December 30, 2011

The politics of Ron Paul's foreign policy

Richard A. Oppel of the New York Times offers a commendable article on the appeal of Ron Paul's foreign policy:
One recent national poll by ABC News and The Washington Post found that 45 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican said Mr. Paul’s opposition to American military interventions overseas was a major reason to oppose his candidacy, compared with the 29 percent who saw it as a major reason to support him. ...
... He also said military service members favored Mr. Paul in donations to Republican candidates. While there is no way to prove this because only itemized donations over $200 require occupations to be listed — information that is self-reported — a review by The New York Times of federal contributions suggests that active-duty and retired service members overwhelmingly lean to Mr. Paul. He received at least $115,000 in itemized contributions through Sept. 30, almost double that of all other Republican candidates combined.

So, Paul's stance on the military interventions abroad represents almost 1/3rd of the right half of the electorate who have a strong opinion on the subject, including a significant fraction of politically engaged service members: a losing total, but still a significant segment of public opinion that is represented by few other voices.

66 comments:

Whiskey said...

Except Steve the "support" Paul gets from military and the Republican Electorate fails the sanity check:

MCCAIN took the majority of the military vote, and won the nomination in 2008, based on military heavy voting in places like South Carolina and Virginia. Paul did poorly. Indeed you could argue that the support is vastly inflated, given that Paul has consistently pursued an isolationist, cut the military stance and done ... poorly in race after race for President.

Moreover, even if you argue, "that was then, this is now" ala Emilio Estevez, you find the results of Paul's policy in place with Obama. Obama has basically implemented Paul's isolationist, "lead from behind," cut the military, apologize, etc. And all it got was an Iran threatening to blockade the Persian Gulf and hell-bent on nukes.

If you like Paul's foreign and national security policy, well Obama does it better. If that's your main issue, why would bother with Paul when Obama can give it to you even more? Meanwhile Republican voters tend to reward candidates who argue that Obama's policies are failures, especially in national security/foreign policy.

There is a voice and a candidate for Paul's foreign/national security policy. That voice and candidate is Barack Obama, President of the United States. Pretty much all of Paul's positions there are also me-too for the Democratic Party mainstream. They are pretty much the dogma of NPR, Pacifica Radio, the NYT, WaPo, and the US State Dept. That's the ESTABLISHMENT viewpoint -- Paul is just echoing it.

Which is quite likely why he's not able to break out among Republican voters.

There is probably room for a "radical isolationist" arguing peace through strength, avoiding fights by being strong, and making examples of easy targets (no occupations, bombing/lightning military campaigns ala Gulf War, Destruction of Saddam's Army in the Iraq War). Republican voters have certainly tired of nation building, but there does not seem to be much appetite among them for the ESTABLISHMENT isolationist pacifism. That's Dem territory.

[I find it hard to understand why volunteer military personnel would vote for Paul who has promised to cut the military radically, putting them out on the street so to speak.]

The real gap is among Republicans arguing for aggressive Andrew Jackson type vengeance, examples, and deterrence. Not Cold War nation-building ala the Marshall Plan. Derbyshire's "rubble does not make trouble."

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have any hard data as to Paul's stance on weapons systems?

I got no problem whatsoever with ditching the foreign entanglements, but I gotta MASSIVE problem with gutting the weapons systems.

Any facts on Paul's positions in re:

1) Resuming production of the F-22?

2) Funding of the nuke subs?

3) Funding of the carrier fleet?

4) Funding of the drone airwings?

5) Funding of ABM/Star Wars systems [to include lasers, particle beams, kinetic weapons, etc]?

6) Funding of [at least defensive] biological weapons research?

7) Funding of the NSA, their satellite hardware, their terrestrial hardware, their encryption/decryption algorithm research, etc etc etc?

Anonymous said...

People love foreign intervention as long as they aren't hurt fiscally or physically.

They'll fight to the last poor white or black man.

They care about the world. Unlike you Steve.

Noah172 said...

Newt Gingrich recently said that Paul’s "views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American."

I guess those 29 percent of Republicans (and the 26 percent who did not offer an opinion) and all those current/former servicemen (including me and many vets I know) are not decent Americans.

And Gingrich is imploding? Good riddance. May every chickenhawk Zionist share the same fate and worse.

David Davenport said...

Resuming production of the F-22?

The US Air Force doesn't want more F-22's at the present time.

Moaning about the need for more F-22 aircraft is the stuff of ill-informed, jejeune armchair generals.

Neil Templeton said...

The best option might be to scale our military spending 'way back. But if we are going to spend, then the costs should go to the causers, right? Maybe a tax premium on all measureable beneficiaries of occupation - other than members of the armed forces - their benefit, if any, is due. If there are no measureable beneficiaries, or benefits don't match costs, maybe it's time to go.

Tim said...

Ron Paul is not an isolationist or a pacifist. God, I am so sick and tired of that. He is a free-trader and a non-interventionist. Do you get it, Whiskey?

Grow up, man. You sound like a bloody baby.

jody said...

whiskey doesn't know what he's talking about. obama has the same military policy as ron paul? as the kids say nowadays, urine idiot.

obama is letting the defense budget grow. the navy is building 2 new virginia class subs every year. the navy is building 1 new ford class aircraft carrier every 5 years. WTF does the united states need that stuff for? it already has by far the largest most effective navy the world has ever seen. ron paul would kill those builds. and then probably retire 5 nimitz class aircraft carriers immediately.

WTF does the US need ELEVEN aircraft carriers for? things like the B-1 bomber would just be gone instantly with paul as commander in chief. that defense budget gets slashed in half right away. AS IT SHOULD. that is BY FAR the thing the US government needs to do the most. leon panetta, please go. the defense budget is ludicrous overkill. it's a colossal waste of money. the US navy and airforce can be equally effective for literally half as much money.

i never feel like engaging whiskey though, because i get nothing out of it. i don't win money or an award or a year's subscription to maxim magazine for clowning him.

with him the general internet rule applies. arguing on the internet is like trying to win the special olympics. nobody cares.

i sometimes feel like the old whiskey is actually an IQ 115 28 year old with access to a library computer, wikipedia, and some really bad conservative blogs.

Anonymous said...

Obama has intensified the war in afghanistan/pakistan, bombed libya, and is now assassinating american citizens. how exactly is he implementing paul's foreign and national security strategies, whiskey? you're becoming increasingly disconnected from reality.

NOTA said...

Whiskey is as factual and reality based as we've all come to expect. Obama has been massively interventionist, even to the point of bombing in Libya and Yemen. Paul's foreign policy is approximately the same distance from Obama's as from Bush's or (as best can be predicted) Romney's.

Before we know what weapons systems we need, we might want to work out what we need them for. Our wars for the last few decades have been all about bombing and occupying third-world peasants with homemade bombs and small arms. For those, we don't need high tech fighter jets. (I have a hard time believing manned fighter jets are a good long term investment in any event.). We can blow up mud huts and Pakistani wedding parties with existing technology.

If we want to be able to defend ourselves from attack, maybe lend a hand to our allies in times of need, my very non-expert sense is that we can do that on a fraction of our current military budget.

Anonymous said...

Newt Gingrich recently said that Paul’s "views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American."

I guess those 29 percent of Republicans (and the 26 percent who did not offer an opinion) and all those current/former servicemen (including me and many vets I know) are not decent Americans.


That is a good point, and one that I have brought up with republicans. They say Paul and his supporters are nuts, yet they don't want Paul running as a third party guy. I asked some republicans about this and they said, "he'll take votes away from the republican and help the democrats." I then reminded them that Paul's supporters were nuts.

In 2008, I think most Paul supporters ended up holding their noses and voting McCain in the name of party unity. However, I don't think that is going to happen now. After hearing Newt, Bachmann and most of the field say they could not vote for Paul over Obama even if he were the nominee, Paul's supporters won't be so eager to fall into line in the name of party unity.

We know Paul is not going to be the nominee, so I think it was a huge error for establishment republicans to admit now they would never support Paul. It only alienates his supporters. But since they are nuts, I guess it doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a study to determine if beta males support interventionist policies in higher numbers than others. I would also like to see what percent of these interventionists actually served in the military, especially the combat arms.

My rough, unscientific guess is that a lot of these interventionists are living vicariously through our military and tend to view their tough stance on weak foreigners as a way to make up for their lack of aggression in their daily lives.

Glaivester said...

Obama has basically implemented Paul's isolationist, "lead from behind," cut the military, apologize, etc.

No, he hasn't. Obama has intervened in Libya. He tries to push Israel into the "peace process" whereas Paul would say it's none of our business. He wants to work through the UN, which Paul deplores.

Very different agendas. The only similarity is that neither wants us to have troops in Iraq or to attack Iran.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

There is a backlash appeal in the USMC, anyway, according to my son. The enlisted men, at least, believe that Paul only wants us to be involved in necessary, all-out wars where the rules of engagement would not have to be so PC. They are frustrated at the "gentler" wars we fight today, and feel they get the thankless task of doing the impossible. There's a good deal of truth in that, though it doesn't really capture Ron Paul or other isolationists.

Hunsdon said...

Whiskey:

What color is the sky in your world? You talk about how Ron Paul reflects the NYT/WaPo foreign policy preference. Were you here on Earth during the 2003 drumbeat to the invasion of Iraq?

I waver between thinking you're stupid, or malevolent, or stupid and malevolent. Maybe you only watch Fox News, and that colors your judgment. I don't know.

Tom Regan said...

With his latest post, Whiskey has gone beyond parody.
Paul's foreign policy and Obama's foreign policy are indistinguishable? Really? You're not really paying close attention are you?
Obama maintained the war in Iraq, expanded it in Afghanistan and will probably be dragooned into some action against Iran due to pressure from the AIPAC parasites and the war profiteers.
Had Paul been elected in 08, do you think that would have happened?
Methinks someone has let the faint traces of his receding common sense be overwhelmed by his 'Scotch-Irish' heritage.

David said...

I saw Dick Morris on O'Reilly the other night calling Paul a "far, far, far left-wing radical liberal."

In other words, a constitutionalist is a communist, according to Bill Clinton's former adviser.

They're getting a little panicky, aren't they? Dick was grinning and sweating even more than usual.

David said...

>My rough, unscientific guess is that a lot of these interventionists are living vicariously through our military and tend to view their tough stance on weak foreigners as a way to make up for their lack of aggression in their daily lives.<

False! It's about how women hate, hate, hate you! So there!

Justin said...

A Ron Paul election victory will be like the end of Matrix 3. Uploading Ron Paul to the Presidential office will cause a fatal system error, and necessitate a reboot of the system.

Anonymous said...

The neoconservatives/Israeli lobby wield massive influence over both parties through media (Fox, WSJ, Weekly Standrd,etc.), fundraising, and lobbying. The Democratic base (SWPLs, minorities, unions) is not so much on board with the wars, but white evangelical Republicans want a confrontation with Islam. It makes it easier for neoconseratives to sell war propaganda to the Republican base.

Why go down Ron Paul's path? The man has gotten ignored by the media for most of the campaign, then demonized. Then attacked by his own party's establishment. It's not worth it. Being non-interventionist as a Republican is like being an anti-immigration Democrat. Lots of people in your party will secretly support you, but you have very little chance of going far if you break the party line.

Both General Wesley Clark and Seymour Hersh have claimed that "New York" "Jewish" money is fueling the drumbeat to hit Iran. All the Republican primary candidates in 2011 and 2007, except Paul, rely heavily on these type of Sheldon Adelsonesque contributors. John Edwards and Hillary Clinton took a lot of money from the Democratic-leaning neoconservative contributors (ie Hiam Saban), but Obama took the nomination because of the leftist grassroots disgust.

Obama has packed his administration with plenty of these people, most prominently Rahm "Israel" Emmanuel, but he seems to have enough good sense not to buy all their propanda. He's trying to balance his desire for big contributions and favorable media coverage with common sense.

Obama also probably, like most blacks, is secretly annoyed of the Israeli lobby. It's no secret that many black leaders (Rev Wright, Spike Lee, Jessie Jackson, Farrakhan, Sharpton) resent Jewish influence. Obama likely has absorbed some of these views, especially from Wright. Living in Chicago around lots of Arabs, among whom he tried to generate support, may have influenced him too.

Anonymous said...

You ridicule our Scotch-Irish/Irish (yes, he's claimed both ancestries) friend Whiskey, but people like him are making policy in this country. Whiskey's rhetoric is pretty standard Republican talking points. Except then Whiskey goes on to add an alpha/beta male dynamic to the whole situation, which I've never understood.

I will give Whiskey credit. He's the only person I know who can explain Al-Qaeda, Israel, the Scotch-Irish, nice white ladies, alphas, sexy men, immigration, beta males, Obama, Iran, Iraq, sexual promiscuity, the Harvard "WASP" mafia, Palestinians, British drinking culture, and neoconservatism through one cohesive theory.

TGGP said...

Glaivester: "The only similarity is that neither wants us to have troops in Iraq or to attack Iran."

Wrong. Wikileaks revealed that the Obama administration pushed the Iraqi government to come to some arrangement where U.S troops would stay beyond the timetable Bush had laid down. But the Iraqis didn't come around, so the previous withdrawal date stuck.

Maya said...

"False! It's about how women hate, hate, hate you! So there!"

Of course, but talking about how you're itching for wars can make you look all tough and "alpha". Then, the cheerleader you didn't have the balls to talk to in high school might go all gooey-eyed and whisper, "Tell me more about Gaddaffi's final hours". Women love stuff like that. She'll be yours within that decade.

Truth said...

" Pretty much all of Paul's positions there are also me-too for the Democratic Party mainstream. "

You have to be doing it to get a rise. God doesn't make people this fucking stupid.

BrokenSymmetry said...

Whiskey's quick off the mark. Obviously a Ron Paul presidency would be bad for the Scots-Irish.

Rumour said...

Paul's foreign policy is in the same vein as Washington expressed in his Farewell Address,

"The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible."

He is not an isolationist. That is just media rhetoric. Anyone who uses that word simply demonstrates that they haven't been listening.

Vote for who you want, they all offer more of the same. The will or opinion of the people be damned. The "people" are sheep who will vote for whomever promises them their particular brand of grain ... as has been stated repeatedly about democracy throughout history. Paul is the only one talking about restoring the Republic.

The American Empire is on its last leg folks. There are very few solutions and all painful. Paul is the doctor we need ... we just don't want to hear his prognosis.

Noah172 said...

Whiskey parody:

White women don't want Isr -- eh, Scotland protected because they are too busy schtupping those alpha-male schvartzes! SWPLs (especially women with liberal arts degrees) are anti-military because defense spending diverts funds for SWPL government jobs in education and health care. Ron Paul is an anti-Sem -- eh, anti-Scottish McGovernite who is just like that black SWPL Obama! There are suitcase nukes out there, I tell ya! How will we find them without 12 carrier groups and a ground invasion of Iran?! I need sex!

anony-mouse said...

So you're saying that only 29% of people on the Right agree with him and you say that's a good thing for Paul?

Furthermore when other candidates drop out and coalesce around one other candidate (as happened in 2008) you will then agree that the complete defeat of Paul is fully democratic and represents the POV of the Right? Not a prediction I'd be willing to make.

The donations aspect is less important since everyone agrees that Paul's supporters are the most enthusiastic and therefore more willing to give. (I also wonder why anyone, even a supporter, would give money to Mitt Romney since everyone knows he's a very rich man)

Happy New Year anyways.

W Baker said...

Whiskey's been hitting refresh every two minutes for the past two weeks since Steve's last post on Paul.

Time to come out of your mom's basement now, Whiskey, and and seek some medical attention re: that raging neocon priapism.

Anonymous said...

The f-22?? Oh come on! What a waste of money. The Russian planes are better and cheaper.

Svigor said...

Help me out here. What's the (rank and file) thinking on this Republitard invade-the-world thing? Do they actually stop and notice that they need to invade the world because they sold their souls on invite-the-world a long time ago? I.e., the only reason there's a terrorist/foreign threat at all is because they surrendered to (and became) leftoids on "racial profiling," "desegregation," "discrimination," open borders, and everything else that matters? Do they really think oil-rich countries are going to nuke us with their ballistic missiles or something?

I suppose it's the only jingo- er, patriotism left to these gelded cuckolded quislings...

Anonymous said...

The US Air Force doesn't want more F-22's at the present time. Moaning about the need for more F-22 aircraft is the stuff of ill-informed, jejeune armchair generals.


The effete panty-waist limp-wristed yes-men [and bulldykes] who know how to win at the PC-dogma hatefests in the Pentagon cafeterias - and thereby rise to the level of excretors [or excretresses] of administration-approved public-relations bullsh*t to open sessions of Congressional Committees - realize that they have to parrot that pablum for the television cameras.

But real air warriors, who still have the gonads to speak honestly, understand that:


1) The F-22 is the only platform we have that can guarantee air superiority in the immediate future, and

2) The F-22 is the only platform we have that ACTUALLY EXISTS IN REALITY at this time.

By contrast, the F-35 is

A) Still a bureaucratic fantasy which exists only on drawing boards and in CAD-CAM databases, and

B) Even if the F-35 were ever to come online [circa 2014? 2015? 2020?], it would still have CAPABILITIES VASTLY INFERIOR to those of the F-22 [which came online all the way back in 2005].


Now I am not so stupid as to fail to realize that the handwriting is on the wall for manned fighters and manned bombers - eventually, the drones will advance to the point that they can perform those functions better than human-piloted craft - but in the here and now, the F-22 is not only our best bet, IT IS OUR ONLY OPTION WHICH ACTUALLY EXISTS IN REALITY.










[And isn't one of the foundational, bedrock tenets of Paleconservative Constitutionalism the ability (and the readiness) to distinguish between reality and fantasy?]

Anonymous said...

Almost every American president in the last century promised to mind our own business before getting elected but ended up bombing someone upon taking the office.

It's fun to speculate whom President Paul would bomb.

My guesses are:

1. Someone in or around Persian Gulf (only because every American administration since time immemorial bombed someone there.)

2. Mexico.

3. China (leave it to a non-interventionist to start a really big war.)

(What, you thought that President Paul will never bomb anyone? Ha-ha-ha-ha!)

Metternich said...

Iran has been shouting "Death to America" for 31 years and is building nuclear-tipped missiles to intimidate the rest of the Middle East.

Iran's goal is a nuclear-enforced mini-empire with a monopoly over Mideast oil. With that, Iran can blackmail Europe and maybe the US.

The great history of Persian empires and the Islamic expansionist imperative, filtered through the suicide cult of terrorism and the corruption of the Revolutionary Guards is powering a neo-Imperialism that can hurt everybody.

Dis-entangling from the world requires the West doing without oil, and living on a Muslim-dominated planet. Sound good?

Baloo said...

Thanks for this one, Steve. This is linked and commented, particularly showcasing the strange words of Whiskey, HERE by EX-ARMY.

beowulf said...

"I waver between thinking you're stupid, or malevolent, or stupid and malevolent."
Or all of the above. :o)

I give Ron Paul points for owning the rest of the GOP candidates with a single line:
"You don't trust him [Obama] to run healthcare but trust him to assassinate US citizens?"

Anon87 said...


2) Funding of the nuke subs?


In an October 11, 2007 interview with The Washington Post, Paul said, "There's nobody in this world that could possibly attack us today... we could defend this country with a few good submarines. If anybody dared touch us we could wipe any country off of the face of the earth within hours. And here we are, so intimidated and so insecure and we're acting like such bullies that we have to attack third-world nations that have no military and have no weapons."

So I would guess he's in favor of funding nuclear subs. Possibly not for just pouring money at it indiscriminately, but certainly not for eliminating it.

NOTA said...

Our foreign policy seems to me (and I guess to many others, hence Paul's support) to be run for the benefit of the powerful--the ones who get big staffs, or gold-plated defense contracts, or get to play with real human lives to feed their egos--but not really for the benefit of the nation.

In particular, foreign aid is mostly just offensive--at best, handing cash to Israel so they can pay somewhat lower taxes (they can pretty clearly afford to pay their own bills), at worst, handing money to kleptocrats like Karzai. It looks the way it does because most voters don't pay much attention. Our wars are, as best I can tell, pointless exercises in bloodshed and brutality, and the military, the administration, and the respectable media are all working together to make damned sure most Americans don't see what it looks like. Our other playing of the Great Game--propping up ne dictator, toppling another, funneling cash to a third to keep him sweet on us--looks like shit whenever we get a chance to see it. (Wikileaks, and the documents revealed when protesters sacked the Egyptian and Libyan security police offices have revealed some of this stuff.). Overwhelmingly' this is bad shit being done in the dark where nobody can see it, and being hidden by classifying everything and appealing to the patriotism and fear of consquences of American reporters, and the general lack of awareness of what's going on outside the US among most Americans.

So my preference would be to get rid of as much of that stuff as possible. The best way to protect the US from foreigners who want to do us harm and have nothing more than small arms and homemade bombs is not to let them into the country. The best way for Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. to function in the future is to pay their own bills and make decisions as best they are able. This will probably mean Israel stays first world, and Afghanistan stays medevial and hellish. This is not actually our problem to solve.

Simon in London said...

So: soldiers who actually have to go fight America's wars like him, while chickenhawks detest him. That seems a pretty good place to be, morally.

Simon in London said...

The "Obama" foreign policy looks to me to be a "Clinton" foreign policy - it's a direct continuation of the previous Clinton Presidency. Lots of 'humanitarian' bombing from on high, but only when focus-group approved.

The one arguably un-Clintonian bit is that Obama seems a lot more ruthless vs Pakistan than GW Bush ever was. Not that that's saying much.

Anyway, Clinton/Obama foreign policy is New York Times foreign policy; less obviously barking mad than Neocon foreign policy, but nothing like what Paul is advocating.

Simon in London said...

A Ron Paul election victory would be as if the Romans ca AD 100 had kicked out the Emperors and restored the pre-Marian Republic of ca 150 BC. Is such a thing possible in world history?

Mr. Anon said...

"David said...

They're getting a little panicky, aren't they? Dick was grinning and sweating even more than usual."

Perhaps Morris had only just had a toe-sucking appointment with his favorite hooker. They should put facts like that on the little footers that introduce the TV talking heads. So instead of "Dick Morris, Political Consultant" or "William Bennett, Former Secretary of Education", they should say "Dick Morris, sucker of whore's toes" or "William Bennett, Degenerate Gambler".

Dennis Dale said...

Whiskey's analysis would be perfect if he'd just covered the beta/treacherous female angle. When will you bastards finally get it?

I find it hard to understand why volunteer military personnel would vote for Paul who has promised to cut the military radically, putting them out on the street so to speak.

Yeah--imagine that, the people tasked with waging war see it as something other than a jobs or entitlement program. I've never been prouder of those boys.
War clarifies things, as somebody said. And pointless wars, nation-building nonsense, Afghanistan's culture of boy-buggery, etc tend to disillusion, I imagine.

Anonymous said...

David P. Goldman aka "Spengler" calls him "Mullah Ron Paul":

http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2011/12/29/mullah-ron-paul/

Mr. Anon said...

"Simon in London said...

A Ron Paul election victory would be as if the Romans ca AD 100 had kicked out the Emperors and restored the pre-Marian Republic of ca 150 BC. Is such a thing possible in world history?"

No. Death is a one-way process, for nations as well as people. Most Republicans will vote for one of the establishment, name-brand republicans, thinking that he will govern as a conservative. When he wins, and does not govern as a conservative, those befuddled Republicans will wonder why the country is becoming more liberal. Or Obama will win.

In any event, Paul will not win. I will still vote for him. People will tell you that voting for Paul is throwing away your vote. Nonsense. Voting for Romney, or Perry, or Gingrich is throwing away your vote.

Anonymous said...

Dis-entangling from the world requires the West doing without oil, and living on a Muslim-dominated planet. Sound good?

So all it takes to dominate the entire planet is a few nuclear tipped missiles?

Who knew it was that easy!

Sounds like this would support an argument for reducing the military. We can reduce it drastically and still dominate the entire planet as long as we have a few nuclear tipped missiles.

Anonymous said...

Iran's goal is a nuclear-enforced mini-empire with a monopoly over Mideast oil. With that, Iran can blackmail Europe and maybe the US.

You're assuming that the US and Israel would somehow disappear if Iran got nukes.

Europe is a client of the US and serves as a bridgehead for the US against Russia. Iran is an ally of Russia and China. Iran would not be able to blackmail Europe if it got nukes. It would give Russia more leverage in Europe. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you consider American domination of and influence in Europe to be inimical to Europeans.

Iran getting nukes would make it more secure, but it wouldn't empower some Persian or Muslim "neo-imperialism". It would help Russian and Chinese interests in the region.

From a recent Chinese editorial:

http://watchingamerica.com/News/134859/it-may-be-difficult-for-china-and-russia-to-stop-a-us-israeli-strike-on-iran/

"Looking at the present situation, a U.S.-Israeli military strike on Iran is increasingly likely, maybe even unavoidable. But Iran is important for Chinese and Russian Middle Eastern strategic interests, an indispensable ally. If Iran is occupied by the West, it will be hard for China and Russia to keep a foothold in the Middle East; thus the Middle East will unavoidably become a domain of the West, China and Russia will lose a valuable tool for checking U.S. power and China’s interests in Iran’s oil will be threatened!

But even though Iran is extremely important to China and Russia, if Western countries decide to take military action against Iran, there is nothing that China and Russia can do; they won’t start a conflict with Western countries over Iran, because publicly becoming enemies with Western countries doesn’t fit China’s national interests, or Russia’s. Therefore the two countries’ support for Iran will be limited to political and diplomatic contests, but weapons support can’t be ruled out. Furthermore, this help may be of no use to Iran; it might be unable to prevent a U.S.-Israeli military attack on Iran."

Anonymous said...

But real air warriors, who still have the gonads to speak honestly, understand that:


1) The F-22 is the only platform we have that can guarantee air superiority in the immediate future, and

2) The F-22 is the only platform we have that ACTUALLY EXISTS IN REALITY at this time.


To paraphrase Bismarck, the USA is bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors and to the east and west by fish. Canada has about 130 CF-18s. Mexico has only 10 F-5 fighters in its entire arsenal. Yes, ten 35+ year old F-5s.

The F-22 was designed for the Cold War and its enemy is gone. There is no other nation out there building up a massive air fleet with the intent of taking over the world. There is no one in the distant future who could assembly an air fleet and fight over the USA. And yes, I mean China and Russia. Neither of which is interested in invading the USA

The only justification for these types of planes is if we wish to continue our interventionists policies, for example, deploying to Georgia to take on the Russians. You know, the types of missions for which the actual defense of the USA is not even an issue.

Even without the F-22s the USA still has the world's most powerful airforce. And there is no one building up one to challenge us. The biggest damage done to our air force in the last 20 years has not been from an enemy. It has been from the constant non-stop use of our assets from no-fly zones to wasted wars.

Tony said...

When did spending a trillion dollars and the lives of 4500 Americans on a useless war become the standard of sanity?

Anonymous said...

You're willing to admit [albeit tacitly] that the best platform we can wield in the here and now - in reality, as it actually exists - is the F-22?

And yet you would prefer that we intentionally handicap ourselves by arming our air warriors with something less than the best?

If the foundational tenet of Palecon foreign policy is "Rubble doesn't make trouble," then the immediate corollary in the Paleocon playbook would be "He, who owns the best rubble-makers, wins."

So is Paul a Paleocon, or is he a libertarian nihilist?

Baker Zhivago said...

Cold War is over but so many conservatives are still addicted to a us-vs-them foreign policy. one reason is the way Christian Zionists and Jewish media have worked on the minds of Americans. Another is the psychological need for the American Right to have 'an existential enemy' outside the US since American conservatives are not supposed to be angry with blacks, Jews, gays, illegal aliens. If you can't be angry with Blacks, be angry with Muslims. If you can't be angry with Jews, be angry with Chinese. If you can't be angry with illegals, be angry with tyrants around the world.

So silly.

Hunsdon said...

Metternich said: Iran has been shouting "Death to America" for 31 years and is building nuclear-tipped missiles to intimidate the rest of the Middle East.

Hunsdon replied: Metternich, this is an honest question. Are you mocking the Whiskey line, or do you actually believe this? Sometimes my sarcasm filter can't decide whether to kick in.

Anonymous said...

"A Ron Paul election victory would be as if the Romans ca AD 100 had kicked out the Emperors and restored the pre-Marian Republic of ca 150 BC. Is such a thing possible in world history?"

It seems that decay can only be delayed, not reversed. Marcus Aurelius gives way to Commodus, and suddenly you've got someone like Maximinus running the place.

Svigor said...

Hunsdon replied: Metternich, this is an honest question. Are you mocking the Whiskey line, or do you actually believe this? Sometimes my sarcasm filter can't decide whether to kick in

Same here. I figured maybe Whiskey forgot to log out his sock puppet or something.

NOTA said...

anon:

Who will those f22s be flighting? At this point, each additional six planes cost us about s billion dollars, so. probably we should have s clear idea what we are going to use them for.

Anonymous said...

Who will those f22s be flighting?

Oh, come on you people, this is supposed to be a Palecon board: YOU OUTFIT YOUR AIR-WARRIORS IN F-22s PRECISELY SO THAT THEY NEVER HAVE TO FIGHT ANYONE AT ALL!!!

Sheesh.

Did you guys sleep through the Reagan era?!?

[Or maybe you weren't born yet?]

Simon in London said...

I guess F-22s might be useful for gaining air supremacy over Russia vs the best Russian MiGs. An impossible goal, since Russian mnilitary doctrine if Russia is invaded is to launch all her nukes, and it really won't matter a bit who has the best fighter planes.

Otherwise, for beating up third world air forces, F-15s still work fine.

Simon in London said...

anon:
"Iran getting nukes would make it more secure"

AFAICT, a more secure Iran would probably be a good thing. Saudi Arabian Salafism's control over the minds of Muslims in the West is a far bigger danger to us than Iran ever will be.

Simon in London said...

On military spending in general, I knew the US spent far more than anybody else, but checking main battle tank data recently really brought it into perspective. The USA has thousands and thousands of top of the line M1A2 Abrams MBTs. Russia, the next greatest tank power, has the T90 as its (semi) modern tank. The T90 is a lighter, cheaper tank, designed to fight like the T34 vs the German Tiger: get in close and overrun with superior numbers. 4-6 T90s could probably take out an M1A2. But the Russians have only a few hundred T-90s, most of their tanks date from the 1980s and earlier. The US outguns Russia, the closest 'near peer competitor' in tank fighting power by more than ten to one. The Chinese don't have much, either.

Who is America going to fight with her enormous tank army? Anyone who sees them coming will just hide, as in Iraq 2003, or in the Russians' case will use battlefield nuclear artillery, as they planned to do if the US intervened in South Ossetia. And tanks are one of the cheaper, saner items on the US military budget.

NOTA said...

Anon:

Yeah, I can't think of who we need top of the line fighter jets to fight, either. I don't think invoking St Ron will help, either--Reagan was facing an expansionist empire with a tough military; we aren't.

Dennis Dale said...

I can't believe we've returned to comparing tank numbers. Look at a map. This fallacy was discredited during the Reagan administration.

Who is America going to fight with her enormous tank army?

Exactly. Once we match the Soviets, er, Russians, we'll need a whole new fleet of C17s to transport them. Think of the jobs...

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Whiskey is a complete loser as a person, making less money than most. Do productive people think in these whiny, self-pitying, paranoid, delusional patterns? You really need to stop spending so much time on Roissy's blog; that sociopath is playing you for a fool. Of course, Roissy's blog is the closest Whiskey comes to getting girls.

In what world is Ron Paul's neo-isolationist worldview the same as Obama, the liberal interventionist?

Anonymous said...

Whiskey is completely deranged as usual, Obama is indistinguishable from Paul? Obama tripled troop deployments to Afghanistan, lead materially the NATO toppling of Libya's Qaddafi, hasn't even lightly weakened the Patriot Act despite claiming he would repeal it, and OBTW, is now supporting NDAA, which allows for indefinite detention of American citizens by the military. Paul btw, is the only major party candidate running for President that opposes these things.

Re the F-22, it is superior to every other fighter that has been built, including the Eurofighter and the future Russian fighters which exist only as prototypes, and is far superior to the not yet built F-35 which is just a modern version of the F-4 Phantom that was continually embarrassed during Vietnam by slower Russian fighters. Everything old is new again.

Simon in London said...

Dennis Dale:
"I can't believe we've returned to comparing tank numbers. Look at a map. This fallacy was discredited during the Reagan administration."

The US never needed a tank army to keep the Russians out of America, superior naval & air forces assured that, even without considering nukes.

I think there was a case for having a tank army to help keep the Russians out of western Europe (where I live) without having to rely entirely on nuclear deterrence, though. Until the 1980s, US & NATO ground forces in Europe were sufficiently inferior to Russian/Soviet ones
that a conventional attack was potentially attractive, if the Russians believed the US would not use nuclear weapons. The Reagan build up took that option off the table.

But then Russia collapsed economically, Communism ended, the threat to western Europe dissipated, but the US military build up barely paused, before accelerating again post-2000, in a world that had changed radically.

Anonymous said...

You're willing to admit [albeit tacitly] that the best platform we can wield in the here and now - in reality, as it actually exists - is the F-22?


And yet you would prefer that we intentionally handicap ourselves by arming our air warriors with something less than the best?


That is only a "handicap" if some theoretical opponent has a better fighter plane than "something less than" the F-22. Since they don't, it's not.

As we've seen in Libya, once we create the ability for the US to do stupid things easily, it becomes much more likely to do them.

Ideally going to war should take a vote by Congress. Since that is no longer the case, it would be preferable if going to war resulted in some US military casualties. That's the only remaining check on Presidents using the military to fight wars on a whim.

roy said...

"Iran's goal is a nuclear-enforced mini-empire with a monopoly over Mideast oil. With that, Iran can blackmail Europe and maybe the US."

Ok, say the Iranian's stop selling us oil. Well, then we'll stop selling them food, medicine . . . pretty much everything but oil.

Let's see who blinks first.