Posted by: vernacularsnoop | September 4, 2008

Ron Paul’s antiwar message

On September 2nd, former presidential candidate Ron Paul spoke at a counter-convention in Minneapolis outside the Republican National Convention. Despite his strong dark-horse showing in the primaries, Paul was barred from speaking at the RNC. The following excerpt from his remarks, courtesy of Democracy Now!, may explain why Republican bosses didn’t want the maverick congressman to address their party:

    RON PAUL: You know, they like to describe us being on the fringe and a little bit kooky now and then, but isn’t that—isn’t that rather strange? We talk about these strange things, like balanced budgets, personal liberty, privacy, a sound national defense, defend this country. And we—and they want to say that these are bizarre ideas. But it’s time now for some just very good common sense.

    You know, they harp about the need to be around the world. And right now, the candidates out there of the major parties don’t have really difference in their foreign policy. They both want more troops in Afghanistan. They really want to maintain bases in the Middle East for a long time. They want to threaten Iran.

    And lo and behold, lo and behold, both candidates now think we should send more of your money to Georgia to protect that oil line. And that’s not the state of Georgia, either. You know, I told somebody once, I said, “Here we are messing around with Georgia. Well, before we know it, we’ll be sending troops over there, and our kids will be dying over there. And since they got out of public school, they probably don’t even know where the country of Georgia is.” And somebody said, “They probably don’t even know where the state of Georgia is.”

    But it is positively amazing how the war drums can beat and how the propaganda machine can work and how this country is—you know, can be built up to practically want to go to war against Iran. You know, Iran spends—Iran spends one percent as much money on their national defense as we spend. They have no missiles, no airplane, no tanks and no nuclear weapons. The UN inspectors say they don’t have it. And we’re supposed to be intimidated and scared. And we put anti-ballistic missiles on the border of Russia, because the Iranians might shoot missiles at us that they don’t even have. The Iranians—the Iranians, if you want to put it into perspective, they don’t even refine their own gasoline, and we’re supposed to be frightened and intimidated by them. We’ve got to get the truth out. That is what we need.

    Paul has declined to endorse Republican nominee John McCain. He has also declined to run for president with another party, such as the Libertarians, many of whom agree with his message of smaller, more accountable government. Ron Paul supporters often say that the goal of their movement is to take over the Republican party with Paul’s ideas, which they claim represent the true ideals of the Republican base. This strategy would seem to ignore the fact that the lifeblood of the Republican party apparatus is money from big corporations, including the fossil fuel industry and the military-industrial complex. A message like Paul’s in support of a sane foreign policy will be fought tooth and nail by the war profiteers and their cronies in the Republican leadership.

    Why didn’t Ron Paul run with the Libertarian party? In doing so, he could have drawn support from John McCain – who Ralph Nader has called “the candidate for perpetual war” – and helped to establish a strong independent party, outside the corrupt GOP, by earning 5% of the national vote for the Libertarians. Hopefully, libertarians will give up trying to revive the Republican party and allow it to be crushed under the weight of its disproven ideas.

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