Rand Paul is Not a Libertarian. He’s a Liar.

July 16, 2015   |   Naji Dahi

Naji Dahi
July 16, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) A core value of libertarianism is the principle of non-aggression. As explained by economist Walter Block,

“The non-aggression axiom is the lynchpin of the philosophy of libertarianism. It states, simply, that it shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another. That is, in the free society, one has the right to manufacture, buy or sell any good or service at any mutually agreeable terms. Thus, there would be no victimless crime prohibitions, price controls, government regulation of the economy, etc.”

When applied to foreign policy, the non-aggression principle means one state may not commit an act of aggression against another state unless the first state was attacked. Why? Because an unprovoked attack destroys the property of others. Moreover, state aggression expands state power, which is the opposite of small and minimal government that libertarians cherish. As Murray Rothbard noted,

“The libertarian position, generally, is to minimize State power as much as possible, down to zero, and isolationism is the full expression in foreign affairs of the domestic objective of whittling down State power. In other words, interventionism is the opposite of isolationism, and of course it goes on up to war, as the aggrandizement of State power crosses national boundaries into other States, pushing other people around.”

No one carried the standard of non-aggression in foreign policy more forcefully than former Representative Ron Paul from Texas, a libertarian icon. When he was in office, he consistently voted against almost every unprovoked foreign intervention the U.S. waged. He even called the U.S. sanctions on Iran for its alleged building of a nuclear bomb an act of war, doing so in the midst of the 2011 Republican presidential primary elections in Iowa. He was a fearless statesman and not just another politician.

The big news of this week has been the agreement between the P5+1 countries (the permanent five U.N. security council members plus Germany) and Iran to radically scale back Iran’s nuclear research program in exchange for the removal of crippling economic sanctions against Iran.

As expected, all of the Republican candidates lined up against the agreement. Even libertarian Republican candidate Senator Rand Paul perplexingly opposed the agreement, thereby violating the main libertarian principle of non-aggression. Not only that—he flat out lied about the content of the agreement. As Politico reported,

…”the Kentucky senator said his three concerns were: 1) sanctions relief precedes evidence of compliance, 2) Iran is left with significant nuclear capacity, 3) it lifts the ban on selling advanced weapons to Iran…I will, therefore, vote against the agreement,”

First, sanctions relief does not precede evidence of compliance. Sanctions relief comes after the IAEA inspectors verify Iran’s implementation of the agreement. It should take until mid-December to verify compliance by IAEA inspectors. As the text of the agreement states,

“The EU will terminate all provisions of the EU Regulation, as subsequently amended, implementing all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions, including related designations, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation of agreed nuclear-related measures by Iran as specified in Annex V, which cover all sanctions and restrictive measures in the following areas, as described in Annex II.” [emphasis added]

Second, Iran is not left with significant nuclear capacity. The agreement reduces the number of centrifuges Iran is permitted to have from the current 20,000 to 6,100. That is a 69.5% reduction in the number of centrifuges, making the country’s capabilities insignificant. Furthermore, Iran must use first generation centrifuges (IR1), which will further reduce its capacity to enrich uranium. According to NPR,

“The agreement also calls for Iran to give up most of its centrifuges. Under the deal, Iran would go from having 20,000 centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, to having 6,104 for the next 10 years. Under the deal, Iran also agrees to give up its most advanced centrifuges and use only their oldest models.”

Third, the agreement does not immediately lift the ban on the sale of advanced weapons to Iran. It will take between five to eight years to lift the ban. As the Washington Post reported,

“On conventional weapons and ballistic missiles, negotiators split the difference between lifting current U.N. prohibitions and keeping them indefinitely in place. The new U.N. resolution will include an ongoing eight-year missile ban and continuing prohibitions on most conventional weapons sales for five years.” [emphasis added]

One would expect a libertarian to adhere to the non-aggression principle by supporting an agreement that would lessen the likelihood of a war (which would inevitably damage private property) between the U.S. and Iran. One would expect the son of principled statesman Ron Paul to walk in his father’s footsteps. One would expect a statesman not to lie about the contents of an agreement that is now public record. Alas, Rand Paul is not a statesman and he is not his father. He is simply another lying politician.


This article (Rand Paul is Not a Libertarian. He’s a Liar.) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune in! The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Naji Dahi

Naji Dahi joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in June of 2015. His topics of interest include American politics, Middle East politics, foreign policy, electric cars, electric gadgets, and yoga. Born in Syria, he currently resides in Long Beach, California.

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33 Comments

  1. Rand Paul has never claimed to be a libertarian. He holds to most libertarian values and princlples, but he actually feels that hardcore libertarians are too extremist, that some government is useful and valuable, as long as it holds to the Constitutional limitations.

    "They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I'm not a libertarian."
    – Rand Paul, Time Magazine interview, March 17, 2010

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  2. He works hard for the money.
    …hard for the money.
    He may even be lying about his position, actually holding the libertarian view.
    He works hard for the money.
    Good call~!

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  3. It is clear as day light that he lied about the contents of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Read the agreement. It is linked to in the body of the article. Iran must reduce all parts of its nuclear research to an almost insignificant program. Not mentioned in the article: Iran must only do nuclear research in ONE facility instead of the current THREE. Iran must only enrich uranium to 3.67% down from the current 20%. Iran must only hold 300 kilograms of uranium down from 10,000 kilograms. That is a huge reduction. Rand says that Iran will have a significant nuclear enrichment program. That is a lie.

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  4. Naji Dahi how the hell would you know how much they reduced it? You haven't a clue what they are doing behind closed doors and yet you will side with them instead of on the side of caution. Maybe you are naive enough to believe these Terrorists but I don't. You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting terrorism and spouting lies about Senator Rand. What makes you think they give a shit about this deal ? All they want is more time to develop a weapon. When you are swallowed up in the "Lake of Fire" told of in Revelations you will see Rand was warning us not to trust terrorists, but by then it will be too late for you….fool.

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  5. ugh, just stop posting this shit. He's just being an intelligent politician so he isn't marginalized in the debates and primaries.

    Jesus Christ libertarians are so fucking clueless when it comes to politics. Maybe that's why after 40 years we still can't field a candidate that can even get 1% of the popular vote.

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  6. Naji Dahi why are you standing up for Iran and trusting them and not the US ? Perhaps your desert back round in Lebanon clouds your judgements ? Take the scarf off your head and uncover your face, or are you afraid everyone will see you for the terrorist you are ? Ain't no desert toad going to tell this true blooded American anything. Go back to Lebanon and take that TRAITOR Obama with you.

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  7. Seriously shut the hell up with your racist nonsense, get some facts and then argue, you are making America look fucking terrible you fucking pair of clown shoes.

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  9. Not selling weapons or allowing weapons to be sold or created in your potential enemies (call for the destruction of our state) state, doesn't constitute and act of war. Jesus and Batman said, "I don't have to save you."

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  10. Rand Paul is better than a unrealistic purist libertarian who lives in a a dream world. We need practicality, not fantasies. Hold on to that big 1% dream in 2016!

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  11. I think this is a very specific thing to have such an inflammatory headline.

    Look, Rand Paul is not a "Free State Project" libertarian. He is a Republican. Everyone knows this. He has said before that he'd use military force for certain engagements, but at least said he'd go to Congress first as the Constitution demands.

    One has to come to a decision about what kind of view of politics they want to have, especially if they consider themselves libertarian. Either:

    1) You believe that voting continues to enable and give credence to an outdated (and corrupt) system. Government is no longer necessary, and so we should stop giving credence to it and let it eat itself while we make parallel institutions.
    2) You believe in voting entirely on principle. If this is the case, everyone should vote for Gary Johnson if he runs. He probably won't win of course, but he's really the best guy.
    3) You believe in voting pragmatically. In this case, yeah, sure Rand Paul isn't a 100% libertarian, but he's *as close as anyone that ever has a shot at the white house will ever get, ever*. A Rand Paul win would be a HUGE statement, regardless of whether or not he's "just another Republican" or not. His positions on criminal justice, asset forfeiture, and the war on drugs alone are reason enough.

    Or, like me, you straddle all three.

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  12. Interesting that the first quote is by Walter Block who has endorsed Rand Paul. "A core value of libertarianism is the principle of non-aggression. As explained by economist Walter Block," So if Walter Block is the authority on Libertarianism, guess that makes the author a liar.

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  13. Yes he has. He said this: "I would absolutely not run unless it were to win," the Kentucky Republican said on "Fox News Sunday." "Points have been made, and we we will continue to make points. But I think the country is really ready for the narrative coming — the Libertarian Republican narrative."

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/2013/02/paul-voters-ready-for-libertarian-republican-in-157214.html?hp=l2

    He is all over the place. One day he is a Libertarian, the next day he is not. So in 2010 he was not a Libertarian and in 2013 he became a Libertarian. Which is it Rand Paul? As Slim Shady used to say: Will the real Rand Paul please stand up?

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  14. How many true Libertarians have been elected to a Federal office?

    This author keeps criticizing candidates based on that standard….Where are all these officials in office that meet that pure standard?

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  15. ..conservative libertarian. ..thats what I am. RAND is running republican. This article is trash written by a socialist pig professor in California. California …not even sure its a state any more. More like a commune for increasing debt.

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  16. Are you comfortable being an apologist who blatantly lied about the details of Iran deal? I can deal with most things a pol might say to get elected, knowing how fractious is the US populace, but flat-out lying is a deal-breaker for me. Nope. Liars not wanted, thank.

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  17. Sorry, that s/b "…being an apologist for someone who…" I didn't mean to say that you lied.

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  18. Nice jorb. "Socialist pig" is sure to bring thoughtful and measured responses. Sheesh.

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  19. All you liberals hoped for was to change america into Europe. Tough crap union jack Tom.

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  20. All I see democrats do is raise taxes all the time. Gov. Wolf in PA wants to raise income tax by .7% and sales tax by .6% thats hundreds more dollars I cant afford to lose. He wants to improve schools…when the people really need to improve parenting. I will never vote democrat.

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  21. Naji Dahi I don't think Rand is "all over the place".
    I think there are a few Anarchists that are waking up and figuring out
    they're not really Libertarans……..

    Have you noticed there isn't any official Democratic candidate promoting the Libertarian view?
    There's a reason for that.
    Libertarian thinking overlaps about 30% of both political parties, yet the Republicans are the only ones wanting to give it half a chance.
    I say get what you can get, and build from there………

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  22. Can no one comprehend hat he can't come out and just go full blast libertarian?

    When Obama was running did he go out and say "I want a complete government takeover of the healthcare industry, I want fully econom passing NSA surveillance, I want to bomb countries without even consulting congres let alone getting an up/down vote?

    No! He talked a bunch of shit voters wanted to hear and marketed himself as swthing completely different to be electable!
    THATS HOW IT WORKS.

    Ron already showed us that his unfiltered message is not an electable one. The majority of voters are simply not ready to do away with social security and embrace a completely free country again. It has to be done in increments.

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  23. Lynn Shay Where did that come from? I asked about the blatant lies. That makes me a liberal? If I ignore the lies I can be a conservative; is that it ?

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  24. Michael Weakley Because most liberals don't get a hot and bothered just because he echoes their calls for ending the war on drugs. He's not on-board with 95% of what liberals want to see done, so why would they consider him at all?

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  25. Utter, complete nonsense – this fake "treaty" with Iran is NOT going to create peace, it is going to create WAR! It's the exact same thing as the "treaty" Chamberlain concluded with Hitler and that really brought on World War II.

    You cannot negotiate with totally evil regimes, because they will NEVER keep their word. The second they see an opportunity, especially if you let your guard down, they will pounce.

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  26. Governments have no more rights than natural persons. Rulers do not own all the land within their domain. The non-aggression principle does prohibit the overthrow of tyrants, whether by revolution, civil war, or invasion.

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  27. Sounds like a peace treaty to me… 🙂

    Ayatollah Khamenei told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were "180 degrees" opposed to Iran's, at a speech in a Tehran mosque punctuated by chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".
    "Even after this deal our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change," Khamenei said.

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  28. This is written and opinion formed before all documents pertaining to terms the agreement have been provided even to congress. Yet Paul, having to carry through that which was put in place before coming to public service, gets criticism for using good judgement based on past experience in dealing Iran?

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  29. The other obviously doesn't understand what Rand Paul said about the deal. He's also mistaken Libertarians ideals with being a complete and utter dimwit. Way to trash the guy who doesn't want to go to war, doesn't want to leave our children with a state sponsored terror factory with nuclear capabilities and with the most decency of all the candidates. If I thought it was a bad deal (like I do) I would vote against it. I applaud Senator Paul for pushing for a more viable deal.

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