Up until this point, I was convinced that Ron Paul was a small-time grifter; seeking to pursue his opportunistic desires by running for the GOP nomination for the Presidency of the United States and that his foreign policy towards Iran– as expressed many times during GOP Presidential debates – was not only totally insane, but placed both America and Israel at significant risk.
Conversations, if that is what you want to call dueling Facebook posts, have convinced me to take a closer look at Ron Paul’s assertions that there is “war talk” afoot and that it has nothing to do with the actual threat posed by Iran against the United States or Israel.
It appears that Ron Paul’s assertion is that political forces in the United States, for reasons unknown or unstated, are using the media and political process to foment a conflict with Iran. And that the main argument centers around Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions and its potential threat to Israel and, by extension, to the United States as Israel’s only ally in the region.
Ron Paul believes, that there is no evidence that Iran has developed a nuclear weapon or is close to developing a nuclear weapon and that the United States may be lead down the garden path by talk of weapons and/or systems which may prove to be as non-existent as the fictional weapons of mass destruction which were used as the justification for the war in Iraq.
Let us put aside, for the purposes of this exploration, Ron Paul’s assertion that 9/11 was simply retribution for our actions in the region. Or that Israel is an “apartheid” nation. Or that the return to the gold standard is dangerous because you are limiting economic growth to a mined metal and assuming that other nations with large gold stocks (China, Russia, etc.) would not chose ideology over economics in causing worldwide financial chaos.
From the Council on Foreign Relations …
In the Council on Foreign Relations’ Journal Foreign Affairs (JanuaryFebruary, 2012), author Mathew Kroenig’s article “Time to Attack Iran: Why A Strike is the Least Bad Option, Kroenig posits …
“Years of international pressure have failed to halt Iran’s attempt to build a nuclear program.” – Obviously true.
“The Institute for Science and International Security, a nonprofit research institution, estimates that Iran could now produce its first nuclear weapon within six months of deciding to do so.” – Who is this group, how can their intelligence estimates be better than the CIA and other U.S. Intelligence Agencies?
“Some states in the region are doubting U.S. resolve to stop the program and are shifting their allegiances to Tehran.” – Why is the U.S. required to play policeman and protect an obvious Saudi source of state-funded Whabbist terrorism?
“Others have begun to discuss launching their own nuclear initiatives to counter a possible Iranian bomb.” – Talk is cheap and there is little reason to believe that certain nations, especially the Saudis, wouldn’t simply purchase the technology and fissile material from a third non-U.S. party, possibly China, Russia, Pakistan or North Korea.
“For those nations and the United States itself, the threat will only continue to grow as Tehran moves closer to its goal.” – Which assumes that Tehran is actually moving toward assembling multiple nuclear weapons; one for testing and the others for potential use.
“A nuclear-armed Iran would immediately limit U.S. freedom of action in the Middle East.” – Obviously true if they were a nuclear nation.
“With atomic power behind it, Iran could threaten any U.S. political or military initiative in the Middle East with nuclear war, forcing Washington to think twice before acting in the region.”
“Iran’s regional rivals, such as Saudi Arabia, would likely decide to acquire their own nuclear arsenals, sparking an arms race.”
“Iran could choose to spur proliferation by transferring nuclear technology to its allies --
other countries and terrorist groups alike.” – This is the worst case scenario played out for the American people – terrorists with a man-portable or container-based nuclear weapon to be used in an American city.
“ Having the bomb would give Iran greater cover for conventional aggression and coercive diplomacy, and the battles between its terrorist proxies and Israel, for example, could escalate.” – To what extent would Iran actually threaten Israel if mutually assured destruction were guaranteed? Are they radical jihadists and as suicidal as portrayed in the media?
“And Iran and Israel lack nearly all the safeguards that helped the United States and the Soviet Union avoid a nuclear exchange during the Cold War -- secure second-strike capabilities, clear lines of communication, long flight times for ballistic missiles from one country to the other, and experience managing nuclear arsenals.” – This is partially false given the existence of patrolling nuclear submarines with capabilities similar to ballistic missiles launched from the United States mainland.
“These security threats would require Washington to contain Tehran.” – Why would this fall to Washington, when the member nations of the United Nations and others face even greater risks than does the continental United States?
“Yet deterrence would come at a heavy price. To keep the Iranian threat at bay, the United States would need to deploy naval and ground units and potentially nuclear weapons across the Middle East, keeping a large force in the area for decades to come.” – This is not a forgone conclusion, but the opinion of some researcher and policy wonks.
The rest of the article is concerned with potential targets, potential planning and “red lines” over which Tehran could not transgress. But the author’s conclusion is crystal clear: “Strike Now or Suffer Later.”
From Foreign Policy Magazine …
Stephen Walt, writing in Foreign Policy Magazine, thinks that this is “The Worst Case for War with Iran” (December 21, 2011).
Stephen Walt writes …
“There is a simple and time-honored formula for making the case for war, especially preventive war. First, you portray the supposed threat as dire and growing, and then try to convince people that if we don't act now, horrible things will happen down the road.”
“Second, you have to persuade readers that the costs and risks of going to war aren't that great. If you want to sound sophisticated and balanced, you acknowledge that there are counterarguments and risks involved. But then you do your best to shoot down the
objections and emphasize all the ways that those risks can be minimized.”
“Kroenig's piece follows this blueprint perfectly. He assumes that Iran is hell-bent on getting nuclear weapons (not just a latent capability to produce one quickly if needed) and suggests that it is likely to cross the threshold soon. Never mind that Iran has had a nuclear program for decades and still has no weapon, and that both the 2007 and 2011 National Intelligence Estimates have concluded that there is no conclusive evidence that Iran is pursuing an actual bomb. He further assumes -- without a shred of evidence -- that a nuclear-armed Iran would have far-reaching geopolitical consequences.”
The rest of Walt’s articles examines the implication of Kroenig’s assumptions, assertions and conclusions.
My take …
It is a question of existential threats. The United States should make it clear that any nuclear attack on the United States or its allies will not result in a fact-finding commission, but an immediate retaliatory strike on targets that are likely to be associated with nuclear capabilities and who may have armed the terrorists.
The overriding assumption is that Israel with its nuclear arsenal, buried silos and submarine fleet does not possess the ability to strike its enemies in a definitive manner and/or to launch a secondary strike if necessary and that it requires the permission of the United States before unilateral action can be taken. Of course, the real concern is not a reactionary strike, but a preemptive strike for which there might be little or no actual justification. Resulting in a great loss of lives on both sides of the battlefield.
While Ron Paul might be right in believing that Israel has the muscle and will to avoid an existential threat and should should be free to pursue its own defense, he really does not know or seem to understand real world politics.
Is Ron Paul, disrespecting our allies, siding with our enemies?
“Is Ron Paul an Anti-Semite? Absolutely No. As a Jew, (half on my mother’s side), I can categorically say that I never heard anything out of his mouth, in hundreds of speeches I listened too over the years, or in my personal presence that could be called, ‘Anti-Semite.’ No slurs. No derogatory remarks.”
“He is however, most certainly Anti-Israel, and Anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the America taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs.”
Eric Dondero, Publisher
- Fmr. Senior Aide, US Cong. Ron Paul, 1997 – 2003
- Campaign Coordinator, Ron Paul for Congress, 1995/96
- National Organizer, Draft Ron Paul for President, 1991/92
- Travel Aide/Personal Asst. Ron Paul, Libertarian for President 1987/88
One might even question if Ron Paul is a useful idiot being duped by others …
On the incident that’s being talked about in some blog media about the campaign manager directing me to a press conference of our opponent Lefty Morris in Victoria to push back on Anti-Jewish charges from the Morris campaign, yes, that did happen. The Victoria Advocate described the press conference very accurately. Yes, I was asked (not forced), to attend the conference dressed in a Jewish yarlmuke, and other Jewish adornments.
There was another incident when Ron finally agreed to a meeting with Houston Jewish Young Republicans at the Freeport office. He berated them, and even shouted at one point, over their un-flinching support for Israel. So, much so, that the 6 of them walked out of the office. I was left chasing them down the hallway apologizing for my boss.
Ron Paul is most assuredly an isolationist. He denies this charge vociferously. But I can tell you straight out, I had countless arguments/discussions with him over his personal views. For example, he strenuously does not believe the United States had any business getting involved in fighting Hitler in WWII. He expressed to me countless times, that “saving the Jews,” was absolutely none of our business.
When pressed, he often times brings up conspiracy theories like FDR knew about the attacks of Pearl Harbor weeks before hand, or that WWII was just “blowback,” for Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy errors, and such.
Is this the real source of the disgusting material?
Ron was “under the spell” of left-anarchist and Lew Rockwell associate Joe Becker at the time, who was our legislative director. Norm Singleton, another Lew Rockwell fanatic agreed with Joe.
If Ron Paul should be slammed for anything, it’s not some silly remarks he’s made in the past in his Newsletters. It’s over his simply outrageously horrendous views on foreign policy, Israel, and national security for the United States. His near No vote on Afghanistan. That is the big scandal. And that is what should be given 100 times more attention from the liberal media, than this Newsletter deal.
But even Ron Paul is not the real problem when it comes to foreign affairs …
The progressive democrats have insured that we are flying blind when it comes to important world events.
The progressive democrats with their multi-culturalism, moral equivalency and political correctness has placed the United States at a significant disadvantage.
Our intelligence has been gutted by decades of progressive democrat interference in the use of human intelligence assets and by turning intelligence agencies into hyper-politicized agencies more likely to engage their rivals over mission, authority, budgets and personnel than engaging our enemies.
Too important to be left to a radical president …
The decisions relating to the pursuit is far too important to the American people to be left to the discretion of any American President and his sycophantic followers. The matter must be placed before Congress – and if action is warranted, authorized by law as per the United States’ Constitution.
Oil and weapons purchases trumps common sense when it comes to holding the Saudis accountable for their actions …
The other assumption is that wild-card Saudi Arabia is an ally even though evidence points to Saudis who financed and may have been complicit in arranging the 9/11 terror strike on our soil.
Pakistan: the next North Korea?
As for Pakistan, we need to insure that they remain capable of securing their nuclear arsenal which is there defense against a nuclear India. The are rapidly approaching becoming a failed state who existence will rely on extorted funds which will be siphoned off by their version of corrupt politicians and other high-ranking officials.
What we should really fear …
But more than the threat posed by Tehran,Pakistan or any of our traditional enemies, I think we need to be fearful of the corrupt, hyper-political and self-serving politicians in Congress who are beholden to the special interests who profit from financial, social and regime upheavals. Or whack-jobs who gain public support by appearing to be principled populists or constitutional conservatives.
One need only consider the members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees to understand why we must elect constitutional conservatives to the House, Senate and White House in 2012.
The Senate Intelligence Committee …
The House Intelligence Committee …
Mike Rogers, Chairman 8th District of Michigan
Mac Thornberry - 13th District of Texas
Sue Myrick - 9th District of North Carolina
Jeff Miller - 1st District of Florida
Mike Conaway - 11th District of Texas
Peter King - 3rd District of New York
Frank LoBiondo - 2nd District of New Jersey
Devin Nunes - 21st District of California
Lynn Westmoreland - 3rd District of Georgia
Michele Bachmann - 6th District of Minnesota
Thomas J Rooney - 16th District of Florida
Joe Heck - District of Nevada
C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Ranking Member - 2nd District of Maryland
Mike Thompson - District of California
Jan Schakowsky - 9th District of Illinois
Jim Langevin - 2nd District of Rhode Island
Adam Schiff - 29th District of California
Dan Boren - 2nd District of Oklahoma
Luis Gutierrez - 4th District of Illinois
Ben Chandler- 6th District of Kentucky
Without naming names, I can see any number of people, both democrat and republican, on these two lists who should not be trusted with the future of the United States – and some of which should be investigated for self-serving corruption.
Look at the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees and you can find the same-type of dodgy ideological and self-serving politicians who cannot be trusted with the future of the United States.
Bottom line …
In my opinion, Ron Paul has a skewed outlook on both domestic and foreign policies and an abysmal record of leadership that makes him an unlikely and undesirable leader of our nation. He is a small town hypocrite who will say or do anything to gain or maintain political power.
While he does put forth the ideas of others which have significant merit, this does not make him a leader able to execute the significant policies needed to transform America back into an economically, socially and militarily stable power for good on this planet.
With significant American lives on the line, it appears that the nuclearization of Iran and other foreign policy issues are too damn important to be left in the corrupt hands of politicians with their own twisted ideologies and self-serving agendas. And at the very least, this matter should be handled by Congress and not a reactionary President whose political ambition appears to trump America’s best interests.
We need to clean up the cesspool that is Washington or suffer the dire consequences brought about by knaves and fools.