By Philip Weiss
Ron Paul is at last having his moment. The Washington Post says “Rep. Ron Paul has become a serious force with the potential to upend the nomination fight and remain a factor throughout next year’s general-election campaign.” The Post cites Paul’s appeal to young voters across party lines, though it ignores his antiwar views.
In recent days The New York Times has picked up reports in the Weekly Standard about racism published in Ron Paul’s political newsletter in the 1990s, and Paul’s somewhat lame apologies for the comments:
A 1992 passage from the Ron Paul Political Report about the Los Angeles riots read, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.” A passage in another newsletter asserted that people with AIDS should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva”; in 1990 one of his publications criticized Ronald Reagan for having gone along with the creation of the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which it called “Hate Whitey Day.”…
He defended the statements to The Dallas Morning News at the time, saying they were taken out of context. He also told the newspaper he did not know that his newsletter — with 7,000 to 8,000 subscribers — was listed by a neo-Nazi group called Heritage Front, apparently as recommended reading, under the Internet heading “Racialists and Freedom Fighters.”
But in an interview in 2001 with Texas Monthly, Mr. Paul said he regretted that he had not admitted that he had not written the newsletters. “They were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them,” Mr. Paul said. He said that he had “actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesn’t come from me directly”…
Readers know that I’ve promoted Paul a lot on this site. And I will continue to do so because of his incredibly pointed and intelligent foreign policy positions; I believe he is the best means of politicizing American militarism in the Middle East so that our people can actually form the right opinion of the neocons and of the rationalization of military occupation. He’s an antiwar candidate. (And Andrew Sullivan calls this a smear campaign by neocons.) But that doesn’t mean I’d vote for Paul. I might– but he’s got to do a much better job of apologizing for that racism and putting it behind him.
Meantime, capitalizing on his triumph in that debate in Iowa last weekend, here is a genius video Paul just did opposing our occupation of foreign countries. Not just about Afghanistan, but military bases elsewhere. The video asks us to imagine a Chinese base in Texas.
“Imagine if the occupiers’ attitude was that if they killed enough Americans, the resistance would stop but instead for every American killed, ten more would take up arms against them, resulting in perpetual bloodshed…”
Imagine if we elected someone who pledged to end the occupation.
“Imagine if that leader changed his mind once he took office. The reality is that our military presence on foreign soil is offensive to the people who live there as armed Chinese troops would be if they were stationed in Texas ”
Shutting down military bases is not isolationism, Ron Paul says at the end; it is opening our arms to trade and friendship.
Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.