Friday, October 12, 2012

Behind Those RANDPAC Ads

This is all you need to know. From Louisville Courier-Journal (My bold).
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is entering the battle for control of the Senate with ads targeting a handful of Senate Democrats who opposed his effort to cut off aid off to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya. 
Paul’s Reinventing a New Direction political action committee, or RANDPAC, is paying for the television ads against Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bill Nelson of Florida and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. 
“Ultimately, this battle I will win because the public is overwhelmingly supportive of what I’m doing,” Paul said in an interview. 
“It’s just that that message hasn’t gotten to Washington yet, and the only way to get it there is to put it on television and let people react.”
RANDPAC spokesman Jesse Benton said the ad buys were in “the low six figures” in each of the three states.
Keep in mind these ads are not promoting an end to aid, but only calling for aid to stop until the countries in question start behaving like the U.S. satellite countries they are expected to be.

As Philip Giraldi notes:
Rand’s latest schtick is to take away money given to governments that don’t fully support us. If an email that went out on Sept. 29 is anything to go by, Rand Paul has apparently completed his conversion to Orthodox GOPism, including integration into its dominant neoconservative foreign policy wing. The email boasts about Rand’s sponsorship of a bill that would have stopped “handouts” to Egypt, Pakistan, and Libya.

The bill, which Rand describes as the “will of the American people,” died in the Senate by a vote of 81 to 10. The email includes a one-minute video that shows angry, presumably Muslim crowds interposed with burning vehicles and buildings together with a narrative tract describing how a number of countries are not good allies and don’t make any effort to support U.S. interests while at the same time attacking our diplomats overseas. The video is the basis of a TV ad that will apparently be used in television markets where six vulnerable Democrats who supported continuing aid to the countries in question are running for reelection.

The ad will be run thanks to a “Massive Bring Our Tax Dollars Home Money Bomb,” which is the real purpose of the email. Rand makes some specific claims: that the three countries “Look the other way while violent mobs burn our flag and chant ‘Death to America’”; “Hardly lift a finger to bring to justice those who murdered four American citizens — including our ambassador”; and “Refuse to protect our embassies and torture and imprison citizens for acting like the U.S. allies these countries claim to be.”

It should escape no one’s notice that the countries being targeted are all Muslim, which means they are fair game. Israel, the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, is not mentioned. One can reasonably challenge ALL foreign aid, as Ron Paul himself did, but selecting countries based on a false narrative about what is going on in the Middle East is nothing but the cheapest form of pandering imaginable. It is a dose of straight neoconservatism. People demonstrate against Washington in countries like Egypt for a number of reasons, but one of the big reasons is that we supported a dictatorial regime in that country because it suited our interests, not those of the Egyptian people. Rand should know that because his father certainly understood and spoke out about it.

And the rest of the narrative also does not pass the smell test. When last I checked, Libyans had warned the U.S. Information Office in Benghazi that there were serious threats against it, and it was the decision of the State Department not to beef up security. Libyan security guards outside the building fought against the attackers, and Libyan civilians did their best to save the ambassador, freeing him from the building he was trapped in and bringing him to the hospital. In the aftermath, hundreds of Libyans demonstrated to show their outrage over what had occurred and drove the al-Qaeda-linked militia believed to be responsible for the killings out of Benghazi. The Libyan government, such as it is and insofar as it is capable of doing so, has fully cooperated in the investigation while the U.S. authorities have dragged their feet.

And Rand’s last charge is completely absurd. What government has “refused to protect our embassies”? And the video makes clear that the “imprison[ed] citizens” claim relates to the CIA doctor in Pakistan, Shakil Afridi, who was spying for the U.S. government. If Rand Paul were Pakistani, how would he see it?

So it is a bad day at Black Rock. The folks who are claiming to continue the fight for a sane foreign policy are either doing nothing or are falling into the same old pattern of pointless stereotyping and deliberate failure to understand why things are the way they are.


  1. I think Rand is just playing a far more palatable version of Ron for the masses, but they essentially have the same goals. It's a wait and see on Rand for sure though.

  2. Anon@3:29 above is delusional. How can any liberty-minded person think Rand has the same goals? In the event that, somehow, someway, this was true, it ignores the fact that we don't have a lot of time to wait around and see if the bloodthirsty socialists of the GOP will see the light.

    Ron had the right idea: EDUCATE.

    Trying to slowly, ever so slowly, sway the establishment political class is futile.

    The only political solution is to completely abolish this government, or, at minimum, empty the House and Senate completely. Even something that "extreme" offers only a slim chance of reversing the warfare/welfare panopticon that the Unidead Police States of Amerika have become.

  3. "Rand’s latest schtick is to take away money given to governments that don’t fully support us.

    The international banksters - you know, the guys who loan to all comers principals created out of thin air then collect the interest - may have something to say about that. Our seemingly inexplicable foreign policy is in fact exactly the kind of con the central banks were designed to run. Rand has bitten off more than he can chew on this one, assuming it's not just a publicity stunt.

  4. Rand sold out a long time ago, Jesse Benton was always a traitorous schmuck and John Tate's continued presence at the Campaign for Liberty speaks volumes about the sincerity of "Ron Paul, Inc."

  5. Love hearing the freaks here tell other Americans we should be sending aid to Pakistan, Lybia and Egypt!

    You want aid to them, cash your paychecks and freaking send it then and go fight if you want wars over there but leave other Americans and their money ALONE, it is not yours, or the governments to give away.
    Read the Constitution.
    Where does it grant authority for our gvt to send tax payer dollars over seas?
    Then when we get involved we receive blow back because the morons running our country cant mind their own business and stay out of other countries affairs.

    "We should treat every country like we do Canada. We dont go to war with them, we dont tell them what to do and they are our biggest trading partner and most trusted ally".
    Ron Paul