Now that Ron Paul has formally announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the White House, it is worth scrutinizing his position on the raid which killed Osama bin Laden. While in Iowa earlier this week, Paul called the raid “absolutely not necessary.”
Paul has been critical of the fact that the raid was undertaken without Pakistan’s co-operation. But he used that argument in a most bizarre manner. During a radio interview, Paul asked, “What if he had been in a hotel in London? So would we have sent the … helicopters into London because they were afraid the information would get out? No, you don’t want to do that.”
The fact that Paul cannot discern between stalwart ally like Great Britain and a fairweather friend like Pakistan should raise eyebrows. Unlike Pakistan, the British government, military and intelligence agencies aren’t protecting al Qaeda and the Taliban. But in the extraordinarily unlikely event the Royal Army, MI-6 and The Queen were protecting bin Laden and bin Laden was staying at The Savoy then, yes, the President of the United States would send in the helicopters. The bottom line is if the United States could have captured or killed bin Laden with Pakistan’s assistance it would have done so. The fact we could not do so says more about Pakistan than it does about us.
Yet this doesn’t tell us why Paul thinks the raid was “absolutely not necessary.” Is Paul telling us that if he were President and if an opportunity presented itself to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, a man responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans, that he would decline to do so? If so, do we really want someone in the White House who believes such evil should go unpunished?