Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

September 6, 2007

Ron Paul Kicks Ass In New Hampshire

by Doug Mataconis

Yes, I’ve been a critic of the prospects of the campaign, but this clip had me yelling “Hell, yeah” all along

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  • js290

    Who was that laughing derisively?

  • Ken Cooper

    Rudy Giuliano’s was the little school girl laughing. Also, notice Ron clapping without any sound coming from his mic? They leave Rudy’s mic on, and turn Ron’s mic off! Faux News is fair and balanced?

  • js290

    Rudy Giuliano’s was the little school girl laughing. Also, notice Ron clapping without any sound coming from his mic? They leave Rudy’s mic on, and turn Ron’s mic off! Faux News is fair and balanced?

    If that was Giuliani, is FOX really helping him making his derision audible?

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    “You were wrong” does not concurrently mean “so I am right”.

  • http://www.lunchworks.net Jeff Molby

    notice Ron clapping without any sound coming from his mic?

    C’mon, let’s not grasp at straws. It was a relatively soft clap almost two feet away from the mic. Besides, I heard several of the claps in the middle of the sequence.

    If that was Giuliani, is FOX really helping him making his derision audible?

    No, but it became predictable enough that they could have put an end to it if they cared.

  • js290

    C’mon, let’s not grasp at straws. It was a relatively soft clap almost two feet away from the mic. Besides, I heard several of the claps in the middle of the sequence.

    Yeah, the militant “Paulestinians” should really calm down. We should take marching orders from our Constitution… That could not have been scripted any better.

    No, but it became predictable enough that they could have put an end to it if they cared.

    Right, so they really let Giuliani (if it was him) make a fool out of himself.

  • UCrawford

    Every time I hear Paul speak, I keep thinking about that quote from Ludwig von Mises “My theories can predict the degeneration of a great society, they cannot prevent it.”

    If Paul gets beat, it’s not because every point he made wasn’t valid (although I disagree with him about Afghanistan).

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    I’m sorry but I’m with Huckabee on this one: we broke it we bought it and its up to us to fix it.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    Good point UC. Am I misunderstanding Ron Paul or did he really say we should pull troops out of Afghanistan as well? I thought he supported our efforts there.

  • http://belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Stephen,

    But for how long ?

    How will we know when Iraq is “fixed” ?

    And what if it never really is ?

  • http://belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    We should take marching orders from our Constitution… That could not have been scripted any better.

    Agreed on that one.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Stephen,

    Actually, I’m not sure. I’ve heard him make comments before about opposing intervention in Afghanistan, but I’m not sure whether he was talking about the current conflict or the one where we pumped money and training to the jihadis to fight the Soviets. His website doesn’t really clarify his position, but Paul is opposed to nation-building, and that’s what a lot of our effort there is. For my part, I think that our government ought to restrict our efforts there to building roads (leaving the other work to NGOs and charities) and hunting bin Laden and the Taliban. I’m okay with us training their forces, only because the Afghanis largely seem to support it (and the demographic splits in their population aren’t as severe as in Iraq) and because it aids the goal of denying the Taliban and al-Qaeda operational control of Afghanistan again.

    Problem is, the Taliban and al-Qaeda are operating out of Pakistan, so as long as we let them operate freely from over the border our efforts in Afghanistan are largely futile.

    Iraq on the other hand is completely futile. I’m 100% with Paul on that point. There’s little there of value worth staying, and the price that we’d pay for it is far too high. And we didn’t “break” that country…the problems they had there preceded our intervention by decades (if not centuries). All we did was unleash those problems by removing the cage (Saddam). The same thing might very well have happened had Saddam died and we didn’t get involved at all.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    I did like his comments about how the airlines should be given the authority to protect their own property as opposed to the federal government. What Paul was saying (and a lot of people miss this) is that the FAA regulations prevent the airlines from putting armed security personnel on their planes, which contributes to the odds of a successful hijacking. What Ron Paul wasn’t saying (and a lot of idiot pundits miss this point) was that the airlines should be forced to allow armed individuals onto planes. Very good point, too bad it kind of got lost in the rest of the debate. Had we respected the airlines’ property rights, there’s a very good chance that 9/11 would never have happened.

  • Scott

    @Stephen Littau — September 6, 2007 @ 8:56 am

    If we broke it we ought to fix it. Agreed…

    HOWEVER… “WE” didn’t break it! Our government broke it and WE need to vote them out and FIX it.

    What part of that do you not understand?

  • http://www.yedies.blogspot.com J Aron

    How come no one is mentioning that Ron Paul won 33% of the Fox Poll text votes?
    If McCain or Guiliani had those numbers we’d never hear the end of it.
    Now That annoys me!

  • TanGeng

    well seriously, we’re breaking Afghanistan too because of the war on drugs and the fact that the US is one of the reasons the lively hood of those Afghanistan farmers are being destroyed.

    We’re effectively driving those people into the arms of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The federal government is so large the military and political nation building division doesn’t know what the drug war division is doing to undermine its own objectives.

    It is a sad sad organization. I say pack it in, because we’re only getting more incompetence.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    J Aron,

    Because nobody cares about unscientific polls because spammers who claim to support Ron Paul’s campaign have made them utterly useless as a tool for measuring his real support. Frankly, hearing Ron Paul “supporters” whine about the fact that no one trusts the polls (which is actually the Paul spammers’ fault) is a hell of a lot more annoying, and we never hear the end of their bitching either.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    Scott, the majority of the American people supported the war until things got difficult. What annoys me is that just about everyone acts as though they were never among those people. Among those people are presidential hopefuls such as Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Among those are also a few of the contributers who write at the Liberty Papers. It wasn’t “just the neocons” as Paul suggests.

    Because we are a representative republic, we do have to be held responsible for our government’s actions by holding our representatives responsible. That I agree with. The sad truth is is that most people are not paying attention. Far too many people get their news from Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jon Stewart.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    TanGeng,

    I think you’re right about the war on drugs causing problems in Afghanistan. One of the big problems there is the complete lack of any primary or secondary road system, which makes opium the only viable crop for turning a profit (since it’s easy to grow and has a long shelf life, unlike most agricultural products there). As far as the nation-building goes, I think the best thing our government can do is build a road system (which would greatly improve the Afghans’ ability to move products to market as well as improve their own security) and training their troops (so they can fight their own battles). Beyond that, I think we ought to stay out of the management of their country, leave the rebuilding efforts to charities, NGOs and the Afghanis, and focus only on direct action missions against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

  • http://www.thesparsematrix.com rho

    UC:
    Because nobody cares about unscientific polls because spammers who claim to support Ron Paul’s campaign have made them utterly useless as a tool for measuring his real support.

    I disagree with this. Dr. Paul’s campaign is resonating with a lot of people and they are enthusiastic about his candidacy. This is at least as interesting as a scientific telephone poll of 400 Americans that show his support at 3%. Giuliani and Thompson aren’t generating that kind of enthusiasm; why is that?

    Also 33% of a text poll means those votes both cost money and are difficult to “spam”. This is as good as any poll considering that it’s a direct measure of people who have watched the debates. Similar to the “focus group”, but better IMO as it’s not as influenced by group psychology. It’s more like a secret ballot.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Rho,

    If it’s a secret ballot that you can vote in as many times as you want, it’s unscientific and unrepresentative and therefore not as good as any other poll. The inability of Ron Paul “supporters” (note the quotation marks) to recognize this is why I often have such contempt for them. But you’re right, polls are often biased, which is why the only poll that actually matters is the one they have on election day, where everybody gets to vote once and they choose the candidate accordingly. And if you think that a text poll of people who happened to be watching Fox News (also an unrepresentative sampling) is an accurate reflection of the people who are currently planning to vote for him on election day, you’re delusional.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    But feel free to go ahead and keep whining about it. By all means, continue to validate my point.

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/J.SkyWave/FoxPoll js290

    Because nobody cares about unscientific polls because spammers who claim to support Ron Paul’s campaign have made them utterly useless as a tool for measuring his real support. Frankly, hearing Ron Paul “supporters” whine about the fact that no one trusts the polls (which is actually the Paul spammers’ fault) is a hell of a lot more annoying, and we never hear the end of their bitching either.

    It may not be scientific, but spamming was not allowed.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    js290,

    Assuming that there’s not away around the filters, fair enough. But, as you’ve pointed out, still not a scientific poll which still renders it pretty much useless.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    js290:

    Was the poll restricted to Republican voters? I suspect that there are Democrats which will vote for Paul in a poll but if he were to actually get the nomination would not support him in the general election. Democrats want more government not less; the only thing they have in common with Paul is the war.

  • js290

    Was the poll restricted to Republican voters? I suspect that there are Democrats which will vote for Paul in a poll but if he were to actually get the nomination would not support him in the general election.

    Some states have open primaries. Democrats in those states will be able to vote for him.

    Democrats want more government not less;

    Meh… so do Republicans…

    the only thing they have in common with Paul is the war.

    Aren’t the front running Democrats in the mismanagement camp not the pull out camp?

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    Good point JS but when it comes down to it, most Democrats want socialized healthcare, higher taxes, more spending for more social programs, etc. These are all things that Ron Paul are opposed to. I don’t think many democrats would be willing to swallow that despite opposition to the war.

    The Democrat’s position? It seems to change depending on the special interest group they are speaking in front of.

  • http://www.no-treason.com Joshua Holmes

    I’m sorry but I’m with Huckabee on this one: we broke it we bought it and its up to us to fix it.

    It’s not up to me. I didn’t break shit, commie.

    Moreover, what’s your plan? Iraq’s in the middle of a civil-war-cum-ethnic-cleansing. How exactly is the US going to fix Iraq when all sides want to rip each other apart?

    Scott, the majority of the American people supported the war until things got difficult. What annoys me is that just about everyone acts as though they were never among those people.

    I marched in 2002, while half of the so-called libertarians were cheering on a splendid little war. Before the war began I said that the war was morally wrong – and it was – and I said that the war would turn out to be a disaster – and it has.

    Let me make a subsequent prediction. History will come to show that the coming Iran-US war and its subsequent disaster, will have been started by the United States, either openly or by squeezing Iran into a corner.

    “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” Lysander Spooner, No Treason #6.

  • Grizzip

    Huckabee is lame as hell. Did you see the article that just came out where he says how mad he is that Ron “blames America for 911,” hahaha how much of a loser is Huckabee going to be?

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Joshua,

    I completely agree. Iraq wasn’t about to nuke us, Iran’s not going to nuke us, and we don’t need troops on the ground to insure that they’ll still sell us their oil.

    Besides which, the overwhelming majority of Bush administration predictions about the Middle East have turned out to be tragic miscalculations, politically convenient half-truths, or blatant self-serving lies. You want to help the Iraqis toward a better society? Get us the fuck out of their country so they can put their own affairs in order without Washington trying to predetermine the outcome. All our government has demonstrated to them is its apparently limitless capacity to make their already bad lives worse.

  • Segal

    I am the Oracle, and I say RP needs to really establish and then brush up on his “What will you do and who will you appoint” speeches. Because they’re about to be asked whether Fox or the others like it or not. And RP was asked about who he’d appoint in radio interviews earlier this year and had almost no answer at all. So yes he does need to work on it immediately. It’s only a matter of time before the good people of the GOP accept the fact that no one draws money, crowds and young people into the party.

  • http://fpffressminds.blogspot.com/ Stephen Littau

    I marched in 2002, while half of the so-called libertarians were cheering on a splendid little war. Before the war began I said that the war was morally wrong – and it was – and I said that the war would turn out to be a disaster – and it has.

    If this is true Joshua, you should be as annoyed about these Johnny-come-latelys as I am. I have a lot more respect for those like you and Ron Paul who opposed the war before it started for principled reasons than I do for the sunshine patriots and winter soldiers. I have even less respect no respect for those who simply were/are against the war because they hate George Bush (while they would have not a word to say if it was Clinton’s/Gore’s/Kerry’s/Clinton’s war).

    My point is that if we commit troops, we better damn well be committed to win. After witnessing how fickle the American people are on matters of war and peace along with our government’s inability to lead our men and women with decisive action, from the war’s end forward I will very much be in the anti-war camp. Until that day comes, we must give victory a chance.

    I’ll just ignore your childish “commie” comment.

  • Daulnay

    Stephen L and UCrawford,

    You are missing something very important: Ron Paul stands for a return to Constitutional Government. This inspires people across the political spectrum, especially those unhappy with the movement of the Republican Party leadership towards unconstitutional government. The Democrats have done little to nothing to stop this, after being elected to change the course in 2006. Ron Paul is a clear alternative to both the tyranny-embracing Republican leadership and the feckless Democrats.

    The Neocon leaders of the Republicans, now that the citizens are turning against them and will likely turn them out, are floating the idea of “crossing the Rubicon” and seizing power. Neocon philosopher Harvey Mansfield did here in the WSJ, and Thomas Sowell and Philip Atkinson have as well (the latter in an explicit call for a Bush dictatorship that was quickly pulled from the website, Family Security Matters).

    Calls for an end to our Republic are shocking, at least when made by prominent columnists and writers, rather than some lunatic hollering on a street corner. If these calls are a genuine reflection of current thinking in the Neocon leadership (and there’s no reason to think otherwise), then our political landscape is overturned. Without a Republic, the issues that divide liberal and conservative become moot. There is only one issue for Americans this election season, the preservation of our Republic, and its clear champion is Ron Paul.

  • http://fpffressminds.blogspot.com/ Stephen Littau

    There is only one issue for Americans this election season, the preservation of our Republic, and its clear champion is Ron Paul.

    Daulnay, I wish that were true but its not. Too many Americans want the government to take care of their every want and need. I don’t see any call to return to genuine constitutionalism any time soon.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Stephen,

    I am afraid you’re right, which is why I’m afraid Hillary will beat whatever candidate the GOP puts up, notwitstanding her negatives

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    I don’t see anyone beating the Hilldebeast either Doug. Make your escape plans now…

  • js290

    we don’t need troops on the ground to insure that they’ll still sell us their oil.

    Of course they’ll sell us their oil. Our enforcerstroops are there to ensure they take our dollars…

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Daulnay,

    I’m not missing anything. I’ve said before that I support Ron Paul and I’m voting for him. I just don’t care for his “supporters”, specifically the ones who spam polls, whine incessantly about the lack of respect in the mainstream press, tie Paul to 9/11 truthers, and generally have no clue what his campaign platform is actually about. I’ve also made clear my severe dislike for the Republican and Democrat policy platforms, my hatred of neo-conservatism and my support for Constitutionalism. If you want to attack my beliefs, perhaps you should figure out just what those beliefs actually are before making generalized and inaccurate rebuttals.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    js290,

    They’ll take our money whether there are troops on the ground or not. They may just charge us higher prices for the oil. Which is fine, since we won’t be funding an occupying army at the same time.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Stephen,

    Commitments to “win” depend upon a realistic definition of what “winning” is. Iraq doesn’t have that because Bush has never set forth a clear objective, a comprehensive strategy for victory or even a list of criteria for what would define a
    “win”. His objective consists of whatever will allow him to save face, his strategy consists of “trust me”, and his criteria are whatever unsubstantianted claims Congress will let him get away with trotting out while overlooking the cost. This war is unjustified and utterly unwinnable. There’s nothing there that we’d want to “win”, nor is it worth another 5,000 U.S. lives to find that out.

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    ones who spam polls

    I don’t think it’s fair to call it spamming. There was probably some ballot-stuffing early on, but at this point the pollsters have taken reasonable precautions to prevent overvotes.

    What you’re seeing now is the level of passion on the part of Paul supporters. When someone throws up a poll, virtually every Paul supporter casts a vote whereas only a small percentage of Candidate X’s will bother. The disparity will lessen as the race heats up, but it will still be noticeable in the primaries. I promise you, no one will hold a candle to Paul when it comes to the “Get out the vote” factor.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Jeff,

    That’s a good point, as is your point about Paul’s “get out the vote” factor. The problem is that Paul’s campaign has been tied to spamming, which casts doubt on the credibility of the numbers he does seem to have. If the “supporters” really wanted to help the Paul campaign, they’d find a way to get accurate and scientifically based data to determine Paul’s popular appeal. As it is, a lot of them are simply getting mad because the public and press aren’t buying into distorted or unrepresentative poll numbers, and that’s just pointless and stupid.

  • http://www.thesparsematrix.com rho

    UC:
    And if you think that a text poll of people who happened to be watching Fox News (also an unrepresentative sampling) is an accurate reflection of the people who are currently planning to vote for him on election day, you’re delusional.

    Of course, that’s not what I said at all. I said it shows he has resonance with the people who are watching the debate, it isn’t “spammable” like a Web poll, and is more like a secret ballot than a focus group where group psychology encourages “go along, get along”. Don’t misrepresent my argument, please.

    But, as you’ve pointed out, still not a scientific poll which still renders it pretty much useless.

    I still disagree with this. It contains interesting information regarding enthusiasm for the candidate which is lacking for the others. It has no bearing on whether Dr. Paul can win the Republican nomination nor the presidency. But such lopsided returns shouldn’t be immediately dismissed as irrelevant, and representing it as spamming as you and Hannity did is dishonest.

    As to your dislike of Ron Paul supporters, to each his own. But his message draws in a lot of people who have been sorely disaffected by the political process for a multitude of reasons. Some of those people are going to be off-kilter and maybe off-putting. You’re just going to have to get over the fact they’re not all just like you and join the rest in that big-tent of fans of liberty and freedom. I am least frightened by people, even bizarre ones, who agree with me on minding your own business and the rule of law.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Rho,

    I don’t dislike Ron Paul supporters, I dislike “supporters”, who I defined earlier as those who engage in shady tactics that harm the credibility of Paul’s campaign or those who simply don’t understand what Paul’s message actually is.

    I understand your point about the polls now (I didn’t earlier, and I wasn’t trying to intentionally misrepresent your position) and agree that it’s a good barometer of enthusiasm for Paul’s campaign. I question how valuable that is, though, because the enthusiasm of Paul’s supporters was never in question. The information that is most useful in polls is how many votes the poll numbers will translate into, and unscientific polls don’t help us on that, which is why I call them useless and why I find it irritating to have them constantly regurgitated.

    On the subject of people who have views different from my own, as long as they’re for everyone minding their own business and adhering to a philosophy of limited government, I’m okay with them, whether their views are fringe or not. Most of the pro-Paul “supporters” I’ve taken issue with tend not to adhere to that philosophy (but that’s probably another discussion.) Free societies are based on the rights of individuals to believe and do what they wish so long as they don’t force it on others, regardless of how valid you, I or anyone else feels those beliefs are. So on that topic you and I are probably completely in agreement.

  • Segal

    well said, ro

  • Joon

    I’m sorry but I’m with Huckabee on this one: we broke it we bought it and its up to us to fix it.

    I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of Huckabee’s mouth. We broke it so we buy it? Since when did an entire country full of people become a piece of property? What if they DON’T want us to “buy” them?

    To me a better analogy would go like this:

    I think you’re about to hurt me so I attack you and now in serious medical trouble.

    I feel bad so I try to get you better. After years of trying to “fix” you, you’re not getting any better – actually it’s possible the treatment I’m giving you is making you worse.

    You get tired of me trying to help while making things worse, and say: JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!

    No, I won’t leave you alone, I’ll keep “fixing” you to save my “honor.” I’m so honorable that I’m going to ignore your pleas, ignore the fact that my “fixing” is making things worse, and continue dictating your life.

    Some honor.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Joon,

    I thought Paul said it best when he blasted Iraq policy as something designed merely to save face, not something that was meant to solve problemss.

    Great point about Iraq and the attitude of treating them as property.

  • http://www.thesparsematrix.com rho

    I don’t dislike Ron Paul supporters, I dislike “supporters”, who I defined earlier as those who engage in shady tactics that harm the credibility of Paul’s campaign or those who simply don’t understand what Paul’s message actually is.

    My mistake, and I agree with you here, but I don’t think the number of shady supporters are all that large.

    The information that is most useful in polls is how many votes the poll numbers will translate into, and unscientific polls don’t help us on that, which is why I call them useless and why I find it irritating to have them constantly regurgitated.

    True, true. But this early, all polls are poor barometers. I’d rather the polls be based on things like the debates where people who are actually paying attention have a greater weight than people who happen to be home and answer the phone.

    Fox News’ text-poll is actually a great innovation, to my mind. It limits the poll participants to people with mobile phones and the willingness and knowledge to use them, but it does prevent (or severely limit) multiple votes, and shutting the poll down shortly after the close of the debate prevents (or severely limits) ballot-stuffing from email lists.

    Most of the pro-Paul “supporters” I’ve taken issue with tend not to adhere to that philosophy (but that’s probably another discussion.)

    That interests me as I’ve not noticed many (or any, really) Ron Paul supporters who haven’t grokked this aspect of his campaign. That said, I too have little interest in people who don’t understand the philosophy of liberty and freedom except so far as I can convince them of the benefits.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Rho,

    The “supporters” I was referring to that I take issue with are generally the “truthers” who want Paul to tie up government with years of pointless investigations or those who think that Paul’s presidency will grant him sweeping (and un-Constitutional) powers to change government unilaterally. Their policies and expectations are often delusional, and they’re more common than you might think. A lot of anti-immigration folks actually fit that mold too (since they have almost no common ground with Ron Paul apart from that issue), but I suppose my arguments against them are a bit weaker since Paul has officially taken a generally anti-immigration stance (the only issue I seem to completely disagree with Paul on).

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Rho,

    And I’ll agree with you that Fox News’ text-poll did a decent job of trying to weed out spam, so my initial impression of the poll was not as well-informed as it should have been. I still disagree on its usefulness as a tool for selling Ron Paul to swing voters (which, as always, is the key), but I also grok why you like it. And yes, I’m a Heinlein nerd too :)

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    By the way, “The Life Aquatic” sucked. And by “sucked” I mean that it was easily one of the ten worst films I have ever seen in my entire life (not quite as bad as “Highlander II: The Quickening” or “The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 version)”, but close. And much worse than “Godfather III” or “Flowers In The Attic”) That film was actually painful to watch…Wes Anderson is a crap filmmaker without Owen Wilson’s input. Save the two plus hours for something worthwhile.

  • Joon

    UCrawford – Paul did nail it. I wish he had a little more time to explain himself and take Huckabee down for calling us to be United Lemmings of America. What nonsense.

    I think too many Americans in general think of other countries as pieces of property to play with. This may be a good thing when it comes to helping out the poor and the hungry, it it also shows up in ugly ways like this – since America kicks ass we know what’s best for everyone in the world. Doesn’t matter if we’re saving them from disease or defending them.

    I came from South Korea so I had the benefit of being exposed to the other side of this story. To me it seemed like we should be thankful that USA was defending us – but the truth is, people just PLAIN DON’T LIKE IT when another, superior country comes in and dictates things. It doesn’t matter if the end result is beneficial for the people or not – people don’t like being told what to do by a bunch of foreigners.

    Unfortunately for us(a), the last time we had an experience like this was before the revolutionary war. I love Paul’s analogy of how we’d feel if China was here. Americans really need to understand that marching into someone else’s territory is almost always a bad idea, regardless of your intent.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Joon,

    I don’t think that attitude actually helps the poor and hungry. I think that attitude infantilizes the poor and hungry and creates a rationalization for government to exert its authority over them (and, eventually, us) through welfare laws, redistribution of wealth, and plain old petty political opportunism.

    I served for a year in South Korea. Frankly, I couldn’t understand why we were still there. The ROK military is more than capable of annihilating the DPRK army if they tried to invade (they beat us in most of the exercises we took part in). A lot of the post-Korean War era we spent propping up unpopular autocracies. Half the time, I suspected we were just there to keep South Korea from invading the north (they were certainly more than capable of doing so, assuming the Chinese didn’t get involved). And I agree with your argument, it’s not right for a foreign country to dictate terms to someone else on their own soil.

  • Joon

    Just ran across this on Cafe Hayek – “The Economics of Shame.” I might argue that there’s no way to avoid shame when we march into another country.

    http://cafehayek.typepad.com/hayek/2007/09/the-economics-o.html

  • bartender

    ummm yeah, I think you dreamers need to wake up and smell reality— he has less than zero chance of actually making it through the caucuses/primaries. You all seem to be smart people, smart enough to know what I’m talking about. You know the kind of people they send to caucases. And you know what that means for Paul. Just look at Texas.

    I know this is all feel-good for you guys, but there are things you just cant force to change. The pentagon has already made clear Iraq will be in progress years from now.

  • UCrawford

    Bartender,

    A “less than zero” percent chance? You mean people will actually cast negative votes for Ron Paul? Because I don’t think the poll numbers support your conclusion either, and although I’m kind of cynical about his chances I’m also able to recognize that fatalism’s an ideology for losers. Paul may be a long-shot, but the election’s hardly a foregone conclusion.

    As for Iraq, Bush’s generals can say whatever they like about it. He’s gone in 18 months and the supplementary funding for the war comes up for review sooner than that. And if the Pentagon fails to get their funding, the troops are coming back home regardless of Bush’s desires, so the military’s projections are hardly set in stone. The Pentagon doesn’t get to determine its own course of action, nor does it get to approve its own funding requests…that’s the nice thing about living in society where the military answers to civilian leadership.

  • TanGeng

    UCrawford,

    Besides the military only sees military solutions.

    “When you only have a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.”

    So it’s sort of futile to ask your generals for the best course of action. Of course they are going to be for continued military action. For the civilian leadership to yield to the military in deciding the course of the American foreign policy is a dereliction of duty. Unfortunately, none of the leadership in Congress seem to have a spine to stand up to the president and his requests for military funding.

  • http://www.thesparsematrix.com rho

    Wes Anderson is a crap filmmaker without Owen Wilson’s input. Save the two plus hours for something worthwhile.

    Man, you’re one of many who’ve said that or something similar to me. It annoys me ’cause Bill Murray can really be funny, but my instincts told me to stay away from that turkey. I’m still hoping “The Darjeeling Limited” rolls well. I have high hopes!

    Drudge is reporting 3.1 million viewers with the Fox debate. That’s pretty outstanding. C’mon, get excited!

  • http://www.furl.net/item.jsp?id=7437761 js290

    They’ll take our money whether there are troops on the ground or not.

    UC,

    since I’m inclined to believe that government intervention, whether it be war or laws, is done at the behest of those who can finance it, it’s easier for me to believe that the military is not much more than “high class musclemen” for the financiers.

    This post is a good summary of why Saddam taking Euros for Iraqi oil was a threat to the dollar, which is why he had to be taken out. Guess who else is threatening the dollar with their oil? Iran and Syria, perhaps? Iran just recently allowed Japan to pay for oil with their yen.

  • UCrawford

    TanGeng,

    That’s an inaccurate generalization. The military leadership was opposed to military intervention throughout the Clinton years, and many military flag officers opposed, and still oppose, what Bush has done in Iraq. Soldiers are quite often the most hostile towards fighting pointless wars or rejecting diplomacy because they’re the ones who are forced to bear the worst of the costs. The reason you don’t hear as much dissent as you did under the Clinton years was that Bush made it quite clear (with Rumsfeld’s handling of Eric Shinseki) that military advice that contradicted his own opinions on warfighting would not be tolerated and that anyone who offered it would be marginalized or removed. For several years now, the Pentagon hierarchy has been promoted and kept around based only on personal loyalty to the President, not operational competence or results achieved. It’s why several generals, like John Batiste, chose to retire from active service…so they could protest against the war being marginalized by the Bush administration as incompetents who were forced out.

    http://cbs2.com/nationalpolitics/politicsnational_story_130024518.html

    js290,

    All the more reason for us to be back on the gold standard. And I think your characterization of the military’s role is a bit exaggerated. Although I will admit that intervening militarily with corporate interests in mind does appear to have been something of a trend with both Bush presidencies. Bush 41 was far smarter about it, though.

    Rho,

    Bill Murray spent the entire movie looking like he was bored and he’d rather be doing something else. Auteurs seemed to think that it was a detached acting style (like Lost in Translation, which I thought was pretty good). I got the impression that he simply doesn’t like acting any more and he’s mailing in his performances. He’s been this way for awhile now, actually. The rest of that movie was just boring and pointless. Sort of like “Rushmore” except with all the humor and interesting characters removed.

    And I do get excited about Ron Paul’s issues…but I also temper that with realistic expectations of his chances. I’ve worked in political campaigns before and I’ve been down this road before. That said, it’s still aways to go before the voting, and I do think he’s got a chance, but the odds are pretty long.

  • UCrawford

    TanGeng,

    You should check out “Dereliction of Duty” by H.R. McMaster for an excellent analysis of the proper role (both historically and Constitutionally) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in advising the president on military and how Vietnam was essentially fought and screwed up because the civilian administration failed to heed the military expertise of the JCS and replaced officers who didn’t tow the party line. I think you’ll find it surprisingly in line with your beliefs. I know that the Bush administration didn’t read it…they repeated a large number of LBJ’s mistakes in Vietnam almost exactly. And the parallels between Rumsfeld and McNamara were absolutely unreal.

    In an ironic twist, the author of the book served last year as a battalion commander in Iraq. Good officer and did an effective job in his region, more from the Petraeus school of counterinsurgency (engage the population and isolate the insurgents) than the Franks/Odierno school (kill ‘em all and throw the rest in prison).

  • http://www.warisaracket.com/ js290

    All the more reason for us to be back on the gold standard.

    Good for everybody except those benefiting from the fiat system. I’ll say it again, Ron Paul will be assassinated before he gets a chance to be elected. Either the Fed mob will take him out, or the truthers will for “betraying” them. Since Ron Paul’s chances are still kind of low, I’m leaning towards the latter. ;-)

    On a related note, Ron Paul supporters concentrating only on the Ron Paul presidency is really missing the big picture. The grassroots support should be trying to get libertarian leaning congressmen elected. If they can get one libertarian leaning congressmen elected from each state in the next election, that’ll be a really good consolidation prize for 2008. It’ll only make electing more of them easier in 2010.

    Although I will admit that intervening militarily with corporate interests in mind does appear to have been something of a trend with both Bush presidencies. Bush 41 was far smarter about it, though.

    This has been happening well before the Bush’s…

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    js290,

    There have always been war profiteers and there will always continue to be war profiteers…that’s just human nature and the free market, if there’s a profit to be made people will try to make it. The difference is that under both Bushes the war profiteers seemed to have a hand in determining if we went to war. In Korea, Vietnam, WWII, etc. they merely benefited from a decision made without their input. I think Butler missed this point…he seemed to equate profiting from war with causing the war to happen, and they aren’t the same thing. Also, keep in mind that Butler lived during a time of conscription, so not all of his arguments are applicable in current times. Soldiers aren’t slaves to the state any more (or at least, not completely) and citizens are not required to serve. That said, I do agree with his premise that interventionist war rarely benefits anyone but the profiteers and I’d be curious what he’d think about the current conflict or the Bushes. Unfortunately he’s not around to provide that input.

  • Anthony

    This seems to be the most active RP atm:

    Paul is about to, and in fact already is, receiving *massive* international money for his candidacy. This is mainly due to foreigners understanding of economics and economic freedom and how it relates to what Ron Paul is saying. It is N O T an accident that Paul is about to give a major policy speech. There are numerous warning signs to the underpaid Paul campaign:

    #1 and most important) I know you are unthanked and overworked. But you need to possess clarity and skill in fully documenting the international funds that your Boss is now getting. It needs to be fully documented in hardcopy at the outset of ANY DEBATE. Any large contribution whatsoever. This is critical to the Paul campaign.

    2.) The Paul campaign, in real terms of monetary value and growth potential, is actually #1 among any other GOP contender. As campaign staff having to do with any monetary matter…. you will be tempted into “fun nights” and other things specifically designed to discredit. UNDERSTAND THAT RIGHT FREAKING NOW.

    3.) Watch Paul’s schedule. Study his bookings close.

    4.)Keep in mind that YOUR candidate is about to revealed as the most money-grabbing GOP candidate in the field. There is going to be….. unimaginable pressure both attempted blackmailed, high-level threats, and the usual sabotage.

    This guy is exploding, and it’s nothing like any analogy about Howard Dean. This is real shit. As a member of the Paul, you better grow up real real quick. And you will still need help. God help you.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler js290

    There have always been war profiteers and there will always continue to be war profiteers…that’s just human nature and the free market, if there’s a profit to be made people will try to make it.

    Profiting is fine. Profiting from government coercsion is not. It’s not compatible with laissez-faire free markets.

    I think Butler missed this point…he seemed to equate profiting from war with causing the war to happen, and they aren’t the same thing.

    I tend to agree with Rothbard’s view that monopolies don’t happen without the help of government. By the same token, I don’t think it’s coincidental that well connected industries profit from government policies, i.e. corporate welfare.

    Also, keep in mind that Butler lived during a time of conscription, so not all of his arguments are applicable in current times. Soldiers aren’t slaves to the state any more (or at least, not completely) and citizens are not required to serve. That said, I do agree with his premise that interventionist war rarely benefits anyone but the profiteers…I’d be curious what he’d think about the current conflict or the Bushes. Unfortunately he’s not around to provide that input.

    “I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.” –Smedley Butler

    I think Butler joined the Marines voluntarily. So, conscription is likely irrelevant to his post-military views.

  • UCrawford

    js290,

    I agree that monopolies don’t exist without government intervention, and I’m against government welfare for corporations. That wasn’t what I was talkiing about. Butler appeared to be attacking all profiteers and insinuated that the profiteers are to blame for the war. Profiting from a war is not the same as starting a war and Butler needed to establish a causal link in his essay, not just a correlational one.

    That said, I do think that well-connected corporations have exerted undue influence in the fighting of this war. The numbers of no-bid contracts awarded are astronomical compared to other wars, as are the terms of those contracts and the enforcement of them when the contractors renege or chisel. The Bush administration has allowed favored contractors to sidestep the bidding process under questionable justifications, they’ve allowed contractors to chisel our government for a lot of money without holding them accountable, a lot of that is based on personal ties, and the administration has openly retaliated against whistle-blowers who expose abuses. So I agree with you on that point, government favoritism for companies involved in the war in Iraq and the war on terror is a very ugly situation now.

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