Sec. of State John Kerry completely obliterated Rand Paul and showed the world that he is a foreign policy fraud during the Senate hearing on Syria.
This was a long exchange between Kerry and Paul, so here is a partial transcript:
SEN. PAUL: So what I would ask is how are we to know? How are we to go home — I haven’t had one person come up to me and say they’re for this war, not one person. We get calls by the thousands. Nobody’s calling in favor of this war. I didn’t meet one when I was home all month. I went to 40 cities. I didn’t have one person come up and say — do they all agree it’s a horrendous thing? Yes, we all agree that chemical attacks are a horrendous thing. But people are not excited about getting involved, and they also don’t think it’s going to work. And they’re skeptical of what will occur with this.
But I’d appreciate your response, and try to reassure the rest of us, one, that the vote is meaningful and valid, that you’d adhere to it, and also that you’re convinced that all of these different items will be better, not worse, by this attack.
SEC. KERRY: Well, Senator, I’d be very happy to do that. Will Israel be more likely to suffer an attack, or will they be safer; will they be less safe? I can make it crystal clear to you that Israel will be less safe unless the United States takes this action. Iran and Hezbollah are two of the three biggest allies of Assad. And Iran and Hezbollah are the two single biggest enemies of Israel. So if — if — if Iran and Hezbollah are advantaged by the United States not curbing Assad’s use of chemical weapons, there is a much greater likelihood that at some point down the road, Hezbollah, who has been one of the principal reasons for a change in the situation on the ground, will have access to these weapons of mass destruction. And Israel will for certain be less secure.
SEN. PAUL: — it would be more likely that Hezbollah will attack, because of this attack, in response.
SEC. KERRY: And Israel feels quite confident of its ability to deal with Hezbollah if they were to do so. You will notice that Israel has on several occasions in the last year seen fit to deal with threats to its security because of what’s in Syria, and not once has Assad responded to that to date. I think there are a bunch of things we should talk about in a — in a classified session.
But let me just make it very clear to you that — you know, you ask these questions, will this or that be more likely to happen or not likely to happen. If the United States of America doesn’t do this, Senator, is it more or less likely that Assad does it again? You want to answer that question?
SEN. PAUL: I don’t think it’s known. I don’t think it’s known —
SEC. KERRY: Is it more or less likely that he does it again?
SEN. PAUL: — (inaudible) — the attack. I think it’s unknown whether it’s more or less likely (whether you have ?) the attack.
SEC. KERRY: It’s unknown? Senator, it’s not unknown. If the United States of America doesn’t hold him accountable on this, with our allies and friends, it’s a guarantee Assad will do it again. A guarantee. And I urge you to go to the classified briefing and learn that.
Secondly, let me just point out to you that with respect to this question of Americans wanting to go to war, you know, you got three people here who’ve been to war. You got John McCain, who’s been to war. There’s not one of us who doesn’t understand what going to war means, and we don’t want to go to war. We don’t believe we are going to war in the classic sense of taking American troops and America to war. The president is asking for the authority to do a limited action that will degrade the capacity of a tyrant who has been using chemical weapons to kill his own people.
SEN. PAUL: But I think by doing so, you announce — you announce —
SEC. KERRY: It’s a limited — it’s limited.
SEN. PAUL: By doing so you announce in advance that your goal is not winning.
SEC. KERRY: But that’s not what —
SEN. PAUL: And I think the last 50 years of secretaries of defense would say if your goal is not to win, then you shouldn’t be involved.
SEC. KERRY: Senator, when people are asked, do you want to go to war with Syria, of course not. Everybody, a hundred percent of Americans will say no. We say no. We don’t want to go to war in Syria either. It’s not what we’re here to ask. The president is not asking you to go to war. He’s not asking you to declare war. He’s not asking you to send one American troop to war. He’s simply saying we need to take an action that can degrade the capacity of a man who’s been willing to kill his own people by breaking a nearly hundred-year- old prohibition, and will we stand up and be counted to say, we won’t do that. That’s not — I don’t — you know, I just don’t consider that going to war in the classic sense of coming to Congress and asking for a declaration of war and training troops and sending people abroad and putting young Americans in harm’s way. That’s not what the president is asking for here.
Since Rand Paul wanted to live in a world of theoretical things that may never happen, Sec. of State Kerry went there with him and schooled the Kentucky senator. Sen. Paul based all of his grandstanding on the completely false idea that President Obama is declaring war on, or taking America to war with Syria. Sen. Kerry saw through what Paul was doing and cut him to shreds.
Things got very ugly very quickly for Sen. Paul as soon as Sec. Kerry turned the tables, and asked him a question. Paul was trying to validate his fantasy war with Syria, but instead displayed his complete and total ignorance of foreign policy.
The same bogus war talking point is being floating with regularity by media on both the left and the right. It is simply not true. Obama has the legal authority under the War Powers Resolution to carry out the limited strikes that he is seeking authorization for without congressional approval. President Obama is seeking congressional authorization because he doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of the Bush administration. However, President Obama does have the legal authority to act. The action that he already can legally undertake is not a war.
Rand Paul is fearmongering about war with Syria to build his profile for his 2016 presidential campaign. He is trying to appeal to the isolationist movement, by fabricating a war that isn’t going to happen.
Instead of looking like a leader, Paul was exposed by Kerry to be nothing more than a feeble minded son who is trying ride his daddy’s worn talking points to the White House.
John Kerry proved once again that when a poser like Rand Paul tries to hang with a real foreign policy expert, the poser always gets exposed as a fraud.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association