Ron Paul’s ‘Live by the sword, die by the sword’ comment stuns Americans, military

Here, in a nutshell, is a big part of the issue some Americans have with Ron Paul. While the nation was saddened by the news of the tragic and senseless murder of retired Navy Seal and sniper Chris Kyle, Paul took to Twitter to make a political point:

It was a callous way of placing the burden of this tragedy on an American hero who served four tours of duty in Iraq, was injured twice, and was one of the most accurate snipers in America’s arsenal with 160 kills — a sniper who prevented fellow military members from being picked off by the enemy. For his bravery and service, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, and after leaving military service in 2009, went on to write the best seller, “American Sniper.”

Kyle put his money where his mouth was, helping fellow veterans after they returned from war. He was pro-active in offering services to veterans who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and who were disabled, and started projects like the Heroes Project. Indeed, his killer is believed to be a younger veteran he was helping who was suffering from PTSD.

Americans were stunned at Paul’s comments. Military veterans everywhere were enraged. They, after all, had “lived by the sword,” as Paul put it, and many of their colleagues had “died by the sword.” The American flag and their declaration to support and defend the Constitution of the United States was a solemn pledge they took when entering the service of their country.

Paul’s words were offensive. He has long held that America should not have a strong military force and that we should leave the world to fend for itself. How many Europeans who escaped Hitler’s reign of terror during World War II would be alive today if America had practiced Paul’s brand of defense?

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, a retired combat veteran of the U.S. Army, was one of the few in this politically charged atmosphere who publicly expressed his indignation at Paul’s words. Lingamfelter, who received two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, and four Meritorious Service Medals among others, noted in a widely-circulated email that Ron Paul Said What He Meant and Meant What He Said:

Like many veterans, we who served took an oath….  And, as a combat veteran, I am distraught over the death of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Chris was a hero and a patriot who saved countless American lives.

Not only was Chris a hero on the battlefield but he was a hero at home.  When Chris realized a hometown veteran was suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), he once again answered the call of duty.  This time, not as a sniper, but as a friend, helping a fellow warrior who suffered mental wounds from the field of battle.

Sadly, it was reported yesterday that this same veteran allegedly shot and killed Chris.

I pray that God will comfort his family, especially his wife and their two young children.  Because not only has Chris Kyle’s family lost a son, a husband and a father, they also have seen his service and his memory dishonored in reprehensible remarks by Dr. Ron Paul, the former U.S. congressman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate.

Needless to say, Paul supporters have turned on Lingamfelter. On Wednesday, Ron Paul tried to walk back his words but Americans and veterans will not soon forget his knee-jerk remarks regarding the death of a military hero and American citizen.

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  • I think what many are really upset about is the revelation that Jesus would not at all have approved of a foreign policy promoted by so many alleged (but clearly false) Christians. I remember when a GOP crowd managed to even boo the Golden Rule at a primary debate on national TV.

    When someone says “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, and your reaction is to boo and hiss, the problem is you.

  • MD Russ

    Consider the source. I alway thought that Ron Paul was an idiot. I didn’t realize until now that he is a disrespectful horse’s ass as well as an idiot. I guess that he thinks that his two-year tour as a flight surgeon at a safe, CONUS country-club Air Force base makes him eligible to shoot dead combat veterans in the back. Keep it classy, Ron.

    • If you think Ron Paul is an idiot, you should read some of the stuff Alexis here has said about the military.

      • One of us has actually attempted to do something through the legislative process to solve the problem of military PTSD suicides.
        I’m pretty sure that one of us is not you. Now please go promote Woodrow Wilson’s policies in some other party, there is no place left in the GOP for you.

        • Again, why do you care? Just a few less sociopaths and bureaucrats to worry about.

          And none of us have any idea what you’ve attempted to do because nobody has any idea who you even are.

          • If you really must know, I’m a domestic housecat with a grand champion pedigree and a hedge fund.

        • MD Russ


          Butler is widely discredited in military circles as someone who suffered from senility in his later years (PTSD?). He is the exception and not the rule.

          • Nice, now you’re attacking the integrity of the most decorated US soldier ever, unsourced (and unsourceable, I tried) and on heresay. What patriots you guys are.

          • Well, considering you attacked the integrity of everyone who has served in the Armed Forces for the last twenty years, you’re hardly in any position to judge.

          • Still redefining words at your pleasure, I see. What else would one expect from BD’s own walking, talking conflict of interest?

          • MD Russ


            Your comment just highlights your ignorance of military affairs. Smedley Butler was a Marine. He would be highly offended by you calling him a “soldier.”

            Stick to matters which you understand, an area of expertise that I suspect is a null set.

          • That is an opinion millions who are historians and veterans simply find not accurate. The majority of veterans who have actually been involved in extended conflict I assure you perfer peace over carnage anyday.

      • Well said Brian…Well said.

  • Oh, just FYI for anyone who actually does care about the troops: Military donors prefer Ron Paul (more than all other candidates combined):

    There’s a reason actual troops support Ron Paul – they know these wars are total bullshit that have no connection whatsoever to national security or preserving freedom (what little remains) and they just want to come home to be with their families and get their lives going again.

    If you’re more outraged by Ron Paul quoting Jesus than you are by the total lack of explanation for the rampant-and-spreading epidemic of troop suicides, you are part of the problem. All you people posing as pro-military personnel and bashing Ron Paul are
    despicable. You urge wars you neither plan to fight in nor pay for. You’re pro-nothing but your own desire to control the planet – for lack of ability to control yourselves.

    Lingamfelter basically ended his campaign with this message, as Paul forces are going to be a huge percentage of convention delegates.

    • MD Russ

      Oh, Alexis. Ron Paul support among US troops is as big a canard as his claim that we have “over 700 foreign US bases.” It is a fiction perpetrated by the Ron Paulistinians. Excuse me, but to use your own terminology it is total bullshit. I spent over 25 years among US troops. Trust me–if they supported Ron Paul then they would vote with their feet and the military would be scratching for manpower.

      • Yes another “fiction” with indisputable, black-and-white documentation from an uninterested, highly respected and reliable source to back it up.

        Here’s an actual fiction for you: the alleged Iraqi WMDs that were the publicly stated reason we invaded that country. Thousands of US troops dead (and countless innocent civilians) over a baldfaced, deliberately manufactured lie.

        This is very simple. If you are angrier about Ron Paul quoting Jesus accurately and appropriately than you are about an intentional lie that cost us the lives of thousands of troops (and tens of thousands wounded), then what you support is war, not the troops.

        If you are angrier about Ron Paul’s statement than the fact that we’ve been in Afghanistan more than twice as long than it took us to conquer both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan with no clear end or even clear goals, you don’t support the troops, you support Satan (who also loves war and conflict for its own sake).

        • MD Russ

          Damn it, Alexis. You have exposed the Satan-Russ alliance. A curse on you!

          BTW, “indisputable, black-and-white documentation from an uninterested, highly respected and reliable source” finds that the US has only 88 foreign bases, including those in Puerto Rico.

        • pinecone321

          It’s always interesting to see a Ron Paul supporter post as fact, based on one website linked, that Paul has the majority support of the military, even though there are opposing opinions/stories/facts that have been printed. If it doesn’t fit the Paul narrative, it is to be ignored or the author’s must be ridiculed and/or mocked, again, because it doesn’t fit the Paul narrative.

          Then you also write that it is “actual fiction” that there were WMD’s in Iraq, and that the Americans were lied to, there were no WMD’s. Again, there are opposing opinions/stories/facts that support that there actually were WMD’s in Iraq, but were moved out of the country before the Iraq war began.

          Isn’t it double speak to say that any military members that joined the military in the last twenty years are naifs, sociopaths, useless bureaucrats, mercenaries or killers, and then claim that the majority of our military members in 2008 and/or 2012 support Ron Paul?

          It is also offensive that some of the Ron Paul supporters are now invoking “Jesus” when it is expedient to do so, but more often than not shy away from any of the social issues, including religious traditions, and repeat the mantra that everyone should just shut up about the social issues because we have an economy to save, and nothing else matters.

          • your first source is someone’s opinion column and your second source doesn’t contain the content you aimed to link

          • pinecone321

            Here is the correct link to the discussion on WMD’s-


            Who are the very same people who backtracked on their claims of WMD’s Colin Powell? You purposely and willfully are trying to ignore any information that may have been uncovered with respect to the WMD’s because it doesn’t fit your narrative. Notice in the column that even one of the members of the Iraq study group cannot say with certainty that those WMD’s were not moved out of the country before the war began. I believe that I also read that yes in fact Saddam did try to buy yellow cake from Niger, despite the earlier claim by Joe Wilson that it didn’t take place.

            As to your proof (opensecrets) that more military members backed Ron Paul than any other candidate, the chart and information listed there only includes those who indicated their employer with their contributions, which is only required of those donating $200. and above. I guarantee the other campaigns received more than what is listed on those charts with those contributing less than $200. who did not list their employer. Not any of the individual campaigns would even be able to determine what number of donors, or dollars contributed came from military members. It is misleading to claim that Paul had the largest military support based on only the information provided in your link.

            There has not been a military draft in decades. Any current military member is there because of their own decision to volunteer for the armed services. The country has been involved in war(s) for more than the last ten years. Many military members volunteered for service, served their time, and have since rejoined the civilian population. Those military members who may have claimed to support Ron Paul because of his anti war positions in fact are the ones you referred to as the sociopaths, naifs, and killers. Think about that for a minute before you join those who participate in double speak.

        • 33-åringen

          Sorry, but I think that Iraqi WMD were a real threat to you Americans. Iraq and Libya posessed a much more devastating WMD than nuclear bombs, they had the will and ability to sell oil in other currencies than in dollars.

    • Love to hear about your veteran exploits…and we will require proof of service.

      • It comes as absolutely no surprise to see you come out in favor of military dictatorship. You were never fully assimilated, were you. What country are you loyal to, again?

  • Well, considering the guy made a living off being a professional sniper with over 160 kills to his name–and writing books and earning a living out of his “fame”–, it is rather ironic he was shot by somebody who supposedly has no motive. I don’t think Paul’s comments are all that offensive.

  • Govgirl

    Ron Pal does not have supporters, he has worshipers …

    • That’s a pretty broad brush, Govgirl. I am not necessarily a supporter, and certainly not a worshipper. That doesn’t mean I don’t agree with him sometimes. What is your point here?

  • When Scott made remarks about Ron Paul that was one thing. What you did not print was the remarks about Ron Paul supporters. Who in the race for LG would want to not just alienate but turn 1/4 of the convention against them?

  • As a Vietnam combat veteran I have nothing but respect for my fellow patriot Scott Lingamfelter’s comments and shocked and dismayed but not suprised by the callous actions and words of Ron Paul. His utility in conservative circles continue to diminish.

  • Darrell

    So what’s the real background on this nut case shooter? Media say he is a USMC Armorer still in the Reserves. Where was he in combat to cause this PTSD? Because Armorers are back office technicians, not Infantry. No one is saying. And why isn’t the Marines involved if he is still in?

  • Tim J

    Alexis must be plagiarizing talking points from the newly revised and rewritten history of the “alleged Iraqi WMDs” which Saddam Hussain didn’t have, but “allegedly” used on the Kurds at Halabja on March 16, 1988. Or maybe in an alternate reality, the Iranians did it? Why is there so much angst today by the Israelis about the huge stockpile of chemical weapons which Syria has and where did Syria get them? Jesus probably too busy sending liberals and abortionists to hell to care what Ron Paul or Alexis thinks about anything.

  • adplatt126

    The words are offensive but they’re true. If you desire to involve yourself in combat and war, military acts may claim you. What Paul is driving at is that when we become a nation dependent upon and disturbingly fond of force, starting wars anywhere and everywhere we can, these are the kinds of tragedies we must expect. If Americans want to support the continuation of decade long occupations and continuous assaults on foreign nations, they can’t think of these cases as too tragic, can they? Because the end result of these acts will be violence inflicted upon them, and tragedies such as these for them. If they wish to live by the sword, they’ll die by it as well. It’s the precise meaning of the old adage, and it’s entirely apposite here, along with a welcome critique of our sadistic obsession with war as a country and its supposed nobility. Wars are evil, and have bad consequences always. One of those consequences is the toll they take on servicemen and their psychological health. The neocon hawks who want to place military servicemen at risk once a week in some new international campaign of aggression don’t give a damn about who lives and who dies and who’s affected by war or how. Ron Paul was by far the most supported candidate in the 2012 elections by all branches of the military, by a donation margin over his foes of like 3 to 1 or greater. I don’t think Paul needs to worry about being politically correct. The military servicemen know who represents them and who doesn’t. They certainly don’t need you to tell them.

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