|14A039 Rand Paul Sells Out by Jim Davies, 9/7/2014
He's retired now, but Ron Paul was the only elected Congresscritter with a spine, and his many merits are named in my analysis in this ZG Blog of his positions taken for the 2012 Presidential run - together with where they fell short. Today, the only interesting person on the Hill is his son Rand, who shares several of those positions but lacks his father's backbone.
This week, Senator Rand Paul wrote in TIME magazine that he favors bombing ISIS.
Fifteen times, in that short article, Rand Paul uses the term "we" as a collective noun for sovereign individuals living in the United States; and this is a man named for Ayn Rand. He even adds this: "Since Syrian jihadists are also a threat to Israel, we should help reinforce Israel’s Iron Dome protection against missiles." Just as if he represented Israel, instead of Kentucky. He must be a serious disappointment to his father.
The sell-out is a valuable illustration of the sharp difference between anarchists and everyone else. Even Ron Paul favors "border control" as if the FedGov had some valid title to the land it claims for a domain, but Rand's support for projection of US power over areas thousands of miles distant is vastly worse. The apple is rolling away from the tree.
Collectivist war-making is the hallmark of government, and it was so here since the nation was founded; one of the few powers purportedly granted to Congress was the one to "declare war." It may be useful to review some of the excuses used during the last century to trigger the exercise of that power, for comparison with what suffices now for Rand Paul.
In the Fall of 1914, the anti-German alliance - or the populations providing it with cannon fodder - was energized by tales of barbarism in Belgium. Invading German soldiers were portrayed as wantonly killing babies, spearing their little bodies with their bayonets, cutting off their hands, for "Vaterland und König." Post-war studies found not a shred of foundation for this propaganda.
In December 1941, against a background of popular opposition to any US involvement in any foreign war, FDR portrayed the Pearl Harbor attack as a "surprise." Civilized nations declare war before attacks are launched, and the Japanese one had not declared this one, so the Japanese were not "civilized" and Americans were morally outraged. Quite true so far, for the Zeros opened fire a few minutes before the Ambassador in D.C. could deliver his declaration; but that error of timing was nothing at all compared with the enormous deception FDR had himself perpetrated. He knew very well the attack was coming, having been urgently engaged for several months in provoking it; but did nothing to warn his commanders in Hawaii to prepare - or not until several hours after the battle was over. In making his speech to Congress the following day, his notes initially used the word "surprise" for the attack, but that was crossed out in favor of the softer word "suddenly." But the fiction that Pearl was a barbaric action by little yellow men caricatured as monkeys (all part of the WW-II US propaganda) is what stirred up the population to support the war.
On August 4th 1964, LBJ fostered the fiction that the North Vietnamese Navy had made a second attack on the USS Maddox, busy patrolling near the NV coast on a spy mission. There had been an exchange of fire on August 2nd, but the second was an invention. It was used as a pretext to get Congressional approval for expanding the war to the disaster it later became. "Unprovoked attack" on brave American sailors was, again, the theme that got the public behind the war; yet it was all a lie.
On September 11th 2001, once again the fiction was spread that Mohammed Attah and his 18 murderous friends were hitting Americans without provocation, and images of death and destruction were played repeatedly on TV for weeks afterwards. Clear implication: Al Q'eda is uncivilized, an enemy that must be eliminated. To me it was clear from the get-go that the whole attack was very much provoked; but the obvious question "Why?" was never publicly addressed - in an astonishing example of controlled but silent propaganda.
Now in 2014, the same sick trick is being played yet again: paint the target barbaric, to outrage people to favor military action. This time, some at least of the propaganda may be true; ISIS may actually have beheaded many innocent people, including two Americans. As the ZGBlog Off With His Head showed recently, that doesn't make ISIS much more barbaric than many well-respected governments in history, nor much more so than the well-favored US "ally," Saudia Arabia; but it clearly sufficed to prise Rand Paul loose from his libertarian principles. They must have been poorly anchored.
Suppose ISIS did its bloodthirsty work after America has become a zero government society. What then; must Americans stand idly by, while human necks are being severed? - some of them, journalists born and raised down the road in Peoria?
Possibly, some might be so outraged by the vicious behavior of those thugs that they equip themselves and go to fight alongside defending Kurds and others, for reward or for the satisfaction of helping fellow-humans in need. But they won't be going in your name or mine, or at our expense. More likely, I think, the quiet steady work of showing the rest of the world the benefits of a zero government society will continue, worldwide after it's complete in America. Then, the savagery of government will exist nowhere, to behead anyone.
It's quite credible that Rand Paul felt obliged to join the chorus for more war, in order to maintain his acceptability within the Republican Party for Presidential candidacy in 2016 -in which case he'll see no argument here. But if so, this betrayal of principle is yet another eloquent proof that freedom can never, ever be obtained by political means.