Forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Rami Bleible/Reuters) Forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Rami Bleible/Reuters)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) delivered a statement on Syria that is bone-chilling in its moral indifference and ignorance about America’s national security.

I’ll quote it in its entirety so you get the full flavor:

The United States should condemn the use of chemical weapons. We should ascertain who used the weapons, and we should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement. The Constitution grants the power to declare war to Congress, not the President. The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States, and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States.

Perhaps an international relations professor can use this on an exam for students to find the errors. I’ll give it a shot.

What is the point of condemning the use of chemical weapons if we are not prepared to do anything about it? That’s been President Obama’s MO, which Rand Paul apparently has no problem with.

We don’t need to ascertain whether chemical weapons have been used (does he read the papers?). We already know.

As for Congress, Rand Paul again demonstrates his misunderstanding of the Constitution. A declaration of war requires congressional action; a minimal strike of the sort the president contemplates is surely within the Article 1 powers of the commander in chief. Thomas Jefferson thought so.

But the worst is his declaration that we have no national security interest in Syria. To be consistent, he could say we have no interest in the Middle East, I suppose. It’s interesting, for starters, that he doesn’t consider the players, including Hezbollah, a threat to our ally Israel. He’s tried to bolster his pro-Israel credentials, but his policy assertion would throw Israel to the wolves. He apparently doesn’t see any connection between Syria and its senior partner, Iran. But then he thinks a nuclear-armed Iran may be contained, as he spelled out at the Heritage Foundation.

A Capitol Hill Republican mused that perhaps Rand Paul is concerned that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is “stealing his thunder” on foreign policy isolationism. Maybe. In any event, their utterances demonstrate clearly why America would be at risk (more so than even under Obama) if either got into the Oval Office (except on a tour).

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.