Everybody takes sides. When the chips are down on important issues, everybody can eventually be found on a side of their choosing. Those that claim to be neutral on the important issues of life are either ignorant of the reality of where they truly stand or are attempting to deceive someone. Percentages are higher on the latter, which is unfortunate because it creates a disingenuous world where people carry false banners of affiliation and advertise ideological beliefs that contradict the way they really think and act.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s interview with Don Imus over the Israeli embargo of the Gaza Strip raises a number of disturbing questions about where this self-proclaimed Republican stands on a number of important questions. Ron Paul, a longtime isolationist, shocked many when he not only admonished Israel’s lawful blockage of the Gaza Strip, but also said that Israel’s action were nothing short of an act of war. When Imus mentioned that Israel was not attempting to stop humanitarian aid in the region, rather weapons being smuggled to the terrorist organization Hamas, Ron Paul released a tirade of unbelievable statements.
Paul legitimated the terrorist organization Hamas and attacked both Israel’s and America’s attempts to restrain terrorist organizations using boycotts and embargos. Specifically, Paul denounced actions taken against known terrorists and enablers in Palestine, Iran and Iraq under Saddam Hussein. According to Ron Paul’s thinking, the terrorist organizations and the countries that harbor them have been victims of Israel and America’s inability to continue to reach out in friendly dialogue. Ron Paul told Imus, “America should tell Israel they are on their own.” Paul’s assertion that we should abandon our ally Israel is shocking but it is only the tip of the iceberg of the congressman’s misguided thinking. If we are to question Ron Paul’s anti-Israel stance, should we not also question his overt anti-America stance?
Ron Paul’s interview with Don Imus is riddled with “blame America first” rhetoric. Paul starts like a modern day liberal by minimizing radical Islamic terrorism and placing the terrorists as victims and America as an imperialistic aggressor. The congressman also shows how naive he is regarding the differences between past aggressors of the world and the modern terrorist. Highlighting this point, Ron Paul casually says of Hamas, “Yeah, they’re probably not the best people in the world, but you know, didn’t we talk to the Soviets…?” This disconnect from the realities of terrorism combined with a “blame Israel and America first” mentality does not represent the Republican Party and is not in the same universe as conservative values. Ron Paul not only sounded like a Democrat when talking to Don Imus, but his rhetoric embraced the worst of the beliefs and values of the modern liberal. Ron Paul’s own words demand that he be asked, “Whose side are you on?”
The assertion that because America supports elections in the world we must also support and lift up terrorist organizations such as Hamas is more than simply wrong, it’s repulsive. If Ron Paul really believes that, then his long-term view of the world can be measured in inches. Americans have the sense, the ability and the right to reject terrorist organizations no matter how they come to power. America doesn’t abandon its allies for its enemies. Israel is being attacked by Hamas daily and it is here that war has been declared, not in the country’s attempt to safeguard itself through embargos.
We all take sides and we are all accountable to which camp that places us in. Ron Paul does not have to adhere to conservative values or even to the Republican Party. He is not required to be a friend of Israel or even to have positive American sentiment, but he needs to be clear about where he stands, which camp he really calls home. Ron Paul, whose side are you on?
Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of the books “Living Under The Patriot Act: Educating A Society” and “Feeding Lions: Sharing The Conservative Philosophy In A Politically Hostile World.” Paul is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 Entertainment Program of the Year, Conscience of Kansas airing on KSDB Manhattan 91.9 FM, www.ibbetsonusa.com. For interviews or questions, please contact him at? [email protected]