When it comes to promoting the U.S. involvement in foreign affairs, especially military engagements and/or providing weapons and financial assistance Rand Paul isn’t someone known for leading the charge. No Rand Paul is the guy you can count on to throw turds in the punchbowl. That’s why when I read a Raw Story headline where Senator Paul called out TRUMP for being stupid when it comes to NATO my jaw dropped. I literally checked the URL to make sure I wasn’t reading The Onion.
However, as this article and it’s provocative headline (
In case you missed over the weekend Trump had himself a rally. He just couldn’t stand the news talking so much about Biden (even though the coverage was bad for Biden and good for him) and of course the Super Bowl. Trump as we know gets all pissy when HE is not the “star of the show”, the “center of the spotlight” so he had to get out there. And, Trump has few skills but he’s media savvy and knows some of his schtick has been wearing thin both with his rally attendees and with the media so he knows he need to come up with new material. He came up with a doozy of a made up story.
One could shake their head in amusement, or comment on how sad it was he was so clueless but the fact is his comments about NATO weren’t just outrageous but dangerous. Trump told rally attendees a (made up) tale of the head of state of a NATO member asking him if they weren’t current in their financial obligations to NATO if he’d defend them if they were attacked. Trumpy made a big deal about mutual clarification of this mythical country being in what he characterized as ‘behind’ and said he told them NO. He not only would defend them, he’d tell their attacker “do whatever the hell you want!”
A reminder, the keystone of NATO is Article V – the provision that says an attack against one is an attack against all. It’s only been invoked once. President Bush (43) invoked it after the 9/11 attacks and NATO answered. Not that we needed NATO’s help. Had baby Bush kept his focus where it should be which was Afghanistan where those who carried out the attack were ensconced we didn’t need anyone’s help to kill or capture them all. (Although assistance from Pakistan to grab those trying to sneak across the border would have been helpful) However, that’s a separate subject.
Putin has had his eye on Poland, and had he been successful in Ukraine odds are he’d have gone in and NATO would have mobilized against Russia. Which means U.S. troops too. That’s why I say Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous because Pootie is cornered. Wounded animals are most dangerous when cornered and this kind of crap might cause him to try and roll the dice. Unlikely but too big a risk to even suggest that in less than a year the U.S. would be dragging its feet if Russia invaded Poland. Or any other NATO country for that matter.
As I said at the beginning Rand Paul hates, and I mean truly HATES U.S. involvement in (and spending money) in foreign affairs. However even he knows how vital NATO is, and that without it the world would have become a very different place during his lifetime. He’s isolationist but not stupid! However, he sure as hell not only things Trump is (at least on this) but is willing to say so publicly. From the linked article:
“Tillis blamed Trump’s team rather than the former president’s long-established beef with NATO, saying ‘shame on his briefers’ for not explaining the U.S. has made a commitment to assist any NATO country that is attacked,” Politico reported. “Others were sharper in their criticism. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said it was a ‘stupid thing to say.’
We’ve known for a long time it was going to be a really weird year. That I’m sure will turn out to be a massive understatement. Here is is not even halfway through February and we have Rand freaking Paul publicly trashing Trump in order to protect a military and political alliance! Think about it – Rand Paul openly defending U.S. overseas military commitments by calling Trump STUPID for trashing the cornerstone of those military commitments!
I don’t know about you but my head is spinning.