Not surprisingly Rand Paul is out in front of the opposition to military action against Syria. His father, and he, have been staunch "non-interventionists" for evah. And of course according to national polling, most Americans don't want to launch any kind of attacks on Syria, so Rand has political backing for his stance.
But there is a bigger risk in what he is doing than might at first appear. While there are any number of reasons why NOT taking action against Syria might be the safer course, our enemies, like Iran, will interpret what Rand would like to think of as "discretion" as "timidity". We are likely to be tested again, and again.
At what point do we say, "alright, that's enough?" And at what point do we move to the fore potential presidential candidates who walk softly and carry no stick? If our nation for economic, or pacifistic, or "constitutional" reasons begins to behave like the kind of people who just want to be left alone, the rest of the world which is crawling with wolves will steadily come to see us as easy prey.
I agree, the plan advanced by Obama is stupid. Announcing that we are not going to have "boots on the ground", will only send in a "limited" number of missiles over a very few number of days is clearly like threatening to hit Assad with our purse.
And the notion that this operation will be funded by the Saudis and that we will be helping the Al Qaeda forces at work in Syria means, as one friend commented, that our military is now a bunch of mercenaries and we have become Al Qaeda's air force.
And while these reasons coupled with the nation's total lack of respect for Obama as a leader provide ample justification for taking no action against Assad, despite the popularity of Rand taking a stand against Obama and claiming, perhaps, victory in defeating the request for use of force authority, there is a bigger problem coming.
Are we as a nation now willing to let the growing threat of world wide violence by the hands of radical Islamic Jihadists go unchecked? When our nation was attacked in 1941 it was we who used WMD's to end that war. When our nation was attacked again in 2001 we acted with the silliest kind of restraint and though the war in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to many to be wasted efforts, the problem isn't that we went in and fought, the problem is that we didn't fight enough.
In the early days of Viet Nam the sons of WWII veterans rushed to sign up to go fight for America. It was only after our leaders decided to prosecute a never ending war without a clear path to victory that America grew weary and draft cards were burned in protest. Had we then, early, and with resolve, acted in such a way as to win a decisive victory for democracy against the communists we would have once again been the proud symbol of freedom and bravery.
Had George H.W. Bush crushed Saddam the first time and boldly cut off his plans to take over the Middle East there would have been no reason for a second war. Had Bill Clinton not let Osama Bin Laden go, we might have avoided the tragedy of 9-11.
I don't know if America has grown war weary, as much as we have grown weary of the modern version of American style wars.
Is there a threat to our national security from radical Islam? You bet your sweet bippy there is. Have we designed an appropriate response to end that threat? Not by a long shot. Will firing a few missiles into Syria accomplish anything toward the goal of making America safer? That is highly doubtful. But one thing is clear.
If this, the next or any presidential candidate thinks that the path to a brighter future in this mad, murderous, vengeful, hate filled world is to sit back and wait for the fight to come to us, then it will.
It is far better to shoot a rabid wolf at a distance than to fight him off of your chest.
Rand needs to consider what America wants in a president, not whether America wants our current one or not to take a few pot shots at Assad. Confusing the current issue with a change in America's heart could be disastrous for his future plans.