[back to part 4: Economy]
“Swords Into Ploughshares: The Golden Rule for Nations”
“Bring the Boys Back Home” (if you really want to honor them)
“Can Rambo turn the other cheek?”
Ron Paul has an appropriate understanding of U.S. foreign policy, U.S. defense, and involvement in the Middle-East—far more appropriate than either of the candidates.
This video he made explaining the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction vs Mutually Assured Respect explains his well-researched, well-observed, well-understood apprehension of foreign policy and its consequences:
Says Paul, “Ideas are more powerful than weapons of war.” Paul believes in the Christian concept of “beating swords into ploughshares.” He believes that America has no right and no authority to police the world.
Woodrow Wilson believed that the U.S. could secure peace and democracy around the world through war. Nope. Instead, Paul believes in leadership “by persuasion and example, not by intimidation, bribes and war.” Ironically, this is very similar to Bush’s original platform, but after 9/11 he allowed Cheney and other advisors to warp his views, and thus the arrogant and imperialistic Bush Doctrine was put into effect. Obama’s doctrine, though it is better than Bush’s in that it recognizes that America should not act as the one world power and clarifies that we are at war with Al Queda and not Islam, is virtually the same—we’re still in Iraq, we are still poised unilaterally over the Middle-East, and he lacks enough diplomatic skill to match his rhetoric. Oh, and he’s willing to assassinate American citizens and indefinitely detain them without trial.
Paul understands that over the last 50-80 years America’s history of preemptive war, covert destabilization, foreign occupation, nation building, torture and assassination have accumulated a vast hatred of American presence in the Middle-East and other places in the world. This has provided the incentive for most of the terrorist attacks against us.
But if you were to ask most of the other Republican candidates (and even some Democrats) why the terrorists attacked on 9/11, the answer will be “they hate us cuz our freedoms.” Osama bin Laden did not plan out attacks on the World Trade Center because we have lots of money and let women vote. Those attacks were planned because Al Queda was part of a network of Islamic extremists who viewed themselves as suffering under the hand of U.S. militarism, enough to launch themselves in a suicidal attack to send a message to an empire that treads on what they believe to be holy soil. The wise will understand this explanation, and not assume that because America has blue jeans and McDonalds and Jesus that 9/11 suddenly came from an enemy with no soul. Understand that Paul is in no way saying that America deserved 9/11 or that Al Queda acted virtuously in any way whatsoever.
Ron Paul is not a blind patriot. A blind patriot believes his country is the best and that it is exempt from every rule when necessary, and that any action that makes his country greater and more secure is acceptable. A true and humble man loves the people of his country and others equally, and always loves the individuals of his country more than the idea of his country. He demonstrates his love for troops not by sending them to more, longer wars, but by bringing them home from wars they we should have never shoved them into in the first place.
Ron Paul was against the Patriot Act, because there was nothing patriotic about it.
Invading Iraq, outlawing their entire govt. and military, and trying to set up a government our way, especially when there were NO weapons of mass destruction found, had nothing to do with protecting America or promoting democracy.
Santorum took Paul’s words out of context in last year’s debates and made it sound like had implied that America deserved 9/11. When he frantically attacked Paul for his wisdom, there resounded a great cheer, and likewise a boo for Paul when he explained his stance to those present in the debate. He did not change his mind because he was booed by Republicans. He told them how they needed to think because he knew the crowd was wrong. If this stuff is new to you or scares you, I urge you to try to begin understanding the reality of U.S. foreign policy and U.S. security. Listen up:
The last time Congress formerly declared war was WW2, and this is the only way we can constitutionally declare war. Yet consider the following:
In 1953, the U.S. overthrew Prime Minsiter Mossadeq of Iran. We installed a Shah as dictator. We installed a dictator. The next year we overthrew a democratically-elected President Arbenz of Guatemala. There were 200,000 civilians killed. In 1963 we backed the assassination of S. Vietnamese Persident Diem. Then the Viet War. In 1973 we staged a coup in Chile and installed a dictator instead of a democratically-elected leader. In the 1980s we trained Osama bin Laden and his friends to kill Soviets who were invading their land. The CIA gave them 3 billion dollars. In 1982 we provided billions in aid to Saddam Hussein for weapons to kill Iranians. Then we secretly gave weapons to Iran to kill Iraqis. That’s right, selling to both sides. In 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait with U.S. weapons. In 91 we entered Iraq. Bush Sr. reinstalled a Kuwait dictator. Clinton ordered the bombing of a weapons factory in Sudan that wasn’t actuaally a weapons factory: It was an aspirin factory. Since 1991, we’ve been bombing Iraq on a weekly basis. In 2000 we gave the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan 245 million in “aid.”
But if you ask Santorum why the jihadists attacked on 9/11, he will tell you it is because our civilization is so different from ours, that they bombed New York “because of what we stand for.” Well, if he means that we stand for bombing children in the Middle-East, then yes. But we know he means that they bombed us because women vote and we have lots of money and there’s lots of churches here and that over there they have towels on their heads. Thank God that Santorum dropped out.
Here is Noam Chomsky explaining why Ron Paul’s comments from last Fall’s debates should not be considered controversial at all
Ron Paul is not anti-Israel any more than anyone who doesn’t believe we should buy Israel’s friendship with our grandchildren’s imaginary money and not give Palestinian’s a fair treatment. Why do so many Americans want to undeniably give Israel a military edge? You could say some of it is a fear of being anti-semitic, and sympathy for Jews in years since WW2. After all, the Israeli state was re-invented by the UN after the war out of sympathy. You could say a lot of it is misled, Calvinistic, premellinialist, crusade-ready Christians who believe it is “Christian America’s” duty to prepare for Armageddon by supporting Israel’s army (the book of Revelation has nothing to do with such an idea). You could say some of it is also these types of Christians thinking, “well, I’d rather give money to a Jew than a Muslim.” All these things do factor into it.
Ron Paul is not against having Israel as an ally. He wishes that to remain so. He just doesn’t want us to fund them so much and then refuse to chastise them for any actions they take against Palistinians. Both Palestine and Israel have been incredibly brutal to one another over the years, and the U.S. should be balanced in its response. Think about it this way: Israel does not need to be dependent on our aid. As Paul said, we are “taking money from the poor people of a rich country (U.S.) and giving it to the rich people of a poor country (Israel).” A continuance of foreign aid enables corruption.
Besides, Israel has at least 100 nuclear weapons, whereas Iran has zero that we know of. Iran doesn’t even have a strong enough air force to put a dent on U.S. soil, not to mention invade Israel. But then with the hundreds of nukes we have, and the possibility of us adding an oil embargo to the sanctions that are already hurting the poorest people of Iran, we’re planning to eventually sit down with them and tell them to not even enrich uranium for any purpose?
Well, the U.N. Security Council had Iran sign the NP Treaty, agreeing that said they would not seek to enrich uranium unless they declared their program and allowed U.N. investigators to monitor their use. They are bound to that agreement, and evidence shows they have violated it. You and I may have a hunch that she wants nukes, and maybe she does. However, no hard evidence is given to us that Iran is trying to arm herself. Despite their disregard for the treaty, neither sanctions, embargoes and invasion (all of which are precursors to or acts of war that hurt innocent citizens) are appropriate actions to take. You can see why Iran doesn’t want to comply with the treaty, which was meant to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, when the countries holding them responsible have so many nukes themselves. It doesn’t justify their non-compliance, but neither does their non-compliance warrant punitive actions that affect anyone other than the leaders. Besides, the U.S. has been fatally wrong about a country possessing WMDs before. Who are we to act on such presumption again?
It’s just funny to me, to hear people tout about the right to bear arms, but then tell another country they have no right to arm themselves, even though they’re surrounded by people who have weapons of mass destruction. (see video). Granted, we let N. Korea’s claims and diplomacy stall us while they armed themselves and test detonated a nuke, but have they launched them? No. And probably not for a long time, or ever. They the most militarized nation in the world, but their neighbor S. Korea spends more on their military than N. Korea has in their whole country. S. Korea could destroy their neighbor before we could get our planes to take off. Considering their leadership’s strict, Orwellian self-governing, over the past decade they’ve done quite a good job of cooperating with neighboring nations to invest in the future. They also ask us for aid. So why does N. Korea issue all these “threats”? Same reason a small dog yaps at big dogs. They’re just trying to survive by bluffing. Isn’t right, but it’s not threatening either.
Some have said, “but wait. Did not Ahmadinejad say he wanted to “wipe Israel off the map”? There is much debate as to a) the proper translation and b) the semantic meaning to what he said. There is no question that what he said was acidic, hurtful, and shameful. But did he mean that he wanted to, for example, use nukes to destroy all existence of Israeli people? Or does he want to see the government and its borders removed from the pages of history? The two nations are opposed to one another—that’s obvious. But is Iran seeking a militaristic solution? And if so, how do we know Israel is not? It’s not Ahmadinejad’s call to make, anyway (he’s got like 14 people in charge over him), so why are we registering his words like this? Iran is a country, not like Al Queda. If they tried to terrorize us with a nuke they’d be done for. They’re not stupid, or crazy.
Of course, Ron Paul’s policy is to stop enmeshing ourselves wit the U.N. and complicating our relations with allies by using such savage ways of dealing with countries. Ron Paul is merely calling for neutrality in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Both those nations have problems with one another that are far deeper than our involvement and are also partly spurred on by our involvement. Israelis have killed Palestinian children, and Palestinians have killed Israeli children. Why should we, who kill Afghani children, be one-sided?
Ron Paul’s policy is not isolationism. Isolationism would discourage trade and diplomacy bewteen countries. His policy is merely anti-empire.
Oh, and as for the Drones? I’ll let Amnesty International explain why they’re so bad:
“There are many things we don’t know about U.S. drone policy, for example, the government’s rules of engagement for drone attacks. Drone missions and strategy operate under a shroud of secrecy. But what we do know is scary — the deliberate killing of individuals deemed by the U.S. government to be terrorism suspects, far from any recognized battlefield and without charge or trial, raises grave concerns that the U.S. is committing extrajudicial executions in violation of international human rights law.”
Both Obama and Romney favor the use of drones, meaning that neither of them is pro-life, or pro-peace. In fact, according to the NY Times, “the CIA operates under the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ assumption that any male of military age in Pakistan is a potential drone target, unless intelligence has shown otherwise.” Military age in Pakistan is 16. In other words, we send drones to kill any kid who is 16 (or looks about 16). This is flat out murder. Butchery, even. Both Romney and Obama expressed satisfaction with this policy. This policy extends across both the Bush and Obama administration. I cannot even begin to conceive of voting for Obama or Romney because of this alone.
Afghanistan: Who should “take credit” for killing Obama is a sick joke of a distraction from the war crimes that the Bush and Obama administrations both committed, and Romney plans to continue.
Iraq: Obama tried to push the withdraw-from-Iraq date forward and send in more troops, 6 months before the original withdraw date. Romney doesn’t care.
Iran: Obama’s sanctions have only hurt the Iranian citizens, and given reason for the Iranian govt. to cooperate with us less. Romney wants more sanctions. Apparently this will make America—I believe the term is, “look stronger.” You know, like how bullies look stronger because they pick on people.
You’d think that since Republicans tend to be hawks that Democrats tend to be doves. Actually, they’re part of the same machine. Republicans justify warmongering on the basis that America is some kind of God-given salvation to the world who’s army is blessed in all its endeavors, especially to eradicate Muslims. Democrats justify warmongering on the utilitarian “realpolitik” basis that it’s necessary to protect democracy and modernization through the world. As a Christian, I am for peaces.
And if Christian teaching isn’t good enough for you, maybe the founding fathers will convince you: George Washington did not find it good for any nation to favor or hate any other nation (Palestine vs. Israel, for example). He believed that in playing such games we would only seek to preserve our place in power rather than to preserve any good principal concerning conduct. John Q. Adams believed that America should not go hunting for monsters around the world, for in her search for monsters she would be unable to rule her own spirit. If a nation exports destruction across the world in the name of defending herself, her spirit is not worth defending.
If you’re going to call America a Christian nation, then you must admit that America must turn the other cheek to all violence from her enemies, and instead write legislation calling for the nation to pray for her enemies. If you’re going to say America is not a Christian nation, then America, being an earthly empire like all others is bound to act on its own self-centered interests. In that case, Christian voters must give the counsel asked of us in these matters, council drawn directly from our scriptures. No matter what, I am convinced our voice should point in the same direction: Peace.
See my previous blog post about Romans 13 and the Christian’s role in an empire’s warrring, drawing from the book _A Faith Not Worth Fighting For_.
Bring the Boys Back Home
Here’s some beautiful pictures of Iran, that savage desert country that is so backwards we should wipe it off the map?
[on to part 6: Abortion]
Here’s another profound article from Red Letter Christians
about this topic and the previous debate
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On why “national security” is actually Trotskyist, not conservative.
Americans evangelicals have been seduced by militarism.