A few months ago Ron Paul touched off a media flap by agreeing to give the keynote address, on September 11, to a conference of the Fatima Center in Niagara Falls, Canada. The American Jewish Committee said it was “appalled” and “dismayed” and called on Paul to reconsider. Of course, he did not take the advice.
The Fatima Center is a Catholic fringe group whose leader, Father Nicholas Gruner, was suspended by the Vatican in 1996.
As a Huffington Post blogger noted at the time, the center,
has in the past published writing suggesting that Jews should be stripped of certain civil rights…. Gruner [and other leaders] have for over two decades promoted claims that a global conspiracy of wealthy “apostate Jews” and Freemasons—who are alleged to have financed Hitler and the Nazis and hold a “Hitler-like doctrine of exterminating the gentile races and repopulating the Earth with their own kind”—is plotting to institute a “New World Order” global government under the command of the anti-Christ.
…Also…at the event will be speakers who have promoted Holocaust denial and portrayed global warming as a hoax that will be used to justify a Jewish and Israeli-led genocide of most of the Earth’s population, and who reject the long-established scientific fact that the Earth orbits the Sun.
Gruner himself is a blatant Holocaust denier, and the Southern Poverty Law Center has called the Fatima Center “perhaps the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America.”
What, then, was the longtime congressman and three-time presidential aspirant doing—on September 11, of all days—addressing such a gathering?
Before turning to Paul’s antisemitism, it’s worth noting that, as evidenced in his infamous newsletters and elsewhere, he is not much of an American patriot either, and in that regard his timing in addressing the Fatima Center made sense. Among over-the-brink libertarians like Paul, ostensibly rational antigovernment positions are a cover for paranoid hostility.
Paul gave credence to the theory, later shown to have been the product of a Soviet disinformation effort, that AIDS had been created in a U.S. government laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Three months before far-right extremists killed 168 Americans in Oklahoma City, Paul’s newsletter praised the “1,500 local militias now training to defend liberty” as “one of the most encouraging developments in America….”
And as for the 9/11 attack itself,
Paul continues to be the favorite candidate of those who believe that the United States either orchestrated the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, or allowed them to happen in order to create the pretext for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s not hard to understand why. In a December 9 speech to supporters in Iowa, Paul had this to say: “Just think of what happened after 9/11. Immediately before there was any assessment there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq.”
Far-right paranoics are also an antisemitic lot, and Ron Paul is no exception.
As Kirchik reported in an earlier article,
[Paul’s] newsletters display an obsession with Israel; no other country is mentioned more often in the editions I saw, or with more vitriol. A 1987 issue of Paul’s Investment Letter called Israel “an aggressive, national socialist state,” and a 1990 newsletter discussed the “tens of thousands of well-placed friends of Israel in all countries who are willing to wok [sic] for the Mossad in their area of expertise.” Of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a newsletter said, “Whether it was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.
Paul’s newsletters were published for over two decades beginning in 1978. Taking heat for them during his 2008 election campaign, he tried to disassociate himself from them. But while particular articles usually bore no byline, most were written in the first person and in some cases referred to Paul’s congressional career, medical career, and wife.
And Paul, according to a report in Reason, appears to have earned millions from the newsletters. His name, of course, was always part of the title (Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Political Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report, the Ron Paul Investment Letter).
Paul also told Ed Crane of the Cato Institute that “his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for The Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto until it folded in 2001.”
And so it goes, post-newsletter, in the new millennium.
Since 2008 Paul has been a guest on the radio program of far-right conspiracy kook Alex Jones, who in a “documentary,” notes Kirchik,
reveals the secret plot of George Pataki, David Rockefeller, and Queen Beatrix, among other luminaries, to exterminate humanity and transform themselves into “superhuman” computer hybrids able to “travel throughout the cosmos.”
Jones also claimed Israeli rescue teams in Haiti were there for the purpose of stealing organs.
In 2011, soon after getting an endorsement for his presidential bid from arch-antisemite and racist David Duke, it turned out Ron Paul had been photographed with Don Black and his son. Don Black is a former Ku Klux Klan wizard and founder and webmaster of the neo-Nazi Stormfront site.
Isolationists like Paul generally favor military action only if America itself is attacked. One imagines that, if Mexico were to launch thousands of rockets at Texas, Paul would support doing something about it.
That was the situation in Israel in 2008, during which a total of 3700 largely Iranian-supplied rockets and mortars fired from Gaza fell on southern Israel—a very tiny area compared to Texas. It took Ehud Olmert’s left-leaning government until December to finally take action and launch Operation Cast Lead.
Even then it was too much for Paul, who took to Iranian TV to call Gaza a “concentration camp” where people were “making homemade bombs” and mocked the idea that Gaza—by then a haven for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups—was the aggressor.
The U.S. House of Representatives is a large body, and sometimes outlandish and noxious characters like Ron Paul—who is capable of accusing the United States or Israel of anything under the sun while showing friendliness toward Iran of the mullahs or Hamas-run Gaza—make their way into it. That his grander aspirations have been contained is certainly a relief.