In an interview with Meet the Press on Sunday, Rand Paul made the following statements:
“I think the failure of the Obama administration has been we haven’t engaged the Russians enough or the Chinese enough on this, and I think they were engaged. I think there’s a possibility Assad could already be gone. The Russians have every reason to want to keep their influence in Syria, and I think the only way they do is if there’s a change in government where Assad has gone but some of the same people remain stable.”
He also went on to say:
“So I think really the best outcome for all the major powers would be a peaceful transition government, and Russia could influence that if they told Assad no more weapons.”
This is a man who wants to be president?
He does not seem to even seem to comprehend that Russia and the US hold entirely different positions on Syria.
Listening to Paul speak on Meet the Press, I’m eerily reminded of Sarah Palin, who believes she can see Russia from her front porch. Can Paul also see Russia? Does this explain his ability to interpret events in ways that make sense to no-one else on earth?
On August 31, 2013, speaking in regards to Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated:
“I am convinced that it (the chemical attack) is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict, and who want to win the support of powerful members of the international arena, especially the United States.”
On September 1st, Reuters reported that Putin had doubled down on his backing of Assad, on the eve of the G20 Summit, which will take place in St. Petersburg on September 5th and 6th. Russia’s president has repeatedly backed the Assad regime and is in fact one of it’s largest arms suppliers. According to Timothy Heritage of Reuters;
“Russian officials have reiterated that Moscow, an important arms supplier to Assad, has the right to deliver such weapons and that their sale does not break international law.”
Moscow, which has blocked earlier efforts at the United Nations Security Council to condemn Assad and tighten sanctions on his government, has also made clear it is not about to support moves against Damascus at the United Nations.
Additionally, this week a Senior US official in Washington made it clear that:
“From Russian officials and certainly the Russian media, there continue to be allegations that the United States has an agenda focused on regime change (in Syria), that the United States is driving tumult in the Middle East for its own ends.”
In spite of all this reality, somehow Rand Paul sees miraculous help from Russia as a reasonable alternative to US involvement Syria? I don’t know what’s worse here, that Paul is a US Senator who casts votes about important issues affecting the American people on a regular basis, or that he is likely to be the Republican nominee for President in 2016. He’s about as qualified as Sarah Palin was. Maybe less so, given he doesn’t even claim to be able to see Russia from his porch.