Jan 7th 2012 at 12:30 pm in Foreign Policy, History, Homeland Security, Islamic extremism, Military Funding, Politics, Soldiers
I hope that title caught everyone’s attention. Now, before the hysterical spamming starts, let me explain.
As a proud and dedicated member of the Heritage Foundation, I agree that a strong defense must be the primary objective of our politicians. Over at their website, Heritage scholar Marion Smith warns that:
there are a lot of folks—right and left—who assume that defense spending is a luxury that America just can’t afford at the moment. This a view far removed from James Madison’s conviction that “security against foreign danger is…an avowed and essential object of the American Union.” … Assessing the Founders’ constitutional understanding of federal spending priorities can most certainly help us judge the order and degree to which we cut and reform federal funding in this urgent environment of financial constraints.
The historical record reveals that, today, we consider defense spending to be a lower priority than did the U.S. Congress in the first 70 years of the Republic (see chart). From 1792 to 1860, defense spending as a percentage of the federal budget averaged 48.1 percent, and—even in the most peaceful times—never fell below 23 percent. The next most important items were the costs of the country’s few federal infrastructure programs (e.g., post offices and post roads), maintaining the federal government’s buildings and staff, and the costs of maintaining diplomats abroad.“Moreover,” Mr. Smith continues, “the original impetus for calling the Constitutional Convention in 1787 centered on growing security threats facing the newly independent American states. The Constitution makes national security a main priority. Congress shall have the power to ‘declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.… To raise and support Armies… To provide and maintain a Navy… To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.’” Furthermore, “The appropriate uses for the military—directed and commanded by the President—mentioned in the Constitution were to ‘provide for the common defense,’ ‘insure domestic tranquility,’ and ‘punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations.’”
President George Washington cautioned in his 1790 address to Congress: “Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defence will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well digested plan is requisite.” And, in a much overlooked section of his farewell address, he stated that “Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.”
The reaction of the Founders to Jihadist attack is also relevant. The story is told in two articles in Human Events. Lieutenant Colonel James Zumwalt writes: “Two of our Founding Fathers—Thomas Jefferson and John Adams—serving as America’s ambassadors to France and Britain respectively—met in London with Tripoli’s ambassador to Britain in 1786. Their mission was to negotiate a peace treaty to end unprovoked attacks against American ships that were being launched by pirates from various Muslim countries along the Barbary Coast and their enslavement of captured American crewmen. Jefferson and Adams queried the Tripoli ambassador as to why our ships were being attacked. His response sufficiently concerned the two Founding Fathers that they felt compelled to report what was said to the Continental Congress: ‘That it was founded on the laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Muslim who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.’”
In the other Human Events article on the subject, it is reported that:
In December 1790, Jefferson recommended that America go to war against the Muslims: “The liberation of our citizens has an intimate connection with the liberation of our commerce in the Mediterranean,” he explained to Congress. “The distresses of both proceed from the same cause, and the measures which shall be adopted for the relief of one…may…involve the relief of the other.”Shortly after becoming President, Jefferson went to war. It was America’s first battle with the Jihadists. The Marines who went to fight on “the shores of Tripoli” probably evoked the same reaction from the Jihadists that their descendants in Iraq would express: “We are fighting but the Marines keep coming…We are shooting, but the Marines won’t stop.”
Notice what happened – the Founding Fathers maintained a strong defense, and when American citizens were being attacked, they went to war defend us. All of which is mandated by the Constitution.
Notice what DIDN’T happen – the Founders didn’t wave around copies of the enemy’s talking points, scream “THIS IS OUR FAULT!!! WE SHOULDN’T HAVE HAD ANY SHIPS!!! WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS UNDERSTANDABLE!!!” and gut our defenses. Such a refusal to defend American citizens would have been unconstitutional.
But the latter is what is happening with Ron Paul. Take a recent debate performance: “After Paul explained how he was ‘tired of all the militarism that we are involved in,’ and his plan on cutting back, he said, ‘But we’re under great threat, because we occupy so many countries. … The purpose of al-Qaeda was to attack us, invite us over there, where they can target us … but we’re there occupying their land. And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we’re kidding ourselves.’”
Note how he says we were attacked “because we occupy so many countries” and then says the goal of the attack was to “invite us over there, where they can target us” … and he says this with no hint of irony. Such a blaring contradiction in propaganda should indicate to Al Qaeda’s observers that they are lying about their motives and goals [which they are, see excerpt #1] … but, unlike what he tells us to do with his Newsletters, we are supposed they say at face value.
He then reveals his source:
Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda have been explicit — they have been explicit, and they wrote and said that we attacked America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians fair treatment, and you have been bombing — [audience booing] I didn’t say that. I’m trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing.He is referring to Al Qaeda’s 1998 Fatwa. That is only one of Al Qaeda’s talking points, what they claim is that “if the Americans’ aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel’s survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.”
How in the world does Ron Paul plan to deal with that kind of paranoid delusion? Does he think we would be able to convince them otherwise? It would be like trying to reason with Alex Jones.
Ultimately, this is what the Fatwa commands:
The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God.”Translation – Al Qaeda will only stop killing every American they can when Jerusalem (where the al-Aqsa Mosque) is in their hands, which would require the destruction of the state of Israel since they will never give that up willingly. So, unless he plans to destroy Israel, the only way Ron Paul, or anyone else, can stop Al Qaeda from killing American is to kill them first.
Will he take this CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY seriously? Consider the fact that he is the only one of the GOP candidate where that is in question.
Exposed: Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy Ignorance and Naivety
Posted By Raymond Ibrahim On September 15, 2011
Among other qualities, a good presidential candidate must be knowledgeable and able to think outside the box; equally important, he must not be naive or gullible — certainly not swallow everything the enemy says hook, line, and sinker.
During the recent Republican candidate debate, Congressman Ron Paul exhibited his ignorance and gullibility when the panel was asked: “Do you plan to decrease Defense spending, to balance spending, or do you believe high spending is essential to security?”
After Paul explained how he was “tired of all the militarism that we are involved in,” and his plan on cutting back, he said, “But we’re under great threat, because we occupy so many countries. … The purpose of al-Qaeda was to attack us, invite us over there, where they can target us … but we’re there occupying their land. And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we’re kidding ourselves.”
This is, of course, an old and well known narrative.
By questioning Paul, however, Rick Santorum exposed the latter’s naivety when it comes to the goals and motives of al-Qaeda:
On your [Paul’s] Web site on 9/11, you had a blog post that basically blamed the United States for 9/11. On your Web site, yesterday, you said that it was our actions that brought about the actions of 9/11. Now, Congressman Paul, that is irresponsible. The president of the United States — someone who is running for the president of the United States in the Republican Party should not be parroting what Osama bin Laden said on 9/11. We should have — we are not being attacked and we were not attacked because of our actions. We were attacked, as Newt [Gingrich] talked about, because we have a civilization that is antithetical to the civilization of the jihadists.After rejecting Santorum’s thesis, Paul made his fatal blunder:
Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda have been explicit — they have been explicit, and they wrote and said that we attacked America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians fair treatment, and you have been bombing — [audience booing] I didn’t say that. I’m trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing.This exchange clearly revealed Paul’s lack of knowledge concerning the nature of the enemy. After all, it’s one thing for some Americans to believe that the source of all conflict is the United State’s presence in some countries, it’s quite another — it’s dangerous — for a potential president to think, and speak, this way.
Ironically, Paul even contradicted himself: minutes earlier, when discussing the need to cut back on the military, he complained that we had a military presence in 130 countries — bringing to mind the question: why haven’t these countries lashed out?
But what’s worse is Paul’s naivety — that he would actually swallow and regurgitate verbatim the propaganda al-Qaeda has been dishing for years: thus “Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda have been explicit — they have been explicit, and they wrote and said”; and “I’m trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing.”
Did it never occur to the congressman that al-Qaeda could be, um, lying? Had he bothered to juxtapose al-Qaeda’s propaganda to the West — which indeed does amount to blaming U.S. foreign policy for their terrorism — with the other things “they wrote and said,” he would have learned their ultimate motives.
For example, for all his talk that U.S. “occupation” is the heart of the problem, shortly after the 9/11 strikes, Osama bin Laden wrote to fellow Muslims:
Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue — one that demands our total support, with power and determination, with one voice — and it is: Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam:  either willing submission [conversion];  or payment of the jizya, through physical, though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam;  or the sword — for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.This medieval threefold choice, then — conversion, subjugation, or the sword — is the ultimate source of conflict, not U.S foreign policy (see also “Reciprocal Treatment or Religious Obligation,” which compares al-Qaeda’s messages to the West with its internal messages to Muslims, documenting all the contradictions).
The good news is that, if Paul is ignorant and naive regarding al-Qaeda and its motives, based on all the loud booing he received, increasing numbers of Americans are not.