Presidential Candidates

Ron Paul Challenges Mindless Militarism

The Texas Republican's foreign policy perspective is desperately needed in the 2012 campaign.

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Reporters routinely describe Ron Paul's foreign policy views as "isolationist" because he opposes the promiscuous use of military force. This is like calling him a recluse because he tries to avoid fistfights.

The implicit assumption that violence is the only way to interact with the world reflects the oddly circumscribed nature of foreign policy debates in mainstream American politics. It shows why Paul's perspective is desperately needed in the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

As the Texas congressman has patiently explained many times, he supports international trade, travel, migration, diplomacy, and cultural exchange. Furthermore, he supports military action when it is necessary for national defense—in response to the 9/11 attacks, for example.

The inaccurate "isolationist" label marks Paul as a fringe character whose views can be safely ignored. Given the dire consequences of reckless interventionism, that clearly is not the case.

This week the U.S. officially ended its war in Iraq, nearly nine years after launching it based on the false claim that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to us because he had weapons of mass destruction. The war, which replaced a brutal dictator with a corrupt, wobbly elected government that may not be able to defend Iraq's borders or maintain peace in a country riven by sectarian violence, cost the U.S. $800 billion and nearly 4,500 American lives. More than 100,000 civilians were killed during the invasion and its aftermath.

The regime installed by the U.S. in Afghanistan to replace Al Qaeda's Taliban allies is even weaker and more corrupt than the one in Iraq. Ten years after the invasion, we still have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, and so far the war has cost about $500 billion, 1,800 American lives, and thousands of civilian casualties.

The United States would have avoided both of these costly nation-building projects if Congress had listened to Ron Paul—or even to George W. Bush circa 2000, who (as Paul frequently notes) ran on a promise of a "humble" foreign policy that would not aim to solve all the world's problems. Now that the same people who supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are portraying Iran as an intolerable threat to national security, some Paulian skepticism surely is appropriate.

That is especially true at a time when the federal government borrows 36 cents of every dollar it spends, racking up a debt as big as the entire U.S. economy. At the November 22 debate, Paul corrected Mitt Romney, who complained that the Obama administration is "cutting a trillion dollars out of the defense budget." Actually, Paul said, "they're not cutting anything"; rather, "they're nibbling away at baseline budgeting and its automatic increases," and "people on the Hill are nearly hysterical because…the budget isn't going up as rapidly as they want it to."

Rick Santorum illustrated that attitude at the October 18 debate by proudly declaring, "I would absolutely not cut one penny out of military spending." The U.S. has military personnel in about 150 countries, has nearly doubled its so-called defense budget in the last decade, and accounts for more than two-fifths of the world's military spending. But somehow there's not a penny to spare.

Alone among the GOP presidential contenders, Paul challenges this sort of mindless militarism. "We have an empire," he bluntly noted at the same debate. "We can't afford it."

For 35 years Ron Paul has been speaking truths that the foreign policy mavens of both parties prefer to ignore: that the Constitution gives Congress alone the power to declare war, that unjustified interventions breed resentment that undermines our security, that there is a difference between military spending and defense spending, that foreign aid rewards autocrats and their cronies, and that economic sanctions  are an "an act of war" that hurts people in the name of punishing  the governments that oppress them. If there really is no room for these arguments in the Republican Party, that is the party's fault, not Paul's.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

© Copyright 2011 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. The good news is that Ron Paul is establishing the “legitimacy” of non-interventionism in political discourse.

    Since WW II, that idea has been dead.

    Now someone is making it a central part of his platform and is gaining traction. He’s dealing with the objections. A couple of young kids going into politics who are destined for the infamy of political office are drinking in the ideas and will promote them.

    Eventually, people will think of non-interventionism of having always been around and as a reasonable political position to have even if they don’t actually hold the position.

    And that will be a great improvement over the status quo ante.

      1. Occassionally, The Nation nails it.

        This is one of those times.

      2. The problem that Limbaugh, Hannity and other GOP establishment types have with Paul is that the Texan really is a conservative, rather than a neo-conservative or a crony capitalist who would use the state to maintain monopolies at home and via corrupt international trade deals.

        The overall gist of the article is correct but the above line is harsh and not accurate to include the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity (and many others). Granted, there are those who are profiting directly from the gov’t military spending and they are the ones who “use the state to maintain monopolies”, but many, many others don’t fit that characterization.

        Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. are just so enamored by the history of America being the undeniably strongest military force on the planet, that they just can’t ever see any reason to ever cut the military. They view world affairs as a football game or something and the U.S. is their team. “Why would our team ever purposefully do anything to weaken itself?”, is what their inner monologue is telling them. It really is no more complicated than that. It’s pure hard headedness.

  2. Non-interventionism has been totally discredited by association with the vile and odious racism, homophobia and antisemitism of Ron Paul.

    1. Thank you, Mark Levin.

      1. Or John Bolton.

    2. you sir are a zionist islamophobe and anything you say here has and will , continue to be laughed at as such .enjoy your failure, america pity’s you , Ron Paul 2012 last chance this nation has, whetheer the zionist neoconned bitches like it or not, truth is truth 🙂

    3. Will, why are you reading material from Reason? Seems like you might feel more at home licking Sean Hannity’s ass or something. Just saying…

      1. I think it’s pretty obvious sarcasm.

  3. But we will just ignore Iowa if Paul wins, so just forget about it.

  4. Well written Article! We need more like these spreading the truth about non-interventionism. As for the clods spewing non-sense about Ron Paul, you seriously need to educate yourselves on St. Augustine’s “Just War Theory.” It really shows what kind of rotten scumbags we have spreading unjust wars, killing 25,000 people just to go after 10. Let’s not forget what kind of soldiers America is churning out and exposing to these “terrorists”- you need only look up Stephen Dale Green and the Mahmudiyah Killings.

  5. Now that dude knows he is totally rocking it. WOw.

    http://www.Complete-Anon.tk

    1. Link just goes to an ad.

      1. That’s why it is referred to as “the anon-o-bot”

        1. Can’t Obama sic a drone on this asshole?

          1. sure it’s not one of Obama’s drones doing it for the LULZ?

      2. You clicked on the link?!?

  6. Corporate media has to do a better job in educating the people. War is peace, debt is prosperity, and occupation is freedom.

  7. If it is “desperately needed,” could Cato, Reason and Nick “I’m so hip” Gillespie spent a little less time belittling Ron Paul, and make just a few less snide remarks about him to the media.

  8. Jacob, criticizing U.S. military action over the last decade is intellectual “low-hanging fruit”. The problem for Ron Paul is that he has done an absolutely atrocious job of defending what would be a relatively inactive foreign policy. OK, so we pull all the troops home and save all this money … now what? His answer basically revolves around the fact that we’re hated because of our current policies. So, does that assume that we’ll be liked when the troops come home? What happens when countries oppress their own people? Do we continue to trade with them? Turn a blind eye?

    If he’s going to propose an alternative, he’d best detail it and then defend it in detail. He has done neither.

    1. Regimes that don’t give a fuck about the welfare of their own people aren’t swayed by sanctions. They usually have the opposite effect of strengthening the regimes. So, yeah, ‘turning a blind eye’ sounds awesome. Free trade erodes dictatorships.

      1. And Paul has repeatedly said sanctions are an act of war.

      2. Cynical BS replies like this is why people won’t take “bring ’em all home” as serious policy without some more detail.

        I guess you’d just pull the shutters closed when your neighbor beats his wife too, huh?

        1. As opposed to intervening only when the neighbor is two weight classes lower. Talk to me when we get deployed to China, Myanmar, etc. Oh, that’s right, we won’t. Hell, even in genocides we only intervene when it suits us (ie. we think the enemy is significantly weaker).

        2. sure feel free to save your neighbor’s wife.just dont take MY money and send MY SON to interfere.are you willing to save my neighbor’s uncle’s father in law’s cousin’s wife? wanna sign up big brother?
          anyway,paul’s position is:yes,we can save our neighbor’s wife IF the congress can pass a declaration of war and have a specific goal of the war ie:save neighbor’s wife,get out of house,call police,keep quiet.dont pretend he is a pacifist.he is not

          1. The cop or the fireman that arrives when you call 911 is someone’s son too … and they take your tax dollars for them as well.

            … and yeah you can follow Ron Paul’s lead and sponsor a bill in your state legislature when your house catches on fire or your place gets robbed. Maybe in a few years they’ll show up to put out the fire or investigate it for you after the bill gets passed.

            1. Putting out fires in my neighborhood /= sending firemen to another country where they are not wanted.

              1. Putting out fires in my neighborhood /= sending firemen to another country where they are not wanted.

                Exactly.

                Talk about a false comparison.

              2. Sure, some don’t want us … some do.

                I am by no means a Team America World Police unilateralist on foreign policy, but each situation is different. The U.S. has the power, position, and stature to be a magnet for oppressed people seeking help. Ron Paul’s answer, as best I can tell, is to tell them to f.o. and that we’ll keep business as usual with their oppressors to boot.

                1. Given that the US doesn’t “free” oppressed peoples for the sake of freedom anyway, why worry?

                  When the US starts worrying about the freedom of repressed people all around the world, regardless of whether there is oil at stake or some other national interest, then you will have a point.

                  1. C’mon – look at all those incredibly oppressed African countries that we intervene in, where genocide is common, merely for the sake of humanitarism, at very low cost and low risk….geez, we do great things with less than a battlion of marines…
                    uh, we don’t?????
                    never mind….

                2. “Ron Paul’s answer, as best I can tell, is to tell them to f.o. and that we’ll keep business as usual with their oppressors to boot.”

                  TRADE, not war, is the act that brings nations together. Trade, not sanction, positively modifies the behavior of objectionable governments and enables repressed people to break their bonds and seek liberty. The way to ensure peace is to become financially entangled with everybody. You don’t shoot at a valuable business partner.

            2. Oh look a stupid troll who’s seen that New Yorker cartoon.

          2. ^^^^^THIS!!!
            Specific goals for the win!

          3. This is an excellent response.

            (Shitty punctuation aside.)

        3. I guess you’d just pull the shutters closed when your neighbor beats his wife too, huh?

          Go Team USA World Police, Fuck Yeah!

        4. Yeah, the resounding success of sanctions on NK, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Cuba, etc, makes me cynical and full of shit.

          And your falsely equivalent example is really too pathetic to respond to.

        5. I guess you’d just pull the shutters closed when your neighbor beats his wife too, huh?

          No, you should go it, guns blazing. Don’t forget to shoot the dog on the way in.

    2. Yes! Some more details and explanations about real world examples would help.

    3. China oppresses their people. Do we bomb them?

      1. No, we don’t bomb them … we just keep buying cheap crap from Wal-Mart.

        However, hearing crickets chirp after being asked what you’d do is not a serious policy, either. It’s Ron Paul’s responsibility to answer these questions rather than just criticize past policy. If “let them oppress their own people and we’ll keep out of it” is his answer, then so be it … but at least answer the questions.

        1. Your question is answered upthread. And, for the record, I have eighteen years of service (two more to twenty, baby!) and I would happily vote for a candidate that opposed constant interventions. People don’t realize the huge numbers of engagements and little dust ups we get in because its not always front page news.

          1. I am a bit curious about this. Would the large number of service people who oppose foreign intervention also support the forced reduction in troop levels if we “bring the troops home”? Wouldn’t a large reduction in the use of the US military also have a corresponding force reduction?

            You say that you want to end foreign interventions. Would you be willing to leave the military and give up your pension?

            1. Apparently so, seeing how he gets so many donations from active duty military folks. Likewise, people working in the public sector and for defense contractors. I think it’s because we all see the writing on the wall… there’s a bubble collapse in the defense industry heading for us. That being said, Paul does support a strong border, so I imagine some of those military troops would be put to good use at home.

            2. Well, at over 18 years, I’m pretty much in a protected position at my paygrade. Once I hit twenty (retirement eligibility), my record is reviewed annually, and I will be released from active service if I don’t make the grade. Doesn’t matter for me though…I plan to get out at 20. Would I feel the same at less than 16 years, where I would be more likely to be downsized? I honestly can’t say, but I’d like to think so. My libertarian awakening occured when I had twelve years of service.

            3. “I am a bit curious about this.”

              The vast majority don’t make it to a pension. It is an up or out system. If you don’t get promoted to a certain level, you get booted.

              In addition, there are force reductions all the time. They are usually merit based (although some get screwed), but by and large if you are good at your job, you are the most likely to stay. The point being, getting to retirement isn’t something you can count on anyway, so most don’t. As DD mentioned, once you hit 18 years, the current policy protects you to 20.

              I think most of RP’s military savings would come from closing overseas bases. There would be some manpower reductions that come with reducing overhead, but regardless of where they are based you still need a large enough trained force to be able to deploy against a credible threat. Having a military for “defense only” doesn’t mean you will never need to execute offensive missions. (Think a country continuously lobbing missiles into your back yard…eventually you must go force them to stop.) I’m not so sure you would see a 50% reduction in manpower.

        2. Specifics have been given. Namely, any act of war must be declared by congress, as per the constitution. In such event, a Paul presidency would achieve the objectives set forth by the congress, whatever they may be.

          Your problem is the following: you expect one lone individual to have absolute control over how the military is deployed around the world. This is not wise, and thus the founders placed the responsibility for aggressive, violent acts on the congress.

          1. That’s not specifics … even Bush can claim to have gone through Congress after 9/11.

            Paul needs to articulate what or how he would act in the event of an attack by a rogue nation-less state-less entity, such as Al Qaeda. The War Powers Resolution allows for immediate responses, so he has been given a priori authorization for up to 60 days … Paul now needs to address what he would do in a 9/11-like situation. Up to now, all he’s done is fall back to “they hate us because we’re over there” arguments.

            1. Marques and reprisal Rudy. It’s exactly how he said we should go after bin laden. Instead we spent billions invading a hell hole and tried to teach them how motto murder their wives (still losing that battle).

              The problem interventionists have is they cannot imagine a world without the US leading the way. And that scares the shot out of them.

              What scares the shut out of me is the day china laughs at us and dumps our currency down their toilet. We’re so exposed right now that there’s always a possibility we’ll be paying our military with funny money one day.

              1. damn, are you sure your answer was 13 minutes before mine? it didn’t take me more than 30 seconds to write it out. hmmm o well

            2. Paul has already said he’d want congress to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal, which would be a limited response to a band of “pirates” or terrorists and not a full blown trillion dollar nation building adventure.

              1. I prefer to refer to it as “fighting fire with fire”. You need to fight non-state actors with non-state actors. Also, this is the shit that Blackwater (or Xe) ought to be doing, not running supply convoys at huge markups for the military (that’s what the fucking quartermaster corps are for).

              2. OK, credit where due: he’s defined the entry strategy. The exit strategy presumably is the death of bin Laden, which took ~10 years to accomplish after 9/11. Still a lot of money, plus we’d be fighting Taliban to get to him, which was the “sovereign” gov’t of Afghanistan at the time.

                How is this different than Bush/Obama? Bush got Congressional approval. In the end, going the Letter of Marque and Reprisal route quite possibly would be a distinction without a difference.

            3. What would he do in a 9/11 type situation? To answer that question, why don’t you look and see what he actually did and supported after 9/11? He has stated these specifics before, but oftentimes when he is asked this question during debates and interviews, it is stated in a hypothetical way to force him to accept the premise that Iran is a big threat and ready to bomb us off the map at any moment. It’s a loaded question, and based on a false premise.

              But as far as his “they hate us because we’re over there” arguments, I think he is suggesting that we would be LESS likely to have another 9/11, and be safer overall. But if another 9/11 type event were to happen, he would retaliate, in a manner similar to the way he supported retaliating after the actual 9/11.

        3. “…we just keep buying cheap crap from Wal-Mart.”
          Better than buying expensive crap made in the US.

          1. Well, I for one take time off work and go to the mom and pop store which is open 9 to 5 weekdays and buy toilet paper which is handcrafted by local artisans.

            1. That must set you back a pretty penny.

            2. Made of 100% recycled TP fiber!

    4. So, does that assume that we’ll be liked when the troops come home?

      If you stop poking a dog with a stick it may not start to like you, but it is less likely to jump up and rip your face off.

      What happens when countries oppress their own people? Do we continue to trade with them?

      By ending trade it is only the workers and consumers in those countries who are harmed, not the political class. The effect is to oppress the people even further.
      How does that help them?

      1. You have no idea what the effect of ending trade would be. We have some examples in history of what happens with sanctions, but each case is different.

        However, you have absolutely no influence to change the situation if you keep the status quo. One size fits all is not a serious foreign policy approach.

        1. Nice ad hominem argument.

          Too bad for you ad hominem is a logical fallacy.

        2. Trade sanctions mean we don’t buy their stuff and we don’t sell them our stuff.
          That means their workers are harmed because there is less demand for their products, and their consumers are harmed because they do not have access to our products.

          Again I ask, how does that benefit an oppressed people?

          1. You’re assuming that the benefit that these people derive from trade is greater than the benefit they would derive by not trading with country.

            This assumption may or may not be correct. The people receive a livelihood of some kind from trade. A potentially kleptocratic regime may steal most of that livelihood. Perhaps there’s forced labor involved. Is the benefit these people are deriving from trade still greater than “not trading”? maybe … maybe not. Aren’t we tacitly approving of this regime’s behavior by continuing to trade with them?

            1. Is the benefit these people are deriving from trade still greater than “not trading”?

              Yes.

              Aren’t we tacitly approving of this regime’s behavior by continuing to trade with them?

              You’re not trading with the regime. You’re trading with the people who produce the products that they trade for the products you produce.

              In a system of voluntary exchange, everyone benefits.

              That’s the definition of free trade and how wealth is created.

              You would benefit from some study on the subject of economics.

              1. … and you’d benefit from some study of history. There is virtually no international trade that passes without intervention from the participating nations’ governments. There is corruption at multiple levels between the producer and consumer of goods. You’re unequivocal “yes” is precisely why it’s difficult for me to take people like Ron Paul seriously, given that he approaches these subjects in a similar manner.

                1. rudy, you have not refuted my arguments with anything of substance.

                  Again, please explain to me how someone in an oppressed nation benefits by not being allowed to sell the products of their labor to you, or how they benefit by not being able to purchase products you produce.

                  How are their lives improved?

                  Give me an example of a country where the lives of the people have benefited from trade sanctions.

                  Just one.

                  1. There is no example I can give you where trade sanctions are 100% effective. Likewise, you can’t give me a single example of where continuing to trade (in, say, a situation where sanctions were considered) came up nothing but roses for the oppressed people. This is not a black/white issue, as with most foreign policy issues.

                    … and I did explain it to you. If you remove trade with a kleptocratic regime, you give them one less thing to steal, and one less market for the products from their oppressed labor, thereby reducing the incentive to oppress more to produce more. Less production means less money for them to steal to buy arms to oppress further, etc.

                    1. came up nothing but roses for the oppressed people

                      Straw man / moving the goal posts

                      The Chinese people have benefited greatly from expanded trade. Likewise with the Vietnamese.
                      On the other hand Cuba and N Korea are shitholes thanks to a lack of trade.

                      Less production means less money for them to steal to buy arms to oppress further, etc.

                      No it doesn’t. Less trade does not affect the political class. Take N Korea for example. The military and political class are well fed while most others are dying of starvation.

                      It is the people who are harmed by a lack of trade, not the rulers.

                    2. and lifting N. Korea sanctions didn’t do anything either: http://www.globalpolicy.org/co…..42450.html

                      I’m not anti-free trade/pro-sanctions 100% of the time nor pro-free trade/anti-sanctions 100% of the time. Trading goods where you have a high degree of certainty that the net effect is to empower your enemy or prop up a corrupt regime IMO may not be the best idea.

                    3. and lifting N. Korea sanctions didn’t do anything either:

                      Trade goes both ways. If our government lifts trade restrictions, but theirs does not, it doesn’t do a heck of a lot of good.
                      The N Korean government insists that the country be self sufficient with regards to food. That is a self imposed trade restriction, and the people are starving as a result.

                      My point is that trade restrictions hurt the people. You can’t deny that.

                      So again I ask, if you want to help an oppressed people, why impose trade restrictions?

                2. Have you studied history? Riddle me this: Are Chinese citizens more or less free than they were 50 years ago?

                  If you answered more free you would be right. And that would be because we opened up trade with them. Granted a lot of their stuff is crap. But American’s keep consuming it.

                  If you answered less free you are a fucking idiot.

            2. Bottom line. Not our problem. If America or its property is threatened by some regime’s actions, then we can get involved.
              Did our past intervention in Iran “help” that country’s people? No, we toppled a democratically elected goverment to install an absolute monarch who had to brutalize his people to hold power. How did supporting the “revolutionary,” Saddam Hussein, work out for us?
              There are ALWAYS unintended consequences. If we don’t pay them, out children might. Maybe we should try letting the world go to hell in its own way. Better yet, maybe our government could consider let US go to hell in our own way.

              1. You’re right … sometimes it’s not our problem. However, ignorance, apathy, and inaction are not serious, 100% of the time answers for foreign policy.

                1. Tell you what rudy, go and live on a self sufficient farm. Raise all your food, make your own clothes. Trade with no one.
                  Then tell me how people benefit by not trading.

                2. You are acting as if America has some sort of existing foreign policy that promotes justice and if Ron Paul is elected justice will cease to exist. What Ron Paul wants to stop is our foreign policy that has consisted of supporting dictators and repressive regimes while taking action, for the most part, only when our national interests are at stake, not liberty. Would you rather us continue our foreign policy or reevaluate it? Any candidate other than Ron Paul, Republican or Democrat, will continue what appears to be a form of Imperialism.

                3. Rudy,
                  You seem to have all the answers; so why don’t you get off your ass and run for president? Tell me; how much time did you spend in the military? You seem hot and bothered to spill the blood of America’s Armed Forces to protect people who should be protecting themselves. Speaking as a retired veteran; I don’t want to see anymore American blood spent defending those who won’t take any action to defend themselves.
                  We need a non-interventionist approach with the world. You think we are the world’s conscience; that stupid premise has to be canned right now or America will itself become a third world country and who the hell do you think is going to come to our aid?
                  Ron Paul’s record speaks for itself; you need to do a little historical research yourself rather than trying to justify your opinions with flawed logic.
                  There is no candidate that has all the answers to all the problems we face but Dr. Paul has the best grasp of the problems we face. He is also the only candidate who actually has morals and ethics; something that has long been absent from the oval office.

              2. Well said Double D.
                We like to think we are supporting good guys, but in fact are first priority was “anti communism”
                How many less than democratic countries do we deal with because they are “anti terrorist”????
                Syria (until recently and maybe still???)
                Yemen
                Saudi Arabia
                Egypt
                And I’m sure someone better read could come up with a slew more….

        3. Learn something about economics, friend. You think markets are more prosperous when less free? Ouch.

          1. yeah, LMFAO @ the chance that people would benefit from not trading.

    5. Get real. We “turn a blind eye” to numerous regimes that abuse human rights. We haven’t attacked China, Saudi Arabia, or any number of other countries over this. And England has cameras on every corner and no freedom of speech. So what? Let the people of those countries fight their own battles. We can hardly impose “our” values on each other, let alone anyone else. Trying to help a world that doesn’t want our assistance and resents it is folly (they’ll cash our checks though, and we’ll break ourselves trying to make sure they get the money).

    6. OK, so we pull all the troops home and save all this money … now what?

      And after *that*, then what?

      1. …And then, *then* what?

        And how about after that? What then?

    7. More details would reassure people. But it is kind of hard to give all those details when you only get a few minutes and the “moderator” and other candidates have a lot to do with what you are supposed to respond to. We live in a sound-bite society. Too many details and the MSM and the audience starts getting bored. I think he is doing a great job compared to prior years and when he is asked to give details, it becomes clear that he is the only one up there that really knows what he is talking about.

      1. Revolution is an extremely easy read. I did it in two nights. Pretty much sums his positions up and lays the groundwork for utopia.

        Of course getting anybody in America to read a book….

    8. $1.3T !!! He should articulate what can be done with $1.3T at home.

    9. Re: rudy f,

      OK, so we pull all the troops home and save all this money … now what?

      We produce. Make money. Leave everybody else alone.

      His answer basically revolves around the fact that we’re hated because of our current policies. So, does that assume that we’ll be liked when the troops come home?

      If you go to someone’s house, kill the children, brutalize the wife and hang the dog, would you expect things to be hanky-dory after you leave? Of course not, and Paul is not sayin that. The damage done will require possibly DECADES of non-interventionism and good will before people either forgive or forget.

      He has also advocated for a strong DEFENSE – not a strong military. The military is a non-productive entity, so keeping it big enough to defend the country should be more than sufficient. As it is, we don’t have the money, so stop dreaming about our cohorts crossing the Hadrian line all the way to the end of the world.

      1. Old Mex is right as usual.

  9. If it is “desperately needed,” could Cato, Reason and Nick “I’m so hip” Gillespie spent a little less time belittling Ron Paul, and make just a few less snide remarks about him to the media.

  10. If it is “desperately needed,” could Cato, Reason and Nick “I’m so hip” Gillespie spent a little less time belittling Ron Paul, and make just a few less snide remarks about him to the media.

    1. Not being an uncritical cheerleader /= belittling Ron Paul.

      1. It’s not about being completely uncritical, but about not being a total absolutist when the result of not supporting someone like Ron Paul is so much worse. And not insignificantly worse like the difference between establishment democrats and republicans either. It’s un-reason-able to hold such a position, especially since no human being is perfect.

    2. Word. The libertarian movement needs to unite if we’re ever gonna go anywhere. Libertarians need to be more serious about the significance of slight differences of opinion vs. the alternative of the welfare/warfare state being the norm forever. Because we never got it together. I might not agree with Ron Paul on everything such as religion but I think I’m mature enough to realize that as a libertarian the differences I have in opinion with him are insignificant compared to the major stuff I agree on.

      1. Sure. But why is wrong to point out things we disagree with. That doesn’t mean we won’t vote for a guy. Shouldn’t we have integrity. Let the Teams play the “fall into line” game. I’ll exercise my freedom of speech, even if it means I criticize a fellow libertarian.

    3. Is this a drinking scenario?

      1. I’m playing it safe and saying yes. Cheers.

  11. nearly nine years after launching it based on the false claim that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to us because he had weapons of mass destruction.

    SCIENCE H LOGIC!!!!!

  12. The political establishment in Washington is so crazy about avoiding any “isolationism” that we can’t even pull troops out of Europe even though the Soviet Union collapsed and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said in 1951, “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project [NATO] will have failed.”

    Anyone wanting to know where US troops are, here is the official list. I don’t think it counts temporary troop movements and of course leaves out any secret movements

    http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/pe…..miltop.htm

      1. US forces in Europe was suppose to be a temporary emergency, but as we have seen repeatedly, temporary emergencies once started rarely get ended.

  13. What’s not being confronted is how the evangelical vote is cauterized and exposed when they don’t have a hero in the mix. Their anti-muslim Caliphate paranoia draws them into the very anyi-Christian mode of militarism that the aothor touches upon.

  14. This militarism isn’t mindless.
    It’s very well thought out.
    Just follow the money.

    1. Right there with you. You wouldn’t believe some of the shit I’ve seen.
      Well, maybe YOU would.

      1. After some of the shit I’ve seen, when it comes to the government’s ability to waste money to benefit cronies, nothing surprises me.

        1. When I was stationed in Iraq, a local I’d befriended brought a case of fraud and theft to my attention. His company was getting over in a big way, both on us and over resources that supposedly belonged to the Iraqi people. I took it up with my superiors. My bosses sent me back to my local friend with a response designed to shut him up and discourage any further reporting.
          I don’t even think it was malicious or that my superiors were in any way involved. They just knew it could cause a shitstorm, and didn’t want to be responsible for the crippling extra work and investigations.

          1. In my work I see waste, fraud and abuse by both civilian and government alike. All I can do is report it to my superiors. But since the fraud is happening way above myself and my superiors, and violating the chain of command is worse than reporting the fraud, nothing happens.

      2. I’ve seen some things, man, and some stuff… I wouldn’t recommend it!

  15. The Hobbit trailer, for anyone interested.

  16. Ron Paul has loosed more bowels than Cholera.

  17. The problem is Paul is awful at making this case, particularly in language Republican primary voters will understand and sympathize with.

    1. On second though, I’d qualify that to ‘most’ Republican primary voters. There’s a significant percentage of people who are simply sick of war/foreigners and don’t care how it’s presented.

    2. I agree, he hasn’t mastered the art of manipulative slogans like “wipe Israel off the map” etc. He is never going to get through to folks who believe America needs to show global “leadership” through interventionism. Or to folks who view the world like a giant football game.

      But his presentation seems to get through easily to Independents and Democrats, and that’s not a bad thing. The Republicans are going to need those votes to win. If he can just emphasize the fact that his foreign policy would keep us “strong” domestically, and ensure that we remain a “superpower” by having a strong economy at home and not spreading ourselves too thin…he could indeed appeal to more of those “Leadership” and “American Exceptionalism” types. These folks like slogans like “American Leadership”. He can put whatever non-interventionist spin on it he wants, but there’s a reason all the other candidates plaster that phrase all over their websites. Republicans like thinking of themselves as the “winners”.

  18. War is the answer.

    1. I was trying to explain things to a friend of mine. He works for a contractor that does some government work. I work for the Army as a civilian. He doesn’t want to support Ron Paul based off of his ideas to cut military spending and supports Romney. He thinks the area we live in will be crippled if military spending is cut. Yes, we live in a huge military area, where most people either work for NASA, DoD, or contractors supporting those two. Yes, drastic cuts will hurt the area, I’m sure. It may even cost me my job. But the country is so far in debt, I don’t know how we can justify continuing to burn through money on defense like it’s going out of style. If we don’t want to lose it all, we have to cut back. It will hurt, but not as much as total financial collapse.

      1. As we found out in Vietnam, the longer the combat goes on, the deeper into the fabric of the economy that the war spending goes. A lot of jobs were created by building ton upon ton of bombs to drop on jungles in Asia.
        Today a lot of jobs exist building shit to protect our soldiers from getting bombed.

  19. LOST:

    The American Century, has one eye, three legs and no tail. Shrapnel throughout body. Answers to the name of “Lucky”.

  20. “mindless militarism”, “promiscuous use of military force”. What wonderful evocative writing! And so worth reading. Thank you. Still, my favorite term for the current insanity of warmongering is still, and may always be, “fundamentalist militarism”, a term coined, I believe, by Tom Englehardt.

  21. I want to see an article written about who owns which newspapers and what those papers are saying about Dr. Paul. I don’t beleive the MSM is trying so hard to marginalize Paul just because his stands on certain issues are “not main stream”. If you look at how much the GOP has moved toward Paul’s positions that were considered “way out there” in ’08 it’s obvious that with the exception of foreign policy there’s not the huge gap being claimed by the MSM. So just who is so upset about Paul’s foreign policy and just where do they factor in when media ownership is examined? After all an owners influence over employees can be quite insidious.

    1. Bill O’Reilly told Mitt Romney on air that it would be a bad idea to bomb Iran, because it could “start WWIII”. Nobody wants to come out and say they actually agree with Ron Paul, but his ideas are nonetheless gaining ground, even on foreign policy…little by little.

      I don’t know. I’m starting to think that the fact that Ron Paul isn’t the best communicator doesn’t matter much. All he really needs to do is keep injecting these issues into the mainstream debate, and people who are more eloquent speakers will debate it and make the case. Ron Paul is doing the dirty work of going against the grain, being contrary, taking the heat and name calling, etc. He’s doing that job well, I think.

      1. Bill O’reilly is a cock-eyed, shit for brains. He is exactly what is wrong with the Republican party….warmongering/fundies.

      2. http://campaign2012.washington…..ion/270761

        Re-examining one’s view is always tough. The point isn’t to have a Ron Paul cult, but to examine his ideas. And the idea of shoot first and ask questions later is over…its just some republicans haven’t figured it out.

        But when this one has, game over:
        But Romney’s new answer is not terribly different from what even some George W. Bush loyalists have said in recent years. For example, in his memoir, Courage and Consequence, former top Bush aide Karl Rove wrote: “Would the Iraq War have occurred without WMD? I doubt it: Congress was very unlikely to have supported the use-of-force resolution without the threat of WMD. The Bush administration itself would probably have sought other ways to constrain Saddam, bring about regime change, and deal with Iraq’s horrendous human rights violations.”

  22. “This is like calling him a recluse because he tries to avoid fistfights”
    Well said. God help this country and elect Ron Paul. This is it America. Your last chance to get it right.

  23. This really is a GREAT article. I have been trying to explain my support for Dr. Paul to some friends, and instead just sent them this article. Thank you for the common sense piece on Dr. Paul. They are few and far between. The MSM is running scared.

  24. Machiavelli was anything but mindless. Yes Paul challenges militarism, but it is his challenge that is mindless, as he has no method of showing how it would improve security. He only guesses that would be so.

    1. Suffice it to say, none of his other challengers have any plan either other than to mindlessly say it is unacceptable if Iran gets the bomb and leaving their policy up to the publics imagination.

    2. What? He’s said over and over that intervention pisses people off and creates terrorists, etc. So stop propping up dictators and bombing villages and you’ll stop creating terrorists.

    3. Why can’t people realize that sometimes doing nothing IS doing something?

  25. If i believed that Ron Paul believed in rational use of force, I’d be more comfortable. As it is, I will vote for him in my primary because of his domestic and economic libertarianism. I have to believe that political pressure will not allow him to follow up with what is clearly isolationism.

    I don’t need simplistic wife beating or firemen analogies to know the US cannot simply “do business’ without also sometimes exerting its military force, and defending democracies that share many of our values against shitheads. Sometimes it just works out that way.

    1. I find Ron Paul’s view on use of military force very rational. If we are attacked, we declare war and destroy the enemy.

      “Defending democracies” is complicated. The US has demonstrated that it is very selective when it comes to “defending democracies,” so much that it appears in many cases to be not a defense of liberty but US national interests. Given this, I am for a revaluation of the concept of “defending democracies.” The world will not explode if the US ceases its duties as global policeman. Repressed peoples will go on being repressed, many of them repressed by regimes we support.

      If the US spent its time invading every repressive regime on the planet in order to establish peaceful democracies, then you would have a legitimate concern. But we don’t.

      1. I don’t even think it is a true defense of “US National interests”: It is usually either in the defense of some corporation’s profits or following some fool’s emotional attachment to another country that has nothing to do with US national interests. (The contortions of the term “National Interest” that the pro-Isreal lobby go into in defending US support of Isreal are truly astonishing.)

        1. I was being kind. It’s mostly Oil. I wonder if the US would take such an interest in Israel if that country were located somewhere else, specifically in a region that produced very little oil. I think not.

  26. Nice to see a little Ron Paul love this time around at Reason.

    Has the Cosmotarian hysteria calmed down over at LewRockwell.com? 🙂

  27. The fact that Ron Paul challenges mindless (= very profitable for some well-connected people) militarism is the reason why the media hate him:

    http://in-other-news.com/2011/…..-candidate

  28. This article could be alternately titled: “Why Conservatives Despise Ron Paul”

  29. How about Ron Paul’s embrace of mindless 9/11 trutherism, JBS conspiratatorial bull shit, and racism as a libertarian recruiting tool? If this boring old fuck is your best standard bearer, you libertoid assholes are fucked into oblivion, you stupid fucks.

    1. This is the first I’ve ever agreed with you.

      1. I’ve made this same point a thousand times. Did you just wake up?

      2. You should really try to move on with your life, Max. Ron Paul is never going to let you suck his dick.

    2. Wow, your vocabulary has come a long way, Max, really makes your case relevant.

  30. He’s an isolationist, based on the commonly accepted definition of it.

    Just like he’s a protectionist, even thought he won’t call himself that, either.

    1. “””He’s an isolationist, based on the commonly accepted definition of it.””‘

      And what is the definition of it? Is Spain isolationist, they don’t have troops around the world. Is South Korea isolationist, they don’t have troops around the world. Is Brazil isolationist, they don’t have troops around the world. Is India isolationist, they don’t have troops around the world.

      Why spend billions of dollars to defend Europe who not only is cutting their own defense spending but is using the money they saved to compete against the US. The same applies to Japan, South Korea and the other so-called US allies. They spend less then half the amount of GDP on defense while the US taxpayer subsidizes their defense. How many more decades must the US taxpayer, businesses and workers get screwed in this deal.

      1. I’m trying to imagine South Korea having troops arpound the world. Nope can’t do it. But that doesn’t have anything to do with isolationism, you moron. South Korea doesn’t have enough tropops to send them around the world even if it wanted to. Only a country with the forces to be interventionist can choose to be isolationist, idiot.

        1. South Korea doesn’t have enough tropops to send them around the world even if it wanted to.

          Wiki tells me:

          The army consists of 520,000 troops, 2,300 tanks, 2,500 armored vehicles, 5,200 artillery pieces and MRLs, 30 guided missile systems, and 600 helicopters as of 2010.

          Sounds like they have plenty of troops and whatnot for foreign adventures. Probably the only thing they lack is a heavy lift capacity, and the only reason they don’t have that is because they don’t want to get involved in foreign adventures.

        2. Obviously you do not know what isolationist means.

          Isolationist means cutting off trade with the rest of the world.
          N Korea is for the most part isolationist.

          The logical extreme of isolationism is a self sufficient farm that trades with no one.

          Ron Paul is not isolationist.

          He is non-interventionist.

        3. Re: Arf Arf,

          But that doesn’t have anything to do with isolationism,

          Max the pet yorkie conflates non-isolationism with “wherewithal.”

          You’re an idiot, pet yorkie. Not even an entertaining one, to boot.

        4. The broad definition of Isolationism includes both Non-interventionism AND Protectionism. Ron Paul definitely does not promote Protectionism, and so he does not fit that definition. He would promote free trade and oppose tariffs and sanctions. That is the opposite of Protectionism.

    2. The words isolationist and protectionist are terms used in economics and they have specific meanings.
      Ron Paul is neither.

      Is he a non-interventionist who would use the military to protect the borders? Yes.

      But that has nothing to do with isolationism or protectionism.

      1. Is he a boring old fuck with a history of publishing racist drivel? Yes.

        1. I’ve heard that story as well. It makes for a great ad hominem until you get into the details.
          But I would never expect you to do that. That’s what intelligent people do.

          1. Ron Paul better hope nobody gets into the details. They’re disgusting.

            1. If such statements existed outside those newsletters, and in just one of his books, columns or numerous speeches, then I would give them more credibility.
              But they do not.
              That lends to the argument that he signed off on the newsletters without giving them a proper proof read.
              And I don’t have a problem with that.

            2. Especially his “no bombing foreigners” policy. Yuck. What a lunatic.

        2. Nice try. I’m black, and I’d vote for Paul in a heartbeat. I don’t think he wrote the newsletter, and even if he did, twenty years is twenty years. I have white (and black) friends who WERE racist. Like must poor young black folk of my generation, I used to hate whitey myself. Time moves on and people change. In the now, he hasn’t done much that I don’t like.

          1. Re: Double D,

            Max couldn’t care less about you or the newsletters. It’s just a convenient hitting tool that Nick, Matt, David, Jesse et al. “conveniently” placed on his hand.

    3. “He’s an isolationist, based on the commonly accepted definition of it”

      Dude, get yourself a dictionary. He wants to be involved with everyone economically…he just doesn’t want to kill them. He’s a non-interventionist, not an isolationist.

      Might, ALSO, want to read a book rather than just listen to sound bites.

      i?so?la?tion?ism
      ? ?[ahy-suh-ley-shuh-niz-uhm, is-uh-] Show IPA
      noun
      the policy or doctrine of isolating one’s country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one’s country to its own advancement and remain at peace by avoiding foreign entanglements and responsibilities.

  31. The trouble with non-interventionism is that we, as a nation, currently truly have to believe that atrocities like Rwanda are something that is OURS to remedy. Until we can become resigned to minding our business even when terrible things happen, we will be the cop on the beat for the world. An argument against adventures like Iraq cannot leave open the door for humanitarian intervention.

    If we believe in the sovereignty of a nation, then we must learn to mind our own business. Our involvement during WWII in Europe, fighting Germany was not an adventure because Germany declared war on us first. Going to war in order to defend ourselves against aggression is in our national interest.

    It has been all the adventures since then that are the issue. The UN is the same as the League of Nations, maybe worse. At the very least it is a vehicle for limiting national sovereignty and is the physical expression of the mindset that leads to our becoming the worlds cop. At the worst it will become a dictatorial bureaucracy akin to the mess we see in Europe. It may be worse than the Brussels model as the people who will run it will be more overtly authoritarian.

    Non-interventionism requires also the realization that in order to stop playing cop we need to accept having less overt influence. This could be compensated with what would then be a smaller government and a larger economy.

    Currently Team Red is not ready to accept a world in which we do not have overt influence. Currently Blue is not ready to abandon humanitarian intervention. Smaller government is anathema to Team Blue, and not having the biggest, baddest military in the world is anathema to Team Red. The complimentary ideals that we do not need to play cop or have the most formidable military is something we have long abandoned.

    1. We could spend 1/4 of what we are currently spending on the military and still have the biggest, baddest military in the world. And I’m ok with having the biggest and baddest, as long as we’re not so insecure that we feel the need to use it constantly.

    2. One point I would raise is this:
      What is a good example of interventionalism?
      Korea – maybe
      Vietnam – I would say no
      Grenada – too minor to mean anything
      Panama – too minor to mean anything
      Iraq 1 – from what I have read, caused by us sending inept diplomatic signals – but worked out OK
      Irag II – no WMD, prabably counterproductivly strengthens Iran – talk about unforeseen consequences (that should OBVIOUSLY have been FORESEEN)
      Afghanistan – really, can anyone truly believe it will be different in another 10 or 20 years???
      Yemen?
      Libya?
      Pakistan is getting us….what?

  32. “Alone among the GOP presidential contenders, Paul challenges this sort of mindless militarism.”.

    You’re forgetting past two- term Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, who was among the first to jump into the Republican race:
    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/

    1. Johnson’s foreign policy is just as good as Paul’s. I can’t wait until he’s better known and really in the race!

  33. Excellent piece – and very useful talking points! So few in the media “get” Ron Paul’s views. Ron Paul 2012!

    1. Hell will freeze over in 2012! Pigs will fly!

  34. Somewhere in these comments a very legitimate question was asked about what we do with all of the personnel that Mr. Paul wants to bring home. I would argue that we would save a substantial amount of money by bringing them all back to U.S. soil, even if we kept them all employed. I would think that the cost of stationing a soldier in Texas would at least be the same or less than in Germany, and supplying their needs would be much cheaper, and able to be done by local U.S companies. I live a few miles from an airbase that once housed around 5000 personnel, and is now down to around a 1000 if memory serves. Why couldn’t these people be stationed at bases that have been downsized or closed? Just the economic impact of having troops stationed in stateside bases versus Germany or Korea would have a tremendous boost on our economy. Use some of the savings to further build up our fleet and air force so that we have excellent delivery systems to safely transport people “over there” in a hurry when necessary and then get them back home when the job is done. I’m sure this is a little too simplistic, but I think it’s an idea that should be considered.

    1. Ron Paul can put them all to work ghost writing racist diatribes.

      1. You done? Cause it ain’t working here.

      2. The “racist” charge is nothing more than a way of avoiding discussion in exactly the same way that Obama supporters once used it as a way of attacking any critic of the President.

        In the end, it really doesn’t matter if Paul is racist or not, if his points on foreign intervention and personal liberty are valid, they remain so despite his character flaws.

      3. During the past 60 years of my life I’ve found that those people that are first to throw around the ‘racist’ tag are the biggest racists!

    2. Two additional costs for stationing troops overseas is that in order to keep moral up they get transferred more frequently back to the States and often families accompany them. So you must move the troops more often and move them and their families farther, along with their cars and furnishings.

      And there is talk of creating and expanding more bases, Missile Defense Bases in Poland, Romania, Aegis Warships in Spain, other ships in Singapore and the Philippines, Marines in Australia. The Foreign Policy establishment can’t even accept maintaining the status quo, they want to increase the number of overseas bases and commitments.

      1. The year 2030:

        PaulR’s Son: “Hey dad, just calling to let you know I just graduated from boot camp.”

        PaulR: “That’s great. Sorry I couldn’t be there. So where are you going to be deployed?”

        PaulR’s Son: “Like everyone else here I am getting deployed to Russia for Operation Petroleum Freedom but first I’ll be heading to Camp Freedom Freedom in Tehran for processing and then on to Camp Free Freedom in the Ukraine for ground training.”

        PaulR: “That’s swell, son. I’m so proud of you for joining the War on Ex-Commie Terror. Oh, I’m sending you a copy of Modern Warfare 12 for your Playstation 6. God bless.”

        1. Unfortunately unless something changes in Washington, your story will probably come true. Even having a trillion plus dollar budget deficit does not seem to slow them down.

          1. Oh that is just silly. With our great military and wise civilian leadership, I fully expect by 2030 to have liberated the Martian microbes (or cold dead bodies of long extinct Martian microbes) from commienazis, as well as the methane critters on Saturn, and the ice cyrstal squid resembling people on Neptune.
            Freedom is indivisible, and it also isn’t free, but as long as one Neptunian squid person isn’t free, no one is free, because underneath the tenticles, and suckers, and oozing scales, we all pretty much believe the same thing, except those who don’t, whom we have to bomb and lightly batter fry into believing….

    3. Not only is supplying them less expensive due to the shorter supply lines, the money they earn goes into the US economy when they buy things and entertain themselves, rather than, for instance, into the German economy. This is the basis for a *huge* economic difference between troops out there, and troops here.

      Additionally, ships in port with occasional turns within the 200 mile limit are a damned sight less expensive to run than ships constantly cruising around at the end of a many thousands of miles long supply chain.

      Aircraft that go from Houston to Dallas cost us much less than aircraft that go from Houston to Afghanistan.

      Loss of life due to IEDs and a general hostile environment for troops at abroad is virtually eliminated when troops are home instead.

      Fuel consumption is *radically* reduced by keeping troops at home, and that’s just considering the supply line. That in turn means less money to the oil producing countries, and/or better oil reserve conditions at home, and/or less scarcity which leads to lower prices, which puts pressure on the oil producing countries.

      Seriously: If one can’t see the economic benefits of bringing our troops home and closing the ridiculous numbers of foreign bases we maintain, that’s a clear indicator of base stupidity.

      And all this without reducing troop count at all.

  35. “Ron Paul Challenges Mindless Militarism”
    That is one of the big reasons the mindless Republicans will never tolerate him.

  36. Arguing these points is useless. This country is full of fucking idiots and down the shitter we go.
    When everybody can vote, everybody loses.

    1. So, would you prefer a system where only those approved by The Nation or the NYT could vote?

      Or one where only those approved by Ann Coulter or the Southern Baptist Convention could vote?

      1. Yeah, let’s just leave it like this where the average IQ of the electorate is 100….at best. It has work out so well. We have only been a Democracy for less than a 100 years and the country is going down the shitter. Democracies do not work, but if we must have one, voting should be limited to those with an IQ above 100. That is not perfect, but a big improvement over the current system.

        1. I would restrict voting to tax payers.

          If you aren’t paying into the system, what right do you have to choose how the money is spent?

          1. Ok, well that is an improvement over the current system. Presumably if you are employed your IQ is greater than room temp.

            1. Originally in this country you had to be a land owner. Considering how many mental midgets this would purge from the voting booths I would think returning to such a system would be a good idea.

              1. I can get behind that idea too. But if these ideas are put forward the left and right would have a cosmic shit fit! Not gonna happen. Down the shitter we go.

  37. Mindless non-interventionism is not a good challenge to mindless militarism.

    1. I agree that MYOB can be pretty mindless.

      But it makes for much better relations with the neighbors.

      1. Huh? Mindless non-interventionism always trumps mindless militarism. Fewer casualties. More freedom.

        1. Mindless Ron Paul worship is worse than both.

          1. Ron Paul adulation hasn’t killed anyone. Reckless US foreign policy has gotten millions killed and trillions of dollars wasted.

  38. So, let’s say Iran gets the bomb. So what? If they use it, they know the response will be swift, overwhelming retaliation. Iran becomes a sea of glass. Seems that would put the kibosh on any worldwide caliphate, just as MAD kept the Soviets’ nukes in check for decades. What game plan, so to speak, is Bachmann envisioning exactly?

    And don’t tell me Ahmadinejad is an avowed madman. Nobody gets up on the stump and promises to be crazy.

    1. pmains,

      Ahmadinejad is a Chavez style populist, not a madman. He says what he thinks the public wants to hear (atleast to distract them from Iran’s own internal problems), but he’s not crazy and starting a war with the US would be suicidal. The mullahs would have him executed before the week was out if he tried anything like that. Self preservation and all.

    2. Oh great Iran gets to kill and maim American and help those who do so with even more impunity. What`s not to like?

      1. To restate my question, what scenario are you imagining? Do you think the Iranians have an ICBM they can launch at the US? Their missiles can’t even reach Israel from Iran. Are you worried about a dirty bomb attack? Do you think they could smuggle in a nuke and detonate it on the ground? Talking to military personnel, it seems me to that’s more easily said than done.

        And how does that even appear, on its face, to advance the caliphate if the immediate response will certainly be the total destruction of Iran?

    3. @pmains
      You naive little boy. MAD worked with the Soviets because at the end of the day, they were rational actors who understood the international balance of power. Knowing war would mean utter annihilation for everyone, they preferred peace. Ahmedinejad, however, is simply a facade covering his puppetmasters: the mullahs. Unlike the Soviets, religious nutcases value the life after death over this one. Hence, the notion of a nuclear Iran unchecked by MAD is a very real possibility.

      1. …and then they’d lob their bombs a few hundred miles. They’d never get any here. And the SECOND they light off the first nuke, our ICBM’s and SLBMs and cruise missiles and ADNWs will be only minutes away from turning Iraq into the proverbial sea of glass. I tell you frankly, I wish they *would* launch a nuke so the world can see what the US would do in return.

  39. It isn’t just the fucking racist newsletters. How about Ron Paul’s 9/11 trutherism? How about Ron Paul’s longtime connection to the lunatic John Birch Society? How about Ron Paul’s taking money from neo-Nazi scum? How about the fucking fake eyebrows? Face, the old fuck is a crackpot fruitcake of the first order. He might sell to some Christian right halfwits in Iowa, but he will have a short fucking shelf life nationally.

  40. Setting phaser to ignore…

  41. “The Texas Republican’s foreign policy perspective is desperately needed in the 2012 campaign.”

    For what? Comic effect?

    Go with sight gags instead.

    1. Patton thought he was channeling Scipio Africanus.

      Paul is channeling Neville Chamberlain.

      1. But I’m voting for him anyway…just because there is no possible, conceivable, fathomable, imaginable way that any of our external enemies could even fantasize the damage that the current crop of Republicrats will do to this country.

  42. Thank you Jacob. I’m so sick of Republican warmongers calling Paul’s foreign policy “naive.”

    What is naive is the notion that might equals right and that our constant meddling in affairs that aren’t our own is making us safer. (or that the mainstream republicans offer a vastly different option from the liberals. both camps are power hungry, paternalistic elitists that couldn’t care less about personal liberty.) Warmongering republicans want to stick their head in the sand and buy the propaganda line that we were attacked because we’re free and Christian. Right…the fact that we’ve been occupying their lands for five decades had NOTHING to do with it. If they would take a moment to consider the muslim situation, they’d feel differently. If I grew up over there, I’d hate America too, and for good reason. Force and imposition breed extremism. I’m so glad that I stopped drinking GOP kool aid. Somehow occupying over a hundred countries and starting trillion dollar wars is sustainable but healthcare isn’t? I believe in liberty and I believe that government has absolutely no business picking my pocket to fund either initiative.

    Ron gets a bad rap for basic common sense. I’ll admit he’s running on the wrong ticket; he should be with the Libertarians, but I admire his willingness to share a stage with power hungry pawns like Romney and Newt. At least one man is running for president that is serious about getting the government off of our backs and out of our pockets. We’re not going to find that in Mitt, Newt, Michel or Rick. I’m voting for Ron even if I have to join others in writing him in and if that means splitting the vote and resulting in another four years of Obama…it wont be much worse than 4-8 years of one those other four. If the GOP needs to have its back broken before it puts a true conservative on the ticket, then so be it. (Just for the record, Republicans, there’s nothing conservative about trillion dollar wars…that’s pretty gratuitous if you ask me.)

  43. She is the perfect example of a fresh and delicious Japanese girl in a school uniform.

    Stunningly beautiful, Mayuko can also be so incredibly cute! Famous as a hip-hop dancer, she has a background in classical dance and performs striptease at VIP events when not acting at a local theatre. Did we mention how flexible she is?

    Despite a petite frame, she has gorgeous puffy nipples, which she doesn’t mind showing off for our camera, and for you.

    Mayuko from Tokyo, a unique treasure discovered in an exotic land ? and a perfect Hegre-Girl.

  44. Actually all american politicians are table tigers away from realities. Nothing can save america from desaster as their mind set is only war and lies.
    We can solve world and local problems on table not with weapons i.e cannons in hand and blood is in every part of the skeleton.

  45. Actually all american politicians are table tigers away from realities. Nothing can save america from desaster as their mind set is only war and lies.
    We can solve world and local problems on table not with weapons i.e cannons in hand and blood is in every part of the skeleton.

  46. I just found the most Libertarian/Pro-Ron Paul – and outright CRAZY – DAILY NEWSPAPER in the country. It’s called GARDEN STATE JOURNAL (www.GardenStateJournal.com) and it’s right outside NYC. See its lead article today, “THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES & THE ANTICHRIST” – and then go to the page of Mario Cash, the Editorial Page Editor, and you’ll see a few dozen articles that will blow you away–this guy rips Obama, the Dems, and a lot of the Republiacn establishment. The paper has a mix of columnists that include Stossel, Napolitano, Sullum, and Chapman, but also some regular GOPs (some good, some bad) like O’Reilly, Coulter, Malkin, Buchanan, and some liberals like Estrich, Cockburn and Hightower…But it’s focus seems clear: a true Libertarian viewpoint and that’s so rare for a daily newspaper.

  47. Busted! Ron Paul racist rant caught on tape! SEE FOR YOURSELF….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3EADdr-5AY

  48. I went to this Garden State Journal. I’ve never seen a real newspaper like this! They really hold no punches. Read this Sullum column on it, and many other great liberty and freedom columns.

  49. Here is an interesting response to the accusations against Ron Paul: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/…..788510/pg1 entitled, ‘Putting an END to the ‘Ron Paul is racist claim here and now’

  50. Ron Paul is not an isolationist because he favors an anti-war foreign policy. He is an isolationist because his foreign policy is lack of one. Militarily, his views are defensible. Economically, his advocacy of capitalism is hollow given his consistent opposition to free trade. Politically, he would abandon longstanding allies for the sake of ideological purity.

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