Writing on the website of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, former presidential candidate Ron Paul notes that while many of America’s neocons would push the United States toward another never-ending war in the Middle East, perhaps it’s better for regional players to take the lead on this one.
"They want Americans [to] believe that only another US invasion of Iraq – and Syria as well – can defeat ISIS," Paul writes. "But what is wrong with the countries of the region getting together and deciding to cooperate on a common problem?"
Paul points out that while sending Iranian Shi’ite militias to battle the Islamic State is sure to present sectarian problems, it’s preferable to reintroducing American troops to the region.
"Our bombs will continue to make the problem worse because it was our bombs that helped create the problem in the first place," Paul says. "What the neocons who lied us into the Iraq war don’t like to admit is that there was no ISIS problem and no al-Qaeda problem in Iraq and Syria before we invaded Iraq."
Fighting the Islamic State, according to Paul, is a war on ideology, not an easily identifiable nation state. For the United States to declare a war on such an amorphous enemy "makes no sense."
"What if the US had not gotten involved with Iraq in 1990 when Saddam Hussein went into Kuwait after getting what he thought was a green light from the first Bush administration?" Paul asks. A question worth asking as the American public still suffers fatigue from involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Maybe Saudi Arabia would have made a move; maybe Israel would have taken care of the problem. Why does it always have to be the US?"
If, as many policy makers say, the Islamic State is the number one threat facing the country today, then why would interventionists object to help from Iran – or any nation, for that matter? For Ron Paul, the answer is simple.
"Because they desire the rest of the world to believe that the US is the only indispensable nation," he says. "They want the rest of the world – and especially the American taxpayer – to believe that no problem anywhere can be solved without US involvement."
"Perhaps if people overseas begin to see that they can solve their own local and regional problems without the US military involved, more Americans would come to see the neocons as the real threat to our national – and financial- security," he adds.
If true that Iran’s role as a military presence in the fight against the Islamic State presents a threat to US hegemony, perhaps that’s a good thing, Paul suggests. Being free of such global responsibility would allow Americans to focus on domestic issues.
"Instead of being angered at Iranian help to address the problem of ISIS, perhaps we should send them a 'thank you' note," Paul says.
On the other hand, given the actions of the US Senate this month, Iran may be tired of receiving US mail.