Ron Paul believes that the United States is to blame for the attacks on September 11th.



Ron Paul never blamed any victim for the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. Ron Paul only believes what our own intelligence has said, and what the terrorists themselves have said, that the terroristsí aggression against the United States is contributed by our intervention in the Middle East, and that rethinking our foreign policy is essential in remaining vigilant in protecting ourselves.


This attack comes from remarks made by Dr. Paul, and a resulting exchange between him and former New York City mayor, Rudolf Giuliani, about the war in Iraq, in the South Carolina debate in May 15th, 2007 (moderated by and televised on Fox News). Here is the exchange:




MODERATOR (WENDELL GOLER): Congressman Paul, I believe you are the only man on the stage who opposes the war in Iraq, who would bring the troops home, as quickly as almost immediately, sir. Are you out of step with your party? Is your party out of step with the rest of the world? If either of those is the case, why are you seeking its nomination?


RON PAUL: Well I think the party has lost its way, because the conservative wing of the Republican Party always advocated a non-interventionist foreign policy. Senator Robert Taft didn't even want to be in NATO. George Bush won the election in the year 2000 campaigning on a humble foreign policy. No nation building. No policing of the world. Republicans were elected to end the Korean War. The Republicans were elected to end the Vietnam War. There's a strong tradition of being anti-war, in the Republican Party. It is the constitutional position. It is the advice of the founders to follow a non-interventionist foreign policy. Stay out of entangling alliances. Be friends with countries. Negotiate and talk with them and trade with them. Just think of the tremendous improvement of relationships with Vietnam. We lost 60 thousand men. We came home in defeat. Now we go over there and we invest in Vietnam. So there's a lot of merit to the advice of the founders to follow the Constitution. And my argument is that we shouldn't go to war so carelessly. When we do, the wars don't end.


MODERATOR: Congressman. You don't think that changed with the 9/11 attacks sir?


RON PAUL: What changed?


MODERATOR: The non-interventionist policies.


RON PAUL: No. Non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attack 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, so, right now we're building an embassy in Iraq that's 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 did it to us.


MODERATOR: Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attacks, sir?


RON PAUL: 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 have killed 34 hundred of our men, and I don't think it was necessary.


GIULIANI: (interrupting) Wendell, can I make a comment on that? Can I make a comment on that? That's really an extraordinary statement. That's an extraordinary statement as someone who lived through the attack of September 11th. That we invited the attack, because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th.


(crowd applauds)


GIULIANI: And I would ask the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn't really mean that.


MODERATOR: Congressman?


RON PAUL: I believe very sincerely, that the C.I.A. is correct when they teach, and talk about "blowback". When we went into Iran, in 1953 and installed the Shah, yes there was blow-back. And the reaction to that was the taking of our hostages. And that persists, and if we ignore that, we ignore that at our own risk. If we think that we can do what we want around the world, and not incite hatred, then we have a problem.


They don't come over here to attack us, because we're rich and we're free. They come and they attack us because we're over there. I mean what would we think if we -- if other foreign countries were doing that to us?


RUDOLF GIULIANI: (interrupting) Can I have 30 seconds, please?


MITT ROMNEY: No, no, no. Wait a second. Then we all get 30 seconds.


(arguing among the candidates)


South Carolina Republican debate transcript


Congressman Paul's words were immediately spun by Fox News (and consequently other news networks) that Ron Paul was blaming the 9/11 victims for the attacks, which is absurd. Ron Paul later stated that this would be analogous to an investigator arriving at the scene of a murder, and, after discovering the motive for why the victim was killed, be said to be blaming the victim for being killed.


Ron Paul never once said that he agrees with the high-jacker's reasons for doing what they did, and instead of course detests their actions. He however is simply stating why they did what they did. President George W. Bush, former mayor Rudolf Giuliani, and others who support the "War on Terror", have proclaimed that the reason we are targeted by Al Quaeda and terrorists is because of our freedoms; specifically our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, and our granting equal rights to women. While it is true that these rights are not found in many Islamic nations. Or not to the degree that they are found here, it is well documented that this is NOT the motivation behind terrorist actions. Rather, as stated by Dr. Paul, it is because of our interventionist foreign policy. Dr. Paul's words are backed by both The 9/11 Commission Report and by the words of several people well credentialed in intelligence, such as Michael Scheur (former chief of the CIAís bin Laden unit), Philip Giraldi (former CIA counter-terrorism officer), and Ray McGovern (retired CIA officer). Here's what McGovern says about Ron Paul's comments:


Iím really edified by Ron Paul stepping up and stating what he believes to be the case. If you believe that they hate us for our democracy or for our freedoms, well Iíve got a bridge in Brooklyn that Iíd really like to sell you at a cut rate. They hate us for our policies and thatís what Ron Paul was saying.... Giuliani... really showed his true colors there as a demagogue. Ron Paul's comments about blowback have been well documented.


Here is a video featuring an excerpt from a documentary produced and broadcast in 1987 on PBS. It explains the events leading up to the Iranian hostage crisis. Again, it was blowback.




In response to Giuliani's interrupting Ron Paul and his comments, Dr. Paul responded, in a press conference, by launching a policy book club, "Educating Rudy", specifically "giving Mr. Giuliani a reading assignment" of books that back up his comments about blowback in the debate. Here are the books cited:

The 9/11 Commission Report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

Blowback by Chalmers Johnson

Dying To Win by Robert Pape

Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer