Ron Paul

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Radley Balko explains to Fox News readers why Ron Paul was right.

NEXT: Paul Had a Point

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  1. And to attempt to silence anyone who says otherwise by attempting to define them as the lunatic fring

    S/B ‘fringe.’ Good article so far. Pardon my picking of nits.

  2. The “blowback” theory isn’t some fringe idea common only to crazy Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists.

    I hope not. I thought the idea of the Bush doctrine was to repudiate coddling dictators in the ME, which led to 9/11. At least, that’s what Condi says.

  3. Whether you agree with Paul or not, you have to admit that Guiliani’s retort was nothing more than dishonest political pandering. Thank goodness it is a)not working for him and b)vaulting Paul and his ideas into the spotlight, even if it is as “that fringe candidate”.

    Just so we are clear here, I don’t know Ron Paul, I’m not sure if I’d like him if we met in person, I don’t care for all of his politics but he is, by far, the most pro-liberty candidate running this season.

  4. And don’t forget how bent out of shape conservatives were when France did not support our invasion of Iraq. Remember Freedom Fries? Now they look very wise indeed, but I don’t hear anyone apologizing to the French.

  5. Yes, what Giuliani said was a crock. Unfortunately, people like Paul are never willing to discuss the implications of inevitably being in an alliance with the House of Saud, due to oil demand. When Ron Paul advocates a three dollar a gallon gas tax, and explains how he intends to manage the relationship with the House of Saud for the next few decades as technology evolves, lemme know. Until then, there isn’t much more reason to listen to him than there is reason to listen to the likes of Giuliani. Blah, blah, blah.

  6. But we also shouldn’t just attack any Arab or Muslim country, which is what we seem to have done with Iraq.

    They were the country shooting at our airplanes for 10 years and every intelligence service suspected that they were trying to improve their WMD capability (that they used AFTER our kicking them out of Kuwait).

    Saying “just attack any Arab or Muslim country” makes it sound like they were picked by a random number generator. And “which is what we seem to have done with Iraq” really makes it sound like that is what you believe.

    Saddam Hussein’s government was brutal, ruthless and tyrannical. No doubt. But so are a number of countries with which we’re allies, most notably Saudi Arabia .

    I kinda missed where they sprayed gas over entire villages, or invaded their neighbors, or anything remotly like what Iraq did. Want an example? Take Egypt when they used nerve gas in Yemen in the 1970s. Oh yea, they were a Soviet ally then.

    Hussein’s government wasn’t a threat to us.

    Tell that to the US, British and french fighter pilots.

    It wasn’t militant Islamist. It was secular.

    So what? Does that give them a pass for pulling the same crap as the militant Islamists, but with better equipment and training? I think not.

    There were no WMDs.

    You guys sound disappointed that they were not there in the end. Perhaps you would feel better if we lost 50,000 troops and no telling how many civilians. BTW, their Generals sure seemed to think they had them, even during the battles.

    And Saddam Hussein had no connection whatsoever to Sept. 11.

    Thanks for reminding us of that part, as if the current administration had not reminded us enough about it. The only time Saddam-9/11 connections come up is when some writer wants to call people stupid and dredge up a 6 year old poll.

  7. Saddam Hussein’s government was brutal, ruthless and tyrannical. No doubt. But so are a number of countries with which we’re allies, most notably Saudi Arabia .

    Im curious about this statement, exaclty what has the house of Saud done (not that they are not ruthless and tyrannical) that was even remotely comparable to what Saddam wrought on his own people?

  8. Just because he supports some sensible domestic reforms shouldn’t blind us to the fact that Paul’s foreign policy is completely nutty and couldn’t be more disastrous for the US or the world.

    Any sensible person (which I guess now excludes Balko) should condemn him.

  9. Im curious about this statement, exaclty what has the house of Saud done (not that they are not ruthless and tyrannical) that was even remotely comparable to what Saddam wrought on his own people?

    Perhaps when some of the Ron Paul regulars get here they will have something on that, like SA failing to drive the Jewish portion of Israel into the sea or something.

    No, I do not believe that Mr. Paul himself believes that, I was talking about the folks who complain about our little bit of support we give Israel. You know, the ones who never heard of Israel being attacked when the ‘palestinians’ rejected partitioning.

  10. @Radley Balko

    Radley Balko explains to Fox News readers why Ron Paul was right.

    Ha! Now that’s a thankless task, but it was a good article.

    @Guy Montag

    They were the country shooting at our airplanes for 10 years

    The only planes that were getting shot at were the ones in Iraqi airspace. There’s a simple enough solution to that. Can you guess what it is?

    I kinda missed where they sprayed gas over entire villages, or invaded their neighbors, or anything remotly like what Iraq did.

    Ok, he was a brutal dictator. Given. But how was that a threat to our interests? Our constitution authorizes our government to “provide for the common defense”. I missed the part where it requires us to be the international Mrs. Kravits. And after everything is said and done, our body count for dead Iraqis isn’t trivial, either.

    So what? Does that give them a pass for pulling the same crap as the militant Islamists, but with better equipment and training? I think not.

    Pulling the same crap? Did Iraq fly some planes into American buildings while I wasn’t looking?

  11. One can debate the wisdom of this current war, but can we cut the nonsense that Hussein had not engaged in hostile acts towards American citizens, and not just in Iraqi airspace? One of the 1993 WTC bombers was given safe harbor in Iraq, for instance.

  12. Guy reads like a nation building liberal who’s afflicted with a tumor on a nut that amps his testosterone levels.

    Sure, Saddam gassed his own citizenry. But why fanged-liberal obsidian tower intellectuals think that that in some way justifies our clusterfuck of a unilateral invasion/belligerent occupation is a mystery to me.

  13. “One of the 1993 WTC bombers was given safe harbor in Iraq, for instance.”

    This is an act of war? Do you think the US has ever given safe harbor to men wanted in other countries? If this is the best “evidence” to support the Iraq-as-hostile-to-the-US claim, well, I think it rather proves the opposite point.

  14. The only planes that were getting shot at were the ones in Iraqi airspace. There’s a simple enough solution to that. Can you guess what it is?

    Yes, he could have abided by the terms of surrender that he agreed to.

    No, Saddam not us on that surrender bit.

  15. They were the country shooting at our airplanes for 10 years

    Um, maybe because our airplanes were flying over their airspace? Maybe for good reason, but if the UN imposed a no-fly zone on the US, for whatever reason, would you advocate submitting without a fight? Had we not been involved in the Middle East in the first place, they wouldn’t have come over here and set up SAM bases to shoot at our planes. That’s absolutely one of the most disingenuous arguments I’ve ever heard.

    every intelligence service suspected that they were trying to improve their WMD capability (that they used AFTER our kicking them out of Kuwait).

    Even granted that they were, were they succeeding?

    And the WMD justification is pretty thin. Israel has WMDs; should we invade them? What about Pakistan? India? If you wanna play Realpolitik, that’s fine, but at least be open about it. Plenty of other countries have WMD programs, and we don’t invade them. The only thing that was different about Iraq was that it looked like an easy target going in. And if we’d just removed Saddam from power and taken away Iraq’s WMD capacity, that would have been one thing. But no, we had to stay behind to try to reshape Iraq in the image we want.

    Tell that to the US, British and french fighter pilots.

    Again, you mean the ones flying over Iraqi airspace? I think you’re just making a strong case that we shouldn’t have been involved in the first place. Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The fighter pilots were not attacked without provocation. Again, if the situation were the same, but it was the US having foreign fighter jets flying over it constantly and enforcing a no-fly zone, would you support just giving in? And if we were then invaded by UN forces because we were shooting at their jets, would you consider that to be acceptable? If someone said that those fighter jets were “inviting” attack, would you disagree?

  16. Apparently terms of surrender only apply to the US, England and perhaps Israel. Just like the Laws of War.

  17. That’s absolutely one of the most disingenuous arguments I’ve ever heard.

    grylliade, Guy. Guy, grylliade.

  18. Radley: deep-seeded should be deep-seated.

    grylliade, Guy. Guy, grylliade.

    Oh, we’ve met; I just didn’t think that he’d stoop that low. 🙂

    Apparently terms of surrender only apply to the US, England and perhaps Israel. Just like the Laws of War.

    Hey, if the argument had been made at the time that the Iraq war was to make sure that Saddam abode by the terms of surrender, I would have thought that it was a bad use of our resources, but at least it would have made sense. Instead, we came up with this wacky nation-building idea (of the sort of which that conservatives have always been distrustful), and all the Republicans fell in line behind it like good little drones. These aren’t reasons to go to war; they’re rationalizations. If you want to prove that you’ve got a huge knob, find some way that doesn’t involve the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and Iraqis. Maybe buy an SUV. Oh wait . . .

  19. Yes, bb, when the United States has given safe harbor to individuals who have engaged in the slaughter of another nation’s innocent civlians, the U.S. has taken hostile, violent, action against that nation. Engaging in hostile violent action quite frequently leads to open warfare. Whether the decision to engage in warfare is wise is another issue, but there is no doubt that harboring individuals who engage in the slaughter of another nation’s citizens is a hostile act towards that nation.

    What do you think it is, bb, a friendly diplomatic gesture?

  20. “They were the country shooting at our airplanes for 10 years” which they wouldn’t have been if we had not been there. “and every intelligence service suspected that they were trying to improve their WMD capability” So how does that concern us?

  21. One day the LP and it’s fringe supporters will wake up and realize that head-in-the-sand, circa-1807 foreign policy is woefully inadequate for the modern era.

    Perhaps then you may be taken seriously for offices higher than dogcatcher.

    Ron Paul needs to adjust his tin-foil hat and wake up. The guy couldn’t even reason with a college kid wearing his dad’s suit, debating whether or not the government was behind 9/11, yet we want him dealing with the Iranians?

  22. “Saying “just attack any Arab or Muslim country” makes it sound like they were picked by a random number generator. And “which is what we seem to have done with Iraq” really makes it sound like that is what you believe.”

    It was the neocons plan to attack Iraq for a long time, 9/11 gave them the excuse. They knew they would be more likely to get the public’s support by tying it to international terrorism.

  23. “One day the LP and it’s fringe supporters will wake up and realize that head-in-the-sand, circa-1807 foreign policy is woefully inadequate for the modern era.”

    Tell us why a non-interventionist foreign policy wouldn’t work today? Why wouldn’t a policy of free trade and good will toward all others wouldn’t work today?

    Why do we have to be the policeman of the world? Why do we have to be involved in entangling alliances? What is so different about the world today that these things are necessary in today’s world?

  24. Uh, because there are a whole “passel” of varmints out there who are just itchin’ to kill us, Snake?

    You have to ignore the nature of Islamofacism to believe that just walking away will make them stop. Common sense tells us something different, and that’s why clowns like Ron Paul are deservedly laughed at and scorned.

  25. “I kinda missed where they sprayed gas over entire villages, or invaded their neighbors, or anything remotly like what Iraq did. Want an example? Take Egypt when they used nerve gas in Yemen in the 1970s. Oh yea, they were a Soviet ally then.”

    We looked the other way when the Turks killed Kurds because Turkey is our ally, but we condemn Iraq for doing the same thing because they have been selected to be our enemy. It was ok for Iraq to kill Kurds when they were our ally. We attacked Iraq when when they tried to take over Kuwait, but looked the other way when China took over Tibet.

  26. Yes, bb, when the United States has given safe harbor to individuals who have engaged in the slaughter of another nation’s innocent civlians, the U.S. has taken hostile, violent, action against that nation.

    Luis Posada Carriles

  27. “Uh, because there are a whole “passel” of varmints out there who are just itchin’ to kill us, Snake?”

    And why are they against us? It’s because of our meddling foreign policy. Do you think they would really come after us because they’re jealous of us? Does your common sense tell you that, Scribe? That’s an idea that I scorn and laugh at.

  28. “Hussein’s government wasn’t a threat to us.”

    “Tell that to the US, British and french fighter pilots.”

    Once again, they wouldn’t have been shooting at us if we weren’t there.

  29. “I’m curious about this statement, exaclty what has the house of Saud done (not that they are not ruthless and tyrannical) that was even remotely comparable to what Saddam wrought on his own people?”

    What about the Shah? He was oppressive but we didn’t overthrow him, in fact, we brought him to power. We also once supported Hussein even though he was a tyrant, so was overthrowing Hussein because he was a tyrant justifiable? If so, why didn’t we overthrow him earlier?

  30. “Just because he supports some sensible domestic reforms shouldn’t blind us to the fact that Paul’s foreign policy is completely nutty and couldn’t be more disastrous for the US or the world.”

    As if our present foreign policy isn’t disasterous to the US and the world.

  31. You have to ignore the nature of Islamofacism to believe that just walking away will make them stop.

    Well said. That’s why the Islamo-fascists are so determined to wipe Switzerland off the face of the earth.

  32. Once again, Rattlesnake, the notion that the world’s foremost economic and military power is going to disengage from the region of the world which contains a very large percentage of the world’s economically most important natural resource is so historically ignorant that it is embarrassing to have to mention it. If one wishes to criticize this war, fine, but don’t do so from some fairyland proposition that the U.S. is going to disengage from the Persian Gulf in anything but the very long term.

  33. “You know, the ones who never heard of Israel being attacked when the ‘palestinians’ rejected partitioning.”

    If you can call that miniscule amount of land partitioning.

  34. dpotts, Bin Laden has specfically mentioned that he considers the defeat at Vienna’s gates, and the end of Islamic rule in Andulusia, hundreds of years ago, to be affronts warranting a violent response.

  35. Y’all are fogettin’ the most important part……he tried to kill my dad!

    …..showed that SOB

  36. “Once again, Rattlesnake, the notion that the world’s foremost economic and military power is going to disengage from the region of the world which contains a very large percentage of the world’s economically most important natural resource is so historically ignorant that it is embarrassing to have to mention it. If one wishes to criticize this war, fine, but don’t do so from some fairyland proposition that the U.S. is going to disengage from the Persian Gulf in anything but the very long term.”

    It’s also embarrassing to me to have to remind you that it’s not our oil nor are we bringing order to that region of the world. We are creating more disorder and more disruption of the flow of oil.

  37. If you can judge a country by its enemies then we have nothing to be ashamed of. In fact we should be embarrassed if people like OBL didn’t want to kill us.

  38. “dpotts, Bin Laden has specfically mentioned that he considers the defeat at Vienna’s gates, and the end of Islamic rule in Andulusia, hundreds of years ago, to be affronts warranting a violent response.”

    True, bin Laden may have ambitions to make this a one world Muslim nation, but he would have a hard time getting recruits for his nutty ideas if it weren’t for our meddling foreign policy. We are his #1 recruiters.

  39. One day the LP and it’s fringe supporters will wake up and realize that head-in-the-sand, circa-1807 foreign policy is woefully inadequate for the modern era.

    Intervening in foreign nations just to prove that the president has a big willy is a better foreign policy? Or maybe you subscribe to the “that foreign country was looking at me funny, maybe he’s a queer, let’s whup him” school of foreign policy that most Republican apologists seem to belong to.

    Power politics is a disease; we’re better than that. European royalty engaged in it because they wanted to puff up their own importance. Now presidents want to do the same thing, and are making our soldiers pay with their blood for it. Empire is the death of republican ideals, as surely today as in Rome. The only way to remain a free people is to refuse to play the games that Europe did, and mind our own business.

  40. Point taken, Will… but I’m not exactly convinced that he would have had those planes flown into the Karlskirche if we hadn’t been meddling in Middle Eastern affairs for 60 years and allying ourselves with the house of Saud.

  41. “One can debate the wisdom of this current war, but can we cut the nonsense that Hussein had not engaged in hostile acts towards American citizens, and not just in Iraqi airspace? One of the 1993 WTC bombers was given safe harbor in Iraq, for instance.”

    The oppressive Shah of Iran was given safe harbor in the US also, so does that mean Iran should be allowed to bomb the US?

  42. Rattlesnake, I’m going to introduce you to this thing called reality. In reality, calculations change with frequency. For instance, in reality, after a global war in which the U.S. allied with a monstrous, murderous, expansionist tyrant with access to a significant industrial and technological base, to defeat another tyrant of the same sort, the U.S. must then craft a startegy to counter the surviving tyrant it once allied with.

    If said surviving tyrant has designs on controlling a warm weather port, which is lacking in his own country, such a port in an oil rich nation bordering his own would be mighty tempting. If there was some reason to think a popular political movement in that bordering nation may have ties to said tyrant, the U.S. may abandon concerns about acting against that popular movement, and help with the installation of a friendly despot, because sometimes immediate potential short-term hazards have to be dealt with, even when significant unintended negative consequences loom. The long term disaster only matters if the the short term disaster is survived, and foresight is so far from 20-20 in this Vale of Tears that it would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. That’s how the world works.

    Sheesh.

  43. “Hussein’s government wasn’t a threat to us.”

    “Tell that to the US, British and french fighter pilots.”

    Once again, they wouldn’t have been shooting at us if we weren’t there.

    “This animal is very wicked; when it is attacked, it defends itself.”

  44. Compared to what, Rattlesnake? Compared to the disruption that would be entailed if Bin Laden were to tactically succeed in regard to the House of Saud? Yes, in the long term, if Bin Laden were to control the Saudi fields, he would sell the oil on the world market. Guess what? When it comes to Saudi oil being sold on the world market, and the American electorate, and American candidates, the long term doesn’t matter unless the oil is on the market in the short term as well.

    The U.S. is in an alliance with the House of Saud and will be in an alliance with the House of Saud for many years to come, despite all the costs of having such an alliance, because the American voter/consumer demands it. Until guys like Paul are willing to explicitly detail what would be involved in the short term if the House of Saud fell to Bin Laden, he is worth listening to about as much as George W. Bush.

  45. Good gravy, rattlesnake, would you please abandon childish notions of what a nation “should” be able to do in the amoral international arena, where there is damned little in the way of agreed upon values? No, that doesn’t mean the U.S. should abandon it’s values, but when the someone observes that Iraq had taken hostile acts towards the U.S., and you respond as you did, that’s simply naive. Hostile acts quite frequently lead to war, and “should” has nothing to do with it.

  46. Will,

    Your comments about Bin Laden and his threat make great sense. (Not surprising, if you’re the same “Will Allen” from Football Outsiders)

    That said, what does that have to do with the decision to invade Iraq? Invading Afghanistan needed to be done. What really needed to be done after that was broadening that war to the NW Territories of Pakistan with Pakistani help, until every guy on our Al Qaeda death list was found. That’s where everyone says they still are, right?

    I just don’t see how invading Iraq, a secular regime, helped us in our goal of eliminating Al Qaeda and getting some justice for 9/11.

    This is not to say that I wasn’t hugely pleased at the thought of Saddam dying terribly, just that I don’t think it was a good idea to spend over $400 billion and over 3300 American lives to do so.

  47. Hooray for Ron Paul!
    Hooray for Balko!

    Heroes walking the earth.

  48. Arguing on the internet is like winning a Special Olympics race.
    At the end of the day you’re still a retard.

  49. Well, I was not making a specific defense of the Iraq invasion, or how this Administration pursued it, which is an entirely different debate. I was merely attacking a common trope among the anti-war contigent, that there is some lovely never-never land where the United States is going to disengage from the Persian Gulf, in anything but the very long term. It is silly beyond belief.

  50. …if Bin Laden were to control the Saudi fields…

    PLEASE Will Allen, al-Qeada can cause a lot of mischief but to entertain the notion that they can invade powerful nations, establish a government, operate a multi-national industrial infrastructure and control the world’s resources is a paranoid delusion, not least because only a very tiny fraction of Muslims would go along with that. On the other hand, plenty of Muslims do have a problem with US imperialism, bombing and invasions of Muslim countries. That intervention does fuel Islamism, Ron Paul’s main point.

  51. Will, we overthrew a democratically elected leader in Iran in 1953 because England gave us misinformation that Massadegh was a communist. England duped us because Massadegh nationalized the oil industry because of the unfavorable deal Iran got from the British concerning the oil. He was replaced with an oppressive dictator that was loyal to the British and America. Massadegh wasn’t pro-communist. There is no reason to expect that we couldn’t have worked with him to keep the Soviets from gaining that warm water port. This is just one more failed American policy that created hatred for America and led to the anti-American Islamic takeover of Iran.

  52. European royalty engaged in it because they wanted to puff up their own importance. Now presidents want to do the same thing, and are making our soldiers pay with their blood for it. Empire is the death of republican ideals, as surely today as in Rome. The only way to remain a free people is to refuse to play the games that Europe did, and mind our own business.

    And yet despite the disease and importance puffing a great lot of ‘good’ things came from empire building. Wouldnt you agree? America? Hong Kong? etc…..

    So again like Will Allen sugested you are welcome to debate the wisdom of the current war, but to debate that the US should engage in an isolationist foreign policy like Paul suggests is unrealistic, because you are not accounting for all the negatives that would arrise from puruing such a policy.

  53. This is just one more failed American policy that created hatred for America and led to the anti-American Islamic takeover of Iran.

    This is not a failed policy, this is a failed singluar event in the scope of that policy. Just like saying US intervention in South Korea, does not prove how great the US policy is. I think overall the US policy has been a net positive (atleast for US and Western interests)

  54. Guy, Will,

    You’re simply wrong.
    Our Iraq policy has been a failure.

    It doesn’t matter why. It doesn’t matter if
    all us liberal surrender monkies control the
    press and gave aid and comfort to the enemy.
    YOU planned this war. YOU failed. YOUR world
    view is demonstrably wrong … because …
    you failed to deliver in building the nation
    of Iraq. YOU were unable to achieve your
    stated goal, therefore YOUR policy went
    horribly, horribly wrong.

    “Why” doesn’t matter. YOUR policy failed.
    You shouldn’t be giving sermons about living
    in the real world.

  55. Freeranger, you apparently are unaware that a that a tiny sliver of the Iranian population was eventually able to gather enough support within Iran to overthrow the despot the U.S. supported there. One of Bin Laden’s chief tactics to accomplish his goal in regards to the House of Saud is to temporarily disrupt extraction from Saudi oil fields. The U.S. consumer/voter will not tolerate this, at least given his or her current expectations. Thus the U.S. is forced into an alliance with the House of Saud. Candidates who do not explicitly try to change expectations, in regards to the uninterrupted flow of oil from Saudi fields, are tacitly supporting the continuance of that alliance, no matter what they say explicitly, and you can count Paul in that camp.

    Rattlesnake, I’m sure the British were exaggerating the strength of the Stalinists in Iran. That’s why I specifically stated that foresight is always, always, flawed. If your expectation, however, is that in the early 50s the U.S. could simply discount the Stalinists in Iran, and embrace Mossadegh without any reservations, well, we are right back where we started. Short term interests often conflict with long term interests, and it is not always the case that short term interests can be ignored, and foresight is always flawed.

  56. Fox News has readers?

    (Cheap shot. Unworthy.)

  57. Roversaurus, nothing you have written has anything to do with what I have written.

  58. “the long term doesn’t matter unless the oil is on the market in the short term as well.”

    We certainly aren’t doing a good job insuring that the oil is on the market in the short term.

  59. We certainly aren’t doing a good job insuring that the oil is on the market in the short term.

    I know, hey? I hate all these closed down gas stations and gas shortages. And next year I think I will have to completely switch over to riding the bike 50 miles to work.

  60. “(Cheap shot. Unworthy.)”

    steveo, the formulation is:

    “the people who watch fox news can read?”

    then insert a sound effect to mimic disbelief.

    like *gasp*

  61. Fox News readers…

    Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  62. Yes, yes, rattlesnake, I know you find it notable that the world is imperfect. However, if you have a plan which minimizes the chances of any disruption of extraction and transport from Saudi oil fields, and does not entail supporting The House of Saud, while opposing Bin Laden, let us know.

  63. “I think overall the US policy has been a net positive (atleast for US and Western interests)”

    In what way has it been a net positive?

  64. Emil Johnson is right about Ron Paul being right!

    REVEREND!

  65. Crap, someone already snagged that joke. I guess I should have read through the 7 million or so posts before contributing…

  66. Oh, blow it out your ass, Howard.

  67. “I hate all these closed down gas stations and gas shortages”

    But look at the rising prices. This can cause a recession. How can people make their house payments? No wonder the housing market is falling.

  68. “if you have a plan which minimizes the chances of any disruption of extraction and transport from Saudi oil fields, and does not entail supporting The House of Saud, while opposing Bin Laden, let us know.”

    I never said we shouldn’t go after bin Laden.

  69. However, if you have a plan which minimizes the chances of any disruption of extraction and transport from Saudi oil fields, and does not entail supporting The House of Saud, while opposing Bin Laden, let us know.

    This “we must use force to maintain a stable global economy” theory is complete bollocks. It’s both immoral and unworkable.

  70. Now let us pray for our beloved little blog. … I shall now read from the books of Matthew, Iraq, Iran … and DUCK.

  71. War in Iraq?? WHAT WAR??? Congress has been too afraid of the political consequences to actually declare war for over 50 years, and as a direct result our military has been misused and we haven’t “won” a “war” in over 50 years.

    JOINT RESOLUTION Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States and making provisions to prosecute the same.

    Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:

    Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared;
    and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan;
    and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.

    Approved, December 8, 1941, 4:10 p.m. E.S.T.

  72. MP, morality is not what I’m discussing, and long term, you are right about it’s workability. Guess what? When it comes to electoral politics, the long term doesn’t matter. Presidential popularity specifically, and incumbent popularity generally, is tightly tied to gas prices. Any disruption of Saudi oil fields, even short term, will cause the spikes people comment about today seem very minor, and it is very, very hard to envision any scenario in which the House of Saud falls, but there is not even a temporary disruption in Saudi extraction. U.S. incumbents thus become invested in supporting the House of Saud.

    Rattlesnake, it is very, very, hard to attack Bin Laden while not being in an alliance with the House of Saud, which, in turn, is one of the major motivations for Bin Laden’s behavior. It is a vicious circle, and not rendered less vicious by not not recognizing it.

  73. Presidential popularity specifically, and incumbent popularity generally, is tightly tied to gas prices.

    BS. I doubt that there’s more than a small minority of people who would answer yes to the question of “Do you support military actions to keep the price of oil down?”

    People get rip-roaring mad about the price of gas because they are economically illiterate and think that the suppliers make unjust profits.

  74. What exactly is isolationist about maintaining our diplomatic and economic ties with other nations? That’s being pretty involved in world affairs, if you ask me. Or is advocating not bombing the hell out of people and telling them how they should conduct their affairs now called Isolationism?

    But as for being globo-cop, yeah, I’ve got a problem with it. First, it puts us in a state of perpetual war, and if history has shown us nothing, it shows us that war is generally the time when the worst excesses of government come into play, and liberty is threatened.

    Second, I don’t recall it being in the constitution that the government is here to take on the “white man’s burden” and spread democracy and western values to the brown man or protect cheap oil (which our current Middle East policy has failed to accomplish thus far and has helped exacerbate the problem by creating instability in the market and a supply disruption from the Iraqi oil fields.) Let the Middle East people establish their own governments and if oil goes up at all, maybe it’ll finally spur someone into mass-producing alternative energy forms.

    Third, it’s helping to bankrupt an already ailing Republic by adding trillions of dollars of debt to our accounts every year and there are very few people saying that our spendthrift ways will have only positive effects on our country in the future.

    Keep our troops at home, turn control over the National Guard back to the states, and keep our own borders and coastlines secure against attack. Buy and sell with other nations, talk and maintain diplomatic contacts, but don’t police the world.

    That used to be a pretty tame statement in conservative circles.

  75. Great article Mr. Radley. I sent it to all my hardcore Republican friends yeaterday when I saw it and they agreed with you. Sure, they only agreed because they read it on Fox News’ website, but it was a good start.

  76. MP, tens of millions of voters don’t cast votes based up cost/benefit calculations, even economically illiterate calculations. It is largely an emotional decision for many, based upon vague feelings of being on the “right track” or “wrong track”, and few things ensure a vague feeling of being on the wrong track that spikes in gas prices. Incumbents who wish to stay in office behave accordingly.

  77. C Fisher, those are fine sentiments, but you aren’t trying to become President. Neither is Ron Paul, really.

  78. Everything I’ve read about Ron Paul’s campaign indicates sincerity. I don’t think he can win and I suspect he doesn’t either. But then, he was surprised at the outcome of his first successful congressional election.

    Our political process benefits from the likes of a Ron Paul candidacy. He is free to address issues that others avoid.

    And btw, the kids really like him…

    Me too.

  79. Yes, yes, I realize the typical weasel response of the politician is to lie, say everything is peachy with us, and the sun will never set on the American Empire. But I think you underestimate the number of people who are beginning to realize, thanks to the screwups and excesses of our current ‘leaders’, that there is something very and fundamentally wrong with our Republic.

    Of course, given some of the comments I see from die hard interventionists and statists, who would have little objection to turning the Middle East into a sea of glass and slaughtering millions of civilians to teach dem Muslims a lesson; or getting us bogged down in another useless ‘humanitarian’ war in Africa, perhaps I am being overly optimistic.

    If so, big deal. At least the man has the guts to stand by the truth when all of our other would be dictators in chief are spouting the same ‘they hate us ’cause our women wear bikinis and dem liberals in Hollywood and der bad movies.’ Maybe he’ll start something that eventually will break through the fog that unreasoning, authority revering fog that seems to cloud the collective consciousness of America.

  80. To clarify, I was calling our would be political masters weasels, not you. 🙂

  81. Don’t worry C Fisher, I took it the way you meant it, but I still have to disagree somewhat. If Paul were really honest in his convictions, he’d have to say something along the lines of “Look, it really is in our best interest to withdraw from involvement in the Persian Gulf. Eventually, anyone who controls the oil fields, the Saudi fields in particular, will sell the oil on the world market. In the short term, however, our withdrawal of support for the House of Saud could be a catalyst aiding it’s collapse, and that would likely result in disruptions that would be extremely painful for consumers around the world, including the U.S..

    Strangely enough, Paul has never made such a statement. I wouldn’t drop an e-mail to Diogenes just yet, to tell him the search is over.

  82. Maybe for good reason, but if the UN imposed a no-fly zone on the US,

    The no-fly was imposed by the US on Iraq, not by the UN. Yeah, how dare the iraqis run away when the US drops bombs or send missiles all over baghdad?

  83. “You know, the ones who never heard of Israel being attacked when the ‘palestinians’ rejected partitioning.”

    The israelies also rejected the partiotion plan. But I don’t think you care about historical facts.

  84. Look, it really is in our best interest to withdraw from involvement in the Persian Gulf. Eventually, anyone who controls the oil fields, the Saudi fields in particular, will sell the oil on the world market. In the short term, however, our withdrawal of support for the House of Saud could be a catalyst aiding it’s collapse, and that would likely result in disruptions that would be extremely painful for consumers around the world, including the U.S.

    Why the heck would he make that statement if he didn’t think that US Foreign Policy, vis a vis troop deployments, should have any relationship to economic policy?

  85. Fisher,

    You’re policy is a great idea in general, and I hope we can follow it most of the time. However, nonintervention doesn’t guarantee peace. Bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa lists these grevences:
    “It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims blood became the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Their blood was spilled in Palestine and Iraq. The horrifying pictures of the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon are still fresh in our memory. Massacres in Tajakestan, Burma, Cashmere, Assam, Philippine, Fatani, Ogadin, Somalia, Erithria, Chechnia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina took place, massacres that send shivers in the body and shake the conscience. All of this and the world watch and hear, and not only didn’t respond to these atrocities, but also with a clear conspiracy between the USA and its’ allies and under the cover of the iniquitous United Nations, the dispossessed people were even prevented from obtaining arms to defend themselves.”

    Should we have let Sadam keep Kuwait? Should we have stayed out of Somolia? Should we have watched Bosnia and done nothing, not even restrict arms imports? If the US kept every troop at home and Israel wasn’t there, that list would still be long. Maybe we would be attacked for allying with India while Cashmere is in dispute. Maybe Bin Laden would be angry that we set up the UN where Russia (the guys in Tajakestan and Chechnia) has a permanet security council seat.

    As a policy, we shouldn’t interfer most of the time. We still have to be ready to fight the occasional unprovoked attack. After all, nonintervention didn’t prevent religious extremists in Europe from attacking the Western Hemisphere 500 years ago. History is full of nations that didn’t start wars and didn’t want wars but ended up in them anyway.

  86. By the way, while we’re on the topic of nonintervention, it’s time to declare peace with drug producers in Columbia and Afghanastan. Arresting gambling website hosts from other countries is also a bad idea. The silence on US backed attacks against drug producers is discouraging, especially considering how large the anit-Iraq rallies are. Why do peace movements form so readily once the other side shoots back? Given the disparity in peacenik intrest, shooting back at the US is good PR. Maybe if the US rethinks its policies before being shot at, others will be more willing to negotiate over the long run.

  87. If one is to remain neutral, there is no excuse for fighting someone else’s war.

    Look, even if the diehard guys on the Right are right and Bin Laden is really just hacked off because we’re responsible for Girls Gone Wild, by staying out of the morass of the Middle East, we’d be undercutting his recruiting base, easing tensions on Pakistan’s government (which does have nuclear weapons), and freeing up resources necessary to hunting his ass down and bringing him into justice for his murderous attacks on civilians. (And we’d be saving money to boot.)

    I don’t advocate not hunting Bin Laden down or fighting a war against his followers. I think we should do our best to find and bring them all to justice, but I also think that the US Military is not the instrument we should be using. We need to focus more on intelligence and smaller special Ops units, not massive air and ground campaigns.

  88. As a policy, we shouldn’t interfer most of the time. We still have to be ready to fight the occasional unprovoked attack.

    Who claimed that non-interventionism had anything to do with adequate defensive capabilities? No one is silly enough to claim that non-interventionism eliminates threats, only that it reduces the justifications for offensive actions.

  89. I agree with treating terrorism like organized crime. Unless a government is using terrorist as a special ops unit of their own, war is like fighting an infection with a hammer.

  90. MP,

    Then we’re on the same page there. I was just differentiating my position from peacnicks who say we will never have war if we just never attack. It’s easier to give a detailed position once than to risk debating because someone misinterprets my position.

  91. Just off the top of my head, terroist organizations work globally. Should the fight against it be in the juristiction of

    1) the UN, but only after its reformed enough to be reliable

    2) the UN in its current state

    3) Interpol

    4) Some other international organization

    ?

  92. jtuf,

    You forgot, it is clearly under the jurisdiction of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. What would Captain Nemo do to those fundamentalist Mohammedians? Harpoon to the chest!

  93. Randolph,

    🙂

    Tom Sawyer really should have taken care of them in the 19th century, when he held the reigns. He passed the torch to X-Factor. Now the the group is privatized, let’s hope Madrox can fix this mess.

  94. peacnicks who say we will never have war if we just never attack

    Those people are clearly retarded.

    Now I’m off to my high tower to berate more people whose opinions are not worthy of my presence.

  95. MP, if you think the support that we lend the House of Saud which enrages the Bin Ladenites is strictly limited to troop deployments, you are mistaken.

    Once again, cfisher, there is no “staying out” of an area with which your population very much demands access to, in regard to that area’s mineral resources. It is a fantasy. In order to secure the demanded access, one must lend at least tacit support to whatever political entity controls the area. In this case that means lending tacit support to the House of Saud, and that means fanning the flames of the conflict with the Bin Ladenites.

  96. peacnicks

    Hey hey, Bous-Bous! Eet eez a peacnick basquet!

    I em smartaire zan ze averaj bear, no?

    Hey hey hey oui!

  97. MP, if you think the support that we lend the House of Saud which enrages the Bin Ladenites is strictly limited to troop deployments, you are mistaken.

    If Im not mistaken, the US no longer has an active deployment in Saudi Arabia. Also I dont think there has really been an occasion when the US army actively supported/interfered in Saudi affairs. It has been commercial and political support. Or are political support and commerce not allowed either under the noninterventionis doctorine because it offends certain individuals?

  98. Any sensible person (which I guess now excludes Balko) should condemn [Paul].

    The “No true Scottsman…” fallacy.

    Ron Paul’s foreign policy is not any different from the Founding Fathers’. Why should he be condemned?

  99. I don’t know about “condemned”, but if we were to substitute “discounted”, perhaps because it isn’t 1776, and the optimal foreign policy for a very small, economically weak, nation in 1776 is unlikely to be the optimal foreign policy for a continental nation with the world’s largest economy, which lies between the Atlantic and Pacific, in 2007? Just a possibility.

    I mean, George Washington owned slaves, but that really doesn’t recommend the practice today, does it?

  100. I realize I’m late to the party, but I just wanted to respond to the comments concerning the US giving safe haven to people who terrorized civilians in other countries.

    Plane hijackings really got rolling in the early 1960’s, when anti-Castro Cubans hijacked domestic flights from Cuba to Florida. Not only were the hijackers welcomed as heroes in the US, but the planes themselves were confiscated to compensate American corporations whose assets were confiscated by Castro. However much one dislikes the Castro regime, one has to admit that hijacking a plane does amount to terrorizing civilians. (To its credit, the US later repudiated this policy.)

    Also, the US has a long history of turning a blind eye to the fund-raising and arms-buying activities of Irish terrorists, most notably the IRA but going back to the Fenians in the 1800s.

  101. Will,

    I agree that times have changed since 1776. The most significant change is in transportation, communication, and long range weapons. With intercontinental weapons, airplanes, and computer virus, we can’t relly on oceans to protect the US anymore. That means being more involved in the world. Still, that involvement should be mostly diplomatic. We won’t be the only superpower for ever, and a foriegn policy based on over whelming might sets a bad precident for the next superpower. That’s why I agree with Ron about using the military less, but I disagree with him about withdrawing from international organizations.

  102. jtuf, the United States has been the most restrained dominant military power in human history, especially considering that it is the MOST dominant military power in history. Now, that does not necessarily mean that it should not endeavor to be more restrained still, but some historical perspective is useful. The fact is that if the U.S. Navy did not exist, India, China, Britain, Japan, among others, would have to create it, and much more violence would likely be the result. On the whole, U.S. military power has done more to ensure conditions favorable to trade than any bureaucracy in human history, which is not to say that it has never overstepped it’s boundaries.

  103. “but I disagree with him about withdrawing from international organizations.”

    The problem with international organizations is that they are a trap for involvement in wars. Also, we may go to their rescue, but would they come to ours?

  104. Preemptive apologies if someone’s already said any of what I’m about to say in the first 103 posts.

    But to just make some very general observations about “blowback”, I think that on one hand it’s ridiculous and destructive to dismiss the notion out of hand.

    But on the other, it somewhat merely begs the question of whether the activities that may have theoretically motivated the “blowback” revenge were ethical or correct things to do in their own right. If so, the policies implications may be dubious, since we wouldn’t want to be blackmailed against doing what’s right. If not, though, the policy implications are still dubious because we shouldn’t have done those things (and shouldn’t do the like in the future) anyway!

    I think this is why the “blowback” theory often sounds and feels like “we deserved it”, because one might assume we only need to re-examine the foreign policy behavior that ostensibly brought 9/11 on if it was indeed “bad” behavior, which indeed might imply that “we deserved it”.

    All that said, there are indeed gray areas involving issues such as perception and communication, and there can very well be lessons to be learned from past behavior that don’t imply the farflung condemnation of our entire culture some would exploit such lessons for. Plus even if we did do ill advised things that have energized terrorists, it wouldn’t mean that their means of “revenge” is any less (and of course this is an understatement) ill advised. But these are subtle points and difficult to navigate in general, especially in the sound-bite world of modern politics.

  105. I know why he’s marginalized.

    Because war is a great way to loot the national treasury, and that’s what politics in America has degenerated into: a contest between different cliques of political allies over who will get to loot the treasury next.

  106. Good article, but I take exception to the author’s contention that Afghanistan had to be attacked because of bin Laden. If you will recall, they were quite willing to hand Bin Laden over to the U.S. before the invasion of Afghanistan, but only upon being shown proof that Bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Rather than provide the proof, the U.S. instead opted to invade.

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