Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) recently proposed to President Donald Trump that he should take a larger role in negotiating with Iran during a golf outing, a notion that Trump apparently supports, in order to prevent another endless war from starting in the Middle East.
Paul wants to sit down with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in order to ease tensions with the Islamic Republic, which has been confirmed by four U.S. officials according to Politico. This news has enraged the neocon war hawks in the Trump administration, who want a wedge to remain between the two nations preventing any talks.
Proud that @realDonaldTrump and I argued with you against endless wars! @POTUS made it clear to all of us at the table, we are getting out of the Middle East quagmire. We’ve been there too long. Time to bring our troops home. https://t.co/trO0aIHbzk
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 15, 2019
Zarif is in New York City this week for meetings at the headquarters of the United Nations. He is scheduled to meet with several journalists and think-tank officials, but a meeting with the junior Kentucky Senator may also be in order. Zarif made it clear in recent statements that Iran is not opposed to engaging the the U.S. in peace talks.
“No, we are at the bargaining table. It is the United States that left the bargaining table,” Zarif said to NBC News reporters who suggested Iran was unwilling to engage in talks. “And they are always welcome to return.”
“The United States is addicted, unfortunately, to sanctions,” Zarif added. “Once those sanctions are lifted, then room for negotiation is wide open.”
This is already yielding positive results in the global markets, as oil prices have started to plunge over the news that there is less of a likelihood for a U.S. war with Iran. The WTI fell to $57 on Tuesday while the Brent dropped by 3 percent, slumping below $65.
Paul has praised Trump’s ability to avoid conflict with Iran even with the various pressures of the military-industrial complex trying to goad him into another regime change war.
“It really takes a statesman to show restraint amidst a chorus of voices for war,” Paul said to Fox News’ Martha MacCallum.
Paul has previously conducted a diplomacy mission to Russia in Aug. 2018 where he delivered a letter to the Russian government on Trump’s behalf, much to the chagrin of the fake news and deep state forces that have tried to keep the two nations at odds.
“The letter emphasized the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges,” Paul wrote last year.
Paul remains as a prominent influence on Trump’s thinking, assisting the President with helpful advice as Trump implements his ‘America First’ foreign policy and fixes the immense damage caused by his globalist predecessors. Paul’s bold efforts may help the U.S. bridge the gap with Iran and begin talks that will result in a deal that works for both nations.
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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