Category Archives: Foreign Policy
Is it possible to talk about a global Islamic War against Christians while also praising Islam as an exemplary faith that could end such intolerance? Moreover, what Republican would think it wise to say this in front of a large group of Christian conservatives?
Sen. Paul’s speech to the 2013 Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC on Friday outlined how a minority of Muslims—Islamic extremists who still number in the tens of millions—have been violently targeting Christians, particularly in the Middle East. Paul provided many gruesome examples of why Christians and Muslims should never blind themselves to the realities of radical Islam. But he also honored the richness of the true Muslim faith and its relevant history, even crediting the people of the Middle East for America’s founding era,” noting “Islam carried the light of enlightenment for centuries. They paved the way for our enlightenment.”
While talking about Assad’s chemical weapons yesterday, Fox News mistakenly showed footage I hadn’t seen on mainstream media before–it was footage released by the Syrian government that showed its soldiers finding a stash of chemical weapons and antidotes in a rebel hideout. The Fox footage below shows that the antidotes were made by a Qatari-German company, and of course the Qataris are supplying the rebels not the government. You can see the dirty containers on the chemicals, the cellophane covers tied on – definitely not government issue!
This is the podcast of the September 8, 2013, Monica Perez Show offering a libertarian perspective on the Administration’s push to attack Syria…What are the facts? What’s the big picture?
Our two favorite capitulators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have managed to accomplish the unthinkable: Egypt no longer wants U.S. aid. Yes, after Senator Rand Paul and his allies in the Wacko Bird Caucus tried to end aid to Egypt, only to be thwarted by the Senate, Graham and McCain managed to anger Egyptians so much that they are telling the U.S. to keep its billions. When a bill dies 86-13 in the U.S. Senate, it must be the right course of action.
McCain and Graham characterized the recent overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi as a coup, and it matters to McCain and Graham that Morsi was overthrown by a coup. Former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, not so much, but an Islamist fanatic whose party was enthused about brutally repressing the rights of average Egyptians, yes. It’s no surprise, of course, because these are the same two Senators who want to give jihadists in Syria arms on the U.S. taxpayers dime. After all, they’re freedom fighters, says John
Fonda McCain, who apparently doesn’t mind a coup against Syrian President Bashir Assad.
Senator Ted Cruz put today’s Republican cave on the nuclear option best:
Republican senators, led by John McCain, who never met a giveaway to Democrats he didn’t embrace wholeheartedly, simply failed to see the historical importance of the issue. This issue wasn’t about the president’s prerogative to appoint the nominees he prefers; such a prerogative is at best a myth and at worst an utter falsehood perpetuated by partisan supporters of the president who happens to be in power at the moment. The momentum was on the Republican side: Obama’s recess appointments had been successfully challenged in the D.C. Circuit and the Third Circuit, and the Supreme Court was set to take up the issue.
No president has the power or the prerogative to simply appoint the nominees of his preference. The Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution divides the power to appoint between the President and the Senate. Indeed, the Framers of the Constitution specifically rejected unilateral executive power for appointments in favor of a shared appointment power. The president nominates, but the Senate gives advice and consent.
Here at Liberty Pulse, we feel that it’s important to call attention to the foibles of our 44th President, and the Inglorious Exploits of Dear Leader is how we’re going to do it from this point forward. Every week, we’ll aggregate the best of the worst our President has to offer in terms of news.
We begin with the news that some seven months after taking office for a second term, the Obama campaign is still $3.5 million in debt. Well, what’d you expect from a President who has taken the country to nearly $17 trillion in debt, with over $6 trillion of that total under his presidency? At least Obama isn’t Newt Gingrich, whose campaign is still $4.6 million in debt. No more trips to Tiffany’s for Callista!
On September 14, 2001, Ron Paul took to the House floor and offered a summary of the American position that, over a decade later, has proven to be almost prophetic. He stated that “for the critics of our policy of interventionism in the affairs of others, the attack on New York and Washington was not a surprise. Many have warned of its inevitability.”
He continued by warning that “for us to pursue a war against our enemies, its crucial to understand why we were attacked,” for “without this knowledge, striking out at six or eight, or even ten different countries could well expand this war of which we wanted no part.” Those words should give pause to a nation that has spent the last decade mired in Iraq, after having disposed of a dictator who posed no threat to the United States, and who acted as a buffer against Shiite Iran. Iraq is a majority Shiite nation that had been led by a Sunni leader. Today, it is a majority Shiite nation with a Shiite leadership that, not surprisingly, is friendly with our newest enemies, the Shiite Iranians. The death toll for US soldiers in Iraq beats the death toll for 9/11 by close to 1500 people. But that is nothing compared to the over 100,000 Iraqis who lost their lives as a result of the United States’ foreign policy.
Those words should give pause to a nation that has spent a decade in Afghanistan, and sacrificed 2000 brave members of our armed services there. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has tearfully pleaded with the US to stop killing civilian citizens of his beleaguered nation.
Those words should be meaningful to a nation that has been responsible for over 350 drone strikes in Pakistan, amounting to anywhere between 2000 and 3300 deaths. Of those, America estimates that as many as 884 of them were civilians, and 197 of them were children! These are the US’s numbers. Who wants to bet Pakistan has different numbers?
Those words should resonate with the nation that rid the world of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, an early supporter of the US in the “War on Terror,” so that he could be replaced by rogue elements that may have ties to Al Qaeda. By the way, we are on the verge of assisting Al Qaeda in removing the Alawite Shia leader of the largely Sunni nation of Syria. What a victory that will be for the American foreign policy, and for Al Qaeda leaders in Syria!
Those words should especially cause us to ask our leaders whether they really want to start a conflict either with Syria, or with Iran. The US and Israel have been saber-rattling with Iran’s democratically elected leader for years now. Zionist leaders in both nations have compared him repeatedly with Hitler. Neoconservatives have charged that the US needs to take military action before Iran obtains even the capability of building a nuclear weapon. Senator Lindsay Graham stated that Iran is looking at a “massive attack” that it “could not survive” if it continues its nuclear program (says a Senator from the only nation to ever use a nuclear weapon in combat). The US-led sanctions against Iran have had a crippling effect on Iran’s economy. That means that the people who are hurt the most by the US’s anti-Iranian policies are the innocent Iranians who wake up every day, and go to work in order to provide for their families – and those who, due to the US, do not have jobs, and are therefore unable to provide for their families.
But attempts at finding the root cause of terror are typically rebuffed as anti-American – as if the decision to acquire knowledge is the opposite of patriotic. When Ron Paul opined, during the 2008 Fox Republican Presidential Debates, that “they attack us because we’ve been over there,” and that we ought to “listen to the people who attacked us, and the reasons they did it,” Rudy Giuliani (whose foreign policy experience is likely limited to riding the New York subway on occasion) called it an “extraordinary statement,” and accused Paul of claiming that the US was “inviting the attack.”
The University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism has conducted studies suggesting that 95% of suicide terrorism, like 9/11, is in response to foreign occupation. It is not surprising, then, that since 9/11, and since the massive uptick in the US’s occupation of, and involvement in, the affairs of Middle Eastern and Muslim countries, there has been a correspondingly massive uptick in anti-American suicide attacks. The vast majority of suicide terrorists come from exactly those regions threatened by foreign troops. And if that’s true, then our increased involvement in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, and other nations will have one predictable result: more blowback from these nations!
Ron Paul preemptively criticized a policy of getting involved in conflicts with anywhere between 6 and 10 nations, without having a grasp on why anyone would want to hurt innocent Americans. Over a decade later, and the US is involved in armed conflicts with a host of nations. We are creating generations of people who will likely hate the US, who would have had no reason to do so but for the pain we have caused them by our military incursions, including drones, and through our occupations. Paul stated that he could not claim to be shocked at the terrible destruction that took place on September 11, 2001. “Many have warned of [the attack’s] inevitability.” Are we creating an inevitable blowback as we speak? If so, we ought to change course. That sure is the right thing to do; but more importantly, it would make us safer. There’s nothing unpatriotic about a foreign policy that promotes peace and security for all Americans. And there’s nothing admirable about our current trajectory.
Jonathan Lubin is a civil litigator in Chicago, Illinois, concentrating in Constitutional law and civil rights. Jonathan has studied at BrandeisUniversity, the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, NJ, and at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. He writes about politics, the law, and current events, at ReasonableInference.blogspot.com.
The calls to war over Syria grow more insistent. Many of the usual suspects who are convinced it is better to destabilize entire regimes and regions than “lead from behind,” are joining the voices of human rights groups appalled by Syrian President Bashir Al-Assad’s brutal attempts to tamp down the various rebel forces. An analysis of Syria should leave aside the budget busting $6 trillion dollars we will have spent on Iraq because as has become clear, money is not considered an issue when it comes to grand ideological battles, however existentially or tenuously related to our own national interests. Senator Lindsay Graham persists in calling for boots on the ground in Syria. Sen. McCain does not want boots on the ground but demands the United States enforce a no-fly zone to help the Syrian rebels lest Syria becomes a failed state. Calls for war in Syria ignore the almost overwhelming odds that what we seek to achieve, may simply not be achievable, and a voluntary war fought at any cost may be a greater threat to our actual national interest than any existential or philosophical ones.
TAMPA, April 9, 2013 – It would be the stuff of a Peter Sellers satire if there weren’t for nuclear weapons and 26,000 American troops needlessly in harm’s way. A tiny dictatorship that has to cook the books even to call itself “third world” has the world’s “lone superpower” dancing on a string. It is a fitting tribute to 100 years of U.S. foreign policy failure.
When you invade and occupy a country, it almost always ends badly, as the British found out before the United States and Napoleon found out before them. Napoleon’s exploits in Spain are particularly instructive in understanding the U.S. government’s boondoggle in Iraq.
But it is only after you have got yourself stuck somewhere for 60 years that costly and tragic turns to ridiculous. Having unintentionally kept a multi-generational dictatorship in power by rallying its people around it, the U.S. finds itself outsmarted and outmaneuvered by a despot whose father might have suffered Il Duce’s fate if not for the continued presence of U.S. troops on North Korea’s border.