For the most part, the battles in recent years have focused on domestic issues like the economy and health care. However, topics such as Libya, Egypt, Syria and now Ukraine have been on the front burner of international affairs.

Come 2016, which party will take an edge in addressing matters of foreign policy? Hillary Clinton will no doubt rely on her time spent in the White House and State Department as evidence she’s well versed in these matters. Do Republicans have any candidates currently testing the waters who can match her experience on paper?

I raise this topic because Reason Magazine, a libertarian outfit, had a piece asking whether Rand Paul’s views on foreign policy will be ignored in 2016 due to American apathy.

A lot could change before the 2016 presidential campaigns begin in earnest. However, assuming there is no major shift in American opinion before Paul’s widely expected White House bid begins, it unfortunately looks like Paul’s positions on foreign policy, which ought to be taken seriously given the current state of American foreign affairs, will be mostly overlooked by an American public that continues to be largely indifferent about foreign affairs.

Here’s an alternate question. Given Hillary Clinton’s questionable foreign policy record, will she be inclined to steer the campaign away from this area in general?

34 COMMENTS

  1. I bet foreign affairs will ONLY matter in the campaign if Hillary is the candidate (which I doubt). Otherwise, it’s all too complicated for a bumper sticker–and all most people (in every country) care about is finding a good-paying job.

    And I disagree with Reason. If foreign affairs do come up, Rand will mouth the Libertarian stand that we should mind our own business, pander to the Religious Right by repeating that he’d go to war to defend Christians, take any stand against Russia, and he has said he’d be Israel’s lap dog.

    If you take every stand on every issue, you’ll win, because the media never keep track.

    Here’s Jennifer Rubin’s comment in Right Turn, saying that on Iran, Rand is worse than Barack:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2013/11/19/rand-paul-worse-than-obama-on-iran/

  2. As I said The Bitch was BHO’s “Bitch” as SecState and had 0 original thoughts and they are the Benghazi murderers either from incompetence and/or malicious deals gone wrong.

    I agree with Goethe that Rand will take the Libertarian stand about foreign policy. But I don’t think Paul would put any boots on the ground over Islamic brutality of Christians.

    I like O’Reilly’s take on “Pass the Sanctions bill and make it effective September 1st if Iran isn’t in compliance.”

    As a typical Washington Post OpEd person – don’t need to know crap about the subject, just make sure to diss conservatives.

    • Oh, Sam. . .Try reading the article.

      She is speaking for the Heritage Foundation (previously wrote for Commentary, Human Events, and the Weekly Standard).

      Her complaint was about Rand Paul saying this (read carefully):

      –Containment “shouldn’t be our policy. But I don’t think we should also say the extension of that, that we will never have containment as a policy.”

      Pure Rand Paul:
      –Containment should NOT be our policy, until it is.

      And, if you read the article, Rand disagrees with you about Iran (this week)–

      “Paul also said he DIDN’T want to add to sanctions while nuclear negotiations are going on. This is the position of the Obama team — and of Tehran.”

      The more he talks, the less he sounds like his dad. Anybody wanna contribute to a paternity test??

      • Goethe – Goethe, talk about interpretation. No, Paul doesn’t want active sanctions against Iran right now because they are (foolishly) going to discuss the existing agreement. He has voted for sanctions in the past and would do so again if “containment” was the best option – he says it has worked in the past for over 70 years and could work again. No one asked him what if the talks fail and Iran reneges. I stand with O’Reilly, pass sanctions to start again by a future date if talks stall.

        I read about Rubin, a little bit – she poses as a neoconservative but in reality is a Liberal. She was a Democrat and went to Berkeley. She is anti Obama because she is Jewish and very aligned to Israel, therefore she will attack anyone that would be alien to Israel’s position and is only Neo- if it could threaten Israel.

        p.s. sure am enjoying Bob’s and Your barbs

          • Goethe:

            Our conversations have always shown respect to each others opinion in the past. We disagreed at times but we kept it civil. I don’t know what I did to you that I deserved that. You don’t even treat oblivious with such disrespect.

            If that is the way you want it …so be it!

            • Bob: I’m sorry if you have really been offended by my attempts at humor. I was hoping you’d play along. Sam was amused.

              The topic that you and I have been “discussing” could hardly have been less consequential. It’s been about a fictional TV show, with an impossible premise, and an inconsequential promo for the inconsequential show–which is a soap-opera-for-men about being catty in the halls of Congress, not about real political issues at all. And then to have Noonan throw in her self-righteous and supercilious protestations seemed like something out of Monty Python.

              Considering the silliness of the whole discussion, coupled with the concurrent silly “discussion” about clowns, I though surely that you’d see the ironic idiocy of the whole thing.

              Or are you pulling my leg and not really offended at all?

            • Goethe;

              I couldn’t agree with you more on the topic we discussed on another thread being inconsequential and it wouldn’t have carried on as long as it did if you and Tess didn’t take it in the direction of what was the inspiration for the show. The duration of the discussion was so surprising I attempted to end on two different occasions to no avail.

              I accept your back handed left wing attempt at an apology. After all we all know that the left is always tolerant of others views and it must be the right who misunderstands.

            • Bob:

              First of all, despite the unprecedented hype about House of Cards, only 16% of Netlix subscribers bothered to stream the new episodes when they were finally released. There are 27 millions subscribers, so only 4 million people bothered to check it out, despite the huge promotion and free publicity. That’s less than ONE-POINT-FOUR PERCENT of our population.

              I would agree with you that the show is despicable. I watched a bunch of shows, but its unrelenting negativity turned me off. I felt like I had to take a shower. But the promo showing elected officials could not have been more positive for their image, since their lines were carefully chosen, and they were shown in real “power” stances.

              And finally, cut the left-right crap. It doesn’t really convince anyone that you’re right to label anyone who disagrees on any issue as “leftwing.” As Oblivious pointed out, I criticize everybody in Washington.

            • Goethe;

              I know you wish reality could be like your television fantasy of a Democrat “West Wing” but it isn’t. I never said the show was “despicable”….in fact I rather enjoy watching the show. You see I have a very low esteem for most of our elected officials from both sides of the aisle. What I said was the action that our elected officials took was despicable. I don’t know how many more times we need to cover that aspect.

              And finally don’t go around telling people what to do. I’ll cut out the left/right crap when I know the person I’m talking to isn’t leaning toward one side.

              REALLY ????…..USING OBLIVIOUS AS A CHARACTER WITNESS? LMAO !

            • Bob: That’s such BS.

              The only left-right comment i made was in trying to figure out why the columnist got her panties in a twist. The only thing I could figure is that she wanted to please her boss, Rupert Murdoch, by complaining that the Republicans in the House of Cards promo were making them look bad.

              BTW, I didn’t watch West Wing, either.

              You leftwing nut!

            • Goethe:

              Let me finish my prior thought (10:22 AM this morning) which I didn’t have time for before.

              Everyone leans one way or another especially if you participate on blogs or political sites. I may say that I have a low esteem and knock our elected officials on both sides of the aisle but down to the bone I’m Conservative. You have shown your leaning by your defense of Secretary Clinton and Benghazi. Next only those people who believe in BIG GOVERNMENT would find the exposure of how laws are made despicable.

              Finally it dawned on me why you aren’t dropping this topic especially since we both find it so inconsequential. It goes back to a comment you made a while ago when I suggested you ignore oblivious comments. You said something to the effect that you can’t because that would mean he got the last word and won.

              LMAO..O.K. ENOUGH ALREADY you can have the last word on this topic in response to this post.

              P.S. Talk about getting your panties in a twist you and Tess ready hate Rupert Murdock don’t you?

            • Bob:

              The only “defense” I have made regarding Hillary is that her quote is being taken out of context unfairly and disingenuously to mean EXACTLY the opposite of how it was delivered. I have repeatedly said that she will not be the nominee–how is that being a fan of hers?

              If you were not so defensive, you’d see that I argue against anyone I think has gone off the deep end. Concurrent to this discussion, I have been arguing with Godfrey, criticizing his liberal views. Yet, you want to paint me as a “liberal” instead of making legitimate points. I guess I’d say name-calling is the second-to-the-last refuge of a scoundrel.

              As for your “big government” comment. Dude. House of Cards is NOT “the exposure of how laws are made,” It’s a fantasy, built on a foreign fantasy, with an impossible premise. I assume you think if you read Winnie the Pooh that you will learn all you need to know about the ecology of the Hundred Acre Wood??

              And no, this is not about winning or losing. You keep making new claims and charges that beg an answer. And besides, this is entertaining Sam, and I don’t want to let him down.

              As for Rupert Murdoch, you’re buzzin’, dude. I didn’t say anything against HIM. I just said that NOONAN wrote her silly article to kiss up to her boss–so it was necessary to point out who her boss is. To begin an article admitting that she is being frivolous and priggish really should have tipped you off that not even she was being serious.

  3. Getting back to the discussion we don’t have to wait until the general election for Sen. Paul’s foreign policy principles be challenged.

    Rep. Peter King (R-NY) Gov. Huckabee (R-AR)and Gov. Christie (R-NJ) are three establishment republicans that came out and said they are running against Sen. Paul’s libertarian foreign policy. I would imagine their are other vocal Vichy republicans like Sen. McCain but these three will probably run and seem the most upset by it.

    Secretary Clinton?……..she’ll approach the topic with caution. She ‘ll say vague comments like “I served as Secretary of State honorably for four years and traveled more miles than any other Secretary”.The MSM will push it to the back burner and remind the public “It’s the economy stupid”. Everyone will shake their heads up and down and move on. Meanwhile Sen. Paul or who else gets the republican nomination will be put to the cross for any perceived injustice to domestic policies such as the republicans denying to extend unemployment benefits. Sen. Paul or any other Tea Party members should they get the nomination have the double wammy of not only having to deal with the Democrats attack but the attacks from the establishment republicans. DON’T THINK THAT WILL HAPPEN?….DID IT PREVENT THEM FROM ATTACKING THEIR OWN DURING THE SHUTDOWN LAST OCTOBER?

    • Bob:

      Yeah. I really don’t believe foreign policy will come up at all during the 2016 campaign, unless something bizarre happens between now and then. There are just TOO MANY foreign countries, far too complicated for our media to cover.

      Right now, it looks like a battle between Obamacare versus the Minimum Wage in 2014. Both of those issues will be “old news” by 2016, so I have no idea what the fight will be then.

      But if I were a betting man, I’d say Rand Paul will be the nominee, specifically because he’s an establishment wolf in conservative sheep’s clothing–and has libertarians totally buffaloed.

    • Bob and Goethe – I can generally agree with both of you on your points. And Pubs should be fighting with Dems instead of each other. Unfortunately i believe that RINO’s would truly rather see a Dem get elected rather than TeaParty/Libertarian. I still don’t understand your anger against young Paul – he is better than a RINO or a Dem. He knows he can’t go full Libertarian after seeing what happened to Dad.

      I also think that Koch and FreedomWorks will put a lot of advertising into a Paul campaign to try and combat the Liberal alphabet stations.

      Do not be surprised if Republicans force the Benghazi issue big time and a lot of ads that say “what difference does it make” & “Can you trust this person or Administration with your back?” Plus “Economy – & list unemployment, jobs lost, entitlements, America’s standings lost in almost every categories, crime rate because of economy not guns.”

  4. Sam:

    I am not angry with Rand, just disappointed. When his dad spoke, it was always the straight poop. With Rand, what he “believes” depends on the day of the week–and the audience (“market segment”).

    But, as I say, I believe he will be the nominee, because Libertarians will only see his Dad. That will allow him to pander to every other possible constituency. And in the general election, it will be Etch-a-Sketch time.

    He’s still better than anyone else in the field, and maybe his equivocations will mean that he’ll be better at dealing with Dems.

  5. Sam:

    As for Benghazi, I know I’m all alone on this, and I expect a sh*tstorm about it, but for all the things Hillary can rightly be accused of, and criticized for, this ain’t a legitimate one.

    The soundbite of “What difference does it make?” is totally out of context. Hillary haters want you to believe that she meant what difference do the deaths make, which is a heinous lie, and disingenuous manipulation.

    The quote was meant to be her standing tough, to show how silly the questions were–as to whether the attackers were–

    (a) standing around outside and ran in OR

    (b) were somewhere else and carpooled.

    Her next sentence was, “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

    Everyone agrees that they were militants and terrorists. But the real question SHOULD BE who are they–names–so they can be captured or “droned.” And that is not going to be accomplished by sitting around, contemplating our navels, and wondering whether the militants gathered outside the compound or took a bus to the event. That was the gist of the question that led to the soundbite, and yes, Johnson is insultingly grand-standing and play-acting at that point:

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2013/may/07/context-hillary-clintons-what-difference-does-it-m/

    • Goethe – you are going force me to go look up all the salient points from the various medias to truly load The Bitch for her inadequacies and hung an Ambassador out to dry with his asst.- Plus the CIA and their game plan. I am too tired tonite to go after references. Even her bullshit was a lie about “who did it” when she, SecDef, & CIA knew it was al Qaeda related terrorists that night, and not B.S. movie. plus it had been planned ahead of time with RPG’s and all. and above all having an un-armed photo drone vice a armed drone for backup and betrayal.

      Republicans will not let this go until every American understands what a dastardly Bitch she is how many Serviceman and Vets she lets down constantly.

      you like Rubin: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2014/01/15/can-hillary-clinton-survive-benghazi/
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/15/obama-bungled-benghazi-could-have-prevented-attack/?page=all

      more URL’S to come – c’est moi !

      • Sam: I sometimes make a comment on a SPECIFIC issue or event, and people on here throw the entire kitchen sink at it.

        In this case, there’s a lot you can say about Benghazi, whether it’s a question of whether the administration was running an illegal Iran-Contra sort of deal with arms against Syria, for instance. To me, Benghazi was primarily an example of our having our fingers in too many pies around the world.
        It seems that almost all “hearings” in Washington are really just clown shows of elected officials beating up on a witness, instead of trying to GET information. It’s just a chance for the representative to get “face time” on the evening news, not an effort to accomplish anything.

        But my one, specific complaint now is that people are being dishonest to use the “what does it matter” quote out of context, twisting it to mean the OPPOSITE of what it really meant.

        Clinton was NOT saying the deaths don’t matter. She was saying that stupid, disingenuous questions don’t matter COMPARED to the deaths–and that the job at hand was to find answers, not to put on a Punch-and-Judy show for the cameras.

        • Goethe – I agree we have have our “fingers” in too many pies except to remove terrorists, and especially in the middle-east. even leave terrorists alone there if they leave us alone.

          I am very surprised with your gullibility re Clinton. She was wrong on multiple levels and her remark was a direct coverup of Obama’s and her ass. She was deflecting the real issues and when asked if she knew if it was a terrorist attack and gave the infamous reply. She would not answer the question. When actually she knew within minutes and with a drone overhead that it was a terrorist attack and had been warned previously that one was imminent. When Stevens asked for more support weeks and months earlier, Clinton always responded with NO to the requested 13 Marine security guards and the only security was Libyan and some of them were al Qaeda. If this were a Republican Administration, the media would have had them up for Murder without the clandestine part and if you throw that in – it is an absolute disregard for American lives. And yes I imagine that Clinton is sorry for murdering four Americans, or at least I hope so.

          • Sam: AGAIN, I was talking about just ONE issue–and that is, the dishonest abuse of the “what difference” sound bite. I agree with you that there was a lot going on in Benghazi, and there doesn’t seem to be any concern at all about whether there was some sort of illegal Syrian connection.

            Instead, critics try to make it sound as if NOTHING else was going on anywhere in the world. If that were the case, the criticisms would carry weight, but we have WAY too many people in WAY too many places, and I’m sure ALL of them are asking for more people under them and around them.

            Now, then, to answer your point, you’re wrong. NOBODY disputes that it was a “terrorist” attack. From day one, Obama said it was an act of terror–and acts of terror are perpetrated by “terrorists,” by definition.

            And that was NOT the question she was responding to, anyway, this was (from the link I sent above):

            Johnson: “No, again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that — an assault sprang out of that — and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that.”

            And I don’t blame her for blowing up about that silly question. If the media were really on her side, they would have portrayed her as a dedicated hero standing up to frivolous questions, at a time when they were supposed to be seriously investigating deaths.

            Johnson’s question is whether (a) the terrorists had staged a “protest” to gather their militants outside the compound (which I understand is true), or (b) they came directly from home. And I agree–what difference does it make??

            • Goethe – Once again, the implication is there! She was pissed and wouldn’t answer the Question proving she lied for 11 days about it being a terrorist attack. It, in fact, was a pre-announced forthcoming terrorist attack announced by the terrorists, the Libyan Pres among others. If she doesn’t think the question deserves a answer then she really DOESN’T give a shit that she murdered 4 Americans. Add to that she and Obama are covering up an alliance with al Qaeda for the clandestine ops by the CIA for gun running and fake capture of Stevens and it is more messy than anyone can imagine.Something that until it doesn’t matter anymore, will remain buried until some oldtimer about to die will pull docs out of his ass and expose the truth.

              You believe what you want and vote in the incompetent, lying bitch first women president

              I’ll leave you with the the three URLs i commented to Tess on:
              http://www.cbsnews.com/news/benghazi-timeline-how-the-attack-unfolded/
              http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/23/benghazi-whistleblower-takes-another-stand-since-chris-cannot-speak/
              http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/benghazi-timeline/

            • Sam:

              Starting at the end, I have said over and over that Hillary will NOT be the nominee–but more importantly, I am not defending her, except that I get sick of Washington dishonesty and games.

              My ONLY point was that dishonest and manipulative people are taking her quote out of context, trying to make it mean EXACTLY the opposite of what it clearly meant.

              And the first link you sent answers that question:

              “Around 12:00 p.m. (6:00 a.m. ET): The U.S. Embassy in Cairo releases a statement on its website disavowing a YouTube film named “Innocence of Muslims,” which mocks the Prophet Mohammad. Later that afternoon, PROTESTERS who had GATHERED OUTSIDE the embassy compound stormed the gates and tore the American flag down, replacing it with a black Salafist flag.”

              The second link only says that Stevens wanted more security. Well, DUH. Do you think there is ANYBODY in our thousands of foreign offices who does NOT want more people under him and around him???

              There were protests all across northern Africa and in the Middle East on that day. If we had unlimited forces, we could beef up all our imperial outposts.

              If there had been an attack in Jordan, you would be asking why we were wasting so much attention on Benghazi, when obviously, we should have done more to protect our people in al-?Aqabah!!

  6. Sixty-five percent of Democratics say they’ll vote for Hillary Clinton, while another poll has her beating the two Republican forerunners by 52%. Super PAC “Ready for Hillary” has nearly 150,000 Facebook likes, over 60,000 Twitter followers and more than 1,000 financial contributions. Started on the speaking circuit last month at an estimated $200,000 fee per event and inked a $14 million book deal. Whether you like her or not, she will be a formidable foe. Millions still have a deep respect, admiration and appreciation for her tireless work as a women’s rights advocate, her fight for health care reform, civil rights and international diplomacy.

    Everyone thinks they know the absolute truth on Benghazi…just wishful thinking and a strong desire to do some character assassination. It is normal for people to disagree politically, but I take issue with all claims of corruption and murder against anyone without substantiation. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was and still is very vocal, suggesting Hillary Clinton be subpoenaed. Cheney and President Bush instructed top White House officials not to cooperate with any congressional inquiries into alleged administration misdeeds during their reign. Rand Paul blamed Hillary Clinton for Benghazi security failures, saying she “was asked repeatedly to provide security in Benghazi on several occasions, including direct cables.” Yet, he couldn’t provide cables or evidence linking requests for security directly to Clinton. Same with Issa. I am not saying there was no fault to be found with Hillary Clinton or the State Department….just don’t invent what isn’t there.

    The Tea Party and some Republicans have dredged up all their old manufactured Clinton dirt. Bill Clinton isn’t running for office. Give it a rest.The results are, they are slowly losing the black vote, the women vote, the gay vote, and the Mexican Vote.

    • Tess:

      You said–“Everyone thinks they know the absolute truth on Benghazi. . .”

      I wish that were true. The truth is that people are grasping at half-truths to “prove” to others what they want to be SEEN as true.

      The first “know it all” problem was when the administration sent Ms. Rice to the talk shows to claim that the administration “knew it all.” The complaint about that was legit. AND the reason for the complaint was that it was in the middle of the presidential campaign, and it looked like CYA, instead of finding facts. THAT is the arguable transgression by the administration.

      If the other side had focused on THAT, the criticisms would have been helpful. But then, they claimed to “know it all,” and they betrayed their dishonesty when the campaign ended–and suddenly, Obama (the candidate) was TOTALLY ignored, and all the criticism turned to Clinton (the prospective candidate). And that made them look like THEY were using the deaths to gain advantage against the political flavor of the day.

    • Tess, my only response is about Clinton, her SecState responsibility re Benghazi – your other crap is Liberal Mass Media Rhetoric: The Cable(s), needs, awareness, phone conversations happened. If Clinton wasn’t paying specific attention, she is irresponsible and can’t run a department, let alone a nation and full Administration.
      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/benghazi-timeline-how-the-attack-unfolded/
      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/23/benghazi-whistleblower-takes-another-stand-since-chris-cannot-speak/
      http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/benghazi-timeline/

  7. Sam…I have to thank you for your attachments. I was surprised you would send anything from CBS that you call Liberal Mass Media. It also contained a link to the Wall Street Journal. Conservative, isn’t it?
    Outstanding Highlights:
    About 9:40 p.m. local time on Sept. 11, a mob of Libyans attacked a building housing U.S. State Department personnel. At 10:20 p.m. Americans arrived from a CIA annex located 1.2 miles away, to help the besieged Americans. At 11:15 p.m. they fled with survivors back to the secret outpost. Armed Libyans followed them and attacked the annex with rockets and small arms from around midnight to 1:00 a.m., when there was a lull in the fighting.

    Glen Doherty, a CIA security contractor, (he was not in the service but was a former seal) living in Tripoli, got together six other men from the Special Operations Command operators and the CIA . They bribed the pilots of a small jet with $30,000 cash to fly them to Benghazi. They were under the command of no one.

    About 5:15 a.m., right after Doherty’s group arrived, the attackers began shooting mortars at the annex, leading to the death of Doherty and CIA contractor Tyrone Woods (also a former seal).

    At 6 a.m. Libyan forces from the military intelligence service arrived and subsequently took more than 30 Americans — only seven of whom were from the State Department — to the Benghazi airport.

    November The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. mission in Benghazi “was at its heart a CIA operation.” In January, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress that the CIA was leading a “concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover … MANPADS [man-portable air defense systems]” looted from the stockpiles of toppled Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi. The State Department “consulate”(this is Chris Stevens) served as diplomatic cover for the previously-hidden CIA annex. The top-secret presence and location of the CIA outpost was first acknowledged by Charlene Lamb, a top official in the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, during Congressional testimony in October. Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Darrell Issa immediately called a point of order when Lamb exposed the location of the annex, and it was stricken from the record.

    Also in October the Wall Street Journal reported the connection between Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who died in the attack, and a reported September shipment of SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles (i.e. MANPADS) and rocket-propelled grenades from Benghazi to Syria through southern Turkey. That 400-ton shipment — “the largest consignment of weapons” yet for Syrian rebels — was organized by Abdelhakim Belhadj, who was the newly-appointed head of the Tripoli Military Council.

    Thanks again, Sam, much of the above I did not know.

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