Here’s how interventionists are demagoguing Rand Paul’s foreign policy views

Late last month, a Pentagon official under the name Joseph Miller criticized Rand Paul for stating that he was opposed to more ground troops in Iraq. Miller was late to the party, unfortunately. Just a week prior to this op-ed being published, Rick Perry published his own op-ed addressing similar concerns. Given that they are so similar, I’m actually unsure if Mr. Miller actually read Perry’s foreign policy indictments, or Rand’s rebuttal to those arguments.

It would seem that Miller not only missed Perry and Paul’s exchange, but fundamentally misunderstands Rand Paul’s foreign policy, the results of all our efforts in the Middle East, and the actual cost that the United States has paid so far for the Iraq war.

Miller calls Paul an isolationist in the very first paragraph. I could discuss at length how this demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of Paul’s foreign policy views, but Rare’s Jack Hunter has actually already covered that. The last thirteen years should serve as indictment enough that our foreign policy has failed. We cannot reliably identify who our enemies are. When we can, we usually end up funding them or are found of providing them with armaments in the first place.

Joseph Miller also argues that Rand Paul would be making a mistake by not getting further involved in Iraq, and at least keeping the option of military involvement on the table. He offers the solution of more military intervention in spite of overwhelming evidence that our foreign policy has been proven to have been unsuccessful. Nearly every single effort put forward in the last thirteen years, including the TSA, has proven less than effective at deterring security threats to the United States or mitigating threats. Instead, our continued involvement has done nothing but create more threats to the United States.

Miller acknowledges that most Americans agree with Rand, but says that Rand’s policies go against our national interest. This seems to imply that it doesn’t matter what the American public thinks (and certainly by extension, what Congress thinks). It would be no stretch to say that it is likely that Joseph Miller has no problem with an unconstitutional war instigated solely by the executive branch.  This op-ed represents a very distressing kind of callousness and willful ignorance of the American public, the Constitution,  what veterans of the Iraq war have endured, and what the monetary costs of the Iraq war were.

Despite the fact that Rand has never said that military intervention is off the table permanently, Miller seems intent on thinking that this is so. In several places, he speaks to Rand being “dogmatically opposed” to military intervention. Miller also suggests that it represents a weak foreign policy. In reality, Rand has stated that he is fiercely protective of American citizens from threats abroad, and domestic threats, such as police officers enforcing unfair penalties of the drug war among other things.

Miller seems to believe that Paul’s strong desire to avoid sending troops to Iraq would mean a catastrophic misstep for America. Many would disagree. By waiting to act, we are able to figure out who our enemies are. Something that John McCain and other foreign policy hawks have had trouble identifying for a while now. Not to mention that Melvin Goodman, former CIA analyst, pulls no punches when he evaluates just how poorly the United State’s foreign policy has served us during the past few years.

In sum, this op-ed demonstrates how little “Joseph Miller” knows about Rand Paul’s foreign policy strategy, how we can best defeat terrorism, or what the country is willing to endure for the sake of whatever “national interests” he can propose. This official is comfortable working unilaterally in the name of “national security”, even if that means forfeiting American lives, our civil liberties and the financial viability of the country. And it is that blind faith that he knows best which is most concerning of all.


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