Why Ron Paul was right
Considering the hullabaloo his comments at the Republican debate in South Carolina generated, you would think the soft-spoken doctor-turned-politician from Texas, Ron Paul, was the Antichrist. At the debate Paul stated the Sept. 11 attacks were the indirect result of American foreign policy.
Rudy Giuliani launched a now infamous “smack down” during the debate that rewarded him with applause from an audience of ignoramuses. After the debate, Sean Hannity pummeled Paul with rhetorical questions and the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party began to circulate a petition to ban Paul from other debates.
Yet despite the wailing among conservatives, Paul’s comments are indisputably true, as the 9/11 Commission Report confirms. Maybe Giuliani, always quick to flaunt his devotion to security, should read the report. It reveals the three reasons for Osama bin Laden’s hatred for America as stated in his 1996 fatwa: U.S. presence in the Middle East, Palestine, and aggression in the form of sanctions and bombings toward Iraq.
“The politicians are at great fault for not squaring with the American people,” said Michael Scheuer, a former CIA bin Laden and al Qaeda expert, on CNN in 2005. “We’re being attacked for what we do in the Islamic world, not for who we are or what we believe in or how we live. And there’s a huge burden of guilt to be laid at Mr. Bush, Mr. Clinton, both parties for simply lying to the American people.”
As a first-time voter, the reaction among the party that once believed in limited government and the values of the Founding Fathers disturbs me. After all, it was George Washington who warned against the dangers of entangling ourselves in foreign affairs.
Paul has consistently voted against the Patriot Act, which allows the government more leeway when it comes to surveillance, as well as the Military Commissions Act, which permits the government to indefinitely detain suspected enemy combatants and the president to suspend habeas corpus, a direct violation of the Constitution.
Politicians pepper speeches with “freedom” and “liberty,” values no one could possibly be against, to obscure foreign policy from the American public. By simply questioning an office-seeking politico’s patriotism, debate on most important issues can be silenced.
As Americans it can be difficult to comprehend that the actions of our own government could have possibly resulted in the wild beast of radical Islam.
For example, in 1953 the U.S. deposed the Iranian prime minister and installed the Shah, during which time the U.S. built a nuclear facility in Tehran and supplied the Iranians with weapons-grade uranium. Eventually, the Iranians revolted and deposed him, instating an Ayatollah who preached death to America.
In 1980, the Iran-Iraq War broke out. Intent on Iranian defeat, President Reagan sent Donald Rumsfeld to meet with Saddam Hussein, who the CIA described as a “presentable young man,” and offered him weapons as well as intelligence. But when our ally invaded Kuwait in 1990, the U.S. became alarmed that he could also invade Saudi Arabia. Fearful that Iraq might seize the largest oil supplies in the world, the U.S. stationed troops in Saudi Arabia leading to bin Laden’s declaration of jihad.
What America needs today is not another politician corrupted by the system, but someone with an understanding of the Constitution who confronts problems of our own doing and returns America to what she once was: a beacon of hope and opportunity, not a bully with the intention of spreading freedom on the point of her bayonet.
Justin Snow is a former Baltimore Examiner editorial page intern and will be a freshman English major at the University of Maryland in the fall. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.