Rand Paul Slams US Interventionists' "Unhinged Foreign Policy" For Abetting The Rise Of ISIS

Tyler Durden's picture


Authored by Dr. Rand Paul, originally posted at The Wall Street Journal,

As the murderous, terrorist Islamic State continues to threaten Iraq, the region and potentially the United States, it is vitally important that we examine how this problem arose. Any actions we take today must be informed by what we've already done in the past, and how effective our actions have been.

Shooting first and asking questions later has never been a good foreign policy. The past year has been a perfect example.

In September President Obama and many in Washington were eager for a U.S. intervention in Syria to assist the rebel groups fighting President Bashar Assad's government. Arguing against military strikes, I wrote that "Bashar Assad is clearly not an American ally. But does his ouster encourage stability in the Middle East, or would his ouster actually encourage instability?"

The administration's goal has been to degrade Assad's power, forcing him to negotiate with the rebels. But degrading Assad's military capacity also degrades his ability to fend off the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Assad's government recently bombed the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

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.

This is not to say the U.S. should ally with Assad. But we should recognize how regime change in Syria could have helped and emboldened the Islamic State, and recognize that those now calling for war against ISIS are still calling for arms to factions allied with ISIS in the Syrian civil war. We should realize that the interventionists are calling for Islamic rebels to win in Syria and for the same Islamic rebels to lose in Iraq. While no one in the West supports Assad, replacing him with ISIS would be a disaster.

Our Middle Eastern policy is unhinged, flailing about to see who to act against next, with little thought to the consequences. This is not a foreign policy.

Those who say we should have done more to arm the Syrian rebel groups have it backward. Mrs. Clinton was also eager to shoot first in Syria before asking some important questions. Her successor John Kerry was no better, calling the failure to strike Syria a "Munich moment."

Some now speculate Mr. Kerry and the administration might have to walk back or at least mute their critiques of Assad in the interest of defeating the Islamic State.

A reasonable degree of foresight should be a prerequisite for holding high office. So should basic hindsight. This administration has neither.

But the same is true of hawkish members of my own party. Some said it would be "catastrophic" if we failed to strike Syria. What they were advocating for then—striking down Assad's regime—would have made our current situation even worse, as it would have eliminated the only regional counterweight to the ISIS threat.

Our so-called foreign policy experts are failing us miserably. The Obama administration's feckless veering is making it worse. It seems the only thing both sides of this flawed debate agree on is that "something" must be done. It is the only thing they ever agree on.

But the problem is, we did do something. We aided those who've contributed to the rise of the Islamic State. The CIA delivered arms and other equipment to Syrian rebels, strengthening the side of the ISIS jihadists. Some even traveled to Syria from America to give moral and material support to these rebels even though there had been multiple reports some were allied with al Qaeda.

Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for the London newspaper, the Independent, recently reported something disturbing about these rebel groups in Syria. In his new book, "The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising," Mr. Cockburn writes that he traveled to southeast Turkey earlier in the year where "a source told me that 'without exception' they all expressed enthusiasm for the 9/11 attacks and hoped the same thing would happen in Europe as well as the U.S." It's safe to say these rebels are probably not friends of the United States.

"If American interests are at stake," I said in September, "then it is incumbent upon those advocating for military action to convince Congress and the American people of that threat. Too often, the debate begins and ends with an assertion that our national interest is at stake without any evidence of that assertion. The burden of proof lies with those who wish to engage in war."

Those wanting a U.S. war in Syria could not clearly show a U.S. national interest then, and they have been proven foolish now. A more realistic foreign policy would recognize that there are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but also that America cannot police or solve every problem across the globe. Only after recognizing the practical limits of our foreign policy can we pursue policies that are in the best interest of the U.S.

The Islamic State represents a threat that should be taken seriously. But we should also recall how recent foreign-policy decisions have helped these extremists so that we don't make the same mistake of potentially aiding our enemies again.

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Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:47 | 5159717 Duffy
Duffy's picture

I know an unhinged portion of our foreign policy he won't slam...


Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:49 | 5159729 froze25
froze25's picture

Go, Rand 2016

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:51 | 5159743 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture



Ron is a Ferrari.

Rand is a Yugo.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:56 | 5159761 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

You said it.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:21 | 5159855 SuperRay
SuperRay's picture

Ron, unfortunately, is done.

Rand, on the other hand, may develop cancer, a la Chavez...

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:36 | 5159926 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

'Rand is a Yugo'

Since we're clomping along now on bloody stumps, I'll take the ride.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:38 | 5159935 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture



Without an engine.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:59 | 5160021 Slave
Slave's picture

Uh oh!!!!!1 Rand is a muslim lover!!1 Where are you nmewn?? I know you love Rand, do you hate him now??

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 17:24 | 5160316 TheSecondLaw
TheSecondLaw's picture

Don't forget...he too, is a politican.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:03 | 5160675 Drunk In Church
Drunk In Church's picture

First, he wants to defund Israel.  Now he wants to give them mega-bucks.  I have no idea where Rand stands.  He's always blowing in the wind.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:36 | 5160773 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

You can't get elected by republicans if you don't defend Israel. With the new media exposing Israel's excesses, that will change in time. For now, Paul proves he's not an idiot by supporting Israel.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 17:54 | 5160380 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Yeah really!  These pretentious bitchez expect a Ferrari and right now they're taking the bus.  We have bathhouse Barry, for heavens sake.   I know, They're all the same.  But I'll take Rand Paul over a Hitlery or Pocohontas ANY DAY.

-on second thought.  Considering the alternatives to Rand Paul.  These RP Haters are just closet Democrats.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:59 | 5160832 gallistic
gallistic's picture


You are a partisan hack.

You are a huge part of the problem.

You are not part of the solution.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 21:57 | 5161211 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

What are you mister unbiased liberal?  Don't you agree with one candidates beliefs over the other? of course you do.  You're a full of shit, Otherwise you wouldn't take offense to my comment.

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 03:27 | 5161803 StychoKiller
Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:17 | 5159839 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Yep. Sorry rand, you lost me with your flip flop on foreign aid when you sponsored a bill giving another half a billion tax payer dollars to Israel. You had it right the first time. You may have regained the favor of the war party republicans, but you lost a lot of your dad's supporters. And the Republican Party will NEVER win another national election without us. You would think they would have learned that after the last 2 elections.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:44 | 5160801 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

It probably doesn't matter anyway (we're fucked) but do you really want to make your litmus test something that is not going to happen anyway? I can see if he did the same thing in reverse on the border - argued for a fence (something that's already law) then backed off. But retreating from something currently unattainable? I guess we'll all enjoy 8 more years of demonrat demagoguery. And while you're enjoying that it, chant this repeatedly, "I will make the perfect the enemy of the good", over and over... never mind, I see you've already adopted that approach.

We still have the chance to get bloodied down the road. As long as things are still hanging together (and giving all of us time to educate and prepare) now there ought to be a premium placed on pragmatism. Every day that passes more people wake up, and more people opt out of the cannibal brigades by doing some basic prep. We need that to continue.

Finally, he probably can't win. But if wre all sing his virtues that do accord with liberty and limited government, that cannot hurt the national psyche. The man does not need enemies on his right.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 16:13 | 5160061 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Looks like Hunting Season is starting early this year, boys:  Obama LAME DUCK SEASON IS OPEN.

No Hunting Licenses needed.  Just Load & Lock.  The Duck's... THAT way.  [Points at golf course, with sign reading "LAME-DUCK OPEN Goof Championship"]

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:56 | 5159759 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

I will listen to Ron Paul, but not Rand, who is a well-meaning disaster.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:03 | 5159787 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Right, because there's so many other great pols to choose from. 

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:12 | 5159818 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

It's a mistake to compromise. Rand is a NO.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:20 | 5159853 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

charlton heston    i am spartacus

jlee2027  yes i am spasticus as well

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:23 | 5159866 SuperRay
SuperRay's picture

Kirk Douglas was Spartacus

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 00:45 | 5164046 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Spartacus was Spartacus.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 16:35 | 5160159 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Welsh actor Andy Whitfield and the 3-season of "Spartacus - War of the Damned" leaves the other pansies in the dust.

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 02:42 | 5161775 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Rand is doing what he has to, to you know, actually get elected president.  Not passing the libertarian purity test is tge least of my concerns regarding Rand.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:16 | 5159834 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Pelosi 2016. Might as well go full-retard at this point.

Bush and Obama were basically there, but Pelosi would put us over the top.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:33 | 5159920 dogfish
dogfish's picture

Here is one for you Elizabeth Warren worshipers.


Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:47 | 5159967 Z_End
Z_End's picture

No surprise there.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 16:37 | 5160083 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The sage words of Philosopher Jagger come to mind:  You can't always get what you want...

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 00:39 | 5164038 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Rand or Hillary?  Seriously now.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:55 | 5159760 Bloppy
Bloppy's picture

Survey: Dems rank ‘climate change’ ahead of ISIS, al-Qaeda, Russia, Iran, NKorea



Fri, 08/29/2014 - 22:47 | 5161378 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

Shh.... didn't you get the memo? there's no difference at all between the abortion party and the self-defense party. Both have the same amount of respect for individual rights.

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 00:47 | 5164047 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

There is certainly a difference between the constituents but not really between the parties.  The parties are just used to manipulate the poles to point in the same overall direction and here we are.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 16:03 | 5160047 Duffy Duck
Duffy Duck's picture

That's a pretty shocking article. If it were any country but Israel, the US would be launching airstrikes.

I'm not saying Hamas is good or right, but... Israel wasn't 'defending' itself - it was killing lots and lots of people.

and destroying lots and lots of homes and infrastructure - deliberately.

It is obvious to me, the normal pro and anti israel over the top stuff aside, that Israel's government doesn't want peace - it just wants all of Palestine.

The idea that they are the "Israelites" of the Bible seems to be mostly myth, but even if it weren't, the idea that remote ancestry gives you more of a right to proximate residential ancestry is absurd.

Especially as the Jews lived in large numbers outside Israel for hundreds of years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem.

anyway, every fascist and aggressive nation always claims self-defense.

Every time I see someone mention "Neville Chamberlain" I know they're a chicken hawk who thinks diplomacy is a 4 letter word.

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 00:53 | 5164055 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

By all means, go negotiate with ISIS.  Seriously, go.  Chamberlain was a moron.  So were the people before him - the ones who put the binders on Germany to start with.

Also, who lived in Jerusalem when the Romans sacked it? 

I don't know what to believe in Gaza - can't believe MSM and the alt-news only ever make accusations without proof.  I mean, a destroyed building doesn't prove genocide or anything else for that matter.  The average person is smart enough to know that when you fight in a city that buildings will be destroyed.  It means nothing besides there was a fight.


Fri, 08/29/2014 - 16:36 | 5160160 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Lockheed and AIPAC are now ghostwriting Rand's editorials...

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 20:07 | 5160872 gallistic
gallistic's picture

Sorry mom, but I am out of the loop and just don't know.

Whatever happened to your son?

As I recall, he was tons of fun...

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:51 | 5159728 Murf_DaSurf
Murf_DaSurf's picture



What channel is the View with Whoopie on, again?

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:50 | 5159731 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Time to cut the losses. It's over, we fucked up, admit it, kill them ALL.



Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:58 | 5159769 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

I assume you mean the Leviathan in D.C.  Yes.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 17:07 | 5160255 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Since when are you not part of "ALL?"

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 00:55 | 5164056 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Just for the record, I officially renounce my membership in ALL.  Not that it's a big concern but just in case he's serious.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:49 | 5159732 Potato King
Potato King's picture

Funny that he should come out and say this on the same day that this gem got released:



Makes me wonder if Randy watches SCG.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:56 | 5159764 john39
john39's picture

the levels of deception are pretty incredible.  It seems increasingly obvious that old barry obamao is being set up to take the fall for the looming false flag/catastrophe in the ME.  War hawks will then use this pre-arranged obamao implosion to further feed the MIC wit MOAR war...

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:35 | 5159922 The Wizard
The Wizard's picture

I was thinking the same. Not a coincidence. Ron is telling Rand where he screwed up and teaching him well.

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:50 | 5159736 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

It all ends quickly when the oil runs out!

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:40 | 5159944 Anarchy 99
Anarchy 99's picture

never, oil is abiotic

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 16:58 | 5160224 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

If it's abiotic, explain stripper wells.

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