There He Goes Again: Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) Justifies the Actions of the Detroit Bomber by Gregory Hilton

In a debate on CNN’s Larry King Live last night Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was once again out front justifying the actions of America’s enemies. Ben Stein said the U.S. attack on an al-Qaeda camp in Yemen two weeks ago was warranted “because they are terrorists, murderers and they’re very anti-American.” The Texas lawmaker responded by saying: “Why are they terrorists? They’re terrorists because we’re occupiers.”
This is not a new argument for the former Libertarian Party presidential candidate. He has often said the same thing to justify al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack, “They attack us because we are over there. We were bombing Iraq for 10 years. . . If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem. 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.”
First, the United States did not bomb civilian targets in Iraq for 10 years. As usual, Rep. Paul never explains America’s role in Iraq. The Clinton Administration, along with our coalition allies, merely enforced the no-fly zone which was established after the Gulf War.
The Coalition was permitted to fly warplanes over the no fly zone to prevent Saddam Hussein’s government from using military aircraft to attack Kurds and Shiite Muslims. Iraq repeatedly attacked U.S. and British aircraft that were enforcing the no fly zone. This required missiles to be launched primarily at radar, command-and-control installations, and bases for Iraq’s highly mobile surface-to-air missiles.
Second, The United States has never occupied Yemen. 15 of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and America was never bombing their country. The Gulf War was waged in part to defend Saudi Arabia.
Third, Osama bin Laden’s own tapes emphasize his hatred of the United States which goes well beyond our support of Israel. They hate America’s life style, our freedom, the emancipation of women, democracy, human rights, freedom of religion and everything else the United States represents. Their hatred would continue if all U.S. aid to Israel was stopped, which is what Rep. Paul advocates.
Fourth, Paul’s repeated insistence that “There would be no risk of somebody invading us” is just what the isolationists of the 1930s believed — right up until Pearl Harbor. Paul’s idea that we can maintain peace by halting our projection of military strength has been proven wrong by history. He wants the United States to ignore genocide, ethnic cleaning, human rights violations, terrorism and numerous security challenges. No one wants America to be the world policeman, but sometimes our military is needed.
Fifth, Paul justifies his isolationist foreign policy by pointing to the founding fathers. He may not realize why ‘The Shores of Tripoli’ are in the Marine Corps hymn. In the early 1800s Islamic fanatics were capturing American merchant ships in the Mediterranean. They hijacked ships and cargo, and either murdered or enslaved the crews. The Pasha of Tripoli demanded ransom from President Thomas Jefferson in 1801. Jefferson instead sent the Navy and Marines to subdue Tripoli and to capture the pirates. A state of war existed between these Islamic states and America until 1830.
Similar to Ben Stein, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity is also criticizing Rep. Paul and the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. Many Paul supporters describe themselves as very conservative, but Hannity says they are actually backing an isolationist foreign policy and national security agenda which is far to the left of the Democratic Party. Hannity noted that Republicans lost two U.S. Senate seats in 2008, Oregon and Minnesota, because of the Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates. Libertarians who receive 1 or 2% of the vote are responsible for the Democratic Party’s current 60 seat super majority.
Last week Hannity called the Texas lawmaker crazy and nuts, and said many of his efforts are directed at silly conspiracy theories. The most prominent “anti-war” libertarian website has just published an article entitled “Sean Hannity Can’t Stand Ron Paulians: But after all, he is a paid shill for the merchants of death.” It reprinted this December 14th exchange between Hannity and a caller named George from Chicago. The libertarians are obviously sympathetic to the viewpoint of the caller.
George: “…yeah and we have the most corrupt government in the world, the biggest world empire… and you’re a violent imperialist.”
Hannity: “I’m a violent what? What is violent about me?”
George: “Because you love death, destruction and murder. You’re a spokesman for the merchants of death,Sean Hannity. The military industrial complex owns you – it’s time to wake up and be a Ron Paul Republican.”
Hannity: “What is the military industrial complex?
George: “Raytheon, G.E, Northrup Grumman, etc. You act like the Pentagon isn’t the biggest socialist part of our government Sean.”
Hannity: “They own me; is that what you are saying?”
George: “You’re a spokesman for the merchants of death.”
Hannity: “I’m a ‘spokesman for the merchants of death’. And what do you suggest we do for our national defense?
George: “Certainly, but they shouldn’t be controlling our government the way they do now”. . .
Hannity: “I think the fact that we have great companies creating defense weapons to keep us safe is fantastic. Yes, I think it is wonderful. So I am part of the industrial military complex that you discuss because I believe in security, safety, liberty, freedom and everything else that is associated with it.”

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