U.S. Representative and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas told Arab Americans at a political conference in Dearborn this past Friday that he wants to see "a return to the Constitution and protecting civil liberties" and a foreign policy based less on making war than "talking to other nations." ("Hopefuls call for political activism").
"If Kennedy could talk to Khrushchev in 1962 at the height of the Cold War, why can't we talk to people?" Paul said.
"We certainly ought to be able to talk to Third World nations that don't even have nuclear weapons.
"The talk about the war against Islamic fascism -- whatever that is supposed to be," said the populist congressman who is running a campaign that stresses grass-roots organization.
"I am not worried about that war -- whatever it is. I am worried about the war that will ensue after the bombs start falling on Iran."
I’m glad Ron Paul hasn’t got a chance.
He admits he doesn’t even know what “the war against Islamic fascism” is-- but he does know enough not to be worried about it.
Then again, he is worried about a war with Iran we aren’t in yet, the one we’re still trying to prevent, in spite of resistance from guys like him and his supporters, and almost all Democrats, who are convinced the only thing a defiant Iran respects is talk.
Why, candidate Paul wants to know, can't we just talk to other nations the way Kennedy and Khrushchev did "in 1962 at the height of the Cold War"?
Paul seems to remember 1962 as the happy year that two world powers just got to “talking it over”: no memory for him of the naval quarantine, the mobilization of armed forces, nor what a New York Times’ headline in the middle of the crisis described as “Kennedy Ready for Soviet Showdown.” The Times described Kennedy's televised speech to America as one that left no doubt that he and Khrushchev weren’t just two guys working it out:
“The President made it clear that this country would not stop short of military action to end what he called a 'clandestine, reckless and provocative threat to world peace.'"
Kennedy announced a US naval blockade of Cuba to prevent Soviet missile deliveries to Castro, knowing full well he was risking an armed exchange with a nuclear power.
"Let no one doubt that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out," the President said. "No one can foresee precisely what course it will take or what costs or causalties will be incurred."
"The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are--but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world," he added.
"The cost of freedom is always high--but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose is the path of surrender or submission.
If that's the kind of talk Paul has in mind, I'm all for it.
But it isn't. He likes the talk part, not the course that incurs costs or casualties.
As I said, I’m glad Ron Paul hasn’t got a chance.
The guy's a crackpot and worse--he’s a foreign-policy menace, and we'll all be better of when he’s out of the race for good.