Saturday, June 23, 2007

1. Support Ron Paul

(Originally distributed via e-mail on May 18, 2007)

"Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because
it comprises and develops the germ of every other."
– James Madison in 1795

I have heard all the arguments on why we must immediately invade and occupy Iraq
have observed that there are only a few hardy souls left in the Congress who
are trying to stop this needless, senseless, and dangerous war."
– Dr. Ron Paul in the House of Representatives, September 18 2002


In Tuesday night's Republican debate, Congressman Ron Paul was predictably alone in making the point that Washington's interventionist foreign policy has long induced widespread antipathy for the US abroad. He urged Americans to make an honest effort to understand the causal link between
provocative US policies and the anger that prompts some terrorists to commit such horrific acts as the 9/11 attacks. By ignoring these connections and persisting with such policies, the US government needlessly imperils the American people in the future.

In a remarkable display of either willful ignorance or blatant demagoguery, Rudy Giuliani responded indignantly to Ron Paul's factual observation that US policies motivated the 9/11 hijackers, and he demanded that Dr. Paul retract his statements. To his everlasting credit, Dr. Paul did not.

Mr. Giuliani and other self-appointed thought police would do well to bear the following points in mind:
  1. To state that Islamic terrorists are motivated by both ideology and US interventionism is not a faulty or illogical position. On the contrary, there's abundant evidence for both as motivating factors, and the influence of these factors varies between individual terrorists. Al Qaeda is no exception, and their pre-9/11 statements plainly outlined their grievances with American foreign policy. Since 9/11, countless books, documentaries, and analyses (including the government's own 9/11 Commission Report) have detailed this history. While some media outlets have shamelessly portrayed Ron Paul's comments as somehow scandalous, the real scandal is that the other candidates uniformly ignore the role of US policies.

  2. There is no contradiction between an honest attempt to understand the motivating factors for terrorism and a condemnation of terrorist tactics. But in the lexicon of Giuliani and his fellow travelers, the former constitutes "blaming America" for 9/11. As Tom Woods recently wrote, "I guess detectives should bear that in mind the next time they seek the motive behind a murder. 'You’re looking for motive? Are you saying the dead man had it coming?'"
For the record, Dr. Paul has always supported focused efforts to pursue Al Qaeda operatives and bring them to justice, and he's one of the few members of Congress who have opposed US alliances with Islamic fundamentalists throughout his career.

The American people should know what the US government does abroad in our name, and Ron Paul is the only candidate who gives us the unvarnished truth. With respect to the motives of the 9/11 hijackers, Dr. Paul cited the US bombings of Iraq prior to 2001 in Tuesday's debate. However, Dr. Paul could also have mentioned other practices that he has steadfastly opposed throughout his career, including:
  • The Bush-Clinton embargo of Iraq that resulted in the deaths of over one million Iraqis, including more than 300,000 children.

  • US financial and military support of oppressive regimes in the Middle East -- a roster of recipients that includes Saudi Arabia, Musharraf's Pakistan, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

  • The prolonged US military presence on the Arabian peninsula, which is viewed by Muslims as an unjust occupation of holy land.
In recent years, Ron Paul opposed the invasion of Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, and the government's assault on habeus corpus, while persistently pointing out the inherent dangers and false rationales of each. While this record alone sets him apart from the field, Dr. Paul is further distinguished by his long-standing call for a return to America's traditional foreign policy of non-interventionism and independence. Ron Paul is the only major party candidate who has consistently challenged the prevailing bi-partisan foreign policy of global interventionism that not only fosters widespread resentment of the US, but also impoverishes future generations of Americans while habitually involving US troops in perilous situations that have nothing to do with national defense.

As other presidential candidates mouth expected platitudes and compete for the title of "Best Monday Morning Quarterback" in Iraq, Ron Paul focuses on the ill-conceived policies that make such debacles possible in the first place -- for example:

  • Congress' 60-year abnegation of its vital constitutional responsibility to vote on a declaration of war prior to military operations.

  • The pervasive influence of special interests on American foreign policy -- interests that place primacy on their own financial and ideological agendas, rather than the defense and security of the American people.

  • Chronic US meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, including such covert operations as the 1953 CIA-sponsored coup to install the Shah of Iran, US support of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, and the present-day proxy war in Somalia.

  • The presence of US military personnel in over 140 countries (including the construction of 14 permanent bases in Iraq, a development that Dr. Paul raised in the debate)

As exemplified by Giuliani's high-handed behavior, establishment politicians and their media enablers adhere to a self-imposed speech code that forbids open discussion of our disastrous foreign policy. But so long as that policy persists, it's only a matter of time before the next Vietnam or Iraq.

Ron Paul is a decent and honorable man who has always spoken truth to power. He deserves our support.

For more information, go to and

In Peace, Liberty, and Good Will,

Scott ...

PS - Since the mainstream media ignores Ron Paul or treats his candidacy with a dismissive sniff, the Internet remains the primary resource for people who wish to learn more about his record. In coming months, I will e-mail Ron Paul news and views to this distribution list. If you're not interested, feel free to exercise your Constitutional right to hit your Delete button, or let me know and I'll gladly remove you from the list. :-)