What Happened on Friday Afternoon That Banished Rand Paul's Doubts About War Against ISIS?Submitted by davyC on Thu, 09/04/2014 - 16:36
What Happened on Friday Afternoon That Banished Rand Paul's Doubts About War Against ISIS? [UPDATED]
Jacob Sullum| Sep. 4, 2014 11:35 am
On Tuesday I asked, "Does Rand Paul think the beheading of American journalists justifies war against ISIS?" The answer, it seems, is yes. Since American journalists, students, businessmen, and diplomats live and work in nearly every country on Earth, this strikes me as a dangerously open-ended rationale for military intervention. Furthermore, the certainty that Paul now expresses about the threat posed by ISIS was not at all apparent at a Q&A session in Dallas last Friday. Here is what he said at that event, which was sponsored by the Republican Liberty Caucus:
I think the strategy has to be that you have an open debate in the country over whether or not ISIS is a threat to our national security. And it's not enough just to say they are. That's usually what you hear—you hear a conclusion. People say, "Well, it's a threat to our national security." That's a conclusion. The debate has to be: Are they a threat to our national security?
Just a few hours later, Paul made his statement to the Associated Press, which in light of his comments on Hannity signaled his support for a war that aims to "destroy ISIS militarily." At that point Paul, who earlier in the day presented himself as undecided on the question of whether ISIS poses a threat that justifies war, was firmly convinced that it does. The sudden evaporation of Paul's doubts reeks of political desperation. As Hannity noted, Paul is eager to shed the "isolationist" label, and this is his opportunity.