The Buzz

Ronald Reagan an isolationist?

Updated: 2013-09-05T15:24:57Z


Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has taken the lead among conservatives and libertarians opposed to U.S. intervention in Syria, several news organizations say.

National Review Online says the GOP senator is taking his cues from Ronald Reagan:

Another official (Sen. Rand) Paul has sought for counsel is Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany and State Department adviser for Reagan.

‘The senator’s instincts, in terms of defining the national interest, are exactly right,’ he says. ‘He and I have spoken about how Syria doesn’t meet the threshold that Reagan would set for military action. What he’s doing isn’t knee-jerk isolationism but a return to Reagan’s sense of prudence.’ ”


Reagan ordered an invasion of Grenada, in the Carribean, without congressional approval. He ordered airstrikes in Libya. He sent clandestine support to anti-communist fighters in Central America. (Sometimes the help wasn’t clandestine.) He helped supply Afghan rebels following the Soviet invasion there.

He attacked oil platforms in the Persian Gulf.

He sent Marines to Lebanon during a civil war — and more than 200 of them were killed in a terror strike.

Reagan wasn’t the first president to flex the nation’s military muscle, and won’t be the last. Bill Clinton was also fond of using the presidential trigger.

Fox News has a handy list of Reagan’s work, and the presidents since.

Rand Paul may be right on Syria. If so, Ronald Reagan isn’t the best argument he can make.

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