Ron Paul On Why He Chose To Vote Against Iran Resolution

As I noted yesterday, the House voted 405-1 regarding Iran, H. Res. 560

Expressing support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law, and for other purposes.

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

  1. expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law;
  2. condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones; and
  3. affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.

C. Uncle Ron responds

I rise in reluctant opposition to H Res 560, which condemns the Iranian government for its recent actions during the unrest in that country. While I never condone violence, much less the violence that governments are only too willing to mete out to their own citizens, I am always very cautious about “condemning” the actions of governments overseas. As an elected member of the United States House of Representatives, I have always questioned our constitutional authority to sit in judgment of the actions of foreign governments of which we are not representatives. I have always hesitated when my colleagues rush to pronounce final judgment on events thousands of miles away about which we know very little. And we know very little beyond limited press reports about what is happening in Iran.

Of course I do not support attempts by foreign governments to suppress the democratic aspirations of their people, but when is the last time we condemned Saudi Arabia or Egypt or the many other countries where unlike in Iran there is no opportunity to exercise any substantial vote on political leadership? It seems our criticism is selective and applied when there are political points to be made. I have admired President Obama’s cautious approach to the situation in Iran and I would have preferred that we in the House had acted similarly.

I adhere to the foreign policy of our Founders, who advised that we not interfere in the internal affairs of countries overseas. I believe that is the best policy for the United States, for our national security and for our prosperity. I urge my colleagues to reject this and all similar meddling resolutions.

He has an excellent point in his second paragraph, but, unfortunately, I think he misses the point that there are moments in history when bold rhetoric, and even action, is called for. This is a historic chance to offer support for the hope and change that so many in Iran are looking for.  Real hope and change. Reports state the more protests will go ahead today (and they are) despite the threats from the police. We can’t be everywhere, Ron, but, we can be there when something special is happening in the world.

Some of The Framers may have been reluctant to meddle in overseas affairs originally, yet, a more open and free, and less theocratic, Iran will certainly have the potential to be less of a national security threat. I doubt the Framers ever thought we would be the last of the world’s super powers, but, maulk happens. But, a good thing that humans are meddlesome. The United States has done some great good by meddling in the affairs of others. Some adventures in Europe during the first half of the 20thCentury come to mind. Ronald Reagan meddling with the Berlin Wall. Thomas Jefferson (a Framer) and the Barbary Pirates. Freeing 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, don’t forget, the US federal government meddling in the affairs of the individual states back in the mid-1800’s to stop a despicable practice. We do not call them States for nothing. Consider the phrase “Chief of State.”

The Gun Toting Liberal and The Moderate Voice agree with Ron. Wonkette disagrees with Ron. What’s your take?

BTW, some great Green emoticons here.

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3 Responses to “Ron Paul On Why He Chose To Vote Against Iran Resolution”

  1. Duncan says:

    I think Rep. Paul has an excellent point, of which I have discovered over the last 1 or so, is of many. I think his vote here is not so much a vote against the Iranian people but a protest vote against the politics of Washington, where we condemn are enemies for actions that are similar to what our so-called allies also do. Like you said Teach, sometimes we have to meddle, and I think that Dr./Rep Paul is doing his best to meddle in that putrid drained swamp of Washington D.C., and being the sole dissenter, his protest vote stands out strong and loud. Of course, it is being spun as poor, old, crazy Ron Paul out there voting against supporting the Iranian peoples protest. That is how they spun him during the election, as a crazy ol’ man, and that is how they are going to continue to spin it. It is the only way they can delegitimize his arguments, especially when people immediately write him off.

    And don’t get me started on the entire “we fought the civil war to end slavery” line. Lincoln himself said his first, and ultimate, concern was keep the Union intact, even at the barrel of a gun, slavery was but a side issue that could either be resolved, completely, partially or not at all at end of the conflict. I don’t think a single State would have entered the Union had they known that they would be unable to leave it should it become oppressive.

    (And before one of the trolls starts claiming I support slavery because I think the “North” was the unjust aggressor, I will preemptively call you a moron. Slavery, and involuntary servitude, are abhorrent, especially to those of us who love Jefferson’s phrase of Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.)

  2. […] Teach at The Pirate’s Cove writes that although Ron Paul wants revolution here in America, it’s not such a good idea for […]

  3. I agree with Mr. Paul.

    His statement doesn’t come across as meaning that we as citizens should not support the Iranian’s quest for whatever justice they as a people are wont to mete, or for whatever type of government they are seeking.

    Rather he speaks towards limited government; the U.S. House of Representatives does not have as one of their roles the judgment of other governments in the internal affairs of their country. The right to meddle is not a role proper to the U.S. government in general.

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