Senator Rand Paul weighed in on the deteriorating situation in Iraq. He expressed surprise that we were opposing ISIS in Iraq because we were essentially allied with them in the fight against Bashir al-Assad in Syria. “We are on both sides of two different wars,” he said. His tone throughout was one of exasperation. That, of course, is the standard tone for young libertarians. They’re exasperated that the rest of us just don’t get it. It all seems so obvious to them, and they wonder why it’s not so obvious to us.
I wonder if Senator Paul realizes that we are on the same side as Iran in our support for the current Iraqi government.
There’s a certain naivete to Paul’s statements. He apparently doesn’t realize that throughout history, the United States has been allied with conflicting forces or countries? We still have, for example, diplomatic relations with both (Communist) China, and Taiwan (or the People’s Republic of China). We often champion positions that are at odds with our diplomatic relations. We proclaim, for example, the view that we champion democracy throughout the world, but one of our major allies in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia, which is a monarchy where the ruling family has a tight grip on power.
Such naivete might be charming in a teenage libertarian, but it’s disconcerting in a man who’s the leading contender for the Republican Presidential nomination.
It’s also further evidence of how libertarians are disconnected from reality. They believe in a version of the world that has simply never existed. It’d be nice if international relations were clear cut, and if the U.S. could have consistent policies and positions, but that is simply not the world we live in.