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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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Why are you speculating on what I'm basing my opinions on? You don't even know me.

My speculations are quite general, and I think they are an accurate description of how people form conclusions about the guiding spirit of any particular organization or movement. It's certainly what I do most of the time. For example, I have a certain idea of the ideology that drives the Obama administration, which I've extracted from reading his statements and those of his appointees, looking at the laws and regulations they have passed, etc. It's the most time-effective way to operate, really. All I'm saying is that if someone offered me an objective index systematizing the statements and actions of the Obama administration, I wouldn't turn my nose up at it. If someone's willing to take the time to do it, I'll incorporate the results, and change my opinion if necessary.

My claims on the guiding principles of the United States are mainly based on studying its laws, and the well documented ideas those laws are based on. My conclusions are confirmed by looking at the history of the United States, and Americans' willingness to actually fight for those principles.

Yeah. "Studying" and "looking" definitely fall under the kind of informal methodology I'm referring to.

While I agree that the Heritage Economic Index you posted is objective, it paints only a partial picture (and a fraction of the picture, at that - far outweighed by the two most important characteristics of freedom: free speech, and political participation open to everyone). It doesn't contradict anything I said. As for the other list, that's a joke. Freedom House is not a consistent advocate of the principle of individual rights, and its list is superficial at best. Those countries it lists as equivalent to the US in political and social freedoms all have laws restricting both political participation and speech.

It's funny that you criticize my usage of an economic index because it leaves out "free speech, and political participation open to everyone," and then dismiss the second index out of hand as well, seemingly without checking whether it includes free speech and open political participation. Let's look at the technical notes, rather than just the name of the organization. Here are the characteristics that are being taken into account:

A. Freedom of Expression and Belief: Measures freedom of the press, religious freedom, and freedom of cultural expression.

B. Association and Organizational Rights: Measures freedom of assembly and organization, the ability to create trade unions and other free private organizations.

C. Rule of Law: Ascertains if there is an independent judiciary, protection from political terror, and equal protection under the law.

D. Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights: Includes free private discussions, property rights, personal autonomy, and personal freedoms.

I actually agree with your criticisms of Freedom House, which is why I did not post one of their more general 'freedom' indices, which often incorporate things like measures of democracy, which in actuality means the "freedom" for the majority to vote itself political privileges. I chose their civil liberties index specifically because it reflects actual political freedom.

And, more importantly, on a cultural level those nations do not identify with individualism the way Americans do. Their laws are ambiguous and their history spotted with episodes of tyranny and abuse precisely because their culture is a victim of trends. Sure, the trend right now is democracy and so called "democratic values", but there is no reason to believe that is their cultural identity. They certainly have yet to show a willingness to fight for those ideas, which is quite telling of the depth of their convictions.

Okay, so if I did not share this generalized picture of all other countries besides the U.S., what facts would you point me towards to support that picture?

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Please note that you are complaining about how you can't question things, right after you took my question and answered it as if it was a statement.

Please don't run from your subtle attempt to discredit what he was saying by suggesting (and that is the word I used) that he is an anti-semetic conspiracy theorist. You brought it into the discussion, now own it. Now the second sentence was a general observation of what many people say in response to challenging the government or the "norm."

Leave Ayn Rand out of this. Her position on the subject is not an argument for yours. Trust me.

Not that it is relevant or makes any difference, but I think that Ayn would agree with me not to take what the government says at face value as it is similar to her objection of the Bible and religion.

Edited by Matt Giannelli
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Okay, so if I did not share this generalized picture of all other countries besides the U.S., what facts would you point me towards to support that picture?

Their laws, their press and their literature. Anything but an index from an organization that doesn't even define the word freedom correctly.

Edited by Nicky
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It's funny that you criticize my usage of an economic index because it leaves out "free speech, and political participation open to everyone," and then dismiss the second index out of hand as well, seemingly without checking whether it includes free speech and open political participation.

Is it funny? Did I not check what that index included? Are those your two arguments?

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Not that it is relevant or makes any difference, but I think that Ayn would agree with me not to take what the government says at face value as it is similar to her objection of the Bible and religion.

I don't think she would agree with you on that at all. Trusting a secular organization is very different from trusting a religion. The government reports on events accurately all the time. Religion doesn't.

If you think they're the same, then you're the one who's biased.

Edited by Nicky
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"I feel that US intervention in the Middle East has only brought more fuel to the fire of Islamism."

Islam has a problem with the West, US intervention or not. They were first on our radar in the early days of this country -- the Barbary pirates, remember? That was long before the US was a major colonizing, intervening force anywhere. And as you might have noticed, Islam is busily waging jihad in countries with no interventionist policies to give them a fig leaf. The idea that you can retreat from the cesspool of the Middle East and the jihadists will go away and leave us alone is dangerously naive - though we are in serious decline, we are still the major force on the world scene, culturally, economically, and militarily. We're a big target, and we symbolize, at least to some extent, the "West". The rest of the world is not going to leave us alone, no matter what we do.

I remember that Muslims controlled one third of my country for 150 years.

Despite that there's no Sharia in Hungary today.

I also remember that Christians did their own 'Jihads' a few hundred years before the pirates came.

We still have Christians, but do we have crusades as well? I know I know you're working on it...

Look, if Christianity could change so can Islam, but if we feed radicalism with hate every chance we can mess with Muslims it won't happen.

I'm not saying that doing nothing will help -I think there's plenty of things we could be doing-, what I am saying that what you're proposing did not help in the past and will not help in the future.

If this problem will be solved it won't be with the force of arms.

Edited by Dániel Boros
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"I remember that Muslims controlled one third of my country for 150 years.

Despite that there's no Sharia in Hungary today."

Not true: http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/sharia-creeps-into-hungary/

"I also remember that Christians did their own 'Jihads' a few hundred years before the pirates came."

Here we go again with the usual Crusades and Inquisition myths. Here's some correctives from a historian: http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2005/print2005/tmadden_crusades_print.html

http://old.nationalreview.com/comment/madden200406181026.asp

"Look, if Christianity could change so can Islam".

There already are quite a number of different kinds of Muslims. Obviously the vast majority aren't interested in jihad, but given that there are about a billion Muslims, even the small percentage of those who are committed to jihad constitutes a troubling large number, as evidenced by the large number of people killed by them each year in all parts of the world. Nor do you take into account a fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam -- there is no call to kill one's enemies in the name of Christianity found in the New Testament. That is not true of the Koran. And no, Islam cannot change, as its adherents will tell you -- there is no capacity, as there is in Christianity, for development in doctrine (the possibility would be considered blasphemous). There is, in fact, no

self-correcting capacity for change in Islam.

"If this problem will be solved it won't be with the force of arms."

Well, maybe it will be solved with the force of explosives. Iran simply cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons given its idealogy. Perhaps it can be dealt with through sanctions, but they don't have a very successful track record. Look, we could remove ourselves entirely from the Middle East scene, and we would still be on the receiving end of a nuclear weapon from Iran (after they nuke Israel, of course). Britain would be next.

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"I remember that Muslims controlled one third of my country for 150 years.

Despite that there's no Sharia in Hungary today."

Not true: http://creepingshari...s-into-hungary/

So someone wants to make an Islamic bank in Hungary and we automatically qualify as a nation with Sharia even though the bank doesn't even exist yet.

Sweet.

Hope the US won't bomb us. Don't see any reason why they won't though.

Btw. the US has https://www.lariba.com/

No wonder they are starting to use drones in the US as well.

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"So someone wants to make an Islamic bank in Hungary and we automatically qualify as a nation with Sharia even though the bank doesn't even exist yet."

You just go on believing that there's nothing wrong, nothing to worry about, nothing to see here.....long may it last for you.

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I don't think she would agree with you on that at all. Trusting a secular organization is very different from trusting a religion. The government reports on events accurately all the time. Religion doesn't.

If you think they're the same, then you're the one who's biased.

There is no difference between blindly accepting what religion says and blindly accepting what the government says because both are based on the same concept: face value.

The government is not some type of robot or computer that spits out scientific, objective information. The basic and fundamental unit of the government is human. So the statement "the government reports on events accurately all the time" is based on two premises:

1) Humans are immune to error.

2) Humans don't lie.

It is important to always question the government, its reports, and its motives. To fail to do so is to put "faith" in the government just as the christians put "faith" into the church.

Everyone in this country should be wary of government deceit. One of our greatest threats is government and business joining together and it's happening more than ever today. Just look at all the subsidies, bailouts, energy programs, defense contracts, etc. Eisenhower even warned: Watch out for the military-industrial complex, which is where defense contractors join in union with the armed forces to make a profit.

It would be naive and foolish to accept the idea that the government reports events accurately all the time.

Edited by Matt Giannelli
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There is no difference between blindly accepting what religion says and blindly accepting what the government says because both are based on the same concept: face value.

You're mixing your metaphors. First you used "at face value". Now you switched to "blindly". Why is that? What was wrong with "at face value"? Didn't work for you anymore?

I don't think you should ever accept anything blindly. But you should take things at face value on occasion.

Edited by Nicky
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"The government reports on events accurately all the time."

Ummmmm, you're joking, right??

"all the time" is a silly idiom. It actually means "plenty of times", it doesn't literally mean "all the time". Confusing, I know. I'll try to stay away from it in the future.

With that in mind, no, of course I'm not joking.

Edited by Nicky
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Nor do you take into account a fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam -- there is no call to kill one's enemies in the name of Christianity found in the New Testament. That is not true of the Koran. And no, Islam cannot change, as its adherents will tell you -- there is no capacity, as there is in Christianity, for development in doctrine (the possibility would be considered blasphemous). There is, in fact, no

self-correcting capacity for change in Islam.

Muslims "adjust" their religion the same way Christians do: by compromising religious tenets when they don't suit their non-religious values.

That's the "self-correcting mechanism" in Christianity. The Bible doesn't really allow for sex before marriage, for gay Christians, for divorce, or for any kind of tolerance of those things. Christians accept those things despite the Bible, not because of it. And the same can happen with Muslims. And it is happening, even in Muslim countries.

That phenomenon, of western values seeping into Middle Eastern culture, and corrupting Islamic values, is what the "backlash" is directed at. Not some event 40 years ago. That is why Islamists are targeting our presence in the region(and by us I don't mean the US military, I mean all westerners and our products). And that's why yielding and withdrawing the only thing between us and them (the US military) would be disastrous for the Middle East, for our interests there, and in the long run for the entire World.

The Middle East can and must be westernized. It would be nice if it was done the way Japan was westernized (quickly, and with the minimum necessary pain for the United States), but in the absence of that the next best thing is what is our reluctant presence, not our full withdrawal.

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"Muslims "adjust" their religion the same way Christians do: by compromising religious tenets when they don't suit their non-religious values."

I was referring to orthodox, observant Christians and Muslims (meaning, those that follow the tenets of their religious faith) who do not compromise their religious tenets.

"That's the "self-correcting mechanism" in Christianity."

No, what you describe is the effect of secularization on some Christians.

"The Bible doesn't really allow for sex before marriage, for gay Christians, for divorce, or for any kind of tolerance of those things. Christians accept those things despite the Bible, not because of it."

Observant Christians do not accept those things. Again, I'm assuming we're talking about observant Christians and Muslims.

And the same can happen with Muslims. And it is happening, even in Muslim countries.

Actually, the worldwide trend has been for greater adherence to radical Islam, not less. Conversion to Islam in Britain, for example, has rapidly increased (watered-down, secularized Christianity has little appeal if you're looking for something meaningful), and Sharia law is gaining hold in a number of European countries. The war in Iraq is a case in point: I believe the idea was that if we (the US) could install a Western-style democracy in a Muslim area, and show the folks the delights of cold beer and hot women, that they would all drop or water down their silly old Muslim ways and go on to vote to keep the cold beer and hot women coming. Once their neighbors saw how much fun Western materialism was, they'd all throw the religious zealots out and join the party. WRONG.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You're mixing your metaphors. First you used "at face value". Now you switched to "blindly". Why is that? What was wrong with "at face value"? Didn't work for you anymore?

I don't think you should ever accept anything blindly. But you should take things at face value on occasion.

That arose from a misunderstanding of what you meant. You said the government tells the truth all the time, but say you really didn't mean "all."

My point is that government has lied to get us into war plenty of times: The Gulf of Tonkin to get us into the Vietnam War and the weapons of mass destruction/Iraq-Al Queida relationship to get us into the Iraq war are just two examples. So to believe what they are saying about Iran like they are a state-sponsor of terrorism as if THIS time they are telling the truth, would be foolish.

Edited by Matt Giannelli
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That arose from a misunderstanding of what you meant. You said the government tells the truth all the time, but say you really didn't mean "all."

My point is that government has lied to get us into war plenty of times: The Gulf of Tonkin to get us into the Vietnam War and the weapons of mass destruction/Iraq-Al Queida relationship to get us into the Iraq war are just two examples. So to believe what they are saying about Iran like they are a state-sponsor of terrorism as if THIS time they are telling the truth, would be foolish.

Your logic would be flawless, if every instance of the word "government" and "they" referred to the same exact entity, the way you are pretending that it does.

But, alas, that's not the case. The people who lied about the Gulf of Tonkin are not the same people you are accusing of being liars because of it.

If you discard the reification of government you're building your argument on, and instead say "some people in some administrations are liars, therefor all people in all administrations and all agencies of government are liars", it's easy to see that your inference is flawed.

Edited by Nicky
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Your logic would be flawless, if every instance of the word "government" and "they" referred to the same exact entity, the way you are pretending that it does.

But, alas, that's not the case. The people who lied about the Gulf of Tonkin are not the same people you are accusing of being liars because of it.

If you discard the reification of government you're building your argument on, and instead say "some people in some administrations are liars, therefor all people in all administrations and all agencies of government are liars", it's easy to see that your inference is flawed.

I'm not pretending that "they" are the same people. I understand that the people have changed. My point is that the old governments have lied in the past to get us into wars. Therefore, we should be more skeptical because we have evidence that it has happened so our awareness level of the possibility should be up.. especially since the whole Iraq war lie happened only 10 years ago and the Iran situation is based almost on the exact same premise, which is sort of eerie.

If the people that controlled the government back in the Vietnam War and during the invasion of Iraq have lied, wouldn't you think it would be foolish to believe that because there are new people that the demand of evidence of what the government says should change?

(though, I am not sure how "new" the current government is compared to the one that got us into Iraq and Afghanistan)

Edited by Matt Giannelli
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Matt, could you please direct me to a source that shows that the US government knew Iraq had no WMD program shortly before the Iraq war? From what I understand, the US didn't have a clear picture (partially because it was in Saddam's interest to make Iran think he had them). It sounds to me like you are making the inference that, because there were no nukes, the US knew that. While I'll admit that the case was presented by the Bush administration with more certainty than was warranted, it doesn't amount to the level of dishonesty you accuse them of having. Edit: By the way, if you really think there is any doubt that Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism, perhaps we should focus on that until all doubts are erased. What types of sources would you trust on the matter?

Edited by FeatherFall
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Matt, could you please direct me to a source that shows that the US government knew Iraq had no WMD program shortly before the Iraq war? From what I understand, the US didn't have a clear picture (partially because it was in Saddam's interest to make Iran think he had them). It sounds to me like you are making the inference that, because there were no nukes, the US knew that. While I'll admit that the case was presented by the Bush administration with more certainty than was warranted, it doesn't amount to the level of dishonesty you accuse them of having. Edit: By the way, if you really think there is any doubt that Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism, perhaps we should focus on that until all doubts are erased. What types of sources would you trust on the matter?

The US knew exactly what Saddam had because we gave him the chemical weapons in the 1980s. As for the nuclear program, I agree that I don't have a link to that the US KNEW exactly Iraq was not close to development but they acted as if they KNEW there were nukes. That is a lie. And second, they lied about the Al Queida relationship:

- Listen to what he says - He is so clueless. He proclaimed that Iraq will embrace democracy and we stopped Al Queida from coming in. No, all we did was lose $Trillion dollars, Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, thousands of US lives, and Al Queida and Anti-US sentiment is stronger than ever in Iraq.

Now they are using this whole "weapons of mass destruction" premise to invade the region. It's reckless especially when we are running $200 billion dollar deficits every month.

As for the Iran is a "state sponsor of terrorism" - The burden of proof is on you, not me.

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As for the Iran is a "state sponsor of terrorism" - The burden of proof is on you, not me.

It most certainly is not. In fact, if anyone here were a member of the government, with access to that proof, it would be their duty to withhold that proof from you.

This is what anti-government types don't seem to get: the final arbiter of proof, in the wake of a war, is not the UN security council, the international community, the American people, or the population of the world: it is the President and Congress.

That is how the Republic works: elected officials and members of the military and law enforcement are tasked with collecting, reviewing and acting on classified information to protect the nation. They owe you an explanation, but they don't owe you proof. That explanation has been given.

Stop demanding "proof" as a condition of supporting a war. It is not your job, as a regular citizen, to review the evidence and make a fully qualified determination for or against war. Your job is to make a qualified determination on whether the reasons given warrant a war, and whether the specific officials giving the explanation can be trusted or not. And whenever you do wish to accuse specific officials of malice, the burden of proof is on you!!!

As for accusing the whole government of malice, before every single conflict, like a broken record (as pacifists such as yourself invariably do), based on a few cases of abuse and corruption over the long and quite exemplary history of the US government and military as a force for good in the world, that is just blind anti-Americanism.

Edited by Nicky
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Matt is being misinformed or is misinforming us. Either way, the WMD threat from Iraq was verified by the Iraq Survey Group. He (Saddam) had an active WMD program designed to make fresh weapons at any time. UN inspectors had no direct knowledge of this because they were improperly denied access to certain sites. UN security council resolutions, including the '91 cease fire agreement, required complete disarmamant and access to all sites for inspection to monitor compliance.

Video of Iraq Survey Group findings:

I suggest turning the sound off in this video. The backround music is totally annoying.

Edited by Craig24
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It most certainly is not. In fact, if anyone here were a member of the government, with access to that proof, it would be their duty to withhold that proof from you.

There is a difference between "Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism" and "The government says Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism."

This is what anti-government types don't seem to get: the final arbiter of proof, in the wake of a war, is not the UN security council, the international community, the American people, or the population of the world: it is the President and Congress. That is how the Republic works: elected officials and members of the military and law enforcement are tasked with collecting, reviewing and acting on classified information to protect the nation. They owe you an explanation, but they don't owe you proof. That explanation has been given.

I am an anti-government type? How do you define anti-government type?

Stop demanding "proof" as a condition of supporting a war. It is not your job, as a regular citizen, to review the evidence and make a fully qualified determination for or against war. Your job is to make a qualified determination on whether the reasons given warrant a war, and whether the specific officials giving the explanation can be trusted or not. And whenever you do wish to accuse specific officials of malice, the burden of proof is on you!!!

Right, but this is not what is happening right now. Congress is elected to represent the people, but now we have a handful of military leaders making the decisions for us-- not letting Congress in on the information, not declaring war through Congress, and instead they get permission, as you stated above, from international bodies. Or get permission to use force and then use that as a basis to spend 10 years nation building. That is why I am pro-declaring wars through Congress. We are in an era where international bodies and the president/advisors supercede Congress and as a result, Americans lose their say.

As for the demanding of proof - that is a consequence of the general mistrust that Americans have in the government. Don't tell me what to do, taxpayers have a right to demand proof as they are the ones sending their money to fund these wars. But the government has a right to deny access to that evidence as what they deem to be information that is classified to protect the country. However, when you have incidences such as the Iraq war lies / misinformation or the Gulf of Tonkin, false flag attacks on America such as Operation Northwoods, and when defense contractors have strong ties with government, don't blame Americans for being justifably skeptical.

As for accusing the whole government of malice, before every single conflict, like a broken record (as pacifists such as yourself invariably do), based on a few cases of abuse and corruption over the long and quite exemplary history of the US government and military as a force for good in the world, that is just blind anti-Americanism.

Now I am a pacifist and anti-American? Your accusations are running wild. How do you define pacifist or anti-american?

Edited by Matt Giannelli
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