September 14, 2007

Ron Paul: A Politician Idiot?

Upon sitting down at my trusty laptop to compose what would be my very first blog entry, I told myself that of all the presidential candidates, the one I would most certainly avoid writing about would be Republican Representative, Ron Paul. I figured there had been too much discussion about Paul in class, and I wanted to dig deeper into the dark depths of the candidate nation. Unfortunately, my big dreams of unearthing a less mainstream contender were squelched when, in my research, I stumbled upon a rather intriguing statement of Paul’s. According to The News Observer, Paul reportedly stated in an interview with ABC news on Tuesday, September 11, “If we as Republicans want to change things, we have to deal with the authority the president was given -- we have to remove that -- and we have to remove the financing, which we could do.” He continued, "But this tinkering around with how many soldiers are there and whether there's progress or not -- I think it's kind of missing the whole point.”
If assessing the resulting casualties and the calculated progress of an active conflict is not hugely a part of “the point” in a debate about the necessity of a war, especially the one we find ourselves hopelessly trapped in today, then what is? Clearly there are many facets to consider in determining how successful (or not) a conflict resolution is proving to be. But I think Paul would be hard-pressed to find a following for his notion that the number of troops in Iraq and status of the operation’s success are trivial factors in what has become one of the most heated political debates in our nation’s history, the debate about the proclaimed War on Terror.
The important thing to note about this statement is that it is offensive regardless of one’s opinions about continued action in Iraq. Political parties set aside, comments of this nature not only demean the significance of every life that is at stake (not to mention those that have already been lost), but also seek to bury any doubt or future debate about the war’s progress. I think it’s safe to say we can all agree that the question about the Iraq War’s future is and should remain at the forefront of the presidential debates.

1 comment:

Frank Rizzo said...

I think you're misinterpreting Dr. Paul's comment. I think his point was that arguing whether there should be 170,000 troops or 150,000 troops in Iraq is beside the point. Either way the huge costs (in both lives and dollars) continue and every Iraqi father or mother killed creates another member of the new generation of suicide bombers out for vengeance.

Dr. Paul was advocating Congress pulling the funding for the war, which would force Bush to withdraw the troops. I'd hardly call that an attempt to bury debate.