Rand Paul: Drone Killing of General Soleimani Will Lead to Blowback Causing ‘Instability’ in Iran

While most in the Republican Party are cheering on the recent escalation by the Trump administration with Iran, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is a lone voice expressing skepticism with the hostilities.

Iranian military commander Qassim Soleimani was killed with a drone strike outside of a Baghdad airport on Thursday. Paul is worried that serious blowback could result from the attack, making non-interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East untenable.

“The question remains whether the assassination of Soleimani will expand the war to endanger the lives of every American soldier or diplomat in the Middle East?” Paul wrote in a Twitter post.

Paul is also worried about the dubious constitutionality of the strike, which was performed without an explicit declaration from Congress.

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“A declaration of war is the highest and most awful exercise of sovereignty . . . such a vast and tremendous power ought not to be confided to the perilous exercise of one single man,” Paul wrote, echoing the sentiments of Henry Clay from an iconic speech that he made in 1847.

“A war without a Congressional declaration is a recipe for feckless intermittent eruptions of violence w/ no clear mission for our soldiers,” he added.

He compared the elimination of Soleimani to the destruction of former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein by U.S. forces, which was alleged to bring stability to the region but ended up backfiring spectacularly.

“President Trump viscerally understands that the toppling of Saddam Hussein made Iran stronger,” Paul said.

“Soleimani, like Hussein, was an evil man who ordered the killing of Americans. Yet, the question remains, whether his death will lead to more instability in the Middle East or less,” he added.

While there are very few Republicans willing to tell the truth about the impact the attack will have, there are some prominent Democrats and independents who are joining Paul to push back against the war machine.

“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said in a statement. “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”

“This was very clearly an act of war by this president without any kind of authorization or declaration of war from Congress, clearly violating the Constitution,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) during an appearance on Fox & Friends.

“It further escalates this tit for tat that’s going on and on and on, will elicit a very serious response from Iran, and [pushes] us deeper and deeper into this quagmire. And it really begs the question: For what?” she added.

Paul’s frequent colleague – Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) – also issued a sharp critique of President Trump’s drone strike against Soleimani on his Twitter account.

Unfortunately for Paul, it seems that President Trump is drifting away from his counsel and listening to neocons when it comes to foreign policy. A full-blown war with Iran may be an inescapable reality in the near future.