Posts Tagged ‘ ron paul ’

Ron Paul and what causes suicide terrorism

Rep. Ron Paul is always a guy you can look to for some crazy comments. Whether its his views on the economy or on health care, this guy is always good for some raised eyebrows and a laugh or two. Recently, Paul has argued that the primary motivation for suicide attacks on the United States, like 9/11, is US occupation of Muslim countries. First, Paul made that claim in a web post . He said:

Though it is hard for many to believe, honest studies show that the real motivation behind the September 11 attacks and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism is not that our enemies are bothered by our way of life. Neither is it our religion, or our wealth.

Rather, it is primarily occupation. If you were to imagine for a moment how you would feel if another country forcibly occupied the United States, had military bases and armed soldiers present in our hometowns, you might begin to understand why foreign occupation upsets people so much.

He was attacked for this view at the last debate when Rick Santorum said “We were not attacked because of our actions,” Santorum said. “They want to kill us for who we are and what we stand for.”

However, as much as it pains me to say it, on this point Ron Paul is mostly right. Robert A. Pape , one of the most respected academic experts on national security, recently published a book (with James K. Feldman) titled “Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It.” In it they argue that Muslims are motivated to kill Americans and other Westerners because of

“deep anger at the presence of Western combat forces in the Persian Gulf region and other predominantly Muslim lands….  nationalism–the desire to protect and perpetuate their community’s political, religious and social institutions –is the central explanation for why some individuals …willingly chose to defend their community’s way of life by sacrificing their own in carrying out suicide attacks.”

Their evidence is compelling. They have compiled a worldwide database of every known suicide attack and confirmed suicide attacker since 1980. After looking at the database, one comes to the unmistakable conclusion that occupation and a desire to protect a community’s political, religious and social institutions are the root causes of suicide terrorism. Continue reading


Republicans and being “pro-life”

I tend to stay away from the so-called “moral issues” on this blog as much as I can.  But allow me a note on the enthusiasm for death that the GOP is currently displaying. Ask any Republican and they will tell you that theirs is the party of “life.” Recent displays at the past two Republican Presidential debates should assure us that this is definitely not the case.

In the first debate this month, the subject of Texas and the death penalty came up. At the mere mention that Texas executes more people than any country this side of China, the crowd rose up in applause. Applause? At the mere mention of the death penalty? Are we in the ancient Roman Colosseum? Does this crowd value life or doesn’t it? Don’t they know innocent people can be killed by the death penalty? (Here’s one guy I bet conservatives wish hadn’t gotten the death penalty)

Now, in theory the death penalty may be an OK idea, but in practice its a boondoggle. For one, you can get sentenced to death simply because you are black (no joke). For another, the death penalty costs much more than just sentencing a man to life in prison. So we know its not fiscal conservatism that leads to people liking the death penalty.

Maybe conservatives just have faith in their infallible government to always do what is right? I mean, the courts are part of the government. (That was sarcasm) I honestly do not understand this blood lust from a “pro-life” crowd.

Jacob Weisberg explains what happened at the second debate this month, in a question to Rep. Ron Paul:

What should happen, the moderator asked hypothetically, if a healthy 30-year-old man who can afford insurance chooses not to buy it—and then becomes catastrophically ill and needs intensive care for six months? When Dr. Paul ducked, fondly recalling the good old days before Medicare and saying that we should all take responsibility for ourselves, Blitzer pressed the point. “But, Congressman, are you saying the society should just let him die?” At that point,the rabble erupted in cheers and whoops of “Yeah!”

Again, this was a Tea Party debate with an assumedly a very pro-life crowd. “Let him die” is their new health care plan. Everyone better make sure they have their insurance card on them at all times. If you pass out in the middle of the street, the Tea Party ambulance isn’t going to take you to the hospital without it. Is that the kind of society we want to live in? One where  necessary medical care is denied to those who need it because they can’t pay? Morally it makes no sense. Even economically it would be stupid to have a society like that.

The thing that these examples prove above all else is that we need to stop calling people who are anti-abortion “pro-life.” If you asked the “let him die” crowd or the “yay death penalty” crowd, they would tell you that they are “pro-life.” Those people obviously aren’t. They are anti-abortion and pro-death if you mess up after you are born. I guess that’s fine if you feel that way, just don’t use a misnomer to classify yourself as something you’re not.