FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
[NOTE: Most Americans initially became aware of Andy Martin in 2008 because of his relentless efforts to secure the release of Barack Obama’s secret Hawaiian birth certificate. But Andy Martin has over forty years of familiarity with Asia and the Middle East; he is regarded overseas as one of America’s most respected independent foreign policy, military and intelligence analysts. Andy first went to Libya and Egypt exactly forty years ago, in 1971. In 1979 and 1980 he was in Iran and Afghanistan during the U. S. Embassy hostage crisis. His analysis of the terrorist threat during that period was a leading-edge prediction of what Americans faced in the future. After the ill-fated invasion of Iraq in 2003 he lived in Baghdad and correctly anticipated both our policy failures and successes.]
(PALM BEACH) (September 14, 2011) Lately the word “treason” has been getting a workout in the Republican presidential primaries.
First Texas Governor Rick Perry suggested the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board would be guilty of treason if he manipulated the economy for political motives. The implication was obvious despite Perry’s subsequent denials.
Monday night former Governor John Huntsman returned the favor by suggesting Perry’s claim the Mexico-United states border could not be fenced off was “borderline” treason.
And then there is Ron Paul.
Let’s start with the positive. I like Ron Paul. And I probably agree with Ron Paul on 80% of the issues, 80% of the way he views an issue. But Paul usually loses me when he goes the last 20% and comes up with a solution to a problem that is irrational or impractical.
Paul complains he is not getting enough media attention. On the contrary, I would say he is getting too much. It is time to drop Paul from national debates and to substitute someone who has a more nuanced view of the world (how about me?).
Paul’s remarks Monday night bordered on treasonous. Paul suggested that because the Saudi Arabian government invited the United States to station troops there as part of the operation to remove the Iraqi Army from Iraq in 1990-1991, Al-Qaeda was justified in attacking the United States on 9/11. In other words, because the Saudi government made a governmental decision, a group of private individuals were licensed by their religious beliefs to question the Saudi decision by declaring war on the United States. Paul’s argument is a crackpot claim.
Likewise, Paul ignores the reality that Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were enemies (President George W. Bush and V.P. Dick Cheney also ignored that reality). Paul claims that because of the quarantine imposed on Iraq by the United Nations, Osama bin Laden was authorized to attack the United States. This is also a crackpot claim.
Paul claimed Monday night the United States had killed “hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.” Prior to 9/11. Another crackpot claim. Large numbers of Iraqis suffered because of Saddam Hussein's defiance of the United Nations, but the United States was very restrained in its military action. At a time when many in his administration wanted to take Baghdad and remove Saddam, President George H. W. Bush refrained from doing so in 1991 and allowed Saddam to remain in power.
Where does Paul get his facts?
It would seem to me that mischaracterizing United States military and political history, on a national platform, and conveying these false claims to a world audience where Al-Qaeda can then repeat them, is a classic version of treason, certainly more treasonous that Rick Perry’s claim we can’t build a border fence in Texas.
Monday night Ron Paul was giving aid and comfort to Al-Qaeda and every jihadi who lives in a delusional world where his religion gives him the right to wage war on behalf of his God. The eccentric poet Ezra Pound was indicted for treason after World War II for Ron Paul-style remarks. Comparing Paul to Ezra Pound is a stretch, but not that much of a stretch. Paul’s comments at the CNN debate were toxic. Ron Paul is morphing into the Tokyo Rose of the Republican Party.
As I said at the start of these comments, Ron Paul and I are usually on the same side of an issue. To start, I was agitating against our policies in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006 (and long before then) when administration apologists blindly wanted more war instead of an imperfect peace. (I also supported President Bush’s “surge.”) I certainly understand that there is frustration and resentment around the world concerning many of our military and diplomatic policies. Many Americans are also unhappy. But the fact that foreigners disagree with U. S. policy does not entitle them to commit mass murder in the United States because of their misguided religious beliefs.
Paul’s reasoning is so malignant and so delusional as to call into question his basic judgment or whether he has any judgment left at all.
I am well-known as a critic of many of our Middle East policies (wait for an upcoming column on Palestinian statehood, another Paul “issue”). But I want to put as much distance as I can between my views and those of Ron Paul.
If there is a “hawk” among the presidential candidates when it comes to the global war on terror, it’s me. Because of my military and intelligence experience I would conduct the war somewhat differently. But at the end of the day there is no doubt I would relentlessly pursue our enemies to the ends of the earth, hunt them down, and kill them all. I may belong to a church that preaches “reconciliation” with our enemies; but if I were in the White House the Good Lord would have to wait for reconciliation to take place until after anyone who wants to do harm to the United States was dead. That’s the only kind of reconciliation terrorists understand.
Ron Paul owes the American people and the Republican Party an apology for his performance Monday night. If he is going to become a mouthpiece for Al-Qaeda he is free to do so, but he should not be given a perch at Republican presidential debates to spout his anti-American rhetoric and his treasonous and delusional claims.