Channel: Russia Today
Dina Gusovsky: A national emergency is declared in the United States, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the war in Afghanistan, the economic crisis, or nukes in Iran. Instead, it’s H1N1, the swine flu. But is all this media hysteria really justified, and is the threat as dire as some would have us believe?
Joining me to discuss this and other burning issues, both here in the U.S. and abroad, is Congressman Paul. Thank you so much for speaking with me.
So you have called this full vaccination program a failure. Why?
Ron Paul: Well, they have failed to get the vaccine to the people that need it. They’ve been working on it for months and months, they’ve spent a couple of billion of dollars and I have several physicians in my family and they don’t have any vaccine in their office, so even if they wanted to give it they don’t have it. This just demonstrates that when governments decide to do something, they’re pretty inept at doing it even though a lot of money was spent. And yet the American people are indicating that they want federal government to take over medical care, but if they can’t even deliver a vaccine, I don’t see how they can deliver medical care to everybody any more efficiently.
Dina Gusovsky: You have questioned before why Barack Obama doesn’t get his own children vaccinated, and just recently we found out that he, in fact, had Sasha and Melia get the shot. Do you think that this was a response at all to what you might have said?
Ron Paul: I don’t know the exact sequence. I know when I did it I obviously believed he hadn’t because he had announced in a press conference, “Oh no, they have not had a shot”. But I thought he probably figured it was in their best interest politically to do it. But isn’t that sort of sad that if he deep down in his heart didn’t want his kids to have it, that he was willing to do this. Of course, the analogy I made there was, you know, so many of our presidents, Republicans or Democrats, always pushed government education. At the same time our Presidents don’t send their kids to public school here in DC. So they talk big that they’re going to take care of everybody, but they want special treatment for their own children.
Dina Gusovsky: You talk about having the freedom of choice when it comes to this. You know, we’ve seen rallies in New York where doctors and nurses were saying, “We don’t want this to be mandatory”. Do you think that Americans will ever come to a point where they will have to get this vaccine, it won’t be an option anymore?
Ron Paul: Of course, while a lot of Americans are fearful of this – even I’m fearful – I don’t want to do away with the vaccines. I do think that we give too many vaccines and we can overdo it. But I want these choices to be made by patients and doctors, not by government. And the fact that New York is forcing government employees, it might be a sign of the times if it’s not reversed. If the American people go along with it, that’s what’s going to happen. And under these emergency powers that were declared they can actually, you know, quarantine people in large numbers and say, “You either do it or else we’ll put you here and we’ll inoculate everybody”. That is hardly the way I want to accomplish this and solve our problems.
Dina Gusovsky: You’re a doctor and critics of the vaccine itself are coming out and saying that in the long run it’s actually going to do more harm than good. Do you agree with this?
Ron Paul: I think it can do damage and some children can be affected. It is a live virus, it’s attenuated, it’s not supposed to be as virulent. But yes, there are rare cases of people dying from reaction to medication. And if this flu is not so serious, which it doesn’t sound to be… you know, they were yelling and screaming about a 1000 deaths. Well, regular flu kills many, many more than that every year and nobody gets up in arms about it. This whole idea about working so hard on this one vaccine actually makes shortages in the other vaccine as well. So it really doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Dina Gusovsky: There seems to me so much media uproar regarding this issue. Perhaps even taking precedence over other burning issues, particularly when it comes to foreign policy and the situation in Afghanistan. Because the real crisis seems to be occurring within the White House with that debate to send more troops or change the military strategy completely. What are your thoughts on this?
Ron Paul: My first thought is, “Aren’t they a little bit late?” I mean, this is the good war, we’ve only been there 8 years, and now we have the war and now we have the fighting, now we’re looking for the reason. Why are we in there, what are we doing, what is the result, what is the end point? I think they have it turned around. That’s why I argue for the case that when we go war it should be very, very precise and very, very deliberate under a precise vote of declaration and knowing what the Congress wants and what the people want and stand up for it. But when we got to war under U.N. resolutions or under NATO or because it feels good that we’re doing this to promote democracy, it’s vague, it’s political, there is no endpoint and there is no precise enemy. And, therefore, they keep fighting and we go into these countries and we become occupiers.
The people who live there resent it and they start fighting us. So we call them terrorists and say, “We’ll they’re terrorist there, they’re bad people. We have to send more troops in”. And the citizens die from these bombing raids. They’ve even dying in Pakistan. All that does is incite more people to resent what we’re doing. So it’s a cycle. And here we are at a point of a cycle where few people are questioning it: “Do we really need more”. And, of course, the military wants more, and Obama probably is honestly in a box because he supports the war, he supported it during the campaign, and the military wants more troops, but a lot of Americans don’t, especially the Democratic base. So he has a dilemma. So it would be much better to have a precise position, non-intervention, you know what you’re supposed to do. Just stay out of these places.
Dina Gusovsky: I’m glad you mentioned Pakistan; it’s becoming more and more crucial in this fight. We’ve seen violence increasing. What is the future going to hold?
Ron Paul: More chaos, more killing and more resentment towards Americans and, you know, there is a big fuss because we just voted for more foreign aid, and rightfully so the civilian population sees that as more control. And the Pakistanis have quite frequently [fought] internally over civilian control versus military control. The last thing that we need is us being involved there. But our policy in Afghanistan has spilled over because some of the people we were trying to kill in Afghanistan have gone into Pakistan, so there is much more violence there and I think the resentment will be towards us. It just doesn’t look like there is an easy end to this, unless they change overall policy. And, of course, that’s what I’ve advocated all along: changing overall policy.
Dina Gusovsky: Now, switching gears to Iran. Do you think that the United States in this case is justified to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear program?
Ron Paul: I think we’re completely wrong, because so far our own intelligence reports, NIE in 20 07, said that they haven’t been trying to do anything since 2003. And they’re allowed to have enrichment for peaceful purposes and the United Nations has never written a sanction against the Iranians for breaking the NPT treaty. They’ve never been accused of that. And the new place in Guam; they reported that and they said the IEA could come in and inspect it. And we’re about to put on more sanctions; we had that coming up in our committee today. And they want to prohibit anybody from delivering gasoline, so we’re going to punish the people of Iran. And the people aren’t going to get mad at their Ayatollahs and their radicals, they’re going to get mad at us and they’re going to solidify behind their radical leadership. So it backfires on us and it really helps China, because China will probably go in, sell them oil, develop their oil and they’ll have more influence there because they’re pretty good capitalists these days. And here we are, using aggression to try to control what’s happening in Iran. Our policy makes no sense.
Dina Gusovsky: Even so, some experts are hinting that a military strike might even be possible. That perhaps the United States and Israel are training or might be getting ready to strike Iran militarily. What do you think about this? Is this an option?
Ron Paul: Let’s hope not. I know some people go for the sanctions; they go for the sanctions believing that it is something better than going to war. But sanctions are an act of war. The point I made in the committee today was, “What would we think if somebody said we can’t import any oil”? We’d be furious and it would be an act of war. We wouldn’t put up with it one bit. So yea, it is an act of war. It encourages even more effort by the Chinese to come in there and help the Iranians, both to drill for oil and to refine their oil. And also it gives a real boom to the black market. And the people will suffer, the privileged will benefit, and American foreign policy will suffer another consequence.