Friday, 12 October 2007

Ron Paul beclowns himself at GOP debate

From the recent GOP Presidential debate came the following exchange between Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul:
Another sharp exchange occurred between Giuliani and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the only major GOP candidate opposed to the war in Iraq. Paul was livid that the others would be willing to attack Iran -- without getting approval from Congress as Paul says the Constitution requires -- to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

"Why don't we just open up the Constitution and read it?" Paul asked. "If there is an imminent attack on us -- we've never had that happen in 220 years. The thought that the Iranians could pose an imminent attack on the United States is preposterous. This is just war propaganda ... preparing this nation to ... spread this war ... into Iran unconstitutionally. It is a road to disaster for us as a nation."

Repeating Paul's line that, "We've never had an enemy attack," Giuliani said, "I don't know where he was on Sept. 11."

"That was not a country -- that was 19 thugs," Paul interjected.

Giuliani fired back: "It was kind of organized in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and if we'd have known about it, maybe hitting a target there quickly might have helped prevent it."
19 thugs. 19 thugs?

I'm sorry but that is one of the most cognitively dissonant statements to come out of the debates on
either side of politics.

If you're a libertarian then that's fine. I agree with a lot of that platform. However, to give uncritical support to Ron Paul, a man who has very little understanding of the wider world, means that you are completely non-serious in your political beliefs.

(Nothing Follows)


Skip said...

Okay, but better a clown than an idiot! What country is named "Terrorist"? If 19 were allegedly came from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia why didn't we bomb the shit out of them instead of a nation (IRAQ) that had nothing to do with 911?.

RudyMcRomney can't open their yaps without uttering the words "911 or terrorists". I am a far more afraid of them being at the helm of my government that some radicalislamofaciastmuslim planting bombs on my back door step.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Finally you have hit the nail on the head. We should, as a country, do whatever possible to preempt any attack by whatever means necessary. And we should hold the countries creating these monsters responsible for their own products. Given that, this web site notes that the nationalities of the hijackers breaks down to 1 from Egypt, 1 from United Arab Emirates, 4 unknown, 1 Lebanese, and 12 from Saudi Arabia. Given those facts shouldn’t Saudi Arabia bear some of the blame? After all, Osama himself stated that 911 was a response to the USA’s presence and influence in the Middle East. Then the site also notes that the hijackers lived in America for some time before springing their plot. Should we have attacked American cities to stop the eminent attack? Or study the statements of Osama and the reports of the CIA and stop making policy that creates the ripe atmosphere for blowback attacks.

Anonymous said...

The cognitive dissonance was Giulianis assertion that we could have pre-empted that attack by attacking Afghanistan. Bill Clinton, in fact, had attacked Afghanistan, and Sudan, with no impact on Al Queda, but a politically negative impact for the U.S. - And, there were even more terrorist attacks after we deposed the Taliban, so how in the world does giuliani think that by attacking Iran Preemptively, we can stop a terrorist attack ?

Anonymous said...

The Constitution gives the Congress the right to declare war. Period.

American military forces obviously have the right to defend themselves if attacked and to take defensive measures if it's apparent an attack is imminent. In this context "imminent" means "catching the Japanese forces bent on attacking Pearl Harbor in the air". It does NOT mean "the President thinks Japan might attack us, so we can attack them in late 1940".

If Iran develops a nuclear capability and the President thinks they may use it someday, that's not an imminent attack by any stretch of the imagination. Worshippers of the imperial Presidency may not like it, but in that circumstance attacking Iran without going to the Congress for authorization would be an impeachable offense. To argue otherwise is to assert that the mere existence of unfriendly states constitutes an imminent attack threat, and in addition to being a paranoid delusion this would render the Constitution essentially meaningless.

9/11 is actually an insensible counterargument. Had we known the 9/11 attack was imminent, we could have prevented it using law enforcement personnel. If in addition to seizing the hijackers the President also wanted to attack Afghanistan, he certainly could take the two or three days necessary to secure Congressional approval. The only reason the 9/11 attack was even possible was because we did not know it was imminent - making Giuliani's statement a non sequitur.

And yes, fundamentally the 9/11 attack was carried out by 19 men. And that's the whole problem with the military approach to the war on terror. There is no military victory you can achieve which will be total enough that 19 men with box cutters won't be able to respond to it if they choose. We have conquered Iraq, and can kick down any door in Iraq we want, but individual terrorists can still launch attacks on our forces if they choose to. Terrorist forces are simply too small and too easy to supply for military victory to make any difference.

Unknown said...

Generally the purpose of making war is one of two things:

1) To impose your political will on others by force

2) To destroy the enemy's ability to impose it's political will on you by force.

You cannot destroy the ability of a criminal organization to perform criminal acts by destroying the government under which they happen to live. You surely cannot destroy the ability of a criminal organization to commit criminal acts by bombing a totally unrelated country. You destroy the ability of a criminal organization to commit criminal acts by destroying the criminal organization. In the case of a foreign criminal organization, the Constitution grants special tools to Congress for use against pirates -- the terrorists of their day. These tools are called Letters of Marquis and Reprisal.

We are willing to pay $1 trillion to destroy and then rebuild Iraq which not only did not attack us but lacked to capability to attack us. We are only willing to pay $25 million for the head of bin Ladin. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

If you neocons would get over the idea that big government, when run by people with an (R) after their names, is 100% honest and pure, you might realize that the Bush foreign policy is just an extension of the Clinton foreign policy, which is just an extension of the first Bush foreign policy.

Remember when nation building was a bad idea, when Clinton was doing it? Or is nation building by Democrats a bad idea, and nation building by Republicans a good idea? Is the value of an act determined by the nature of the act, or by the identity of the actor? Apparently, in modern American politics, the value of an act is determined only by the identity of the actor, since neither of the lesser evil parties has even a passing familiarity with principal. Ron Paul is the exception which proves this rule.

Fereydoun Taslimi said...

US President should have the power to attack and destroy any nation, culture or people at will. This is what makes US different. Other countries should accept this and be happy and grateful once attacked, unlike the Iraqi's and Afghani's who are constantly complaining about misery and suffering and most of all death.

Such ungratefulness make me want to vomit.