There's only one problem with being pissed off about it -- they are, for the most part, right.
Hear Dr. Paul on the subject of the 9/11 terror attacks—an event, he assures his audiences, that took place only because of U.S. aggression and military actions. True, we've heard the assertions before. But rarely have we heard in any American political figure such exclusive concern for, and appreciation of, the motives of those who attacked us—and so resounding a silence about the suffering of those thousands that the perpetrators of 9/11 set out so deliberately to kill.
There is among some supporters now drawn to Dr. Paul a tendency to look away from the candidate's reflexive way of assigning the blame for evil—the evil, in particular, of terrorism—to the United States.
There is nothing wrong with a belief that our military "reach" is too wide, too broad, and broadly unsupportable. But you have to be either intentionally obtuse or outright dishonest to believe that the United States' enemies are only our enemies because we're a bunch of jackbooted jackasses who step on the necks of people worldwide and "generate" our own terrorists.
That's revisionist bullshit, to be blunt.
Before running such crap anyone with a hint of intellectual honesty would have to note the several hundred year long Jihadi nightmare unleashed upon people worldwide by those seeking to establish their Caliphate -- long before there was a United States, and continuing on since. One would have to note that Muslim piracy and terrorism was commonplace on the high seas in the time of the Revolutionary War, and had exactly nothing to do with the United States "projection of power" (since we had just formed this nation!) One would have to note the examples of nations (and there's lots of them) that have had as their only offense being majority Christian and thus "praying the wrong way." And finally, one would have to look at the record of appeasement and its results in the mirror of history, including the millions killed as a consequence in WWII.
When it comes to Iran there's a curious problem with Ron Paul's narrative that his supporters simply ignore. Paul says that Iran is just "misunderstood" and doesn't really want to wipe Israel off the map. Ok, let's assume I accept that "bad translations" are responsible for that "misunderstanding." What am I supposed to make of their repeated, vehement, and "in English" denial of the Holocaust? That's much harder to argue over, isn't it?
Curiously, where the Journal misses the point in their attack on Ron Paul is where I drive my stake home through those who support him along with the rest of the Republican field: His utter lack of understanding of the essential link between our economic reality today and our current military posture.
That's energy, of course.
I happen to support a widespread retrenchment of our military projection. The reason is simple: We've never managed to have that work out the way we intend. How many times have we installed some guy here or there and had it go sideways on us? Mubarak anyone? The Shah? How about the mess in Central America -- pick one there, they all sucked. The problem with supporting jackasses as "our jackass" is that it doesn't work -- they're just all jackasses and eventually they turn on their own people, and then they turn on us.
But denial over the reason we've put the current system together is foolish, and here Ron Paul does the same thing that all the other "mainstream" candidates do: He intentionally looks the other way while participating in the government systems that make our current posture mandatory.
America can be isolationist. We have the ability. Most nations do not, but we do. We can afford it. We have the resources. We have the people. We have the smarts and we have the industry. In short, we don't have to run a trade deficit and we shouldn't; we have the luxury of indulging only in fair trade and that which generates trade surplus.
But it is the cover of our federal budget deficit that gives life to trade deficits, to offshoring our jobs and ultimately our energy dependency and military power exercises. Absolutely none of that is workable without government overspending. It's a deadly embrace and Ron Paul is not only in the institution that's responsible for it, he fails to make the essential link and then speak against the actual cause, identifying not just the "what" but the "why".
So The Journal gets their criticism mostly right, but they do it for the wrong reasons. It's not hard to understand their blindness -- if they actually looked at the picture from 30,000 feet The Journal would have to go after all of the Republican field and Obama, and that would leave them with the uncomfortable position of having to look beyond the "establishment" candidates.
I'd say that half a loaf is better than none at all, but in this case half a loaf is none, because without addressing the true issues we'll never make progress and when, not if, our excessive spending becomes unsustainable the harm that will come to this nation will be dramatically worse than it needs to be.
In that failure The Journal, in the fullness of history, will be judged complicit.