Coming: a Media Lynching of Ron Paul

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The past ten days have seen a spate of pieces on Google News damning Congressman Ron Paul for “blaming” America for the 9/11 attacks. This is just the start of what will become a wave of ever-more shrill and lie-filled attacks on Mr. Paul as long as he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination and continues to find growing public support. The attacks on Mr. Paul are and will be the work of the Neoconservatives, the Israel-First fifth column of U.S. citizens, and AIPAC and those it controls in the Congress, media, and academy.

Mr. Paul, of course, never blamed the United States for the war the Islamists started and are now waging on the United States. What he did say is merely what is true beyond any credible challenge: Our growing number of Islamist enemies are motivated to attack us because of what the U.S. government does in the Muslim world and not because of how Americans live and think here at home. Mr. Paul bravely and clearly delivers this essential message to U.S. voters, and as long as he tells this truth he will receive the venom and slander of the above mentioned people and organizations.

And worse is yet to come. On 1 and 2 September 2011, Commentary Magazine – long Israel-First’s flagship publication – identified Mr. Paul’s truth-telling in regard to the impact of U.S. foreign policy in the Islamic world as a “bizarre and twisted interpretation of events” and described him and his supporters as taking Osama bin Laden’s statements as their bible. Commentary went on to damn Mr. Paul and his supporters as follows:

“[Congressman] Paul seems intent on blaming America for the burning [Islamist] hatred directed against us, to the point that he has to disfigure history to justify it. It’s a peculiar citizen who would do such a thing. I suppose I understand why most Republicans (with the fine exception of Rick Santorum) have not taken on the noxious ideology of Representative Paul. But the dirty little secret is Ron Paul holds views that are disgraceful. It seems to me that conservatives, in the name of reaching out to those who inhabit the loony fringes of the libertarian movement, shouldn’t pretend otherwise.”

If this sounds familiar it is because it is precisely the kind of attack that was used against the America First organization when it sought to prevent America from entering the European War that began in September, 1939. Interventionists in both parties; much of the media; senior members of the Roosevelt Administration; leaders of Britain’s pro-intervention covert action program in the United States; and spokesmen for Jewish-American organizations all slandered America First members as disloyal citizens who were ignorant of the world. Together these entities misidentified distinguished Americans who were using 1st Amendment rights to defend what they saw as U.S. interests as traitors, madmen, Nazi sympathizers, and anti-Semites. In their words this week, the articles in Commentary and elsewhere have identified Dr. Paul and the millions who agree with him as “peculiar” citizens (traitors?); madmen (“loony fringes”); and bin Laden sympathizers.

If Mr. Paul continues telling the truth and his support keeps growing, Israel-First’s next step will be to begin smearing him as an anti-Semite, just as Charles Lindbergh and other America First leaders were falsely identified in the late 1930s by the sorts of people noted above. And such attacks on Mr. Paul probably will be more vicious than those on Lindbergh, et al. Some of those who opposed America First, for example, conducted a sharp but fair-minded debate over a clearly substantive and legitimate question: “Does Nazi Germany pose a threat to genuine U.S. national interests?”

Today, however, Mr. Paul’s attackers know they have no legitimate, defensible issue on their side of the debate, only their malevolent desire to see America fight all of Islam on Israel‘s behalf. Indeed, they know the United States and its interests are in large measure threatened and attacked by Islamists because of the U.S. government’s relentless and unquestioning intervention on Israel’s behalf. Thus, the combination of the fact that Mr. Paul’s words are gaining traction with some Americans, and that the Israel-First position is built on sand – that is, it is clear no U.S. interest is served by the current U.S.-Israel relationship – means that Mr. Paul’s attackers use any and every kind of slander to defame him and to ensure the United States will fight to protect Israel against the rising and uncontrollable tide of anti-Israel sentiment that is being produced by the so-called Arab Spring.

In this vein, Commentary’s description of Mr. Paul’s “noxious ideology” is a first step that probably will lead to a systematic Israel-First effort to identify Mr. Paul and those who support him as anti-Semites simply because they do not want to see America’s soldier-children die fighting in an irrelevant Israel-Muslim religious war in which no genuine U.S. interests are at risk.

Reprinted with permission from Non-Intervention.com.

Michael Scheuer [send him mail] is the author of Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq and Imperial Hubris and Through Our Enemies’ Eyes. He recently resigned after 22 years at the CIA.

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