Commentary Magazine


Contentions

A Response to Ron Paul Supporters

Who knew that Representative Ron Paul’s supporters were devoted readers of “Contentions”? It comes as a surprise to me. But based on the slew of e-mails I have received from Paul supporters in reaction to my critical post about him yesterday, they do follow closely what is said about their man.

Most of the e-mails I received, apart from being ad hominem and witless, argued I was wrong to say American “occupation” of Islamic countries couldn’t have been the triggering event for al-Qaeda’s attacks. I wrote, “There was no ‘occupation’ to ground jihadist hate in. We did have a presence in Saudi Arabia, but that hardly qualified as an ‘occupation.’” To which Paul’s supporters replied: We did too occupy Saudi Arabia! And who is the individual they cite as their source on the matter? Why, Osama bin Laden, of course. He insisted it was an occupation, so it was. Q.E.D.

Many orthodox Christians believe in something called biblical inerrancy; what Paul’s supporters are indulging in might be called Osama inerrancy. In this case, the equivalent of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament are bin Laden’s fatwas. Who knew?

No reasonable person could argue America’s military presence in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s qualified as an “occupation” or, to use Paul’s words, “our invasion
of their land.” That bin Laden and his jihadist allies viewed it as such doesn’t make it so. And for Paul’s supporters to accept bin Laden’s bizarre and twisted interpretation of events as reality tells you just about everything you need to know about them, and about Ron Paul.



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