Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ron Paul’s Controversial Tweet on Chris Kyle

Yesterday Ron Paul’s Twitter account stirred up a ton of controversy with this Tweet about Chris Kyle, the American Sniper author who killed 160 Iraqis and was himself tragically killed this past weekend:
I was at first confused by this Tweet. I noticed it lacked the "REP" initials that most of his Tweets include, so that immediately raised questions about who posted it. Further, as was pointed out by others, it doesn't quite sound like something Ron would say in an interview. Despite this, as we shall see, Ron seems to stand by it, so I will assume he approved it initially.

It was also unclear what the Tweet meant. I didn't get it completely until Ryan McMaken opened my eyes:
Remember that time Ron Paul used the Golden Rule to explain his foreign policy? Conservatives booed him for that. So who can be surprised that conservatives, including Rand Paul, have been falling all over themselves to condemn Ron Paul for quoting Jesus -in correct context, by the way - to note that the violence wrought by over a decade of nonstop war in America leads to tragedy on the home front
That does make sense. American foreign policy "lives by the sword", and one of the consequences is that it will come back to bite you. Kyle's tragic death was a indirect result of the aggression in Iraq he strongly supported an participated in.

Was Chris Kyle a hero? Are soldiers that fight in aggressive, non-defensive, and unconstitutional wars heroes? No, regardless of which country they come from. They are just government workers causing destruction. (Rand Paul, with his eye on 2016, unsurprisingly disagrees.)

The only criticism of Paul’s Tweet that holds water is that it was poorly worded- not uncommon for short blurbs on Twitter but still, this is not a good excuse. If I was confused by the Tweet, most anyone would be. Paul later followed up with a Facebook post that helped clarify things:
As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend's violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies. -REP
In conclusion, Ron Paul was right again, even if he stumbles when getting the message across. It’s only the usual suspects that are really outraged, and they have always been outraged with his principled stand against militarism. They will continue to call Ron Paul many names, but ask who is supporting more death and destruction, and who is calling for an end to needless death and destruction. I'll stand with Ron Paul any day of the week rather than with them.

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