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23 January 2012

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Norbert Salamon

Sir:

As a background to your question it is necessary to look at the USA Federal Budget of last year, as the new one is due on Feb 13 according to news relese.

The tax intake etc of the Federal Government is such that mandatory expenses, interest on the debt [444B last report], Social Security and various Medicare related lawful entitlements essentially indicate a balanced budget, leaving Defence, Foreign Aid and myraid other discretory expenditures as DEFICIT!!!

Having approximately 46 million USA residents/citizens on Food Aid, approximately 50% of population one paycheck short of bankrubcy, it is reasonable that Dr. Paul proposes the withdrawal of troops from all over the globe, the ending of vqarious covert and overt wars to help the USA rebuild herself.

To your proposed q to Dr. Paul:
"Someone should ask him what he would do if the Iranians actually attempted to close the Strait of Hormuz to international maritime traffic.What would he do as president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces?"

He might pose the Question: What would cause Iran to consider closing the Strait aside form USA instigated sanctions, especially on her oil and central bank areas?

Conversely Dr. Paul might ask:

What benefit would accrue to USA industry, oil companies if Iran was not under sanctions? - especially in view of the fact that Iran's oil/gas infrastructure is very dated, some from before the revolution and the USA oil industry is the most modern.

turcopolier

Norbert Salomon

Your answer implies that countries exist for purely economic reasons. That is not the case as your ardent canadianism bespeaks. The principle of the freedom of international waters is well established. The US has demonstrated repeatedly that it will fight to maintain that principle. The first time was, I believe, either in the undeclared naval war with France or against the Barbary Pirates." pl

The Twisted Genius

Paul seems to be against treaties and entangling alliances. It would be interesting to hear his views on international treaties, specifically the UN convention on the Law of the Sea. Although we have not ratified that treaty, we have signed it and accept it as international custom and law. Paul does support the issuing of letters of marque and reprisal to combat piracy and, I believe, terrorism. That's an interesting concept and potentially lucrative albeit more risky proposition for mercenaries and privateers.

turcopolier

TTG

I was invited to a lunch meeting in his House offices in which he discussed privateers and letters of marque and reprisal. As you say, this could be a money making arrangement and would cost the US taxpayer nothing. If the privateers lost, too bad for them. pl

The Twisted Genius

PL,

The privateers, with their letters of marque in hand, would have to contract with shipping and/or insurance companies to maintain a reliable revenue stream. I doubt if the plundering of Somali pirates or IRGC patrol boats would support the business model.

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

Privateers? Is Blackwater/Xe/Academi expanding into the maritime domain? Or are we going to make honest pirates out of Somalians?

Seriously, are there privateers to buckle the swash in the 21st century?

turcopolier

TTG

I think that the tanker compamies would pay to maintain fast patrol boats or whatever to deal with pirates. pl

Norbert Salamon

With great respect, I am not opposed to the Rule of Law, as per Geneva Convention, etc [Note, Iran is aq signatory to this but not the LAw of The Sea].

Further in previous posting I indicated that I do not underwrite all of Dr, Paul's notions. In my above note I tried to indicate possible rational reasons for Dr. Paul's general approach to foreign affairs/ wars / forward bases.

With great respect, a number of times you have alluded that the USA could invade Canada, to get to the oil [or whatever else] - this point is moot at this timer as the USA gets 100% of Canada's oil export while we import 0.7 million barrels per day for PQ Ontatio etc.

It is true that economics does a thing or two to do with life in general in the XXI-st century [barring some restricted areas o the Amazon watershed or areas of other jungles] though I am the first to admit that morality is similarly important - not only that which is embodied in the Rule of Law [national or international]. The Law's primary purpose is the protection of the ruling elite and their interest, then comes the 99%.

I thank you for your citation of historical conflicts based on principles, I was not aware of this aspect of USA history.

steve

Good questions, Colonel.

For example, regarding Iran, Paul has repeatedly said that Israel should do whatever it thinks best in terms of its self-defense. At the same time, he has repeatedly said that the US should have a policy of peaceful engagement, trade, and diplomacy with Iran.

So, somewhere down the line President Paul gets wind of an impending Israeli attack on Iran which he believes will adversely affect US interests in that region.

Even if he is able to convince Iran that the US plays no part in that Israeli decision to attack, he is convinced that attack nonetheless will have devastating effects on the US economy.

So, what does he do in that situation? How would he protect US interests? Going to the UN would be anathema.

His "pure market" approach to nations' interests, which seems to view all nations as free market consumers operating in their self-interest which supposedly leads to a better state of affairs for all seems to ignore the obvious--that nations have interests which adversely affect others.

But he never seems to address the contradictions in that market approach.

Implicit in his ideology is the "rational actor" bit as well.

turcopolier

NS

"I thank you for your citation of historical conflicts based on principles, I was not aware of this aspect of USA history."

I see. you have been functioning in the belief that the US never acted on principle. How about Canada, does Canada act on principle? pl

The Twisted Genius

Mike Martin,

With the legal cover of USG issued letters of marque and the financial backing of maritime insurance and tanker companies, I think Blackwater/Xe/Academi and others would jump into this with great enthusiasm. It would still be riskier for them than the current massive government contract model, but they'd suck it up and do it. They'd probably hire some of the Somali pirates and Iranian dhow captains as seamen on their patrol boats, auxiliaries and/or intelligence assets.

steve

I have read that some of the shipping lanes through the Strait do indeed pass through Iranian territorial waters.

Under international maritime law, that should be of no consequence--even warships have the right of "innocent passage" through another nation's territorial waters.

However, for whatever reason (I wish I knew) the US has refused to ratify that relevant legislation on international maritime law: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

http://strait-of-hormuz.com/content/view/3/4/

steve

Yes, even critics of American exceptionalism seem at times to buy into that framing in a rote way by framing the US as "exceptionally" bad or evil or, as stated here, totally without principles.

The beaver

May be it is not Academi but Reflex Responses out of Abu Dhabi:

Prince, who conceals his involvement in the firm by using the codename “Kingfish,” takes money from the UAE to ”conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts.” His take: $529 million so far, and the possibility of earning “billions more.” His contract with the UAE lasts until 2015.

The tiny UAE is a financial giant on the Persian Gulf, drenched in oil and unconcerned with political liberty for its wealthy citizens. It lives in fear of Iran. And its military keeps only about 65,000 men under arms. It’s had a murky interest in helping Somalia contain its piracy problem — another effort rumored to involve Prince. And so far, the Mideast uprisings haven’t touched the UAE, but you never know. Its ruling sheikhs are used to paying foreigners to do their dirty work: its labor force is imported. Now it prefers to apply that model to its security needs.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/blackwater-founder-building-mercenary-army-to-put-down-arab-revolts/?utm_source=Contextly&utm_medium=RelatedLinks&utm_campaign=Previous

That’s where Prince comes in.

Pirouz

Colonel, to me Paul's non-aggression, non-hegemonist stance is obvious.

Personally I'm a Democrat. But my brother-in-law is a Republican and I've urged him to vote for Ron Paul. He's still on the fence.

Medicine Man

Col.: "How about Canada, does Canada act on principle?"

A different set of principles, but yes, we have acted on them in the past. Service to the Crown etc.

turcopolier

MM

Of course Canada acts on principle. My sarcasm was in response to NS who appears to think that the US is the earthly equivalent of Mordor. Coupla things. I don't think the Metis War was the equivalent of the War in Heaven against the fallen angels. Sitting Bull surrendered to a few Mounties because we had beaten the s--t out of his 5,000 man band after the Little Big Horn, and why don't you get busy and find Bigfoot? pl

Matthew

Is anyone surprised by this? See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577174133880790046.html#articleTabs%3Dcomments

The Iranian "pivot" East is a foregone conclusion. And now the Brits are sending more troops to the ME. The Iranians will surely greet the British as liberators......

Norbert Salamon

Wicki has a map indicating that
ALL the shipping lanes are inside Irani territorial waters [3K M WIDE DOR EAST AND WEST HEADING LANES], as there is no continental shelf disruption [no serious drop-off to the abyss, as beside the continents all over the world], the division of the territories is equal distance between nations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Strait_of_hormuz_full.jpg

This must be due to the depth of water necessary to enable supertankers to travel safely. Do recall that a US Sub had a minr collision with a tanker, due to restrictions of sea debth

Charles I

Mexican cartels, a couple of home made subs, presto, freedom of navigation.

Charles I

I have previously provided you with a picture of Sasquatch's big foot draped on the cottage porch railing. He is not lost, but never home.

Norbert Salamon

Hate to disagree with your assessment, Sir,of my philisophy above. I do not consider the USA foreign policy to be ALWAYS or even MOST OF THE TIME "Mordor", I believe Stalin, Hitler, Mao and a few others are well ahead of the USA, or most other empires.

On the other hand, being militaristic in the XX-XXI centuris is considerably more bloody and more destructive than anything since Dresden of WWII fame.

Witout doubt the Marshall Paln was the highest point of any international foreign policy in the history of mankind - a complete repudiation of the Treaty of Versailes, on which mistaken measure Lord Keynes foretold the necessity of WWII.

If only the USA leadership could free itself from the yoke of the Likud party in foreign affairs, and in domestic matters control and prosecute the BANKSTERS, the USA would again re-affirm her higher principles IN PRACTICE, rather than depending on Spin.

Medicine Man

Col.: Yeah, I know. I sometimes feel compelled to offer up a defense of my home when NS invites these comparisons. Maybe not rational, but it is what it is.

Mordor? Maybe Gary, Indiana... ha, just kidding. The last time the topic arose, I suggested that Canada/US are The Shire/Gondor. Still seems apt to me.

turcopolier

NS

"I believe Stalin, Hitler, Mao and a few others are well ahead of the USA, or most other empires. On the other hand, being militaristic in the XX-XXI centuris is considerably more bloody and more destructive than anything since Dresden of WWII fame."

Incredible. pl

turcopolier

MM

I'll take Gondor. pl

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