Today, the American Thinker published an utterly ridiculous article that endorses Ron Paul for President. Its author, Russ Paladino, says he supports Ron Paul’s entire policy package, including his foreign policy. Paladino even emphasised that. He simoultaneously claims that he’s a “Tea Party conservative”, and says “I’m hoping my Tea Party compatriots, fellow conservatives, and all Americans will step outside their own comfort zones to do the same”, thus claiming he’s one of us conservatives and one of us Tea Partiers. He’s not.
Then, he proceeds to state a series of blatant lies that are supposed to justify Ron Paul’s loony foreign policy:
“The supposed “friendly Arab nations” want our troops out of their land and threaten to side with our enemies.”
Which Arab nations, Russ? Certainly not Qatar and Bahrain, which want more US troops on their soil, not fewer. Who is threatening to side with America’s enemies? Certainly not Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, or Yemen, because they understand that Iran is their enemy too.
“Our soldiers are hamstrung by politically correct rules of engagement that make them sitting ducks.”
True – but your beloved Ron Paul voted AGAINST abolishing these ROE.
“Our economy is collapsing under the weight of our debt (a good portion of which goes to fund our worldwide military adventures)”
That is a blatant lie. It, by itself, proves that Russ Paladino is a libertarian loon and was never a Tea Partier nor a conservative. America’s military spending IS NOT responsible for the country’s debt problem. The vast majority of the spending hike of the last 12 years went to CIVILIAN programs, not military ones. The total military budget accounts for less than 19% of the total federal budget; the GWOT (OCO) portion of it is just a 4% part of the total federal budget, the rest being defense spending, which pays for the bone and meat of the US military. Paladino’s false claim that the military budget is responsible for America’s debt problem revealed who he really is and betrayed his real ideology: anti-defense libertarianism.
Paladino then claimed that:
“Our effort to be an honest broker of Israeli/Palestinian peace has produced a decades-long record of abject failure. The game is such that we give mountains of money to both sides and then compel Israel to fall in line with our demands. We simultaneously force Palestinians to make promises that they have no intention of keeping. (…) This just so happens to be the view of Ron Paul as well. He believes that we should always provide unambiguous rhetorical support for Israel and trade our goods and military armaments with her freely. We must also liberate her from the heavy hand of U.S. dominance in her affairs.”
That is yet another blatant Blame America First lie. It also shows why AT decided to publish this article – because it absolves Israel of any responsibility for the failure of the peace process and blames solely the US and Palestinians, while simoultaneously claiming that the US impinges on Israel’s sovereignty and forces it to accept demands it cannot accept. This is an insidious lie.
The US has never made any unacceptable demands on Israel or impinged on its sovereignty. It has never had a “heavy hand of dominance” in Israel’s affairs. On a few occassions, it has made meek requests that Israel stop doing this or that, but they were so meek that Israel knew it would not have to comply. For the last 44 years, the US has staunchly backed Israel – diplomatically, economically, and militarily, while not impinging on Israel’s sovereignty. Moreover, Israel needs US aid to develop and produce ballistic missile defense systems. For anyone to claim that the US has impinged on Israel’s sovereignty or compelled it to accept unacceptable demands is despicable and false.
Ron Paul, in any case, is no supporter of Israel, despite the fact that he has recently shifted from his “Blame America AND Israel” rhetoric to “Blame America Only”. Ron Paul would cut off all aid to Israel, which is the biggest recipient of US foreign aid by far, including funding for the forementioned BMD programs. No one who really supports Israel would ever vote for Ron Paul.
And those are not the only problems with Ron Paul’s foreign and defense policies – far from it. In fact, while Paladino conveniently omitted all the others, they are numerous, serious, and disqualifying.
Ron Paul supports a policy of appeasement towards America’s enemies from Russia, to China, to Iran, to North Korea.
He believes it would be okay if Iran acquired nuclear weapons.
He supports, and has repeatedly tried to enact, together with his liberal pals Barney Frank and Ron Wyden, massive defense cuts that would gut the military.
He wants American troops to be withdrawn from all foreign countries where they are currently stationed, even from countries where they are needed, such as South Korea and Japan.
He has said that American bases in Australia somehow cause Islamic terrorists to hate the US and invite attacks on the United States.
He wants the US to terminate all of its defense commitments to all of its allies, even longstanding strategic allies such as Britain and Japan.
He wants to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan immediately, before the mission is accomplished, ignoring the advice of the commanders on the ground.
He believes that America is to blame for 9/11 and that the Bush Administration was gleeful about the 9/11 attacks.
He believes that the US is an “empire”.
He believes that if the US would just withdraw from world affairs, dump all of its allies, and retrench behind oceans, it would be safe and no one would attack it, i.e. that the crocodile won’t come to eat us. (Has he ever heard of ICBMs, SLBMs, cyberweapons, EMP weapons, or aircraft carriers?)
And on and on and on.
Paladino wrongly asks, “Why are we are so willing to dismiss the one candidate in this race who dares to highlight the undeniable truths about our foreign policy failures?” Firstly, Ron Paul is not the only candidate for the nomination who speaks about the failures of America’s foreign policy. All GOP candidates regularly do so. The difference between Ron Paul and the rest (excluding Gary Johnson and Jon Huntsman) is that the other 5 candidates, more or less, recognize that the failure of Obama’s foreign policy is appeasement combined with massive defense cuts and naivete, while Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and Jon Huntsman believe that the US is to blame for the world’s problems and that the solution (according to Paul and Johnson) is isolationism combined with massive defense cuts. And no, Ron Paul has not highlighted any truth about anything; he’s merely stated one blatant lie after another.
America’s foreign policy has failed miserably indeed, but Ron Paul’s prescriptions are NOT the solutions and are the wrong way to go.
Paladino then wrongly asks, “How could it be that we are terrified to consider the concept of pulling back, regrouping, and retooling that which is demonstrably failing?”
And again, that is garbage. The American people are not terrified to consider “regrouping and retooling that which is demonstrably failing”, they are adamantly opposed to defense cuts and isolationism. Yet, this is exactly what Ron Paul advocates, continuing the traditions of WW-2 era isolationists like Senator Nye and former President Hoover. He supports massive defense cuts and isolationism, not mere “pulling back, regrouping, and retooling”.
Paladino then asks a straw man question:
“It is less patriotic to keep the status quo than to acknowledge our foreign policy failures and correct them. Don’t we owe that much to the troops?”
The truth is that none of the candidates want to keep the status quo; all of them support significant changes to America’s foreign policy. They merely differ on what those failures are and how to correct them. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson think that the problem is that the US is an arrogant, evil empire which has justly invited attacks on itself. And they think that the solution is massive defense cuts combined with isolationism and Chamberlainian appeasement of America’s enemies. The other candidates disagree, as do I.
And since Paladino lectures us conservatives on what we owe to the troops, here’s my message: I’ve been publicly commenting on the failures of US foreign policy for over 3 years now, and many months ago, in the pages of the American Thinker and Conservatives4Palin.com, I described these foreign policy failures in detail and outlined the solutions – both general principles for a new foreign policy as well as specific prescriptions on some issues. Here on my own blog, I’ve done the same in more detail. I’ve outlined both fundamental principles for a new foreign affairs approach as well as solutions to specific FP problems. Do I owe the troops at least that much? Yes, I do, and I’ve done exactly that.
Paladino also claims that
“It’s not that our soldiers have not gone above and beyond everything we’ve asked them to do, and done it with heroism and honor. It’s that we’ve seen fit to keep them deployed indefinitely in an ill-defined mission, where the concept of victory is far from clear.”
This is only partially correct – to the extent that the mission is ill-defined and the concept of victory is far from clear. But the Iraqi war is over, and the Afghan war is scheduled to end by a date certain – December 31st, 2014, a deadline for withdrawal set by Barack Obama. So they are not deployed indefinitely.
Paladino then asks:
“Perhaps this is why Ron Paul is far and away the choice of active duty military in terms of campaign contributions?”
Not really. And although I’m told that he receives more campaign contributions from military servicemembers than any other candidate, few (if any) veterans have so far come out publicly and endorsed him. No MOH, Service Cross, or Purple Heart recipients. On the other hand, Rick Perry has been endorsed publicly by five American heroes: MOH recipients Dakota Meyer, James Livingston, and Michael Thornton, Navy Cross recipient Marcus Luttrell, and Purple Heart recipient Daniel Moran.
Besides them, almost 100 other veterans have publicly endorsed Rick Perry. Sgt Dakota Meyer, MOH, serves as the Veterans For Perry national organization co-chairman.
Paladino then decries the fact that:
“Our military is spread dangerously thin, and its bloated bureaucracy is just as detrimental to our physical security as our fiscal mess is to our economic security.”
Yet, it is not the DOD’s bloated bureaucracy that Ron Paul targets for cuts; it’s the meat and bone of the military – personnel, units, weapons, weapon programs, and O&M programs. He would gut the military if elected President. Besides, even the DOD’s big bureaucracy is not large enough to do the defense budget cuts that Paul demands.
Paladino then falsely and ridiculously claimed that
Ron Paul’s approach is the most comprehensive of all the candidates’ for returning the United States of America to its constitutional roots and founding principles. (…) Ron Paul has been doggedly consistent in his fidelity to the constitution in all his years in public office.”