Monday, January 28, 2013

Rand Paul Becomes a Neocon Tool

Annie Robbins, over at Mondoweiss, makes an interesting observation, Rand Paul is becoming a useful neocon tool:
After Paul returned from Israel, he proved to be very useful. When [neocon] Jeffrey Goldberg published an article in the run-up to the Israeli election saying that Obama had "said privately and repeatedly, 'Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are,'” the Israeli press had a field day. And Paul, fresh off the plane from Tel Aviv, was perfectly placed to provide the pushback. He delivered in spades. He held a conference call with a gaggle of journos chastising Obama and spewing a number of thread worn neocon talking points. Naturally neoconservative Jennifer Rubin was in on the call:

“That’s an arrogant and presumptuous point of view and doesn’t further progress on anything,” the senator said, and he returned to that view throughout the call as he discussed the location of Israel’s capital and Israeli settlements. Paul decried U.S. politicians who display “this flippant and arrogant” attitude about internal Israeli affairs, saying that “no one can really know as much as people in the region” about such matters. “It is not up to the U.S. to dictate” to mayors and West Bank officials where housing goes, Paul added.

Robbins also reported on RP's grilling of John Kerry (my highlight):
 Rand Paul's taking a leading role as Israel's protector lately. The other day the Republican Senator from Kentucky went head to head with John Kerry during Kerry's Secretary of State confirmation hearing, grilling him and lecturing him about the Middle East:
Paul: You've heard President Morsi's comments about Zionists and Israelis being blood suckers and descendants of apes and pigs, do you think it's wise to send them F16's and Abrams tanks?
Kerry: I think those comments are reprehensible and those comments ah set back the possibilities of ah ah working towards mutual, ah issues of mutual interest. They are degrading comments...
Paul: They only understand... strength, if we keep sending them weapons they're not gonna change their behavior...
Kerry: Now, let me finish. President Morsi, President Morsi has issued two statements to clarify those comments, and we had a group of senators who met with them just the other day who spent a good part of their conversation and relatively heated discussion about it. But not everything, this is always the complication in dealings in the international sector. Not everything lends itself to a simple clarity;  black-white/this-that every time. We have critical interest with Egypt, critical interest with Egypt. Egypt has thus far supported and lived by the peace agreement with Israel, and and...has taken steps to begin to deal with the problem of security in the Sinai. Those are vital to us and our national interest and to the security of Israel...
Paul: But this has been our problem with our foreign policy for decades Republican and Democrat; we funded bin Laden; we funded the Mujahideen; we were in favor of radical Jihad because they were the enemy of our enemy. We've done this so often, I see these weapons coming back to threaten Israel. I see support for Syrian rebels coming back to threaten Israel as well....
Kerry: As you know Senator in any of the arms sales the United States has ever engaged in in that part of the world, there is always a measure, a test which is applied with respect to a qualitative difference in any of those weapons with respect to Israel's defense and security. And we do not sell weapons and will not sell weapons that might upset that qualitative balance  --
Paul: Yes we sell 20 F16's to Egypt we gotta give 25 to Israel. Sounds like we're fueling an arms race. Why don't we just not give any weapons to Israel's enemies, that would certainly save us a lot of money and might make it safer for Israel. One final quest...
Kerry: Or better yet until we are at that moment where that might be achievable maybe it would be better to try to make peace.
Notice RP's clever wording. He wants to stop sales of weapons to "Israel's enemies," but does not comment as to what should be done with sales to Israel.  Why shouldn't the US simply stop weapons sales to everyone?  Maybe Rand should stop his visits to foreign lands and read what George Washington said about foreign entanglements.

In his Farewell Address, Washington counseled against favoritism to some nations, a favoritism that RP now appears to have adopted with regard to Israel:
Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all [...] In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated

 [...] a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.[...]

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.


  1. Trying to give Rand the benefit of the doubt(which is hard for me to do in the first place), maybe he knows he'll never get weapon sales to Israel stopped and is working the "opposite side".

    Thing is Robert, I agree with you that it's a strategic error to work that direction as well because now you telling Egypt(and others) the truth: "Sorry fellas, Israel's our main squeeze-not you guys".

    The whole entagling alliances issue is salient.

    Ultimately it's why we shouldn't be selling/giving anything to either "side".

    Rand is truly becoming the senator from the U.S. state of Israel. If I'm from Kentucky I'm asking him what the hell he's doing for Kentucky.(not really, but just sayin')

    Btw, I remember reading someplace that Israel received the most foreign aid from the US than any other country, including the ones with starving populations in Africa...and most of Israeli aid takes the form of to know the priorities of our gov't in giving our money away to others.

    The whole political football is unsolvable in Congress until there's a fiscal reckoning.

    1. Israel are number 3 on the list for foreign aid but have to spend most of it on Boeing and Lockheed Martin made weapons. They would be better off without and developing their own defense industry.

      Way out in front is Afghanistan who receive over 10 billion a year, most of it in cash to pay off tribal leaders.

    2. Yes but U.S. foreign policy in the middle east is mostly for the benefit of Israel because their lobby owns the U.S. government so in reality they receive trillions of dollars in aid.

  2. He has become a supreme disappointment. Is ther no-one to take his dad's place?

    1. His dad supported US entry to WW2, so he isn't much use either.

    2. Ron Paul supported US entry into WWII only AFTER Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He does though that FDR should NEVER have placed sanctions on Japan. You see without that, the US would never have gotten involved. BTW, unless you're being sarcastic its good to see someone who doesn't view our entry into WWII as some piece of religious dogma that all Americans must accept.

    3. Ron Paul supported US entry into WWII only AFTER Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

      OK (I can see the logic), but what I really want to know is where Ron stands on the European theatre. My guess is that Ron opposes it, but he can't come out and say it because of WW2's iconic sacred cow status - the media would destroy him if he dared utter a peep about it.

    4. @ Anonymous January 28, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      LOL. Really???
      You want to find something about Ron Paul to rag on, so you go back more than HALF A CENTURY?

      Well gee whiz, i myself supported the war on Iraq in 2003, so despite the fact that i've been a libertarian since at least 2006 i should shut up forever about what's right or wrong, huh?

  3. I dont think it's bad talking to Kristol. There are many Jewish people who think supporting foreign aid to Israel is supporting Israel itself. The truth is Israel would be better off without the foreign aid and the conditions attached such as not being able to compete in the global arms trade and would have a more free hand in dealing with any threats to the Jewish state like they did between 1948 and 1968.

    Rand is trying to make Israel supporters in America see the light.

  4. Why shouldn't the US simply stop weapons sales to everyone?

    Because that would be statist interference with private enterprise, duh. I suppose you could try banning only sales to governments, but that wouldn't be hard for governments to evade.

  5. Sad really. Rand could have stood for something. Actually made a difference - like his father. Led the country back from the disastrous course of economic ruin which we seem to be hell bent on pursuing like so many lemmings to the sea. Instead he has transformed himself into just another bag of hot air - "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".

  6. I am a hardcore libertarian and I fail to see what Rand Paul did wrong here. I think you are all nit-picking.

  7. Rand Paul is a douche. The final straw for me was Rand endorsing Romney. Fuck Rand, he will NEVER be his dad. And he had potential. I guess as the saying goes...power corrupts.

  8. You Yankees are pretty funny. Bankrupt politicians, bankrupt fucking country hooked on cheap printed toilet paper. You elect assholes and then complain that they are screwing you left right and center. You are owned, like cattle.

    Watch George Carlin if you don't believe me.