Middle East nor in the US. Although libertarians rightly emphasize limited government, defense *is* one of the few legitimate government activities. Believing that events in the Middle East have no impact on our own national security is like believing that any move in chess is ok as long as one’s king is not put immediately into checkmate. Rand Paul is right to not fall victim to this isolationist fallacy.

    Reason is right that we may be entering a “libertarian moment”. At the same time, however, we are seeing that the alternative to the US being the world’s policeman is that Putin will be Eastern Europe’s policeman, ISIS will be the Middle East’s policeman, and China will be Asia-Pacific’s policeman. These thugs and authoritarians are rushing to redraw the global map in the remaining 2-yr window of Obama’s retreat-from-the-world presidency. It would be a mistake, both in terms of policy and politics, for libertarians, especially Rand Paul, to squander this libertarian moment by promising to extend the Obama window for an additional 4 years.

    1. Putin will be Eastern Europe’s policeman, ISIS will be the Middle East’s policeman, and China will be Asia-Pacific’s policeman.

      And if Putin and ISIS will sell us their oil and China her electronics, what’s the big deal?

      “Commerce with all, and alliances with none”, sounds pretty fucking “libertarian” to me.

      1. “Commerce with all, and alliances with none”
        100 years ago that made total sense. Not sure what to do about this in an age of nukes. Assholes like ISIS can kill as many as they want, so long as they leave us alone.

        The problem is that I am not sure the ‘leave us alone’ part is in the cards. In the old days you had to repel an invasion. Nowadays someone could blow up a city from inside a boat or plane.

        Then again, us dicking around in someone else’s backyard sure gives them reason to return the favor.

        1. “Nowadays someone could blow up a city from inside a boat or plane.”

          Did you make this up or can you point to an example where this was done?

          1. Does WWII Japan ring a bell ?

        2. It makes it easier to con some deluded schlub into turning himself into a human bomb.

    2. Not. Our. Problem.

      Whatever “redraw the global map” even means.

      1. It is if ISIS starts killing Americans.

        1. It’s not killing of Americans per se, it’s killing people on US soil, interfering with US-flagged ships and aircraft, etc. If they killed a bunch of people, including Americans, on say German soil then it would be Germany’s problem (exception: US Military bases).

          1. Lets shut down the bases, and bring the troops home – this way if ISIS is running amok in Germany … it still ain’t our problem.

      2. When does it become our problem? ISIS has a stated goal of attacking the US. Do we really have to wait until another 9/11-type attack occurs?

        This isn’t just a bunch of towel-heads running around in Iraq, it’s an organized well-funded fanatical force threatening global asymmetrical warfare. 20 guys with some explosives smuggled across our southern border WILL change history, because if you liked the Patriot Act, you’ll really like what comes after another successful attack on American soil.

        1. And while you are right about that, we can’t bomb ISIL out of existence. Even if we could drive them into hiding they or others like them would come back.

          1. …we can’t bomb ISIL out of existence. Even if we could drive them into hiding they or others like them would come back.

            Really – why not? They’re out in the middle of what is primarily desert terrain, without any real cover.

            Cockroaches always come back as well – doesn’t stop me from killing them when I see them or doing periodic exterminations; it’s better than letting them over-run the place. Just as constant battle with the “generals” seems to be a condition of living in Texas and other states of the Gulf Coast, perhaps constantly having to battle the forces of human evil is a condition of human life on this planet.

            1. Civilized human life.

        2. Look at the history of places like China under Mao, you can find speeches where he very clearly stated he was keen on fighting the USA – later on he met the US president…

          Mao was a crazy guy but the US had a RESPONSIBLE foreign policy regarding China, today everything is approached as a good vs evil comic book narrative. ISIS is not a threat to Turkey or Iran, the average joe is less paranoid about them than the average hysterical American is (probably because of the reckless agitprop being fed to them).

          This endless fear of being attacked, leading to the USA wanting to control every far away place will end up becoming a self fulfilling prophecy, it will create so many enemies that eventually you will have those explosives going off. Have you ever wondered why most countries in the world don’t have people living in constant fear like in America or have others attacking them ? Its not because of “hate us for our freedom”, its because of the reckless and deadly involvement America finds itself everywhere.

          1. Mao wasn’t a fanatical, suicidal zealot.

            You really want to know what the problem is in the middle east? It’s a lack of education and exposure to the rest of the world. Take a bunch of ignorant, superstitious peasants, throw in a fanatical ruthless leader, and you get jihad. The average Afghan or Yemeni or Somali or Iraqi knows fuck-all about what’s going on in the world, or anywhere else outside his own village. Some asshole comes along and tells them “LOOK LOOK! The Jews drink the blood of muslim babies, and the Americans are taking over the holy lands!”. The next thing you know, you’ve got another Mohamed that’s able to convince his followers that it’s OK to fuck a nine-year-old and saw the heads off “infidels”, because that’s what “god” would want them to do. And then you’ve got the people who are just dumb-asses, growing up in Minnesota or wherever, in a comfortably boring middle-class family, that decide that a “prophet” that fucks kids and rapes captives makes perfect sense to them, and they want to “further the cause” of islam, and maybe rape some captives while they’re at it.

            1. Check this out:

              Neither ISIS or Iran has ever said such extreme things. I can give plenty more such things from Mao. You want decapitation under Mao, I can give you that as well.

              Like I said until you see the world as beyond a one dimensional comic book, don’t act surprised as your reckless and frankly immoral foreign policy causes more harm to America. Until you get grown ups who know more about the world than how Fox News packages it in the news, you will end up with one big crapfest after another, and you will keep on blaming everyone except for the ones responsible for this – The US government.

            2. Anon E. Mouse|9.5.14 @ 6:07PM|#
              “Mao wasn’t a fanatical, suicidal zealot.”

              Uh, yeah. And Uncle Joe? Well, he was a pretty good guy!
              You been testing the limits of sanity, and now you clean fell off the edge.

              1. Nobody said that either Mao or Stalin were good guys, asshole. They were both murderous savage dictators. Neither had a goal of martyering themselves. ISIS IS DIFFERENT IN THAT RESPECT.

              2. “The Koch fortune has its origins in engineering contracts with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union”

                1. You need to buy the extra thick tinfoil.

          2. Some people are just fucked up, and a lot of them seem to gravitate to radical islam. That’s going to happen regardless of where we are or what we do.

    3. What bc15 said. At least someone “gets it”.


      1. Libertarian theory has always permitted the use and threat of force, including deadly force if need be, to defend one’s self, one’s property, and one’s friends.

        One’s self? Yes.
        One’s property? Yes.
        One’s friends? Absolutely not. And this is why.

        1. So under libertarian theory the state is precluded from using force against another state except in the case of self defense of the country. Understood.

        2. And yes, I am extrapolating … no problem in subduing George IF he starts beating the crap out of Oliver for asking.

  32. If to see that happen, Rand Paul has to stake out a position against ISIS, for goodness’ sake, by all means, that’s exactly what he should do.

    We need a commander-in-chief who will throw some grenades at ISIS and play golf. It pained me to say that, FWIW.

  33. Okay, so it looks like we may have the second hypoxia-induced ghost flight of the week going on right now…


    USA today

    1. Looks like the work of ISIS.

        1. It was a joke…

          1. Need to recalibrate the sarcasmometer.

  34. I get that Rand is the movement’s favorite son, but is this not a Libertarian website?

    Another land war in Asia? More unintended consequences?

    ISIS is, in fact surrounded by enemies that are stronger than they. You will notice that ISIS has hardly taken any Shiite territory, hardly any Kurdish territory, NO Turkish territory. They are opportunist striking only where they can gain ground.

    Geeze, I sound like Uncle Ron!

    War Fever has struck, tho! Their Jihadist motives have made them impervious to bullets. Nuke em!

    I would put money on ISIS or their descendants committing ANOTHER 9/11-type event if the US gets in there again.

    Sorry Rand, if there is an even slightly-viable libertarian candidate for president, you just lost all the L votes to him/her.

    1. It is a libertarian website, but there are neocon a holes like Cytotoxic or bc15 that lurk here. They are permanently in war fever mode, they come up with utterly clueless arguments when it comes to foreign policy, ISIS will rule the middle east or that Turkey will collapse (neither is even remotely possible), they are not libertarians.

      1. ITT, peaceniks butthurt that libertarians have a wide range of opinions on foreign policy and want total faith in noninterventionism.

        1. Libertarian might disagree with on certain things, but to say you are libertarian and supports trillions for the army to be used to run the world are as stupid as a libertarian that says he supports obamacare or mass surveillance. Next you are going to argue that being duped into linking Saddam to Al Qaeda is the libertarian thing to do.

          You can have your opinions, but you also what to take tax money to pay for your comic book view on the world

          If you say you are a libertarian then please state where you disagree with the neocons ? I am not going to hold my breath though because I doubt you will find anything you disagree with.

    2. And that statement that Rand Paul is the libertarian movement’s favorite son needs a lot of qualifying. He is the most viable likely major party candidate who is most aligned with libertarianism. If an actual libertarian like Gary Johnson were running you’d see the movements vote split between the purists and the practicals.

      1. Are you kidding? Here at REASON, every 5th article finds some reason to put his name in the title.

        Yes, he is the darling, even as he becomes in favor of foreign intervention into a situation that does not have clear American interests involved.

      2. I do not disagree that he makes a good candidate. I do feel that all his reaching out to the minority community, even if he is doing it out of principle of the issues at hand, will backfire. Sadly, Blacks have become a people apart and seem only to listen to “their” leaders. Of all people, they need Liberty.

    3. Sorry Rand, if there is an even slightly-viable libertarian candidate for president, you just lost all the L votes to him/her.

      AHAHAHAHAH no. He’s going to lose the nutters that fell in love with his Dad and that’s all. He doesn’t need those loons.

      1. I know, you should call all people you disagree with “nutters”. That’s not Alinsky tactics at all.

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    1. Finally, a rational viewpoint on this issue.

  36. It’s pretty simple, really. Kill an American ambassador, or some American journalists or other citizens, and we wipe you off the face of the Earth. Any other justification, like fighting against an unpopular dictator, you’re on your own. And if Saudi terrorists bomb New York, you don’t go to war against Iraq and destabilize the whole Middle East.

    1. “Kill an American ambassador, or some American journalists or other citizens, and we wipe you off the face of the Earth.”

      You must have really yapped when Reagan cut and ran after 250 Marines were killed in Lebanon….

      1. And I’m sure you were tickled pink when LBJ invented the Gulf of Tonkin attack.

        1. Unlike you “behind the keyboard” types, I showed in Washington DC many a time – with 100’s of thousands of others. Showed up in my local city also.

          I think we had a lot to do with stopping that war and the Dems threw LBJ out.

          Of course, “they” killed RFK and others who we tried to elect on anti-war platforms.

          If you guys were 1/2 as sane, you’d have a movement instead of a joke financed by a billionaire.

          1. craiginmass|9.6.14 @ 9:13AM|#
            “Unlike you “behind the keyboard” types, I showed in Washington DC many a time – with 100’s of thousands of others. Showed up in my local city also.”

            OH, OH, LOOK!
            Self-righteous twit brags about being un-reconstructed idiot!
            Yeah, imbecile, the gov’t just wasn’t run by the right people, correct?

          2. Turd.Bulgar.

  37. And if Saudi terrorists bomb New York, you don’t go to war against Iraq and destabilize the whole Middle East.

    If Saudis weren’t allowed to attend US universities at full out-of-state, out-of-country tuition the higher education bubble would burst and we never would have landed on the moon or defeated communism. You don’t carefully think things through, CE, like I do.

    1. Wow, congratulations, I think you are the stupidest person commenting on this board. That puts you in the running for stupidest worldwide.

      1. I’m hoping that was sarc.

  38. *I think Rand Paul and I agree that American meddling in the Middle East, particularly the Iraq war, led to the rise of ISIL*

    Apparently, David Boaz isn’t very bright. Islamism is far older than the United States’ incursions into the Middle East. ISIL is just the latest face of Islamism.

    One may as well blame the British or the French or the Ottomans who didn’t know how to maintain their own empire.

  39. ISIL isn’t a result of the USA meddling in the middle east, ISIL is merely taking advantage of the fact that the USA meddled in the middle east.

    Islam has two stated goals, to create a global caliphate, with every human oppressed under the Sharia. And anihilate all the Jews.

    This Islamic goal is being aided and abbetted by the Soviets, who are more or less using the Arabs as a pawn in a diversive tactic to bog the West down wasting money and resources fighting Muslims.

    ISIL isn’t an isolated entity raging in the middle east though, ISIL is a small piece of the puzzle in destroying the West (and the Arabs) while creating a new Soviet style global Fascist dictatorship.

  40. My only concern with the ‘New shit has come to light, man!’ response is that I’d bet most people (and the Nobel committee) thought Obama was going to start prepping to get out of Dodge the very moment he became President. A lot of people would say he had the same enlightenment about the seriousness of the situation in the Middle East. I’d say at this point the likelihood that any politician (or any person with presidential access to classified information) can seriously declare that we will stay off foreign soil is likely kidding themselves.

  41. Or how about we allow the entirety of the middle east to burn? As a collective, the region has been against scientific progress since the middle of the Ottoman Empire outside of new developments in IEDs and restrictive clothing for women. The day they develop the capability to pose a realistic threat to a country 6000 miles away that isn’t at all involved with them as a people or region is the day we realistically have to worry about it if we had a sensical foreign policy.

  42. We’ll make the United States a libertarian minarchy by supporting the right candidate for President after we make the Vatican an atheistic think tank by supporting the right candidate for Pope.

  43. He’s interventionist so he can criticize Obama. He’s just another mealy-mouthed, calculating piece of shit politician who can’t answer a fucking question. He isn’t “Libertarian” or any of that crap he is for whatever will get him money and power. In other words he is just like all of the rest of them.

  44. Rand Paul is going to bring political contortionism to a new level.

  45. I think one should always start with “What are the US national interests which will be served by policy XYZ”

    If one can argue persuasively that ISIS presents such a threat now or in the near future if the status quo is maintained, I think you will see support for the policy, at least in general.

    There is more too it than that, of course, but that does seem to be the all important jumping off point. If you can’t meet that hurdle the rest is meaningless.

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  47. I agree with Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com.

    By saying he will put it to Congress and that we have to be careful we know what we are doing, etc. Rand is effectively preventing most interventionism unless it is warranted (i.e. attacking Taliban after World trade center). But he may need to do this to attract report of a lot of stupid republicans and to get the media to stop calling him an isolationist. Face it, we live in a country with a lot of stupid, uninformed, lazy people who won’t try to find out the real facts and the media are among the worst. So I think this is a smart play by Rand. It does not really change what he would end up doing anyway. He still will not intervene unless it is really called for but this way he can play up Hilary as the isolationist. (Yes, people really are that stupid).

  48. Bill Dalasio|9.5.14 @ 2:32PM|#
    The existence of a state-funded military isn’t a violation of the NAP.

    Yes it is. What if individuals wished to privately pay for defense of their ships through insurance companies, and also arm their merchant ships so they wouldn’t be taken over by some little skiff? Their refusal to pay an ineffective gov’t to “protect” them would result in violence being used against them to confiscate their property( media of exchange, real property, etc) to fund a standing army (navy in this example), which mind you is not accountable, nor can be rewarded or punished by individuals in an economy.

    Socialism isn’t magically effective when it comes to defense. It is inefficient, there is still no economizing, and the result is a more expensive, less effective defense service. If you’ve ever served and have dealt with the procurement system, studied it, looked at ship and general military equipment procurement and acceptance policies, the contracting that is riddled with cost plus fee no ceiling contracts, which is favored instead of FPE and FFP types, you might have a clue.

  49. Central planning in regards to the production of defense is a disaster. Any attempts at “fixing” the procurement system were reversed to the same crap and issues experienced with the frigates of 1794. Insurance companies wouldn’t give two shits about a carrier admiral wanting no competition with his ship and air wing, thereby preventing the advancement of a mix of systems with faster response times able to project their defensive power at greater ranges, and at lesser costs.

  50. Oh no, Rand Paul isn’t a true libertarian. Not only is he willing to explore options against Islamic terrorism, but he won’t legalize polygamy, prostitution, necrophilia, raw milk, and dog meat. This is such BS, I want a utopia in which consenting adults can do whatever they want and the borders are open as a Chinese restaurant on Christmas. If I don’t get that, then I won’t support anybody. Ron Paul is going to win one of these days anyways.

    Reason likes Justin Amash becuase he’s a libertarian-ish candidate, and credit him as such. Why can’t they do that with Rand Paul?

    If you want to win, you have to play team games. OMG, team games, that’s terrible! Blue, red, and pink (or whatever color represents libertarians)! But guess what, you have to play team games to win elections. I sure as hell ain’t gonna vote for Christie or Bush in the primary. Even talk radio is warming up to Rand Paul. Stop being surprised that Rand Paul isn’t a perfect libertarian. His dad was crushed by Rick Santorum in some states.

    1. I believe the operative word is blown away by Rick Santorum in some states.

  51. Radical Islam has been a Middle East problem for 1400 years. Ever since Jefferson intervened with the Barbary Pirates. If he had just left them alone there would be no ISIS. I blame Bush. And stupid religion.

    And besides the rise of the radical cult which has never happened befor is not our problem. We can just buy their oil.

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