Ron Paul

Dr. Never

Former Rep. Ron Paul on how 'military interventions by the United States after World War II were all unjustified'


On May 15, 2007, at a Republican primary debate in Columbia, South Carolina, longshot presidential candidate Ron Paul shocked the room with his answer to a question about how 9/11 changed America: "Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years."

Then-frontrunner Rudolph Giuliani, visibly agitated, interrupted the proceedings to condemn Paul's "extraordinary statement…that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq" and then demand a retraction as the crowd went wild. Campaign reporters, straight and ideological alike, started writing Ron Paul's obituary. Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei, on CNN's American Morning the next day, said that "Rudy Giuliani came off terrific…mostly because he got that softball, where Ron Paul lobs it to him and basically blames the U.S. for the 9/11 attacks…You dream of those moments when you're a candidate, that's for sure." Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt agitated for Paul to be barred from future GOP debates. National Review's headline captured the media zeitgeist succinctly: "Giuliani Up, McCain Up, Romney Down, and Ron Paul Out—Way Out."

But a funny thing happened on the way to Paul's seemingly inevitable ostracism from the Republican Party for the sin of noninterventionism: His star began to rise, while Giuliani's crashed and burned. Not only would the rambling septuagenarian outpace the famous former New York mayor in both delegates and the popular vote during the 2008 campaign, his message of peace and American pullback electrified a new generation of activists and voters, while Giuliani's hawkish stance has become less popular by the day.

Now retired from Congress after a second, more successful run at the White House, Paul can gaze out at a world and a GOP that has become much more sympathetic to his once-lonely view of the world. His son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has been hanging out near the top of the polls for the 2016 presidential race, selling a more Republican-friendly version of intervention-skepticism. There are entire armies of young libertarian activists—including many recent military veterans—who got their introduction to the philosophy through Ron Paul's bracing criticism of U.S. misadventures abroad. You can't talk about libertarian foreign policy without talking about—and to—Ron Paul. reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch caught up with the three-time presidential candidate over the phone in October.

reason: What should we be doing with our foreign policy? How should we approach the world?

Ron Paul: We certainly had some good advice in our early history, and we haven't followed it. Whether it was Washington or Jefferson, they generally talked about a foreign policy of staying out of the internal affairs of other nations and staying out of entangling alliances. That's 100 percent opposite of what we do.

But on the very positive side, [their advice] was to set an example and have a country that defended liberty, and maybe others would want to follow us. As far as dealing with other nations, it was to strive for peace. The best way to achieve that would be through commerce, through trade. So they were strong believers in that, and I am too.

We're so much better off now with China than we were when I was in high school and we were killing each other. Hopefully we don't drift back into that kind of thing with China.

Those would be the goals that are very, very positive. Along with the moral and constitutional right and obligation for us to have a strong national defense to defend our security, but never to use it to go around the world looking for monsters to destroy, which has been driving our foreign policy, especially these last 15 or 20 years. It just seems like if we don't have somebody, we have to go looking for them. I think that is a policy of disaster, and it's going to bankrupt our country. The policies always fail.

Ron Paul at a primary debate in 2007.
AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

reason: You mention monsters—there are monsters in the world, for sure. Whether they are exactly as Washington defines at any given moment is perhaps a separate question. But there are moments when a dictator or a group is committing genocide. What is the role of a U.S. foreign policy in a world with monsters?

Ron Paul: Well, if you know they are monsters, you shouldn't help them, you shouldn't ally yourself with them. That would not be an honest friendship.

If you have a monster like Stalin, who had killed hundreds of millions of people through all methods and [with] what that system did, it would hardly be good advice to say, well, become close military allies, and then divide up the world between the West and the East and have a Cold War for 50 years.

You don't become an ally to them, but neither do you decide that you can change the monsters of the world. Because there are some in every country, and there are some in this country. Our obligations are to deal with some of the warmongers we have here and the infractions of our liberties here at home. But there is no moral obligation, there's no constitutional authority, and there's no practical advantage for us [to go abroad]….We shouldn't be an ally of the Soviets, but we're not going to invade them either.

So that's a big difference from what we do. Either we're close allies with the monsters or then we turn on them and throw them out and put a new monster in place. It's a policy of insanity.

reason: Is there something that the United States and/or the international community should do proactively in response to one country basically gobbling up another one? This is the initial Gulf War scenario: Iraq invades Kuwait. Take the U.S. and its backing of Iraq out of that for a second—should there be some kind of response? What do you do when one country gobbles up another?

Ron Paul: You learn your lesson and you learn not to encourage this. Because actually we had been a close ally with Saddam Hussein. We encouraged him to invade Iran, and he saw that we were friends and did a deal. So then he suggests that he might go into Kuwait and gets a green light from our administrators. I would say that's how you prevent these things from happening.

But once it happens, it's not in our self-interest to sacrifice a lot of American lives to go over and start a war that's still going on. It started in 1990 and here we are 24 years later and we're still fighting this same war? Maybe there would be a balance of power over there right now if we wouldn't have been involved. We're still fighting World War I over there. Those lines are artificial. Who says that there's something sacred about Kuwait? The lines were drawn up by Europeans and maybe some people had a beef about it.

But I think the worst thing to do is to go over there and sacrifice life—American lives—getting involved in a threat that is not a threat to us. It's a threat to them, the instability of that region. That's not our responsibility and things have been made much worse by us assuming that responsibility.

reason: Is there a U.S. intervention after World War II that you think retrospectively was a good idea?

Ron Paul: Not really. And even if I thought so, it was not done properly. If we got involved militarily, I think there should've been a declaration of war.

I was very much aware of the Cold War, and was drafted when the missiles were found in Cuba. The thought crossed my mind—and this is not a conclusive thought—[that] maybe what a president ought to do under these circumstances is say: Don't expand the war in Vietnam without congressional approval of war, [but] maybe doing something with Cuba made more sense for our national security. Right on our borders and nuclear weapons on our borders; you could make a case for that. I'm glad they didn't do it; I probably would not have supported it. But in comparison, that made a lot more sense.

But for the rest of the stuff that went on over all those years—Vietnam, Korea, everything in Lebanon and the Middle East and even Grenada, going into South America, going into Panama, and continuing the fight with Cuba that was so unnecessary and actually solidified the power of the Castros—I would say that military interventions by the United States after World War II were all unjustified. Had they been justified, they should have been done precisely through the Congress and not a president just arbitrarily starting these wars.

reason: What about the post-9/11, failed-state-that-gives-harbor-to-people-who-attack-us model? Which might be coming up again with ISIS, depending on how that all turns out. But certainly in Afghanistan—although right now it's the least popular war in history and deservedly so. But in an ideal scenario, what militarily do you do when a lousy or a failed state harbors people who then attack the U.S.?

Ron Paul: Well, I don't think the government of Afghanistan attacked us. Yes, it is true that Al Qaeda traveled through there, but they did a lot of training in Germany and Spain and southern Florida in order to attack us here on our homeland.

But you still have to contend with this. I could make a case for the stupidity of World War II by pointing to the stupidity of World War I, but that doesn't answer the question, "What do you do after Pearl Harbor?" You have to retaliate even though we are a contributing factor to the ongoing war. I would say we had to do something.

The authority to go after those individuals precisely responsible, I voted for that. So I guess that might be the exception to what I said earlier. It was a reluctant support, at least to go after those particular individuals. But I also was struggling with that, because that is when I came up with trying to revitalize the concept of a letter of marque and reprisal in order to limit our problems. Because it wasn't a country, it wasn't the whole world, we weren't about to be truly invaded. We had a problem—regardless of how it was created—that maybe by targeting an individual, we might've gotten him very early on. We knew where bin Laden was and it looked like they could've gotten him, but it went on for years and years after that. I think that was a worthwhile thought, but of course no one was interested.

reason: So you think that would be a decent model going forward, instead of the 30-year war that we are apparently now launching in the broader Islamic world?

Ron Paul: I think it would be much better. The big question is what is the practicality of it? The Congress is supposed to write the letter of marque and reprisal. But I think it was easier to target a small group of people—and I do believe it was a small group of people because they couldn't have kept 9/11 secret unless it was a very, very close-knit group. The real conspirators on that all got killed, so there were a lot less [to track down].

Now we have a phenomenon going on that is a pervasive phenomenon. Just recently in a 16-day period there were 350 villages overrun in Iraq. Well, there aren't that many ISIS members. That means there's something wrong with the villagers and the people and the governments. Think of the millions and millions of people who claim they hate ISIS. So there must have been some token support. It's sort of a philosophic thing; they're getting a consensus, and to me, I'd have trouble writing the letter of marque and reprisal. It would be different because it's not a 9/11 attack. On 9/11 they bombed our cities. It'd be a lot easier to deal with that by writing a letter because there's the downside of our war in Iraq.

We're seeing all the unintended consequences, all the blowback. Supporting [an Iraqi] government is a total failure. So I think the conditions wouldn't be the same. But I think if you had to go one way or the other, a 30-year war shouldn't be the way to go. And I just think that any time we get involved there it really helps the enemy more than it helps us.

reason: In a Ron Paul universe, would NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization] exist?

Ron Paul: No. I sort of go along with Robert Taft on that one—and Robert Taft wasn't exactly an individual who was an absolutist. He saw this as impractical. His tendencies were for nonintervention, so he thought NATO would commit us to more involvement than need be. Look, NATO is involved in Ukraine. Afghanistan was a NATO war and NATO was involved with Libya. But all that is a cover for us. We're NATO. When NATO votes to go in, who pays and where do the weapons come from and who makes the money? It's our weapons producers that make all the money.

reason: Without a NATO, without the current system with America assuming a hegemonic superpower role, if you withdraw all troops from Japan and Korea overnight—which is something that you and I would probably enjoy watching—one would expect that one of the reactions would be that China would say, "Great!" and flex its power more. If we disbanded NATO tomorrow, Russians would be high-fiving each other in the Kremlin and the Baltics would wonder if they're going to survive. What do you think the world would look like and how do you think other actors would act in the face of an American retreat from its role right now?

Ron Paul: There's a little bit of guesswork on how they'd react. But you can go by the history and [conclude] they may act a lot better.

When we're pounding on their borders, when NATO is on the borders of Russia, maybe their reaction is very logical. Once the Soviet system collapsed and we backed off, they started trading. That's why so much trading is going on there. Maybe that would have continued and expanded. That's what I think would have happened.

China doesn't have a history of wanting to have a world empire, but I think because they get pushed, and we go over there and assume that we have control over all the sea lanes over there and that we're going to be involved in their affairs. I don't think China has the history of expansion.

It's the same way with the Iranians. They don't have [that history], yet they're probably top of the list right now of our enemies. They do not have a history [of expansion] unless you go back maybe a thousand years, at least hundreds of years.

So I think the assumption that all of a sudden Russia and China are going to take over—what we ought to look at is [that] they may well take over financially. We're setting the stage for the disintegration of the West, the financial empire, the disintegration of the dollar as the reserve currency of the world.

If people are worrying about a powerhouse, they ought to worry about our policies now in Ukraine, which are insanely driving wedges between the East and West. They're going to get annoyed enough that they would just love to see us go down, and we're not in the driver's seat. We have the debt and they have the money in the bank. It's exactly opposite of what it was like at the end of World War II.

reason: Do you think that American foreign policy basically post–World War II has overall been a force for good and peace?

Ron Paul: There's a mixed bag. The governments have not been a force for peace, but there's something pretty neat happening in the states. The governments themselves are losing credibility, [but] the people are more likely to speak out. The governments are still as anxious to have wars as ever before for their various reasons, the commercial reasons and who knows what else; at the same time, I see their power weakening and the people speaking out.

For instance, the other day they polled the military and it was something like 72 percent of our military said, "Don't go in [to Iraq and Syria] with boots on the ground." Maybe reason recognized it, but where I got the support during the last campaign came from the military. My top three donors were [members of] the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy. Of course, for my opponent the top three were banks. I always thought that would've been interesting news, but that got by the media.

reason: Whenever reason opens its doors in D.C., we frequently have members of the military who are passing through or taking 12 months in Washington in between tours. They will come over and say, in a very intense way, "I came to libertarianism because I saw what happened over there and I started listening to Ron Paul." It's a great, unremarked-on source of new libertarians out there.

Ron Paul: I don't know if I can claim any credit, but if it's true I would feel good that I was able to get some people to think differently and not be ashamed of it.

It's been drilled into us that if you're not for these wars, that means you're not for the military, you're not for the Constitution, you're not for defending liberty, and all these things. Yet because there weren't enough libertarians and conservatives to take this [anti-war] position—it was always the wild-eyed Jane Fonda liberal left, they didn't have the credibility and it was easier to attack. Today, though, it's left up to us to defend this and make people feel good so we can win more converts. We don't want to chase the progressives away, and that's why I like to talk to Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader and these people, and I hope that the progressives will stick with this. At the same time, I think manning the fort of a less aggressive foreign policy is coming more from the constitutional conservatives and the libertarians.

reason: Speaking of which, there's an interesting [former Rand Paul and Ron Paul adviser] Jesse Benton quote in The New Yorker recently where he says, "If Ron were president, he would have had to govern like Rand. Ron is much more of a purist about nonintervention and that's fine, but in many ways Ron's foreign policy can exist only in an academic sense." I'm not necessarily interested in divining divisions between you and your son here, but what of that kind of notion that there is a purist libertarian ideal about nonaggression and nonintervention, but that in both political practice and in geopolitical reality, it couldn't actually work that way?

Ron Paul: Well, the only way you can find out is try it. It's true that pure nonaggression has never existed. Of course, there were experiments with pure communism, too, and that didn't do so well. But no, I don't think you have purities; no perfection. I think we have to try to understand these views and the philosophy. If we come to the conclusion that we definitely think it's better for humankind to pursue [nonintervention], we have to do our best to promote it. What is practical in one generation might be impractical for the next. You just don't know. Somebody might think it's impractical to be a noninterventionist right now. Well, what if we totally go broke and we've had such violation of our civil liberties that the people rebel and want a decent government over us? Maybe the most practical thing would be to move in the direction of what they call "impracticality" that we advocate. Who knows?

I think false expectations are bad; I think you have to be realistic. But I do believe you have to know what you believe in, because our opposition is interventionists. They intervene in the economy, they intervene in personal lives, and they intervene overseas. Republicans and Democrats, they endlessly argue about degrees. Should we bomb this week or next week? Should we use cruise missiles? Which company should we buy our helicopters from? It's all details of intervention. The argument has to be whether intervention is bad or good, and then you have to strive for the nonintervention. Because I think that is the only chance we have to work for a truly peaceful and prosperous world.

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  1. “”””Rudy Giuliani came off terrific””

    Yes, his speach saying we did not give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor was inspiring.

    1. Well, “as someone who lived through the attack” he should know best.

    2. Giuliani was asked about the Second Amendment during a radio interview. He supports it. Alot. When asked how he squared that with New York’s very restrictive laws…well New York is different you see. Dense urban area, crime control, public safety, common sense, and so on. Essentially what any good Democrat would say: Absolutely I support the Second Amendment, BUT….

    3. Hey! It’s really hard for him to remember things that didn’t actually involve 9/11.

  2. “…while Giuliani’s crashed and burned.”

    No pun intended?

  3. Ron Paul proves to be the lunatic that he is once again. Iran (Islamic Republic) is NOT expansionist? The very essence of that regime is an Islamic imperialist expansionist regime in nature. They are guided by the “return of the hidden imam” and “conquering” Jerusalem. They are driven to spread Islamic-Shiite hegemony throughout the world and are involved in terrorism worldwide. During the Iran-Iraq war Khomeini the maniac had a chance to end that war multiple times. There were generous ceasefires brokered by the Saudis and then the U.N. He declined and nearly a million Iranians lost their lives. What was his reason? “On to Karbala, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem and the west” was his slogan. This is the very essence of the Islamic Republic. Ron Paul also seems to be an apologist for ISIS in calling the borders “artificial” and that they just want to “take their land back”. I have read this multiple times on Reason. Anyhow, Ron Paul/Rand Paul can dream all they want but their extremist views and radical past have no chance in a 2016 Presidential primary, let alone a general election.

    1. When was the last time Iran invaded another nation?

      The idiots talk big (because that’s what they do, that’s their culture) but they don’t do anything. They wouldn’t attack Israel because they’re terrified of nukes. You think that their words mean anything. He was drumming up the troops.

      I guess George Washington and all the Founders were extremists too, you ignorant, govt schooled schlub.

      If you are so terrified of Iran, then why don’t you use your money and body to attack them, you coward! Stop stealing my money and using it because you’re so scared.

      Signed, former Marine, Iraq 2007-2008.

      1. The Islamic Republic regime occupying Iran is the world’s greatest sponsor of terror and has terror cells throughout the world. Let’s start with the invasion of Lebanon in forcing Hizbollah down the throats of the Lebanese people. This regime is a pariah regime that has been responsible for more worldwide deaths than even Al Qaeda. Just like other libertarians, you are ignoring the ideology of the regime. History has taught us to take evil ideologies seriously and this is the case with the Islamic Republic. You can remain ignorant, but the free world has the obligation to prevent that regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And no, the regime is an occupying force and has nothing to do with Iranian culture.

        1. Iran is a nation state, and as such, it can be reasoned with because they have something to lose. Yes their Supreme Court is cookoo, but the rest of people are more or less normal.

          Yes, they do fund proxy militias (Hezbollah), but who doesn’t these days? Meanwhile, their ‘expansionism’ is a joke – Shia is a minority overall compared to Sunni, and any Shia who tries to rule over majority Sunni is gonna have a bad day.

          Sunnis are more of a strategic threat (not to mention they like to fly planes into buildings, and blow themselves up), and because of that, our ‘friend’ Saudi Arabia is far more dangerous than Iran.

          We should be trying to be nice to Shia, and keeping a close eyes on Sunni.

          1. I think you are right about that. The only problem is Iran wanting Nukes. A non nuclear Iran is not a threat to us. A nuclear Iran is. It is for two reasons. First, Iran going nuclear will probably cause the Saudis to go nuclear themselves out of fear. A nuclear stnadoff between those two fuck ups is a big problem.

            The US and Soviets were a hundred times more reasonable and competent than either Iran or the Saudis are and we damn near blew up the world by accident several times during the cold war. All it takes is one rogue suicidal nut officer to get launch codes and you have a nuclear war.

            Second, a nuclear armed Iran would have carte blanche to endlessly fuck with the US. The Soviets fucked with the US all of the time and got away with it because the price of doing something about it was nuclear war. We don’t want Iran being in the same position.

            The biggest thing right now is to keep Iran from getting nukes. Do that and all of the things you say are true.

            1. I agree about the nukes. I can see Saudi going for those as a counter balance to Iran, which would not end well.

            2. I heard, watched, and read the exact same type of statements from people just like you concerning North Korea, and it was probably even more shill.
              “As soon as they get the nuke Dear Leader will use it, he’s insane.” – or any number of variations of that exact theme. It was screaming in horror that the coming crisis must be avoided at any cost.
              Then guess what happened ? You don’t have to guess, right ?
              So now, we have that same type of shill declaration – I admit screaming they will nuke Israel isn’t the latest popular scream, but squealing the Saudis will retaliate with proliferation is.
              I take all those shill squealings with the grain they deserve after the North Korea dear leader lesson delivered so recently.
              Not a single ranting apocalypse freak ever recanted or admitted they were proven to be completely full of it though, that I have ever seen.
              I’ve seen Ron Paul characterized by neocons and repubs as INSANE quite often, but the former lesson delivered has actually proven the insanity of the recent past is square on those neocon and republican shoulders, totally frikkin BONKERS.

            3. The real threat in that part of the world has always been Pakistan – a country with far less control of the people than any other except Afghanistan. Iran has it’s groups that want the government gone but they don’t have whole areas like the tribal areas in Pakistan where the government effectively doesn’t exist.

              Iran wants nukes so they won’t have to worry about us attacking them, because they learned the lesson of Libya and North Korea so well.

        2. Ah yes, the new giant enemy evil state that can’t match the worldwide murderous spree of the USA over the past decade plus at all, no chance what so ever.
          I wonder how many nation states we have utterly destroyed in just my lifetime.
          But the evil boogeyman is the hidden Imam… from the numeric Islam minority.
          You war wackos have all sorts of mental confusion going on far too often with that gigantic glaring hypocrisy up front and center when you do it.
          Take that other statement you made about the million of seperated Germans that got hammered for 20 years and that didn’t work out so well and apply it to us, the USA, the ones doing all the hammering…
          How does that equation work in your brain ?

        3. The Islamic Republic regime occupying Iran is the world’s greatest sponsor of terror and has terror cells throughout the world.

          Sort of depends on how you define “terror”, isn’t it? Yeah, Iran has a network of affiliates devoted to undermining the current world order (dominated by the USA) which makes them terrorists to the United States. Their support of Hezbollah and other “terrorist” organizations is no better/worse than the United States’ support of pro- and anti-government organizations around the world for decades; yet Iran’s actions are labeled as “terrorist” while the US’s are “supporting America’s interests”.

          1. You just equated Iran’s efforts to force Shia Islam on the world with America’s efforts to fight evil. You just went Full Paultard.

  4. People forget that before Rudy “Nine-eleven” Giuliani went ballistic, there was the beginning of significant applause from the audience for Paul’s statement.

    1. Of late and for some time there has been a lot of applause when Paul says it.
      The worm has turned, very few buy the whole smarmy failure in the middle east the usa has produced, and let’s face it, it’s now so twisted very few and perhaps none of us comprehend what the plan really is.
      If someone actually knows, please do tell.
      It appears the plan is destroyed nations run and plundered in terror by Islamic caliphate wannabes – thus the raging fear rhoiders need to sack Iran and Syria yet…
      The “plan” is certainly some twisted and disgusting thing none of those in charge can seem to tell us…
      Who has the line on what our wackos in charge are really doing …

  5. Telling the truth to the GOP is like driving a nail into Christ’s wrist right in front of them. Good try, Ron.

    1. How many Senators and Congressmen from the Democratic Party are willing to bite AIPACs hand?

  6. The Iranians and Chinese “don’t have a history of Expansion”. So what? The past doesn’t always dictate the future. The Germans didn’t have a history of expansion in 1850. The Iranians haven’t always been run by a group of religious fanatics committed to cleansing the world of the unbelievers.

    Then there is the “the government of Afghanistan didn’t attack us”. That is strictly speaking true. What they did do however is provide sanctuary to the people who did and then refuse to turn them over when we demanded them to. That is just as much of an act of war as sending bombers over our cities. And then for him to compare the Government of Afghanistan to the governments of Germany and Spain because the 911 attacks were planned in all those places is just full fucking retard. Germany and Spain didn’t knowingly allow the planning to occur and certainly would have stopped it had they known about it and would have happily turned over any perpetrators found in their countries after it happened. The government of Afghanistan in contrast knowingly allowed the attack to be planned on their soil and the refused to turn over the people who did it.

    1. The government of Afghanistan said we don’t really believe you show us the proof.
      The USA said we don’t have to show any proof.
      Then the USA gave their war declaration.
      Then the blundering idiot USA blew it bigtime for many, many years, cowardly and greedily ( the war racket) failed to demoralize the enemy, stretching it out beyond any sane time frame, now as far as we know, it’s permanent.
      We don’t even get the war reports on all the other many skirmishes occurring regularly with our troops in other nations, fighting the muzzies.
      “Can’t fire until fired upon” – a policy for permanent war when the overwhelming force prefers strutting around a like fluffy feathered cock over getting the job done.

      1. Get the fuck out of here. Everyone knew and knows that it was Bin Ladin. Saying the Afghan government asked for proof and we just invaded is like saying the Polish government attacked Germany and Hitler just acted in self defense.

        That is just complete lying horseshit.

    2. The Germans didn’t have a history of expansion in 1850.

      In fairness to the Germans, they had been prevented from uniting for centuries by the other powers in Europe precisely because they all (as it turns out, reasonably) feared the expansionist potential of a unified German state.

    3. Well the Chinese did move into East Turkestan and Tibet after WWII.

      However, Iran is not in the same position to impose it’s will by force on anybody except for Afghanistan and if they want that shit-hole, they can have it.

    4. Can Ron Paul please just die already? He’s a senile loon and a spent force.

  7. Paul makes some good points about how we needlessly antagonize Russia and China and how stupid and provocative it was to extend NATO up to the Russian borders. He just can’t help himself, however, from making completely fucking idiotic statements like these. He is a fucking moron. The Liberation movement is never going anywhere as long as he is their standard bearer.

    The case against intervention is that the lesson of both Iraq and Vietnam is that we cannot make people to fight for themselves. They have to choose to do so. In fact, trying to fight for them has in those two cases made them less likely to fight for themselves by creating dependence. Iraq and Vietnam are both lessons in the limits of international aid. We have to get away from the idea that we can build nations. We can’t. We didn’t rebuild Japan and Germany the Japanese and Germans did, despite the myths we tell ourselves and we haven’t rebuilt Iraq and Afghanistan and we never will. It is up to them to rebuild their own countries. It is just like ISIS. Amazingly enough, ISIS hasn’t taken Baghdad, even though everyone thought they would. It seems the threat of being overrun by lunatics and not having the US around to save their sorry asses has caused the Iraqis to get their shit together a little bit.

    1. So…sort of the international version of a parent pushing their kid out of the nest. When the choice is sink or swim, junior learns to swim.

      1. IN some ways yeah. One of our biggest problems is that we quickly forget history or rewrite it to make ourselves feel good. We have done this to our greatest harm regarding WWII. The Marshall Plan did not rebuild Europe. And while we were mostly kindly conquerors, the British and French were not. They totally screwed the Germans and stole everything they could find in the country of value as war reperations. The allies also allowed the Poles and the Czechs to dispel something like three million Germans out of East Prussia and the Sudetanland. This created a monumental refugee problem that the French and Russians refused to even help with sticking the US and UK zones with the entire problem. Despite all of this and something like 90% of their cities being leveled, the West Germans had a bigger and better economy than both the UK and the French by the early 1960s. They rebuilt themselves. We didn’t do it.

        1. Chatting politcs this morning with one of my reports. We agreed how quickly people forget or don’t understand history.

          He mentioned an aunt, ethnic German, who was expelled from the Sudetanland after the war.

          That’s just BIZARRE…how often does post war ethnic cleansing of the Sudetanland come up TWICE in one day.

          cue twilight zone music.

          1. Yeah. Most people outside of Germany and Eastern Europe don’t even know it happened.

            It all goes back to how they fucked up the end of World War I. The biggest Nazis, I mean the real killer ones who volunteered to put people in ovens, were the Bavarians, Sudeaten Germans and East Prussians. They were the ones most screwed by the end of WWI. The Sudaten Germans had lived under Austrian rule for centuries and the East Prussians had been part of Prussia. They should have remained part of Austria and Germany. But they couldn’t do that because revenge against Germany had to be obtained. So they stuck them as minorities in Poland and Czechoslovakia and the Poles and Czechs spend the next 20 years totally fucking them. That didn’t work out too well for anyone.

            1. I’ve worked for two large multi-nationals where I interacted with Europeans regularly. And I just chuckle when someone says we Americans need to be more like Europeans.

              Euros have a highly refined and extremely granular ethnic prejudice, classism, racism and anti-semitism. The idea that they are more refined and cultured than we cowboy americans is absurd.

              1. That is why I always laugh when I hear nitwits like Mark Steyn talk about how the Muslims are going to take over Europe. The Muslims have no idea who they are fucking with. The Europeans are going to exterminate them at some point, you watch.

                1. It appears you just took as much license as Steyn does in your critique of him.
                  I’ll stick it to you, noting you’re not to be believed either.

              2. I think we should adopt Ron Paul’s wisdom, immediately, if not sooner. The last thing we should ever have done was to become the world’s police force. Subsequently, with the behemoth of American military presence lifted from the world scene I would be quite surprised if more than a few months passed before Europeans were once again at war with each other. No doubt they would draw in all manner of control freaks the world over and, with any luck, do all of themselves in.

            2. How far do you want to back with the screwing?

              How about Poland being dismembered by Germany, Austria, and Russia. There was no Poland, Czechoslovakia, and so on until the end of WWI when parts of Germany, Austria and what Russia ceded to Germany to get out of the war was split up into a lot of countries – countries that were long ago swallowed up without any concern for the ethnic groups there.

              I wonder what the Poles in Russia or Germany were treated like.

        2. The allies also allowed the Poles and the Czechs to dispel something like three million Germans out of East Prussia and the Sudetanland.

          Uh, part of the excuses Hitler used was that he had to defend ethnic Germans in other countries. This was making sure that wasn’t going to happen in the future.

    2. How about the lesson being we can’t make people fight against themselves – the Koreans – the Iraqis.

      That’s a much more applicable lesson.

      I mean I’m not certain how you go into Iraq for a decade plus and totally destroy the place, then like a clueless freak declare the enemy you just armed to the hilt with weapons slammed through Benghazi and Turkey took on a new face, and now, well since we armed them and they’re fighting the place we just destroyed for ten years straight and still are messing in, why, you just can’t make them fight our armed proxy we uh… turned against…
      Really dude ? I mean you can argue a bit on a few words I used and a little on the characterization side, but what you came up with, although it sounded good, the unbelievable arrogance of it is perfectly sickening.
      Iraq was kicking the crap out of the usa “victory” for ten years while we whined in perfect CYA fashion “foreign al qaeda fighters are invading”… I mean talk about crybabies lying… the Iraqi people were slapping us silly.
      Yeah, I mean untwisting that garbage you just spewed…
      BTW Afghanis have whipped your butt too. I’d say our butt, but I’m saying your butt since I’m like thinking at some point you’ll say they need help wanting to fight for themselves.
      I mean WHAT A JOKE YOU have going there… ten years of the USA cannot win or stop the beating recieved, and yeah, you can’t make them fight for themselves…
      R O Frikkin L

      1. That is the dumbest thing I have ever read on here. But you made up for it with idiotic spacing. Seriously the spacing made it harder to read and cut back on the effect of the stupid.

        Can’t make people fight themselves? And the fucking Koreans are your example? I am pretty sure both the North and South Koreans are very happy to fight one other another.

        You are a fucking ignorant joke troll. You don’t know anything about the past or what actually happened in any of the places you speak. You just know ideology and talking points and spew them with no relation to the facts or the arguments at hand.

        Be gone TROLL!

    3. The case against intervention in Vietnam and Iraq was really that it wasn’t our business and they were no threat to us, not that those people didn’t want to fight.

      Who were we “defending” there? In Vietnam, the government was corrupt and the people dirt poor. The government never had support of the people. We were defending Cold War election stupidity – nobody wanted to be accused of “losing” Vietnam.

      In Iraq we were just lied into a war GWB wanted and nobody but a few congressmen nobody listened to had enough guts to stand up against him.

  8. Wait a minute… Korea was unjustified? Vietnam was unjustified? These were our friends, and he’s saying we should NOT have defended them?


    1. Both Korea and Vietnam were colonies (the first of Japan, the second of France) preceding the US involvement in them. Whence did these “friendships” spring?

      It might also come as news to the people who initiated these wars that they were over “friendship” obligations, considering that the proximate cause of communist aggression was quite well laid out by resolutions of the UN and US.

    2. Ho Chi Mihn worked with US OSS officers to help fight against the Japanese. He is supposed to have written letters to Truman asking for US friendship and help in getting the French out and to develop his country. The only reason a south existed is because the country united and kicked the French out and part of the peace agreement (probably to placate the US) was that there be a north and south and a reunification referendum at a later date.

      We made enemies out of potential friends simply because of political ideology.


  9. I agree that Pauline `s storry is shocking… last week I bought a gorgeous Ford Focus after I been earnin $6233 this past month and over 10/k this past-munth . this is definitely the nicest-job Ive had . I actually started 3 months ago and pretty much immediately startad making minimum $71 p/h .
    Am join this way but you can join now

  10. Please stop giving Ron Paul the spotlight. This man is a loon and a albatross for his (vastly superior) son and the liberty movement at large.

    1. The worst thing is how he’s crazy. Most of the stuff he’s saying is completely reasonable, and I’m not surprised he has fans.

      On economic issues, he’s got a fairly straightforward list of things he’d like to cut, ways he’d like to limit spending, and then this fucking obsession with the Federal Reserve. I’m totally on board with reforming the Fed, but it’s a damned bullet point compared to everything else, and obsessing about it is just writing the soundbites that say, “I am crazy!”

      And here he’s got a fairly typical non-interventionist policy except that he’s absolutely in love with letters of marque and reprisal. Yes, I get that a letter of marque and reprisal is a thing in the constitution and it would be constitutional to issue one, and our foreign policy has not been constitutional. It’s still, at best, a very minor technical detail in how you would implement your foreign policy; things like getting congressional approval are what really matter in a constitutional foreign policy. But if you were a reporter and you were being totally fair, you’d *have* to include a mention of “letters of marque and reprisal” because he said it so many times, and it’s guaranteed to come across as archaic and bizarre to your audience.

  11. Ron Paul ran for President three times. I’d think that Reason would have covered this in their own magazine in 1988.

  12. Valerie `s posting is shocking… on saturday I bought a great new Jaguar XJ after I been earnin $6211 this last four weeks an would you believe 10k this past month . it’s by-far my favourite-work I’ve ever done . I started this eight months/ago and immediately startad bringin home over $71… per hour .
    am impresses but join this site and earn money easily.

  13. Interesting, a family friend who died earlier this year was career Army and from generations that serviced in the military. He served in both Korea and Vietnam and was the first one who would tell you both were a complete waste. A man who joined the military in the belief in defending our freedoms realized his career was hijacked for useless political purposes. He had one son that did spend 4 years in the service but left. In his later years he said he just wanted to make sure none of his grandchildren joined the military to be used by our politicians. He was successful, none of his 5 grandchildren joined the military. He was a strong supporter of Dr. Paul.
    This is how you alienate a military family that believes in the constitutionally proper use of our forces.

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