Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Ron Paul Revolution (aka Isolationism)

Happy New Year!

With the new year upon us, I figured it was time to espouse my feelings about the Ron Paul candidacy (the Ron Paul Revolution is upon us!). While I agree with some of his positions, there's just been something about his candidacy that leaves me feeling uneasy. No, not uneasy...queasy. And while I was gathering my thoughts (these days, that takes a lot longer than it used to), I stumbled upon this editorial from October 2007 that I think captures many of my reservations about the Revolutionaries.

From the New Hampshire Union Leader (Oct 5, 2007)
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, the libertarian darling running for the Republican nomination for President, seems to think that the only national security threat America faces is from a direct military assault on our soil. Nothing else -- Chinese expansion, Iranian nuclear development, Russian imperial ambitions -- is any concern of ours.

In a Wednesday interview, Rep. Paul suggested closing most of our overseas military bases. The military exists to protect our national security, not our economic interests, he said. Asked if the United States did not have national security interests in containing Chinese or Russian or Iranian or North Korean ambitions, he said no. "Nobody would attack us militarily," he said.

Paul offers our victory in the Cold War as an example of how we can win wars by "diplomacy." But our victory in the Cold War was not diplomatic. Ronald Reagan's military buildup topping decades of military interventionism around the globe were critically important components of our defeat of the Soviet Union.

Asked if we should let Iran obtain nuclear weapons, he shrugged and said, "Well, that's not the end of the world." Iran is no threat to us, he said, because it can't invade us. He never acknowledged that Iran is a state sponsor of terror, and a nuclear Iran could one day supply terrorists with nuclear technology or weaponry.

Paul's repeated insistence that "There would be no risk of somebody invading us" is just what the isolationist Republicans 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. But Rep. Paul is not about to let historical reality get in the way of his ideologically pure position.

So there you have it, in a verse well better choreographed than this writer could put to paper (or blog). The leader that I support must understand that the world of 2008 requires participation in world affairs, including military participation where the security of US citizens is concerned - threats that are real both today and tomorrow. Reagan understood this, and strengthened both our military and military presence in order to win the Cold War.

Count me out of the Ron Paul Revolution.

-- Submitted by R Wellesley

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