The real Ron Paul stands up

By Katie Kieffer

Ron Paul delivers the key note address at the Republican Liberty Caucus of California held at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles

Ron Paul delivers the key note address at the Republican Liberty Caucus of California held at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles. Image credit: Michael Villarmia on Flickr via Creative Commons.

May I have your attention please? Will the real Ron Paul please stand up? I repeat, will the real Ron Paul please stand up?

I keep hearing the same three rumors about Paul: He blames America for 9/11, he’s anti-Israel and he’s pro-Iran. So, who is the real Ron Paul?

Does he blame America for 9/11?

No, he’s very patriotic. Bob Schieffer recently interviewed Paul on CBS Face the Nation: “I wanna ask you some questions … and I wanna start with foreign policy because your statements over the years … suggest that you believe that 9/11 happened because of actions that the United States took. Is that correct?”

Paul answered: “Well, I think there is an influence. And that’s exactly what, you know, the 9/11 Commission said, that’s what the DOD has said and that’s also what the CIA has said and that’s what a lot of researchers have said. … America is you and I and we didn’t cause it, the average American didn’t cause it. … I’m saying [American foreign] policies have an affect but that’s a far cry from blaming America.”

Chalmers Johnson, CIA consultant from 1967–1973, concurs with Paul: ‘The suicidal assassins of September 11, 2001, did not “attack America,” as our political leaders and the news media like to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy.’

Johnson says the CIA coined the term “blowback” as “a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government’s international activities that have been kept secret from the American people.”

You might ask: Blowback? For what? Isn’t America “a beacon for freedom” as President George W. Bush said immediately after the 9/11 attacks? Certainly our Constitution is a beacon for freedom. Paul simply maintains that the unintended consequences of our current foreign policy are that we provoke violent retaliation while we accrue substantial debt and lose precious American lives.

The final 9/11 Commission Report validates Paul’s concern about blowback: ‘Defense Secretary William Cohen told us Bin Ladin’s training camps were primitive, built with “rope ladders”; General Shelton called them “jungle gym” camps. Neither thought them worthwhile targets for very expensive missiles. President Clinton and Berger also worried about the Economist’s point—that attacks that missed Bin Ladin could enhance his stature and win him new recruits. After the United States launched air attacks against Iraq at the end of 1998 and against Serbia in 1999, in each case provoking worldwide criticism, Deputy National Security Advisor James Steinberg added the argument that attacks in Afghanistan offered “little benefit, lots of blowback against [a] bomb-happy U.S.”’

Moreover, if Paul’s foreign policy is anti-America, why has he outpaced McCain, Romney and Gingrich in individual active military contributions? Timothy Egan writes in The New York Times: “Not even a full 1 percent of Americans are active-duty military. … Yet, these soldiers, sailors, air men and women, and assorted boots on the ground know the cost … of going to war far more than the 99 percent not currently serving. Where they put their money in a campaign … says a great deal.”

Ron Paul

Image credit: “Ron Paul” by Ryan Lµdwig on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Is he anti-Israel?

Hardly. Paul wants to improve America’s foreign policy to suit Israel’s best interest.

Cato Institute research fellow Leon Hadar advised Paul on foreign policy during his 2008 campaign. He recently wrote in Israel’s news source Haaretz that Paul: “has a profound knowledge of Jewish history, admires Israel and follows its political and economic developments with great interest.”

Paul told NewsMax: ‘Stop and consider America’s policy: We give $3 billion a year to Israel in loans; and we give $12 billion or more in assistance to Israel’s self-declared enemies. Some of these are countries that say they will drive Israel into the sea. … Foreign aid does not help Israel. It is a net disadvantage. I say to them that “the borrower is servant to the lender” and America should never be the master of Israel and its fate. We should be her friend.’

He added: “In October, 1981, most of the world and most of the Congress voiced outrage over Israel’s attack on Iraq and their nuclear development. I was one of the few who defended her right to make her own decisions on foreign policy and to act in her own self-interest.”

Says Michael Scheuer, the former CIA chief who led the unit tracking Osama bin Laden: “until we accept that our support of the Saudi police state, our military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq and Yemen, our support for the Israelis – until we understand that those policies are the main recruitment tools for the enemy, we will never get a grip on the size, the durability and the potential of that enemy.”

Paul’s foreign policy positions and his call for neutrality toward Israel stem from his awareness of analyses from America’s most experienced terrorism-fighters like Scheuer. Ultimately, I believe Paul sees neutrality as the best route to prioritize America’s economic and security interests, prevent global “blowback” and respect Israel’s sovereignty.

Is he pro-Iran?

No. He is concerned that current U.S. foreign policies may aggravate Iran toward asymmetric vengeance, yielding blowback rather than security for America.

Paul’s preference for leveraging amicable neutrality and aggressive diplomacy tactics toward Iran is often construed as supporting Iran. He simply questions how realistic a nuclear bomb threat is from Iran. He told CBS, “Iran doesn’t have a bomb; there’s no proof, there’s no new information regardless of this recent [U.N.] report.”

Indeed, the U.N.’s report only relayed vague suspicions regarding Iran’s nuclear projects and an unclassified “Report on Military Power of Iran” from our own Department of Defense dated April 2010 conveys that Iran’s nuclear goals are defensive rather than aggressive in nature: “Iran’s principles of military strategy include deterrence, asymmetrical retaliation and attrition warfare. Iran’s nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy.”

Paul also believes that “sanctions are the initial step to war” and we risk blowback by levying heavy sanctions on Iran based on our fear of their nuclear projects. Indeed, no sooner had the Obama administration prepared harsh economic sanctions than Iran retaliated by vowing to close the gateway for nearly one fifth of the world’s oil supply—the Strait of Hormuz.

Misconstruing Paul’s foreign policy views and leveling him with ad-hominem attacks is intellectually intolerant and nonstrategic if we want to defeat Obama’s socialist policies in 2012. For, the GOP nominee (whoever they are) will need the support of the independent voters who embrace Paul’s philosophy. Let’s follow Reagan’s example by setting rumors aside, focusing on our goal, and ceasing groundless attacks on one of our own. Now, will the real Ron Paul please stand up?

A supporter shows off her Ron Paul yard sign.

A supporter shows off her Ron Paul yard sign. Image credit: Michael Villarmia on Flickr via Creative Commons.

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  1. TJ says:


    It was refreshing to read your article. I thought it was well written. I recently wrote an article for the American Thinker in an attempt to clarify similar misconceptions about Ron Paul's younger supporters.


  2. Robert Fallin says:

    Excellent article, Katie.

  3. Sophocles says:

    Stereopirate, it seems we didn't need to protect our oil interests with troops in Iraq until immediately after 9/11. Somehow, after being attacked by terrorist we suddenly realized that a troop presence in Iraq was necessary to protect our oil interests in the region. Before 9/11 this presence was unnecessary? Your comments indicate you did not understand the import behind this article and a lack of any alternatives to your complaints other than drilling at home which Ms. Kieffer has articulated in the past.

  4. stereopirate says:

    This gets so incredibly tiring. Look, I am a Libertarian. I hate foreign wars. I believe that we need to pull back and reassess how we influence the world through our foreign policy. But Ron Paul and his nut job fringe supports that follow him hook line and sinker without question display an incredible amount of ignorance when it comes to the middle east that it is frightening. This post and his supporters continue to try to maintain that these poor little Middle Eastern countries just don't like those big bad Americans and their foreign policies. There is an undertone here that these people can be reasoned with. The truth is that this area of the world and many of its governments are motivated by religious dogma so ingrained that reason is no where in sight. Look at the leaders of Iran and look up what they call the return of the 12th Imam. It is basically their savior who cannot come back until the world is thrown into chaos and cleaned in blood. The leaders of Iran believe that they are the ones to usher in this period. This doesn't go away if the US pulls its troops out of the region (not saying we shouldn't). When and if the US loses its position in th world as the lone super power, they move on to blaming the next big kid on the block. And this notion that we should be neutral in regard to Israel is insane. I am not suggesting that we fight their wars for them, but we should be very clearly in their corner. They are THE ONLY BEACON OF ANY SEMBLANCE OF FREEDOM IN THE REGION. The most free Muslims in the Middle East are Israeli citizens. It is in our best interest to encourage (not force) other countries to be free. Current Iran should never be viewed the same at as Israel. This idea of Paul's that we pull all our troops home tomorrow is idiotic. Like it or not, we are dependent on oil from that region and it behooves us to protect that interest. If we want to get out entirely, then we start drilling at home, reduce or eliminate our need for foreign oil, and pull out. It is that simple. We just need the balls to start drilling at home.

    • Olaler says:

      If you want to know how to deal with the Arabs, look at Israel. They're probably the smartest people in the world (one reason they're envied) . My friends and I support Israel. They thought it was terrible they pulled out of the West Bank. I told them that Israel knew what they were doing. Arabs have a wild streak ( from Ishmael ). They have to fight somebody- if the Jews or Americans aren't around, they will fight among themselves. What happened after they left?- Hamas and Abbas had a civil war. The doctor just seems to be using common sense ( which is unusual for a PHD ).

    • Bluegrana says:

      Ron Paul supporters know a lot more than you do. Israel is not the only Democracy in the middle east. Lebanon is another democratic free country in that area and has been for a long time. Also look at the recent uprisings in those countries. they want freedom, they like democracy. But what can they do if most of them are being ruled by tyrants, well they are doing something about it now.
      What you said about religion does not make sense. Every religion has its nuts ex: 2011 Norway attacks.

    • Jordan says:

      @ Stereopirate: You might be a "Libertarian" (member of the Libertarian Party), but you are surely no "libertarian" (subscriber to the libertarian philosophy). Your argument firmly establishes you as a Neo-Conservative. This is not up for argument: the points which you make are simply incompatible with the libertarian philosophies of freedom, non-aggression, and non-intervention. Sure, the Libertarian Party gutted many of its central policy planks, despite previous adherence to principle over all, in the interest of winning elections; and perhaps you match the political classification of Libertarian, in reference to the party. You absolutely do NOT satisfy the definition of "libertarian". Therefore, I kindly ask that you refrain from hijacking our philosophy.

  5. mfisher says:

    Ron Paul may be the only candidate willing to steer clear of war with Iran – the only one who, as a Jeffersonian Constitutionalist, is willing to point out the wrongs of both liberal WARFARE programs as well as liberal welfare programs: State Department entanglements as the ethical twin of social security entitlements where our founding principles are concerned.

  6. Angelo S says:

    Great article.
    Ron Paul's endgame is always liberty.

    You can play a major role with your talent and abilities.

    I think 2012 Is About Abolishing Slavery In America

    I think Ron Paul's aim is to abolish the debt slavery & tax bondage of the FED/IRS Complex.

    Over the last 100 years of slavery we have gradually lost most of what America set out to be, do and have.

    We are not free. We are slaves.

    Put aside all of the non-essential issues and focus on abolishing slavery.

    Let's start there.

    Our first priority is to regain our liberty, peace and prosperity.

    This is the narrative, the context for all of my campaign communications with others. It shuts down all of the nattering and competitiveness over the flavor-of-the-month candidates.

    No other candidate is cognizant of, or focused on abolishing the crushing debt slavery and tax bondage as a social issue.

    Without our liberty, nothing else matters.

    None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
    – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  7. Wild-Blue says:

    Wonderful article Katie, thank you!

  8. john says:

    This is a great article with real research.

  9. briank says:

    Great article,

    now, if you could just get Rush, Shaun, Levin and Savage to quit piping the Eastern Old boys club rhetoric and start thinking for themselves.

    They all say, "he's unelectable, but I believe he is the only candidate for president we have had that is consistantly pro American. The others haven't even got a plan, they are not willing to put their plan before the puplic for scrutiny, and are willing to continue on in the spending the USA into oblivion.

    It's time we get some men with hair on their chest. Why is it that the women are the only ones with strength of character enough to go against the tide that has failed us year after year.

    Again great job, you could teach the big boys a thing or two with checking their facts and stop speaking from their emotion and speak with all the facts lined up as you have so "fair and balanced" done.

  10. Sandy Sanders says:

    I just blogged about your article here at Virginia Right!


    Thanks for your article!

    PS: Feel free to connect to or use any of our stuff at Virginia Right.

    Sandy Sanders

  11. Lodzia says:

    This has got to be one of your best! You really did a great job of presenting the facts about Ron Paul that are ALWAYS taken out of content or exaggerated. Your research and facts are RIGHT ON!

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