Ron Paul and the Future of American Foreign Policy
The Paul-haters won’t succeed
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --
...Paul’s success – he is currently the frontrunner in Iowa, although the “mainstream” media is doing its best to downplay the numbers – has provoked an outburst of hysteria and pure hate from the War Party. Iowa, they declare, will be rendered “irrelevant” if Paul wins: Joe McQuaid, the bombastic editor of the neocon Union-Leader, rants that “Ron Paul is a dangerous man.” How is that? Well, you see, Paul agrees with the overwhelming majority of Americans who don’t think the Iraq war – which McQuaid and his tabloid supported – was worth the costs in lives and taxpayer dollars. Paul’s anti-interventionist foreign policy views, says the would-be New Hampshire kingmaker, “have been largely overlooked by a news media more interested in the presidential ‘horse race’ than in the candidates’ positions on issues.”
McQuaid is getting on in years, and so probably doesn’t get out much: while he is railing about the media’s inattention to what he considers to be Paul’s mortal sin, virtually every article assessing Paul’s chances since the beginning of the campaign season has harped on precisely this theme. Paul’s appeal is necessarily “limited” due to this: there is a “ceiling” on his support, they aver. As he began to climb in the polls, and this “ceiling” began to lift, the punditocracy declared that Iowa is passé, irrelevant, and an archaic tradition which ought to be ignored from now on by Those In The Know: Gail Collins gave voice to the New York-Washington axis when she sniffed that we ought to “feel free to ignore Iowa,” because “in some rural districts, the entire caucus will consist of one guy named Earl.” That she wouldn’t dare say that if Earl lived in, say, the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn – where plenty of Earls reside, to be sure – underscores the bigotries our elites allow themselves, these days. In the world of Ms. Collins, some Earls are more equal than others.
The alleged dissonance between Paul’s anti-interventionism and the frothy-mouthed militarism that has been Republican gospel ever since Robert Taft was cheated out of the GOP presidential nomination by the party’s Wall Street wing – (see Phyllis Schlafly’s classic A Choice, Not An Echo, p. 52, for a recap of the Eastern Establishment coup) – has been the constant theme of these pieces, written by youngsters with no understanding or knowledge of history. The one exception, oddly, was John Nichols in The Nation, a liberal-progressive periodical not known for its devotion to libertarianism, who recalled the history of the Old Right in his perceptive piece about the intellectual roots of the Paul campaign. McQuaid, for his part, neither knows nor cares about the history of the conservative movement he presumes to advise: he gets his “conservative” gospel from other sources. He cites Dorothy Rabinowitz’s darkly threatening characterization of Paul as “the best-known of our homegrown propagandists for our chief enemies in the world. One who has made himself a leading spokesman for, and recycler of, the long and familiar litany of charges that point to the United States as a leading agent of evil and injustice, the militarist victimizer of millions who want only to live in peace.”
He left out the part about Paul being a “propagandist for our enemies,” perhaps because it was too much even for him. To the Rabinowitzes of this world – and the Gingriches, the Santorums, the Bachmanns, and the rest of that crazed crew – falls the solemn responsibility of determining the Enemy of the moment. Debate is limited, on this subject, to the question of which Enemy ought to be targeted at this particular point in time. Paul has broken this rule, and allowed that the main enemy – for those who want to limit the power of government, cut $1 trillion dollars from the budget, and emerge out of our economic morass – is in Washington, D.C., not Tehran.
This is literally treason in Rabinowitz’s book, but then again that slim volume only contains several variations on a single theme: anyone who criticizes the regime of war and the constant erosion of our civil liberties is lacking in patriotism, and is quite possibly a “traitor,” a “fifth columnist,” a secret plotter against America and the supporter of its enemies – her enemies. In person – or, at least, on television – her bile is more acidic: here she compares Paul to Hitler and Mussolini while a panel of nattering neocons eggs her on.
One wonders what holds Rabinowitz back from calling for Paul’s arrest as an “enemy combatant” – such restraint goes against the grain of her personal style. It is a style that has long since gone out of style, an echo of the bad old days of the Bush era, when the smoke had hardly cleared from the skies over Manhattan, and the country trembled at the commanding tone of the neocons as they accused war critics – “the decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts,” as neocon tool Andrew Sullivan put it – of wanting to “mount a fifth column.”...MORE...LINK