Several high profile conservative pundits have recently turned against the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. The group includes columnists Ann Coulter, George Will, Tony Blankley and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. These pundits support RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) who now refer to Afghanistan as “Obama’s war.” Continue reading
This has been a great year for self described “Constitutional conservatives.” They defeated establishment GOP Senate candidates in Kentucky, Nevada and Utah, and now have their sights set on Washington state, Colorado and Alaska. The Republicans they defeated were also conservative, and there was no major issue dividing them. Continue reading
Dear Rand and Sharron:
I disagree with both of you on several issues and supported your primary opponents, but I now hope you will be victorious in your U.S. Senate campaigns. Your opponents are liberal Democrats and they must not win. You have both changed several positions since the primary, but I do not consider this a flip/flop. Your decisions were wise.
All Republicans should enthusiastically support civil rights, voting rights, fair housing and America’s special relationship with Israel. Thank you for clarifying those positions.
Both of you are now leading in the polls and 2010 will be an excellent year for the GOP. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has high negatives ratings, and voters should be reminded of his claim that the war in Iraq could not be won. The Senate Democratic primary in Kentucky has been over for a month, but Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo has still not endorsed the victor, Attorney General Jack Conway. This infighting will help Rand Paul.
We already know the strategy of your Democratic opponents. They will try to win support from moderate and independent voters by driving up your negative ratings. Both of you will be portrayed as extremists, and some of your controversial past statements will be repeated this Fall. One of the most effective issues for the Democrats is your desire to have America pull out of the United Nations, and to abandon our veto power in the UN Security Council.
There is Nothing Wrong in Advocating UN Reform
I hope both of you will reexamine your position, and there is nothing wrong in criticizing the UN or in asking for significant reforms. Major reforms were enacted when America refused to pay its dues for 22 months, but more needs to be done.
You should emphasize that the UN has passed many unwise resolutions and it has not been fair to Israel. Nevertheless, Israel is not withdrawing its ambassador from the UN. The worst thing that could happen to Israel would be for America to give up its veto power.
Iraq’s oil for food program was authorized by the UN, and it was a tremendous scandal. It is appalling that nations such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran were allowed to serve on the Human Rights Council.
Working with democratic nations on peacekeeping rather than the UN General Assembly is a fine idea. It is already being done. The UN mission in the former Yugoslavia failed, and it was necessary for NATO to replace the UN.
America Can Not Expect The U.N. To Handle Peacekeeping
You are wrong to advocate U.S. withdrawal because of the UN’s inability to handle peacekeeping missions. We have known that for over half a century, and the world body should not be entirely blamed because America always opposed the creation of a UN army. The poorly equipped UN member states are not good at peacekeeping when two sides are shooting at each other.
Belgium and Canada failed in their 1994 peacekeeping role in Rwanda where over 800,000 people died in a four month period. The Dutch were not successful in guarding the UN “safe haven” at Srebrenica in 1995 where over 7000 civilians died.
The Dutch soldiers threw down their weapons and ran away when the Serbian troops approached. When Germany agreed to send peacekeepers to Afghanistan in 2001, they had to lease transport aircraft from the Ukraine, and their equipment was outdated.
This does not mean the world should abandon peacekeeping, or that America should abandon its allies. America is the world’s only military super power and we are the sole nation which has power projection capabilities. No nation comes close to having our technical ability, and we are the only country with five global command centers and carrier battle groups in every ocean.
The UN Serves America’s Security Interests
The term was first used by President Franklin Roosevelt in the “Declaration by United Nations” on January 1, 1942. This was during WW II when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. The UN was formed in the US in 1945 and Americans wrote the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
The UN supported the United States during the Korean War and the liberation of Kuwait, but that does not always happen. The most glaring example is Operation Iraqi Freedom.
There was unanimous approval for UN Resolution 1441 which authorized the use of force to get rid of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. There had been 17 similar resolutions which had been enacted since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.
The United States sought approval of an 18th resolution before the intervention, but this was stopped by a threatened French veto. While the United States has had to bear the brunt of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, our coalition partners also have a crucial role. Over 1000 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan, and over 600 soldiers from our allies have also died. America is not alone.
We regret the “road map” for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has not been successful, but the problem is Hamas, not the UN. When North Korea threatened to deploy nuclear weapons, the UN fostered multilateral talks involving America, China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea.
What Has The United Nations Accomplished?
- The cost of 1991’s Operation Desert Storm was $54 billion, but America did not pay any of this. The UN member states (primarily Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) paid for everything.
- The UN was the forum in which over 80 nations achieved their independence. Most of these countries had previously been colonies.
- The UN was used to establish and maintain democratic elections in 85 nations.
- This year the UN is providing relief and protection to 23.3 million refugees. The largest UN operations are in the former battle zones of Darfur and the Congo.
- During the past six decades at the UN, more efforts have been made to protect and promote human rights than in the entire previous history of humankind. The UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted by the United States.
- The UN has responded to practically every natural disaster with generous contributions from its member states. The largest food aid organization in the world is run by the U.N., and is now assisting 113 million people, primarily in Africa.
- UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, saves millions of lives every year through immunization. They deserve tremendous credit for the eradication of smallpox and polio.
- It would be wrong of the United States to leave the UN and to retreat into isolationism. America has made progress through the UN, but as Iraq demonstrated, there will be times when the U.S. will act alone. The U.N. did not stop us, and they eventually assisted our efforts.
- Americans should be proud our nation has not ignored evil in the world. America has had a strong voice at the UN in stopping genocide, ethnic cleansing and other human rights abuses. Even the liberal National Conference of Catholic Bishops acknowledged the importance of America’s role when they quoted Pope John Paul II: ”The principles of sovereignty of states and noninterference in their internal affairs . . . cannot constitute a screen behind which torture and murder may be carried out.”
In 1994, the Hutu majority in Rwanda organized and implemented the mass slaughter of the Tutsi minority. In just 100 days, 800,000 Tutsi were slaughtered. The UN troops were present but they did not act. In his memoirs, Bill Clinton described this as one of the biggest mistakes of his administration. They UN could have easily stopped the violence. The Hutus had no sophisticated weapons, only knives and clubs.
In March of 1998, on a visit to Rwanda, President Clinton spoke at Kigali Airport: “We come here today partly in recognition of the fact that we in the United States and the world community did not do as much as we could have and should have done to try to limit what occurred.”
The United States did much more than fail to send troops. It led a successful effort to remove most of the UN peacekeepers who were already on the ground. America aggressively worked to block the subsequent authorization of UN reinforcements.
The United States refused to use its technology to jam radio broadcasts that were a crucial instrument in the coordination and perpetuation of the genocide. And even as, on average, 8,000 Rwandans were being butchered each day, U.S. officials shunned the term “genocide,” for fear of being obliged to act. The United States in fact did virtually nothing “to try to limit what occurred.” Indeed, staying out of Rwanda was an explicit U.S. policy objective.
The story of the massacre of 800,000 is powerfully told by Samantha Power: http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/bill.htm
Book Review by Gregory Hilton
Former Congressman John Hostettler (IN) is now running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. He is in a primary with former Senator Dan Coats and State Senator Marlin Stutzman. The incumbent Democrat Evan Bayh surprised everyone by announcing his retirement on the day before the filing deadline. The GOP now has an excellent chance to capture this open seat. Continue reading
Leaders of the Republican Party should no longer remain silent. They should actively denounce the many reprehensible comments of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).
He is the only Republican who refused to vote for the resolution condemning Iran’s President after he said “Israel should be wiped off the map.” Congressman Paul has also repeatedly justified the actions of terrorists who have attacked the United States. He now accuses the CIA of being in the drug business and says they need to be “taken out.”
In his speech to the Campaign for Liberty the Congressman said: “There’s been a coup, have you heard? It’s the CIA coup. The CIA runs everything, they run the military. They’re the ones who are over there lobbing missiles and bombs on countries. … They’re in businesses, in drug businesses, they take out dictators … We need to take out the CIA.”
A suicide bombing late last year against Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan took the lives of seven CIA agents. They are heroes who were on the front lines protecting us. We should be praising them, not making false allegations.
The CIA did not invent crack cocaine and they have never been in the drug business. It is Muslim extremists who intentionally target civilians, not the CIA or the US military.
The introduction to Ron Paul’s book on foreign policy says the Cold War and the War on Terror are both a “farce”, and they were designed to justify a larger role for government. He compares the United States role in Afghanistan to “a schoolyard bully.”
Many Ron Paul supporters describe themselves as “very conservative,” but they support an agenda which has much in common with the radical left. Ron Paul advocates abolishing the Department of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act and FISA. He wants the U.S. leave NATO, the World Trade Organization and the UN, and to end all aid to Israel.
His libertarian supporters continue to gain strength in the Republican Party. Paul ran for President as a Libertarian in 1988 and in 2008 he sought the GOP nomination. His last presidential campaign raised $35 million, and he has won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The Texas Congressman is a firm isolationist and promotes many conspiracy theories. He frequently talks of the dangers of the North American Union, which does not exist. Paul is considered a champion of the “9/11 Truth” movement. They believe the NYC Twin Towers were packed with explosives. If the Congressman doesn’t agree with the Truthers amongst his followers then he should disavow them. By not doing so and continuing to call for further investigations he gives credence to their crazy theories. Many liberal activists are understandably enthusiastic about Rep. Paul. One Moveon.org group assisted in the funding and production of one of his TV ads, and the organizations website continues to promote meetings of Paul supporters.
Israel and the Middle East
Reps. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) are the only two lawmakers who voted against a resolution condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his statements calling for the destruction of Israel and genocide of the Jews. The resolution outlined the reasons why the Iranian leader was in violation of the UN Genocide Convention. In October 2009, Ron Paul and Kucinich were the only two Members of Congress to vote against H.Res. 175 condemning the government of Iran for “state-sponsored persecution of its Bahá’í minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.”
On January 9, 2009, Paul and Kucinich were once again in the minority on a 390-5 vote recognizing Israel’s “right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks” and reaffirming the U.S.’s support for Israel. He also voted against recognizing Israel’s 61st anniversary and the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Paul has missed no opportunity to vote against the U.S.-Israel relationship, and claims Palestinians are confined to a “concentration camp.”
Ron Paul is the only Republican in the House and Senate who opposes the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and he voted it against it on its 40th anniversary. For 15 years the Ron Paul Report newsletter was filled with racism. The newsletter staff included his wife and daughter, but now Paul wants us to believe that he did not know what was in a newsletter which carried his name. According to the New Republic:
In the early 1990s, newsletters attacked the ‘X-Rated Martin Luther King’ as a ‘world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours,’ ‘seduced underage girls and boys,’ and ‘made a pass at’ fellow civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy. One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that ‘Welfaria,’ ‘Zooville,’ ‘Rapetown,’ ‘Dirtburg,’ and ‘Lazyopolis’ were better alternatives. The same year, King was described as ‘a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.’ While bashing King, the newsletters had kind words for the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.
This article contains many additional damning quotes: http://www.tnr.com/print/article/politics/angry-white-man
Ron Paul is the only Republican in the House or Senate who refused to support John McCain in 2008. I sure wish a national Republican leader would step forward to condemn the many radical and dangerous statements of Ron Paul and his supporters.
I recently received critical comments from my isolationist friends Vincent Mross, Ed Wyatt, Jr., and John Smart. They were all warning about the dangers of an “American empire.” Their viewpoint represents the ideology of libertarians, liberals and paleoconservatives.
I visited 113.5 acres of the American empire where our troops are still in formation. It is the Lorraine American Cemetery, and it is an example of the foreign territory over which the American flag flies every day. It is home to 10,489 of our war dead.
We did not keep the oil wealth or land of Iraq or Kuwait. America is not taking anything from the desperately poor people of Afghanistan. The only thing we wanted in the former Yugoslavia was the end of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and our armed forces have truly been the peacemakers, not empire builders.
There are many cemeteries for the U.S. military in western Europe’s countryside. They serve not only as a final resting place for our heroes, but as stark memorials to the sacrifices the United States has made to advance and maintain freedom, democracy and human rights. These soldiers died to protect us, not for an American empire.
Since the inception of the United States of America on July 4, 1776 every generation has been called on to defend freedom and liberty. Over the years more than forty two million American men and women have served their country in time of war. More than a million have secured the blessings of liberty with their lives.
Intervention is supposed to be synonymous with exploitation. No one thought Rome was going into Gaul, where one million were killed and another million enslaved, to implant democracy and human rights. Several European nations have been empire builders, but not America. The critics are correct that U.S. military bases continue to dot the globe. We are there to keep the sea-lanes open and the terrorists under wraps.
Americans are not seeking empire but we are keeping people safe and maintaining prosperity. We overthrew Noriega, Milosevic, Mullah Omar and Saddam Hussein to put in their places freely elected leaders, not puppet regimes. We use our power to keep peace rather than to rule.