First of all, let's review Ron Paul's comments at the second Republican presidential debate. When asked about about whether or not the terrorist attacks on the U.S. had "altered his view" of the aggressive American foreign policy, Paul responded:
"Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attacked us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East -- I think Reagan was right. We don't understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. Right now, we're building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than the Vatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us."
Paul was then quizzed by Fox News's Wendell Goler, who asked, "Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?"
"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, killed 3,400 of our men, and I don't think it was necessary."Without getting into the various 9/11 conspiracy theories, some of which are meant to absolve foreign involvement and blame the "American government," let us look at the purported speech of Bin Laden's that was released on October 29, 2004, in which he clearly accepts responsibility for 9/11 - and states that the attacks will continue, essentially because the "enemy" has not learned his lesson.
Since I am very concerned about continued attacks on American soil as well as the aftermath of such decimation - to wit, America being "bled" into bankruptcy and subsequently overtaken - I do believe we need to heed Ron Paul's advice and pay close attention to what Bin Laden is saying, if there's any chance that by doing so we can avoid such attacks. In other words, we ignore Bin Laden's words at our own peril, as he is clearly spelling out his intentions.
If this 2004 speech is authentic and is accurately translated, it is evident that Bin Laden is not an uneducated hick but, rather, an intelligent person who is very much aware of numerous aspects of politics. His observations regarding the Bush dynasty seem to be uncannily accurate - few people outside of the extreme Right would not recognize the self-interests of the Washingtonian powermongers in the policy towards Iraq. Bin Laden is probably correct in surmising that Bush is after complete control of Iraqi oil - after all, Bush is an oil man.
From the perspective of a savvy person in Iraq, it would certainly seem that the aggression against that nation had much to do with financial gain, rather than the outward humanitarian appearance of being concerned for the Iraqi people - or the fallacious excuse of looking for "weapons of mass destruction." Knowing this fact, one could easily make the case that the American government, et al., had absolutely no altruistic reasons for making a move on Iraq - and this fact could understandably cause some people to become upset if not irate. Factor in other policies around the world, and we can understand precisely what Ron Paul is saying.
I do not believe Ron Paul is at all claiming that "we invited the attack." First of all, who's "we?" It's too bad Paul used that language in describing U.S. foreign policy, because "we" certainly didn't have anything to do with it. The U.S. government did, but I for one did not vote for those characters, and I do not include myself in the "we" bit of their policies. In any event, Paul is not saying "we invited it." He's saying, as far as I can tell, "If you want to know why these people did what they did, take a close look at what they're saying is the reason they did what they did."
In other words, they're saying "we invited it." There's a subtle but important difference. If one reads the speech by Osama Bin Laden - again, assuming it's authentic and accurately translated - he clearly spells out the reasons why the Twin Towers were attacked: Because of previous aggressions in predominantly Arab and/or Muslim countries that have killed thousands of men, women and especially children. That's what Bin Laden said was the motive for the attacks, not "because they hate our freedoms." Here are some pertinent excerpts from the Bin Laden speech of 2004:
I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.Accordingly, in his mind Bin Laden's continuous aggressions against Western agencies over the past several years have been in retaliation for the destruction of Arab and/or Muslim peoples and interests by the selfsame Western agencies. The reason for the 9/11 attacks given by Bin Laden is that the assaults which left so many people dead were "unbearable oppressions." When he describes the situation in this manner, with graphic images of the mass killing of children, we can understand the impetus for the assault on American interests. While I do not know the facts he bases his allegations on concerning "Bush Sr." being responsible for "millions" of deaths or the "greatest mass slaughter of children mankind has ever known" - by not only warfare but also starvation, perhaps? - if such allegations are true, the angry reaction would be understandable. Certainly, the previous aggressions in Iraq left some pretty hideous developments, including the results of depleted uranium that almost no one is discussing.
The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.
I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.
The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond.
In those difficult moments many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.
And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.
And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance.
This means the oppressing and embargoing to death of millions as Bush Sr did in Iraq in the greatest mass slaughter of children mankind has ever known, and it means the throwing of millions of pounds of bombs and explosives at millions of children—also in Iraq—as Bush Jr did, in order to remove an old agent and replace him with a new puppet to assist in the pilfering of Iraq's oil and other outrages.
So with these images and their like as their background, the events of September 11th came as a reply to those great wrongs, should a man be blamed for defending his sanctuary?
Now, back to Ron Paul and his advice: Point well taken, Congressman Paul, and once again you've proved yourself a highly intelligent man entirely worthy of consideration to lead the American nation. In listening to what the "enemy" is saying about his reasons for aggression, we can learn how to avoid further attacks and to prevent his stated intention from becoming reality. What is this stated intention? To quote Bin Laden:
"So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah."Perhaps we can prevent this frightening decimation not by kowtowing or capitulating to counter-aggressions but by applying a more sane and less destructive policy towards other nations. Regardless of whether or not the move into Iraq can be ethically supported, the fact is that it has been handled very badly all around. If the American nation is so sophisticated, surely there is a better and more intelligent way to conduct itself than pounding the crap out of poor people half way around the world.
Maybe Ron Paul has the answer to this sad quandary - at this juncture in history, with such an atrocious mess on our hands, I for one am more than willing to listen to his seemingly sane voice of reason. And to gladly vote for Paul if we are lucky enough to have him make it that far.