Rethinking Ron Paul’s Answer

At least one neo-con seems to be doing so:

I’m thinking that as obnoxious as Ron Paul’s remarks came across last night in the moment, he said something important and necessary to think about. If we’re ever going to avoid getting into quagmires like Iraq again, we’ve got to be able to talk about the kind of thing that Ron Paul had the bad taste to bring up last night. It feels good (felt good to me, anyway) to watch Giuliani’s eyes blaze and smoke come out his nostrils in rebuking Paul, but really, indignation is not the same thing as refutation. And insofar as indignation is allowed to kill the discussion of US foreign policy and its relationship to anti-American Muslim extremism, it does not serve the national interest. Ron Paul’s argument deserves to be answered, not shouted down as beyond the pale of discussion. “How dare you!” is not an argument, but an argument-ender.

And, that, I think, is the problem with Giuliani’s rhetorical rebuke of Ron Paul. He wasn’t debating the point that Congressman Paul was trying to make, he simply rejected it out of hand despite the fact that what he said isn’t any different from what the 9/11 Commission said.

Right or wrong, American foreign policy in the Middle East has been a motivation for al Qaeda action and a motivation for al Qaeda recruitment.  Given that, isn’t it legitimate for us to think about whether we’re doing the right thing over there to begin with ?

H/T: Andrew Sullivan