Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category
Sen. Klobuchar’s op-ed in the St. Cloud Times would be easier to take seriously if she wasn’t MIA on other issues surrounding the military.
With grateful hearts, Minnesotans this month gathered on Veterans Day to honor the brave Americans who have served in uniform to protect our freedom. This day should be about more than just saluting our veterans. It also serves as an opportunity to renew our commitment to serve those who have served us.
After all, that is our responsibility, to do right by those who have stood tall on the front lines so that we can live free. This is especially true for soldiers returning from battle permanently injured and suffering life-altering disabilities.
It’s a bit hollow sounding, not because wounded vets don’t deserve the medical treatment, but because Sen. Klobuchar didn’t speak out when the military started sending out pink slips to officers still fighting in Afghanistan:
In a stunning display of callousness, the Defense Department has announced that thousands of soldiers, many serving as commanding officers in Afghanistan, will be notified in the coming weeks that their service to the country is no longer needed. Last week, more than 1,100 Army captains, the men and women who know best how to fight this enemy because they have experienced multiple deployments, were told they’ll be retired from the Army.
The overall news is not unexpected. The Army has ended its major operations in Iraq and is winding down in Afghanistan. Budget cuts are projected to shrink the Army from its current 520,000 troops to 440,000, the smallest size since before World War II. What is astonishing is that the Defense Department thought it would be appropriate to notify deployed soldiers, men and women risking their lives daily in combat zones, that they’ll be laid off after their current deployment.
Why was St. Amy of Hennepin County silent about this? Shouldn’t the Obama administration treat the men and women still risking their lives on the battlefield deserve better treatment than this?
As one Army wife posted on MilitaryFamily.org, “On some level I knew the drawdowns were inevitable, but I guess I never expected to be simultaneously worried about a deployment to Afghanistan and a pink slip because my husband’s service is no longer needed.”
The thing is that these troops are needed more than ever:
The nation should worry about the increased national-security risk of separating such a large pool of combat-experienced leaders. The separated soldiers are those who carry the deepest knowledge base of counterinsurgency operations. A senior Defense Department official warned: “If the force is smaller, there’s less margin for error. Let’s face it — things are pretty uncertain out there.”
Then again, that’s never worried Sen. Klobuchar. Since her first campaign in 2006, Sen. Klobuchar consistently talked about “ending the war responsibly.” Winning wasn’t important to her.
That’s why her op-ed rings hollow. This isn’t just about health care for wounded vets. It’s about giving them the resources they need to accomplish their mission. That mission is to defeat and destroy the terrorists before they attack again.
Based on this article, things are looking grim for the Democrats holding Tom Harkin’s Senate seat:
Joni Ernst is back to “hogging” Iowa airwaves, as she barrels into Election Day with another pig-themed ad, a slight edge over her Democratic rival in the polls and a significant fundraising advantage.
This race is Ernst’s to lose. Thus far, I haven’t seen anything that suggests she’ll mess up. Ernst’s latest ad is fantastic. Here’s the transcript:
It’s a mess. It’s dirty, noisy and it stinks. Not this lot. I’m talking about the one in Washington. Too many typical politicians hogging, wasting and full of — well, let’s just say bad ideas. It’s time to stop spending money we don’t have and balance the budget. I’m Joni Ernst and I approve this message because cleaning up the mess in Washington is going to take a whole lot of Iowa common sense.
The thing that people haven’t talked about yet is the two parties’ GOTV operations. At this point, Republicans are outdistancing Democrats:
The latest good omen for Republicans was in early voting and absentee ballots, where the party says more registered Republicans than Democrats are voting early for the first time in modern-Iowa election history.
For days, I’ve heard Democrats talking about how their GOTV was a major reason why they still had hope of keeping their Senate majority. If Iowa is a bellwether, then some of the polling that we’re seeing won’t pick up the Republicans’ strength until the polls close.
That certainly isn’t something that Democrats want to think of as a possibility.
David Yepsen, director of the Southern Illinois Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and former chief political reporter for the Des Moines Register, said Ernst would be wise to campaign on issues like President Obama, foreign policy, the economy, and jobs and stay away from social issues.
“She needs to stay on a soft conservative message,” said Yepsen, adding he thinks the Ernst campaign will stay fairly quiet on them for the remainder of the race. “Social issues aren’t a winning issue for Republicans as they used to be, so don’t talk about it.”
To that end, Republicans have been hitting Braley on foreign policy, especially on the Islamic State threat. Ernst, a member of the Iowa National Guard who has served in Iraq, said in a press release that Braley is “disengaged” and “he doesn’t even know what he’s voted on,” when it came to airstrikes in Syria. Ernst also called Braley “wishy-washy” on the issue of ISIS during a campaign stop. Braley’s campaign has fought back on these claims.
Pardon the pun but this isn’t the battlefield that Braley wants to fight on. He wants to fight on the ‘War on women battlefield’. Frankly, I don’t see that gaining traction. It hasn’t thus far. Why think it’ll change right before the election?
This race will be decided by the GOTV operations and Joni Ernst being the most likable, most approachable and, most importantly, most qualified candidate in the race.
When it comes to national security, Sen. Franken is a lightweight. This article provides additional proof of that:
Franken said Obama doesn’t have authority to bypass Congress, but he has long backed closing the military prison and handling suspects through the American judicial system. Franken said he worries Guantanamo’s continued existence has only boosted terrorist recruitment efforts, and said there are plenty of high-security prisons in the United States to house the dozens of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo.
Sen. Franken isn’t serious about fighting terrorists. Check out this statement about taking on ISIL:
There are no good options on Syria. But as I’ve said, the use of chemical weapons to kill over a thousand people and injure many more is a horrendous act, and there have to be consequences for that. Whatever action the United States takes, it has to be limited action. This can’t be an open-ended commitment, and it definitely should not lead to American boots on the ground. Congress now has an important role to play, and I look forward to participating in a vigorous debate about the use of force and the best interests of our country.
Destroying ISIL isn’t possible without putting American boots on the ground. If you’re opposed to putting American troops into harms way, Sen. Franken, then just say that you aren’t really interested in doing what it takes to destroy ISIL.
There’s no doubt that Sen. Franken thinks that that’s the best poll-tested statement he could issue. Similarly, there’s no question that half-hearted airstrikes without boots on the ground is a political action. It isn’t a serious attempt to destroy ISIL. The Democratic Party, led by pacifists like President Obama and Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar, is going soft on national security again. Closing Gitmo, not taking the airstrikes on ISIL seriously and ruling out putting boots on the ground in Anbar Province and in Syria says one thing unmistakably clear.
It says that Obama, Franken and Klobuchar aren’t serious about national security.
Why wouldn’t you keep Gitmo open? Why give these terrorists the opportunity to radicalize American prisoners? Back in 2006, Amy Klobuchar said that it was important to get out of the war responsibly. In 2008, Franken campaigned on the same message. Then-Sen. Obama campaigned on getting us out of Iraq. Franken, Klobuchar and Obama didn’t talk about winning wars. I wrote about that multiple times in 2006-2008.
As George Will and Charles Krauthammer highlight, the fastest way to end a war is to lose that war. That’s what Franken, Klobuchar and Obama are about. If they aren’t about losing winnable wars, then they’re doing the same things that people who want to lose wars would do.
Politicians that aren’t interested in killing terrorists and winning wars are anti-American. Sen. Franken and President Obama, it’s sad to see that that shoe fits.
True to his 1970s-style anti-war activist days, Rick Nolan is still a pacifist:
In a statement issued to KBJR, Rep. Rick Nolan said U.S. intervention in “thousands-year-old Middle East war” has cost the U.S. trillions in blood and treasury.
“The arms we supply to any one of these groups inevitably end up being used against us, because we have no friends in this conflict,” Rep. Nolan said. “Our involvement is bankrupting us and making us a target for retaliation, and it’s time to put an end to it. These monies are needed for deficit reduction and rebuilding America.”
That’s frightening. ISIL is definitely a threat to the United States. Similarly, there’s no question that Stewart Mills’ assessment is right:
“He (Rep. Nolan) is advocating for us not to have involvement in Iraq or in Syria,” Mills said in an interview in late September. “But the consequences of us not having involvement in there is that we create a vacuum. And that vacuum is filled up with bad people doing bad things and eventually that will wash up on our shores, probably sooner rather than later.”
That isn’t just Mills’ opinion. It’s an opinion he shares with Leon Panetta, President Obama’s former Defense Secretary:
By not pressing the Iraqi government to leave more U.S. troops in the country, he “created a vacuum in terms of the ability of that country to better protect itself, and it’s out of that vacuum that ISIS began to breed,” Panetta told USA Today, referring to the group also known as the Islamic State.
Being a pacifist in the 1970s helps inform Rick Nolan’s views on national security. We’re living in a totally different world, especially after 9/11. If Rick Nolan doesn’t want to fight terrorists before they reach America’s shores, then he isn’t qualified to be in Congress.
Nolan’s type of thinking is what helped create the conditions for 9/11 and for ISIL to take over much of Iraq and Syria. We can’t afford not to pay attention to ISIL. In fact, we can’t afford not to do everything we can to utterly demolish ISIL and other terrorist groups.
Whether Nolan will admit it, the truth is that ISIL and al-Qa’ida are at war with us. The only question left is whether we’ll wage war with them. If Stewart Mills is elected to Congress, he’ll vote to fight terrorists. If Nolan is re-elected, God forbid, he’ll vote for taking a pre-9/11 position.
John McCormack’s article on Sen. Paul’s change from dove to hawk exposes Sen. Paul’s temper. First, here’s Sen. Paul’s evolution:
On June 19, a week after Mosul fell to ISIS, Paul was very skeptical of airstrikes. On August 11, after Christians were forced to flee Mosul and Yazidis were massacred, Paul was ambivalent about the limited airstrikes the president had just ordered. On August 29, after the beheading of American James Foley but before the beheading of American Steven Sotloff, Paul suggested he still hadn’t made up his mind about bombing ISIS:
I think the strategy has to be that you have an open debate in the country over whether or not ISIS is a threat to our national security. And it’s not enough just to say they are. That’s usually what you hear—you hear a conclusion. People say, “Well, it’s a threat to our national security.” That’s a conclusion. The debate has to be: Are they a threat to our national security?
In a statement to the AP later that same afternoon, Paul said that he would “seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily” if he were president.
Sen. Paul isn’t a hawk. He’s a politician who got caught on the wrong side of an important issue. He’s a politician who made a political decision to be acceptable to presidential primary voters in 2016. We don’t need an unprincipled presidential candidate. We need someone who’s thought things through. Our presidential nominee needs to get national security right. We don’t need someone whose default position is to shrink American influence.
We’re already suffering through that type of administration.
Sen. Paul said that saying ISIL is a threat to our national security is a conclusion, not a discussion. This isn’t a time for a lengthy discussion. It’s time for deciding. Further, deciding that ISIL is a threat to our national security based on the beheading of 2 reporters, however tragic and shocking they were, isn’t sound thinking. It sounds more like the type of thinking that comes from getting caught.
Sen. Paul isn’t liking getting pressed by the press:
I asked Paul twice if he was no longer concerned, as he wrote in June, that bombing ISIS may simply turn the United States into “Iran’s air force.” He didn’t respond to the questions and indicated he wasn’t happy with this reporter as well as a local reporter who repeatedly suggested Paul is an isolationist.
“All right, thanks guys. Work on that objectivity,” Paul said, as he walked away.
What a snotty reply. John McCormack is one of the best reporters out there. He’s objective. His articles are filled with solid logic and verified facts. That Sen. Paul would whine about John McCormack’s objectivity speaks volumes about Sen. Paul’s temperament (temper?), not McCormack’s objectivity.
Last night was Jay Carney’s first night as a senior political analyst for CNN. After watching this video, I hope CNN isn’t paying him much:
Frankly, Sen. McCain beat him like a drum. It was a flashback to the daily Carney fetal position daily briefings. This exchange is exceptionally decisive:
McCAIN: No, facts are stubborn things, Mr. Carney, and that is his entire national security team, including the Secretary of State said he want to arm and train and equip these people and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down. The fact he didn’t a residual force in Iraq, overruled all of his military advisers, is the reason why we’re facing ISIS today.
So the facts are stubborn things in history and people ought to know them. And now the president is saying basically that we are going to take certain actions, which I would favor, but to say that America is safer, and that the situation is very much like Yemen and Somalia shows me that the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat of ISIS is.
CARNEY: Well, again, Senator, we’re going to have to agree to disagree. And I think on the question of the residual force, there was another player in that which was the Iraqi government. A, and B, it was the fulfillment of the previous administration’s withdrawal plan. And it was also the fulfillment of the president’s promise to withdraw from Iraq and not maintain a true presence, in perpetuity, which is pretty consistent with what the American people wanted and believed it was the right approach.
McCAIN: Mr. Carney, you are again saying facts that are patently false. The fact is because [Senator] Lindsey Graham, [former Senator] Joe Lieberman and I, we were in Baghdad, they wanted a residual force. The president has never made a statement during that or after that he wanted a residual force left behind. The Iraqis were ready to go. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number cascaded down to 3,500. That was not sufficient to do anything but to defend themselves. And you in your role as a spokesperson bragged about the fact that the last American combat troop had left Iraq. If we had left a residual force the situation would not be what it is today. And there would be a lot more.
It’s worth repeating that President Obama took the position of I-know-better-than-my-national-security-team what’s needed in Iraq. That’s characteristic of a man with great hubris. That’s fine. History will judge him for that decision.
Further, Carney still sounds like the dishonest partisan hack that conducted the daily White House press briefings. He’s still peddling the BS that Iraq kicked the US out. That’s contrary to what President Obama said during a debate with Mitt Romney. In that debate, President Obamba bragged that he should get credit for keeping his promise of getting the US out of Iraq.
Carney hasn’t figured it out that a glorified desk jockey can’t argue with an eyewitness on the ground at the ‘scene of the crime.’ Sens. McCain, Graham and Lieberman talked with the Iraqi government. They don’t have to accept the Obama administration’s spin. They talked directly with the Iraqi government.
It isn’t a secret that I’m not Sen. McCain’s biggest fan. Still, if he says that he spoke with the Iraqi government and that they told him they wanted to negotiate a status of forces agreement, then I’ll trust him.
Finally, experts understand that ISIL wouldn’t have constituted itself had the US kept 20,000 troops on the ground. They would’ve been demolished before ISIL before they got to Fallujah.
Rick Santorum’s op-ed totally demolishes Rand Paul’s credibility on national security:
In a radio interview in 2007, while helping his father, isolationist Rep. Ron Paul, run for president, Rand actually denied that Iran is a threat to the United States or Israel. He did so despite the fact that the U.S. government designated Iran a “state sponsor of terrorism” as far back as 1984. “Even our own intelligence community consensus opinion now is that they [Iran] are not a threat,” Rand said. “Like my dad says, [the Iranians] don’t have an Air Force, they don’t have a Navy. You know, it’s ridiculous to think they’re a threat to our national security…. It’s not even that viable to say they’re a national threat to Israel.”
Simply put, Rand Paul, like his nutty father, couldn’t identify a state sponsor or terrorism if they launched a ship with a flag saying “State sponsor of terrorism.” People who can’t identify terrorists aren’t qualified to be commander-in-chief. It’s that simple.
It hasn’t dawned on either Paul that Iran’s funding of terrorists pose a mortal threat to western Europe and the United States. Neither has figured out that the nuclear bombs they’re working on creating will be used to destabilize Arab nations to the point that oil prices will spike and throw the world economy into a turmoil that will make the Great Recession look relatively mild in comparison.
This paragraph is mind-boggling:
In January 2014, Senator Paul sided with President Obama in opposing the passage of new economic sanctions on Iran, further evidence he would rather appease the mullahs in Tehran than ratchet up pressure on them to give up their illegal and dangerous nuclear program. “I think while they [the Iranians] are negotiating, and if we can see they’re negotiating in good faith, I don’t think it’s a good idea to pass sanctions,” Paul told CNN.
What idiot thinks that the Iranians will negotiate in good faith? It’s exceptionally and frighteningly naive to think that that’s a possibility.
As frightening as Paul’s beliefs are about Iran, they’re worse about ISIL. Here’s what he said in an interview:
When asked by CongressWatch if he views ISIL and the deteriorating situation in Iraq as a direct threat to the United States, Paul was characteristically candid in sticking to his worldview.
“The vast amount of Americans disagree with that assessment,” Paul said when asked if ISIL poses a direct threat to the US.
“I think that would be conjecture,” Paul said when asked about the view of ISIL put forth by Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “We know that there’s a civil war going on there. And we know that they want to claim a big chunk of Iraq — as much as they can get. But, I mean, anything else is complete conjecture.
“Are they a potential threat to the US? Sometime,” Paul said. “Maybe even at the present. But…is there a US interest in sending US troops into Iraq? Absolutely no.”
There most certainly is a US interest in obliterating ISIL. While they don’t pose a threat to the US homeland in the next couple of weeks, they’re consolidating the things they’ll need to conduct terrorist operations throughout the world. We can’t afford a commander-in-chief that reacts after a terrorist attack. We need a commander-in-chief who obliterates them before they can attack.
Paul’s dovishness is wrong for America because we need a commander-in-chief who will work with allies like the Kurdish Peshmerga to decimate threats like ISIL before they can kill Americans.
Now that ISIL has beheaded journalists and taken over a huge chunk of Iraq, Sen. Paul is suddenly hawkish:
Yet now, with American journalists being beheaded and even President Obama taking reluctant half-measures to slow ISIL through air strikes, Senator Paul is suddenly changing his tune. “If I were president, I would call a joint session of Congress,” he now says. “I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek Congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.” (ISIS is another acronym used to refer to the Islamic State.)
It’s here that Sen. Santorum thrusts in the proverbial knife and gives it a sharp twist:
Did Senator Paul just hire John Kerry’s speechwriter?
At one point, I thought Rand Paul wouldn’t be the nujob that his father is. I still think he isn’t as nutty as his father. I just don’t think that there’s a big difference between him and his father as I first thought.
It’s obvious that Rick Santorum is gearing up for another presidential run. While I think he’s more qualified than Rand Paul, that doesn’t mean I think he’s a top tier candidate. Quite the contrary. I think he’s a niche candidate who appeals to a tiny slice of the GOP, nothing more.
At a DNC fundraiser in New York last night, President Obama said that the world isn’t falling apart, it’s just that social media is making him look bad:
President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”
“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y. But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.
There’s no question that social media spreads the news around quickly. That doesn’t explain away the multitude of crises that’ve started during President Obama’s administration or the threat posed by ISIL.
President Putin doesn’t take him seriously. At best, the Obama administration is an afterthought to Putin. America’s allies don’t trust us because of amateurish moves like dissing allies like Egypt in attempting to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.
Egypt and the UAE hit Libyan targets without informing the Obama administration:
CAIRO — Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.
The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied to American diplomats that their military played any role in the operation, the officials said, in what appeared a new blow to already strained relations between Washington and Cairo.
America’s enemies don’t fear us. Iran and Russia laugh at the Obama administration. Putin keeps trying to rebuild the former Soviet empire and Iran continues on its path to a nuclear weapon.
Worst of all, ISIL is the biggest terrorist threat in history. They’re exceptionally well-financed. They have a military capable of dominating the Arabian Peninsula. They’re training fighters who have European and/or American passports.
No, Mr. President, it isn’t that social media is spotlighting the usual things. It’s that they’re highlighting your administration’s multitude of mistakes. Mr. President, there’s wide consensus that your administration is the worst foreign policy/national security administration since WWII.
Bill Burton’s op-ed about President Obama’s frequent golf outings is a nice attempt to distract from Americans’ chief complaint:
I thought that going on vacation with the president would be a real perk of serving as deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.
Don’t get me wrong: Some elements of it are amazing. When you do find some down time, you can find yourself in one of the most beautiful places on Earth enjoying its splendor with the leader of the free world and your buddies.
That is—when you can find some down time.
As Washington chews over yet another presidential “vacation,” and that most Washington of words—“optics”—let me take you behind the scenes of the last time President Obama took flack for supposedly being “disengaged” while world events marched on around him.
First, let’s dispatch with the word optics. It’s mostly used by liberal journalists who then ignore the problem. Yes, the optics are terrible when the supposed leader of the free world talks somberly about the beheading of an American journalist, then is seen joking and fist-pumping an hour later.
When those things happen, it’s natural for people to question President Obama’s sincerity and his commitment to ridding the Middle East of terrorists.
What actions did President Obama put into action from the sand trap on the 9th hole? Did he finally figure it out that ISIL is a real threat to the American homeland while putting on the 15th hole? If he didn’t figure that out on the 15th, did he get word of Gen. Dempsey’s statement that we’d need to take out ISIL’s command-and-control while driving up to the 18th green? By the time he got back to his compound, had he called Gen. Dempsey and told him to stop talking about ISIL as a threat more dangerous than al-Qa’ida?
It was Christmas Day 2009. Osama bin Laden was still at large. A 23-year-old Nigerian man was caught trying to bring down a passenger airliner headed for Detroit—which would have been the most devastating terrorist attack since 9/11. The day of, and the days that followed, the botched bombing saw the president and his staff, in Hawaii, at the White House and scattered across the country on their own family vacations – snap to attention and drop everything else to make sure we were doing all we could to keep Americans safe.
The president was not a passive bystander. He led America’s response to the apparent terrorist attack, soaking up new information as it came in, running meetings and issuing orders. As a regular matter of course, vacation or not, the president is briefed on intelligence every day. In this instance, he was receiving twice-daily updates on the situation in Detroit as well as three-times-daily updates on matters around the world from the Situation Room. As events developed, the president was directing his national security team—cabinet secretaries, intelligence officials and the military. He was awash in reports from the government and from the media.
Thank God for the Obama administration snapping to immediate attention. If only they hadn’t told law enforcement to read the failed bomber his Miranda rights.
While it’s true the optics have stunk all summer, the truth is that President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. That, Mr. Burton, is what Americans are most worried about. Russia annexes Crimea. President Obama proposes limited sanctions on a handful of Russian billionaires. When ISIL captured Fallujah, President Obama called ISIL a jayvee team. When ISIL threatened to capture Baghdad, President Obama talked about the need for Iraq to sing kumbayah.
When Hamas killed Israelis, President Obama criticized Israel for not being gentle enough on terrorists who then hid behind 5-year-old human shields otherwise known as children. When missiles were found in a UN-run school, he dispatched John Kerry to the region, where Kerry’s plan was immediately rejected by the responsible nations of the region.
Just once, it’d be nice if the administration would get a policy decision right.
Unfortunately for America, it’s more likely that President Obama will hit a hole-in-one on his next vacation than he’s likely to make a solid policy decision.
Whether he realizes it or not, Sen. Rand Paul sounds frighteningly like President Obama. Sen. Paul’s op-ed sounds exceptionally dovish, starting with this:
President Obama has said he might use airstrikes in the future. I have also been open to the same option if it makes sense.
Notice the qualifier-filled statements from President Obama and Sen. Paul. It’d be surprising if President Obama did anything more than token air strikes. With Sen. Paul, we just don’t know, though his record is fairly isolationist and dovish. That isn’t the worst part, though. Sen. Paul’s intellectual dishonesty is frightening:
Said Perry forthrightly during a Republican presidential primary debate in 2012, “I would send troops back into Iraq.” Obviously, this is something he advocated long before the rise of ISIS. At the time, Perry urged the United States to return troops to Iraq to act as a balance against Iran, a country my colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham says we must work with to help beat back the extremists.
Does Perry now believe that we should send U.S. troops back into Iraq to fight the Iranians—or to help Iran fight ISIS?
Why would Sen. Paul ask that question? First, he notes that Gov. Perry made that statement in 2012, when the situation in Iraq was dramatically different. Why does Sen. Paul automatically assume that Gov. Perry’s policy would be the same today as it was in 2012? As intellectually dishonest as Sen. Paul’s assumption is, that isn’t the part that frightens me most. This question is:
How many Americans should send their sons or daughters to die for a foreign country, a nation the Iraqis won’t defend for themselves?
First, it assumes that Gov. Perry would send in troops, which isn’t a safe assumption. Second, it’s the wrong question. Why doesn’t Sen. Paul understand that troops deployed to Iraq wouldn’t be there to “die for a foreign country”? Why doesn’t he understand that they’d only be deployed to obliterate a terrorist training ground in the heart of Iraq?
Isn’t Sen. Paul bright enough to understand that a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East is a huge threat to the United States, not just to our allies?
This statement is frighteningly fictional:
Reagan ended the Cold War without going to war with Russia. He achieved a relative peace with the Soviet Union—the greatest existential threat to the United States in our history—through strong diplomacy and moral leadership.
Sen. Paul, it’s time you talked with people in the Reagan national security team. They’d tell you that he didn’t miss an opportunity to talk with dissidents jailed in the Soviet Union’s gulags. They’d tell you that he beefed up Radio Free Europe to tell dissidents that he was fighting for them. They’d tell you that diplomacy didn’t work until Reagan made it clear that he’d counter anything the Soviets would attempt to do.
The negotiations didn’t start until Reagan had frightened the bejesus out of President Gorbachev. Once he’d shown President Gorbachev who was the real superpower, then the negotiations started.
Reagan had no easy options either. But he did the best he could with the hand he was dealt.
If Sen. Paul meant that Jimmy Carter left President Reagan with a crappy hand, that’s right. If Sen. Paul means that there was any doubt in President Reagan’s mind that his plan would work and work fairly quickly, the answer to that question is an emphatic no. Reagan knew that the Soviet Union’s economy was on the verge of collapse. He knew that putting pressure on the Soviets would put them on the defensive.
Apparently, Sen. Paul doesn’t really understand the genius of President Reagan’s foreign policy genius. There’s no question whether Reagan was a hawk. It’s just that his foreign policy strategy was multi-faceted.
Sen. Paul’s op-ed is based on supposition, not fact. It’s based on something Gov. Perry said in 2012, not this summer. It’s apparent that Sen. Paul is as accomplished as President Obama in using strawman arguments. I expect that from this president. From now on, I guess I should expect it from Sen. Paul, too.