Rand Paul Strikes Back at Lindsey Graham, Neocons: "In Reality, They Have Been On Obama's Side"; Reflections on the "Far-Wrong"
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On April 5, US Senator Lindsey Graham made the statement "The best deal, I think, comes with a new president. Hillary Clinton would do better. I think everybody on our side, except maybe Rand Paul, could do better." Graham made that statement on CBS' Face The Nation.
Today Sean Hannity asked Rand Paul "What do you say to Lindsay Graham, who took a shot at you and said, everyone would have gotten a better deal?"
Paul replied "Almost anyone in the Congress would better defend the Bill of Rights than this particular senator, so touche."
His position on Syria is also correct. In the same interview Paul said "I was the leading opponent of bombing Assad [Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad]. Why? Because I thought Isis would grow stronger. And I guarantee you right now ISIS would be in Damascus right now ruling the whole country had we done that."
However, note the accusations that Rand Paul, unlike his father, has flip-flopped on Iran.
In 2007, Paul, then a surrogate for his father’s presidential campaign, told radio host Alex Jones that “Even our own intelligence community consensus opinion now is that they’re not a threat.”
Today he says "I’m going to keep an open mind."
“I do believe that negotiation is better than war,” Paul told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview. “What I would say is that there has always been a threat of Iran gaining nuclear weapons, and I think that’s greater now than it was many years ago. I think we should do everything we can to stop them.”
The sorry state of US politics is that Paul cannot win the nomination if he too badly upsets the "far-wrong". That explains why he is now in favor of more military spending as well.
Whether flip-flopping serves him well remains to be seen. He did stick to one important principle "negotiation is better than war".
That is not only a correct position, it will serve him well if Obama pulls this deal off and Iran removes its centrifuges.
Attack Ad Blasts Rand Paul
Meanwhile, a "far-wrong" Attack ad blasts Rand Paul's support of Obama on Iran negotiations.
Rand Paul Responds to Neocon Attacks
In a response to the attacks, Paul says In Reality, They Have Been On Obama's Side, Made The Mideast More Chaotic
WOLF BLITZER, CNN: I want you to respond to this new ad that came out yesterday apparently a million dollar buy by some Republican group out there. They said that basically charges that your foreign policy is very close to President Obama's foreign policy, and they specifically have a quote from you back in 2007. I'll play a little clip of it. ... Alright, I want you to respond to that, but specifically, the 2007 quote where you said that Iran was not a real threat to the United States.
SEN. RAND PAUL: You know, I think the whole thing's sort of a farce and factually incorrect. In fact, PolitiFact said it was mostly false. When you look at the actual facts on the ground, I have been one of the leading proponents saying that any agreement that we come to with Iran has to come back and be voted on by Congress.
I have been saying repeatedly that I'm skeptical for the main reason that Iran's Foreign Minister is now tweeting out in English that the agreement doesn't mean what President Obama says the agreement means.
... So, really, I think that people are desperate somehow to latch on to the status quo and so they put out falsehoods but there's really nothing about the ad that's correct. Even the statement from 2007, even in 2007 I did believe that Iran was potentially a threat and developing a nuclear weapon was bad, and now eight years later, which is a long time, I think the threat has become heightened. I think it's unfair to take statements out of context from eight years ago and then to basically lie about my position on Iran now.
.... But I think the main thing about this is these are people -- this is sort of this neocon community and the neoconservatives have really never met a war they didn't like. And so what you'll see is these attacks saying, 'Oh, you're close to Obama's position. In reality, the neocons have been with President Obama on the war in Libya; they have been with President Obama on wanting to bomb Assad; and, they were really also for taking out [Saddam] Hussein. Everything that they have been for over the last decade has really been to make America less safe and to make the region more chaotic. So I think we could have a good intellectual debate about this, but attack ads like this that are mostly untrue if not entirely false probably don't serve the public very well.
BLITZER: You want to name names when you are criticizing or blasting the so-called neocons?
PAUL: Well, you know, if these people would release their donors then we would know who they are. But these are people who want to be in the shadows and have something secret and then put up a bunch of lies. But I think there are people you will see in the Senate who basically favored giving arms to Gaddafi and then the next year they were favoring giving arms to the so-called freedom fighters. But now it turns out that the war they had in Libya, which was supported by the neocons and President Obama, the war's a disaster; radical jihad has run amok in Libya. It's chaotic and I think we are more likely to be attacked by people organizing in Libya than we were before the war. So people need to think through when war's in our interest and when war is not in our interest.
Reflections on the "Far-Wrong"
It is obvious by these attack ads that the "far-wrong" considers Rand Paul a threat. There was never a need to blast Ron Paul the same way because Ron Paul never had any chance of winning.
In that sense, the attack ads are a sign of Rand Paul's odds of winning. Expect a long and very dirty Republican fight.
If Rand Paul does win the nomination, don't expect any genuine support from the neocons. It doesn't exist now, and never will. They may support him publicly while making every effort to undermine him privately.
The war-mongers would rather have Hillary Clinton than Rand Paul. After all, she is one of them on nearly everything but abortion. She too wanted to bomb Assad. She fully supported the invasion of Iraq.
When it comes to warmongering, she is one of them, and they are one with her. The neocons can easily overlook the abortion issue if they can get what they really want: perpetual war.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock