Exposed: Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy Ignorance and Naivety

Among other qualities, a good presidential candidate must be knowledgeable and able to think outside the box; equally important, he must not be naïve or gullible — certainly not swallow everything the enemy says hook, line, and sinker.

During the recent Republican candidate debate, Congressman Ron Paul exhibited his ignorance and gullibility when the panel was asked “Do you plan to decrease Defense spending, to balance spending, or do you believe high spending is essential to security?”

After Paul explained how he was “tired of all the militarism that we are involved in,” and his plan on cutting back, he said, “But we’re under great threat, because we occupy so many countries….  The purpose of al Qaeda was to attack us, invite us over there, where they can target us….  but we’re there occupying their land.  And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we’re kidding ourselves.”

This is, of course, an old and well known narrative.

By questioning Paul, however, Rick Santorum exposed the latter’s problematic foreign policy approach:

On your [Paul’s] Web site on 9/11, you had a blog post that basically blamed the United States for 9/11.  On your Web site, yesterday, you said that it was our actions that brought about the actions of 9/11.  Now, Congressman Paul, that is irresponsible.  The president of the United States — someone who is running for the president of the United States in the Republican Party should not be parroting what Osama bin Laden said on 9/11.  We should have — we are not being attacked and we were not attacked because of our actions.  We were attacked, as Newt [Gingrich] talked about, because we have a civilization that is antithetical to the civilization of the jihadists [full transcript here].

After rejecting Santorum’s thesis, Paul made his fatal blunder:

Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been explicit — they have been explicit, and they wrote and said that we attacked America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians fair treatment, and you have been bombing –  [audience booing] I didn’t say that.  I’m trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing.

This exchange clearly revealed Paul’s lack of knowledge concerning the nature of the enemy.  It’s one thing for some Americans to believe that the source of all conflict is the United State’s presence in some countries, it’s quite another for a potential president to think, and speak, this way.

Ironically, Paul even contradicted himself: minutes earlier, when discussing the need to cut back on the military, he complained that we had a military presence in 130 countries — bringing to mind the question: if U.S. military presence is the source of problems, why haven’t these countries lashed out?

But what’s worse is Paul’s naivety — that he would actually swallow and regurgitate verbatim the propaganda al-Qaeda has been dishing for years, to wit,  “Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been explicit — they have been explicit, and they wrote and said”; and “I’m trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing.”

Did it ever occur to the Congressman that al-Qaeda could be, um, lying?  Had he bothered to juxtapose al-Qaeda’s propaganda to the West — which indeed does amount to blaming U.S. foreign policy for their terrorism — with the other things “they wrote and said,” he would be learn their ultimate motives.

For example, for all his talk that U.S. “occupation” is the heart of the problem, shortly after the 9/11 strikes, Osama bin Laden wrote in confidence to fellow Muslims:

Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue — one that demands our total support, with power and determination, with one voice — and it is: Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam: [1] either willing submission [conversion]; [2] or payment of the jizya, through physical, though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; [3] or the sword — for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die. (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 42)

This medieval threefold choice, then — conversion, subjugation, or the sword — is the ultimate source of conflict, not U.S foreign policy (see also “Reciprocal Treatment or Religious Obligation” which compares al-Qaeda’s messages to the West with its internal messages to Muslims, documenting all the contradictions).

The good news is that, if Paul is ignorant and naïve regarding al-Qaeda and its motives, based on all the loud booing he received, increasing numbers of Americans are not.

  • BrooklynChick

    Why don’t you take your fear/hate mongering to Israel. Those people seem to love indiscriminate killing. They also like to make excuses for their blood lust. Israel is a neo-con’s dream.

    • M.J.

      The Jews love indiscriminate killing? But it's ok when terrorists send rockets over to Israeli neighborhoods hoping to inflict as much suffering as possible. Why don't you volunteer to be a hamas human shield? I hear they're hiring. I pray Psalm 109 for you.

    • gray man

      Hmm… woman from brooklyn… that explains the ignorance.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Show me a useful idiot leftist afflicted with leftwing senile disease who is gullible enough to side with the so-called Palestinians that were created as a disinformation campaign to camouflage the Islamic world's permanent genocidal jihad of conquest being waged perpetually againt the Jewish unbelievers in Israel under a cloak of nationalism, like Muslims that believe in world Caliphate would actually care about nationalism, and I'll show you someone who is a complete ignoramus not only with respect to Islam and Muslims, but also regarding politics, as adherence to Marxism is nothing but insanity as just like clockwork it has inevitably failed every time it has been attempted without a single exception.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    “Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue — one that demands our total support, with power and determination, with one voice — and it is: Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam: [1] either willing submission [conversion]; [2] or payment of the jizya, through physical, though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; [3] or the sword — for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die. (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 42)”

    Read it and weep you unhinged self-hating Ron Paul blame America first anarcho-kooks. Not to mention that the notion that the 9/11 jihad attacks were America's chickens coming home to roost based on something that happened way back in 1953 in a Shiite majority country no less, not only completely misrepresents history, but also it indicates that anyone that is dumb enough believe that garbage is truly severely mentally handicapped. Meanwhile, I can't figure out who is more unhinged: self-hating delusional leftist afflicted with leftwing senility disease like the loon above or unhinged self-hating blame America first Ron Paul anarcho-kooks. Indeed, it is a close race and one that is too close to call.

  • Alan

    This is obviously a slanted argument, to which really unveils your disdain for facts. If anybody truly wants to understand the cause of terrorism and suicide bombing motive, you need to look at the ONLY study that's been explicitly devoted to this subject. You'd be surprised to find that the same government who claims to want to do whatever it takes to protect Americans, and curb terrorist attacks, The United States government, didn't even factor in the question of motive. This question was raised by a political science professor from the university of Chicago. The study is the most comprehensive in depth analysis on the topic, one of a kind literally. The DOD ended up funding the study because they realized they had no study of their own into the topic. Which I found disturbing to say the least. Anybody interested in the topic of terrorism, suicide bombing motives, and overall what we should know to keep our children safe, should really look into this study. If your not a big reader, there is a video on YouTube where Robert Pape explains in detail what exactly the data has found. I totally thought Ron Paul was a kook on the foreign policy issue, but the numbers don't lie. But I can admit when I'm wrong and to my surprise, Islamic extremism isn't even the leading cause of suicide bombing. And over 95% of suicide bombing is caused in defiance of foreign occupation. This study is unbelievably detailed, and it's one every American should see.