Ron Paul: He’d refuse to involve the United States in suppressing the Holocaust
To be fair, this is a hypothetical question – plus hindsight brings us information we’re unable to ignore – but the answer may be of interest to voters. Jeff Shapiro writes today on Big Government that he asked current presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) if he would have sent American troops to Germany during World War II to save Jewish lives simply on moral grounds.
In the fall of 2009, the answer was no.
… I asked Congressman Paul: if he were President of the United States during World War II, and as president he knew what we now know about the Holocaust, but the Third Reich presented no threat to the U.S., would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany purely as a moral imperative to save the Jews?”
And the Congressman answered:
“No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t risk American lives to do that. If someone wants to do that on their own because they want to do that, well, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t do that.”
There were a lot of other things going on during that time, so this hypothetical question is just that.
I’m going to be playing devils advocate here. For those of you outraged at Paul’s answer, what say you about the estimated 300,000 to 350,000 civilians killed in Darfur between 2003 and 2009?
Maybe the more appropriate question to ask the candidate would be at what point during the time of World War II would he have thought it appropriate for American troops to become involved? Before Pearl Harbor? Right after Pearl Harbor? At another time? Never?
If he did commit troops, what would have been the clear, defined objectives? Of course, this is a tough question to answer since we can’t just forget about everything we have learned since that time about the period, but I think it would be a fair question.
Steve. this is one of the most thought provoking posts evah! I believe that a nation no matter how strong, could not possibly send troops to any country just on moral grounds. In no time, the nation would be completely depleted. Would you protect Tibetan monks? Serbs or Croatians? Hutus or Tutus?? Soviets in the Gulag? Chinese dissenters? So, I give Ron Paul a pass.? Secondly, the US did not enter WWII because of German expansion into Austria/Hungary empire and it’s lust to retake all of the original German Empire.? The US entered WWII because we were attacked by the JAPANESE at Pearl Harbor. Saving European Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, gypsies etc. from being murdered was not the primary reason for our involvement but a gratifying result. When a nation is attacked it is necessary to fight. However, this raises another issue. If you are attacked by an entity other than a nation, say al quaida, who do you fight? Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq? it is a non defined group not a nation. I have no answer here.
I am with Lynn.
I have a major problem with Ron Paul’s position. It is incomprehensible to me that he would not intervene even the situation involves: the certain death of millions of people; the genocide will continue unabated without intervention; the victims are defenseless and not part of an armed civil uprising; torture, medical experimentation and other atrocities are also being committed; the genocide will be extended to other countries as the perpetrators invade those countries; the U. S. has the capability of making a difference. No, I can’t give Ron Paul a pass on this one. If he saw a neighbor pummeling his wife or child mercilessly and would likely beat them to death, would he not grab his gun (assuming he had one) and intervene? Or would that violate his isolationist principles?
I am with zedgar2.
How many other nations have these very same conditions, do you know? It is only ones that the media covers? China has the Guiness Book of Records record for killing the most of it’s citizens, in brutal and terrible ways over years. Does that surprise you. It is many more than the 6 million Jews.
After WWII (the whole number of atrocities besides just Hitlers regime, Sino-japanese etc) which is number one. The next is China see link
Question, did the US put troops on the ground in China?
One of the factors that I mentioned re the Holocaust was “the U.S. has the capability of making a difference” – i.e., we could establish a clear mission and have a decent chance of accomplishing it. That would have been an impossible bar to jump over in the case of China given it’s distance from us (a logistical nightmare), the tremendous size of its army and ability to grow that army, the vast size of the country, the lack of any real intelligence about this secretive and closed country, etc. Our engagement in Korea showed us the extreme difficulty of achieving success in that part of the world, not to mention how that conflict was already straining us. It would have been economic and military suicide to invade China during the Mao regime. Morality does not demand suicide.
zedgar2, great points however, the question to Ron Paul was if “he knew now what we know now about the Holocaust” which of course is impossible because Germany was also closed country and there was not the same intelligence as we have now etc. so that is a gotcha question right there.
The question continues…” would we send troops to Nazi Germany PURELY as a moral imperative to save the Jews”. You cannot throw all the other items in to answer that question. America had just had their ships knocked out at Pearl Harbor and had no planes or war machine built up, the US risked everything in WWII, but again, it was because we were attacked.? In case you are wondering, I am dead set against Ron Paul as the GOP nominee for President. I proudly have a Newt Gingrich sticker on my Mini. But this is an intellectual exercise, and my intellect needs to be exercised.
Lynn, I agree that we did not enter WWII purely on moral grounds; far from it.? I am suggesting, however, that on the basis of moral grounds alone (i.e., assuming we weren’t attacked) I would have supported entering WWII but I would not have supported attacking China to stop the latter’s mass murdering of its citizens. The difference is putting ourselves in harm’s way and incurring substantial risks and costs in the case of WWII while committing certain economic and military suicide in the case of attacking China.? I agree that this is a terrific intellectual exercise and I’m hoping that other readers of Steve’s post weigh in.
I agree that we should not have attacked China then and I sincerely hope we never have to protect ourselves from China militarily. I hope others jump in, as Dims says, the water’s fine!
Paul has some solid (if not simple) domestic agenda items.? Among them: stop the crazy speding.? But his foreign policy?? From A to Z the guy is a crank.
“. . . this is a hypothetical question ? plus hindsight brings us information we?re unable to ignore ? but the answer may be of interest to voters.
This is a gotcha question. Total nonsense. Why waste time churning some “coulda, woulda”? I thought that Ron Paul was smarter than to get trapped by such a question.
The answer is history. Period.
A study of the Libertarian movement in America would show it to be populated with those for whom the purity of ethos is paramount.? Ron Paul is an example.
As posed, the question was whether foreign intervention is justified based on moral values, rather than national interest.? Paul’s answer was consistent with Libertarian thought which posits that commercial and personal interests are not commingled with interests of the State.? A Libertarian would contend that if the armed forces are deployed to protect commercial interests, that is crony capitalism and therefore prohibited.
Ron Paul would do well if he could leave his Libertarianism at the water’s edge.? Much of the world is run by totalitarians, not Libertarians.
You have given a great explanation of Libertarianism. The question had two points one to catch Ron Paul on his past newsletters which showed a bias against Jews. Second, Ron Paul has no sense of humor and? is totally dogmatic. Politically it would have been the best to say as JBS said, it is history period.? But Ron Paul is totally committed to his ideals. That is wonderful and I commend him, but it is the reason why I will not support him. We already have the ONE and Ron Paul would be a rigid counterpart. He would be a President so involved with the petty details he would be unable to repeal Obamacare and restructure the tax code.
This is an issue that has to be considered from a spiritual point of view, if one is a person of faith.? The Bible teaches UNEQUIVABLY that Israel is God’s land and that His eternal plans will come through Israel and the Jewish people.? If one believes in God, the Bible, good and evil, then the persecution and practical elimination of land and people called “Israel” shows an evil inspiration to destroy the eventual Divine restoration of the planet and even plans beyond.?? It doesn’t mean that Israel or its inhabitants are perfect, far from it – but what nation can throw stones at them???Nevertheless, Ron?Paul’s attitude is very telling to anyone aware of these Bible truths.? He would NEVER have my support.
“unequivocally” – good grief, shouldn’t have put it in capitals!