Ron Paul's Retardation RE: The Taliban

I couldn't believe what I was hearing when Ron Paul opened his mouth and absolute nonsense came out of (but I repeat myself) on the Taliban during the last debate. I was going to write something about it, but I got distracted.

Thank God for Andrew McCarthy, who does my job for me and smacks Rep. Paul down here.

To set this up, Paul made a couple of false assertions. Since I've heard him make similar assertions in the past we cannot dismiss his belief about the Taliban as a slip of the tongue or moment of confusion. He actually seems to believe this.

I'll take them in order.

First, Paul believes that the Taliban, "used to be our allies when we were fighting the Russians".

I can't believe the moron believes this. But he does.

McCarthy responds:

while a number of the Taliban’s eventual founders were veterans of the anti-Soviet jihad, the fact is that the Taliban was not established as an organization until 1994. That is five years after the Soviet Union skulked out of Afghanistan and three years after [Afghanistan] collapsed.
I thought that was common knowledge. At the very least, it should be for someone with serious aspirations to become President of the United States.

A lot of my undergrad students believe this, but they're mostly morons. I usually give the smart ones who believe this a pass since most of them weren't even born when the war in Afghanistan was raging and the country completely fell off the map when the Soviets withdrew.

But Ron Paul was in Congress when that body was voting on giving money to the resistance, and he was an adult when the Taliban took over. He must have been, what, 87 back in the early 1990s? He has no excuse for not understanding the history there.

Second, Paul believes that the Taliban's "main goal is to keep foreigners off their land .... The Taliban just says, “We don’t want foreigners."''

Umm, yeah. That's why they used to publicly whip women who showed too much eyebrow. Because they hate foreigners.

McCarthy responds:

To begin with, the Taliban’s creation was a direct result not of foreign invasion but of Afghanistan’s internecine tribal warfare after the Soviets left and the Americans lost interest. Its unabashed goal was to crush Afghan factions that impeded its establishment of a retrograde sharia state.
The Taliban were in power before the US invasion of Afghanistan, so how could any one one believe their goal is the expulsion of foreigners? They may want US and ISAF forces out, but not because that is their long term goal. They want us out because we stand in the way of them taking back over.

Moreover, if the Taliban are just a bunch of xenophobes who's only goal is getting rid of foreigners, then what were they doing hosting Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda -- foreigners, one and all -- prior to the invasion?

Ron Paul is an idiot.

I'm actually quite sympathetic to the argument that we need to disengage from the Islamic world. I'm sympathetic to the argument that maybe we should just let them have at it and not worry about winning hearts and minds. And maybe that would mean re-invading the same country over and over again. But last time I checked, all this nation building isn't paying big dividends and we had almost no casualties in either the Iraq invasion or the build up in Afghanistan.

So, some of the policy suggestions aren't nearly as loony as Paul makes them sound.

But the way he gets there reveals that Paul himself is a crazy idiot. His followers and libertarians in the Republican party would do much better if they found themselves another spokesman. Maybe his son Rand could pick up the banner?

The only comfort I have in the fact that nearly 20% of Republicans support this lunatic can be found in the fact that nearly 80% of Democrats support that other lunatic. You know, Barrack Obama.

Posted by: Rusty at 06:29 PM


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