Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is Rand Paul Going Neocon on Iran?

Over at HuffPo David Shams is reporting he received a disturbing email from Rand Paul. Shams writes:
Last Friday, I received an email from Rand Paul's office. He was, ostensibly, responding to my letter urging the Senate to oppose a new resolution that would call for the U.S. to enforce sanctions and provide economic, political, and military support if Israel attacked Iran. I opened it assuming that I'd read an email about how Senator Paul remained committed to standing strong against the push for war and sanctions. Boy was I wrong.
Ten months after sitting with what I assumed was a sympathetic ear, I read the following:
Iran continues to pose a threat to the region and the world as it continues nuclear development in the face of international sanctions and pressure to halt this aggressive behavior. Though a nuclear Iran would be a threat on the global scale, there is also concern that a nuclear Iran would aggressively target our ally Israel.
The United States and Israel have a special relationship. With our shared history and common values, the American and Israeli people have formed a bond that unifies us across many thousands of miles and calls on us to work together toward peace and prosperity. This peace is not only between our two nations, but also our neighbors.
In February 2013, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced S.Res.65, a Senate resolution stating it is the sense of Congress that the United States and international organizations should continue the enforcement of sanctions against Iran. In addition, S.Res.65 reiterates the policy of the United States to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and our continued support of our ally Israel.
I supported S.Res.65, which passed both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the full Senate unanimously. 
He goes on to mention that he got language included in the resolution stating that it does not authorize war. But I admittedly had to re-read the letter a few times. Here was a letter from Sen. Rand Paul, a supposed anti-sanctions, anti-war isolationist, that was basically doing a complete 180 degree turn away from what Paul's been advocating since before his election.
I guess Sen. Paul is no longer an anti-sanctions, anti-war stalwart. Instead, he's claiming sanctions and war threats are a vital part of preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon, despite the intelligence community's continued analysis that indicates Iran has still not decided to build one.
Could this turnabout be in reaction to the pressure Paul received for standing up against neoconservative calls for military threats against Iran on Capitol Hill? Is Paul caving to hawkish pro-Israel groups who have been angered by Paul's refusal to support the slide to war with Iran and his calls for cuts to foreign aid (including to Israel)? With his sights set on running for president, Dr. Paul appears ready to flip flop on Iran In order to shore up his credentials with AIPAC and others.
Libertarian supporters of Rand need to wake up, with Rand's terrible comments on Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, and now this email, it is clear that Rand is no enemy of the empire. He wants to be head of the empire. As I have pointed out before, as we move closer to the 2016 presidential campaign, Rand will move away from liberty on more and more issues.


  1. Passage by the House of another round of toughened sanctions comes against a backdrop of evidence that Iran has consciously used sanctions to bludgeon its own people to make points with the global press. While its people can’t access capital, Iran offers a $3.6 billion credit line to Syria. While its people can’t find employment, Iran builds and operates 5,000 new centrifuges to enrich uranium and while hyperinflation wracks the economy, Iran dabbles in credit swaps to bolster its support for Hezbollah and now Hamas. Rouhani, a career hardliner, speaks of moderation, but ultimately Iran must demonstrate its commitment to advancing peace not by making demands on the world like it did under Ahmadinejad, but take steps to release political prisoners, halt public executions, restore open Internet access to social media, restore shuttered opposition media, prohibit the moral police from abusing women and step back from its support of foreign ventures in Syria. Economic sanctions can be quickly lifted if Iran’s leaders, especially Khamenei, took some of these steps, but I am not hopeful of such a change in direction, which is why these new sanctions are important to keep the pressure on. If you want to see what I mean, check out Rouhani's career highlights at www.hassan-rouhani.info. The only real long term solution to Iran is regime change either at the ballot box or through street demonstrations just like the rest of the Arab world.

    1. If you change the way you think, the things you think about change.

  2. Now my tax dollars are used to post comments. This is getting comical.