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Ron Paul on Bhutto Death

The top story on Memeorandum this morning is a piece from Little Green Footballs entitled “Ron Paul Blames US Policy for Bhutto Killing.” The author links a CNN video in which Paul says that our support for the Musharraf government “does annoy some people” and “just gives incentives for people to resort to violence.”

Hot Air’s Bryan Preston posts a much more extensive interview with Paul on Fox News:

Paul says the incident is a “grave policy failure” for the United States and demonstrates that we shouldn’t have supported Musharraf and should simply be minding our own business in Pakistan. “It’s their country, not our country.”

Paul’s foreign policy views are ridiculously simplistic for a man who aspires to the presidency of a global superpower. It’s obviously true that American foreign policy has consequences and leaves us open to blame. At the same time, the idea that most or even much of what happens in other countries is a reaction to U.S. policy is arrogant nonsense.

That said, Paul isn’t blaming American policy for Bhutto’s death. Nowhere does he say, as the LGF post claims, that “Al Qaeda is justified in being ‘annoyed'” with us — let alone that they were justified in killing Bhutto. For that matter, he’s not even saying, directly at least, that our policy was the reason she was murdered.

Instead, he’s simply arguing that we shouldn’t be involved in these places and that they should sort out their own messes. Preston’s summary is quite accurate:

[I]n Ron Paul’s world, all problems are the result of the US taking action. Any action. Anywhere. Against anyone, doing anything. In the case of Pakistan, he says we should cut off aid to our “puppet” in Pakistan and make sure not to march in there with troops.

Given the geopolitics, that’s a kindergarten foreign policy. But it’s not anti-Americanism.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    That’s OK.
    Obama laid pretty much the same charge, in his comments.. it’s all OUR fault.

    Telling, that.

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  2. DrEast says:

    “Paul’s foreign policy views are ridiculously simplistic for a man who aspires to the presidency of a global superpower.”

    Ron Paul isn’t trying to be the president of a global superpower… he’s trying to keep us from being a global superpower. We don’t have the right or the resources to be a global superpower, and attempting to be one will simply cause us to implode.

    He wants a powerful, national America, not a global superpower beholden to the globe.

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  3. Fluffy says:

    If the US announced that we did not care who ruled Pakistan, or any other Middle Eastern country, and that we would deal with any legitimate government regardless of which faction took control, and that we would no longer provide intelligence assistance or military aid to enable one faction to suppress another, a kindergarten foreign policy would be all we would need.

    The US continually makes the mistake of investing heavily in the fate of an existing leader or dominant party, and of assisting that leader or party in murdering and torturing its opponents. We do this in the name of “stability”. Unfortunately, this naturally makes the opposition hate the United States, and puts us in a position where we cannot afford to have our puppet fall. It makes any change in government that we do not orchestrate a threat to US interests. But the “instability” we see as a threat to our interests would not be such a threat if we had not involved ourselves in the first place.

    You can argue that it’s too late for that now, because we’ve been doing it for so long and have engendered so much hate that if we stop now we will reap the whirlwhind – and you’d have a solid argument. But we’re going to have to stop eventually, and Paul is just avoiding the Sunk Cost Fallacy and calling for stopping now.

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  4. usul says:

    Bhutto agreed with Paul. From an interveiw at Parade Magazine:

    Despite the corrosion of her reputation by corruption and compromise, Bhutto appears to be America’s strongest anchor in the effort to turn back the extremist Islamic tide threatening to engulf Pakistan. What would you like to tell President Bush? I ask this riddle of a woman.

    She would tell him, she replies, that propping up Musharraf’s government, which is infested with radical Islamists, is only hastening disaster. “I would say, ‘Your policy of supporting dictatorship is breaking up my country.’ I now think al-Qaeda can be marching on Islamabad in two to four years.”

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  5. Justin says:

    I concur with the previous posters. For someone to call the Congressman arrogant because of his non-intervention policy doesn’t appear to hold much water — considering much of what is happening is “directly” attributable to the current state of government that US policy has installed. On a side note, the Congressman is not saying he wants to shutoff communications with Pakistan, but rather consider a diplomatic, non-interfering effort in assisting them. I agree with many people in saying I do not want my tax dollars or military efforts being sent to Pakistan or any other country. If someone decided to do it individually, than “more power to ya”.

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  6. Mehul says:

    It is not just Ron Paul’s opinion that US involvement and support for Musharraf has given rise to terrorism in Pakistan, it was the strong opinion of Bhutto as well. See the interview with Bhutto where she clearly says so.

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  7. Michael says:

    I don’t think Ron Paul’s “foreign policy views are ridiculously simplistic”. Instead I think they are well thought-out, entirely consitutional and make a lot of sense.

    Ron Paul is saying we should understand how our foreign policy results in unintended consequences which come back and bite us and this is because we intervene in the internal affairs of other countries by either subsidising them, bombing them or invading and occupying their land. This almost always backfires on us and we suffer as a result: our nation is less safe, Americans are more likely to die and our soldiers get unnecessarily killed in these entangling alliances.

    The foreign policy that is a kindergarten foreign policy is the one that neo-cons under the Bush presidency and the U.S government of recent years have pursued.

    .
    Consider our intervention in Pakistan:

    Musharraf gets rid of the democratic government of Pakistan in a coup and becomes dictator. We support the guy and give him 10 billion dollars in aid over 8 years because he’s now our partner in the War on Terror and he’ll get Osama bin Laden for us. But he allows bin Laden roam free in the border regions of Pakistan and actually allows him escape from Tora Bora when we had him surrounded and could have captured him.
    So American taxpayers through U.S government foreign policy are subsidising a dictator who’s funding radical Islamic schools whose students make up the bulk of the Taleban who are now killing our soldiers in Afghanistan. Crazy or what!

    Now we’re thinking of getting involved again because Bhutto has been assasinated — we should learn our lesson and stay out of their internal affairs.

    .
    And what about Osama bin Laden:

    We supported and funded Osama bin Laden in the war against the Soviets in the eighties and we also funded Islamic radicals in Pakistan who then metamorphosised into the Taleban. So bin Laden and the Taleban build up a radical following in Afghanistan, get rid of the Soviets with U.S weapons, and then turn their attention to the U.S because we have military bases in Islamic Holy Land in Saudi Arabia, we take sides in the Israeli/Palestine conflict and we’ve been applying sanctions against Iraq and bombing them for over 10 years resulting in the deaths of more than 1 million Iraqis, mostly children.

    To compound the problem, we’ve gone into Iraq based on the lie that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and as a result, Al Qaeda has more supporters than ever and our boys are sitting ducks over there. We’re more threatened than we’ve ever been and the bitter irony is that bin Laden & pretty much all of the hijackers were Saudis but we support the Saudi regime because of oil and we continue to maintain bases in Saudi Arabia further fuelling the hatred against us. The Saudi regime itself is repressive, dictatorial, has a terrible human rights record and is funding radical muslims in other parts of the world. This is just plain crazy…

    .
    And consider our interventions in Iran also:

    The CIA organised a coup & overthrew the democratically elected leader of Iran in 1953 because among other things, he wanted to nationalise Iran’s oil and loosen the grip of British oil interests so that the Iran people could better benefit from their own oil.
    So we remove the guy and he eventually gets killed, we install the Shah thereby creating a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy in an Islamic country where democracy was on the verge of flourishing.

    So they hate us for meddling in their internal affairs, but we don’t stop there. We support the dictatorial Saddam regime in Iraq against Iran in a 10-year war in order to protect oil interests by giving Iraq weapons (including chemical & biological agents) which kills millions of Iranian people and further entrenches the Islamic fundamentalists in power in Iran.

    And we still haven’t learnt our lesson because neo-cons talk about pre-emptively attacking Iran using nuclear weapons because they MIGHT have a nuclear weapons programme (they don’t) and they MIGHT attack us with it sometime in the future. The democratic Presidential contenders don’t rule this out and the Republican contenders (except Dr Paul), are even worse because they actively push this crazy policy.

    .
    So Ron Paul makes sense:

    Ron Paul’s supporters understand these issues and think he’s the only sane guy in the room. U.S foreign policy now and in the recent past has been radical, crazy, and full of unintended consequences (though my 10 year-old niece could probably have forseen the disasters that would follow).

    Ron Paul is the sane, sensible guy in all of this and his non-interventionist approach where we trade & talk to people (even those we don’t like) would actually make the U.S and the world a safer place, safeguard American interests, make it less likely that radicals take over in unstable countries and it would do a better job of promoting democracy abroad. We don’t need troops in Germany, Japan or South Korea and we certainly don’t need our boys getting killed in the Middle East or potentially Pakistan. They should all come home.

    We lost 68,000 men in Vietnam before we accepted defeat and came home. But now we talk and trade with Vietnam and while they’ve still got a few problems, they are well on the way to being a peaceful westernised country — so by following a non-interventionist policy we achieved in peace what we couldn’t achieve in a pre-emptive war and the sacrifice of 68,000 young lives.

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com

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  8. John Brown says:

    A kindergarten policy ? Hardly, as to the philosophy, Bhutto’s statement in Parade Magazine says it all. You would be hard pressed to find an example of interventionist policy that has been successful (where success is judged as an improvement of conditions for the indigenous people.

    On the other hand, most candidates are lying, oh they would tell Musharaff this or that, send in the FBI and the CIA – Press the war on terror.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but there has been no confirmation that this was Al-Queda. What is kindergarten like are the people that claim this means we have to press the war on terror harder – without proof of the perpetrator – what if it was the ISI ?

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  9. Immigrant says:

    Ron Paul is the man. The US has given 10 billion to a Pakistani military dictator. The US might as well give money to Chavez or Ahmadenijad….if you ACTUALLY really believe that some of that 10 billion of your tax dollars from your paychecks to a corrupt dictator government could not get into the wrong hands or does not present the US as a scapegoat to blood thirsty muslim radicals then you seriously need to turn off the Hannity, unlearn your government issued educations and try to turn on your brains and wake up out of your obvious slumber. Paul as usual is dead on. Its nuts to me to see all the radicals in the mainstream media and in the republican party try to re-write history.

    Paul is going to win, because he’s the only one in touch with the truth. Get ready for America to start acting like America and become re-aligned with the constitution.

    By the way…I am a black immigrant Republican voter who will be voting for the only conservative Republican running for president…Ron Paul.

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  10. Well, looks like Dr. Paul’s got you beat there bub. That’s what comes from speaking before thinking, and then doing some research, and then reading some books, and then talking to other Congressmen, etc. Dr. Paul is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more informed than you are. No offsense, he’s much more informed than I am too, even though I think I’m smarter.

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  11. Jem says:

    Much of this comment thread is living proof that if you with a children’s book fiction as your understanding of a region, you end up with a kindergarten foreign policy.

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  12. Jem says:

    Make that “start with a children’s book fiction…”

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  13. True Conservative says:

    What in God’s name is going on with the Republican party? Since when did Republicans stand for a global welfare state, and making the entire planet dependent on the American taxpayer’s paycheck? We do not accept that kind of parasitic welfare culture in America, why do we want to expand it to a global scale under the illusion of ‘fighting the war on terror’? Republicans you’ve been had! Take back your paycheck’s and your country and stop the global welfare state! We already can’t afford it. Let’s get back to the constitution. Get Ron Paul in the white house!

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  14. Nick says:

    Self-determination was at the core of Paul’s arguments, and it’s a good idea. If Pakistan wants democracy sacrifices like Bhutto’s are to be expected. In the meantime the U.S. should not expend resources propping up a sham administration.

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  15. Todd Schuller says:

    Given the geopolitics, that’s a kindergarten foreign policy. But it’s not anti-Americanism.

    If I remember correctly (you are more than welcome to check these facts for accuracy) the Clinton administration played a major role in Musharraf staginging a “coup” to oust Bhutto for not doing what he wanted. The Bush administration then encourages Bhutto to return to Pakistan to get rid of Musharraf for not doing his bidding.

    Hmmm, seems to me this fits in the category of “entangling alliance”. Appears to be that kindergarten foreign policy you speak about. Anti-Americanism? Some people just don’t get it. How about we try the constitution for a change?

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  16. Dean Cavanagh says:

    On the point of simplicity. There really is a choice here. 1. The US continues to be the Worlds Policeman at the expense of overwhelming and un-serviceable debt, loss of civil liberties, burgeoning entanglements and a ceaseless culture of fear or 2. The US concentrates on what’s good for its people.

    If Ron Paul sounds “simplistic” it’s because he’s talking sense and not spinning to fit into the MSM’s agenda.

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  17. Joe F. Yourself says:

    Blame=Foreign_Policy.____Ron_Paul_is_correct____again.

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  18. independent says:

    Paul’s foreign policy views are ridiculously simplistic for a man who aspires to the presidency of a global superpower

    Funny, I thought Ron Paul wanted to be president of a constitutional republic.

    When you send billions to a dictator, you sort of share culpability. If you want to talk about “kindergarten” foreign policy, how about attacking Iraq, backing the Saudi monarchy and Pakistani dictator, and sabre-rattling against the only governments in the region that support forms of democracy – in the name of democracy!

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  19. Pliny says:

    I find it hilarious that the author concludes, without any reasoning or facts to justify the conclusion, that Dr. Paul has a “kindergarten” foreign policy. Right now we’ve got a group think mentality that heavy interventionism is the only solution even as incidents like Bhutto’s assassination illustrate that our policy has been a demonstrable failure. The only kindergarten foreign policy is the insanity of doing the same thing perpetually whilst expecting different results.

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  20. Michael says:

    You would be hard pressed to find an example of interventionist policy that has been successful (where success is judged as an improvement of conditions for the indigenous people.

    France intervened in America in 1776.

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  21. Bithead says:

    If the US announced that we did not care who ruled Pakistan, or any other Middle Eastern country, and that we would deal with any legitimate government regardless of which faction took control, and that we would no longer provide intelligence assistance or military aid to enable one faction to suppress another, a kindergarten foreign policy would be all we would need.

    All of which would last for aother 30 seconds. What you’re preaching here is suicide.
    Paulbots… never before have so many braincells gone dormant.

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  22. Bithead says:

    You would be hard pressed to find an example of interventionist policy that has been successful (where success is judged as an improvement of conditions for the indigenous people.

    Iraq.
    Romainia
    Bosnia.
    Etc.

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  23. Danny says:

    When the solution is simple, God is answering.
    Albert Einstein

    Let’s not forget, that the most elegant mathematical solutions, also happen to be the most simple. So when you claim that Ron Paul’s answers are too simple, I simply hide behind the coattails of such simple-minded people as Albert Einstein.

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  24. Dale Legan says:

    Liar,, Ron Paul said verbatim that it was 100% the terrorist fault, but that our policy of installing dictators over elected governments does give the terrorist a incentive to recruit.

    The lazy, inept and incompetent reporting continues.

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  25. Dave Schuler says:

    Noninterventionism is a will o’ the wisp, as the Chinese, who espouse the policy, are discovering, unless when one says “noninterventionism” one means isolationism and autarky. Autarky, as every country that’s tried it has discovered, is the path to poverty and misery.

    Without isolationism and autarky noninterventionism means turning U. S. foreign policy completely over to U. S. corporations. Yes, even more than it is now. If you think we won’t collectively be blamed for the misdeeds of U. S. corporations severally, you’ve paid no attention whatever to the history of the last 60 years.

    Appealing as it may be noninterventionism just isn’t an available alternative. Modern process technology makes it as dead as the dodo. The actual alternatives are between being involved in the world and getting our hands dirty or disconnecting from the rest of the world into Fortress America, an expensive and difficult proposition with modern transportation and communications.

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  26. Dale Legan says:

    KISS ~ Keep it simple stupid. Complex NEVER works.

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  27. truthseeker says:

    Some folks have swallowed the Bush war propaganda so deep I am not sure they can be saved.

    Bush swaggers, as do the other candidates (except Dr. Paul) “Why we can save any country’s problems – just send them money and more guns- and if that doesn’t work – just send more money and more guns.”

    And if that doesn’t work just send over Condi with promises of more borrowed money and more guns.

    Its simple as kindergarten math folks.

    Can you believe we are the largest debtor nation in the world and we have wasted billions on Pakistan’s puppet dictator ?

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  28. Samurai33 says:

    I just think that the American doesn’t deserve Ron Paul yet, the nation need to pay for a deeper price for all it had been doing

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  29. Michael says:

    If I remember correctly (you are more than welcome to check these facts for accuracy) the Clinton administration played a major role in Musharraf staginging a “coup” to oust Bhutto for not doing what he wanted.

    Musharraf ousted Sharif (whom the US supported), not Bhutto, she was already in exile when Musharraf came to power.

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  30. Michael says:

    Let’s not forget, that the most elegant mathematical solutions, also happen to be the most simple. So when you claim that Ron Paul’s answers are too simple, I simply hide behind the coattails of such simple-minded people as Albert Einstein.

    There is a world of difference between simple and simplistic. Relativity is a “simple” solution, turtles all the way down is a “simplistic” solution.

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  31. Michael says:

    Iraq.
    Romainia
    Bosnia.
    Etc.

    By “Iraq” I assume you mean Kuwait, as our current intervention in Iraq has not yet resulted in an improvement for the indigenous people.

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  32. A Sheep says:

    I love reading Ron Paul Supporter comments in the morning. They are the most educated people. I learn so much from them.

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  33. Bill Moore says:

    I will not be voting for Ron Paul as king of the world. I do not think he has what it takes to be a world dictator.

    I do however think he has what it takes to be the president of these United States. He has my vote for president of the US.

    Is that what the other candidates are running for?

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  34. Hal says:

    I just love the fact that they swarm any post even obliquely mentioning R. Paul. There’s simply no way this dude is going to resist running as a third party candidate. His powerful army of techno-libertarians with lots of disposable income would kill him and then still force his corpse to register and run as an independent.

    Man, 2008 is going to rock.

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  35. Hal says:

    Woops. odd dupe. Must be a WOW bug in the simulation.

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  36. 1440 minutes says:

    Thank you for explaining that Dr. Paul is not anti-American. A few clarifications:

    1. Dr. Paul clearly indicated that the U.S. bears “zero” responsibility for Bhutto’s death, and that the murderers bear “100%” responsibility.

    2. Dr. Paul said that we should not help dictators. There are many reasons:

    a. We violate the founders’ advice when we get involved in entangling alliances.

    b. Blowback. Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit, believes that Dr. Paul’s foreign is the only one that makes sense in this dangerous world. If you believe that Dr. Paul has a “kindergarten foreign policy,” then perhaps you know more about geopolitics and terrorism than the former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit does.

    c. Sustainability. Even if it was a good idea to police the world, we couldn’t possibly afford to continue doing it. We owe $9 trillion to countries like China and Saudi Arabia, and the debt is growing fast. Nine trillion dollars works out to $30,000 of debt for every man, woman, and child in America. And it’s growing fast. I can’t sit back and leave this huge debt to my children. Can you?

    God bless.

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  37. Henry says:

    Why is so difficult to understand that meddling in their internal affairs makes them angry?

    Why can’t people comprehend sending our tax money to support the flavor of the week has unintended consequences?

    Why is not medding considered weak? He’s advocating trade, travel and diplomacy.

    Dr. Paul’s best point is if they were doing that here we wouldn’t stand for it.

    If we keep doing the same thing, why do you expect a different result?

    The reality is Ron Paul has crossover appeal. And with so many candidates in the field, his chances are very good.

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  38. David L Nilsson says:

    Paul is pragmatic, because most of our blundering interventions since 1945 have more or less failed, and principled because he sticks to the Constitution, whose authors foresaw that such interventions would fail.

    Nobody ever nailed the delusions of “last superpower” thinking better than Washington, Jefferson et al. The idea that because you do business with other countries you must reserve the right to push them around or colonize them for their own good– phooey.

    Hell, we’ve been intermittently trying to teach Haiti its manners for a century, and where did that get it? So how did we ever think we could fix Afghanistan or Iraq in a matter of months?

    Besides, in case you hadn’t noticed, we ourselves are now being economically taken prisoner– by countries such as China and Japan which don’t spend a ton on defense and have bases everywhere, but which stick to their capitalist knitting. China has procured a whole lot of influence, and has a mammoth fighting fund for buying foreign devils’ companies, while remaining one of the least interventionist big countries on the planet. We spend a bunch and create enemies everywhere.

    It’s a measure of how far some have strayed from the real American Way that a USAF vet of rock-ribbed integrity who has preached the Founders’ wisdom all his days should be dismissed by callow chickenhawks who get a buzz out of pretending that we can be GloboCop.

    Give it up and come home, there’s a hell of a lot wrong in our own backyard without worrying about Pakistan.

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  39. mildred simpson says:

    Dr. Paul is right as always. 10 billion in squandered aid to prop up a dictatorship. What a waste. The WAR MACHINE media are so hoping that the sheeple will run into the waiting arms of Romney and the other warmongers.

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  40. Michael says:

    Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit, believes that Dr. Paul’s foreign is the only one that makes sense in this dangerous world.

    Isn’t that a bit like touting Michael Brown supporting Ron Paul’s disaster recovery policies?

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  41. Jayson says:

    [I]n Ron Paul’s world, all problems are the result of the US taking action. Any action. Anywhere. Against anyone, doing anything. In the case of Pakistan, he says we should cut off aid to our “puppet” in Pakistan and make sure not to march in there with troops.

    No, in his world, problems are caused by ANY government taking any action, anywhere, except those actions which explicitly preserve liberty. Which happens to be the purpose of the U.S. Constitution.

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  42. Michael says:

    we ourselves are now being economically taken prisoner– by countries such as China and Japan which don’t spend a ton on defense and have bases everywhere, but which stick to their capitalist knitting.

    Seriously, you guys must be either constantly high, or completely ignorant about anything in the world that isn’t Ron Paul.

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  43. Dan Alba says:

    Well done, Paul supporters, US patriots, and those with at least “kindergarten” common sense.

    Another hit-piece fraud perpetrated by another state-suckling pundit has been completely smashed. And as usual, it was all too easy.

    “Outside the Beltway” is all too accurate — as in, Tel Aviv or Islamabad.

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  44. Hal says:

    This is so cool. They keep swarming.

    R.P. in 2008! You guys keep plugging away!

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  45. Chris says:

    Have you ever heard:

    KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.

    This view that our foreign policy somehow needs to be complex because we need to force our interests all over the world is the kindergarten view. What is wrong with the foreign policy of Switzerland? I keep hearing that from “journalists” ehem, like that is somehow a bad thing.

    A simple policy of trade, commerce, travel, friendship and embassies and diplomacy instead of nation building seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    Anyway, it does not matter. WE CANT AFFORD IT ANYMORE!! So what is the point of the argument? That we should continue to fund this foreign policy at all costs and the expense of our children’s children?

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  46. Matt says:

    Parade Magazine will be publishing an interview with Benazir Buhtto on January 6th and this is the most interesting part:

    What would you like to tell President Bush? I ask this riddle of a woman.

    She would tell him, she replies, that propping up Musharraf’s government, which is infested with radical Islamists, is only hastening disaster. “I would say, ‘Your policy of supporting dictatorship is breaking up my country.’ I now think al-Qaeda can be marching on Islamabad in two to four years.”

    The interview is here:

    http://www.parade.com/benazir_bhutto_interview.html

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  47. Todd Schuller says:

    Michael:)

    My bad,

    http://www.historymania.com/american_history/Pakistan

    RP08

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  48. ACUTS says:

    I find it quite funny how all the pundits and political hacks are in such a deep state of denial of what our foreign policy does. I call it blatant child like views on the world and the US involvement in such. The ISI(Inter-Services Intelligence) agency has been fully funded by the US since the late 70’s. The ISI is an extension of Musharraf.. It along with the military helps to suppress democracy in Pakistan. Musharraf is a military dictator fully supported by the US. Both of these groups and individuals cannot stand Bhutto. She would have been the equivalent of the Democrats in the U.S, which means a lot of business as usual, she was from the wealthy elite, but that does not mean she should be murdered because some US backed thug and his terrorist supporting comrades felt threatened by her. The American people are slowly starting to get the consequences of the US governments actions and who we fund and support. As soon as I saw it happen I knew she was murdered by the Musharraf group. One of her own aides said as much. It was pretty obvious, yet the media here immediately spun it as Al Qaeda terrorism and it further perpetuates why we have to stay in the mid east. If only President Reagan was her.. 1980-83 Regan who would pull our soldiers out and leave those people to their business. Our further involvement just muddies it up even more. I am glad Paul is talking some sense to the public and talking heads.

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  49. Adam B says:

    How did so many become so brainwashed and so fearful. Terrorism is a military tactic, NOT an enemy! We have terrorists that are U.S. citiznes (anyone remember Timothy McVeigh)?

    If a U.S. citizen blows up a building, should our army attack our own government because they are affiliated with the citizen and “housed” him?

    There will always be wackos and violence, but “one tragic event” (i.e. 9/11) should not force us to restrict the liberties of those who had nothing to do with it. In other words, the Patriot Act is an inappropriate response.

    Looking into the reasons why the attack happened, doing better police work, securing our borders, and paying attention to our own gathered intelligence might work, however.

    Ron Paul is a voice of reason in a sea of insanity.

    Those who murder innocent people in the name of freedom are evil and unAmerican.

    Ron Paul 2008!

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  50. Chris says:

    we ourselves are now being economically taken prisoner– by countries such as China and Japan which don’t spend a ton on defense and have bases everywhere, but which stick to their capitalist knitting.

    Seriously, you guys must be either constantly high, or completely ignorant about anything in the world that isn’t Ron Paul.

    Seriously, YOU must not keep up with current events. We are borrowing money form China at an ENORMOUS rate. Almost 3 bil a day. They just bought a considerable stake in one of our largest financial institutions.

    If China wanted to “attack” us they would need NO military. All they would have to do is say “sorry, were not taking the dollar anymore and were not loaning you anymore money”.

    I am pretty sure you must be high or ignorant of what is really going on.

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  51. Michael says:

    I wonder how much money James makes by displaying advertisements to all these paulbots. It might explain the recent increase in Ron Paul related stories here at OTB.

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  52. Michael says:

    Chris,
    I was specifically referring to your comment about China being a capitalist nation, not that they pose a threat to us militarily or economically.

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  53. […] James at OTB: The top story on Memeorandum this morning is a piece from Little Green Footballs entitled “Ron Paul Blames US Policy for Bhutto Killing.” The author links a CNN video in which Paul says that our support for the Musharraf government “does annoy some people” and “just gives incentives for people to resort to violence.” […]

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  54. Michael says:

    Chris,
    Also, your comment about China not spending a ton on defense show a lack of knowledge of the country, which spends a larger percentage of its GDP on the military than does the USA.

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  55. Todd Schuller says:

    GDP facts/figures

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html#Military

    Military
    Military branches:
    People’s Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (includes airborne forces), and Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force); People’s Armed Police (PAP); Reserve and Militia Forces (2006)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with 24-month service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2007)
    Manpower available for military service:
    males age 18-49: 342,956,265
    females age 18-49: 324,701,244 (2005 est.)
    Manpower fit for military service:
    males age 18-49: 281,240,272
    females age 18-49: 269,025,517 (2005 est.)
    Manpower reaching military service age annually:
    males age 18-49: 13,186,433
    females age 18-49: 12,298,149 (2005 est.)
    Military expenditures – percent of GDP:
    4.3% (2006)

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html#Military

    Military
    Military branches:
    Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard; note – Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy
    Military service age and obligation:
    18 years of age; 17 years of age with written parental consent (2006)
    Manpower available for military service:
    males age 18-49: 67,742,879
    females age 18-49: 67,070,144 (2005 est.)
    Manpower fit for military service:
    males age 18-49: 54,609,050
    females age 18-49: 54,696,706 (2005 est.)
    Manpower reaching military service age annually:
    males age 18-49: 2,143,873
    females age 18-49: 2,036,201 (2005 est.)
    Military expenditures – percent of GDP:
    4.06% (2005 est.)

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  56. Vicariously says:

    Ron Paul is just trying to return America to the policy it was founded on. Didn’t the founding fathers of this country, whom we claim to hold in high esteem, warn us about getting involved in the problems and issues of other nations on the other side of the world?

    We are repeating the mistakes of the British empire and the American empire will collapse under its own weight just like the British empire did.

    Couldn’t all that money spent on foreign policy be better spent at home? Wouldn’t it bolster local American economies if we brought all those U.S. troops stationed in over 700+ bases around the world back home to be stationed on American soil?

    Wake up America! It is time for a change. Ron Paul is the current messenger, but the message he brings will not go away. Change is on the horizon, guide the change, or it will guide you.

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  57. J707 says:

    lol, Ron Paul has a “kindergarten foreign policy?”

    Of course he does. Just think of all those kindergarteners who agree(d) with him…you know:
    – Benazir Bhutto (RIP)
    – Michael Scheuer, head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit
    – Milton Friedman
    …and the biggest kingergarteners of all…
    – More active duty/retired millitary servicemen and women than any other candidate

    I wonder what particularly enlightening foreign policy insights you all have that all these^ people dont?

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  58. Bithead says:

    By “Iraq” I assume you mean Kuwait, as our current intervention in Iraq has not yet resulted in an improvement for the indigenous people.

    No, I mean Iraq.
    Your denial of the massive progress being made there, doesn’t cut it. Indeed, it confirms my suspicions.

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  59. Speaker73 says:

    At the same time, the idea that most or even much of what happens in other countries is a reaction to U.S. policy is arrogant nonsense.

    It is not arrogant nonsense. If you travel around the world and talk to people on the street, you will find that they have a very keen awareness of U.S. policy and its perceived consequences on them. Because we are the superpower, we tend to have very little awareness of other countries’ policies, but it is the opposite for other countries. Believe me, the rioters on the street in Pakistan today can give you a timeline of past U.S. interference in their country in striking detail. Whether its merited or not, when things go wrong in those countries, our litany of perceived sins makes us a very easy and convenient target. Ask a Pakistani about France or Spain or Japan, and they will shrug. Ask them about the United States, and they will definitely have an opinion.

    There is no reason we cannot have a more humble foreign policy. Heck, that was Bush’s original campaign platform. We have made a tremendous mistake by interfering around the world over the last 50 years. It will not be easy to reverse this instinct for interference, but the sooner we do so, the stronger the country will be in the long-term.

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  60. Michael says:

    Todd Schuller:
    I stand corrected, although your stats are from different years, I believe mine were too. Either way though, the idea that China spends significantly less on its military than does the USA is incorrect.

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  61. Michael says:

    No, I mean Iraq.
    Your denial of the massive progress being made there, doesn’t cut it. Indeed, it confirms my suspicions.

    I haven’t heard about much progress being made in terms of the day to day living conditions of Iraqis, though much has been made about progress between the fall of Saddam and now. Still, though, Kuwait is a much better candidate for your list of positive interventions.

    Oh, and you suspicions of what?

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  62. Michael says:

    Ask a Pakistani about France or Spain or Japan, and they will shrug. Ask them about the United States, and they will definitely have an opinion.

    There is no reason we cannot have a more humble foreign policy.

    And what makes you think that having a more humble foreign policy will change their opinions of us? We will still be a superpower, we will still be one of the biggest foreign influences in their lives. As Dave pointed out, it will either by our government or our businesses.

    The only alternative is to find another country for them to anchor their hate on (which is what we did for the British and French in the middle east, you’re welcome guys), but that won’t stop them from attacking us if they have the chance (as attacks in Britain and Spain have shown).

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  63. Scott says:

    I have come to realize that the only people that don’t understand Ron Paul’s foreign policy are those who have never left the States much less their own state. Our foreign policy is absurd. We stick our nose in too many other peoples business. The world hates the American Government. After spending 4 month last year in Europe, I heard much criticism of our government… and down right hatred . If Ron Paul does not get elected, our government will continue to fall and be hated, which does not matter much since the American people will survive, just not the American government.

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  64. Michael says:

    Didn’t the founding fathers of this country, whom we claim to hold in high esteem, warn us about getting involved in the problems and issues of other nations on the other side of the world?

    Some did and some didn’t, which is exactly why you even know they talked about that, because one group wanted to form foreign alliances and one didn’t. Besides the issue of ending British rule over the colonies, the founding fathers didn’t have a consensus on much at all. Political ideologies back then were much more diverse than they are now, there never was one singular set of policies on which they all agreed.

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  65. Speaker73 says:

    No, I mean Iraq.
    Your denial of the massive progress being made there, doesn’t cut it. Indeed, it confirms my suspicions.

    Improving from what, Bithead? Six months ago, perhaps. But way back to Saddam Hussein? For some people, like the Kurds, the answer is probably yes. But for the vast majority of the country the war has been a complete disaster.

    September 2007 — More than 1,000,000 Iraqis murdered

    I was for the war, incidentally. But at some point you have to look at the breadth of evidence and admit that we screwed up royally. And that it is probably not just a case of mismanagement. It was a fundamental flaw in the underlying philosophy that got us involved.

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  66. Speaker73 says:

    Michael,

    Of course it will change their opinions of us. We were the “white hats” for the world for the second half of the 20th century. But in most cases, it was not because we got military involved, but because we preached freedom and human rights. Now, we are still preaching that gospel, but our actions undermine our words.

    If we disappeared from the scene, most of these people would revert to hating their own governments. There would be some residual resentment for a while, but I think you would find that our absence from the scene would moderate opinions very quickly.

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  67. Todd Schuller says:

    Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

    — James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

    Military Spending by Nation

    http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/ArmsTrade/Spending.asp

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  68. rhys says:

    China spends slightly more by GDP, but their GDP is 1/10 the United States. Do you think a military funded with 60 billion per year can compete with a military funded by 600 billion per year? We have military solutions to questions that China can’t afford to ask. We have the ability to dominate every single theater of possibility anywhere in the world for periods of time that no other country can possibly match.

    But, when we give foreign aid, it is always under the pretense that they support American intentions. How do we feel, when foreign nations fund our politicians? What if we were a poor nation? How would we feel if someone were able to run as a Chinese backed candidate, and was offering to double or triple or quadruple the military budget without raising taxes or borrowing money? Don’t you think that the Communist Party would be more popular in the US, if China offered to pay the income tax for Americans in our stead if we elected a certain portion of Communist Party members to our Congress and Senate? Don’t you think that those who are against the Communist Party would object to this foreign intervention?

    Our money foments dissent, radicalizes opposing forces, and breeds violence.

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  69. David Monk says:

    For every reaction there is an equal an opposite reaction, claims physics. Love thy neighbor as thyself, to which most religions agree. Even the CIA calls unintended consequences of covert action “blow-back”.

    We now have a foreign policy of pre-emptive war; we have troops in 130 countries out of 190 and a national debt of nine trillion-dollar and rising.

    If history is to be ignored and the principles of our society are to be thrown out. We American’s will deserve the fate of the ignorant.

    I hope for change and Dr. Ron Paul seems the only one who will drop the political veil and who stands up and says, “The emperor wears no clothes.” It a funny twist is not the foreign policy that does this for Dr. Paul, it’s the monetary policy that does it.

    You can follow the foreign policy all day and you’ll find it’s irrelevant if there’s no money to pay for it. It is truly the real oil keeping the machine of global tampering alive. Even Sean Combs knows, “it’s all about the Benjamin’s baby.”

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  70. gorak says:

    We have thousands of nuclear warheads, an air force and navy that can interdict any lift, so why are we staking our security in all this foreign involvement?

    9/11 was a tragedy, but if we gave guns to pilots then the raid would have failed. The required tactical responses to stop those raids are quite minimal, we just have to run the airlines like the Israeli’s do. Note that the Israelis, who stock guns on their planes, have never had a succesful hijacking.

    So lets just relax and enjoy the security that our thousands of nuclear warheads give us. Let’s also open our minds a bit to how we might have actually stopped 9/11, and consider how that has absolutely nothing to do with making Empire.

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  71. Mark Jaquith says:

    Paul’s foreign policy views are ridiculously simplistic for a man who aspires to the presidency of a global superpower.

    That’s his whole point: he doesn’t think we should be a “global superpower” that interferes (politically and militarily) with the operations of other countries. He doesn’t buy into the “world police” or “manifest destiny: world tour” view of America. It’s ridiculous that candidates for the presidency of the United States are being quizzed on how they’d run the affairs of foreign nations. On how they’d “handle” Iraq or Iran or Pakistan.

    [I]n Ron Paul’s world, all problems are the result of the US taking action. Any action. Anywhere. Against anyone, doing anything.

    Brian Preston lives in a fantasy world where the same government that fucks up everything it touches on U.S. soil can suddenly suspend historical precedent and make the world a better place by interfering with the operations of foreign nations. I’ll take a “kindergarten”-esque “mind our own business” approach over a “Puff, the Magic Country” approach any day of the week.

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  72. JohnMatthews says:

    “And the men who loan money to governments, so called, for the purpose of enabling the latter to rob, enslave, and murder their people, are among the greatest villains that the world has ever seen. And they as much deserve to be hunted and killed (if they cannot otherwise be got rid of) as any slave traders, robbers, or pirates that ever lived.”

    – Lysander Spooner

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  73. Red says:

    “Ron Paul isn’t trying to be the president of a global superpower… he’s trying to keep us from being a global superpower.”

    Close, but actually he’s trying to preserve our constitutional republic as we become a still further compromised, un-american & completely bankrupt police-state-superpower(empire) – that is, if we can survive the coming economic collapse(think full on economic depression well beyond anything seen in 1930s). His main focus should be yours – the Fed. Res.(fiat currency) is the Head of the Hydra – the Military-Indust.-Complex that is profiting from all of our political/econ/military actions overseas. To profit & control, the system must liquidate. In case you haven’t noticed, our republic/freedoms/bank accounts/environment/way of life here at home are already in the liquidation process. Pull your money/wealth/assets out of the Fed. Res. banks/system now or loose the rest.
    Word to your moms, muthers. -R

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  74. Red says:

    Holy crap, that Lysander Spooner quote is fantas-matically right on. The older generations really knew the fundamentals. Hell, it’s even the main theme in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It’s only been the last 60yrs or so that we’re so damned ignorant of what fake money & banks are doing to us. Yaow!
    & to the guy near above crying sadly for the gov’t – “if a man cannot be trusted to govern himself, how can we trust him to govern others?”

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  75. LeightonW says:

    Pakistan has only short-range ballistic missiles, which are limited to under 1000 km and are therefore incapable of reaching anywhere in the western world.

    More on my blog: leightonweese.squarespace.com

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  76. Michael says:

    I think that a little Kindergarten policy is exactly whats needed.

    All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

    These are the things I learned:

    * Share everything.
    * Play fair.
    * Don’t hit people.
    * Put things back where you found them.
    * Clean up your own mess.
    * Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
    * Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
    * Wash your hands before you eat.
    * Flush.
    * Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
    * Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
    * Take a nap every afternoon.
    * When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
    * Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
    * Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
    * And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

    Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

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  77. poetryman69 says:

    Ron Paul is often interviewed and financially supported by the so called “9-11 truther” crowd. According to them, Muslims never do anything wrong. They blame all terrorism first on the US, then Israel, the Jews, then blacks. They sound like either stealth Nazis or stealth Klansmen or both. The “9/11 truthers” spend a lot of time commiserating with racial separatists over the plight of Aryans and tax cheats. If Ron Paul lies down with dogs, he gets up with fleas.

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  78. Todd Schuller says:

    Michael, for now we all still have a say in what takes place in America. All may be lost if we do not get our own house in order.

    I wish you well.

    Todd Schuller
    RP08

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  79. Bob says:

    poetryman69,

    Do you really think this guilt by association is gonna work? Even an open minded Jew will
    usually have enough intelligence to overcome
    his feelings of persecution and see through
    your ploy and recognize the genuine article
    like Ron Paul when he sees and listens to him.

    So the question is…who is your intended audience???

    Wait…I know who your intended audience is.

    People like Yitzak Rabin’s assasin. I understand
    he has recently had a son who needs your guidance. You need to nurture the kid in case Israel ever produces another great leader for peace like Rabin for your ilk to kill.

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  80. Adam says:

    Has anyone noticed how Chris Mathews goes out of his way not to mention Ron Paul on his show, or show his name on charts regarding polls (often showing ones where he scores lower).

    If Ron Paul comes in 3 rd in Iowa I’m sure he will turn this into a two person race at that point. But what will Chris do if Ron Paul comes in 1st or 2nd?

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  81. ArmaniAce says:

    “Seriously, you guys must be either constantly high, or completely ignorant about anything in the world that isn’t Ron Paul.”

    Very intuitive comment Michael, you made so much sense when you said… uh… well yea. Im really seeing alot of one dimensional retorts when it comes down to it all, and its really childlike. Better luck next time?

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  82. Ron Paul on Bhutto Death …

    You’ve been kicked (a good thing) – Trackback from ConservativeKicks.com…

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