Rand Paul Clarifies His Israel Security Guarantee

Apparently Rand has felt enough heat for his recent statement that he felt compelled to have his team do some damage control. The clarification helps a little.

Doug Stafford, Sen. Paul’s Chief of Staff, recently clarified the remarks in an e-mailed statement.

“The questions asked of Senator Paul in recent days were regarding an unprovoked attack on Israel.  In one case the question was regarding a nuclear attack on Tel Aviv from another state,” explained Stafford. “Senator Paul believes that if another country launched an all out war with Israel that the United States should and would assist them in some way.”

Stafford notes that Sen. Paul’s views on the matter are consistent with the approach he has taken during his tenure in the Senate, noting, “He was not discussing any offensive or preemptive war, nor was he describing the skirmishes that come up from time to time in that region. He was discussing a hypothetical all-out attack on Israel by her neighbors.”

He explained that Sen. Paul believes that approval to go to declare or engage in war only “lies with Congress,” noting that making such a strong statement “is likely to lead to a smaller chance of such attack ever taking place.” Stafford also noted that Sen. Paul “never has war as a goal or a preferred policy, only as a last resort.”

First of all, the best part of this is that he felt the need to clarify his statement at all. That means there is at least a small counter balance developing. If you’re someone in the Paulist orbit you can’t just make shameless pledges of fidelity to Israel without there being some pushback. (Hopefully Ted Cruz will get some pushback for his shameless grandstanding at the Hagel hearing.)

That said, this clarification is only slightly helpful. I don’t think anyone believed that Paul was pledging US help if Israel is attacked by Hezbollah. So clarifying that he was only talking about a major attack doesn’t really help. The problem of the security guarantee still remains. Ideally, America would consider Israel a friendly nation, no less “special” but no more “special” than any other. We shouldn’t offer Israel a security guarantee unless we offer every friendly country a security guarantee, which would be a bad idea and totally unworkable. We must change the presumption of the “special relationship.” This doesn’t do that.

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16 thoughts on “Rand Paul Clarifies His Israel Security Guarantee

  1. C Bowen

    As noted, since no major attack is coming, and if one did, it will be viewed as a false flag, Rand really didn’t say that much.

    I wouldn’t even rule out this latest ‘clarification’ in line with a calculated risk to ‘have it both ways.’

    Didn’t Pat Buchanan say pretty much the same thing in the 90s about defending Israel?

    I am a Rand skeptic, but I don’t think this is enough to take a stand on–the Iran sanctions bill was better, but that is the past now.

  2. Matt Weber

    I don’t see why we can’t give Israel a security guarantee. It would be extremely difficult to just stand by while it faced annihilation, and it is in a hostile neighborhood where that kind of thing is at least conceivable in a way that it isn’t for most countries. Heck, I’m no interventionist, but I totally support intervening to keep Israel from being destroyed.

    Maybe the real worry is moral hazard, that the Israelis will begin acting recklessly if they feel they don’t have to worry as much about the consequences because America will save the day. Seems like a good point, which is why the guarantee shouldn’t be something totally unconditional.

    I agree that the vote on Iran sanctions was worse, but maybe less symbolic, and then noninterventionists are just very focused on Israel.

  3. Grand Paleocon Inquisitor

    “Heck, I’m no interventionist, but I totally support intervening to keep Israel from being destroyed.”

    I sense our brave truth-telling blog has been infiltrated by one of Emperor Kristol’s minions

  4. RedPhillips Post author

    The Liberty issue has only ever made sense to me as a false flag attempt to draw the US into the Six-Day War on behalf of Israel. The plan was for Israel to sink it and have the attack blamed on the Egyptians. LBJ was almost certainly in on it. So I blame the Liberty incident on LBJ and his minions and Israel, not just Israel.

  5. Sempronius

    I’d like to make a further point regarding our discussion here:


    The opposite of intervention abroad is not isolationism, but rather the solicitation of foreign intervention domestically.

    Someone mentioned something about “emotion” in my position. This is incorrect. There is nothing at all emotional about it. It is strictly logical.

    As we said, favoring one belligerent instead of another establishes a truer, sharper polarity than does plain non-intervention.

    Which brings up a very important point. Isolationists have singularly failed to prevail in the implementation of their policy. It is partially in light of that fact that a newer and different approach is called for.

    An approach based on a finer logic, with the capacity to generate greater efficacy based upon a clearer understanding.

  6. RedPhillips Post author

    Matt asks what is so wrong with giving Israel a security guarantee. Well, what is wrong with it is that Israel is not Kansas or Nebraska. We should give a security guarantee to Kansas and Nebraska. I would stop short of giving a security guarantee to California. :-) But no foreign country gets a security guarantee.

  7. roho

    LBJ worked tirelessly behind the scenes to undermind JFK in the eyes of the Israelis, as JFK tried to make the Israelis understand that it was just as important for them to disclose their Nukes as it was for the USSR and the USA to disclose theirs……..LBJ is truelly the “Father Of Israel Controled Foreign Policy” for the United States position on Middle Eastern Affairs………..Like “Cromwell”, he should be dug up and treated accordingly………He ranks second to Lincoln as the worse POTUS in American history.

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