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Bachmann wins, Paul in close second

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Has Ron Paul said he is open to the idea of going to war with nations that act as an aggressor to the U.S.? I don't follow him much, but I have yet to run into him take this kind of position.

Yes. To my knowledge, his position is that the military should be well funded and as technologically advanced as is necessary to deter any and all enemies from attacking. However, the initiation of force, in all contexts - whether domestic or foreign - is only rationally justified to defend against those who first initiate force.

I think the only reason he's pumping the anti-war theme, and calling the troops home - is because the government is both bankrupt, and engaging in a principally unjustified war in a far off land. I'm not sure which reason is the most significant - but both have far reaching ramifications on the future of America in the world. It may be politically "popular" to support the foreign wars - but politically popular is a far cry from philosophically justified.

This reminds me of one criticism I forgot about. Ron Paul also seems to believe that sanctions are a type of initiation of force. In his mind refusing to trade with Iran is an improper national policy because it restricts citizens rights to trade freely, and justifiably makes the Iranians upset with us.

Sanctions - by a government against another government - is more accurately characterized as the initiation of force against its own citizens. If the US Government "sanctions" Iran - it prevents US citizens, or its companies, from engaging in any trade with businesses in Iran or subsidiaries of Iranian businesses. Sure the Iranians lose out - but the actual force being applied is against the right of American citizens to live their lives as they see fit. Moreover, Ron Paul is correct - if a few "interested" parties in the US government see fit to sanction Iran and the Iranian people by forcing (banning) Americans from engaging in trade with them - I would imagine the Iranians would assume those "interested" parties were their enemy.

If Americans truly opposed Iranian society and the real, serious violations they conduct - they can voluntarily restrict themselves. But force against a free people is never justified. Ever.

The point is that he thinks rights come from "nature" or the "Creator" at all. Which he said during this debate. He doesn't seem to get that individual rights are an expression of the essential features of being human and using your mind.

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting the derivation of individual rights, but my understanding is that it stems from human nature - what specifically in our nature that defines us as human and not beast/ape - and is therefore "of nature".

Again - perhaps it's just me reading too much into the body of his work, or giving him too much credit - but I believe, within the context of his entire set of ideas on liberty and individual rights, that his references to "god given" rights or "natural (mother nature?)" should be seen as a political olive branch to bridge the void between the religious minded that love their god but also love their freedom.

But that's the question; would it? Or would his particular ideas put into practice only lead to more confusion and a setback to the goal of individual rights and Capitalism? (or worse)

Fair point. Though, as I said, his arguments taken as a whole within the context of his other arguments - especially those on sound money and its necessary function within a truly capitalist society - I believe any candidate that can speak so articulately, and generally uncompromisingly in a pro-freedom voice deserves a fair shake. :)

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I don't think Ron Paul has any chance of overcoming his image of being "too extreme" (independent voter would think "crackpot"), when it comes to a general election. Is it plausible that the American "independent" voter will vote for someone who says he would not have ordered Osama bin Laden killed, over the incumbent who did give the order and pull it off? One can say the the country is not ready for Paul, or one can call him a crackpot; but, either way he is not going to be the GOP nominee.

This race seems to be similar to last time, with Romney in McCain's shoes, and with Perry and Bachman somewhat where Huckabee was the last time around. I think it adds up to Romney being the most likely nominee, but it is early days yet.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Speaking to Dairdo in particular:

The idea that the military should only ever protect the rights of the citizens of that same country is ridiculous. It's no different from my saying, "Well, why should I pay to protect your rights? You live in the next city over, and you don't even pay taxes." It's a question of long-term self interest: it's better for me in the long run to have free people in Iran than to have enslaved ones. Furthermore, what about the right of Americans to move to Iran and open businesses free of restrictions while enjoying personal liberty? Now, there is a complex balance: clearly, one country cannot afford to free everyone else in the world, nor should it be asked to do so. It requires a case-by-case analysis of the degree of oppression, the cost to the liberators in money and in soldiers' lives, the likelihood of success, the wealth and level of civilization of the country, and, yes, the lives of that country's people.

And when a country does decide to liberate another country, it should do the job right or not do it at all. It should annex that country or at least impose on it a rights-respecting constitution and strict oversight over its government (as we did after World War II). It should certainly not let them elect whoever they want and do whatever they want, as long as there is "democracy".

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This race seems to be similar to last time, with Romney in McCain's shoes, and with Perry and Bachman somewhat where Huckabee was the last time around. I think it adds up to Romney being the most likely nominee, but it is early days yet.

I think you're right so far. The Republicans have this obsession with giving the nomination to whoever hangs on long enough to make an argument that it's now my turn. Romney fits that bill to a T, just like McCain and Bob Dole did. They were both obvious losers, but it was their turn to go down in flames.

However, this time may just be different. The Tea Party folks seem to have influence beyond their numbers and they may push a guy like Perry to the front of the pack. Romney is still the guy to beat, but Perry might do it.

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However, this time may just be different. The Tea Party folks seem to have influence beyond their numbers and they may push a guy like Perry to the front of the pack. Romney is still the guy to beat, but Perry might do it.
Yeah, Perry and Romney seem most likely to be the long-haul candidates. (The betting on Intrade give them each 1:3 odds, with Bachman at under 1:10). I don't think Bachman has a chance in a general election: I think she'll appear too light-weight to the "independent" voter. Heavier than Palin perhaps, but with more religious-nutcase baggage too. Huntsman came across as honest in the debate, but didn't seem to have the required presence. Edited by softwareNerd
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Specifically saying that Iran is justified to oppose America because it installed the Shah in the 50's.

He claimed not that Iran was justified, but rather that American military nosiness was the primary catalyst behind this whole cluster of nonsense in the first place, so it is reasonable to assume that even more American military nosiness will only lead to more of the same. He is right in thinking this.

People see the state of the "War on Terror" and it's a failed mess.

It was a failed mess the second it began; the only justice the entire endeavor ended up bringing was Bin Laden's battlefield execution, and that was at the cost of a decade of war and thousands of American lives.

He's actually more of a pacifist (as long as it's the U.S. doing the warring).

He's not a pacifist, he's just simply not an interventionist either. He (rightfully) expects a legitimate war, not declared on "terrorism" or "radical Islam", but on an opponent country to be the sole reason for deploying American troops in a foreign land.

Ron Paul also likes to punt massive rights violations to the states in a typically Libertarian fashion. He maintained that embryos are people who deserve a shot at life, but that it's not right for the Federal level to decide. But if mob rule decides at the state level then it is super.

This is his greatest flaw. I agree with you one hundred percent; this is an example of Libertardianism at its most ridiculous.

And then of course he is still essentially a Christian who believes that rights come "from our Creator".

So were our Founding Fathers, if you'd care to check out the Declaration of Independence. I still don't understand why this is such an issue for you people.

Or would his inherent Christianity, pacifism, and anti-government ideas (as opposed to pro-capitalist) wind up besmirching the progress of individual rights and laissez faire Capitalism for years?

Actually, his pro-free market (not pro-Capitalism though; you are correct in that) ideas and policies, however poorly founded, would provide Americans the breathing room they need to start being prosperous again, his fiscal responsibility would allow America to begin to pay off her debts, and his "bring our troops home" conviction would save the government billions. America could begin to enjoy prosperity and productivity like she hasn't seen in thirty years, and all would know that it was because of our slight (however slight, indeed) return to liberty.

(If not even worse, wind up emboldening a nuclear Iran to destroy Isreal or attack the U.S).

I don't even know why I have to say this, but fuck Israel. And your fear for the U.S.'s safety from Iran is a bit phobic; first, Iran will have to actually demonstrate a motive and capability to harm the U.S. (as in, acquire an Air Force or Navy), then we can begin to consider military action against them.

All in all, Ron Paul is not an Objectivist candidate, and I'd never claim that he is. What he is, however, is an Objectivist-friendly candidate, in that he will be very eager to step out of the way of the free market and all of its productive individuals as they make better lives for themselves and bring America back from the brink in the process.

Edited by Weston
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Yeah, Perry and Romney seem most likely to be the long-haul candidates. (The betting on Intrade give them each 1:3 odds, with Bachman at under 1:10). I don't think Bachman has a chance in a general election: I think she'll appear too light-weight to the "independent" voter. Heavier than Palin perhaps, but with more religious-nutcase baggage too. Huntsman came across as honest in the debate, but didn't seem to have the required presence.

Huntsman is another non-starter. One has to appeal to conservatives in the Republican primaries and Huntsman's strategy of running to the middle might work in the general election, but he won't get that far.

It's interesting that there are two Mormons in the field this year. Clearly the Obama machine is going to use Romney's Mormonism against him. He's going to be too "wierd" to be President.... as though all religion isn't wierd.

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The idea that the military should only ever protect the rights of the citizens of that same country is ridiculous. It's no different from my saying, "Well, why should I pay to protect your rights? You live in the next city over, and you don't even pay taxes." It's a question of long-term self interest: it's better for me in the long run to have free people in Iran than to have enslaved ones.

The matter, as I understand it, revolves entirely around the proper use of force by a state. In this case, the use of military - which has only one just use, and that is against foreign aggressors; never against its own citizenry.

Further, your policing example doesn't hold. The police are part of a State's legitimate use of force against those that would initiate it against individual citizens - entirely domestic. While policy departments may be implemented/coordinated on a city by city, or county by county basis - this is merely a bureaucratic issue, not a matter of principle.

Police - some police - have jurisdictional responsible over the entire geopolitical territory of the State and a duty to protect the rights of all individuals within that region. That region is united by its commitment, in general, to the recognition of individual rights. You can't extend that argument to encompass far flung (or any, for that matter) foreign States.

Certainly it's in your long term self interest to "support" the freedom of Iranian citizens - but as the Iranians have not initiated the use of force against you, your military has no just basis for intervening. If they do, they become the initiators of force, and thus engage in an immoral act.

Your reasoning would imply a duty - an obligation on a military created to protect your freedom - to seek out oppression and crush it wherever it rears its head in the world.

Remember that your military is not comprised of mindless brutes. They voluntarily put their life on the line to protect the "shared" values of the people - being the freedom enjoyed within the State. I highly doubt whether or not your military would still retain its numbers if you told them that their new job was the liberation of oppressed people - even though no threat exists to the people they swore to defend. Put simply: I doubt most military personnel value the lives of foreign citizens high enough to put their lives on the line. They may value them - but again, to what extent?

Would you put your life on the line to free oppressed Iranians?

Furthermore, what about the right of Americans to move to Iran and open businesses free of restrictions while enjoying personal liberty? Now, there is a complex balance: clearly, one country cannot afford to free everyone else in the world, nor should it be asked to do so. It requires a case-by-case analysis of the degree of oppression, the cost to the liberators in money and in soldiers' lives, the likelihood of success, the wealth and level of civilization of the country, and, yes, the lives of that country's people.

Americans have a right to leave America - not to enter Iran. Iran does not protect or recognize individual rights. Whether they ought to or not is irrelevant. They don't. Any American that chooses to endanger their life and risk moving there does so of their own volition - with the knowledge that their rights are only properly protected (in theory of course) in America - not abroad.

If Americans wanted to support and encourage the freedom of oppressed peoples - they could certainly set up a superior military force in a position to defend any and all individuals that were able to free themselves from the bondage of their oppressors and seek sanctuary. Think of it like an overt, underground railroad of sorts. They could invent and proliferate technologies that would encourage rebellion and support rebels with charitable organizations.

More importantly however, is that your value of oppressed individuals in foreign nations, while admirable, is simply that: your value. It may not be shared, at least to the same extent, by your fellow American citizens. Sure, on some level, I'm sure all free people value and want every other human to be free - but compared to what? Where do think such a value fits in to everyone else's value hierarchy? Is the freedom of Iranian citizens really in the long term interest of you? When? The next 20 years? The next 100? How do you measure that? You're asking your military - those individuals that are willing to die protecting you - not Iranians - to go out and wage war and die; not to protect you, but to chase your value preferences. I doubt whether or not you'd have much popular support.

Perhaps you know best or your intentions are pure. That's not the point. If your values were so popularly shared, you could raise the money and personnel to organize a private military to chase your goals. You just couldn't do it on behalf of the American people. Nothing about your personal value preferences justifies the use of force - against your own military to fight for what you believe is important.

And when a country does decide to liberate another country, it should do the job right or not do it at all. It should annex that country or at least impose on it a rights-respecting constitution and strict oversight over its government (as we did after World War II). It should certainly not let them elect whoever they want and do whatever they want, as long as there is "democracy".

It is not the concern of American families to send their children out into the world to "liberate" people that, as far as I can tell, have no shared interest in individual rights. Rather, most seek to enforce their own brand of collective tyranny. No nation of oppressed people, to my knowledge, has yet expressed a serious interest in pursuing individual rights. Ask the Chinese about how China is being run - and they will tell you the problem is not with Communism; rather, it is the corruption and failed implementation.

Edited by Dairdo
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The idea that the military should only ever protect the rights of the citizens of that same country is ridiculous. It's no different from my saying, "Well, why should I pay to protect your rights? You live in the next city over, and you don't even pay taxes." It's a question of long-term self interest: it's better for me in the long run to have free people in Iran than to have enslaved ones.

I disagree strongly. The comparison that I would make is that of city and county police jurisdictions. A city's police force is funded for a single reason: to protect the rights of individuals within that city. They do not have jurisdiction outside of that region, and they shouldn't. To say that such an entity shouldn't step outside of its bounds is not to say that people in the next county over don't deserve rights, but rather that a different body is supposed to be protecting them, and keeping jurisdiction clear is vitally important to the rule of law. You can argue that the borders are arbitrary, and that's true, but not really a refutation. We still need clear lines of jurisdiction and responsibilities in order for rights enforcement to work, even if we have to arbitrarily draw such lines. The fact is, our country's military exists to protect people within the borders of this country from foreign attack. The issue is slightly complicated by the question of U.S. citizens in other countries, and whose job it is to protect them exactly, but one thing is sure: our national military is not the world police, and it shouldn't be.

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True, after my preliminary judgement of the man, he seems clean other than these inexplicable articles. My only problem is that he should take credit for the contents of a paper to which he lends his name and prints. Gail Wynand was ultimately responsible for the content of his papers.

But apart from this one-off conflict, I haven't seen anything else that would lead me to believe he's racist.

Even the president of the NAACP chapter defended Paul, saying he was misrepresented and that he is not a racist.

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Ron Paul is on the same wavelength with Objectivists when it comes to the economy, the debt crisis, and our senseless military occupation of the sovereign state of everywhere.

Authentic Objectivists perhaps, but some people calling themselves Objectivists, including the self-professed leading ones – such as Leonard Peikoff, Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger – have been extraordinarily pro-intervention regarding the Middle East. I just Googled

ayn rand war

and the first four items were from the Ayn Rand Institute/Center advocating such intervention.

Similar research indicates that the people at the Ayn Rand Institute loathe Ron Paul.

I don’t even know why I have to say this, but [expletive] Israel.

Not to put too fine a point on it !

Still, many people calling themselves Objectivist think of Israel as the 51st state of the U.S. which happens to be on the other side of the earth. Perhaps you could be more articulate in your response. Their argument in outline is very simple: Israel is our ally, defending Israel helps defend us. Three billion a year to Israel, bombs to drop on its enemies and jets to do it with – it helps us, it’s the selfish thing to do.

Any weak points in that argument need to be addressed. You “have to say it” because the Ayn Rand Institute has published quite a number of articles saying just the opposite and many people seem to agree with them. The Ayn Rand Institute’s web presence, within its field, is tremendous. You can’t Google Ayn Rand anything without the Ayn Rand Institute/Center coming up in the first few items.

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Not to put too fine a point on it !

Still, many people calling themselves Objectivist think of Israel as the 51st state of the U.S. which happens to be on the other side of the earth. Perhaps you could be more articulate in your response. Their argument in outline is very simple: Israel is our ally, defending Israel helps defend us. Three billion a year to Israel, bombs to drop on its enemies and jets to do it with – it helps us, it’s the selfish thing to do.

Any weak points in that argument need to be addressed. You “have to say it” because the Ayn Rand Institute has published quite a number of articles saying just the opposite and many people seem to agree with them. The Ayn Rand Institute’s web presence, within its field, is tremendous. You can’t Google Ayn Rand anything without the Ayn Rand Institute/Center coming up in the first few items.

That's a good response, Mark2. At the outset, I would like to confess that I do not have a fully thought out response to ARI's positions regarding supporting Israel and our foreign interventions, but I do have a few thoughts that concern me which I would like to see addressed if you, or anyone has the time and interest.

The main concern that I have is that I do not see how a country can properly have "interests" outside of it's own boundaries, apart from acts of war, of course.(Which maybe you were talking about exclusively) Individuals from a country can have interests, if they, for example, decide to open a company or factory up in another country, but that seems to be a risk that they choose to take. If Exxon wants an oil field in Iran, they are choosing to build an Iranian Oil Field. As such they are subject to the rules regulations and chance of nationalization that are inherent to that state. The country they are based out of seems irrelevant and not responsible for securing their rights in another country.

Supporting Israel in the sense of taking their moral side in a war with the Arabic world is one thing, but us supporting them with 3 billion dollars a year in funds expropriated from our own citizens, to keep them as a strategic ally or whatever is another thing altogether. If we just needed real estate over there, we could probably buy several African countries outright for the price of one years worth of their support.

Further, they're not nearly big enough to be needed by the US militarily. The US alone spends nearly half of all world defense dollars which tells me that we need no allies outside of political reasons to fight any conventional war. Especially none so small. Including the 3 billion we give them, they only spend 14 billion a year on defense. What they could provide is a drop in a trillion(s) dollar bucket. So even just in a Military context I fail to see what our Billions of dollars buys us. Any thoughts?

Caveats:I'm not looking for an explanation of why we do this currently. That's easy to write off as a derivative of our altruistic ethos. I mean to understand how this is morally justifiable by a selfish, Objectivist standard. I just don't see it. Also, I'd like to keep in mind the total perspective which is that this has been going on for decades and must amount to well over $100 billion by now, leaving aside any indirect costs if we give any weight to the idea that our support of them makes us no friends of the Arabic world. Those costs could easily be in the trillions.

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Ok, I just saw this thread, and I can't be bothered to read all of it at this hour, but I live in Iowa and I attended the straw poll.

Here was the actual votes and percentages since I don't think anyone posted them:

Place Candidate Votes Percentage

1 Michele Bachmann 4,823 28.6%

2 Ron Paul 4,671 27.7%

3 Tim Pawlenty 2,293 13.6%

4 Rick Santorum 1,657 9.8%

5 Herman Cain 1,456 8.6%

6 Rick Perry (write-in) 718 4.3%

7 Mitt Romney 567 3.4%

8 Newt Gingrich 385 2.3%

9 Jon Huntsman 69 0.4%

10 Thaddeus McCotter 35 0.2%

— Scattering 218 1.30%

Total 16,892 100%

Also:

Relevant-

http://www.unelected.org/how-michele-bachmann-bought-the-ames-straw-poll

(This is actually pretty good)

http://www.revolutionpac.com/2011/08/jon-stewart-destroys-media-for-ignoring-ron-paul/

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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Authentic Objectivists perhaps, but some people calling themselves Objectivists, including the self-professed leading ones – such as Leonard Peikoff, Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger – have been extraordinarily pro-intervention regarding the Middle East. I just Googled

ayn rand war

and the first four items were from the Ayn Rand Institute/Center advocating such intervention.

Similar research indicates that the people at the Ayn Rand Institute loathe Ron Paul.

Did your research include reading Ayn Rand's views on Israel and isolationism? It is one thing to make a case against Objectivists who advocate U.S. help for Israel and who dislike Libertarians. However, to say they are not "authentic Objectivists" is another thing.
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A lot about Israel has come to light since 1982. Much of it already known to those who’d dug into the subject, but new to the public in that it’s become popularized. For example, Ayn Rand never read the book By Way of Deception by Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy, because it came out in 1985, three years after her death.

Also, it has to be said that when it comes to a few applications of Ayn Rand’s philosophy to complicated situations there’s room to disagree that Ayn Rand applied her own philosophy correctly. One of these rare examples would be her position on government vouchers to pay for private schooling. If memory serves she was for it. The idea on its face has some merit. Our situation is desperate, even if in a free society such vouchers wouldn’t exist it’s better to risk the problems it would cause for a short term gain -- because all we have left is the short term. However it could be argued, and I personally would argue, that such vouchers would very quickly turn private schools into public schools, that is, lead to government control of all schools. I disagree with Ayn Rand on this detail because I can think for myself.

I don’t want to get into an argument about Israel or vouchers. My point is that we must think for ourselves using all the data at hand. The world didn’t end on March 6, 1982, new facts are always coming to light, and Ayn Rand was neither infallible nor omniscient nor clairvoyant. Certainly Ayn Rand herself would have agreed with this.

That said, one shouldn’t disagree with a genius without a great deal of thought and research.

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...there’s room to disagree that Ayn Rand applied her own philosophy correctly.
Sure, but then one should make that case.

On what nations should be allowed to do, Ron Paul seems to support the typical contemporary moral position: self-determination. This is what has held sway since WW-I, as monarchies gave way to other forms of government. According to this view, people in a country may form whatever government they choose, and that is fine. So, Iran has a government that is strongly theocratic in theory and practice, and Israel may form a government that has a religious tenor but mostly has Western standards when it comes to recognizing individual rights, and someone who supports self-determination thinks these are both equally valid governments. Iran's government is immoral and if someone wishes to bring it down, that could well be a moral choice. Not the same for Israel. Instead, Ron Paul talks about how natural it is for Iran to want to procure nuclear weapons. Huh? And it is natural that the mafia wants to procure guns; does that mean we should cheer them on?

If Ron Paul were to condemn Iran and praise Israel, but add that the U.S. should not interfere either way, one could then make the case that his position could be reconciled with Objectivism. As it is, he is simply stating a Libertarian position, definitely not something consistent with Objectivism.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Also, it has to be said that when it comes to a few applications of Ayn Rand’s philosophy to complicated situations there’s room to disagree that Ayn Rand applied her own philosophy correctly. One of these rare examples would be her position on government vouchers to pay for private schooling. If memory serves she was for it. The idea on its face has some merit. Our situation is desperate, even if in a free society such vouchers wouldn’t exist it’s better to risk the problems it would cause for a short term gain -- because all we have left is the short term. However it could be argued, and I personally would argue, that such vouchers would very quickly turn private schools into public schools, that is, lead to government control of all schools. I disagree with Ayn Rand on this detail because I can think for myself.

I don’t want to get into an argument about Israel or vouchers. My point is that we must think for ourselves using all the data at hand. The world didn’t end on March 6, 1982, new facts are always coming to light, and Ayn Rand was neither infallible nor omniscient nor clairvoyant. Certainly Ayn Rand herself would have agreed with this.

That said, one shouldn’t disagree with a genius without a great deal of thought and research.

Thanks for arguing against the zero people in this thread who were advocating for not thinking for themselves.

How about that there debate.

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Ron Paul never said or implied that all governments are equally valid. The notion is ridiculous to anyone who knows his work. He would probably say the governments of other countries are no business of ours unless they attack us for no reason.

The Iranian government had as much to do with 9/11 as Iraq. The U.S. and Germany had more to do with it, having harbored the hijackers for months before the attack. Ron Paul’s position is that 9/11 was perpetrated by a stateless group and should be treated as an international crime rather than an act of war by Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran. He points out that the U.S. had for years before 9/11 been engaged in Israel’s wars (England in 1953 vis-a-vis Iran might be mentioned too), consequently it should be no surprise when the U.S. gets attacked as part of those wars.

The U.S. government – I almost wrote “my government” but I hate to think of it as mine – is pushing 9/11 like Hitler pushed the Reichstag fire, using it as an excuse to grow into a police state. The latest terrorist attempts are entrapment operations (Portland, Dearborn, the Bronx).

One of the attempts – the “Underwear Bomber” – looks like a fraud from beginning to end. Read what one of the victims, Kurt Haskell, has to say about it on his wife’s blog:

http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2010/09/why-underwear-bomber-trial-with.html

http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-day-one-year-later-underwear.html

http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/search?q=umar

Maybe Ron Paul would eventually put a stop to this corruption if he were president.

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Sure, but then one should make that case.

Instead, Ron Paul talks about how natural it is for Iran to want to procure nuclear weapons. Huh? And it is natural that the mafia wants to procure guns; does that mean we should cheer them on?

I agree that Iran pursuing a nuclear program might one day lead to some cause for minor concern for U.S. safety. What Paul was arguing is that Iran's pursuit of a nuclear program is probably not done with the intention of using it to harm the U.S. He makes a good case - Iran is surrounded by a very nuclear-capable Israel (who is funded by the U.S. for no good reason; I understand that they're our allies, but you shouldn't have to spoon-feed a decent ally. They're really more like our adopted son who can't stop getting into fights at school.), China, Russia, North Korea and the U.S.

Iran knows that each of these countries has its own very good reason to want to mess with their shit, and as long as all of these potential threats have nuclear capability, well, if I were Iran, I'd stock up for the sole purpose of self-defense.

Ron Paul does not argue that Iran deserves a nuclear program, or that we should help fund a nuclear program for them like we already do for Israel (I can't stress enough how shitty of an ally Israel is), but rather that Iran's pursuit of nuclear capability is probably not a declaration of malice toward the U.S.

Again, if Iran began to show legitimate intent for war (i.e. suddenly establishing an Air Force or a Navy, neither of which they currently have), then and only then are military sanctions a feasible option.

If Ron Paul were to condemn Iran and praise Israel, but add that the U.S. should not interfere either way, one could then make the case that his position could be reconciled with Objectivism. As it is, he is simply stating a Libertarian position, definitely not something consistent with Objectivism.

Why should Paul praise Israel? It's a theocratic nation (like it or not) teeming with intolerance and a serious love for making sovereign nations angry at it. It upholds none of the principles that an Objectivist (free-thinking, Randroid or any combination thereof) should require of a nation of favor.

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