At the RNC, Rand Paul Is Right About the Need To End Wars, but Trump Hasn’t Ended Any
Trump even vetoed a bill that would stop him from military action in Iran without congressional approval.
Scott Shackford / Reason
(August 25, 2020) — Tonight Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) spoke on behalf of President Donald Trump’s reelection. His remarks were heavily influenced by Paul’s own longstanding positions against excessive foreign military interventions, but only loosely tied to Trump’s actual record.
“I flew with him to Dover Air Force Base to honor two soldiers whose remains were coming home from Afghanistan,” Paul said. “I will never forget that evening. I can tell you the president not only felt the pain of these families but the president is committed to ending this war.
“President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home.”
You all may remember that Barack Obama ran for president also promising to end our overseas wars, and it did not happen.
As we approach the end of Trump’s first term, we cannot help but notice that the president has not, in fact, ended any wars and has in fact risked escalation of military engagement between the United States and Iran when he approved the drone-strike assassination of an Iranian general.
It’s true that Trump is promising to bring thousands of troops home from Afghanistan, and that’s wonderful, assuming it all happens and he completes the pullout. The Trump administration is, in reality, resisting any and all attempts by Congress to rescind the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that previously gave President George W. Bush permission to wage war against Al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In his speech, Paul railed against Biden for supporting this war. But when Congress, in a rare act of bipartisanship, passed a resolution stopping the president in engaging in any further military action against Iran without congressional approval, Trump vetoed it. Paul voted for this resolution and has consistently voted to rescind the AUMF.
And despite Paul’s attempts to insist tonight that Biden and the Democrats will continue overseas wars or start new ones, the congressional record shows that in reality, Democrats have been joining with Paul, agreeing with him in votesto bring the troops back home. It’s actually the White House and hawks within the Republican Party who have really been standing in the way.
Now both the Democratic Party 2020 platform and Trump’s 50-point plan for his second term promise, yet again, to end the wars and bring the troops home. For those who truly oppose foreign military intervention, the appropriate way to look at Trump’s first term is not unlike Obama’s. This promise has not been kept.
Watch more about Trump’s failed promises to end war:
WAPO Calls NI Chief a Putin Puppet! The Director of National Intelligence Is Providing Cover for Putin
WASHINGTON, DC (September 3, 2020) — After the intelligence community briefed members of Congress in late July about threats to the upcoming election, Democrats expressed alarm about what they had learned — and about the fact that the information had not been shared with the American public. “The warning lights are flashing red. America’s elections are under attack,” wrote Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a Post op-ed, without disclosing any specifics.
The Democrats’ pressure resulted in the issuance of a carefully worded Aug. 7 statement by William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, saying that Russia was once again seeking to interfere in a presidential election, using “a range of measures” to “undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party.”
Mr. Blumenthal said that statement “only hints at the threats,” which, he added, “are chilling.” He and other Democrats called for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify what is known about Russia’s activities so voters can be aware of them. Instead, over the weekend the blind loyalist whom Mr. Trump installed this year as director of national intelligence, former Republican congressman John Ratcliffe, dispatched a letter to Congress announcing his intention to curtail briefings between now and the election.
Mr. Ratcliffe said that “to ensure clarity and consistency,” ODNI would meet its legal obligation to report to Congress “through written finished intelligence products” rather than live briefings, which allow legislators to ask follow-up questions. While he later told Fox News that congressional intelligence committees would still be briefed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam B. Schiff said the ODNI had canceled live briefings it had planned for mid-September.
Mr. Ratcliffe and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the change in policy was a reaction to leaks by members of Congress. But the only “leak” was the simple fact that the administration was withholding critical information about Russia’s interference — which, of course, is intended to help President Trump win reelection.
In effect, Mr. Ratcliffe is providing cover for Vladimir Putin’s influence operation. If Americans are not aware of precisely what Moscow is doing to sow misinformation, they are more likely to be swayed by it. Congress could subpoena Mr. Ratcliffe to publicly testify about the ongoing operation, and it should. But the Trump administration demonstrated during the impeachment proceedings that it will defy subpoenas.
Mr. Trump, who has spoken to Mr. Putin frequently by phone this year — including at least three times since May — showed in 2016 that he will do whatever he can to facilitate and exploit Russia’s interference. Some might call that collusion.
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