Rand Paul

Rand Paul Wants To Be Trump's Man in Iran. That Would Be Good News for Peace.

Serving as an alternative voice to the likes of Lindsey Graham and John Bolton could keep the U.S. out of unnecessary wars.

|

On Monday, Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) tweeted about playing golf with President Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) over the weekend. Graham and Paul don't see eye-to-eye on military intervention in the Middle East, and they've essentially been the angel and devil on Trump's shoulder when it comes to foreign policy. Paul's tweets made it clear that he's still encouraging the president to pull American troops out of war zones and bring them home:

Today, Politico reports an interesting agenda on Paul's end. Paul is looking to serve as Trump's diplomatic emissary to Iran to try to serve as a counter to the many, many advisers in Trump's orbit (like Graham and National Security Advisor John Bolton) trying to rev the engines for a brand new war. Politico notes:

Paul has been among the most prominent voices warning against military intervention. When Trump last month called off retaliatory military strikes against Iran after an Iranian military official downed a U.S. drone over international waters, Paul went on the president's favorite television network to offer unqualified praise. "It really takes a statesman to show restraint amidst a chorus of voices for war," Paul told Fox News' Martha MacCallum.

He also took a jab at the administration's policy, arguing that Iranians view the punishing sanctions imposed by the Trump administration as "an act of war." …

Earlier this year, Paul pressed [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo on whether the administration believes it has the authority to battle the Iranian regime under a 2001 law that allowed the U.S. to pursue the fight against al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups in Afghanistan and beyond.

When Pompeo tried to sidestep the question, Paul warned the administration not to pursue such a conflict, at least not without Congress' imprimatur.

"You do not have the permission of Congress to go to war with Iran," Paul told Pompeo during the April hearing on Capitol Hill. "Only Congress can declare war."

The hawks consulted by Politico are not happy that Paul might succeed here and whined to Politico about how this could weaken their bargaining position.

But this is good news for anybody who wants our country to seek peaceful resolutions to conflicts rather than threaten—and declare—war. Trump backing off on a militarized response to the downing of a drone off the coast of Iran was the right thing to do. If Paul being friendly with Trump can keep America out of a new war, the relationship is worth more than its weight in blood and treasure.

NEXT: John Paul Stevens Was a 'Liberal Champion,' Except When He Wasn't

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Does Lindsey always dress just like Trump?

    1. He just wants him to grab him by the pussy.

      1. “Lindsey, golf really isn’t one of those butt-slapping sports. Please… Just stop.”

    2. Did you mean why isn’t Lindsey dressed like a proper lady?

      1. God damn you are so fucking lazy and boring.

        1. If I was really boring, you wouldn’t get so riled up all the time and respond to me, would you.

          1. He has a point, you are tiresome and tedious.

              1. Zeb, , I am big as life and twice as cute. Not like that turd Chip.

  2. Imposing sanctions is not an act of war. Holding embassy staff hostage is an act of war. See the difference?

    1. Nevertheless, sanctions are evil.

      1. You prefer a good ‘tsk’ing’?

        Or perhaps the Obama method – plane-loads of illegal cash?

        Neither worked so well.

        1. I do prefer a good ‘tsk’ing. Are you offering?

          1. Once you’re done with it, you’ll need to give the foreign policy back to Neville Chamberlain.

            1. Well I would point out that appeasement worked for the USA. That policy ended with us as the greatest nation on earth. The rest of the world not so much but hey AMERICA FIRST!

      2. “Nevertheless, sanctions are evil.”

        What a stupid thing to say.

    2. Nevertheless, sanctions represent a substitution of the state’s judgment for the individual’s judgment on with whom to do business.

      1. Fuck off you retarded pederast.

        1. Buzz off, pest. You are just a tiresome troll.

          1. You’re the troll. I just antagonize you for your trolling. This has been explained.

      2. Nevertheless, sanctions represent a substitution of the state’s judgment for the individual’s judgment on with whom to do business.

        Oh my! Like no American is ever subjected to that by the US government! Ever!

        1. Maybe libertarians shouldn’t be *advocating* for substituting the state’s judgment for that of the individual. What a concept!

      3. “You’ve violating muh liberty by preventing me from trading with foreign Slavers!”

  3. Paul went on the president’s favorite television network to offer unqualified praise. “It really takes a statesman to show restraint amidst a chorus of voices for war,” Paul told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum.

    Somebody read The Art of the Deal. Take note Justin; you’ll catch more egotistical flies with honey-laced flattery than with vinegar-laced impeachment.

    1. It depends on what matters to him more. A clean conscience or status and access to power. Rand Paul is the libertarian Gaius Baltar.

      1. WTF? A Battlestar Galactica reference? Are you calling Rand Paul an inadvertent traitor to humanity trying to cover up his horrible mistakes in a completely self-serving fashion? Go fuck yourself.

        1. Domt you mean ‘go frak yourself’?

        2. While banging a honeypot.

      2. So, you don’t want Rand Paul to advise Trump against war?

      3. Incidentally, Baltar was the best character on that show. He just had a weakness for the hot cylon ladies.

        1. dude who didn’t?

          1. Rand Paul?

          2. True, even Ensign Ro got in on that shit, but I don’t recall Adama getting any cylon tail.

      4. Ah, another Libertarian that enjoys losing so he never has to have his preferred policies actually tested in the real world.

        1. When it comes right down to it, many are just like the Congress critters they so loathe

        2. Right. That’s what is keeping libertarian policies from being implemented.
          The problem isn’t that libertarians don’t want to win. It’s that people don’t want to vote for libertarians. To win, libertarians need to stop being libertarians, or at least compromise a lot. Which may be the best way forward in terms of practical politics, but the world needs idealists too so people can remember what they are compromising on.

          1. ^^^

            If libertarians aren’t stridently advocating on behalf of liberty, then who will?

          2. Libertarians need to be more radical. Just ask yourself who created more converts. Ron Paul trumpeting the message of Mises and Rothbard? Or Gay Jay?

            1. I think so. At least some of them. Libertarians aren’t going to make it in contemporary American politics unless something really big changes. I think we’ve learned that by now.
              There is room for compromisers too. But pretty soon a compromising libertarian is just a variation of Republican and it becomes another meaningless political label.

            2. Thank you, phillhamian. You get it.

  4. If Trump keeps up what he’s been doing for his first three years in office, he’ll be the best president at keeping us out of unnecessary wars since before Reagan. The concern with Rand Paul is that he’ll keep us out of the alliances that are so often a necessary means to keep us out of unnecessary wars.

    1. Keep us out of alliances that are so often a necessary means to keep us out of unnecessary wars.

      Is Rand Paul known for his hatred of alliances?

      1. “Today I once again spoke on the floor against selling arms to Saudi Arabia. What are the Saudis doing with all these weapons? Bombing civilians in Yemen, for one. The Saudis, with our bombs and our refueling planes, bombed a funeral procession, wounding over 400 and killing 150.”

        —-Rand Paul

        https://twitter.com/randpaul/status/1141762774760079360

        Notice, he’s not saying that the United States bombed Yemen. He’s not even saying that the U.S. refueled their planes. We haven’t been doing either of those things. He’s saying that U.S. defense contractors shouldn’t be allowed to sell military hardware to our allies–who are fighting a proxy war with Iran in Yemen without us.

        No, I don’t believe that refusing to sell weapons to our allies because they’re using them to hurt people is a great qualification for being our point-man on Iran, and I’m not convinced that refusing to let private contractors sell weapons to our allies is an excellent response to Iranian aggression in Syria, Yemen, or the Strait of Hormuz, either.

        I hope I’m wrong, but I’d expect this to end in disappointment.

        1. “…Iranian aggression in Syria, Yemen, or the Strait of Hormuz..”

          Not our problem.

          Have a listen to the Tom Woods show, episode 475. Iran just isn’t the boogeyman they’re made out to be.

          1. No, they’re worse. This isn’t the world of two hundred or even one hundred years ago. Iran has always been dangerous, thanks to the traitor Obama, more dangerous than they have ever been.

            1. You’re a neocon, understood

              1. The best part is when LastOfTheShitferBrains claims he’s libertarian when he’s clearly a garden-variety Trumpguzzler.

                1. I never said I was a libertarian. I’m more of a militant nationalist libertarian, or conservatarian. You just like listening to the voices in your head instead of what I actually say.

                  1. “I never said I was a libertarian. I’m more of a militant nationalist libertarian

                    Aw you were so close!

                2. It’s giving Shithead too much the benefit of the doubt to accuse him of having any coherent ideology at all.

                  He’s just a radicalized thug who wants to use violence against “The Left”. That’s all.

              2. Hardly, but I am a pragmatist. We just can’t transform into an isolationist nation.

          2. Well, if you and Tom Woods say so, then I guess that’s the end of our worries.

            Do you have an argument for why Iran violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty along with their ability to successfully launch satellites into orbit using multi-stage rockets is nothing to worry about? I’d love to hear the good news if you really have it.

            From my perspective, I’m seeing Iran suffer an inflation rate that gone from about 18% annually in July of 2018, the month before Trump imposed sanctions, to over 50% annually last month, June of 2019. If Iran were no threat to us, why are they willing to suffer those kinds of sanctions? The sanctions would end tomorrow if they returned to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and abide by it. If they’re no threat to us, then why don’t they do that?

            Honestly, I suspect you’re just making assumptions. Because you like the world better where Iran poses no threat to us, I think you choose to believe that–regardless of the facts. I don’t favor going to war with Iran either, which is one of the reasons why I support what Trump is doing. The alternative to war isn’t pretending that Iran isn’t an aggressive and belligerent state that has a proxy army of terrorists called Hezbollah, and that it’s been using Hezbollah and other allies to fight wars beyond its borders In Syria and Yemen for ears. The alternative to war isn’t pretending that Iran doesn’t have what amounts to an active missile program under the auspices of its space agency as well as pretending that Iran isn’t in total violation of the NPT for having enriched uranium in secret.

            The alternative to war is forcing Iran to return to compliance with the NPT. If Iran isn’t willing to do that and is willing to subject its economy to ruinous inflation rather than return to the NPT, then there’s no good reason to believe that Iran’s intentions with its nuclear program aren’t nefarious. Whoever Tom Woods is or whatever he says, does he say something that accounts for those facts?

            1. ” If Iran were no threat to us,”

              Nobody is claiming that Iran isn’t a threat. They can blow the Pentagon’s latest toys out of the sky and there must be thousands of US troops in easy Iranian missile range, not to mention Hezbollah allies.

              “The alternative to war is forcing Iran to return to compliance with the NPT.”

              Iran can leave the NPT at will. North Koreans announced leaving the NPT some time before their weapons program. Who is going to force Iran? Trump is leaning towards negotiations with Iran, appeasement, if you want to be blunt. Trump spends a couple of days with the Iranians and I guarantee you, no more phony NPT violation pretext, that will be among the first concessions.

              “then why don’t they do that?”

              Would you agree to caving into Iranian demands on American nuclear policy? Is it so hard to imagine an Iranian leader feeling the same way? Nobody likes to be bossed around.

            2. Ken I really look forward to your well reasoned posts. But there is a logical reason the Iranian regime would put its country through painful sanctions to keep nukes: the threat of regime change.
              Ghaddafi and Saddam would still be around if they had nukes. Assad survived only because of Russian and Iranian assistance.

              1. If the reason they want nukes is because they want to remain in power by way of threatening the United States and its allies with a nuclear deterrent, I’m not sure there’s any difference between that and a nefarious motive for their nuclear program. A peaceful motive for their nuclear program would be to enrich uranium for civilian use in their power industry. The NPT allowed for that, but the Iranians forwent the ability to enrich their own uranium (not even for civilian use) when they started enriching uranium in secret–in violation of the NPT. The Iranians could still obtain uranium that’s been enriched sufficiently for civilian use from elsewhere in the world. The Russians might be happy to sell them uranium. Nothing in the NPT prohibits that either. Indeed, the fact remains that the only good reason why the Iranians would enrich their own uranium in violation of the NPT and willingly suffer devastating sanctions than obtain uranium from others is for the nefarious purpose of obtaining a nuclear deterrent.

                The purpose of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The fact that people want nuclear weapons so as to act as a nuclear deterrent is the evil purpose the treaty is working to prevent–and Iran is an excellent example of why this is as it should be. If and when Iran procures nuclear weapons, Egypt and the Saudis (at the very least) will endeavor to procure them, as well, and everyone who finds their nuclear deterrent frightening will start pursuing nuclear weapons themselves. There is no good reason to assume that such a nuclear standoff in the Middle East will end peacefully and without a nuclear exchange, like it did during the Cold War. And there is no good reason to believe that Iran will stop behaving aggressively towards its neighbors once they have acquired a nuclear deterrent.

                Iran behaves aggressively with its won citizens. Iran has used its official army for aggression in Syria and Yemen. Iran also has a proxy terrorist army that its used to dominate Lebanon, as well as elsewhere. They haven’t really used their terrorist army to target the U.S. directly, at least not since elements that later coalesced to form Hezbollah hit our Marine barracks in the early 1980’s. The reason Hezbollah has been reluctant to hit American targets isn’t because of the warmness in their hearts. It’s because Iran feared direct retaliation from the United States if Hezbollah hit the U.S., and it’s because they feared the U.S. might let Israel off its leash. If and when Iran procures a nuclear deterrent, there is no good reason to assume they will suddenly become non-aggressive. Free from fear of retaliation, Iran will be free to become even more aggressive with their neighbors without fear of being deposed by a foreign invasion–and that is why they want to obtain nuclear weapons.

    2. If Rand Paul is the pivotal voice that keeps us out of war he will have accomplished more by that one act than Amash accomplished in his whole political career.

      1. Quite a sacrifice . . . jamming your nose up Trump’s ass in an effort to be part of the conversation.

        But Sen. Paul seems to be just the guy for that job.

        1. So whose ass has your nose been up lately? Hillary’s? AOC’s? Did you enjoy it?

          1. One of those things wouldn’t be *the worst*

            1. I should probably add, the other thing probably is *the worst* possible place to put your nose.

        2. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
          July.17.2019 at 5:19 pm
          “Quite a sacrifice . . . jamming your nose up Trump’s ass in an effort to be part of the conversation.”
          As opposed to sucking the hag’s ass, since you still can’t accept you lost, loser?
          Fuck off and die where we can’t smell you.

    3. This #LibertarianMoment brought to you by Orange Man and the Deplorables who supported him, over the hysterical pants shitting opposition of @Reason.

      You’re welcome.

  5. It’s probably better if Iran is scared of Trump, so send Bolton to talk to them and keep Rand here

  6. And this, Congressman Amash, is how you do right instead of only feeling right.

    1. Where “doing it right” = “appeasing or embracing bigotry and counterproductively dooming your part to irrelevance.”

      Not that I object to Republicans expediting their replacement.

      1. What’s your objection here specifically? Paul positioning himself to influence the president or what he’s trying to influence the president to not do? Virtue signaling, warranted or not, is usually selfish and counterproductive to virtues one likes to signal.

        1. Fist of Etiquette
          July.17.2019 at 6:16 pm
          “What’s your objection here specifically?…”
          FoE, that pathetic PoS has no response to your question. An asshole bigot is here to pitch the claim that the hag should not have lost and nothing else.
          I think the asshole is human, but it’s still questionable whether it could pass the Turing test.
          Hey, asshole bigot? Fuck off and die. Make the world a better place.

  7. >>>angel and devil on Trump’s shoulder

    elected graft agents. not angels. friendly reminder.

    1. Sometimes you’re such a letdown, but you’re of course right.

      Every time I get mad at Rand grandstanding yet again on civil liberties, yet not doing much about it, I have to remember public choice theory applies even to libertarian-leaning Senators too.

      1. >>>such a letdown

        if it helps i’m always smiling even when i hate politicians.

        1. Thanks, that does help.

          Dillinger/Rand 2020

        2. Don’t help Pedo Jeffy. He’s a pederast shitbag.

          1. Fuck off, you’re just a tiresome troll and a pest. Shoo.

  8. In other news, Jon Stewart is super butthurt that Rand and Mike Lee blocked 9/11 funding (that should be NY’s responsibility) but voted to steal people’s money by voting for tax cuts.
    There’s also this firefighter douche talking shit.
    Fuck these punk bitches

    1. That whole first responders thing in NY is such a scam.

    2. I dunno. NY was attacked as a national symbol. Not a local one.

      1. “I dunno. NY was attacked as a national symbol. Not a local one.”
        Yes, and the responders were paid and otherwise compensated regardless of the miscreant’s desires.
        And, FFS, it’s been 18 years! How long do we owe what to whom?

      2. I was unsure how I felt about it, but the more Stewart and the first responder activists bitch, the more against them I become.
        They act like a bunch of sanctimonious brats.

  9. Remember. Rand Paul is no true libertarian.

    1. No, but he’s better than 99% of Congress.

      1. And, given his desire to accomplish something, better than Amash, who seems prefer grandstanding.
        Trump’s a blowhard, a loose cannon, and a POTUS who has delivered the goods better than anyone since Silent Cal. Paul is willing to put effort into cleaning up Trump’s ragged edges and salvage the positive results.
        By comparison, Amash seems to prefer sabotaging any positive results to prove he’s “pure”. He still gets Congressional medical care, while we don’t; let’s see “pure”.

  10. Your boy Random Paul just blocked the 9/11 responders bill. You must all be so proud.

    1. I’m supposing you’ve already voluntarily donated to the charities in support of those 9/11 responders?

    2. You believe spending bills should be passed with unanimous consent and not to be debated?

    3. Vesicant
      July.17.2019 at 8:26 pm
      “Your boy Random Paul just blocked the 9/11 responders bill. You must all be so proud.”

      I am.
      The ‘responders’ did their jobs, including the safe-guards and insurance coverages provided as part of their jobs some 18 years ago.
      Exactly how long are the national taxpayers to provide coverage for questionable issue, ’cause ‘scary!’?

  11. These barbarians violated the sanctity of embassies and illegally held our diplomatic personnel prisoner. This must be avenged. Do it properly, through a declaration of war – but Declare War and dish out the punishment.

    1. Being a Libertarian doesn’t mean being a pacifist or a patsy. Dagny Taggart shot a man, Rragnar Danneskjöld waged war against the state.

    2. “This must be avenged. Do it properly, through a declaration of war – but Declare War and dish out the punishment.”

      But this is just bluster, isn’t it? You don’t even believe it yourself, or you wouldn’t have voted for Trump, who, if he believes in anything, is a non-interventionist. Had you really wanted war with Iran, you would have stuck with Clinton.

      Bluff and bluster are fine, as long as the opponent is buying it. But the Iranians obviously aren’t. They are escalating the matter, shooting some expensive drones out of the sky, announcing more fuel refining etc.

      Threatening a war you have no intention to fight may be a good bargaining chip, but it won’t work when the enemy knows you have no intention to fight. Your threats only underline the weakness of your position.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.