The website calling itself “Conservatives4Palin.com” has recently published an article which utterly discredits that website and strips it of any right to call itself “Conservatives” 4Palin, titled “In Defense of Ron Paul’s Defense Policies”. It is a stridently libertarian Blame America First article, written by an ignorant (or deliberately lying) libertarian, Yasuhiko Genku Kimura, who provides no evidence to back his ridiculous claims, only anti-American rhetoric.
The author, at the very beginning, flatly denies that Ron Paul is an isolationist, a Blame America First loon, or an anti-defense politician, but utterly fails to provide any evidence whatsoever to back these false claims up (it’s hard to defend lies, after all). He claims:
“There exists persistent misinformation and misunderstanding perpetuated against Dr. Ron Paul’s foreign and defense-military policy in order to marginalize him and his candidacy. He is neither an isolationist nor an apologist for terrorists or dictators nor anti-defense politician as portrayed by his detractors.”
No, Mr Kamura, there is no misinformation and misunderstanding being perpetuated against Paul and his insane policies. He is every bit the isolationist, the terrorist apologist, and the anti-defense politician that he is portrayed to be. No one has fabricated anything he has said or done. It’s all proven by his own words and actions. In other words, your beloved Ron Paul has no one to blame but himself.
Let’s now deal with Kamura’s particular claims. They can be grouped into four themes:
1) “Ron Paul is not an isolationist, merely a noninterventionist, and this is the policy that the Founding Fathers advocated and practiced.”
2) “The US is to blame for the 20th and 21st century’s wars and their consequences, and they wouldn’t have been so bad if the US had minded its business.”
3) “Ron Paul is not anti-defense; he actually supports a strong defense; but the US military needs to be prepared against terrorists, not nation-states.”
4) “The Constitution and the Bill of Rights require a noninterventionist, neutralist foreign policy, and a strong defense is a Big Government program.”
Let’s now respond to each of these ridiculous claims in turn.
1) Ron Paul IS an isolationist in every sense of the world. Not only does he support a complete renunciation of any wars beyond America’s borders and a termination of all alliances and a total withdrawal of all US commitments to all allies (i.e. pulling the rug from underneath them) and turning a blind eye to the threats beyond America’s borders, he also opposes any free trade agreements, which means he’s a protectionist. That is the classical definition of an isolationist. (It is also the same policy that pre- and post-WW2 isolationist like Sen. Gerald Nye supported.)
In any case, “noninterventionism” is nothing more than a politically-correct euphemism for “isolationism”.
Despite Kemura’s false claims that “Ron Paul’s foreign policy is completely in line with that of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. He is not an isolationist; he is a neutralist”; and “The Founders and Framers of the United States expressly argued against Pax Romana and insisted on political neutrality”; and “Dr. Paul is not an isolationist. He is a neutralist in the distinguished tradition of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other Founders”, most of the Founding Fathers were NOT isolationists or even neutralists. With the sole exception of George Washington, they were sympathetic to, and many of them advocated aiding, either Britain (Federalists) or France (Anti-Federalists). During the Adams years, the US was drawn into an undeclared naval war with France; during the Jefferson years, the US, in response to bad behavior by Britain and France, instituted a trade embargo against the whole world (is that a model that Ron Paul wants to replicate?), and then replaced it with a trade embargo against these two belligerents (Macon’s Act Nr. 2). Under James Madison (Jefferson’s protege), the nation, with Jefferson’s approval, embarked on an ambitious, overly-interventionist, adventure to conquer Canada (1812). That harebrained scheme, for which the US was not prepared, almost resulted in the destruction of the Republic, yet both Madison and Jefferson supported it. (Jefferson promised that the conquest of Canada would be “mere matters of marching.”) Madison’s successor, James Monroe, earmarked half of the entire planet for US intervention and influence under the Monroe Doctrine, while promising not to interfere in EUROPE’s affairs – Europe being a minority part of the world, both in terms of surface and population.
And of course, Jefferson intervened, without Congressional authorization (but for a good reason), against the Berbery Pirates who had been harrassing American ships for decades (and European ships for centuries). And guess what? Kemura claims it was a mistake! He says:
“In this regard, Thomas Jefferson made an error by committing troops to the Barbary Wars of the early 1800s (1801 – 1805), setting a wrong precedence for global protection and cost externalization. For, his action, however well-intended and successful, was the government intervening with the activities of private American businesses that should be responsible for their own decisions and actions.”
No, Mr Kemura, Jefferson did not make an error on this issue. He was right to commit troops and thereby defend American ships. The reason why the US became involved in this was because Berbery Pirates were constantly harrassing defenseless American merchant ships. Until 1801, the US was paying huge ransoms to the pirates, at a much higher price than what building a strong navy would’ve cost. And no, this was not a government intervention in the activities of private American businesses. It was a case of the federal government doing its #1 Constitutional duty: defending the country and its citizens against foreign aggressors. The federal government was not telling private businesses (in this case, merchants) how to run their operations. The American merchant fleet was not capable of providing for its own defense, nor was it its job – that was the duty of the federal government. But according to Kemura and Paul, the federal government has no legitimate functions and the US should not respond, and not even lift a finger, even if it is attacked itself. That is a radically un-conservative, un-American belief completely at odds with the beliefs of all Founding Fathers.
2) America is NOT to blame for 9/11 nor for the vast majority of the world’s wars and hateful sentiments. Kemura claims that:
“An argument can be made that the United States’ joining the wars under the pretext of strategic alliances and national self-defense/self-interest turned regional wars in Europe and Asia into two World Wars, the ending of which did not make the world more peaceful at all.”
This is a blatant lie. The two World Wars became global wars well before the US joined them. In WW1, Japan captured German colonies in the Far East, while Britain and France captured the German colonies in Africa, in the beginning of the war, long before 1917; meanwhile, Germany attacked Belgium, France, and Russia. Meanwhile, the German and British navies sparred in 1914 in the Falklands, in the South Pacific, while Canada, Australia, and New Zealand fought the war in Europe on Britain’s side. (The Germans, the Turks, and the ANZACs also fought in Turkey and in Palestine long before 1917.)
During WW2, Japan invaded half of Asia, the Soviets sparred with the Japanese in the Far East, and Germany invaded almost all of Europe and sent large numbers of troops (the Afrika Korps) to Africa long before the first Japanese planes struck Pearl Harbor.
And the US didn’t really “join” these wars in the strict sense of the word. The US was dragged, kicking and screaming, into both of them. In WW1, the US was forced to declare war on Germany after repeated sinkings of civilian ships with large numbers of US citizens onboard – which were not only unprovoked acts of aggression, but also violations of international treaties. The Germans knew very well they would be provoking the US to respond, and yet they did so, waging an unlimited undersea war. After WW1, the problem wasn’t that they weren’t punished. The problem was that they weren’ t punished harshly enough.
As for WW2, Japan – Kemura’s ancestral (or perhaps even current) country caused it and turned it into a global war (together with Germany and Italy), and drew the United States into it. Don’t claim, Mr Kemura, that it was the actions of the FDR Administration that forced Japan to go to war with the US. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo wanted war with the US and was itching for it. And he got what he wanted. With Tojo as Japan’s Prime Minister, war was inevitable.
Kemura also falsely claims that “For instance, the siding with Stalin against Hitler resulted in the Cold War; or the supporting of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden for short-term political reasons resulted, in part, in creating two monstrous US antagonists in the so-called “war on terror.”” The fact is that the US did not create, and never supported, Osama bin Laden (whose assassination Paul supported, by the way, in contrast to the vast majority of the American people).
Kemura also claims that “Politicians speak of our allies such as Israel and strategic alliance with them but they do not seem to be cognizant of the fact that the ideas of alliances or global protection or national (i.e., state’s) self-interest are more a cause of war than of peace.”
This is gibberish, just like the rest of his article. Alliances backed by a strong defense do not cause war. They safeguard peace. It is isolationism, pacifism, and weak-defense policies that cause war. Whenever the US has stood steadfastly with its allies and kept its defense strong, peace has been safeguarded and all participants emerged stronger and safer than before. Vide NATO, which won the Cold War with the Soviet Union without firing a shot, ended genocide in the Balkans, and still safeguards peace in Europe to this day. Vide America’s post-WW2 alliances with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia, which have kept these countries (and the US) safe since their formation and which have made all members more peaceful, safer, stronger, and more prosperous than ever. All of these countries have remained staunch US allies ever since, with the Phillippines even modelling its government on that of the US.
Paul, as a fanatical isolationist, would dump all of these allies and leave them fending for themselves, thus leaving them as an easy prey for potential aggressors such as China and North Korea. This is a recipe for war, aggression, danger, and death.
Yet, this has not prevented Kemura from lying that:
“Today we stand upon the history of ceaseless foreign wars since the Spanish-American War of 1898, and upon the intricately interwoven consequences of extensive and violent interventions by the US government in the affairs of foreign nations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.”
This is utter garbage, and it’s insulting. Firstly, the US has NOT been involved in “ceaseless foreign wars” since 1898; the US has actually enjoyed peace throughout most of that time: from the end of the Spanish-American War to 1914 (the intervention in Mexico) and from 1914 to 1917; from 1918 (the end of WW1) to 1941 (the attack on PH); from 1945 to 1950; from 1953 to 1965 (when the first large US combat troops arrived in Vietnam); from 1973 to 1979; from the end of the Iranian hostage crisis to 1991 (Operation Desert Storm), and throughout the vast majority of the 1990s. Wars have been exceptions in this period, not the rule.
Furthermore, the claim that the consequences of US military interventions (and the wars that the US has been forced to fight) abroad have all been uniformly bad and are all somehow linked and “intricately intervowen” is also a blatant lie.
The claim that these wars have been “interventions by the US government in the affairs of other nations” is also a blatant lie, like the rest of the article. What Kemura calls “the affairs of other nations” were actually the Spanish genocide in Cuba; the German aggression against half of Europe and the sinking of defenseless civilian ships carrying US citizens; the German, Italian, and Japanese aggression against dozens of countries in Europe and Asia; the vast German and Japanese war crimes committed on those continents against tens of millions of people (including, but not solely, the Holocaust and the Japanese genocide of millions of Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans, and others – German and Japanese war crimes were more extensive than that and included bombings of civilian populations and of refugees, deportations, mass summary executions, the burning of entire cities like Warsaw, destroying centuries’ worth cultural heritage of entire nations like the Poles, razing entire towns such as Oradour-sur-Glane in France and Lidice in Bohemia, medical experimentations, and using millions of people as slave laborers). Of course, for Kemura and Paul, these war crimes were mere “internal affairs of other nations” and they would prefer (as Paul has told his staffers, and as Kemura has stated publicly) that the US had not “interfered” with these actions… i.e. they would prefer the US had not interfered with Germans gassing the Jews and the Japanese gassing the Chinese. “Don’t worry, Mr Hitler and Mr Tojo, we will not interfere with you gassing the Jews and the Chinese, this is none of America’s business!” is what Paul would’ve said if he were President at the time.
Genocide, especially genocide perpetrated by one nation on foreign nations (including citizens of foreign states), and aggression against one country against another (let alone aggression against dozens of countries, as Germany did in WW1 and WW2) is not a mere “internal affair of another nation”; it’s the business of the whole world. Everyone has a stake in a peaceful Europe, a peaceful Asia, and a peaceful world.
By the way, this shows that the Paulite policy of “noninterventionism, non-interference and neutralism” is not just suicidal and wrong in practical terms; it’s also immoral. And for C4P to publish an article calling for the adoption of such a policy is not just wrong, it’s downright despicable. Indeed, if Sarah Palin wants to save whatever few shreds of credibility she might retain yet, she should immediately disown these people and condemn that article.
3) Ron Paul, as proven by both his words and his actions, is stridently and fanatically anti-defense, no matter how hard Kemura will try to deny that fact. Ron Paul has always opposed (and continues to oppose) strong defense policies (including robust funding for defense as well as particular defense programs) and has always advocated (and continues to advocate) for deep defense cuts, including deep cuts in funding, modernization, operation & maintenance programs, base infrastructure (in the US and abroad), personnel, force structure, and R&D programs.
He does not merely support an immediate, precipitous withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and all other countries, he supports deep cuts to the meat and bone of the US military – the people, the training, the O&M programs, the weapons, the R&D programs, the industrial base, and the base infrastructure.
He opposed Reagan’s defense budgets and the Gipper’s particular defense programs (including the B-1 bomber) in the 1980s. He left the GOP in 1987 in part because of Reagan’s strong defense policies (and in part because of his assertive foreign policy). He opposed Bush’s defense budgets as well. He has repeatedly introduced proposals of deep defense cuts. In 2010, he teamed up with Barney Frank and Ron Wyden (strident liberals) to convene a “task force” of George-Soros-funded “analysts” who recommended defense cuts to the tune of $1 trillion – and then endorsed these cuts. Frank explained that these cuts were to be used not to cut the budget deficit, but to pay for entitlement programs.
Paul also supports all of the defense cuts called for by the debt ceiling deal, including the sequestration mechanism, which would cut defense spending by $1.087 trillion and thus gut the military, requiring draconian cuts in all categories of defense spending, including modernization, R&D, O&M, and the force structure, as well as breaking faith with the members of the military. His plan calls for total elimination of the DOE (including its defense-related programs) and for cutting defense spending down to $501 bn in FY2013. Assuming that the DOE’s defense-related programs were to be crowded into such a small, inadequate budget, it would effectively mean cutting it even further, down to $17 bn.
Ron Paul does not support a strong defense; he wants a weak defense. Ron Paul is every beat the weak-defense-politician we, his critics, say he is.
4) The fourth theme of Kemura’s pathetic screed is that he repeatedly claims that “noninterventionism, noninterference, neutralism” is a foreign policy required by the Constitution. He claims that:
“Is their approach not more consistent with the fundamental principle of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, of which Ron Paul is an acknowledged champion?”
and claims he wants to see America
“Returning to the original neutralism, and restoring the original constitutional principles as applied to foreign policy”.
This is a blatant lie. There is NOTHING, repeat, NOTHING, in the Constitution (including the Bill of Rights, which, by the way, is an integral part of the Constitution) that requires a foreign policy of “noninterventionism, noninterference, neutralism” or even dictates any kind of foreign policy at all. There is no part of the Constitution which says the US must refrain from interventions abroad, not interfere with “other nations’ affairs”, refrain from entering alliances, or remain neutral forever. Nothing.
Here’s my challenge for Kemura: find me one part of the Constitution, just one, which requires a foreign policy of “noninterventionism, noninterference, neutralism”.
You can’t. Because there is none.
The Constitution merely says who has the prerogative to make what decisions on foreign policy. Congress has the biggest prerogatives here: it provides funding and all other necessary resources to the military, writes its code of justice (the UCMJ), declares wars, ratifies treaties, confirms federal officials, generals, and ambassadors, and provides for the punishment of piracy and offenses against the Law of Nations. The President nominates people for offices and serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the military.
Kemura also seems to be propagating the well-known (and already refuted) Paulbot lie that a strong defense and a non-isolationist foreign policy are somehow Big Government policies:
“(By the way, even for those conservatives who advocate a constitutional government, when it comes to foreign and military policy, the Bill of Rights seems to stop at the border.)”
“One of the tenets of conservative ideology is adherence to the Constitution. What does the Supreme Law of the land say?
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Art. I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution lists 18 prerogatives of the Congress, nine (i.e., 50%) of which are related to military affairs, including “to raise Armies,” “to provide and maintain a Navy,” to regulate captures on land and water, to declare war, and to make regulations for the military. As Ernest Istook of the Heritage Foundation has observed, “National defense receives unique and elevated emphasis under the Constitution. It is not ‘just’ another duty of the federal government.”
Finally, Art. IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution obligates the federal government to provide for the common defense:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion[.]
Thus, providing for the common defense is not an option; it’s a constitutional obligation of the federal government. It’s a function that the government must, not merely may, perform — unlike, for example, bankruptcy laws, which the Congress may pass, but doesn’t have to and didn’t bother to enact until the late 19th century.”
Kemura also falsely claims that war is always bad for all involved, always immoral, always unjustifiable, and always destructive even for winners. He writes that:
“If we reflect upon our history fraught with wars and violence, it becomes evident that no perceived temporary gains from war victory are really ever worth the lives lost and the destructions incurred. (…) War, which is whole sale destruction, is in the final analysis never good either for the winner or for the loser. (…) We must come to our senses and realize that war, which is the act of humans killing other humans with impunity, is utter mass insanity.”
This is utter garbage. War is surely tragic, bloody, painful, and difficult. Some wars are unjustifiable; some wars are. Some wars are worth waging, and some things are worth dying for. Some wars are even NECESSARY, and some are even FOISTED UPON YOU even you don’t want them – as was the case, for the United States, with both World Wars, as I noted above.
The claim that war is always bad for the victor is also false. What does not kill you only makes you STRONGER. This is always true. The US emerged from the Spanish-American War, from WW1, from WW2, and from the end of the Cold War stronger, safer, more prosperous, and more influential than before.
Kemura decries the casualties incurred by the US in Iraq. Sometimes sacrifice is necessary. Sometimes even the ultimate sacrifice. Some things and some causes are worth dying for. I’m sure the vast majority of American troops who fought during the Spanish-American War, both World Wars, the Korean War, and Afghan War would agree with me.
The casualties sustained in Iraq were light compared to the number of troops killed at Gettysburg, the Crater (in Virginia in 1864), on Okinawa, and on Iwo Jima. And those were only singular battles.
Regardless, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice is necessary, some wars are necessary, and sometimes, they’re foisted upon you.
Kemura believes that disarmament, isolationism (for which he uses the politically-correct euphemism “noninterventionism”), and pacifism bring about peace. They don’t. They only bring about war, death, danger, and destruction – the very outcomes Kemura claims he wants to avoid. He claims:
“It pains me deeply that 4,486 U.S. servicemen and women and 316 Allied soldiers were killed (based on official US Government Report), while over 150,726 Iraqis (out of which 103,536 to 113,125 were civilians) were killed (based on Iraq Body Count Project) in these eight and half years. These numbers may be relatively small compared to other wars but we must remember that all of these people are real people just like us with families and friends whom they loved and who were loved by them. (…) The United States must find a way to achieve internal freedom, prosperity, and peace again so that she can serves as an example, a beacon, which the sane majority of the rest of the world would want to emulate.”
Yet he advocates pacifism, isolationism, turning a blind eye to all of the world’s dictatorships, terrorist organizations, and genocides, and appeasement of America’s enemies – policies that would only bring about war, death, destruction, and danger, like they always did everytime they were tried by any country.
The US has repeatedly tried such foolish, suicidal policies – before WW1, before WW2, and before 9/11 – and each time they brought about only war and death.
The ONLY way to bring about (and keep) the peace and to keep America safe and prosperous is to build and always maintain a strong military and to keep America’s defense commitments to its allies. (At the same time, the allies must keep their commitments to the US. An alliance is a two-way street. Allies have to play, collectively, just as crucial a role as the US. As President Nixon said during his second Inaugural Address, in 1973, “we shall do our part (…) but we shall expect others to do their share.”)
When America’s enemies see the US keep its defense strong and continue to honor its commitments to its allies, they don’t commit aggression. They attack only when they see an opportunity to get away with it unpunished.
It is therefore utterly ridiculous, laughable, and foolish for Kemura to lecture us conservatives about “sanity” and to claim:
“Sanity must prevail over insanity. We must come to our senses and realize that war, which is the act of humans killing other humans with impunity, is utter mass insanity. For this reason, I reason that Ron Paul’s foreign and defense policies are the only sane and workable policies.”
Ron Paul’s foreign and defense policies are utterly insane (as is Ron Paul himself) and unworkable. They are the same policies that Kemura advocates, and as stated above, they would only lead to war, death, destruction, and danger. Furthermore, it is ridiculous to claim that
“I trust that Dr. Paul is prudent and practical enough to be able to guide the course of such restoration.”
Ron Paul is neither prudent nor practical. On the contrary, he’s a fanatical libertarian ideologue who is completely irrational, delusional, and certifiably insane. He’s completely immune to reason, logic, and facts, not to mention that even simple math completely eludes him.
Therefore, it was not merely arrogant, but also irrational, immoral, and leftist of Kemura to demand that:
“Even if Ron Paul is not nominated, and no matter who becomes the Republican nominee, he or she must incorporated Dr. Paul’s rational and constitutional approach and enroll his supporters in order to restore a free, prosperous, and peaceful country envisaged by the Founders-Framers…”
Quite the contrary. Whoever becomes the Republican nominee must completely and unequivocally reject Ron Paul’s completely irrational, anti-Constitutional, pacifist, isolationist, suicidal foreign and defense policy that even most of the Founding Fathers did not agree with and did not practice. His policy is extremely leftist, extremely liberal, and has nothing to do with the Constitution or the wishes of the Founding Fathers. It would not lead to a free, prosperous, nor prosperous America, only to more war, deaths, and destruction, both in the US and around the world. As Edmund Burke rightly said, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
America will be free, prosperous, and peaceful only if it maintains a strong defense and honors its defense commitments to its allies. Isolationism is NOT the solution.
Moreover, the claim that Ron Paul is a champion, let alone an “undisputed champion”, of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, is a blatant lie. Paul is not a champion of the Constitution, merely an advocate of states’ rights. He supports Big Government at the state level. He’s perfectly fine with a nanny state government – as long as it’s at the state and local level, not at the federal level. He believes states and localities may do anything to you and deprive you of all of your rights, and you can do nothing and cannot invoke the Constitution to protect yourself. More on that subject here.
Last but not least, I’d like to point out that it is immoral not only to spread lies and to advocate immoral policies, but also to deliver lectures on issues about which one is ignorant, like Kemura is on foreign and defense policy. Kemura should never again pontificate about these issues.