I see the point of Manata’s original post has been derailed by another raving, ranting Ron Paul supporter—is there any other kind?—who's imputing all sorts of imaginary positions to me. I want to thank Jason and Manata for stepping into the breach.
Since this anonymous critic doesn’t bother to document his allegations or interact with my detailed argumentation, his complaints don’t merit much of a response. He’s simply using Manata’s post as a pretext to vent about the usual roster of villains in the paleocon/paleolibertarian morality play.
It’s like a Batman comic book. Ron Paul is Bruce Wayne to the Zionist Penguin, Riddler, Joker, Two-Face, or Mr. Freeze. Wham! Bam! Ka-pow!
Why is it that Ron Paul so many supporters seem to be a bunch of clones? They use the same arguments, same illustrations, same huffy-puffy attitude, same conspiratorial rhetoric. Pity so many of them can’t think for themselves.
For the record:
1. I've never said the Iraq war was the right thing to do, just that it was a reasonable thing to do giving the intelligence briefings that Bush was receiving at the time. Even if Bush made the wrong call on Iraq, at least he was prepared to make a tough call—unlike Clinton.
In hindsight, the Iraq war may well have been a miscalculation. Of course, I see my anonymous critic ignores the recent post in which a suggestive connection is drawn between Iraq, Al-Qaida, and the anthrax attack.
2. I've never said I thought the sanctions were a good idea. I merely pointed out that those who oppose the present war previously opposed the sanctions. So they didn't like the alternative of the status quo ante either.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of sanctions. I think they're generally ineffectual and target the wrong segment of society. We need to hit the policy-makers, not the grunts.
I also pointed out that the sanctions were UN sanctions, not US sanctions.
3. Again, I've never said that we should subsidize dictators. I generally oppose foreign aid.
I do think the Cold War containment policy was necessary. To say I favor the general principle of an “interventionist” foreign policy does not commit me to any specific action our foreign policymakers took in the past. But since my anonymous critic is incapable of exercising rational discrimination, he naturally projects his own intellectual failings onto his opponents as well.
And, as I've explained before, there's nothing at all inconsistent about supporting those who support you, and then opposing them when they turn against. That's the nature of shifting military alliances.
4. I'm not a neocon. I'm a theocon. I think the neoncon vision is overly optimistic. Of course, the critic is obviously a paleocon or paleolibertarian (e.g., Buchanan, Ron Paul). One doesn't need to be a neocon to oppose the bunker mentality of Buchanan or Ron Paul. And I disapprove of the anti-Semitic sentiment that emanates from paleocon or paleolibertarian quarters.
5. Yes, I'd support an air strike on Iran's WMD program. So what?
6. "My point in posting is that I think it's hypocritical for Christians to promote life at home and not abroad."
Of course, this is just as simple-minded as those who claim that it's inconsistent to oppose abortion and also support capital punishment.
7. "I recommend you read Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheurer, the head of the Bin Laden unit in the CIA for years (just one book among many). "
Given that Scheurer served under Clinton, which queued us up for 9/11, you could hardly have a finer example of a failed foreign policy.
"The ticking time bomb scenario - as has been pointed out repeatedly - also allows for the torture of innocents, since it's a utilitarian argument."
Since I'm not a utilitarian, I wouldn't torture innocents in a ticking timebomb scenario. The reason I asked Patrick to post the Frame material a while back is to show that ethical decision-making requires more than one criterion.
I'm beginning to wonder what Ron Paul supporters will do when their candidate loses his bid for the GOP nomination—move to Canada?
It’s starting to resemble a personality cult or Doomsday cult. They remind me of fans who followed Harold Camping (1994?) over the cliff, as well as fans who followed Gary North (Y2K) over the cliff. They also remind me of the LaRouchies. Same combination of nail-biting paranoia wedded to adolescent hero worship.