Here are Senator Rand Paul’s main points in response to Obama’s speech Tuesday night still calling for a U.S. war on Syria.
P: “America’s credibility does not reside in one man.” Not attacking Syria doesn’t mean America has lost our resolve. “If our enemy wish to know if America would defend herself, let them look no farther than our response to 9/11. When attacked, we responded with overwhelming force and with the military objective of complete victory over our attackers.”
Sen. Paul then cites the Reagan Doctrine that spells out a systematic approach to our involvement in Middle Eastern conflict:
- “The American people must be supportive — overwhelmingly supportive.”
- “Most importantly, our mission must be to win.”
But in the case of Obama’s Syria war:
“There’s no clearly defined mission in Syria, no clearly-defined American interests. In fact, the Obama administration has specifically stated no military solution exists. They have said the world will be unbelievably small and limited. To me, that sounds like they are pre-announcing that the military strikes will not punish Assad personally or effect regime change.”
O: “America must act to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons again.”
P: “It’s unknown whether attacking Assad encourages him or discourages him. It is equally likely that Assad can feel cornered and resort to chemical weapons in an expanded fashion. It’s equally likely the bombing could destabilize Assad and he could lose control of the chemical weapons.”
O: “No boots on the ground.”
P: “The Obama administration had indicated that it would take 75,000 ground troops to secure the [chemical] weapons and that they would be prepared to do just that, despite the [Senate Syrian] resolution’s admonition against ground troops.”
“Would a U.S. bombing campaign make it more or less likely that Assad attacks Israel with chemical weapons? Would a bombing campaign make it more or less likely that [Syrian] refugees stream into Jordan? Just the threat of bombing has increased the flow of refugees. Would a bombing campaign in Syria make the region more or less stable? Would it make it more or less likely that Iran or Russia becomes more involved? Just about any bad income you can imagine is made more likely by U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.”
Then Sen. Paul brings up Assad having agreed to surrender the regime’s chemical weapons to international control, for ultimate dismantling. Paul states that diplomacy can be a solution, while cautioning that we should not be naive, invoking what President Reagan said: “Trust, but verify.”
Paul affirms the power and effectiveness of those in Congress and among the American people who have stood up against Obama’s Syria war, crediting them with bringing Syria and Russia to proposing a diplomatic solution:
“The chance for diplomacy would not have occurred without strong voices against an immediate bombing campaign. If we had simply gone to war last week or the week before as many advocate [i.e., Obama], we wouldn’t be looking at a possible solution today. The voices of those in Congress and the OVERWHELMING number of Americans who stood up and said ‘Slow Down,’ allowed this possible solution to take shape.”
Paul concludes by lauding Obama for abiding by the Constitution in seeking congressional approval for a Syria war, but states if there is a vote, he will vote “No” and encourages his colleagues to vote “No” as well.
Because Obama has not made clear that U.S. national interests are at stake.
O: “The President still has the power to initiate war.”
P: “This is untrue. The Constitution gave the power to declare war to Congress. James Madison wrote that the Constitution supposes what history demonstrates — that the Executive is the branch most prone to war. Therefore, the Constitution, with studied care, invested the power to declare war in the legislature. This is no small question. I see the vote on whether to go to war on very personal terms. I will not vote to send my son, your son, or anyone’s daughter to war unless a compelling American interest is present. I am not convinced that we have a compelling interest in the Syrian civil war.
May God help us to make a wise decision here and avoid an unnecessary war.”
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.