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At NRO’s “The Corner,” John Podhoretz has some advice for any blogger looking to increase traffic to his site: insult Ron Paul. He explains: ‘There’s a whole mess of folks out there who seem to do nothing with their lives but send text messages to secure Ron Paul victories in cable-news polls, monitor Ron Paul commentary and publish magazines with “Win a Dream Date With Ron Paul” contests.’
Well, I’m not going to insult Ron Paul. I’m going to do him the courtesy of taking his statements seriously.
At the debate held on Fox News between the Republican presidential candidates, Mr. Paul caused quite a stir by implying that the United States invited the 9/11 attacks by “bombing Iraq for ten years.” By which he means, I suppose, that the repeated Iraqi violations of the no-fly zones–established to protect the Kurds and Shiites from Saddam Hussein–should have been ignored.
Jonah Goldberg does a nice take-down of Paul’s argument here.
And here’s how Lew Rockwell defends Ron Paul. (Rockwell uses words like “fascist” and “Nazi” to describe the audience at the debate, so he gets extra points for some serious thinking!)
When asked point-blank if he believed that the U.S. invited the 9/11 attacks, Ron Paul responded:
I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it, and they are delighted that we’re over there because Osama bin Laden has said, ‘I am glad you’re over on our sand because we can target you so much easier.’ They have already now since that time – have killed 3,400 of our men, and I don’t think it was necessary.
…and I’m suggesting that he ducked the question.
I also note that Ron Paul evidently believes that if bin Laden says he’s glad the US is in Iraq, then he must really be glad. I’m not sure the country needs a President who believes everything any foreign power says, and certainly not the head of a world-wide terror organization.
What else did Ron Paul say during that debate?
They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there. I mean, what would we think if we were – if other foreign countries were doing that to us?
So, for Ron Paul, isolationism is the answer. In his worldview, all we need to do as a country to be safe and secure is to withdraw entirely from the rest of the world. No reference, by the way to what we’re doing “over there.” Paul has a problem with being “over there” at all. In any capacity.
As for the “how would we like it?” argument, well, it’s ridiculous. We are not systematically massacring segments of our population, nor are we hosting and training terrorist groups bent on the destruction of every democracy on earth. That Paul thinks this argument is a winner shows how little he thinks of America.
By the way, just so you know, I haven’t seen either of these debates (my basic, basic cable package doesn’t include either FOX News or MSNBC) but I’ve followed them on-line. I’d like to point out that I think it’s great that the Republican party is displaying the large size of its “tent” by including a person like Ron Paul in these debates. And I think it’s a shame that that point hasn’t even been mentioned by the press.
Can you imagine how the media would be crowing about the “diversity” of the Democratic candidates if one of them was a 6’4″ black transvestite?
(There. If that doesn’t increase my traffic, Podhoretz was wrong.)