Monday, May 21, 2007

Go Ron, Go

Here is GOP congressman and presidential hopeful Ron Paul addressing American foreign policy, and its connection to 9/11, during the recent debate in South Carolina.

Below is a blurb from the transcript:

MR. GOLER: Congressman Paul, I believe you are the only man on the stage who opposes the war in Iraq, who would bring the troops home as quickly as — almost immediately, sir. Are you out of step with your party? Is your party out of step with the rest of the world? If either of those is the case, why are you seeking its nomination?

REP. PAUL: Well, I think the party has lost its way, because the conservative wing of the Republican Party always advocated a noninterventionist foreign policy. Senator Robert Taft didn’t even want to be in NATO. George Bush won the election in the year 2000 campaigning on a humble foreign policy — no nation-building, no policing of the world. Republicans were elected to end the Korean War. The Republicans were elected to end the Vietnam War. There’s a strong tradition of being anti-war in the Republican party. It is the constitutional position. It is the advice of the Founders to follow a non-interventionist foreign policy, stay out of entangling alliances, be friends with countries, negotiate and talk with them and trade with them.
Just think of the tremendous improvement — relationships with Vietnam. We lost 60,000 men. We came home in defeat. Now we go over there and invest in Vietnam.
So there’s a lot of merit to the advice of the Founders and following the Constitution.
And my argument is that we shouldn’t go to war so carelessly. (Bell rings.) When we do, the wars don’t end.

MR. GOLER: Congressman, you don’t think that changed with the 9/11 attacks, sir?

REP. PAUL: What changed?

MR. GOLER: The non-interventionist policies.

REP. PAUL: No. Non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East — I think Reagan was right.
We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. So right now we’re building an embassy in Iraq that’s bigger than the Vatican. We’re building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us.

MR. GOLER: Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?

REP. PAUL: I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it, and they are delighted that we’re over there because Osama bin Laden has said, “I am glad you’re over on our sand because we can target you so much easier.” They have already now since that time — (bell rings) — have killed 3,400 of our men, and I don’t think it was necessary.

MR. GIULIANI: Wendell, may I comment on that? That’s really an extraordinary statement. That’s an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the
attack of September 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I’ve heard that before, and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th. (Applause, cheers.) And I would ask the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn’t really mean that. (Applause.)

MR. GOLER: Congressman?

REP. PAUL: I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and talk about blowback. When we went into Iran in 1953 and installed the shah, yes, there was blowback. A reaction to that was the taking of our hostages and that persists. And if we ignore that, we ignore that at our own risk. If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem.
They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there. I mean, what would we think if we were — if other foreign countries were doing that to us?


Congressman Paul explains succinctly that non-interventionism has historically been a hallmark of the Right. This would all be news to readers of Ann Coulter or perhaps Sean Hannity's radio audience, and apparently was completely confounding to Rudy Giuliani, whose reply should have been satisfactory only to those with IQs below room temperature.

As recently as 1976, a moderate Republican like Bob Dole would grouse about the "Democrat wars" of the 20th Century. Wilson's folly in dragging Americans into WWI set the stage for the stalemate in Europe which produced an unjust peace and led to the rise of the Nazis, Bolsheviks and Fascists.

FDR, in the face of overwhelming public opinion and a powerful America First movement, did everything in his power to maneuver Japan into firing the first shot. Truman and Johnson's foolish engagement of the Commies in Southeast Asia cost more than 100,000 Americans their lives.

In short, the Right has historically been anti-interventionist, even in hey-day of anti-Communism this was largely the case. Reagan was perhaps the most vociferous ideological opponent of the Soviet Union, but the containment strategy of the Reagan era amounted to little more than funding and arming proxies in Nicaragua and Angola, backing movements like Solidarity in the Soviet bloc, and talking about the Space Defense Initiative.

After the debate, Paul was ridiculed by know-nothings and some Republican leaders called for barring him from future debates.

However, he is getting some support as well.

Here is Pat Buchanan:

Of the 10 candidates on stage in South Carolina, Dr. Paul alone opposed the war. He alone voted against the war. Have not the last five years vindicated him, when two-thirds of the nation now agrees with him that the war was a mistake, and journalists and politicians left and right are babbling in confession, "If I had only known then what I know now ..."

Rudy implied that Ron Paul was unpatriotic to suggest the violence against us out of the Middle East may be in reaction to U.S. policy in the Middle East. Was President Hoover unpatriotic when, the day after Pearl Harbor, he wrote to friends, "You and I know that this continuous putting pins in rattlesnakes finally got this country bitten."

Pearl Harbor came out of the blue, but it also came out of the troubled history of U.S.-Japanese relations going back 40 years. Hitler's attack on Poland was naked aggression. But to understand it, we must understand what was done at Versailles – after the Germans laid down their arms based on Wilson's 14 Points. We do not excuse – but we must understand.

Ron Paul is no TV debater. But up on that stage in Columbia, he was speaking intolerable truths. Understandably, Republicans do not want him back, telling the country how the party blundered into this misbegotten war.

By all means, throw out of the debate the only man who was right from the beginning on Iraq.

Right-wing media watchdog Cliff Kincaid defends Paul against the liars at Faux News:

In a desperate attempt to make Rudy Giuliani out to be the hero of Tuesday night's debate, Fox News is continuing to attack Texas Congressman Ron Paul for something he did not say. In the latest installment of this campaign, John Gibson of Fox News says that Paul "suggested that the U.S. actually had a hand in the [9/11] terrorist attacks." No, what he said was that U.S. foreign policy was a reason why Osama bin Laden attacked America. This is a fact.

For more of the good doctor, here he is taking Wolf Blitzer to the mat, and here he takes on FNC business reporter Neil Cavuto.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of us favored Ron Paul well before the debate clash. Some of us only like 90% of what he says. Most of us find some core reason for supporting Ron Paul. There is much more to him than reasons behind terrorism. Perhaps this is what creates the broad demographics in support.

For me it is the presidency. The power of the US presidency has grown, some since its creation, more in the last century and especially in the start of this century. The constitutional checks are no longer effective. The next president, Democrat or Republican, will be the one who will ruin the country. And when that happens, it can't be good for the nation. Unless... Unless someone with strong character and lifelong demonstrated devotion to the constitution is elected.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Thanks for the links.

I was supporting Paul long before the recent debate (

Paul is a principled man, and indeed like you, I don't go for everything--but he's close to perfection.

If nothing else, I'm hoping he spurs a debate on the Right and within the GOP about interventionism and executive branch supremacy.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the media convey a matter-of-fact picture of the situation in Iraq? What measures are undertaken to secure the American interests and personnel? How the US personnel in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone feel living and working there?

Once completed the up and coming U.S. embassy in Baghdad has been boasted to be the biggest, most fortified diplomatic compound in the world.

Indeed, the massive $592-million project may be the most lasting monument to the U.S. occupation in the war-torn nation. Located on a on a 104-acre site on the Tigris river where U.S. and coalition authorities are headquartered, the high-tech palatial compound is envisioned as a totally self-sustaining cluster of 21 buildings reinforced to 2.5 times usual standards. Some walls as said to be 15 feet thick or more.

Scheduled for completion by June 2007, the installation is touted as not only the largest, but the most secure diplomatic embassy in the world.

But the realities on the ground point towards the conditions experienced by the US diplomats in Baghdad.

The 1,000 or more U.S. government officials calling the new compound home will have access to a gym, swimming pool, barber and beauty shops, a food court and a commissary. In addition to the main embassy buildings, there will be a large-scale Maine barracks, a school, locker rooms, a warehouse, a vehicle maintenance garage, and six apartment buildings with a total of 619 one-bedroom units. Water, electricity and sewage treatment plants will all be independent from Baghdad's city utilities. The total site will be two-thirds the area of the National Mall in Washington, DC.

U.S. Embassy employees in Iraq are growing increasingly angry over what they say are inadequate security precautions in the heavily fortified Green Zone, where recent mortar and rocket attacks have claimed the lives of six people, including two U.S. citizens.

In spite of the attacks, Embassy employees complain, most staff members still sleep in trailers that one described as ''tin cans'' that offer virtually no protection from rocket and mortar fire. The government has refused to harden the roofs because of the cost, one employee said. More at

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the most absurd thing (among many) that Bush consistently says is that the terrorists hate us because of our freedoms and democracy. Scarier still is that many people seem to unthinkingly accept this, and buy the whole 'war on terror' as a result.

3:48 AM  

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