The missile bombardment of the Syrian airfield from which a sarin gas attack was launched was met, in large part, by approval by the American political class. Even Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi added their words of support. One would have to be brave to take the side of a gasser of infants against the president of the #United States, even if his name is Donald Trump. Fortunately for those of us who write about politics, one such person exists, and his name is Sen.
Rand Paul. R-Kentucky.
Writing for Fox News, Paul called the missile strike an “unconstitutional march toward war” and suggested that by punishing Basher Assad for gassing #Women And Children, America has taken the side of ISIS, which murders people by all sorts of methods. Assad is fighting for survival against a host of enemies, including ISIS, who would see him toppled from power and suffer the fate of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Kaddafi.
Paul suggests that if Trump wants to press his punishment of Assad that he needs the approval of Congress, something that is almost certainly true. But just as certain, Paul gives the impression that he would not be voting for such a resolution.
On the one hand, Paul has a point. Middle East regime change has not been a happy experience for America this century, with chaos sown in Iraq and Libya in the wake of the deaths of bloody dictators. Of course, it can be argued that Iraq is a mess because the United States bugged out too soon on orders of President Obama.
On the other hand, there are ways of dealing with bloody dictators that not involve marching on his capital to overthrow him or, in the words of Senate Paul, say, “Every American condemns the atrocities in Syria, and we cannot help but be shaken by the images of innocent women and children dying” but we should do nothing to stop it.
The missile strike represents a measured response that signals to Assad and anyone else who wants to use weapons of mass destruction against innocents that there are consequences for that kind of behavior.
History tells us that appeasement, which Paul seems to favor, leads to nothing but continued bad behavior that eventually will become too heinous to ignore. Letting dictators free rein to commit atrocities and acts of terror only mean that someday costlier measures have to be taken to stop them. It is better to teach the lesson from the beginning rather than wait until it is too late. That lesson is as relevant today as it was in the 1930s when the civilized world failed to stop Hitler until it took a world war to do so and tens of millions of lives, #Rand Paul