Ron Paul – The Revolution: A Manifesto – Page 15 through Page 21

Page 15: The foreign policy of the founding fathers was especially important after the attacks of September 11, 2001. After the attack most Americans agreed that it was necessary to find out who was behind the attack and to punish the perpetrators. It was also necessary to to consider why they had decided to attack. However, the media and politicians refuse to deal with the issue in any serious way. The ideal person to listen to about this important issue is Michael Scheuer, former CIA chief of the Osama bin Laden Unit at the Counterterroist Center. He believes that the attacks on the US are primarily caused by government policy in the Islamic world.

Quote: “Looking for motive is not the same thing as making excuses; detectives always look for the motive behind a crime, but no one thinks they are looking to excuse murder.”

Page 16: Michael Scheuer is not blaming America for the attacks. He believes that the attackers should be pursued and punished mercilessly. His point is that it is inevitable that people will strike back when a foreign government bombs them, supports dictators in their countries, and imposes economic sanctions on them.  This does not excuse the acts of terror but it does explain the motivation behind them. We must ask, are the rewards of an interventionist foreign policy worth the consequences? The issue at hand is whether an interventionist foreign policy makes Americans less safe than they would have been under the opposite foreign policy.

Quote: “Given that a hyper-interventionist foreign policy is very likely to lead to this kind of blowback, are we still sure that we want such a foreign policy? Is it really worth it to us? The main focus of our criticism, in other words, is that our government’s foreign policy has put the American people in greater danger and made us more vulnerable to attack than we would otherwise have been.”

Page 17: If Americans lost family members as a result of the actions of foreign governments, they too would want revenge. Is it realistic to expect less of other peoples? If  the government is going to continue with an interventionist foreign policy, Americans must prepare themselves for the inevitable reactions. Michael Sheuer says that the attackers are not fighting against the western way of life. He uses as evidence Ayatollah Khomeini’s failed attempt to unleash an anti-western jihad in Iran for more than a decade.

Quote: “‘Bin Laden’, says Scheuer, has ‘spurned the Ayatollah’s wholesale condemnation of Western society,’ focusing instead on ‘specific, bread and butter issues on which there is widespread agreement among Muslims.”

Page 18: Muslims object to the fact the US government supports dictators in the Middle East, has troops on the Arabian peninsula, and shows a bias toward Israel. We must understand the true motivation behind the attraction to bin Laden’s message. Very few people are willing to die for pure ideology. However, when real life tragedies combine with ideology many more will take action.

Quote (Michael Scheuer): “About the only thing that can hold together the very loose coalition that Osama bin Laden has assembled is a common Muslim hatred for the impact of U.S. foreign policy….They all agree they hate U.S. foreign policy. To the degree we change that policy in the interests of the United States, they become more and more focused on their local problems.”

Quote (Philip Giraldi): “Anybody who knows anything about what’s been going on for the last ten years would realize that cause and effect are operating here-that, essentially, al-Qaeda has an agenda which very specifically says what its grievances are. And its grievances are basically that ‘we’re over there.'”

Page 19: Former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, also understood the consequences of an interventionist foreign policy. He said that a benefit of the Iraq war would be to move troops stationed in Saudi Arabia to Iraq. Having troops in Saudi Arabia was a major complaint of al-Qaeda. Blowback should not be a difficult concept to grasp. When the government intervenes in other countries, there will be unintended and unknowable consequences that endanger the American people. An unforgettable example of blowback occurred in Iran in 1953 when the American and British governments overthrew the democratically elected prime minister, Muhammad Mossadegh.

Page 20: The British and American governments replaced the overthrown prime minister with the dictatorial shah. This led directly to revolutionaries taking 444 American hostages years later. The book Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert Pape debunks the myth that terrorists are inspired to commit suicide attacks because they are promised paradise for killing infidels. Pape’s evidence shows that getting a foreign military to withdraw from a territory is a much stronger motivation to terrorism than religious belief.  Iraq had never experienced a single suicide attack until the US invasion in 2003.

Quote: “The world’s leaders in suicide terrorism are actually the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a Marxist secular group. The largest Islamic fundamentalist countries have not been responsible for any suicide terrorist attacks. Not one has come from Iran or Sudan.”

Page 21: Without the presence of foreign troops, it is impossible for uber-terrorists to convince people to commit suicide attacks, no matter how religious they are. Before the US government started intervening militarily in the Middle East, during the early part of the 20th century, the US had a very good reputation among the people of Middle Eastern Countries. The war in Iraq was one of the most sloppy and unnecessary wars in American history.

Quote: “Pape is convinced after his extensive research that the longer and more extensive the occupation of Muslim territories, the greater the chance of more 9/11 type attacks on the United States.”

Quote: “But those who would recruit large numbers of their coreligionists to carry out violence against Americans find their task very difficult when they cannot point to some tangible issue that will motivate people to do so.”


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