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Ron Radosh

If some unfairly label their opponents “isolationist” and do not address the actual arguments they make, that is wrong. But it is also wrong for Paul to argue that those who want some kind of firm U.S. response to Islamic extremism are advocates of “sending our sons and daughters to war.”

Not too long ago, Barack Obama announced that al-Qaeda is “diminished” and that “the tide of war is receding.” Those statements have been proven false. Can we really inoculate ourselves from those bent on destroying us? If you as an American believe our nation is really not at war, and that Iran has only peaceful intentions and does not want a nuclear weapon, or that ISIS and al-Qaeda are not a threat to our security,  you are living in an illusory world.

Rand Paul may indeed gain popularity with his comfortable isolationist position. (Sorry, Senator: I know you consider it a pejorative, but it’s accurate.) If the Republicans nominate him as their presidential candidate, it will be a disaster in the making. They will be giving up a traditionally strong argument for their party — that Republicans will protect our national security. They will be aligning themselves with the left-wing of the already leftist Democrats, where peace at any price has been, for a long time, the popular policy to espouse.

So thank you Governor Perry, for daring to make the case for a strong foreign policy early in the day before the Republican primaries, giving Republican voters time to think over these important issues before they cast a vote for Rand Paul.

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Perry is the successful governor of one of the most economically successful states in the US and a former USAF pilot. Thus he has a record of making good decisions under high pressure. What has Rand Paul ever run? Feel free to compare your own resume to Perry's.

BTW, are you aware that we only have two or three brigades deployed to NATO?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think Paul and Perry love this country and have personal integrity.

I cannot say that about any Democrat of prominence especially the one in the White House.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perry is,

1. Experienced chief executive of the state with perhaps the most dynamic economy in the US
2. An apparently serious religious Christian
3 . a former USAF pilot who looks entirely at home aboard a Texas Ranger patrol craft on the Rio Grande

He's my first choice for 2016.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (91)
All Comments   (91)
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You DO realize that Assad is fighting OUR enemies? Don't you? Or does that not matter if it means we can spend blood and treasure to keep muslims from killing muslims?

Perry, an ex-Democrat, now plays tough on the border after trying, and failing to get the Trans Texas Corridor built to help facilitate even more flooding of North America with Chinese goods via Mexican ports (bypassing US ports).

Aside from calling special sessions of the legislature the governor here in TX doesn't have much actual power. Giving Perry, or any other politican credit for the TX economy is like giving a fisherman credit for the tides because he has a boat and lives by the sea.

The TX economy is what it is because state government is held in check by a strict state Constitution, that is to say, despite, not because of the politicians.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah yes...the ReThug War Party propagandists are worried about Rand.

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace...........oh sure, right.
13 weeks ago
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As much as Ron Radosh likes Rick Perry, I think he would like LBJ even better, especially his foreign policy. LBJ was certainly no isolationist that's for sure! In fact, if Rick Perry started reading old LBJ speeches, just changing a name here and there to bring the specifics up to date, I think he would fall in love with him. And if Rick Perry also started reading old Woodrow Wilson speeches, just changing a name here and there to bring the specifics up to date, I think he would probably propose.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
LBJ would have beeb better off an isolationist, because he lacked the mindset for any warfighting. Why did Vietnam last so long? Because we met them tit for tat. We bombed their cities, and then let up on them to try to woo them into peace talks. He wanted to fight 'fair' and treat them as children rather than enemies that killed tens of thousands of our sons.

LBJ refused another term, Nixon was elected. Nixon's policy was "the bombings will continue until your attitude improves". The Paris peace accords were signed shortly after.

Perry at least has the proper disposition for war-making. Not the "measured response" crap that made us bleed the last generation out in an unending war.
13 weeks ago
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Has it occurred to anyone that we're not good at this?

I love my country, and I'm glad that we are militarily strong, but our record with regard to interventions is pretty terrible. I know the Vietnam war was basically won and then Congress defunded the South. I know Korea wasn't won because the UN was in the mix and we were timid. I know history, and history states that we are a bad imperial power.

The Monroe doctrine makes sense. A powerful Navy makes sense, we are a maritime nation. We should defend the canals, the major trading infrastructure, pull our troops mostly out of Europe, but stay in NATO and our major alliances, but for god sake, we need to actually be a free country before we try to free anyone else.

Also, Rick Perry is George W. Bush MII only intellectually vacant. He couldn't remember the two cabinet departments he wanted to abolish. This means, with absolute certainty, that this wasn't his idea. Given that this was a major debate, that means he's an empty suit. QED.

If you don't like Rand Paul on Foreign Policy, fine, but there are better candidates than Perry.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perry is the successful governor of one of the most economically successful states in the US and a former USAF pilot. Thus he has a record of making good decisions under high pressure. What has Rand Paul ever run? Feel free to compare your own resume to Perry's.

BTW, are you aware that we only have two or three brigades deployed to NATO?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seriously? I live in Texas and my family is pretty deep in Texas politics. He's an empty shirt. Abbott will be a hell of a lot better. Perry deserves credit for doing what he's told by a number of very skilled advisors and members if the legislature, as well as heavyweights like Abbott and Combs. Again, he couldn't remember them name,a of two departments he supposedly wanted to abolish...
13 weeks ago
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"the successful governor of one of the most economically successful states "

Oh, get off it. The governor in Texas is almost ceremonial. He has very little actual power. Perry doesn't deserve the credit for the economy in Texas any more than Clinton deserves the credit for the U.S. economy during his terms.

13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The governor of Texas has most of the same powers most governors have ... signs and vetoes bills from the Legislature ... appoints officials to lead the various executive agencies ... proposes legislation ... develops and proposes a budget (they work on a 2-year cycle in TX since the Legislature meets only every other year). And of course the Governor has the "bully pulpit" - which he is using at this time on the issue of border security.

It is a far rightist meme and fantasy that the Texas Governor is "weak" and "almost ceremonial". That's pure BS.
13 weeks ago
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They cannot pardon. They cannot appoint their own cabinet except little by little. They have little to no influence in the legislature unless allied with the Lt. governor. They are among the weakest of their species in the US. I could go on for an hour...
13 weeks ago
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Actually Texas has one of the strongest govenorships. It has a relatively weak legislature. Of course, the states themselves become ever more ceremonial as the federal government accrues more power. But Texas is anti-federal-government. Not anti-government itself. To maintain identity and power and independence, they have a strong executive branch.
13 weeks ago
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You folks need to talk to some Texans. You are completely wrong.
13 weeks ago
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No kidding.
13 weeks ago
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Islam is the problem. We didn't create Islam and the problem isn't going away regardless if Paul or Perry get to the White House. It seems that both have no idea of the revival of this 7th century vicious political ideology. Both are unqualified to be President. You can't create a viable strategy if you don't understand how the enemy thinks.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am not a fan of Paul.
I think he's been seduced by the power of the pink side. He is wrong on immigration, and I don't trust him on Israel.

That said, I think, Ron, it is you who are building a straw man.
Not wanting to send troops to Iraq or Syria does not an isolationist make.

The question is: What are the goals of your proposed involvement?
If it is to destroy AQ, ISIS, Hizballah, etc., and get out, it's one thing, and this approach deserves to be tried. Finally.
If it is to help one bunch of anti-American, anti-Semitic scum fight another bunch of anti-American, anti-Semitic scum, the way Obama and McCain want it, then it's different, and I am against it.
If it is to liberate a bunch of savages from themselves and build them a Jeffersonian Democracy, then sorry, Ron, you and Bush-2 are not getting my vote for this either.

So, what is it that Perry wants?
13 weeks ago
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What are Rand Paul's goals?
Sending supplies and intelligence to help prop up the current Iraqi government?
It looks like you are rejecting that out of hand. How then can you support Rand Paul's position?

You are correct, not wanting to send troops to Iraq or Syria does not an isolationist make.
And you are correct, helping one bunch of anti-American, anti-Semitic scum fight another bunch of anti-American, anti-Semitic scum, the way Obama, McCain, AND Paul want it, is different, and I am against it.
More, as I have pointed out in the past, history is quite clear what will happen with the various levels of intervention. They are:

1. Go in and win, creating a new country in the process. This will require at least a 50 year occupation, probably more, and will cost a few thousand lives to begin with plus an ongoing yearly toll.

2. Go in, eliminate the current problem, then leave. Which . . . is why we have the current problem.

3. Send materiel and intelligence aid until the side we theoretically favor wins then wash our hands of it even if someone else intervenes. Which, in case nobody is keeping score, is why we have the current problem in Afghanistan.

4. Whine, complain, and make a big stink about it. Which is what we have been doing in Syria and which has resulted in their civil war intensifying contributing to the current problem.

5. Ignore it completely. A few thousand will die, in an extreme case a new dictator will take over, and . . . everything will quiet down for another 25 years or so. There is of course a slight chance a complete and utter maniac will take over and we will get to do WWII all over again but someone else will have to deal with that so who cares.

Me, I prefer Option 1.
In lieu of that, Option 5 is the best of what is left - at least until I am too old to really have to worry about or be affected by it.
As for people who prefer Options 2-4 . . .
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't really know what Paul's goals are. Since I don't support him for an executive office, I am not particularly interested, to tell you the truth.
You must have misunderstood me: I wasn't supporting Paul's position in my comment, I was taking issue with Mr. Radosh's strawman.

I am not rejecting sending supplies or intelligence. That is not what I would consider "military involvement", which is what I believe this whole discussion is about. I would argue that we need to be more careful when it comes to what we send to whom, but no, I don't reject it out of hand. Again, you must have misunderstood me.

As to your options:

1) I don't think you listed all the important pieces to that equation.
1a) > Go in and win
Nothing good will happen unless an enemy is defeated first. As in "admitted defeat, signed an unconditional capitulation and is in a hurry to write a pacifist constitution". None of the "winning hearts and minds" stuff until they have admitted defeat. Then, and only then we can start our 50 year occupation, complete with a local version of denazification, indoctrination in schools, and the rest of it.
1b) > creating a new country in the process
What country? The notion of a nation state is a rather artificial construct over there. Unless I am severely mistaken, it's a tribal society, not a nationalistic one. The borders have mostly been artificially created by the Brits and the French, and the inhabitants mostly hate each other and themselves. It reminds me more of ever shifting barbarian landscapes in the era of the Fall of Rome, than of European nation-states of the XX century.
In both Germany and Japan we had well developed countries with well developed cultures and centuries of unifying nationalistic and behavioral traditions. What do we have in the Arab world to build upon? If it wasn't for oil, they'd still be fighting each other on camel back, and it's not like their oil windfall changed them very much.
I am just not sure that it is even possible to do in what we call (geographically if not politically) Iraq or Syria, what we did in Germany and Japan.

Which is why sometimes your #2 is the only thing we can do. How many times and how many powerful empires tried to build something decent or at least less dangerous out of Afghanistan? Sometimes getting in, eliminating the problem we can't ignore, and leaving them to pick up the rubble is the only sensible course of action. Yes, it will probably grow back to be a problem, but it might just do that anyway, so why waste American lives and resources on a Sisyphean task?

3. I agree, it's useless, especially with the savages on both ends of currently discussed conflicts

4. Just look how great it works for the Golfer in Chief!

5. Painful as it sounds, I agree that sometimes it's a prudent choice to make.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Setting up a strawman and sounding like John Kerry during the Vietnam War in his testimony before Congress ... "

"The [Vietnam] war was only made possible through lies and deceptions aimed at the American public, Congress, and members of Lyndon Johnson’s own administration. Contrary to Robert McNamara’s claims of ignorance and overconfidence during the period 1963-1965, the record proves that he and others were men who not only should have known better, but who did know better. These men and the decisions they made during those crucial months mired the United States in a costly war that could not be won at a cost acceptable to the American public" - H.R. McMaster
13 weeks ago
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Except the Vietnam War started before 1963 and the involvement of Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara.
13 weeks ago
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LBJ inherited around 16,000 American troops in Vietnam, and McNamara, from Kennedy and escalated it to over 500,000.
13 weeks ago
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You stop that! Don't confuse the issue with the facts!

13 weeks ago
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"Of course, Perry also opposes sending U.S. troops back to Iraq. No one advocates that, although some do argue for a small group to protect the government and to continue the training of anti-ISIS forces. Setting up a strawman ..."

There are quite a number who say, and keep saying, we should have kept around 10,000 American troops in Iraq. It's not any leap at all to "evolve" back to that wish if given the power to do so.

And pray tell, how would a small group of American troops protect Iraq's Shiite government with any certainty and how many could be killed trying?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
We should have kept 25,000 troops in Iraq.
More importantly, we shouldn't have let the Iraqis form a government for at least 20 years.
13 weeks ago
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So, let's see here, getting out my calculator ... we lost 4,000 KIA in three and a half years occupying Iraq when we had approximately 100,000 troops in country .... that's a little over 100 killed per month ... and only managed to suppress that figure down to maybe 50 a month when we surged up to 175,000 troops in country. Dropping down to 25,000 troops in Iraq would probably boost our KIA to 150 dead per month. So in your theoretical 20 year occupation, we'd stand to lose only about 36,000 more dead soldiers.

And figuring a trillion bucks in six years, we'd have to pony up another three plus trillion for this theoretical occupation.

That's the price you're willing to pay - 36,000 more dead Americans (12 times the number we lost on 9/11/01) and three plus trillion scarce taxpayer dollars?

Yup - I can see America is going to be fully on board with that proposition.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
We were there since 2003ish. Post-surge the annual death toll was under 300. It was stable and relatively safe. But for a democratic culture to grow, they needed a decade or so of that security. We gave them less than half that.
13 weeks ago
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You forgot one little detail, DT.

At the end of it, after spending all that money and all those lives, we'd have the same mess we have now.

Return on Investment - ZERO.


Liberty cannot grow in the soil of Islam.



13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish I disagreed. I used to, no more.
13 weeks ago
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I'm with you there, Mark v ... the investment of blood and treasure GWB made was in no way sound.

Actually, the "opportunity cost" of trying to maintain a long term occupation of a third world country is even more damaging to US interests. We saw that already with our Iraq adventure - while we were there trying to nation-build in Iraq, the Iranian-backed Jihadis finally realized they couldn't defeat us head on in Iraq, so they simply moved over to Libya and Syria and set up shop there - both of which are now in approximately the same condition Iraq was in late 2006 ... that is to say, completely effed up and dangerous as bloody hell. They also tried to take over Egypt in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the Egyption Army had other ideas after the MB screwed the pooch there.

I am not necessarily convinced that "liberty cannot grow in the soil of Islam", as there are quite a few Islamic-majority nations around the world that are not despotic and dysfunctional hellholes ... Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Indonesia (the world's largest Muslim nation), Malaysia. And there are some others that are despotic but at least still functional, like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, Yemen, and a few others. Over time those despotic regimes are eventually going to have to democratize to at least some extent.

But I agree that it is neither the responsibility nor in the interests of the USA to "foster democracy", "nation-build", "occupy" or otherwise try to reform nations that are not capable of or desirous of reforming themselves. That is a loser's mission that only wastes American blood and treasure to no useful purpose. It's a fools' mission.

13 weeks ago
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The Bush/Maliki Status of Forces agreement timetable was followed and they demanded that our troops be tried in Islam courts to allow us the great pleasure of staying to serve them even longer.
13 weeks ago
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IMHO, you are quite right that the US should have remained in Iraq It was the ultimate "key terrain" in the war against radical Islam-ists, equivalent to the center four squares of the chess board.

• geographic center of Muslim world
• border of Sunni/Shia and Arab/Persian worlds
• geographic top of the Persian Gulf
• energy producing and refining center
• in many ways, the historical center of the Arab world
• excellent weather and roads facilitates military logistics

And President BHO dropped this for a short faux-surge into Afghanistan?
13 weeks ago
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"Setting up a strawman and sounding like John Kerry during the Vietnam War in his testimony before Congress, Paul asks: “How many Americans should send their sons or daughters to die for a foreign country — a nation the Iraqis won’t defend for themselves?”

So do you think Ronald Reagan would want to send American sons and daughters to die for a foreign country — a nation the Iraqis won’t defend for themselves? Ronald Reagan said "The United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest" so are you going to call him John Kerry too?
13 weeks ago
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To die for Iraq?
No.

To die to keep the Caliphate from spreading and waging war on the world, including the U.S.?
Well, I'd prefer they made the forces of the Caliphate die instead, but if the only option is Americans dying to achieve that goal, then yes.
13 weeks ago
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Iraq is not the center of the universe. Nether is Afcrapistan. Nor Syria. Nor Libya. Nor whatever other muslim country McCainiacs want, or will want, American troops in fighting and dying and losing limbs in against some muslims for some other muslims. And all the while our so called southern border is all but wide open.
13 weeks ago
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"He does not want U.S. aid and arms to go to Islamic rebels in Syria, who he argues are allied with ISIS. "

Well they are. McCain says otherwise but who would believe him as he is either insane or senile?
13 weeks ago
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13 weeks ago
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McCain is insane. He can't tell ISIS from the two or three "moderate" muslim "rebels" in Syria or anywhere else.
13 weeks ago
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"McCain ... is either insane or senile"
13 weeks ago
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And who guarantees the Iraqi government won't pass those arms along to Islamic rebels in Syria?
13 weeks ago
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Actually, since the mostly Shia, pro-Iran government of Iraq supports the "Shia-lite" government of Syria, including sending Asab Al'Haq, the Shia Iraqi terrorist-militia group to fight in Syria on behalf of the Assad government, I doubt they'd pass on weapons to the Sunni rebels of Syria.
13 weeks ago
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