On comments to the site, armed rebellion, Dr. Rand Paul, and Israel-First

I am still getting the hang of manipulating all the tools for this website and so have been slow in responding to comments made at the bottom of articles. I have spent a good part of this day going over them and I must first thank all who have commented. I truly appreciate the comments, approving and critical alike.

Not being the smartest guy around, I have naturally learned and benefited from many of the comments, and some have caused me to rethink one or another of my ideas. Such exchanges are all part of a normal, open, and frank public debate, and vigorous, even testy debate on all issues is indispensable for the well-being of the republic. Again, I am most grateful to those of you who have taken the time to write via comments or e-mails.

There are three other points I want to make regarding the articles I have written so far:

First, the article I wrote regarding Rachel Maddow’s and MSNBC’s attack on Dr. Rand Paul has been described by some as an “advocacy of armed rebellion against the U.S. government.” It is of course no such thing. Rather, the article says that a taking up of arms would be a lamentable and absolutely last resort.

The point I was trying to make is that the Founders clearly saw the possibility of their republican creation being transformed into a tyranny. The Founders, after all, were extremely well read men who knew the history of republics, and that history, in short, was that all previous republics had gone belly up and become tyrannies. Thus, the Founders knew they were creating a republic in the teeth of what was then an iron law of history, and so in the the 2nd Amendment they provided citizens with an ability to defend their republic.

Building on the natural right to self-defense, the British Bill of Rights (1689), the Dickinson-Jefferson paper (1775), and the Declaration of Independence (1776), the 2nd Amendment is the Founders best effort to make sure there never would be a time when the federal government tended toward tyranny AND had control over all arms.

By creating a constitutional guarantee the Founders not only ensured the existence of a well-armed populace, but they also made sure that those who held federal office would always have the salutary knowledge that any move toward tyranny would find an armed populace that had been taught that their duty to posterity required them to resist tyranny by force. Those who argue or assert that I advocated armed revolt against the U.S. government are dead wrong. What I did and do argue is that Americans have both a right and a duty to resist tyranny by force if such action ever becomes necessary to protect their republic. Those who doubt the validity of this argument ought to read a bit about the founding of our country.

Second, in negative comment on the same article by folks at a site called “Dishwater” they identify me as an adviser to Dr. Rand Paul. That is an absolutely incorrect claim, and one that could have been easily checked. In any event, let me set the record straight. I have never met, talked to, or corresponded with Dr. Rand Paul or any member of his campaign. I admire Dr. Paul and his Dad, and I do hope that Dr. Paul wins a senate seat, but I am not tied to him or his campaign in any form whatsoever. The folks at “Dishwater” ought to do more fact checking and less drinking of the liquid after which they named their site.

Third, I continue to be defy those who equate comments about Israel and Israel-First U.S. citizens with anti-Semitism. Let me clear, I do not care what faith any American follows, or if he or she follows any faith at all. For all I care, Americans can worship, or not worship God, Yahweh, Allah, spirits, witches, Buddha, bags of lawn fertilizer, little blue plastic toys, or — heaven forbid — the Boston Red Sox. I simply do not care, and I have to say that it has never in my life occurred to me to care or ask about what religion any of my friends or acquaintances follow.

What I do care about and unreservedly oppose is any U.S. citizen or citizen group that wants America to spend its treasure and/or its young in another nation’s religious wars or disputes. I oppose any U.S. backing or participation in Israel’s war with Muslims, or with the Muslims’ war with Israel. I likewise oppose efforts by our Muslim Somali citizens to get America involved in settling Muslim Somalia’s problems with the Christian states in East Africa; our Irish Catholic citizens who want to us to support the Republic of Ireland against Protestants in Ulster and Britain; our Indian citizens who want us to side with Hindu India against Muslim Pakistan; our Armenian citizens who want us to back Christian Armenia against Muslim Turkey; and our Pakistani citizens who want us to back Muslim Pakistan against Hindu India.

My position has nothing to do with disliking Israel Firsters because they are Jews (many are not); disliking Armenian Americans because they are Christians; disliking Indian Americans because they are Hindus, etc. It has every thing to do with my belief that these citizens have no business trying to manipulate the U.S. government into intervening in other peoples’ wars or disputes.

Many people immigrate to America to avoid wars, tyranny, or other troubles in their homelands, and part of the contract implicit in their acceptance as U.S. citizens is that their primary loyalty belongs to the United States and not the country they fled. If this means anything, it means that the wars and disputes they left behind are no longer their wars and disputes, and so they ought not be seeking to get the rest of their new countrymen involved in them. If they cannot make this clean break — which is hardly a high cost given the benefits of U.S. citizenship — they ought to go back to the wars and disputes they left, fight to their heart’s content, and leave the rest of us in peace.

At the moment, Israel-First U.S. citizens are eager to involve the United States in a war with Iran, just as they promoted (caused?) the U.S. war on Iraq. This morning, for example, Israel First’s wholly own subsidiary known as the U.S. Congress passed additional unilateral sanctions on Iran’s economy. Sanctions, of course, are acts of war that the mighty use against weaker states who cannot respond. Sanctions also are often used to provoke the weaker state to shoot first so the ensuing war can be blamed on those who were sanctioned.

The sanctions and other actions promoted by the Israel Firsters are clearly meant to drag 300 million Americans into a war with Iran because Israel’s current government wants such a war. I oppose this because we — the United States — have no need for a war with Iran. We have Iran contained militarily and economically, and Tehran does not threaten us unless we attack it first.

So if the U.S.-citizen Israel Firsters want war between Israel and Iran, let them resign their positions here in America, pack their bags, empty their bank accounts, renounce their U.S. citizenship, and take their families to Israel. There they can join the war-wanting regime they so rabidly support, and, more important, they can manfully position themselves to take the same lethal consequences ordinary Israelis will endure if there is a war with Iran.

I must admit that I would absolutely love to see such war-mongering gas bags as John Bolton, Alan Dershowitz, Andrew McCarthy, Michael Bloomberg, Victor Hanson Davis, Eliot Cohen, Bill Kristol, the staffs of the National Review, the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal, most members of the U.S. Congress and Senate, the AIPAC big-wigs, and the rest of the stern but cowardly U.S.-based Israel-First gang just for once put their money where there big mouths are, and expose themselves and their families to the risks of war they have for so long and so callously salivated to cause for Israel’s citizens from the comfort and safety of their homes here in North America.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.