Friday, February 8, 2013

Rand Paul’s War Against “Radical Islam”

By Justin Raimondo

Sen. Rand Paul wants to be taken seriously – as a presidential candidate, as heir to the energetic youth-oriented movement founded by his father, and as a foreign policy Deep Thinker. This last goal was supposed to have been approached, if not reached, by his much-anticipated foreign policy speech delivered at the Heritage Foundation the other day, which was supposed to give wonkish heft to his presidential ambitions.
Barely twenty minutes long, Sen. Paul’s peroration was two thirds Glenn Beck, and one third Robert Taft – with a dash of George Kennan thrown in for good measure. Right off the bat, however, he made the point he wanted to make: I am not my father. To which one can only add: you can say that again.
"Foreign policy," averred Paul the Younger, "is uniquely an arena where we should base decisions on the landscape of the world as it is . . . not as we wish it to be. I see the world as it is. I am a realist, not a neoconservative, nor an isolationist."
What is telling about his opening shot is how deftly he utilizes the language of the War Party to define – and restrict – the parameters of the foreign policy debate. As paleoconservative foreign policy analyst Daniel Larison has tirelessly pointed out, there is no such thing as "isolationism" in American politics: not today, not yesterday, and not ever. No one believes the US should isolate itself from the world and turn this country – connected to the rest of the globe by innumerable ties of trade, sympathy, and kinship – into the Western equivalent of the Hermit Kingdom. "Isolationism" is an epithet rather than a description of anyone’s real views, meant to stifle discussion rather than advance it.
Rand Paul surely knows this. He’s heard his father deny and deride the "isolationist" label, no doubt thousands of times, and so his choice of words may seem distinctly odd. It is, instead, a calculated effort to banish the looming image of the elder Paul, the nation’s leading non-interventionist, from the room, and he does so right off the bat. Indeed, the entire speech – and, come to think of it, his entire political career since being elected to the Senate – could be summed up in five words: I am not my father!
This rhetorical patricide accomplished, he pressed onward – and downward.


  1. I have rarely read someone as ahead of the curve as Justin Raimondo, and he has been in that position a long time.

  2. Political rhetoric is the art of illusion. Clear thinking is not a by product. Rand is just is another in a long line of rent seeking whores backed by the MIC and the banks that finance it. Realist and Neocon differences are one of degree and not of direction. Both schools of foreign policy are interventionist to the core. Both seek to maintain the empire abroad and the flowering police state at home.

  3. So is the son of Ron Paul utterly clueless,or is he just playing a cynical game of politics to garner support for the 2016 race?

  4. Raimondo should name us the candidates who have won statewide elections with his foreign policy.

    1. None. And there never will be. So what? Politics is a losers game.

  5. Another takeaway from the interview with Glenn Beck is Rand Paul's definition of libertarianism. Rand expressed the non-aggression principle in a manner which directly contradicts all of his sanctioning, war-drum beating, radical Islam defining babble:

    GLENN: Tell me quickly, square the libertarian point of view that there should be no regulation on anything you do.

    RAND PAUL: Well, the thing is most libertarians believe in what’s called the nonaggression principle, that you can’t agress against other people. So once you define where life begins, if those in the womb are alive, all libertarians then would believe in the government preventing you from agressing against that individual. It all has to do with when does life begin.

    It really seems that Rand Paul will say whatever he hopes will tickles the ears of a given audience. I think someone named Obama also possesses this skill.

    1. I guess Rand Paul picks and chooses when to apply the non-aggression principle. That's not principled.

  6. The West once had a great and sensible way to "combat" Islam without forcing the population to pay for nation building or state-sanctioned murder.

    Of course, we called this "conversion," and great spiritual/moral leaders of the past, many of whom were Jesuits, took upon themselves great risk in attempts to unify the world, largely without launching war.

    The state has destroyed this too. And today, the masses hardly care about such great men of Christ who had the strength to pray for their persecutors as they were put to death for their beliefs.

    Fast forward to today, where we hear advertisements for the military: "The Unites States Navy, a global force for good."

    Witness Ron Paul and his son. Which one invokes Christ and the Catholic Just War doctrine in terms of foreign policy? It sure isn't Rand.