Rand Paul smacks down Obama and neocon foreign policy: In an editorial at the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) cautions the Obama administration and lawmakers from choosing sides in, what has become, the Iraq civil war. But something he mentioned in the piece deserves some attention. “Saying the mess in Iraq is President Obama’s fault ignores what President Bush did wrong. Saying it is President Bush’s fault is to ignore all the horrible foreign policy decisions in Syria, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere under President Obama, many of which may have contributed to the current crisis in Iraq. For former Bush officials to blame President Obama or for Democrats to blame President Bush only serves as a reminder that both sides continue to get foreign policy wrong. We need a new approach, one that emulates Reagan’s policies, puts America first, seeks peace, faces war reluctantly, and when necessary acts fully and decisively,” Paul writes. “Too many in Washington are prevented by their own pride from admitting their mistakes. They are more concerned about saving face or pursuing a rigid ideology than they are with constructing a realist foreign policy.” Basically, both sides are to blame for the foreign policy mess that we’re in today, and there’s really no getting around that.
I was all set to know Paul around over this (since the WSJ is now behind a paywall and I couldn’t read the whole article), but you know what? He’s more right than wrong.
We should intervene in civil wars when doing so puts American interests first, and protects those national interests. And if we do intervene, we should do so decisively and fully: If GWB had followed this advice when he responded to the attacks of the Muslim world on America, we wouldn’t be having the problems we are today.
Although I don’t consider Iranian surrogate savages and Saudi Arabian Sunni savages slaughtering each other wholesale a problem, at least not for us. Neca eos omnes is always a good idea when it comes to dealing with your existential enemies.
And, frankly, if I thought Bush had set things up in such a way long-term as to encourage Saudi Wahabbia and the Mad Mullahs to slaughter each other on the bones of Saddam’s state, I’d probably be applauding him. Unfortunately, on the best day of his life, he was never smart or gutsy enough to honcho a plan like that.