Falling Awake

Just Darts Since 2009

A simple experiment

At NRO’s “The Corner,” John Podhoretz has some advice for any blogger looking to increase traffic to his site: insult Ron Paul.  He explains: ‘There’s a whole mess of folks out there who seem to do nothing with their lives but send text messages to secure Ron Paul victories in cable-news polls, monitor Ron Paul commentary and publish magazines with “Win a Dream Date With Ron Paul” contests.’

Well, I’m not going to insult Ron Paul.  I’m going to do him the courtesy of taking his statements seriously.

At the debate held on Fox News between the Republican presidential candidates, Mr. Paul caused quite a stir by implying that the United States invited the 9/11 attacks by “bombing Iraq for ten years.”  By which he means, I suppose, that the repeated Iraqi violations of the no-fly zones–established to protect the Kurds and Shiites from Saddam Hussein–should have been ignored.

Jonah Goldberg does a nice take-down of Paul’s argument here.

And here’s how Lew Rockwell defends Ron Paul.  (Rockwell uses words like “fascist” and “Nazi” to describe the audience at the debate, so he gets extra points for some serious thinking!)

When asked point-blank if he believed that the U.S. invited the 9/11 attacks, Ron Paul responded: 

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.

…and I’m suggesting that he ducked the question.

I also note that Ron Paul evidently believes that if bin Laden says he’s glad the US is in Iraq, then he must really be glad.  I’m not sure the country needs a President who believes everything any foreign power says, and certainly not the head of a world-wide terror organization.

What else did Ron Paul say during that debate?

They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there. I mean, what would we think if we were – if other foreign countries were doing that to us?

So, for Ron Paul, isolationism is the answer.  In his worldview, all we need to do as a country to be safe and secure is to withdraw entirely from the rest of the world.  No reference, by the way to what we’re doing “over there.”  Paul has a problem with being “over there” at all.  In any capacity.

As for the “how would we like it?” argument, well, it’s ridiculous.  We are not systematically massacring segments of our population, nor are we hosting and training terrorist groups bent on the destruction of every democracy on earth.  That Paul thinks this argument is a winner shows how little he thinks of America.


By the way, just so you know, I haven’t seen either of these debates (my basic, basic cable package doesn’t include either FOX News or MSNBC) but I’ve followed them on-line.  I’d like to point out that I think it’s great that the Republican party is displaying the large size of its “tent” by including a person like Ron Paul in these debates.  And I think it’s a shame that that point hasn’t even been mentioned by the press.

Can you imagine how the media would be crowing about the “diversity” of the Democratic candidates if one of them was a 6’4″ black transvestite?

(There.  If that doesn’t increase my traffic, Podhoretz was wrong.)


3 responses to “A simple experiment

  1. Korey Kaczynski May 17, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    What Ron Paul said was that America’s foreign policy contributed to a climate of hate within the Middle East, which then contributed to 9/11. Additionally, Bin Laden himself has said that interventionism had benefited him because his anti-American message becomes applicable for many Middle Easterners who normally would not have anything against America. Do you think all these anti-American terrorists would be worked up over America had America not have had a military presence within Saudia Arabia?

    These statements are backed up by the 9/11 commission’s report. Interestingly, Rudy Giuliani has not read the report as he had not heard of Ron Paul’s suggestion before. That shows that Rudy Giuliani would not be a good leader, as he is not as tough on security as he claims to be if he doesn’t even read the report regarding the terrorist attack on his own city.

    Ron Paul is not an isolationist. An isolationist is not someone who believes in non-intervention. Ron Paul believes in free trade and good relations with other countries of the world, and does not believe in protectionism or any other such isolationistic policy. You can still have good relations with other countries if you don’t get in entangling alliances or hold sanctions against others.

    Essentially, Ron Paul’s statement regarding “how we would like it” makes complete sense; the US constantly puts sanctions on foreign nations that undermine their sovereignty, which in turn causes the fermentation of anti-American sentiment within these nations.

    Yes, looks like you increased your traffic :). If you have any other questions or need clarifications, please email me. Thank you.

  2. jackman May 18, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    I guess he told you.

  3. Mike Kriskey May 19, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Politely, though.

    In response:

    The “climate of hate” in the Middle East preceded the Iraqi sanctions, both Iraq wars, the Iranian hostage crisis and the foundation of Israel. It also preceded the foundation of the United States. The only thing that changes is the excuse that is seized upon by those who want to drum up some religious-based outrage to serve their political purposes.

    If even Danish cartoons inspire murderous riots, and Ron Paul does not want to do anything that will make Muslims angry, then I don’t see how he’s proposing anything but utter isolationism.

    I think Giuliani was using a debater’s tactic, seeking to marginalize Paul’s views by pretending that they are so far out there that he’s never even heard of them. Even if Giuliani hasn’t read the 9/11 Report, which I find hard to believe, Paul’s point of view is quite prevalent among leftists. So, it was cheap, but cheap points are often effective in debates.

    In my post, I addressed the folly of taking bin Laden’s statements at face value. He’s hardly likely to give the West good advice on how best to defeat him.

    Apparently sanctions cause anti-American sentiment, as does military action (or even presence). Any other ideas about how to deal with states that sponsor terror, short of appeasement? Perhaps a strongly worded letter?

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