Monday, November 28, 2011

Hats off to Congressman Ron Paul

November 23, 2011

By Saeed Qureshi

The only saner voice in the CNN’s Tuesday’s live debate on National Security of United States was that of Congressman Ron Paul’s who spoke the objective truth and an impartial yet bold analysis which to the jaundiced Republicans must be unpalatable and difficult to digest.

While Jon Huntsman, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum went out of the way to stand by Israel despite her brazen provocations and even supported her projected attack on Iran nuclear sites, Congressman debunked such bias. He instead cautioned America not to undermine her own interests for a country that has become a burdensome liability for United States.

By his unalloyed and categorical answers on national security and other grave issues, he looked dignified and truthful as compared to other participants looking unrealistic, and dishing out subjective and run of the mill answers.

Ron is a libertarian and has the courage and bluntness to call a spade a spade. He did not mince his words or showed his preference for certain countries because they were the allies or protégé of America. He pointed out that while American administration was concerned and focused on Iran’s nuclear program and wanted to destroy that with the help of Israel, no one talks of the two to three hundred nuclear missiles that Israel possessed.

He hit right on the nail when he espoused that United States should leave Israel alone to settle her affairs on her own. Also he questioned why America was involved in useless wars fighting on the foreign soils for trumped up reasons undermining its domestic priorities resulting into a battered economy. In this regard his argument was, “we should leave Israel to fend for itself”. He called for “disentangling ourselves from Afghanistan and even for an end to the war on drugs.”

He warned that it would be a great folly to attack Iran as it would spell disaster for the entire region. The implied message of Ron was that destroying Iraq’s and Syrian nuclear facilities or plants was far easier for Israel. But this would be an extremely dangerous venture in regards to Iran that was more powerful that those countries.

“His most stunning yet realistic criticism dwelled on blindly putting all eggs in the Israeli basket, Mr. Paul said, “And then they decide they want to bomb something, that's their business, but they should, you know, suffer the consequences. When they bombed the Iraqi missile site, nuclear site, back in the '80s, I was one of the few in Congress that said it's none of our business and Israel should take care of themselves.”

“Israel has 200, 300 nuclear missiles. And they can take care of themselves. Why should we commit -- we don't even have a treaty with Israel. Why do we have this automatic commitment that we're going to send our kids and send our money endlessly to Israel? So I think they're quite capable of taking care of themselves.”

When asked by the moderator if he would support Israel’s attack on Iran, he bluntly answered, “No, I wouldn't do that.”He further elucidated his point by saying that, “There would be good reasons because I don't expect it to happen. Because, you know, the Mossad leader that just retired said it would be the stupidest thing to do in the world. And it's a big argument over in Israel. They're not about to do this. They’ve just polled 40 major experts on foreign policy here by the National Journal.”

“Not one of them said there should be a unilateral attack on -- on the sites in -- in Iran. So that's not going to happen. And if it did -- you're supposing that if it did, why does Israel need our help? We need to get out of their way. I mean, we interfere with them. We interfere with them when they deal with their borders. When they want to have peace treaties, we tell them what they can do because we buy their allegiance and they sacrifice their sovereignty to us.”

He vehemently defended the rule of law and the civil liberties by arguing that “But why I really fear it is we have drifted into a condition that we were warned against because our early founders were very clear. They said; don't be willing to sacrifice liberty for security. We dealt with it rather well with Timothy McVeigh."

"Today it seems too easy that our government and our congresses are so willing to give up our liberties for our security. I have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights”

Defining terrorism and the wrong interpretation of this term he said that,” I am convinced that needless and unnecessary wars are a great detriment. They undermine our prosperity and our liberties. They add to our deficits and they consume our welfare. We should take a careful look at our foreign policy.

“I think the Patriot Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. I'm concerned, as everybody is, about the terrorist attack. Timothy McVeigh was a vicious terrorist. He was arrested. Terrorism is still on the books, internationally and nationally, it's a crime and we should deal with it.”

Mr. Gingrich made a comment about stringent laws and preference of security over the liberties by saying that, “Timothy McVeigh killed a lot of Americans. I don't want a law that says after we lose a major American city, we're sure going to come and find you. I want a law that says, you try to take out an American city, we're going to stop you.”

Congressman Ron’s answer was, “This is like saying that we need a policeman in every house, a camera in every house because we want to prevent child-beating and wife-beating. You can prevent crimes by becoming a police state. So if you advocate the police state, yes, you can have safety and security and you might prevent a crime, but the crime then will be against the American people and against our freedoms. And we will throw out so much of what our revolution was fought for. So don't do it so carelessly. That's digging a hole for ourselves.”

He further explained that, “I think we're using too much carelessness in the use of words that we're at war. I don't remember voting on -- on a declared -- declaration of war. Oh, we're against terrorism. And terrorism is a tactic. It isn't a person. It isn't a people. So this is a very careless use of words. What about this? Sacrifice liberties because there are terrorists? You're the judge and the jury? No, they're suspects. And they have changed the wording on the definition of al-Qaeda and Taliban.

"It's anybody associated with organizations, which means almost anybody can be loosely associated so that makes all Americans vulnerable. And now we know that American citizens are vulnerable to assassination.So I would be very cautious about protecting the rule of law. It will be a sacrifice that you'll be sorry for.”

About Taliban he explained that those were the people who were fighting against a foreign invader that has occupied their country. Buffeting his answer he put a counter question that if someone attacks America would the American not fight against the aggressor in every possible manner? Thus he justified the insurgency or the fighting by Taliban as legitimate to oust an invader that has occupied their country.

His words were, “And I worry a lot about people never have come around to understanding who the Taliban is and why they are motivated. “Taliban doesn't mean they want to come here and kill us. The Taliban means they want to kill us over there because all they want to do is get people who occupy their country out of their country, just like we would if anybody tried to occupy us”.

About Al-Qaida he said, “Al Qaeda is inspired by the fact that we had bases in Saudi Arabia. So if you want to inspire al Qaeda, just meddle in -- in that region. That will inspire the al Qaeda. So there is a response. Al Qaeda responds to that and they -- they are quite annoyed with us. So if you drop -- if you have a no- fly zone over Syria, that's an act of war. What if we had China put a no-fly zone over our territory? I don't think -- I don't think we would like that.”

Advocating a policy of non-interference in other countries, Congressman Paul espoused, “And I think we should practice a policy of good will to other people. What about saying that we don't do anything to any other country that we don't have them do to us? When we have a no-fly zone over Iraq, it was for -- meant to be regime change. And evidently, some want to have regime change.”

He strongly advocated the recalling of American forces from Afghanistan and elsewhere stressing that these wars have proved to be futile and instead tarnished the image of America that has been waging wars one after another for decades now.

What is our business? Why should we spend more money and more lives to get involved in another war? That's and -- that is the internal affairs of the other nations and we don't want -- we don't need another nation to start nation building. We have way too many already. So this is just looking for more trouble. I would say why don't we mind our own business?”
Commenting on wars that America has been waging for decades and the urgency to wind these up and the way they were weakening the American economy he warned that, “I think we do detriment -- just think of all the money we gave to Egypt over 30 or 40 years. Now, look, we were buying friendship. Now there's a civil war, they're less friendly to Israel.”

“The whole thing is going to backfire once we go bankrupt and we remove our troops, so I think we should be very cautious in our willingness to go to war and send troops without a proper declaration by the U.S. Congress. I think the aid is all worthless. It doesn't do any good for most of the people. You take money from poor people in this country and you end up giving it to rich people in poor countries.”

“And they're used as weapons of war so you accomplish nothing. We should export some, maybe some principles about free markets and sound money and maybe they could produce some of their -- their own wealth. But this whole idea of -- of talking about the endless wars and the endless foreign aid, it seems like nobody cares about the budget. I mean, we -- we're in big trouble and -- and -- and nobody wants to cut anything.”

So if you're going to keep sending foreign aid overseas and these endless wars that you don't have to declare and -- and go into Libya without even consulting with the Congress, the biggest threat -- the biggest threat to our national security is our financial condition. And this is just aggravating it.”
When Mitt Romney pointed out that defense budget was being trimmed by a trillion dollars, Ron Paul shot back, “Well, they're not cutting anything out of anything. All this talk is just talk------believe me. They're cutting -- they're nibbling away at baseline budgeting, and its automatic increases. There's nothing cut against the military. And the people on the Hill are nearly hysterical because they're not going -- the budget isn't going up as rapidly as they want it to. It's a road to disaster. We had better wake up.”
About controlling the inflow or drug trafficking from Mexico to the United States, he ridiculed all such claims and efforts mounted by the relevant authorities and even the claims made by other participants in the debate. He outlined that massive amount of money has been spent on checking such illicit drug trade besides the anti narcotics agencies operations but still the Americans were smoking marijuana and this trade was as robust and flourishing as ever.

He suggested that it should be permitted so that those who smoke this intoxicant can do it openly and freely. He further remarked that it would benefit the patients with serious health problems such as cancer patients who are even now diagnosed marijuana as a treatment.

“The drug was mentioned. I think that's another war we ought to cancel, because it's...... to nobody's benefit. And that's where the violence is coming from. But, yes, we do have a national responsibility for our borders. What I'm, sort of, tired of is all the money spent and lives lost worrying about the borders between Pakistan and Afghanistan and forgetting about our borders between the United States and Mexico. We should think more about, you know, what we do at home.”

When the moderator interrupted him by remarking that,”But I just want you to clarify. When you say cancel the war on drugs, does that mean legalize all these drugs? Ron Paul quipped, “I think the federal war on drugs is a total failure.”

You can -- you can at least let sick people have marijuana because it's helpful, but compassionate conservatives say, well, we can't do this; we're going to put people who are sick and dying with cancer and they're being helped with marijuana, if they have multiple sclerosis -- the federal government's going in there and overriding state laws and putting people like that in prison.”

Why don't we handle the drugs like we handle alcohol? Alcohol is a deadly drug. What about -- the real deadly drugs are the prescription drugs. They kill a lot more people than the illegal drugs. So the drug war is out of control. I fear the drug war because it undermines our civil liberties. It magnifies our problems on the borders. We spend -- like, over the last 40 years, $1 trillion on this war. And believe me; the kids can still get the drugs. It just hasn't worked.”

About the illegal immigrants his views were candid and squarely objective. He said that, “We need better immigration services, obviously. But, you know, if you subsidize something or give people incentives, you get more of it. So if you give easy road to citizenship, you're going to have more illegals. If you have a weak economy, which is understandable and we should have prevented, that's understandable.
He continued by pleading that, “Giving -- mandating to the states and to Texas that we have to provide free medical care and free education, that's a great burden. It's a great burden to California and all the Border States. So I would say eliminate all these benefits and talk about eliminating the welfare state because it's detrimental not only to here but the people that come because that's the incentive to bring their families with them.”

Each time Congressman Ron Paul finished his statement, it was followed by a warm applause from the audience. No other speaker was applauded and cheered as much and as many times as Ron Paul for his straight and earnest talk and answers.


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