Ron Paul digs in deeper

Ron Paul speaks about liberty and safety
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Ron Paul dug a deeper hole for himself at the CNN Tea Party Debate. The issue, entirely predictable was: Middle East diplomacy.

What Ron Paul said

Ron Paul, official portrait

Representative Ron Paul (R-TX-14). Photo: US House of Representatives

In the last quarter of the CNN Tea Party Debate, Moderator Wolf Blitzer asked whether defense spending cuts were a safe way to balance the budget. When Ron Paul took his turn, he said that he would bring troops home from the “900 bases” in “130 countries” worldwide. Then he added:

The purpose of al Qaeda was to attack us, invite us over there, where they can target us. And they have been doing it. They have more attacks against us and the American interests per month than occurred in all the years before 9/11, but we’re there occupying their land. And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we’re kidding ourselves.

Rick Santorum took exception to that. He asked Paul about this post on his Web site, quoting one Michael Scheurer as saying:

Our growing number of Islamist enemies are motivated to attack us because of what the U.S. government does in the Muslim world and not because of how Americans live and think here at home.

Not to mention this one:

We should never forget those in our government who used the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history as an excuse to launch completely unrelated wars, to do unprecedented damage to Americans’ historic liberties, to run roughshod over the Constitution, and to betray the Founders’ vision by savaging some of our most deeply held values.

Santorum said that Presidential candidates ought not “parrot” rants from Osama bin Laden.

We were attacked, as Newt talked about, because we have a civilization that is antithetical to the civilization of the jihadists. And they want to kill us because of who we are and what we stand for.  And we stand for American exceptionalism, we stand for freedom and opportunity for everybody around the world, and I am not ashamed to do that.

Actually, Santorum was too generous. Whatever the jihadists have, it is not a civilization. But Paul foolishly doubled down:

As long as this country follows that idea, we’re going to be under a lot of danger. This whole idea that the whole Muslim world is responsible for this, and they’re attacking us because we’re free and prosperous, that is just not true.Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been explicit — they have been explicit, and they wrote and said that we attacked America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians fair treatment, and you have been bombing –

And the crowd cried:

BOOOOOOO! BOOOOOOO!

And Paul said:

I didn’t say that. I’m trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing, at the same time we had been bombing and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for 10 years.

The truth

Here is the truth, and it will hurt.

  1. Paul actually threatened his own country in the name of the New Baghdad Caliphate. And yes, he said it. Ayman al-Zawahiri didn’t say it last night. He wasn’t present. Ron Paul was, and did.
  2. We have bases in Saudi Arabia because its king wants them there. Some evidence does suggest that this king, or members of his family, or another noble family, is playing a dangerous double game. But Ron Paul did not touch on that. Instead he blamed America first, last, and only.
  3. The Palestinians have no claim, and never have. They came to the Land of Israel only after the Jews came, drained the swamp, and made the deserts bloom.
  4. Saddam Hussein was dropping bombs on Kurdish cities and towns during that time, and committing other sins of statecraft too numerous to name. (And giving Osama bin Laden safe haven and a place to train.) More to the point: Ron Paul conflates actions before September 11, and actions afterward. Furthermore, when he says that “hundreds of thousands of Iraqis” have died at American hands, or even at allied hands, he is lying.
  5. Why in Gehenna should Americans care about what a mass murderer says? Ron Paul might as well parrot the rant of the Unabomber as of Osama bin Laden.

And this morning, Paul’s blogger, Jack Hunter, proved unrepentant and defiant:

Yet many still stubbornly refuse to look at motive or patterns when it comes to trying to prevent terrorism. Instead, they tell us that terrorists simply “hate our freedom.” This is childish—and dangerous.

Well, as long as Paul and his staff and allies follow that idea, they will lose votes. Your editor does look at motive, and finds a motive much older than the United States itself.

Fight and slay the infidels wheresoever ye find them. Seize them, besiege them, ambush them with every ambush. But if they repent, and follow Allah, and pay the poor-due, then let them go their way. Lo! Allah is Forgiving! Merciful!

Details on Iraqi deaths

Ron Paul casually accuses US forces of “bombing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis” without any facts. CNSNews got the facts. Here they are:

According to Iraq Body Count (IBC), a nongovernmental database of Iraqi civilian deaths based on media reports, official figures and other sources, between 102,000 and 112,000 Iraqi civilians have died from armed violence since the March 2003 invasion.

A peer-reviewed academic study of IBC figures for the March 2003-March 2008 period (when the database numbered 92,614) attributed 11,516 of those deaths to coalition forces. The study was published last February in the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) Medicine.

IBC recorded 630 “non-combatant Iraqi deaths resulting directly from actions involving U.S.-led coalition forces” in 2008, 80 in 2009, and 32 in 2010.

Thus a correlation of the figures in the PLoS Medicine study and IBC figures for 2008-10 indicate that around 12,260 Iraqi civilians were killed as a direct result of U.S.-led coalition actions, between the war’s start in March 2003 and the end of 2010.

In summary: Ron Paul owes the American people an apology. This is his worst gaffe yet. And with war about to break out again between Israel and Egypt, those gaffes will get worse still.

This is both a travesty and a tragedy. The travesty is that any Member of Congress is so ignorant of history. The tragedy is that Ron Paul has so many good ideas about domestic policy, and such a blind spot about foreign policy.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

9 Responses to Ron Paul digs in deeper

  1. Dante says:

    I already said this in another post, but here goes:

    “So when Osama bin Laden said he was inspired to attack the Twin Towers after Israel destroyed the towers of Beirut in the 1982 Lebanon War, he was lying? That didn’t actually bother him and his true motivation for attacking America was because he hates our freedom?

    The Clinton sanctions killed an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children. Madeleine Albright admitted to this when pressed in an interview, but she said it was justified. I think that counts as “thousands of Iraqis.””

    I would also add that you are incorrect about Palestine. The Jews were granted Israel after WW2 by Great Britain. The Jews then promptly ethnically cleansed the area (as in genocide) of Palestinians. Israel has no less treated the Palestinian like cattle after stealing their land in the first place with the Sabra and Shatilla massacre and the construction of the Gaza Strip.

    Not to mention all the other heinous acts the US did in the Middle East, with the institution of the puppet Shah in Iran (main reason why Iran hates us), supporting the dictatorial regime in Qatar, etc.

    No, Osama bin Laden is not to be forgiven. You don’t murder innocent people as retribution for the crimes of past American leaders (even though we pretty much did the same thing with the firebombing of Dresden, Berlin, and Tokyo, the latter happening AFTER we dropped the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the Japanese surrendered).

    But no, this will hurt Paul’s campaign because the right stubbornly refuses to look at the facts, that America has been less than benevolent with its post-WW2 foreign policy.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      No, you are incorrect about Israel. At best, you are incomplete: the Jews had it before WWI. Their possession of the land goes back thousands of years, before anyone would ever hear of Muhammad or Islam. And maybe you don’t know what “Palestine” means. In Arabic they spell it “Falastin.” That’s a direct derivative of the ancient Hebrew Philistim—Philistines. And do you know what that word means? Try “illegal aliens.” Or “intruders.” Or even “invaders.”

      “Treated the Palestinians like cattle”? Come on, Dante, you’re smarter than that. Just as I don’t approve of Presidential candidate who parrot Osama bin Laden’s lies, I don’t allow anyone to come onto my comment space and parrot Arab lies without correcting the record immediately. That’s one of the objectives I achieve by moderation of all comments. (The other is to exclude empty-headed comments filled with nothing but cheap obscenities.)

      Tell you what: read this article and tell me again that Osama bin Laden was merely engaged in retaliation.

      • dfdsgf says:

        If the jews have a right to israel, shouldn’t the native americans have a right to america?

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Nice try. But the Beringians (specifically the Iroquois Federation) fought their all-out war with the Americans (by intervening on the British side in the War for Independence). And they lost.

    • Steve says:

      OK – I really have to call ‘Bull’ to your statement of the US having firebombed Tokyo after the Japanese surrendered.
      Some facts of history:
      1) The B-29 raids commenced on November 17, 1944 and lasted until August 15, 1945, the day Japan capitulated.
      – Craven, Wesley Frank, and James Lea Cate, eds. The Army Air Forces in World War II, Volume Five, the Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki June 1944 to August 1945. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953, page 558.

      2) In 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō apologized in print, acknowledging Japan’s bombing of Chinese cities beginning in 1938, killing civilians. He wrote that the Japanese government should have surrendered as soon as losing the war was inevitable, an action that would have prevented Tokyo from being firebombed in March 1945, as well as subsequent bombings of other cities.
      – Karacas, Cary (2010). “Fire Bombings and Forgotten Civilians: The Lawsuit Seeking Compensation for Victims of the Tokyo Air Raids. JapanFocus.org. ISSN 1557-4660.

      3) The firebombings DID occur in a small part after the nuclear attacks upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki as those occurred on August 6th and 9th, respectively. This was a part of a larger effort to force the surrender of the Japanese – For six months before the atomic bombings, the United States intensely fire-bombed 67 Japanese cities. Together with the United Kingdom and the Republic of China, the United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945. The Japanese government ignored this ultimatum.

      Once the Japanese surrendered, all attacks ceased.

  2. Dante says:

    Yeah, and then the Jews didn’t have Israel for 2000-3000 years. In that time, people settled down, had children, and a few dozens of generations later you had the Palestinian people. The modern kind, not the Biblical ones. Even then, plenty of Jews lived in Palestine at the time. In the end it doesn’t matter. Ethnically cleansing an area of Arabs because a Holy Book says that region once belonged to your ancestors is wrong. Genocide is wrong. The Palestinian people’s mistake was their very uncivil disobedience. They should’ve gone the Gandhi route.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to prove with your article other than that bin Laden makes the same mistake pretty much every leftist makes in America and that is that corporatism is capitalism. Yeah, corporations influence politician’s to pass legislation that skews the free market in their favor. It’s called “crony capitalism.” I don’t see how this is relevant in the slightest; no one in America wants to kill French people because they have such a bloated welfare state. On the other hand, if the French people were to kill Americans in an attempt to play world police, then yes, I imagine Americans would be angry enough to want French civilians to die.

    Seriously, do you honestly think most of the Middle East hates us because of our politics and government? Or do you think it’s foreign policy that has continually resulted in the deaths of their friends and family?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Yes, seriously, I say that most of the Middle East hates us on account of our politics (having a free society), our government (no Shari’a law), and our religion (not Muslim). I have heard their sermons: “First Saturday, then Sunday.” Translation: first the Jew, then the Christian.

      No “ethnic cleansing” took place. In the Israeli War for Independence, the Israeli forces offered to allow Arabs to remain in their neighborhoods. But those bitter, closed-minded Arabs living in Jaffa (Joppa) wouldn’t take to that. So they all ran away. No one forced them to. They did it because they listened to the King of Jordan when he told them that he would take the whole country by force. Heap big talk! Ha, ha! It didn’t work out that way, did it?

      And in the Six-day War, as the IDF rolled into East Jerusalem, they told the residents of the Arab quarter to just go home, keep their heads down, and wait for the Mayor of a united Jerusalem to tell them what ordinances they would have to obey. They didn’t tell them to get out. And you know what? Those Arabs now living in East Jerusalem would just as soon stay there under Israeli rule. They want nothing to do with any “Palestinian State.”

      And you say that I am wasting your time? You’re the one wasting my time. You need to get the history of the region straight. And I suspect that Dr. Paul must do the same thing. It ought to be a very simple matter for him to get a chit to talk to Ambassador Oren on Embassy Row in Washington.

      Your French example is a red herring. And to quote French idiom, your moral equivalency of Arabs and Americans is a villa in Spain. (We say “a pipe dream.”)

  3. Brian says:

    Terry, what is your opinion on a possible “one-state” solution which would fully merge Israel with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with equal rights for all Israelis and Arabs? Do you think it’s even feasible? I only ask, because it seems like a proposed two-state solution always ends in failure.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      That solution can pretty much exist any time. The prototype for it: the reunified Jerusalem, where Arab and Israeli residents live, each in their own quarter, with no tension among them, no threats of riots, no nothing. The Arab residents do not want a PA role in governing Jerusalem. No way, Yusuf. So if the Arabs would simply accept Israeli rule, they have nothing to fear. The Israelis wouldn’t even draft them into the army! (Only Jews and Druze are subject to the draft.)

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