Saturday, November 17, 2007

Muslims discover Ron Paul

After the Republican debate on Tuesday evening in Dearborn, Mich., a reporter from the Arab-American News asked Ron Paul what he thought of the term “Islamic fascism.”

“It’s a false term to make people think we’re fighting Hitler,” Paul responded. “It’s war propaganda designed to generate fear so that the war has to be spread.”

The call has gone out to all the Muslim Americans to hurry up and register to vote Republican so that they can vote in the Republican Primary to support Ron Paul, the anti-interventionist, non-isolationist candidate for President of the United States. Muslims are opening their wallets and joining as well.

An anonymous Ron Paul supporter posted the following message on the internet: "Muslims and Americans have an unique window of opportunity for the 2008 election. There is a candidate running as a Republican that would work to completely cut off the funding to Israel, remove ALL US troops from Arab lands, and repeal the Patriot Act. He's a Republican with Libertarian views named Ron Paul. Ron Paul's policies ranging from monetary to foreign are top notch.

"Till now Muslims and Americans have not had an American Presidential candidate that really suited their best interests. This election is unique in that we have a man running as a Republican that speaks the truth. Much of the our foreign policy in the Middle East has been influenced heavily by AIPAC, the pro-Israeli lobby, to the detriment of Muslims in the Middle East. As American Muslims, we are blessed to live in the US where we have the freedom to let our policymakers know how we feel about foreign policy; we may not have the power of an influential lobby but we do have the right to vote and every single vote counts. We know the current policies in the Middle East are failing, not only making it less safe in the world but hurting and killing innocent Muslims, which our media callously calls collateral damage. It is our duty as Muslims to follow the truth regardless of how futile it may seem. Ron Paul is the only candidate that does not seem to be swayed by the influential lobbies that the other candidates are catering to."

Unlike the Green Party, Ron Paul stood up in Congress in 2006 and opposed a resolution that sided with Israel in the Lebanon-Israel conflict. He stated the following.

Ron Paul: "Mr. Speaker, I follow a policy in foreign affairs called non-interventionism. I do not believe we are making the United States more secure when we involve ourselves in conflicts overseas. The Constitution really doesn't authorize us to be the policemen of the world, much less to favor one side over another in foreign conflicts. It is very clear, reading this resolution objectively, that all the terrorists are on one side and all the victims and the innocents are on the other side. I find this unfair, particularly considering the significantly higher number of civilian casualties among Lebanese civilians. I would rather advocate neutrality rather than picking sides, which is what this resolution does."

Ron Paul has already sponsored a bill to overturn the Patriot Act, which, as originally proposed, sanctions the unregulated use of wiretaps and random searches sans warrants, the monitoring of private internet usage, and many other civil liberty infringements. He is one of the few members of Congress from either of the major houses that is speaking rationally about these issues.

There are so many passionate activists in America who are anti-neocon. They are generally very cynical about working within the system (like voting) but they do a lot of courageous work and even get themselves arrested protesting. Anti-Zionist protesters, like the Zionists, are having problem increasing their number to become effective, because their slogans do not resonate with most Americans. It's not that people don't care about the issues. Peace activists' hearts are for the most part in the right place but they are doing a very bad job of marketing their ideas because they are stuck in this outdated leftist rut. How can we help them be more effective and how can we get them to join the Ron Paul voter sign-up campaign?

Although I am getting more positive comments, I am also getting a lot of negative comments on general frustration with politicians and the unwillingness to believe that supporting a particular candidate will make a difference. But whether Ron Paul wins or loses, is a great way to meet your neighbors who are against the war and organize the community on a grassroots level. If something like Katrina ever happened to us, knowing our neighbors could mean the difference between life and death to our families.

The common thread I've been reading lately about leftists and Jews is that they are having trouble getting more than a dozen people to come to their stuff (whether anti-Zionist or Zionist). It's not happening with the anti-Israel movement because "protest Zionist imperialism" is not a catchy slogan. By contrast, there are over 400 RP activists against war taxes in Boston alone. Every day the list of passionate anti-war activists grows. Very few of them agree with every single RP position, they just want to get the Lobby out of the way and pull the troops out of Iraq.

One reason it's working is because of the software. They made the site almost like a dating site, where you can make friends with people in or near your zip code. They made it very easy to get together with new people to join the activism. You can't beat technology, may as well use it. Or at least copy their tactics. If it's really important to you to use leftist slogans to protest the war, then create your own page to recruit more protesters. But I think in terms of creating a grassroots movement it's better to work with the mainstream sentiment rather than against it. If you could end US funding of Israel simply by changing slogans, it would be worth it.

I really think the divestment movement was stupid for focusing on anti-Zionist arguments and thus losing the ballot vote. If they had made a pro-America argument against investing city funds in any foreign country they would have won by a landslide. And Somerville would be divesting from Israel. Stupid stupid stupid! All these morally superior types believed it was more important to educate people than to win. We don't have time. Even if you got 90% of Americans to agree that Zionism is wrong, that is not a program. Making "belief" statements about how we would "prefer" the world to be is not going to result in change. Only community organizing will. That means working with people on their level, even if it's kindergarten level.

In the event that RP actually won the election and got the Hamas treatment, his supporters are fully in support of the Right to Bear Arms. It would be interesting to see what followed.

If anti-war protesters want to continue to focus on the genocidal machinations of the global zionist-imperialist military, industrial, financial, political, neoliberal, media complex, they have to be willing to meet with anyone any time to hear what ideas people have to address this, which is our primary responsibility - even if they are Republicans.

If you ever saw RP in an interview it cannot be said that he avoids discussing vital issues. He is someone who is willing to make a statement and stick by it even when no one agrees with him. I don't "believe" in electoral politics but it's not that much sweat off my brow to go and vote to end war. I think it is selfish and dangerous for anti-war activists to be so arrogant and so narrow-minded as to not be able to work with their own neighbors to end the war in whatever way they can, just because it involves using American Liberty arguments instead of their personal pet slogans. Use the arguments that work with Americans, or else you just condemned America to fight wars for the next century. You can still keep going to protests. You could probably get a bunch of Libertarians to start coming to your protests if you would just be "nice."

watch this CNN clip -

I think the fact that NO Jewish group will let Ron Paul speak at their convention, not even peace Jews, is evidence enough that he is the only person to put in charge as commander-in-chief. And, even if he loses, making all these contacts with local anti-interventionists is priceless. If you want to expand the peace movement so that it overlaps with the freedom movement like ripples in a pond, you have to respect the fact that people might agree with you, but for different reasons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article! Check this out about some Jews though, they do like Ron Paul.