December 2, 2011

Jewish supporters respond to RJC forum ban of Ron Paul

-Thomas and Anna Nash

A lobbying group which claims to represent Republican Jews, has banned Congressman Ron Paul from its upcoming presidential candidates forum.  The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) has invited Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum to the event.  Organizations traditionally refer to poll numbers when determining who to exclude from such forums, but clearly that does not apply here.  Dr. Paul has been polling higher than all but Gingrich and Romney.  There must be a fair and objective reason for the slight.  For clarification, we turn to Executive Director of the RJC, Matt Brooks:

“He’s [Paul] just so far outside of the mainstream of the Republican party and this organization,”

Brooks also made this claim: Inviting Paul to attend would be “like inviting Barack Obama to speak.”

Without even approaching the frightening irony of a Jewish organization alienating someone because of his beliefs, let’s break this claim down.  We can begin and agree with the claim that Ron Paul is “just so far outside of the mainstream” GOP.  The mainstream GOP candidates supported bailouts, individual mandates; they voted to increased spending, expand entitlements and they routinely disregard the Constitution.   Congressman Paul certainly doesn’t live up to these “mainstream” standards.  He offers a constitutional, free-market alternative to the others.  This seems to us to be a reason to include rather than exclude him from the debate.  If Mr. Brooks really believes as he stated earlier this year that Paul’s views are “misguided and extreme”, then why not put him on the stage and allow the Congressman to make a fool of himself?

Next, we have the poorly-thought-out criticism that having Ron Paul there would be “like inviting Barack Obama to speak”.  This is meant to imply that in the universe occupied by RJC, Barack Obama and Ron Paul have similar views regarding Israel.  Let’s examine:

Barack Obama on Israel’s borders:

“We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states…”*

*A belief also held by (President George W. Bush)

Ron Paul on Israel’s borders:

“Israel is our close friend. While President Obama’s demand that Israel make hard concessions in her border conflicts may very well be in her long-term interest, only Israel can make that determination on her own, without pressure from the United States or coercion by the United Nations.

Unlike this President, I do not believe it is our place to dictate how Israel runs her affairs. There can only be peace in the region if those sides work out their differences among one another. We should respect Israel’s sovereignty and not try to dictate her policy from Washington.”

 Barack Obama on foreign aid:

“The Daily Star, Lebanon, October 12th, 2011: President Barack Obama granted Lebanon a waiver earlier this month to allow the continuation of U.S. assistance to Lebanon, the American Embassy in Beirut said in a statement Tuesday.”

Ron Paul on foreign aid:

“…No special privileges like foreign aid–a position I maintain vis-a-vis all other countries as well.  That means I also favor discontinuing foreign aid to governments that are actual or potential enemies of Israel, which taken together receive much more American aid than Israel does.  Giving aid to both sides has understandably made many Israelis and American Jews conclude that the American government is hypocritically hedging its bets.”

Three times more aid is given to the enemies of Israel.  If ALL foreign aid was stopped, Israel would be at a net benefit.

Barack Obama’s support for “Arab Spring”:

On February 1st, 2011 President Obama announced: “An orderly transition [for Egypt] must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now”.

On August 21st, 2011 President Obama released a statement which called on Gadhafi to “relinquish power once and for all.”

As we now know, both nations are devolving into Islamist states run by Al Qaeda and/or the Muslim Brotherhood.  This is not a favorable outcome for Israel, but it was a predictable one based on our policy of intervening in Middle East affairs.  A policy which even Ronald Reagan would later openly regret.  In an election for president among a group of people trying to claim his mantle, it’s strange that none except Ron Paul have chosen to listen to his words of caution.  All the others support past, present and future interventions.

Ron Paul on the “Arab Spring”:

On Egypt:

“…The other problem with intervention and support like this is that nobody knows the outcome. Sometimes they backfire on us and this is why it is so attractive to talk about our foreign policy where we just mind our own business and let other people decide their fights. I just think that the $60 billion was money down a rat hole and the people are poorer”

On Libya:

“The president is absolutely wrong…He can’t go to war without permission of the Congress.” “We ought to just stay out of it” “The no-fly zone is unconstitutional because Congress has not authorized it. Where did the president get the authority to impose a no-fly zone over Libya?”

His position was endorsed by Sarah Palin.  She appeared on Hannity and said:

“You’ve got to give it to Ron Paul. Whether you agree with everything he says or not, at least he is one there in Congress trying to make our President stick to the law and understand that Congress does have a role to play in these foreign policy decisions that are made and Ron Paul, I think hit the nail on the head, when he came out and said Obama had better be careful when he interjects himself and our country in other nations’ business.”

Ron Paul has consistently, and sometimes with little company, supported Israel’s right as a sovereign nation to defend itself.  He was one of few in Washington who defended that right when Israel bombed a nuclear plant in Iraq in 1981.  Overall, Congressman Paul’s views that Israel is capable and should be allowed to defend herself, that DC should not dictate Israel’s foreign policy or her borders and that by cutting foreign aid, we stop funding Israel’s enemies, could prove more advantageous to both Israel and the United States.  Instead, politicians are intent on advancing a policy which defines insanity.

Given the above discrepancies, we can conclude that Ron Paul and Barack Obama are completely dissimilar on this and probably all other issues.  In fact, we also can conclude that the other 7 candidates who have been invited to RJC’s presidential forum share a bit more in common with the President.

Mr. Brooks, you may as well invite Barack Obama to your forum; we don’t think anyone would notice.

RJC can be reached by email at rjc@rjchq.org or:

50 F Street, N.W.
Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202.638.6688
Fax: 202.638.6694

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November 9, 2011

An open letter to Javier Manjarres of “the Shark Tank” (whatever that is)

For reasons beyond my understanding, I regularly find your publication in my spam folder.  While I do not recall subscribing, it is usually not a bother as I do not even open it, let alone read it, however this time a headline caught my attention.  It read: “Ron Paul to Support Barack Obama”.  Naturally, I was inclined to read on.

Not surprisingly, your article made no mention of Dr. Paul supporting President Obama, rather it was another criticism of the Congressman’s position of not supporting a candidate who does not fully stand with the Constitution.   Why this position is riling up so many “(R)”s is beyond me.   For nearly three decades Ron Paul has been consistent when it comes to taxes, spending, monetary policy and the Constitution.  That he would not endorse a candidate of the same values should come as no surprise to you.  He is after all, a man of integrity.  In fact, the last major Presidential candidate he has endorsed was Ronald Reagan.

You claim that by not endorsing whichever candidate ekes out a victory in the GOP primary, that Ron Paul would be supporting Barack Obama by default.  What does it mean to support Barack Obama anyway? The President has supported bailouts, increased spending, healthcare mandates, expanding the wars, extending the “PATRIOT” Act, the TSA, increased environment regulation and an overall disregard for the Constitution and the vision of our founders.   Interestingly enough, if you review the resume of any other candidate running (except Gary Johnson), you would find that they do not offer much of an alternative, except of course for the letter at the end of their name.  Each candidate for the GOP nomination has supported some combination of these policies.

Even still, many on the right believe that the devil from our party is better than the devil from the other.  Supporters of Dr. Paul beg differ.   In these times, when the policies of both democrat and republican politicians have left us teetering on the brink of collapse, we cannot afford to tinker around the edges.

It is insulting to those of us who throw our support behind Congressman Paul’s message to be told that if we were to be “released”, as you put it in your article, that we could support another GOP candidate.  What you fail to understand is that with or without Ron Paul’s endorsement, many of us would not support one of the other candidates anyway.  It is not the man who we support; it is the Constitution and the ideas of individual liberty and property rights.  It just so happens that Ron Paul has a record of supporting those ideas as well, while others have compromised on them.   If he were to suddenly jump ship on that message, we would jump ship on him.

It is you and others like you in the Republican Party who are supporting Barack Obama.  You do so by endorsing his policies when hidden behind an elephant rather than a jackass.  It is you who will act as a “spoiler” in this election because you will support a candidate who only narrowly supports the Constitution.  When that document becomes a memory, when the power of the president is near absolute, when we are bankrupt and our dollar is worthless, when our military is stretched so thin that we can barely defend the homeland, it will NOT be those who have supported Ron Paul who will be to blame; it will be those, like you, who voted to give the American people a “choice” of taking the scenic route rather than the expressway on the road to serfdom.

Best regards,

Thomas Nash

September 15, 2011

The Tea Party Gives Big Government a Pass

The Tea Party has struck tremendous blows against expanding government power. After decades of big spending and over regulation, the people have finally awoken and have taken a stand against the unintended (and sometimes perfectly intended) consequences of well-intentioned government programs.  We have recognized that the government does not have all the answers and it is incapable of managing the economies of thousands of localities and hundreds millions of citizens across the country without significant negative economic blowback.

It is curious then that while the Tea Party understands the lack of effectiveness from bureaucrats in DC when dealing with the economy, it still believes in Washington’s perfect omniscience in matters of foreign affairs.  In fact, to point out failures in foreign policy which have lead to unintended consequences for the American people, has been elevated to near treasonous levels.  In the minds of many Tea Partiers and so-called conservatives, the federal government is a massive idiot savant able to exact the precise formula for dealing with a global military empire, but is reduced to a drooling state when called upon to enact even a mildly beneficial fiscal policy for America.

Most illustrative of this point has been the reaction to those, like Congressman Ron Paul, who have attempted to shed a light on some of the reasons why 3,000 of our fellow citizens where brutally murdered on September 11, 2001.  The prevailing propaganda piece of the decade has been, “they hate us because we are free”.  Most recently this has been touted by former Senator Rick Santorum at the last GOP debate in Tampa.  This most nuanced and intellectual argument is one which I used to believe as well and thus am sympathetic to those who have not, after 10 years, been able to shake.  Besides being almost completely inaccurate, this argument also happens to be completely unhelpful when it comes to creating a strategy for preventing future attacks.  Let us examine this further.

Shortly after the attacks on 9/11, President Bush took to the airwaves and informed us that not only did “our very freedoms” come under attack, but also “our very way of life”.  Visions of Al Qaeda watching Friends and spitting at the TV danced through our collective neo-conservative heads.  A distant and mysterious organization attacking us because we choose to sexualize teenage pop-stars and pay $5 for a cup of designer coffee was enough to have us screaming for blood as I imagine the crowd did at the Coliseum in ancient Rome.

While the reason was wrong, the sentiment was not.  Even those of us who understand the reasons behind the attack were happy to oblige those in Afghanistan who begged to be martyrs.  We will always be happy to grant that wish when the United States is attacked or when there is a clear and present danger of imminent attack.  We do however want to fully understand the nature of the attacker in order to defeat the attackers or at least in order to protect ourselves.  “Know your enemy” is not some nouveau liberal pacifist mantra after all; it is warfare 101.

If we are in fact to believe that Americans were killed because we are free, we have to ask ourselves a few questions.  1) Are we freer or less free ten years later? Any honest observer would have to say less.  Therefore, can we deduce from this fact that the terrorists have won?  That’s not something I want to concede.  2) Why did the major attacks begin in the 90’s if we have been free (and more free to boot) for centuries?  3) If they attacked us because of our freedom, how do we stop the attacks?  Do we give up our freedoms?  Do we fight an endless war attempting to wipe out every last terrorist and their descendants?  It is clear that this reason for the attacks is too simple to be accurate.  The best advertising agency could not have dreamed up a better slogan.  Muhammad bin-whatever over in Saudi Arabia, a violent government we support, did not decide to kill himself in an effort to kill us because our freedoms just bothered him oh so much.  A person running for President of the United States, who believes that, does not have the foresight and/or intelligence to run the world’s last superpower effectively.

To understand the actual reasons, one simply need only give a cursory review of American foreign policy since World War 2.  Let us first look to Iran, the source of much Islamic extremism.  In the early 1950’s the CIA helped organize a coup against the democratically elected popular Prime Minister of Iran.  Prior to this coup, the Prime minister had worked to and succeeded in cutting off British control of the Iranian oil markets.  Something that the UK was not particularly fond of and something in which the U.S figured it had an interest.  After an effective propaganda campaign and threats toward the Shah, the Prime Minister was ousted and arrested by the Shah’s military court. The American and British choice for Prime Minister was installed and they each gained an enormous share of Iranian oil profits.  We continued to support the Shah until the revolution in 1979.  Through that period, we funded his military and his secret police force.  Something that the Iranian people were keenly aware of and as one could imagine, something on which they were not very keen and so they revolted.

After the revolution, Iranians were under strict control of the Ayatollah.  The Ayatollahs have been a powerful force in spreading anti-American Islamic extremism.  Even with this very basic summary of events in Iran, one could plainly see that but for our involvement with it, we may be facing a very different and perhaps friendlier Iranian government today.  People do not forget when a foreign power interferes in their affairs especially when it leads to secret police forces, brutality and death.

The CIA refers to this type of unintended consequence as “Blowback”.  This occurs when decisions made by Washington, lead to those consequences which negatively affect Americans or other interested parties.  Another prime example of this can be found more recently in Afghanistan.  During the 1980’s the United States trained, funded, supplied and fought alongside who we referred to then as Afghan “freedom fighters”.  These forces were fighting against occupation by our sworn enemy the Soviet Union.  We thought it a noble and completely rational cause back then to fight against the occupation of a foreign power.  Times have changed.  It is no secret by now the freedom fighters of the 80’s are the terrorists of the 90’s and 2000’s.

But what has changed in their minds that has lead them to kill innocent Americans?  The answer: nothing.  All that has changed is their target.  When the USSR was occupying them, the Mujahedeen (read Al Qaeda) was attacking them.  When we began occupying and interfering in Middle Eastern countries and their affairs, they attacked us.  This is not to say that Americans “deserved” to die on 9/11.  That is a straw man argument that deserves little acknowledgement as only a few radicals (mostly leftists) believe that.  It does however begin to paint a different picture as to why we were attacked.

Reviewing the statements put out by Al Qaeda regarding the U.S, one would find the following examples of reasons:

“You attacked us in Somalia; you supported the Russian atrocities against us in Chechnya, the Indian oppression against us in Kashmir, and the Jewish aggression against us in Lebanon.”

“Under your supervision, consent and orders, the governments of our countries which act as your agents, attack us on a daily basis;”

“Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities, to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of your pillage of our treasures.”

“You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die every day. It is a wonder that more than 1.5 million Iraqi children have died as a result of your sanctions, and you did not show concern. Yet when 3000 of your people died, the entire world rises and has not yet sat down.”

“We also advise you to pack your luggage and get out of our lands. We desire for your goodness, guidance, and righteousness, so do not force us to send you back as cargo in coffins.”

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver

These are the words of Osama Bin Laden after 9/11/2001.  For sure there is some hateful language in there, however in the reasons why we were attacked, I do not see once that it is due to the likes of Britney Spears dancing on stage half-naked or that our women are permitted to vote.  There are those who believe looking to his words constitutes taking sides with him.  However, how do we know our enemy and attempt to formulate strategy to beat it, without discovering the reasons they give for why they fight us?

No less than the head of the Bin Laden unit for the CIA, Michael Scheuer has told us that the notion that our freedoms were the motivation for the attacks is false.  He said:

“The idea that has been pushed by President Clinton, President Bush, Mr. Cheney, Barack Obama and Senator McCain that America is being attacked because of those things is a disservice to the population of the United States”

Source:

The 9/11 commission has also cited blowback as the part of the motivation behind the attacks and even included this in its recommendations:

“Where Muslim governments, even those who are friends, do not respect these principles, the United States must stand for a better future. One of the lessons of the long Cold War was that short-term gains in cooperating with the most repressive and brutal governments were too often outweighed by long-term setbacks for America’s stature and interests.”

For conservatives, it should not be a stretch to imagine that the government is incompetent when it comes to handling our affairs, domestic or foreign.  While Washington’s domestic policies are bankrupting us, its foreign policy is killing us.  Americans are not to blame. Neither are our freedoms.  It is Big Government bureaucrats who make decisions based on an interest in expanding their own power and wealth that are to blame.  It will take a long time for us to clean up their mess.  We will have to fend off and fight terrorists at times; however we also need a change in foreign policy if we ever wish to stop the threat.  We will need a policy that does not permit the U.S to police the world on our dime.

To leave the 130 or so countries we are in, including those in the Middle East; to cut off aid to all governments, including those brutal dictators in the Middle East and elsewhere; to end our intervention into the political affairs of sovereign nations would not be as some believe, complying with the demands of Al Qaeda.  It would in fact, be complying with the demands of our Founding Fathers.   Here I thought that was what the Tea Party was all about.

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