Rand Paul Wants to 'Destroy' ISIS Yet 'Stay the Heck Out of Their Civil War'


Jacob Sullum

As I noted last week, Rand Paul continues to oppose the arming of Syrian rebels as part of the military campaign against ISIS, although he favors U.S. airstrikes aimed at "destroy[ing] ISIS militarily" (albeit with the congressional approval that President Obama is not seeking). Yesterday the Kentucky senator was one of a dozen Republicans who voted against Obama's plan to arm and train "moderate" opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. While some of those votes were cast by critics who think Obama's response to ISIS is too namby-pamby, Paul said he opposes the plan because he does not want the U.S. to become more involved in Middle Eastern wars. Yet that is precisely what Paul is advocating when he calls for the destruction of ISIS, and much of his argument yesterday counts equally against the intervention he supports:

Intervention, when both choices are bad, is a mistake. Intervention, when both sides are evil, is a mistake. Intervention that destabilizes the Middle East is a mistake. Yet here we are again, wading into a civil war….

Involving ourselves in these complicated, thousand-year-long civil wars lead[s] to unintended consequences….

It is messy; it is unclear. There are bad people on both sides. We need to stay the heck out of their civil war….

War should only occur when America is attacked, when it is threatened or when our American interests are threatened or attacked….

The people who live there need to stand up and fight. The Kurds are fighting. They seem to be the only people who are really capable of or willing to fight for their homeland. The Iraqis need to step up and fight. It is their country. If they are not going to fight for it, I don't think we need to be in the middle of their fight….

The United States should not fight a war to save face. I won't vote to send our young men and women to sacrifice life and limb for a stalemate….

When American interests are at stake, it is incumbent upon those advocating for military action to convince Congress and the American people of that threat.

Too often the debate begins and ends with a conclusion. They say: Well, our national interest is at stake. That is the conclusion. The debate is: Is the national interest at stake?…

When we go to war, the burden of proof lies with those who wish to engage in war. They must convince the American people and convince Congress….

Shooting first and aiming later has not worked for us in the past. The recent history of the Middle East has not been a good one. Our previous decisions have given results that should cause us to be quite wary of trying to do the same again….

The moss-covered, too-long-in-Washington crowd cannot help themselves: War, war, what we need is more war. But they never pay attention to the results of the last war….

What we need is someone to shout: War, war, what are we fighting for?…

The only consistent theme is war. These barnacled enablers have never met a war they didn't like. They beat their chests in rhythmic ode to failed policies….Unintended consequences drown and smother the possibility of good intentions….

We shouldn't give a free pass to forever intervene in the civil wars of the Middle East. Intervention created this chaos. Intervention aided and abetted the rise of radical Islam. Intervention has made us less safe in Libya and in Syria and in Iraq….

We should remember that they were wrong, that there were no WMDs, that Hussein, Qadhafi, and Assad were not a threat to us….

The barnacled purveyors of war should admit their mistakes and not compound them. 

After hearing Paul condemn past interventions based on trumped-up threats, remind his colleagues about the ever-present risk of unintended consequences, and insist that the burden of proof should be on those who advocate war, it is easy to forget that he actually supports this war, although he disagrees with Obama about how to conduct it. Paul says "ISIS is now a threat to us," although in his 6,700-word speech this is the closest he comes to explaining why: "If ISIS is left to its own devices, maybe they will fulfill what they have boasted of and attack our homeland." That is also the closest that Obama comes to justifying this war; Paul's admirers might have expected more from a man who talks so much about the dangers of foreign intervention.

Notably, while Paul just a few weeks ago was saying war must be justified by "a threat to our national security" (which he wasn't sure ISIS posed), he is now willing to settle for a threat to "American interests," which can mean whatever an advocate of war says it means. Don't Americans have an "interest" in promoting peace, preventing the slaughter of innocents, and freeing people from oppressive governments? This highly elastic criterion for military action leads to just the sort of promiscuous intervention that Paul criticizes.  

"Let's get on with destroying them," Paul says, referring to ISIS. "But make no mistake: Arming Islamic rebels in Syria will only make it harder to destroy ISIS." Paul surely is correct that trying to arm the right rebels is a strategy fraught with peril, but he seems to forget that the rebels are supposed to be proxies for U.S. soldiers, which he is adamantly against sending to Syria or Iraq as part of the war against ISIS. Yet Paul says the U.S. should do "everything we can to help" the Iraqi opponents of ISIS, including "air support," "intelligence," and "drones." Those roles can very quickly entangle American soldiers in combat on the ground, even if Obama prefers to call it something else. Paul does not mention Syria in this context, but any serious effort to "destroy" ISIS would have to involve airstrikes and other kinds of military assistance there, which amounts to the kind of meddling Paul says we should avoid. It is impossible to reconcile Paul's avowed goal with his avowed desire to "stay the heck out of their civil war." 

To his credit, Paul continues to insist that Obama needs congressional approval for this war, and yesterday he ridiculed the administration's attempt to justify it based on the authorization that Congress passed prior to the war in Afghanistan 13 years ago. "That vote had nothing to do with this," he said. "You are a dishonest person if you say otherwise." Rand suggested that the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force could more plausibly be cited as a justification for attacking the rebels the U.S. government now plans to back, since they are intermittently allied with Al Qaeda against Assad: "We could use the 2001 use-of-force authorization, as Secretary Kerry understands it, to attack the same people we are giving the weapons to."

NEXT: Obama and Military Leaders Disagree on ISIS Strategy, Biden's Sex Gaffe, CIA Stops Spying in Europe: P.M. Links

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  1. I’d like details on how he proposes to accomplish this.

    1. Step 1: Bomb ISIS
      Step 2: ???
      Step 3: Profit

    2. Nuke them from orbit?

      1. Nuclear weapons are famously non-discretionary, so we couldn’t be accused of taking sides…

      2. Just drop a medium size boulder from orbit on every town controlled by ISIS. Much cheaper to produce than nukes. From what I’ve been told by friends more versed on the matter than I, the kenetic energy would level the area for miles. But hey, what do I know? I’m no botanist.

        1. Ah, the ‘kinetic harpoon’ technique. Technically it does bypass several of the anti-weaponization of space treaties. We’d need a lot of tungsten though…and forget about hitting moving targets.

          1. How difficult is it to obtain tungsten in large quantities? Would extracting it and launching it into space be more cost effective than previously made, yet modified nukes functioning in the same role?

            To be clear, I’m not advocating this. I find the idea morally reprehensible. I’m curious about the logistics.

        2. Brawndo has what ISIS craves. Its got electrolytes.

    3. Escalating deterrance. Instead of being a hawk or dove be an owl. They behead an American Journalist we arm the Kurds and bomb their headquaters. Then we let them know they do it again, the response escalates. We TELL THEM, that every act of barbarianism will be met with a more than proportionate response. Keep in mind the Saudis, who have been fermenting this for years are now hiding in their tens as they realize this bird is coming home to roost!

  2. Intervention, when both choices are bad, is a mistake. Intervention, when both sides are evil, is a mistake. Intervention that destabilizes the Middle East is a mistake. Yet here we are again, wading into a civil war….

    War should only occur when America is attacked, when it is threatened or when our American interests are threatened or attacked….

    Sometimes Rand actually sounds like his father’s son. Outside of the nebulous reference to “American interests,” that is.

    1. “Intervention that destabilizes the Middle East is a mistake.”

      Middle East is home to some of the nastiest regimes on the planet. A little ISIS inspired destablization might be a good thing.

  3. Weapons given to “good” rebels end up in “bad” rebels’ hands (either because the weapons are transfered, or because the labels get swapped).

    Ordinance dropped on ISIS explodes (most of the time), which means fewer ways that that kind of “assistance” can be turned against us.

    Is this a pretty weak distinction? Yes. But Paul’s doing the old triangulation, and the war’s popular. So he’ll try to find a part he can wedge off (supporting other crazy rebels), and try to score on that, while supporting the war in general abstract terms (which is exactly what the average American does) to avoid being too far off the mainstream.

    It’s bullshit, but welcome to politics.

  4. Rand Paul again shows that he is not up to the task of foreign relations. He is trying to change his isolationist image now that more people are in favor of war, but his solution is no more realistic than Obama’s.

    One cannot destroy ISIS “militarily” or any other way with the kind of air strikes that Americans will accept. Sure, we could bomb every place in the ISIS area like we did Dresden, killing millions, and it would wipe them out (along with most of the inhabitants). But, we won’t do that.

    The only alternative is “boots on the ground.” Only dedicated ground troops in large numbers, in both Iraq and Syria, can eliminate ISIS, and then only with the support of many of the populace. They supported us in 2007, and it worked. Then Obama abandoned them to the tender mercies of the Shiite militia, and they turned back to the Sunni extremists. Getting them to trust us, after that abandonment, is not likely to work.

    Meanwhile, Iraq predictably turned to Iran once we stupidly bugged out, handing the US a double defeat: AQI, now called ISIS, is back; and, Iran is happy to be controlling Iraq while they finish up their nuclear warheads and their missiles.

    In other words, get used to ISIS. Nobody is going to eliminate them in the foreseeable future. And, get used to one of the most dangerous states in the world going nuclear.

    And get used to Paul triangulating, shifting his positions so hawks will like him while trying to keep his isolationist base happy. That won’t work.

    1. Multiple misuses of the word isolationist.


    2. rand paul is a clueless drone politician. here he is yet again talking out of both sides of his mouth. The sad part is people think he is anything more than another corrupt, traitorous politician.

      1. I am beginning to feel the same way about him jim smithy, I once had hopes that he might be a Republican I could vote for.

    3. Not wanting to engage in armed conflicts wherever and whenever possible is only isolationism if you believe that the only mode of engagement with foreign states is through military force. If we’ve come to a place as a country where the first and preferred reaction to even the vaguest suggestion of a threat to our “national interests” is immediate military action, we’ve gone completely ’round the bend. As in, maybe it’s time to scrap this fucker and start over.

  5. Why is Rand Paul, a junior senator without any experience in these matters, the subject of so many stories on Reason?

    If Reason is about free minds and/or logic and reason, why not tell us about the other couple hundreds folks in Congress?

    1. Rand Paul is supposedly a “Libertarian”. Which he is clearly not.

        1. They aren’t even D level anymore.

        2. please enlighten us all as to how Rand Paul is a Libertarian…

    2. Because the other couple of hundred folks in congress are unreasonable statist assholes?

      1. And the problem is that there are so many unreasonable statist assholes, that covering them is booooOOOOOoooorrrrrring!

        They’re all pretty much the same.

    3. Didn’t you once support a junior senator from Illinois without any experience in anything?

      Do you really want Reason to do an article on the fake American Indian senator from Mass that you voted for after finding out that she lied about being Cherokee?

    4. Why is Rand Paul, a junior senator without any experience in these matters, the subject of so many stories on Reason?

      Because you elected a junior senator with no experience in these matters to the highest office in the land?

    5. Dear headinass.

      Your criticism of Reason is like Pol Pot criticizing chairman Mao.

      Thank you for your useless input.

      1. Turd.Burglar.

    6. headinass. You are a hostile witness. Not to be taken seriously.

      1. Turd.Burglar

        1. Turd.Burglar.

    7. Why does a vapid, disingenuous Senator from Massachusetts elected ONCE with scant experience and a propensity for the usual pompous progressive faux-populist gibberish get so much attention in the mainstream press?

  6. Having the middle east ruled over by a gaggle of vicious dictators who depend on the west and keep the murderous rabble down seems to be the best option. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before?

  7. Rand Paul is contending for the nomination of the Republican Party. In order to win that nomination, he has to win the support of establishment Republicans–not libertarians.

    There is no way anyone can win the Republican nomination while being pro-choice or pro-gun control. I seriously doubt anyone can win the Republican nomination by subscribing to a foreign policy framework that is completely at odds with the Republican establishment either.

    I suspect this will change if and when Rand Paul wins the nomination. Anybody else remember when Obama cut a deal with Hillary, making her Secretary of State, so that he could stop trying to project himself as the ultimate leftist to those in the Democratic Party that were going to nominate him?

    As soon as Hillary dropped out and endorsed him, Obama made a sharp turn to the center. The sooner you can stop preaching to the choir and start preaching to swing voters the better!

    If playing the fence or jumping over it, occasionally, is what it takes for Rand Paul to win the Republican nomination, then by all means, Rand, say what you’ve gotta say.

    It’s not as if what he says (or how he votes), right now, actually does anything, and I don’t need to hear anything else he says to know that if he actually won the presidency, he would be the best president we’ve had since World War II–and it would be the best thing to happen to libertarianism ever.

  8. Typical Jekyll and Hyde! Libers are NEO Confederates.

    1. Yes. We all want to avoid foreign entanglements outside of peaceful commerce, own black slaves and secede from the union.

      Eloquent retort.

      1. My slaves wouldn’t have to be black. I’d take any color. I’m no racist.

    2. So, what you’re saying is that the options are either a.)believing that bombing the shit out of everything is a satisfactory foreign policy, or b.)believing that the CSA should be reestablished and black people should be owned as slaves. Fascinating. Do you vote, by any chance?

  9. Understand how you could think that Paul’s winning could be the best thing to happen to libertarianism “ever” — because he has a toe in libertarianism and a toe in the Republican arena — as the situation dictates. No problem. But the fact that you don’t need to hear anything else …he would be the best president we’ve had since WW II.

    How to do you get there?

    1. Partisans mostly support whomever is their guy in the White House. We’ve seen this how many times from the Democrats over the last six years? When Obama bails out Wall Street, suddenly that’s okay. When Obama plays warmonger, that’s okay, too!

      It’s the same thing on the Republican side of the equation. Jesus, the Republicans used to the party of Realism and pragmatism, when Reagan and Bush Sr. were in office. Bush Jr. gets in office, and suddenly the Republicans are the party of Lyndon Johnson, both in terms of using war as a means to spread democracy and, for goodness’ sake, they expanded Medicare to cover prescriptions, too!

      If Rand Paul were in the White House, the politics in this country would quickly shift. Not everything on the national stage–but a lot of things–would become a public debate about libertarianism.

      …and that’s the best we can ever hope for. For the most part now, we’re a lonely voice in the wilderness. If Rand Paul were in the White House, all that would change. Hell, they might not even call it libertarianism. But what if Rand Paul’s libertarian take on the issues actually became the Republican platform?

      Wouldn’t that be the best thing to happen to libertarianism ever?

      1. In all honesty, I do not know. I drop in here from time to time to see if I can figure out what libertarianism is.

        I listen hard and try to be respectful.

        As long as we have partys and we partyspeak — in all honesty what I see is more Libertarian sympatico with Republicans but when there needs to be a whipping boy the Libertarians choose the Republicans over the Democrats.

        I don’t have a dog in this fight. As I said I am just trying to get it. Particularly since so many Republicans now are claiming to be libertarians.

        There is a lot of fluidity in the party make up — some defensible some not. But what is more disturbing to me is the extremely leftist influence on the Democrat Party.

        As for Rand Paul — I was encouraged in the beginning. I am less so now. Too much changing to “fit in”. Needs time and seasoning.

        1. Libertarianism is the idea that we should all be free to make choices for ourselves. Once we agree on that principle, we don’t have to agree on much else. If you’re not trying to seize the reigns of power so you can force me to do whatever you want, then why do I care if you disagree with me?

          Hence, libertarians disagree with each other on almost everything else–except the idea that we should all be free to make choices for ourselves.

          Democrats and Republicans hate us for certain reasons–most of them the exact opposite of what everyone thinks.

          Republicans hate us because we make them look like phonies on capitalism. We denounced Bush’s bailouts, and we denounced his socialist expansion of Medicaid, too. Why wouldn’t they hate us for making them look like phonies?

          Democrats hate us because we make them look like phonies on civil rights. Yeah, Democrats are all about civil rights–unless you want to talk about getting rid of the Drug War! Unless you want to talk about curbing abuse by racist police, who are protected from the law by public employee unions…

          You get the picture.

          Anyway, we’ve never really been about seizing power before, but we’ve never had anyone in Rand Paul’s position with a legitimate shot at the White House either.

          1. Thanks. Can’t speak for the Dems but among those I know — no hate for the Libertarians. Although there are some instances where Libertarians will run a candidate they know cannot win — which results in affecting elections one way or the other. Admittedly every one is free to run. A longer term strategy regarding alliances might seem to advance the libertarian cause better. Still a two party system. So there is that.

          2. One more thing. With all due respect, “seizing power”? Perhaps semantics.

            1. They want control of the government so they can do things to us, right?

              Most libertarians are philosophically against that sort of thing.

              The purpose of the Libertarian Party isn’t really to win the White House. It’s just a means to generate some coverage of libertarian ideas during election cycles–and give libertarians a change to lodge a protest vote.

              We don’t want to seize power so we can force you to buy insurance, or come down harder on you for possessing marijuana, or prohibit you from marrying whomever you like. We generally don’t campaign on promises to take your guns away, or raise your taxes, or to force your children to learn about evolution in public schools.

              That’s very different from both the Democrats and Republicans, who want to seize the White House so they can use the coercive power of the state to force people to do various things.

              In fact, half the time, both the Democrats and Republicans are arguing that you should vote for their candidate because if you don’t, the other candidate is going to force you to do something or stop you from doing something…

              And both of them are often right!

              An individual right is the right to make a choice for yourself. Libertarians are big on individual rights. We should all be free to make choices for ourselves.

              I think the leadership of both the Democrats and the Republicans find that last statement terrifying. What’s the point of “seizing power” if you can’t make choices for other people?

              1. So, your position is R&D want to seize power and force people to have certain opinions. You see no distinction. Big government vs small government. States rights vs the federal government. And a few other areas.

                And Libertarians don’t want the power of the WH. They just want a protest vote.

                But if Rand Paul were elected we would all be free to do what and how?

                Thanks for taking the time to address some of my thoughts. I appreciate it.

                1. “So, your position is R&D want to seize power and force people to have certain opinions.”

                  No, I don’t think they want to force you to think certain things. I think they want to force you do certain things (or prohibit you from doing certain things).

                  The drug war is an excellent example they both seem to agree on. They use the coercive power of government to criminally prosecute people for their preferred method of intoxication.

                  The Democrats want to use the coercive power of the IRS to force people to buy insurance. For reals!

                  Some Republicans, like I said, want to teach people’s children about creationism whether they want that or not. There are plenty of powerful Democrats who want to stop people from being free to choose to educate their children anywhere other than in their local public school.

                  This isn’t about opinion.

                  The Republicans and Democrats really do want to force people to do things they don’t want to do. The Democrats and Republicans really do want to stop you from making choices for yourself. I don’t want politicians making my choices for me. I want to make my own choices for myself for my own qualitative reasons. That’s why I’m a libertarian.

        2. In all honesty, I do not know. I drop in here from time to time to see if I can figure out what libertarianism is.

          There are several (many?) brands of libertarianism ranging from liberty leaning republicans to hard core anarchists, and a plethora in between. The real measure is how principled you are and how many exceptions you are willing to make to those principles.

          My prefered flavor stems from the following two principles:

          1. A person can do as they please, PROVIDED in doing so they do not infringe upon the rights of others.

          2. The ONLY legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of its citizenry.

          It’s not perfect, as it contains a contradiction, but it maximizes liberty.

          1. Thanks. But,as you are aware, how do you coalesce to become effective?

            1. Educate.

              Most choose sides on issues not based upon their principles, but based upon what the side they identify with tells them to think on a given issue. People need to see there is another way. A way based upon adhering to a set of core beliefs.

              I think that’s the Paul’s master plan. To show people there is a better, more ethical, path than presented by either of the two establishment parties. I truly believe they are trying to win hearts and minds rather than simply buy votes.

              Although the support for this action against ISIS is a bit disheartening, there will inevitably need to be some of that, reality being what it is.

              1. “Educate.”

                That’s the way Jesus took over the Roman Empire.

                I guess that’s the way Marx took over the USSR and China, too.

                When we get enough people thinking the way we do, it won’t really matter who’s in charge.

                Think of it this way, people’s minds may have changed on marijuana after the law changed in Colorado and Washington, but those laws didn’t change before the people of Colorado and Washington changed.

                You change people’s minds first, then the law changes. That’s the way Jim Crow and segregation ended. That’s the way slavery ended. That’s the way communism ended. That’s the way everything happens. The politicians are almost always the last ones to finally figure it out and change the laws.

                1. And the Pauls realize this. And the timing is perfect with both Teams equally despised, troubled economy and general mistrust of the establishment. I believe we are on the cusp.

              2. Thanks for this. I would say that many conservatives (who are denigrated as tea party and rigid and blah blah — somewhere I am not going now) who are seriously at odds with the establishment Republicans were and perhaps are attracted to much of what Rand Paul had to say — compatible principles.

                But I am inclined to find Mike Lee,Ted Cruz (yes)and others more true to their principles than Rand Paul who is — kind of wobbling his way through. Not bad, just an observation.

                Anyway, I appreciate your time and thoughts.

      2. If he were the best thing to happen to libertarianism ever, why wouldn’t he also be the best president since World War II.

        The only legitimate function of government is to protect our rights. If there’s a better way to measure a president’s performance than to talk about how well he protected our rights, I can’t imagine what that could be.

        We have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats, and I think Ronald Reagan is largely responsible for protecting our rights from the threat of the USSR–putting him head and shoulders above the others on that count alone.

        However, that was just one way of protecting our rights. Rand Paul might surpass Reagan in other ways. Like I said, if he just made it apparent that protecting our (individual) rights was the primary and legitimate function of government, that alone should put him over the top.

        And if Rand Paul were in the White House, I think that’s what he would do.

      3. I truly hope your vision of a Paul presidency is correct, but the Show Me State in me suspects you’re being a bit too optimistic.

        Granted, I agree that he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth about ISIS as a political strategy to obtain the Republican nomination for president. I also agree that as of this moment his ideal America, though flawed, would look a hell of a lot better than what we have today. However,I think you’re underestimating the seductive, corrupting influence of Beltway politics. Power is by far the most intintoxicating drug on the planet. There’s no telling what he would morph(and they all do. Let’s no kid ourselves) into.

        I fear a truly principled politician will never obtain the White House again.

        1. That was directed at Ken….fucking squirrels.

          1. Or maybe that was apparent. What the fuck is my phone doing?!

            Power off…restart….

        2. I wouldn’t expect to see a principled politician obtain the White House again either.

          But with his upbringing and life, how can you question where Rand’s heart really lies?

          Family tradition and all that! He might sell us short on an issue or two to get reelected, but that’s what you have to do to stay in power.

          Think of all the problems we could avoid just by having someone like Rand just because of all the things he wouldn’t do!

          Would he have vetoed ObamaCare?

          Would he have vetoed TARP?

          Would he have nationalized GM?

          Would he have invaded Iraq?

          Would he have spent like a drunken sailor like Boehner and Bush Jr?

          I think the answer to all of those questions is “no”.

          Nevermind all the things he might do; if he just opposed all the things on that list from the White House, wouldn’t he have been a better president than anyone else out there?

          1. Some of those questions should have been written differently–to get to “no”.

            Point is that all those shitty un-libertarian things wouldn’t have been done.

            …but you probably already understood that.

            1. To your points: I really, REALLY want to believe that you would be correct in your assurances, but I honestly can’t say. I think he would have done the right thing(from the Libertarian perspective) on at least two of these issues, but I stopped pretending to understand the complexities of what entails being the POTUS a longtime ago.

              I genuinely believe the immense pressures that go along with the job can never be understood by the average person. Not that it’s a valid excuse, but it’s a fact of life.

              As far as his upbringing, I will never again in my life use that as a reference for how a person will behave in their professional life, especially when it applies to politicians. I think it smacks too closely of cult of personality. Just my emoting opinion based on anecdotal evidence.

              I do agree that a Paul presidency would look better than anything with a (D) attached to it, but I still reserve him as my last ditch, hold my nose candidate. It just may come to that.

              Anyway, time to watch some baseball and pray my Royals whip some Tiger ass over the next three days. I’m just old enough to remember the ’85 World Series and would like at least one more playoff memory before I push daisies.

              I’ll read your response after. With respect, good evening.

              1. P.S. I would hope the answer to the first two would be yes, but I get the gist.

                1. Ah! Read your correction….sorry.

              2. In regards to upbringing, the point is that he’s been steeped in libertarianism since the day he was born–and for the next 45 years.

                He’s named after Ayn Rand, for goodness’ sake! It’s in his bones.

                If he had been a progressive his whole life and were, somehow, taking on libertarianism as some kind of opportunistic thing, that would be different. The opportunity lies in playing like a conservative Republican. He’d do better if he were seen as an establishment Republican.

                So, if we’re going to speculate about where his heart lies, I think it’s most likely somewhere near the libertarianism he’s been steeped in and espoused for some 45 years.

                He needs the Republicans to get into the White House. They’re the ones who should be worried that he might be faking it. And I do think it’s true that if they nominated him and he won, he wouldn’t be faking it for long. They’d very quickly find the party transformed around him. Modern parties are about single member districts heaving together behind a president. After his first term in office, Republicans in Congress will be depending the voters’ perception of him to get reelected…

                Sorry if I’m repeating myself.

                  1. That sounds to me like John Lennon claiming that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds wasn’t really about LSD.

                    But okay!

                1. There are Republicans who did were positively inclined toward Rand Paul in the beginning, but some are coming around to the idea that he might indeed be faking it. Nobody likes to be used.

                  1. Some of those conservatives who think that? Are people that Barry Goldwater and Ronald Regan would have called phony conservatives, too.


                    1. Thanks. Defaulting to Goldwater and abortion is not a short conversation. I appreciate your thoughts.

                      It is interesting to me that the inclination of many is to think that just because one is opposed to abortion personally either on religious or moral grounds that there will be a some sort of national nightmare crackdown. That fright tactic is often used by the Left and by some libertarians as well.

                      For people on the left, and some libertarians championing individual rights and liberties, that only applies if there is agreement on their position.

                      But as I said, long conversation. Thanks for your time and your comments. Most informative.

  10. Letting the Muslims kill each other off in their uncivil war is OK. But only SO LONG AS both sides have enough weapons (provided by the US if necessary) to kill each other off and resolve the conflict with a clear winner. If it is ISIS, them the US can Nuke ’em back into the Stone Age where they will be so much happier.

  11. Them’s tough words Mr Paul. Obama’s gonna feel purdy bad after he puts more arms in the hands of militant muslims. It’s kinda like our gangs, not as much of a problem if it’s muslim on muslim killing.

  12. Rand Paul – playing “on the other hand” like he’s Kali. Didn’t dad teach you to stop digging when you are in a hole?

  13. It’s amazing how quickly Eye Doctors become military genius, naval expert, and great statesman, all rolled into one. Absolutely amazing. Fantastic. Miraculous.

    1. Everybody starts somewhere.

      Hillary Clinton’s bona fides for being Secretary of State were that she slept with a former president.

      Also, I think it’s kind of amazing that military geniuses, naval experts, and great statesmen think they’re somehow qualified to make economic policy. If we’re just going by that kind of experience, Rand Paul having run something of a business should put him head and shoulders above the rest.

      1. The fact remains, there is “something of a business” vs. “the State Department.” Senator cancels out. Rand Paul, however, was never First Lady. Not an official job, but, given the right attitude, more preparation for the presidency than many gigs.

        And don’t be a dick, I was seriously trying not to laugh at your lame-ass bullshit trying to make Rand Paul’s business experience a presidential qualification.

        1. Go fuck a duck, Tony.

        2. Tony. I’m going for a pint. Would you like one?

        3. It’s a better qualification than anything Obama has done, ever. Up to and including the last six years of his fucking presidency.

          1. I think you forgot “Being Black and Liberal and Good with a Teleprompter,” which trumped all alternative qualifications for a good percentage of the electorate.

    2. OTRTM and Tony. It’s amazing how a simple peanut farmer, or an actor could become a president. Your arguments as usual are hollow, and without merit.

  14. Statist’s are gonna state.

  15. Let’s break this down.

    Arming “moderate” Syrian rebels who may or may not follow the rules of combat (no guarantee that they won’t be a threat themselves or use our weapons for terrorism) is a bad idea. Taking out ISIS with air strikes while not getting involved in the ground is a more feasible alternative.

    How exactly does a libertarian define “war”? If you dropped bombs on ISIS base of operation at the request of your middle allies or persecuted minorities, is that the same thing as war? Military occupation? Participating in someone’s civil war?

    I want to believe libertarians aren’t isolationists, but that exactly what some of them are. Right now, war fatigued Americans will find “doing nothing is safe by default” foreign policy not off putting. But they’ll grow uncomfortable with a leader who shrugs at mounting atrocities abroad and urges global participation only on free trade and unrestricted immigration.

  16. The way to achieve both is to let Iran, Syria and Hezbollah do it for us. That is the only real choice for anyone who cares about the rights of Christians and other minorities in the region.

  17. I like how the worst option is the one they are going with, and with strong bipartisan support.

  18. my best friend’s step-mother makes $60 hourly on the computer . She has been laid off for seven months but last month her pay was $17402 just working on the computer for a few hours. try this out ….


  19. I don’t care what you say. 90% of what Rand stands for is Libertarian. I can live with the 10%. Besides we need a Libertarian Republican to bridge the gap as a first step. He is perfect.

  20. People seem to line up as either Hawks or Doves, there is a third option..Owls. We see how the Hawk policy fails when the national commitment isn’t there…Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. We also see the danger of peace at any price (Pearl Harbor, 9/11) There is a course between interventionist and isolationist, that police was perhaps best expressed by Reagan when he advocated ‘Peace through Strenght’. Reagan had the opportunity to involve America in brush wars in Central America and elsewhere, but didn’t. The policy he followed was to muscle up and hit hard whenever somebody was stupid enough to strike at you. In regards to ISIS I think the best course would be to arm the Kurds and allow others to ‘want to become allies’ against these evil people. While the Hawks keep insisting we can’t win without ‘boots on the ground’ there is no reason to go that far yet. Allow the situation to become fluid and respond with the ‘walk softly and beat them with a big stick’ mindset. We should avoid the temptation to ‘nation build’ and restrain ourselves to an escalating response where we hit them propotionately harder than they hit us. We make this kown as our policy and we’ll find two things will happen…those who have allowed us to be the fall guy for their protection will have to step forward and our enemies will be reluctant to attack us…we need to stop being hawks, stop being doves, start being owls

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