Ron Paul

Rudy on Ron Paul, Five Minutes Ago

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Just got off a Rudy Giuliani conference call where, cementing my status as America's Luckiest Journalist, I wasn't selected to ask a question. But the question I wanted to ask was fielded by National Review's Jim Geraghty, whose take on last night's Ron Paul performance was:

[G]et the hell off the stage, Ron Paul. We're done with you.

Geraghty asked if there was anything to be gained from including Paul in future debates. Rudy's answer, roughly transcribed:

The last time I heard anything like that was when the Saudi prince put that press release out with his $10 million donation to New York after 9/11, saying our policies in the Middle East caused the attacks. I was surprised to hear that in a Republican debate. When I reflected on his answer I think there was tremendous confusion in what he was saying. Because we were dropping bombs on Iraq in the 90s, because there were occasional attacks that took place, because of that, al Qaeda planned to attack the WTC? Is that what the debate is about? The whole thing made no sense. And what made no sense was the desire to blame it all on America. Maybe because I've been studying Islamic terrorism since the 1970s I have a better understanding of this. They hate us because of our freedom of religion, they hate us because of the freedom we give to women. If we "solved" all of these foreign policy problems, if we did what they wanted in Iraq and Iran, they'd still hate us.

He didn't actually call for Paul to be cut out of the debates, and it was a short call where I didn't get to ask a follow-up.

UPDATE: Geraghty's take here.

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  1. That was the question you wanted to ask? If I had one shot at Rudy today, it would have been more along the lines of:
    “How deep and dark is the hole you’ve been living in that you’ve never heard of the ‘blowback’ theory before last night?”

  2. Look, let’s call a spade a spade–Rudy is somewhere between Franco and Batista, within the present constraints of our electoral system (hey, anybody remember when he wanted those mayoral elections “postponed”?)

    Have a significant terrorist attack on the US during his presidency, and you will be able to remove my qualifier before the parenthetical.

  3. I’m confused. Either I don’t understand the majority Republican electorate and Rudy’s handlers do, or Rudy just keeps digging himself into a deeper hole.

  4. The treatment Ron Paul is getting by these know-nothings ought to just confirm what Jim Henley has been saying for a while: Libertarians who still support the GOP are tools.

  5. “I was surprised to hear that in a Republican debate.”

    I’m surprised I considered voting for Benito Giuliani for this long. When you make a big show out of an intentional mischaracterization, I’d say that puts you in GWB territory, pure asshole and not constructive at all. That’s his version of “leadership”? It looks more like a serious of strawmen.

  6. series of strawmen

  7. Because we were dropping bombs on Iraq in the 90s, because there were occasional attacks that took place, because of that, al Qaeda planned to attack the WTC?

    Why, exactly, does Rudy think that makes no sense? Does he really think that Osama and his homies recruited suicide bombers who really, really, didn’t like MTV?

    In the words of Fred Reed: My correspondents further inform me that Moslems hate America because of its advanced society, or because they hate freedom (which is silly even by the dilute standards of our sorry journals). I suspect that the reasons are otherwise.

  8. So, basically, Giuliani is delusional. Noted.

  9. “Why, exactly, does Rudy think that makes no sense? Does he really think that Osama and his homies recruited suicide bombers who really, really, didn’t like MTV? ”

    You need you read up on your modern islam history, son.

    Sayyid Qutb, one of the intellectual founders of the modern jihadists movement, said that americans were uncivilized because he couldn’t get a decent haircut.

    Those people who want to kill us are extremely messed up. Any rational person ought to conclude exactly that after watching the sept. 11th attacks. Why is it so hard for people to believe that there are crazy people in the world who want to kills for ridiculous reasons?

  10. Maybe because I’ve been studying Islamic terrorism since 1970s I have a better understanding of this.

    My follow-up question would concern this statement:

    Would you please go into some detail about your course of study? Say, for example, the top five books or journal articles that most inform your views.

  11. There’s certainly a segment of the Arab world that hates us for who we are and what we represent, but our policies in region are what keeps that segment from being marginalized. You wouldn’t be able to build popular support for a war against the West among non-fanatical Muslims unless there were some very real, tangible grievances to point to. For every Whabbist fighting to restore the Caliphate there are probably ten young Arab men fighting for a reason most Americans can readily understand – They shot(bombed)my pa.

  12. He’s studied “Islamic terrorism since [the] 1970s”. Uh, huh.

    Giuliani is a lightweight that gets treated because of 9/11 (pause for applause) like a heavyweight. But he’s also got an authoritarian streak that runs through his entire career. Not a quality we should ever desire in a president.

    Message to Washington and those who wish to reside there: I’m not that scared of Islamic terrorism. It’s not something that I want us to totally ignore, but neither do I want to focus our way of life or our foreign policy on it.

    Giuliani knows exactly where Paul is coming from, and to try to spin Paul’s position into a defeatist one is, at best, disingenuous. Even if you aren’t going to vote for Paul, this nation–heck, the GOP–can do better than this offensive person.

    Grotius,

    I see that we have the same impression about Giuliani’s “scholarship”. But, tell, me, did you also think for a moment that maybe he meant he was studying the terrorists’ techniques? No wonder he was so detailed in the debate about the use of torture. 🙂

  13. > they hate us because of the freedom we give to women…

    How gracious of “us”! Who else do we so generously “give” freedom to?

  14. They hate us because of our freedom of religion, they hate us because of the freedom we give to women.

    These were bigger issues for Jerry Falwell than Usama bin Laden.

    Why is it so hard for people to believe that there are crazy people in the world who want to kills for ridiculous reasons?

    Sure, but Eric Rudolph is finally in prison, so I feel better now.

  15. I have a question for Guiliani:

    Dear Mr. Guiliani,

    Between 2001 and the present, have you ever uttered a sentence that didn’t incorporate “9/11”?

  16. Why is it so hard for people to believe that there are crazy people in the world who want to kill us for ridiculous reasons?

    I’m sure there are, but why is it so easy to ignpre the non-ridiculous reasons in favor of the ridiculous ones?

  17. For every Whabbist fighting to restore the Caliphate there are probably ten young Arab men fighting for a reason most Americans can readily understand – They shot(bombed)my pa.

    we must have killed their pa, when we bombed the heck out Saudi Arabia..or wait..

  18. Why is it so hard for people to believe that there are crazy people in the world who want to kills for ridiculous reasons?

    Because crazy people are few and far between. The are often paranoid, and notoriously unable to cooperate and function within complex organizations. Getting a dozen together to execute a coordinated attack is, well unbelievable.

  19. I’m surprised I considered voting for Benito Giuliani for this long. When you make a big show out of an intentional mischaracterization, I’d say that puts you in GWB territory, pure asshole and not constructive at all.

    That’s two of us. Rudy just lost my support as well.

    A combination of “they hate us for our freedom!” foreign policy views and the support of Eric Dondero would sour me on just about anyone.

    The best thing Rudy could do for himself is keep his mouth shut.

  20. One crazy guy who chants “death to America” because he can’t get a good haircut: not so much of a problem for national security.

    A thousand non-crazy but really angry guys who follow this crazy guy because we invaded their country and helped turn things to crap. A bit more of a problem for national security.

  21. Sayyid Qutb, one of the intellectual founders of the modern jihadists movement, said that americans were uncivilized because he couldn’t get a decent haircut.

    Aha! Jihadis are just trying to get decent haircuts. If only they had scissors instead of box cutters. If only they had clippers instead of IDEs and bomb belts. What a shame.

    Also, what’s with this son shit? Go fuck yourself, grandpa.

  22. I’m confused. Either I don’t understand the majority Republican electorate and Rudy’s handlers do, or Rudy just keeps digging himself into a deeper hole.

    Unfortunately, I think his handlers understand the majority Republican electorate just fine. They’re just delusional when it comes to the electorate in general.

  23. GWB has spent almost 6 years huffing the smell of those 9-11 corpses and it carried him a good while politically before people figured out that was all he had. I guess Guiliani, who is not nearly as dumb as GWB, figures he can make it go twice as far.

    What a pair of fucking ghouls these two are!

  24. They’re just delusional when it comes to the electorate in general.

    Maybe, let’s see what tune they start singing after the primaries.

  25. we must have killed their pa, when we bombed the heck out Saudi Arabia..or wait..

    No, there Pa was probably shot by the Saudi Royal family we prop up.

  26. “Those people who want to kill us are extremely messed up. Any rational person ought to conclude excatly that after watching the Sept. 11th attacks. Why is it so hard for people to believe that there are crazy people in the world who want to kills for ridiculous reasons?”

    You miss the point. I would wager the farm and everything I own that both irrational and rational people agree that “those people who want to kill us are extremely messed up” and further the people DO believe there are “crazy people in the world who want to kill us”. The point you don’t seem able to connect is that there are people who DO believe certain of their reasons are not so crazy. Answer me this.. if “Osama and his homies” really want to kill us because of our freedom, why aren’t they attacking places with more freedom than America? There are such places in the world like that you know.

    Our failure is by fighting terrorism on their terms and based on military actions. Terrorism is all psychology. By going to “their” soil and fighting there, we’re just giving them easy targets to shoot at. I don’t pretend to understand them either, but from what I’ve seen terrorists consider each and every suicide bomber who kills 1, 20, or 100 Americans or “infedels” to be a victory to them. They don’t have to win any wars to be victorious in their own minds. If the rest of the world and the Islams themselves can’t agree to cohabit peacefully with one another, then maybe we just need to nuke the whole area and be done with it. Sound like a better solution to you?

    Personally, I think we should get out with the intent of emboldoning them. At least that way they’d come out of their rabbit holes for us to have a fair shot at taking them down.

    As far as blowack is concerned, how extremely obtuse of Rudy to suggest retaliation isn’t an obvious reaction from any culture regardless of their level of rationality or irrationality. Further, wouldn’t that reaction just be that more extreme by those we consider so irrational? (Islam as an obvious example?)

    I’m offended by Rudy’s statement regardless of the applause he received. It just cements in my mind that our political leaders really think Americans lack the mental facilities necessary to see through an obvious misinterpretation of what Ron Paul was saying on that stage, even if he didn’t say it as well as he could have.

  27. No, there Pa was probably shot by the Saudi Royal family we prop up.

    Whats your point? Our support of the Saud family is financial and political. The Saud family gained its status long long before we had any influence in the region. They have plenty of resources to maintain a strangle hold on the country without our soldiers. You feel we should immediately disengage from because otherwise we will get attacked and just let everything sort itself out or what?

  28. “if “Osama and his homies” really want to kill us because of our freedom, why aren’t they attacking places with more freedom than America? There are such places in the world like that you know.”

    They ARE attacking such places – the 7/7 bombings in england, the madrid train bombings, the beheadings in thailand that happen on a regular basis…. the list goes on. They want to kill us because we are not moslems. It’s that simple.

  29. Did any of you read more coverage of this?
    I have only two responses:

    1)Rudi’s stock plummeted in my book.

    2)Fucking Politics.

    And Jaylie:
    “…our political leaders really think Americans lack the mental facilities necessary to see…”

    In (exclusively) my experience, the sad truth is that most Americans do lack the mental facilities to pick their respective noses, much less see through any obvious (to “us”) misinterpretations.

  30. “It’s that simple.”

    if only it were, chucklepants.

  31. They ARE attacking such places – the 7/7 bombings in england, the madrid train bombings

    You’re undermining your point with your own examples there. Those bombings were because Spain and the UK had troops in Iraq.

    I don’t know anything about any beheadings in Thailand, so I’ll refrain from comment except to note that Muslims sure do have a fetish for beheading.

  32. Rudy was playing to the idiot South Carolina republicans that made up the crowd. If they have a combined IQ of 85 I’d be shocked.

    If Rudy studied in the 1970s then he’d know we, and the British, French and so forth, have been mucking around with internal middle eastern affairs since at least the 1950s – how does he think the Shah came to power in Iran?

    Nobody can know for sure what cause, if any, can solely explain why those a-holes flew the planes into buildings.

    Probably the dumbest notion, though, is that they ‘hate our freedom.’ Really, those clowns are thinking, you know, people in the USA must die because they have a marginally free economy and only 50% taxation. Like the man on the street in Egypt or Palestine or Iran knows that.

    Our intervention has to be a part. Messing w/ Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Libya – I mean, really. Supporting Israel is also a part. Soviet support for terrorism has to be a part. Idiotic religious beliefs is a part.

    Nothing Ron Paul said was “absurd” in the least. If we had not been involved in 50+ years of adventurism and mischief in the middle east then I am pretty certain the amount of support for the Al-Queda game plan would be lesser in the general populations.

    It seems to me to be a tough question – cheap oil, artificial stability, protection of Israel – all good things. The costs are really high in dollar terms and apparently there is blowback.

    The level of discourse from the GOP side is pathetic. Of course, the Democrats fully supported the war, as well as the first Gulf War and the Bosnian war, so, really, they are all the same.

  33. Here’s what I don’t get, either the terrorists are rational or they aren’t. If terrorists are irrational, then its systemic to culture or its not. If they are irrational and it is not systemic to their society (meaning terrorists hate us for irrational reasons, but muslims in general do not), why are we attacking countries who by and large do not hate us? If, however, it is systemic and the entire population does hate us, why are we bothering to set up a democracy in a country that hates us? If, however, the terrorists are not irrational, but reacting to external events caused by the US policies, then the fix to terrorism is certainly not to continue pursuing policies that breed terrorists. Our government is stuck in a logic loop they refuse to acknowledge and we’ll never be safe as long as we’re pursuing policies that at best don’t make sense and at worst, openly promote the creation of more terrorists. Paul said what needed saying and now every right wing pundit is falling over himself trying to deny that there is even a chance that what he’s saying could be part of the argument.

  34. Rudy is dead wrong.

    If it was our FREEDOM of Religion and Women’s Rights that was the cause of the attacks. Why not Attack Switzerland??? They have freedom of religion and they also have more freedom for women than US. (you can’t be topless in public in US)

    Madrid and London where countries that contributed militarily, that’s why they were attacked.

    Muslim extremism is a big problem, but the answer to it isn’t American self-righteous ignorance displayed by Giulliani here.

    Ron Paul is right, and until his point is hammered home (it might take a couple of decades it seems) the war on terror will simply galvanize more and more muslims to “defend” themselves. Don’t forget Fox News isn’t the only news agency with propogandist on their staff, many outlets in the middle east have the same bent on a grand war and stupid statements like “they hate our freedom” diminishes anyone who says it and anyone who agrees with it.

    If you have to have simple statements here’s one: “if you have Armed Soldiers in a foreign land the chances are somebody they’ll hate you”

    History will prove Ron Paul right. Regardless of the fanfair.

  35. The best thing Rudy could do for himself is keep his mouth shut.

    Ha. As anyone who lived around New York during the Ghouliani years can tell you, he’s a motormouth to whom nothing is more pleasing than the sound of his own voice, telling us what we should be required to think.

    He will sink himself due to his inability to STFU.

  36. Maybe Paul should be cut from the debates. That way everyone can just agree on everything (well except Rudy and abortion).

  37. @Mark: “They ARE attacking such places – the 7/7 bombings in england, the madrid train bombings, the beheadings in thailand that happen on a regular basis….”

    So, you pick England, Spain, and Thailand as examples of places more free than the US. What an odd metric you must use.

    Is it worth noting at all that two of the three were involved in Iraq?

  38. Nothing Ron Paul said was “absurd” in the least. If we had not been involved in 50+ years of adventurism and mischief in the middle east then I am pretty certain the amount of support for the Al-Queda game plan would be lesser in the general populations.

    It seems to me to be a tough question – cheap oil, artificial stability, protection of Israel – all good things. The costs are really high in dollar terms and apparently there is blowback.

    I have to say that on this issue Ron Pauls is taking a principled view but not a very well thought-out one. Obviously if we havent been involved in the world for the last 50 years, as he is suggesting, then the picture would be very different. At the same time its very possible that we would have been facing different conflicts with different enemies. Germany, USSR, etc… didnt subscribe to Ron Paul’s vision, so the USA really had no choice in alot of the matters.

    So many commenters in this thread feel that since US policies breed terrorism then we must stop them. Gee maybe those policies breed other things besides a bunch of pissed off luncatics. Maybe the positives of those policies outweight the risk they bring? Maybe we shouldnt be scrapping those policies but altering them a tad to mitigate negative impacts. But no, this issue has become as polarized as any other.

  39. “They ARE attacking such places – the 7/7 bombings in england, the madrid train bombings, the beheadings in thailand that happen on a regular basis…. the list goes on.”

    As Cornelius says, England and Spain both supported us in Iraq. Why don’t you provide a counterexample that doesn’t have such OBVIOUS fatal flaws?

  40. Because crazy people are few and far between. The are often paranoid, and notoriously unable to cooperate and function within complex organizations. Getting a dozen together to execute a coordinated attack is, well unbelievable.

    All well and true, but you also have to consider that some amazingly crazy people are often quite charismatic, and lead the slightly-less crazy (and perhaps even some rational folks) out to cloud-cuckoo-land.

  41. if only it were, chucklepants.

    Hey! Don’t go relatin’ this guy to me, dhex!

  42. Mark, you’re an idiot.

    I’ve asked this question everywhere and no one ever has an answer:

    If they hate us because of our freedom and because we aren’t Muslims, why weren’t Muslim terrorists attacking the US prior to 1948?

    Weren’t we free then? Weren’t they Muslim then?

    Heck, we were MORE free prior to 1932, and Islam was even less modern. Why didn’t we have terror attacks against the United States then?

  43. How about Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia. We ran a hell of mock in those countries as well, yet we dont see anyone attacking USA from those regions. The myriad of South American dictatorships that we have proped up over the years? Balkans?

    To suggest that only reason the conflict currently exists is because of America’s adventurism abroad, and not to the combination of that and a severe culture clash is just naive.

  44. The way I see it, we don’t disengage from the world; we just disengage from parts of the world we gain little from meddling with. The Middle East will supply oil whether we invade, intercede, whatever. They have no choice. Screw ’em–let’s move along. If we simply must push for peace or whatever, let’s do it behind the aegis of the U.N. or some other multinational organization.

    Isolationism is not possible with our global economic interests, but there’s nothing out there that says that the U.S. should or even can solve the problems of every messed up region. We do not have infinite resources or time–let’s focus on things that we can do something about and stop wasting time on the insanity that is the Middle East. Let them sort it out.

    Incidentally, the idea that us backing away from the mad dog is somehow saying that the mad dog has “won” is silly. If my baby is on the other side of the mad dog, then, okay, I’m going to do something about it. But when I can just walk around the mad dog and avoid it altogether, why not? It may occasionally come into our yard and bite us, but we don’t have to stand in its yard and poke it with little sticks.

    Frankly, I think we’re involved as heavily as we are because of religious reasons (and this applies to our government in general, not just the GOP) more than because of oil. What do we get, 18% of our oil from the entire Middle East? I had no problem with us invading Afghanistan, given the situation as it was and given that sitting back and ignoring a direct attack would be foolhardy. But that doesn’t mean that we need to go back for more. They are the bad guys, but we gain nothing by fighting them in perpetuity. At some point, utilitarianism must come into play.

  45. Ron Paul wants to trade with foreigners, not kill them.

    I wonder if the people who disagree with him pump a few rounds into their neighbors’ houses every morning simply to show that they care.

  46. …why weren’t Muslim terrorists attacking the US prior to 1948?

    Uh, because we and the Brits still controlled the oil revenues?

    Also, I don’t think as many of them were exposed to our culture, via attending our universities or through our exportation of our culture, and thus they didn’t know enough about it to so revile it. Particularly to the extent that much of our culture has become a global norm.

  47. I’m assuming that when Paul talks about 50 years of counterproduct foreign policy, he is focusing on the coup in Iran that we supported. Isn’t this an accurate assessment, that if we had left well enough alone and not installed the Shah, things may have turned out a bit differently (and better for us)?

  48. Only if you buy into the traitorous and Communist notion that American foreign policy, especially under Republican presidents, has ever produced anything less than the best possible outcome for every country everywhere.

  49. You can count me in that group of people who previously slightly favored Rudy as compared to the other GOP candidates, but now has no respect for him. None.

  50. I’m assuming that when Paul talks about 50 years of counterproduct foreign policy, he is focusing on the coup in Iran that we supported. Isn’t this an accurate assessment, that if we had left well enough alone and not installed the Shah, things may have turned out a bit differently (and better for us)?

    You are suggesting that Ron Paul is saying that where our interventionism failed then we should have heeded the constituion and stayed out, but where things went ok, and thus justified, we were all good to get involved? Thats not very principled of him.

  51. How about Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia. We ran a hell of mock in those countries as well, yet we dont see anyone attacking USA from those regions. The myriad of South American dictatorships that we have proped up over the years? Balkans?

    We aren’t in Vietnam or Cambodia anymore. North Korea has still got a bone to pick with us. South/Central American countries are busy selling us drugs. And the Balkans spawned it’s fair share of battle hardened jihadists.

    To suggest that only reason the conflict currently exists is because of America’s adventurism abroad, and not to the combination of that and a severe culture clash is just naive.

    Never suggested that. Actually, I suggested exactly what you said. What is naive is reducing it all down to, “they hate our freedom,” which is what Rudy did.

  52. Juris –

    That might make sense, if it weren’t for the fact that Muslim terrorists WERE attacking British and French interests prior to 1948.

    That would seem to pretty strongly indicate that the difference isn’t “exposure to culture” or anything of the sort, but simply one of political grievance or perceived grievance.

  53. I was wondering, do you guys plan to register as Republicans to vote for Paul in the primary? It’s something that just crossed my mind.

  54. E. Money,
    It crossed my mind too. I still don’t know what to think. It will probably depend on what the field looks like in January. If it’s completely filled with assholes (no Ron Paul), then that will be a resounding “no.”

  55. Val,

    You bring up interesting examples, but it’s worth pointing out that other kinds of blowback are decidedly here with regard to Latin America.

  56. This is all good for Ron who is no way a Democrat, liberal leftist or pacifist. He voted for Afghanistan and against the Democrat surrender bill. He is prodefense and I’m sick of them invoking 911 like parrots.

    Rudy should be taken to task on his both sides of the issue habit, and McCain on his suppression of free speech with the McCain Feingold Thompson SOROS bill and Romney his universal health care.

    Go Ron GO! All press is good press.

  57. If we were simply good customers for their oil, would they hate our freedoms? (Well, U.S. Air apparently hates their customers, but most sellers don’t.) I guess Hitler and the
    Germans didn’t care about the Treaty of Versailles shoved up their rear; WWII was all about hating the Allies’ freedoms.

  58. You bring up interesting examples, but it’s worth pointing out that other kinds of blowback are decidedly here with regard to Latin America.

    bah, I consider those blowbacks a direct and imporant perk. How else am I gonna know when I finnaly make it. Only when I can go out and do a couple lines off a strippers ass.

  59. I wonder who the bigger expert on Middle East politics is: Rudy Giuliani or King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

  60. In time some of you neo-libertarians will come to realize that the government screws up almost everything it touches. This is a consistent principle whether it is domestic policy or foreign policy. Mandates, meddling, and the like are mostly government screwing things up. Only on a rare occasion government policy might help, but there are so few examples of this.

  61. val,

    If that stripper is from the ex-Soviet Union, we we will have an excellent example of the positive aspects of blowback.

  62. Mr. Paul is hardly perfect.

    But the real lesson here concerns the sad state of INTELLIGENCE in the good ole USA.

    Anyone who truly wants to understand the world and how it operates must be aware that human events always have multiple and complex causes. Yet explaining multiple causes and how they interact (like how evil, fanatacal muslims PLUS US support for secular, authoritarian, arab regimes and Israel put together lead to attacks on US) requires speaking in more than a sound bite. It also does not mean that the US should stop supporting Israel, nor stay completely out of a region that controls most of the world’s oil….but boy, that still unfinished thought is just reaching a paragraph and it is already too long for television and for the attention psan of most average americans isnt it?

    Rudy is smart enough to know that what goes around comes around and anyone who doesnt think that what the US does in the middle east has consequences is a fool. As is anyone who ignores the unique role of religion in modern terrorist motivation.

    But Rudy is also smart enough to know that the republican base (and maybe most of america) is far happier hearing a robust “Al-Queda: BAD; US of A: GOOD” rather than a real discussion of how to confront middle eastern terrorism. He is also intellectually dishonest enough to go for that cheap sound bite at someone else’s expense in order to get elected.

    I am beginning to believe the enlightenment was a failure.

  63. The treatment Ron Paul is getting by these know-nothings ought to just confirm what Jim Henley has been saying for a while: Libertarians who still support the GOP are tools.

    Y’know, I’m beginning to agree with you. Problem is, libertarians who support the Democrats are even bigger tools (and self-deluded). Perhaps that’s why the Libertarian Party exists.

    As for the “why do they hate us” question, I would submit that Wahhabist militancy has been a growing thing since the 18th Century and certainly didn’t arise purely in response to the post-Ottoman situation in the Middle East. It is a large-scale cultural phenomenon that is occurring throughout the Muslim, including places where few much care about Palestinians and Iraqis.

    There is no simple, emotionally satisfying explanation for why it’s squarely aimed at the USA, other than that we are extremely prominent culturally, economically, and militarily in a way that other western societies aren’t at the moment. And there certainly is no easy, soundbite-worthy method of dealing with a 200-year-old cultural/political movement that appears to still be gaining steam.

  64. That might make sense, if it weren’t for the fact that Muslim terrorists WERE attacking British and French interests prior to 1948.

    Bite me fluffy. You asked why they hadn’t attacked the U.S., not France or Britain. And even at that, those attacks were all but exclusively in their home territory, not on French or British soil.

    We’ve conspicuously supported the House of Saud (which is Wahhabist btw), and we shouldn’t be surprised that the corruption therein taints us in the view of the opponents of Saud.

    You aren’t seriously going to argue about U.S. cultural hegemony in the latter half of the 20th century are you? I mean, we could certainly argue about whether or not it was a good or bad thing (or that it was both), but not about it’s existance.

  65. What Skallgrim said!

    Part of me reviles Rudy. But the evil, vengeful , Machiavellian side of me can’t help but admire him. He saw an opportunity to squash an upstart and pounced. He may have an authoritarian streak that makes W seem like a team player, but I can’t help but think if he was running the Iraq show he would be much more ruthless, calculated and efficient. If we’re stuck in this mess anyway maybe we’re better off with a bloodthirsty prick running the show.

    I know that’s a retarded line of thinking, but there it is. Lucky for everyone I don’t vote.

  66. i’m dumbfounded that there are still, after 4 years of Iraq, people who look at the neo cons as “experts” on AYNTHING. has bill kristol EVER been right? wasn’t he going to make dan quayle “cool” at one point?

    the neo con line on islam is israeli propaganda. It’s not even close to reality. the wall street journal had an article 9 days after 9-11 about “moneyed muslims”. rich american muslim businessmen. they all said the same thing america great, foreign policy terrible. so it’s been about 6 years since rudis had an excuse to be so stupid

    UNLEARN neo conservatism.

  67. Rudy Giuliani gives freedom to women. We owe it all to Rudy, girls. And he’s hawt.

  68. National Review is busy trashing Paul today, I see. Yes, he doesn’t belong in the GOP because he thinks maybe we’ve gotten too entangled in the Middle East. Good to know that rah-rahing the Iraq War is the sole criterion for being a Republican. Of all conservative media outlets, NRO should approve of Paul’s general message. This ongoing attempt to purge the GOP of its significant libertarian arm might just work, if they keep trying.

  69. This ongoing attempt to purge the GOP of its significant libertarian arm might just work, if they keep trying.

    What in the Sam Hell are you talking about ProLib? There hasn’t been so much as a superfluous libertarian nipple in the GOP since 94.

  70. Yeah, Warren, but you don’t realize how many people forget why they vote for the GOP in the first place and just keep voting for them because they assume they still stand for what they believe. If the GOP shouts loudly enough that they want to lock your children in a dark room on an island off of Florida and feed them to hungry German Sheppards.. people might start listening.

  71. No, they’re not all dead, yet. The RLC has a slight pulse still, and there are a handful of people like Ron Paul in the GOP’s ICU. Now as far as national policy goes, I agree with you completely. I’ve always wondered why the Jonah Goldbergs of the world waste so much time attacking the handful of libertarians remaining. Is it heresy or something?

    I will say this: If you accept the two-party dichotomy, the Democrats are an impossible home for libertarian values, given their penchant for large government and taxation. Their superior position on some civil liberties is negated when you realize that a big government viewpoint means that we’re permitted those liberties. Uh, huh. The GOP has at least paid lip service to limited government values, albeit not so much in recent years. Too bad the “revolution” was a fraud, because it looked like some libertarian ideals were actually taking hold at the national level. But, of course, that was bull from the get-go.

  72. Giuliani is an idiot. I’m sick of his face already. These folks are trying to get people to sign their petition to ban Paul from the remianing debates. It’s getting pretty surreal.

  73. National Review is busy trashing Paul today, I see. Yes, he doesn’t belong in the GOP because he thinks maybe we’ve gotten too entangled in the Middle East.

    Actually, Derbyshire surprised me a bit today. He said (in paraphrase) that Paul is the only true conservative in the race, and that he does not belong in the GOP because today’s version of the party is really at best a center-right party that gets votes purely because of its size and position in a two-party system.

    And that’s true. Ron Paul harkens back to the GOP of Robert Taft and Calvin Coolidge, which is what the GOP should be today.

  74. “the neo con line on islam is israeli propaganda. It’s not even close to reality”

    change that to “Likud”… otherwise the siren will sound.

    Do it. do it. doit.

  75. ChrisO,

    Well, that’s something. I assumed he was trashing Paul, too. I only looked at Goldberg’s article.

    Maybe heresy is the right word? Before 9/11, I thought the libertarian virus might actually have a chance of fatally infecting the stupid party.

  76. Let me get this straight, Guiliani fawningly issues a love note to a man (Falwell) who DID explicitly blame America for 9/11, and he wants to present himself as a credible commentator on blowback?

    Are you fucking kidding me?

  77. With all the Rudy-Paul focus, I had almost forgotten what a disingenuous piece of shit Michael Steele is. Kudos to him for being such an unprincipled hack.

  78. I was wondering, do you guys plan to register as Republicans to vote for Paul in the primary?

    I need to. I owe Paul a vote for 1988, when I screwed up and voted for W’s father instead.

  79. *cries*

  80. Ron just called out Rudy on the Situation Room. It was great.

  81. juris:

    I’m not going to bite you, because if the terrorism was based on culture and not politics, there should not have been any difference between attitudes towards Britain and France and attitudes towards the US.

    There were attacks against British and French interests and personnel. There were no attacks against US interests or personnel. For all practical purposes from the Muslim perspective Britain, France and the United States all share the same culture. So…what was the difference?

  82. ….dons tinfoil hat

    I can’t believe nobody’s talking about Rudy saying he would require that citizens have an RFID chip implanted…er, I mean, come forward to obtain a biometric undestroyable national ID in addition to providing personal information for the Federal Database all in the name of sorting out the non star-bellied sneetches from the star bellies.

    I know it’s not new, but he was pounding the table on the topic in the post debate interview. Pretty freaky.

  83. or indestructible

  84. not to shit on the ron paul lovefest, but did anyone think it contradictory for Ron Paul to argue in the debates that Ronald Reagan was correct that Middle Eastern politics is inherently irrational, then try to provide a rational arguement for sept. 11th with Blowback? Isn’t the Middle Eastern politics inherently irrational arguement firmly in the “they hate us for our freedoms” bag of tricks?

  85. Their superior position on some civil liberties?….huh

    barring the second half of the sentence, and barring the abortion issue… what exactly are we talking about there…

  86. Rudy is digging himself a whole here, as are these hack journalists who continue to turn a blind eye to the obvious, hoping Joe Public isn’t paying much attention.

    But things have changed in the media world! The light of truth will crush all these warmongering liars.

    As Ghandi is said to have said:
    First they ignore you.
    Then they mock you.
    Then they fight you.
    Then you win.

    Things are moving steadily up. We will see the fight phase become more earnest as the ignoring and mocking prooves ineffective.

  87. fluffy,

    For all practical purposes from the Muslim perspective Britain, France and the United States all share the same culture.

    Wow, and people say that Americans are culturally ignorant!

    OK, so how many young, wealthy Muslim males were sent off to college in decadent, inter-war France and Britain, compared to say the U.S. from the 70s thru the 90s? Were the French and British cultures mass exported in that time?

    I will grant you, the Brits and French were masters of Mid-East political manipulation in the early 20th century, particularly in comparison to the U.S. in the latter half. Ironic isn’t it, that we should pay more of a price then they for the way they carved up the Ottoman holdings?

    In short, many things changed between the times that you would compare, rendering the comparison less than fruitful. However, ignoring the cultural aspects seems to me as foolish and short-sighted as attempting to ignore the political and economic dimensions.

  88. dude,

    I mentioned Rudy’s RFID in another thread.

    stephen,

    there is no contradiction because the middle east acts consistantly to the same provocations, those provocations being things that we might not react the same way toward, hence, irrational. There is a great deal of internal conflict in the middle east which would have been best left alone by a culture that doesn’t understand it. They really don’t care what freedoms we have if we had contented ourselves with trade and only trade. Granted, many of its people would still essentially be serfs or there would be some shaky young democracies, but if we had stayed out, they wouldn’t be trying to bring down our buildings.

  89. The way to drive home the problems with the
    pro war crowd is to point out that
    WE WON!
    We won the war. We killed Saddam. Iraq has
    no more WMD’s.
    We won. Now let’s go home.

    The problem is their goal is nation building.
    That is not the goal of the American electorate.

  90. So many commenters in this thread feel that since US policies breed terrorism then we must stop them. Gee maybe those policies breed other things besides a bunch of pissed off luncatics. Maybe the positives of those policies outweight the risk they bring? Maybe we shouldnt be scrapping those policies but altering them a tad to mitigate negative impacts. But no, this issue has become as polarized as any other.

    Precisely. So how ’bout Rudy gets a clue and argues with Paul on those grounds instead of this Jingoistic “Our enemies can’t stand the bright beacon of our righteousness” crap?

  91. On Gibson’s show on FOX the big topic of the day was clearly about how Dr. Paul is clearly linked with conspiracy theorists. It wasn’t even questioned…just assumed to be fact for some reason.

  92. Just discovered video of the Hannity-Paul-Colmes discussion here if anyone’s interested.

  93. when ron paul decides not to be ani-immigrant, anti-abortion, and anti-gay, i might care. until then he’s just another republican.

  94. And, here’s a stunned Hannity announcing that Rep. Paul was leading the ‘bot poll. Priceless!

  95. jimmy,

    Ron Paul is anti-welfare state, anti federal payment for women’s abortions andi’ve never heard the anti gay moniker before. He’s not just another republican, he’s the only one. The rest are Franco’s in Armani suits.

  96. For every Whabbist fighting to restore the Caliphate…

    All these posts and nobody bothered to say that the answer was “Kill the Whabbist”? Y’all are letting the side down.

    My personal take on it is that those who hate us do, in a way, hate us for our freedom: we’re rich, peaceful, happy, reasonably free, and non-Muslim. (Most terrorists come from places that are not most of these things.) But what we also are is very in their face about it – you cannot avoid hearing about America and seeing American things all the time – and that’s why we draw the lion’s share of the hatred. (Consider as a parallel the vitriol some Europeans pour on the US. Much of Europe really isn’t that different from the US, and Canada certainly isn’t, but they’re not in people’s faces 24/7.) Supporting Israel (for no very good reason, AFAICT) and mucking around with Middle Eastern wars and politics (uh-oh, playing in their sandbox! no outsiders allowed!) are also big factors, and they’re part of the way we’re in their face non-stop.

  97. This is a little troubling as well.

    “NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system. Forget about controlling immigration under this scheme.”

    I mean, I’m taking Paul’s side against Giuliani, but the above gives off a whiff of crazy.

  98. MJN,

    Yeah, becaues you know us libertarians are all for pandering to special interest groups to help create supranational bureaucracies. Nothing like 21st century mercantilism to make libertarians swoon, huh?

    Abolish NAFTA and the WTO. Make tariffs illegal.

  99. So, conservatives seem to have no problem understanding that domestic policies can have negative consequences such as with the welfare state.

    Oooh. Ask conservatives about all of the ills that were caused by taking prayer out of government schools! 🙂

    Now, why can’t they get that foreign policy can have negative consequences?

    Perhaps if they had not taken prayer out of school then the Iraq war would be going much better now…

  100. Forget about controlling immigration under this scheme.

    Actually, it would make it much easier to control immigration. The only land border of the Canada-US-Mexico conglomerate would be the northern border of Guatemala, which is much shorter than either of the land borders we deal with now.

  101. Oh yeah, {looks at world map on wall} it would also border Belize. But still a very short border.

  102. “Because we were dropping bombs on Iraq in the 90s,…”

    Yes, and because a U.S. Secretary of State said in a “60 Minutes” interview that “We think the price is worth it” if 500,000 Iraqi children died from sanctions…why should any Muslim be offended by that?

    After all, are 500,000 dead children so very many? In the bigger picture, I mean?

    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1084

  103. It’s good to hear you evil Ernst Rhoem types scream. Rudy got moonbat Ron Paul real well at the debate and Paul is done. He’s toast! I should vote for Rudy just to hear you degenerate anti-Semites scream.

  104. Er, I don’t think libertarians are for pandering to special interest groups to help create supranational bureaucracies.

    I’m just wondering what the Paul campaign meant by the quoted text. Is there really an insidious plot by unnamed special interest groups to fold the US, Canada and Mexico into a single nation?

  105. Undergog,

    Achtung! You’re on to us! Ve must eenstruct the New York Times to bash Israel some more, thus deestractink ze attention of ze gullible masses.

  106. Oops, I meant “*ze* New York Times,” not “*the* New York Times.”

  107. Is there really an insidious plot by unnamed special interest groups to fold the US, Canada and Mexico into a single nation?

    Some people, including Tancredo, believe there is. I had to Google to remember the name the conspiracy goes by: “North American Union”.

    By the way, doing a Google News search, looks like nobody else has reported Giuliani’s scholarly claim. Here’s a story that could inspire wondrous flights of mockery, and the mainstream media is dropping the ball.

  108. here is a good article about the North American Union and that road they want to build…

    http://www.rangemagazine.com/specialreports/07-sp-north-american-union.pdf

  109. The thing is Bin Laden told us exactly why they did it.

    1.Our troops in Saudi Arabia
    2.The Iraq sanctions (and bombings) were killing children
    2.The Israel situation

    I’m like a lot of you. I don’t see how the Guliani comment can be seen as a positive. He sounds like an uninformed idiot.

  110. Rudolph Guliani is the Valdimir Putin of the GOP. Gulinazi for czar.

  111. Ron Paul is a supporter of rock-ribbed constitutionalism.

    His debate shows that that approach of arch-ultra-constitutionalism can be a millstone around the neck of a taking forceful and wholly necessary measures against foreign and domestic enemies in times of national crisis or peril.

    Ron Paul’s approach would hamstring our country because it would negate the critical value of chief-executive leadership options that MUST be on the table for our president when America faces a global threat.

    We have to be pragmatic protectors of our state and its sovereign independence and act boldly and creatively to preserve America’s security and prosperity when they are under threat.

    If national leadership were 110% about adherence to the constitution, this country would be far too doctrine-bound and would be stunted and vulnerable as a result.

    Ron Paul has his place in the national debate in reminding Americans of their rights and liberties as citizens. But he has no business being anywhere NEAR a decision-making capacity in the war against islamist fascism.

    When 21st century dirty pool is initiated against us by islamist fanatics, there comes a time when we have to shut the book on Jefferson and Adams and put it on the side table, and do what we must to defend our lives and our country.

  112. I was a libertarian for years. I still send them my yearly dues just because i think they are a voice that should still be heard. Ironically, I stopped voting libertarian because most candidates were just godless, murdering abortion advocates. Ron paul actually opposses abortion. I always respected him for that in the libertarian sphere of things. However, then 9/11 occurred and i couldn’t listen to the “it’s americas fault” argument anymore.

  113. If Ron Paul had been President in 1940 then we’d all be ordering sushi in german.

    “Those Jews in Germany during WW2 really needed to take into consideration why the Nazis said they planned the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”, and reevaluate their hand in Germany’s defeat in WW1 and their effect on Germany’s economy!”

    /Ron Paul circa 1940.

  114. It’s revealing that most news reports saw Guiliani’s exchange with Paul as a convincing win for Guiliani.

    And it’s desperately sad that in “the land of the free” one of the very few defenders of freedom is viewed as a fringe candidate. No doubt Washington and Jefferson would be fringe candidates too.

  115. I am a registered Republican. I’ll vote for Ron Paul.

  116. Sorry, but in the current situation:

    Isolationist = Defeatist/Terrorist Appeaser

    I cannot vote for someone who would so readily give in to murderous thugs and not defend my country.

    We need someone strong who will fight and defeat the terrorists, not sit around and blame America to justify a bunch of religious fanatics.

  117. RealConservative, how is Ron Paul an isolationist? Pro-trade, pro-immigration (despite his pander), says he’d go after OBL, et. al.

    Regarding defending our country, it sounds like he’s not only all for it, but would have done a better job of it than the current administration and its boosters by not (further) invading a foreign country that was not a credible threat to us (unlike the Nazis).

  118. @RealConservative

    When 21st century dirty pool is initiated against us by islamist fanatics, there comes a time when we have to shut the book on Jefferson and Adams and put it on the side table, and do what we must to defend our lives and our country.

    Ok then, “RealConservative” – just what is it that you propose to conserve? You sound more like your interested in introducing some pretty radical changes to our traditional relationships between the state, the citizen, and the rest of the world than you are in conserving anything.

  119. How disappointing when reporters and audiences on the scene of the debate missed what really happened: Rudy Giuliani spoke out of turn, out of order, and not one Fox News moderator rebuked him as he
    1. Stole time from fellow candidates on the stage to reset his hero of 9/11/01 status and
    2. Bullied a strict constitutionalist, Mr. Ron Paul.
    That Rudy felt the need to pervert Mr. Ron Paul’s statement about foreign policy, and that he demanded Mr. Paul apologize for something he never said – reveals real mean-spiritedness on Mr. Giuliani’s part.
    Check out the video – part 6 of the GOP debates 5/15 South Carolina Fox News.
    Rudy lied about Ron Paul’s statement and the Fox moderators bought it along with the South Carolina audience.

    Ron Paul for President 2008
    if not sooner

  120. RealConservative –

    From 1781 to 1941, no foreign power attacked the United States.

    If anything, during that time period the only time anything came up was when we went looking for trouble.

    I haven’t heard anyone advocate not defending ourselves if attacked. All I’ve heard is the claim that involving ourselves intimately in the affairs of foreign nations, to the point where we are making and unmaking their governments, probably increases the likelihood that we will be attacked – and refraining from doing that will almost certainly decrease the likelihood of our being attacked.

    And you’ll have to do better than simply assert that following the Constitution ties the executive’s hands. After 9/11, if Bush wanted to attack Afghanistan and wanted to do so Constitutionally, all he had to do was ask for a declaration of war, which he certainly would have gotten. That doesn’t look like such a huge hurdle for the executive branch to get over in the course of defending the country. [Unless you mean that the pesky Bill of Rights ties the executive’s hands when defending the country, in which case you’re just a run of the mill fascist who doesn’t believe in freedom anyway.]

  121. Fluffy,
    Didn’t England attack us in 1810? Didn’t the barbary pirates attack our ships? Couldn’t some of the Indian nations be considered “foreign” to the USA?

    I mean you have a point and all, but still. I’m bored.

  122. We were attacked by England during the War of 1812, but otherwise, there weren’t any foreign powers invading US soil from then until Pearl Harbor.

    And if we can throw out the constitution in the name of protecting the country… then what? Note that the Supreme Court has clearly stated that constitutional powers remain, even in time of war (like, say, the Civil War…er….War of Northern Aggression (sorry, that’s the former North Carolina resident in me)). What do we do now that we’ve thrown out the constitution? When do we get it back?

    When the constitution was written, they didn’t add a clause that said “This document shall not apply in times of war”. There’s a reason for that.

  123. Fluffy,

    exactly right. If in Sept 01, Bush had gone on TV and told the nation that the next day he would ask the congress to declare war against Arghanistan, he would have got a 433-2 and 100-0 vote. Paul would have been in the 433.

    If, the next year, he had then asked for a declaration of war against Iraq, he may or may not have gotten it. And thats the way it should be. If he hadnt got it, he could have used it as an issue in the 2002 fall election and may have gotten it with a bigger GOP majority in 2003.

  124. Since RealCon brought up WW2, it is an example of why we can win the war in Iraq (we have) but the nation building is a disaster.

    In WW2 we completely demoralized the losers. Not just the governments, we destroyed the people. We nuked 2 cities in Japan to get them to accept the concept that their culture had lost and they must change.

    Nation building requires complete surrender by the enemy.

    Another problem is that the neighbors of Germany and Japan hated them. Iran/Saudi may hate Iraq but not as much as they hate us.

    And, also, the Germans and Japanese were basically “one people” while Iraq is a Sunni/Shiite/Kurd lack of mix.

  125. Anybody catch the Daily Show’s hilarious take on the Ron Paul vs. Rudy Giuliani, or their bit about the mainstream media denying their own poll results. No? I didn’t either, because the Daily Show didn’t mention any of it. Aaargh!

  126. If Ron Paul had been President in 1940 then we’d all be ordering sushi in german.

    Wow, RealConservative preemptively Godwinized his own comments!

  127. I rarely post twice in these comments, but I have to say eithe rreal conservative is just another insitigating troll or a proof positive that fascism can happen in America.

    He wants to toss out the consititution and give supreme powers to the executive all because a handfull of fanatical muslims got lucky enough to find a chink in our armour and kill 3,500 americans (and want to kill some more). He is either irrational or a fascist using this as an excuse.

    The constitution did not get thrown out to defeat the southern rebels, or the axis powers, but it stands in the way of beating a few thousand poorly armed but suicidal jihdists?

    If you are indeed a “real conservative” then all truly is lost, lets just make GWB king and get it over with.

    Skallagrim

    PS – before anyone says I am inconsiderate of the 3,500 lives or underestimate the terrorist threat, please note that I am hardly saying we should ignore it or not respond. I am saying what should be obvious to any rational person: it is not necessary to destroy the framework of american freedom to defeat this threat. Indeed, it would not be necessary to even remotely tamper with our freedom to defeat this threat if we had an administration capable of achieveing even a French level of competency.

  128. “If Ron Paul had been President in 1940 then we’d all be ordering sushi in german.”

    holy shit comment of the year!

  129. “When 21st century dirty pool is initiated against us by islamist fanatics, there comes a time when we have to shut the book on Jefferson and Adams and put it on the side table, and do what we must to defend our lives and our country.”

    TO DEFEND FREEDOM WE MUST DESTROY IT

    NEVAR FORGET!

  130. I hope RealConservative posts again soon. Watching him kick the shit out of all those strawmen is kinda fun.

  131. lets just make GWB king and get it over with.

    Umm, that would be Emperor Bush, thank you very much.

  132. Rudy has been making a killing off 9/11 for almost 6 years now.

    Rudy exploiting the victims of 9/11 for his financial ( averages $1 million/month for being “America’s mayor”)and political gain-

    makes me sick.

  133. If Ron Paul had been President in 1940 then we’d all be ordering sushi in german.

    Does anyone else read this and NOT hear John Belushi in your head?

  134. Rudy is a communist 60’s love in yankee big Government anti Constitutional rich idiot.
    (now let me tell you what I really think…)
    Conservatives Love their Constitution and their Country, and ROn Paul is the only one supporting it.

  135. The people who think that America suffered 9/11 because “they hate our freedom” are not only ignorant but also very arrogant. What the hell makes you think that America is the ONLY country in the world that is “free” and “democratic” and stresses gender equality etc … ?????????????

    By your reasoning Netherlands would be the first country to be wiped off the map … Netherlands is democratic, secular, plus a whole lot more liberal than America (hell even prostitution and cannabis are legal there!!!!).

    Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, Japan, South Korea … why aren’t these countries attacked??

    If Americans keep putting their heads in the sand and think that they are attacked just cos “they’re free” (even just saying it makes you realize how stupid and preposterous the comment is) then I’m sorry to say but you are only digging your own grave.

  136. Why would Bin Laden, as evil and mad as he might be, lie about the reasons that he attacked America??? -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpfiC8Fxlpg

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