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Sunday, December 4, 2011

NRO's Andrew McCarthy Goes after Rand Paul

First, if I was voting in a primary and my two choices were John McCain and Rand Paul, I would vote for the son of Ron every time (hopefully that will quiet the Ron Paul echo chamber for a minute). That said, National Review's Andrew McCarthy completely deconstructs the alleged constitutionalist / isolationist positions that come out of the mouths of the Paul family. In essence, says McCarthy, Rand is so paranoid about government overreach that, by default, he diminishes the true Islamist threats to our nation.

He also rips McCain pretty good too.

Via NRO:
The quest to quell Islamists by democratic processes has only empowered them. It has done nothing to enhance our security against terrorism. It has wasted hundreds of billions of dollars during a time of economic strife. It has actually provoked our enemies, whose ideology — which partisans such as McCain urge us to ignore — calls for waging violent jihad against Western forces that try to implant Western principles in Islamic lands. It has enabled rabidly anti-American Islamists throughout the Middle East to market themselves as “moderate political parties” and bask in the legitimacy the “international community” confers on electoral success — no matter how fraudulently achieved. It has cheapened true Western democracy by accommodating it to authoritarian sharia. 
Worst of all, the Islamic-democracy project has sapped the political will of the American people to take actions that are actually necessary to our defense. Democracy fetishists have worn threadbare the public’s patience. Why confront Iranian aggression or Pakistani duplicity, they wonder, if the price-tag is endless years of nation-building masquerading as warfare? Why bother if our troops are hamstrung in combat, put at risk by rules of engagement that prioritize the safety of ungrateful populations? Why mortgage our children’s future if the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a sharia state that despises America?
He's right. The Pauliens would refer to this bunch as 'Neocons.' Exporting western Democracy to the Middle East, in hopes that it would serve as a sedative has only given the enemies of the West an opportunity it has masterfully exploited. The quintessential example is the election of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. McCain even called the Libyan rebels his 'heroes' before Gadhafi's fall. Those 'heroes' subsequently flew al-Qaeda flags from Libyan courthouses.

McCarthy's column is about the recently, highly controversial (among Pauliens) defense-authorization bill, which Paul vehemently objected to because it allegedly puts American citizens in far greater danger of losing their first and fourth amendment rights. More from McCarthy:
Claiming the “constitutionalist” mantle, Senator Paul is currently crusading against the concept of indefinite detention for enemy combatants under the laws of war. It is a deprivation, he claims, of the Constitution’s guarantee of due process. And once the government succeeds in rolling back such guarantees, he insists, they are never restored. 
As a matter of constitutional law and of history, this is nonsense on stilts. The framers would have been appalled by Paul’s premise that the Constitution endows alien enemy combatants with the due-process rights of American citizens, particularly combatants who are detained outside the United States, where the writ of neither federal nor state judges runs. The only thing the framers might have found more appalling is the notion that the Constitution licenses lawfare — i.e., that it permits the American people’s courts (which, other than the Supreme Court, are creatures of statute not required by the Constitution) to be used by foreign enemies to put on trial the armed forces of the American people over the manner in which they conduct wartime combat operations that have been authorized by the American people’s representatives (indeed, overwhelmingly authorized, because after almost 3,000 of us were slaughtered on 9/11, the public broadly demanded that the enemy be subdued). 
Paul is attacking the McCain-Levin amendment as if it broke new ground. But the amendment only reaffirms what the Constitution has always provided: Congress has the power to authorize combat operations against foreign enemies, and when it does so, the law of war governs those operations — except to the extent Congress modifies that venerable corpus. Under the law of war, enemy combatants may be detained indefinitely, which is to say, until either (a) hostilities have concluded, or (b) Congress withdraws the authorization of military force, effectively returning us to peacetime conditions.
McCarthy goes to the heart of the problem between George W. Bush Republicans (McCain) and the Alex Jones (Paulien) crowd. Specifically, the US did not identify the real enemy after 9/11 and has us arguing amongst ourselves over how best to defeat it.

Read it all if you can.


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