The video wants viewers to imagine that Chinese or Russian troops invade and occupy Texas, and then figure out how Americans would react to that. Newsflash: Texans provide something like 30 to 40% of the US military, are very armed and wouldn’t take kindly to it. From there, the video makes ignorant excuses for the terrorists who murdered thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan over the years of war. It’s really a clueless, fearful, stupid piece of work dressed up in pretty graphics.
Ignored: The terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan slaughtered fellow Iraqis and Afghans by the thousands, wherever and whenever they had the chance. Ignored: That Iran fed the violence in Iraq for years both to destabilize the American presence and to keep Iraq, its longtime rival, weak. Also ignored: Not all American troops on foreign soil can be classified as “occupying” forces.
That’s how Ron Paul and his cult consistently characterize them, but that’s not what they are. The American troops in South Korea, for instance, aren’t occupying anything. They’re the tripwire on the DMZ, keeping the Communist North Korean army from invading and subjugating the free and prosperous South. The Americans are keeping the peace. The troops in Japan, of which I was one at one time, are there because the Japanese want them there both to keep the Soviets out when they were a threat and to keep the Chinese out now. Both Japan and South Korea pay a great deal of the expenses to keep the Americans there. The US troops in Asia serve to stabilize the region, as the host countries and their hostile neighbors realize but that funny little man who looks like Guy Fawkes doesn’t. The US troops in Europe served the same purpose, both keeping the Soviets and now the Russians in check, and keeping the Europeans from fighting each other again. The American troops stabilize the region that destroyed itself in two world wars. It’s cheaper in money and lives to keep American troops there than it is to rebuild the place after the locals blast it to pieces again. It can be argued that the overseas troops have served their purpose and therefore we should withdraw those bases. I’m sympathetic to that argument myself, at least as concerns Europe. But what cannot be argued is that the American troops there are occupying forces in any true sense of the term.
I bring them all up, because the simple-minded video above makes it seem as if every single American troop on foreign soil is a member of a lawless and hostile occupying army that’s one breath away from raping the countries they’re serving in. It makes no distinctions for the different roles the troops serve in different regions and whether the world is better off with them serving those roles or not. They’re all just occupiers on the level with a Chinese or Russian army squatting on bases in the US after invading us.
Never mind that Chinese or Russians troops would have very different intentions from any troops that America would base anywhere. Never mind that the US went into Afghanistan because its government harbored al Qaeda, which had murdered nearly 3,000 innocent Americans in the heart of New York, and never mind that we went into Iraq to take out a serious world threat who had been a menace for more than a decade. The video and Ron Paul in his own statements never take that into account, preferring the simple-minded “Well you’d become a terrorist too if China invaded Texas.” It takes a special level of moron to find such arguments persuasive in the context of the Islamist war against the world.
I feel like I’m pointing out the obvious, but the polls suggest that it’s not obvious at all. Ron Paul refuses to find anything good in American foreign policy, and he fails to see any difference between US intentions and those of Communist China and post-Soviet Russia. He believes that we should not have engaged in World War II in order to defend the Jews, when the truth is that we engaged in World War II because Japan attacked us on our own soil and Germany declared war on us. We found out about the “final solution” well into the war. From the American perspective World War II was never truly about holocaust, but Ron Paul casts it as such so that he can rationalize a non-interventionist policy. Which, knowing what we now know about the holocaust, is a ghastly thing to do.
It’s a funny non-interventionism, that doesn’t recognize that a nation that fails to defend its own citizens on its own soil isn’t much of a nation at all. If a nation doesn’t intervene to defend its citizens on its own soil, its enemies surely will take that into account.
His is a very strange moral universe, where terrorists are justified in attacking their own countrymen as well as Americans in the United States because we “occupied” Saudi Arabia (we actually based troops there to keep Saddam Hussein from repeating the Kuwait invasion, an invasion made easier because there was no strong American presence in the region prior to the 1990 invasion, because an earlier Islamist revolution had pushed American troops out of our former ally, Iran), but America is not entitled to defend herself ever, never mind defend her allies or do anything to ensure stability. He believes mercantilism is the solution to every world problem, which ignores the role that beliefs and ideology play in world affairs. He leaves out the history that led to American troops being based overseas, and his followers take his cues to produce the mindless video above. His foreign policy is part Ward Churchill, part Jack Murtha, part Howard Dean and part Jeremiah Wright. And his followers either don’t get that, or don’t have a problem with it. Or they don’t even know enough to know what any of that means or why it’s bad and ultimately dangerous.
It might be funny if Paul wasn’t on the cusp of wrecking the Iowa caucus and destroying the GOP and libertarianism along the way.