Yesterday the CNN Arabic website reported that Saudi Arabia has prepared a 150,000 strong force to invade Syria under the auspices of fighting ISIS. Such a move would pit Saudi troops against Iranian troops and the Russian military, in addition to the Syrian Army. Are they flirting with WIII?
Ron Paul: Hello everybody, thank you for tuning in to The Liberty Report. Daniel McAdams: is with me today, it’s good to see you, Daniel.
Daniel McAdams:: Good morning, Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Well, I’d like to talk about the Middle East, there’s a war going on over there, and we’ve been involved over there for 25 years if you count the first Persian Gulf War, and it’s still ongoing. But there’s a little bit of talk about expanding the war. The Saudis, for whatever reason (they have their own reasons) are talking about 150,000 troops going into Syria, which I rather doubt will happen. Just to refresh our memory, I wanted to put up a map of the countries that surround Syria and indicate just what’s going on here. Syria, is in the blue, sort of to the left, and on top you can see Aleppo which is a major area right now, because the way I see it, what’s going on is Aleppo is being controlled by the rebels and they’re about to lose because support from Russia, along with Hezbollah, and tacit, if not actual, support from Iran.
It’s easy to see that that I don’t see any U.S. property, but I bet if we had all U.S. bases lined up there, there would be a lot of U.S. bases. But Iran is there, and if you think about the Kurds, Iran, Iraq and Turkey are all involved there, so it is a major hotspot in the world. I cannot imagine 150,000 Saudi troops going in there, and the announcement was that they were going to join the U.S. led force. I have my doubts whether we’re going to be sending in any ground troops, because we’re backing away. Five years ago it was announced that Assad had to go, but it looks like he’s pretty stubborn, so what do you think is going to happen, what are the odds of 150,000 troops going in there? I just can’t believe they’re that nutty, but I do worry about danger. I think the danger is there whether they actually go through or not, because you can always have false flags and accidents happen.
Daniel McAdams:: I think this might be somewhat of a trial balloon because we saw the Geneva talks fizzle before they really started, and there are a number of reasons for that, prime among them being that the rebels that the U.S. and the Saudis wanted at the table, were not willing to talk, they wanted Russia to stop bombing them first. The other was that the U.S. insisted that the rebels in Syria be represented by an Al-Qaida affiliated group, which exposes the myth that they are a moderate rebel force ready to take over Syria. But on these 150,000 troops, the Saudis suggest that it was actually a U.S. idea and the U.S. put them up to it, and there are some reports that people like Joe Biden were getting frustrated and wanted to make a desperations move.
This may be a threat to try to get people back to the table in Geneva, but the fact of the matter is, as you pointed out, this would pit Saudi Arabia against Iran and Russia directly, and possibly against Turkey because the invasion is supposed to go through Turkey. This, to me, if it’s serious, sounds really like the opening salvo of World War III.
Ron Paul: Common sense would dictate that none of this happen and we shouldn’t be there, but common sense doesn’t prevail. But common sense for Saudi Arabia has to take into consideration that their bank account is getting smaller, their income is going way down, they’re starting to pinch pennies. At the same time, the competition Iran, because of world events, is going to be allowed to ship out oil, and they are, and that isn’t going to be solved. So I would think they would be very reluctant. Your argument that they’re only responding to our pressure, and that generally happens too often that we want to run the show. I think that not only does Obama know it, but I think even a Republican president would know better and have no troops on the ground. Even the most hawkish Republican candidates aren’t saying, “[…] send in troops”. But I think most of them know the American people know that’s a big step over. Unfortunately, though, they’re too careless of allowing it to escalate, they say, “Well, bombing is okay and sanctions are okay”, not realizing that those are acts of war, and that’s what we started in Iraq in 1991 and it’s turned out to be a mess.
I think that people who have the advantage in war won’t always be the most powerful military, sometimes it’s the one who has the moral high ground and has the support of the people. One example that I’m more familiar was Vietnam. Just think of the weaponry we had and the stupidity with which we said, “We never lost one military battle in Vietnam”. Yes, but as the Vietnamese general said, “It’s totally irrelevant because the people didn’t want any outsiders”. This is the same thing here: who has the moral high ground, and it looks like Assad may have had the moral high ground. If they were really as tired of him as we said they were, why wouldn’t there have been an overwhelming uprising and a march on the capital to get rid of Assad, but that never seems to have happened.
Daniel McAdams:: Syria has been a secular country, and I think when they got a good look at what the rebels look like: forcing the women to cover up and forcing Sharia law, they realized they didn’t want to go with that. But this whole idea of a Saudi invasion is absurd on the face, because they claim they’re going to invade Syria to get rid of ISIS and the terrorist, whereas everyone who’s been paying attention knows for four years, they’ve been backing and funding Al-Qaida and ISIS.
Ron Paul: Yet, the American people have been fooled into this. Anytime you say, “I’m after ISIS”, it’s a political plus point.
Daniel McAdams:: Even though they’ve been funding them all this time.
Ron Paul: I think the Russians have really played their cards right from a political viewpoint, because they’re the only ones who really put a damper on ISIS. Unfortunately, the American people don’t know that, and that is what’s helped. We have taken this impossible position that we have to destroy ISIS, but we want to destroy Assad, so we want to preserve ISIS so ISIS will destroy Assad. It’s insanity.
Daniel McAdams:: It reminds me of the Iran-Iraq war when we changed sides just hoping that they would kill each other more and more. But I think the precipitating factor for this whole new round of pushing for these troops is the fall of Aleppo, which you pointed out earlier, and this really is sort of the end of the war essentially. Let’s remember, this is al-Nusra Front that is big in Aleppo, this is Al-Qaida who is ostensibly our enemy, these are the ones that are getting routed in Aleppo. When that is done, there will basically be nothing but desert between the Syrian army and Iraq, so this is their last chance. What is so surprising is that you have John Carrey demanding that the Russians stop bombing and stop taking Aleppo; this is Al-Qaida, these are people we supposedly don’t like.
Ron Paul: What percentage of the rebels, we knew there are a lot of groups early on, and we never knew which one to support; or if they did, they were supporting the wrong ones all the time. I wonder what percentage of the true rebels are Syrians, or how many have come in. If They are foreigners, that makes my case stronger for who has the moral high ground, because most of the true Syrians who are being butchered right now are trying to survive. If this was a true rebellion against Assad, there’s wouldn’t be tens of thousands of Syrians running away, instead they would be say, “Let’s get rid of Assad”. Evidently, they’re not motivated to do this, so there must be one faction more than another that have joined the rebel forces, or are they just miscellaneous from various different countries?
Daniel McAdams:: Well, there are a lot of Saudis, there are a lot of Libyans, there are a lot of Moroccans, they’ve come from all over the area to come fight the Jihad in Syria. But you’re right, this isn’t a home grown revolution. It started as a homegrown kind of kind of color revolution in the Arab Spring, and there were people who were genuinely upset. If you remember, it think it started out at the price of bread or something, it was economic factors that caused them to have some demonstrations in the street, and that was immediately exploited by an armed insurgence. So you jib the people up, and who’s not unhappy with the economy these days. The people in the streets are unhappy with the economy, and then they start with an armed rebellion, and that’s what happened.
Ron Paul: I think that economic issue is so often forgotten, but I think it is a motivation for a lot of disturbances and rebellion in countries. That is something I’ve been concerned about, what’s it going to be like when this country has to face up to the bankruptcy. We have 45 million people on food stamps, so what if our monetary system continues to collapse, how are they going to feed everybody? It’s going to be a very, very bad scene, and it will be economics, but it will be turned into violence, but then it will be the state that will attack the street demonstrators. They’ll say, “Oh, they’re motivated by communism”, and all kinds of things, they’ll be some ‘jihadists’ there, and they’ll blame Islam for the whole thing rather than ever looking at decades of a grossly misdirected economy, whether it’s monetary policy, spending, or debt. We’ll face that problem, and the people are going to be very disturbed, and I think that is what happened in some of these other countries.
Daniel McAdams:: Look at the militarization of the police in the U.S., they’re ready for it.
Ron Paul: But Syria and Iran didn’t let this go by without voicing a little bit of opposition to the troops coming in, because here’s one headline that says, “Syria and Iran warn Saudis against sending troops who would ‘return in wooden boxes'”. I don’t know whether that’s going to scare anybody away, but I would think they’re being very serious and it’s not going to be an easy fight and it’s going to depend on a lot of factors, but I just don’t know what type of event could change this, but there’s always some event that can change it, whether it’s deliberate or an accident. An event where one side gets blamed for the other side, and that arouses the emotions. The American people aren’t ready for expanding it, and they don’t follow how much it is really costing us, so in order to get the American people really rattled up, the false flag might have to be here in this country.
There have been problems here, but it’s nothing compared to the drug war, and yet the American people are sort of supporting the Republicans and saying, “Let’s carpet bomb, let’s carpet bomb”. There are a few on the top tier right now, and that’s all they’re saying. So something here could be used as an example why we have to go over there so they don’t come here. That, to me, should be a big concern for us.
Daniel McAdams:: You mentioned the response from Syria and Iran, but there was also a response from Russia. The head of the state Duma committee said the Saudi Arabia invasion will be a declaration of war, so apparently the Russians are taking it very seriously, too. The other issue that we haven’t talked about very much is that apparently this invasion should take place through Turkey. And the Turks, by and large, I think are increasingly frustrated with Iran and its aggressive foreign policy. At what point does the Turkish military rise up and say, “Enough of this”?
Ron Paul: It seems like, if they paid a little bit of attention … not that I’m the expert on Syria – Turkey relations … but it seems like they’ve lived next to each other for a long time, and if this happens, this looks like they’re trying to change all that when they’re participating in overthrowing Assad and marching through and doing all these things. Outsiders generally are manipulators and they cause a lot of problems and, unfortunately, it’s not easy to critique our own government, but we are the outsiders too often and we’re not champions of the cause of liberty and sound money. We’re claiming that our bombs are spreading American exceptionalism, but that’s just so disgusting that we can go over and kill people and say, “We’re exceptional”. The politicians are so dedicated to that, that if you don’t accept that, you’re unpatriotic and that you don’t care and you’re going to lead the country to danger if you don’t accept this idea that there’s a great danger posed by these individuals.
Daniel McAdams:: I think it was Putin who quoted yesterday when he said, “Yes, I understand that Americans feel like they’re an exceptional country, we understand that. We also feel that we’re exceptional country, but we’re not trying to push our exceptionalism on anyone else.
Ron Paul: It’s so aggravating to look at that and become a little sympathetic to what they’re saying. The one thing that I learned early on when people hit me hard by saying, “You’re unpatriotic”, is that patriotism has been misused and abused to make people do the wrong things. But I think in a true sense of the way, we are people who are willing to speak up about our government and say they’re wrong. Edward Snowden, as far as I’m concerned, is a patriot, he told the truth about what was going on. If you come around to believing that truth is treason and an empire lies … we have an empire, and they can only withstand the forces if they keep lying to us.
Now I think we’re moving in the right direction, because the American people, by percentages, are overwhelmingly skeptical of government, you know, we hear this in the campaign. Unfortunately, they’re not saying we need less government, they’re just saying we need somebody else to act like the government who will do a better job and the old group is bad. And I don’t think that will work, I think power is corrupting and if they get in and they change. The only thing that will ever help preserve our liberties, would be a government that is strictly limited in power. That, of course, was what was intended by the founders: strictly limiting the power, especially of the executive branch and that of the federal government. And that was the whole purpose of the constitution, but we have lost that.
So just changing our directors in Washington, won’t help us at all. Matter of fact, there is so much more power now to the politicians, because the executive branch does whatever it wants. And I think the noise I hear from many of the candidates, is that they would be quite willing to use the executive orders to do zee want, because they want know what is right. I think the answer to it is recognizing that when individuals are put in government, do a great deal of harm. The whole effort should be to restraint the power of those individuals in government, and you would say, “Yes, but aren’t there a lot of bad people out there?” There are, there are problems, but what way our country was set up, the states were supposed to deal with criminality, we weren’t supposed to have a standing army like we have now. We have hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats policing us and a lot of them have guns.
It’s a far cry from what was intended, and we have deteriorated, we have lost our confidence, and the cause of liberty has been squelched to a degree. Except for a growing number of people right now who are being reintroduced to the modern understanding of individual liberty, and that’s where I have my hope and my optimism, because only the ideas of liberty can confront the abuse of powers that exists today. Just changing the head of government will not do it, we have to think very seriously about what is the government like if the purpose of government is to protect liberty and not to tell us how to live and how to run the economy and not to police the world. When that time comes, then we will be an exceptional nation. Hopefully, it will come soon.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today, and come back soon.