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Ron Paul in the New York Times Magazine - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Jul. 19th, 2007

10:21 pm - Ron Paul in the New York Times Magazine

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Ron Paul in the New York Times Magazine

Paul has made a habit of objecting to things that no one else objects to. In October 2001, he was one of three House Republicans to vote against the USA Patriot Act. He was the sole House member of either party to vote against the Financial Antiterrorism Act (final tally: 412-1). In 1999, he was the only naysayer in a 424-1 vote in favor of casting a medal to honor Rosa Parks. Nothing against Rosa Parks: Paul voted against similar medals for Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. He routinely opposes resolutions that presume to advise foreign governments how to run their affairs: He has refused to condemn Robert Mugabe’s violence against Zimbabwean citizens (421-1), to call on Vietnam to release political prisoners (425-1) or to ask the League of Arab States to help stop the killing in Darfur (425-1).

Original: craschworks - comments

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From:ernunnos
Date:July 20th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
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Best friend of genocidal maniacs. The good news is, when I get around to killing Americans who don't agree with me, Ron Paul is one guy I won't have to worry about.
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From:crasch
Date:July 20th, 2007 08:54 am (UTC)
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If voting against symbolic clucking makes Paul a "best friend of genocidal maniacs", what does voting to give millions of dollars to Mugabe make Bush and the rest of Congress?
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From:ernunnos
Date:July 20th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
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"...offers Zimbabwe millions in aid and debt forgiveness and a promise to help promote foreign trade and investment in return for democratic reforms."

Yes, offering concrete incentives for good behavior is exactly the same as refusing to even symbolically condemn bad behavior. Exactly.

I think the first people I'll execute are the ones who've smoked enough pot to accept that logic.
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From:crasch
Date:July 20th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC)
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You're right, giving millions of dollars to evil dictators is not the same thing as refusing to symbolically condemn bad behavior.



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From:ernunnos
Date:July 20th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
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Once again you leave out that it's conditional on getting something - reforms which help people - in return. Now that is a deal with the devil, and you can rightly argue over whether those concessions are bought at a reasonable price.

But Ron Paul's support for evil dictators is unconditional and unwavering, completely independent from the costs or benefits.
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From:laffingkat
Date:July 31st, 2007 03:06 am (UTC)
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I can understand people not wanting to send troops to fight dictators in other countries or not wanting to send aid, but I can't understand how anyone could not be willing to condemn Mugabe's behavior, which is just blatantly evil.
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From:crasch
Date:August 1st, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
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Here's what Paul has to say about Mugabe:

"African poverty is rooted in government corruption, corruption that actually is fostered by western aid. We should ask ourselves a simple question: Why is private capital so scarce in Africa? The obvious answer is that many African nations are ruled by terrible men who pursue disastrous
economic policies. As a result, American aid simply enriches dictators, distorts economies, and props up bad governments. We could send Africa $1 trillion, and the continent still would remain mired in poverty simply because so many of its nations reject property rights, free markets, and the rule of law.

As commentator Joseph Potts explains, western money enables dictators like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to gain and hold power without the support of his nation’s people. African rulers learn to manipulate foreign governments and obtain an independent source of income, which makes them far richer and more powerful than any of their political rivals. Once comfortably in power, and much to the horror of the western governments that funded them, African dictators find their subjects quite helpless and dependent. Potts describes this process as giving African politicians the “power to impoverish.” The bottom line is that despite decades of western aid, more Africans than ever are living in extreme poverty. Foreign aid simply doesn’t work."

I'm not sure why Paul chose not vote in favor of the resolution, however, I think it's clear that he condemns the behavior of Mugabe and other African dictators.
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