Ron Paul: Gaza crisis is blowback for past US interventions

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) spoke on Friday in opposition to a non-binding House resolution (pdf) expressing “strong support for Israel” in its invasion of Gaza and decrying Hamas as a terrorist organization that has put “hundreds of thousands of Israelis in danger.”

“I rise in opposition to this resolution, not because I am taking sides and picking who the bad guys are and who the good guys are.” Paul stated. “I’m looking at this more from the angle of being a United States citizen, an American, and I think resolutions like this really do us great harm.”

“The weapons being used to kill so many Palestinians are American weapons, and American funds, essentially, are being used for this,” continued Paul. “There’s a political liability, which I think is something that we fail to look at, because too often there’s so much blowback from our intervention in areas that we shouldn’t be involved in.”

Paul pointed out that if Hamas now has too much power, it is the fault of past actions by Israel and the United States. “We first, indirectly and directly through Israel, help establish Hamas,” he noted, “then we have an election [in Gaza], then Hamas becomes dominant — so we have to kill them. It just doesn’t make sense.”

“There’s a lot of reasons why we should oppose this resolution,” Paul concluded emphatically. “It is not in the interests of the United States. It’s not in the interests of Israel, either.”

Paul’s statement was consistent with his past positions. Last March, he was the sole member of Congress to vote against a one-sided condemnation of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.

Paul stated on that occasion, “I believe it is appalling that Palestinians are firing rockets that harm innocent Israelis, just as I believe it is appalling that Israel fires missiles into Palestinian areas where children and other non-combatants are killed and injured. Unfortunately, legislation such as this is more likely to perpetuate violence in the Middle East than contribute to its abatement. … I strongly believe that we must cease making proclamations involving conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States. We incur the wrath of those who feel slighted while doing very little to slow or stop the violence.”

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3 Responses to Ron Paul: Gaza crisis is blowback for past US interventions

  1. Don Tabor says:

    On this issue, I must disagree with Dr. Paul.

    In many instances, an overly intrusive foreign policy can have exactly the results he claims. Our sticking our nose into Russia’s dispute with Georgia springs to mind.

    But in the case of the Palestinians hatred for Israel, he is guilty of hubris in claiming they are simply responding to past wrongs by Israel, the US, or even the British. (Though the British are responsible for the illogical partitioning of the Middle East.) It is temping to assume blame for the actions of others, because when we do, we also are assuming we can change their behavior favorably by changing ours, thus imposing reason on an irrational world. But Dr. Paul’s reasoning here fails simply because reason has no place in the Palestinian mind.

    Palestinians from the beginning had the option to be prosperous participants in the economic miracle of Israel. Instead, they chose to attempt to destroy Israel the very day it was formed and have not slackened in their efforts in spite of the decades of misery they have brought upon their children. Reasonable people do not continue to make war when they cannot win and the Palestinians have absolutely no chance of defeating Israel.

    But you can’t reason with someone when god is whispering in their ear.

    Dr. Paul is exactly right about how to live at peace with rational people, but rationality is not permitted under Islam. When reason conflicts with their interpretation of the Will of Allah, reason is seen as deception.

    Neither the Us nor Israel must commit aggression to incur the wrath of the Muslim world, we need only to continue our awful breathing.

  2. Britt Howard says:

    I guess I agree.

    As far as his refusal to flatly decry past rocket attacks in March, I don’t know if I agreee with Ron Paul or not. That depends. If Israel was being heavy handed in some way to provoke it, I might agree with Ron Paul. If not then….not so much.

    I don’t see how a proclamation would be helpful. If the US sees the rocket attacks as unprovoked then diplomats could quietly assure Israel that we believe in self-defense and leave it at that.

    In general I strongly support Israel but, throwing around proclamations with strong language can be damaging. At the same time they could end up making the word of the US seem weak through the over use of proclamations.

    From a strategic standpoint, Israel is important. That value would be enhanced though if peace and stability with a neighboring Palestinian state could be achieved.

  3. reidgreenmun says:

    Libertarians generally oppose war as a solution for conflict. The exception for most Libertarians is that war is a necessary evil to defend one’s nation.

    I think Israel is defending its people and that the Hamas/Iranian forces firing rockets into the interior of the sovereign nation of Israel are clearly placing the citizens of Israel under attack.
    The larger unresolved question remains one of which people’s have a legitimate claim to the territories in the Middle East. The lines in the sands of the Middle East (“recognized “national borders) were largely drawn by Western nation states following World War II. From Mid East Web we read:
    Israel was created in 1948, after UN Resolution 181 partitioned the territory of the British Mandate for Palestine into two states for Jews and Palestinian Arabs. The Arabs objected to the creation of the Jewish state and fought a war against it. The Arab side lost the war, and the Palestinian state never really came into being. The territory allotted to the Palestinian state by the UN partition resolution was taken over by Israel and Jordan. About 780,000 Palestinians became refugees.
    Prior to 1917, the territory that is now called Palestine and Israel was ruled by the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and included three sanjaks (districts). The name “Palestine,” that was used by Roman and briefly by Arab rulers, was revived by the British, who received a mandate from the League of Nations to administer Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people.

    Of course the issue Dr. Paul was addressing was the matter of the United States of America interjecting ourselves into a foreign matter that does not directly affect the security of our nation. George Washington advised the country to avoid “foreign entanglements.” Thomas Jefferson favored “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” John Quincy Adams wrote that the U.S. “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”
    Has our nation signed treaties with Israel? Yes. But the question that should be discussed is should our nation have done that in the first place? More to today’s matter, should our nation continue to interject the United States into the affairs of the Middle Eastern nations?

    This causes me to ponder the question – if the Middle East did not supply the world with oil, would the United States be such strong allies of Israel? I think the answer to that question might be found in examining our nation’s political support for the many tiny nation states of Africa that are also under siege from the spreading conquest of Islamic rule.

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