I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ron Paul and the truth about US Foreign Policy

When it comes to domestic policy Ron Paul and I would probably disagree on nearly everything. That said I will have have to agree that he may be the only one speaking truth to power when it comes to foreign policy. He joined the "blame America first" crowd when he said that US foreign policy was responsible for 911 and created a virtual fire storm at the latest Republican debate. The old style libertarian Republicans have come to his defense.

The first is Lew Rockwell himself.
Ron Paul Said It
Plenty of reasonable people can disagree about foreign policy. What's really strange is when one reasonable position is completely and forcibly excluded from the public debate.

Such was the case after 9-11. Every close observer of the events of those days knows full well that these crimes were acts of revenge for US policy in the Muslim world. The CIA and the 911 Commission said as much, the terrorists themselves proclaimed it, and Osama underscored the point by naming three issues in particular: US troops in Saudi Arabia, US sanctions against Iraq, and US funding of Israeli expansionism.

So far as I know, Ron Paul is the only prominent public figure in the six years since who has given an honest telling of this truth. The explosive exchange occurred during the Republican Presidential debate in South Carolina.
He was asked if he was really a Republican.
"Well," he said, "I think the party has lost its way, because the conservative wing of the Republican Party always advocated a noninterventionist foreign policy. Senator Robert Taft didn't even want to be in NATO. George Bush won the election in the year 2000 campaigning on a humble foreign policy – no nation-building, no policing of the world. Republicans were elected to end the Korean War. The Republicans were elected to end the Vietnam War. There's a strong tradition of being anti-war in the Republican party. It is the constitutional position. It is the advice of the Founders to follow a non-interventionist foreign policy, stay out of entangling alliances, be friends with countries, negotiate and talk with them and trade with them."

He was then asked if 9-11 changed anything. He responded that US foreign policy was a "major contributing factor. Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attacked us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East – I think Reagan was right. We don't understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. So right now we're building an embassy in Iraq that's bigger than the Vatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us. "

And then out of the blue, he was asked whether we invited the attacks.

"I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it, and they are delighted that we're over there because Osama bin Laden has said, 'I am glad you're over on our sand because we can target you so much easier.' They have already now since that time – have killed 3,400 of our men, and I don't think it was necessary."
The founder of The Future of Freedom Foundation, Jacob Hornberger gives some details while defending Ron Paul.
Giuliani’s Attack on Ron Paul Falls Flat
Ron Paul once again roiled Republican presidential politics on the issue of foreign policy during last night’s debate, finishing second in the post-debate poll conducted by Fox News and first in the poll conducted by MSNBC.

Pointing out that U.S. foreign policy is the root cause of the anger and hatred that has engendered terrorism against the United States, including the 9/11 attacks, Paul suggested that America would be better off ending the U.S. government’s role as world policeman as wells its longtime policy of interventionism. He pointed to Vietnam as an example of where 60,000 American men died in a senseless war while today Americans are instead peacefully investing and trading with the Vietnamese despite their communist regime.

Paul’s point ignited an attack by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who indignantly announced that he had never heard such a theory in his life and asked Paul to retract it. Instead, Paul steadfastly stood his ground, pointing out that the CIA itself has pointed out the “blowback” that U.S. foreign policy has engendered. He cited the CIA’s installation of the shah of Iran in 1953 for producing the blowback that resulted in the taking of the U.S. hostages in Iran many years later.

In a post-debate interview, Giuliani clarified his point by reciting the official U.S. canard that was issued immediately after the 9/11 attacks – that the terrorists hate us for our “freedom and values.” Giuliani suggested that it was because of our “freedom of religion” and “freedom for women.”
Iran and classic blowback.
When Paul mentioned Iran as an example of blowback from U.S. foreign policy, he was referring to the 1953 coup in which the CIA secretly and surreptitiously engineered the ouster of the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, who had been selected Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. In his place, the CIA installed the shah of Iran, whose secret police proceeded to terrorize and torture the Iranian people for the next 25 years, with the ardent support of the U.S. government. As the Iranian people discovered the U.S. government’s role in all this, their anger and rage ultimately erupted in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution and the taking of the U.S. hostages.
And then there is Iraq; our history their has created much of the hate we now see in the Middle East - blowback big time.
Consider U.S. foreign policy toward Iraq:
  1. The U.S. support of Saddam Hussein.
  2. The U.S. furnishing of weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein and the correlative assistance provided by the U.S. in the use of such weaponry.
  3. The Persian Gulf intervention.
  4. The intentional destruction of Iraq’s water and sewage facilities, with full knowledge as to what effect such action would have on the long-term health of the Iraqi people.
  5. The more than 10 years of brutal sanctions, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children from sickness and disease.
  6. The deadly no-fly zones, which had not been authorized by either the UN or the U.S. Congress, and whose enforcement entailed the firing of missiles and the dropping of bombs that killed even more Iraqis.
  7. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright’s infamous statement to “Sixty Minutes” that reverberated throughout the Middle East that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children had been “worth it.”
  8. The invasion and occupation of Iraq, which has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of more Iraqis.
  9. The torture and sex abuse of Iraqi men at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq, photographs and videos of which are still being kept hidden by U.S. officials because of their potential blowback.
  10. The periodic rapes and murders that some U.S. troops have committed against the Iraqi people during the occupation.
  11. The arbitrary and indiscriminate searches and seizures without warrants being conducted by U.S. troops.
  12. The indefinite detentions without trial of some 20,000 Iraqi men and women in overcrowded prisons.
How can anyone honestly believe that such actions would not engender horrible anger and rage throughout the Middle East and, indeed, throughout the world?
So is Ron Paul blaming America? The answer is no.
In last night’s debate Rudy Giuliani made a mistake that is commonly made by those who view the federal government as a deity. Conflating the U.S. government and the American people, he suggested in the post-debate interview that Ron Paul was “blaming America.” Actually, Paul did no such thing. He blamed the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policies for the morass in which our nation now finds itself. Like our Founding Fathers and the Framers, Paul understands that the federal government and the country are two separate and distinct groups, which in fact is precisely why the Bill of Rights expressly protects the country from the federal government.

Ron Paul’s answers in last night’s debate reflect how differently he approaches societal problems as compared to such politicians as Rudy Giuliani. Keep in mind that Ron Paul is, first and foremost, a physician. As a doctor, he is trained in diagnosing an ailment correctly because he knows that a correct prescription almost always depends on the right diagnosis. Equally important, he isn’t going to lie to a patient or feed him a false reality about the seriousness of his ailment. In order for the patient to make the correct decision as to whether to embark on a certain course of treatment, Paul knows that it is necessary that the patient confront the reality of his condition.

Therefore, during last night’s debate Ron Paul simply was doing what he has done for many years, both as a doctor and as a congressman. He was diagnosing what ails the American body politic and prescribed the radical treatment that is necessary to heal the patient. The patient can obviously go into denial, preferring to believe instead the lies and false realities of charlatans but deep down the patient always knows that ultimately reality will not enable him to escape the consequences of having done so.
Good for you Ron Paul - keep talking truth to power.

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