Ron Paul for President?

Ron Paul is currently a Republican member of the House of Representatives from the 14th congressional district in Texas and a Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2008. He has a strong record as an advocate for smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, and sound economic strategy. He is also an outspoken supporter of the fight of homeowners and private business owners against eminent domain abuse, a subject that I believe very passionately about.

Many of his positions are worthy of support. However, there is one major issue on which I disagree with him strongly and which, in my opinion, makes him unworthy to hold the office of President.

Ron Paul has stated that he would pull our brave troops out of Iraq immediately if he were elected President: “Yes, I would leave, I would leave completely. Why leave the troops in the region? The fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia was one of the three reasons given for the attack on 9/11. So why leave them in the region?”

Mr. Paul, with all due respect, the attacks on 9/11 didn’t happen because we had troops in the Middle East or because those countries hate our foreign policy. Those things are contributing factors, but very minor in comparison to the real reason they attacked us: because they hate what we stand for. In the end, radical Muslims want to kill us for who we are. While they may be upset that we have a presence in the Middle East, their stated goal has always been to subjugate all those who are not of the faith of Islam. If you don’t bow the knee to Allah and accept Mohammed as his prophet, you are worthy of death. While admittedly this is the view of radical Islam only, these are unfortunately the ones who seem to wield the most power and influence in the region. It’s also shameful to place a large part of the blame on your own country for the deaths of nearly 3000 innocent civilians.

On the other hand, while it’s a noble cause to want to pull our troops out of harm’s way, let’s also not forget what happened in Cambodia in the 70s when our government pulled our soldiers out prematurely, leaving a power vacuum. Because of this, approximately 800,000 civilians were slaughtered by the Khmer Ruge, under the dictatorial power of Pol Pot. Another two million citizens were made refugees.

The fear is that this could also happen in Iraq if our troops are pulled out before the Iraqi army and police forces are capable of handling the sectarian violence that occurs there on a nearly daily basis. This could very well also open the door for Iran and their maniacal dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to sweep in and make themselves the defacto rulers of Iraq. Ahmadinjad has stated that Iran would be more than willing to fill in the gap if the United States abandons its duties there.

Paul has stated that there is no reason to believe this would happen. If we were to adopt his position, could we really afford to be wrong? History proved us wrong for pulling out of Vietnam and the recent history in Iraq itself should be evidence enough that an unstable Iraq in an unstable region would not be a good combination if the people in that area are left to their own devices.