the national interest

Rand Paul Promises to Illegally Trade Weapons for Hostages With Iran

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delivers remarks while announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination during an event at the Galt House Hotel on April 7, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photo: Luke Sharrett/Getty Images

In his speech today announcing his presidential campaign, Rand Paul defended his controversial-for-a-Republican foreign policy views through the time-tested method of Reaganing. “I believe in applying Reagan’s approach to foreign policy to the Iran issue,” explained Paul. “Successful negotiations with untrustworthy adversaries are only achieved from a position of strength.”

A skeptic might note that the actual Reagan approach to the Iran issue involved selling Iran coveted weapons in return for its helping to release American hostages, and then lying about it. Negotiating from a “position of strength” is a fairly vague term. Since the American military is and always has been vastly larger than Iran’s, one might argue that every American negotiation with Iran, including President Obama’s, have been from a “position of strength.” If there is such a thing as negotiating with Iran from a position of weakness, though, it would probably take the form of a deal in which we promise to give Iran more weapons in return for it letting some of our captives go free.

But a Reagan skeptic fails to grasp the higher truths of the Reagan cult that are apparent to the Republican Party. It is a truism for the faithful that all of Reagan’s beliefs were correct, even the Reagan beliefs that contradicted other Reagan beliefs. Likewise all of Reagan’s actions projected strength and are worthy of emulation, even his underhanded appeasement of a radical regime that led to a massive scandal. Even Reagan’s appeasement projected strength. That’s just how great he was.

Rand Paul Promises Iran Weapons for Hostages