Nicholas G. Hahn III
Will former Senator Rick Santorum step in to fill the sensible foreign policy vacuum left by Tim Pawlenty’s early departure from the GOP presidential race? One lively exchange in a debate before the Ames Straw Poll should give believers in advancing freedom and democracy some measure of hope.
It came when FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Congressman Ron Paul why he supports repealing sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran and if he supported its quest for nuclear weapons. Paul began his response by recalling the Cold War and insisted that the Soviets were a “much greater danger” because they possessed more ballistic missiles. “Why should we write people off?” Paul asked, referring to the notorious regime.
Santorum seemed baffled at Paul’s response. He touted his own authorship of the Iran Freedom Support Act. Paul could be seen in the corner of the screen scoffing before he suggested that the United States “mind its own business.” Santorum countered that Paul was “obviously not seeing the world very clearly.” Indeed, this retort from “Dr. No,” as Paul’s colleagues in Congress know him, suggests he sees the world as it was on September 10, 2001. Santorum was also right to play up his authorship of the act. It sets him apart from Congressman Paul, as well as the Bishops of his own Church.
The moment American Airlines flight 11 plunged into the North Tower, Ron Paul’s understanding of warfare became just as outdated as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’. Despite the attacks on September 11, not much has changed since their 1983 Challenge of Peace letter which held that nuclear weapons were the greatest threat to mankind — not addressing the ideas of those who posses the weapons. A cursory review of recent statements from the USCCB on war and peace would indicate the Bishops’ central concern is still nuclear disarmament.