New Rand Paul op-ed: If I were president I’d have acted more decisively against ISIS

posted at 4:01 pm on September 4, 2014 by Allahpundit

Help me out here. On June 19th, he published an op-ed in the Journal recommending that we not take sides in Iraq’s civil war. Sample quote: “We know that Iran is aiding the Iraqi government against ISIS. Do we want to, in effect, become Iran’s air force?” He followed that a week ago with another Journal op-ed arguing that American interventionists empowered ISIS by arming Syria’s “moderate” rebels, whose weapons ended up in jihadi hands. That argument is … problematic, but fair enough. He wants us to stay out of the Iraq/Syria mess. Duly noted.

But then something changed. On August 29th, just two days after the second Journal op-ed, he e-mailed the AP to say that he would seek to destroy ISIS militarily as president (pending congressional authorization, of course). Yesterday he elaborated on that by explaining to Sean Hannity that while he thinks ground combat should be handled by regional forces, there’s potentially a supporting role for American air power to play — effectively the same position that Obama’s taken. Sample quote: “Right now, the two allies that have the same goal would be Iran and Syria, to wipe out ISIS.” This is the same guy who was warning the U.S. not to act as “Iran’s air force” 10 weeks ago. Eliana Johnson asked one of Paul’s foreign-policy advisors what changed in the interim. “I don’t think two months ago any of us really had a clear understanding of the momentum this group had,” he told her. Er, okay, but Paul’s first Journal op-ed was published nine days after ISIS had seized Mosul. If that didn’t qualify as momentum, what would have?

Today he has a new op-ed in Time:

America has an interest in protecting more than 5,000 personnel serving at the largest American embassy in the world in northern Iraq. I am also persuaded by the plight of massacred Christians and Muslim minorities

The military means to achieve these goals include airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. Such airstrikes are the best way to suppress ISIS’s operational strength and allow allies such as the Kurds to regain a military advantage.

We should arm and aid capable and allied Kurdish fighters whose territory includes areas now under siege by the ISIS.

Since Syrian jihadists are also a threat to Israel, we should help reinforce Israel’s Iron Dome protection against missiles.

That’s Obama’s (and Hillary’s) strategy, to the letter. I’m not surprised that Paul would include reinforcing Iron Dome as part of it either. Although he once called for ending all foreign aid, including aid to Israel, he recanted on that long ago once he realized how badly it would damage his 2016 prospects. What does surprise me is that boldface part, which implies that President Paul might order airstrikes on ISIS for purely humanitarian reasons, even if Americans at the embassy weren’t in the line of fire. That’ll play well with the evangelicals he’s hoping to woo in the GOP primaries but, unless my copy of Libertarianism 101 is out of date, it’s the opposite of what a “non-interventionist” foreign policy looks like. If you’re going to meddle in other countries’ affairs, a threat to Americans is an absolute prerequisite. No going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. Right?

My last post on Rand’s ISIS flip-flopping wondered what libertarians think of all this. Are they willing to look the other way on the theory that, dissatisfied though they may be, Paul’s the closest they’ll ever get to a true libertarian in the White House? Or are they approaching “I can’t vote for this sellout” territory? Reason has two takes on Rand and ISIS today that help answer that, one from Matt Welch and one from Jacob Sullum. Both are palpably irritated — Welch hits him for being “maddeningly slippery” on intervention questions and too prone to pandering to hawkish conservatives with “cheap populist rhetoric” — but Sullum is harsher. Quote:

Just a few hours later, Paul made his statement to the Associated Press, which in light of his comments on Hannity signaled his support for a war that aims to “destroy ISIS militarily.” At that point Paul, who earlier in the day presented himself as undecided on the question of whether ISIS poses a threat that justifies war, was firmly convinced that it does. The sudden evaporation of Paul’s doubts reeks of political desperation. As Hannity noted, Paul is eager to shed the “isolationist” label, and this is his opportunity.

To his credit, Paul insists that any military action against ISIS must be authorized by Congress, and he continues to highlight the unintended consequences of U.S. intervention in Libya and Syria (as he did on Hannity). Furthermore, his endorsement of war against ISIS may provoke an illuminating debate among libertarians and others who tend to be skeptical of foreign intervention about what counts as a threat to national security. But given his sudden conversion and the weakness of the reasons he has offered, it is hard to take Paul seriously on the subject.

He ends with an update scolding Paul for the same point I made above about humanitarian crises as a casus belli. Here’s my question for Rand-watchers: Is there any documentary evidence anywhere prior to Paul’s run for Senate in 2010 that proves he’s typically had more interventionist impulses than his dad? The big conservative worry about Rand is that he secretly agrees with Ron on foreign policy but, unlike Ron, is willing to pander his ass off to mainstream righties in hopes of winning the nomination. The easiest way to ease that fear would be to produce something — an interview, an op-ed, anything — from Rand’s earlier years showing that he had disagreements with Ron before it became politically expedient for him to do so. Is there any evidence?


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I think 2014 is the say anything period in the hopes that no one will remember come the end of 2015. Please, no more shiny inexperienced senators.

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

America has an interest in protecting more than 5,000 personnel serving at the largest American embassy in the world in northern Iraq. I am also persuaded by the plight of massacred Christians and Muslim minorities…

I’m open on the first point.

Color me less than convinced on the second. Unless those Christians and Muslim minorities are American, we have no business going to war over them…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

I’m done with Rand. Give me someone who is at least somewhat consistent on ISIS. I don’t need a McCain-type who never saw a country on the map he didn’t wanna attack, but I also don’t want someone who leans toward Obama’s end of the spectrum.

Doughboy on September 4, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Obama has expanded drone bombing to unseen levels that good enough.
No where in the piece did Paul call for ‘boots on the ground’.

Do not spin his words to mean something it doesn’t.

weedisgood on September 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Paul is Assad/Iran useful idiot. Instead of calling for the destruction of both ISIS and Assad (Iran slave in Syria) the f***ing moron is advocating an alliance with Assad and Iran…

mnjg on September 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

I like Sen Paul who has a strong following, however, he does not have the ‘it’ to get out of a primary

I give him a pass on this subject…all politicians flip on issues

I’m referring his demeanor in interviews…no charisma and he flubs questions a lot…reminds me of a college candidate running for class president.

Paul is definitely running in 2016 and he will have a lot of grassroots support

I do respect him going to minority groups and attempting to include younger voters and reaching out to minorities. We will never win another national election without some of their votes. GOP must accept that fact or they will continue to lose. Perhaps they don’t want the WH again…I’m not sure

Redford on September 4, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Feels a bit opportunist and attempting to follow public feeling to me. Then again, I’ll admit I was somewhat the same. While they were killing each other, meh stay out of it. When they started to threaten us and our interests…screw ‘em, let’s send them a message of defiance, American-style!

RblDiver on September 4, 2014 at 4:08 PM

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

According to ISIS we are already at war.

MWC_RS on September 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM

New Rand Paul op-ed: If I were president I’d have acted more decisively against ISIS

Not going to read before I guess what it is. I would have said point blank that we absolutely have no business doing anything over there and thus Iraq and Syria are on their own! Decisive.

astonerii on September 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Obama has expanded drone bombing to unseen levels that good enough.
No where in the piece did Paul call for ‘boots on the ground’.

Do not spin his words to mean something it doesn’t.

weedisgood on September 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

What are “unseen levels?”

Walter L. Newton on September 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Paul is Assad/Iran useful idiot. Instead of calling for the destruction of both ISIS and Assad (Iran slave in Syria) the f***ing moron is advocating an alliance with Assad and Iran…

mnjg on September 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Once again, you have not thought this through.

Just what follows in Syria, if we depose Assad? Likely, it’s ISIS. If we get lucky, it’s a theocratic regime along the lines of Iran, but Sunni.

Why would we be interested in deposing a secular strongman in the region, especially after our last escapade has led to where we stand now…?

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Obama has expanded drone bombing to unseen levels that good enough.
No where in the piece did Paul call for ‘boots on the ground’.

Do not spin his words to mean something it doesn’t.

weedisgood on September 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

And where did anyone, above your comment, say anything about “boots on the ground?”

Are you smoking something?

Walter L. Newton on September 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

The big conservative worry about Rand is that he secretly agrees with Ron on foreign policy but, unlike Ron, is willing to pander his ass off to mainstream righties in hopes of winning the nomination.

Why do you make it sound as if being a non-interventionist is a bad thing?

The evidence is quite clear, Iraq is a massive failure.
The America people have not seen the benefits compared to the amount of blood and treasure we invested in the 5th century h#llhole.

weedisgood on September 4, 2014 at 4:12 PM

“obama doesn’t have a strategy for ISIS, good” – pappy

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 4:12 PM

What are “unseen levels?”

Walter L. Newton on September 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Actually, now that you bring it up, unseen levels sounds like a good quality to have in a drone…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:12 PM

That is all fine and dandy but what do we do the jihadies inside our homeland and to those jihadies who are invading us through our borders ? How about killing the enemy wherever we find it ?

burrata on September 4, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Not going to read before I guess what it is. I would have said point blank that we absolutely have no business doing anything over there and thus Iraq and Syria are on their own! Decisive.

astonerii on September 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Then you’d be disturbingly ignorant.
You libertarians like to say you believe war should only be used if there is a direct threat to this country.

Well guess what, there is. ISIS has already killed 2 Americans and threatens thousands more. Also due to our porous border they already have cells being set up in this country. Also they already consider themselves to be at war with us.

When ISIS finally does carry out a large scale attack on the Continental US, probably in the next 2 years, you can just take a look at yourself in the mirror, to find who’s to blame.

MWC_RS on September 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

I’ve not seen anyone from that area asking for American boots on the ground. I’ve seen several interviews with Kurdish military brass who want heavy weaponry etc, to match ISIS, Western air support, and perhaps some help with training and intell. In each interview they emphasized they should be the ground fighters because it is their country. I don’t think they want us on the ground.

butch on September 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

If I were president I’d have acted more decisively against ISIS


Sing it with me, Rand!

“If I were the King of the Forest …”

PolAgnostic on September 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

The big conservative worry about Rand is that he secretly agrees with Ron on foreign policy but, unlike Ron, is willing to pander his ass off to mainstream righties in hopes of winning the nomination.

He is calling for a declaration of war against ISIS (a dicey proposition, given their questionable nature as a sovereign state), publicly disagreeing with the old man in the most public of fashions.

If that’s merely pandering, you have to at least give him credit for commitment to the con…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

So you ahhhh want to be President huh Rand??

ToddPA on September 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Sing it with me, Rand!

“If I were the King of the Forest …”

PolAgnostic on September 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

That sounds appallingly like a show tune.

Don’t we have a rule around here about show tunes. If we don’t, we should…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

New Rand Paul op-ed: If I were president I’d have acted more decisively against ISIS

Not going to read before I guess what it is. I would have said point blank that we absolutely have no business doing anything over there and thus Iraq and Syria are on their own! Decisive.

astonerii on September 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Wow, was I wrong. It is like this is totally not like the Paul we all know. Like this or what his past face was just a facade to make us fools. I am no fool for a facade.

astonerii on September 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Sing it with me, Rand!

“If I were the King of the Forest …”

PolAgnostic on September 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM

LMAO!

ToddPA on September 4, 2014 at 4:18 PM

That sounds appallingly like a show tune.

Don’t we have a rule around here about show tunes. If we don’t, we should…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

I agree. We should have to post each comment with an appropriate title that relates to a line of lyrics in a Broadway or off-Broadway musical.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Walter L. Newton on September 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

I smell a Paul/Warren ticket

sentinelrules on September 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

He has become such a whore. Maybe he always was. He would sell his sould for a vote. Sad.

talkingpoints on September 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Once again, you have not thought this through.

Just what follows in Syria, if we depose Assad? Likely, it’s ISIS. If we get lucky, it’s a theocratic regime along the lines of Iran, but Sunni.

Why would we be interested in deposing a secular strongman in the region, especially after our last escapade has led to where we stand now…?

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Ya jahesh… I am saying to destroy both ISIS and Assad at the same time… There will not no be an autocratic rule in Syria if this is done… Most Syrians will not accept this type of rule… Second, Assad is not secular, not even close… He and his alawite religious sect control all the power in Syria despite that they are less than 15% of the population… He is the most sectarian of all regimes as his minority sect controls the entire country.. Allowing the Christians to worship is not a sign of secularism it is just one his fake tricks about diversity and secularism… You may need to ask the Lebanese Christians what Assad and his father before him did to them while they rebelled against the Syrian regime occupation of Lebanon… As I said before there are far too many morons like you opining about Syria and the Middle East and they know nothing about these subjects and get their info from the idiocy, lies, distortions, and crap they read on the internet… Now rooh intek ya ayre…

mnjg on September 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

I’ve not seen anyone from that area asking for American boots on the ground. I’ve seen several interviews with Kurdish military brass who want heavy weaponry etc, to match ISIS, Western air support, and perhaps some help with training and intell. In each interview they emphasized they should be the ground fighters because it is their country. I don’t think they want us on the ground.

butch on September 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

And that is all well and good, but do we really want to pour American weaponry into the region(again), and have a chance of it being captured by ISIS (again), to be used in a push on Baghdad? If we do, I sure as hell want a better idea of national interest than oppressed Christians and Muslims.

Because I have sat through this movie before, and it still hasn’t ended well…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Obama wouldn’t want any of his Taliban friends to get hurt…

viking01 on September 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

‘If I were president I’d have acted more decisively against ISIS … like begging Iran and Syria to take the lead in wiping them out … and other stuff … maybe … or something …’

Rand is a fruitcake.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

It won’t be ISIS if we turn them into glass, which we can.

And Assad and Saddam are/were hardly “secular” they might not be too religious but that doesn’t mean they weren’t willing to finance certain Jihadi groups including Hezbollah and Hamas.

The current conflict in Iraq has grown because of our actions Post-2009. Actions or lack thereof. Basically Obama practiced the same foreign policy Rand and Ron have both advocated, and we ended up with ISIS 6 years later.

MWC_RS on September 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I really don’t see much of a change. Rand Paul has never been for Islamic Nation Building/COIN/”Winning Muslim [dark] Hearts and [small} Minds”/”Islamic Democracy Project” and doesn’t seem to be now.

VorDaj on September 4, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I smell a Paul/Warren ticket

sentinelrules on September 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

We don’t need any of the Pauls in the White House. What a sleazy bunch.

Walter L. Newton on September 4, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Paul’s libertarianism is what the GOP needs, however he needs to keep his mouth shut on what he would do in foreign policy until he has all the facts.

Tater Salad on September 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I am no fool for a facade.

astonerii on September 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Me, I will convince my 28 member extended family to vote Obama… You can b!tch and moan all you want about how unfair it is….
astonerii on January 27, 2012 at 6:09 PM

I would vote Obama just to shut people like you up.
astonerii on November 29, 2011 at 8:20 PM

If you cannot live with another 4 years of Obama, pity to you for being such a pathetically weak person.
astonerii on March 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Heh…

V7_Sport on September 4, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Obama has expanded drone bombing to unseen levels that good enough.
No where in the piece did Paul call for ‘boots on the ground’.

Do not spin his words to mean something it doesn’t.

weedisgood on September 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Remember the good old days when droning the crap out of somebody only created more terrorists.

RickB on September 4, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Paul’s libertarianism is what the GOP needs, however he needs to keep his mouth shut on what he would do in foreign policy until he has all the facts.

Tater Salad on September 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM

AP seems to disagree with you. AP says that we need confirmation of Rand’s foreign policy credentials from his days as an eye doctor:

The easiest way to ease that fear would be to produce something — an interview, an op-ed, anything — from Rand’s earlier years showing that he had disagreements with Ron before it became politically expedient for him to do so. Is there any evidence?

airupthere on September 4, 2014 at 4:25 PM

I really don’t see how Rand would be much better than Obama on foreign policy. Call me a neocon all u want, but after Obama we desperately need a strong leader on foreign policy. And Rand, in my opinion, is not the guy.

As for who is, I still like Perry. But after he hired a few establishment goons, cons are dumping all over him. So all the momentum he had is gone.

I like Scott Walker but he may not even win his governor race, despite all he’s done for that useless state.

So that leaves Jindal. But I’m sure we will end up with Christie or Bush.

Jack_Burton on September 4, 2014 at 4:26 PM

America has an interest in protecting more than 5,000 personnel serving at the largest American embassy in the world in northern Iraq. I am also persuaded by the plight of massacred Christians and Muslim minorities…

The military means to achieve these goals include airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. Such airstrikes are the best way to suppress ISIS’s operational strength and allow allies such as the Kurds to regain a military advantage.

We should arm and aid capable and allied Kurdish fighters whose territory includes areas now under siege by the ISIS.

Sounds like a pretty good plan to me and with no “Islamic Nation Building” and hopefully those air strikes would include copious amounts of napalm.

VorDaj on September 4, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Heh…

V7_Sport on September 4, 2014 at 4:23 PM

I never fell for Paul, I never fell for Rubio. You on the other hand still think the bee knees of Cochran AMIRIGHT? McConnell? Boehner? Your dearest love interest Williard Mitt Romney?
I do not fall for facades. You fall for anything with a simple (R) next to their name. You should wipe that stuff off your chin.

astonerii on September 4, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I don’t know what to believe about what Paul really believes..

Raquel Pinkbullet on September 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM

“Furthermore, his endorsement of war against ISIS may provoke an illuminating debate among libertarians and others who tend to be skeptical of foreign intervention about what counts as a threat to national security.”

I’d like to see that too, because I’d like them to clarify exactly what the bar is for the rest of us. Apparently it’s not a direct declaration. It’s not the threat to citizens travelling abroad or a disruption of stability that would have serious impacts on our own economy here at home. It’s not a terrorist army with $2 billion to burn and rock star charisma attracting psychopathic jihadists from every country and inspiring oaths of fealty from Pakistan to Qatar to Yemen, and it’s not the potential of a Sunni caliphate or the decapitation of Americans or proposed genocides.
It’s not even a combination of all of those things at once.

So what’s the bar? At what point can we expect to receive the Libertarian blessing?

And while we’re at it, I’d like someone to ask Rand why he thinks encouraging a closer alliance between Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey to provide us with the likelihood of a nuclear Shi’ite caliphate is the best possible answer to destroying a Sunni caliphate.

Recon5 on September 4, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Paul’s libertarianism is what the GOP needs, however he needs to keep his mouth shut on what he would do in foreign policy until he has all the facts.

Tater Salad on September 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM

SO MUCH THIS.

His mouth has Rush Limbaugh syndrome and it’s gonna get him in trouble come election time.

LawfulGood on September 4, 2014 at 4:31 PM

I love how people say it’s a new Paul. It’s the same old Paul but somehow people are paying attention. When the IS threat came up he said he would support the president acting to stop them.

Rand Paul realizes what many people don’t want to acknowledge and that is there are no moderates fighting Assad. none. Zero. Nada. So if the goal is truly to stop IS, then you have to fight with the people fighting IS.

If the goal is to just do PR then don’t bother going. You will do more harm than good. So it’s Assad or IS or Al-Qeada. Free Syrian Army are just guys standing by waiting for IS to come close enough so they can sign up. That’s what they’ve always done. There is no middle. It does suck, but that is the reality we are facing with.

If everybody else is afraid to acknowledge this reality, I am glad that Rand Paul realizes it.

coolrepublica on September 4, 2014 at 4:31 PM

the Paul’s seem to be really good at channeling energy, exploiting dissatisfaction… much like Obama can do.

But it is hard to take them seriously, because they seem so grasping at fame and fortune, without really doing anything worth fame and fortune.

Rand is better than many, including Perry and Santorum…and others, but still… I just don’t see it.

Rand Paul is squirrely. I don’t know how else to say what I mean… he is playing both sides against the middle or something. It’s hard to trust a Paul. Especially Ron, but also the apple that fell from that tree.

petunia on September 4, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Second, Assad is not secular, not even close…

mnjg on September 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Really?? Lots of religious parties in Syria? Sharia used to cover criminal proceedings, is it? Islam the official state religion, is it?

Once again, you haven’t thought this through…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:32 PM

I do not fall for facades.
astonerii on September 4, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Says the guy who bragged about voting for Obama.

Washington Nearsider on September 4, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Seems Pander Rand continues to struggle with where to position himself.

Bitter Clinger on September 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

What does Chris Christie think about ISIS? What is Jeb Bush’s position? Arguably, the only likely GOP candidates who have professed any sort of position are Paul, Perry, and Cruz. Cruz having a position is arguable, as far as I know his strategy is “bomb ISIS back to the stone-age”. While I agree in sentiment, it is not exactly a wide-ranging strategy.

Rand has spoken the most about foreign policy because he is the biggest wild card in the field. That should not absolve the others of avoiding the subject. Other candidates are avoiding the topic because it can do damage this early on. Rand has the most to gain by changing opinions about his foreign policy, but it seems that we are hammering him at the same time we give everyone else a pass…

2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
RCP Average 6/24-8/4:
Christie: 11.5
Bush: 10.8
Paul: 10.3
Ryan: 9.3
Cruz: 8.8
Perry: 8.3
Rubio: 7.5
Walker: 5.3
Santorum: 2.8
Jindal: 2.3

airupthere on September 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Paul’s libertarianism is what the GOP needs, however he needs to keep his mouth shut on what he would do in foreign policy until he has all the facts.

Tater Salad on September 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Facts have no bearing on any of Rand’s policies.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Seems Pander Rand continues to struggle with where to position himself.

Bitter Clinger on September 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Where is the rest of the GOP field positioned?

airupthere on September 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

I would suggest to Senator Paul, to make his criticisms very carefully. I know I hated it when the Democrats pulled this stuff on Bush, it’s really easy to criticize when you have no responsibility. Now I’m saying that, even though I believe Barack Obama is incompetent, I don’t have the op-ed pages of the newspapers clamoring for me to criticize the President and make an ass of myself.

bflat879 on September 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Anyone keeping track on how many US boots “aren’t on the ground” already? By my count there are 2600 boots (2 per “advisor”) that are somehow there but aren’t. Add in 5000 US civilians, probably another 2000 “contractors”.

Better to send in 5-10000 now than 100-150,000 in two years.

can_con on September 4, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Seems Pander Rand continues to struggle with where to position himself.

Bitter Clinger on September 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

He is positioned firmly on the fence.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 4:36 PM

This is what he actually said:

First, we should not put any U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq, unless it is to secure or evacuate U.S. personnel and diplomatic facilities. And while we may not completely rule out airstrikes, there are many questions that need to be addressed first.

What would airstrikes accomplish? We know that Iran is aiding the Iraqi government against ISIS. Do we want to, in effect, become Iran’s air force? What’s in this for Iran? Why should we choose a side, and if we do, who are we really helping?

Which is consistent with what he’s saying now. I guess after reviewing the facts and answering the questions for himself, he’s come to the opinion that ISIS is enough of a threat to us that, on balance, giving aid to Iran in the region is the lesser evil. Seems to me that we should actually consider the ramifications of our actions first and bomb second, rather than the other way around (if the ramifications are ever considered at all). But, whatever, AP has an anti-Rand column to write and the facts be damned.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:39 PM

MWC_RS on September 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I can appreciate a good 4:20 but maybe you want to make the loads a little smaller.

It won’t be ISIS if we turn them into glass, which we can.

So, planning unilateral first nuclear strikes on a non-nuclear state, are you?

And some wonder why they get labelled “warmonger”.

And Assad and Saddam are/were hardly “secular” they might not be too religious but that doesn’t mean they weren’t willing to finance certain Jihadi groups including Hezbollah and Hamas.

They finance terror groups, no doubt about it. And yeah, H&H are jihadist.

You’ll note that they sure as hell didn’t allow any of them in their military ranks or cabinets. Which you really can;t say the same of for Christians. One of Saddam’s top guys was a Christian.

I would think non-secular Islamist states would be made of sterner stuff.

The current conflict in Iraq has grown because of our actions Post-2009. Actions or lack thereof. Basically Obama practiced the same foreign policy Rand and Ron have both advocated, and we ended up with ISIS 6 years later.

Nice attempt to dodge our responsibility for this post 2003, but I’m not about to let you get away with it. As I said before, I sure don’t remember no ISIS rising when Saddam Hussein was in charge…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:40 PM

He is positioned firmly on the fence.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 4:36 PM

And our current ruling class jumped the fence and is running like the Roadrunner into La-la-land. I’ll take Rand.

LawfulGood on September 4, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Seems Pander Rand continues to struggle with where to position himself.

Bitter Clinger on September 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

He is positioned firmly on the fence.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Clueless.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:40 PM

There’s an old joke: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

People complaining because Rand Paul isn’t a pure-as-the-driven-snow 110% libertarian are being electorally stupid. Half a loaf is better than none. Rand Paul represents the best chance in probably the last 100 years to actually get something approaching a libertarian into the White House.

If you sit there and complain because Rand Paul isn’t everything you dreamed of, in 2016 you’re likely to get what my mother always told me I’d get if I complained about dinner: Nothing.

Or we’ll get Hillary, which would be worse than nothing. Think about it, Republicans!

Gearbox on September 4, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Follow me:

Slimeball #1 – Narcissistic arrogant first term senator wants to be president, runs for the nomination, loses, parlays into VP nomination – John Edwards

Slimeball #2 – Inspired by slimeball #1, narcissistic arrogant first term senator wants to be president, runs for nomination, wins, makes mess of country – Barack Obama

Slimeball #3 – Wannabe Republican version of slimeball #2 – Rand Paul

A RECORD OF COMPETENCE IN GOVERNANCE IS SUPPOSED TO MATTER PEOPLE.

ELSIS-1 on September 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

From the comments here it seems that Rand would be better off by only criticizing Obama’s policy toward ISIS. That seems to be the safe play being made by every other potential GOP candidate.

Criticize Obama. Make broad statements that ISIS must be eliminated and Obama is awful. Make no comment as to how to achieve this. Beat up any GOP candidate who does prescribe how they would accomplish getting rid of ISIS. Win the GOP nomination.

The other GOP candidates are great at saying what we shouldn’t do, but has any one of them made an actual actionable proposal as to what we should do?

airupthere on September 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Rand is a fruitcake.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I love them.

Let’s bomb them.

I love them.

Let’s bomb them.

faraway on September 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

The dreaded fade. Too bad. I had great hope for him initially.

Bmore on September 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

People complaining because Rand Paul isn’t a pure-as-the-driven-snow 110% libertarian are being electorally stupid. Half a loaf is better than none. Rand Paul represents the best chance in probably the last 100 years to actually get something approaching a libertarian into the White House.

Gearbox on September 4, 2014 at 4:40 PM

What he is is one of the only politicians that can believably assert that he will shrink the government as President. Most of the others won’t even make that promise. They simply talk about slowing the rate of growth. And those promises aren’t even believable. People complaining about Rand are hoping for who, exactly? Christie? Romney? Bush? I don’t get it.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Kentucky, please send this guy back to his Ophthalmology office.

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

What he is is one of the only politicians that can believably assert that he will shrink the government as President. Most of the others won’t even make that promise. They simply talk about slowing the rate of growth. And those promises aren’t even believable. People complaining about Rand are hoping for who, exactly? Christie? Romney? Bush? I don’t get it.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:47 PM

2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
RCP Average 6/24-8/4:
Christie: 11.5
Bush: 10.8

Paul: 10.3
Ryan: 9.3
Cruz: 8.8
Perry: 8.3
Rubio: 7.5
Walker: 5.3
Santorum: 2.8
Jindal: 2.3

airupthere on September 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

A RECORD OF COMPETENCE IN GOVERNANCE IS SUPPOSED TO MATTER PEOPLE.

ELSIS-1 on September 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

So, the only people qualified to be President are people who have spent a lifetime in government, worthlessly suckling on the teat of the productive? That’s statism, plain and simple.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

What he is is one of the only politicians that can believably assert that he will shrink the government as President.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Why do you say that? He can’t believably assert anything the way he keeps changing based on every twist in the news cycle. And look at his experience – when has he ever overseen a budget, much less cut one?

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 4:52 PM

New Rand Paul op-ed: If I were president I’d have acted more decisively against ISIS

Not saying a lot, there…..

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Why do you say that? He can’t believably assert anything the way he keeps changing based on every twist in the news cycle. And look at his experience – when has he ever overseen a budget, much less cut one?

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Was that your argument for George W Bush???

If that be competence, give me whimsy…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Why do you say that? He can’t believably assert anything the way he keeps changing based on every twist in the news cycle. And look at his experience – when has he ever overseen a budget, much less cut one?

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 4:52 PM

He has produced a budget that made cuts that put everyone else’s to shame. And I reject your strawman created by big government statists and cronies that claim his positions “keep changing.”

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

So, the only people qualified to be President are people who have spent a lifetime in government, worthlessly suckling on the teat of the productive? That’s statism, plain and simple.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Is everyone in government worthless? Is everyone out of government productive?

That’s the problem with ideologies – whether it’s libertarianism or socialism – they don’t reflect the real world.

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM

astonerii on September 4, 2014 at 4:29 PM

never fell for Paul, I never fell for Rubio

Just Obama.

You on the other hand still think the bee knees of Cochran AMIRIGHT?

“AMIRIGHT? ” LOL! No, no you are not right. You have an amazing capacity to be wrong. You are a bottomless pit of wrong. You defy nutonian physics in your ability to be wrong. You are the stopped clock that is still not right twice a day.

I do not fall for facades.

Heh.

astonerii and his extended family will be voting for Obama.
astonerii on February 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I vote Obama…
astonerii on October 9, 2011 at 8:46 PM

I vote Obama if Romney is on the ticket. I will not go so far as to send a donation or put a sticker on my bumper, I never put stickers on my bumper, but I will vote.
astonerii on July 17, 2011 at 5:42 PM

V7_Sport on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM

What he is is one of the only politicians that can believably assert that he will shrink the government as President.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:47 PM

His love/support for BIG GOVERNMENT Mitch McConnell tells a much different story. Anyone who claims that McConnell is a “CONSERVATIVE”, is difficult to take seriously.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM

What he is is one of the only politicians that can believably assert that he will shrink the government as President. Most of the others won’t even make that promise. They simply talk about slowing the rate of growth. And those promises aren’t even believable. People complaining about Rand are hoping for who, exactly? Christie? Romney? Bush? I don’t get it.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Precisely. Brand-name loyalty for electing a Republican is dead and buried. Recognize that fact or watch Shrillary Shrew Clintoon get elected in the next round.

LawfulGood on September 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Why do you say that?

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Who, exactly, are you hoping for that is better? Unless you are a die hard holdout for Cruz, you’re pissing in the wind.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM

He has produced a budget that made cuts that put everyone else’s to shame.
besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Really? When has he been in a position of responsibility where he had to run a budget? Anyone can propose a budget for the federal government – why should we believe him when he has no record of actually following through?

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Bull

KBird on September 4, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Who, exactly, are you hoping for that is better? Unless you are a die hard holdout for Cruz, you’re pissing in the wind.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM

I like Cruz but I think we need to look at a Governor that has a track record.

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Obama has expanded drone bombing to unseen levels that good enough.
No where in the piece did Paul call for ‘boots on the ground’.

Do not spin his words to mean something it doesn’t.

weedisgood on September 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

What, no “neocon” reference? Congratulations! Take another hit!

tanked59 on September 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Is everyone in government worthless? Is everyone out of government productive?

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM

By definition, people in government do not produce. If you think otherwise, tell me what it is, exactly, that you think that they produce. At best, they facilitate the productive members of society to produce. At worst, they hinder it. Most of government today is a hindrance to the productive.

And, your question “is everyone out of government productive?” is based on a nonsensical logical fallacy. Simply because all A are B does not mean that all B are A. Logic 101.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM

He has become such a whore. Maybe he always was. He would sell his sould for a vote. Sad.

talkingpoints on September 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Cheap Trick – “He’s a Whore”

Anti-ControI on September 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

I like Cruz but I think we need to look at a Governor that has a track record.

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Who? Give me a name. You’re tearing down a committed small government conservative based on baseless accusations and you won’t even commit to someone that you support instead. That, my friend, is insanity.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 5:05 PM

I’ve not seen anyone from that area asking for American boots on the ground. I’ve seen several interviews with Kurdish military brass who want heavy weaponry etc, to match ISIS, Western air support, and perhaps some help with training and intell. In each interview they emphasized they should be the ground fighters because it is their country. I don’t think they want us on the ground.

butch on September 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

So, basically what we’ve provided to the Sunni insurgency -that now constitute the ISIS core- fighting the Shia militia in the past?

Surely this time will be different.

Paul was originally right: there’s no point in taking sides because there’s nothing to be gained from it. They’re all bad and sooner or later those weapons and training will be put to use against American lives and interests.

Anyone who thinks government intervention will solve this is a liberal at heart. “Bombing ISIS” is an exercise in futility: they’ll just go underground and resurge once the military pressure eases – as it’ll eventually have to happen.

I’m not a libertarian. This is a conservative position: one of prudence, of avoiding unintended consequences and of reckoning the limitations of political action (either through the means of legislation, diplomacy or war).

joana on September 4, 2014 at 5:05 PM

His love/support for BIG GOVERNMENT Mitch McConnell tells a much different story. Anyone who claims that McConnell is a “CONSERVATIVE”, is difficult to take seriously.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Really??? Do you really expect him, as junior senator, to not support the senior senator from his state?

Anyone who claims that is good politics is difficult to take seriously…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 5:06 PM

The current conflict in Iraq has grown because of our actions Post-2009. Actions or lack thereof. Basically Obama practiced the same foreign policy Rand and Ron have both advocated, and we ended up with ISIS 6 years later.

Nice attempt to dodge our responsibility for this post 2003, but I’m not about to let you get away with it. As I said before, I sure don’t remember no ISIS rising when Saddam Hussein was in charge…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Sure, let’s just ignore the way Obama pulled out all the troops when it was obvious to all that Iraq was not ready, and ignore the disastrous Arab Spring foreign policy of Obama that has resulted in even a stable country like Egypt changing governments twice in short order, and the sacking of Benghazi because we encouraged the overthrow of a stable government in Libya, and were busy funneling weapons to Syrian rebels that then became ISIS and attacked Iraq, and so on, and so on, and let’s just blame it all on Bush. Like Obama wants to do.

Are you sure you’re not a journalist? I usually expect such absurdity from the lobotomized or liberals. But I repeat myself.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Really? When has he been in a position of responsibility where he had to run a budget? Anyone can propose a budget for the federal government – why should we believe him when he has no record of actually following through?

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Well, for starters, he produced a budget that cut government. How many have done that? The number is approaching one – Rand Paul. If they don’t propose a budget that cuts government, I suspect that our electing them isn’t going to suddenly get them to do so.

And again. I reject your notion that we must select from a group of “professional” parasites, rather than from a group of citizen legislators and representatives that the Founders envisioned.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Additionally, the US armed forces and taxes should be used to defend American lives and interests (including coming in defense of our allies).

Not defending foreigners, regardless of their religious preferences. People who want to help them should do it with their own private means.

It was stupid when Clinton went to Yugoslavia to protect the poor Muslins from the bad slavic Christians and it’ll be stupid to go to Iraq and Syria to protect the poor Christians from the bad Sunni Muslins. Unintended consequences always abound in these type of situations and one doesn’t know what one doesn’t know.

joana on September 4, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Is everyone in government worthless? Is everyone out of government productive?

That’s the problem with ideologies – whether it’s libertarianism or socialism – they don’t reflect the real world.

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM

The only problem I see there is one with the usage of strawmen arguments.

joana on September 4, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Sure, let’s just ignore the way Obama pulled out all the troops when it was obvious to all that Iraq was not ready, and ignore the disastrous Arab Spring foreign policy of Obama that has resulted in even a stable country like Egypt changing governments twice in short order, and the sacking of Benghazi because we encouraged the overthrow of a stable government in Libya, and were busy funneling weapons to Syrian rebels that then became ISIS and attacked Iraq, and so on, and so on, and let’s just blame it all on Bush. Like Obama wants to do.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Just because Obama dropped the ball doesn’t absolve Bush of one of the most critical foreign policy blunders on the last century…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Cheap Trick – “He’s a Whore”

Anti-ControI on September 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Paul was originally right: there’s no point in taking sides because there’s nothing to be gained from it. They’re all bad and sooner or later those weapons and training will be put to use against American lives and interests.

joana on September 4, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Perhaps, perhaps not. But, the beauty of Paul’s position is that he proposes making a case to congress and letting congress decide based on the facts and full consideration of the ramifications of action and inaction. Rather than the executive unilaterally deciding what to do, without ever considering the ramifications of his actions. As the Founders envisioned.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 5:12 PM

You’re tearing down a committed small government conservative based on baseless accusations and you won’t even commit to someone that you support instead. That, my friend, is insanity.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 5:05 PM

He’s not a committed anything. He’s done nothing. You’re falling for a con.

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 5:13 PM

tanked59 on September 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Lolz! Perhaps we should all start addressing him as, “weedocon”.

Bmore on September 4, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Really??? Do you really expect him, as junior senator, to not support the senior senator from his state?

Anyone who claims that is good politics is difficult to take seriously…

JohnGalt23 on September 4, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Rand endorsed McConnell in March 2013 – months before any other Republican had announced a run for the seat – and then he spent months trying to defend/spin his ridiculous endorsement, by claiming that McConnell is a “conservative”. Seriously? Why endorse him, and why so early? Why LIE trying to defend the endorsement? It was all completely unnecessary, and revealed a lot about where Rand Paul really stands.

It was NOT good politics.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

He’s not a committed anything. He’s done nothing. You’re falling for a con.

kcewa on September 4, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Even if it is a con, he’s saying that he wants to cut government. So, even if he’s lying, at worst he’d give us what most other Republicans are already telling us that they’d give us. More government.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Sure, let’s just ignore the way Obama pulled out all the troops when it was obvious to all that Iraq was not ready, and ignore the disastrous Arab Spring foreign policy of Obama that has resulted in even a stable country like Egypt changing governments twice in short order, and the sacking of Benghazi because we encouraged the overthrow of a stable government in Libya, and were busy funneling weapons to Syrian rebels that then became ISIS and attacked Iraq, and so on, and so on, and let’s just blame it all on Bush. Like Obama wants to do.

Are you sure you’re not a journalist? I usually expect such absurdity from the lobotomized or liberals. But I repeat myself.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Yeps, we can keep things more or less under control -if one is willing to see American soldiers dying and billions of Americans’ tax dollars being spent on the endeavour- when Iraq is occupied by the most powerful armed forces in history and Syria is under the control of one of the most ruthless dictators in the world. But that was always a precarious solution, it wasn’t a sustainable status quo. So what’s exactly your solution?

In the end, your posts can be summed up with “Government activism with the policy of supporting Arab Spring policy and holding up Sunni militia in Iraq created this mess! What we need to fix it is… more government activism”.

It will never work. Just like, say, the government war on poverty will never work. For the same reasons.

joana on September 4, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Why endorse him, and why so early? Why LIE trying to defend the endorsement? It was all completely unnecessary, and revealed a lot about where Rand Paul really stands.

It was NOT good politics.

Pork-Chop on September 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

You’re still a clueless pinko.

besser tot als rot on September 4, 2014 at 5:17 PM

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