Charlie Hebdo: Rand and Ron Paul's Lowpoint

Blowback isn't the cause and immigration restrictions aren't the cure


Neither Ron nor Rand Paul has distinguished himself by his sagacity in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Both have made statements that are tinny at best and injurious to the cause of freedom at worst.

The elder Paul went on air claiming the killings were blowback for French interventionism in the Muslim world.

Charlie Hebdo
@bibiweb / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

And the younger Paul declared that it was time to rethink unrestrained immigration from the Muslim world.

But, I note in my column at The Week, Ron has misdiagnosed the illness and Rand has botched the cure.

Blowback, which at its core blames the victim, flies in the face of the declared motives of the attackers:

The journalists — whom the assassins identified by name before summarily executing them — were not agents of French foreign policy. Their sin was that they violated an Islamic injunction against drawing pictures of the prophet — and in unflattering ways to boot.

And using restrictionism to fight Islamic extremism would require launching a War on Immigration – in addition to the War on Terrorism that Paul allegedly opposes:

[It would] mean denying Muslims not just opportunities to study — but also travel — in the West lest they enter the country through tourist visas and then not leave, something that some of the 9/11 hijackers did, as Paul constantly reminds us. But of course, not all Muslims live in the Arab world. They also reside in Asian countries such as India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which means that travel from these nations would also have to be restricted.

This kind of bunker mentality would only deepen geopolitical hatreds, a recipe for making the West less safe and less free.

Go here to read the whole thing.