Ron Paul was right!

During the May 15 Republican presidential debate at the University of South Carolina, Libertarian gadly Rep. Ron Paul (TX) dared to speak logic about the reasons behind 9-11—and made clear that he, at least, has actually read al-Qaeda’s communiquĂ©s. “Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attacked us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.” Of course he had to play a stupid xenophobia/Orientalism card, and paradoxically invoke to his defense Ronald Reagan, whose imperial intrigues in the Islamic world only helped create al-Qaeda: “I think Reagan was right. We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics.” But he quickly rescued himself with some simple logic and humanity: “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.” Of course, no good deed goes unpunished—and Paul’s punishment came swiftly…

When asked by co-moderator and Fox News White House correspondent Wendell Goler if he was suggesting that “we invited the 9-11 attack,” Paul replied: “I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it.” Rudolph Giuliani immediately jumped in, claiming what Paul had said was “an extraordinary statement … 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 11.” (MediaMatters, May 14)

Now the media are playing it like Paul put his foot in his mouth and Giuliani won the debate. The reverse is true. We undoubtedly have disagreements galore with Ron Paul, but he won the debate on this question, hands down. He spoke common sense; Giuliani responded with empty condescension. No contest.

The notion that what some have called “foreign policy greivances” were not relevant to 9-11 (often backed up with the inane observation that it happened before the invasion of Iraq) is easily demolished by al-Qaeda’s own words. It seems we must repeat yet again:

There were “foreign policy grievances” galore in September 2001. The two al-Qaeda communiques in the immediate aftermath of the attacks (Oct. 7, 2001, Oct. 9, 2001) both invoked the US troop presence in Saudi Arabia, the Iraq sanctions and Washington’s support of Israel. Just because the US has made the situation much worse in the intervening years doesn’t mean that there were no “foreign policy grievances” behind 9-11! And however criminal al-Qaeda’s tactics and however totalitarian its ideology, these grievances are legitimate—a reality we ignore to our own peril.

See our last post on the politics of the GWOT.

  1. More on Ron Paul
    The following is excerpted from:

    The Ron Paul that Ron Paul doesn’t want you to know
    By Richard Searcy – Staff Writer
    Atlanta Progressive News
    May 25, 2007

    Even more troubling than his obscurity, is his past comments on racial
    minorities and his association with the John Birch Society. Paul is
    the only congressperson to receive a 100% approval rating from the
    Birchers. His MySpace links directly to the John Birch Society.

    He has also been attributed to comments such as these which appeared
    in his newsletter, the Ron Paul Survival Report:

    “If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how
    unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.”

    “Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks
    have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market,
    individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action”

    “Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal
    justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the
    black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal”

    “We don’t think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of
    23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been
    raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big,
    strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated
    as such.”

    “We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it
    is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies,
    muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers.”

    He called former U.S. representative Barbara Jordan a “fraud” and
    a “half-educated victimologist.”

    Paul also claimed that former President Bill Clinton not only fathered
    illegitimate children, but, that he also used cocaine which “would
    explain certain mysteries” about the president’s scratchy voice. He
    said, “None of this is conclusive, of course, but it sure is

    When challenged on those remarks he blamed them on an aide that
    supposedly wrote them for his newsletter over a period of years. Are
    we to assume that he hadn’t read his own newsletter?

    His newsletter with his name on it.

    When challenged by the NAACP and other civil rights groups for an
    apology for such racist remarks, Paul simply said that his remarks
    about Barbara Jordan related to her stands on affirmative action and
    that his written comments about blacks were in the context of “current
    events and statistical reports of the time.” He denied any racist

    1. Ron Paul
      There are many things I disagree with Ron Paul about. However, the most important thing about Ron is that what he personally does or does not believe is irrelevant. He insists the government leave us alone to run our lives as we see fit. The role of the government is limited to prohibiting others from interfering in our lives. He insists the government abide by the Constitution. He demands we remove our armed forces from foreign countries and conduct trade, tourism, diplomacy, and social intercourse with all countries, but not interfere in their internal affairs. I can believe Ron did not know about the content of those newsletters before they were published. He accepted ultimate responsibility and apologized. What more do you want? Are you perfect? Compare him to the other candidates for President who can’t help but lie in every other sentence. What other candidate is even mentioning the coming financial crises? Look at Ron’s speeches in 2001 -2002- 2003 and see if everything he said about the invasion of Iraq isn’t true. I’ll support Ron even with his foibles. This site should be 100% behind Ron Paul.

      1. What annoys me about Ron
        What annoys me about Ron Paul is his belief that Row V Wade can be overturned as unconstitutional. This is the old states rights argument from previous civil liberties fights.

        At the risk of more Paul spam let him speak for himself.

        Ron Paul “The notion that an all-powerful, centralized state should provide monolithic solutions to the ethical dilemmas of our times is not only misguided, but also contrary to our Constitution. Remember, federalism was established to allow decentralized, local decision-making by states.”

        …. “Those who seek a pro-life culture must accept that we will never persuade all 300 million Americans to agree with us. A pro-life culture can be built only from the ground up, person by person. For too long we have viewed the battle as purely political, but no political victory can change a degraded society.”

        So civil rights are to be decided on a state by state basis. That hasn’t worked out so well in the past. As usual, the so called ‘libertarians’ want to pick and choose. Taxes are bad, the roads fix themselves. Women should be told what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

        Paul again: “The people of Texas do not need federal regulators determining our air standards.” Almost childish in its naivity.

        1. Paul is a Christian right troglodyte
          OK he’s cute and he was against the Iraq war, and he annoys Rudy, but he’s for teaching ‘intelligent design’ in schools as science and against the separation of church and state. The guy belongs in the 19th century. Would have been nice to have an adult running for president as a Republican but alas …

          Paul: “The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.”