Saturday, April 17, 2021   

  Home     About     Guest Editorials     Advertise     Blog     Site Map     Links     Contact      Subscribe RSS      Subscribe Email  
Home » Salon

Why is Rand Paul running Muslim-baiting attack ads?

17 October 2012 Salon 16 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Why is Rand Paul running Muslim-baiting attack ads?

The senator’s fear-mongering isn’t just morally repugnant. It’s completely at odds with his libertarian principles


Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has worked hard to distance himself from his party’s hawkish foreign policy, carefully cultivating an image as libertarian hero that may one day carry on the legacy — and potentially presidential ambitions — of his father, Rep. Ron Paul. He goes out of his way to criticize his party’s foreign policy, writing an Op-Ed on last week attacking Mitt Romney’s “bellicose[ness]” in the Middle East during the debate. Paul has railed against military interventionism, vowed to cut the defense budget, called for a reduction in military bases overseas and otherwise alienated himself from the party’s powerful neoconservative wing as much as possible.

But there’s one area where Paul’s self-described libertarian freedom agenda is trumped by the ugliest type of neoconservative fear-mongering: Muslim-baiting. RandPAC, Paul’s political committee, is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking three Democratic senators for voting for foreign aid to Muslim countries. Paul introduced a bill to cut off foreign aid to Egypt, Pakistan and Libya.  While there are some totally valid arguments supporting his bill, instead of making them, the commercials go for the nastiest attack possible, essentially accusing Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bill Nelson of Florida and Sherrod Brown of Ohio of siding with jihadis and terrorists over Americans.

“Instead of putting hard-working West Virginians first, you voted to send billions of taxpayer dollars to nations where they shout ‘death to America,’ kill our Ambassador and allow radical Islamists to burn our embassies,” a petition on the RandPAC website accompanying the Manchin ad reads. “As one of your constituents, I demand that you start putting the interest of American taxpayers above those of Anti-American regimes and radical jihadists overseas.”

The ad was vicious enough that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham crossed party lines to defend Manchin. “I’m sorry that my colleague Sen. Rand Paul felt that he needed to get involved and has gotten involved,” Graham said on a conference call with reporters. That comment drew a quick rebuke from Paul, who accused Graham of “supporting a Democrat in a general election.”

But there seems to be a pattern here: When Muslims come into the picture, Paul’s laissez-faire politics go out the window. Paul — whose championship of private-property rights has led him to oppose even the Americans With Disability Act — didn’t support the right of Muslims to build an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan near ground zero. Instead, he said Muslims should contribute the money that would have been used to build the mosque to the 9/11 victims’ memorial fund.

What’s more, Paul, who proposed legislation to curb what he saw as the TSA’s overly invasive powers to pat down fliers, admonished the agency last year for its unwillingness to profile people based on their background. In 2010, he reversed his stance on the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, going from opposing it to saying, “Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution … These thugs should stand before military tribunals and be kept off American soil. I will always fight to keep Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies.”

In May of last year, Paul, who adamantly opposes the Patriot Act as a terrible violation of civil liberties, called for keeping tabs on foreign students from the Middle East. “Let’s say we have 100,000 exchange students from the Middle East — I want to know where they are, how long they’ve been here, if they’ve overstayed their welcome, whether they’re in school,” he said in a radio interview.

Even worse, in the same interview, the senator — who touts himself as a strong defender of free speech — called for imprisoning or deporting people who attend radical Islamic speeches. “It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison,” Paul said.

Paul’s father was true enough to his libertarian  ideals to stand up to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Muslim witch hunt. The son never did.


  1. For whatever reason he is correct we need to scale back any aide were giving those countries. Of course China will step in and fill any money holes we leave behind, but it is still a good move.

  2. the root of all problem in middle east and difficulties american intetests on it is american support to israel that always attack moslem countries. It makes negatif opinions to moslem world.
    I think what democratic senators do to vote for foreign aid to Muslim countries is one of the ways that can make better relation to moslem countries.

  3. Ah, the standard mulsim response, it’s all israel’s fault and america should give us more money

  4. bagus,

    why do muslim countries need american foriegn aid? don’t ya’ll have allah on your side. sorry i couldn’t resist. but seriously? give us money and we’ll be your friends? that doesn’t always work. we are pumping money into iraq and afghanistan at a record pace. they still try to blow us up.

    or sometimes, actually more often, they blow each other up.

  5. i want to say dt v muslims dnt want american money whc has blood of innocent people all over it, its ur american govt who want our oil widout which ur so called growin economy wud b dirt, moreover america wid its allies is neoimperistic empire who wants to invade rest of the world in the name of fighting against terrorism, america shud wory bout its unemployment issues wid in its states whc u american need not knw i guess and i wud advise u to ask questions to ur conscience regarding murdering people in iraq and afghanistan by waging war against humanity.

  6. Ali,

    so why do nations with islamic populations accept american foriegn aid. even iran has accepted american money after earthquakes.

    yes we are concerned about our unemployment. but we can multi-task. not to mention one way to increase employment is to put people to work making war materials, or putting them in the army. you make little to no sense sir.

    “i wud advise u to ask questions to ur conscience regarding murdering people in iraq and afghanistan by waging war against humanity” my conscience is clear. as it was after the first gulf war. waging war against humanity. ur funny. perhaps you can break out a poison heart comment.

  7. “its ur american govt who want our oil widout which ur so called growin economy wud b dirt”

    Without your oil our economy would be dirt. Maybe your right, but let me submit to you a different point of view. We received oil at 18 dollars a barrel from the middle east for years. Oil is now at record prices and I admit our oil companies make Billions off it every year. Meanwhile US production is down and has been down for years. Production of Natural Gas is at minimal levels, meanwhile we keep buying your product. Our product stays in the ground gaining value. With every year that passes and every jump in prices American Oil and Gas reserves become a stronger and stronger asset. We already have enough natural Gas to meet our needs for centuries. We could run every car and truck in the country on Natural Gas but Oil still brings in too much money so companies do not want to make the switch. I think you will find that, at need, the U.S. can drop dependence on Middle Eastern oil. It’s our economic policies that keep us coming to you for oil. As long as we profit from it we will continue to do so. Even our domestic oil reserves are tremendous. We have huge areas we do not even allow drilling.
    Ali, do you remember the 70s oil crisis and U.S. Recession? The United States had to increase its debt load and one of the things it did was sell gold at record prices to shore up our economy, even silver was 10 times its pre recession value at the time. When the Crisis passed, the Government bought all that gold and silver back at pre recession prices. We even made money off the recession. The good old American motto of Sell high and buy low had gotten us pretty far. The problem with the middle east is that they have to sell their oil. Without it they have no economy, they cannot even feed their people which has multiplied due to having plenty of money but will die in the thousands within a couple of years of their inability to sell oil. It is not like you’re going to turn those deserts into gardens, and how much sea water can you make fresh and continue to make fresh when your major export no longer sells or you run out. I compare the middle east to a talented artist with a houseful of masterpieces. The artist has no money and must eat, so he sells and he sells because he must sell. In the end his house will empty while he struggles to produce one more but his aging limbs and dim eyes thwart his ability. The Artist is then forced to live on memories and U.N. food shipments.

  8. “i wud advise u to ask questions to ur conscience regarding murdering people in iraq and afghanistan”

    Seems to be a way of life in those places

    @Criley, without western technology and expertise that middle eastern oil would still be in thr ground.

  9. Why would a muslim have to fight for rights in an islamic paradise?

  10. mike, criley n jane ….i pity ur ignorance and ya criley dnt try to teach me bout american ecomomy i knw hw it works in your imperilistic country and ya if u think u hv an economy dt cn provide u all dn i guess unemloyment shud ideally decrease ryt bt m guesin here it aint, and so called multi national companies in america cut jobs at the rate of 5.3 % every year and lemme make u aware of facts bout ur govts dirty politics, if u r educated or if u hv any sort of knowledge dn u must b aware of wikileaks, try it, it might open your eyes or jolt ur conscience if u have any, and jane u sound so stupid talkin bout western technology driling oli, y dnt u use dt tech in ur country ? And jane if u sugesting killing of ppl in iraq and afganistan is justified dn i i think u shud think same bout holocoust …people like u r disgrace to humanity

  11. Yes Mike I remember about the cornering of the silver market and I should not have lumped it in with gold. Silver is up to around 34 dollars an oz. There are so many industrial and medical uses for silver, the film business is going to make no difference. Your right the govt may not have made that much money on silver,but they did rack up on the buying and selling of Gold. I realize were not going off Oil very quickly, as corporations make way to much money on the product. No one is interested in gas prices becoming much cheaper, they just want to set the price at an optimal level in which they make the most profit without dropping demand to the extent that profits actually slump. Oil is a valuable commodity and were not going to just stop using it because Natural Gas can substitute for it. The American consumer will continue to hammered with high prices so that large companies can rake in large profits.

  12. @Ali, thanks for txting in your response. I will try to answer some of your points.

    “and jane u sound so stupid talkin bout western technology driling oli, y dnt u use dt tech in ur country ?”

    We do.

    “And jane if u sugesting killing of ppl in iraq and afganistan is justified dn i i think u shud think same bout holocoust …people like u r disgrace to humanity

    Where did I say it was justified? Of course in a war people will get killed – and in, so called, muslim countries muslims will kill muslims en masse at weddings etc.

    I happen to think the war in Iraq wasn’t justified, we should have let Saddam go about his business murdering muslims at will, that seems to be the muslim point of view and they are welcome to it.

    In afghanistan, we are spending vast sums building infrastructure, training the police and armed forces and trying to raise the country out of the gutter. Unfortunately it will all be for nothing, islam holds away in that country and no amount of help will break that. So we should withdraw our forces and let the Afghanis go about their business of murder and oppression. Unfortunately the reasonable, rational, afghanis will get caught up in that and that’s a shame but you can’t herd cats.

  13. jane i want ask 1 question who da f is america to do justice to ppl of iraq and afghanistan? Why dont america mind its own f business? And when u say in a war people get killed so let me remind u holocoust happened during ww2 so why you people make a fuss about that all da time? Hitler killed some jews during war, so it shud not b a big deal, Right? And let me tel you about iraq and afghanistan, no matter what you americans do you wont b able to rule. If u knw some history then u might knw what Alexander said about afghanistan and afghanis, and if u dnt knw then turn some pages of history. And ya if u have so much of oil in your greedy country dnt come begging for oil to us.

  14. I think Christians are in a position to give the Muslim world the perfect gift of love .when YAweh GOD sends the rain he sends it on the just and the unjust ;he gave life to both great and small.If a muslim country is in need of aid they should get it regardless of creed or religion,in so doing we will be showing them something that they do not uphold.We should be able to show them an alternative way to deal with their problems .If allah is God he is all powerfull and he should be able to fight his own battles.If anyone do anything that you may consider offensive to Allah, when you are praying five times a day pray that allah will punish them .if allah cannot do anything it means that Allah is a fake and you should stop praying to him .read the book of Judges in the Bible chapter 7verse 29-31.

Have your say!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>