In his weekly column on the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity's website, Dr. Ron Paul praised recent comments from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the White House that regime change in Syria may no longer be a priority for the US.
Paul made the point that while the media did cover Tillerson's remarks, the Washington elite rarely "blinks an eye when Washington declares that one or another foreign leader 'must go.'" His son, Sen. Rand Paul, made similar remarks last week when it comes to committing US troops to war.
President Trump promised on the campaign trail to end a longstanding foreign policy approach by Republican and Democratic administrations. During his "Thank You" tour, on December 1 in Cincinnati, Trump said:
"We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past…We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments…. Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country." - Donald Trump, 12/01/16
Trump's stance on nation building and regime change runs counter to the position of the political establishment in Washington, who have long stood by the same policy on war and interventionism, no matter what side of the aisle they are on. Yet, there is a vocal minority in Washington that is challenging the status quo, and they aren't always on the same page politically.
Take Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and Bernie Sanders supporter. Gabbard went on a fact-finding mission to Syria in January to get a first-hand account of the ongoing crisis. She, like Paul and Trump, argues that the US should focus less on interventionist foreign policies and more on what is going on here at home.
Gabbard was criticized by Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, as well as some members of the press, for her trip and meeting with Syria President Bashar al-Assad. One headline even accused Gabbard of being a "stooge for Assad," because of the meeting and her stance against regime change in the country.
As Paul said, no one in Washington blinks when the subject of regime change comes up, because it has become an accepted policy for establishment Republicans and Democrats alike. Anyone who challenges this is relegated to the fringe of American politics, like Ron Paul, or has their patriotism questioned, like Tulsi Gabbard.
There is no middle ground on foreign policy in Washington. No debate. Yet, seemingly strange bedfellows continue to challenge the status quo: Trump, Paul, and Gabbard. Trump may even be committed to fulfilling yet another campaign promise. Only time will tell.
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