On today’s Face the Nation, Ron Paul got a chance to parse his criticisms of W’s foreign policy, push his anti-war stance and defend his right to do both.
Bob Schieffer pushed Rep Ron Paul to explain the difference between his critique of George W Bush’s foreign policy and it’s possible impact on terrorists and the notion that he was “with the terrorists.” From this moment, we get a moment of pure absurdity wherein Paul mentions the Republican candidates’ lust for bombing Iran, as seen in their last debate on foreign policy. No, the absurdity isn’t Ron Paul; it’s the other Republican candidates.
Here is the video from CBS News:
BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. We begin this morning with Congressman Ron Paul. The polls, Mister Paul, suggest that you’re now in the thick of it out in Iowa; basically in a statistical tie with Romney, with Cain, and with Mister Gingrich. So I want to ask you some questions. Now that you’re among the front-runners, we need to know more about your positions on the issues. And I want to start with foreign policy because your statements over the years posted on your website and elsewhere some of the things you have said in the debates suggest that you believe that 9/11 happened because of actions that the United States took. Is that correct?
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (Republican Presidential Candidate/R-Texas): Oh, I– I– I think there’s an influence. And that’s exactly what, you know, the 9/11 Commission said. That’s what the DOD has said. And that’s also what the CIA has said and that’s what a lot of researchers have said. And just remember immediately after 9/11 we removed the base from Saudi Arabia. So there is a connection. That doesn’t do the whole full explanation. But our policies definitely had an influence. And you talk to the people who committed it and those individuals who would like to do us harm, they say, yes, we don’t like American bombs to be falling on our country. And we don’t like the intervention that we do in their nations. So to deny this I think is very dangerous. But to argue the case that they want to do us harm because we’re free and prosperous I think is a very, very dangerous notion because it’s not true.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I– I would– I would question the import of what some of those commissions found that– that you’ve cited there. But basically what you’re saying, Mister Paul, is that it was America’s fault that 9/11 happened and it was our fault that it happened?
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL: No. I– I think that’s– I think that’s a misco– misconstruing of what I’m saying because America is you and I. And we didn’t cause it. The average American didn’t cause it. But if you have a flawed policy, it may influence it. When Ronald Reagan went in to Lebanon, he was deeply– he deeply regretted this because he said if he’d been more neutral those Marines wouldn’t have died in Lebanon because the policy was flawed. The same thing that McNamara said after the Vietnam War. He wrote in his memoirs that, you know, if– if he would have changed– if it– if we don’t learn from our policies, it won’t be worth anything. So I’m saying policies have an effect. But that’s a far cry from blaming America.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well–
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (overlapping): I mean, in America you’re supposed–
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. But– yeah– all right.
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (overlapping): –to be able to criticize your own government. You’re supposed to be able to criticize your own government without saying you’re un-American.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Of course. But what’s your–
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (overlapping): And that’s the implication is.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But what– what you are saying it– it was the government’s fault. That– that basically is what you’re saying. Let me move on to– from something else.
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL: I’m saying the policyma– the policymakers’ fault–
BOB SCHIEFFER: The policymakers fault.
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (overlapping): –contributed to it.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (overlapping): Contributed to it.
Paul supported the notion of using diplomats with Iran and warned that the biggest danger is “over-reacting.” (WMD anyone?)
Schieffer interrupted pointing out that no one in the US government has suggested bombing Iran.
Paul countered that he was citing the Republican candidates robust lust for the notion of bombing Iran based on their contention that Iran has a nuclear weapon.
Fortunately, none of those people are in the US government right now, to all of our relief.
With Ron Paul leading in Iowa, he’ll finally get some air time and with that, some of the tougher questions that have stumped many of his brothers and sisters in the Republican field. Much can be said about Ron Paul’s fiscal Randian fantasies, but when it comes to foreign policy, his anti-war stance is resonating with a war-weary nation. Paul rightly points out that we should be able to criticize our government’s handling of a threat without being accused of being “with the terrorists” and Paul also rightly deflated the meme that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms.
I’m not quite sure what Paul is doing running as a Republican, because while he leans right with his socially conservative leanings and his Somalian dreams of killing the fed, only neo-con hawks get the love in a party steeped in the nationalistic fever seen with all machines selling a war based on propaganda.
The fact that I am even writing a pro-Ron Paul foreign policy article is a condemnation of the remaining Republican candidates more than support for Ron Paul, whose black and white approach to foreign policy lacks nuance but makes up for that short-coming by failing to be insane.
Ron Paul is emerging as an interesting candidate this cycle. He may just have hit his stride in the 2012 election, when finally the audience for his anti-war message and anti-intercession message has widened beyond the Paulites.