First we have the infamous case of Giuliani's attack on Ron Paul at the May 15th Republican "debates", which included the following exchange:
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.Given the short amount of time allowed for responses, Paul was not allowed to adequately rebut this ridiculous claim on Giuliani's part, but the following day Paul offered several responses, and a reading list for Giuliani. Paul explained that Giuliani's assertion that he had never heard of anything like the blowback scenario that Paul spelled out was odd considering that the CIA themselves had covered the concept no less than 8 times in the 9/11 Commission report, which he would have thought that Giuliani, as mayor of New York at the time, would have read.
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?
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.
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?
From the 9/11 Commission Report (As written on http://ronpaul.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/06/ron_paul_and_th.html):
- pg. 57- The Persian Gulf War, seen by many as perhaps the most effective military victory in American history, had unintended consequences that American policymakers could never have predicted. When Saddam invaded Iraq, the US gathered a coalition, based out of Saudi Arabia, to liberate Kuwait. At this time, Bin Ladin "proposed to the Saudi monarchy that he summon mujahideen for a jihad to retake Kuwait." The Saudis said no and jumped in bed with the Americans. After further protests, Bin Ladin was booted from his homeland and went into exile. This cemented Bin Ladin's hatred of both the Saudi monarchy and the US, as they were now in partnership desecrating the holy lands.
- pg. 59- Bin Laden's first fatwa against the US (1992) was first and foremost a protest against American occupation of Muslim holy lands, specifically Saudi Arabia. It was not a call to kill Americans because they were rich and free, it was a call to expel American troops from Arab lands.
- pg. 48- Bin Ladin's 1996 fatwa against the United States was not a blanket condemnation of America and a call to arms to destroy the American nation. The fatwa declared the limited aim of driving US soldiers out of Saudi Arabia. The American presence in Saudi Arabia, a byproduct of America's promise to protect the Saudis from Saddam during the Persian Gulf War and beyond, infuriated Muslim fundamentalist because in their eyes, infidels were occupying the holy land. Bin Ladin also spent significant energy condemning the Saudi government for allowing this occupation.
- pg. 49- In discussing the grievances aired by Bin Ladin against the United States, the 9/11 Commission Report specifically calls out "the suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of the sanctions imposed after the Gulf War". Listen again to Guiliani's rebuke of Ron Paul over the idea of our involvement in Iraq playing in part of motivating al-Qaeda to attack America. If this is the most absurd explanation Guiliani has heard regarding the motives behind the planners and implementers of the 9/11 attacks, then I wonder (with dread) what he has been listening to.
- pg. 49- also lists American support of Israel as a major grievance of Bin Ladin.
- pg. 51- al-Qaeda's ultimate ambition is not specifically the destruction of the US- it's the establishment of the Caliphate to unify all Muslims. To Muslim fundamentalists, America's extensive involvement in the internal affairs of sovereign Muslim nations (the Shah, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, etc) props us secular governments and delays the future ascendancy of the Caliphate. Attacking America is not an end in itself, just a means (one of many) to another end. If they hated countries just for their freedoms, you would expect enormous terrorist attacks in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Iceland, and dozens of other countries. You don't, there's a reason.
- pg. 147- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the operational mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and the Bojinka Plot, attended college in the United States and lived here for several years. Obviously, someone who lived here and then later orchestrated a murderous assault on our country hated us because of the freedoms, pleasures, and raunchy behavior we enjoy? No, it was because he hated our strongly favorable foreign policy preference for Israel.
- pg. 362- The Report reiterates that Muslim fundamentalist's hatred for America stems from "grievances stressed by Bin Ladin and widely felt throughout the Muslim world." These grievances are absolutely political- US military presence in Arab lands, favoritism towards Israel, and policies perceived as anti-Muslim. The 9/11 Commission Report does not list our freedoms or wealth as a contributing motive for terrorist attacks against our nation.
- The 9/11 Commission Report
- Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson
- Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror by Michael Scheuer (the former Chief of the CIA’s bin Laden Unit, Alec Station)
- Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Professor Robert A. Pape of the University of Chicago
I hate to cry conspiracy, but when an article that was on many of the major media sites suddenly disappears from them, and searches of those respective websites returns no new URL for the page, and even links to the article from other articles on that same site report that the pages no longer exist, it bears the question "what happened to the article?"
Fortunately the article was widely quoted and covered on numerous other sites, but it's curious that it's now notably absent from many of the major media outlets.
Luckily Reuters still has the article. We can also see a video of Wolf Blitzer's interview with Ron Paul the following day on YouTube.
Following that debacle, we have yesterday's news that Guiliani is yet again making absurd and ignorant claims about US foreign policy and military matters.
As the article clearly illustrates, Giuliani yet again couldn't be farther from the truth. This time his error is even more blatant than the last.
It seems to me to be increasingly evident that Giuliani has a fundamental lack of knowledge and understanding about our own government, our foreign policy, our military history and a variety of other pertinent issues, while in contrast Ron Paul has consistently demonstrated a deeper knowledge of our own history, the foundations of our government, our foreign policy, our economic system etc. The contrast should be clear to anyone who does even a cursory investigation into the facts.
For the sake of our nation, please vote for Ron Paul in 2008.
and many more.