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08.15 RIDE FOR THE OVERRIDE

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09.28 Life is richer when we talk to strangers

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Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.28 Earth 'Locked Into' Hitting Temperatures Not Seen in 2 Million Years: Study

09.28 South Australia storms: entire state left without power after wild weather – live

09.28 New York City accelerates emissions efforts in face of daunting sea level rise

09.28 Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks

09.28 No fracking, drilling or digging: it’s the only way to save life on Earth

09.28 Greenland's receding icecap to expose top-secret US nuclear project

09.27 Germany Has the World's First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train [could aviation use hydrogen too?]

09.27 China tops WHO list for deadly outdoor air pollution

09.27 Can the aviation industry finally clean up its emissions?

09.27 US emissions set to miss 2025 target in Paris climate change deal, research finds

09.26 Africa's portable solar revolution is thwarting thieves

09.26 Time for Congress to Stop Hollering at CEOs and Take Action [The U.S. is the only 'advanced country' without healthcare price controls]

09.26 The Impact of Minimum Wage Changes on Infant Health

09.26 New Record Low Solar Price in Abu Dhabi – Costs Plunging Faster Than Expected [maybe Middle East wars will stop now]

09.25 Want to Slow Climate Change? Stop Having Babies

News Media Matters

09.28 Lester Holt Asks Zero Questions About Poverty, Abortion, Climate Change

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.27 The Trump Files: Donald's Creepy Poolside Parties in Florida [bunga bunga' parties like Berlusconi]

09.27 This week: Shutdown deadline looms over Congress

09.27 Murders up 10.8% in biggest percentage increase since 1971, FBI data shows

09.27 Clinton stays calm while Trump loses cool during first presidential debate [videos]

09.26 The Lying Game

09.26 Why Donald Trump Should Not Be President

09.26 The government wants more offshore fish farms, but no one is biting

Justice Matters

09.28 Wells Fargo executives forfeit millions, CEO to forgo salary amid investigation

High Crimes?

09.28 Amnesty calls off launch of Thai torture report after police warning [something sick is brewing here]

09.26 African elephant numbers plummet during 'worst decline in 25 years’

09.26 Russia accused of war crimes in Syria at UN security council session [videos]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

09.23 Wells Fargo's toxic culture reveals big banks' eight deadly sins

International

09.28 Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars [war profiteers rake in huge profits, but countries never “win” wars]

09.28 Syrian troops launch ground offensive against Aleppo rebels [video of devastation; will there be profit from fossil fuel we cannot use?]

09.27 Saudi Arabia cuts ministers' pay by 20%

09.27 Thousands of Saudis sign petition to end male guardianship of women

09.25 Syria conflict: UN chief 'appalled' by Aleppo escalation

09.25 The Natural Gas War Burning Under Syria

09.25 Panic sweeps Calais camp as refugees await the bulldozers [an “empathy wall” blocks acceptance of children]

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  Thank You, Ron Paul
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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.

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This story was published on May 18, 2007.
 

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