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

  • Hobbie

    I agree with your sentiments exactly. Research “blowback” and read the 9/11 commission on US involvement overseas. If you do, you’ll find that Ron Paul was correct. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction……..

  • Aaron

    I was thinking the same thing exactly. Ron isn’t saying anything that other traditional conservatives weren’t saying even before the war in 2002. To name a few (look them up your self): Rep. John J. Duncan, Charley Reese, Paul Craig Roberts – highest-ranking Treasury Department officials under President Reagan, James Webb, a hero in Vietnam and President Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy, wrote: “The issue before us is not whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years.” and of course Pat Buchanan and Tucker Carlson. I think it was brave of Ron Paul to stand up for what he believes is or at least used to be a core part of what it meant to be a conservative.

  • BradF

    If you trace back all the CIA involvement it really falls under GHWB. Follow his career and you will see where all the middle east meddling occurs. and it answers many questions as to the attitudes of these people, and others around the world towards Americans today.

    As a whole the world will be forgiving of the individual Americans. But the World may not be so quick to dismiss the actions of an imperialistic America.

    Within hours of 9/11 I suspected Bin Ladin. I was former military with prior knowledge of Bin Ladin. How in the world can you look at Bin Ladin,… CIA trained and funded in the 1980’s and not lend credibility to the “blowback” line of reasoning.

    I admire Dr. Paul for speaking from his heart, whether it is a popular opinion or not. They don’t call him Dr. No for nothing! This is one politician that can give his opinion without checking the polls and testing the political wind before halfway committing in carefully worded responses allowing plenty of room to backtrack and flipflop.

    Amen, God Bless you Ron Paul
    Fear not the Truth!

  • stone

    Ron Paul kicked ass

  • Patrick Glover

    Ron Paul is one of the few honest politicians out there. He definitely makes the most sense to me and I don’t feel like I’m on the fringe…

  • Matt

    I am not a conservative by any means, but I shot right up upon hearing Paul’s statements last night. I was hating most of what I was hearing from the Republicans, but then Ron Paul had the guts to say exactly what any rational human being has been thinking for quite some time. You cannot deal with Saddam, and deal and assist Bin Laden, and support terrorist despite the fact that it is in your interest at a certain time, and not realize that this will come back to haunt you one day. That is what we are dealing with right now. If you ask me, it has been over five years since 9/11, and the time has come to stop this fake mourning and begin dealing with the real issues that tragic event should have brought up. And then, we can get back to Anna Nicole, but first, 9/11 and our epicurious foreign policy.

  • Dave MacAusland

    Thank you, Mr. Paul, for not pandering for votes. You are a breath of FRESH AIR!

  • Tom Murphy

    Ron Paul in right
    “Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? … 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 other foreign countries were doing that to us? Rep. Ron Paul

    Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief Michael Scheuer has bluntly stated that politicians are lying to the American people about the terrorists’ motives: “The politicians really are at great fault for not squaring with the American people. We’re being attacked for what we do in the Islamic world, not for who we are or what we believe in or how we live. And there’s a huge burden of guilt to be laid at Mr. Bush, Mr. Clinton, both parties for simply lying to the American people.”

  • Ismael

    Read Rockwell’s opinion on the issue:

  • Steve

    You’re right, some Republicans will now try to hook on to the Ron Paul train, but it won’t work for them because they are not sincere.

  • Timmie Timson

    You imbeciles don’t really take what Ron Paul says seriously do you? or worse you don’t really think it will happen do you?

    Eliminated the IRS, yep that’ll happen. Get rid of the military, yup, that’ll happen. Let’s see what else does this nutjob want to do, oh yeah get rid of social security and medicare, no problem, that’s easy to do.

    why don’t you people go back to looking for black helicopters in your backyard and let the adults worry about politics

  • uhm

    Timmie, I know it must be surprising to you but there are people out there who believe in the founding principals of the USA such as self-government, liberty, following, and protecting the Constitution of the United States.

  • tarran

    Timmie, (odd handle for someone who is claiming the mantle of adulthood)

    In answer to your questions,
    1) Ron Paul has a coherent philosophy which he follows. He has hundreds of essays which he has published explaining his positions, which are well integrated with Jeffersonian principles (remember that wackaloon thomas Jefferson?), and the Austrian school of Economics (the guys whose policies kept Austrian economy from collapsing like Germany’s after World War I).

    Thus, his positions are plausible and do represent what he would hope to accomplish in office.

    2) Do we believe it will happen? Speaking only for myself, probably not. As the other Republican candidates have demonstrated, the dominant political debate in this country is between various flavors of socialism. How likely he is to be permitted to implement his policies is absolutely irrelevant when addressing the question of whether or not his policies are good or bad.

    As I like to put it, I don’t think I will ever live in a society free of political corruption, but that does not stop me from advocacy against it.

    I personally don’t think Ron Paul has a snowball’s chance of becoming president. At best, he will play McGovern’s role in the 1972 election. Even if he were to win, he would face such opposition from Congress that he would probably be impeached after his first year in office for refusing to bow to Congress.

    His political chances are low not because he is wrong, but because he is politically weak. You are confusing the two.

  • Alex Hammer

    See also:
    Rudy Giuliani vs. Ron Paul II
    “Rush Limbaugh says Ron Paul is “spamming polls” (Link)
    Meanwhile, online, there is a strong buzz (Link) that Ron Paul has been ignored by the mainstream media in regard to his impressive Internet demonstrated accomplishments”

  • Cathy

    The response to Ron Paul’s remarks really seems out of proportion, especially since:

    1.He did not bring up the subject to start with. He was asked (after his response to a question) if his position of nonintervention was justified even in the post 9-1-1 era. He was responding to that by showing that non-intervention was justified, that previous intervention had contributed to 9-1-1.

    2.He was the voice of reason. He did not say it in an offensive way, or say America was to blame. He was even asked that question, and said ‘no’. (There is a difference between 1.our country being to blame and 2.actions of our government causing anti-american sentiment which contributed towards 9-1-1).

    3.What he said was not new information..though Giuliani acted like it was. It was even in the 9-1-1 Commission Report.


    This is going to sound strange, but here are my thoughts.

    After the debate, my dh and I wondered, in passing, if Giuliani’s interruption was really spur of the moment, or if it could have been staged. It’s one of those things you wonder in passing, and then put out of your mind.

    Now I read that the head of the Michigan Republican Party is going to try to use this to have Ron Paul excluded from future debates. He is seeking support from others to help do this.

    We know they don’t really want Ron Paul in the debates. But it’s hard for them to do as long as he keeps winning or placing high in the polls. I wonder if this is an “out”. I wonder if they asked him this, knowing how he would respond, and how they could blow that up and use it as an excuse to exclude him from future debates.

  • Michael Wagner

    Of course Ron Paul is correct. The US policy of intervention is, and always has been, insane.
    One example is Vietnam. I grew up in the “Vietnam era.” It was THE big issue while I was in high school. All of the “powers that be” were saying that if we “abandon” South Vietnam, it would “fall” to the communists and there would be a “domino effect” in which country after country would likewise “fall.”
    Well…we pulled out of Vietnam, and yes, S. Vietnam “fell” to the communists. So? What then? Nothing. The newly united “communist” Vietnam has yet to launch an invasion of the US or any other country. Since the “fall,” Vietnam has become one the US’s biggest trading partners. US citizens vacation in Vietnam. We talk with them, we trade with them. But we do not meddle with their internal politics.
    Dr. Paul wants to do the same with the Middle East. We pull our troops out and let the Arabs settle their own political squabbles. We withdraw our support for Israel and the Israeli’s (with their own very capable military) will then negotiate fairly with their Arab neighbors, without the shaddow of US support distorting their position. Once the dust settles, we can talk with the Arab & Muslim nations. We can trade with them on an even footing.
    The great majority of Muslims follow the teaching of the Q’uran that “the killing of one innocent person is the same as killing the whole human race.” Once we difuse the ticking time bomb of hatred over the interventionist policy, the ranks of the terrorists will thin, and more moderate voices will prevail.
    The US can become a powerful force for peace in the world, but only if we lead by example, not by force of arms.

  • NH

    Let me remind you that in NH we lost 80 years of conservative rule and now must suffer all sorts of taxation and control under the Democrats, all because of the WAR.

    If we are to counter a supposed anti-war Democrat (even if they are liars) we need to appeal to that sentiment which is HUGE even among republicans.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate who can win against the evil Hillary. Rudy and the other two cannot.

    Ron did much better in FOX’s own poll that night…notice McCain only took 4%? Those are the two who should be OUT.

  • Phil

    No all Muslims hate freedom and the way we treat women. They actually love it when we bomb them because we are helping them to become democratic. Haven’t you heard that yet? Anything other idea is simply wrong as well as being “absurd.” Remember the government will use “any method they can think of” to torture you into believing this if Rudy gets elected.

    “Freedom is about authority”
    -Rudy Guiliani