Ben Stein Says Ron Paul Uses 'Anti-Semitic Arguments'
Former actor-turned-economic and political advisor Ben Stein claimed Ron Paul was using an anti-Semitic argument when Congressman Paul argued the United States should refrain from bombing Yemen in a December 28 interview on CNN's Larry King Live.
Rep. Paul, a Republican from Texas, has argued for removing U.S. soldiers from the Middle East because the American presence there is increasingly seen by many Muslims as a foreign occupation force. Responding to Rep. Paul's argument that Americans should mind their own business and not become the policeman of the world, Stein argued: No, we're not occupiers. That's the same anti-Semitic argument we've heard over and over again. That's the same anti-Semitic argument we've heard over and over again.
Rep. Paul responded by saying, That is a vicious attack, and Stein defended his statement by saying, Look, that is not a vicious attack.
The argument began when Dr. Paul noted that American foreign policy experts make bombing decisions while never asking the question: What is the motive? He went on to explain that the most recent would-be airline hijacker said why he did it. He said because we bombed Yemen two weeks ago. That was his motive. Dr. Paul then went on to explain that the United States is falling into the interventionist trap:
Osama bin Laden said that he has a plan for America. First, he wants to bog us down in the Middle East in a no-win war. He wants to bankrupt this country, demoralize us, as well as have us do things that motivate people to join his radical movement. It seems like we have fallen into his trap.
Dr. Paul (he's an obstetrician as well as a Congressman) noted that the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, now in their seventh and ninth years respectively, have spurred terrorist attacks from Muslims who want the foreign troops out of their countries. Ben Stein responded to Dr. Paul by saying, I never heard anything quite like that in my whole life. What he's basically saying is that we are doing something wrong by defending ourselves. Look, if these terrorists are trying to kill the government of Yemen, we've got to help defend them. They are our friends.
That was an odd retort, since it leaves the question of who the “ourselves” is in Stein's sentence. While the question of whether Yemen is a government that ranks among “our friends” is debatable at best (it's a corrupt pseudo-democracy with a horrible human-rights record), it hardly stands to reason that defending a rather insignificant and corrupt government on the other end of the planet is equivalent to defending U.S. soil.
December 30, 2009
Thomas R. Eddlem [send him mail] is a freelance writer who writes for The New American, AntiWar.com, Examiner.com, and — of course — LewRockell.com. And he's never again going to write a wise-guy bio tag, because the last one mistakenly ended up in a book.... Well, he's not going to write one of those for a while anyway.
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