The Lone Star Candidate
As pundits and politicians critiqued the state of post-9/11 America on Tuesday, presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Tex.) stated flatly that the terrorist attacks could have been avoided. Taking the podium at the Johns Hopkins University's SAIS Center for Politics and Foreign Relations, the Republican-libertarian congressman declared, "If we had never been in the Middle East, terrorists wouldn't have attacked us."
Paul insists he's not an isolationist when it comes to foreign policy, but wants the U.S. to stop forming "entangled alliances." He says other countries engaged in international or internal conflict, such as Israel, "are quite capable of taking care of themselves."
On the war in Iraq, Paul said that by getting rid of Saddam Hussein "we strengthened Iran" -- an unwanted side-effect that resulted from "an obsession with empire-building." Paul added, "You have to separate terrorism with the need to invade a country."
Paul knows his non-interventionist appeal is a tough sell among a field of Republicans who support the war in Iraq. "My biggest challenge is to convince Republicans that they don't have to be war mongers to be conservatives," he said.
Apparently undaunted by his place in the presidential pack, Paul believes his platform -- which also emphasizes free trade, civil liberties and a laissez-faire approach to government -- is catching on. "We're doing 100 times better than I predicted... tens of thousands of people are joining," he said.
-- Sarah Lovenheim
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Posted by: Ryan | September 14, 2007 6:47 AM
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