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Why Ron Paul's Foreign Policy is the most beneficial to US

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 thenelli01
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Nicky, America's current action in the Middle East indicates a lack of moral clarity just as well as a Ron Paul withdrawal. The difference is that Paul's option doesn't result in thousands of US deaths and American-supported theocracies where apostates risk execution. Anyway, these two wars are not neutral items; they are hopeless efforts as our objectives are currently defined. You are arguing a Ron Paul strategy versus an ARI strategy. Sorry, pal, that's not the reality of the situation. Our choices are between Paul's strategy and the undifferentiated, foolish strategies of all other candidates. Ron Paul wins, unfortunately.

Edit: I appreciate the fact that you're trying to offer clarity to the issue. If there were a candidate out there that actually knew what he was doing, I'd be rattling the sabers right along with him. But maybe I haven't looked closely enough. Can you name a candidate that endorses a rational foreign policy?

Edited by FeatherFall
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Nicky, America's current action in the Middle East indicates a lack of moral clarity just as well as a Ron Paul withdrawal. The difference is that Paul's option doesn't result in thousands of US deaths

The American government should defend its' citizens' interests, and the welfare of the nation as a whole. That's not synonymous with only caring about American lives.

The world is interconnected, and the lives and safety of foreigners living in Europe, the Middle East, etc., not to mention the natural resources in that region, are just as important to the future of the US as the lives of Americans. So I strongly disagree with your arbitrary distinction on who's lives should and who's shouldn't be considered, in this Paul vs. Bush/Obama arithmetic.

and American-supported theocracies where apostates risk execution.

You make that sound like it's a bad thing, by leaving out the part where we support Al Saud and other monarchies (including Jordan, the UAE, Dubai, Bahrain, etc. which are quite civilized) in the face of worse alternatives, not against freedom minded individualists. If you consider that part, then that support becomes a net positive.

Edit: I appreciate the fact that you're trying to offer clarity to the issue. If there were a candidate out there that actually knew what he was doing, I'd be rattling the sabers right along with him. But maybe I haven't looked closely enough. Can you name a candidate that endorses a rational foreign policy?

They might not be fully rational, but Gingrich and John Bolton would do a good job leading American foreign policy. Too bad Gingrich is unelectable.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, would be much worse than Obama. He would abandon the Middle East, and hope that the enemy taking it over wouldn't affect us. But it would, to an extent that would make the cost of our poorly fought wars seem like nothing in comparison.

Anyway, these two wars are not neutral items; they are hopeless efforts as our objectives are currently defined.

Well, one of them is over. And Iraq has a better government than it had before. That's positive change. What's hopeless about it?

You are arguing a Ron Paul strategy versus an ARI strategy.

I'm not. I like some of ARI's ideas on foreign policy, but I think their criticism of US foreign policy is much too harsh. A lot of the purported altruistic motives given for wars, for instance, are just for show. Behind the scenes the US has a more self interested, principled and long term foreign policy than the people at ARI give it credit.

Edited by Nicky
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FeatherFall what kind of action should America take right now and what should have it taken in 53?

America's options in '53 were a grab bag of possibilities ranging from bad to worse. The US should have acted prior to '53 to eliminate the Soviets when the US was the only nuclear power. The Iran decision would have been much less pressing. As history actually went, though, I think covert support of the Shah was probably one of the better options. As far as what to do today, I think ultimately a declaration of war against Iran and their allies will be necessary to oust Khamenei and to arm and organize the liberal factions in Iran. Fighting will probably be required in Syria, Lebanon and possibly Palestine to destroy Iran's proxy network. But this is a fantasy. Nobody will do this. Romney came close last night when he said that the US should arm the Syrian opposition to break Iran's stranglehold on Syria and Lebanon. He seems to think sanctions have a chance of working once this is done. I don't, obviously.

So I strongly disagree with your arbitrary distinction on who's lives should and who's shouldn't be considered, in this Paul vs. Bush/Obama arithmetic.

Which of my statements lead you to believe that I was trying to draw a distinction between different people's lives? My statements on "Another Ron Paul Thread" make it very clear that I endorse military action on behalf of an ally. I don't regard the Saudi kingdom as an ally, so I reject the notion that support for it is a net positive. I don't believe that military action is necessary against them, but I think the Saudi (and UAE) record on human rights is absolutely abysmal and must be addressed through diplomacy.

My opinion has changed a little after watching last night's debate. Three of the candidates have expressed that they want to keep Iran from having a nuke, and I believe them. But all of their prescriptions fall short of the type of action I believe is necessary. Maybe they secretly believe war is coming, and are holding back for the purposes of the campaign. As far as I can tell, the most likely outcome from any one of the four Republican candidates is to leave this up to Israel. If I could be convinced that Gingrich, Santorum or Romney would provide assistance to Israel, I'd change my tune about who's got the best foreign policy.

As to who's got the worst policy, I'm going to have to challenge your assertion that Paul's falls behind Obama's. Out of all of the five possibilities for our next president, who do you think is most likely to actively prevent Israel from stopping Iran's nuke program? Obama comes to my mind. Add to this Obama's choice to use the military when the US has no interest in the fight, and Ron Paul looks far better than Obama. By the way, let's not forget Obama's refusal to get congressional approval for his wars.

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What else is predictable right now that has not happened yet?

That is a hard question to answer as I don't think anyone here really knows exactly what is currently going on in the Middle East. The 1953 coup, for example, was kept away from the public for years so there are limitations for someone like me to comment on that.

The sanctions on Iran are having blowback right now because they are utterly destroying our ability to energize a group to overtake their government because the people are hurting with food shortages, medical shortages, higher prices as a direct result of US actions. All while the government is continuing their nuclear program. So while the sanctions may or may not be justified, they are not working and they are hurting our interests in the process.

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Craig Biddle just wrote a piece that answers your question about what to do now, Daniel.

So War...

Why not include North Korea as well? No terrorists there? Too bad Koreans you are too peaceful to be liberated.

Terrorists are like corporations.. if you fuck with them they will go to another country. Than you will have a reason to invade the next country because they now have terrorists as well.

And of course the wars may be mistaken as unjustified aggression against a sovereign state and create more terrorists.

Remember the excuse Hitler used to attack Poland? Hint: Terrorism....

Terrorists don't privatize oil plants. I can understand intervention to protect property, but because of the acts of selected individuals?

Okay maybe you have a moral right to invade Iran and Arabia, but will that solve the problem?

Hasn't been intervention the cause of all of the terrorism to begin with?

I would I argue it isn't in the citizens rational moral interest to create more wars.

Can war stop terrorism to begin with? Look at Iraq for reference...

Edited by Dániel Boros
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"Daniel, the US offers Israel rewards for acting a certain way. This is a tool of diplomacy, and using it is not a violation of sovereignty."

I agree.

"I don't believe Iran will detonate a nuclear device."

That is a seriously risky belief. I definitely believe that they will, because of their adherence to Islam. Death, individually or en masse, is no deterrence at all.

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Yes Daniel, war directed at state sponsors can meaningfully suppress terrorism. But you're falling victim to the same poorly defined premise as GW Bush, albeit with different conclusions. The enemy isn't "terrorism" or even "terrorists." Fear is an effective tool in war and every armed force will employ it. The use of atomic weapons on Japan was designed to terrify the Japanese into submission by concretizing and legitimizing the prospect of complete annihilation. The action ended up saving US and Japanese lives in the long run. So terror, terrorism or terrorists can't be how we define our enemies.

With respect to the "war on terrorism" the real enemy are those states that seek to spread the territory governed by Islamic law through the use of force (directly or by proxy). We can differentiate these states from Islam in general; I'll use "Islamist" for the purposes of this post. As evidence of how prevalent are the states that promote Sharia, I ask that you familiarize yourself with the OIC. Their declaration on human rights defines all rights as coming from Sharia, and so advocates the subjugation of women and infidels and can be used to interpret peaceful criticism of Islam as an act of terrorism. I am not proposing war against all 57 OIC states; only the cheif sponsors of Islamist terrorism. North Korea, while itself an aggressive terrorist state, is a different animal and has very little influence relative to Islamists worldwide. So, you make a good case for invasion, but let's deal with one problem at a time.

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Okay I wasn't expecting that...

Well Sharia may be a threat and probably will be for many countries in the near future, but that doesn't mean we have to take arms against it. Sharia will take hold of western Europe first, but not because of terrorism but because of immigration. Immigration is a much more effective tool than radical extremism and the islamists know that quite well.

I think if we want Muslims to give up on Sharia law (or Islam) we will need to go to the Middle East and give them something better and by something better I do not mean more bullets. I think we should use the private sector to spread a better ideology. I mean war's not cheaper nor is it more effective. Let's spread the message of Rand over the Islamic world. If they don't allow it publicly we can always do it under ground. The only reason why the army is more favorable because that way nobody would have to lift a finger... except for the soldiers of course. The war of ideas are not fought with knives and bullets. Free trade of goods and services would be a good start.

There's absolutely no guarantee that another two wars will have any favorable results. If you want to pacify the middle east you would have to do it the hard way.

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Are we arguing semantics now? Yes. The government that exists to and largely succeeds in protecting my rights has been attacked by Afghanistan's proxies. My proxy, the US government, its citizens and Allies have been attacked by Iran's proxies. I am astonished that we have to go over this again. We are repeating ourselves.

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So spreading sharia isn't bad just spreading sharia by force. I would argue that spreading anything by force is bad.

Like spreading democracy by force...

Rand said "The end does not justify the means."

Okay so these states want to spread sharia by force so we should attack them before they do because they have already attacked us even though they did not spread sharia when they attacked.

No I mean seriously are we trying to take advantage of the fact that they have attacked us by their proxies so that we can fight Sharia?

Essentially we are trying to spread the territory governed by our phony fascist democracies so it's not that much different from what they want to achieve.

I see no right and wrong in this fight... just two countries wanting to tear each other into pieces.

You don't even consider the possibility of a peaceful solution only those that will inevitably lead to war. It's like pre WWI all over again.

Edited by Dániel Boros
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It's the only reason you gave.

Reread my post and other posts..

Their ideology is fundamentally antithetical to ours. That is what is causing the conflict. Your simplistic concept of "blowback" doesn't explain why the Iranian regime behaves the way they are: it isn't causing them to murder thousands of their own population, to beat women on the street with sticks, to whip rape victims in public, to sponsor terror attacks against Jewish tourists or schoolchildren, or to bi-weekly declare the destruction of Israel as God's will.

This is the logic I was referring to which is why I will not support Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum, and did not support John McCain in 2008 (among other reasons), who all laugh at Ron Paul when he brings up blowback.

If your logic is correct and the conflict is the result of different ideologies, then why isn't Iran targeting Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Austrailia, or other countries that have a similar ideology to the US?

Edited by Matt Giannelli
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So spreading sharia isn't bad just spreading sharia by force. I would argue that spreading anything by force is bad.

Like spreading democracy by force...

Rand said "The end does not justify the means."

Spreading Sharia is bad because it ultimately ends in the illegitimate use of force against those governed. Let’s examine the different ways the US government may legitimately use force to prevent the spread of Sharia. We have laws that, when enforced, stop Sharia law from being implemented domestically (the first and fourteenth amendments come to mind, which guarantee freedom of speech and equal protection under the law). On the foreign front, we have a cheif executive with broad authority to use diplomacy to influence other nations away from Sharia. We also have a congress empowered to give authority to our president to send troops against foreign aggressors who wish to spread it. These are all fairly uncontroversial powers, and unless you say otherwise I'm going to assume that you, in general, accept them. The spread of democracy as a result of the use of these powers was never what I was trying to advocate. By the way, Objectivism rejects democracy as the “tyranny of the majority,” in favor of a constitutional republic founded on the principle of individual rights.

Okay so these states want to spread sharia by force so we should attack them before they do [...]

I'm stopping your quote a little earlier than I normally would because we have addressed this before, and apparently we have to again. We have already been attacked. The use of force at this time is not pre-emptive. Iran has already aggressed. Your thinking on this subject appears to be confused, because the last part of your sentence is in agreement with my italicized statements and in contradiction to the first part of your sentence:

[...]because they have already attacked us [...]

So which is it? Us "attacking them before they [attack us]," or, "they have already attacked us?" This is a very important point of discussion. Further meaningful discussion depends on our agreement about this subject. If we don’t agree, the discussion must return to this topic before we can continue.

[...]even though they did not spread sharia when they attacked.

Iran has spread Sharia to Lybia Lebanon and to Palestine already, and are leveraging those successes to bring Israel back into the Ummah. It sounds like you are giving them a free pass because they haven’t yet succeeded in fully implementing Sharia in Western nations.

No I mean seriously are we trying to take advantage of the fact that they have attacked us by their proxies so that we can fight Sharia?

We can't fight Sharia, just like we can't fight terrorism. We are fighting a particular brand of aggressive foreign state whose leaders share an ideology.

You use the phrase, "taking advantage," as if a proxy attack isn't a completely legitimate reason to declare war. Perhaps there is confusion about the word, "proxy?" In the context of international conflict, the word "proxy" means, "surrogate." Surrogates are used to attempt to create plausible deniability, thereby escaping well deserved blame for military action. The proper response to a proxy attack is to deny the aggressor the plausible deniability it seeks and to use force to stop further attacks using any means necessary. If peaceful solutions had a hobbit's chance in Mordor of succeeding, I'd advocate their use. That peaceful measures will not work is clear; advocacy of peaceful measures is naïve.

Edit: In light of some of my statements supporting Ron Paul's foreign policy, I think an explaination is in order. I don't believe Paul's policies will "work." But I do believe they will give the US a little breathing room to act with more strength when the US finally wakes up.

Edited by FeatherFall
corrected refrence to lebanon
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Reread my post and other posts..

This is the logic I was referring to which is why I will not support Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum, and did not support John McCain in 2008 (among other reasons), who all laugh at Ron Paul when he brings up blowback.

If your logic is correct and the conflict is the result of different ideologies, then why isn't Iran targeting Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Austrailia, or other countries that have a similar ideology to the US?

For one, those countries don't have the same ideology the US has. Not in practice (unlike the US, they have done very little to defend freedom in the past 50 years), and not even in theory (their laws are nothing like the constitution built on the principle of individual rights the US has).

Second, the US, as an economic superpower, comes into contact with Iran more often than smaller western countries. But when a smaller country that is willing to defend its citizens' freedom does get involved with Iran, or other Islamists, there is usually conflict. Denmark and the UK had their embassies attacked just recently, all over the Muslim world, including in Iran.

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So spreading sharia isn't bad just spreading sharia by force. I would argue that spreading anything by force is bad.

Like spreading democracy by force...

Would you? When? Right now, you're not arguing, you're just stating. Libertarians often use "thou shalt not use force" as a commandment. That's not a rational argument.

Force is perfectly justified in defense of individual rights. Force is the only means by which one can defend individual rights.

Rand said "The end does not justify the means."

Rand said "The end does not justify the means. No one’s rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others."

Very different from what you are saying.

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Which of my statements lead you to believe that I was trying to draw a distinction between different people's lives?"

You wrote: "The difference is that Paul's option doesn't result in thousands of US deaths".

As to who's got the worst policy, I'm going to have to challenge your assertion that Paul's falls behind Obama's. Out of all of the five possibilities for our next president, who do you think is most likely to actively prevent Israel from stopping Iran's nuke program?

Neither. The US President doesn't have the power to do that. How specifically do you think Obama could stop an Israeli attack on Iran?

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Nicky, I think you've fallen victim to a hasty reading of my post. That statement doesn't imply any level of concern about non-US citizens (positive or negative). The US government, as the agent of US citizenry, must show more concern for the lives of US citizens than for the citizens of other nations. But it doesn't follow that I believe some lives are more important than others because of geographic location or national identity.

Obama doesn't need to completely stop an attack on Iran to have a worse foreign policy than Paul. Obama could morally condemn an attack after the fact, for example. Anyway, a US president could prevent an Israeli attack from succeeding by sharing intelligence with Iran. I tend to think the former is likely and the latter unlikely. Unfortunately, I don't think the latter is out of the question for Obama. I don't see Ron Paul doing either of these things.

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"We recognize how the mystic principles of Christianity and other religions have directly influenced our policies of altruism and collectivism in the economic sense."

I just now noticed this beginning sentence in the first thread, and want to examine this a bit more closely, as I don't think it's a valid premise. I suspect that altruistic principles (the concept of a "common good"; the attribution of heroism to those who sacrifice themselves to it; etc.) are not so much the result of the influence of religion as they are basic survival methods which were then adopted by various religions and enshrined in their ethical principles. Primitive man, for example, was born into a society (at the very least a family), and his survival was dependent upon a mother who survived, and her survival was likely dependent, given that females are generally not as physically strong as males, on her mate's protection. In non-human life, the survival of the species seems to be the driving force, which in fact often endangers the survival of individuals. Something similar would appear to be the case with humans: infants would not have survived unless parents sacrificed, at least to some extent, for them (the "good" being, I suppose, the continuation of the genetic material of the parents). Groups of extended families would then band together and share in the increased security that came with numbers -- or at least with an increase in those capable of defending the others. Anyway, it would appear, then, that altruistic instincts are a built-in survival mechanism. There hasn't been any society, ancient or modern, that hasn't practiced it and/or made heroes of those exemplify those altruistic principles. Even the Greeks required their wealthy citizens to "give back" -- entirely at their own cost -- to the society as a whole (leitourgia). I don't think it's a product of religious belief, and so I don't think you can get rid of it society-wide, though no doubt a few individuals are able to.

Which is why what Daniel writes above, "Let's spread the message of Rand over the Islamic world" is so incredibly naive. First off, religion is VERY important to these folks, with atheists being despised, if anything, more than Christians and Jews. Do you think an atheist philosophy such as Objectivism has any chance at all??? And if Objectivism hasn't been able to win any traction in the West, despite it being far more secular (I think the reason it doesn't get far here is because of what I wrote above: I think altruism is hard-wired into us as a species), what makes you think it has any chance to succeed in an Islamic country?

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Nicky, I think you've fallen victim to a hasty reading of my post. That statement doesn't imply any level of concern about non-US citizens (positive or negative). The US government, as the agent of US citizenry, must show more concern for the lives of US citizens than for the citizens of other nations. But it doesn't follow that I believe some lives are more important than others because of geographic location or national identity.

What do you think the word "important" means, if it's not a description of the level of concern something ought to be afforded?

Btw., are there any mods here who's goto argument isn't that "you can't read well enough"?

Obama doesn't need to completely stop an attack on Iran to have a worse foreign policy than Paul. Obama could morally condemn an attack after the fact, for example. Anyway, a US president could prevent an Israeli attack from succeeding by sharing intelligence with Iran. I tend to think the former is likely and the latter unlikely. Unfortunately, I don't think the latter is out of the question for Obama. I don't see Ron Paul doing either of these things.

No one cares about either Obama's or Ron Paul's after the fact moral condemnation. Besides, that's obviously not "actively preventing" anything.

As for the other thing, I guess Obama could walk up to Bibi Netanyahu and stab him, too. But that's just as obviously out of the realm of possibility as him committing treason to Iran.

The fact is that Obama is discouraging Israel from attacking Iran by threatening to withhold some of the US military aid and strategic support, and by refusing to use superior US capabilities to facilitate the attack. Which is of course pretty bad, but even if he kept all his threats, Israel would still receive more US support than Ron Paul is setting out to provide them with.

Edited by Nicky
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By the way, Objectivism rejects democracy as the “tyranny of the majority,” in favor of a constitutional republic founded on the principle of individual rights.

yea yea you know what I meant...

So which is it?

My question exactly. This stuff with sharia seems to be totally unrelated... would it matter if they didn't have it or not?

Iran has spread Sharia to Lybia Lebanon and to Palestine already, and are leveraging those successes to bring Israel back into the Ummah. It sounds like you are giving them a free pass because they haven’t yet succeeded in fully implementing Sharia in Western nations.

Why should we care about Lebanon and Palestine?

The only way you can escape any accusation of altruism, if you add Israel as well as a third party. Very convinient that they are there...

We can't fight Sharia, just like we can't fight terrorism. We are fighting a particular brand of aggressive foreign state whose leaders share an ideology.

You use the phrase, "taking advantage," as if a proxy attack isn't a completely legitimate reason to declare war. Perhaps there is confusion about the word, "proxy?" In the context of international conflict, the word "proxy" means, "surrogate." Surrogates are used to attempt to create plausible deniability, thereby escaping well deserved blame for military action. The proper response to a proxy attack is to deny the aggressor the plausible deniability it seeks and to use force to stop further attacks using any means necessary. If peaceful solutions had a hobbit's chance in Mordor of succeeding, I'd advocate their use. That peaceful measures will not work is clear; advocacy of peaceful measures is naïve.

Do we have irrefutable evidence that the Iranian government is involved? The difference between proxy and non proxy is very important.

As I mentioned before Hitler attacked Poland using the excuse that Polish proxies attacked a German facility (they were German prisoners).

The Israelis also tried something similar in Egypt to get the US into war.

Also it's not like Iran is the only one doing proxy attacks unless nuclear scientists dying is a natural occurrence in Iran.

Proxy attacks were a specialty of the CIA and now were are blaming the Arabs for becoming copycats.

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