Rick has been doing a great job the last few months at his Bent Corner blog writing about what a crazy old coot Ron Paul is. Congressman Paul’s most recent display of televised psychosis was this past weekend on Meet the Press, when, among other things, he claimed that Abraham Lincoln started the American Civil War. Lincoln apparently did this through a diabolical scheme of getting elected President of the United States, then cleverly waiting for Confederate troops in the seceded state of South Carolina to open fire on Fort Sumter. Starting a war by waiting for the other side to start the war . . . he was an evil genius, that Abe Lincoln. (Helluva wrestler, too.)
Not only did Paul blame Lincoln for starting the war, he blamed him for starting it for the noblest reason he could possibly have started it — to free the millions of African Americans enslaved throughout the southern U.S. The bloody Civil War, with its calamitous loss of life and resources, was unnecessary to end slavery, Congressman Paul said. Instead, Lincoln could have freed the slaves by having the government buy them from their owners and releasing them. Except that by the time Lincoln made it to office, the war had already started. Southern state legislatures began declaring their secession shortly after Lincoln was elected, months before he was inaugurated. I doubt they would have been receptive to offers from their most hated enemy to relieve them of their vast force of wage-free labor in exchange for fair market value. Plus, as Rick points out in his article, wouldn’t buying the slaves, even if only to free them, legitimize the practice of treating human beings like livestock?
Lincoln didn’t start the Civil War, and if he had, it would have been to restore the Union, not to free the slaves. He evolved into the Great Emancipator over the course of the war, but Abe was hardly an abolitionist when the shit started going down. “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it,” he wrote in 1862, “and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.”
But faulting Lincoln and his then-non-existent desire to end slavery for the start of the Civil War wasn’t all Ron Paul had up his sleeve for us this week. As Rick writes about in another article posted today, Congressman Paul called in to Morning Joe on MSNBC this morning and defended his peculiar version of American history against guest host David Shushter, who had previously referred to Paul quite correctly as a “crackpot,” and co-host Jack Jacobs. Paul defended his “Lincoln started it” assertion by claiming that the MSNBC hosts hadn’t read “the right history books.” He also told Jack Jacobs that he was not “brave enough” to read those history books, the ones which told the real story.
Technorati Tags: 2008 Election, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, Conspiracy Theories, Politics, Ron Paul Rick spent a few paragraphs expounding on how ludicrous it is for a man like Ron Paul to attack Jack Jacobs for questioning his shoddy history by attacking Jacobs’s personal bravery, but I think it bears repeating: Jack Jacobs is a retired U.S. Army Colonel. He served during the Vietnam War and was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, and the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service. According to his Medal of Honor citation, Jacobs repeatedly crossed open rice fields, while under heavy enemy fire and bleeding from severe head wounds, to evacuate others to safety. Jacobs is credited with saving the lives of an American military advisor and 13 soldiers in the 2nd Battalion of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, to which Jacobs was attached as an assistant battalion advisor. That doesn’t mean his opinions should be treated with any more deference than anyone else’s, or that he’s exempt from being questioned, but it does speak pretty persuasively to his bravery. Congressman Paul, a Vietnam-era veteran himself, ought to know better.
The reason Paul claimed Jacobs lacked the courage to read the right history books is probably that Jacobs is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR is one of the most feared and vilified groups in the world among the sort of conspiracy theorist wackos whose support Congressman Paul has been shamelessly soliciting for the past year. The CFR, along with the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and those owl-worshipping heretics at Bohemian Grove, is one of the main organizations comprising the Illuminati, the New World Order, the Republican National Committee — whatever you want to call it, the cabal of shadowy aristocrats who control all the banks and are plotting to enslave us all beneath the yoke of a world government. The facts that Jack Jacobs is a legit war hero, and that the Council on Foreign Relations is pretty much just an overfed think tank for rich people and bored, retired politicians, with no actual power whatsoever, don’t matter much to Ron Paul, or Alex Jones or Aaron Russo or David Icke, or the rest of their alarmist, delusional kind.
Sure, viewed with a certain mindset (for instance, unrestrained insanity), the Council on Foreign Relations can look like a creepy bunch. It’s mostly old white guys in suits, and it is undeniably an elitist and exclusive institution. It has some pretty sinister members, like Dick Cheney, Alan Greenspan, and Rick Warren. But the CFR also has some less intimidating names on its roster, like young ketchup mogul Christopher Heinz, news anchor Paula Zahn, Angelina Jolie, The View co-host Barbara Walters, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who you know would never hurt a fly, let alone bind all humanity to the brutal will of a global superstate.
What did Ron Paul mean by the right history books? Probably ones like The Lincoln No One Knows by Webb B. Garrison, and almost definitely The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War by Thomas DiLorenzo. I’ve not read either book, and neither strikes me as serious work anyway, but to get an idea of what sort of history might be found in books like these, here are a few lines from an article written by DiLorenzo, apparently a dedicated Lincoln basher, and posted online at this loony anti-Semitic religious fanatic and conspiracy theorist website:
Lincoln's stated purpose in the war was to destroy the principle of the Declaration of Independence that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Southerners no longer consented to being governed by Washington, DC, so Lincoln waged total war against them for four long years. Of course, he didn't put it this way but instead sugarcoated his objective with language about “saving the Union.”
The rest of the website, called The 7th Fire, though not written by DiLorenzo, publishes many of his articles, as well as links to study guides for his “great work” aimed specifically at home schoolers (go figure). DiLorenzo ought to be more discriminating about where he allows his work to be posted. Here is another quote from that 7th Fire page, where six of DiLorenzo’s articles are linked under the heading “THE CIVIL WAR and the Role of the Illuminati”:
The American Civil War, in a very real sense, was the continuation of the Revolutionary war fought by our Founders against the Bank of England. The Civil War was planned in London by Rothschild who wanted two American democracies, each burdened with debt. Four years before the war (1857) Rothschild decided his Paris bank would support the South, represented by Sen. John Slidell, JEW, from Louisiana; while the British branch would support the North, represented by August Belmont (Schoenberg) JEW, from New York. The plan was to bankroll, at usurious interest rates, the huge war debts that were anticipated, using that debt to extort both sides into accepting a Rothschild central-banking system similar to the one that had bled (and is bleeding) the nations of Europe, keeping them in conditions of perpetual war, insolvency and at the mercy of JEW speculators.
Holy shit, Mel Gibson was right!
As H.L. Mencken said of the Gettysburg Address, in which Lincoln absurdly claimed that Northern soldiers were fighting for the cause of self determination (“that government of the people . . . should not perish . . .”) “It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”
Heh. Well, not all of their people, H.L.
That’s what Jack Jacobs is too scared to read, according to Ron Paul. Because he disagrees with the unsustainable, half-baked worldview espoused by men like Paul, and DiLorenzo, and those fine folks at 7th Fire, Jacobs, who risked his life over and over again to rescue Vietnamese soldiers, is labeled a coward. Good old Congressman Paul, though, he ain’t no coward. No sir. Be you a Nazi or a whoremonger or a 9/11 Truther or a secesh-loving Lincoln basher, Ron Paul is brave enough to take your money and spend it in his stupid and hopeless run for the White House.
When Paul gets crushed in primary after primary and he’s finally forced to withdraw his candidacy, it will be partially due to his relative lack of funds, to the media’s preference for Romney or McCain or Huckabee, and to how batshit crazy he is. Ultimately, though, I think it will be those Nazi contributors, those conspiracy theorist radio hosts to whom he so regularly grants interviews, those authors of “the right kind of history books” that do him in. It won’t be the money, the media, or the man himself, but the company he keeps.