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Ron Paul’s ISIS problem

 

 

Ron Paul is the Neville Chamberlain of our time – fresh off his disturbing interview in which he claimed that the crimes of Osama Bin Laden were “minor” compared to what the U.S. has done in the aftermath of 9/11 – Paul is now praising President Obama for having no ISIS strategy. Writing for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Paul penned an article entitled; Obama Has No Middle East Strategy? Good!

Hi Neville Chamberlain, we sure didn’t miss you!

We all know Chamberlain as the great appeaser and Ron Paul is no different; a man, who we will see from his article, is not one to face evil head on, but to retreat and hope it never shows up at our doorstep. There is plenty wrong with Paul’s latest article, but let us focus on the deconstruction of a few of his major points.

Paul starts off by predictably bashing those he terms as “neocons” for thinking the solution to ISIS, or “any problem” for that matter is “more bombs and troops on the ground, so they cannot understand the president’s hesitation.” The problem here is twofold; first, he assumes that anyone who bashes the President for not having a plan must be “neocon”, as if traditional Conservatives (as opposed to new, aka, “neo-conservatives”) are not allowed to think that the President should have a plan for dealing with Islamic Terror.

Second, he accuses us (supposed) neocons of thinking that bombs and soldiers are the solution to everything. I can guarantee you that no one thinks that, I wouldn’t even advocate another invasion to deal with the problem. But in the case of ISIS, it seems that bombing them to oblivion may be the best option. Negotiation is certainly not going to do much, after all, their stated goal is to establish a massive Islamic caliphate; no amount of negotiation or niceties are going to change their minds. This is common sense. Furthermore, with the knowledge that ISIS has killed two American journalists (a clear act of war), why would we ever think of not making them pay for what they’ve done?  Again, this is not a call to reinvade Iraq, but Paul must realize that sometimes bombs do make for a very good solution against psychotic terrorists who have killed your citizens!

Paul follows his mislabeling by arguing that intervening against ISIS would give Osama Bin Laden exactly what he wanted:

“A new US military incursion will not end ISIS; it will provide them with the recruiting tool they most crave, while draining the US treasury. Just what Osama bin Laden wanted!”

Yes, because bombing ISIS to oblivion will give them a new recruiting tool Ron! Paul keeps up his old argument of blowback (an idea he’s publically pushed since at least 2007, if not before). Paul is wrong on this, but he’s also wrong about what Bin Laden wanted. To know what Bin Laden wanted the U.S. to do, all you have to do is go back and read his letter to the West; a document that was mostly anti-U.S. propaganda, but one that let slip his true feelings at the end:

“As for the second question that we want to answer: What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you? (1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam…It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah’s Word and religion reign Supreme. (2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you. (a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling’s, and trading with interest…You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire.” (1)

In other words, what Bin Laden really wanted was for America to turn to Islam, and give up “lies, oppression, immorality, debauchery, fornication, homosexuality, intoxication, etc.”; not for America to provide a recruiting tool that drained our resources. What Paul doesn’t understand is that ideology drives these terrorists; and we never having gone there would not have stopped them from wanting to change or kill us. In the terrorist’s eyes we are the infidel, a depraved and unholy people; and it is there job to make us change, or leave us defeated and dead.

Paul then goes on to argue that the U.S.’s actions against Assad in Syria have led to the rise of ISIS, and that “neocons” should just admit they are wrong, and that they caused this problem; but it’s what comes next that is so amazing. Paul actually questions if ISIS is really that big a threat, as well as saying:

“If ISIS is as big a threat as they claim, why can’t they simply ask Assad to help out? Assad has never threatened the United States; ISIS has. Assad has been fighting ISIS and similar Islamist extremist groups for three years.”

If ISIS is as big a threat as they claim? Perhaps you have not heard the reports Mr. Paul; you know the ones where ISIS is taking over city after city (a size of land larger than Great Britain), slaughtering Christians throughout Iraq, and beheading two American journalists? It would seem that they are as big a threat as they claim; then again, Chamberlain hoped that Hitler wasn’t that big a threat either, with much less evidence I might add.  But that also brings up the question of Assad; Paul asks why we don’t request Assad assist in the fight against ISIS, after all, he has been fighting them for three years so that would make sense right? But wait a minute, that doesn’t logically fit; for if Assad has been fighting ISIS for the last three years, why would we need to ask his help in fighting them? Wouldn’t he already be doing so? Is he strong enough to take them on after three years of fighting them? Paul likes to question, but not provide answers.

Paul next makes a rather interesting comment on U.S. foreign policy, questioning;

“Why does the US government insist on aligning with theocracies in the Middle East? If there is anything that contradicts the US Constitution and American values it is a theocratic government. I do not believe that a majority in the Middle East wants to live under such a system, so why do we keep pushing it on them? Is that what they call promoting democracy?”

In all honesty, I really have no idea what in the world he is talking about here; why do we insist on aligning with Middle Eastern theocracies? Of which theocracies is he speaking? Out of our alliances; Israel is not a theocracy, Iraq is not a theocracy, Afghanistan may or may not be, but in their case, like with Iraq, they had free elections in which they were able to choose their leaders. If the citizens of Afghanistan chose to enact theocratic laws through theocratic rulers that is hardly us “pushing it on them” in “what they call promoting democracy.” Paul assumes that most people in the Middle East don’t want a theocratic rule, saying he “doesn’t believe” it; but if a country we liberated and helped set up free elections for decides to elect those types of people, then it really doesn’t matter what Paul believes now does it?

One more note on that particular claim; Paul says that aligning with  theocratic governments (which he supposes we insist on) somehow contradicts the U.S. Constitution and American values; even though the Constitution prevents our government from BECOMING theocratic, not allying with them when need be. Technically speaking the U.S. allying with Stalin against Hitler was a contradiction of American values as well, but sometimes you need to ally with people you vehemently disagree with in order to take out a larger threat. Then again, since Paul is the Chamberlain of our time, a WWII analogy probably won’t have any effect with him; we do after all know his views on WWII, and they are not pretty.

The former Congressman ends his rant by offering his strategy for ISIS:

“A lack of strategy is a glimmer of hope…Here’s a strategy: just come home.”

It is truly sad that Paul believes simply coming home and praying that they decide not to come after us is the best way to deal with Islamic ideological terrorism. Only in the twisted world of Ron Paul is having no strategy the best strategy of all! Paul does not seem to understand the basics of Foreign Policy; you do not eliminate the threat by staying home and pretending it doesn’t exist; Howie tried that in The Benchwarmers, and it didn’t work; no matter how much he wished it wasn’t, the sun was always there! (For those who have seen the movie, seriously can’t you just see Ron Paul playing that role?)

To this point, Paul would counter that we need to worry about shoring up defenses at home, and he is right, but we shouldn’t just sit back and hope that when they do attack us here, our defenses hold up. Instead we should make sure we are safe here, while taking measures to make sure ISIS never gets a chance to attack our homeland in the first place!

In the end we are left with another crazy Ron Paul foreign policy moment, and one more reason to be thankful that he never became President.

Works Cited:

1.  Osama Bin Laden (Al Qaeda Leader), November 24, 2002, The Guardian, “Full text: Bin Laden’s ‘letter to America'”, accessed July 8, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver

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