Ron Paul Web Site Melt-Down

I’ve been met with pure emotion every time I question a Ron Paul supporter on RP’s foreign policy positions.  The aggregate response is; “What are you, stupid??!!!  Ron Paul is great!!!!” but in comments on his web site it is mostly smoke screen– pure distraction– Ignore and Redirect.

I went to the obvious source of Ron Paul positions– Ron Paul’s own web site, for clarification, and found none.  The best I could ascertain was that RP’s position on hostile enemies is; “Stop, or I’ll say Stop again!” or “Stop, or you’ll get a letter of condemnation on official letterhead!”

There are two ten minute videos there.  I got through one, with only more questions.  At one stage, where he’s making the point, “America negotiated with the Soviet Union and so therefore we can negotiate with Iran” he wraps it up saying that, after all, Iran is no bigger a threat than was the Soviet Union.  (oh boy)  No, see; the Soviet Union was a massively greater threat than Iran is today.  See.  Mutually Assured Destruction was well in place.  His reasoning is backwards.

In another segment of the same vid, he says he’s totally opposed to sanctions, on the notion that they’re an act of war.  OK.  I could agree with that, but then he slips in the idea of “putting pressure” on hostiles without giving any clue as what that could mean. Let’s see, maybe 12 years, seventeen UN resolutions against the Saddam regime in Iraq, followed by Saddam kicking out the UN inspectors?  “Pressure”, with nothing to back it up, will be met with laughter by our enemies.

As it went, we had not one, but two U.S. Congressional authorizations of force (official declarations of war) with Congresscritters falling all over each other to get in front of the cameras and make sure we all knew they favored military action.  A few weeks later and it was “Bush Lied, People Died!” and “9/11 Was An Inside Job!” and “No War For Oil!” and as far as I can tell Ron Paul agrees with the later attitudes, saying we’re illegally doing this and illegally doing that, and no wonder people hate us because we suck (no explanation of why the Russians and Chinese, among others, aren’t as hated as the U.S., after they’ve been ten times as “Imperialist” as anything the U.S. ever did).

My best assessment of Ron Paul’s foreign/military position is that it’s a conflation of Jane Fonda’s, John Kerry’s and Cindy Sheehan’s, i.e. pure emotion mixed with the belief that the U.S. is on balance a force of evil in the world, with some shameless pandering to the “Make Love, Not War!” constituency (which he must see as an important voting block) mixed in.  That and he apparently can’t afford a moderator for his web site.  Other than that, I like Ron Paul a lot.

26 thoughts on “Ron Paul Web Site Melt-Down

  1. I expected better of you two. What did military action do to stop the actual perp-mastermind of the actual crime? Geez, we got Hitler and Tojo in better than half the time (plus more of their staffs), and they had actual armies, not to mention countries of their very own. (Well, OBL had Pakistan…)

    Now there are two (well, more) destabilized countries to prop up — at my expense. And what did it get us personally or the U.S. generally, other than a little closer to the inevitable Soviet-style falling-apart?

  2. Roberta, Saddam had surrounded himself with the 4th-largest army in the world, and at least a few divisions were first-rate. He had bunkers everywhere. When we showed up and kicked his Army’s butt, he had to run, and was eventually caught. Had we not started that war, we would have never gotten him. His Air Force fleeing to and being accepted in Iran shows that a dangerous combo of Iraq/Iran was not only possible, but working to a degree.

    Yeah, we could have refused to fight him, but consider the present Arab Spring: how bloody would that have been with Saddam still on the scene?

  3. Rivrdog: Unconvincing. So he was the tallest midget in the world, so what? Why’s the U.S. gotta got rattle doorknobs and apprehend punks with spraycans worldwide? “Why do they hate us?” Ever see the “Officer Krupke” bit from West Side Story? That’s why.

  4. I think Dr. Paul has some fantastic ideas on WHAT we should do. Just I think he really falls flat (and scares the crap out of me as a leader) when it comes to any form of implementation.

    Also there are some valid rational to some of the Libertarian Isolationist ideas, but how does one make such a drastic change without a lot of thought and planning on how that change will be managed, driven, and how will we seek out and handle the unintended consequences.

    Just because I agree with about 90% of what he says, doesn’t make him sound any less like the Marxist idealists who say “This way to Utopia!”

  5. Point by point agreed Lyle. I’m a big Ron Paul supporter, despite being an Iraq vet who still believes in the war. Hell, while in Iraq I voted for Badnarik. RP is a pollyanna about foreign affairs, but a genius about domestic ones. I don’t necessarily believe that we should be using the government to do it, but bringing liberty by the sword is sometimes necessary, as tyrants don’t look at examples of free countries and use that example as something to emulate.

    Additionally, if a people doesn’t have the nuts to overthrow their own tyrant, it doesn’t take from them their inalienable rights. I don’t look at people outside of my own country and feel a disconnect from them due to an invisible line. Their tyrants ARE my tyrants. While it’d be best for privately funded militias to liberate others, if the only way to do it is through our military, then so be it.

    The foreign affairs stuff really upsets me on a tactical level as well. RP isn’t afraid to mention the welfare state with social security, medicare, ect, BUT while these things are more expensive than our wars, RP consistently returns to foreign affairs. He sounds like a one-trick pony though he’s a much more intelligent man than he lets on.

    Roberta: I’d hardly consider a man who engaged in such widespread torture and violence against his own people to be a midget with a spraycan. He may not be a threat to me personally, but Iraqis are no less worthy of their dignity and liberty than I am.

  6. Roberta, the fundamental reason for the Iraq operation was we were already in a quasi-war with Iraq and that the destruction wrought in 2001 against New York and D.C. illustrated that terrorist operations were no longer low threats but high threats. That meant that we could no longer tolerate a nation with Iraq’s resources being in effect at war with the world / outlaw. We could not tolerate Iraq continuing in that stalemated quasi-war, motivated to use their resources to further mischief, while we moved forward globally to suppress Al Queda and Al Queda’s affiliated terrorist groups.

    Now you can argue against that position if you wish. There are rational counterarguments. However, that does not make Ron Paul’s vacuous positions logical.

  7. Iraq was not “at war with the world.” They had a nothing military, and no resources to be a threat.

    The reasons for going into Iraq were based on fabrications.

    We would have fewer dead Americans and a better economy if we had not started another war.

  8. The Inconvenience writes: “I’d hardly consider a man who engaged in such widespread torture and violence against his own people to be a midget with a spraycan. He may not be a threat to me personally, but Iraqis are no less worthy of their dignity and liberty than I am.”

    But North Koreans and Red Chinese are not? Every frickin’ citizen of of the Soviet Union, your entire life, you did nothing and stood idly by while the proverbial Big Stick of FedGov did scantly more to free ’em but play pop songs and news of Radio Free Europe. –But give you an easily-whupped dictator conveniently far away and you’re up & at ’em! –With my money and mostly other people’s blood. Rats, most bleedin’-heart lefties are are at least consistent. Compared to Pol Pot or Mao Zeduns, Saddam was little more than a VD outbreak.

    It is not the job of the Feds to go liberate any of these places. Let ’em liberate themselves; or if you want ’em liberated, get yourself up off the couch and go filibustering (look it up).

    SPQR: Yeahright. But North Korea is Just Great and the Saudi Arabians and their sock-pupper Whabist preachers are okay-fine. Oh, and in case you have forgotten, there was no Iraqi involvement in 9/11. If you’d’a wanted to go to the headwaters, you’d’a looked elsewhere. It was a nice weak spot for the cynical to use as flypaper; after all, what’s a few thousand GIs missing limbs to men who get off playing chess on an entire planet, but only when the odds are overwhelmingly in their favor?

    U.S. foreign policy is repulsive to me, mixing cowardice with self-serving glurge, it’s as if Madison Avenue was running State Department and the Pentagon — except I think they might do a better job.

    As for RP, his foreign policy might be insane but at least it’s not gutless or immoral.

  9. Roberta:

    For starters, an assertion that going into Iraq is justified is not a agreement with American foreign policy. If one considered the morality of it as opposed to the economics of the situation, I’d have no qualms whatsoever with marching into Pyongyang, Beijing or Riyadh with a rifle on my back. Again, I don’t consider the randomness of the place of a person’s birth to be a marker as to whether or not they’re deserving of their liberty.

    Hell, I shudder when our government buddies up with the British. Given enough Americans willing to throw themselves into the gristmill of liberty, I’d bring freedom by the sword to all whose rulers didn’t respond to peaceful methods. As to why it was Saddam, well, that’s where the planes were flying. I just grabbed a rifle and hitched a ride to the fight. It could well have been dozens of places worldwide and I’d have gone. And as I said previously, the inability of a people to rise up does not put them in a lesser category of person unworthy of the sovereign rights of all men.

    I also assume I wouldn’t be alone in taking issue with the assertion that Saddam was an, “an easily-whupped dictator conveniently far away.” The enemy isn’t conveniently far away when he’s in your rifle sights. Secondly, many a military man is short at least a few friends from our overseas adventuring. Try telling the dead how easily the war was. An AK round from a 50 year old rifle will kill you just as fast as a JDAM from an F-18.

    Finally, I’d like to congratulate you on your wonderful attitude. Then again, I suppose I should have learned from my fellow libertarians that there shall be no deviation in the ranks. This is why libertarians can’t make any headway, and we are all the poorer for it.

  10. @Roberta X, Nice rant!

    @JermeyS and Robert X, I guess the uranium didn’t count for anything in your accounting.

    I don’t subscribe to The Inconvenience’s view. I’ll let him defend (or not) that on his own.

    At first inspection Roberta has some excellent points. However I’m not certain they survive close examination. USSR, Red China, North Korea were/are all worthy of close watching and even a cold war. But as long as we could assure a near complete destruction of their territory I don’t believe the leaders of those nations would initiated a hot war with us. Iraq and Iran I’m not so certain about. Their religious beliefs put them outside the domain of what we consider rational thought. To have their cities all vaporized might not be considered an unacceptable price to pay. I am certain that if they had nukes they would use them against Israel.

    I can see a case being made for letting Israel taking of itself. But if a second Holocaust were to be started I can’t see the U.S. or even Western Europe standing on the sidelines. If we are going to get involved eventually then why not get involved before the crazies have nukes and have used them to glass over half of Israel? And even if we stood by while Israel and eventually Europe absorbed the nukes ultimately the nukes would be exploding in our cities. Better to fight the conventional war on their soil than take even one nuke in even a place I detest as much as New York City.

    I don’t really like the conclusion but I can’t find fault with the data and/or logical process. I can see numerous variations but they all end up at essentially the same conclusion.

    I don’t look at this from the perspective of chess player with GIs as the pieces. True, I didn’t and probably won’t spill any of my own blood but my nephew did and recently went back to Afghanistan. My son-in-law John did two tours in Iraq and is headed to Afghanistan later this year. I still get teary eyed when I think of Adam who was killed in Iraq. Neither freedom nor security is free.

  11. For the record; I didn’t give my own ideas of foreign policy here. I haven’t said one thing about what I think we should do about the Mid East, any other known threat, any threats that might emerge, or any general guiding principles of foreign policy. The closest I came was in stating the undeniable fact; “pressure” with nothing to back it up will be met with laughter. I share the inconvenience’s general advocacy if liberty, but that alone doesn’t say, “go kill these guys” or “go and try to work out some deal with those other guys and then reassess”. There’s a difference between principles and tactics, and the former does not always indicate, predict or prescribe the latter.

    I’ll add that there is a substantial culture that wants to wipe out the Western way of life (more than one actually, and they’re working together), and wipe out America in particular, and it has shown not only a willingness but an eagerness to target and kill noncombatants. If you can’t acknowledge that, I don’t even want to talk to you. Its current power and abilities may not pose an immediate threat of annihilation to us, but a) that fact alone is no protection against smaller scale destruction, and b) that fact can change significantly before we know what to do about it unless we’re vigilant and extremely clear about what we’re willing to tolerate and what we’re not.

    I am pointing out that Ron Paul doesn’t seem to have any policy– certainly not one that is stated coherently. Furthermore, no one here so far has attempted to shed any light on the matter.

    There is the argument that it doesn’t matter– that our own house is so broken that we’re doomed unless we fix it first. That is my brother’s argument, but he’s a RP supporter so he won’t explain much beyond a general statement. I would counter, saying I tend to agree, however our enemies aren’t going to wait until we’re standing strong, somewhat united, principled and determined as a nation. It matters.

    Part of the problem I see is; when I say “12 years, 17 UN resolutions, two congressional authorizations…” I am immediately placed into some kind of rival clan by all those reading. Please don’t. If I can’t state the undeniable facts of history, that I saw unfold with my own eyes, without being pigeonholed, I’m going to grab my hickory yard stick and start whacking knuckles. Also please try to refrain from using fiction to bolster an argument.

  12. Saddam had chemical weapons and he actually used them against Iran and against his own Kurdish population.

    To assert that Saddam was not a threat to people outside of Iraqi borders is, at best, naive.

  13. If Saddam was a threat to Iran, I am sure Iran was more than capable of taking care of itself.

    I never asserted Saddam was not a threat. Every country in the world is a threat at some level. I made light of Saddam being “at war with the world;” That is ridiculous. He was no threat to Americans.

    We have no business having soldiers on the ground in Iraq. Americans earned their own freedom. Libyians and Egyptians have just earned their own freedom. It was up to Iraq’s people to earn their own freedom. Not have it gifted to them with our blood and tax dollars.

  14. Also, what’s with, “Iraq and Iran I’m not so certain about. Their religious beliefs put them outside the domain of what we consider rational thought.”

    Iran, maybe, but the Israelis fixed that neatly. Iraq, though — geesh. Saddam’s Iraq was a highly secular state. That’s howcome the Iranian gummit hated him.

    Also, I’m gonna barf over this whine about how “people everywhere are deserving of their freedom.” A meddling bleeding-heart is a meddling bleeding-heart. Butt out! If they want freedom, The People (or whatever howling mess of a nation-state) will take it. Most don’t. As for you and me, how about we start at home? A decade into The Global War On Everydamnthing, we’re less free than ever.

  15. @RobertaX:

    What precisely have you done to take the liberty we have today? Last I looked, the bulk of us are enjoying the liberty provided to us by the rebels (and damned, meddling, intervening FRENCH) from over 200 years ago.

  16. Did the French decide in 1776 we needed liberating and proceed to bomb the colonies’ waterwheels and windmills, then land troops to “liberate” us — or did they decided we’d be handy to distract their foes, the British, and pitch in when we asked for help…?

    As for what I have done “to take the liberty we have today…” Sunny Jim, have you even seen the complete Code of Federal Regulations? That’s the “liberty we have today,” the freedom to be tracked by Homeland Security, warrantless home searches and celphone wiretaps, airport probulation, asset seizure on being accused of a crime — well, I’m voting just as hard as I can; I have a blog and I am preparing for the hard times ahead.

    You can only free people who are working to free themselves. The American people, bloated on the Pablum of their glossy PR “freedom” — the freedom to line up, get zoned and numbered and taxed, the freedom to be bled every payday for a Ponzi retirement scheme that has no way to opt out, the “freedom” to be conscripted at Congressional whim, the freedom to beg our masters for permission to work, for permission to dig our own ditch in our own front yard — I think the actual freedom the citizen of the States enjoyed, at least through 1789 (and possibly as late as 1913), would drive most of ’em bonkers. They prefer to take the comic-book version of “liberty.” Good luck with that. Be seeing you.

  17. Did the French decide in 1776 we needed liberating and proceed to bomb the colonies’ waterwheels and windmills, then land troops to “liberate” us — or did they decided we’d be handy to distract their foes, the British, and pitch in when we asked for help…?

    As for what I have done “to take the liberty we have today…” Sunny Jim, have you even seen the complete Code of Federal Regulations? That’s the “liberty we have today,” the freedom to be tracked by Homeland Security, warrantless home searches and celphone wiretaps, airport probulation, asset seizure on being accused of a crime — well, I’m voting just as hard as I can; I have a blog and I am preparing for the hard times ahead.

    You can only free people who are working to free themselves. The American people, bloated on the Pablum of their glossy PR “freedom” — the freedom to line up, get zoned and numbered and taxed, the freedom to be bled every payday for a Ponzi retirement scheme that has no way to opt out, the “freedom” to be conscripted at Congressional whim, the freedom to beg our masters for permission to work, for permission to dig our own ditch in our own front yard — I think the actual freedom the citizen of the States enjoyed, at least through 1789 (and possibly as late as 1913), would drive most of ’em bonkers. They prefer to take the comic-book version of “liberty.” Good luck with that. Be seeing you.

  18. Roberta, I’m well aware of the CFR’s and the lack of liberty we have. Such is why I’m finishing up law school. I intend to do the best I can to expand the sphere of liberty and that is near impossible with the law as it exists. However you’re behaving as if because you vote (I think we both can laugh at that tactic) and run a blog, you’re more deserving of this American life than those Iraqis that lived under the thumb of Saddam.

    You’re suffering from the delusions of our friends on both the left and right. You sound like the people I dealt with back in ’08 who, upon hearing me saying something negative about Obama would go off on a rant about how “McCain does that too!” or say, “I bet you just love Palin you flat earther!” when in actuality I have no love for them either. The last post I referred to us as having a tyrant government, yet apparently I’ve been sucked into the USA USA PR machine. In actuality I’m simply saying that we do still have some freedoms left in this country and it is beyond insulting to the honor of the men of Lexington, Valley Forge, ect for you to behave as if it’s liberty YOU have earned rather than inherited as a birthright.

    “You can only free people who are working to free themselves.”

    Agreed. Are you willing to tell those Iraqi soldiers and policemen I fought alongside that they weren’t working as hard for their freedom as you do for yours?

    There are more than a few of us former and current veterans that are exceptionally liberty minded and will be on the front lines of the fight when necessary and since you seem to like speaking in sound bites and snarky “google it” references I shall give you a little Kipling as to the attitudes of those vets:

    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

  19. SPQR: Yeahright. But North Korea is Just Great and the Saudi Arabians and their sock-pupper Whabist preachers are okay-fine. Oh, and in case you have forgotten, there was no Iraqi involvement in 9/11. If you’d’a wanted to go to the headwaters, you’d’a looked elsewhere. It was a nice weak spot for the cynical to use as flypaper; after all, what’s a few thousand GIs missing limbs to men who get off playing chess on an entire planet, but only when the odds are overwhelmingly in their favor?

    Roberta, I disagree with you but I’m not ridiculing your positions, nor am I creating strawmen against yours. I didn’t claim that Iraq was involved in 9/11. North Korea isn’t “Just Great” but a different problem because they effectively hold millions of civilians hostage across the border. We were also going to “the headwaters” already, the Afghanistan invasion predated Iraq by quite awhile and there were ongoing efforts in multiple nations. The flypaper strategy wasn’t cynicism at all, I would prefer drawing terrorists and guerrillas to a nation filled with trained soldiers than allow them to infiltrate into Western European and allied Middle Eastern nations filled with unarmed civilians. If you disagree with that strategy, I’d hope you had more substantive arguments than that one.

  20. Lookit, “The Inconvenience,” I’m not telling you, “I’m more deserving of this American life than those Iraqis that lived under the thumb of Saddam.” But I’ve got it, whereas they haven’t even got context for it and in the main, showed very little evidence of “crying out to be free.” They still aren’t; if they are lucky, they will end up with a less-bloody thugocracy with courts that stay bought.

    But — “Deserving?” What is this “deserve?” Somebody owes me or them something besides being left A-L-O-N-E? I don’t think so.

    I don’t think it’s the U.S. of A.s business to go “liberating” the world, especially uninvited. Geez-o-peet, that was what the USSR called it, too, and with no more reason.

    I do think picking a tactically-located blighted spot on map and dropping in with the full shock and awe of the military might of the planet’s sole superpower, and then crowing, “We have come to make you just as free as Ohio!!!!” is sententious and self-serving. If the FedGov cared that much about that region, they’d’ve never propped up the Shah of Iran for so long — or cheered on Saddam when he was keeping the later Iranian government busy for us. (And who could forget how the Taliban were buddy-buddy freedom fighters when the Soviets were in Afghanistan?) I’m not all that sure #RANDOM MUSLIM NATION is any more interested in becoming North Dakota with mosques any more than they wanted to be Moscow-with-mosques, or that the people who live there are all that starved for Western-style Constitutional government. And for a “liberator,” you’re sure-hell unwilling to let the poor slobs make up their own minds. “White man’s burden,” eh? Whyn’t we just leave the Wogs to civilize themselves?

    I don’t have any more beef with the actual soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines other than it’s a darned pity y’all didn’t stay home in the absence of an actual threat of the sort a large force of men at arms can actually deal with (WW II, for instance — by golly, we’ll need us a big ol’ Army of WW II happens again); but at least your motives were, on average, not cynical or depraved. The men in suits at the top, on the other hand, are merely less villianous than (most) of the bosses, warlords and jumped-up satraps they oppose.

    SPQR, you ask, “The flypaper strategy wasn’t cynicism at all, I would prefer drawing terrorists and guerrillas to a nation filled with trained soldiers than allow them to infiltrate into Western European and allied Middle Eastern nations filled with unarmed civilians. If you disagree with that strategy, I’d hope you had more substantive arguments than that one.”
    How about arming those civilians? –No, really, at the geopolitical level, armies stop such threats slightly less well than cops stop crime, and in the same way: show up afterwards and clean up what they can. It’s not working. It hasn’t been working. It’s time for the sheep to grow fangs.

  21. It was the Libertarian Party foreign policy that caused me to stop my monthly donations right after 9/11.

    9/11 s surely must have been the most effective photo-op of all time.

  22. Belittling, insults, hyperbole, sarcasm…absolutely the best way in the world to convince someone that they’re wrong about something.

    Just ask a Ron Paul supporter. They’ll be happy to ridicule you for not agreeing with them. Obviously, anyone who disagrees with Ron Paul is an idiot and unworthy of even the implication that their points are being taken seriously.

    Winning hearts and minds and all that.

  23. Roberta X, I’m all for arming all of the civilians in Western Europe that ain’t. Ought to be worth quite a giggle to see the EU bureaucrats faces. However, I don’t think the comment was a refutation of my point about the flypaper strategy. (A strategy that I think was pretty successful at sucking violent jihadists away from more vulnerable, and to my bigoted POV, more valuable targets).

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