The Mayor in the Plastic Bubble

In case you missed Ron Paul's showdown with Rudy Giuliani, National Review has posted it here. It's worth watching, not just for Paul's performance but because Giuliani makes a really astonishing comment. After Paul lays out the very familiar argument that the 9/11 attacks were a retaliation for America's interventions in the Middle East, Rudy replies:

That's really an extraordinary statement...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.

The way I see it, there's three possibilities here:

1. Giuliani lives in a bubble so thick it makes the president look well-informed. He really has never heard the blowback theory before, even though it is common currency in policy circles.

2. Giuliani is familiar with the blowback theory, but is distorting Paul's views by suggesting America's air raids on Iraq were supposed to be the only intervention precipitating 9/11. (Along similar lines, you'll note that he effectively attributes to Paul the phrase "invited the attack" even though it was the moderator, not the congressman, who used that term.)

3. Giuliani wasn't being that crafty. He is aware that the bombings were not America's only Middle Eastern intervention of the '90s, and he knows that Paul knows this too. He is familiar with the blowback theory and was just playing dumb for the crowd. Put more succinctly, he's a dishonest demagogue.

You can vote for one of those options or propose another of your own in the comments.

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  • ||

    Given Rudy's long track-record of demagoguery as the attorney general of New York, I think number 3 is the correct answer.

  • Fripp||

    I think Giuliani (unfortunately) sincerely believes the crap he pumps out. It took balls for Paul to come out so directly in front of that carolina social conservative audience its a pity so many fall for that macho posturing rhetoric.

  • S.A. Miller||

    Why the hell is Ron Paul running for the GOP nomination? Regardless if you think he is correct, he is very far from the base of the Republican Party. (You know, the people who vote in the primary?)

    Paul may think that we should return to an isolationist foreign policy, but not many other Americans do, especially GOP voters. That is a perfectly legitimate position for someone to hold, but it isn't going to get you much traction in seeking the party nomination.

    I'm willing to bet this is the last debate you see Paul invited to. He is way way out of touch with primary voters.

  • M||

    I'm too dim to see the difference between 2 & 3.

  • S.A. Miller||

    Along similar lines, you'll note that he effectively attributes to Paul the phrase "invited the attack" even though it was the moderator, not the congressman, who used that term.

    Paul was asked directly by Wendell Goler: "Are you suggesting that we invited the 9/11 attack?" Paul could have nipped that whole thing in the butt by saying "No." and then expanding his answer. But he didn't do that, he quibbled and you could see that he wanted to say "Yes" but knew it would be political suicide to state it so bluntly.

  • ||

    Canada is looking pretty good. This group of pompous Neo-Con tools of the MIC is the best we have?

    except for Paul, every single one of them is owned and paid for.

  • M||

    Both personally and politically, people seem to have a very difficult time not equating "provoked" with "deserved".

  • Jesse Walker||

    Paul was asked directly by Wendell Goler: "Are you suggesting that we invited the 9/11 attack?"

    ...and he immediately replied, "I'm suggesting..." followed by a different answer. In other words, he refused to accept Goler's characterization.

  • DA||

    > "That is a perfectly legitimate position for someone to hold, but it isn't going to get you much traction in seeking the party nomination."

    He's not so much vying for the party nomination, of course (even he knows he has no chance), than he is attempting to get his message broadcast out there on a national forum.

  • ||

    When even The Corner at National Review Online sees a certain logic to Paul's position, you know that an intellectual point was scored.

  • Jesse Walker||

    I'm too dim to see the difference between 2 & 3.

    It's the difference between saying something that's literally true (that no one is blaming 9/11 entirely on America's '90s bombings of Iraq) but clearly isn't what Paul meant, and saying something that doesn't even have that level of plausible deniability built in.

    In other words, there isn't much difference.

  • S.A. Miller||

    He's not so much vying for the party nomination, of course (even he knows he has no chance), than he is attempting to get his message broadcast out there on a national forum.

    And like I said... I bet this is the last debate you see Paul at.

  • ||

    Why the hell is Ron Paul running for the GOP nomination?

    It's either that or the Democratic nomination. Since he is an elected GOP memeber of the House, it seems logical that he run for that party.

    Just a reminder that may have gotten lost in tonights debate: There are a lot of issues, and Ron Paul actually supports an awful lot of things the Republican base and the American people in general support.

    The fact that he doesn't see eye to eye with a certain wing of the Republican party (or FOX) looks like it may be problematic though....

  • b-psycho||

    Only FoxNews would be so crass as to throw deliberate spin into a Republican debate...

    They saw Paul gaining in popularity, they had to stop that. Painting him as a Ward Churchill type was the angle they saw fit to use, so they did. Simple as that.

  • Matt||

    Out of the exchange you focus on the "I haven't heard that" comment, not Ron Paul's parroting of the ridiculous and morally obtuse "blowback" theory? This is what is going to make libertarianism not just an ignored ideology in this country, but a despised one. Hope you fools are happy about that.

  • ||

    What's the point of cutting off the candidate that is actually debating, especially 7 or 9 months out, or whatever it is? If nothing else he gives Republicans like Giuliani a chance to use him as a punching bag.

  • M||

    Matt, what is your position/opinion/view please?

  • stephen the goldberger||

    Paul got owned by a crafty politician who spinned his own words against him. That's the risk you take when you are a straight talker, hence why no truly successful one does it.

  • M||

    stg - Somewhere Kant said that the tragedy of history is that those who seek (and hence get) power are the very ones who don't deserve it.

  • ||

    Ron Paul was right, but needs to learn how to say, "That's not what I said." Both Goler and Giuliani put words in his mouth. Unfortunately, he did not spit them back out.

  • ||

    Anyone else notice they changed questions and only allowed Giuliani and Ron Paul in that particular issue? I found that a bit odd. Not to mention unfair to the other 8 candidates, and unfair to the voters to see where they all stood on the issue of blowback.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    also: "And the baby with the baboon heart"

  • Jesse Walker||

    Out of the exchange you focus on the "I haven't heard that" comment, not Ron Paul's parroting of the ridiculous and morally obtuse "blowback" theory? This is what is going to make libertarianism not just an ignored ideology in this country, but a despised one. Hope you fools are happy about that.

    I'm not sure how the blowback theory can be characterized as "morally obtuse," given that it makes no moral claims.

    I suspect you are under the impression that the theory says the attacks were deserved, in which case you may be living in a bubble yourself.

  • Matt||

    Giuliani's statement that "I hadn't heard that" was obviously a sarcastic crack used to ridicule the "blowback" position. The fact that Jesse Walker is focusing on it exclusively instead of commenting on the merit's of Paul's "blowback" comments is an implicit endorsement of them, and it is emblematic of a libertarianism that has lost its way. Regardless of beliefs about the Iraq war, the second that libertarians are seen (with the left) as excusers of murderers and savages such as those that struck on 9/11 is the second that all libertarian ideas -- the good ones too -- are going to be thrown into the trash heap.

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Wasn't there a fundamentalist Church Youth Dance Party in Colorado back in the 1940s that "provoked" 9/11 ? (by offending the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood).

    And the Crusades? Not exactly American foreign policy causing the "chickens comin' home to roost" there.

    Paul' s parroting of the leftist anti-american "Look in the mirror.... We are the real terrorist" crap to explain Islamist fanaticism is a gross over-simplification and mis-understanding shows disingenuousness or ignorance. Ron Paul is unfit to be President of the United States.

  • ||

    Just when I thought he might be showing some actual integrity by not bending over on abortion, Rudy takes a cheap shot at another (marginal) candidate for political points. It isn't that Rudy's in a bubble- it's that he thinks the folks in South Carolina are. And maybe the applause proved it.

  • S.A. Miller||

    Certainly sounded to me like Paul was saying they were deserved, cause if they weren't who would care?

    Paul elaborated that if only we were isolationists, 9/11 would have never happened. That is to say, we deserve what we got for not being isolationists.

  • ||

    At the time Giuliani interrupted, it seemed that Paul was blaming 9/11 on our actions in Iraq. While I agree that our presence in Saudi Arabia and our support of other vicious regimes were probably significant contributing factors, when Paul was interrupted, what was coming across was that he thought it was all about our actions in Iraq, and I think Giuliani was right to call him on it.

    I maintain that occupying Iraq was downright foolish, especially if it was supposed to be a strategic reaction to 9/11. But I also think we can trace much of the residual Iraq connection to 9/11 in the public mind to the wrongheaded idea that spreading democracy somehow addresses the root causes of whatever level of sympathy terrorist organizations enjoy in the Muslim world.

    I remain sympathetic to the suggestion that once the terrorists targeted our civilians, it didn't matter why they did what they did. We shouldn't have made the strategic error of invading Iraq regardless, and I don't see what Paul had to gain by discussing Iraq in the context of the causes of 9/11.

    I'd score that one for Giuliani.

  • Matt||

    Huh? The "blowback" theory is, and has been, constantly used not just as an explanation for 9/11, but politically and morally as a reason why 9/11 wasn't so bad, and the perpetrators justified. The "theory" is simple -- we (the United States) did "bad" things in the middle east, and Islamists are simply responding to those evil acts perpetrated by us. We are the aggressors under the theory, they are justly responding. Of course this line of reasoning justifies 9/11, at least to an extent, it doesn't just explain it.

  • Equality 7-2521||

    Miller, are you intentionally think or has Romney's pretty haircut polluted your brain?

    Saying that there were causes - other than "evildoers" hating our ever-dwindling freedom - to 9/11 is not even close to saying that innocent Americans deserved to die for it.

    Buy a fucking clue.

  • b-psycho||

    Actions have reactions. For decades, our leaders fucked with people they didn't understand for the pettiest of reasons. The nuts among those people decided that the american public was morally complicit in the whole mess, so to them we became fair game. True moral obtuseness would've been to assert that the american public deserved to be attacked for the actions of the elite, despite our grip on the State being akin to a sick 6-year old girl holding the leash of a rabid pitbull.

    Frankly, if ONLY government officials had been attacked and NOT civilians, I would've shed no tear. You can take shots at them all day for all I care, just leave the rest of us alone.

  • Equality||

    *think

  • S.A. Miller||

    Could you buy me a clue as to what "intentionally think" means?

  • Jesse Walker||

    Giuliani's statement that "I hadn't heard that" was obviously a sarcastic crack used to ridicule the "blowback" position.

    If so, he managed to do a good job of draining all traces of sarcasm from his voice, from his face, and from any reasonable viewer's interpretation of his intentions.

    Regardless of beliefs about the Iraq war, the second that libertarians are seen (with the left) as excusers of murderers and savages such as those that struck on 9/11 is the second that all libertarian ideas -- the good ones too -- are going to be thrown into the trash heap.

    This would be a powerful statement if the blowback theory were an excuse for the 9/11 murders and if Ron Paul had offered anything akin to an excuse for the 9/11 murders. Neither of those is the case, a fact that is far more "obvious" than Giuliani's alleged sarcasm -- if not to you, then to anyone who actually knows what "blowback" means.

    I see in your followup post that you claim "blowback" means the perpetrators were "justified." Again, this is entirely untrue. Indeed, one of the arguments I heard for the Iraq war was that it would allow America to get its troops out of Saudi Arabia and end the sanctions against Saddam's Iraq, thus eliminating two of the terrorists' grievances against the United States. So are those hawks supposed to be saying that America deserved it, too?

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Do you "blowback" adherents acknowlege that MTV ranks somewhere between the CIA placing the Shah on his Peacock Throne and our support for Israel as a "cause" of 9/11 ?

  • S.A. Miller||

    Frankly, if ONLY government officials had been attacked and NOT civilians, I would've shed no tear.

    Yet another example why Libertarianism is a fringe movement.

    I have a lot of libertarian sympathies, but all I have to do is read through the comments on this site to know that I am not a libertarian.

  • Equality 7-2521||

    Clue: A typo (twice!) for thick.

  • Warren Raftshol||

    Ron Paul looked good in fielding Giuliani's demagogue question.

    Paul's best rebuttal to the static he got from the other 9 is that the Republican party is out of touch with the people. Its a strong rebuttal because it is true.

  • b-psycho||

    Miller: terrorism by definition is attacking civilians for political purposes, government officials are not civilians. Political leaders inherently accept such risks as part of their positions.

  • S.A. Miller||

    I see in your followup post that you claim "blowback" means the perpetrators were "justified." Again, this is entirely untrue.

    What do you have to back up this statement that it is entirely untrue?

  • ||

    It's funny how saying that U.S. intervention in the Middle East contributed to 9/11 is interpreted as supporting the terrorists, while saying that the terrorists hate us for our hedonism is somehow patriotic.

  • SIV||

    "I have a lot of libertarian sympathies, but all I have to do is read through the comments on this site to know that I am not a libertarian."

    Most of the commenters here on H&R blog comments are not libertarians.Many of them, like yourself, don't claim to be.

  • Jesse Walker||

    What do you have to back up this statement that it is entirely untrue?

    Pretty much everything ever written by the advocates of the position. Google it yourself, I'm going to bed.

  • S.A. Miller||

    terrorism by definition is attacking civilians for political purposes, government officials are not civilians.

    No b-psycho, terrorism is "the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims."

    If American 11 and United 175 had crashed in a open field and United 93 had hit the Capital in DC killing dozens of Congressmen and their staffers it would have still been terrorism.

  • ||

    I'm growing accustomed to seeing the word "blowback" used as a pejorative now. The Administration's defenders seem to use it to project a kind of cultural imprint on opponents of the war. ...kind of like the way they used to use terms like "latte swilling", "flyover", etc.

    And that seems odd to me because I still think of the term "blowback" as a kind of Bush Administration buzzword used to disparage the kinds of Reagan Era strategies that probably helped us win the Cold War.

  • S.A. Miller||

    Google it yourself, I'm going to bed.

    Wah, I'm taking my toys and going home!

  • TLB||

    #3

  • SIV||

    "It's funny how saying that U.S. intervention in the Middle East contributed to 9/11 is interpreted as supporting the terrorists...."


    There is a difference between "contributing to" and being the primary cause of....

    Paul never made the distinction in the debate or in his conversation with the Fox News personalities afterward.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Ron Paul, my former longtime boss, is not only out of touch with Republican primary voters, he's hopelessly out of touch with his South Texas Congressional District (where both Ron and I live).

    After this embarrassing debate performance tonight, he needs to just resign his Congressional seat. He's a complete embarrassment to us South Texans. He in no way represents the views of us South Texans who support fighting back against the onslaught of Islamo-Fascism.

    Republicans all over CD 14 are already declaring against him for the seat for 2008.

    Ron: Save yourself the embarrassment of a defeat. Resign now!

    Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
    US Congressman Ron Paul, (R-TX)
    1997-2003

  • CL||

    Shorter S.A. Miller: I have been pwn3d and am reduced to snark.

  • ||

    #2 and/or 3, and it's hardly a surprise. Just a flashback to the heady days of late 2001, when right-wingers used that argument against any suggestion that military action in a foreign country might change that country's opinion of us in some way.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Wah, I'm taking my toys and going home!

    People who use "Wah" as an argument generally aren't worth playing with. But just for you, I'll leave you with my favorite toy, called Google. Here, I'll make it easy for you.

    Note the very first entry, an essay by the author of the book Blowback. It's a silly piece in several ways, but it clearly doesn't try to justify the attacks. You don't even have to click through to read the article to see that: The summary on Google says "US actions abroad have repeatedly led to unintended, indefensible consequences." Try to reconcile "indefensible" with "justified."

    There's a Wikipedia entry too. Not perfect, but it gets across the phrase's pedigree.

  • ||

    I understand what Walker is saying about "blowback", but the meaning is shifting in the public's perception.

    It's being appropriated by those who think themselves the holy opposition to the "latte swilling", blame America first crowd.

    ...which, once again, is odd, 'cause that's the same crowd that not so long ago used "blowback" as a justification for the occupation.

  • ||

    Don't take any prisoners, Jesse. :-)

  • b-psycho||

    Miller, I just want you ask you one question: Do you think politicians really care when we get killed?

    By that I don't mean in the flashy, "we gotta get 'em" sense, I mean in the way you feel for it when your own relatives or best friends die. Like human beings, completely unconcerned with any political angle. Do you think they care, yes or no?

    If not sympathizing with people who see me as little more than a peon to be ordered around or a number that gets them money and power makes me "fringe", then the fringe is the only reasonable place to be. They don't care about me as a person, why should I care about them? It's a waste.

    I didn't ask them to treat the world as their personal chessboard, I in no way signed off on the conduct of this government. If those with grievances had taken it up with them exclusively, why would it be my business?

  • ||

    I can't believe that someone in a position such as Paul's and who is taking a stance that is far more nuanced than his opponents and what news companies allow, doesn't have a concise, rehearsed response handy, to the effect that:

    Al Qaeda and Bin Laden made their grievences very clear (including our presence in Saudi Arabia) and-

    made it clear that they were serious (and capable) about attacking the United States and-

    that the simple act of comprehending that does not constitute a moral justification.

    I was but a wee idiotic college student during Iraq War I. Being a young idiot and knowing nothing about the situation there, I swallowed the line that we were going to be harrassed by terrorists in revenge for said war. As time went by, I was pleasantly surprised to realize I was wrong. Turns out, that idea was, unfortunately, correct. The terrorists just came from different countries than I was expecting. Doesn't mean I think 9/11 was justified, in any case.

  • M||

    Child, or for that matter, adult, sticks arm into lion's cage, loses arm. This = obviously provoked & not obviously deserved.

  • ||

    Isn't the existence of the TSA admitting that our airport security was poor, i.e. we deserved 9/11? Why does the President and Congress think we deserved 9/11?

    Apparently you must believe that Satan was the one and only cause of 9/11. Otherwise, we would deserve 9/11 because of our actions.

  • bill||

    Uh, 9/11 was about Saudi Arabia not Iraq. The Fundies were mad at The House of Saud for allowing foreign troops in the "Holy Land". Bin Laden publicly stated several times in the early 90's his desire to overthrow th government of Saudi Arabia and establish a "more" fundamentalist Islamic state. That's why he chose Saudis (or people using stolen Saudi identities, never got to the bottom of that question) to carry out the attack. He wanted to drive a wedge betweens America and the Saudis.

  • Mick||

    Paul told the painful truth. The question is whether or not America can handle it.

    I hope they can. If not we will get a Dem in the WH and a DEM controlled congress as well.

  • ||

    Regarding blowback, Bin Laden is pretty much the definition. We, and by we I mean the US via the CIA, taught him and his jihadists how to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan. They retained all the military training in arms, explosives, reconaisance, and planning that we taught them. And once they kicked out one set of infidels, they eventually turned their sights on another set, the US.

    I think we were right to back them in Afghanistan, but that is basically the definition of blowback. I think the proper term for everything else we did in the area is payback, which is not to say at all that any innocent civilian deserved to die in the mass murder on 9/11, just an explanation why it happened.

  • ||

    http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/Dondero%20-%20Bush%20was%20right,%2005-03-03.htm

    Here's Eric Dondero's demand that Lew Rockwell and Justin Raimondo (of Anti-War.com) apologize publically for their anti-Bush opinions. Written in March 2005 when Bush's foreign policy "seems to be working."

    Yeah everything's just peachy Eric.

  • Zach||

    Julianis response was just more idiotic neo-con chest thumping and setting up a smoke screen to dodge the question, as usual. I appluad Dr. Paul for being the only guy there with a different viewpoint and sticking to it in the face of the lynchmob.

  • ||

    Here's Eric Dondero's demand that Lew Rockwell and Justin Raimondo (of Anti-War.com) apologize publically for their anti-Bush opinions. Written in March 2005 when Bush's foreign policy "seems to be working."

    Dondero is well-known in various coservative and libertarian circles as being a neo-con in libertarian clothing. This is nothing new, and Dondero has been widely discredited multiple times. A Google search provides ample evidence of his ways.

  • Brad||

    Despite being railroaded by the political spin machine all through the post debate "analysis" (if you can really call it that), Ron Paul more than held his own on the real issue at hand.

    The thing we Republicans should be asking ourseves is, "What does the constitution say?"

    Take a step out of the political spin room long enough to actually read the thing and you'll see that Ron Paul is the only real choice we have. The limited government stance of Ron Paul is the closest thing to a founding father we have going for us. The rest of the candidates are puppets by comparison. Just take a quick look at the amount of money the "top 3" have at their disposal and ask yourselves: "To whom do these men now owe their allegiance?"

    When a so-called "2nd tier" candidate can come into the debates and incite the American public to give him 30% of their votes in a text messaging poll that should have EASILY gone to one of the top 3 with all the money, something is wrong with the party and the national mood.

    The fact is, the American people are THROUGH buying the propaganda. They are tired of the interventionalist, neo-colonialist, foreign policy that only gets us into unconstitutional wars. They are tired of not having a choice but that which exists in the narrow margain between Puppet A and Puppet B.

    Ron Paul is the only man standing on that stage tonight that deserves the Republican nomination, and incidentally, he's the only one that could actually WIN without rigging the election.

    That's my word. If you want to find out more about Ron Paul that the major media will not DARE tell you, type his name in a youtube search and prepare to be informed what being a "conservative" is all about.

  • Brad||

    Two sets of stats everyone should take a look at. The first are the results from the Fox News poll, the second are pretty much self explanatory.

    Romney: 27%
    Paul: 26%
    Giuliani: 18%



    Romney, Mitt
    MA
    Raised: $23,434,634
    Spent: $11,570,981
    Cash on Hand: $11,863,652
    Debts: $2,350,000

    Giuliani, Rudy
    NY
    Raised: $16,623,410
    Spent: $5,688,207
    Cash on Hand: $11,949,734
    Debts: $88,862

    McCain, John
    AZ
    Raised: $13,087,559
    Spent: $8,379,214
    Cash on Hand: $5,180,799
    Debts: $1,812,636

    Paul, Ron
    TX
    Raised: $639,989
    Spent: $115,070
    Cash on Hand: $524,919
    Debts: $0

  • eugene||

    The fact is, the American people are THROUGH buying the propaganda. They are tired of the interventionalist, neo-colonialist, foreign policy that only gets us into unconstitutional wars.

    There's still about 20-30%, I estimate, based on Bush's popularity, in the polls that will follow Bush into the gates of Hell itself.

  • ||

    "latte swilling", blame America first crowd.

    No, no, no. The blame America first crowd also generally hates Starbucks and will rarely be found swilling a latte - more likely green tea or organic herbal tea or some kind of alternative fruit drink. In my experience latte swillers are primarily female businessmen and/or wealthy stay-at-home moms. And many, if not most, of them probably vote Republican. How on Earth did "latte swilling" ever get associated with the left?

  • ||

    Sorry, that should either read "businesswomen" or "effeminate businessmen" or both. And I should have added latte swilling Peter King.

  • sarcasmo||

    I can't believe so-many in the audience fell for it. This requires believing that toppling a democratically elected government and installing a dictator (pardon me, "Shah"!) in Iran had no negative effect, when now we're ostensibly trying to do the exact opposite in Iraq with an expensive occupation that's being disrupted by an ethnic/tribal war. It's quite odd. I'm looking forward to seeing how illogical supporters get today. Rudy's the candidate who scares me most, if he's the nominee the nation is in trouble.
    JMR

  • Xmas||

    Bill,

    9/11 may have been about US troops in the holy land of Saudi Arabia. But the only reason US troops were in S.A. was because of first Iraq war.

    Also, you should note that one of the major results of the second Iraq war what a complete removal of troops from Saudi Arabia.

  • ||

    What is the point of the blowback theory? Every action this country takes is going to have unintended and unpleasant consequences, every single action. The question is was the initial action a good relative to the other choices available at the time? If it was the best course of action, you do not look back and then you deal with the consequences as they come up.

    If the blowback theory does not justify the actions of Al Qaeda et al, if it does not suggest that what the US has done was not the best solution, I do not understand what the use of bringing it up is.

  • Joe Cochran||

    I can't decide between 2 and 3. #1 would be too ignorant of someone who was in Rudy's position. I have a hard time believing anyone is THAT stupid.

  • ||

    "I'm willing to bet this is the last debate you see Paul invited to. He is way way out of touch with primary voters."

    Ron Paul may be out of touch with the types of warmongers who have taken over the Republican Party, but he is in line with the old Republican principles and the principles of which this country was founded. Ron Paul would also be out of line with the Democrat Party as well because of their opposition to the free market. Ron Paul is running on the old Republican principles. The other Republican candidates by continuing to support an unpopular war will go down in defeat in 2008. I hate to see that because it means Hillary will probably become president.

  • ||

    "I can't decide between 2 and 3. #1 would be too ignorant of someone who was in Rudy's position. I have a hard time believing anyone is THAT stupid."

    I had been leaning towards voting for Giuliani if he were to win the nomination, but I've changed my mind. The more I hear coming out of his mouth, the more I dislike him. If Ron Paul doesn't get the nomination, which he probably won't, I'll continue to vote Libertarian as I always do.

  • ||

    I don't know if debates are the best forum for educating people. Paul does very well when he has time to explain himself, but he's not the best at sound-bites. Still, it warms the heart that someone is publically pointing out what a fraud the militarist enterprise is, and doing so more directly than any Democrat dares.

  • ||

    "What is the point of the blowback theory? Every action this country takes is going to have unintended and unpleasant consequences, every single action. The question is was the initial action a good relative to the other choices available at the time? If it was the best course of action, you do not look back and then you deal with the consequences as they come up."

    I don't believe the actions were justified in the first place. I do not believe it is legitimate for America to be the policeman of the world, particularly if it endangers American citizens with the blowback effects. Our government is supposed to protect us, not endanger us.

  • ||

    "Rudy's the candidate who scares me most, if he's the nominee the nation is in trouble."

    Don't forget McCain, he's just as bad if not worse.

  • ||

    "The first are the results from the Fox News poll,"

    What do these results mean, how well they did in the debate or where they stand as far as voters' preferences.

  • ||

    "The thing we Republicans should be asking ourseves is, "What does the constitution say?"

    The Republicans give lip service to the Constitution, but don't really follow it any better than the Democrats. It just gets in their way.

  • ||

    It is painfully obvious that our current era of divided government will be over very soon. Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate for president that understands that the #1 reason they lost their ass last fall is because the majority of the country wants us out of Iraq, and he is being treated like a leper. All of you neo-con dipshits will be really happy in about 3 years when we are up to our ass in Hillary-care and gun control, and we have to register as lobbyists because we send emails to our representatives.

  • ||

    "Uh, 9/11 was about Saudi Arabia not Iraq. The Fundies were mad at The House of Saud for allowing foreign troops in the "Holy Land". Bin Laden publicly stated several times in the early 90's his desire to overthrow th government of Saudi Arabia and establish a "more" fundamentalist Islamic state."

    Osama bin Laden gave three reasons for 9/11. The American occupation of the Muslim Holy Land (Saudi Arabia), sanctions against Iraq which were killing possibly hundreds of thousands of infants and children, and our support for Israel.

  • ||

    "I was but a wee idiotic college student during Iraq War I. Being a young idiot and knowing nothing about the situation there, I swallowed the line that we were going to be harrassed by terrorists in revenge for said war. As time went by, I was pleasantly surprised to realize I was wrong. Turns out, that idea was, unfortunately, correct. The terrorists just came from different countries than I was expecting. Doesn't mean I think 9/11 was justified, in any case."

    I made the prediction at the time that it would result in a terrorist act on American soil that would kill thousands of Americans. I don't claim to be a psychic, it's just common sense.

  • Grotius||

    I'll repeat this again: blowback, as it is generally understood in the intelligence community at least, refers to the unintended consequences of covert actions.

  • Iron Steph||

    This is a guy who didn't break 1100 on his SAT. The stupidity and ignorance hypothesis is far from off the table.

  • ||

    "He in no way represents the views of us South Texans who support fighting back against the onslaught of Islamo-Fascism."

    Dondero, who started it? I am a South Texan who supports Ron. If anybody should be embarrassed, it should be warmongers like you who are endangering our citizens with the terrorism that the policies you support is promoting.

  • Dave W.||

    3. Giuliani wasn't being that crafty.

    You mean crafty like those New York money people?

    http://www.reason.com/blog/show/119404.html

    Ron Paul rulez. Things are starting to go in a better direction in the US. I have an opposite read on this situation than Weigel does in the other thread. Ron Paul may not be the Republican nominee, or even the first third party president in a while, but he is making Guiliani, errrr, poison the well when it comes how is perceived by the general electorate.

  • ||

    "I'll repeat this again: blowback, as it is generally understood in the intelligence community at least, refers to the unintended consequences of covert actions."

    Call it what you want, "blowback", "payback", "revenge". It's all actions taken against America for our meddling foreign policy whether covert or overt.

  • Dave W.||

    I'll repeat this again: blowback, as it is generally understood in the intelligence community at least, refers to the unintended consequences of covert actions.

    Then how can it be blowback? I haven't heard about any covert actions.

  • ||

    Paul makes sense and has integrity.

    In other words he's a lost cause.

  • ||

    "Paul' s parroting of the leftist anti-american "Look in the mirror.... We are the real terrorist" crap to explain Islamist fanaticism is a gross over-simplification and mis-understanding shows disingenuousness or ignorance. Ron Paul is unfit to be President of the United States."

    The over-simplefiction are remarks from idiots like Bush who claim that the attacks were aimed at us because of their jeolousy of us. Ron Paul is the only one who is fit to be president because he alone of all the candidates is the only one who knows what is causing and will be causing more terrorist acts against American citizens.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    dave w., you're splitting hairs unnecessarily. No one who watched that debate is going OOHHH HE USED A TERM FOR COVERT ACTIONS THATS WRONG. Blowback was a good buzz word for Ron Paul to throw out there because it indicated a level of knowledge on foreign policy issues and it certainly seems to have some validity as a parallel to our current problems, covert or not.

  • ||

    "the second that libertarians are seen (with the left) as excusers of murderers and savages such as those that struck on 9/11 is the second that all libertarian ideas -- the good ones too -- are going to be thrown into the trash heap."

    That's an explanation as to why they attacked us, not an excuse. Killing innocent civilians is never justified. Our bombing of civilians in Nagasaki and Hiroshima were also criminal acts of terrorism. None of these acts of terrorism are justified.

  • ||

    Dondero! I knew you would show your ugly face after Ron Paul pwned Ghouliani!

  • Dave W.||

    dave w., you're splitting hairs unnecessarily.

    Yeah, I know. I was doing a couple things there:

    1. Having a little dig at Grotius for being so lexi-literal about the term "blowback" upthd.

    and

    2. subtly pointing out that if it was, at least in part, "blowback" for some covert actions then it would be illegal for Ron Paul to identify exactly what was being retaliated against, even if he had somehow been informed as a member of Congress. Chances are Paul would not know about the covert actions at all and neither would we. If the Usama somehow knew about the covert actions and spoke at length about them on video, then those tapes would not be translated for us to review. That is part of what makes the causes of 9/11 debate so tough -- we can't evaluate the existence or or non-existence or relative importance of secret information (if any).

  • Grotius||

    Dave W.,

    It is obvious why the term is used in that context (e.g., a false flag operation).

  • Nick Danger||

    Matt wrote:
    "not Ron Paul's parroting of the ridiculous and morally obtuse "blowback" theory?"

    Yes, Matt, how stupid and immoral to think that ten straight years of daily bombings of an Arab country might make any Arabs, you know, mad or anything!

  • ||

    "morally obtuse blowback theory"

    What's obtuse, the "theory" or the people who hate us, in part, because of our foreign policy?

  • ||

    Remember when believing blowback occured got you labelled as a racist? Denying Muslims their own agency, and all of that.

    Apparently, you have believe that Muslims, uniquely among all the peoples in history, are not swayed in their opionions by external events. To believe otherwise is racism.

    Or something.

  • ||

    Ron Paul's argument more succinctly: If you get stung, it's probably because you stirred the hornets nest. The hornets' (or innocent innocent, stung third parties') moral culpability is irrelevant to his position. The culpability of those who could have forseen the consequences and actually gained power from the stung victims might be relevant to his argument

  • ||

    I'm not sure how believing poor policy choices in the past caused ill will to the point of an attack is any different that believing, as I was taught in school, that WWII came about in Europe because of the Versailles treaty.

  • ||

    In terms of Paul and the GOP, don't the polls suggest that 66% of Republicans support the war in Iraq? That would put him out of step with many, but given the jingoistic nature of the world today, it's a good bet that the 33% of GOPers with the balls to say they don't support the war are actually against it. If many of those votes went for Paul in the primary, he'd do all right, especially with Rudy McRomeny splitting the other 66% three ways. The big questions would be are anti-war GOPers less likely to vote (probably), and is the anti-war vote consistent across the country (probably not- but I bet it is strong in NH).

  • ||

    I'd have to go with the dishonest demagogue theory.

    Honestly, that's all I expect from any of the two parties because it makes "good t.v."

  • ||

    As of this time yesterday, Congressman Paul's schedule today was relatively open. Despite the FOX production team and Guliani's coordinated efforts to disenfranchise Ron, the latent consequence is that Congressman Paul's entire day was booked talking to news media. Even second degree interviews and discussions on the debate illicit allusions to the libertarian line and Paul's initiative when Gov. Mark Sanford spoke of Congressman Paul's plan to cut entire departments as opposed to mere tax relief and out-of-control spending.

    Ron is changing the direction and scope of the debate, if nothing else.

    Neil Cavuto prophetically alluded to fireworks in his interview with Ron prior to the debate...and we all know how much the media enjoys blood, guts and fireworks.

    Suffice it to say, the longer Congressman Paul provides logical dissent commiserate with a constitutional perspective of governance, the longer he'll be salient to the race; and the longer he is salient to the race, the more life is breathed into movement/message.

    "Ron Paul-the Liberty Bell: Every time the Liberty Bell Rings, a Voter gets their Wings."

  • ||

    I am nearly finished with Ron Paul's book: A Foreign Policy of Freedom

    It's a great read and fully explains Ron Pauls philosophy on most all issues.

  • ||

    I used to like Ron Paul, but this time he has stuck both feet in it past the knees.

    Out of context or not, even the slightest suggestion that America "provoked" 9/11 by defending its allies deserves to be smacked down hard. Why? (a) It's just like saying rape victims "ask for it". (b) The alternative policy (letting dictators get away with aggression as long as it's not against us) has already been tried -- by Chamberlain at Munich. Let's not forget what a fat lot of good it did then.

  • ||

    Some people seem to think that examining one's own impact is the same as self blame or loathing. Those people are idiots. Nobody is blaming America for 9/11 or suggesting that we "invited" 9/11 as in actively tried to bring it about. However, if you mean "invited" in the following sense:

    invite
    verb
    1. increase the likelihood of

    then, perhaps in that sense, we did invite 9/11 Setting aside for a moment the question of whether there are BETTER alternatives to our foreign policy, i think we could all agree that there certainly exist alternatives ....... and pretending like our foreign policy does not even CONTRIBUTE to anti-American sentiment is just playing the ostrich.

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