Ron Paul may have left Congress, but he will continue to push his non-interventionist foreign policy through a new think tank. The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity will focus on promoting the same foreign policy views that became a signature issue for the former Texas Congressman as well as make a case for civil liberties:
“The neo-conservative era is dead,” proclaims the media advisory on his Facebook page announcing the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
“The ill-advised policies pushed by the neo-cons have everywhere led to chaos and destruction, and to a hatred of the United States and its people. Multi-trillion dollar wars have not made the world a safer place; they have only bankrupted our economic future. The Ron Paul Institute will provide the tools and the education to chart a new course with the understanding that only through a peaceful foreign policy can we hope for a prosperous tomorrow.”
The group promises to focus on coalition-building across party lines and creating opportunities for students to engage on the topic.
The official launch of the project will be held at 3pm on Wednesday, April 17th, at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC. Ron Paul and members of the organization’s advisory board — Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), Rep. John Duncan (R-TN), former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Judge Andrew Napolitano, Ambassador Faith Whittlesey, and Lew Rockwell — are slated to speak.
You can read the full media advisory on Ron Paul’s Facebook page.
Written by Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
To a degree almost impossible to imagine just a month ago, North Korea has won international attention, dominated events in Northeast Asia, and embarrassed the United States. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has played into Pyongyang’s hands by responding to the North’s provocations. Now Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting East Asia, beginning Friday, where the so-called Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will dominate the agenda.
Rushing off to the region on a high-profile trip is another mistake. Whatever Secretary Kerry does or says is likely to be seen as enhancing the DPRK’s stature. Better for him to have stayed home, phoning his counterparts as appropriate.
No doubt the Obama administration hopes to craft a diplomatic answer to what is widely seen as a crisis. However, Washington dare not reward the North for its caterwauling, even if Kim Jong-un suddenly adopts the mien of a serious leader of a serious nation. Rather, Secretary Kerry should hold out the possibility of engagement, even diplomatic relations—but only if Pyongyang chooses to behave like other nations. No more providing benefits in response to threats.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham stopped by NBC’s Meet The Press (MTP) Sunday morning to discuss U.S. foreign relations with North Korea. In the wake of recent threats made by the North, Graham expressed support for President Obama’s recent flexing of military strength as a warning saying,
“I think the North Koreans are over-playing their hands. And this [President Obama’s] administration’s acted responsibly. I’m glad we’re not doing the ballistic missile test. I’m glad we had the B-2’s in the theater where they could see ‘em.I’m glad we’re telling our allies South Korea and Japan, ‘We literally have your back’ and the North Koreans need to understand if they attack an American interest or an ally of this country, they’re going [to] pay a heavy price.”
When asked by MTP host David Gregory to give his thoughts on American interests in the region where nearly 30,000 US troops are stationed, Graham replied,
“We’re in the middle. I’m glad we’re there with our allies but the big difference to me is the politics in South Korea are changing by the day regarding North Korea. So if there’s some provocation, it won’t be business as usual by South Korea. I could see a major war happening if the North Koreans overplay their hand this time because the public in South Korea, the United States and I think the whole region is fed up with this guy.”
Gregory probed further saying, “But what happens if there is some kind of conflict between the North and South? That becomes a conflict with the United States doesn’t it?”
To this Graham responded, “The North loses and the South wins with our help, that’s what happens.”
Last week, the National Journal profiled Rep. Justin Amash, the libertarian-leaning Michigan politican, noting how his potential entry into the race for the Republican primary for United States Senate could further shake-up the establishment in both parties:
Amash is a unique politician with the potential to transcend traditional party appeal. He preaches transparency and accountability, having never missed a vote in Congress. (He also writes lengthy notes on his Facebook page explaining every vote.) His isolationist streak has earned him a following among young people. His Arab-American heritage makes him appealing to minorities. He’s the rare politician with fans at both the American Civil Liberties Union and Right to Life.
Amash also has the ability to attract serious money. Already, one libertarian super PAC has pledged to spend upward of $1 million to help him get elected, and others would likely follow (Club for Growth would surely spend big on his behalf). The ability to attract such substantial outside assistance makes Amash an intimidating contender, and could send other Republicans running from a primary challenge. “If that money comes through, that’s a big benefit,” said former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, another potential candidate. “Look, this is going to cost $2 million to $3 million in the primary, and another $10 million to $15 million in a general election. So if there are people who are willing to put that kind of money behind him, that makes a big difference.”
To both a greater and lesser degree of success, foreign policy scholars have tried to explain the disconnect between President Obama’s soaring idealism of America’s role in the world and his halting political caution about it in discrete situations. That vacillation has drawn criticism, both for being too meddlesome and for not being meddlesome enough.
Daily Caller contributor Adam Bates ably sums up the president’s incoherence as “not based on any particular logic or worldview beyond the president’s own desire to distance himself from America’s foreign policy past without bothering to actually change any policies.” Indeed. As this author has written in the past, specifically on counterterrorism policies,
On the one hand, Obama openly rejected Bush’s ‘with us or against us’ approach to foreign affairs. On the other hand, Obama’s sophisticated demeanor opened him to criticism, with hawks condemning him as too weak and easily manipulated by America’s enemies.
Vice President Joe Biden knows how to have a good time. Unfortunately, he’s doing it on your tab at a time when the Obama Administration is trying to scare Americans into believing their messaging on the sequester. Over at Investor’s Business Daily, Andrew Malcolm points out that Biden and his entourage spent over $1 million in two nights during a trip last month to Europe:
The cost of the night’s London lodging in early February for Joe Biden and his unusually large entourage was $459,388.65. That’s right, nearly a half-million dollars, which would be a BFD for anyone who wasn’t self-appointed political royalty.
But that’s not the worst of it. In Paris, the Amtrak-lover from Delaware ran up another one-night hotel tab of more than a half-million dollars, $585,000.50. They must have hit that mini-bar pretty hard!
The Weekly Standard, which broke the stories of these extremely expensive expense extravaganzas, also discovered the five-star hotel stays at the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grande and London’s Hyatt Regency were made through no-bid government contracts. That eliminates any messy money-saving competition and security concerns.
It has been clear for some time that Senator Rand Paul sees himself as far more than Kentucky’s junior senator. Paul has established himself as a truly national figure - any remaining doubt of that was shredded by his nearly 13-hour filibuster two weeks ago, where Paul successfully took over the Senate for over half a day. His actions that day won him the praise of many, and put his name on the lips of nearly every politically aware person — and many who aren’t. Speculation has understandably abounded about whether Paul will run for President in 2016 — and if he will give up his Senate seat to do so.
Fuel for the latter proposition was added this week when Senator Paul made a dramatic reversal of the immigration views he espoused during his Senate campaign and made clear he was open to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants (though he did not use those words). As this Politico article points out:
The endorsement of any sort of legal status for illegal immigrants amounts to a remarkable reversal for Paul, who in his first month in the Senate proposed a constitutional amendment to end birthright citizenship. (On Tuesday’s conference call, Paul said a secure border would make the amendment unnecessary.) While running against an establishment pick in Kentucky’s GOP primary in 2010, he proposed building an underground electric fence along the length of the entire border.
During an appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and a prominent neo-conservative, knocked Sen. Rand Paul, who led a 13-hour filibuster over the nomination of John Brennan to the CIA.
Kristol, who endorsed raising taxes on higher-income earners during the “fiscal cliff” because of defense spending cuts, told Chris Wallace that the reason the Republican Party has been so successful is “because it has been the party of strong national security.”
“[Y]ou can say they are moss-covered, but some of us are proud to have come to Washington to work in a very minor role for Ronald Reagan, and some of us are proud to have supported the Bush administration after 9/11, and fighting our enemies,” Kristol continued. “And the problem with the Obama administration is not that it is too assertive in the war on terror. The problem with the Obama administration is that we are retreating all around the world, and unfortunately, emboldening our enemies.”
After the filibuster, Kristol aligned himself with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, calling Sen. Paul the “spokesman for the Code Pink faction of the Republican party,” a reference to the anti-war group’s praise of the filibuster.
Kristol further added, “So if Rand Paul wants to run to the left of the Obama administration, he’s free to try that in the Republican primary, and maybe there is more support for that than I think, but I’m pretty doubtful that there really is.”
In what was likely one of the most anticipated speeches of the weekend, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who raised concerns about President Barack Obama’s drones policy last Wednesday during a 13-hour filibuster, offered conservatives a new brand of conservatism.
Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” played as Sen. Paul took the podium in an electric atmosphere where half the auidence was standing as a nod to the #StandWithRand theme. He noted that he only had 10 minutes to speak. “But just in case, I brought 13 hours worth of information,” Sen. Paul said as he held up two large binders to rousing applause. “I also came with a message for the President. A message that is loud and clear. A message that doesn’t mince words,” he added.
“Don’t drone me, bro!” someone shouted from the audience Before he went back into his speech, Sen. Paul replied, “Thats not exatly what I was thinking. However, I may have distilled my 13-hour speech into three words.”
“The message to the President is that no one person gets decide the law. No one person gets to decide your guilt or innocence,” he said. “My question to the President was about more than just killing American citizens on American soil. My question was about presidential power has limits.”
Sen. Paul hit on President Obama’s civil liberties record. “If we destroy our enemy but lose what defines our freedom in the process, have we really won,” he asked. “If we allow one man to charge Americans as enemy combatants and indefinitely detain or drone them, then what exactly is it that our brave young men and women are fighting for?”