In the old I Love Lucy TV show, whenever Lucy got into trouble, Ricky would fold his arms across his chest and in that thick Cuban accent say, “Lucy, you’ve got a lot of ‘splaining to do!”
Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill a few weeks ago to suspend all United States aid to the Egyptian military. The bill managed to do something that is virtually impossible in Washington D.C. anymore. It managed to unite Democrats and Republicans, going down in flames 86-13, as one senator after another rose to denounce the “dangerous naiveté” of the junior senator from Kentucky. “It would be a terrific mistake,” John McCain intoned, “for the United States to send a message to Egypt: you’re on your own.”
Now practically every senator who voted against the bill is in full ass-covering mode as they watch CNN and FOX and see Egyptian tanks rolling over unarmed protesters. As the streets of Cairo run red with blood, Senator Paul made another statement to the press:
“This is something that those who voted in Congress will have to live with. The question is: How does their conscience feel now as they see photographs of tanks rolling over Egyptian citizens?”
For his part, Senator McCain seems to have had an epiphany of sorts since he now thinks that all military aid should be cut off immediately. Although the President yesterday did cancel an upcoming joint military exercise with Egypt, he refused to cut off the 1.3 BILLION dollars worth of military aid that flows to them unabated, warning that the United States cannot afford to “lose our influence” in Egypt. To which Senator Paul replied:
“For those who think that more weapons is engaging us with the Egyptian people, ask an Egyptian. When you’re protesting in the streets and you get run over by an American tank, you’re not going to be appreciative of American engagement.”
I am fully aware of the fact that Senator Paul is very much a mixed bag. He is relatively inexperienced, confused about some things, flat wrong about others. But, ladies and gentlemen, when it comes to American foreign policy, I haven’t heard an American politician this willing to tell the truth about our wrongheaded bumbling in a very long time. My hat is off to him, and if he wants to throw his hat in the ring for 2016? Well, let’s just say there will be some very interesting debates, and some mighty nervous candidates with a lot of ‘splaining to do.