Facts and Judgments

The blogosphere is awash in commentary about the Guiliani and Ron Paul kerfuffle in the 2nd GOP debate the other night.

I’ll simply point out that there are facts, and then there are judgments about what ought to be done about them. Why is it such a taboo for Paul to point out that America has and is being targeted by Middle Eastern terrorist organizations because it has engaged itself in Middle Eastern affairs? It’s a fact. Now, you may think it’s an entirely appropriate engagement (and some of it was, in my view), but that is a separate matter from the immutable fact that it’s the case. To my knowledge, there are dozens of countries with more or less the same secular freedoms and "morally corrupt" culture we have, yet they are not engaged in the various Middle-Eastern conflicts and you don’t see them being attacked. Again, you can judge or characterize their lack of involvement however you wish, but the facts remain.

We were, are, and will be attacked because we put ourselves into the fight way back when and are in it now deeper than ever.

Alas, Ron Paul has not said that America deserved what it got (which is the dishonest spin being given by blowhards); he has said, essentially, that what it got is only to be expected. He is (accurately) identifying a cause & effect relationship.

Now, the Republicans — and particularly the primitive-minded morons on the Christian Right — want you to believe that the root cause is not our involvement, but our freedom, secularism, Christianity — or some combination thereof. ‘They hate us because of our culture and that’s why they crash planes into buildings and blow up embassies and so forth.’ Well, they hate us because of our culture, and it’s a convenient excuse to inflame the conflict and stir the streets and bolster the incomes of American flag and presidential effigy makers, but it’s not the fundamental reason for their attacks. The fundamental reason is that we have engaged ourselves in the conflict.

Those are the facts. Now deal with them.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Richard Nikoley on May 17, 2007 at 14:11

    I agree.

    "She [Mother Teresa] was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud…" — Christopher Hitchens

  2. Wally on May 17, 2007 at 13:56

    Ron Paul makes Hillary Clinton look like Mother Teresa.

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