Search This Blog

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Ron Paul Train Went Off The Rails This Week

"A universal peace is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts." --James Madison

During the CNN/Tea Party debate in Tampa, Florida on Monday night Ron Paul’s train went off the rails when he engaged in a dust-up with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum over what Paul had posted on his web site about the 9/11 attacks. On the day after the 10th anniversary of the horrific attacks of September 11th, 2001, Ron Paul let loose with his mindless diatribe about how interventionist U.S. foreign policy was what brought the vile hatred of radical Muslims to our shores.

Regardless of whether you agree with Paul (as I do) that our military shouldn't be spread all over the globe, or whether you agree with Paul (as I do) that nation-building is a quagmire waiting to happen, the idea that a few decades worth of American imperialism (as Paul would call it) provoked radical Islamists into violent actions they would not have otherwise taken is beyond absurd.

His rigorous devotion to fiscal restraint and the Constitution preceded the Tea Party movement, and his ability to motivate young people toward the cause of liberty is endearing. But for all the good that Dr. Paul has done in helping shift the focus of the Republican Party back to one of limited, smaller government, his fervent allegiance to a radical brand of libertarianism is nonetheless concerning.

Regardless of whether you agree with Paul (as I do) that our military shouldn't be spread all over the globe, or whether you agree with Paul (as I do) that nation-building is a quagmire waiting to happen, the idea that a few decades worth of American imperialism (as Paul would call it) provoked radical Islamists into violent actions they would not have otherwise taken is beyond absurd.

For him to even intimate as much reveals that Paul's rigid devotion to libertarian dogma (including strict military isolationism) arrests his ability to consider any other cause of anti-American aggression beyond "we brought it on ourselves." It also demonstrates an embarrassing lack of understanding of the danger radical Islam poses to Western civilization. We already have one president who suffers from such delusion; we certainly don't need another.

In a column posted to his website, Paul suggests that the "real motivation behind the September 11 attacks" was American occupation of foreign, Muslim lands. Even if we grant that Muslim jihadists do not distinguish between American military presence and "occupation," this argument falls woefully short in diagnosing the problem.

Islamic scholar Ibn Warraq explained why, observing:

"It is extraordinary the amount of people who have written about the 11th of September without once mentioning Islam. We must take seriously what the Islamists say to understand their motivation, [that] it is the divinely ordained duty of all Muslims to fight in the literal sense until man-made law has been replaced by God's law, the Sharia, and Islamic law has conquered the entire world."

That is precisely what al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden conveyed in his infamous 2002 open letter to the American people, where he wrote:

"What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you? The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme." Of course, "reigning supreme" means an international, worldwide caliphate where Sharia is forced upon all resisting non-Muslim nations.”

Paul's assessment of the cause of 9/11, then, is incredibly short-sighted. This war against Western civilization is something that has been going on for a thousand years — long before American troops ever occupied a square inch of the Middle East. And withdrawing every single soldier from that part of the world will not pacify those who believe it to be their historic, divinely inspired quest to subjugate all infidels under the banner of jihad.

At a time when European Christians were happily fighting amongst themselves for the remnants of the shattered Roman Empire, they suddenly found themselves beset by another enemy out of the blue--invaders of the "religion of Peace"--- Islam (That was in 711 AD only roughly 100 years after Mohammed founded Islam.) )The Muslim Armies conquered nearly all of Spain and deep into France before they were pushed back past the Pyrenees by Charles Martel (the "Hammer") grandfather of Charlemagne. The poem "The Song of Roland" concerns this period. Constant warfare between Christians an Muslims in Spain continued until the last Muslim City fell in 1492. (I suspect that Fundamentalist Muslim antipathy towards the USA may not be entirely coincidental considering that the final defeat of the Muslims allowed the funding of Columbus' voyage.)

There have been many bin Ladens throughout history. Ibn Josef Teshufin, around 1060 AD, felt the moderate Islamic leaders of occupied Spain were too weak and launched an invasion to strengthen Islamic Fundamentalism and recapture lost territory. There was Suleiman the Great of the Ottoman Empire who launched an invasion of Europe in the 17th Century. There was the Mahdi of Sudan, Mohammed Ahmed who in the 1880's declared himself the "Messiah of Islam" and conquered much of Sudan." Fortunately for Africa, the Mahdi succumbed to illness before he got any further.

All around the world in the 21st Century there are religious conflicts in progress. In over 90% Muslims are an adversary; Jews vs. Muslim, Christians vs. Muslims, Buddhists vs. Muslims, Hindus vs. Muslims, Animists vs. Muslims, Shiite Muslims vs. Sunni Muslims. Coincidence? American interventionism? Really? That radical Islam is ever quiet and peaceful seems more a product of the inability to logistically wage war. Remember when the Taliban reduced two giant historical Hindu statues in Afghanistan to rubble. Was that because of the "Great Satan, America" as well?

If Ron Paul struggles to grasp that, he should consider the words of Mullah Mustapha Kreikar, the leader of a radical Islamist group known as Ansar al-Islam, who confirmed, "The [Muslim] resistance is not only a reaction to the American invasion, it is part of the continuous Islamic struggle since the collapse of the caliphate." The operative words here are "continuous Islamic struggle" and caliphate; words not conditioned upon the location of American military personnel. It is sad that a man who speaks so eloquently about the benefits of human liberty like Dr. Paul does fails miserably to acknowledge the existential threat it faces from global jihad.

As much as Dr. Paul may firmly believe that U.S. foreign policy is responsible for the merciless slaughter of those innocent people ten years ago, he is embarrassingly misguided. Their murder had little to do with our global military presence, and much to do with the words of the Hadith of Bukhari, the text from which the hijackers drew their inspiration: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

One wonders how much contact Congressman Paul has had with Muslims. Perhaps it is limited to Keith Ellison and Andre Carson. I have talked to Muslims from the Middle Eastern countries they begin to complain about the Crusades within 30 seconds. In their view Saladin didn't finish the job! Muslims see America as Christian Europe extended. There is no real difference between the two. I've argued that America didn't exist in those days. It doesn't matter. In their eyes America is Christian. To them the Cross is the symbol of the Conqueror and the Oppressor and must be destroyed. Irish nursing nuns working in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to display their crosses. When you enter Saudi Arabia and have a magazine or newspaper with articles or maps of Israel it is confiscated. Even photos of ham or pigs are not allowed to enter the country. And of course a Star of David is taboo.

Ron Paul supporters, like all true believing Libertarians will not suffer any dissenting view or debate. In many ways they are as dogmatic and intolerant of opposing or alternative views as the most committed Marxist. If you don’t believe me just go to some of the conservative sites and look at the comments posted by the Ron Paul true believers. Like all true believers, right or left, when they can’t offer a cogent argument they will viciously post ad hominine attacks on those who do not agree with them.

While Ron Paul, as do other conservative thinkers, promotes the Austrian school of economics and government (as I do) his views on foreign policy leaves a great deal to be desired. We cannot live in an isolationist world where there are people and nations who will not play by the rules and would like to see us destroyed. Free trade will not deter radical Islamist. It has not done so for 1,300 years. Ron Paul is of the rails when it comes to this issue.

As long as our country continues allowing for the rights of conscience and freedom of religious expression, we will remain the targets of the radical Islamists who despise such liberty. Our next president must understand that.

No comments:

Post a Comment