Dr. Ron Paul Makes Sense (On U.S. Foreign Policy)
Compilation of Congressman Ron Paul at the Fourth GOP Presidential Debate held in the Whittemore Center at the University of New Hampshire on September 5th, 2007.
Transcript: Republican Presidential Primary Debate (Ron Paul)
WALLACE: Congressman Paul…
Congressman Paul, your position on the war is pretty simple: Get out.
What about, though, trying to minimize the bloodbath that would certainly occur if we pull out in a hurry? What about protecting the thousands of Iraqis who have staked their lives in backing the U.S.? And would you leave troops in the region to take out any al Qaeda camps that are developed after we leave?
PAUL: The people who say there will be a bloodbath are the ones who said it will be a cakewalk or it will be a slam dunk, and that it will be paid for by oil. Why believe them? They’ve been wrong on everything they’ve said.
PAUL: So why not ask the people…
… why not ask the people who advised not to go into the region and into the war? The war has not gone well one bit.
Yes, I would leave. I would leave completely. Why leave the troops in the region? It was the fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia — was one of the three reasons given for the attack on 9/11.
So why leave them in the region? They don’t want our troops on the Arabian Peninsula. We have no need for our national security to have troops on the Arabian Peninsula.
And going into Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening Iran is the worst thing we can do for our national security. I am less safe, the American people are less safe for this.
It’s the policy that is wrong. Tactical movements and shifting troops around and taking in the 30 more and reducing by five — totally irrelevant.
We need a new foreign policy that said we ought to mind our own business, bring our troops home, defend this country, defend our borders…
WALLACE: Congressman Paul — and I’d like you to take 30 seconds to answer this — you’re basically saying that we should take our marching orders from Al Qaida? If they want us off the Arabian Peninsula, we should leave?
PAUL: I’m saying we should take our marching orders from our Constitution. We should not go to war…
PAUL: We should not go to war without a declaration. We should not go to war when it’s an aggressive war. This is an aggressive invasion. We’ve committed the invasion of this war. And it’s illegal under international law.
That’s where I take my marching orders, not from any enemy.
PAUL: Can I respond…
HUME (?): Go ahead. You wanted to respond. He just addressed you. You go ahead and respond.
PAUL: The American people didn’t go in. A few people advising this administration, a small number of people called the neoconservatives hijacked our foreign policy. They’re responsible, not the American people. They’re not responsible. We shouldn’t punish them.
HUCKABEE: Congressman, we are one nation. We can’t be divided. We have to be one nation, under god. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country: the United States of America, not the divided states of America.
PAUL: No, when we make a mistake — when we make a mistake, it is the obligation of the people, through their representatives, to correct the mistake, not to continue the mistake.
HUCKABEE: And that’s what we do on the floor of the Senate.
PAUL: No, we’ve dug a hole for ourselves and we’ve dug a hole for our party. We’re losing elections and we’re going down next year if we don’t change it, and it has all to do with foreign policy and we have to wake up to this fact.
HUCKABEE: Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor, and that is more important (inaudible) the Republican Party.
PAUL: We have lost over 5,000 Americans killed in — we’ve lost over 5,000 Americans over there in Afghanistan, in Iraq and plus the civilians killed. How many more you want to lose? How long are you going to be there?
How long — what do we have to pay to save face? That’s all we’re doing, is saving face. It’s time we came home.
HUME: Gentleman, thank you.
WALLACE: Congressman Paul, your answer is to cut both taxes and spending. You say that you would eliminate the IRS, the CIA, the Federal Reserve, the Department of Homeland Security, …
WALLACE: I know that you used to want to end the FBI. I’m not sure whether you still support that idea, sir. Perhaps you can tell us. But if you get rid of the CIA, let alone the FBI, how would President Paul have any idea, any intelligence of what our enemies, foreign and domestic, are up to?
PAUL: Well, you might ask a better question. Before 9/11, we were spending $40 billion a year, and the FBI was producing numerous information about people being trained on airplanes, to fly them but not land them. And they totally ignored them.
So it’s the inefficiency of the bureaucracy that is the problem. So, increasing this with the Department of Homeland Security and spending more money doesn’t absolve us of the problem. Yes, we have every right in the world to know something about intelligence gathering. But we have to have intelligent people interpreting this information.
PAUL: But you know, just going for increasing presidential powers, as has been discussed, is rather disturbing to me. This whole idea that we’re supposed to sacrifice liberty for security, we’re advised against that. Don’t we remember that when you sacrifice liberty for security, you lose both? That’s what’s happening in this country today.
PAUL: We have — we have a national ID card on our doorsteps, it is being implemented right now. We have FISA courts. We have warrantless searches. We’ve lost habeas corpus. We’ve had secret prisons around the world and we have torture going on.
That’s un-American, and we need to use the power of the presidency to get it back in order, in order to take care of us and protect this country and our liberties.
HUME: And we are back, from the University of New Hampshire and the Whittemore Center Arena, known to all here in Durham as the WIC.
This round of questions is going to be based on a scenario which we think is quite plausible, that any of you as president might well end up facing. It concerns Iran.
And these are the circumstances: It’s nuclear program has continued to advance. U.N. weapons inspectors are now saying that it appears that Iran is on the verge of being able to produce and may even be producing nuclear weapons.
Iran has suspended its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear agency and asked the inspectors to leave the country.
Cross-border incidents in Iraq involving elements of the Revolutionary Guards have continued to increase and are a continuing problem for U.S. forces there and for the Iraqis as well.
HUME: The U.N. Security Council has imposed some economic sanctions on Iran, but has refused to authorize the use of force against that country. In addition, the threats by Iran’s leader against Israel have become more pronounced and more extreme. What do you do?
PAUL: Well, one thing I would remember very clearly is the president doesn’t have the authority to go to war.
HUME: So what…
PAUL: He goes to the Congress.
HUME: … do you do? So what do you do?
PAUL: He goes to the Congress and finds out if there’s any threat to our national security. And thinking back to the 1960s, when I was in the Air Force for five years, and there was a Cold War going on, and the Soviets had 40,000, and we stood them down, and we didn’t have to have a nuclear confrontation, I would say that we should go very cautiously.
We should back off. We should be talking to Iran right now. We shouldn’t be looking for the opportunity to attack them. They are at the present time, according to the IAEA, cooperating. And by the end of the year, they’re supposed to be willing to reveal all that they are doing.
PAUL: So instead of looking for this scenario where it is inevitable that we have to attack, I think that we ought to be talking about how to get along with some people that are deadly, like the Soviets and the Chinese and the many others. We don’t have to resort to war every single time there is a confrontation.
They are not a threat to Israel. Israel has 200 or 300 nuclear missiles, and they can take care of themselves. So you shouldn’t assume that we have to jump in and go to war, and we certainly shouldn’t do it without the consent of the Congress.
HUME: Thank you, sir, thank you.
[More: Open Letter to Fox News]
Jon Stewart summarizing current U.S. foreign policy:
The $30.4 billion being promised to Israel is $9.1 billion more than Israel has received over the past decade, an increase of nearly 43%. Meaning the Arabs are sponsoring the Israelis with the $20 billion arms deal to kill themselves in 30.4 billion ways.
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