Rand Paul: Hiillary Clinton is ‘a war hawk’

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Calling Hillary Rodham Clinton “a war hawk,” Sen. Rand Paul says that if the former secretary of state seeks the presidency, some voters will worry that she will get the U.S. involved in another Mideast war.

Paul is a leading anti-interventionist in the GOP and is considering running for president. Last year he opposed President Barack Obama’s call for military action in Syria.

In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Paul predicted a “transformational election” if the Democrats nominate “a war hawk like Hillary Clinton.”

“I think that’s what scares the Democrats the most, is that in a general election, were I to run, there’s gonna be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say, ‘You know what? We are tired of war,'” Paul said. “We’re worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war, because she’s so gung-ho.”

As a senator in 2002, Clinton voted in favor of giving President George W. Bush the broad authority to invade Iraq. She has said over the years that she regrets that vote, and in her new book “Hard Choices” wrote that “I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

On the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Paul said he found the war-like images disturbing.

“When I see things like that, and I see, like, a warzone, and I see bazookas and tanks and all of this stuff in American city, it offends me, because many of these people, some are rioting, and they need to be arrested,” he said. “If you’re committing a crime, arrest people. But if you’re standing up, and you wanna voice dissent, you know, it is really what America is about, is being able to dissent.”

Paul also suggested that race might not be a factor in the events in Ferguson and linked the unrest to the war on drugs.

“Let’s say you’re African-American and you live there, let’s say none of this has to do with race. It might not, but the belief — if you’re African-American and you live in Ferguson, the belief is, you see people in prison and they’re mostly black and brown, that somehow it is racial, even if the thoughts that were going on at that time had nothing to do with race.

“So it’s a very good chance that had this had nothing to do with race, but because of all of the arrest and the way people were arrested, that everybody perceives it as, ‘My goodness, the police are out to get us,’ you know? And so that’s why you have to change the whole war on drugs. It’s not just this one instance.”

___________________________________________________________

Copyright  © 2014 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

Putin pushing dangerous path says American general

A member of the Australian Ukrainian community raises a placard witha picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a rally in Sydney on July 19, 2014 calling for Putin not to be allowed to come to Australia for a November G20 leaders summit  (AFP Photo/Saeed Khan)
A member of the Australian Ukrainian community raises a placard witha picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a rally in Sydney on July 19, 2014 calling for Putin not to be allowed to come to Australia for a November G20 leaders summit
(AFP Photo/Saeed Khan)

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine is fanning nationalist sentiments that could spread across the region with dangerous, unpredictable consequences, the US military’s top officer said.

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Putin was pursuing an “aggressive” agenda that flouts sovereignty and seeks to address alleged grievances harbored by Moscow since the demise of the Soviet Union.

“If I have a fear about this, it’s that Putin may actually light a fire that he loses control of,” Dempsey said at a security conference in Aspen, Colorado.

Speaking hours after US officials accused Russia of firing artillery across the border at Ukrainian troops, Dempsey said Putin has appealed to Russian-speaking enclaves and bolstered his country’s military in a bid to reassert Russian power.

“There’s a rising tide of nationalism in Europe right now that’s been created in many ways by these Russian activities that I find to be quite dangerous,” Dempsey said in remarks broadcast by the Pentagon.

Nationalism “can be a very dangerous instinct and impulse,” he said.

“My real concern is, having lit this fire in an isolated part of Eastern Europe, it may not stay in Eastern Europe,” he said.

Under Putin, the Russians “are clearly on a path to assert themselves differently,” not only in Eastern Europe but towards the rest of Europe and the United States, he said.

“And he’s very aggressive about it. He’s got a playbook that has worked for him a few times,” Dempsey said.

“If you’re asking me if there’s a change in the relationship (with Russia), I would have to say absolutely,” the general said.

Since 2008, Russia’s armed forces have increased their combat readiness while investing in “strategic” weapons such as long-range aircraft and cruise missiles, according to Dempsey.

Even amid international outrage over the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, which Western governments suspect was shot down by pro-Russian separatists armed by Moscow, Dempsey said Putin is “actually taking a decision to escalate” instead of defusing the conflict.

He said senior US government officials were weighing what assistance to provide the Ukrainian government, which has asked for weapons and electronic jammers to counter missiles employed by the separatists.

“That debate is ongoing,” Dempsey said.

Washington was also discussing with its NATO partners how to respond to Moscow’s “provocation” by strengthening allied military forces across Europe, he said.

There is “a recognition that we’ve been a little bit complacent about Europe for probably the last 10 or 15 years,” Dempsey said.

___________________________________________________________

Copyright  © 2014 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2014 AFP. All Rights Reserved