Rand Paul

Stossel: Rand Paul Wants to End America's Wars

The Kentucky senator makes the case for less American military involvement abroad.


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Just three years ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) ran for president and people talked about a "libertarian moment." What happened? 

There has been some useful deregulation, but the size of government grew, spending grew sharply, and so did deficits.

John Stossel asks Paul what went wrong. 

Paul explains that neither Republicans nor Democrats were ready. But he points out that there is good news as well.

He cites President Donald Trump's adoption of some of Paul's free-market health care reform ideas, tax cuts, regulation cuts, judicial appointments, and progress on ending foreign wars.

"But he hasn't pulled out of anywhere," Stossel pushes back.

"Compare it though to George W. Bush…who got us involved everywhere. Or President Obama, who sent 100,000 troops to Afghanistan. The rhetoric of President Trump has been a relief," Paul says.

Paul adds: "Has it happened yet? No, but I continue to push."

It's good, says Stossel, that Sen. Paul reminds Americans that the best plans of those who take us to war often go bad.  

In Iraq, America took out Saddam Hussein, but the people who replaced him (ISIS, for a while) were worse.

In Libya, America got rid of dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi, but now torture and slave markets operate in the power vacuum left behind.

In Syria, America armed rebels to fight Assad. But often our weapons ended up in Al Qaeda's hands. 

Now Trump's removed some troops from northern Syria. Lindsey Graham calls that "the most screwed up decision I've seen since I've been in Congress."

Rand defends it: "I promise you—50 soldiers, or 2,000 American soldiers, are nothing more than a target for bad people to kill or maim, which will get us drug into a bigger war."

The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel; his independent production company, Stossel Productions; and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.

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  1. Let’s see how long it takes cytotoxic (chemjeff) to come shit up the thread about Rand Paul is a Trump stooge and ending foreign wars is actually anti-liberty.

    1. I for one have no idea what Paul believes in. He votes too close to R’s and Trump to be distinguishable from them. He even supports Trump against impeachment which would seem to me to be the most libertarian thing a person could do.

      I assume his quasi-libertarianism is just a way to keep in the news.

      1. You’re right, tim, progressivism is the only true libertarian camp…

        1. Nardz thinks progressivism is anything not aligned with his precious Republican Party.

          1. Fuck off, bitch.
            I told you what progressivism was yesterday, and your pitiful little mind couldn’t come back with anything other than tribal bitching.
            Go cry in your soy milk

            1. And based upon your comment above you obviously still don’t know what progressivism is silly. Lemme guess? Trump is a libertarian, right?

              1. Nardz
                October.28.2019 at 1:42 pm
                Progressivism is fundamentally the rejection of natural processes, the imposition of an arbitrarily selected hierarchy, and the attempt to create New Man through the central planning of “elite” technocrats.
                It includes feudal “nobility” dictating morals to carefully segregated serfs, who are expected to live for the purposes of their lords.
                It is totalitarian and absolutely intolerant of dissent

                1. My god, you’re a fucking dumbass, eric.
                  Keep throwing in with your comrades.
                  Socialism will totally work when you get the Ds in charge

                2. Meh. Sounds like you lifted this from George Will or the Heritage Foundation. Based upon your usage above and elsewhere you seem to forget your lifted definition and instead: “Progressivism == Everyone who disagrees with me”.

                  1. Sad attempt, eric.
                    Unlike yourself, I’m able to come to my own conclusions.
                    Fuck George Will and fuck the heritage foundation.
                    I have no use for either.
                    If others have defined it the same way, good for them for coming to the correct conclusion.
                    And if you’re going to act like a progressive (say through passive aggressively sniping at anyone who criticizes leftist shibboleth or parroting Russia hoax nonsense) then you will justifiably be called progressive.
                    The original comment I responded to asserted that Rand isn’t libertarian because he doesn’t fall in line with leftist dogma.
                    If that’s your idea of libertarianism, then you’re just using the name to cover for your true progressivism.

                    1. I’m not going to parse every argument you make. But you are strengthening my point from above. You seem to see the world as completely binary, with you on the side of liberty and everyone else as progressive untermenschen. Its this team bullshit that I fucking hate. And there is especially no excuse for it from people that call themselves libertarian. Open your eyes and realize that your team is as fucking disgusting and pathetic as the other one. They are playing the same game dude, just wearing different colored uniforms.

                    2. Get the fuck over yourself, eric.
                      You have nothing but dimwitted assumptions and dogmatic prejudice.
                      You’re gonna decry “teams” and then pull a “no true libertarian” card?
                      Hilarious, and idiotic.
                      You don’t want to be called a progressive?
                      Don’t act like a progressive then.
                      As for myself, I don’t call myself a libertarian, so you bitching about me not abiding by The One True Faith is very, very, very stupid.
                      But maybe I’ve missed the posts where you’ve actually presented some sort of insight, idea, or analysis.
                      All I’ve ever seen you do is bitch in the service of progressivism.

                    3. Dumbasses like you, eric, who see no distinction between the growing totalitarianism of the century long progressive era, with its global ambitions and orientation, and its opponents are either disingenuous hacks concern trolling or dogmatic dimwits too scared to pull your head out of your own ass

      2. You’re not wrong. He acts a libertarian when it helps him- he has no sound principles. Far cry from his father.

      3. Lol. Hello cytotoxic’s latest sock. Let’s see, that’s chemjeff, Mike Laursen, De Oppresso, tim koss… any more in the grotto, Hef?

        1. I still think he has more dignity than most politicians. He did flip Trump the bird in regards to obtaining wall funding due to the precedent it would set. I’ll probably use him as a write-in over some offensive drag queen style name.

          Sometimes you gotta put the dick in your mouth to keep your job or get things you want. Rand’s knees aren’t totally black and blue. I have no dignity so I’d use knee pads. I respect Rand. He’s a better man than me.

      4. He even supports Trump against impeachment which would seem to me to be the most libertarian thing a person could do.

        Sure, sure. Because a President Pence would be soooooo much more libertarian than Trump.

  2. I’m a bit disappointed that Rand didn’t say that while removing troops was good, it was accomplished rather clumsily. No consultation with the Kurds, generals, key Congresscritters.

    1. that is my point. he seems to walk in lock-step anything Administration does. You can want troops out and take them out in an intelligent way. to do otherwise to invite chaos.

      now we seem to be ‘protecting the oil’. haven’t heard o pip about that from Rand.

      1. It was 100 troops. Doesn’t take a logistics genius to plan that out.

    2. Rand’s in a tough place. He represents a dying small government wing of an increasingly populist party. He’s seen what sticking to principles did for Amash.

    3. TDS means bitching even when Trump makes the libertarian move no other President would.

  3. In Iraq, America took out Saddam Hussein, but the people who replaced him (ISIS, for a while) were worse.

    To be fair, the Mahdi Army and other Shiite militias and proxies filled the vacuum. It appears they went too far and pushed too hard against the Suni minority, who then rise up and whooped their asses. After that happened, it took the combined forces of the US, Iraq’s army (see: Iran), and the Kurds to whoop their asses. Then…

    But Lindsey Graham is right – – leaving a religious war where both sides would love to kill Americans is lunacy. sarc\

    1. whenever Graham is mentioned I think of a hanky and a fainting couch. ‘its much too much’.

      I am trying to figure out what Puttin has on him.

      1. Your first sentence is on point…
        But then
        What Putin has on Graham?
        So your theory is that Putin has something on Graham and is controlling him, as evidenced by Graham being one of the most interventionist, bellicose, anti-Russia voices in Congress…

  4. “But he hasn’t pulled out of anywhere,” Stossel pushes back.

    Good thing Stossel is well known for playing Devil’s Advocate to draw out libertarian arguments from his subjects or some people might accuse him of blasphemy.

    Now Trump’s removed some troops from northern Syria. Lindsey Graham calls that “the most screwed up decision I’ve seen since I’ve been in Congress.”

    Just out of curiosity, where would Miss Lindsey rank the decision to support John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and Lindsey Graham in 2016 on his little list of Worst Decisions Ever?

  5. Senator Paul is right. My question is now that we are so involved how do we get out. Vietnam showed that not an easy question to answer. A young John Kerry said it so well when he asked, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam?”. I think if Senator Paul can answer that he may learn the path to end wars.

    1. I remember what a priority that was during the Bush administration when you retards were rioting every weekend and sucking Cindy Sheehan’s cunt and demanding immediate withdrawal of troops from the ”””””illegal””””” in Iraq that was authorized, funded and maintained by congress.

    2. “Vietnam showed that not an easy question to answer.”

      No, Vietnam showed that there is an answer, but it is a brutal, ugly, horrible answer that is only noteworthy in that it is a better answer than remaining.

      By leaving Vietnam to the communists, the US allowed millions of Vietnamese to be crushed under the boot of totalitarianism. There is no sugar coating that. But at the end of the day, drafting Americans and sending them to Vietnam to die protecting those Vietnamese was not worth it.

      Every single president going forward, when asked to commit the troops to the next Middle East kerfuffle, should ask whether the country is willing to accept 1 Million soldiers in that area for the next 5 years, at a cost of $500 Billion and including the wholesale destruction of cities, villages and resettlement of ethnic minorities. Because regardless of what Graham, Mitch, Mitt, or the Pentagon tells you, that is what it is going to take to achieve any sort of lasting effect in these regions. And if the country isn’t willing to accept that, then HARD PASS.

      1. Excellent comment, Overt. My feelings exactly.

      2. Exactly. It is not an easy answer, but it is the answer. I’ve been saying for years about Afganistan, “Let’s declare victory and leave”. We’ve been there longer than the Russians (much, much longer). And these other conflicts, Syria, Iraq (been there over 16 years) are no different. When we go, those places will collapse into chaos and no doubt get pulled into some psycho anti-American government, but does that mean we never leave?

  6. There was a time when a large part of our economic well being depended upon a steady supply of oil from the Middle East. When that was true, the US has a vested interest in ensuring the stability of the Middle East and during the Cold War ensuring that it wasn’t controlled by the Soviets.

    That time has passed. The US no longer imports much of its oil and its economy is no longer dependent on a stable foreign oil supply. If there is an oil price shock, that will rearrange money within the US economy not result in it flowing out to hostile powers like it did in the 1970s.

    The Middle East is now Europe, Russia, and China’s problem much more than ours. Foreign Policy establishment just refuses to see that because they are naturally slow to adapt to changing circumstances and they in most cases have a financial and vested career interest in it not being true.

    1. Foreign Policy establishment just refuses to see that…they in most cases have a financial and vested career interest in it not being true

      And that is largely the fault of those who don’t want to intervene. Because it is very easy to fall into conflating ‘don’t want to intervene’ with ‘don’t want to be informed’. The latter is always 100% dangerous.

      The best way IMO to change the foreign policy establishments ways of thinking is to distribute their training stuff around the country rather than in DC. DC itself is always going to be more interventionist if only because that’s always where the diplomats from other countries are based, where the top lobbyist efforts are based, and where the top jobs of that establishment are based. So it is very easy for those based there to completely lose touch with those they are supposed to be working for. And once corrupted to stay corrupted.

    2. John, when you wrote The Middle East is now Europe, Russia, and China’s problem much more than ours. Foreign Policy establishment just refuses to see that because they are naturally slow to adapt to changing circumstances and they in most cases have a financial and vested career interest in it not being true. my very first thought was: Time to leave now, and educate them more quickly.

      Screw the Euro-ingrates, and the Chinese for that matter. They can deal with their own problems. We’ll just carp from the sidelines. Should be an interesting role reversal.

    3. personally I would take my chances that AQ2 or ISS’s 2.0 is not ever gonna be a real threat to USA.

      stick a couple of hundred intel guys in an FOB or 2, bribe the shit out of every warlord wanna be, and otherwise get the hell out.

      somehow with Trump you know the motivation is different. Wag the Dog and all that.

      1. AQ1 and ISIS1 weren’t a threat to the US either. The overreaction was and is the threat.

    4. “Foreign Policy establishment just refuses to see that because they are naturally slow to adapt to changing circumstances and they in most cases have a financial and vested career interest in it not being true.”

      Yes, the financial interests are too large.

      Ukraine should matter about as much as Cambodia to the US right now. However, about 10 years ago, a bunch of Ukrainians managed to get a bunch of influential Foreign Policy people on the payroll. And now 5 – 10 billion dollars a year is being funneled into that pissant country. That is a TINY proportion of our overall budget, but it is huge money to even large companies. They have a vested interest in making sure that the US is constantly engaged in that region. It doesn’t matter who is in charge- everyone in that morass of money changing hands can agree that the US must stay engaged.

      The same is true in the Middle East. There are contractor firms, warlords, weapons sellers, NGOs- essentially an entire Eco System dependent on the US being engaged in Kurdistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. That eco system has numerous factions, working against one another for money, glory and land, but one thing they will always agree with: the US must keep engaged here, and dumping in billions and billions of dollars.

      We built with our dollars billions of dollars of infrastructure in Afghanistan and Iraq. And we will continue drip-drip-dripping a billion here and a billion there for years because these eco systems depend on them far more than Congress or the Public cares about throwing another .01% of our budget down the rat hole.

    5. http://zeihan.com/newsletter/

      This guy has a couple of books and lots of videos about the geopolitical future.

      Predicts that the US becomes energy independent soon, and a major world supplier into the future, with cheapest in the world natural gas powering US petrochemical industries for decades to come.

      Means Middle East instability is no longer our problem. In fact, disruption of world oil markets will *make* the US money.

      He sees the US withdrawing it’s protection of the sea lanes for the world. It’s their problem to protect their own shipping. Our economy has low imports, and half of that is from Canada and Mexico.

      Demographically, the US is ok, with Mexico as an adjacent country with youthful demographics to provide cheap labor.

      China, Germany, and Japan are all facing demographic collapse, while China and Germany are export driven economies dependent on other countries taking their exports, which is soon to be over.

      Anyway, lots of interesting stuff. Of particular note is Alberta seceding from Canada to be free from financial drain and the limitations on their oil exports. The US could use Alberta’s heavy crude to mix with our light sweet crude to better match our current refinery tooling for heavier crude.

      But if Alberta doesn’t do it soon, the refineries will retool for light sweet, and they’ll have missed their chance.

  7. The Lost Art of Exiting a War

    This sort of thinking – and its opposite by Kampf cited in the link – is what those who advocate ‘noninterventionism’ need. Sweating the details and situational knowledge of how/when exactly it can be implemented. Leaving this up to an appeal to ‘gut instinct’ leads to actual failure which then undermines the entire strategy and makes it easy to strawman as ‘isolationism’ or ‘idiocy’.

  8. Somewhat related, I was shocked, but not surprised, to learn just now that John Brennan isn’t the only intelligence agency head that was formerly a card-carrying Communist. A man named James Comey is also a self-admitted former Communist during the 70s.

    Quite something. This may begin to help you understand the diseased rot in our system that results in policies such as spending trillions fighting wars on the other side of the globe while leaving our own borders open.

    1. Why rightwingers such violent lunatics?

      1. Do you get paid by someone to be a brainless NPC progressive? You’re not even responding in a coherent way. I can’t wrap my head around how anyone would consider what you do here entertaining.

        So really, who pays you?

        1. Your reply is the only payment trolls need or want.

  9. shutting down the MIC should be easy-peasy for one congressman.

  10. Obama withdrew 93% of the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that his war criminal predecessor put there and he’s the warmonger? I don’t get it.

    1. Oh Tony, you poor AIDS-ridden faggot.

    2. He seemed to have no problem murderdroning entire villages in Pakistan and Sudan.

    3. If memory serves, POTUS Obama was the one who put troops into Syria. And never bothered asking Congress if it was Ok. To me, POTUS Trump is just the clean-up guy. He is cleaning the mess that POTUS Obama left behind. So POTUS Trump gets a pass on this one, in my mind. There is plenty of shit to criticize POTUS Trump for…but Syria ain’t one.

      The very idea that the US pulled out our troops without talking to Turkey, the Kurds, and the Russians in advance is so stupid as to be unworthy of comment. Particularly in light of recent events in the last 72 hours.

      1. Your pride recalls perhaps because you’re full of shit.

        1. you’re full of shit

          Which part?

          1. Obama didn’t cause or leave a “mess in Syria”. Trump didn’t clean up a “mess” in Syria. Trump adopted Obama’s policy against ISIS in Syria and Iraq and hardly changed anything other than to greenlight the willingness to kill civilians if they were in the way.

            1. Syria was a mess long before either Obama or Trump showed up.

              Anyone with any knowledge of the last 100 years of ME history could have predicted (as I have been for 20 years now) that Syria would be the place where the shit the fan.

              Obama made a mess in the sense that he got the US involved without any clear goal. “Defeat ISIS” is fine, but what then? What about the ongoing civil war the US doesn’t have a dog in?

              Obama left a situation that couldn’t have resulted in anything but a mess.

              Trump adopted Obama’s policy against ISIS in Syria and Iraq and hardly changed anything other than to greenlight the willingness to kill civilians if they were in the way.

              So Trump didn’t change anything, but also made it worse? Civilians weren’t getting killed on Obama’s watch?

              I don’t think Trump has been handling the situation particularly well, but your attempts to cast this as a completely one-sided mess aren’t convincing.

              1. None of which matters. What matters is that nothing happening in Syria is a threat to the US, and therefore, no excuse to send young Americans off to die in some shithole on the other side of the planet. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME

      2. If memory serves, POTUS Obama was the one who put troops into Syria. And never bothered asking Congress if it was Ok.

        ^ This.

        And as of the 2016 campaign, we were still pretending we didn’t have troops in Syria, although HRC was promising to change that and “roll into Aleppo” straight from Mosul.

        1. You’re right Obama deserves credit for defeating ISIS.

          1. You’re right Obama deserves credit for defeating ISIS.

            I said nothing of the kind. What’s your point with such a dishonest comment?

            The SDF deserves credit for defeating ISIS. They didn’t do it alone, but they were largely the ones on the actual front line.

            And why do you sidestep the fact that Obama sent those troops to Syria without Congressional approval and lied about them being there?

  11. I thought libertarians were special, but if they can be talked out of their parties by some run-of-the-mill GOP Trumpian wingnut who says something nice about them once in a while maybe they’re a little too slutty and loose for me. I need some actual devotion and principle.

    1. >>I need some actual devotion and principle.

      from a politician?

      1. From his friends and followers, which number in the zeroes.

    2. I mean, this is parody, but it’s not that far off. Self-described “libertarians” are pretty infamous for voting for anyone besides the Libertarian nominees.

      Whether you take that to mean that the political party is terrible, or that the ideologues are fair-weather friends, it’s not a good sign for libertarianism or Libertarianism.

      1. Self-described “libertarians” are pretty infamous for voting for anyone besides the Libertarian nominees.

        Except for those of us who do vote for Libertarian nominees.

        But keep riding that hobby horse, it doesn’t make you look at all small-minded or bitter.

  12. The progressives new world order cannot exist without the United States doing dirty work.

    1. I don’t wanna do their dirty work no more…

  13. 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.

  14. This is a well-thought of piece that made it easy for people to understand the whole point. tree removal

  15. All of today’s soldiers have chosen war as a career.

    Western wars are wars of aggression. They advance our economic interests at the expense of the people’s of foreign nations.

    Terrorism? We are the terrorist invaders in this “Red Dawn” reality.

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