Essays – Conservativism
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Governor Sarah Palin has posted an essay up at Breitbart.com. Please go read it in full.
I love this woman…and to this day find it surprising when she says the things that are inside my head…and largely says them the way that I would say them. I have no ties to Alaska, didn’t grow up a hunter, and I’m a gay conservative living in Chicago…but I’ve always been on the same wavelength with Governor Palin and remain grateful that she continues to speak her mind and provide leadership, no matter what the Left does to malign and demonize her. She’s an honest to goodness American hero.
I think her essay hits the nail on the head: enough IS enough.
But, the big questions that even she can’t answer are: “When will people decide they’ve been afraid long enough?” and “How exactly do we go about joining together to stand up to the IRS and other rogue federal agencies in the Obama Regime?”.
I’m at a loss here because I’ve never been terrified of the government…since I see the government as servants of the public and people who work for us. I also think there’s nothing the government can do to you that public exposure and subsequent civil rights lawsuits won’t rectify…in that if you’ve done nothing wrong and the government targets you, then you will become the plaintiff in a successful suit against these tyrants in your near future. Governor Palin discusses in her essay how people are so scared of the IRS because they are afraid they will have their lives ruined…and I wonder again why Americans allow the IRS to have that sort of boogeyman cachet with the public.
For some reason, conservatives are a very scared people by nature. I don’t know why that is. I was raised a Democrat and I’ve always lived in big cities…so more often than not I think I might scrap for a fight. I have never been afraid of bullies, because when someone tries to push me around I just push back…and I am not afraid of taking things as far as they need to go to force the bully to back down and walk away. I think that a lot of conservative people are horrified by confrontation, since they just want to live their lives and not be bothered (while simultaneously never bothering anyone else). That’s really admirable…and it makes me think of people living in a peaceful little village on an edge of a forest somewhere, like in a storybook.
Only, every once in a while terrible dragons and hideous beasts emerge from the forest…and even the villagers in the fairytales put aside their fear and turn their shovels and hoes into effective weapons against the monstrous invaders. We really are in a time like this, where the agencies of the federal government have become the monsters that terrorize people.
It’s time to push back against the IRS, the Justice Department, Homeland Security and the rest.
It’s time to put aside the fear and to protect the things that people love most about this country…including the freedom to live without fear of our own government.
Like Governor Palin said, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
QUESTION FOR COMMENTS: Do you fear our government? Are you afraid to speak out against the abuses of the IRS? Do you ever feel like the problem is too big and there is no way that someone like you can make a difference or be heard? Be honest…because the first step in overcoming fear is admitting you have it and talking about it openly. Once you do that, you’ll see you are taking the first step to overcome fear entirely!
A few days ago, I took my kids to one of those places with giant inflatable slides that sane people avoid. My best friend was in town for her once-a-year visit home and in order to show the kids a “good time” took them to inflatable kid heaven, otherwise known as the Jump Zone.
It’s always a mistake, with the noise level and the creeping panic attacks (“Is my kid ever going to come out of there and if not, will I fit because I didn’t squeeze into my Spanx today?”) This time was no exception. I had a truth-moment that will be forever etched on my soul that announced over the loudspeaker in my brain, “Society is doomed. Most people are idiots.” My father says he came to this conclusion many years ago and there’s no big news in it. I always held out hope that the majority of the idiots were the ones who landed on the news for tattooing their ex with depictions of excrement or on the Maury Povich show with a 200 pound eight-year-old. Most people, I thought, are your neighbors who are sane, decent folks. Not so! It turns out the world is littered with mopes and I have proof.
Last week I wrote about a couple of traitorous additions to the Defense Authorization bill written in secret by John McCain (RINO-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI).
According to the ACLU and DownsizeDC.org, among other watchdog organizations, sections 1031 and 1032 of the bill give Obama—and every future president, if there are any—“the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world….The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.”
And (SURPRISE!) it turns out that Obama asked for that power himself.
How nice of our favorite backstabbing Constitution-shredding s0-called “Republican” John “Benedict Arnold” McCain to oblige him (may he rot in HELL, after losing a brutal primary fight that bankrupts him.)
But McCain wasn’t alone in his treachery.
Sen. Lindsey “Rights for Illegals, but Not American Citizens” Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
It is a sad commentary on Mr. Graham–a co-sponsor of the bill–that one can’t predict if that was praise or criticism without looking at the replay. Turns out, Senator Graham thinks it’s awesome that one person the the U.S. government can pick up a phone, make a call, and make you disappear, without charges, without trial, forever.
More gullible and/or partisan members of the DNC-controlled media have been trying to insist for the past two weeks that the law doesn’t apply to Americans here, in America. And The White House was claiming that Obama was going to veto the bill if it applied to American citizens (now, not so much.) But…
“Another sponsor of the bill – Senator Levin – has also repeatedly said that the bill applies to American citizens on American soil, citing the Supreme Court case of Hamdi which ruled that American citizens can be treated as enemy combatants:
‘The Supreme Court has recently ruled there is no bar to the United States holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,’ said Levin. ‘This is the Supreme Court speaking.’
Levin again stressed recently that the bill applies to American citizens, and said that it was president Obama who requested that it do so.”
I’ve tried to find out what happened to the bill in Conference Committee, but the general consensus in the Liberty blogosphere this evening seems to be that the bill is just as bad coming out of committee as it was going in.
This evening at 6:58 p.m., 90 Democrats and 193 Republicans voted AYE to give the most corrupt president in U.S. history the power to kidnap and detain Americans anywhere in the world, forever, just on the basis of his opinion that they’re terrorists.
I’m kind of at a loss for words here, which may be appropriate, since technically anything I say can now be used against me by the president of the United States.
The bill now heads back to the Senate. Now may be a good time to pick up the phone and let your Senators know what you think.
Thoughts? Comments? Last words? Condolences?
How did YOUR
Reprehensibles Representatives vote?
Like most Americans who work for a living*, I was outraged by the TARP bailouts that totaled over $700 Billion.
I was offended on principle, of course…any amount of public (borrowed) money going to bail out privately-owned companies is wrong. But the amount–so large that no normal person can get their brain around it–was offensive, too.
The bailouts spawned protests and Tea Party events across the country, and probably helped fuel the electoral bloodbath of 2010.
But here’s the jaw-dropper, which has received next to no media coverage. Between December, 2007 and June, 2010, the Federal Reserve (which is not federal, nor is it a reserve) secretly bailed out politically-connected U.S. banks and corporations, AND foreign banks and governments, to the tune of $16 Trillion in U.S. taxpayer money.
Now, if you can’t imagine $700 Billion, there’s no way you can picture what $16,000,000,000,000.00 looks like, or what kind of value that represents.
I just found a video that puts these dollar figures into context, using a penny to represent $100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars). Disclaimer–it’s a pitch for a Republican congressional candidate in Texas, so please don’t be offended by that mention at the end of the video.
It’s just sickening…sickening is the only word I can come up with.
If you don’t know what the Federal Reserve is, or how it determines the value of the money you work hard for, I would highly suggest that you pick up a copy of The Creature from Jekyll Island to learn how the Federal Reserve came into existence and how it impacts your everyday life.
UPDATE: Here’s some sourcing for the $16 Trillion figure:
The Federal Reserve Bank committed some $7.77 trillion in funds to major Wall Street banks during the height of the 2008 financial crisis, according to a report published by Bloomberg News November 28 through a Freedom of Information Act request.
It’s unclear from the methodology explained by Bloomberg’s analysis of some 29,000 Federal Reserve documents released how much overlap there is with the Government Accountability Office audit published last July that counted some $16 trillion in Federal Reserve loans to major Wall Street banks. Bloomberg’s explanation of its methodology does indicate at least some overlap.
Throughout the financial crisis, Congress remained blissfully unaware that trillions of dollars were being committed by the Fed with the implicit guarantee of the U.S. taxpayer. “We were aware emergency efforts were going on,” Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank told Bloomberg, but “we didn’t know the specifics.” Frank, who announced his retirement November 28 after the Massachusetts state legislature gerrymandered him out of his district, served as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee at the time the bailouts began. That committee is charged with oversight of the Federal Reserve and the banking industry.
The Bloomberg report noted that top Wall Street banks** benefited most from the deal. “The big six — JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Morgan Stanley — took 63 percent of the Fed’s emergency-loan money as measured by peak daily borrowing,” the San Francisco Chronicle observed November 29 of the Bloomberg data.
*except those who belong to government employee unions, many of whom don’t actually work for a living
**AKA Mittens Romneycare’s chief source of campaign cash
As a marketing copywriter, I am paid to influence my readers’ behavior (i.e., make them buy my clients’ stuff.) It’s my job to know how to do this, and I’m pretty good at it.
So when other writers are attempting to do the same thing–make their readers behave in certain ways, to further a political agenda–it’s laughably easy for me to recognize.
One of the Democrat-Controlled Media’s favorite slurs against Sarah Palin is that she’s “polarizing.” And it has been wildly successful. A Google search of the words “Sarah Palin polarizing” returns About 18,900,000 results.
When applying labels like “polarizing,” the goal of a propagandist is to subconsciously create a sense of unease or fear. Why? The emotion of fear creates a primal biochemical reaction that interrupts one’s ability to think rationally. So fearful people are much easier to manipulate.
Most propaganda campaigns also involve setting up an “other” purported to be unlike ourselves, whom we can hate and separate ourselves from. It’s a way of encouraging a “mob” mentality, as demonstrated most recently by the OccuPooper protests. (Their “other” is “Wall Street.”) Taken to extremes, this kind of propaganda reaches its “heights” when its used to literally dehumanize groups of people (such as Jews in Germany, or intellectuals in Maoist China).
The propaganda campaigns run by DNC surrogates in the media contain both of these elements–inducing fear, and splitting the bloc of voters who are likely to vote against Obama.
The DNC-controlled media did a masterful job of this with their successful attacks against Herman Cain, who was merely accused of engaging in behavior that is completely acceptable, if not encouraged, among members of the Democrat elite.
The DNC propaganda machine was also remarkably effective in labeling Sarah Palin as “polarizing.” Sarah Palin isn’t running, unfortunately, so the Democrat-Controlled Media has focused its propaganda machine on the GOP candidate most able to beat Obama in the general election, according to the latest poll: Ron Paul.
Except in Dr. Paul’s case, the DNC propaganda machine is pushing the “isolationist” meme instead of the “polarizing” meme. But the goal is the same: to cause fear, and brainwash voters into believing that they have to go with a “safe” choice like Mittens Romneycare. (Notice how often Gingrich and Romney are referred to as “safe” choices by the agenda-driven media–it really is an appeal to the unconscious biological drive to move away from fear.)
So today’s lesson in combating media bias is about the difference between “isolationism” and “non-interventionism.”
Most people reading this haven’t had any serious education in American history or philosophy, because we went to government schools staffed by members of the NEA. It’s up to us to educate ourselves so we can sift through media bias and hope to uncover what’s really happening and what the real issues are.
Most of us have never read George Washington’s Farewell Address, nor do we understand its significance.
For perhaps the first time in world history, the leader of a country voluntarily gave up power in an organized and peaceful transition. But he warned his countrymen to be wary of future attempts to seduce them into trading their liberty for the illusion of “security.”
“The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you….But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth…
In his Farewell Address, George Washington also advised the new Nation how to deal with other countries. Washington’s foreign policy view was that the United States’ prosperity and power would rise, not as the result of British-style militarism, but out of our morality and righteousness, in addition to our dedication to Liberty:
“Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct…It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.”
In other words, Washington expected the United States to be the “shining city on the hill,” a country that led by example, and a beacon to freedom-loving people around the world.
Washington pointed out that “permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations, and passionate attachments for others,” should be avoided, because
“The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”
Washington pointed out that heated public opinion either in favor of, or against, another country could lead U.S. leaders to make policy decisions that would ultimately hurt their constituents: the very people whose opinions they were hoping to cater to.
It’s impossible to deny that Washington’s warnings to maintain positive but neutral international friendships have gone unheeded; and it’s equally impossible to deny that we’ve paid the consequences in blood and treasure. As Washington said,
“Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.“
Maintaining positive commercial relationships, freedom of travel, diplomatic relationships, cultural relationships and friendship with other nations–while remaining politically aloof from their internal affairs–is what George Washington advocated.
This kind of foreign policy position is called “non-interventionism.” It’s what Ron Paul advocates, and has advocated for at least 30 years.
In contrast, proponents of interventionism believe that the United States military and spy agencies, as well as economic sanctions and trade restrictions, can and should be used to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries.
In an outstanding piece called America’s Tradition of Non-interventionism, Chris Leithner notes that non-interventionism was America’s foreign policy for most of our existence. We minded our own business unless there was a national security threat so dire it could convince members of Congress to declare war and send their constituents to fight and die for their country.
And that’s why the Founders put the power to declare war into the hands of the House of Representatives–to ensure that the government wouldn’t embroil the People in unnecessary, unjustifiable wars.
“Yet presently in America, as for most of the past half-century, few things provoke more indignation, ridicule and denunciation from political, academic and journalistic élites (as opposed to consumers and taxpayers) than scepticism towards America’s interventionist foreign policy.”
In 1982, American troops invaded Lebanon. Ronald Reagan was vilified for “cutting and running” after withdrawing U.S. troops from Lebanon in 1983 after suicide terrorist attack on a Marine barracks that killed 231 Americans. And yet, in his autobiography, Reagan admitted,
“In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believe the last thing that we should do was turn tail and leave. Yet the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more of a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 marines would be alive today.”
Pat Buchanan earned the propagandist label of “isolationist” during the 2000 presidential campaign. I recall being afraid of Buchanan’s views at the time, though I confess I did zero independent research and just accepted what the TV told me about Buchanan. (I’m embarrassed to admit this now.)
It’s chilling to read Pat Buchanan’s warnings against interventionist foreign policy. Just a year before September 11th, Buchanan predicted the future with startling accuracy:
“How can all our meddling not fail to spark some horrible retribution … Have we not suffered enough – from PanAm 103, to the World Trade Center [bombing of 1993], to the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam – not to know that interventionism is the incubator of terrorism? Or will it take some cataclysmic atrocity on U.S. soil to awaken our global gamesmen to the going price of empire? America today faces a choice of destinies. We can choose to be a peacemaker of the world, or its policeman who goes about night-sticking troublemakers until we, too, find ourselves in some bloody brawl we cannot handle.”
Now, the United States has 700 bases in 120 foreign countries and we’re at war (undeclared, but no less deadly) in four? five? conflicts. Clearly, for at least 60 years, America’s foreign policy has been one of interventionism (the last Constitutionally-waged war was World War II.) In the past 60 years, our military and intelligence agencies been involved in warfare and/or regime change in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Central America, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya…and I’ve probably left out a few.
So now we know what interventionism is, and we know what non-interventionism is.
So, what is isolationism? According to Wikipedia, isolationism is “the policy or doctrine of isolating one’s country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc.”
In most instances, isolationist regimes seem to also have an element of authoritarianism, necessary to keep its citizens from traveling to and trading with other countries. Probably the best current example of an isolationist regime is North Korea. (Isolationism also typically involves poverty, as protectionist trade policies are also often involved.)
Why is “isolationism” an excellent label for a propagandist?
First, most government-school graduates like me are ignorant of world history, American history, and philosophy. They don’t know what isolationism is, but it sounds scary. And lonely.
No one wants to be frightened and alone, and that’s the subliminal emotional baggage attached to the label of “isolationism.”
The “isolationist” label is also powerful because for a single word, it’s “loaded” and easy to use in conversation. In this way, it’s similar to the propaganda word “racist.” (That word comes with over 300 years of baggage.)
And finally, propaganda words like “racist” and “isolationist” are powerful because they cause conversation (and thought) to stop. That’s why “racist,” in particular, is such a go-to word for The Left.
Labeling Ron Paul an isolationist isn’t accurate by any stretch of the imagination. Even the most cursory examination of his foreign policy positions–easily available in his book on the subject, A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship–makes it clear that he’s in favor of free trade, cultural exchange, freedom of travel, and other forms of friendship with other nations.
But labeling Ron Paul an “isolationist” isn’t about accuracy; nor is it about having a sincere discussion of foreign policy differences among the GOP candidates. It’s propaganda: it’s about manipulating emotional reactions and shaping voting patterns. Just like labeling Sarah Palin “a polarizing figure.”
The DNC-controlled media’s #1 job in the GOP nomination process is to ensure the nomination of John McCain II–a squishy reach-across-the-aisle so-called “moderate” who has no chance of winning against Obama. Everything they do is in furtherance of this goal. These candidates get the most airtime; they get the most debate questions, and they get the most deference from the DNC operatives who read the “news.”
Any truly conservative candidate–and especially, any candidate with a real chance at winning–is the subject of relentless propagandizing (see Sarah Palin and Herman Cain.)
The DNC-controlled propaganda machine has successfully eliminated these two possibilities.
Until very recently, their “Ron Paul’ playbook consisted of pretending he didn’t exist, which has become harder and more comical as he has risen in the polls. As they’re forced to abandon this “blackout” strategy, look for the continuation of two back-up strategies to turn Ron Paul and his supporters into an “other” to alienate Ron Paul from the conservative voting bloc: endless questions about a mythical, and consistently-denied third-party run (questions that no other candidate ever gets, not even Jon Huntsman, the one candidate who has said that he WOULD run as a third-party candidate); and labeling Ron Paul as an “isolationist.”
Since Ron Paul massively outstrips all other candidates (including Obama) in donations from active-duty military, these foreign-policy attacks may be easier to fend off. That leaves only the “third-party” propaganda option open.
We’re having this discussion in front of God and everybody, so I hope this will be an example of how people who believe different things can discuss things rationally and still respect each others’ basic goodness.
In tonight’s GOP Debate Live Blog, you say,
I am horrified by Ron Paul’s assertion that the United States government was gleeful after 9/11 or that our government knew the attacks were going to happen and let them happen anyway….After these 9/11 remarks, I’ve had enough of this garbage and no longer feel like indulging Fifth-Dimensional craziness in serious debate proceedings. I really hope Paul has to answer a question about his 9/11 remarks; I am sure my friend Jane will be looking down from Heaven with great interest to hear what he has to say.
You and I have not talked about Ron Paul’s comment in private and this is the first I’ve heard about your reaction to it. For those who aren’t familiar, it was part of a speech at the University of Iowa in which Dr. Paul was discussing his foreign policy of non-interventionism, and warning that the Obama Regime is making noises about going to war with Iran:
“Think of what happened after 9/11, the minute before there was any assessment, there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq, and so the war drums beat…That’s exactly what they’re doing now with Iran.”
I think that after working with you for a year, and helping keep HillBuzz.org going at a significant personal investment of time and money, you know my character. I hope you understand me to be unwaveringly patriotic and dedicated to restoring America to the great Constitutional Republic that it once was. And I hope you know that I would never support a candidate who didn’t love America, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence as much as I do. So I hope you’ll evaluate what I’m about to say while keeping that in mind.
The concepts I’m going to touch on are tough. It takes an open and curious mind to get beyond the knee-jerk, emotional reaction the Democrat-Controlled Media is counting on you to have upon hearing a sound byte like this. Members of the Ruling Class are counting on a dumbed-down electorate who are incapable of critical analysis, and ignorant of even recent history, to keep them in power. I would ask you to take a deep breath and consider this as dispassionately as you can, given the loss of your friend.
Ron Paul has said repeatedly that he’s NOT a “truther” and does not believe that 9/11 was somehow an “inside job.” Dr. Paul has, however, called it (accurately) a massive failure of our intelligence agencies. In a statement before the House of Representatives in February of 2004, Dr. Paul said,
“There is plenty of blame to go around for the mistakes made by going to war in Iraq, especially now that it is common knowledge Saddam Hussein told the truth about having no weapons of mass destruction, and that Al Qaida and 9/11 were in no way related to the Iraqi government.
Our intelligence agencies failed for whatever reason this time, but their frequent failures should raise the question of whether or not secretly spending forty billion taxpayer dollars annually gathering bad information is a good investment. The administration certainly failed us by making the decision to sacrifice so much in life and limb, by plunging us into this Persian Gulf quagmire that surely will last for years to come.
But before Congress gets too carried away with condemning the administration or the intelligence gathering agencies, it ought to look to itself. A proper investigation and debate by this Congress– as we’re now scrambling to accomplish– clearly was warranted prior to any decision to go to war. An open and detailed debate on a proper declaration of war certainly would have revealed that U.S. national security was not threatened– and the whole war could have been avoided. Because Congress did not do that, it deserves the greatest criticism for its dereliction of duty.
There was a precise reason why the most serious decision made by a country– the decision to go to war– was assigned in our Constitution to the body closest to the people. If we followed this charge I’m certain fewer wars would be fought, wide support would be achieved for just defensive wars, there would be less political finger-pointing if events went badly, and blame could not be placed on one individual or agency. This process would more likely achieve victory, which has eluded us in recent decades.”
And this is the key point I want to make, Kevin. Ron Paul’s foreign policy comes from the same philosophical basis as his domestic and economic policy…Enlightenment traditions of individual freedom, personal responsibility, free market economics, and the Golden Rule. Treat others as you wish to be treated. His foreign policy views are based on the Constitution and advice of the Founders, including George Washington, who warned the young country to avoid “entangling alliances” in his Farewell Address in 1796. It’s also based on the concept of “just war.”
America was a colonial outpost of a Imperial superpower on which the sun never set, and where the King’s word was law. One of my ancestors took up arms against the British Empire and fought under George Washington’s command, creating what was, at the time, the only country on Earth where citizens held free elections to choose their leaders.
A scrappy, ragtag band of rebels fought and died to found the United States of America, defeating the world’s greatest superpower at the time. And their fight was based on ideas and ideals, one of which was “just war,” a very old concept that had been discussed extensively in the 13th century by Thomas Aquinas. To many who believe in the “just war” concept, pre-emptive war is considered immoral in nearly all cases.
If you went to government schools (as I did), this may be hard for you to comprehend. It’s astonishing how ignorant and unschooled we all are, compared to our forebears.
Here’s where I admit that I didn’t vote for Bush. I’m a libertarian, and Bush was a big-government, big-spending conservative. Not my cup of tea. And my personal feeling is that George W. Bush is an honorable man who loves America, and loves the military, but made some really bad policy decisions that I can’t support. (Even so, he was a vastly better president than our first postracial, non-Muslim, Marxist and probably gay president, Barack Hussein Obama.)
I think any American with a heart still has a little PTSD about September 11th. And because September 11th was so horrifying and traumatic, it’s very hard for us to remember anything that was happening in the Bush administration prior to that date. Frankly, most of us (including me) weren’t paying much attention.
But several members of the Bush administration have said that from Day One, a number of Bush advisors and members of his administration were, in fact, eager to go to war and affect a regime change in Iraq, and were looking for any excuse to do so.
This goes against everything Ron Paul, and libertarians like me, believe in–the initiation of the use of force in the absense of a a confirmed, imminent threat to national security. And it goes against what I think America stands for.
In an interview on “60 Minutes,” former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said “From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go….For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.” [emphasis added]
And this is the beef I have with George W. Bush. As a libertarian, I don’t believe in pre-emptive war, just as I don’t believe in pre-emptively executing people who might commit crimes but haven’t actually done anything yet.
A story on CNN continues [emphasis added],
O’Neill and other White House insiders gave him documents showing that in early 2001 the administration was already considering the use of force to oust Saddam, as well as planning for the aftermath.
“There are memos,” Suskind told the network. “One of them marked ‘secret’ says ‘Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq.'”
Suskind cited a Pentagon document titled “Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts,” which, he said, outlines areas of oil exploration. “It talks about contractors around the world from … 30, 40 countries and which ones have what intentions on oil in Iraq.”
In the book, O’Neill is quoted as saying he was surprised that no one in a National Security Council meeting asked why Iraq should be invaded.
“It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’” O’Neill said.
Paul O’Neill’s assertions are backed up by former CIA director George Tenet in his book, At the Center of the Storm. In a 2007 article in the Washington Post, Karen DeYoung writes [emphasis added],
White House and Pentagon officials, and particularly Vice President Cheney, were determined to attack Iraq from the first days of the Bush administration, long before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and repeatedly stretched available intelligence to build support for the war, according to a new book by former CIA director George J. Tenet.
Although Tenet does not question the threat Saddam Hussein posed or the sincerity of administration beliefs, he recounts numerous efforts by aides to Cheney and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to insert “crap” into public justifications for the war. Tenet also describes an ongoing fear within the intelligence community of the administration’s willingness to “mischaracterize complex intelligence information.”
“There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraq threat”…The debate “was not about imminence but about acting before Saddam did.”
According to Ron Paul–who is in a position to know, as a civil libertarian having served 10 terms in Congress–various provisions of the PATRIOT ACT had been floating around Congress for years prior to September, 2001. And after the attacks, in the tradition of Rahm Emanual, Congress “didn’t let a good crisis go to waste,” bundling up a number of privacy-killing, civil-liberties-killing chunks of legislation that had been seen as too extreme into a bill that most Representatives didn’t actually read before signing, and wouldn’t have voted for had it not been called the PATRIOT ACT.
So, in the eight months before the September 11th terrorist attacks, several members of the Bush administration were eager for an excuse to invade Iraq. Several members of Congress were eager for an excuse to start spying on Americans without due process.
I have no reason to believe that members of the Bush administration were happy that nearly 3,000 Americans died on September 11th. None at all. And that isn’t what Ron Paul said, though that is what “news” coverage has implied.
But the record and several contemporary accounts support Ron Paul’s statement, made to a packed house of over 1,300 at the University of Iowa:
“Think of what happened after 9/11, the minute before there was any assessment, there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq, and so the war drums beat…That’s exactly what they’re doing now with Iran.”
Dr. Paul discussed his statement in an interview on Fox News, starting at about the 5:00 mark:
The money quote is:
“This doesn’t mean [the administration] had glee about 9/11, that’s a total misinterpretation. They had pleasure in knowing that they had an excuse now to do what they’d been wanting to do for so long and what did they do? They marched into Iraq based on lies, there was no Al Qaida, no weapons of mass destruction, and look at the tragic outcomes from that effort. Undeclared war…matter of fact, that is carried over into Afghanistan, it looks like it won’t ever end unless we change the administration.”
Kevin, I sincerely hope that you’ve taken the time to read this whole letter, which, I grant you, is probably only of interest to other liberty wonks like myself.
Most people won’t have read this far. Most Americans–if they’re paying attention at all–will still make their voting decision as though they’re watching an episode of American Idol, thanks to decades of hard work by the teachers’ unions.
But I hope, at least, that you hold me in enough regard to know that both Ron Paul and I recognize the September 11th attacks for what they were–horrible, gutwrenching tragedies. And I hope you believe me when I say I’m terribly sorry for the loss of your friend Jane.
But I think that the loss of civil liberties, and endless, unconstitutional, undeclared wars are equally tragic. Because that means that the sacrifices of those who fought and died to protect those hard-won liberties–including my Revolutionary War ancestor, Moses Gee–were in vain.
Kevin, I know you aren’t going to vote for Ron Paul, but I hope that after reading this, you don’t respect me any less for my decision to do so.
I’ve never censored anything from you as a Ron Paul supporter and have given you free rein to write as much as you want about him, even though I am not a supporter of his. This generates considerable hatemail for me from people out there who think Ron Paul supporters should never be given a forum, but I’ve never interfered with your making your case for Ron Paul.
The reason I’ve done this is because not only do I respect you on a personal level as a friend and as a writer, but because like him or not, Ron Paul is a phenomenon and he attracts scores of devotees coast to coast. There’s a reason that so many people are so excited by his candidacy…and I want to understand what they are so excited about.
I have tried numerous times to understand this excitement, but every time I try to dig deep and appreciate what Ron Paul is all about, something horrifying jumps out like his feelings toward 9/11.
In the debate tonight, Dr. Paul went on a tear about how we should close the Embassy in Baghdad and bring troops home from shuttered bases all over the globe, with America withdrawing all personnel to the continental US. That’s madness. Pure and utter madness.
While I do believe there are bases that are no longer needed and forces should be shifted in many cases, I don’t think Dr. Paul has a real appreciation of the ripples his dream plan would cause. I do think the US needs to start charging hefty fees for the protective services the country’s military provides, so that American taxpayers are not footing the bill for this ourselves. But I can only listen to Dr. Paul for a few minutes before he goes off the deep end with me.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, and in fact feel I’m more fair to Dr. Paul than 95% of people out there because I do keep trying to understand him and the phenomenon that surrounds him.
But 9/11 is sacred to me, as it’s sacred to many Americans. And Ron Paul’s comments on 9/11 are horrifying to me. So much so that he’s really crossed a line this time. These remarks lost a good deal of whatever credibility I had for Dr. Paul. I’m not sure why his supporters will continue to stand with him after these 9/11 remarks, but I certainly will never see Dr. Paul the same way after this.
I encourage you to keep writing about Dr. Paul and the clear media push against him (which is indeed real). I also think you may be right that Dr. Paul will win the Iowa Caucuses, since ground game is everything there and Dr. Paul’s supporters certainly are motivated to head out into the cold and vote for him. If Huckabee won in 2008, and his “I Heart Huckabee” supporters were only a fraction as devoted as the Paul supporters are, then there’s a very good chance that Paul could, indeed, win Iowa.
To be totally honest, I hope Paul DOES indeed win Iowa…because this might be the final straw that forces the parties to remove Iowa as the first in the nation state come primary season. It’s high time Iowa lost this honor, and a Paul victory following Huckabee’s the cycle before that could be just what’s needed to change the nomination calendar in the future.
I love Ron Paul’s zeal for cutting spending, but am horrified by more of what he says than I’m appreciative of his willingness to go out on a limb. Just as I see the need to recognize the fact that Ron Paul generates such fervent support amongst his supporters, Paul supporters like yourself need to understand the horror Dr. Paul strikes into the hearts of many when he talks about his dreams for American foreign policy.
Ron Paul has a very real problem, in that I am certainly not the only person horrified by his 9/11 remarks. Dr. Paul has a very real communication problem since there always seems to be such a solid disconnect between what supporters like you say he really means as opposed to how non-supporters like myself interpret the words he says.
News came down a few minutes ago that the trustees of Penn State University fired head football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier effective immediately.
I haven’t followed this story closely, so I just became aware of the fact that Joe Paterno KNEW that his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, had been CAUGHT RAPING A 10-YEAR OLD BOY IN 2002 AND YET CONTINUED TO WORK ALONGSIDE HIM IN THE PENN STATE FOOTBALL PROGRAM FOR NINE MORE YEARS.
I am about to throw up.
I also just found out that the person who WALKED IN ON Jerry Sandusky RAPING A 10-YEAR OLD BOY, one Mike McQueary, not only DID NOT RESCUE THE BOY AND BEAT JERRY SANDUSKY TO DEATH at the time, but IS CURRENTLY RECEIVERS COACH FOR THE TEAM!
This “man,” Mike McQueary [seriously? That’s his name?], DIDN’T EVEN CALL THE POLICE to report the rape. As reported on FoxNews.com,
“The 84-year-old Paterno has been besieged by criticism since Sandusky was charged over the weekend with sexually abusing eight young boys between 1994 and 2009. Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 assault. […]
Though Paterno is not accused of any wrongdoing, he has been questioned over his apparent failure to follow up on a report of the 2002 incident, in which Sandusky allegedly sodomized a 10-year-old boy in the showers at the team’s football complex. A witness, Mike McQueary, is currently receivers coach for the team but was a graduate assistant at the time.
McQueary told Paterno about the incident the next day, and the coach notified Curley and Schultz, who in turn notified Penn State president Graham Spanier. Curley and Schultz have been charged with perjury and failure to report the incident to authorities, as required by state law.
I would like to point out that this story includes all the elements that the sexual harassment smear campaign against Herman Cain does not.
- An eyewitness.
- Sexual contact.
- A very long paper trail.
The only thing that appears to be missing is the one thing the Herman Cain smear campaign has in abundance: OUTRAGE.
WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE???
Last night, ESPN broadcast video of a student rally at the home of Joe Paterno. They RALLIED in front of his house, shouting words of encouragement to him.
Presumably the residents and students of State College, PA were more aware of the situation than I was. Some, if not all, of these people must have known that this Jerry Sandusky had been protected by Penn State’s coaching staff and administrators, including Paterno.
But the people of State College PA and the students in front of Joe Pa’s house were more concerned with FOOTBALL than with CHILDREN BEING RAPED.
This is what a sex scandal looks like.
And the fact that the Democrat-Controlled Media has spent more time in the past three days reporting on Herman Cain than on Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno…that’s a scandal all its own.
I feel that it’s time the “truth” came out. I’m a victim of economic harassment by Barack Hussein Obama, who is not a Muslim, but is most assuredly a Marxist and probably gay.
I remember it as though it were yesterday (when I look at the “narrative” my attorney, Gloria “Media Whore” Allread, wrote for me to read at this press conference).
I had been going out with the GOP for about four years. Although I respected George W. Bush, I couldn’t stand his big-spending ways, so GWB and I broke up.
I met Barack Hussein Obama when I was on the rebound. He looked me right in the TelePrompTer and promised me that he was “hopey” and “changey,” and said I wouldn’t have to worry about paying my mortgage or putting gas in my car, or weatherizing my house, or paying for my own health insurance or healthcare. Which was a good thing, because soon after I helped elect Barack Hussein Obama, my retirement account tanked and I lost half my client base.
So anyway, my old gas-guzzler died, and I couldn’t afford a good used car because Cash For Clunkers scrubbed all the quality used cars from the market. But that was okay, because Barack promised to pick me up in one of his shiny new black buses.
Yes, I remember it as though I made up this story moments ago…that’s when Barack Hussein Obama–who is not a Muslim, but is most assuredly a Marxist and probably gay–reached over and was inappropriate with my economy. I could feel his hand reaching up towards my wallet, while he was grabbing the back of my head and trying to force me to bow before him, the way he does toward foreigners and Muslim dictators.
“Hey! I have a belief in American Exceptionalism!” I said, and pushed his hand away. I told him to take me home, which he did right away. But then when I got off the bus, I swear, it felt like he shoved me under it.
I’d tell you more, but I sold the Enquirer an exclusive.
And take at least one other registered voter to the polls with you when you do it. If you think you can get away with it, vote Chicago-style: early and often.
The Goonions and other special interests have spent a ton of money on ridiculous attack ads. This election is going to come down to turnout. Government employee unions are a tiny minority of Ohio voters. There are more of us than there are of them. So get out today and vote YES on Issue 2 to get the government unions under control, and vote YES on Issue 3 to keep Obamacare out of Ohio.
Ohio’s largest newspapers (and over 500 other news outlets, organizations, and countless individuals) have endorsed Issue 2.
The Cincinnati Enquirer:
Voters are demanding reforms from their elected officials. Ohio’s SB 5, like similar measures in Wisconsin and elsewhere, is the response to that. … If Ohio voters approve Issue 2, we want schools and local governments to take full advantage of this added flexibility and deliver for taxpayers. We want to see innovation, savings and efficiency. We expect results.
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Ohio desperately needs to control the costs of government at all levels. It needs to send a clear message that the old, familiar ways of doing the public’s business have to change.
In schools, the emphasis has to be on the progress of children, not the comfort of adults. In city halls and county offices, the impact on those who pay the bills — and the sheer magnitude of those bills — must be paramount.
The Columbus Dispatch:
…the effort to reform Ohio’s out-of-balance collective-bargaining law is not an expression of disrespect for or dissatisfaction with Ohio teachers, police officers, firefighters and other government employees. It is a much-needed attempt to restore control over public spending to the public officials elected to exercise that control. … It does not assert that public employees are worth less than the compensation they’re receiving, only that the compensation has grown faster than the public’s ability to pay for it.
GOP Frontrunner Ron Paul has endorsed Ohio Issue 3, the anti-Obamacare amendment to Ohio’s constitution. In this clip, he does what Mittens Romneycare refused to do on Issue 2: he takes a stand, explains himself, and sticks to his principles.
It turns out that the Obummer Regime isn’t against all budget cuts. Cutting benefits for retired military is just fine with the Narcissist In Chief…and his buddy John McCain (RINO – Arizona).
In his latest “reach across the aisle,” Juan McAmnesty has joined forces with the vile Carl Levin to shaft the dedicated men and women who have served in our all-volunteer armed forces, and cut their health care and retirement benefits. As reported by Fox News,
The American Legion has sent a letter to every member of the House and Senate pleading with them to spare health care benefits. The Veterans of Foreign Wars has urged its 2 million members, their families and friends to contact lawmakers and deliver the same message.
The two groups were unnerved when both parties’ leaders on the Senate Armed Services Committee — Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz. — recommended that the special deficit-cutting supercommittee look at raising enrollment fees and imposing restrictions on the military’s health care program, known as TRICARE. Current military members would be grandfathered in.
McCain and Levin also favored creating a commission to look at military retirement benefits and make recommendations for changes.
Somehow the Obama Regime can find money for endless parties, state dinners, vacations, “date nights,” Solyndra, Fast and Furious, Cash for Clunkers, GM, AIG, payoffs to unions, a vastly bloated federal bureaucracy, and more national debt than all other previous presidents combined, but it’s just “too costly” to take care of the men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis on our behalf.
And what’s more disgusting is that RINO John McCain is right there with ‘em, ready to throw retired veterans under the bus.
However, not every so-called Republican was prepared to go along to get along. GOP Frontrunner Ron Paul, one of only two veterans running for the GOP nomination, reacted to proposed cuts in benefits with an open letter to Teh Won that makes me want to stand up and cheer. This is what a REAL Republican sounds like. Can you imagine Mittens Romneycare writing a letter like this?
Dear President Obama,
“As a Doctor, an Air Force Veteran, and Congressman, who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and has always fought for the best interest of our troops, I was deeply concerned to learn that our military retirees are now facing benefit cuts under your proposed $1.5 trillion dollar tax hike.
“Our military men and women have fought bravely. In exchange, our country made a promise to them, and we must honor it.
“There are trillions of dollars in unwise and unconstitutional spending we must cut. There are few other leaders in Washington willing to cut spending as deeply as I am and truly balance our budget. But, we must make sure we take care of our Veterans who fought to take care of us.
“We have put our troops in harm’s way, and we must honor our promises. And, our troops have paid a heavy price these past ten years. Over 5,000 have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, 40,000 have seen crushing injuries, and hundreds of thousands more suffer from brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder.
“Failing to meet the promises we have made to our troops would be unjust and immoral. The cuts you announced yesterday, combined with the rumored cuts in benefits reported in publications like Army Times, have our soldiers and Veterans deeply concerned.
“Mr. President, instead of cutting our Veterans benefits, I call on you to support our troops. Support them by bringing them home to our shores, to protect our borders and defend our country. Ensure that they are rested and equipped to repel any real credible attack. Re-unite them with their families. And, make sure they no longer play policeman in dangerous foreign civil wars.
“Cutting the benefits of our Veterans benefits while we subsidize the security of other wealthy nations like Germany and Japan and play World Policeman makes no sense. The money we would save extracting our fighting men and women and our equipment from overseas conflicts and regions will more than offset the savings you seek by upending the manner in which veterans receive care.
“Bringing our troops home would ensure that we keep the promise to our Veterans, strengthen our national defense and secure our borders.
“Do not mistake me for a pacifist or a person solely focused on the economics of the unsustainable global security and state-building that has helped our country arrive at the shores of financial ruin. On the contrary, I consider my military service as an Air Force flight surgeon during the Cold War to be among my highest personal and professional achievements.
“Authentic, Constitutionally-sound national security — a strong national defense — begins with guarding our borders and not the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
“Mr. President, I call upon your to support our troops, honor our Veterans, and ensure our wounded get the care they deserve. To do so, we must end these protracted, trillion-dollar wars and bring them home.”