Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

09.30 30 Years of Coens: Inside Llewyn Davis

09.29 Naomi Klein: Fossil Fuels Threaten Our Ability to Have Healthy Children

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.30 Yes, the Health Care Industry Is Conspiring to Steal Your Money

09.30 Beyond GMOs: The Rise of Synthetic Biology

09.30 The Berlin Patient and the Mysterious Cure for HIV

09.30 Can Narendra Modi bring the solar power revolution to India?

09.30 Earth lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF [related photos]

09.29 MIT's new cement recipe could cut carbon emissions by more than half

09.28 Germany’s Grass-Roots Energy Revolution [6:00 video]

09.28 Interview with Ebola Discoverer Peter Piot: 'It Is What People Call a Perfect Storm'

09.28 We Can Transition to 100% Renewable Energy Starting Today

09.28 Study predicts California will use only renewable energy by 2050

09.27 Obama Presses Chinese on Global Warming

09.27 Obama Urges Global Effort to Help Prevent Epidemics

News Media

09.29 Political TV Ads Will Soon Reach Facebook-Level Creepiness

09.29 ANATOMY OF A NON-DENIAL DENIAL

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

Justice Matters

09.30 States Take the Lead on Sexual-Assault Reform

09.28 Iceland: Bankers Convicted, Unemployment Down

09.26 For Oil and Gas Companies, Rigging Seems to Involve Wages, Too

US Politics, Policy & Culture

09.29 GWU students tackling income inequality in their own backyard

09.29 Failing the Midterms

09.29 “Not the true Republican Party”: How the party of Lincoln ended up with Ted Cruz

09.27 ALEC Exodus!

09.26 How the 0.00003 Percent Lives

09.26 A GOP Senate's First Target: Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Protection Agency

09.26 Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime - Episode #329 (HBO) [9:23 video]

09.26 LA workers win $15 minimum wage

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

09.29 Grossly Distorted Procedures: Mish Proposal to Raise GDP Calculation

09.28 German Central Bank Head Weidmann: 'The Euro Crisis Is Not Yet Behind Us'

09.27 Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash

09.27 Taliban Storm Afghanistan, Beheadings Galore

09.27 Europe’s Austerity Zombies

09.26 G.O.P. Error Reveals Donors and the Price of Access

International

09.30 One of America's Most Famous Slow-Food Chefs Says Farm-to-Table 'Doesn't Really Work'

09.30 "When We Felt Threatened, We Opened Umbrellas and Raised Our Hands"

09.30 Gitmo hunger strikes are a cry for help. Why is the US fighting back with secret torture?

09.29 Obama’s Syria Strategy: Hit And Hope

09.29 Meet the Controversial Muslim Leader Who Has Advised the White House

09.29 Hong Kong Demonstrators Unveil 'Umbrella Revolution' [photos]

09.29 Hong Kong protests 'must go on' [3:00 drone video]

09.29 US-led air strikes pound Isis bases in Syria

09.28 Full Show: America’s New War in the Middle East [25:20 video]

09.28 The Syrian Front: Waiting to Die in Aleppo

09.27 How Israel Silences Dissent

09.26 Air strikes 'hit Islamic State bases and oilfields in Syria'

09.26 ISIS Revenue Sources Remain Crucial Target, U.S. Says

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Thank You, Ron Paul
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Thank You, Ron Paul

by Sheldon Richman
During the recent Republican debate, Congressman Ron Paul spoke the truth about U.S. Middle East policies and faced down attacks by hostile fellow presidential candidates.
Ron Paul, a Republican congressman running for president, is saying what needs to be said about the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq war. Clearly, his rivals and the news media can't handle the truth.

At the most recent Republican debate, Paul not only repeated his opposition to the illegal and unconstitutional war, but he also identified 50 years of U.S. intervention in the Middle East as "a major contributing factor" in al-Qaeda's attacks in 2001.

"Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack[ed] us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East," Paul said.

Paul thus becomes the first person in mainstream politics--he's been in Congress many years--to acknowledge that U.S. foreign policy has had bad consequences not only for people in the Middle East but for Americans at home as well. A government cannot take sides in so many deep-seated conflicts for as long as the U.S. government has without acquiring enemies and provoking retaliation.

It doesn't take much knowledge of history and human nature--not to mention the official 9/11 Commission report--to see this. It's about time it was said in such a prominent forum.

Of course, the reaction was stunningly absurd.

FOX News questioner Wendell Goler asked Paul a stunningly absurd and disingenuous follow-up question.
FOX News questioner Wendell Goler said in follow-up, "Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?"

Let's examine the question. To invite something is to desire the thing invited. Paul suggested no such thing. And who is "we"? Goler's question implies that Paul was saying the American people or "America" invited the attacks. But Paul was talking about American policymakers, not the American people. So the question was way off the mark and may have been an attempt to bait Paul.

He wouldn't take the bait. "I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it," he said. In other words, the people who masterminded the attack did not say they did it because we Americans are rich or free or non-Muslim. Their grievances relate to systematic U.S. intervention in the region: in particular, the presence of troops near holy sites in Saudi Arabia; a 10-year bombing campaign and killer embargo on Iraq (beginning in 1991), which cost hundreds of thousands of lives; and support for Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Rudolph Giuliani, also running for the nomination, responded demagogically, "That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of September 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq.... I would ask the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn't really mean that."

"If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred," said Congressman Paul, "then we have a problem."
Of course, Paul never said "we invited the attack." And he didn't back down under Giuliani's grandstanding: "I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and talk about 'blowback.' When we went into Iran in 1953 and installed the shah, yes, there was blowback. A reaction to that was the taking of our hostages and that persists. And if we ignore that, we ignore that at our own risk. If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem."

In saying "blowback," Paul was using the CIA's term for the unintended bad consequences of a government operation. He specifically mentioned Iran in 1953, when the Eisenhower administration sent the CIA to help drive an elected secular prime minister from office and return the despotic shah to power. The result was the 1979 Islamic revolution, the seizure of the American embassy, complete with hostages, and close to 30 years of hostility, with war perhaps to come.

U.S. imperialist polices in the Middle East have been good for special interests and power-loving politicians, but bad for the American people. Someone in government has finally had the courage to say so.

Thank you, Ron Paul.


Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of The Freeman magazine.


Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on May 18, 2007.
 


Public Service Ads: