From House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce to GOP presidential candidates like Fiorina, Carson, and Trump, the recent Saudi beheading of a prominent regime critic was all Iran’s fault. No matter what Saudi Arabia does, much of Washington claims, they must not be criticized.
Ed Royce: And because the Iranians have this propensity to try to overthrow regimes and to call for the overthrow of regimes, this then heightens the tensions.
Female News Anchor: Seems like it’s a scary, scary time and it’s getting even worse as we speak. Mr. Chairman, it’s great to see you, thanks for coming in, I appreciate it very much.
Ed Royce: Thank you.
Ron Paul: Hello everybody, and thank you for tuning in to The Liberty Report. Daniel McAdams is with me today, and it’s good to see you, Daniel.
Daniel McAdams: It’s good to be back sir.
Ron Paul: Daniel, yesterday we talked about what went on in the weekend, the tragedy going on in the Middle East with the executions and the fighting and the anticipation of more fighting between Saudi Arabia and Iran. But I want to talk a little bit today about the fallout of this, because even if it is none of our business, we’re always involved. We always have been involved, we pick our sides and we send money to some sides and not to the other. That’s going on, so what the politicians say is pretty important.
I want to talk a little bit about the fallout and what the politicians are saying. There was one headline that said that the Republican candidates were sort of shying away from it. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a position favoring one side or the other, but not a lot was said. I wanted to start off with a couple of quotes from some of the candidates, because it sort of tells you where they’re coming from. We do know that Nimr, the Shia leader that was executed, was the really big issue here. The way I see it, he was speaking out, and that was one of his greatest crimes against the Saudi Arabia government, so that’s very, very controversial. The fallout is that the headlines so often now is that it’s all Iran’s fault. Well, maybe we can blame Nimr, he shouldn’t have been speaking out, who knows. But that’s the mess you get into when you get into complex Iran. I do want to mention a few of the people. We had a clip there and we’ll be talking about that in a minute about our friend voicing his neo-con position. The others who have spoken out have been Fiorina, and Carson spoke out as well as Donald Trump. I guess Donald Trump cannot resist anything like this.
But I want to start out with Fiorina’s comments about that. She said, “I take the Iranian condemnation with a huge grain of salt”, it’s no big deal for her. “This is a regime that tortures citizens routinely”, well, we’re against torture for sure, “and the Iranians think nothing of executions”. I thought it was the Saudis that didn’t think much of execution, I think they execute a lot more. Then she went on to say, “Saudi Arabia is our ally …” therefore rollover, “… despite the fact that they don’t always behave in a way that we condone. Iran is a real and present threat to us. So we have to be very cautious about that”. Now Carson follows up and his big pitch was the nuclear deal, he said if we hadn’t struck this nuclear deal, this wouldn’t have happened. He doesn’t say it directly, but in a way he says it is all Obama’s fault. But there were sanctions on this country, which has done a lot more harm than good, and it was international with the United Nations and six countries coming together and saying, “Maybe we can move on”, and they removed. That is the excuse that they use now.
I want to use another one from a gentleman that’s doing rather well in the polls, Donald Trump. You may not want to talk about Ed Royce, because I had a couple of times when we disagreements in Washington. But Donald says this, “Iran’s nuclear deal made Tehran a global power, and that was the whole problem. The deal made them a power …” He’s warning us now, but he has a typical solution. “… they are looking to go into Saudi Arabia, they want their oil, they want the money, and they want a lot of other things. That’s phase one. The Saudis don’t survive without us”. And Trump says, no matter what they need, we’re going to protect Saudi Arabia. And he says, “The question is, at what point do we get involved, and how much will Saudi pay us to save them”. So it’s a business deal, if the Saudis will pay up, it’s a business deal and it’s okay. But, anyway, he’s very, very clear on this. I would say that that’s a bit removed from non-intervention.
But now I want to talk a little bit about Ed Royce. Ed Royce is the Chairman of the foreign affairs committee, and I’ve known him for years, and he was a really strong resistor to my pointing out that it was a bad idea to go to war against Saddam Hussein. He had a religious belief and a necessity for this and he said to be American you have to support this. But tell us what is his position now, why is he important, and what really is his position?
Daniel McAdams: Well, he really does drive foreign affairs in the house. As you remember, the chairman of the committee is given a lot of deference in regard to his supposed expertise. Which is why I find it remarkable that Ed Royce is either incredibly ill-informed about what’s happening in Middle East, or he’s purposely deceiving people. Because what he said in the CNN interview that we clipped a little bit of, is just absolutely wrong. It’s interesting he was asked about the beheadings, 47 people were beheaded to start the year. He said we do have concerns, of course, and then he immediately went on to Iran as if it just didn’t happen.
And here are some of the things he said, “The government of Iran is trying to overthrow the government of Yemen, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia”, which is preposterous because it was Saudi Arabia, and not Iran, that attacked Yemen. Yesterday we talked about how our friend, Gareth Porter, has discovered that this whole business about Iran being involved in the Houthis is complete fabrication. He said something else that is just simply preposterous, he said, “The Iranian military moved into Yemen”. Did they make that out of air, or is he that badly informed? If he is that badly informed, it makes you worry. And then he condemns Iran for testing missiles, I guess we’re the only ones allowed to test our missiles.
The other thing that you won’t hear from all of these politicians and from people like Ed Royce … and this is not to praise or condemn anyone, but you won’t hear that Iran shipped off a huge, huge portion of its enriched Uranium off to Russia in compliance with the P5+1 deal on sanctions, they’re complying with the letter of the law completely. You’ll never hear anything about that, you’ll only hear about, “We have to defend our ally “.
Ron Paul: We didn’t see the whole clip there, I saw a little bit of it, but I haven’t seen the whole thing. Just in general, and specifically dealing with Ed Royce at this time, how much help did we get from the media and the investigators to bring out the truth. Did they challenge them on these factual errors?
Ron Paul: No, she (Female News Anchor) was just cheerleading him on and egging him on. I wonder if she’s ill-informed. You know, this is what passes for debate. The funny thing, too, is that many people have mentioned our ally is Saudi Arabia, but Saudi Arabia is not our ally. An ‘ally’ is a legal term that you have with a country, and we do not have any alliances with Saudi Arabia. We can more accurately define Saudi Arabia as a client state similar to Israel, we do not have an alliance with Israel. They’re client states, and so the preposterous idea that that Trump says that we will rent out our military to whoever pays the highest bid, is what an insult to the soldiers and their families.
Ron Paul: But he’s going to make a good deal on that, so that’s going to be a good deal. You know, there’s this argument or fact that Saudi Arabia probably beheads more people than anybody else, and that’s part of their law. ISIS is doing the same thing, but when the government of Saudi Arabia was challenged – I thought it was just positively amazing – they didn’t deny it, they said, “That’s right, we do the same thing, but we’re the government, we’re the state, we have the power”. And when I thought of that and they said, “ISIS is not a government and they can’t do this”. But isn’t all bad things that come from the government based on the fact that they are the government, they are the state. The state has rights and we have to protect the rights of the government and their position, and we never hear them saying, “How do we protect the rights of the individual?” I think this is so honest and true, and yet, it goes by and nobody cares, they just say, “Yes, that’s right, governments are so, so important”.
You know, there are days when I think that this might be an incentive for some people to think seriously about anarchy when you see the total abuse of government and all of the lies and things that go on here. This whole thing about Yemen condemning Iran … Iran happens to have a better record for invading their neighbors. But here at this very moment, they are trying to say it is Iran’s fault that there’s a war going on in Yemen. And who invaded Yemen, it’s the Saudis, with our help, we’re their allies. And people just put it over.
I remember, a long time before this currency skirmish, (it might be five years ago or so) I was being interviewed on a national network. And maybe it was not literally said, but it was absolutely implied that I was an anti-Semite because even back then I wasn’t supporting some bombing and destruction that was going on in Yemen. And they say if you’re not supporting our allies, you’re un-American and you don’t support our troops. So I would say there’s a big vacuum out there for trying to get information out.
Daniel McAdams: You wondered about the Saudis and how they’re able to have such good friends in Washington. I frankly think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they literally spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year, they have at least 20 top lobbying PR firms working on their behalf. They control the information about what stories get out and what stories don’t get out. Here’s one example, and imagine how many more are like this. Just one former senator is on a retainer of $60,000/month. So if you’re sitting there in Congress and wondering what you’re going to do after work, you’re probably going to think twice about saying something nasty about a country that is doing so much hiring of people.
Ron Paul: I just left Congress a couple of years ago, and I didn’t get any offers.
Daniel McAdams: I don’t think they’re going to call.
Ron Paul: They’re not going to call?
Daniel McAdams: Probably not now.
Ron Paul: Well, I think of my way as a “lobbyist” or a petitioner in a good sense. People want to do away with lobbyist in Washington all the time, and I say, “You can’t just have a blanket, you can’t lobby in Washington because you have a right to petition one’s government”. I just wonder, if we had men of high character, which is a big ‘if’ for Washington, you wouldn’t have to have any rules or laws about who’s coming in and lobbying for things. But it is pretty disgusting when foreign governments have lobbyist. How many governments have lobbyist, do you think we have dozens and dozens of governments, are they just wholesalers or just two or three?
Daniel McAdams: I think there are plenty of governments that hire lobbyists in Washington DC, it’s worth billions and billions of dollars. But the Saudis are close to the top and they cover up things like the fact they they’ve supported radical Jihadists. Fiorina and these people talk about how they’re great allies, but what do they do that benefits us? They support Jihad throughout the region, we know they were involved in 9/11, they build these radical schools, they attack their neighbors. So what if they have oil, lots of people have oil we can buy.
Ron Paul: When the wars were starting up, there was always a group, and a lot of times they were progressives, and they would come and say, “It is all about oil, it is all about oil” and they were basically on to something because a lot of times it has been about oil. It probably started in World War I and exploded with interest in World War II, and we had to control our resources. It was a sort of mercantilist idea that we control that government and we would always protect them. But now, things are changing so much. Technology provides alternative fuels, and this idea that Trump says that Iran’s motive is to go in and steal the oil from Saudi Arabia … he can’t find one example where that country has invaded anyone. I guess back several centuries they had their empires, too.
The way I see it, all they want is to just get rid of these sanctions. And they’re doing what they did, they turned over their nuclear material to Russia. I understand that Iran has a lot of oil, they probably just need a little bit of less control by outsiders. Once they just open up, you get these people in here who say, “Oh, we can’t talk to them, we can’t do this, it’s all their fault. It’s the nuclear deal that motivated the Saudis to carry out these executions. And the key execution was against Nimr, I imagine, because that is a religious issue, too. I think even though there were other executions, I think they would have gone by because they have in the past and they have not made a big deal of it. So once again, we talked a little bit about it yesterday. They should have known, I believe they know, I think they’ve admitted they knew, but the Saudis were still quite willing to go ahead and do this. And these are the ramifications, and I don’t think the ramifications are over yet.
It’s rare that we do the same subject for two days in a row. I know the markets have settled down a little bit, but who knows, by the end of this program, they might have gotten all rattled up again. But I think the markets have been so precarious, it’s so much built on sand, that these issues may be the black swan event when something comes up and we know it’s coming but we don’t know on which day it will come. This might be the swooping in of the black swan that last year was a warning sign for what was happening in markets, which represents foreign policy as well as domestic economic policies.
Now it’s up for grabs, it didn’t start off well yesterday, so it may be very exciting. I find it exciting and interesting, I wish it weren’t so dangerous, but I’m always hoping that the failure of government, the failure of welfareism, of foreign interventionism, inflationism, the control of the government, the absence of personal liberty … I want it to fail. Even though we’ve limped along and we’ve had a gradual erosion of our economic wellbeing, we still do badly. But I think it’s going to be much worse and we should not be despondent, I think we should look at this as an opportunity.
Daniel McAdams: Yes, and hopefully, as you pointed out, if this even does escalate, it could be a black swan event, it could really shift things in a serious way.
Ron Paul: Well, let’s hope that it’s all positive that comes out, but nobody can act correctly if they don’t have the facts. Everything is turned into power and leverage and money, and that’s where the problem is. But this continues to be a minority. Power and money is a big problem in this country, but I still hear the candidates, especially one that calls himself socialist, that wealth is bad and that anybody who is wealthy has to be condemned. At the same time, if the wealth comes because they’re part of the military-industrial complex who make money off the government, or if wealth comes from the financial system and the Federal Reserve bailing them out, that’s another thing. That’s so different than if you were wealthy because you were voted to be wealthy by the consumer.
So we have to sort this out, and I’ve tried very hard to do this over many, many years, and I have been bound on the side of the biggest need that we have in the world, especially in this country today, is the threat to individual liberty. If we have our liberty, we will have sound market economy. We would not have a perfect society, but we would have a non-interventionist foreign policy, we wouldn’t have a Federal Reserve system, we wouldn’t have the economic planners, and we would have true property rights. But those issues and those ideas were alive and well at one time, never perfectly, but they have been drifting away from us when the officials here of the government.
But underneath and outside that, intellectually, in this country and around the world, there is a spirit of awakening now that sees the failure of big government, whether it’s economics or warmongering, and that’s what we have to encourage, and it’s based on the moral principle that you have a right to your life and you have a right to your liberty and you ought to have a right to spend your money that you earn.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to The Liberty Report, and please come back soon.