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article imageOp-Ed: Why Ron Paul is right on Iran, why Michele Bachmann is wrong

By Andrew Moran     Dec 18, 2011 in Politics
Des Moines - The last two-hour Iowa debate saw former House Speaker Newt Gingrich being attacked, former Governor Mitt Romney defending himself and former Governor Jon Huntsman proclaiming his conservatism. But one moment changed everything: Iran.
Digital Journal reported Sunday about the latest grassroots video that defends Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s foreign policy stance. It highlights the issues of blowback, foreign resentment and many experts asserting what the three-time presidential candidate has been talking about all along.
You have probably heard this quite a lot by the Republican faithful: “I like Ron Paul on most of the issues, but his foreign policy scares me.” Or even the mind-numbing: “I would vote for Ron Paul, but I don’t think he can win.” Neither of the aforementioned makes any sense.
This week, the last Iowa GOP debate was held, which is the last one until the Iowa Caucuses are held on Jan. 3. The media has already exclaimed that if the libertarian-leaning Republican wins Iowa, it doesn’t matter – of course if Newt Gingrich wins then it would be a completely different story.
There was one key moment during Thursday’s debate that put the Republican Party into perspective. It wasn’t “Newt Romney’s” position on mandated health care. It wasn’t Gingrich’s lobbying. It wasn’t Texas Governor Rick Perry’s comparison to Tim Tebow. It also wasn’t former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s history in the senate.
In the second half of the debate, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann criticized Dr. Paul’s “dangerous answer” on Iran. As usual, Bachmann, akin to the rest of her GOP colleagues, promoted war propaganda against Iran, which is reminiscent to what the world heard regarding Iraq.
The Fox News moderator asked if Paul would be “running left of President Obama on the issue of Iran?” Paul responded: “But I'd be running with the American people, because it would be a much better policy. For you to say that there is some scientific evidence and some people arguing that maybe in a year they might have a weapon, there's a lot more saying they don't have it.”
The best-selling author continued his non-interventionist message, but Bachmann later stated: “And with all due respect to Ron Paul, I think I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one that we just heard from Ron Paul.”
As most of the mainstream media and the Washington establishment, Bachmann reiterated the talking points that Iran’s goal is to “wipe our ally, Israel, off the face of the map,” “they will use it [nuclear weapon] against the United States of America” and “extend jihad across the world and eventually set up a worldwide caliphate.”
Similar to four years ago when the congressman slapped Mayor Rudy Giuliani with sound logic, Paul said:
- He would like to reduce nuclear weapons worldwide. “Obviously, I would like to see a lot less nuclear weapons. I -- I don't want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I would like to reduce them, because there would be less chance of war.”
- Muslim radicals attack the U.S. because they are bombing them. “Do they go to Switzerland and Sweden?”
- Should the U.S. start a war over a drone? “What is the whole world about the drone being in Iran? And we're begging and pleading, and how are we going to start a war to get this drone back? Why were we flying the drone over Iran? Why do we have to bomb so many countries? Why are we in -- have 900 bases, 130 countries, and we're totally bankrupt? How are you going to rebuild the military when we have no money? How are we going to take care of the people?”
With passion and intellectual oppugn, Paul called this “wild goal” of initiating another war with Iran in the name of national defense as dangerous. He added that the danger is actually the U.S. “overreacting.”
Bachmann responded that the biggest danger would be the “greatest under-reaction” in history.
Paul is correct when he says they are “dramatizing” this whole issue.
In Iraq, the war has killed more than a million Iraqis, thousands of American lives have been lost and many more injured – don’t forget about the amount of money spent on the endeavor. Indeed, you cannot solve these issues by going to war because it establishes resentment, retaliation and blowback.
Of course, there is the ever important question of: then what?
Let’s just say, for arguments sake, a NATO-led mission begun. The U.S., Canada, Great Britain and others launch a nuclear attack on Iran. Many lives lost, many more lives endangered and the incumbent government has been wiped out.
Then what happens? Should there be permanent military bases in Iran? A strong Western presence? What about the oil?
What Bachmann fails to realize is that the world is broke. Economies of the Western world are facing severe debt issues – the U.S. alone has $15 trillion in national debt and $110 trillion in unfunded liabilities and expenditures.
What she also doesn’t seem to understand is that Iran is not going to attack Israel or the U.S. because both nations have a strong nuclear arsenal. Not to mention that there would be an immediate response by two or more parties.
Another point that the Tea Party figure doesn’t fathom is that a worldwide caliphate will never be created. Does anyone think that Russia, China, Great Britain, Canada or Australia will let that happen? This is simple warmongering on the part of Bachmann.
Much of this election has been about candidates tergiversating on the issues. Although it is important to have a clear position on the issues, I wish much of these candidates would flip flop on their foreign policy.
“You can solve the problems if we follow our constitution and go to war only when we declare the war, win them and get them over with instead of this endless fighting and this endless attitude that we have enemy all around the world,” concluded Paul in one of his final remarks of the night.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Ron paul, 2012 republican primaries, Iran, Michele bachmann
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