I usually –but not always– refrain from posting about American politics, simply because this blog deals solely with Islamism and the Middle East, Israel ect. I must make an exception today and devote a post to the subject which was broached during the recent US Republican nominee debates held the other day in South Carolina. A video is posted on YouTube that shows Rudolph Guiliani taking to task Libertarian representative, Ron Paul, for his opinion on the damage an interventionist policy can have when it comes to violent blow back. Full transcript of the Paul/Guiliani exchange here.
Paul: “I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it. And they are delighted that we are over there cause Osama Bin Laden has said ‘I’m glad you’re over on our sand because we can target you so much easier’ They’ve already now since that time killed 3,400 of our men and I don’t think it was necessary”
Guiliani (interrupts): Can I make a comment on that? That’s really an extraordinary statement. As someone who lived through the attack of September 11th, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I’ve heard that before and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th. [ applause ] I would ask the Congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us he didn’t really mean that. [applause]
Guiliani states later on in an interview that he had heard similar statements from the Saudi prince
BandarA(correction Alwaleed bin Talal see below) , who then offered 10 million dollars to Guiliani who then refused to accept it. Personally, I was appalled by Ron Paul’s absurd assertion that the US is experiencing “blow back” from its involvement around the world. Helping the Afghan’s, Somalis and the Bosnian’s should have then created “good blow back”, but it didn’t.
A good acquaintance of mine who runs the Finland For Thought blog is a Libertarian, and a strong supporter of Ron Paul. Phil, who runs the FFT blog is a good, decent guy, and I like him. Though we have never met face to face, we have talked on the phone, I’ve been interviewed by him on his blog pod cast, and always had a very favorable opinion of him, and I still do.
That said, I must object to the rationale behind some of his support for Ron Paul, which is, that “non-interventionism would have saved us from the Islamist jihad currently raging around the world”, or more simply put, “chickens coming home to roost in response to US activity in the world”.
Phil: “I’m totally with RP on this one, and so are the libertarians. Libertarians have always had a non-interventionist policy. They were fearing for this kind of stuff way before 9/11.” “Wow, I am really excited about Ron Paul and the upcoming U.S. Presidential elections. The more I hear from Dr. Paul, the more respect I have for him. The more I hear from Giuliani, the more I realize he’s just another reincarnation of Bush, there’s absolutely no difference between these two (Giuliani was only pretending to be liberal in order to win NYC voters). Anyone who thinks all these Middle Easterners want to harm the U.S. because they’re jealous of our “freedom” is just plain retarded.”
For the record, I do believe that jihadis do want to harm the West because of our freedom, you just need to read about the founder of modern day Islamism, Sayeed Q’tib and understand just how much he hated the West, long before “we were mixing it up in the ME. And that does not make me retarded (or mentally challenged), but enlightened.
I believe Phil and other like minded individuals (whether Libertarian or Democrats) are simply wrong, and are in denial over what the enemy stands for and what they hope to achieve. Like the Israeli Left who refuse to believe, time and time again, that the Palestinians truly do reject a Jewish state in the heart of the Arab/Muslim Middle East, the pre-9/11 mindset refuse to believe that this religious brand of totalitarianism and intolerance is really rejecting them for who they are, not for what the US has supposedly done.
Like Hamas and Hezbollah who may allow individual Jews the right to live amongst them (as dhimmis) –political Jewish self determination is simply not an option– the international jihadis(al-Qaida will allow for some accommodation with the west, but it comes with a price, in the form of paying them off, and then when they achieve a level of strength and presumed superiority, the war is on again.
It is a never ending process and time is on their side. If you ever read or hear an Islamist talk, they never look to the present, but always to the future. They do have one feature that is praiseworthy, …patience. The Wall Street Journal has an article by the esteemed historian, Bernard Lewis, who draws our attention to the fact that, only through superior strength can we hope to stem the tide of radical Islam. Lewis:
“We in the Western world see the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union as a Western, more specifically an American, victory in the Cold War. For Osama bin Laden and his followers, it was a Muslim victory in a jihad, and, given the circumstances, this perception does not lack plausibility.
From the writings and the speeches of Osama bin Laden and his colleagues, it is clear that they expected this second task, dealing with America, would be comparatively simple and easy. This perception was certainly encouraged and so it seemed, confirmed by the American response to a whole series of attacks–on the World Trade Center in New York and on U.S. troops in Mogadishu in 1993, on the U.S. military office in Riyadh in 1995, on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000–all of which evoked only angry words, sometimes accompanied by the dispatch of expensive missiles to remote and uninhabited places.
Stage One of the jihad was to drive the infidels from the lands of Islam; Stage Two–to bring the war into the enemy camp, and the attacks of 9/11 were clearly intended to be the opening salvo of this stage. The response to 9/11, so completely out of accord with previous American practice, came as a shock, and it is noteworthy that there has been no successful attack on American soil since then. The U.S. actions in Afghanistan and in Iraq indicated that there had been a major change in the U.S., and that some revision of their assessment, and of the policies based on that assessment, was necessary.
More recent developments, and notably the public discourse inside the U.S., are persuading increasing numbers of Islamist radicals that their first assessment was correct after all, and that they need only to press a little harder to achieve final victory. It is not yet clear whether they are right or wrong in this view. If they are right, the consequences–both for Islam and for America–will be deep, wide and lasting.”
After reading the entire essay, you will understand that Bernard Lewis is not saying that the US needs to be brutal –as were the Soviets– in order to beat the jihadis, but that we should understand the nature of the enemy we are fighting, and be single minded in our determination to beat them. They only understand strength, and any sign of weakness only serves to embolden them more. *L* KGS
Update: Phil recently responds “Unfortunatley the libertarian wing of the Republican Party represents only a fraction of the entire party, I think Ron Paul will be this year’s Howard Dean.”
Yes, I still remember ….”the scream”. Ron Paul’s moment will be remembered as the “tail between his legs wimper”.
Correction: TINSC sent the following: “It was not Saudi Prince Bandar who was the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. ” He includes the folowing:
When Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal suggested that the attacks were an indication that the United States “should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause”, Giuliani asserted,”There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it… And one of the reasons I think this happened is because people were engaged in moral equivalency in not understanding the difference between liberal democracies like the United States, like Israel, and terrorist states and those who condone terrorism. So I think not only are those statements wrong, they’re part of the problem.
” Giuliani subsequently rejected the prince’s $10 million donation to disaster relief in the aftermath of the attack.
The Tundra Tabloids thanks TINSC for the correction.