Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ron Paul: If the Mafia attacks us here in this country, you don't bomb Italy

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Partial transcript of interview with Steve Gill. Transcript begins at 14:07.

STEVE GILL: Under what circumstances do you think it is appropriate for military action by the U.S. government to be instituted outside our borders? Is there any circumstance?

REP. RON PAUL: Not very many, because the Constitution's very clear that we don't have any authority to do that. We have authority to protect our national security. If we have a threat, I mean, if somebody attacks us, of course that's easy to deal with. But if there's an imminent attack, you certainly do have the responsibility to respond.

GILL: How do you fit that in a situation where we don't really have states acting? When you have these extra-territorial terrorist organizations? I mean, you don't really have Afghanistan or Iraq directly with their fingerprints on this stuff. They're just these al-Qaeda terrorist organizations that kind of operate under the cover of the state. How do you address that?

PAUL: That's why you should be more cautious than ever, so that you don't go to war against a country, you don't — if the Mafia attacks us here in this country, you don't bomb Italy. So, you don't want to overdo it. One thing I've suggested is bring up is bring up the concept of letter of marque and reprisal, which they used when they went after the pirates. You know, target your enemy, and pay somebody to go in and do it. Not the kind of thing that we do where we go in and occupy several Muslim countries and now we're getting ready to go into a third one. This is the worst thing to do. We did exactly the opposite of what we should have done.

GILL: As president, would you allow Iran to get nuclear weapons?

PAUL: I don't think that that is my say. I think that the Pakistanis have them, the Indians have them, the Chinese have them. So, if you understand why they want one, it's because we reward —

GILL: They want to wipe Israel off the map.

PAUL: Yeah, but Israel, nobody's going to touch Israel. Israel would be stronger if Israel had responsibility for themselves. Because I think we hold them back. In the 1980s they went over and took care of a nuclear reactor in Iraq --

GILL: Congressman Ron Paul, I apologize.

PAUL: Israel would have taken care of Saddam Hussein a long time ago.

GILL: We're out of time. Great to talk with you.