Dylan Ratigan: Joining us now is Republican Congressman from Texas, and GOP presidential hopeful, Ron Paul. And, Congressman, it’s a pleasure to see you again.
Ron Paul: Thank you.
Dylan Ratigan: Now, your thoughts on everybody coming around to your way of thinking?
Ron Paul: Well, I hope it’s true, it looks like they have certainly moved in that direction, and I think it reflects the fact that the people have awakened, and that’s where they’re coming from right now. The American people are tired of it, 10 years is way too much. Nobody, as you described, has defined what our goals are and how victory could be achieved. So they’re sick and tired of it, we’re flat out broke, the sooner the better. I thought something you mentioned was very, very important, bringing a token 10,000 troops home or a few troops home. But you mentioned the fact of the contractors. What if they add 10,000, contracting out this war? It was done in Iraq and now it’s being done in Afghanistan. It’s much bigger than just measuring the number of troops there. But, overall, it’s the policy; what are we there for, what is the purpose, does it serve our national interests? And I would say no, there’s no real purpose there. And Senator Mencken made that very important point: China is achieving more than we achieve with all our fighting and killing and militarism, and the Chinese are out-classifying us as capitalist. They loan us money and they invest their money because they have most of our money, we’ve spent it over there. So we have really turned out system and its head, and we have to change it. But economic events are going to force us to do it, and I think it’s coming soon.
Dylan Ratigan: How do we exploit this opportunity? I feel, though, in the Republican primary that almost a man or a woman wants a redefinition of the Afghanistan mission, if not outright troop withdrawal along with everybody, from Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Bernie Sanders. I can line up a whole string of Democrats who would agree with you. How can we get the convergence of those disparate communities to wield force on the president and Republican leadership in the House?
Ron Paul: Well, I can see why people become disenchanted, because when George Bush Junior ran in the year 2000, I liked what he was saying. He said we should have a humble foreign policy, we shouldn’t be in nation building. But immediately afterwards he changed that policy. And then Obama was elected more-or-less as the peace candidate. Most people held on and said he will change the direction of the George Bush Administration, but nothing changes. So that’s why the American people get so tired of it all. But I think it won’t happen until we’re routed for economic reasons, like the Soviets were routed. Because, right now, even with a fancy speech tonight, I don’t think we’re going to lie back and say, “Hey, we finally turned the band and we are leaving”. I think we’re there for a long time to come, I think we’re there as long as the people will take our dollars, and we’re going to keep spending. It’s a very, very dangerous situation.
Dylan Ratigan: And would you ultimately argue that the narrative you just described when George Bush to President Obama – we’re talking about Republican and Democratic leadership in terms of their rhetoric, but the inability for the machine to respond to the people as a direct reflection of the military-industrial complex’s control of all of our military resources and foreign policy?
Ron Paul: Oh, I think so. I think the control is by the special interest, just as the control for bailing out the banks and the big corporations… the people didn’t want that. They’re the ones who got short changed on that. And when it comes to our foreign policy, it’s managed by the big corporations, it’s managed by those who make a lot of money, the war profits, and it’s a form of corporatism that exists. And that’s why we are getting a growing consensus with this from the progressive left as well as the libertarian right. We are coming together, but it’s just a major undertaking to attack the status quo. And because you just can’t always believe the rhetoric. I mean, the people have been hoodwinked too many times, they have to be able to trust the individual who says, “Enough is enough, it’s time to come home”, and certainly that is my position. A long time ago I thought we should have come home.
Dylan Ratigan: And how could we go about doing this? I mean, looking at this withdrawal narrative that the White House is pushing, I suppose in the hope that everybody in the media comes out and says, “Oh, President Obama launches the withdrawal” without looking deeper to see the 10,000 troops, not to mention the ability to hire 10,000 people with the contractors, is an insult to all of us. What would it really look like, in your mind, if we were going to withdraw?
Ron Paul: Well, there would be an announcement. A president could do it, he’s in charge of the troops. He could just say, “Look, it’s time to come home, we’re going to back off, we’re going to systematically come home as safely as possible and as quickly as possible”. And I think once the announcement was made, and the people knew we were serious, there would be a lot of re-assurance. Maybe some of the American capitalist would once again invest some money as the Chinese capitalist are doing right now. I mean, the Chinese are not only investing in Afghanistan, they’re investing in Iran. We want a fight, we want another war with Iran instead of saying, “Well, why don’t we spread our goodness by trading with people?” I mean, there was one time, of course, in recent memory, especially for me, was all we and the Chinese wanted to do was shoot and kill each other over the Korean War. But now we trade with the Chinese. I mean, what is so terrible about that? Because it is the way to preserve peace and prosperity at the same time.
Dylan Ratigan: Yea. Listen, Congressman, as I said to Senator Mencken, I’ll say it to you, I could not agree more and I wish you all the best in your efforts and we’ll do everything we can to help you, particularly on the issue of the war. Thank you, Congressman.
Ron Paul: Thank you very much.
Dylan Ratigan: Alright, Ron Paul.