"The Patriotic Sheep" are often the most difficult to work with because they won't take a minute to consider that which they do not know…these folks are so busy defending the Constitution that they are often the last to consider the damage they are inflicting. — Rick Koerber, The “Brain-Off” Conspiracy
It’s a telling sign when the only two US Representatives who voted against a non-binding resolution last month to censure Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are also (thankfully) the least likely people to be elected president.
Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich were on the losing end of a 411-2 vote that reaffirmed America’s partnership with Israel, urged the United Nations Security Council to censure Ahmadinejad for past remarks about destroying Israel, and asked the U.N. to consider measures to prevent him and his terrorist cronies from obtaining the nuclear weapons.
Kucinich’s vote shouldn’t have come as a surprise since he has a long track record of hating Israel, freedom, and anything remotely pro-American. Kucinich tried to defend his vote by sounding like al-Jazeera and claiming Amhadinejad’s remarks had been mistranslated and that he really didn’t really want to destroy Israel – an allegation long since proven false.
Paul’s vote, however, was particularly disturbing. As someone who claims to champion the principles of liberty, it’s odd that he would vote against a resolution – even a non-binding one – that condemns a bunch of religious fanatics for wanting to destroy a vibrant democracy and the only beacon of freedom in the Middle East.
In his statement denouncing the resolution, Paul said:
This resolution is an exercise in propaganda that serves one purpose: to move us closer to initiating a war against Iran. Citing various controversial statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this legislation demands that the United Nations Security Council charge Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Having already initiated a disastrous war against Iraq citing UN resolutions as justification, this resolution is like déja-vu. Have we forgotten 2003 already? Do we really want to go to war again for UN resolutions?
So Paul’s vote is really one of “principle.” He was afraid that the US will go to war against Iran simply to enforce UN resolutions rather than its own national security interests.
Even though violations of UN resolutions were some but not all of the reason listed in the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Act that gave President Bush the legal means to go to war, America went to war in Iraq, first and foremost, because it was in our national security interests to do so. At the time it was widely believed that Saddam Hussein posed an imminent and strategic threat to the United States, our allies, and other US interests. Hussein had admitted to being in possession of weapons of mass destruction, his desire to acquire more, and he had a clear track record of aggression against neighboring states, and sponsoring terrorism. The war could have been avoided if Hussein had accepted President Bush’s last minute offer to relinquish power and leave Iraq. He didn’t. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Paul should know that the UN is the most ineffective and corrupt organization that ever existed. It has no ability or recognized authority to back up anything decides to do. Terrorist states such as Iran and North Korea, like Iraq before the war, routinely ignore ultimatums handed down from New York. UN “peacekeeping” forces that are sent to different parts of the world are ineffective at stopping even the most basic atrocities and instead rely on the military forces of other countries to keep the peace where its troops are located.
The real danger to our way of life is not from UN’s well-intentioned but ultimately ineffective resolutions but from terrorists who not only want to acquire nuclear weapons but believe their life mission is to kill every Jew and forcibly convert everyone else – including Americans – to their religion. If we go to war with Iran it won’t be to prop up the UN but to eliminate a threat to our security and freedom.
So what is Paul’s solution to dealing with Iran? He says, “We need to engage the rest of the world, including Iran and Syria, through diplomacy, trade, and travel rather than pass threatening legislation like this that paves the way to war.”
That sounds like something the UN would propose.
Paul’s blind adherence to his anti-UN principles is what causes politicians to ignore more obvious threats to freedom and cast a stupid and regrettable vote. Sure, the resolution was entirely symbolic but, sadly, even symbolically backing Israel’s democracy and the principles of liberty is too much for people who share Paul's libertarian politics if the UN is involved.
Paul’s logic in voting against the resolution is almost as twisted and Kucinich’s defense of his vote. The only difference is that Paul actually believes he’s acting in the spirit of Founding Fathers rather than just being someone who has been blinded by his own vanity and rhetoric.
Blind adherence to any set of principles or doctrine is dangerous. The lack of rational, objective thought when it comes to one’s beliefs is what causes some people to fly airplanes into skyscrapers, blow themselves up in crowded market places taking the lives of innocent men, women, and children, or cast a vote that ultimately favors murderous tyrants.
Thankfully, most Americans are able to see that both Paul’s and Kucinich’s positions are not based on principle but simply designed to boost their own egos.
Their air of self-importance is the main reason they’re both the leading presidential vanity candidates and long shots to win their parties presidential nomination.