Foreign Policy

Ron Paul vs. Hillary Clinton

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During a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) calls out Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the ugliness of American foreign policy commitments in the Middle East:

"we keep supporting Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, all these dictators, and yet we pretend that as soon as, well, it looks like the dictator might fall, we're all for democracy and we're for freedom and we're against these dictators," he said.

Clinton says, hey, it's a tough world, pal, and nobody's perfect:

"Congressman, you make a very passionate argument, and my response is that, you know, the United States, over the course of its entire diplomatic history, has had to make some very difficult decisions," she said.

"We try to balance what we believe to be in our interests.  Sometimes, and I would argue most times, we get it right.  Sometimes we don't."

Longer Clinton: "Sometimes, the bad results of our policies are either far enough in the past we can pretend they never happened, or far enough in the future we can pretend they'll never happen. But at least these policies requires the continued spending of shit-tons of money, much of which gets kicked back to U.S. munition interests, and provides me and my associates with our phoney-baloney jobs, so let's just be glad politics and good sense stop at the water's edge, and that the congressman from Texas's opinions are eccentric and easily ignored here in D.C."

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  1. My question for Clinton is:

    The U.S. chartered ferries to evacuate Americans from Libya last week, but this week Obama is sending U.S. forces to Libya in an attempt to stop the bloodshed. Why is American blood and treasure being spent not to save Americans, but to save Libyans?

    1. The U.S. chartered ferries to evacuate Americans from Libya last week, but this week Obama is sending U.S. forces to Libya in an attempt to stop the bloodshed.

      That’s not why the US sends forces.

    2. Why is American blood and treasure being spent not to save Americans, but to save Libyans?

      Don’t kid yourself that it’s to save Libyans. It’s to help stabilize world oil and financial markets. Five dollar a gallon gas will be here soon enough without a civil war in Libya helping it along.

      1. Seriously. $5 a gallon gas means Obama goes from electoral toast to electoral char.

        1. Its also what most of us deserve. One way or another we’ll get there.

          1. It’s when oil quits being traded in the dollar that will really make a mess of things.

          2. Lost_In_Translation|3.1.11 @ 6:35PM|#
            “Its also what most of us deserve.”

            Special on hair shirts, aisle 6. You can have the one I won’t buy.

            1. Oh you misunderstand. I’m just a misanthrope. I hate hippies too, but I just can’t get by without a little self-loathing and general grumpiness.

        2. So if Obama spills blood for oil, what is left for his true-believer supporters?

          1. obama shut-down 33 deep-water wells in the gulf after BP killed those 11 rig workers.

            1. Excellent!

  2. We wouldn’t have all these bothersome diplomatic thingies if it weren’t for the State.

    1. I know this is a parody. But even in this parody form it is still true. How ironic is that?

      1. What do you mean, “parody”? If we didn’t have a state, we wouldn’t need a Secretary of State. Pesky international difficulties solved.

        1. Ima have to agree with 1.0 on this one. I thought it was well played – no state, no State Department….who cares about Wikileaks now?

          1. Simple solutions call for simple philosophies. Let’s not over-think this, people.

            1. Stupid troll is stupid.

              1. Serious question: If Charlie Sheen runs for president, would you vote for him? I know I would. Though, to be honest, I think he’d be better suited as the vice president. He’d be the best VP ever. Ever.

                1. Doesn’t he already have a felony conviction? Isn’t that an automatic DQ?

                2. Mr. Magic Fingers would be a great Secretary of the Treasury

                3. But as VP isn’t his only job to stay alive?

              2. Aw, somebody is a delicate little flower.

                1. Charlie Sheen? I think that’s one thing you couldn’t call him.

                  1. No, not Charlie, silly goose.

            2. Let’s not over-think this, people.

              It’s anarchist nirvana!

              1. It could be that Cyto fell for a really bad troll, but I think deep down Cyto knew and just wanted to be trolled.

              2. It’s anarchist nirvana!

                Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream. It is not thinking. It is H&R.

            3. Gene Callahan?

        2. Re: Anarchist,

          What do you mean, “parody”? If we didn’t have a state, we wouldn’t need a Secretary of State. Pesky international difficulties solved.

          If “we” didn’t have a State, “we” wouldn’t need any anarchists, either. Or pesky international difficulties.

          1. I concur. We anarchists are performing a valuable public service. And what do we get for our pains? Hate. It’s not fair. [sob]

            1. *yawn*

              You need to pay the troll toll.

              1. If you want the boy’s hole.

  3. We try to balance what we believe to be in our interests.

    So what are our interests, Madam Secretary? Is what is good for Bechtel & Fluor, good for America?

  4. Hasn’t Oceania always been at war with Asia ?

    1. No, we’ve always been allied with Eastasia. Dumbass.

  5. Looks like the Urkobold is right: Hillary Clinton is positioning herself for a run at the GOP nomination. Note how she’s co-opting the Republican love of beating up on Ron Paul. Insidious!

  6. Longer Paul: “While these sorts of international relationships are perfectly acceptable under a Republican administration (and have always had my full support), they are a travesty under a Democratic one — especially one with a President of questionable nation of origin.

    P.S. Vote ME in 2010!”

    1. That doesn’t sound right. I seem to recall that Paul wants us to get the heck out of our military interventions–pretty much everywhere. Without that, why would we want to prop up oppressive regimes?

      1. Sorry, PL, I was just being snarky for the sake of it. I don’t actually recall RP saying anything substantial about foreign policy, to tell you the truth. That he would make such a statement now seems like pre-campaign trail rhetoric.

        Also, I’m really, really, pissed at him for his stance on DOMA. I had commented on Steve Chapman’s DOMA H&R post that, technically, RP is more or less reading from the same script at Huckabee.

        RP is playing kiss-ass with the Republicans — and especially the SoCons — in hopes of a more realistic shot at the 2012 nomination. I liked him better when he played kick-ass with them. And I supported him then.

        1. I don’t actually recall RP saying anything substantial about foreign policy, to tell you the truth.

          Then you didn’t watch a single debate, or read any news coverage about one. It’s what the other Republicans beat him up on. It’s why some lefties even joined his cause–he was one of the few truly anti-war candidates on either side. To not be aware of this only means that you actively avoided trying to hear about it.

          1. Yeah, seriously. Possibly Ron Paul’s most high profile moment of the 2008 campaign was his argument in a debate with Giuliani in which Paul outlined the inadvisability and negative consequences of our meddling in the Middle East and around the world.

            Be honest: you’ve never heard of Ron Paul before today, have you?

        2. BradK|3.1.11 @ 6:22PM|#
          “…I don’t actually recall RP saying anything substantial about foreign policy, to tell you the truth.”

          Then you probably shouldn’t try an attempt at satire:
          “I believe our founding fathers had it right when they argued for peace and commerce between nations, and against entangling political and military alliances. In other words, noninterventionism.”
          http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul375.html

    2. I guess you missed the 2008 Republican Presidential Nomination Debates.

      Try Google.

        1. Thanks. I am familiar with his anti-war position, and agreed with it.

          While in the 2008 debate above he called for more diplomatic relationships in lieu of military conflict, he neglected to elaborate on whether or not diplomatic relationships with despots was preferable to war.

          The statement today seems like he’s calling for an end to the support of these thugs (in and of itself, not a bad plan), but doesn’t seem to suggest an alternative. Economic and diplomatic isolation doesn’t have much of a record of success.

          Hillary on the other hand is just offering up the expected support of the status quo.

          1. Economic and diplomatic isolation doesn’t have much of a record of success.

            1. Define “success”.

            2. Has it even been tried?

            1. and of course Paul doesn’t support economic isolation…

              1. Paul doesn’t support ANY “isolation”. The twits who have managed to confuse the masses into thinking isolation and non-intervention have done their jobs well.

            2. It can’t be tried anymore. The world shrank. Non-interventionism is an obsolete idea for an world of old.

              1. No, I checked the world is still just short of 25,000 miles in circumference, it hasn’t changed in human history.

                1. Wrong.

                  It shrank because of AGW.

                  1. Wrong, Killface cured global warming when he used the Annhilatrix to force the Earth 3 degrees outside of its orbit.

                    1. Boosh.

                    2. That reminds me, I was supposed to get pickles

              2. Non-interventionism is an obsolete idea for an world of old.

                Just like democracy, capitalism, freedom from search and seizure, and gun rights. Right?

                Back in 1932, it looked like capitalism had been shown to be inferior. I mean, it makes intuitive sense that an economy would work better if someone is actually planning it rather than just haphazardly letting everything fall where it may.

                From a utilitarian perspective, the problems arise because planners can’t possibly know enough to reliably make the right decision, and certainly can’t react quickly to changing conditions far away. Then add the possibility of dishonest planners with ulterior motives and the whole system falls apart.

                Likewise with interventionism… and once the purported utilitarian benefits fail, there’s no reason to violate basic human morality by supporting the oppression, murder, and torture of innocent people just so we can feel safer.

          2. “””Economic and diplomatic isolation doesn’t have much of a record of success.”””

            Economic and military intervention does not have much of a record of success since it has cost the US thousands of lives and trillion of dollars. The economic intervention being billions wasted in various corrupt “foreign aid” scams. Military intervention has the US wasting money on defending other countries while they compete against the US industry and workers. As for diplomatic isolation, nobody is asking for the recall of diplomats, however stopping the State department from going around the world handing out US taxpayer money would be a good policy.

    3. I know that’s supposed to be parody, but at least two of his ten reasons could almost be considered prescient:

      #5 she would be the first female Republican nominee. This would allow her to carry much of the female vote, along with the votes of some of her other supporters among Democrats and Independents who vote straight identity politics ticket.

      #9 no one knows how to kill an attempt to socialize medicine like Hillary Clinton.

      1. It’s no joke that the Urkobold predicted that Palin would be McCain’s VP candidate. Cause or effect? No idea.

    4. Shit, Brad, are you telling us you prefer Secretary of State Squidward to Ron Paul?

  7. Don’t get me wrong, I like Ron Paul and all, but I’d have to put my money on Hillary in a fight.

    1. I don’t know about that. Dr Paul knows a lot about the female anatomy’s vulnerable spots.

      1. So does Hillary. I’m sure she’s got Bill’s balls in a vice.

        1. Dude, they’re gone if she’s still with him. Hell, he may have gotten clipped before then just to avoid her grasp.

          1. I think Bill is just the lesbian version of a Beard. But I could be wrong. She did spend a lot of time with Madeline Albright.

          2. She doesn’t seem to stop him from doing whatever he wants. Or, perhaps whoever he wants is more appropriate.

            1. Well Kang needs Kodos to lure young interns into the lair to steal their soul.

              A bit much?

      2. And Hilary has a snuke!

  8. On sorry, it’s me, Mr Whipple???.

  9. How in the ‘verse did the GOP leadership allow Ron Paul on a foreign policy committee? Not that I’m unhappy about it, but they must have been seriously asleep at the switch.

    I mean, the monetary policy subcommittee I could see, since it’s not exactly a primo assignment, but everybody with presidential ambitions wants to be on the foreign policy committees.

    1. Seniority?

      To keep him off ways and means?

      I can think of a number of reasons. After all, Obama is president so someone who criticizes the administrations foreign policy is good to have around (even it is exactly what the GOP presidents did before).

  10. Heh, Ms Clinton may have said too much:

    “I believe that it was in America’s interest and in Israel’s interest to support Egypt following the Camp David Accords. Thirty years of peace between Egypt and Israel — albeit, you know, not a warm and fuzzy peace, but nevertheless a peace — was an essential element of Israel’s ability to develop and continue to strengthen itself in a very tough neighborhood.

    Wait, so US foreign policy really is at the service of Israeli interests? Thanks for the confirmation Hildog.

    1. NOW do y’all believe me?

  11. Here is a foreign policy idea: Never support dictators.

    I know, its crazy. But its so crazy it just might work.

    1. It’s not a very good idea if the supporting of a dictator is necessary to defend the rights of US citizens. I can’t think of any dictators in this position though so moot point.

      1. It is never necessary to support a dictator to defend US citizens’ rights (well, short of a Superman II “Kneel before Zod” scenario). In the scenarios in which interventionists like yourself claim it is necessary, there are several dubious leaps of logic between the dictator’s fall and the violation of US citizens’ rights.

        Arguing that we must support the total oppression of foreign persons in order to protect our own right to life is really no different than arguing that we must ban handguns to prevent innocent people from being fatally shot.

        1. Arguing that we must support the total oppression of foreign persons in order to protect our own right to life is really no different than arguing that we must ban handguns to prevent innocent people from being fatally shot.

          ::claps::

          Nice neo-con takedown, Tulpa.

          1. Indeed. The world is a simple place. Don’t do business with mean people. Don’t drive a car that runs on gas refined from oil exported by dictators…uh-oh, this is getting complicated already…

            Never mind.

        2. Awesome!

  12. Fun fact: Secretary Clinton’s State Department is over three times larger than the one President Clinton had (after adjusting for inflation).

    1. Define inflation 😉

      1. If you don’t stop posting under a false name I’m going to squeeze every roll of toilet paper in Pittsburgh.

        1. It’s only the Charmin he cares about.

          1. What’s toilet paper?

          2. I don’t give a shit about Charmin, just get me some fucking Coors, damn it!

      2. From historical table 4.1:

        2000: $6.687 billion ($8,551 billion in 2011 dollars)

        2011: $28.890 billion

        1. I wonder how much of this is being spent on those fortified embassy compounds that our diplomats hide out in.

        2. 2000: $6.687 billion ($8,551 billion in 2011 dollars)

          Not to be a dick, but, CPI is a true measure of the loss of purchasing power of the dollar? Don’t tell that to Tyler Durden at zerohedge.

  13. “We try to balance what we believe to be in our interests. Sometimes, and I would argue most times, we get it right. Sometimes we don’t.”

    “It’s all a crapshot, anyway, just like any utilitarian decision!”

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  15. Ron missed the chance to say “I didn’t say anything about Israel……”

    It might have resulted in an awkward silence as Clinton squirmed to come up with a reason that she’s so concerned for Israel’s interests over ours

  16. Suppose some countries are aiding and abetting terrorists who are working to attack the U.S. Another country, unfortunately run by a dictator, is actually helping the U.S. to fight these terrorists. Do we then abandon the dictator?

    1. “Abandon”?

      As if we are their parent, and they are a helpless baby who sucks at our teet? Talk about “mother country”

      You have it backwards, anyway. We don’t help dictators because they fight terrorists. Terrorists attack us because we help dictators

      1. Yes, because Islamists are against dictatorship and pro-democracy. Well, at least pro-winning one election and then becoming the new dictator forever.

        Give me a break. Bin Laden didn’t attack us because we “support dictators”.

        1. Yes, he did.

        2. No – bin Laden and his ilk are not fans of freedom or democracy. But they know that most muslims want those things, so they cynically use our support for dictators to get recruits.

          And he would like nothing better than to see the current regimes fall. Just like most of the H&R commenters – we endorse the fall of the tyrants, without necessarily endorsing what replaces them.

          The 9/11 hijackers did not come from “free countries.”

    2. JD: “Fucking libertarianism, how does it work?”

  17. Cynical much, Brian?

  18. Regarding Tulpa and RyanXXX’s comment:

    1.
    Tulpa|3.1.11 @ 6:36PM|#

    Heh, Ms Clinton may have said too much:

    “I believe that it was in America’s interest and in Israel’s interest to support Egypt following the Camp David Accords. Thirty years of peace between Egypt and Israel — albeit, you know, not a warm and fuzzy peace, but nevertheless a peace — was an essential element of Israel’s ability to develop and continue to strengthen itself in a very tough neighborhood.

    Wait, so US foreign policy really is at the service of Israeli interests? Thanks for the confirmation Hildog.

    2.
    RyanXXX|3.1.11 @ 9:57PM|#

    Ron missed the chance to say “I didn’t say anything about Israel……”
    ———

    Hey Tulpa and RyanXXX, how about getting your facts correct first before talking nonsense?? Ron Paul brought up Israel FIRST in the question he asked Secretary Clinton. I know Reason and Brian Doherty failed to include the video here (hmm, I wonder why?) but think for yourself and do your own research before spewing lunacy.

    Ah libertarians, politics’ fringe group for the last 100 years. You guys are the ones who don’t believe in math also, right?? Please don’t ever change!! HAHAHA

    1. You have to enjoy the small victories, don’t you hillary?

  19. Beginning at approximately the 3:30 mark in the video found here: http://libertymaven.com/2011/0…..on/11389/,
    Congressman Paul makes some interesting points regarding the wellbeing of Israel vis-a-vis the uncertainty of Egypt’s future ruler(s).

    I thought that Secretary Clinton’s response to Representative Paul’s query was somewhat typical of those who support our “interventionist” foreign policy (i.e., we get it right more often than not; no apology for any unintended consequences that lost us the goodwill of foreigners, our own credibility, billions of taxpayer dollars, and/or the cost in human lives).

    I would have liked Rep. Paul to have asked Secretary Clinton how Israel, which she is confident prefers predictability, is viewing the unpredictability unfolding on their south-west border.

    Regards,

    Charles

    1. Petraeus apologizes after international forces kill 9 Afghan civilians
      http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WO…..an.deaths/

      1. Thanks Mr. Givens, I had not yet seen the article for which you provided a link.

        From the article: “On February 20 [2011], Kunar provincial Governor Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi said 64 civilians had died in a joint operation by ISAF [the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force] and Afghan security forces over several days. The dead included 20 women and 15 children, he said.

        Karzai said the children were collecting firewood when they were killed.”

        What do you think the odds are that many supporters of the “War on Terror” will blame the Afghanis for “bringing their children to a firefight”?

        Regards,

        Charles

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