Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Transcript: Ron Paul stands up to Rudolph Giuliani on "blowback" and 9/11

(Lew Rockwell called this "one of the great moments in the history of modern American politics.")

Ron Paul: So there's a lot of merit to the advice of the founders and following the constitution. And my argument is, that we shouldn't go to war so carelessly. When you do that, the wars don't end.

Wendell Goler (FOX News panelist): Congressman, you don't think that changed with the 9/11 attacks, sir?

Paul: What changed?

Goler: The non-interventionist policies?

Paul: No. Non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East. I think Reagan was right: we don't understand the irrationality of Middle-Eastern politics. 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.

Wendell: Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attacks, sir?

[muted applause]

Paul: I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it. And they are delighted that we're over there because Osama bin Laden has said, "I am glad you're over on our sand because we can target you so much easier." They've already now since that time have killed 3400 of our men, and I don't think it was necessary.

Rudolph Giuliani: Wendell, may I make a comment on that? That's really an extraordinary statement. 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 don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11.

[15 seconds of loud applause]

Giuliani: And I would ask the Congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn't really mean that.

Wendell: Congressman?

Paul: 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. The 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. They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and we're free. They come and they attack us because we're over there. I mean, what would we think if other foreign countries were doing that to us?