Rand Paul

Absurd Political Ad Claims Rand Paul Will Let Iran Nuke America

Paul can't win over neocons, but is he losing libertarians?

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Nuke
Dreamstime

A political ad will air during the main Republican presidential debate on Fox News that claims Sen. Rand Paul would not only allow Iran to gain a nuclear weapon—he would permit a nuclear holocaust on American soil.

The ad is apparently sponsored by John Bolton's Foundation for American Security and Freedom, according to The Daily Caller. It can be viewed here. It shows an American family being killed in a nuclear blast on American soil. A clip from a Paul speech follows in which the senator claims "our national security is not threatened by Iran having one nuclear weapon."

The ad is especially unfair, given that Paul has joined all his rivals in opposing President Obama's deal with Iran. In fact, Paul may have isolated some of his libertarian supporters, who remain largely supportive of the Iran deal and are dissatisfied with the candidate's recent hawkish posturing on foreign policy.

As the Paul campaign told The New York Times:

Doug Stafford, a top adviser to Mr. Paul, said he had not seen the ad and could not comment on specifics, but noted that Mr. Paul had "clearly and repeatedly stated his opposition to the deal."

Mr. Stafford, the chief strategist for Mr. Paul, called the spot "a lie, unfortunately typical of the Washington machine. Just like Ronald Reagan, Rand Paul believes in peace through strength — and this administration did not negotiate from strength. They lifted sanctions too soon and ended up with a bad deal Senator Paul strenuously opposes."

In a just world, the ad would serve only as a reminder that Bolton and his neoconservative ilk are the true extremists, not Paul. But it remains to be see what kind of reception the ad receives.

NEXT: 5 Takeaways From Tonight's GOP Undercard Debate

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  1. Rand Paul got daisyed?

    1. Withered on the vine.

    2. Moar lyk Black-Eyed Susaned.

      Wait, is that teh raycist?

    3. No, Daisy was a well made advertisement that was actually chilling to watch.

      This looks like it was filmed on an iphone.

      1. Yet both ads suggest the most libertarian candidate will get us a long nuclear winter.

  2. John Bolton’s Foundation for American Security and Freedom

    John Bolt-on has a foundation? well isn’t that special. I wonder if he has his own email server too?

  3. Paul can’t win over neocons, but is he losing libertarians?

    WTF? Why would Rand be losing libertarians because he’s not a war monger? John Bolton is fucking insane, you know.

    And Rand most definitely can win against NeoCons. He’s now leading Hillary in some polls and there’s not a more blood lusting psychopath on the planet than the Butcher of Benghazi.

    1. I’m sorry I don’t watch teevee, and may have missed something, but isn’t Rand Paul a Republican who wants men with guns to jail planned parenthood doctors? Is whatzername starting to “lose” libertarians by meddling in Mohammedan doings? Didn’t her hubby get elected by simply letting the God’s Own Party jihad alienate voters by jumping up and down yelling “kill, kill, kill”? Don’t libertarians still have their own party and platform?

      1. “I’m sorry I don’t watch teevee, and may have missed something, but isn’t Rand Paul a Republican who wants men with guns to jail planned parenthood doctors?”
        Sarcasm, I assume?

        “Don’t libertarians still have their own party and platform?”
        Fun fact: I’m magic and I can see the future: the libertarian party is going to lose, just like every other year.

      2. Yes, you missed a lot. Clearly.

      3. You really are a fucking retard.

    2. Fox News has started writing Reason headlines.

      1. At this point, I’ll take that over buzzfeed.

  4. well, of course; not advocating a first strike against Iran clearly means inviting the mullahs to nuke us.

    1. The entire Iran thing is incredibly stupid. Like they’re going to develop a nuclear device and just how are they doing to deliver this device to strike the USA?

      And if they have that much of a deathwish. I mean, seriously, the Norks are truly fucking insane and we don’t mess with them. Why? They have nukes and we don’t want them using them on our friends to the south. I would advise any country on earth, don’t want the USA to fuck with all the time? Get nukes. If Iran gets a nuke, so fucking what. Things will probably calm down. Does anyone really believe that any country who attempts to nuke the USA does not know they will be wiped off the map? I don’t think so.

      1. Funny, but me and two of my co-workers were just talking about this very thing this afternoon, and it had nothing to do with the presidential debates. We sometimes just like to engage is some good conversation about world history, geography, global politics, etc. One of the guys is from India and the other from South Korea. We all agreed that Iran getting a nuke is not of any major concern.

        1. Then you are all morons.

      2. the bigger issue is not the US but a potential strike against Israel. The Norks aside, every country with them has been clear about wanting nuclear capability as a deterrent. Iran is the only nation that has ever talked about a first strike. Maybe it’s all talk, maybe not and none of that has a thing to do with Bolton’s bluster.

        1. Israel can take care of themselves. I would advise Iran to reconsider any plans to attack Israel. That will work out very badly for them.

          1. Iran’s crazy government may not care.

            1. They care. Until they go full Taliban, they very much care.

        2. “the bigger issue is not the US but a potential strike against Israel.”

          Some of the wonkier types who spend their lives worrying about this sort of stuff actually believe the more-likely scenario is that Iran would nuke Saudi Arabia

          1. and the Saudis are opposed to this deal, too, along with looking for ways of becoming nuclear themselves. Iranians are not Arabs; they are Persians and Arabs fear their desire for hegemony. Israel becomes the Iranians way of defusing tensions among the Arab nations.

          2. “the more-likely scenario is that Iran would nuke Saudi Arabia”

            I thought the Mullahs in Iran were our enemies.

        3. Israel already has a few hundred (‘unregistered’) nuclear weapons, so that’s hardly a concern. Ahmedinejad is long gone. I would consider his rambling about as much worth considering when making policy as I’d consider that Akin guy’s remark about abortion and rape evidence that we are on the cusp of rape becoming legal in the US.

          The fact of the matter is, the more the US and Israel hint at pre-emptive strikes, the more aggressively Iran will pursue a nuclear weapon. It seems odd to me that more people don’t get this.

          1. Iran has been pursuing nukes for a long time. The only thing that will bring peace is the end of the Iranian regime.

            1. Err, really? Is Iran currently at war with Israel or the US? No? There would however be a war if the US or Israel tried to overthrow the Iranian government. Meaning you have it exactly ass-backwards.

              But yeah, let’s nuke them to stop them from getting nukes. Can’t see anything wrong with that plan.

      3. If Iran gets a nuke, so fucking what. Things will probably calm down.

        Yes, nothing comes things down like allowing the people who murder your citizens a nuke. FFS this is your brain on peacenazism.

        1. Huh? Try being comprehensible.

    2. right? I mean, last I checked guys like is were in favor of KEEPING the sanctions in place, and walking away from a BAD deal (and not lying about it….)
      not attacking!

      Jeez.

  5. Fact = Rand Paul wouldn’t even stop an Alien Invasion

    #AmericaNeedsADeathStar

    Also, the overuse of the word “neocon” instead of “hawk” just translates to = “I don’t really pay any attention to foreign policy, but I want to sound smart”

    Never mind that Bolton isn’t even himself one.

    Why do I gripe about this? because there’s nothing ‘conservative’ about the Foriegn Policy of ‘neocons’.

    Its Unilateralized-Wilsonianism. “Make the world ‘safe’ for democracy, only with US Muscle rather than UN meddling”

    The people who actually fit the bill of “Neoconservative” are far closer to Hillary Clinton than Rand Paul in their outlook.

    1. Yep, this also ^^, too

      1. The term ‘Neocon’ also is very specific in its meaning =

        a) “Used to be aligned with the Left (hence ‘Neo’)
        b) but now align with the Right…primarily because of fanatical Pro-Israel bent (i.e. 0 realist basis for their ideas)
        c) unlike Conservatives, (wrongly) think a uni-polar world is ‘less’ prone to conflict than a ‘balance of power’ scenario; ergo things like “pre-emptive war” or simply war for the sake of eliminating potential emergent rivals is justified.

        they were a super-narrow, super-specific group of people who had a very outsized influence in the foreign policy world for like 10 years. they are largely gone from the public stage, with a few exceptions (bill kristol, etc)

        There are still plenty of conservative uber-hawks who aren’t even remotely ‘neocon’…

        …just as there are Liberal hawks like Hillary that probably have far more in common with neocons than people understand

        Slapping the label on everything vaguely ‘hawkish’ doesn’t help anyone.

        1. At this point I think ‘neo-con’ is almost just a description of the ethos of the era. True, many warmongering types don’t identify as neo-cons, but that doesn’t mean their positions aren’t influenced by that intellectual movement. Most free-market oriented people didn’t call themselves ‘neo-liberal’ in the 1980s, but the word just described the greater popularity of economic liberalism during that time compared to earlier more Keynesian times.

          ‘Neo-con’ in that sense just describes the era we live in when it comes to foreign policy; where modern-day Republicans will call people who take foreign policy positions comparable to what a Reagan era (certainly Eisenhower era) Republican might have taken a leftist for doing so. The ‘default position’ has changed in large part due to the ‘neoconservative’ movement.

          Incidentally, I have no idea what Leo Strauss actually has to do with neo-conservatism. He’s always said to be the founding father of it, but I’ve never seen him espouse interventionist foreign policy. So yeah, someone explain to me how all his work on natural rights ans what not led to the invasion of Iraq. I just don’t see it.

          1. “Neo-con’ in that sense”

            That is no sense at all.

            Its suggesting that “buzzwords” should replace actual informed understanding of what actually drives foreign policy.

            If you don’t understand the ideas that bring about terrible fucking choices, you can’t oppose them effectively. No one who is informed will take this place’s commentary seriously.

            Perpetuating the idea that all hawkishness = “Neocon” is simply popularizing a convenient misconception. And it present Libertarians to the world as uninformed, glib, naive, lacking any seriousness as regards foreign policy.

            “The ‘default position’ has changed in large part due to the ‘neoconservative’ movement.”

            I disagree entirely. The crop of Uber-hawks in congress may want to bomb ISIS more and bomb harder, but they have zero illusions that Iraqi democracy is in any way a better, more stable regional situation than was Saddam. If anything the Hawks now operate on the assumption that everything the Neocons believed was wrong = that the middle east doesn’t need democracy, but *dictators to enforce regional security*. Note the utter lack of interest you hear from them on getting rid of Assad since ISIS emerged.

            Blaming “neocons” for all hawkishness is just stupid. It also serves to deflect all criticism of war-making policy onto “Conservatives” when the current mess of regional problems is entirely in the hands of Liberal wilsonians like Obama, Hillary, etc.

            1. This is more sensible than anything I have read here in a while.

            2. “If anything the Hawks now operate on the assumption that everything the Neocons believed was wrong = that the middle east doesn’t need democracy, but *dictators to enforce regional security*. Note the utter lack of interest you hear from them on getting rid of Assad since ISIS emerged.”
              You might have a point if it weren’t for the fact that the actual bona fide neo-cons (a la Krauthammer) have routinely supported anti-democratic regimes in the middle east like Saudi Arabia. They justify it the same way these ‘non-neocon’ hawks justify it: a necessary evil to some long run geo-political goal.

              Many neocons in fact fancy themselves strategic realists who are willing to support lunatic monarchist governments if tactically necessary, as opposed to ideologically inflexible democrats (small d) who would rather not deal with such regimes as a matter of principle.

              I see where you’re going with this, and yes, I agree, interventionist foreign policy did not originate with ‘conservatives.’ As it were, even university political science professors I’ve known (very left leaning in general) like to call interventionists foreign policy ‘liberals’, and note the Bush administration as being the intellectual descendant of the Wilson administration.

              to be continued:

              1. But today, in practice, the distinction seems largely irrelevant. So one guy wants to bomb Iran and drag the US into another cataclysmic war because Israel blah blah blah, and a second guy wants to do the same, but pretend killing large numbers of civilians is justified also because it will somehow lead to stable democracy in Iran. But the second guy, just like the first, curiously not support overthrowing the even less democratic Saudi regime. These two creatures look quite similar these days, regardless of how one cloaks an agenda almost identical to the other’s in a different set of principles.

          2. “I have no idea what Leo Strauss actually has to do with neo-conservatism”

            From Wiki =

            “Strauss asserted that “the crisis of the West consists in the West’s having become uncertain of its purpose.” His solution was a restoration of the vital ideas and faith that in the past had sustained the moral purpose of the West… [46] …. For Strauss, the American awareness of ineradicable evil in human nature, and hence the need for morality, was a beneficial outgrowth of the premodern Western tradition.[47]”

            What makes Neoconservatives distinct from Realists/Neoliberals is their conviction that there are basically “good” and “evil” nation-states, and that Western Liberalism is effectively the end-state of civic evolution. (e.g. Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’)

            Western Liberal democracies tend to not fight one another – ergo, converting the world closer to this ideal would ultimately result in world peace and harmony.

            Where they differ with Wilsonians is in the “how”. Wilsonians prefer “nudging” via multilateral institutions (UN) and international law. Neocons prefer the “smash the bad ones to bits”, and democracy will eventually grow from the rubble.

            This sort of idealism about the beneficent power of democracy, and morality-as-justification for use of military power are distinct features of neoconservatism. (see: “Axis of Evil”)

            partly why i keep pointing out that its stupid to call everything “hawkish” by that term.

            1. a little on ‘why neocons believed their ideas had merit’ after the end of the cold war

              “The way the cold war ended shaped the thinking of supporters of the Iraq war, including younger neoconservatives like William Kristol and Robert Kagan, in two ways. First, it seems to have created an expectation that all totalitarian regimes were hollow at the core and would crumble with a small push from
              outside. The model for this was Romania under the Ceausescus: once the wicked witch was dead, the munchkins would rise up and start singing joyously about their liberation. As Kristol and Kagan put it in their 2000 book “Present Dangers”:

              “To many the idea of America using its power to promote changes of regime in
              nations ruled by dictators rings of utopianism. But in fact, it is eminently realistic. There is something perverse in declaring the impossibility of promoting democratic change abroad in light of the record of the past three decades.”

              1. “If you don’t understand the ideas that bring about terrible fucking choices, you can’t oppose them effectively.”
                The ideas are usually pretty clear. One does not need to read the works of Robert Kagan to explain why invading some particular country is foolish. If someone argues from abstract to particular rather than vice versa, than they’re the one engaging in a logical fallacy, not the person who isn’t familiar with whatever abstract framework they fancy justifies their particular policy. If someone posits a law of nature, I don’t need to understand the basis of that supposed law to refute it; I just need to demonstrate a particular instance of the law being violated.

                “No one who is informed will take this place’s commentary seriously.”
                Curious to know what makes you think they would take it seriously in any case.

            2. I still don’t see how that quote from Strauss necessitates aggressive foreign policy.

              Strauss, and Alan Bloom for that matter, seemed more concerned with confronting intellectual, cultural, and juristic trends (introduced from the left) related to positivism and relativism, than with combatting evil nations abroad. Strauss seems more like he belongs to the camp that complains about how universities have let the humanities turn to shit than the camp that wants to go invade Arab countries. And plenty of paleo-conservatives, it’s worth noting, also believed in the cultural supremacy of western civilization without seeing the need for an interventionist foreign policy.

              Given the age in which Strauss lived, he had plenty of chances to take a hawkish position on the Cold War. Did he? I’ve never read anything one way or the other, but if not, I would question whether he would actually agree with his followers about interventionism following from his ideas.

  6. Yep, as El Presidente says, only two false choices are his (“HIS!”) treaty or WAR!11!!11!!

    Or, the obvious thirdest choice – gettin’ nuked from orbit by Tehran cause pockyclypse.

    Fuck everyone in government anywhere, but mostly the US national government. Fuck.

  7. Sounds like some very serious business dude.

    http://www.Private-VPN.tk

  8. John Bolton is a piece of shit. Maybe he should make a video of the real history of Iran, aka 1950’s and what happened since to all of those people, especially at the hands of the Savok.

    He should also include footage of all my brothers and sisters that were maimed and killed fighting these bullshit wars and interventions that never made us more free.

    1. “these bullshit wars and interventions that never made us more free.”

      In fact they have made us LESS free. With the (possible) exception of the American Revolution wars are always used as excuses to ratchet up on the tyranny.

  9. Fox News on point. Fail to mention Rand Paul.

    Top candidates #4 John Kasich??? Lol.

  10. Well Pakistan nuked my neighbor last night and the other week N. Korea took out my uncle and his family so we obviously need to stop Iran regardless of the cost.

  11. Why not? It worked for Lyndon Johnson. How dare Goldwater flaunt his integrity that way? And what was it nobody ever went broke doing?

    1. Buying IBM? Oh, wait, that was ‘never getting fired’. I give up.

  12. So, he’s like the anti-Goldwater?

  13. In fact, Paul may have isolated some of his libertarian supporters, who remain largely supportive of the Iran deal and are dissatisfied with the candidate’s recent hawkish posturing on foreign policy.

    *Reason writers projecting their own views onto Rand Paul’s supporters*

  14. Wow, getting nuked just before you eat your dinner is just a major bummer. I will vote for whoever is very against that kind of thing.

  15. In fact, Paul may have isolated some of his libertarian supporters, who remain largely supportive of the Iran deal and are dissatisfied with the candidate’s recent hawkish posturing on foreign policy.

    I am not convinced that libertarians largely support the idiootic deal made by the administration–they may ‘largely’ support the idea of some kind of working with Iran, but I don’t think that they support what Obama wants to do at all.

    I DO believe that there are writers here, and other people who call themselves ‘libertarian’ or who fancy themselves libertarian opinion makers who wholeheartedly support the Iran deal, but what they fail to see is that the mask has slipped completely off at this point.

    1. Can you elaborate on why the deal is bad? (Besides being nuked at dinner time).

  16. Wouldn’t you love for 90% of video ads for anything to be interrupted with KA-POW like that?

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