Ron Paul’s Position on Israel is a Betrayal of His Values

Ron Paul

FPJ — Doug Wead, a senior advisor to the Ron Paul campaign, writes in his blog that Ron Paul was asked by evangelical leaders about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “The real issue here is not what America wants but what Israel wants,” Dr. Paul told them, according to Wead. “We have no right to choose their capital…. If they say it is Jerusalem, then it is Jerusalem.” Wead summarizes Dr. Paul’s position as: “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Get over it.”

Ron Paul’s position, as reported by Mr. Wead, is morally and legally wrong, as well as strategically mistaken. Dr. Paul has stood out as a presidential candidate precisely because of his unwavering consistency and incorruptibility, the only one who is not willing to betray his values to win votes or pander to the lobbies. His statement on Jerusalem is extremely damaging to that reputation, and will no doubt give rise to the charge that he has sold his soul to the “Israeli lobby”.

If we give him the benefit of the doubt and assume his position is sincere, that he has not said this merely to win some votes, then we must assume that Dr. Paul is just not very well read on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is not the first time that he has been wrong in his views regarding Israel. His campaign often touts that he was the only one to defend Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, which is entirely inconsistent with his correct observation that “Another term for preventive war is aggressive war—starting wars because someday somebody might do something to us.”

Israel’s attack was not a “preemptive” act of self-defense, but an act of aggression, “the supreme international crime”, as defined at Nuremberg. The IAEA had been monitoring Iraq’s program, and there was no evidence at that time of any weapons program. Israel was only nation in the Middle East that actually possessed nuclear weapons (which remains true), and its attack was condemned by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 487, which noted that “Iraq has been a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT] since it came into force in 1970, that in accordance with that Treaty Iraq has accepted IAEA safeguards on all its nuclear activities, and that the Agency has testified that these safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date”. Far from making the world safer from the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, the international community, in strongly condemning Israel’s attack as a “clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct”, found that Israel’s attack constituted “a serious threat to the entire IAEA safeguards regime which is the foundation of the non-proliferation Treaty”.

While there’s no evidence Israel’s attack prevented Iraq from acquiring a nuclear weapon, according to U.S. intelligence, it was likely an important factor that played into Saddam Hussein’s subsequent decision to move his nuclear program underground and seek to develop an Iraqi nuclear deterrent to further Israeli aggression. An interagency intelligence assessment on the consequences of Israel’s attack stated that it “could be a watershed event in the Middle East” by adding “new strains” to “US-Arab relations” and sparking an “arms race” in which “Arab leaders will intensify their search for alternative ways to boost their security and protect their interests” (much the same observation that Rafsanjani made in 2001). Israel’s own possession of nuclear weapons made its actions all the more destabilizing. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan had “dispelled the ambiguity that surrounded Israel’s nuclear program by acknowledging Israel’s capability to produce nuclear weapons, and the raid on Iraq has laid Tel Aviv’s challenge before the Arab world in clear terms.” Saddam Hussein responded “by suggesting that world governments provide the Arabs with a nuclear deterrent to Israel’s formidable nuclear capabilities. His message to other Arabs is that they can have no security as long as Israel alone commands the nuclear threat.” In line with the view of the international community as reflected in the U.N. resolution, the assessment stated that Israel’s attack seriously damaged international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. “A related consequence of the raid is damage to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to the IAEA safeguards system”, which would “probably have a detrimental impact”. Contrary to Israeli assertions “that the IAEA safeguards system is a sham”, the assessment made a similar observation as the U.N. resolution that “The Iraqis have had the support of most IAEA members because of general acceptance that international and bilateral safeguards over Iraq’s program were sufficient to guard against the diversion of fissile material for a nuclear device.”

Ron Paul’s suggestion that the U.S. should recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is likewise a disappointing defense of lawlessness that would seem to indicate that Dr. Paul is unfamiliar with the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and rather bases his views on the establishment-approved mythical narrative, which is essentially the history as it is presented in Zionist propaganda.

The truth is that following the Zionists’ unilateral declaration of the existence of the state of Israel in May 1948, an act prejudicial to the rights of the majority inhabitants and for which there was absolutely no legal basis, Palestine was ethnically cleansed. More than 700,000 Arab Palestinians were expelled or fled from their homes, never allowed to return. The Zionist forces captured Jerusalem, and when an armistice was finally reached in 1949, Israel controlled the west and Jordan the east of the city.

In 1967, Israel invaded and occupied the West Bank and claimed to annex East Jerusalem. Subsequently, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 242, which emphasized “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, emphasized that member states have a commitment to abide by the U.N. Charter, and called for the “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied” during the June 1967 war.

In May 1968, the Security Council passed resolution 252, which declared Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem “invalid” and called upon Israel “to rescind all such measures already taken and to desist forthwith from taking any further action which tends to change the status of Jerusalem”.

In July 1969, the Security Council passed resolution 267, noting that Israel had since “taken further measures tending to change the status of the City of Jerusalem”. It reaffirmed “the established principle that acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible” and deplored Israel’s further violations of U.N. resolutions, censured “in the strongest terms all measures taken to change the status of the City of Jerusalem”, and confirmed “that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel which purport to alter the status of Jerusalem, including expropriation of land and properties thereon, are invalid and cannot change that status”, and urgently called on Israel to rescind the measures taken to annex Jerusalem.

Security Council 271 of September 1969 again reaffirmed the principle of the inadmissibility under international law of the acquisition of territory by war, describing Jerusalem as being under “military occupation” by Israel and condemning Israel’s continued violation of previous resolutions.

Resolution 298 of September 1971 again reaffirmed the principle, deplored Israel’s continued violation of U.N. resolutions, and confirmed that Israel’s attempts to annex Jerusalem “are totally invalid”.

Resolution 446 of March 1979 affirmed “once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention … is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel, including Jerusalem“, determined “that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity” (emphasis added).

Resolution 452 of July 1979 again deplored Israel’s continued violation of Security Council resolutions and again emphasized that Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem “has no legal validity and constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention”. It again also noted that Jerusalem is included in “the occupied Arab territories”.

Resolution 465 of March 1980 again condemned Israel’s settlement policy, which violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and U.N. Security Council resolutions, and again reaffirmed that Israel’s annexation attempts “have no legal validity” and constitutes “a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

Resolution 471 of June 1980 once again reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention “to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem“, and once again called upon Israel to end its illegal occupation of those territories, including Jerusalem.

Resolution 476 of June 1980 again deplored Israel’s continued violation of international law and reaffirmed “the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”, and reaffirmed Israel’s annexation measures “have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention” and were “null and void”.

Resolution 478 of August 1980 again censured Israel’s continued violation of international law and again reaffirmed that its annexation attempts were “null and void”.

Resolutions 592 of December 1986, 605 of December 1987, 607 of January 1988, 636 of July 1989, 694 of May 1991, 726 of January 1992, 799 of December 1992 all again reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to occupied Arab territory, including Jerusalem.

In July 2004, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s decision to build a wall in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, which concluded that “all these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and that Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power”, that the construction of the wall in those territories is “illegal”, and that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, similarly “have been established in breach of international law.”

Ron Paul’s defense of Israel’s Osirak attack and his statement on Jerusalem are inconstant with his beliefs in individual liberty and the rule of law, which is unfortunately damaging to his credibility and to his presidential campaign.

One must keep in mind that of the candidates, Ron Paul is also the only one who has said he would cut off all foreign aid, including the $3 billion plus given annually to Israel. This is not trivial, given the fact that without U.S. support, Israel’s criminal policies against the Palestinians could not continue. Ron Paul is the only one who has criticized Israel’s siege of Gaza and the massacre it carried out there from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009. He is unquestionably a preferable candidate than Newt Gingrich, who has said that Palestinians are an “invented” people. Or Mitt Romney, who has pledged that if elected president, he will “begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination”. Or Barack Obama, who told his Israeli audience in Sderot during his presidential campaign in July 2008 of his “unshakeable commitment” to Israel, and who declared that “Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel”.

It is a disturbing development in Ron Paul’s campaign to see him sounding on this issue more rather than less like his establishment opponents.

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  • Angelo

    I believe you may be erroneously conflating Paul’s support for Israel’s national sovereignty with alleged support for Israeli policy.

    What you claim to be Paul’s support for Israel’s attack against Iraq was simply his opposition to American intervention in the situation.

    What you claim to be Paul’s problematic statement on the status of Jerusalem is simply his affirmation of Israel’s sovereignty.

    In the years I’ve followed Paul’s political career he has consistently valued national sovereignty over international law. This is not to be confused with supporting any and all policies pursued by any and all nation-states.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Angelo, you speak of supporting Israel’s national sovereignty, but that is the problem. Israel is not sovereign over all of Jerusalem, which it claims as its capital. All of East Jerusalem is “occupied Palestinian territory” under international law, and Israel’s annexation considered “illegal, null, and void”.

      • jako

        But Dr. Paul didn’t mention “East Jerusalem”, he was talking about “Jerusalem” so it can be interpreted either way…
        There is also Israel part of “Jerusalem”.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          Jako, what other way are you suggesting it could be interpreted? Dr. Paul was very clear. He said that if Israel says Jerusalem is it’s capital, then we should recognize Jerusalem as it’s capital. Since Israel claims all of Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem as its capital, Dr. Paul was ipso facto saying that the US should recognize East Jerusalem as Israeli territory. This position is a betrayal of his own values, and we who support him should not delude ourselves about it.

  • Angelo

    Jeremy,

    Sorry for the delayed reply. Hope you are still available.

    I understand your nuanced points. However, the substance of your article doesn’t support the title of your article. The critique of the legality, morality, and practicality of Israel’s decision to move its capitol is quite different from demonstrating how Paul has “betrayed his values.”

    To the contrary, Paul has been very consistent through the decades regarding the primacy of national sovereignty over international law and international organizations. As long as I’ve known him he has always advocated for policies of neutrality and non-intervention in matters of foreign affairs. To construe his scant remarks on Jerusalem as anything other than a statement of neutrality and non-intervention is unjustified. At best you might say that Paul’s brief statement was insufficient or perhaps even evasive, but to go beyond that is reckless. Moreover, you fail to develop your article’s thesis. What values? A betrayal, how? You merely critique the proposed Israeli policy. Waiting for additional conclusive remarks from Paul’s campaign on this matter would have been prudent.

    Again, I urge you to review Paul’s position on Israel’s bombing of Iraq in 1981. Indeed, Paul has inarticulately described it at times during this campaign as “support for Israel,” but it was actually a vote opposing legislation involving the U.S. in the resolution of the matter, effectively subordinating Israel’s sovereignty to US geostrategy. What Paul was supporting at the time was Israel’s sovereignty and right to self-defense, not necessarily the chosen means of self-defense. Opposition to imperialism and foreign intervention can’t only exist when other countries behave in ways congruent with your interests and values.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      In what way is it NOT inconsistent for Ron Paul to support Israel’s “right” to bomb Osirak while rejecting “preventive” warfare, otherwise known as “aggression”?

      In what way is it NOT inconsistent for Ron Paul to speak with prejudice against the rights of the Palestinians while upholding Liberty and the rule of law? In what way is expressing support for Israel’s ILLEGAL annexation of Jerusalem and theft of Palestinian land a “neutral” position consistent with his view that the U.S. should NOT interfere in the affairs of other nations?

      Please explain in what way you do NOT see these contradictions.

  • http://eindpunt.blogspot.com Sonja

    I don’t see it as ‘betrayal’, because politicians will be politicians, and their behaviour is always more or less the same. One can betray a personal principle, or a moral conviction. But in politics’ dirty business, there exists only one principle, and that is anything goes in the interest of power and profit.

    If Ron Paul was a man of principles and moral convictions, he wouldn’t be where he was right now. The only politicians who can afford to be honest is when they have nothing to lose.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      You misjudge Dr. Paul. He is no politician. Not in that sense.

      • http://eindpunt.blogspot.com Sonja

        Misjudgement is always possible. If you can tell me why, I might change my opinion.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I would think it is rather obvious to anyone who has followed Ron Paul and who listens to him that he is not a “politician” as you define one, someone only interested in power and profit. If you think that about Ron Paul, you just haven’t been listening to him and clearly know nothing about him.

  • Enrique

    Dr. Paul believes that America should not even belong to the UN and NATO. Both have only caused America problems.

    • http://eindpunt.blogspot.com Sonja

      As do more politicians. Lots of politicians are against the UN and against NATO.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      That is a separate discussion.

  • Angelo

    It’s difficult to engage in productive discussion when you fail to either refute or integrate my previous points into your responses.

    You have demonstrating:

    (A) an erroneous understanding of Paul’s “support” of Israel’s bombing of Osirak and

    (B) an incomplete understanding of Paul’s political philosophy.

    You said:

    “In what way is it NOT inconsistent for Ron Paul to support Israel’s ‘right’ to bomb Osirak while rejecting ‘preventive’ warfare, otherwise known as ‘aggression’?”

    (A) Paul NEVER supported Israel’s “right to bomb Osirak.” Instead, he voted against legislation to insert the US in the dispute between Israel and Iraq, indirectly supporting Israel’s right to act independently without interference from the US. Your accusation is akin to blaming Paul for supporting drug use merely because he opposes federal drug prohibition. As I said in my last response (which you seemingly ignored), “What Paul was supporting at the time was Israel’s sovereign right to self-defense, NOT NECESSARILY THE CHOSEN MEANS OF SELF-DEFENSE (as you correctly clarify as “preventive war”). What don’t you understand about this subtle yet simple point?

    You said:

    “In what way is it NOT inconsistent for Ron Paul to speak with prejudice against the rights of the Palestinians while upholding Liberty and the rule of law?”

    First of all, your question implies that Paul has indeed spoken “with prejudice against the rights of the Palestinians.” I know of no expressed prejudice targeted against the Palestinians. Please provide your best examples of this. If your best examples are his recent comments included in this article, refer to my previous reply – second paragraph, third and fourth sentences (which you also seemingly ignored).

    (B) Secondly, Paul’s notions of liberty and the rule of law are intertwined with the Social Contract theory. His philosophy cannot easily accommodate international law or supranational organizations, hence his CONSISTENT desire to withdraw from the UN, NATO, etc. Because he believes in non-intervention and congressional war powers, he naturally has little to say about the merits of the hostilities among foreign nations. I have to think long and hard to recall any expressed opinions of Paul’s on foreign quarrels not involving the US. The only instance I can remember is the Russia-Georgia situation when he expressed empathy, perhaps you might say mild support, for Russia’s response. You may recall a few others, but any Paul observer would know that he generally avoids publicizing opinionated judgements regarding international affairs not affecting the national security of the US.

    You said:

    “In what way is expressing support for Israel’s ILLEGAL annexation of Jerusalem and theft of Palestinian land a ‘neutral’ position consistent with his view that the U.S. should NOT interfere in the affairs of other nations?”

    Once again, I ask for examples of Paul’s alleged support for said Israeli policies. In doing so I again urge you to distinguish between (1)support for specific Israeli policies and (2)support for Israeli policy-making independent of foreign (i.e. US) influence and/or support.

    Paul’s philosophy has CONSISTENTLY emphasized individual responsibility, similarly applicable to both individual people and individual governments. Paul’s foreign policy has CONSISTENTLY emphasized neutrality and non-intervention. Therefore, his statement is a CONSISTENT reflection of this philosophy. Whatever Israel implements as policy is the responsibility of the Israeli government and Israeli citizens, NOT the responsibility of any foreign or international authority. Israelis must be allowed to face the consequences for their collective decisions, good or bad, without the moral hazard of being bailed out by the Bomber of Last Resort (i.e. the US). This has been Paul’s CONSISTENT philosophy on matters of foreign policy towards Israel.

    It appears as if you have misadvertised your own argument in a provocative manner, perhaps in order to attract traffic. You are incorrectly accusing Paul of betrayal and inconsistency without even providing the requisite evidence. What material you do provide more accurately criticizes Israeli policies, not Paul. Your apparent desire for Paul to be publicly critical of Israeli policy may have legitimacy, but his reluctance to do so is not evidence of Paul betraying his values. Rather, it is evidence of Israel betraying Paul’s values.

    Fyi, I will concede that Wead’s comment was uncharacteristically tactless and worthy of more revision than Paul’s.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      No, Angelo, you are wrong.

      Ron Paul’s position then and now is that Israel had a right as a sovereign nation to bomb Osirak. You yourself put it this way, that he supported “Israel’s right to act independently without interference from the US”. Okay, so he supported Israel’s “right” to bomb Osirak, by your own admission. Israel has no such “right”, it wasn’t self-defense, and this view of Ron Paul’s is inconsistent with his opposition to “preventive” warfare, a.k.a. aggression.

      In what way is Ron Paul’s statement about Jerusalem not supportive of Israel’s policy of illegal annexation and thus prejudicial to the rights of the Palestinians? I fail to see what part of that you could possibly be missing.

      • Luke Hale

        “In what way is Ron Paul’s statement about Jerusalem not supportive of Israel’s policy of illegal annexation and thus prejudicial to the rights of the Palestinians? I fail to see what part of that you could possibly be missing.”

        I can perhaps see how by Ron Paul supporting Israel’s right to make their own policy, that one could perceive that as indirectly supporting that policy, but I don’t think that is what is being said. Perhaps if Ron Paul had actually said he supported the decisions of Israel, that would be different.

        Supporting Israel’s right to make a decision, and supporting that decision, are not one in the same.

        I also agree with Angelo’s point above
        “(A) Paul NEVER supported Israel’s “right to bomb Osirak.” Instead, he voted against legislation to insert the US in the dispute between Israel and Iraq, indirectly supporting Israel’s right to act independently without interference from the US. Your accusation is akin to blaming Paul for supporting drug use merely because he opposes federal drug prohibition. As I said in my last response (which you seemingly ignored), “What Paul was supporting at the time was Israel’s sovereign right to self-defense, NOT NECESSARILY THE CHOSEN MEANS OF SELF-DEFENSE (as you correctly clarify as “preventive war”). What don’t you understand about this subtle yet simple point?”

        I would add to that point he made about drugs. What you are saying overall would be similar to saying that because Ron Paul wants to leave the decision of drug use to the individual(which we can all agree is not a good personal choice) that he supports drug use itself, which is obviously not the case.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          Luke, Ron Paul said he supported officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Please explain to me in what way that is not supportive of Israel’s policy of illegal annexation?

          Also, my criticism of Ron Paul with regard to Osirak is not “akin to blaming Paul for supporting drug use merely because he opposes federal drug prohibition”. You and Angelo are arguing a strawman. Here’s from the same blog post on Doug Wead’s site:

          He, alone, in the U.S. Congress, refused to condemn the action saying that Israel has the right to defend herself without approval of the United States.

          There you have it. Ron Paul’s position is that Israel had a “right” to bomb Iraq. Ron Paul is very wrong about that for the reasons I gave you.

          • Luke Hale

            I am not at all contesting your facts and quotes. Ron Paul is in fact supporting the right or “right” as you keep putting it, for Jerusalem to be their capital. Ron Paul is supporting their right to decide what their capital is, which indirectly shows support for their annexation policies. Sure, I can concede that logic.
            Let’s flip this around though. Were Ron Paul to do as you believe and refuse to recognize Jerusalem as their capital, he would be “betraying his values” because indirectly he is supporting the idea that it is the US who has the authority to decide where their capital is, and not Israel. Supporting their right to choose their own capital (regardless of whether we agree with that choice) is much more in line with his values than denying them that right because of disagreeing with that choice.

            Also, my and Angelo’s analogous comparison between Osirak and drug use is just that, an analogy, and not a strawman. I don’t believe he or I are using it as an argument in itself so much as to help you understand our view, because we seem to be talking past one another.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Luke, let’s not be ridiculous. This is not a case of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” or something. Were Ron Paul to “flip this around”, he would simply not be recognizing that Israel has a “right” to annex Jerusalem, which would not be a betrayal of his values, because Israel in fact has no such “right”. That’s it. Period. Simple. Not hard to understand.

      • John Mellon

        Sorry to come to this discussion a bit late, but I think I see the problem.

        As I understand Ron Paul’s ideology, he is a principled follower of the “avoid foreign entanglements” policy outlined in George Washington’s farewell address of 1796. Washington said ““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.” and “[L]et’s have economic relations and trading partners, but keep it economic. No political alliances.”

        Following this policy “in a principled way” requires that, with regard to one foreign nation’s interactions with another, there be no looking behind the curtain, no attempt to asssess “right” or “wrong”, no choosing sides. The underlying thought must be “Let it be”. So if Israel says its capital is Jerusalem — let it be. If Israel bombs an Iraqi facility — let it be. If Iraq sends Scud missiles with or without chemical weapons towards Israel — let it be. No U.S. intervention. Not even verbal intervention, because that is choosing sides, and a step towards physical intervention.

        Ron Paul’s statements are not a betrayal of his values, but an expression of them. The problem is that Mr. Hammond, the founding editor of Foreign Policy Journal, doesn’t agree with those values. He carefully analyzes foreign policy, which leads inevitably to entanglements as seen in his advocacy of the Palestinian positon here. He wants to hold Dr. Paul to his set of values, to have Dr. Paul choose which foreign entity is “right” or “wrong” based on history and international law. That is not how Ron Paul does it, and it is wrong to take his “let it be” as an endorsement of either side in a foreign policy dispute.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          John, your argument breaks down here: Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is ipso facto “choosing sides”. Thus, as I said, Ron Paul’s position is a betray of his values, one of which, as you yourself just pointed out, is that the U.S. should NOT do so.

          • Luke Hale

            As to this point, I agree, either way is choosing sides. The problem with that though, is that to be completely neutral, the only thing Ron Paul could do is to say “No Comment”, which is obviously not possible.

          • John Mellon

            If Israel is a country, and if countries pick their own capitals, and if Israel has picked Jerusalem, then a non-interventionist can only say “so be it”. This follows from the premises “we will not intervene in the affairs of a foreign nation” and “we will not choose sides among foreign nations”.

            A simple test circa 1796 is that “choosing sides” starts a fight or argument with a foreign nation, while “let it be” does not. Thus, putting an embassy in a country’s chosen capital starts no fight with them, while picking a different city causes a fight or argument with that government. So Dr. Paul’s answer is not “choosing sides” in this context.

            Obviously, the world is more complicated and distances are shorter than in 1796, and avoiding fights with sovereign nations doesn’t avoid all fights. But I think Ron Paul is trying his best to implement a non-interventionist policy.

            In effect, you are arguing that a completely non-interventionist policy is not 100% consistent with the rest of his beliefs. I wouldn’t disagree, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a “betrayal”. Do you not imagine that Ron Paul, or anyone trying to follow broad systematic principles, might have some points of friction or even inconsistency in their positions?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            No, John. You are wrong, because your “so be it” attitude is not “non-interventionist”. It is very much interventionist, for the reasons given. A non-interventionist approach would be to expect other countries to comply with international law. There is nothing “non-interventionist” about supporting a nation’s violations of international law and human rights abuses against another people.

          • Luke Hale

            I think your use of the word “betrayal” more than anything is probably what led to a lot of the strong response to this article, to be honest. Not that I think you specifically intended to do so, but the word betrayal just serves to sensationalize this headline due to it’s strong emotional undertones. Your argument is that on this point Ron Paul has been inconsistent. I will agree to disagree. But I do not think, as it seems so do a few others here, it is fair to refer to it as a “betrayal”. Word choice can make all the difference at times, as I am sure in your position you know better than most.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            I think the title is appropriate, given the facts. And I am a very strong Ron Paul supporter. I voted for him in ’08 (wrote him in), in my state’s primary in February, and will vote for him in November. I wrote a book about him. http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/books/. But “betrayal” is perfectly appropriate, given how prejudicial his remarks were towards the Palestinians.