23 May 2007

Eat it, Rudy

Rudy Giuliani's attempted bullying of Ron Paul in last week's debate has inspired much commentary.  I haven't followed the response of the mainstream media closely, but here's what Michael F. Scheuer, the former Chief of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden Unit, has to say (from his letter Why They Attack Us):

"Last week, Representative Paul did all Americans an immense service by simply pointing out the obvious:  Our Islamist enemies do not give a damn about the way we vote, think, or live. . . . [I]t is foolish—and perhaps fatal—for Americans to believe that are we are being attacked for such ephemera as primary elections, R-rated movies, and gender equality. . . . We are indeed hated and being warred against because we are 'over there,' and not for what we are and how we live.  Our failure to recognize the truth spoken by Mr. Paul—and spelled out for us in hundreds of pages of statements by Osama bin Laden since 1996—is leading America toward military and economic disaster. . . . And no matter how you view Mr. Paul’s words, you can safely take one thing to the bank.  The person most shaken by Mr. Paul’s frankness was Osama bin Laden, who knows that the current status quo in U.S. foreign policy toward the Islamic world is al-Qaeda’s one indispensable ally, and the only glue that provides cohesion between and among the diverse and often fractious Islamist groups that follow its banner."

Pat Buchanan, a renegade Republican for better and worse, has also blogged about the incident (But Who Was Right—Rudy or Ron?).

I hope it isn't too much to ask of American voters to put aside knee-jerk "patriotic" emotion and realize that Ron Paul is right to question our past foreign policy.  At least online America supports him—his YouTube channel now has over ten thousand subscribers, almost twice the number of second-place Barack Obama (who, it seems, was weak when asked about foreign policy in the April 26th debate).

24 May update:  RP is getting more mainstream coverage.  Check out the Reuters article "Candidate Paul assigns reading to Giuliani" (and a followup with passages from the "assigned reading") and the CNN commentary "Paul's 9/11 explanation deserves to be debated".


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