Rand Paul: Let’s get this straight — I’m not for containing Iran

posted at 6:41 pm on April 16, 2014 by Allahpundit

A new op-ed prompted by his interview with ABC over the weekend, which generated headlines like, “Rand Paul: Don’t dismiss containment option for nuclear Iran.”

He’s not for containment, he now says, but nor is he irrevocably against it. What he’s for is strategic ambiguity, not telegraphing your intentions towards a bad actor lest you inadvertently limit your options later. Does America have any recent experience with that?

I am not for containment in Iran. Let me repeat that, since no one seems to be listening closely: I am unequivocally not for containing Iran.

I am also not for announcing that the United States should never contain Iran. That was the choice I was given a few months ago and is the scenario being misunderstood by some in the news…

Ronald Reagan was once criticized for not announcing in advance his policy toward particular situations. He was accused of not having a concrete foreign policy. His response was that he simply chose not to announce his policies in advance

In fact, Reagan often practiced strategic ambiguity. He thought, as many other presidents have, that we should not announce to our enemies what we might do in every conceivable hypothetical situation.

Fair enough, but Reagan was a staunch cold warrior running for the nomination of a party that was full of them. He could afford to be coy on foreign policy as needed since his hawkish bona fides wasn’t in doubt. Rand’s in the opposite position, a guy who’s suspected of not only being more dovish than he lets on but of overlapping with his father’s world view to a degree greater than most righties are comfortable with. “Elect me if you want to know the answer” won’t cut it in his case.

What does he mean by “containment,” anyway? He says he’s against it, notes that he’s voted for sanctions on Iran more than once, and insists that all options should be on the table, but c’mon. There’s no way President Paul is ordering a bombing run on Iran’s enrichment facilities. Whatever else you may think about his Iran rhetoric, it’s palpably clear that he thinks war is the worst option and ultimately a futile one — an opinion shared by plenty of Iran observers, by the way, not all of them doves. If a military attack is indeed off the table and yet Paul opposes containment, where does that leave us? What’s the middle-ground option? I think maybe his idea of “containment” doesn’t include sanctions; he’s wrong about that, but his dad’s always treated sanctions as a de facto act of war. Maybe Rand sees them similarly, as something that falls somewhere on the spectrum between “containment” and out-and-out bombing. In that case, his Iran policy would be to preserve the status quo unless/until the economic pressure finally forces Iran to give up its bomb program someday. The U.S. waited 70 years for the Soviets to break, right? Well, get comfortable. That … sounds like containment.

Actually, here’s another option: Regime change. Would President Paul support action, covert or overt, to oust the mullahs in hopes of replacing them with a government that’s more likely to play ball on nukes? That would be a complete abandonment of libertarian principles against meddling abroad, but maybe it’s his best bet to defuse the Iranian bomb. I assume “strategic ambiguity” prevents any firm commitment on that too.


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Do we have our next Rubio?

MaiDee on April 16, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Bishop!

Corporal Tunnel on April 16, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Darnit.

Corporal Tunnel on April 16, 2014 at 6:44 PM

He’s roughly equal to Obama in foreign policy. I’m no Neocon, but it seems like Rand lacks backbone and consistency. He’s wrong. Reagan wasn’t like that. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still consider voting for him.

Corporal Tunnel on April 16, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Alternative headline:

Rand Paul: I’m For a Strategy, But I’m Not Telling You What It Is

Stoic Patriot on April 16, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Reagan was a staunch cold warrior running for the nomination of a party that was full of them.

Then the hawks should have taken better care of the base from which their power sprang, Reagan did. U.S. foreign policy is going to become more dovish no matter what they want. It’s a financial reality that will not go away.

DFCtomm on April 16, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Invoking Reagan on ambiguity, eh, Rand?

Reagan: “Tear down this wall”
Rand: “I am neither for nor against this wall”

Bitter Clinger on April 16, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Strategic ambiguity?

Murphy9 on April 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

The more I hear from him…

Akzed on April 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Alternative headline:

Rand Paul: I’m For a Strategy, But I’m Not Telling You What It Is
Stoic Patriot on April 16, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Sounds like Rand has a lot in common with Nixon and his “secret plan” on Vietnam.

Bitter Clinger on April 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

If a military attack is indeed off the table and yet Paul opposes containment, where does that leave us? What’s the middle-ground option?

It was described by Hans Blix in Team America: World Police.

Stoic Patriot on April 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Keep digging….

idesign on April 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Squishy. Mysterious. Unserious.

Pork-Chop on April 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Containment eh,..I perfer,

the “Vapourization Strategy”!!
(sarc)

canopfor on April 16, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Invoking Reagan on ambiguity, eh, Rand?

Reagan: “Tear down this wall”
Rand: “I am neither for nor against this wall”

Bitter Clinger

lol…

xblade on April 16, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Rand doesn’t fall far from the nut tree.

He’s got less chance of the nomination (or election) than I do, and I’m not even running.

Splashman on April 16, 2014 at 6:57 PM

It was described by Hans Blix in Team America: World Police.

Stoic Patriot on April 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Stoic Patriot:Lol,…veddy nice:)

canopfor on April 16, 2014 at 6:57 PM

The more I hear from him…

Akzed on April 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

He’s a disingenuous wimp, like his dear old dad.

non-nonpartisan on April 16, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Reagan never had a war when he was president.

tomas on April 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM

In the other night’s qotd I was comparing Paul to Cruz, with special emphasis on the defense issue:

There are 3 legs of conservatism: fiscal, social, and defense (I’m pretty sure). Cruz satisfies, and I mean satisfies, all 3. Few can do that. And Rand Paul, I’m afraid satisfies fiscal, and … um … that’s it. Even though his official positions are in line with social conservatism, people question him there on his trustworthiness, and on amnesty. And defense… we don’t know.

Sometimes I think Paul is strong (enough) on defense, but at other times I start to wonder… does he really want what his dad wants, a radical retrenchment of our military?

And why do I go back and forth? I think it is because Rand Paul is trying to play two different and often opposing constituencies: those of his dad, and conservatives. So he’s beating around the bush a lot (and I don’t mean Jeb Bush, though Paul inexplicably supported Jeb’s “act of love” immigration comment) on his defense positions. Same with on social issues like amnesty and abortion. He’ll probably do that on his big ticket anti-welfare-state positions as well. He’s equivocating, double-talking, hedging, and sometimes contradicting himself. Cruz never equivocates or hedges. He knows what he believes in, and doesn’t have to triple think to put out a sentence (plus Cruz is a debate champion, that helps).

So, in comparison, go with Cruz. Check out Cruz’s inspiring video ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Fk5Ga6wCM

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM

The vast majority of the population is most definitely low-information, but unfortunately for Rand’s aspirations, they’re not stark raving mad.

Splashman on April 16, 2014 at 7:01 PM

My biggest concern about Rand Paul is that he’s enough like his dad that if someone attacked us on our own soil, he would blame us, say we deserved it, and do absolutely nothing to protect us.

lineholder on April 16, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Rand Paul’s foreign policy fumbles are likely the biggest inhibitor to his nomination and eventual election to the presidency.

Texas Zombie on April 16, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Keep digging….

idesign on April 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Yeah, Rand might just want to cool his jets on his foreign affairs discussions until he gets better advisors on policy. He’s just echoing his father at the moment.

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Yeah, Rand might just want to cool his jets on his foreign affairs discussions until he gets better advisors on policy. He’s just echoing his father at the moment.

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 7:02 PM

I dunno, I like hearing Rand be candid. That way, his stupidity and egomania are more apparant.

non-nonpartisan on April 16, 2014 at 7:07 PM

You forgot another option AP. He could leave it up to the Israelis, which I think is something he’s mentioned in the past.

Anyhow, his foreign policy is a mess.

Mark1971 on April 16, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Aquabudda!

workingclass artist on April 16, 2014 at 7:09 PM

The ambiguity isn’t aimed @ Iran, it’s aimed at the GOP Primary Voters…” I’m not my dad, people, EXCEPT Mayhap I am so, Paul-bots support me.”

JFKY on April 16, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Breaking News, Barry warns Vlad!

Sven on April 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Would President Paul support action, covert or overt, to oust the mullahs in hopes of replacing them with a government that’s more likely to play ball on nukes?

We did regime change in Iran once already. Furthermore, Iranians who oppose the current regime are actually in favor of Iran’s nuclear program. It is one of the few issues that unite the country. Even if an attack was made you run the unintended consequence of Iran refocusing it’s efforts per the Iraqi reaction after its reactor was attacked.

No easy choices.

lexhamfox on April 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

The strategy could be, to say “I am in favour of a safe & secure Israel. I do not believe that a Nuclear Iran will promote that goal. HOWEVER, that does not rule out diplomacy, sanctions, or military action to prevent the rise of a nuclear, expansionist, Islamist Iran. My strategy is to emphasize these options, in consultation with Israel & the EU. What we do is dependent upon IRAN as much as anyone else.”. That’s a strategy with a degree of ambiguity…. his is a strategy of incoherence & ambiguity designed to fudge up his position so Hondav65 AND Stoic Patriot will vote for him….

JFKY on April 16, 2014 at 7:15 PM

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 7:02 PM

I dunno, I like hearing Rand be candid. That way, his stupidity and egomania are more apparant.

non-nonpartisan on April 16, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Egomania isn’t one of those things I think of when I consider Paul. If anything, I wish his personality was a little bit more, bigger than life. These folks aren’t applying for some committee position in a local non-profit organization, it’s the American Presidency. He needs to be a leader.

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Breaking News, Barry warns Vlad!

Sven on April 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Sven:Again??
==============

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
37m
President Obama during CBS interview: Each time Russia takes steps to destabilize Ukraine, there will be consequences – @Reuters
http://www.breakingnews.com/

https://twitter.com/markknoller
Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 29m

Asked about imposing new tougher sanctions, Pres Obama said that every time Russia acts against Ukraine, “there are gonna be consequences.”

canopfor on April 16, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Rand Paul–the Lois Lerner of foreign policy . “I respectfully decline to give an answer to that question…”

MaiDee on April 16, 2014 at 7:18 PM

canopfor, Ohhhhhhhh’re warming up the SelectricII for a sternly worded lettre expressing out disappointment & threatening FURTHER sternly worded lettres .

JFKY on April 16, 2014 at 7:19 PM

This is all just an attempt to continue to avoid the real issues in the ME. If we don’t allow them to go nuclear then we can continue, with little consequence, to pretend that Islam is a religion of peace. We all know exactly what’s going to happen when they go nuclear.

DFCtomm on April 16, 2014 at 7:21 PM

The more I hear about and from Rand the more he seems too much like his dad. When Cruz comes out in favor of amnesty and/or starts pandering to the SoCons, I officially have no one I actually want to vote for anymore. Which sucks because I’d like to be able to vote for someone instead of just voting against the Democrat at least once in my life.

Cyhort on April 16, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Translation:

Trust but don’t verify.

I have no foreign policy chops or international military/diplomatic contacts.

the sum total of my executive experience is running an eye doctor’s office.

i never held elective office of any kind before 2011.

I am infected with the Presidential virus and will say or do anything I have to say or do to get elected, even though I have no idea what I’m talking about at any given moment.

In other words, I am Barack Obama with an “R” after my name, but I pinky swear that I’m really different.

Sacramento on April 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Tear down this wall isn’t terribly ambiguous. I like how he wants to audit the Fed. I like his call for greater privacy and limited government. I like that he is a physician and correct the ACA. But the one area I’m most insecure about him, and now he applauds his ambiguity.

John the Libertarian on April 16, 2014 at 7:36 PM

canopfor, Ohhhhhhhh’re warming up the SelectricII for a sternly worded lettre expressing out disappointment & threatening FURTHER sternly worded lettres .

JFKY on April 16, 2014 at 7:19 PM

JFKY:

Followed up by, a Speechy, then kudos from the MSM
on how Hopey is a Warrior, without the War!!!:)

canopfor on April 16, 2014 at 7:36 PM

See, this is why I prefer Cruz. You know where he stands on every issue.

John the Libertarian on April 16, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Well ok. Now we know unequivocally that Rand Paul is not the guy, if any of you had any doubt after his McConnell and McCain endorsements, and pro amnesty stance

Brock Robamney on April 16, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Splashman on April 16, 2014 at 7:01 PM
non-nonpartisan on April 16, 2014 at 7:07 PM

so when he wins the R nomination in 2016, are you voting for Stalin in a Pantsuit or Rand?

8 weight on April 16, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Fair enough, but Reagan was a staunch cold warrior running for the nomination of a party that was full of them.

A cold warrior who never got us into any wars, not one in 8 years, let alone stupid Great Islamic Society Nation Building ones.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 7:41 PM

In other words, I am Barack Obama with an “R” after my name, but I pinky swear that I’m really different.

Sacramento on April 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Different yeah…..a whole lot more intelligent than Ogabe.

8 weight on April 16, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Egomania isn’t one of those things I think of when I consider Paul. If anything, I wish his personality was a little bit more, bigger than life. These folks aren’t applying for some committee position in a local non-profit organization, it’s the American Presidency. He needs to be a leader.

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 7:16 PM

I think that he’s an egomaniac, the same way I see his dad, just not as bad. I believe they are too sure of themselves and their “wisdom,” not prone towards introspection, and too quick to put down those who disagree them, often subtly and unharshly. I don’t believe either are megalomaniacs.

I agree with you that he needs to be a leader. I do not believe he has what it takes to be one, just like his father, again.

non-nonpartisan on April 16, 2014 at 7:44 PM

it’s palpably clear that he [Rand Paul] thinks war is the worst option

As did Ronald Reagan, and that should be very clear to anyone who has ever read and comprehended his Four Foreign Policy Principles, as apparently George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama never did.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 7:45 PM

These folks aren’t applying for some committee position in a local non-profit organization, it’s the American Presidency. He needs to be a leader.

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 7:16 PM

I understand the angle you are coming from, but given the kind of leaders we have had in the recent past, have now, and are likely to get (Hillary?), we would be better off with no leader. They have turned “Don’t just stand there, do something” on it’s head where now it would be better advice to “Don’t do something, just stand there”.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 7:49 PM

But if Rand Paul does not change his “wobbly in the knees” stand on the invasion of America by tens of millions of third worlders to one decidedly less friendly, I don’t much care what his foreign policy is as it won’t much matter anyway.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 7:52 PM

As did Ronald Reagan, and that should be very clear to anyone who has ever read and comprehended his Four Foreign Policy Principles, as apparently George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama never did.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 7:45 PM

I can’t believe I’m going to defend George Bush, but…I am. You can’t compare Reagan and the cold war, to the Bush and the war or Islam terror. Two completely different beasts. The occupations were a bad idea, but I think military action was called for after 9/11.

DFCtomm on April 16, 2014 at 7:55 PM

so when he wins the R nomination in 2016, are you voting for Stalin in a Pantsuit or Rand?
8 weight on April 16, 2014 at 7:41 PM

If he were to win the nomination, which he is not, I am not sure Rand would be much better than Shrillary

Brock Robamney on April 16, 2014 at 7:56 PM

The occupations were a bad idea, but I think military action was called for after 9/11.

DFCtomm on April 16, 2014 at 7:55 PM

I completely agree, but “we” have been in Afcrapistan for 12 1/2 years now and past the first few months, I see no logical connection with 9/11, let alone enough of a logical connection to be remotely worth the price. And as to Iraq, we should have bombed Meca and Medina and but a full stop to the building of anymore mosques in America instead, and I believe there are now about twice as many as there were on 9/11.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 8:01 PM

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 7:16 PM

I understand the angle you are coming from, but given the kind of leaders we have had in the recent past, have now, and are likely to get (Hillary?), we would be better off with no leader. They have turned “Don’t just stand there, do something” on it’s head where now it would be better advice to “Don’t do something, just stand there”.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Well, I said it before. I’m not sold on anyone yet. But there’s a leader out there somewhere.

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 8:06 PM

We did regime change in Iran once already. Furthermore, Iranians who oppose the current regime are actually in favor of Iran’s nuclear program. It is one of the few issues that unite the country. Even if an attack was made you run the unintended consequence of Iran refocusing it’s efforts per the Iraqi reaction after its reactor was attacked.

No easy choices.

lexhamfox on April 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Actually twice. The Shah worked out well, and lasted 38 years. All of our projects should be so successful.

Jiminy Carter’s replacement of him with Ayatollah Khomeini was a disaster otoh, one of the worst in US history.

slickwillie2001 on April 16, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Well, I said it before. I’m not sold on anyone yet. But there’s a leader out there somewhere.

hawkdriver on April 16, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Unfortunately I think the best leader we now have available is chaos. Maybe Ted Cruz in 2016.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Make that 26 years.

slickwillie2001 on April 16, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Riddle me this proponents of containment. Why do we attempt to stop nations in the ME from obtaining nuclear weapons with a policy of limiting equipment acquisition, while at the same time promoting attendance of their citizen in Western learning institutions to pursue high level technological degrees? Do you really think this is a policy that can succeed for very long? As usual we work against ourselves for the purpose of propping up a lie. The lie is that Islam is a religion of peace.

DFCtomm on April 16, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Actually twice. The Shah worked out well, and lasted 38 years. All of our projects should be so successful.

Jiminy Carter’s replacement of him with Ayatollah Khomeini was a disaster otoh, one of the worst in US history.

slickwillie2001 on April 16, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Carter had nothing to do with the return and rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini. Carter had everything to do with twiddling his thumbs wondering what to do after the embassy takeover by the “students” under Ayatollah Khomeini.

Bitter Clinger on April 16, 2014 at 8:23 PM

I remember his father’s presidential run consisted mainly of trying to turn every debate into a platform to rant about how Israel was governing our foreign policy and we should stop being “victims” of same.

Today, what I hear from Junior is very much what I hear from The One, Hillary!!, and JFKook;

If we just let them rid us of these turbulent Jews, all will be well. Because it’s the Jews they hate, not us.

This tells me that all of the above got an F- in history at all levels in school.

Islam seeks to conquer. It’s right in the Qu’ran. If you’re not a Muslim, your choices are conversion, submission, or death. Except for Jews; they just get the “death” part.

A nuclear-armed Iran may keep its weapons as an insurance policy against Western intervention as it pursues its conquests by other means. After all, it worked for Putin in Crimea, and has worked for Pakistan and India for decades, to say nothing of Red China.

However, none of the above were or are ruled by theocrats whose definition of reality is trying to get a mythical twelve-year-old “Twelfth Imam” to come out of a well, and lead them to World Conquest. That’s closer to the Persians under Darius (their pre-Islamic ancestors), or more recently, Nazi Germany, a theocracy based on a nasty combination of “racial purity”, screwy cosmology, and an atavistic yearning for primitivism.

Cost/benefit analyses don’t figure in the “strategic calculations” of such regimes’. And the Russian concept of “objective conditions” is considered outright apostasy.

If you want a “thought model” for Iran + A-bombs, don’t think the USSR; think Hitler with a nuclear stockpile.

Now calculate the odds that Adolf wouldn’t have used them. Even before Operation Fall Weiss.

They finish about even with the odds of winning a state lottery. But the “payoff” here isn’t a million-dollar check.

It’s a mushroom cloud, or more than one, somewhere you really don’t want them.

clear ether

eon

eon on April 16, 2014 at 8:24 PM

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 8:11

Others will see wisdom in Cruz .
Kept an open mind on Rand…..
( past tense )

Lucano on April 16, 2014 at 8:40 PM

But if Rand Paul does not change his “wobbly in the knees” stand on the invasion of America by tens of millions of third worlders to one decidedly less friendly, I don’t much care what his foreign policy is as it won’t much matter anyway.

VorDaj on April 16, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Right, because we will be taken over from the inside out. It doesn’t matter whether we have thousands of huge warships pointed away from our shores, we’re done, the easy way, the insidious way.

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Randy needs to take his finger outta the light socket, take off the rose colored glasses and see the World as it is – competition for resources.

vnvet on April 16, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Carter had nothing to do with the return and rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini. Carter had everything to do with twiddling his thumbs wondering what to do after the embassy takeover by the “students” under Ayatollah Khomeini.

Bitter Clinger on April 16, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Carter had everything to do with the return of the ayatollah, he abandoned the Shah just as Barry abandoned Mubarak, leaving a vacuum. He pushed the French to release the ayatollah from exile and allow him to return to Iran. It was as much an American ‘coup’ as the CIA’s in 1953.

Jimmy Carter is the father of the 1979 Iranian revolution.

slickwillie2001 on April 16, 2014 at 8:49 PM

See, this is why I prefer Cruz. You know where he stands on every issue.

John the Libertarian on April 16, 2014 at 7:38 PM

John, I liked your comment the other night on the Paul qotd thread:

Cruz has the fortitude to dismantle the EPA, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Energy, IRS and cut the NSA by 2/3rd and tell them foreign surveillance only, we’ll take our chances.

John the Libertarian on April 15, 2014 at 12:27 AM

And a point that I make is that Cruz would probably be almost as good as Rand Paul as far as his libertarianism. I think Cruz understands Reagan’s point that the heart of conservatism is libertarianism, and Cruz is young too, and so is naturally going to be closer to the libertarian sentiments that is so strong in today’s younger folk.

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Rand is starting to look a little too much like his Father’s son. Between this and his questionable view on immigration… I seriously hope Cruz runs and wins the nomination.

Ukiah on April 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

I think Cruz understands Reagan’s point that the heart of conservatism is libertarianism, and Cruz is young too, and so is naturally going to be closer to the libertarian sentiments that is so strong in today’s younger folk.

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Plus he’s a genius at debate. Dershowitz said that as a law student in his class, Cruz was “beyond brilliant.” Obama couldn’t even get into Dershowitz’s class.

John the Libertarian on April 16, 2014 at 9:11 PM

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 8:52 PM

And another thing, Joe, is Cruz has been borrowing Rand’s anti-NSA bit on the stump, so you’re spot on about that.

John the Libertarian on April 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM

The more I hear from him…

Akzed on April 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

I don’t think it matters. Jeb’s your nominee. And…Shrillary for 8 years. I’m going to seriously think about emigrating.

ddrintn on April 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Rand Paul is perfectly happy to have other nations meddling in America, look at his open borders stance. But he is completely against us meddling in anyone else’ borders short of them having killed thousands of Americans first. Even then, I would imagine he would make William Jefferson Clinton look downright potent.

astonerii on April 16, 2014 at 9:21 PM

There was nothing ambiguous about Ronald Reagan’s commitment to keeping America safe and insuring it was the world’s pre-eminent superpower.He didn’t win the Cold War without firing a shot by not “telegraphing” his foreign policy strategies.The Soviets knew exactly what Reagan would do,and what he wouldn’t take from them.

Rand Paul telegraphs his weakness and ambivalence each passing day.Before too long he will resemble an Ann Coulter column,liberal one week,conservative the next.In Paul’s case the man spews forth isolationist sentiments to please Daddy and the minions,only to quickly try and shove them back down his throat to appear rational,sensible and well,sane.Paul figures if he can convince people he’s just playing coy with America’s foes we will trust him to protect us as Commander-in-Chief.Sorry Rand,you’re not fooling anybody-not your libertarian loons,not your average Joe Republican,and especially not Iran.

redware on April 16, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Dude is queer as a three dollar bill.

Murphy9 on April 16, 2014 at 9:25 PM

He should have said “The United States must keep all its options open and the President should not telegraph those options until necessary.”

Labamigo on April 16, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Paul is suspect on foreign policy, suspect on immigration, doubtful on social issues except abortion, and too vague on monetary policy given the specific demands of his nutty father. Those areas will each repel a significant segment of the Republican primary electorate.

I absolutely stand by my prediction that Rand Paul will never be on a national Republican ticket.

╓╖╔╗╞╡

Reagan never had a war when he was president.

tomas on April 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM

That was precisely because the bad actors were afraid of what he might do.

Now, when Obama says he is “keeping all options on the table,” the bad actors know he means, “If you misbehave, I will make a frowning statement.” Paul doesn’t strike any fear when he “won’t rule anything in or out,” either. He is assumed to be a libertarian isolationist like his father until and unless he repudiates specifically those areas of Ronulan & libertarian philosophy, which he has repeatedly assured us he has no difference with.

But Reagan was scary to them. So they behaved.

You keep peace by being strong and scary, not by being nice and sending “Reset” buttons and telling our adversaries what their own interests should be and expecting it to affect their behavior.

Adjoran on April 16, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Here is what annoys me about neo-conservative critics of Rand Paul. They say we must stand strong against Iran, and that we must not contain them but instead fight them. That maybe correct, yet these same folks spent the last decade telling us what wonderful allies the Pakistanis are. They said we cannot attack them because we need them in Afghanistan. Even worse they put pressure on India, during the Bush administration, not to retaliate against Pakistan after several outright acts of war, like attacking the Indian Parliament.

Essentially the Neo-conservative Islamic-middle east strategy is thus:

(1) It is ok to take out Iraq and Iran because they might get nukes, but we cannot do anything against Pakistan who has nukes.

(2) Totally ignore the fact that Pakistan created the Taliban and have given tons of military and economic aid to Al-Qaeda. Totally ignore the fact that Pakistan, along with oil rich Arabian states, is a chief supporter of Sunni jihadism on this planet. And best yet…wait for it…ignoring the fact that Pakistan hands that nuke technology to everyone with some cash.

(3) They want to keep our troops in Afghanistan fighting jihadist coming across the border from Pakistan, armed and supported by the Pakistani intelligence services, yet never allowing our military to deal with Pakistan. Basically it is the JFK/LBJ Vietnam plan…”conservative style”.

Worse yet they have no plans or any clue what constitutes victory there. Is it democracy, but what kind of democracy, or is it just we kill more jihadist than they kill Americans? Bush, and his merry crew of strategic dwarfs, kept claiming that it did not matter if we killed Osama Bin Laden! Well…thanks to Bush, Obama got to take the credit for that, even though he should not have. It did matter politically and psychologically for America to kill Osama, and Bush who never seemed to understand how fighting wars with a constitutional republic works seemed to have missed that part of American history at Yale.

So even though I may not be sold on Rand Paul’s vision of foreign policy, his vision is infinitely better than the Neo-Cons who have a unique ability to make conservatives look like strategic and military imbeciles, blundering about into one Islamic country after another in a quest for moderate peace loving Muslims, handing out loads of cash to the locals, and bringing lots of Muslims back to America with our armies after the American people get sick of fighting there with no results.

Stopping the Neo-Cons from retaking control of the GOP and American foreign policy should be a duty of every American foreign policy realist and every conservative who wants a real hawkish policy, not something out of a heroic fairy tale filled heroic myth.

That may not be Rand Paul’s foreign policy, but it sure is heck is not Neo-Conservative…they have no right to be critical….they lost that right. Pakistan declared war on us on 9-11-01 and they never have been punished for that act of betrayal. When will our dead get justice Neo-Cons? No…Iraq was more important…right?

William Eaton on April 16, 2014 at 9:33 PM

And another thing, Joe, is Cruz has been borrowing Rand’s anti-NSA bit on the stump, so you’re spot on about that.

John the Libertarian on April 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Borrowing? But is Cruz going to give it back? Lol.

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Here is what annoys me about neo-conservative critics of Rand Paul. They say we must stand strong against Iran, and that we must not contain them but instead fight them.

William Eaton on April 16, 2014 at 9:33 PM

What’s “neo-conservative”, anyway? The term has a specific meaning, and I don’t think it means what you might suppose.

ddrintn on April 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

What’s “neo-conservative”, anyway? The term has a specific meaning, and I don’t think it means what you might suppose.

ddrintn on April 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Neo-Conservative foreign policy…does that help?

(1) Every strategic advisor in the Bush administration, including Bush himself.

(2) Every person who inspired those idiots in strategic thought.

(3) Every person who still thought that Iraq war was a success after the year 2006.

I am sure I can add some more if I think on it…

William Eaton on April 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM

What’s “neo-conservative”, anyway? The term has a specific meaning, and I don’t think it means what you might suppose.

ddrintn on April 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Also….why don’t you inform me if I am so wrong?

To me it always been a sort of a armed big government public works project for the third world using our military…

William Eaton on April 16, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Well, McCain is a neoconservative.

McCain and Rubio, that of the amnesty hacks were right there with Obama in pushing for the idiotic Libya invasion. Rubio and McCain may say they are Reagan style “peace through strength” conservatives. Wrong, they are excessive interventionists, and for intervention without cause or point. Intervention for its own sake. Dumb. Here’s my comment on the Putin thread:

O & The Peaceniks are to Blame for Ukraine
Toppling Kadafi in Libya was not in our interests. Kadafi was cooperating with us, and now instead we got a horde of muslim radicals that have swarmed over the place. Same with Clinton’s invasion of Serbia and Bosnia. Did not help us. But when we casually use our military force, often against our own interests, and more importantly, the Libya invasion was done against the explicit wishes of Russia, and I said this will come back to bite us (to roost), because now Russia has greater justification for its own military conquests, by pointing to our frequent military misadventures. It’s insane that the libs and peaceniks for some reason were all for the invasion of Libya, but that invasion (or “kineticc military action” of 6 months of around the clock bombing) has made the world a much more dangerous place, as the Ukraine invasion could partially be the result of that. Thanks Peaceniks, thanks for nothing.

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Rand Paul answered the question he was asked. His
mistake was in not realizing that many idiots would read
something else in his comment. Or perhaps he doesn’t give
a damn; I hope its the latter.

Amjean on April 16, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Alternative headline:

Rand Paul: I’m For a Strategy, But I’m Not Telling You What It Is
Stoic Patriot on April 16, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Sounds like Rand has a lot in common with Nixon and his “secret plan” on Vietnam.

Bitter Clinger on April 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Or Jean “I have a plan” Kerry.

Steve Eggleston on April 16, 2014 at 10:10 PM

If he were to win the nomination, which he is not, I am not sure Rand would be much better than Shrillary

Brock Robamney on April 16, 2014 at 7:56 PM

the statist RINOs have spoken.

/end thread.

rndmusrnm on April 17, 2014 at 12:01 AM

” Every strategic advisor in the Bush administration, including Bush himself.”

If Cheney and Rumsfeld were “neocons”, then the word has no meaning other than someone who liked to use military force at one time.

FOAF on April 17, 2014 at 12:11 AM

the statist RINOs have spoken.
/end thread.
rndmusrnm on April 17, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Jeb Bush is their guy. But the burning question I have is why are the Neocons attacking Ted Cruz and not Rand Paul? It seems to me if Rand was really a conservative, they would be attacking him nonstop. Why not even a whisper against him? After all, isn’t he in the way of Jeb being nominated?

Brock Robamney on April 17, 2014 at 8:19 AM

anotherJoe on April 16, 2014 at 9:54 PM

To our enlightened elite’, Qaddafi had to go, because by co-operating with us he was not behaving as a True Mystical, Enlightened Eastern Thought Leader should. He had made a deal with the Evil, Materialistic West, and thus had committed apostasy.

He had to be replaced by someone who would return Libya to the One True Course of Eastern Mystical Enlightenment. And resume the war against the Lesser Satan (Israel) and the Great Satan (everyone in the U.S. who isn’t exactly like them).

Believe me, every single Arab leader has gotten the message. “Stay the course of Jihad if you want to stay alive and in power.”

Our leaders are nihilistic lunatics, half of whom don’t care if their “personal quest for enlightenment” kills all the rest of us, and the other half are counting on it doing exactly that.

It’s their Utopia. We’re not invited.

clear ether

eon

eon on April 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM

The ambiguity isn’t aimed @ Iran, it’s aimed at the GOP Primary Voters…” I’m not my dad, people, EXCEPT Mayhap I am so, Paul-bots support me.”

JFKY on April 16, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Bingo!

jnelchef on April 17, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Neo-Conservative foreign policy…does that help?

(1) Every strategic advisor in the Bush administration, including Bush himself.

(2) Every person who inspired those idiots in strategic thought.

(3) Every person who still thought that Iraq war was a success after the year 2006.

I am sure I can add some more if I think on it…

William Eaton on April 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Not really. Was Reagan a neo-con?

ddrintn on April 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Paul is completely correct in this instance.

Drawing lines in the sand sets the president up for shooting wars or being discredited.

Reagan was smart enough not to do this. He set broad objectives and was very pragmatic about achieving them.

With the exception of the week long Genada op, Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot. That achievement is remarkable and one well worth emulating.

Bart DePalma on April 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Paul is completely correct in this instance.
Drawing lines in the sand sets the president up for shooting wars or being discredited.
Reagan was smart enough not to do this. He set broad objectives and was very pragmatic about achieving them.
With the exception of the week long Genada op, Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot. That achievement is remarkable and one well worth emulating.
Bart DePalma on April 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Actually, unlike Paul, Reagan didn’t waiver

Brock Robamney on April 17, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Not really. Was Reagan a neo-con?
ddrintn on April 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

I’m actually surprised that the Paulnuts are calling Reagan a neocon, and not calling Paul a neocon. Especially considering that Paul recently claimed his foreign policy is Reaganesque. Has that changed ?

Brock Robamney on April 17, 2014 at 11:03 AM