BREAKING: Ron Paul Has Unorthodox Views, Supporters

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Patrick Rodriguez sends along this excerpt from a 1988 issue of High Times, featuring an interview and lengthy backgrounder on then-Libertarian Party presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Paul describes the Iran-Contra affair as "a tragic, but natural outcome of an interventionist foreign policy that seeks to control every country it can gets it hands on." He does not dispute that a secret government exists, and it active in the drug trade. "I don't doubt that the CIA has been involved in drug dealing. The people in power are so arrogant they will subvert law and order, the Constitution, anything to get their way. Underground government is very, very dangerous. A free society cannot exist long, while a secret government is eating away at its foundation."

Yes. And at the same time, no.

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  1. [the sound that Wile E. Coyote makes when he falls off a cliff]

  2. It has a kind of poetry to it.

  3. “Paul describes the Iran-Contra affair as “a tragic, but natural outcome of an interventionist foreign policy that seeks to control every country it can gets it hands on.”

    No mention of oh I don’t know the Cold War and the Communists. In Paul world, our foreign policy during the 1980s was just to control every contry we could get our hands on. Typical left wing moral equivilence bullshit. Paul is just a tinfoil hat wingnut. It is too bad the libertarians can’t come up with someone better than him.

  4. Yessir John! Pink as they come!

  5. Seriously, I think John has found the true core of Dr. Paul. Well done sir!

  6. I votes for libertarians every chance I gets!

  7. I’m trying to write a haiku about this topic…anyone know if “tin foil” is considered two syllables or three? Thanks in advance.

  8. No mention of oh I don’t know the Cold War and the Communists.

    You know, it might be that, oh, I don’t know, some of us think that the US policies during the Cold War were complete bollocks.

    Of course, clearly, we can just be written off as wingnuts.

  9. This just in: John is found hier. We have been assured he is the on the

    (3)

  10. It’s too bad that libertarians can’t find anyone who supports an interventionist foreign policy and an overbearing security state, because failing to forcibly stop a person or a country from engaging in behavior you don’t agree with is per se moral equivalence and left wing pinko treason. Perhaps libertarians could find someone like, oh I don’t know, a Republican. Is that where you’re going, John?

  11. It is sort of true that Ron Paul is criticizing certain policies while at the same time benefitting from them.

    This doesn’t mean he’s wrong, necessarily, but it does show that the policies we enacted worked out pretty well for us.

    BTW, twenty years later, where is Paul’s secret government that was going to rule over us with an iron fist?

  12. Funny, HoI, I didn’t read anything about Paul claiming that there was a timetable or something. Maybe you saw something I didn’t.

    I think it’s funny that “conservatives” attack Paul for embracing what was once considered “conservative” foreign policy, that of judicious intervention only when in the national self-interest. Conservatism didn’t used to be about nation-building and wars of choice.

    But hey, that’s just me…

  13. Our policies in the Cold War were horrible, as opposed to the alternative, letting Western Europe and Asia go communist. So instead of having countries like Germany and Japan and the tremendous trade value we get from them, those countries could have gone communist. Yeah, that would have been great.

    This kind of bullshit thinking is the same line that says that the U.S. was wrong to fight the two World Wars and so fourth. Fortunately, few people who don’t belong to a militia and live on a compound in Idaho believe it. The libertarians are serious people and have serious ideas about things like social policy, the drug war and of course economics. But, as long as you buy into this horse shit no one will ever take Libertarians seriously. The U.S. was never an isolationist country. It is a myth. The facts dictate that the U.S. never will be. Moreover, the world is a hell of a lot better place for the U.S. having been there.

  14. Tinfoil on your head won’t keep out the tiny, killer robots from space, for that it goes on the windows!

  15. John, our philosophy during the Cold War was the domino theory. South Vietnam’s fall to the Communists prove that that theory was all wet. South Vietnam’s fall did not lead to other counties falling.

  16. “the world is a hell of a lot better place for the U.S. having been there.”

    Because the US was “over there” in World War I, the Germans were defeated which resulted in a punitive treaty at Versailes which led to resentment and World War II. We should have stayed out and let the Allies and Central powers fight to a stalemate. Maybe World War II could have been avoided.

    Our involvement in World War II led to the takeover of China by the Communists and the takeover of Eastern Europe by the Soviets and the subsequent Cold War. We should have let the Germans and Soviets fight it out and weaken each other. Maybe we wouldn’t have been bothered by either, then.

    Our involvement seems to always create vacuums. Is the Middle East better off now because of our involvement? How many more have to die because of our involvement? What kind of an economic future do we have because of our continual involvement in wars that don’t concern us? Is it our responsibilty to be the policeman of the world? Our founding fathers talked against going overseas in seach of monsters and involving ourselves in entangling alliances. For the most part, we avoided imperialistic policies until the Mexican war.

  17. Even if Dr. Paul is wrong about American policy during the Cold War, the cold war is over now. Why are we still pursuing an interventionist foreign policy?

  18. Even if Dr. Paul is wrong about American policy during the Cold War, the cold war is over now. Why are we still pursuing an interventionist foreign policy?

    Well, because…

    Moreover, the world is a hell of a lot better place for the U.S. having been there.

    Don’t you get it? It’s like the Midas touch.

  19. Even if Dr. Paul is wrong about American policy during the Cold War, the cold war is over now. Why are we still pursuing an interventionist foreign policy?

    Tuh stop 9/11. Get a brain, moran!

  20. I wonder if Ron Paul’s car runs on gasoline?

  21. South Vietnam’s fall did not lead to other counties falling.

    Laos and Cambodia – down the memory hole.

  22. Our policies in the Cold War were horrible, as opposed to the alternative, letting Western Europe and Asia go communist. So instead of having countries like Germany and Japan and the tremendous trade value we get from them, those countries could have gone communist. Yeah, that would have been great.

    How much trading have we done lately with that bastion of free enterprise and liberty…namely the People’s Republic of China? Hell, I’ll vote for Ron Paul, if he gets the nomination. It’ll be the first time in my life that I’ve ever voted anything but Libertarian, but other than him I see no one for whom to vote.

  23. RC Dean, what would you say to the argument that the bombing by the United States during Viet Nam led to the rise of Pol Pot? He used a “bombing threat” as his initial excuse for his rise to power and to empty the cities.

    Also, we supported him when Viet Nam invaded to overthrow his regime.

  24. John, I think you object to Ron Paul’s choice of words, not his point. Is it even disputed that our cold war strategy was to project American power all over the globe? If we weren’t trying to control every country we could get our hands on, what was all that defense spending, CIA secretly running around, and tear-down-that-wall stuff? I think the right wing position is “damn right, we tried to control every country out there, did a pretty damn good job too….” No?

  25. So instead of having countries like Germany and Japan and the tremendous trade value we get from them,

    So we fought the Cold War in the name of free trade?

    I bet that argument goes down real well in middle America.

  26. “Yes. And at the same time, no.”

    What the fuck are you talking about? Speaking English and using complete sentences does nothing whatsoever to communicate whatever it is you’re trying to convey.

  27. “Laos and Cambodia – down the memory hole.”

    But did the fall of South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia hurt us?

    It seems like our forcing democracy on counties is no better than the Communists’ forcing Communism on everybody.

  28. We know your car is powered by your own sense of self-satisfaction.

    But most of us aren’t as self-righteous as you are.

  29. John, excellent false dichotomy!

    now let me try: John is either being willfully obtuse or mindlessly repeating right-wing media talking points.

  30. biologist:

    ooh ooh ooh! I know this! ooh! call on me!!!
    [gets called on]
    I’ll take outer planets for $500

  31. He should read some bloody history while he’s at it.

    To say WW1 was anything but completely moronic on everybody’s part, but especially Wilson’s, is beyond comprehension.

    I don’t even think America is better off for having the United States involved in it. How could I say different for the rest of the world?

  32. Answer: This planet has a ninety-eight degree axial tilt.

  33. What is the earth after catastrophic shifting of its magnetic polarity when the seas rise 20 meters due to global ice caps melting from flesh-eating male-induced, military-industrial complex-fueled, irreversible climate change?

    (women and minorities and cute, cuddly endangered creatures hardest hit)

  34. We know your car is powered by your own sense of self-satisfaction.

    But most of us aren’t as self-righteous as you are.

    No, you guys are just smarter than everybody else.

  35. What is Urectum?

  36. BTW, twenty years later, where is Paul’s secret government that was going to rule over us with an iron fist?

    They can be found at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

  37. What is your anus?

  38. Hooked on Innuendo is officially my new favorite troll.

    Sorry Dan T.!

  39. when laser antlers are outlawed, only outlaws will have laser antlers.

    mmhm.

  40. What is your anus?

    Depends on where your head’s at, I guess. 🙂

  41. Paul is correct — we have always had those in government working under the radar. There is nothing ‘unorthodox’ about this view and who better to know it than someone steeped in the government at one of the highest levels?

  42. Sorry, VM, that is incorrect. The category was Outer Planets.

    Rhywun, the judges ruled that your response was close enough. You control the board.

  43. (women and minorities and cute, cuddly endangered creatures hardest hit)

    Cockroaches and selfrighteous busybodies, however, will survive, thrive even.

  44. If you think Ron Paul is “out there,” have you looked at the other 534 wackos he shares a building with?

  45. So Ron Paul has a distrust of government, one that has survived his being part of the government for some years. So what? He’s a little more paranoid than I am, but he beats the heck out of the other bozos in Congress and campaigning for president. I daresay that a president with some isolationist leanings (a total rollback is impossible, in any case, I’m sure) might be preferable to the guy we’ve got now.

  46. Perhaps this makes me a radical pinko, but Ron’s words in that article make me like him more, not less. I think we DO have a shadow government. At a minimum, we certainly have secret or semi-secret parts of government which are not accountable to the people. Is the CIA accountable to the people? The NSA? Secret military programs whose existence may not even be confirmed? I think it harms the concept of a government under the control of the people to allow such entities to exist. And to the degree that those entities interfere and manipulate the rest of the world, contributing to the general sense of disgust more and more peoples are having with the USA, I think that will harm us in the long run.

  47. Our policies in the Cold War were horrible, as opposed to the alternative, letting Western Europe and Asia go communist.

    Who says those are the only two choices John? How about this one: the U.S. minds its own business, and without a foreign bogeyman to rally its citizens against, the Soviet government collapses under the weight of its own economic illiteracy a lot sooner than it eventually did.

  48. If you go to Ron Paul’s website and read his positions you will soon learn that he sounds much more like a conservative Republican than the libertarian he once was. That’s okay by me, he’s still the Great White Hope, but let’s stop pretending.

    Nobody is more paranoid than TWC, but I think when Paul talks about the Secret Government he may mean that there is a whole lot of stuff that goes on behind closed doors and that if you want really good drugs you have to get in with the DEA. I doubt he means that a secret cabal of International Bankers controls our economy and rocks your world.

  49. Brian: I tend to be isolationist, but as someone who actually saw the Mad Dog beat his shoe on the desk while screaming We will bury you!, it is not quite so easy to say that had we minded our own business all would have just been dandy. I’m more of the opinion that Patton was right.

    OTOH, what was the point of ridding the world of the Nazi’s when the net result was turning half of the world over the the Commies. Maybe we shoulda sat that one out.

  50. But did the fall of South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia hurt us?

    That’s a little different than denying that the domino theory didn’t actually prove out.

    It seems like our forcing democracy on counties is no better than the Communists’ forcing Communism on everybody.

    Except for the part where the democracies we sponsor don’t kill millions of citizens, and the Communists do.

    what would you say to the argument that the bombing by the United States during Viet Nam led to the rise of Pol Pot?

    The Vietnamese had already expanded the war to the neighboring countries and were sponsoring Communist insurgencies there. Our bombing was reactive to this, not vice versa.

  51. Cockroaches and selfrighteous busybodies

    But you repeat yourself.

  52. OTOH, what was the point of ridding the world of the Nazi’s when the net result was turning half of the world over the the Commies.

    What of the Japanese?

    And, really, how would America fare, in the long run, with Europe and Asia split between Nazis, Communists, and the Japanese (who would also have taken Australia if we had pulled back to our borders). Aside from the incalculable human toll, I think it was in our long-term self-interest to intervene in the war.

  53. I’m sure the conservatives will agree with Paul on foreign policy when President Hillary Clinton is the one ordering preemptive strikes.

  54. And, really, how would America fare, in the long run, with Europe and Asia split between Nazis, Communists, and the Japanese (who would also have taken Australia if we had pulled back to our borders). Aside from the incalculable human toll, I think it was in our long-term self-interest to intervene in the war.

    RC, do you believe Japan would have been able to successfully invade and hold Australia? People do not like being occupied by foreign armies (see your favorite little project in Iraq, for example). The thought that Australia would have been successfully occupied by Japan is fairly ridiculous. But hey, the hypothetical works for your war-is-the-answer philosophy, so why not throw in a completely made up scenario as evidence. I am sure you believe that Iraq would have invaded and occupied most of Europe (if not the US) by now if not for the US invasion?

  55. I’m sure the conservatives will agree with Paul on foreign policy when President Hillary Clinton is the one ordering preemptive strikes.

    Just so long as we’re better shots under her administration than we were under her husband’s. Remember the Chinese embassy – or whatever it was that we hit by mistake when Cigar Bill was running things? Come to think of it…Bill wasn’t too good a shot himself, was he? 😉

  56. No mention of oh I don’t know the Cold War and the Communists.

    No mention because it is irrelevant.

    In Paul world, our foreign policy during the 1980s was just to control every contry we could get our hands on.

    In the REAL world, that was the sole reason. The USSR was already on the brink of bankruptcy. Also, the Constitution does not give the Executive power to pursuit foreign policy. Only Congress has that authority. Ron Paul is perfectly correct in his assessment.


  57. The Vietnamese had already expanded the war to the neighboring countries and were sponsoring Communist insurgencies there. Our bombing was reactive to this, not vice versa.

    Actually, the bombing of North Vietnam was part of a policy to force the Vietnamese government to negotiate a peace. That is the sole reason. The Vietnamese actually broke the agreement in 1975 after Nixon’s resignation, invading Cambodia in 1979, yet they were not bombed by the US.

  58. I think we DO have a shadow government.

    You’re correct, Duckman. That shadow government is called the Executive Branch.

  59. BTW, twenty years later, where is Paul’s secret government that was going to rule over us with an iron fist?

    You’re serious? Dept of Homeland Security (sounds more like a kind of NKVD), secret wire tappings, no-fly lists, National ID cards (“Papieren, schnel!”), kangaroo courts and torture chambers (Guantanamo, anyone?) . . . what else do you need to be convinced?

  60. There’s no secret cabal of international bankers ruling the world. They’re quite open about it.

  61. “What of the Japanese?”

    The Japanese believed Asia should be ruled by Asians, not Europeans. In a sense, we were fighting to help the Europeans maintain their Asian colonies. Have the Chinese been better off by being ruled by Communists?

    “And, really, how would America fare, in the long run, with Europe and Asia split between Nazis, Communists, and the Japanese (who would also have taken Australia if we had pulled back to our borders). Aside from the incalculable human toll, I think it was in our long-term self-interest to intervene in the war.”

    RC, how do you know it would have turned out that way? Like I said earlier, if we had allowed Germany and the Soviets to fight it out, they would both be weaker and less of a menace to all countries.

    Empires come and go. They usually become so weak by trying to overextend themselves and end up collapsing. The thing could have eventually happened to Japan.

  62. “when Cigar Bill was running things? Come to think of it…Bill wasn’t too good a shot himself, was he? ;-)”

    Monica, are speaking from experience? Are you Monica Lewinski?

  63. Monica, are speaking from experience? Are you Monica Lewinski?

    Silly boy.

  64. A man is just a man, but a good cigar is a smoke!

  65. Or a fuck.

  66. Except for the part where the democracies we sponsor don’t kill millions of citizens, and the Communists do.

    Bwahahahah. Since when do we support only “democracies”?
    Pinochet — US supported overthrow of a democracy by a brutal dictator.
    Iran-Contra — Supporting an attempted Nicaraguan military coup by selling weapons to a militant Islamic republic.
    Iraq-Iran War — Supporting a brutal dictator against the same regime we sold arms to in the previous example.
    Pol Pot — As someone previously mentioned, the US actively supported Pol Pot, a man who headed the massacre of 1.2 million of his own people PRIOR to our support.
    Suharto – US agencies supplied the names of 300,000 suspected communists to the Suharto government. These suspects were later “purged”.

    There are many other instances where the US has supported dictators and other revolutionaries over existing governments in it’s own interest only to see it bite them in the ass later. To conflate the US hand in forming the “good democracies” with all US foreign actions is poor form.

  67. “There are many other instances where the US has supported dictators and other revolutionaries over existing governments in it’s own interest only to see it bite them in the ass later. To conflate the US hand in forming the “good democracies” with all US foreign actions is poor form.”

    Kwix, don’t forget Iran. The CIA overthrew the democratically elected premier of Iran, Mossadagh, in 1953 and replaced him with a brutal dictator, the Shah. Our support of the Shah led to the Iranian revolution that led to the present theocracy in Iran.

  68. Kwix, be sure not to forget the massive support we gave Stalin in WWII. Without the US, he would have almost certainly fallen. Just don’t tell RC that he killed millions. He thinks we only support good guys.

  69. I wonder if Ron Paul’s car runs on gasoline?

    Gotta say, Hooked on Innuendo, your name really does fit!

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