Many conservatives think Republican Texas Congressman Ron Paul is an antiwar activist who is no different from Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who are both running for the Presidency. In fact, conservative organizations such as the American Conservative Union give Paul a low conservative rating because of his antiwar stance.
There is a vast difference between Ron Paul and the antiwar left. Ron Paul is for a very strong national defense and was in favor of President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Indeed, Paul was a very strong Cold Warrior when the Soviet Union was trolling over Eastern Europe. The antiwar left is for cutting defensive weapons defending the US and blames American first for everything. If there was an attack on the US, I believe Ron Paul would go all-out militarily to defeat the aggressor. The antiwar left would blame American and "want to negotiate."
Where Ron Paul differs from neoconservatism (which is considered "mainstream conservatism" in politics today) is Paul is against using force in every nation of the world that is not a threat to national security. He is not one for trying to change a foreign nation's political system like we are doing in Iraq. Since when is it our business to tell another nation what political system to use? If a nation is a dictatorship and it does not affect our national security, that is that nation's business. Woodrow Wilson entered World War I to make the world "safe for democracy." Yeah, that worked real well. He planted the seeds for the rise of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. We fought a bloody World War II and a long Cold War because Wilson wanted to ram America's political system down the throats of Europe.
Bush reminds me of Wilson. But suppose Wilson had never got the US in World War I. There eventually would have been a negotiated settlement with Germany grabbing some of western France. But that would have been it. So let's say we would have been stuck with the Kaiser of Germany and the Emperor of Austria-Hungary with no free elections. Would that have been so bad compared to what really did happen--planting the seeds for the rise of Nazi Germany and Communism? And now Bush wants democracy in the Middle East. If there were free elections in Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Muslim extremists would win. Is that what we want--more Islamic extremism?
Ron Paul is correct when he says Bush's crusade for democracy offends the targeted nations. How would you like it if you were a citizen of, say, Bulgaria, and an American President says you must have a democratic government? What if the US said it would invade your nation if you didn't change your government? Would you like being dictated by a foreign power as to what kind of government you should have? Bulgarians are a proud people don't like being pushed around. They are proud of their history. (For the record, Bulgaria is a free republic. I'm just using that nation as an example.) How do you think the citizens in Muslim countries feel?
Ron Paul's foreign policy is very simple: Unless that nation is a direct threat to our national security, the United States has NO BUSINESS getting involved in the domestic and foreign policy affairs of that nation. If that nation is such a threat, then the United States should do all it can to repel that threat, even if it means military action.
Ron Paul is in favor of withdrawing from Iraq because it was never a direct threat to our national security. Let's say Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. He would have used them on Iran, a nation he fought an eight-year (1980-1988) war against, or Israel (who probably would have smoked him). He certainly wouldn't have used them against the US. With 3910 American dead and 28822 wounded, has the war really been worth it? Has the $610 billion been worth it as far as our national security is concerned?
Ron Paul's foreign policy was considered mainstream Republican thinking until 1947. Today he is considered a pariah in his own party.
Ron Paul is not antiwar because he hates America. He's antiwar because he loves American and wants to return her to the ideals she once knew.