The Weird Little Man From Texas
Conservative commentator Mark Belling's blistering commentary on Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has us nodding in firm agreement. Congressman Paul has some sensible libertarian notions about the banking system, but is an off-the-charts outlier when it comes to foreign policy, especially as concerning the War on Terror.
Among Mark Belling's points:
- Can the little weird man from Texas, Ron Paul, even once, defend his own country rather than defend terrorists on issues of national security?
- If the Republicans win the Presidency they should perhaps choose Ron Paul to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve so that its role can be pushed back to pursuing a stable dollar — and nothing else.
Meanwhile, a leading member of al Qaeda has been killed in a drone attack... Drones are in wide use in the Afghan, Pakistani, and Yemeni fronts of the War on Terror. They're a legitimate tool in reducing the risk of loss of American life in combat...
- Anwar al Awlaki in Yemen has been linked to al Qaeda and specific terror attacks against the US. Even President Obama said his death is "a major blow to al Qaeda's most active operational affiliate."
- Liberal and conservative think tanks are similarly in agreement — Awlaki was very high up in the al Qaeda chain of command...
- In response, Congressman Paul accused our government of committing an assassination, and violating al Awlaki's "human rights", claiming it was a travesty, and that Awlaki should have been captured and brought to trial instead.
- It may come as news to Mr. Paul, but people who commit terrorist acts are not the same as criminals who rob a liquor store. We're talking about active enemy combatants against the United States. Historically this has always been true. There's never been any requirement for the United States to try and capture individuals instead of kill them in wartime. During World War 2 we didn't engage with the Germans on the battlefield with the idea that we had no right to kill them. We took them captive only if they had first surrendered. Most of the time they didn't. When that was the case, we presumed that we had the right to kill them, because it was perfectly obvious they would kill us if they had the chance. That's what war is.
- The nature of the conflict with al Qaeda is, historically speaking, unprecedented. But that precedent has been set now, and moving forward it's very likely to become standard operating procedure in future assymetrical conflicts. Our enemies are no longer obliged to be soldiers of a nation working under a flag or in uniform. We can no longer afford to hold so narrow a definition of war, or of soldiers, as to preclude us from legitimate self-defense by denying ourselves the right to attack.
- Both President Bush and President Obama have succeeded in doing damage to al Qaeda. The great irony is that the liberal left that so mocked and ridiculed Bush's anti-al Qaeda efforts have basically held their tongues while Obama has appropriated Bush's policies wholesale. Targeted drone attacks against al Qaeda started under Bush, and have continued without interruption under Obama. They have been remarkably effective. al Qaeda is drastically less deadly than before because we have decapitated them organizationally. The United States has a right — some would say an obligation — to find and kill terrorists on foreign soil.
- "But he's an American!" laments Ron Paul.
So what? American or not al Awlaki was an avowed enemy of the United States. He was not engaging in criminal acts — he was engaging in acts of war. He targeted individual Americans.
- Terrorism can't be treated as simply an act of criminality. If this little creep from Texas wants to keep trying, it is high time for patriotic Americans, who understood what happened to us on 9/11, to take note. Radical Islam aims to slaughter Americans, and destroy our way of life. We have a right to kill them.
- There can't be more than a pitiful handful people in this country upset that al Awlaki is dead. Ron Paul, shamefully, is one of them. For those who continue to support him for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, we urge Ron Paul to form his own political party, because what he believes now is outside the mainstream of even hard-left Democrats. Paul should run under a party that shares his beliefs. The Jihadi Party, perhaps, or maybe as the leader of the United States wing of the al Qaeda Party.
- It's almost unspeakably sad that Ron Paul has such despicable beliefs with regard to the War on Terror. But they've been on public display before, in his admiration of the PLO, in his unyielding hatred for Israel, in his apparent contempt for any and all allies of the United States, in his denunciations of the war in Iraq, and his opposition to any attempt by the United States to fight back against terrorism.
- We must win the war against al Qaeda. That we've harmed them as grievously as we have, such that in the ten years since 9/11 we have been free of significant terror attacks, is a great accomplishment. It remains a distressing truth that President Obama, who was so unrelentingly critical of the Bush policies, is now copying every single one of them, without having the grace to acknowledge that Bush was in the right all along. Notwithstanding that, patriotic Americans, including many liberals — most of whom are distinctly weak-kneed in the patriotism department — have sensibly concluded that we have a right to defend ourselves against an al Qaeda organization which remains determined to commit acts of mass terror against us.
- al Awlaki, in stark contrast, joined the other side. He threw in with an enemy which is actively making war on the United States. That he isn't part of another country's army doesn't mean it's any less a war.
- The world has changed. No nation ever inflicted as many casualties in a single attack on American soil as al Qaeda did. Not Great Britain, not the Soviet Union, not Nazi Germany, not even the old Japanese militarists. The fact that Ron Paul doesn't understand this elementary point raises not only serious questions about his intelligence but, more disturbingly, about his basic human decency. Republicans should denounce Paul for his comments and denounce this weird little man for what he is. His comments are indefensible.
Perhaps Ron Paul should brush up on his reading on home-grown terror threats.
Congressman Paul also gives President Obama a run for his money when it comes to dysfunctional attitudes on the War on Terror.
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