Ron Paul: Iran Surrounded

I watched what is probably the last Republican presidential candidate debate on 2/22/12. I am retired, that’s why!

In the past I have pointed out candidate Ron Paul’s indifference to facts on several postings. Yesterday, he gave yet another demonstration. Queried about what he would do about Iran’s supposed race toward the acquisition of nuclear devices, he said, as expected, that he would do nothing.

He argued that the Islamic Republic of Iran sometimes acted threatening because its Islamo-Fascist elite (not his words) feels threatened itself by our own actions. He pointed out that Iran was surrounded by “forty-five” of our bases.

I have been conversant about US military policies since the sixties. Yet, I have no idea what Congressman Paul’s meant. The main problem is that I don’t know what he means by “surrounded.” If he counts American military bases say, in Greenland and in Okinawa, the statement might just be right. Or, is it perhaps a statement that cannot be judged true or false, one way or the other?

I think this utterance is not a small thing because most people are not that conversant and they will naturally assume that it is factually correct. This is yet another time when what I think is an irresponsible statement at best serves to shore up Mr Paul’s undeserved credibility.

Reminder: I have said before that Ron Paul lives in an imaginary world as far as international policies are concerned.

In this case, I will reserve judgment in the hope that some Paul faithful will explain the quaint utterance: What forty-five bases?

I don’t bother to ask the Paul campaign because, the last time I asked a question of it, there was no response at all. I am attracting the attention of the libertarian blog “Notes on Liberty” to this question.

2/24/12 Update: Paulista Brandon Crackpot left a map with a vengeful note in response to my challenge. The map show American bases in…Iraq…. Wish like hell it were true!  Of course, I think this is not a validation of Ron Paul’s comment.

About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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33 Responses to Ron Paul: Iran Surrounded

  1. Pingback: Yes, Jacques Delacroix, Iran IS Surrounded « Notes On Liberty

  2. Those are airfields, or airports, Professor. Not bases.

    The Iraqi state has granted the U.S. military open access to the airfields and airports listed on the map. Yes, I know the source is not cited, but you can Google the names of all the places listed on the map to see if it is lying or not.

    I am too lazy to do so, but I am not too lazy to make a bet. If you want to name your price, and then look up all the names cited on the map, and determine if they are all legitimate bases/airfields/airports, I will be happy to match your price.

    Just to sweeten the pot: if some of the names on the map turn out to be false (say….8% or more), then I will publicly denounce Paul as a demagogic pacifist bent on destroying the image of the United States abroad. Again, you have to do the relevant research though…

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brandon: First things first: I don’t think Ron Paul is lying much. As I have said, I think he lives in an imaginary world. I think he is cracked.

      Two: He didn’t say “airfields with landing rights,” or any other sort of rights, or anything like this; he said “bases.” The word implies some degree of permanence. The US does not have military bases in Iraq. The map does not say what you said it says. The map does not support Paul’s statement. One more time, there is a wide gap between his statement and what his religiously devoted follower (singular) can show to be true.

      As I said, a map without a source is nothing. I did not change my mind on this. If you think otherwise, we can hardly talk about anything. The suggestion that I check for every airfield with use/landing rights on your unidentified map is absurd. I wouldn’t do it for someone I generally trusted if he relied on an unreferenced source.

      At this point, I believe that one more time, in his typical underhanded manner, Ron Paul gained credibility for his isolationist viewpoint by promoting a pseudo-fact he accepted uncritically from one of his gofers because it suited his purpose. This keeps happening.

      Note that you are the only one of his devotees who read my blog to even try to justify Ron Paul’s claim. When it comes to defending your prophet, you have lost your credibility. It’s still possible that someone else will show me that Iran is “surrounded” by “45” US military “bases.” I keep an open mind but it does not look good. It seems to me that every time I lift the sheet, I find Ron Paul naked or half-naked. Not a pretty spectacle!

  3. I don’t have a prophet. I have choices regarding Presidential candidates. The Mullah from Pennsylvania and the socialist from Massachusetts just don’t cut it for me (to say nothing of that rat’s ass from Georgia).

    You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t take your summaries of Ron Paul’s arguments in live televised debates seriously anymore. You have been wrong too many times, and you have been all too eager to change the facts when you see fit in order to enhance your argument (remember when you switched Ron Paul’s $20 billion to $30 billion?).

    Iran is surrounded by the U.S. military. Two of its neighbors have been invaded and occupied by the U.S. military. I would be bellicose and uncooperative too.

    The U.S. military spends at least $20 billion on air conditioning for U.S. troops. Your sophistry in trying to discredit an honest General’s appraisal is rather telling.

    And, of course, Ron Paul gets more military donations from our boys than any other candidate in the field. Is 1,000 a greater number than 100?

    All of this is not to suggest that I don’t have serious disagreements with Ron Paul. Like, um, the fact that he would treat the rest of the world as he would want to be treated (how dangerous!). And he wants to end the war on drugs (oh God!) and cut $7 billion in federal spending next year (think of what that will do for future generations!). And overhaul our immigration laws. And cut taxes by $5 billion. And…

    In short, the man is dangerous: he believes that the greatest threat to the liberty of the people in the world is the State, and he doesn’t – not even for a second – confuse the State in Iran with the State in the U.S. Both are exactly the same. One has just been more limited than the other. However, as you and I know well, war is the health of the State.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brandon: 1 I have never, never given any summary of Ron Paul’s participation in any debate EVER! At every debate, I wait for him to make false statements, voluntarily that is, not in answer to some question or provocation. He never disappoints. In the last Rep candidate debates, he made only one false statement. That was a surprise.

      So, I have done nothing to burden you with the task of checking on my “summaries” of the congressman’s contribution to any debate. There have been no summaries. The truth is that regularly, Ron Paul makes grossly false statements and that you don’t know how to deal with them. That’s because you treat him like a prophet.

      I, for sure, don’t treat any of the other candidates that way, as if they were prophets or somehow worthy of reverence. In fact, I don’t know anyone who does, on the Internet or in the world. I could write a pretty good negative essay about everyone of the candidates if I were interested. Could you write a negative essay on Ron Paul? It’s a “yes” or”no” question. WHICH IS IT?

      Once, I did make a mistake regarding what Ron Paul had said the US military spent on air conditioning in Iraq and in Afghanistan. I did say 30 billion, or even maybe 40 billion, when he had really said 20 billion. I immediately corrected myself. The mistake was a mistake but it was inconsequential in the end because any figure in the billions for air conditioning is completely absurd. I showed this in a recent essay. Why in the world would you bring this up again? Do you enjoy suffering that much? That would help explain your joining a cult.

      Keep up the good work but I hope you remember that both of our credibilities are constantly being evaluated by those who use some of their precious time to read us.

      • Why Dr. J! Your tone is getting awfully hurtful. Think of my feelings before you go about poo-pooing on my credibility please!

        I am just a humble undergraduate at a decent school in Southern California. I have only only given one official presentation on my writings so far, but I can send you a few letters of recommendation from Professors if you’d like…

        Here is what is truly absurd: the fact the the U.S. government spends any amount of money on air conditioning for troops in a region of the world in which our government doesn’t belong.

        I will write a stinging critique of Ron Paul within the next few weeks – just for you! – but you have to promise to infrequently peruse the new consortium that you talked me into starting, and bless us all with your cold-hearted logic and unflappable dogma.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Brandon: I don’t really understand what you are proposing. It does not matter if you are an undergraduate, or a Nobel Prize winner (like Al Gore), or a real one say, in Physics, or again,a precocious second grader. Your statements stand on their own two little skinny legs. If I have to hold back, it’s not worth playing with you. Again, I don’t understand what you want.

        And I am sure your professors are very pleased to have you in class. I suspect you may be a little disruptive but that sure beats back-row sleepers.

        I said clearly (not “poo-pooing”) I thought that your credibility has been suffering because of what you have done on this blog. I refer to your defending Ron Paul’s indefensible, borderline insane inventions. I have made no other reference to anything else you may have said.

  4. Pingback: Links From Around the Consortium « Notes On Liberty

  5. Terry Amburgey says:

    Despite his frequent mistatements and penchant for taking liberties with definitions, Dr. Paul is far and away the most honest and frank of the Republican candidates. I will grant you that this is a pretty low hurdle given the 3 other clowns. I don’t really think he’s off in never-never land, I should be so cogent at his age. I just think he’s wrong in many of his policies. I’m really glad I’m not a Republican anymore. I don’t have to choose between a sincere & likeable man I disagree with and 2 slimeballs and a religious nut.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Terry: Two things. First, I have taken some pain to say that I don’t believe Ron Paul lies. I think rather that he marches to a different drummer, a secret one. If you have followed this particular discussion on this blog. I have shown several instances where he volunteered truly absurd crypto-facts. That’s all compatible with being very honest.

      Second, I have not discussed his proposed policies directly. Complex situation: I agree with almost everything he has said about domestic policies. I also think he is cracked. I would rather point this out than discuss his isolationism (which his followers argue is not isolationism). I am trying to influence may be ten people before the Republican primaries. I am hoping that people inclined toward Ron Paul who are also rationalists will think twice because of what I say on this blog.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      I don’t accept reading assignments from anonymous strangers.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        This is Dr D again: This is an addendum to my curt response to Jesus who thinks he has got me “pal.” It was too curt. It did not express what I wanted to say. I am sorry, I shouldn’t have done it. I am deeply ashamed. Let me start again.

        I keep receiving reading assignments that turn out to be irrelevant to the topic on this blog the assignment is supposed to be a response to. I don’t want to be punished with silly reading for my extreme lucidity (if I say so myself). So, if a reader wants me to read something, he should have the courtesy, or the prudence, to say, “You should read this because….”

        In this case, I am guessing so strongly that I would bet on it that I need not activate the link Jesus proposes; I will bet it’s somehow irrelevant. Don’t ask me how I know. I used to be a teacher! It got so that a student would say, ” I…” and I would know he was lying or besides the point or more confused that is normal even for a zonked out, illiterate sophomore after two sleepless nights.

        Be my guest thought, Notice that I approved this message, link and all.

        I approve nearly all comments, certainly more than 99%.

  6. Terry Amburgey says:

    @Jesus That pic also has bases listed in Iraq that don’t exist as bases [see above]. While you’re here I have some questions. The first is, why don’t you write a ‘what I’d do book’? People are constantly asking what you’d do, I think you should provide some guidance for them.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      “A What I Would do Book.”Interesting suggestion to create a horrible traffic jam in my waning years. Two answers, the first of which is valid for everyone:

      1 If you are sitting on a red hot stove and your ass is burning, you don’t need to make sure that a chair is available in order to get off.

      2 I often say although in elementary ways, what I would do. As I have said, I wish that right now, the US should take twenty Assad tanks out around Homs and possibly a couple of armed helicopters. NO warning needed, no explanation needed; discussion afterwards.

      In general, I dedicate my limited resources and energy to the intersection of: 1 Things I am able to do a little better than what I see being done; 2 Things that I am interested in; 3 Things that might change someone’s mind in a desirable direction . (Fortunately, my standards are very low with respect to area 3!)

  7. Delacroix and his buddies have, once again, failed to see the forest for the trees. As I wrote in a recent piece smashing Delacroix’s fantasies:

    Are there not military installations in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey? Are these not all neighbors of Iran? Are there not airports in Saudi Arabia and Iraq that the U.S. military has been granted access to use for military and “operational” purposes? Maybe there are not 45 bases. Maybe Delacroix is right to call Dr. Paul out on his use of numbers.

    Getting the exact number right in a live televised debate is probably a lot harder than it sounds, especially if one is a septuagenarian. Conceptually, however, Ron Paul is right on the money: Iran is surrounded by the United States.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brandon: So, how many bases are there, after, all? (I have already said that I would not nickel and dime you.) The fact that you (and another Paulista, I think) first replied by sending an impressive map full of false information does not help Paul’s credibility.

      I keep repeating myself. I don’t know if it’s because you have ADD or because you don’t care. It’s annoying. I hate to waste my time. I would rather watch the Lifetime Channel Here again: a numerical mistake when you are responding impromptu is no big deal especially if you correct yourself voluntarily afterwards. When you volunteer superficially precise information, you have to get the number right. If you do not, your are lying or you are not in touch with reality. Again also, I think Paul seldom lies. And of course, you can always correct yourself on your website, for example. That would require that you have alert followers who are not sycophants. Disciples won’t do this for you.

      Who are the “buddies” who share responsibility for my transgressions? Please, don’t make stuff up.

      • Delacroix,

        For a minute there I had to remind myself that I was not grocery shopping with one of my more petulant ex-girlfriends. I was unaware that you were in charge of making all the rules for televised Presidential campaign debates.

        The map did not contain any false information. Rather, it took the liberty to include air facilities used by the U.S. military to conduct operations (military or otherwise).

        I went over to Wikipedia (just for you) and found the following link:
        The numbers are taken from a 2009 Dept. of Defense report.

        I counted 35 bases in the Middle East. If you tack on another 10 air fields that are not officially used by the U.S. military for political purposes, you are probably going to get around 45 bases in the region. Again, I am sure a Congressman from Texas has more up-to-date information on the situation in the Middle East than either of us does.

        Here is how I can tell you are beaten: 1) you have stopped talking about ideas and have instead begun to talk about a single politician, 2) you have started to make up your own rules that everybody else has to adhere to, 3) you keep calling the other side childish names.

        Here is a much simpler way of figuring out if you are still able to engage in a rational debate: is Iran surrounded by the US military or not? It’s a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Brandon says, “…I am sure a Congressman from Texas has more up-to-date information on the situation in the Middle East than either of us does.” End of story, I guess!

  8. You didn’t answer my question. *smirk*

    Here it is one more time:

    is Iran surrounded by the US military or not?

    The more honest you are with yourself, the sooner we can find out if Ron Paul lied about Iran being surrounded by the militaryyyyy…

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brandon: It’s difficult to have conversations with someone who thinks that one shouldn’t question politicians because they have better information.

      I may take your question under advisement soon. Right now, the answer to “surrounded by 45 American bases” is, “probably not.” I may change it.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Is Iran “surrounded” by “45” American military “bases,” as Ron Paul asserted with impeccable clarity. I expressed skepticism about the accuracy, the reality of this assertion. Here are the responses I think I received. If I missed one, lease, correct me. I am the same age as Dr Paul. Brandon says it’s a valid excuse for inaccuracy. So, what the hell!

      Brandon and another Paulista (I think) submitted the same unattributed false map of alleged bases.

      A third Paulista gave a list of what s/he says are American bases around Iran. I told him/her that as long as s/he did not have a identified source, the list was useless.

      Before that, Brandon has asserted that Congressman Paul had better information than I have. I thought the only reason to speak that particular truth was to discourage any lay questioning of Paul’s statements of alleged facts. That would place Brandon outside of post- 17th century civilized discourse, of course. Brandon’s statement did more than I could ever invent to validate my current view of Ron Paul’s following as largely (but not completely) a cult.

      • Look, if you can’t bring yourself to admit that Ron Paul was right about Iran being surrounded by the US military (which it is), and there being at least 45 bases in the vicinity of the Iranian state, then I don’t what else there is to talk about.

        RP often takes liberty to include things (like airfields used for military exercises that aren’t technically used for military exercises) in his overall numbers that he uses in live televised debates. This does not mean he wrong or “cracked”. He is just emphasizing his argument!

        Ron Paul has sat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for years and years and years. While this in itself is not a sure sign of knowledge on the subject, the fact that Leftists (and closet Leftists; and Leftists who do not know they are Leftists) loathe him for his foreign policy views earns my benefit of the doubt.

        Your name-calling and avoidance of actually debating the horrors of imperialism is telling. Let me know when your man-crush on RP fades so that we can get back to debating something worthwhile instead of this petty tabloid gossip.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Brandon: Did I miss some evidence? It’s possible so, please, have the patience to remind me.

        What name-calling?

  9. Despite not having a source (I am sure some Leftist took the time out of his not-so-busy life to emphasize the bases/airfields around Iran with stars) all of the bases/airfields have names underneath them.

    Feel free to look up each of the names if you’d like. I am too lazy. Laziness is not the same thing as lacking critical thinking skills, either. Speaking of critical thinking: is Iran surrounded by the US military or not? It’s a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question Dr. J…

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brandon: You seem to be referring to a list that I still have not found. Or is it a map? We may be talking past each other. On the issue of sources:

      Laziness and lack of criticality are usually undistinguishable from each other from the viewer’s
      standpoint, for the recipient. That’s unless the info comes from a respected leader, or from a great leader, or from a leader to whom one is devoted, or from a leader one considers infallible.

      Of course, I will not spend one minute on a document that does not have a source. It’s likely, not sure, but likely that it was compiled or concocted by a leftist. Those people lie and fabricate as a matter of course. Too bad Ron Paul seems to rely on them part of the time. (Did you see Fred Folvary’s comment on Stiglitz contribution to Ron Paul’s estimate of the cost of the Iraq war?)

      You seem (seem ) to have adopted a hurt tone about all this. Let me be clear: I don’t think you are lying. It’s not even crossed my mind until one second ago and just long enough to dismiss. I thought you had a blind sport about Ron Paul. Something you said right on this blog tells me that you have a blind spot there for sure. I believe you are generally a lucid guy but that you are deluding yourself part of the time. It’s especially difficult for smart people to see this about themselves. (I am obviously not at risk here!)
      I will soon answer a question related to the one you ask, not exactly that one because it betrays my purpose, what I expressed skepticism about in a Ron Paul statement. You are not at liberty to change my words to make them fit your purpose.

      This is not high on my agenda because you and other mainstream (?) libertarians have not done a stellar job of picking up the challenge. keimh, at least gave me a list with references together with the list of alleged bases.

      Again, I have not seen the list or map you, Brandon, seem to be referring to.

      I thought Paul did pretty well on super-Tuesday. In normal politics, he would use his approximate 10%
      to extract something from whoever will be the Republican candidate. It could be a public promise of limited US belligerence, for example. I doubt he will even try. What do you think?

      • Ron Paul is not my “leader”. He’s the best option to work with for POTUS,

        Leftists are usually very good at lying about things, but when it comes to military costs, Nobel prize-winning economists are a great source of information (the best, probably!).

        You don’t have to worry about hurting my feelings. I am annoyed-but-slightly-amused at all of this. Lots of people keep providing you with plenty of information and you keep ignoring it as if it doesn’t exist, or dancing around it and feigning shock that a presidential candidate takes liberties to use up-to-date numbers reported in press outlets for his arguments on live television. Arguing with one’s imagination always has its drawbacks and high points. Forgive me if I sound a bit too brusque.

        Here is the Wikipedia entry (again):

        Here is the blog post with the map on it (again):

        Ron Paul will use his influence to extract a commission on “sound money”. Hopefully, we’ll see some competition in the currency markets within the next few years as a result of RP’s work.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Brandon: You are testing my patience (and wasting my time). I don’t want to discuss that map again because it includes significant information that is false today and because it has no source. You don’t make sense: Do you think that I will call valuable today what I told you was useless yesterday?

        The list of bases from Wikipedia may prove what you allege, I don’t know. Based on the link you provided, it does not, absolutely not, does not even come close. Remember, the issue is 45 bases surrounding Iran. I wonder if it’s the source of the reasonably good list keimh sent me several days ago. That one was closer to demonstrating the Paul allegation.

        It’s not the case that “lots of people” are providing me with information. It’s three so far. The fact that you come back twice with the sane useless stuff does not make you count as two people or more. Stick to the facts. Please!!!!

        I never said Nobel Prize winning Stiglitz lied. I suggested he was a hero to the Left. If someone showed me an estimate of the cost with page numbers in Stiglitz I would be more impressed. Now, I suspect it’s like the 20 billion for air conditioning, a misreading of something too complicated for Stiglitz readers.

        I am not going to consider the “45 bases surrounding Iran” again until I am ready. Don’t bother to send anything. You had plenty of chances and you failed because you assumed that I would take for granted what you take for granted. Same old problem of follow the leader (who is not your leader, you insist against all the evidence you give). Judging by the numbers on my website, there were many spectators to this debate coming from Notes on Liberty. Yet, only two intervened with data. One immediately crashed with the same false map. The other was keimh who did a reasonably good job of advancing the cause, the best job so far. I will rely on his stuff in the future.

        I will get back later to that and to the issue of Paul’s truthfulness and of what it implies for the study of cults in my own good time.

        I met a pleasant guy in a coffee sop once who talked to me for ten minutes about building bridges (he was a civil engineer) and for twenty minutes about the imminent Rapture. He was equally animated about both topics and equally interesting but for different reasons.

  10. This is what I mean by being annoyed-but-slightly-amused. You just wrote:

    Again, I have not seen the list or map you, Brandon, seem to be referring to.

    After generously providing you with the information you said you lacked (again), you respond with

    I don’t want to discuss that map…

    Now, you would really like it if this whole topic were completely halted, but that ain’t gonna happen, son. You talked smack, and you’re getting smacked back.

    You have alleged that the map includes “significant information that is false today,” but the best you can come up with is that the airports that the imperial US military uses in Iraq and Saudi Arabia are not officially listed as US military bases, so therefore the map is “useless.” You likewise nitpick with the link I provided concerning official bases in the Persian Gulf region.

    All of this is fair game, I guess, if one is concerned with being the smartest (and most useful) idiot in the coffee shop, but in the real world nobody is really going to care if the actual number of official bases surrounding Iran is 37 or 45. Close enough is good enough for a live televised debate. Likewise, $20 billion is a good estimate for air conditioning costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagram stated it was $15 billion. I am going to go with an outgoing General rather than the official numbers provided by the Pentagram’s accountants. When was the last time you heard of a government agency rounding down last year’s fiscal budget?

    One of the reasons I stopped going on wild goose chases instigated by Delacroix is that he just doesn’t have the credibility with me that he used to have. I am glad that some of my more well-informed readers are able to amuse his flights of fancy, but I stopped paying attention to Delacroix’s arguments on foreign policy after he came up with this whopper:

    Although the regretted Bin Laden had threatened the US in connection with American military presence in Saudi Arabia, the 9/11 attack took place after the US forces had vacated that country, not as a means to make them move.

    I am willing to forgive Dr. J on this egregious error, of course, and play along with his wild goose chases again, but first I need to see him demonstrate that he still has some sense of competence about him. An official acknowledgement of his error in regards to Saudi Arabia being occupied by the US military when 9/11 occurred would be a nice start. Until then, I don’t think it would be a wise use of my time to continue to humor somebody who is not deserving of a serious hearing.

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