Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

01.26 The Talking Cure

01.25 7 heinous lies “American Sniper” is telling America

01.25 American Sniper: anti-Muslim threats skyrocket in wake of film's release

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

01.27 Climate change will hit Australia harder than rest of world, study shows

01.27 Judith Rodin's warning for the world: 'Crisis is becoming the new normal'

01.27 Know What's Killing More People in Nigeria Than Boko Haram? Lack of Drinking Water

01.25 Obama's India visit: Hopes for clean energy and climate deals

01.24 Smog journeys: A short film about air pollution in China – video

01.24 The oceans are warming so fast, they keep breaking scientists' charts

01.24 Climate change inaction pushes 'doomsday clock' closest to midnight since 1984

01.24 Swedish school sheds light on dark days of winter

News Media

01.24 Joni, al-Qaida and rich folks: Fox News has a simple playbook for everything Obama says

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & Culture

01.27 Koch brothers set $889m budget for 2016 presidential election

01.26 Senator to Hospitals: Stop Suing Poor Patients

01.26 GOP clown car runs into ditch

01.26 A Quiet Revolution in Helping Lift the Burden of Student Debt

01.25 The Tragedy of the American Military

01.25 Six ways the US is building a people-powered economy

01.25 The Republican abortion bill shows they still believe many women lie about rape

Justice Matters

01.26 The war on leaks has gone way too far when journalists' emails are under surveillance

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

01.27 Exclusive: politicians are supporting Comcast's TWC merger with letters ghostwritten by Comcast

01.27 Free Trade Faults: Europeans Fear Wave of Litigation from US Firms

01.27 Legalized Bribery

01.27 Tax Haven USA: The Vortex-Shaped Hole in Global Financial Transparency

01.27 Tax Haven USA: The Vortex-Shaped Hole in Global Financial Transparency

01.26 Obama Wants You to Have Cheap, Fast Internet, But Many Cities Aren’t Allowed to Provide It

01.26 Obama Wants You to Have Cheap, Fast Internet, But Many Cities Aren’t Allowed to Provide It

01.26 Mitt Romney Has a Koch Problem

01.26 How Bernie Sanders, In New Role, Could Make Wall Streeters Very, Very Unhappy

01.26 Where do the wealthiest 1% live?

01.25 The Davos oligarchs are right to fear the world they’ve made

01.25 All economic activity needs a moral compass

01.24 America's Losing the Currency War

International

01.27 Rising Anti-Semitism: Increasing Numbers of French Jews Moving to Israel

01.27 Democrats Accuse Republicans of a Benghazi Cover-Up

01.27 Netanyahu to American Jews: Get Lost

01.27 Why fragile cities hold the key to stability and development

01.26 Why fragile cities hold the key to stability and development

01.24 How the CIA made Google: Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet—part 1 [part 2]

01.24 Greece’s solidarity movement: ‘it’s a whole new model – and it’s working’

01.24 Democrats rally around Obama amid furore over Netanyahu Congress visit

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: