Matt then comes to the subject of Iran, stupidly suggesting that Ron Paul would give Iran an American “blessing” to develop nuclear weapons, a ridiculous strawman argument which just goes to show that either he has never actually listened to what Ron Paul has had to say about the matter or he just doesn’t care to be honest with his readers (take your pick). What he is really referring to is the fact that Ron Paul has argued that the U.S. should not use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Gasp! What an outrage! What heresy! But it’s too inconvenient for Matt Johnson to point out other relevant facts about what Ron Paul has said about it, such as that he wouldn’t want to see Iran get nuclear weapons, but that Iran has a right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, that there isn’t any evidence Iran has a nuclear weapons program, and that a military attack on the country would only serve to incentivize Iran to actually try to develop nukes to deter further such attacks—just as Saddam Hussein made the decision to move his nuclear program “underground”, so to speak, after Israel destroyed Iraq’s Osirak reactor, which had been under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supervision and inspections regime and in compliance with Iraq’s obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT). (A legitimate criticism could be made of Ron Paul because he supported this illegal attack by Israel on the mistaken belief that it was an act of self-defense, but pointing that out would be contrary to Matt Johnson’s purpose, so it is just as well he leaves well enough alone in that regard.) Never mind these inconvenient truths, all you need to know is that if Ron Paul was president, the Iranian nuclear weapons program the U.S. intelligence community continues to assess does not currently exist “would be given an idiotic American blessing”.
Moving right along, if Ron Paul had been president instead of George W. Bush, there wouldn’t have been a war on Iraq! Saddam Hussein would still be in power! Gasp! The horror! Except that if a Ron Paul had been president instead of Reagan, the U.S. wouldn’t have supported Saddam Hussein in the first place. If a Ron Paul had been president instead of George H. W. Bush, he wouldn’t have encouraged the Iraqi people to rise up to overthrow their dictator with the promise of U.S. military backing only to then stand idly by and watch the regime use helicopter gunships to slaughter those who responded to this call. If a Ron Paul had been president instead of Bill Clinton, the U.S. wouldn’t have given Saddam a green light to invade Kuwait in the first place and wouldn’t have then strengthened Saddam’s regime by implementing draconian sanctions that killed Iraqi civilians and made the Iraqi people dependent on the regime for survival. If Ron Paul had been president instead of George W. Bush, the U.S. would not have waged a war in violation of the U.S. Constitution and international law and would not have destroyed and inflicted sociocide upon Iraq; hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed in the war would still be alive, the country would not have been torn asunder with sectarian violence, and al Qaeda would not now have a presence in the country. But never mind all of this. Such facts are irrelevant! Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would still be alive, and that is all you need to know about what the world would be like if a Ron Paul had been president, in Matt Johnson’s calculation.
Returning to Libya, Matt swallows unquestioningly that the U.S. “protected innocent civilians in Libya”. In fact, the claimed pretext, that there was a virtual genocide underway, had no basis in fact and the U.S./NATO killed innocent civilians in Libya, both directly, by dropping bombs on them, and indirectly, by prolonging and escalating the conflict that analysts agree would otherwise have been over in a matter of weeks, rather than months, and by backing armed rebels including Islamic jihadists—al Qaeda being among them (do you see a pattern forming here?)—that engaged in massacres and human rights abuses of their own. Matt similarly laments how U.S. policy towards Syria “would be reduced to a series of sighs and shoulder shrugs” under a President Ron Paul—as opposed to once again intervening to escalate the violence and atrocities on the ground committed by both sides by coordinating the flow of arms and money to the armed rebels whose ranks include al Qaeda (do you see the pattern yet?) in order to implement a policy of regime change with the ultimate goal of weakening Iran’s influence and to pursue the same endgame of regime change in that country.
“These are the doctor’s orders?” Matt Johnson asks. “Ron Paul’s vision for the United States is dank, self-serving rot masquerading as ‘freedom.’” So actually upholding one’s oath to uphold, defend, and protect the Constitution is “dank, self-serving rot masquerading as ‘freedom’”. Americans should just accept that their elected official have no respect for and repeatedly violate the Constitution, apparently, in Matt Johnson’s view. So not engaging in violations of international law is “dank, self-serving rot”. Matt Johnson is also obviously an adherent to the doctrine of “illegal but legitimate” use of force, though we can probably safely presume that in his view, surely only the U.S. could decide what is “legitimate”, and illegal use of force by other nations outside of approval from Washington we must consider wrong. Insisting that the U.S. should not be spending taxpayers’ dollars propping up autocratic regimes or backing human rights abuses and violations of international law is “dank, self-serving rot”. Insisting that the U.S. should stop interfering in the affairs of other nations such as by intervening to prolong conflicts and escalate violence and siding with terrorist groups like al Qaeda is “dank, self-serving rot”, and so on. “The freedom that Ron Paul advocates is the freedom to deny the very existence of international obligations”, he asserts, with no inconsiderable hypocrisy. “It’s the freedom to abandon our allies and help our enemies.” You mean like supporting Saddam Hussein or siding with al-Qaeda, Matt? He says “It’s the freedom to permit genocide, sectarian madness, and mass suffering without even a hint of self-criticism”, he writes, but what he really means, translated into meaningful terms that bear some resemblance to the real world rather than some Orwellian fantasy, is that it’s the freedom to refuse to participate in genocide, to refuse to provoke sectarian madness, to refuse to inflict mass suffering without even a hint of self-criticism. Among Ron Paul’s most heinous sins is his agreement with the foreign policy prescription our nation’s first president, George Washington, for he “constantly reiterates the importance of avoiding ‘foreign entanglements’”. The insolence!
On June 19, 2012, he gave a preposterous, incoherent speech about Syria on the House floor. In it, he makes the following assertions: 1) “Without outside interference, the strife – now characterized as a civil war – would likely be nonexistent.” And, 2) “Falsely charging the Russians with supplying military helicopters to Assad is an unnecessary provocation.” As any fool will notice, both claims are completely fallacious.
And as any fool will notice, Matt Johnson’s claims about how horrible a situation the world would be in if a Ron Paul had been president for the past several decades are completely fallacious. Matt is incapable of recognizing how the U.S. backing for the armed rebels in Syria has resulted in an escalation of the violence—for instance, how the supply of anti-tank weaponry to the rebels had the consequence of the regime deciding to for the first time employ its helicopters—just as he is incapable of recognizing the hypocrisy of the U.S. criticizing Russia for upholding contracts to perform maintenance on Syria’s old helicopters (yes, Russia did not deliver new choppers to Syria, but Syria had purchased them years ago, although Matt neglected to clarify that fact for his readers), while itself helping to arm, fund, and train the rebel forces whose ranks—in case it hasn’t already been mentioned—include members of al Qaeda. When Ron Paul points out the fact that the U.S. is so doing, he “echoes the transparent propaganda of President Bashar al-Assad”, according to Matt. Facts be damned!
The takeaway message is that Ron Paul is a sinner, a heretic, a blasphemer, for having dared to challenge the status quo, by insolently demanding responsibility and accountability in government, by brazenly demanding that our government obey the Constitution and international law, by irrationally insisting that the government should not take money from Americans by force and hand it over to human rights abusers overseas, by audaciously suggesting that the U.S. should not interfere in the affairs of other nations by prolonging conflicts and escalating violence on the ground, etc., etc. (And this is not even to mention his atrocious positions on domestic policies, such as the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, and how Ron Paul since at least as early as 2001 had been warning against the housing bubble and the financial crisis its collapse would precipitate, as well as warning against the policies that caused it.) Such outrageous blasphemy cannot be tolerated, and just the act of considering such heretical ideas, or even just contemplating the name “Ron Paul”, should give every decent and self-respecting American a headache and force them to choke down some aspirin to alleviate the pain from having acted against their own self-conscience and danced with the devil by actually listening to Ron Paul’s profane blasphemies against the state religion.
And once the drug has dulled their senses, Americans can forget about this wicked presidential candidate who refuses to just go away and accept being “consigned to obscurity”, and think no more of him. Americans may then be tempted to contemplate his heresies no longer, but rest more easily at night knowing that the status quo will go on and that the existing establishment will keep on doing what it does, because America’s foreign policy is good and righteous and just, and that, in the view of obedient and self-disciplined commentators like Matt Johnson, is all Americans need to know.