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Rand Paul calls for the destruction of ISIS, complicating his presidential run

U.S. Senator Rand Paul speaks at the Defending the American Dream Summit
U.S. Senator Rand Paul speaks at the Defending the American Dream Summit
Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images

Things have gotten very serious when even Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wants to destroy ISIS, as Hot Air reported on Tuesday. Paul, since his perennial presidential candidate father Ron Paul has retired from politics, had been the leading voice of “non-intervention” in foreign affairs. He had even proposed to run to the left of Hillary Clinton, once calling her a “war hawk.” But the continued atrocities of ISIS, including the second public beheading of an American, and the threat it will bring death and mayhem to American shores, has concentrated quite a few minds.

Not everyone has gotten the memo that civilization is in a full scale war with a terrorist army. Paul’s statement supporting military intervention against ISIS took place even before the latest beheading. After that latest atrocity, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked whether the beheading was an act of war. She actually stated that she would not “put labels” on what had happened. No doubt the Obama administration is trying to come up with a phrase that does not contain the “w” word. “Unauthorized surgical procedure” comes to mind.

Incidentally Rand Paul’s father, Ron Paul, issued a communique on Monday in which he decried people who are calling for intervention against ISIS as “neocons.” He suggested that all it would do is to provide ISIS a recruiting tool that it craves and drain the American treasury, “Just like Osama bin Laden wanted.” He suggested that the rise of ISIS was caused not by Obama’s neglect of the Middle East, but constitutes “blowback” against previous military intervention.

This places Paul the son in an interesting position. On the one hand it is good that he is taking a more forthright stance on ISIS than either the Obama administration or his isolationist father. On the other hand since his general doctrine is “non-intervention” he will be forced to explain why ISIS and not, say, Russia in the Ukraine, China in the East China Sea, or Iran’s nuclear weapons. The rise of ISIS has complicated his presidential ambitions.