Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ron Paul: Useful Idiot of the Year

Plenty of conservatives in America seem to think this was the year of Ron Paul, something that may sadly be true. The Tea Party movement and the return to “traditional” conservative values in the Republican Party have boosted Paul’s presence on the national stage. I only hope that he continues to remind Americans just how irrational his worldview really is in the coming year. To Paul, Islamic terrorists exist because we are “occupiers,” a claim so ridiculous it warrants further denunciation.

Paul states: “One thing that is missing here is never asking the question what is the motive? He said why he was -- he did it. He said it was because we bombed Yemen two weeks ago. That was his motive.” So according to Ron Paul and his like minded travelers, the attempted terrorist attack on the NWA flight was a response to a western policy in the Muslim world. What I want to know is why he would assume this? Paul takes at face value the terrorist’s statement that he attempted to carry out the attack as a response to recent bombings in Yemen. As Christopher Hitchens pointed out in his dialogue with Robert Wright, Islamists and like minded terrorists may claim their actions are a response to foreign influence in said country, but there is little reason to believe they would not have carried out the same act in the absence of such a condition. The Taliban and al-Qaeda were carrying out atrocities on the population of Afghanistan long before a foreign force was in the country. They may say that attacks on Afghan civilians are now a response to military occupation, but their previous actions without that existing variable undercuts their assertion. Al-Qaeda was attacking civilians and military personal around the world long before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, something missing from Paul’s analysis.

More importantly, and this has been said before by individuals more intelligent than I, why should we allow our foreign policy to be dictated by such murderous elements? Even if Paul is correct, and the reason the attempted NWA attack was a direct response to American air attacks on terrorist training facilities in Yemen, what would be achieved by bowing to the demands of terrorist organizations? Again, these organizations and individuals were operating before the War on Terror. If it wasn’t the bombings in Yemen, it would be the airstrikes in Somalia. If it wasn’t Somalia, it would be Gaza. If it wasn’t Gaza, it would be minarets in Switzerland, and so on. Those willing to blow up an airplane full of innocent people or target a marketplace full of workers and civilians are not operating on the rational foundation Paul and his like-minded kin attribute to their actions. To bend our policy to meet the demands of fascists and theocrats is to make a mockery of our commitment to basic liberal principles, and legitimizes these groups as legitimate players on the international political stage.


Trooper Thompson said...

Ron Paul wants US foreign policy to be dictated by the Constitution, not terrorists.

Roland Dodds said...

What does that even mean? I would love for a Paulista to explain this "constitutional" foreign policy to me.

Trooper Thompson said...

You wear your ignorance like a badge of honour, as you would love to have this explained, I will do so.

It means that wars cannot be embarked upon unless Congress declares war. This has not been the case in any of the foreign engagements since the Second World War. Ron Paul has made this point many times. I'm not sure how you have failed to hear it.

It also means the USA should avoid 'entangling alliances' that drag them into conflicts. In the early days this referred mostly to Great Britain and France who were often at war with each other. Today it can be applied to the UN and NATO.

Does that help?

Roland Dodds said...

My ignorance must be contagious, as you don’t seem to understand the Constitutional way both our recent wars have been authorized by Congress (Afghanistan with S.J. Res. 23 and Iraq with H.J. Res. 114). Simply because it was not worded as a “declaration of war” does not mean it is unconstitutional, although Paul sure seems to think so. Your reasoning that the exact phrase must be used in the authorization has not been tested in court as unconstitutional and is a legal opinion held by a minority. Not to say that makes it wrong, but to assert that your minority opinion is the undisputed law is erroneous.

More importantly, your second point about avoiding “entangling alliances” is not congruent to your previous position concerning the Constitution. Hypothetically, if congress provided their authorization for war in Iraq and Afghanistan as a “declaration of war,” would you then support it? I am pretty sure Ron Paul wouldn’t. This undercuts your preceding point. If you think the wars are foolish ones, you are likely in good company, but don’t attempt to hide by the legal status of the authorizations.

And I don’t think foreign policy should be dictated by dead statesmen, so the exact purpose they created their foreign policies for is not terribly important to the current debate. But I would challenge your historical representation of the founders’ foreign policy intentions. Take for example Jefferson, who is credited by isolationists as a President who intended to keep America out of foreign entanglements. More credence is give by historians like Jason Ralph to the fact that “Jeffersonian republicanism was in fact expansionist and that its policy toward the European powers was based on a realist calculation of what was possible given US weakness.” But we could play “quote the Founder” all day, and it still will tell us very little about how to formulate a foreign policy in today’s world with our current state.

Anonymous said...

IRONY: Ron Paul's Campaign Manager, 49, Dies Uninsured, Of Pneumonia, Leaving family $400,000 Debt

There is a trend amongst Paul's followers. They're all conspiracy theory nutjobs. Gary North was a research assistant in Paul's first term.

If a libertarian cites Cato Institue. Send them this link because Cato is nothing but a right-wing organization in disguise of a so-called "independent/free mind thinking" institution.

Same with Reason Magazine.

Ron Paul opposed net neutrality because he didn't want government regulation but he was A-OKAY with Comcast throttling your internet connection.

Try arguing with a libertarian. They will never admit defeat because they think Ron Paul is a demigod.

History Punk said...

"To bend our policy to meet the demands of fascists and theocrats is to make a mockery of our commitment to basic liberal principles, and legitimizes these groups as legitimate players on the international political stage. "

However, there are times when giving into the demands of terrorists works. After the establishment of the Republic of Croatia, members and associates of groups like Otpor such as Gojko Susak, Miro Baresic, and Eden Busic ceased attacking American targets and went on to become respected fighters and officials in Croatia. Croatians got want they wanted and have refrained from bombing unsupportive Croatian Americans, the Statue of Liberty, and other NYC targets for at least twenty years.

TheFountainHead said...

Congress DID declare war in Iraq...HR 4655 and H.J.Res. 114.

Sorry Trooper Thompson, YOU'RE WRONG!

Ron Paul is pathelogical.

Here's another one of his big lies, the Audit the Fed. It's already a mandate of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which he's trying to remove.

Either his supporters will ignore relevancy or put words in his mouth. Who pays you people to do these things?

Philip_Daniel said...

"There is no doubt that many Muslim lands are occupied and seized by the infidels; some for centuries, may Allah provide assistance, from Andalusia in the west, parts of southern Europe, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus and nearby areas, to East Turkistan in China, to many countries in Southeast Asia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and others, and even India, or many parts of it. These were all some time ago the lands of Islam and Dar al-Islam and were taken by the kaffir [infidel] enemy. So Muslims must retrieve them and free them from the hands of the infidels. They must also free all Islamic territories among the lands of the Arabs and the foreigners, which are under the authority of the infidels and apostate governments who belong to our own race. It is a duty to fight them and wage jihad against them. It is the duty of every able person to do that."--Attiya Allah al-Libi, "Ajwibaton fi Hukim al-Nafir wa Shart al-Mutasadi al-Takfir" ("Responses to the Ruling on Leaving for Battle and the Precondition of Takfir"), August 1st 2010,

So, half the world is waqf "occupied" by the evil mushrikeen...great...