Video: Rand Paul’s rebuttal to Obama’s speech on Syria

posted at 12:41 pm on September 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

Useful, if only as a contrast to O’s blithe suggestion in his own speech that using “military might” against a monster should be enough to give conservatives war fee-vah. Paul touches all the bases you’d expect here — his point about whether a U.S. attack might inadvertently lead to more gassing, not less, is his best — but he’s forced to pretend (as was Obama himself) that Russia’s proposal might prove to be a real solution to the standoff. It isn’t. It’s a scam, transparently, which reluctant warriors on the Hill both left and right are semi-participating in because it’s a way out of the war box that Obama’s dopey “red line” rhetoric forced everyone into. If you’ve got an hour to kill this morning, spend it poring over the many, many stories today expressing skepticism or outright incredulity about trying to disarm Assad in the middle of a war. Take your pick: The NYT, the LA Times, WaPo, Reuters, Politico, Foreign Policy, and the Daily Beast, where Eli Lake notes that we’re now trusting a guy who supplies Assad with weapons (and who has himself been slow to get rid of his own gas) to be the top cop in taking his weapons away. A sample quote from the NYT:

“I’m very concerned about the fine print,” said Amy E. Smithson, an expert on chemical weapons at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. “It’s a gargantuan task for the inspectors to mothball production, install padlocks, inventory the bulk agent as well as the munitions. Then a lot of it has to be destroyed — in a war zone.”

“What I’m saying is, ‘Beware of this deal,’ ” Dr. Smithson added. “It’s deceptively attractive.”…

“We’re talking boots on the ground,” said one former United Nations weapons inspector from Iraq, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he still works in the field on contracts and did not want to hurt his chances of future employment. “We’re not talking about just putting someone at the gate. You have to have layers of security.”

Politico:

“It’s a smoke screen,” said former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain Adam Ereli of the Russian-backed proposal for international monitors to remove Syria’s chemical weapons. “Nobody knows how many weapons they have, nobody knows where they are. It all depends on the Syrians providing full, accountable transparency.”…

“I don’t think for one moment that the Syrians will give up their chemical weapons stocks. They will say they will give it up and they will play the game to undercut any support for a military strike. But they will then start to put conditions on verification and on the foreign presence in Syria,” Joseph said. “Soon, they will start in with Israel; demanding that Israel’s nuclear weapons be put on the table. All of this will lead nowhere for the United States — exactly where Damascus and Moscow want it to go.”…

“I am unaware of anyone successfully gaining control of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and monitoring them and ultimately eliminating them in the middle of a war,” said Thomas Graham, a former Arms Control and Disarmament Agency official who helped negotiate the Chemical Weapons Convention. “It’s a difficult task even in peacetime. … I won’t say it’s impossible, but it would appear to be extremely difficult.”

Paul’s careful to say that the Russian plan shouldn’t automatically be taken at face value (trust, but verify), but if you’re going to drop a libertarian anti-war truth bomb on the president in prime time, why reduce the payload by giving it any credibility at all? Obama’s out there lying baldfaced to the American people about how Putin’s plan might achieve something meaningful, and in the process he’s setting up another military push a few weeks or months from now if/when Russia refuses to meet western demands for a firm deadline for Assad to turn over his weapons. Paul could have flagged that; he could have also noted that, while Russia’s plan is a scam insofar as it’ll never succeed in disarming Assad, a U.S. bombing run wouldn’t succeed either. And he could have pointed out that it’s exceedingly strange that, after two years of red lines and Assad-must-go’s, the U.S. and its allies are now trying to resolve the standoff by placing their faith in Assad’s legitimacy and credibility. The unvarnished anti-war line would have been to call B.S. on this whole thing and say that, while it’s horrendous that Syria has come to the point it’s at, the terrible fact is that the United States simply lacks the power and political will at this point to make it appreciably less horrendous.

But Paul probably figured he couldn’t get away with that with a presidential primary looming in two years. He doesn’t want to be “the anti-war candidate” facing an electorate that’s still hawkish on balance. So he calculated that it’s better to play along with the charade that diplomacy might achieve America’s goals here instead of gently reminding the audience that sometimes America doesn’t get to achieve its goals. Speaking of which, check him out at the beginning of the clip touting the fact that the U.S. used “overwhelming force” to smash the monsters behind 9/11. Would he have endorsed overwhelming force had he been president instead of Bush? Show of hands: Who thinks so?


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President Obama now asks us to be allies of Al Qaeda.”—–

Upside down.

We need to be asking ourselves why he would do this?

PappyD61 on September 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Speaking of which, check him out at the beginning of the clip touting the fact that the U.S. used “overwhelming force” to smash the monsters behind 9/11. Would he have endorsed overwhelming force had he been president instead of Bush? Show of hands: Who thinks so?

I think he would have. But, without the nation building afterward.

besser tot als rot on September 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Ted Cruz will weigh in with a Foreign Policy Speech at 4PM today.

http://www.heritage.org/events/2013/09/helms-lecture

Watch online with link at the site.

bluefox on September 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I seem to recall his father did vote *for* initial efforts in Afghanistan, right (facing a staff rebellion if he’d voted no)?

BritCarGuy on September 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM

but he’s forced to pretend (as was Obama himself) that Russia’s proposal might prove to be a real solution to the standoff. It isn’t. It’s a scam, transparently, which reluctant warriors on the Hill both left and right are semi-participating in because it’s a way out of the war box that Obama’s dopey “red line” rhetoric forced everyone into

Very well summed up.

Putin didn’t bail anyone out. Putin destroyed them all.

In the last two days the balance of power/influence in the ME shifted from the US to Russia/Iran/China.

Open your eyes, fools, or perish. It’s that simple.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM

From the other thread

V.I. Lenin had the best label for our King Putt: Useful Idiot.
Missilengr on September 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

I’d argue his usefulness. But then I have a couple of empty suits in the closet already.

onomo on September 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 1:00 PM

A Democratic strategist who works closely with the White House, and who requested anonymity to avoid political retribution, told me, “This has been one of the most humiliating episodes in presidential history.”

Too cute by half: Obama and his allies are masters of “spin,” packaging partial truths and outright distortions to a malleable public. With Syria, their dark arts are on full display. There is no other way to explain the White House disowning Secretary of State John Kerry’s call for Syria to turn over its stockpiles until the savvy Putin seized on the off-the-cuff remark as a way to protect ally Bashar al-Assad. Suddenly, the White House is touting the Putin plan as their brainchild, an outcome Obama had in mind when he travelled to Russia. Don’t buy it.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM

If obama and Putin would have talked about this, at the G20, obama would have touted it at his presser in St. Petersburg, alas.

It’s all fiction, in the heads of liblikeaslave, Terrye and mnjg.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Tards, this is ‘funny’.

obama worse than Chimpey and Bushhitler.

Btw, whatever became of Reid/Kerry calling Assad “Hitler”?

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 1:08 PM

The setting of the speech – an empty suit, in Armani, more empty than all the empty chair lined up behind him…

Who advises this fool?

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM

“Obama’s out there lying baldfaced to the American people…”

This is new…?

Seven Percent Solution on September 11, 2013 at 1:13 PM

but if you’re going to drop a libertarian anti-war truth bomb on the president in prime time, why reduce the payload by giving it any credibility at all?

Because if you are going to run for president, you don’t stir up crap with foreign leaders liars when they are trying to “help”.

Cindy Munford on September 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

The Left’s Old & Busted:

‘How DARE you question my patriotism and accuse me of siding with terrorists!’

The Left’s New Hotness:

‘The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM’

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

In a very calm, and mannered way. We will take our Republic back.

I am certain of this.

Key West Reader on September 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

If Putin drags his feet on collecting Syria’s chemical weapons, will that signal Obama’s next “red line?” Or has the Won learned his lesson in regards to acting like a tough guy?

Deano1952 on September 11, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Obama’s Prexnitsy

Sad. But true.

Key West Reader on September 11, 2013 at 1:25 PM

‘The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM’

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Better than Al Qaeda supporters, no?

besser tot als rot on September 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

From the AMERICANS WHO ARE FOR WHATEVER OBAMA WANTS, Did you know he’s friends with Jay Z?

Recommended for anyone who wants to watch a video that’s hilarious because it is based on the truth. Produced by The Second City Network.

TXUS on September 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM

The worst part about all of this is Obama has just shown all of our enemies that they can get the United States to do anything they want as long as they help prevent Obama from looking bad.

blink on September 11, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Roger that, and you can bet that Iran was taking notes.

TXUS on September 11, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

That’s odd because I don’t give a flying flip which or how many of them kill each other. I’m sure God isn’t proud of me but he’ll forgive me.

Cindy Munford on September 11, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Elizabeth O’Bagy, the advisor to Kerry, and McCain on the Syrian rebels, HAS BEEN FIRED from the Institute For The Study of War FOR FALSELY CLAIMING THAT SHE HAS A PhD!!!

‘But, we can tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys those with legitimate credentials and those that are lying their asses off.’

- Secretary of State Lurch and Senator Insane McVain

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Elizabeth O’Bagy, the advisor to Kerry, and McCain on the Syrian rebels, HAS BEEN FIRED from the Institute For The Study of War FOR FALSELY CLAIMING THAT SHE HAS A PhD!!!

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Well, I actually have a PhD, so they should listen to me instead. ;)

besser tot als rot on September 11, 2013 at 1:42 PM

That’s odd because I don’t give a flying flip which or how many of them kill each other. I’m sure God isn’t proud of me but he’ll forgive me.

Cindy Munford on September 11, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Agreed.

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Why is it that every time I hear Paul speak, I like him more? Must be the curls.

JSGreg3 on September 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Elizabeth O’Bagy, the advisor to Kerry, and McCain on the Syrian rebels, HAS BEEN FIRED from the Institute For The Study of War FOR FALSELY CLAIMING THAT SHE HAS A PhD!!!

‘But, we can tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys those with legitimate credentials and those that are lying their asses off.’

- Secretary of State Lurch and Senator Insane McVain

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

She’ll land on her feet at some other neocon “institute” or might just join the staff of McCain himself. McCain is always looking for a few good idiots.

Punchenko on September 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Would he have endorsed overwhelming force had he been president instead of Bush? Show of hands: Who thinks so?

Well considering his dad voted for the authorization to attack Afghanistan I assume he would as well. Nice straw man Allah.

I can’t believe you would actually suggest Rand Paul wouldn’t have gone after Al-Qaeda after 9/11. You are a pathetic rino hack.

rndmusrnm on September 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

She’ll land on her feet at some other neocon “institute” or might just join the staff of McCain himself. McCain is always looking for a few good idiots.

Punchenko on September 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Probably, but Kerry and McVain told us to read her WSJ op-ed to assauge any concerns we had about the ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels and listen to what she has to say because:

‘She probably knows more about the Syrian rebels than anyone and she will tell you that there are far more ‘moderates’ than those associated with al-Nusra and al-Qaeda even though she is a paid consultant for a Syrian rebel advocacy group.’

Her major reports on the Syrian opposition include: ‘The Free Syrian Army, Jihad in Syria, and Syria’s Political Opposition.’

O’Bagy’s Aug. 30 op-ed piece for the Journal, “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War,” was cited by both Kerry and McCain last week. McCain read from the piece last Tuesday to Kerry, calling it “an important op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy.” The next day, Kerry also brought up the piece before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing and described it as a “very interesting article” and recommended that members read it.

Obama, Kerry, and McVain have been low-balling the percentage of Islamists among the rebels and telling us that we have nothing which about to worry.

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Rand Paul made more sense in the less than five minutes he took to give his rebuttal than Obama did in his 15+ minutes of blabbering into TOTUS!

pilamaye on September 11, 2013 at 1:53 PM

As Slate wrote:

‘If your foreign policy has to be rescued by a dictator, you are doing it wrong. That’s where President Obama finds himself today. Putin is providing Obama an out he couldn’t find for himself.’

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM

I wish that he had started with some of Obama’s anti-Iraq videos… that would have been downright fun to see Obama arguing against himself and taking Rand Paul’s side…

ajacksonian on September 11, 2013 at 2:31 PM

I used to kind of like Rand Paul, but now it seems to me that he almost as dumb as Obama…and that is saying something.

So, we are supposedly allies with AQ if we do anything to Iran’s number one ally Syria…that is interesting, especially considering the fact that AQ has been doing their best to find a safe have in Syria for almost 2 years and Rand Paul has shown absolutely no concern about that. If we do nothing at all…they will still be there. In fact, they might actually be stronger if we do nothing. There was a time when the US went after AlQaida and anyone who harbored them. Now all we get are incompetent liberals and isolationist libertarians preaching to us.

Terrye on September 11, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Syrian Rebels: Bibles “More Dangerous Than Chemical Weapons”…

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 2:24 PM

So, is that every single Syrian rebel? Because my understanding is the Islamists make up about 20% of the Assad’s opposition and most of them are not Syrian at all. They are people who are using the chaos of the war to exploit. BTW, Iran is still hanging Christians and they are big buddies with Assad. That makes me think that he is probably not all that pro Christian himself. I am totally disgusted by the people who not only can not differentiate between the moderates and the Islamists, they are more than willing to pander to people who scream Death to America on a daily basis.

Terrye on September 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

What you said, Cindy. There’s so much more involved here than a civil war. It’s a monumental shifting of influence that will take decades to undo. In the meantime, Israel sits and waits patiently for the dust to settle.

Kissmygrits on September 12, 2013 at 9:51 AM