Not Invading and Occupying other Countries Branded ‘Isolationism’
In a new low of despicable looniness, at the Republican debate in St. Petersburg, John McCain equated those Americans who want to stop militarily occupying Iraq with Hitler-enablers. He actually said that, saying that it was ‘isolationism’ of a sort that allowed Hitler to come to power.
It gives a person a certain amount of faith in one’s fellow Americans that McCain was booed by the Republican crowd for this piece of calumny. Comparisons to Hitler should be automatic grounds for a candidate to be disqualified from being president.
But then McCain is the same person who joked about bombing Iran. He thinks that killing all those children from the air would be funny?
McCain also repeated his standard lie that Iraqis would attack the United States if US troops were withdrawn from that country. He contrasted the Vietnamese Communists, who, he said, just wanted to build their workers’ utopia in Vietnam once the US left, with Iraqis, who he continues to confuse with Usamah Bin Laden (a Saudi living far from Iraq who never had anything to do with Iraq).
Of course, back in the early 1970s, if you had asked McCain, he would have said we have to fight the Vietnamese because of the Domino effect, and if we lost there then International Communism would be in our living rooms. Now, he says the Vietnamese Communists weren’t expansionist at all, and just wanted socialism in one country.
So then, John, if that was true and there was never any danger of a domino effect, why did we sacrifice 58,000 US lives and kill a million to two million Vietnamese peasants? You just admitted we weren’t in any danger from them, even if they defeated us.
But since you were wrong about the domino effect with regard to Vietnamese Communism (which I remember arguing in a class debate as a teenager in 1967 was just a form of nationalism), how do we know you aren’t just as wrong or wronger about your fantastic Muslim domino theory? After all, international communism was a big important political movement to which many governments adhered. Al-Qaeda is a few thousand scruffy guys afraid to come out of their caves, who don’t even have good sleeping bags much less a government to their name.
McCain is so confused that he thinks Shiite Iran is supporting “al-Qaeda.” When I think that people who say these crazy things serve in the US senate and are plausible as presidents of our Republic, I despair a little. (When I see a nut job like Tancredo on the podium, he of ‘let’s nuke Mecca,’ I despair a lot, but that is a different story.)
McCain also insisted that we never lost a battle in Vietnam. He still doesn’t understand guerrilla war. What battle did the French lose in Algeria? You don’t lose a guerrilla war because you lose a conventional set piece battle. Then it would be a conventional war and not a guerrilla one. You lose it because you cannot control the country and it is too expensive in treasure and life to go on staying there.
Ron Paul was only allowed to reply briefly to McCain’s outrageous and mean-spirited diatribe. Although the transcript says he was applauded for saying that it was only natural that the Iraqis would want us out of their hair, just as we wouldn’t want somebody invading and occupying us– I heard a lot of booing in response to that point.
At another point, Paul made the point that the quiet parts of Iraq — the Shiite deep south and the Kurdistan area in the north– are the places where there are no foreign troops to speak of. Unfortunately, he forgot the name of the Kurds and seemed to get confused, so I’m not sure he got the point across.
Here is the exchange.
“McCain: . . . I just want to also say that Congressman Paul, I’ve heard him now in many debates talk about bringing our troops home, and about the war in Iraq and how it’s failed.
And I want to tell you that that kind of isolationism, sir, is what caused World War II. We allowed…
We allowed …
Cooper: Allow him his answer. Allow him his answer, please.
McCain: We allowed — we allowed Hitler to come to power with that kind of attitude of isolationism and appeasement.
And I want to tell you something, sir. I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops, and their message to you is — the message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is, “Let us win. Let us…
Cooper: We will — please. We will get to Iraq…
All right. Let me just remind everyone that these people did take a lot of time to ask these questions, and so we do want direct questions to — the answers. We will get to Iraq later, but I do have to allow Congressman Paul 30 seconds to respond.
Paul: Absolutely. The real question you have to ask is why do I get the most money from active duty officers and military personnel?
What John is saying is just totally distorted.
(Protester shouts off-mike)
Paul: He doesn’t even understand the difference between non- intervention and isolationism. I’m not an isolationism, (shakes head) em, isolationist. I want to trade with people, talk with people, travel. But I don’t want to send troops overseas using force to tell them how to live. We would object to it here and they’re going to object to us over there.
The rest is here. This is what Ron Paul said about Iraq:
“Paul: The best commitment we can make to the Iraqi people is to give them their country back. That’s the most important thing that we can do.
Already, part of their country has been taken back. In the south, they claim the surge has worked, but the surge really hasn’t worked. There’s less violence, but al-Sadr has essentially won in the south.
The British are leaving. The brigade of Al Sadr now is in charge, so they are getting their country back. They’re in charge up north — the Shia — the people in the north are in charge, as well, and there’s no violence up there or nearly as much.
So, let the people have their country back again. Just think of the cleaning up of the mess after we left Vietnam. Vietnam now is a friend of ours — we trade with them, the president comes here.
What we achieved in peace was unachievable in 20 years of the French and the Americans being in Vietnam.
So it’s time for us to take care of America first.
Juan Cole is President of the Global Americana Institute. Visit his website http://www.juancole.com/
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