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Ron Paul – The True and Essential Choice For U.S. Secretary of State

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] T [/yt_dropcap]he Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “Statesman” as “a usually wise, skilled, and respected government leader.” There can be no doubt that Ron Paul, hero of the Libertarian movement and follower of Thomas Jefferson, is at once unusually wise, skilled and respected throughout all of the world.

The dictionary goes on to further break the term down as “one versed in the principles or art of government; especially one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies.”

Ron Paul is also equally well-versed in this regard, having had a career in the US House of Representatives spanning nearly 40 years.

Paul is also a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, and has been an active writer, publishing on the topics of political and economic theory, as well as publicizing the ideas of economists of the Austrian School such as Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises during his political campaigns.

Paul has written many books on Austrian economics and classical liberal philosophy, beginning with The Case for Gold (1982) and including A Foreign Policy of Freedom (2007), Pillars of Prosperity (2008), The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008), End the Fed (2009) and Liberty Defined (2011).

While a medical resident in the 1960s, Paul was influenced by Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which caused him to read other publications by Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand.

He came to know economists Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard well, and credits to them his interest in the study of economics.

When President Richard Nixon “closed the gold window” by ending American participation in the Bretton Woods System, thus ending the U.S. dollar’s loose association with gold on August 15, 1971, Paul decided to enter politics and became a Republican candidate for the United States Congress.

Wikipedia describes a statesman alternatively as “usually a politician, diplomat or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career at the national or international level.”

The Statesman (Greek – Politikos), also known by its Latin title, Politicus, is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato.

The text describes a conversation between Socrates, the mathematician Theodorus, another person named Socrates (referred to as “Young Socrates”), and an unnamed philosopher from Elea referred to as “the Stranger” (Xénos).

It is ostensibly an attempt to arrive at a definition of “statesman,” as opposed to “sophist” or “philosopher” and is presented as following the action of the Sophist.

According to John M. Cooper in the seminal treatise “Introduction to Politikos,” Cooper and Hutchinson (1997), the dialogue’s intention was to clarify that, to rule or have political power, called for a “specialized knowledge.”

The statesman was one who possesses this special knowledge of how to rule justly and well and to have the best interests of the citizens at heart.

In each and every thing that Ron Paul has ever said, or done, in his career both inside and outside of government service, he has always, without fail or missing a beat, acted at all times both “justly,” avoiding war and conflict, and while “having the best interests of the citizens at heart.”

His nemesis enemies have been the warmongering Neo-Conservatives, who have consistently misused the good will and heavy coffers of the US Treasury owned by its hard working industrious American taxpayers to conquer, destroy, invade, rape, pillage and extort other nations around the world, only for the benefit of its Imperial/Plutocrat Deep State Elite.

Paul has been described as a conservative and libertarian.

According to University of Georgia political scientist Keith Poole, Paul had the most conservative voting record of any member of Congress from 1937 to 2002, and is the most conservative of the candidates that had sought the 2012 Republican nomination for president, on a scale primarily measuring positions on the role of government in managing the economy – not positions on social issues or foreign policy matters.

Other analyses, in which key votes on domestic social issues and foreign policy factor more heavily, have judged Paul much more moderate.

The National Journal, for instance, rated Paul only the 145th most conservative member of the House of Representatives (out of 435) based on votes cast in 2010.

The foundation of Paul’s political philosophy is the conviction that “the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else.”

He has been nicknamed “Dr. No,” reflecting both his medical degree and his insistence that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”

The “statesman” is presented that politics should be run by this “specialized knowledge,” or gnosis.

Those that rule merely give the appearance of such knowledge, but in the end are really sophists or imitators.

The Neo-Cons are great examples of “rulers,” and not “statesmen.”

Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002.

He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations, and from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty, completely in line with President-Elect Donald Trump’s philosophy.

The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America heading the U.S. Department of State, principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government’s equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Secretary of State is appointed by the President of the United States and is confirmed by the United States Senate.

The first American Secretary of State was Thomas Jefferson, who took office in March 22, 1790, and left office in December 31, 1793.

Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson lived and governed by one of his most notable statements of ““Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations…entangling alliances with none” that he delivered at his inaugural address on March 4, 1801.

Ron Paul has consistently embodied and legislated with this fundamental precept, guiding his every word and act for as long as anyone can remember during his entire career, both public an private.

There has never been a better analysis and breakdown of the terms “peace,’ “commerce,” honest friendship,” and “entangling alliances with none” than that appearing in Laurence M. Vance’s “Jeffersonian Principles” dated September 1, 2004 and appearing at https://www.lewrockwell.com/2004/09/laurence-m-vance/peace-commerce-and-honest-friendship/

This methodical breakdown, using quotations from Thomas Jefferson’s and other notables of politics and literature, clearly reveals that the best candidate and who typifies the true and essential nature for United States Secretary of State, is none other than Ron Paul.

The Secretary of State, along with the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, and Attorney General are generally regarded as the four most important Cabinet members because of the importance of their respective departments.

Secretary of State is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule and thus earns the salary prescribed for that level.

The current Secretary of State is 2004 presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the 68th person to hold the office since its creation in 1789.

The specific duties of the Secretary of State include:

(1) Organizes and supervises the whole community United States Department of State and the United States Foreign Service; (2) Advises the President on matters relating to U.S. foreign policy, including the appointment of diplomatic representatives to other nations, and on the acceptance or dismissal of representatives from other nations; (3) Participates in high-level negotiations with other countries, either bilaterally or as part of an international conference or organization, or appoints representatives to do so – this includes the negotiation of international treaties and other agreements; (4) Responsible for overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. Government overseas; (5) Providing information and services to U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad, including providing credentials in the form of passports and visas; (6) Ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries; (7) Supervises the United States immigration policy abroad; and (8) Communicates issues relating the United States foreign policy to Congress and to U.S. citizens.

The original duties of the Secretary of State include some domestic duties, such as:

(1) Receipt, publication, distribution, and preservation of the laws of the United States; (2) Preparation, sealing, and recording of the commissions of Presidential appointees; (3) Preparation and authentication of copies of records and authentication of copies under the Department’s seal; (4) Custody of the Great Seal of the United States; and (5) Custody of the records of the former Secretary of the Continental Congress, except for those of the Treasury and War Departments.

As the highest-ranking member of the cabinet, the Secretary of State is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the Federal Government of the United States, after the President and Vice President and is fourth in line to succeed the Presidency, coming after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

Six Secretaries of State have gone on to be elected President.

Others, including John Kerry, William Seward, Henry Clay and Hillary Clinton have been unsuccessful presidential candidates, either before or after their term of office as Secretary of State.

Former Secretaries of State retain the right to add the title “Secretary” to their surnames.

As the head of the United States Foreign Service, the Secretary of State is responsible for management of the diplomatic service of the United States.

The foreign service employs about 12,000 people domestically and internationally, and supports 265 United States diplomatic missions around the world, including ambassadors to various nations.

The nature of the position means that Secretaries of State engage in travel around the world.

The record for most countries visited in a secretary’s tenure is 112, by Hillary Clinton.

Second is Madeleine Albright with 96.

The record for most air miles traveled in a secretary’s tenure is 1.06 million miles, by John Kerry.

Second is Rice’s 1.059 million miles and third is Clinton’s 956,733 miles.

When there is a vacancy in the office of Secretary of State, the duties are exercised either by another member of the cabinet, or, in more recent times, by a high-ranking official of the State Department until the President appoints, and the United States Senate confirms, a new Secretary.

In the Washington Post in an article by Philip Rucker November 19, 2016, recently declared in one of their headlines located at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-mulls-a-secretary-of-state-clone-crusader-statesman-or-clean-slate/2016/11/18/59669270-acee-11e6-977a-1030f822fc35_story.html “Trump mulls a secretary of state: Clone, crusader, statesman or clean slate?”

Ironically enough they throw around names such as Rudolph W. Giuliani, John Bolton, Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney, Bob Corker, but nowhere do they even mention the ultimate statesman, who meets all of the classic requirements, as Ron Paul.

This should be of no surprise considering that many would argue that the Washington Post, like the New York Times, is simply a mouthpiece of the Neo-Conservative movement of aggressive, war-mongering government style, beating, threatening and intimidating other nations, countries, and foreign leaders into submission (“Washington Post Editorial Board Goes Full Neocon,” by Spandan Chakrabarti of May 28, 2014 at http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2014/5/28/washington-post-goes-full-neocon or “The Washington Post: The Most Reckless Editorial Page in America” by James Carden and Jacob Heilbrunn of December 15, 2014 at http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-washington-post-the-most-reckless-editorial-page-america-11857).

Ron Paul endorses constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees.

He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national identification card, warrantless domestic surveillance, and the draft.

Paul also believes that the notion of the separation of church and state is currently misused by the court system: “In case after case, the Supreme Court has used the infamous ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor to uphold court decisions that allow the federal government to intrude upon and deprive citizens of their religious liberty.”

Sometime within the same month but much after the event of authorities executing a lock-down in sequence to the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Paul commented on the tactics used by governing forces into a harsh criticism that he has written as a “military-style occupation of an American city.”

It is time to return to the basics and foundations of what made this nation great, in line with President-Elect Donald Trump’s vision – and this means returning to what the Founding Fathers truly meant when they created these Cabinet Positions in the first place – and what better way to start than by installing a man into this position of Secretary of State than Ron Paul, who literally embodies the spirit and essence of the man who first held the position – Thomas Jefferson himself.

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Washington Ill-Prepared to Set Human Rights Agenda

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It is evident that US Democratic President Joe Biden and his team will pay more attention to the human rights agenda in foreign policy than their Republican predecessors did. It is also clear that Washington will actively use this agenda in dealing with its main geopolitical adversaries—above all, China and Russia. Finally, it is obvious that the United States will try to put together a consolidated Western front to shoulder American human rights initiatives. Human rights will become one of the tools to keep liberal democracies together confronting what is perceived to be the global rise of illiberal authoritarianism. We are likely to hear strong rhetoric on human rights coming out of the White House and the State Department. We will observe multiple human rights-focused US initiatives in international organizations. And we will also see new American human rights-related sanctions against Moscow and Beijing.

Still, at the end of the day, this strategy might turn out to be less successful than the new US leaders anticipate. No matter how Russian or Chinese governments are planning to handle, respectively, the Alexey Navalny case or political protests in Hong Kong, it is very unlikely that either Moscow or Beijing will yield under US pressure. Moscow and Beijing will continue going hand in hand with each other in blocking US-proposed international resolutions, in containing US foundations and NGOs operating in sensitive areas, and in countering the coming American information offensive on the human rights front. The growing pressure from the White House will only further cement the China-Russia partnership.

Moreover, the reality is that Washington is ill-prepared to make a convincing case on human rights and broader democracy issues.

First, America itself has not fully recovered from a deep and protracted political crisis. Many inside the US still question the standards of November’s presidential elections as well as the legitimacy of information restrictions imposed on Donald Trump and his supporters by major social networks and the US mainstream liberal media. The 2020 large-scale violent racial riots also question the assumption that the United States can serve today as a universal model of human rights observance. Until President Biden fixes related problems at home, his international human rights crusade will not look too credible even for his fellow citizens.

Second, it is easy for Biden to raise human rights issues against Russia and China—or against North Korea and Iran. This is a light and unburdensome task—in any case, these countries are not and will not be US allies or partners anytime soon. However, what about other potential targets—like Turkey and Saudi Arabia? On the one hand, both Ankara and Riyadh are perceived in Washington as gross violators of basic human rights. On the other hand, Washington badly needs partnerships with both of them. If the Biden administration heads down a slippery slope of double standards and selective use of the human rights agenda in foreign policy, this will not make this agenda more convincing for anyone. If Biden chooses to go against traditional US clients and friends, the political price for such integrity might turn out to be prohibitively high.

Third, though the international human rights agenda remains important, it seems that today, in most societies, the public puts fairness before freedom. 20 or 30 years ago, the quest for freedom was the driving force behind the majority of street protests, political upheavals and revolutions. Today people revolt mostly against what they believe to be unfair and unjust. The widely shared sentiment of unfairness and injustice rather than human rights or political democracy is the main source of various populist movements in all parts of the world.

The balance between the quest for freedom and the quest for fairness has always been moving from one side to the other, forming long political and social cycles in human history. In the first half of the 20th century, fairness and egalitarianism were perceived as more important than freedom and human rights, while in the second half of the century, the balance shifted away from the former and toward the latter. Today we observe the global social pendulum once again swinging in the opposite direction.

In this context, the recent statement of Chinese President Xi Jinping about the ultimate victory over absolute poverty in China may well outweigh all the eloquent human rights rhetoric coming from US President Joe Biden.

From our partner RIAC

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Witnessing Social Racism And Domestic Terrorism In Democratic America

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With just less than two weeks away from President-elect taking the office, the United States of America witnessed the worst of the worst it could ever do, since its discovery. Anti-democracy moves and violence is what American leadership stood against around the world and in particular in recent times since the Arab Spring, but the same ‘Mini Arab Spring’ was faced by America itself. The brave soldiers of America who took arms and enjoyed Saddam’s palace could not protect its own legislative branch, details about which make the very beginning of the American Constitution. The savior of democracy is struggling democracy at home as white supremacists and Trump supporter militias stormed at the US Capitol. Before having a critical outlook through the lens of Johan Galtung’s triangle of violence, it is potent to dig into what exactly is causing this situation in America. This started as protests at the National Mall which soon after Trump’s incitement turned into riots at the Capitol Building by masses without masks, painted with Republican colors and wrapped in MAGA merchandise. This storm over Congress seats came after months long instigation of Donald Trump’s claims about rigging in elections and his refusal to accept the results and especially when on Wednesday the Congressmen gathered to count the electoral votes and officially declared Biden as the next President of America. Amidst this siege over Capitol, arrests and vandalism of state property; Joe Biden was officially validated as the 46th President of the United States of America.

Apart from what became highlight of that week about Capitol Hill being invaded by pro-Trump supporters, critically analyzing the situation, it is evident enough that MAGA riots and Black Life Matters riots were quite evidently, differently handled by the state forces. This discrepancy in response to BLM can be better explained through Galtung’s 3 sides of violence. Galtung’s triangle shapes around three joints of connections: direct, cultural and structural violence, while the former has its roots in the latter two. Structural violence is defined as the unequal access and advantages to one racial, political, ethnic or religious group than the other in social and political orientations of systems that govern the state. Structural violence or social racism is evident in the varying responses that despite warnings about possible attacks during the electoral vote counts, Police did not seek advance help to prevent it, rather National Guard was deployed an hour after the protestors had already breached the first barricade. While in the case of BLM, the aggression of the Police and National Guard was evident in their gestures. While the anti-racism protests in June last year faced militarized response, none was done with anti-democratic riots.

While social racism is evident in America, it is yet to be witnessed what is to come next. Speaker of the House of Senate, Nancy Pelosi has already indicated removing President Trump from his office through the 25th Constitutional Amendment. Along with this, Joe Biden’s remarks about the situation also have long-term repercussions as well as expectations. Repercussions might come in terms of him calling the protestors as “domestic terrorists”. The FBI defines domestic terrorism as: “Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.” America, since more than 2 decades is already fighting its war against terrorism in various segments of the world, the use of this word at home, although might bring support for Biden’s sympathies for BLM and democracy, yet it might have long-term impacts. Mentioning of expectations, Americans at home and abroad, both desire to see actual reforms followed by on ground implementations to counter structural violence. Along with this, Biden shall have to re-construct the de-constructed notion that political violence and threat to democracy is far away from America and is for third world countries. The states upon which America used to show serious concern and used to send arms for their national interests are showing their worry over the situation in America which is even termed as ‘coup’. Having pin-pointed all this, Biden’s era needs a lot of reconstruction before it opts to enter any third world country or show its presence in any new Spring for democracy outside America.

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Joe Biden and his first contradictory foreign policy moves

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Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Those who thought that the elderly American President, formerly Barack Obama’s vice-President, would step into the international limelight as the wise and moderate statesman he had been during the election campaign have had to revise their judgement.

Just a few weeks after taking office, Joe Biden abruptly brought the United States back onto the Middle East stage with a dual political-military move that has aroused considerable perplexity and protest in the United States and abroad.

As Pentagon spokesman John Kirby pointed out, the first surprise move decided directly by the President was to order an aerial bombardment against two bases of militiamen believed to be close to Hezbollah and Iran, located in Syria near the border with Iraq.

Between 22 and 27 people, whether militiamen or civilians, are reported to have died in the attack, which took place during the night of February 25.

The order to strike the pro-Iranian militias was motivated by Biden’s need to react to an attack in Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, at the beginning of February against a U.S. army logistics base, which resulted in the death of a Filipino employee of the base.

Commenting on the incident, Pentagon spokesman Kirby said: “The airstrikes have destroyed warehouses and buildings used on the border by pro-Iranian militias Kathaib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al Shuhaba and have conveyed the unambiguous message that President Biden will always act to protect American personnel. At the same time, the action is intended to deliberately pursue the goal of de-escalating tension in both eastern Syria and Iraq’.

Apart from the fact that it sounds ambiguous to justify a surprise attack on the territory of a (still) sovereign State like Syria with the need to “reduce tension” in the region, President Biden’s initiative has aroused not a few perplexities also in the United States, in addition to the obvious protests of the government in Damascus.

While many Republican Senators and Congressmen have approved of Biden’s actions because, as Republican Senator Pat Toomey has argued, “Biden has the right to respond with weapons to the recent attacks supported by Iran against American interests”, members of his own party have not hidden their criticism and perplexity because allegedly the President did not respect the exclusive prerogatives of Congress in terms of “war actions”.

Democratic Senator Tim Kane was very harsh and explicit: “an offensive military action without Congressional approval is unconstitutional”.

His colleague from the same party, Chris Murphy, told CNN that “military attacks require Congressional authorization. We must require that this Administration adheres to the same behavioural standards we have required from previous Administrations…

We require that there be always legal justification for every American military initiative, especially in a theatre like Syria, where Congress has not authorised any military initiative”.

With a view to underlining the inconsistency of the White House’s justification that the attacks were to ‘reduce tension’ in the region, Democratic Congressman Ro Khana publicly stepped up criticism by saying, “We need to get out of the Middle East. I spoke out against Trump’s endless war and I will not shut up now that we have a Democratic President”.

As we can see, the criticism levelled at President Biden has been harsh and very explicit, thus marking the premature end of the ‘honeymoon’ between the Presidency and Congress that, in the U.S. tradition, marks the first hundred days of each new Administration.

President Biden’s military show of strength appears to be marked not only by the doubts over constitutionality raised by leading members of his own party, but also by the contradictory nature of the motivations and justifications.

According to the White House, in view of reducing tension in Syria, bombers need to be sent, without prejudice to the need to “convey a threatening signal” to Iran, at the very moment when the President himself is declaring he wants to reopen the “nuclear deal” with Iran, i.e.  the dialogue on the nuclear issue abruptly interrupted by his predecessor.

In short, the new President’s opening moves in the Middle East region do not seem to differ too much from those of his predecessors who, like him, thought that military action – even bloody and brutal – could always be considered a useful option as a substitute for diplomacy.

This military action, however, seems scarcely justifiable in its motivations if it is true that President Biden intends to reduce the tension in relations with Iran, which have become increasingly tense due to initiatives such as those of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who at the beginning of last year ordered the assassination of the highest-ranking member of the Iranian military hierarchy, Qassem Suleimani, who was shot by a drone near Baghdad.

President Biden’s other move that, in a delicate and sensitive theatre such as the Near East, appears at least untimely, was to authorise CIA to declassify the report on the assassination of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, killed in 2018 on the premises of the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

The CIA report bluntly accuses Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of ordering the murder of the dissident journalist. Its publication, authorised by President Biden, has sparked a storm of controversy inside and outside the United States, thus seriously calling into question the strategic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which over the years has been painstakingly built with the dual aim of counterbalancing Iran’s presence and influence in the Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, as well as controlling the extremist impulses of rich and dangerous regional partners such as Qatar.

Prince Bin Salman, now firmly established as sole heir to the Saudi throne, is a compulsory counterpart of the United States.

In vain (and recklessly), President Biden has publicly declared his preference for a direct dialogue with King Salman.

The 85-year-old King, however, is not only in poor health conditions, but has also clearly told the Americans that he has the utmost confidence in “his sole and legitimate heir” to whom he has already actually delegated the management of the Kingdom’s affairs.

President Biden’s Administration, and its new Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, have never made a secret of preferring another Crown Prince as a potential counterpart, namely Mohammed Bin Nayef, who is very close to CIA thanks to the good offices of the former Chief of the Saudi intelligence services, Saad Al Jabry. Nevertheless, in the complicated world of the Saudi Court, things do not always proceed in the simple and straightforward way preferred by the Americans.

Mohammed Bin Najef is currently in prison on corruption charges and is therefore definitely out of the race for the throne, while his CIA liaison, Al Jabry, has self-exiled to Canada to escape the ‘persecution’ he believes has been orchestrated by the Saudi courtiers.

If the United States wants to keep on playing a role in the Middle East and possibly exercising a stabilising function in a region which was greatly destabilised by George W. Bush’s unfortunate Iraqi adventure, which effectively handed Iraq over to the Shi’ites close to their Iranian “brothers” and gave Iran the keys to control the Persian Gulf, the President and his Secretary of State will have to rely on a good dose of political realism, leaving out of the dialogue with Saudi Arabia the ethical considerations which, although justified, do not seem appropriate, also because America has never seemed to have had many scruples when it comes to physically eliminating its ‘adversaries’ with very hasty methods, be they an Iranian general, two dozen unidentified Syrian militiamen or their relatives.

In short, the early stages of Biden’s Presidency do not look very promising. Allies and adversaries alike are waiting for the United States to get back on the field in the most sensitive areas with pragmatism and realism, two factors that seem rather lacking in Joe Biden’s preliminary foreign policy moves.

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