Rudy Giuliani Distorts Ron Paul’s Comments On Iraq

I’m not necessarily a supporter of Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy, and I didn’t watch last night’s debate, but I think it’s clear that Rudy Giuliani distorted Ron Paul’s comments about Iraq during last night’s debate:

On Iraq, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the Libertarian candidate for president in 1988, stood alone in railing against the decision to go to war, comparing it to a quagmire he said engulfed U.S. troops in Vietnam a generation ago. “We don’t go to war like we did in Vietnam and Korea, because the wars never end,” he said.

When Paul later suggested that terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, because of what he described as America’s 10-year campaign of bombing in Iraq, an angry Giuliani demanded that he retract the statement.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before, and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11,” Giuliani said.

As Jesse Walker points out, Giuliani’s comment that he’d never heard the blowback argument before is either an indication that he knows little about foreign policy, or that he just doesn’t pay attention to it. In either case, whether you agree with it or not, the fact remains that the presence of American troops in the Middle East, and specifically in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was cited by Osama bin Laden as one of the grievances against the United States. And it’s also true that America’s history of intervention in the Middle East — whether in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — has, more often than not, been fraught with mis-steps that have led to the loss of American lives.

Did Paul really say that American foreign policy was to blame for 9/11 ? Personally, I don’t think so. What he said was that American foreign policy was a contributing factor to the formation of the forces that now seek to destroy us.

And Andrew Sullivan contends that Giuliani openly lied about what Paul said:

Giuliani, interestingly, openly lied about Ron Paul’s position on 9/11. Paul specifically did not make a statement, as Giuliani immediately claimed, that the U.S. invited 9/11. I rewound to double-check. It was the Fox questioner who ratcheted up the stakes on that question, not Paul. Paul demurred on a specific answer and switched the question to the general issue of blowback. As to who’s right, the answer is both. Bin Laden – still at large and operating within the territory of Pakistan, an alleged ally which Cheney recently visited – both justified the 9/11 attack on those grounds but has a theology that doesn’t require such a casus belli. But now he doesn’t even need the theology. We have, alas, made more terrorists by our bungling in Iraq than Bin Laden could have dreamed of just six years ago.

That, I think, is the point that Congressman Paul, somewhat inarticulately, was making last night. American intervention and adventure-ism in the Middle East, which has been marked mostly by a history of bungling and backing the wrong guy 9 times out of 10, has helped guys like bin Laden recruit from among the Arab masses.

Would al Qaeda still exist if we had acted differently ? Probably. bin Laden his ilk don’t need a justification for their murderous philosophy. But, because we’ve handed them one on a silver platter (and also because we’ve backed and propped up governments that have paid little respect to individual rights), it’s made it much easier for them to recruit followers from the Arab street.

But watch the video and judge for yourself:

  • Brian Huntsbarger

    I believe Ron’s correct about Iraq. If we think we can go police the world and expect a few of our officers not to be killed then we are idiots.

  • TerryP

    I think Mr. Paul should have responded with something like the following after being questioned about non-intervention ending after 9/11

    “Absolutely not. We should have responded forcefully with the perpetrators of 9/11 while at the same time looking at the core reasons for why Al-Queda attacked us, but you may have heard about the quagmire in Iraq that has absultely nothing to do with 9/11. We have lost over 3,000 American lives and spent $XX in a country that never attacked us nor had anything to do with 9/11, while at the same time we have dropped the ball on going after that real perpetrators of 9/11.

    We have military personel stationed in almost every country of the world. This costs money and has many other possible ramnfications such as many others considering Americans as occupiers of their countries. How would you feel if we had military personel from China, Russia or other countries occupying our great nation?”

    You could then follow this up with your above comments.

    “whether you agree with it or not, the fact remains that the presence of American troops in the Middle East, and specifically in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was cited by Osama bin Laden as one of the grievances against the United States. And it’s also true that America’s history of intervention in the Middle East — whether in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — has, more often than not, been fraught with mis-steps that have led to the loss of American lives.”

    This would have been far better than what he said. He really should have been anticipating a question similar to what he received since he is the only candidate opposed to the war and calling for non-intervention.

    I think this was his chance to make a real step forward and he blew it. He was unprepared for a question that he should have known was coming.

  • Pingback: Hi, my name is second tier candidate at the will to exist()

  • TerryP

    You know the more I listen to what Mr. Paul said, it doesn’t sound as bad as when I initially heard it the first time, but still his answer was somewhat poorly worded at that point in the conversation. He really needed to do a better job of differentiating Iraq and 9/11. The rest of his argument was pretty sound.

    During the debate I was initially floored as well when he made his comments. Not that he was wrong, just in how he worded it.

  • Josh

    We ask a lot of Dr. Paul. I think he did a great job against all those idiots he was on stage with. I think if he was given a full minute to explain his view on our policy and why he thinks it could have effected what happened on 9/11, it would make sence. After all, there is no evidence that would lead us to believe they attacked us because ‘they hate our freedom’ that is just a statement made by Pres. Bush… we all know what his words amount to. A big pile of nothing. A more likely situation would be… they were provoked. As a matter of fact there as been so little investigation on the subject of 9/11 that the conspiracy theories are more believable than the official one. That’s a pretty serious problem. Stating that… how can you say that your theory of what caued 9/11 is more correct thatn another’s? I think they key word here is “Theroy”… as in an ‘unknown’. Until proven one way or another you cant really argue that your ‘right’. You can only argue your points.

    God bless Ron Paul, he reminds me of our founding fathers.

  • Josh

    If we were to pull Thomas Jefferson through the time rift and drag him here, today. Put him on stage for the Republican ticket… what would the American people say after he explained that Ron Paul’s stance on our foreign policy is the same stance that the country was founded to have. And that ‘terrorism’ has been a constant factor throughout the world’s history. You can’t invade countries because they have a few crazy people in them. If that’s the case then America needs to be invaded by… Iran, for example, for what happened in 1953.
    As an American, I’m supposed to have this Romanesc elitist attitude and think that the American empire can do no wrong. If thise were a movie, I would, at some point, realize that WE are actually in the ‘wrong’. Then I would stand up for what freedom is and not what I’m told it is. I would embrace the spirit of America and the goodness we have left, and fight off the ideas of war and oppression over anyone. It would be like waking up in the Matrix… we’re people believe they are fine, but you know that they are all in danger. Wait… I guess that’s all pretty accurate.

  • uhm

    Ron Paul comes off as nervous compared to a well composed Giuliani but Ron Paul shows a better understanding of history. We will see if substance can beat image.

  • E. Pi

    The fox news “debate” was a total set up with the intention of smearing the” fringe ” and making the rooty mcswain team look somehow superior. No one’s buying it. And note, no internet vote on Fox on what we think! just a controlled time limited cell ph vote. Wendell Goler was there to do his natural stint of cause an inflamatory riot and the “main” news has taken the cue. Gofer was emotional and contentious. Only drag queen rooty was also contentious, a set up to the hilt. ANd the bozo intermission college set. Fox thinks they can replace the “dangerous” Paul, Hunter, Tancredo in our minds with their brown gill Thomp whatever…

  • Pingback: Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, And Intervenionism()

  • c

    Ron Paul Won, hands down.

  • Reza

    Ron Paul had the courage to refer to something that happened over a half-century ago — what even Jimmy Carter, 28 years ago (then a mere quarter-century after the fact) referred to as “ancient history”: the 1953 CIA-organized coup against the legitimate government of Iran, led by premier Mossadegh, and replaced by the illegitimate government of the US-puppet shah. And the USA is paying back for this in ways not even the ayatollah could have imagined. Amen!

  • Alex Hammer

    See also:

    The Ron Paul Internet Dilemma

    Romney, Paul, Giuliani Won SC Debate – Fox News Viewers

    VIDEO: Ron Paul vs. Rudy Giuliani

    Blog This: Ron Paul Explodes Across Google, Campaign Site, YouTube,
    Technorati and more. The mainstream media (MSM) has been ignoring Ron Paul’s spectacular rise (see story for stats and details) across the Internet’s top websites.

  • Brad Warbiany

    Hey, at least nobody can ignore Ron Paul now, right?

  • Pingback: Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Watching The Debate So You Don’t Have To()

  • Chris

    Quoted from Aljazeera

    “One of bin Laden’s main grievances was the presence of U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, where two of Islam’s holiest places are located. The U.S. withdrew from these bases in 2003, although it is unclear whether these decisions were already planned before the September 11 attacks.”

  • Pingback: » Giuliani vs. Paul: Revisited()

  • Pingback: Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Ron Paul Responds To Rudy Giuliani()

  • Pingback: Donklephant » Blog Archive » Live blogging the live bloggers - Republican debate redux()

  • Pingback: Divided We Stand United We Fall()


    Neo-Con Republican Party Hijackers Seek To Ban Ron Paul
    Anti-American trash want to end democratic process, kick Texas Congressman out of debates
    Paul Joseph Watson
    Prison Planet
    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    Hijackers who have seized control of the Republican party are engaged in desperate damage control in an attempt to prevent real conservatives from reclaiming the party and are circling the wagons by calling for an end to the democratic process and for Ron Paul to be kicked out of the debates.

    Fox News led the charge via their rigged and bias smear attempt against the Texas Congressman during the debate and its aftermath.

    GOPAC chairman Michael Steele went so far as to suggest that Ron Paul should not belong to the Republican party, stating that he was “done” with Paul and did not care what the results of the FOX poll were, after it was revealed that Paul was leading the pack.

    John Gibson and Michele Malkin parroted calls for Paul to be removed from the debates during a Big Story segment last night.

    Now the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, Saul Anuzis, is circulating a petition among Republican National Committee members to ban Paul from more debates.

    “The chairman of the Michigan Republican Party said Wednesday that he will try to bar Ron Paul from future GOP presidential debates because of remarks the Texas congressman made that suggested the Sept. 11 attacks were the fault of U.S. foreign policy,” reports the Associated Press.

    Saul Anuzis: Enemy of the democratic process wants to ban Ron Paul.

    In response, Ron Paul supporter Dena Turner has launched an online petition to advocate Paul’s participation in future debates and we urge you to sign it at

    The Neo-Con hijackers are having to resort to ending the democratic process simply to derail the Ron Paul juggernaut and their desperation is only going to expose their inherent fear that a real and sustained backlash against the one party system is at the door.

    The Internet leader in activist media – Prison Watch the 80 minute video in which LBJ’s former mistress, Madeleine Duncan Brown, exposes Johnson’s role in formulating the plot to kill JFK. Click here to subscribe.

    There is an orchestrated agenda underway to chill free speech and blackball the Texas Congressman despite the fact that he has won the vast majority of debate polls hands down.

    The elite are scared stiff that a candidate who is not bought and paid for is generating this much interest and that the snowball is rolling and getting bigger every day. Their decision to move from ignoring him to actively smearing him has only backfired and garnered Paul the attention he might not have otherwise received.

    Many people still remain defeatist and skeptical as to whether Ron Paul can actually compete for the presidency, but as we’ve said before, you don’t have to move the rock, you just have to push it and by exposing the establishment by making them behave like the tyrants they are will only wake more people up in the long run.

  • Sato
  • Larry Ray

    How Bush, the Far Right, and Big Business Are Betraying Americans for Power and Profit

    Let’s take a very close, very honest look at what’s been going on in this country, the United States of America, and let’s see what we can come up with. A relatively recent federal criminal investigation of Kerik waves a HUGE RED FLAG about the unexplainable decisions made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, the Republican front-runner to replace him (Giuliani) and Attorney General Gonzales. Thinking back on how Giuliani put forward a flawed candidate for high office, how Bush rushed the usual process in his eagerness to install a political ally and how Gonzales, as White House counsel, failed to stop the nomination despite the many warning signs of which Julie Meyers was aware well in advance. Obviously, then, Gonzales rushed in to take the vetting process into his own hands with the objective of making sure the nomination was not stopped and to prevent the public outrage that was coming at the Bush administration should the public’s suspicion prove true that our own President put a pathetic, uneducated criminal in the most powerful position of the president’s cabinet all just to serve his sinister purpose of gaining a political ally to do his dirty work from the position that would be easiest.

    I don’t know if anybody’s noticed, but Bush’s entire presidential foundation rests on what he has our troops doing in Iraq with this ridiculous “War on Terror.” Come on, what better position to promote and validate that “War on Terror” than HOMELAND SECURITY?!?!? Wars make money, that’s been true throughout the history of this country – we all learn about it in grade school and high school – a wartime economy is a flourishing one. Lately, one big question buzzing amongst the people has been, well, then what the hell happened here? Haha. This war is making plenty of money. For Bush and the Bush administration – Cheney, Giuliani, Kerik, Gonzales… come on, these guys are doing business, baby! They’re making big money! They’re rolling in the $$$$$. It’s an enterprise. A Criminal Enterprise. What are the American people doing in the mean time? Getting played. What are the American troops doing “over there”? Dying. For what noble cause did our good old President Bush send these young men and women to Iraq? To put money in his pocket of course. That’s right, moms and dads, brothers and sisters of those brave young men and women who were sent to Iraq based on a lie – it’s your sons and daughters lives, your brother’s and sister’s lives that are being traded off to fatten up the wallets of some very crafty, very sinister criminals who wear suits and strut around Capitol Hill committing crimes and debasing everything that makes the United States of America a wonderful and honorable country – a country “for the People, by the People.” Oh but don’t worry, Bush isn’t a rude guy – he’s sharing the wealth with his buddies in the Bush administration who are members of a criminal political enterprise built up by and in the Republican party. Now that some of the bad apples are finally falling off the tree, the truth is seeping out around the edges of the lies that cloaked the Bush administration – a strong lesson can be learned here, – when you’re too arrogant, your criminal activity inevitably gets messy. Apparently, a person who reaches this level of arrogance wouldn’t recognize his cue to “quit while you’re ahead” even if it smacked him between the eyebrows. People are resigning left and right. What does Bush do? Well, it’s his typical move when things get rocky and his speed + secrecy formula doesn’t work. It’s just what he did with having Gonzales personally take charge of the vetting process when information about Kerik’s not-so-clean background leaked out in the press at the time of the Homeland Security Nomination. Bush turns to the aid of one of his cronies, his political allies, his partners in crime, whatever you want to call them, and has them validate his actions. This time, when everyone is questioning the war in Iraq harder than ever, and some Democrats out there on Capitol Hill are finally trying to put their foot down and refuse giving Bush whatever the hell he wants, specifically more funding for his “War on Terrorism.” What does Bush do in response? He announces that he will veto any funding that doesn’t last him more than the next few months, and – out of nowhere – appoints “War Czars.” What the hell is a War Czar? I love how Bush just makes up all these special little positions that oh-so-conveniently fit perfectly into a solution to get him out of a shameful political pickle. Well, I would be willing to bet a pretty penny that these War Czars are going to conveniently agree with, substantiate and validate Bush’s firm stand on his decision to stay in Iraq longer. I don’t know, I could be wrong, but it just seems to fit the pattern.

    The opportunity presents itself now to hold Bush, Cheney, Giuliani, Kerik, Tenet, Wolfowitz, Greenspan, Gonzales, and plenty more involved responsible for the mess they have made of this country both at home and in foreign affairs. America must seize the opportunity and demand the whole truth about the scandals these men have been pulling off on us behind our backs. Don’t forget, these men are scrambling to make sure America does not get the whole truth – that’s the only way they can save themselves from suffering the consequences of their actions – crimes committed behind closed doors.

    My real serious question is, Will America merely accept the façade Bush fabricates for us yet again, or will we wise up this time? It seems we have been more and more. And I have to say, I have been rooting for all of my fellow citizens here in America, because I have a lot of respect for this country and the people in it. We should be proud to be Americans. Don’t forget, the people who came to this country and made us the United States of America – our Forefathers – were people who came here emotionally beat up and battered, and they established what became the most powerful country in the world! The evolution of this country is very much infused with a Darwinistic survival of the fittest dynamic. There is something to be said for that. We Americans pioneered so much from the industrial revolution right up to the huge forum of business and culture in what has become one of the capitols of the world – our very own New York City. Trust me, people, it was New York City long before Rudolph Giuliani. He didn’t make it, he didn’t bring it the sense of community New Yorkers feel, and he certainly didn’t rescue it –He defiled it. I don’t care how many glorified pictures we have of him waving and looking self-righteous in the midst of the debris that was the Twin Towers. The only thing Rudy Giuliani ever did for NYC was disgrace it and offend its people by fooling them for a few years.
    Giuliani possesses what I like to call the allure of toxic leaders. Let’s face it, in most cases, we choose our bad leaders, they do not kidnap us. We choose them because they soothe our fears. Giuliani’s political career was plummeting downwards until one decisive day that turned everything around – 9/11. Ever since then, he has done a masterful job of manipulating the American people. He took up the role of America’s Mayor and suddenly became an expert on terrorism. First of all, I personally have gone to other countries and done counter terrorism work (counter terrorism is what I have been doing for over twenty years – I work in Intelligence for the CIA and DIA), and I can assure you that Rudy Giuliani can walk around Ground Zero in clouds of smoke all he wants, but that’s all the Rudy Giuliani the American public knows is – clouds of smoke. One thing that stands out in Giuliani’s political career is his recommendation of Bernard Kerik for Homeland Security. It’s not at all difficult to see that Kerik is at best “a flawed candidate” – he didn’t even graduate high school, he is the son of a prostitute and he grew up a street-smart criminal in Passaic County. We all know that Kerik is a criminal now though, because Kerik has already been arrested twice, indicted and is currently under federal investigation – and that’s only the tip of the ice-berg. As Washington Post notes, “After Kerik withdrew, Ray became the central witness in several investigations.” Ray refers to Larry Ray, – that’s me. I am the man responsible for a lot of what you have been seeing on the news lately including the exposure of Cheney and Gonzales. I had to start by exposing Bernie (Kerik) and continue from there. After I released the information I had about Kerik in Nov. ’04, an already vicious campaign Bush, Cheney, Giuliani, Kerik, Gonzales, and Chris Christy had going on against me to discredit and destroy me suddenly took a sharp turn into something brutal to get to me by torturing my children. For more of the truth and easy ways that you can help bring it out to the rest of our fellow Americans without even having to move from your computer, go to my site:

    When I think of Bush and his associates, one word comes to mind: PREMEDITATED.

    You want to know where the crimes are? Just look at any Bush administration appointments and ask the question, “What is the utility to George Bush and Dick Cheney?” Next question, “What is the quid pro quo?”

    I would like to send my prayers out to all those who we remember on Memorial Day, including those whom we have recently lost in Iraq. God bless those brave souls, and God bless their families. God forgive those who have lied to get us into war with Iraq to begin with and who continue to lie to keep us there.

    Larry Ray