Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rand Paul's foreign policy speech

I mentioned in my AT&T/T-Mobile merger post that I agree with libertarians on some things, mainly foreign policy. And I've spent many other posts bashing Rand Paul for the crazy stuff he tends to say. Well its time for me to give Paul some credit to sticking to his ideological values. Here is ThinkProgress' recap of his speech.

And here are the highlights that I find encouraging. On Afghanistan:

I think after ten years there needs to be much, much more and there needs to be a winding down of the war. I would hope the death of Bin Laden would accelerate that.

He is being pretty cautious with his comments there. But he seems to be leaning towards withdrawing from Afghanistan. I am definitely on board with that. It just doesn't seem to be in our interest to fight terrorism and try to build their democracy in the manner we continue to implement. We can fight terrorism without an occupying army, probably more efficiently without it actually. And democracy building is very difficult. In the end the people of Afghanistan have to take charge in that effort.

On Iran:

In my mind, as a member of Congress, I’m reluctant to go to war. [...] I’d much rather send some of your professors around the world than I would our soldiers, if at all possible. Even in Iran, does anybody want to go to Iran? Iran has a large undercurrent of people who like the West. They like our music, our culture, our literature, and so I think we can influence people in those ways. I’d rather do that than go to war with Iran. That doesn’t mean we never go to war, but we should be reluctant.

I understand why he has to appear to be straddling the line. The Republican party is so set in the belief that war is the correct and first response to any problem. And he is a Senator from Kentucky after all. But again I think he is leaning towards the correct side.

Paul's reasoning probably doesn't completely line up with mine. He is very much concerned with vague Constitutional issues in regard to how to use the military in foreign disputes. Whereas I'm more concerned with the effects the use of our military will have on the people we are using it on and for. But credit for Paul making a speech without saying the kind of crazy stuff I usually like to bash him for.

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