Tuesday, September 08, 2015

End The Empire-- Jeb Bush Really Is George W. Bush, But Rand Paul Is Not Ron Paul


Sabrina Siddiqui is a reporter for The Guardian covering the presidential primaries. Writing from Plymouth, New Hampshire, over the weekend, she tried finding out what each presidential candidate wants the U.S. to do about the refugee crisis in Europe. Just two, she reported, Martin O'Malley and John Kasich, talked about taking in more refugees. She was unable to get comments from Hillary, Bernie, Jeb or Rubio (although Rubio, the self-proclaimed Republican foreign policy expert, babbled some typical GOP nonsense about al-Nusra and ISIS, then added, "It’s not just solely the United States’ responsibility, but it most certainly is in our national security interest that parts of Europe are now being destabilized because of this migratory crisis").
[E]ven Trump, the GOP frontrunner who has positioned himself as the face of the conservative movement against illegal immigration, said the US should “possibly” accept more refugees.

“The answer is possibly yes, possibly yes,” Trump told MSNBC last week. “So horrible on a humanitarian basis when you see that. It’s incredible what’s going on.”

He added, nonetheless, that the US has no shortage of its own problems – particularly at the border. “It is a huge problem and we should help as much as possible, but we do have to fix our own country,” Trump said.

Other Republicans have raised national security concerns over opening up the US to more refugees. On Sunday, Carly Fiorina said the US cannot relax its criteria for letting refugees in and warned against those who might be affiliated with terrorist activity.

“The United States, I believe, has done its fair share in terms of humanitarian aid,” the former Hewlett Packard CEO said on CBS’s Face the Nation.

“We are having to be very careful about who we let enter this country from these war-torn regions to ensure that terrorists are not coming here.”

The Kentucky senator Rand Paul sounded similar alarms, citing the US government’s acceptance of refugees from Iraq and Somalia-- some of whom he said now wished to harm the country.

“We are a welcoming nation, and we have accepted a lot of refugees, and I think we will continue to do so. But we also can’t accept the whole world, so I think there are some limits,” Paul told CNN.
366,402 migrants-- mostly refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya-- have flooded into Europe. Germany has pledged $6.6 billion and is on the road to accepting 800,000 people. Greece is overwhelmed with a quarter-million migrants, although most are on their way north. 120,000 are in Italy. Sweden is taking in 74,000. François Hollande says France will accept 24,000, and David Cameron says Britain will take 20,000. Austria has already accepted 12,000. Holland is dealing with 24,535 asylum applications, Belgium with 22,850 and Denmark with 14,715. 

The U.S. has only accepted 1,500 Syrian refugees, and Ron Paul took note. Now, his son Rand Paul is no Ron Paul-- not on the best of days, and surely not while he's struggling to be taken seriously in a presidential campaign. The senior Paul writes a weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute website. This week he tackled the horrific refugee crisis his son punted on.
Last week Europe saw one of its worst crises in decades. Tens of thousands of migrants entered the European Union via Hungary, demanding passage to their hoped-for final destination, Germany.

While the media focuses on the human tragedy of so many people uprooted and traveling in dangerous circumstances, there is very little attention given to the events that led them to leave their countries. Certainly we all feel for the displaced people, especially the children, but let’s not forget that this is a man-made crisis and it is a government-made crisis.

The reason so many are fleeing places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq is that US and European interventionist foreign policy has left these countries destabilized with no hopes of economic recovery. This mass migration from the Middle East and beyond is a direct result of the neocon foreign policy of regime change, invasion, and pushing “democracy” at the barrel of a gun.

Even when they successfully change the regime, as in Iraq, what is left behind is an almost uninhabitable country. It reminds me of the saying attributed to a US major in the Vietnam War, discussing the bombing of Ben Tre: “It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”

The Europeans share a good deal of blame as well. France and the UK were enthusiastic supporters of the attack on Libya and they were early backers of the “Assad must go” policy. Assad may not be a nice guy, but the forces that have been unleashed to overthrow him seem to be much worse and far more dangerous. No wonder people are so desperate to leave Syria.

Most of us have seen the heartbreaking photo of the young Syrian boy lying drowned on a Turkish beach. While the interventionists are exploiting this tragedy to call for direct US attacks on the Syrian government, in fact the little boy was from a Kurdish family fleeing ISIS in Kobane. And as we know there was no ISIS in either Iraq or Syria before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

As often happens when there is blowback from bad foreign policy, the same people who created the problem think they have a right to tell us how to fix it-- while never admitting their fault in the first place.

Thus we see the disgraced General David Petraeus in the news last week offering his solution to the problem in Syria: make an alliance with al-Qaeda against ISIS! Petraeus was head of the CIA when the US launched its covert regime-change policy in Syria, and he was in charge of the “surge” in Iraq that contributed to the creation of al-Qaeda and ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The idea that the US can salvage its disastrous Syria policy by making an alliance with al-Qaeda is horrific. Does anyone think the refugee problem in Syria will not be worse if either al-Qaeda or ISIS takes over the country?

Here is the real solution to the refugee problem: stop meddling in the affairs of other countries. Embrace the prosperity that comes with a peaceful foreign policy, not the poverty that goes with running an empire. End the Empire!
And, in case you haven't seen it yet, here's the video the White House released today on the utter, serial "wrongness" of Dick Cheney, who, today, is the face of the opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, as he was the face of starting wars wherever he could when he controlled the White House himself. It was never Ron Paul's vision of foreign policy that drove the Republican Party foreign policy agenda; it has long been Dick Cheney's. And it still is. Cheney certainly articulates the GOP agenda for Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie, Rick Perry and most of the rest of the ridiculous clown car Fox News calls their "deep bench."

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At 11:14 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Exactly right, Ron Paul. Never thought I would write that!


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