FILE - This April 25, 2014 file photo shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaking at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass. Battling “the soft bigotry of low expectations” with national education goals was former Republican President George W. Bush’s campaign mantra. But many of his party’s would-be successors are calling for just the opposite of government-set rules, splitting the party over education policy as the GOP class of 2016 presidential hopefuls takes shape. Jeb Bush, who supports a national education policy, and Rand Paul, who abhors the idea, personify the divide. Forty-four states voluntarily participate in standards developed in part by GOP governors. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

Senator Rand Paul denounces Syrian airstrikes


When news broke Thursday night that President Donald Trump had launched airstrikes in war torn Syria, the response from across America was swift. President Trump, a longtime critic of Syrian intervention, had gone against his own word after chemical attacks were allegedly carried out by the Syrian government under President Bashir al-Assad.

Senator Rand Paul denounced the airstrikes in a series of tweets.

The continued civil war in Syria has undoubtedly resulted in many horrific atrocities. Images have filled media stories for months showing destroyed homes and lifeless bodies all around. The recent chemical strikes are no different.

With all of that said, as Senator Paul himself pointed out, the United States was not directly attacked.

What’s most shocking here is President Trump himself in 2013 repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for military activity in Syria without a congressional approval.

The United States Constitution’s separation of powers is a unique way to keep power from being centralized. While the President as Commander-In-Chief does have control over the military, the Constitution specifically leaves the power to declare war with Congress.

Thus, unless there is rebellion or an imminent attack, the President must go to Congress for approval to go to war. President Trump did not seek prior approval from Congress.



Iraq is the most notable example of Senator Paul’s third point. United States activity in the Middle East has been ongoing for decades but has escalated in the last decade and a half since the devastating attacks of September 11th, 2001.

The invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq have resulted in thousands of U.S. casualties overseas, in addition to the civilians lost through the fighting. The undeclared war also has cost the United States more than a couple trillion dollars.

Saddam Hussein, a dictator, was removed from power because he was a tyrant. The effect after that was worse because of the destabilization. Terrorist organizations like ISIS took advantage of the chaos and the insurgency made things worse.

Will this happen if President Assad is removed in Syria?

Will any of these foreign policy maneuvers make America safer?

Senator Paul’s point echos one that many libertarians and most conservatives make. There is tyranny abroad and with that comes atrocity. but it’s not feasible for us to save the world. There are limitations to the the wealth and bodies the United States has.

This is why congressional debate is important. Representatives of the people can evaluate the President’s request and debate the merits of authorizing military action. After careful deliberations, they will cast votes accordingly. It protects our military from being sent on crusades dictated by the few, or even one.

The airstrikes in Syria, no matter how limited they may be, could result in escalated tensions that send shockwaves throughout the Middle East. As seen when this occurred with the destabilization of Iraq, the results generally are not good for the United States.

Senator Paul is right here and President Trump is certainly wrong. These airstrikes could have a terrible effect on foreign policy going forward.

Chris Dixon is a liberty activist and writer from Maine. In addition to being Managing Editor for the Liberty Conservative, he also writes the Bangor Daily News blog "Undercover Porcupine" and for sports website Cleatgeeks.


  1. I’ve said it before, the first call to order with every newly elected Congress should be debate and vote on every current AMF and consideration of pending conflicts. PERIOD

  2. An atheist was walking through the woods. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself.

    As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.

    He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him.

    He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer.

    He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him,reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.

    At that instant the Atheist cried out, “Oh my God!”

    Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent.

    As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.

    “You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don’t exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident.”

    “Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?”

    The atheist looked directly into the light, “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?”

    “Very well,” said the voice.

    The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed.

    And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke:

    “Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.”

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