The recent political blow-up over the parents of Capt. Khan, killed in the Iraq war, appearing at the Democratic convention to criticize Republican nominee Donald Trump completely misses the point, as usual. Who really makes a sacrifice and who are the victims of a bad policy?
Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today as co-host is Daniel McAdams. Daniel good to see you.
Daniel McAdams: Good morning Dr. Paul. I also like to remind our viewers that our program is being brought to you by Camino Coin. They are our sponsor right now. Camino Coin is where Ron Paul gets his gold, so check them out, check Camino Coin and hopefully you will help support the show. Thank you everyone very much.
Ron Paul: Very good. Today Daniel I want to talk about the issue of sacrifice. It has been in the news, because Captain Kahn that was killed in the Iraq war, is in the news because his parents and everybody has probably seen it on TV, they came to the Democratic Convention to emphasize this sacrifice. To me, I don’t like the word sacrifice, but I use the word tragedy and victimization. To me it’s a tragedy to lose anybody in any of these wars and I think a lot of people have this idea that if you are anti-involvement and you are a non-interventionist, that you don’t care about national defense, that you don’t care about the troops and all, but actually it hurts even more because if you understand what non-intervention is, you are really looking at prevention and to me this is so tragic.
Though we might talk a little bit about this and criticize both sides, because I happen to believe that both sides of this argument, whether it’s the Democratic Party or even Trump, they don’t quite get it that they are missing something here and if that is the case, it is not because we are callous at all, because nothing could be worse than losing a son in the war, but if you come around to thinking about how should we go to war, how did we go to war, what are we fighting, why are we still there, how much money was spent, how many other tragedies there were and then if you have the slightest instinct to think it could have been preventable by more common sense.
So, this whole issue of who gave the greatest sacrifice, who deserves the greatest credit and the cons present their case with the Democratic Party and of course this sort of invited Donald Trump to enter it. I don’t think he gave us the full answer either about exactly where we should be on this issue.
Daniel McAdams: Yeah, there is no question that the Captain Kahn was a courageous man. According to the story, a suspicious truck was approaching, he told his crew to stay behind, he would check it out by himself, when he did check it out unfortunately he was killed. That was I think in 2004, so there is no question that he was an honorable and courageous man, unfortunately he was in a dishonorable war, he was in a war of aggression and a preemptive war.
Ron Paul: And that seems to be what they can’t distinguish, so therefore I think what happens both Republicans and Democrats, I think you can apply this to Benghazi and all, they talk about who is to blame the most, is it a tactical decision to send in troops or something else that motivated somebody to do it.
So, what they do is they don’t look at the real problem that we all have and that is how do we get ourselves into this and why do they turn it into a holier than now sacrifice. This is very important, he won a lot of awards, but I am sure like you said he was very heroic, gold stars and purple hearts and things like that, but when you think about it if the war is not morally justifiable, that could turn a few people off and of course during Vietnam we were witnessing what was happening and the medals were being thrown away, I don’t want your medals, because even then the conditions were worse because they were drafted.
So, the opposition for this, for our position is they are drafted and they volunteer and they go and do this, but what if they have been deceived by the government, what if there has been lies told and what if there is a lot of misunderstanding that to be a patriot and provide great service, sacrifice. They put it in that corner and therefore what does it do, don’t you dare challenge the policy or the wisdom of the war or how we went to war. That is off limits and that is what bothers me.
Daniel McAdams: That is where we get into another area that we often discuss on the program and that is the role of the media. Looking back in the run-up to the war, how the media lied and went along with the government’s propaganda in favor of war and you can understand how people will be duped, especially people that aren’t as well versed. Look at members of Congress, especially people like yourself who opposed to the war, but had a heck of a time getting your message out, because it was so drowned out by the media lies repeating the government lies. So, it is understandable.
Ron Paul: I see individuals that have been killed over there, whether it’s Captain Kahn or whether it was Cindy Sheehan’s son. I see them as victims, they are victims of a pro-war policy, the politicians and the media and all and it is identified as being literally holy, because it’s dedication to the state and that is the definition of patriotism. When I was thinking about this I was thinking about the sacrificial lamb, which is in history and Judaism, that you picked your prize, your lamb and sacrificed it, even for human sacrifices, because you want to please God. Fortunately we sort of gotten rid of that as a religious belief, but there is still a bit of this goes on.
I think what they substitute for Yahweh telling us what to sacrifice, we’ve adapted to accepting the state. The state literally becomes godlike and you do it and if you don’t then you are not patriotic and you have to sacrifice for the state and it’s endless. Thank you for your service, for defending the government and the state and the war. There is one reason and that is if it ever gets out that these wars are unholy, unnecessary, unconstitutional, immoral, the ball game is over.
I was delighted during the Democratic Convention when Panetta got booed, because he was too much of a warmonger for a few Democrats out there. As a matter of fact there was large number of Democrats and of course I work on the assumption as you do, that there is a lot of people out there that want to hear a different message, a message of peace and that we don’t have to capitulate and accept this war talk by the now new God-like creature we have, it’s the state.
Daniel McAdams: It’s such an interesting analogy you have because it shows the state’s wars almost a religious ceremony and a sacrifice means it’s a sacrament, it’s a sacrament to die in this new pseudo religious ceremony concocted by the state, but I would go even further and say if you challenge this new religion, not only are you viewed as non-patriotic, but you are anathema, just as if you violated the doctrines of any religious faith.
Ron Paul: That is why those circumstances are so strong and I give so much credit to Walter Jones, who recognized it, apologizes for it, laments about it, tries to change his way and change his policy. We mentioned in the opening a little bit about both sides of this. The Democrats want to make Captain Kahn a great hero and I understand exactly what they are doing and I imagine the motivation is above board for most people, but there are others in politics that might not be so.
But, whether or not they may have contrived to sort of tease Trump, figuring he is going to respond, maybe he will say something that is harmful politically and he said something and I don’t know about the politics and what it has done, but I thought it was interesting because I don’t think he understands it either, because the first thing he said, because when he was saying you are unpatriotic, so he has fallen into the trap that patriotism is supporting illegal wars. So, he falls into the trap and says I sacrifice, I work hard and I create jobs. I think that is a stretch.
As a matter of fact this whole idea of working hard and creating jobs I think is fantastic, but what they do with their money is a personal thing. Some are compassionate and generous and that is a personal thing, but when it comes to saying that it is an equal sacrifice, they are into this sacrifice business, so working hard and creating jobs, it is the beneficial to the community, because the system that produces the most jobs is the best system that you can have, instead of having what we have now where jobs are hard to come by, so I don’t see that creating jobs is a patriotic thing, it may be a wise economic decision, it may be a reflection of good understanding of economics and this sort of thing, but I don’t put that in the category of sacrifice.
Daniel McAdams: And certainly it could not have been an accident in such a carefully scripted convention that you bring the parents, the Muslim parents of a dead Muslim soldiers as a way to provoke Trump, because of his discussion, his talks about limiting Muslim immigration into the US, so they are certainly that there, but as you say, Trump makes the same mistake. Here is what Trump said about Captain Kahn, “He made the ultimate sacrifice to keep the country safe.” That misses the whole point about the Iraq war and even Trump’s defenders missed the point just as badly, they repeat this idea of a sacrifice, but they rightly point out that Clinton doesn’t care about Kahn’s sacrifice, he is more of a demographic to them, Pakistani born Muslim.
Ron Paul: Right and Trump used the word hero and you indicated why in the conventional wisdom of the average politicians, why he did something in a precise moment that was heroic, because he tried to save his comrades. But, to describe them, I don’t want to describe them as heroes, I want to describe them as victims and I want people to change their minds. The only benefit that can come from any of these wars and all this killing and all this mutilation is if people wake up and say the ideas, the ideology that the politicians hold that has driven us into these situations, if that doesn’t change, what is it worth and that is the only benefit that I can see that comes from this, but I have been at this for a long time, but the politicians didn’t especially welcome those ideas.
But, I didn’t feel like there wasn’t support, I remember some of the episodes in the debates figuring the whole world is against me and then to realize it was only those people on the stage and the people that were asking the questions and a canned audience, but there were a lot of other people saying that makes sense.
Daniel McAdams: Like the people who shouted down Panetta, no more war. I think one of the points that you tried to make for so long and it’s so important and we can’t wait until after the war started and it’s a failure to criticize it, the best way to fight the war is to fight the war propaganda and look how we get in two years bombing Syria, because supposedly we are saving the Yazidis on some hilltop somewhere and all of a sudden we are bombing for two years and it goes on and on.
But, if you were opposed to the beginning of that bombing for this minority group, you were a monster, you didn’t care if these people were slaughtered and now to years and six billion dollars later, how many thousands of lives.
Ron Paul: I think it is interesting to do a little comparison between Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son, versus Mrs. Kahn, the mother of Captain Kahn, because they were both, Cindy Sheehan actually started the Gold Star Families For Peace, but she was very precise, the Gold Star Family were for peace and it wasn’t to endorse George Bush and George Bush’s war, as a matter of fact she was a big challenger of that, but I think in a very honest way Mrs. Kahn said I am a Gold Star, I am a mother, which fits into the pattern of heroism and the holy sacrifice and he deserves high honor for this, rather than saying maybe we ought to challenge the war.
So, in one sense, I think that Cindy Sheehan and even with her some shortcomings, I think she did a job in calling attention to the fact why are we fighting these wars and she even though her son died in ’04, even though the war was still going on and Bush gets reelected in ’04 and if the American people were awake, why would they elect somebody like this and by ’08, Bush’s name wasn’t very popular, the Republicans were running from him.
So, in a way, Cindy won that fight and we are still struggling, because the powers that be who control this, the financial institutions, the oil industry, the people who believe in the dollar hegemony and the people who believe in Empire, I mean it is strong. Of course I am still optimistic because it is not viable. The Empire that exists today and we are the chief honochos of that, it is no more stable than the Empire of the Soviets. How many people in 1988 saying in a year the Soviet system is going to be gone, but it didn’t happen, it was unstable and this is unstable too, so even though they have the upper hand in government and even though it is disappointing that we haven’t heard from anybody that would really challenge this whole concept of sacrifice and challenge people as to what is really going on in the foreign policy.
It is a distraction, they do not want the American people to know how flawed our foreign policy is and they will do almost anything to allow this policy to have moral authority, that it’s heroic, that it’s equivalent to satisfying the godlike kingdom that we have, our governments. Literally you have individuals over the centuries, the leader always becomes a god figure, like in North Korea and in few other places that these individuals paint that. Of course those of us who believe that government should be there not to make us safe and secure and take care of us from cradle to grave, but to provide our liberties and that would be a great deal different.
Daniel McAdams: Absolutely and I would just mention in closing, one other person that we both look up to what he has done and that is Andrew Bacewitch, a man not of the left, whose son also died in the Iraq war, who did not necessarily took a strong turn from any position, but he spent that time after his son died writing absolutely eloquent, beautiful essays opposing this idea of the Empire at war.
Ron Paul: Yeah and he is welcome, just as the Walter Jones’ of the world are very welcome, because they are authentic and that they are willing to admit the truth and that they have changed their opinions. Walter, why he punishes himself is because he supported the war, but he also follows up by saying because I was lied to and they are in control so often of the lies.
It is something that is difficult to handle, but ultimately I think that people have to realize that it is liberty that we are struggling for, we are not struggling for the government to be safe in our houses, safe in the sense that we can be fed from the cradle to grave, safe that we would have free education forever, that is just anathema to what liberty is all about.
I can’t help but think of our recent program when Charlie Brown, the slave for 40 years, finally was released from the oppression of the state and nothing else, he wasn’t given anything else, he didn’t have to sacrifice anything.
It always annoyed me when the press would push me, this is a lot that you have won, who is going to sacrifice. If you want your liberty and you get back your liberty, which comes to you in a natural way, why do you have to sacrifice for your liberty, but they always turn it into sacrifice, that you have to sacrifice for your liberty. You don’t, you just need your liberty, you need to understand it and then you need to go to work and assume responsibility for oneself and one’s family and things will work out much better than we depend on the state to decide the morality of all the war and then use cannon fodder to go out and get killed and then turn it into heroism to say that yes, you have sacrificed your life for the value of freedom and liberty.
To fight in wars that are unconstitutional and say that we are over there to protect our freedoms and our liberties and our Constitution, it makes no sense. That is the reason that I am so strongly determined and dedicated to the issue of peace, because I don’t believe we have to be locked in time, that we have to live forever, that these horrendous, atrocious wars have to be automatic and never challenged. What we need is the American people to wake up and when they hear about the promoters of war, start booing them, make fun of them, promote the cause of peace and do it in a manner where people will be persuaded. I think that would be a much better way to go.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to the Liberty Report and please come back soon.