The Daily Campus - University of Connecticut: "Why Paul’s anti-war stance is refreshing to GOP race"Submitted by RoadtoSurfdom on Fri, 01/27/2012 - 03:31
Most of the 2012 presidential contenders are war hawks. President Barack Obama, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich are adamantly pro-war. Fortunately for the war-weary, there is a credible alternative in Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
In 2008, candidate Obama promised to end the war in Iraq. "If we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank," he said. Once in office, he neglected that promise.
Although Obama finally withdrew the troops from Iraq last year, he only withdrew them when the Iraqi government refused to allow American soldiers who committed crimes in Iraq to continue to enjoy immunity from prosecution. Moreover, more than 17,000 private security contractors and American military members remain in Iraq to this day.
Santorum is no better. He has stated that, as president, he would order air strikes on Iran if Iran does not open its nuclear facilities to inspectors. In addition, he believes that Iranian nuclear scientists should be treated like "an enemy combatant" or "an Al-Qaeda member." Santorum has taken this hawkish position despite the fact that, in 2010, Iran invited International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to monitor its enrichment process. Furthermore, Iran claims it is only enriching uranium at 20 percent. It would need 90-percent enrichment in order to develop nuclear weapons. In 2007, the American intelligence community declared with "high confidence" that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons. This declaration has never been rescinded.
Santorum's proposal to treat Iranian nuclear scientists like "Al-Qaeda members" is absurd. It would only anger Iran further, making war all the more likely. In fact, the CIA and the Mossad (the intelligence agency of Israel) have already been assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists. Perhaps this, along with increased U.S. sanctions on Iran, helps to explain Iran's increased hostility toward the United States, as evidenced by its warning to the United States to keep its navy out of the Persian Gulf and by the country's testing of long-range missiles.
Like Santorum, Romney seems trigger-happy. He has claimed, "The Iranian leadership is the greatest immediate threat to the world since the fall of the Soviet Union, and before that, Nazi Germany." This claim is outrageous. As former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan soberly points out, "[Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] does not control Iran's military, has lost favor with the Ayatollah [the Supreme Leader of Iran, who controls Iran's military], and has been threatened with impeachment. Ahmadinejad is a lame duck with less than two years left in his term." How can this weak leader possibly be compared to Hitler or the Soviets? Romney's statement is sheer war propaganda.
As for Gingrich, he asserted in a speech, "I believe [President George W. Bush] was right, but in fact could not operationalize what he said. That is, there was an Axis of Evil: Iran, Iraq, North Korea. Well, we're one out of three." Did Gingrich miss the 2004 report by the Iraq Survey Group, which concluded that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction? Does he not realize that Iran is roughly three times as large and populous as Iraq? Does he not realize that, given its current entanglements around the world, the United States does not have a sufficiently large military to occupy Iran?