To interventionists like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we would caution that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria created a haven for the Islamic State. We are lucky Mrs. Clinton didn’t get her way and the Obama administration did not bring about regime change in Syria. That new regime might well be ISIS. – Senator Rand Paul
IT’S AMUSING to watch Sen. Rand Paul work to get Hillary Clinton to respond to him, while revealing he has no foreign policy plan of his own. Barack Obama did a lot of this as a candidate, too.
“If [Hillary Clinton] wants to be commander in chief and she cannot protect our embassies, I don’t think that she could or should be,” Paul said. “I think it precludes her from ever being considered as commander in chief.” – Senator Rand Paul [Politico]
Meanwhile, the American people are once again proving they are fickle when it comes to action against potential threats, not wanting to do anything, but quick to blame a president amid turmoil.
Republicans, Democrats and independents all are more likely to say the U.S. does too little to solve world problems, but the shift among Republicans has been striking.
Last fall, 52% of Republicans said the U.S. does too much to help solve global problems, while just 18% said it does too little. Today, 46% of Republicans think the U.S. does too little to solve global problems, while 37% say it does too much. [Pew Research Poll]
Sen. Rand Paul should pay attention to his own party, because his strategy of criticizing Democrats as being either “interventionists” like Hillary Clinton, or doing too little like President Obama, won’t be enough if he doesn’t outline what he wants to do.
Sen. Paul is so blatantly opportunistic about his motives, without illustrating any analytic acuity of foreign policy in the process. Everything is simple to him, boiling down to the worn out axiom that the U.S. “cannot be the world’s policeman.”
First Paul was going after Clinton through her president husband Bill. Talking about the consensual affairs in his past, dangling Monica Lewinsky out there hoping to get a rise out of someone in Hillaryland.
Now with IS on the rampage, with borders now non-existent between Iraq and Syria, Senator Rand Paul is hitting Clinton over her advice to President Obama to arm Syrian rebels early on, using it to remind Democrats and especially progressives about her Iraq war vote.
All of this is very planned and calculated, because Senator Paul is working diligently to up his profile across the board, but especially on foreign policy, clearly hitting a nerve with many Americans who have turned into non-interventionists after the last 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan. This would be smart, because it potentially cuts across all party lines just like Paul’s reach out on the N.S.A., however, his analysis on IS is stunningly lacking, especially when you consider conventional wisdom of the Republican party. You don’t have to agree with them to see Paul’s got a problem.
Jennifer Rubin and the Republican establishment will take care of him.
Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams tells Right Turn: “Senator Paul simply has the facts wrong. He published his article in The Wall Street Journal but apparently doesn’t read it himself, or he’d have seen last Saturday’s article there detailing how the Assad regime abetted the rise of ISIS.” Paul, however, seems less interested in accuracy than in justifying his own misguided policy proposals. “Those who argued for intervening to strengthen nationalist Syrian rebels have been proved quite right, for as they have weakened ISIS has grown stronger,” Abrams says.
“In fact we’ve done in Syria exactly what Rand Paul always wants to do–nothing–and we see the result. It’s the steady growth of a murderous, barbarous terrorist group that now threatens even the homeland.”
The issue regarding IS, but also Syria, as I see it, one bleeding heart out in the wilderness, is that there have been war crimes committed over years, including Bashar al Assad. Appreciating President Obama has a difficult task ahead, I find his current position untenable, his latest remarks infuriatingly unhelpful. It’s a long time past President Kennedy’s idea that Special Forces be our main point of the American spear. We cannot be in all places at once, but once again the American people, however slowly, are catching on to just how dangerous ISIS has become in a world where there are no leaders if America isn’t standing up for our own values.
We cannot do everything in the world, but we must lead the world where war crimes have been committed, now finding out that before photojournalist James Foley was beheaded that he, as well as other captives, were waterboarded, clearly torture.
The contingent represented Sen. Rand Paul that spreads over political ideologies, who think the U.S. has no part to play when non-state terrorists, is not capable of leading our country. Like what grew in the failed state of Afghanistan to hit the U.S. on 9/11, ISIS has already proven to be a destabilizing force in a very volatile region where political alliances are weak.
It’s not enough to cite the mistakes of Iraq, which we all know all too well, or criticize President Obama. Mistakes in Iraq and looking in the rearview mirror has turned into paralysis. It’s a grave error in the face of such carnage.
This post has been updated.