- - Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul is spot on. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was created and is fueled by Mr. Paul’s lobotomized neoconservative rivals.

In other words, to paraphrase Walt Kelly’s Pogo about the Vietnam War, Mr. Paul’s foreign policy detractors have met the enemy, and they are them!

With the predictability of the sun rising in the East and setting in the West, power vacuums in primitive political cultures give birth to extremists — religious or otherwise. There are no exceptions. Ruthlessness and fanaticism flourish in a Hobbesian state of nature.

Israel gave birth to Hamas by crippling the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Yasser Arafat’s dominant Fatah faction.

Hezbollah emerged from a power vacuum in Lebanon.

Al Qaeda and Taliban were created by a power vacuum in Afghanistan following the ouster of Soviet troops in 1989.

Iran’s radical Shiite regime is the offspring of the power vacuum created by the 1979 overthrow of the shah.

Despite the obvious, Mr. Paul’s deluded Republican opponents bugled for the overthrow of Iraq’s secular President Saddam Hussein in 2003 heedless of the power vacuum that would ensue. Saddam was a fierce antagonist of Iran’s ruling mullahs, against whom he had warred (with U.S. support) for eight years, 1980-88. No-fly zones and sanctions had crippled Saddam’s capacity to threaten the United States. But the neocons insisted on an invasion and the obliteration of Saddam and the ruling Baath Party to save the world from imaginary weapons of mass destruction and to erect a model democracy for the region. After Saddam’s ouster and death, Iraq predictably became convulsed by internecine warfare and strife between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds featuring an unstable and extremist sectarian central government allied with Iran. A splinter group of al Qaeda (which itself was armed and trained by the United States to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan), ISIS was born by a U.S.-generated power vacuum in Iraq. ISIS also took root and grew from a complementary power vacuum in Syria, which neocons fortified by urging the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and training Sunni rebels.

Undeterred by their predictable multitrillion dollar debacle in Iraq, Mr. Paul’s neocon detractors idiotically championed war against Libya’s secular Muammar Gaddafi after he had abandoned weapons of mass destruction and support for international terrorism. The neocons supported Islamic radicals in the overthrow and murder Gaddafi, which was followed by the plunder of his vast conventional arsenal by Islamic radicals. A power vacuum predictably followed, which ISIS exploited to gain a menacing toehold in Libya.

Neocons then placed their staggering stupidity on steroids. They recklessly armed cowardly and inept opponents of ISIS knowing that the weapons would be captured or sold to the enemy — a second edition of the arms we supplied South Vietnam which quickly found their way to the Viet Cong or North Vietnamese. Emblematic is a June 5, 2015, report in Business Insider corroborating that U.S. Humvees captured by ISIS from the Iraqi army have been used in waves of suicide bombings across both Syria and Iraq.

Neocons also created a fetching calling card for ISIS recruitment. They vastly inflated its military capabilities and danger to the United States and the region. That image of omnipotence predictably excited impressionable youths to join because of the neocon-engendered perception that ISIS was the New York Yankees of international terrorism. ISIS ranks swell each time a Republican neocon hyperventilates.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is characteristic. On Fox, he bettered the instruction of Chicken Little in operatically insisting that ISIS was on the verge of world conquest:

“[T]hey’re intending to come here. So, I will not let this president suggest to the American people we can outsource our security and this is not about our safety. There is no way in hell you can form an army on the ground to go into Syria, to destroy ISIL without a substantial American component. And to destroy ISIL, you have to kill or capture their leaders, take the territory they hold back, cut off their financing and destroy their capability to regenerate.

“This is a war we’re fighting, it is not a counterterrorism operation! This is not Somalia; this is not Yemen; this is a turning point in the war on terror. Our strategy will fail yet again. This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.”

“[I]f they survive our best shot, this is the last best chance, to knock him out, then they will open the gates of hell to spill out on the world. This is not a Sunni versus Sunni problem, this is ISIL versus mankind.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Graham and fellow neocons, I would wager not a single American has lost a wink of sleep worrying about ISIS attacking the United States.

Of them all, only Rand Paul has earned the accolade of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If-“: “If you can keep your head when all about you,
“Are losing theirs and blaming it on you … you’ll be a Man, my son.”

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