In a dramatic reversal of policy, Texas Congressman Ron Paul has announced he will support a preemptive strike on Iran, along with the return of U.S. troops to Iraq, a never-ending war on Islam, and a CIA-led Cuba Spring if elected president in 2012.
A source close to Paul said the previously anti-war candidate had suffered long enough at the polls for his refusal to endorse across-the-board war, and that he would be unveiling his new, more aggressive foreign policy at Thursday evening’s GOP debate, ahead of the Florida primary next week.
News of Paul’s abandonment of his dovish approach to foreign affairs comes as a major shock to his supporters, including military veterans, who have donated nearly twice as much to Paul’s campaign as all of the other GOP candidates combined. Paul’s antiwar stance had become particularly appealing for young voters under age 30, who form a core part of his base.
Senior campaign adviser Doug Wead explained that Paul’s change of heart stems from his reluctant admission that sound judgment on foreign affairs has no place in today’s Republican party. “Previously, we believed that rational, cost-saving, and well-thought-out foreign policy positions would resonate well with Republican voters. But, through the course of the debates, and using public opinion polling as a guide, [Paul] has come to realize that incoherent, hawkish positions are not only more popular, but also make for better policy.”
Paul reportedly left the GOP debate in Tampa, Florida feeling disappointed because he had stubbornly overlooked the wisdom of supporting a CIA-led Cuban Spring. Foreign policy advisor Bruce Fein told reporters that the campaign was so impressed with Newt Gingrich’s Cuba strategy, that “we’re currently exploring the viability of endorsing a CIA-led Russian Spring, French Spring, and a Mexican Spring to finally end the decades-old drug war. Canada should be on alert too.”
In order to shamelessly pander to voters, Paul has drawn from the best foreign policy ideas of his GOP rivals. Like Mitt Romney, Paul now plans to denounce President Barack Obama’s efforts to cut the defense budget without explaining how that he would otherwise reduce the deficit. Similar to Rick Perry, Paul will endorse a plan to re-invade Iraq, even though the war has cost America trillions of dollars (even more than World War II). And just like Rick Santorum, Paul will declare a war on “radical Islam” without explaining why he believes all Muslims are violent and dangerous.
Related story: On Foreign Policy, Ron Paul the Only Sane GOP Candidate
When asked whether he was concerned that Paul would be accused of flip-flopping, Wead said the campaign was merely responding to the preferences of the Republican electorate. “Whether it was South Carolinians booing Romney’s Mexican heritage or the audience canning our Golden Rule strategy, we’ve seen a Republican base that is nativist and blindly in favor of military spending. [Thus, with our new policies] We’re responding to our base by ensuring that our foreign policy is just as nonsensical as our competitors.”
Whether Paul’s hard-line position will poll well remains to be seen. What’s clear, however, is that only the most extreme war-mongering can ignite the GOP base and get a Republican candidate elected in 2012.
Photo Credit: Jayel Aheram