Show: the ED show
Ed Schultz: [...] who has spoken out against former vice president Dick Cheney a number of times. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who has also been an advocate of not doing international intervention when it comes to terrorism and when it comes to fighting terrorism, because that’s not the way to do it, in his opinion. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight, I appreciate your time.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Ed Schultz: Is the rhetoric that Cheney and some of the Republicans are throwing out… Michael Steele did it today as well … is that hurting our effort, in your opinion?
Ron Paul: Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t quite figured all that out. And my attack was not initiated by myself. You know, I was asked about what I thought about him speaking out. And I just thought that he has had his 8 years to try to do things and left us with a lot of problems. So it was sort of out of character to come back and start chirping at the president for this. But really, what my beef is, is that foreign policy never changes. There is a lot of talk about, you know, when Republicans are running against the Democrats, like when we were running against Clinton… we were the peace party and there was too much intervention. And when Obama runs against Bush, “oh we have to have less, we’re going to bring our troops home; end the war.” And they get in and do the same thing. See, I haven’t seen any difference in reality between the foreign policy of Obama and George Bush. So for Cheney to come in and say, “Oh, this Obama, he’s horrible, he’s horrible.” But he ought to say, “Hey, keep up the good work because in the Congress the Republicans are more supportive of Obama than the Democrats are.” They think that the Republicans will pass the bill to get additional troops for Afghanistan. So there is a lot of hypocrisy going on here and I’m just trying to argue my case that I think we should have less intervention and less pretence that there is a real difference between the two parties.
Ed Schultz: What evidence do you have, congressman, and why do you believe that Al-Qaida would be less aggressive to kill Americans if we weren’t doing international intervention and going and fighting them on their soil and going after them?
Ron Paul: Well, they didn’t exist till we got over there. We helped create them. As a matter of fact, our CIA helped radicalize the Madrasah schools because we were allies with them when we were trying to fight the Soviets and put them out of Afghanistan. So yes, we helped initiate that because they understood our argument. “Hey look, these communists are bad people and they’re invading your country, they want to take over”. So they accepted this idea that we’ll use religion to radicalize. And I don’t happen to believe that Al-Qaida is one unit. I think they’re just a scattered number of Muslims who have been influenced by the radical element of the Muslim religion, which I think is rather minor just like there is in the other religions, including the Christian religion. They can advocate violence. So I think that’s what it is; I don’t think there is a monolith. I don’t think for a minute that Osama Bin Laden is running this show. I think this is partially philosophical, but it’s theological too. And they get aggravated and angered by us dropping bombs on them, which Obama continues to do, which Bush did and Clinton did. They all do it. We only have one foreign policy; they get angry. We kill civilians doing this.
Ed Schultz: Congress, you’ve been an advocate for civil liberties and privacy and protection and such stuff as that. How do you feel about some of the measures that President Obama has taken in the wake of this? More screenings at airports… Heck, we got the PATRIOT Act; you can even listen to anything you want to listen to. I mean, just a list of things that this administration has put out domestically to try to curb any type of attack. How do you feel about this? Is he doing enough or is he not doing enough? What do you think?
Ron Paul: Well, some of it certainly ought to be looked at. Some of these people coming in from countries that we put on the terrorist list, I mean that would be common sense?
Ed Schultz: Do you agree with him on the 14 countries that he put on the list?
Ron Paul: Yeah, matter of fact I had made a suggestion. Interestingly enough, I had something passed right after 9/11 that we ought to be very careful with those countries that we have put on a list. And I think there were four at that time. And that bill passed in the House and in the conference they removed that. They didn’t want to do that. I thought, “Well, if you use your logic, this is a lot better than putting us through the harassment and taking our shoes off and our belts off and stealing our new toothpaste and all these things.” We spend 75 billion dollars trying to get intelligence. And then when somebody comes with a hot lead, we can’t even handle it.
Ed Schultz: It is amazing.
Ron Paul: Even with all this effort, we’re missing the whole point if we don’t ask the question: “Why are they so angry?” And if it is what I say: because we’re there, all this effort will be for naught. We have to think about, is our presence in the Middle East worth anything for us.
Ed Schultz: Congressman Ron Paul, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate you being on. Thanks so much.