Prior to Iran's overnight retaliation attack on US bases in Iraq, Senator Rand Paul shredded the entire decision-making process that led to the current dangerous escalation, accurately predicting that Soleimani's killing made it "much more likely" that Iran would escalate, instead of the administration's claim that it would be "deterred" from further aggression.
"You would have to be brain dead to believe that we tear up the agreement, we put an embargo on you and we kill your major general, and they're just going to crawl back to the table and say: 'What do you want, America?'" Paul said in a CNN interview.
Breaking from other congressional Republicans, Paul blamed Pompeo and Trump for the "death of diplomacy" which can only lead to major war — bad for both the Iranian and American people, and yet another 'war of choice' catastrophe for the region.
"I, in general, have always supported that a declaration of war [by Congress] is necessary." Sen. Rand Paul says that he's looking at the War Powers Authorization that Sen. Tim Kaine filed in the Senate, which would require any hostilities with Iran to be approved by Congress. pic.twitter.com/Au16N7S7g3— CNN (@CNN) January 7, 2020
During the Monday interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Paul said that "the administration, mainly at (former national security adviser) John Bolton's behest, tore up the Iran agreement, placed a significant and severe embargo on Iran and then killed one of their major generals."
"Nobody in their right mind would actually think that would lead to negotiation."
He further called the Republican line on Soleimani — that his assassination was justified merely because he was "an evil bastard" tantamount to thinking like "grade-school children".
And in follow-up statements on Tuesday, Sen. Paul told Fox News:
"The Iran agreement wasn't perfect — and I was a critic of the Iran agreement — however, I think it was a big mistake to pull out of the Iran agreement. We should have tried to build upon the Iran agreement."
"We've now killed one of their major generals. I think it is the death of diplomacy and I see no way to get it back started until the revenge of the Iranian people is somehow sated."
Paul has also argued this week that the assassination of Gen. Soleimani was ultimately "an act of war" that required Congressional authorization.
Just hours before the Iranian ballistic missile attack which nearly took the world to the edge of yet another major Middle East war, Paul had told Fox, "It's unknown how much military escalation, but I think there will be an escalation."
And of course, it's not over yet, but possibly just beginning, as one former CIA official said, "We should be prepared for months or even years of this, across theaters and with different tactics — all for choosing a path we never had to go down."