If you were having doubts about Rand Paul’s foreign policy look no further than his consistent opposition to the Iraq War. While finding quotes from Rand Paul about Iraq from 2003 may be difficult, there are several videos from his 2010 Senate campaign wherein he directly says he would have voted against the Iraq War.
Rand Paul’s just as firmly opposed to the Iraq War today and openly says the Iraq War was a mistake. While other 2016 Presidential Candidates are already flip flopping on their previous support for the Iraq War, Rand Paul doesn’t need to change his position. He’s had the right idea all along, the one his father held when he famously voted against the Iraq War.
Those neo-con candidates are now using the caveat ‘knowing what we know now’ to explain their change in position. It’s a poor excuse for guilty politicians who unquestioningly supported the war, but now don’t because popular opinion has dramatically shifted. The intelligence at the time was notably faulty, and new information only underscores that. There’s no excuse for ever supporting the Iraq War. The Iraq War was a mistake then, and even more of a mistake now.
Instead of pussyfooting around the issue, Rand Paul has come out vigorously attacking the idea that the Iraq War was ever a good idea. He’s made himself very clear by saying “Even at the time invading Iraq was a mistake. The war, even at the time, was a mistake, given the intelligence”. There’s no room to mince words there.
Rand Paul even made the connection between what happened in Iraq and what happened in Libya. In both countries the U.S. toppled a secular dictator who had previously stomped out terrorism with an iron boot. Without that deterrent, in the resulting power vacuum jihadists took over large swaths of those countries, and the entire region was destabilized.
Marco Rubio said last month that “the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein”. That is an objectively false statement given the terror that ISIS is waging across the country today. Rand Paul, on the contrary, has sad that “we’re a lot worse off with Hussein gone, there’s a civil war going on [in Iraq]”. That statement is much more in line with reality.
The choice is clear among Presidential candidates. All the Democrats and Republicans running supported the Iraq War, and only some have flip flopped and come out against it. Only libertarian Rand Paul has been opposed to the Iraq War from the beginning.