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May 12, 2011

Ron Paul: Why Didn't We Just Ask Pakistan To Arrest Bin Ladin?

"It absolutely was not necessary" to kill him, he avers.

He also is full of questions which are in fact stupid.

I think things could have been done somewhat differently, Paul said this week. I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and hes been in prison. Why cant we work with the government?

Everyone but Ron Paul seems to know the answer to that.

Sometimes you'll catch me knocking people who are, in my mind, "overly ideological." This is the sort of endpoint of that, the thing that makes me suspicious of people who are too confident of ideology. Ron Paul has a very advanced case of this, but it's this tendency that makes me suspicious.

Ron Paul is offered a choice here between known reality and actual facts on one hand, and his rigid, dogmatic ideology of "Letters of Marque" and "cooperation with governments" on the other. It's an easy call for him. The ideology is so precious and lovely that it is far preferable to ugly reality and grubby facts.

His ideology is that the U.S. never needs to resort to force to accomplish its foreign policy goals. Because he knows that to be true -- absolutely true, in all cases, with no exceptions -- then it must also follow that wherever we have used force, there must have been alternate options.

Must be. Because, remember, it is never true that we must use force. Ergo, any use of force was a bit of cowboy imperialism. There must have been better, more peaceful options on the table.

Ron Paul draws particular venom from people like me because what he says is exactly what the leftists say. They do the same thing. The exact same thing. When there's a controversial use of force -- and the use of force is almost always controversial, as it should be -- they begin the discussion from the point of view that any and all uses of American might are illegitimate, and that there are -- always, no exceptions -- peaceful options that could have achieved the same results.

And they cannot be backed off this assertion by argument, because it's an irrational article of faith. You cannot reason a man out of an opinion he was never reasoned into in the first place.

On one hand, I have to admit, grudgingly, that from the vantage point of 2011, Ron Paul's urging of restraint and modesty in foreign policy doesn't look so bad to me now as it once did.

But of course these are all easy questions for him. It's not like he's wise, or cunning, or deeply analytic in making his pronouncements. He just makes the same pronouncements irrespective of facts, because the facts can always be changed to comport with this ideology.

His ideology is libertarianism not just at home with our own citizens, but with regard to hostile, even enemy, foreign governments and actors as well.

It's one thing to urge we grant our own citizens full and complete freedom, without coercion, to do as they will, and that all their decisions should be purely voluntary and based only on a knowing selection of that decision.

That's one thing. That's a very ideological position but it is an attractive one.

But no, that's not the end of it. He also believes Pakistan should have the full rights and freedoms of an American citizen, that Pakistan, too, must always agree to things done to it in a knowing and rational decision in which they are always free to select some other choice.

That's why he must ultimately claim that Pakistan would have just agreed to turn over bin Ladin. He needs to believe that in order to treat Pakistan as a human being and American citizen with full and total freedom from coercion. He must posit, as the leftists do, that states we know have evil intent are of course actually willing to behave nicely, if only we respected their freedom to do what they will.

If we respect their right to choose evil, then of course they will choose good.

This is almost not even an ideology. It comes a little closer to a "psychological delusion."

Ron Paul doesn't sound brave, or wise, or noble, or smart to me.

Ron Paul, frankly, sounds like a drunken idiot at a bar, possibly with a history of prior mental instabilities, spouting off perfect stupidity with perfect confidence.

He can't be president. It would be a nightmare. It would be government by lunatic. He'd be briefed on actual facts and then simply say "Those aren't the facts. Report to me new facts consistent with my rigid ideology."

Ugh. Why this clown gets respect in the GOP, I don't know.

If it's the gold standard thing, less disreputable voices are calling for that. Steve Forbes not only endorses it, but predicts we'll be on it in 5 years.

But enough from Ron Paul. I get enough of the slightly-deranged codger act every Thanksgiving. I don't need Crazy Pop-Pop on my TV every three days.

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posted by Ace at 11:40 AM

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