Mainstream Press Sniggers At Ron Paul’s Antiwar Message – OpEd


By Philip Weiss

I heard several more mainstream voices trashing Ron Paul for his spectacular anti-war comments in Iowa the other night–when he said the runup to war with Iran was reckless and could lead to another million dead, and Iran has good reason to want nukes– and a couple of those voices were liberal! First neoconservative David Brooks on All Things Considered last night:

And then, Ron Paul really had a bad debate. People like the fact that he’s forthright, but the Iran foreign policy, which is a more Libertarian foreign policy, is really unpopular in a socially conservative state like Iowa.

Is David Brooks really reflecting the attitudes of Iowans? Or is he reflecting his own neocon agenda, his desire for an Establishment candidate, and yes, his attachment to Israel: a place he has visited many times, about which he is “gooey-eyed”?

Then on Hardball Friday night, host Chuck Todd scoffed that if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses, this will alarm the Washington “elites” to the point that they’ll get rid of this long-complained-about nominating system. John Heilemann of New York and USA Today’s Susan Page laughed along with him.

Not one of these people said a respectful word about the antiwar agenda of Ron Paul. And this is a demonstration of the moral wanting of the left. Occupy Wall Street has done very little to push the antiwar issue; and here comes a politician with populist charm raging against the Patriot Act and drones and saying Muslims are angry at us because we’re bombing their countries, and the liberal Establishment won’t go near him. For the same reason that the Republican Jewish Coalition didn’t invite him to its forum: he is considered out of the mainstream on the Israel issue.

When this is actually a matter of life and death for some people. North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones went from a warmonger to a war-opposer during the Iraq war because of the condolence letters he was signing to soldiers’ families. Again, this story is about the complete detachment of the Establishment from the true costs of a disastrous war. During Vietnam the privileged young were at risk of being dragged off to Vietnam and they occupied university presidents’ offices. This time they don’t care.

Steve Walt has picked up on studies of the draft: the composition of the military affects the power structure’s willingness to launch a war. I have long cited Milton Friedman’s position (can’t find the book this morning) post-Vietnam uprising– that we had to get rid of the draft because it hamstrings the ability of our leaders to prosecute a war.

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of


Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective. Mondoweiss is maintained by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz. Weiss lives in New York state and Horowitz lives in New York City.

4 thoughts on “Mainstream Press Sniggers At Ron Paul’s Antiwar Message – OpEd

  • December 19, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Well done. Many, many people agree with you.

  • December 19, 2011 at 5:13 am

    i heard this—-“he had a bad debate”—why was it bad? b.c his views were different than yours, brooks?

  • December 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I really wish he would become President. His pro-humanity message and actions are just what we need in this world.

  • December 20, 2011 at 6:46 am

    North of the 49th parallel

    A well positioned piece (the medium is indeed the message). MILITARIZATION has apparently infected all aspects of main stream media as highlighted during the run-up to and subsequent (embedded) war in Iraq. In Canada (yes I Am) the Prime Minister (Liberal) refused to join “The Coalition of The Willing” (many think Bush took it personally) the case for war laid bare by Canadian media (CBC & Independent Newspapers) to be suspect at best.

    Under intense pressure by the US Administration then Prime Minister Chretien offered military assistance to go after Bin Laden in Afghanistan (a legitimate objective) and after a lengthily debate in Parliament popular consent followed.

    The thing that was (and continues to be) astonishing to those of us North of the 49th is the (self imposed) censorship of Liberals toward (untouchable) US Foreign Policy. We watch in fascination and concern as careers are made and lost (by the few who question the culture of war). Inflammatory talk shows (like Fox) became public whipping posts to demigod any resistance which surfaces leaving the heavy lifting for rationalism and fairness to Comedy Central, small cable outlets, independent papers and the internet.

    Listening to current GOP debates and the thinly veiled racism espoused towards Muslims (with the exception of Dr. Paul) is reminiscent of language used to crush Native American aspirations a century ago. A vein of this un-evolved bigotry runs in Canada as well but is buffered by the media and public scrutiny.

    Ron Paul it seems (in spite of extreme Libertarian views) has surfaced as your buffer against those who quest for power with acidic indifference toward the destruction of others. Yes, I know he is accused of being a raciest (the evidence reads like WMD data) but this is not the man we see standing toe to toe against the Giants of Power intent on dismantling your Constitution (Obama ought to give him the Nobel Prize he stole).

    Legitimate commentary on the internet is in danger of being snuffed out, dissenters at risk of arrest for being hostile toward government interests. In this time of need you have a true champion who (like the iconic Chinese Student in Tienanmen Square refusing to let a tank pass) is unbending in his resolve to change the course of American (world) history.

    Even though I do not support all of Dr. Paul’s views it is clear from his mantra of freedom, justice and sanctity of life, he is a man accountable to the well being of his country.

    Many of your Northern neighbors (Canadians for Ron Paul) are captivated by statesmanship and principled courage not seen since Kennedy. We can only hope the grass roots of American Society can see it as well.

    God Bless


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