By Joel Richardson
Let me begin by making it very clear there are a lot of reasons to love Ron Paul.
He is a man with incredibly refreshing principles, ideas, qualities and character. There have actually been a couple of occasions where after listening to Paul, I have come close to joining the Ron Paul revolution.
But despite the allure of Paul’s constitutional convictions, his perspectives on United States foreign policy, radical Islam and the nation of Israel are an absolute deal breaker. Paul’s emphatic trademark claim that the present rise of Islamic terrorism globally is the result of “blowback” from American actions abroad is nothing less than ridiculous and an absolute insult to my intelligence.
According to Paul, radical Muslims are not radical because they have drunk deeply from the trough of an expansionist, racist and murderous ideology, but rather because American actions abroad have brought about the natural response of resistance. And just so that none of his supporters accuse me of misrepresenting him, here is what Paul himself infamously declared during the Republican presidential debate in South Carolina in 2008, concerning 9/11:
Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attacked us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.How is Paul’s position any different from Jeremiah Wright’s claim that 9/11 was simply a case of “America’s chickens … coming home to roost”? Paul may say it in a far less shrill manner than Wright, but his position is virtually identical. More specifically, on Paul’s own website, in an article titled, “Foreign Occupation Leads to More Terror,” Paul clearly lays out his position:
Though it is hard for many to believe, honest studies show that the real motivation behind the Sept. 11 attacks and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism is not that our enemies are bothered by our way of life. Neither is it our religion, or our wealth. Rather, it is primarily occupation. …But where did Paul get this idea? We learn exactly from whom in the next paragraph:
Robert Pape has extensively researched this issue and goes in depth in his book “Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It.” In fact, of 2,200 incidents of suicide attacks he has studied worldwide since 1980, 95 percent were in response to foreign occupation.It is essential to take note of the fact that the primary support for Paul’s belief concerning blowback comes from Robert Pape. The problem for Paul here is that by most accounts, Pape is an agenda-driven pseudo-scholar whose works and “studies” have been thoroughly debunked by several other scholars. I appeal to all supporters of Paul to read the following articles debunking Robert Pape’s, and thus Ron Paul’s, claims:
- “Design, Inference, and the Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” in American Political Science Review
- “Contrasting Secular and Religious Terrorism” in Middle East Quarterly
How many Ron Paul supporters can honestly say that they feel comfortable knowing that this is the man Paul looks to as one of his primary guides concerning foreign policy?
But beyond all of the high-minded analysis of data, I prefer to simply couch the discussion in terms that anyone can understand. Paul argues that if it had not been for our invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, we would have lost far fewer soldiers and we would all be far safer today. Let me ask this question: Would far fewer police officers be injured or killed each year if they all simply remained in their police stations and avoided ever engaging criminals? Of course they would. But would this make us all safer? Of course not. This is not hard to understand.
Evil exists, and there are times when it must be resisted. Freedom requires both responsibility and sacrifice. To cast the radical Islamic terrorists as the victims and the American people as those who deserve blame, which Paul has done, is simply asinine and downright disgusting. Ron Paul’s soothing grandfather-like persona may be far more palatable to most than Jeremiah Wright’s obnoxious rage-filled rants, but his habit of victim-blaming is no less repulsive and should be rejected by all genuine American patriots.
“Why shouldn’t Iran have nukes?” – Ron Paul
“Death to Israel!” – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Finally, a few things about Paul’s stance on Israel and his Pollyannaish views concerning radical Islam.
To support his radical isolationist foreign policy, Paul has gone to some absurd lengths to deny the systemic evil of radical Islamism. Following his reliance on Pape’s debunked claims, according to Paul, the primary reason Israel is experiencing such resistance from the surrounding Muslim peoples is because of the Israeli “occupation.” I have heard this same claim made a thousand times by left-wing pro-Palestinian propagandists. Must I hear it from a so-called conservative as well?
But let’s think through the claim logically. Israel was officially established as a nation in 1948. But according to Islamic sacred tradition, it was roughly 1,300 years before when Muhammad himself, the founder of Islam, declared the following prophecy:
The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.It is worth noting that this “prophecy” is listed as an eternal command within the actual charter of Hamas. But this vision of a last-days slaughter and wholesale genocide of the Jewish people was not “revealed” at a time the Jews were “occupying” anyone. There wasn’t even a Jewish state at the time. So what inspired Muhammad from the very early days of Islam to call for an eventual genocide of the Jewish people? If it wasn’t blowback, then what caused it?
There is much to love about Ron Paul, but until he is willing to acknowledge the very real reality of evil in this world, and the equally real need at times to confront it, he can kiss my vote goodbye. Too many Americans are looking desperately for a hero, and I’m sorry to say that Ron Paul is not the man.
Santorum more realistic than Romney and Paul on jihad • Human Events (Robert Spencer)
New Hampshire Primary 2012 Results: Time, Web Sites, Polls • International Business Times
Pro-Israel group releases TV ad bashing Ron Paul's foreign-policy views • The Hill
Santorum, Paul detail Israel, Iran policies • The Washington Times
What does the Bible say about war? • GotQuestions.org