Ron Paul Is Correct About Pakistan

News Abroad

David Beito Ph.D. is a member of the Liberty and Power Group Blog at the History News Network and Scott Horton is Assistant Editor at Antiwar.com.

The conventional wisdom among presidential candidates is that the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has proved the importance of continued American meddling in that land. Both Republicans and Democrats are rushing to mumble incoherent platitudes before the cameras while several have even proclaimed their next big idea for how Pakistan ought to be run.

Democratic candidate Bill Richardson made his first headline in months by proclaiming that President Bush ought to give former General – now just "President" – Pervez Musharraf his pink slip. Most of the rest simply say we should "support democracy" there.

This "wisdom" of interference is so conventional that CNN's Wolf Blitzer expressed shock when Republican candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said that the tragedy proved his case for nonintervention in the affairs of other nations. We should not, Paul said, either subsidize or work to undermine other governments because such policies invariably only empower our enemies.

But why should Blitzer have been shocked?

Benazir Bhutto herself thought this was so. In one of her last interviews, she told Parade magazine, "[The U.S.] policy of supporting dictatorship is breaking up my country. I now think al Qaeda can be marching on Islamabad in two to four years."

As Paul told David Shuster of MSNBC, "the murderers are 100 percent responsible" for what they have done, but we should not look at the events of this week in a vacuum.

The U.S. has poured tens of billions of dollars into Musharraf's dictatorship while he has failed to prevent the entrenchment of Qaeda radicals hiding out on the Afghan border, and numerous attacks by them, revealing the overall policy to be flawed and counterproductive.

The U.S. government's backing of the military in Pakistan helps it to play an inordinate role in the society at large and ultimately makes it harder for democratic forces to organize their own power structures, weakening them and alienating the population. This is especially true when "democracy" is identified with the U.S., which backs their dictatorship.

Then when Musharraf's public relations have soured, we reverse our policy and work to undermine the government we've been propping up (i.e. Bhutto's U.S.-brokered return to Pakistan this October).

Is it the case that good intentions always result in good outcomes? That because "We're an empire now," we can "create our own reality," as a White House staffer once put it to journalist Ron Suskind? Is it possible for American politicians (other than Dr. Paul) to question for a moment whether the policies they advocate might do more harm than good?

Those who think that Paul's noninterventionist outlook somehow amounts to a "weakness" on the terrorism issue might examine the view of the former chief of the CIA's bin Laden Unit, Michael Scheuer – the man whose team gave the Clintons ten separate opportunities to capture or kill Osama bin Laden before September 11th.

After a debate last May, when Congressman Paul tangled with former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani over his view that we're threatened by suicide terrorists due to our bombings, occupations and support for dictatorships in the Middle East, Scheuer released a statement defending him.

"Of [all] presidential candidates now in the field from both parties, only Dr. Paul has had the courage to square with the average American voter." He continued, "[Y]ou can safely take one thing to the bank. The person most shaken by Dr. Paul's frankness was Osama bin Laden, who knows that the current status quo in U.S. foreign policy toward the Islamic world is al Qaeda’s one indispensable ally."

Terrorism is a tactic adopted by weak actors. Having limited resources with which to wage war, groups like al Qaeda resort to a sort of foreign affairs judo: using the enemy’s power against itself – in this case, us. The action for them is in the reaction. Al Qaeda's strategy is to recreate the old Afghan jihad against the USSR: hit the U.S. and our allies hard in order to provoke invasion and occupation to bleed our treasury and military dry. They celebrate our occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq as steps towards our eventual total withdrawal from the region.

Regarding the assassination of Bhutto, former Centcom commander General Anthony Zinni appears to validate Paul as well. He told the Washington Post he believes al Qaeda is trying to bait the U.S. into reacting by broadening the Afghan war into Pakistan.

The al Qaeda movement has only been halfway successful thus far in its war with the United States. Even with our occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and the spread of the jihad through them both, the thousands of American lives and hundred of billions of dollars wasted, the jihadists have failed in their primary mission: to rally the people of the Muslim world around their movement. They may have the ability to assassinate leaders; however, mostly exiled in the Waziristan region, bin Laden's followers have no real chance of ever taking their places.

If anything could change that, it's further American intervention, while a hands-off policy could be just what the doctor ordered to allow the Pakistani people to handle their own business and marginalize their own violent radicals.

Intervention is precisely what our enemies want. Will Americans smarten up, or will bin Laden and Zawahiri succeed once again in dictating American foreign policy?

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More Comments:

J. Feuerbach - 1/5/2008

Thank you for your thoughtful and kind words. Don't feel bad about just holding a MS in Education. I'm not quite sure what school you attended but I suggest you give them a call. You never know... they might have a no-questions-asked return policy. Just messin' with you, Arnie!

On a more serious note, please don't hesitate to write me back if you need a referral to substance abuse services. Tolerance to mescaline develops rapidly with daily use (and I won't tell you how I found that out)


Arnold Shcherban - 1/5/2008

(1) You're probably right: one cannot assume anything in THIS country. And so, you got me, i.e. got
me thinking that you are, indeed, intellectually impaired. Unfortunately for you I have MS in education only, but none in special
education, therefore lacking competence (and diplomatic patience) in enlightening folks of your intellectual faculties.
I guess that takes care of all three
of your entries.
Good luck in getting education in social and political sciences from someone else.

J. Feuerbach - 1/4/2008

(1) So there are quite legitimate arguments in favor of the US right to invade Afghanistan? I assume that because I'm intellectually impaired (I appreciate your kind reframe "You, of course, are familiar with those arguments"), you chose not to elaborate on them. So unfortunately I'll have to ask another question: Was the government of Afghanistan ideologically and/or practically responsible for the 9/11 attacks on US soil? There was only one country in the Middle East copiously represented in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks and that country was never invaded or bombed. It didn't even get a slap on the wrist!

(2) So you consider yourself an unbiased observer? The only unbiased people are dead people. Even God has an agenda and according to most of the sacred books, he/she (I don't want to be accused of sexism) always takes sides! So much for unbiasedness...

(3) Allow we to elaborate on one of your paragraphs. You say, "...in specific case of Afghanistan, the military operations were, more or less, legitimate (and that's by the way the main reason why international community overwhelmingly supported it). However continuing occupation and some other US actions in Afghanistan were not." First, you need to make up your mind. "More or less" doesn't work in the world of politics and ethics. Or the invasion of Afghanistan was legitimate or illegitimate? It's like when you have a child: The baby is legitimate or a bastard. There can't be any ambiguity. Second, even if your statement that the "international community overwhelmingly supported it" were true , since when do we determine the rightness or wrongness of an act by a show of hands? Thousands of people in Africa were and are being killed based on their ethnicity. Most of the world doesn't give a shit about these genocides. Does the lack of international condemnation and action make the genocides right? Third, you apparently believe that the invasion was a legitimate act but the occupation isn't. That's like having sex with a chic, get her pregnant but then refuse to take responsibility for the child. You don't run away! You marry her or at least you help the mother to take care of the baby until he/she gets older. That's the right thing to do. At least in freakin' America!

Arnold Shcherban - 1/4/2008

In sharp difference with you I commonly do address opponent's arguments and questions.
Therefore, though closing discussion
on the main issue, I'm answering the
last question: <Why is it that your condemnation of American interventionism includes Iraq yet excludes Afghanistan?>
First of all, instead of or together with Iraq, you should put in Vietnam and Cambodia, Kongo, Angola, South Africa, the whole Central America (viewed as "backyard" of the USA),
Indonesia, and many others. But I won't respond to your question with the respective question: Why you did not include those countries?
I excluded Afghanistan just because
there are quite LEGITIMATE arguments in favor of the US right or need to launch a war against that country, the arguments which I, as an unbiased observer, cannot write off
uncontrovercially. You, of course, familiar with those arguments, so I don't want to go into the details.
That was one of the reasons I made specification "without sufficient provocation", as you can see going back to my previous comments.
Moreover, if this country had been
a target of numerous terrorist attacks from territory of, say, Canada in which the Canadien governmental institutions had been
intimately involved, as it happened
to Cuba from the US, the military strikes or even wide-scale war might have been this country's only
(or, at the least, quite justifiable
from the point of view of pertaining international laws) option.
These curcumstances can serve as the legitimate pretext to a war.
So, in specific case of Afghanistan, the military operations
were, more or less, legitimate (and that's by the way the main reason why international community overwhelmingly supported it). However continuing occupation and some other US actions in Afghanistan were not.

Fahrettin Tahir - 1/3/2008

The questions was, why the world sees Afghanistan and Iraq with different eyes. To invade was of course a political decision, I am sure the relationship with China also played a role.

J. Feuerbach - 1/3/2008

In other words, based on Afghanistan's "involvement," the US NEEDED to invade it? So Mr. Paul wouldn't categorize this invasion as interventionist, right? I assume that if he had been president he would have done what W and the boys did: invade Afghanistan without the authorization of the UN Security Council.

This reminds me of a dialogue in one of Lewis Carroll's books:

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'

Fahrettin Tahir - 1/3/2008

My answer, though I was not asked, is: Afghanistan was involved in 9-11, Iraq was not. Afghanistan was too ruined to put her affairs into order, Iraq could have.

J. Feuerbach - 1/3/2008

I think that 2 rules should guide participation in this forum. (1) Thou shalt not make any references to psychoanalysis. (2) Thou shalt not write under the influence of peyote. Would you agree?

I have a question that I WANT to ask before addressing other things you brought up. Why is it that your condemnation of American interventionism includes Iraq yet excludes Afghanistan? Is it just a matter of economizing words in order to focus and elaborate on conspiracy theories regarding the US government? Just asking!

Arnold Shcherban - 1/2/2008

You abstained from answering the essense of my arguments, resorting to
primitive (and partially taken from Freud) interpretation of politics as the metaphoric reflection of male libido that has been rejected by serious political scientists loign time ago.
Country's foreign policy is not a display of lesser or greater male instinct towards aggression or female for that matter (since you "forgot" that often a country led by a female actually gains in its militarism over the previous male one), but the product of more or less involved mixture of economic, social, and cultural relations, realities, and heritage.
The main factor in that complex phenomenon is the disposition of financial and political power.
To put the latter in simpler terms:
who calls the shots in formulation
of country's policies.
In the USA the shots are called by
corporate capital, military-industrial complex, and subservient to them mainstream Pan-Americana ideological institutions (through manufacturing consent of the majority). It is there one has to seek answers to the following questions:
Why does the US continiously (not just under current administration that merely intensified the ol' good tendencies) interfere, through the full arsenal illegal or semi-illegal(from the point of view of internationally accepted laws and principles of democracy and independence) means, in to the internal affairs of foreign countries around the world?
And who immediately or eventually profits from such interventions? (Certainly, not common Americans...)
Your contemptuous inability to understand the difference between needs and wants may tell us something about your intellectual potential or unwillingness to accept
objective (not subjective) political categories, but it cannot deny the fact that the overhwelming majority of political scientists and politicans do know and commonly easily point out the difference (at least when the discussion concerns
the adversarial countries, such as former Soviet Union or China, or Iraq, or Iran; but this "nuance" is a story of vicious abuse of double standards).

I don't and never did equate interventionism with military actions, as you can easily realize from my previous and these comments.
I concentrated the focus of attention on military actions in the last comments, because they are considered and commonly are the most damaging and criminal (to the target country) form of foreign intervention, if perpetrated without sufficient provocation.

And finally W and D don't want and don't need your warmongering "suggestion", since they have been doing it for the entire time of staying in power.
Simultaneously, you don't NEED to respond to these comments, 'cause you
have already shown your political credo: Right
is one who has usurped more rights.

Jonathan Dresner - 1/2/2008

21% +/- alpha

Seriously, though, the Democratic candidates who seem most likely to follow something like a constructive non-aggressive civil engagement policy are.... Richardson, Clinton, Obama, more or less in that order. I'm not sure about Dodd, and Kucinich doesn't count.

Republicans? Well, Ron Paul's supporters don't think so, clearly. That pretty much clears the field unless McCain gets the nod, wins, and then is stage managed in his dotage by a group of radical moderates who seize the reins of power.... never mind.

Oscar Chamberlain - 1/2/2008


Good point about out of sight, out of mind. There are considerable risks with disengagement.

However, looking at both the current administration and the current front-runners, what are the odds that the United States could have a well-managed engagement?

Fahrettin Tahir - 1/2/2008

The reason for instability in Afghanistan-Pakistan goes back to the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The Us encouraged islamic nuts to fight a war Afghanistan would wisely have avoided. The war having been won, they left economically and politically ruined afghanistan pakistan, which locak friends of the US had islamised to help the war in afghanistan to their own means. The Islamists, having no idea of how to run the two countries created the chaos we see today.

Bhutto was expected to stabilize pakistan because the us was afraid the unpopularity of general musharraf would lead to something like the iranian revolution in pakistan. They were conveniently ignoring the simple fact that he was unpopular for doing whatever the US was demanding.

The altenatives are clear: either the us will help the two countries to continuing economic growth with increasing prosperity moderating the people or the chaos and fighting and assasinations and what you have continue.

J. Feuerbach - 1/2/2008

First of all, I didn't define non-interventionism because I think it's just a theoretical construct used by certain politicians who are ignorant, in denial or don't ready to take difficult stands in the international arena. In real life there's no such thing as non-interventionism. However, you did define it--or did it for Mr. Paul. Your understanding of non-interventionism simply reinforces my thesis. You state, "What he means is that a country, no matter how powerful it is, should not interfere (especially by military force) into the internal policies of other countries around the world (often thousands miles from its own territory) anytime when it WANTS or had a good opportunity for, but ONLY when it NEEDS." My father gave up trying to make me understand the difference between WANT and NEED. I think it's a guy thing we never overcome. And because international politics are still in the hands of the male species, I can only wish you good luck trying to convince the BOYS that their NEEDS are really WANTS. My point? What's non-interventionist to me could be interventionist to you and vice versa. And who decides who is right or wrong? Who has the bigger guns...

Secondly, you tend to equate interventionism with military actions. But what about intelligence covert operations? What about the carrot and stick strategies? Aren't you intervening in someone else's affairs if you use political and economic incentives? So if you're subtle, it's ok but if you use brute force it isn't? Let's even revisit the military option. What if today the UN asks the US to send its troops to Kenya so they stop killing each other? Would that be interventionist or non-interventionist?

So I suggest that W and Dick adopt the the new version of Mick's song:

"You can't always get what you need
You can't always get what you need
You can't always get what you need
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you want."

Arnold Shcherban - 1/1/2008

You define non-interventionism too widely.
First of all it's self-evident that complete and total non-interventionism as a compass for the US' (or any other large country's) foreign policy is not possible nowadays, as it was not possible fifty years ago.
But that was not what Ron Paul (or any more or less reasonable politician anywhere in the world) means when he talks of non-interventionism.
What he means is that a country, no matter how powerful it is, should not interfere (especially by military force) into the internal policies of other countries around the world (often thousands miles from its own territory) anytime when it WANTS or had a good opportunity for, but ONLY when it NEEDS.
For the single superpower in the world such need, understandably, comes very rarely, perhaps, once in
50 years.
<...the rest of the world might strongly disagree.>
When was the last time that "the rest of the world" (if you mean the majority of the people or countries) was in a strong disagreement with the US military non-interventionism, as opposed to interventionism?
I (along with majority of the historians of "the rest of the world") don't recall a single occasion of this in the entire post-WWII history...
On the contrary, numerous US military interventions/wars abroad in the last, say, fifty years were opposed by the majority in the world,
and even condemned (Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala, Cuba, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, etc.), as long as by many folks in this country.

Secondly, do Mr. Feuerbach realize that most of the US military "interventions" fit quite well to the UN definition of AGGRESSION, the definition government of the US has their signature under, i.e. approved?
Not mentioning already the UNDENIABLE aggression against Iraq, continuing as we speak.
Thus only militarists and aggressors
in ideology and/or practice view real non-interventionism as a cop out. It is well known and very unfortunate for "the rest of the world" that for a powerful state it is much easier to wage war against much weaker adversary than to employ diplomatic skills (which its diplomats are not required to be too sophisticated in... as a consequence of that powerhouse's constant reliance on its imperial might.)
But should this country continue in the same obsolete pattern in the 21st century (and to be considered by the majority in the world as the greatest threat to peace and stability), or should it reject the imperialism and interventionism, proclaimed in its last Strategic Initiative and engage itself into genuine non-interventionist approach in the sense decribed above?
If the latter, then vote for president Ron Paul and vice president Edwards,... as the least of many other evils.

Jonathan Dresner - 1/1/2008

I knew that some anarchist was going to come along and correct my use of "democratic" but I couldn't think of any other quick shorthand for it. Though isn't there some kind of anarchist stage theory, like the bougeoise capitalism Marxism requires before worker revolution? I guess not.

On the other matter, of costs, I'm not convinced. While disengagement may have been cheaper for American taxpayers and easier on American soldiers in the short run, the fact remains that there are large and hostile forces killing people and property, restricting freedoms and promoting anti-American movements. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

William J. Stepp - 1/1/2008

It would appear that Capitalism is the only social theory which takes as one of its basic premises that people, given a choice, will always look out for themselves and no other, i.e. Social Darminism.

Not sure about Nazism on this point but it wouldn't surprise me if it followed this tenet of Capitalism.

Capitalism doesn't assume that people will look out for themselves and no other. On the contrary, under capitalism people are free to donate money, labor, and other property to charity for whatever philanthropic purpose they choose. The history of capitalism shows that this is what they do, from the great bequests of Carnegie down to the Gates Foundation, not to mention the largesse conferred by millions of other people ranging from very small donations (micro donations?) to very large ones. Capitalism has nothing to do with Social Darwinism. In fact capitalism is not really an ideology at all, but merely a description of a market-oriented economic process based on private property and the rule of law. Under capitalism, capitalists save money, and invest that capital in advance of earning a return on it, or suffering a loss, depending on whether the enterprise earns back its cost of capital.
This is what enables laborers to earn an income before the fruits of whatever they mix their labor with are realized.

As for Nazism, it was the antithesis of capitalism. It wasn't for nothing that they called themselves National Socialists. It's a common if uninformed smear on capitalism to tar it with the brush of Naziism.

William J. Stepp - 1/1/2008

While I'm largely in agreement with the idea that supporting dictatorships is usually counterproductive and certainly unethical, it's not entirely clear that disengagement would have produced a better or different result.

At the very least it would have saved billions of dollars looted from the taxpayers of the U.S. and other countries, and would have spared thousands of dead and wounded, and much property destruction. There are lots of pictures in the media of soldiers missing limbs and eyes, which would have been saved without the war.

Anarchism (I am an anarchist)
does not presume people will organize themselves democratically--far from it. Democracy is simply a way of choosing a government, with elections. H. L. Mencken defined political elections as advance auction sales of stolen property, which is what they are. Under anarchy, there is no government and no elections [excuse me while I put on some John Lennon music ... there] ... "and no religion too"--actually religion is compatible with anarchy.

Under anarchy, there is no such thing as foreign policy, just as there is no such thing as economic policy, drug policy, "education" policy, health care policy, ad naseum.
Under anarchy, the State--the biggest mass murderer, armed robber, enslaver, and parasite in all of human history, as Murray Rothbard put it--doesn't exist.

J. Feuerbach - 1/1/2008

Let me put it this way: You're a committed non-interventionist until you become president of the U.S.

Here's the problem with this notion. As soon as you attempt to define non-interventionism, you'll realize that you're talking about a continuum with extremes positions at both ends. You can pick any incident and place it on that continuum. You'll soon find out that what is non-interventionist for you is egregiously interventionist for your next-door neighbor. Mr. Paul --or anyone else for that matter-- can decide that one of his decisions or stances as future president of the US is non-interventionist yet the rest of the world might strongly disagree. The problem is deciding when you stop being a non-interventionist and become one. Why is it a problem? On the one hand, it's a matter of degree but to make things even more difficult, it's a matter of perspective and political bias. Unfortunately, non-interventionism only looks good on paper.

Actually --and let me switch to my silly cynic hat temporarily -- I think that defining oneself as a non-interventionist is a creative and effective cop-out. This one-size-fits-all stand allows you to avoid answering questions about your foreign policy. For instance, do you think that Mr. 10% will be a good president of Pakistan?

R. R. Hamilton - 1/1/2008

Six years is a long growing-season. Pakistan won't rise or fall based on happenings in Afghanistan. Happenings in India, perhaps, but not in Afghanistan.

Blaming the U.S. conquest of Afghanistan for instability in Pakistan is like blaming the U.S. conquest of Japan for the North Korean invasion of South Korea. Or like blaming the U.S. conquest of the Southern Confederacy for instability in Mexico. Pakistanis and others need to learn to say, like Shakespeare, "Our faults are not in our stars, but in ourselves."

R. R. Hamilton - 1/1/2008

I was using "the Left" prety broadly -- to certainly include, say, the Left-half of the Democratic Party.

Lorraine Paul - 1/1/2008

Mr Future, I would add the following words to your final sentence...."to the benefit a small elite?"

Lorraine Paul - 1/1/2008

Bloody well said...good onya, mate!!

Lorraine Paul - 1/1/2008

Mr Hamilton, I take issue with your interpretation of 'the left'. Unless you equate the Democratic Party as 'left'. Believe me, if you are you would be drawing a very, very long bow. <s>

As one of our politicians said at the time of Clinton's election - a true reformist would not even get within a bull's roar of being put up for nomination, let alone being nominated and elected. LOL

Lorraine Paul - 1/1/2008

No, it isn't wholly Anarchist theory, Marx also posited that people are capable of good.

It would appear that Capitalism is the only social theory which takes as one of its basic premises that people, given a choice, will always look out for themselves and no other, i.e. Social Darminism.

Not sure about Nazism on this point but it wouldn't surprise me if it followed this tenet of Capitalism.

Lorraine Paul - 1/1/2008

I remember at the time of the bombing of Afghanistan by American planes and the demand by the US for the Taliban government to hand over bin Laden (or else), that warnings were given by several commentators and members of the internation community that Pakistan would collapse into mayhem if the US didn't restrain itself.

It didn't, and now the bitter harvest is ripening.

R. R. Hamilton - 12/31/2007

"Paul would allow corporations to run even more free than they already are."

Corporations are creatures of the State; they do not exist in the common law system established by Alfred the Great 1,100 years ago and still in operation today. A libertarian, like Paul, would work to REDUCE corporate power by taking away many of the legal privileges granted to corporations by the State.

The political Left in this country has promised for decades that in exchanged for increased State powers it would reduce corporate powers. To say the VERY least, the Left has not kept this promise. The libertarian solution is to reduce State and corporate power in tandem by shrinking both the sphere of the State and the powers it has granted to its creatures, the corporations.

syed ahad ali - 12/31/2007

This Ron Paul guy makes so much sense. We in Pakistan are sick of "democracy" aka dictators being shoved down our throat. I bet in the US you think we don't try to help restore our country. First of all it should be of no concern to the US. Secondly we cannot protest a guy ie Musharraf when he is being supplied arms from the west and 10 billion in aid. Thirdly we are sick of these supposedly democratic "leaders" like bhutto being shoved down our throats. The media in the west thinks she was the saint that our country needed. She was a corrupt person who was coming back to loot some more from the tax payers. Let us live on our own and decide on our own. Please don't send your Negropontes and Robert Gates to make the situation in our country any worse.
And lastly heed this guy Ron Paul's advice. It comes to me as a surprise that in this day and age of warmongering someone on the US administration can talk some sense. Maybe this guy can take bush's place. The world will be so much safer and yes peaceful.

Randll Reese Besch - 12/31/2007

I don't believe that Anarchism believes that the average human is automatically nice. It is more of Lord Acton's view of power and its corrupting influence. Self empowerment is liberating.Governmental power is corrupting.
By not interfering with other countries we are not 'disengaging' from them. We will still trade and visit them. We just won't be manipulating them or them manipulating us. I don't support Ron Paul, my man is Dennis Kucinich who not only wants to end our world empire as it is growing,he also wants to use our gov't to help people and promote peace. Paul would allow corporations to run even more free than they already are. That ,I find, is bad for most everyone.

Jonathan Dresner - 12/31/2007

While I'm largely in agreement with the idea that supporting dictatorships is usually counterproductive and certainly unethical, it's not entirely clear that disengagement would have produced a better or different result. An active committment to support civil society would be a form of engagement; total disengagement effectively privileges those forces willing and capabable of using violence to achieve their ends, namely the military and radical groups.

There is an anarchist presumption that people, basically being of good will, will organize themselves democratically and effectively in the absence of coercion. It's nice to think so, but it's a lousy basis for foreign policy.

cyn karalla - 12/31/2007

It is about time we get to vote in a human being that can think in a commom sense manner that will lead to peace. Thank you Ron Paul.

Steve Grycel - 12/30/2007

Great article. I wish more media conglomerates would print TRUTH such as HNN.

Scott Joseph Miner - 12/30/2007

Great article, we should have people like you guys reporting the news.

Thaddeus Stanley Kaczor, Jr. - 12/30/2007

A very sober and unbiased assessment of the weakness of U.S. Foreign Policy over the past 50 years, particularly the last 7-15 years. We have become our own worst enemy in the war on terror, wherin our ham-handed interventionist approach has created more emnity and enemies in the Muslim world (and elseewhere) than EVER would exist if a non-interventionist policy such as Dr. Paul advocates had been followed.

When will the American public wake up to the fact that while supposedly forcing 'Democracy' down the throats of foreign peoples, what the U.S. Government has ACTUALLY been doing is usurping democratically-elected leaders that DON'T agree with the U.S. Government, and replacing them with brutal dictatorships. Those that DO agree invariably are corrupted by the massive U.S. aid that comes there way, much of which ends up in Swiss Bank accounts!

Starting with Saudi Arabia in the 30's and 40's (One of the most brutal dictatorships in the world!), the U.S. has installed hundreds of dictators in a mercantilistic ploy to exploit the people and natural resources of these countries for the benefit of a few multinational corporations. In the end, this policy has been beneficial ONLY to those corporations, as the American people bear the brunt of the costs both economically and in the blood of our brave servicemen.

Of course, the corporate-controlled media doesn't want Dr. Paul's correct view of history and world politics publicized, as it would expose the way they have used the people and military of the U.S. as their private mercenary Army to maximize profits and power, while decimating the U.S. Economy, Military, sovereignity and currency.


Chris Future - 12/30/2007

It was so refreshing to see a real workable policy statement - while all the other candidates were outdoing each other on what needed to be done, Dr. Paul understood that nothing needed to be done by us. Lets hope that the message was heard loud and clear by the American public - do we really want to be involved in yet another conflict putting Americans in harms way?

John Matthews - 12/30/2007

Informative and well written. Thank you for providing quotes from direct authoritative sources to substantiate your opinions. The blogging world needs more of this type of writing.