--- lynn <[address removed]> wrote:
> Rudy Giuliani Vs. Ron Paul, and Reality Wed May 16, 12:29 AM
> The Nation -- Rudy Giuliani made clear in Tuesday night's
> Republican presidential debate that he is not ready to let the facts
> get in the way of his approach to foreign policy.
(Original URL for The Nation story is
Sadly, although The Nation came out in favor of Ron Paul's position,
both Paul and The Nation muddled the relationship between 9/11, bin
Laden, and the continuous bombing of Iraq that escalated starting in
I think Paul understood the relationships, but just couldn't articulate
the details given the time limitations, the pressure he was under, and
the hostility the Fox News "moderators". The Nation had the luxury of
time and should have explained it.
The relationship between the long-term bombing of Iraq (under the guise
of enforcing "no-fly zones") and bin Laden's motive (if he in fact
involved in 9/11) wasn't that bin Laden was sympathetic to the Iraqis.
It was that bin Laden wanted the U.S. military bases, from which the
bombing of Iraq was being conducted, out of his home country, Saudi
Arabia. Bin Laden was in political exile because he objected to the
puppet government in Saudi Arabia controlled by the U.S. This
distinction of motive is crucial lest we forget the absurdity of the
notion that Bin Laden was cooperating with Saddam Hussein. They were
enemies -- Saddam was expanding his borders with military might into
Kuwait and possible bin Laden's home country of Saudi Arabia. This,
combined with the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (which Rice
herself claimed in 2000 was a reason Saddam was no threat), were the
lynchpin arguments of the antiwar movement in 2002. These crucial
arguments are often forgotten now that it turned out WMD's were not
Giuliani's strawman characterization of Paul's statement was "that we
invited the [Sep. 11] attack because we were attacking Iraq". Of
course that notion is absurd. But it's not what Paul was saying. Paul
was speaking in generalities and Giuliani concocted a specific strawman
out of thin air to bat down.
Paul's first generality was that he used the present tense: "They
attack us because we've been over there". I.e. he wasn't referring
only to the Sep. 11 attack, although this came across a little muddled
because his immediately previous statement was in fact referring to
Sep. 11 before he generalized it in this subsequent statement.
Paul's second generality was that he referred to the region, not just
Iraq: "We've been in the Middle East [for years]". Later, in his
direct rebuttal to Giuliani, he referred to 1950's Iran in particular:
"I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and
talk about blowback. When we went into Iran in 1953 and installed the
shah, yes, there was blowback. A reaction to that was the taking of our
hostages and that persists."
Paul's third generality was that he was referring to attacks on our
servicemen, not just terrorist attacks per se. This came immediately
prior to Giuliani's strawman when Paul referred to bin Laden's glee
over the killing of our servicemen in the Iraq war, now numbering over
3400 servicement dead.
Paul's fourth generality was that he was referring to actions extending
back decades, not just recent events. There was the aforementioned
reference to 1950's Iran, but also earlier in this second debate (and
even in the first debate) Paul referred to the 1983 attack on the
Marines in Beirut as being a result of the U.S. being in the Middle
Paul's thesis is that meddling in the Middle East, in general, creates
hostility against U.S. military bases and against the U.S. itself.
Giuliani latched onto some of Paul's phrases taken out of context --
namely, one attack of many on the part of the U.S. (long-term bombing
of Iraq) and one attack of many against the U.S. (Sep. 11) -- and drew
up a strawman of these two attacks in isolation linked together.
Paul's fine response to this strawman was to present two clearly linked
attacks (deposing the Shah, with the retribution being the Iran hostage
crisis), but this rebuttal has gone unreported in the mass media.
The full transcript of the debate can be seen at