In case you needed further clarification on Rand Paul’s opinion of the situation in Syria, the junior Senator laid it all out in an op-ed for Time.com.
“War should occur only when America is attacked, when it is threatened or when American interests are attacked or threatened. I don’t think the situation in Syria passes that test. Even the State Department argues that ‘there’s no military solution here that’s good for the Syrian people, and that the best path forward is a political solution.’”
Paul has been vigilant in his anti-involvement stance, questioning just about every line of thinking that has been put out there by pro-strike officials. And he continues his line of questioning in the Time piece, very clearly laying out some of the issues he himself still has – even after this week’s hearings.
“Bashar Assad is clearly not an American ally. But does his ouster encourage stability in the Middle East, or would his ouster actually encourage instability?
Are the Islamic rebels our allies? Will they defend American interests? Will they acknowledge Israel’s right to exist? Will they impose Shari‘a? Will they tolerate Christians, or will they pillage and destroy ancient Christian churches and people?
The President and his Administration have not provided good answers to any of these questions. Those who seek military action have an obligation to publicly address these concerns before dragging our soldiers into another Middle Eastern war. Shooting first and aiming later has not worked for us in the past, and it should not be our game plan now.”
What is potentially even more troubling is that President Obama – despite agreeing to seek Congressional approval before involving the U.S. military in another conflict of any kind – might not actually care what Congress says.
As Paul points out, only 9 percent of American people support a U.S. strike in Syria (according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll). Yet there is still the possibility that Congress votes ‘No’ on military intervention, and the president decides to go ahead with some type of strike anyway.
That would make Congress’ decision essentially a “courtesy vote,” writes Paul, and reminds us that we have to “hold our leaders accountable.”
That includes the president of the United States, whom Paul still has plenty of questions for.
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