Educating Rudi

Following Giuliani’s dummy spit during the last Republican debate, it occurred to Ron Paul that poor Rudi is factually challenged. Paul has offered to help him get up to speed on foreign affairs. It might come in useful if he were ever to become president.

“I’m giving Mr. Giuliani a reading assignment,” the nine-term Texas congressman said as he stood behind a stack of books that included the report by the commission that examined the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. ”¦

“I don’t think he’s qualified to be president,” Paul said of Giuliani. “If he was to read the book and report back to me and say, ”˜I’ve changed my mind,’ I would reconsider.”

Giuliani spokeswoman responded with this:

“It is extraordinary and reckless to claim that the United States invited the attacks on September 11th. And to further declare Rudy Giuliani needs to be educated on September 11th when millions of people around the world saw him dealing with these terrorist attacks firsthand is just as absurd.”

The best they got is that he was there that day, so that makes him an authority on Middle Eastern politics.

The New York Times put it on their blog. Paul’s press release condensed it into a kind of Foreign Affairs for Dummies, for Giuliani.

“His [bin Laden] rhetoric selectively draws from multiple sources — Islam, history, and the region’s political and economic malaise. He also stresses grievances against the United States widely shared in the Muslim world. He inveighed against the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam’s holiest sites. He spoke of the suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of sanctions imposed after the Gulf War”¦”

– 9/11 Commission Report, pages 48-49

“One of the greatest dangers for Americans in deciding how to confront the Islamist threat lies in continuing to believe — at the urging of senior U.S. leaders — that Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than for what we do. The Islamic world is not so offended by our democratic system of politics, guarantees of personal rights and civil liberties, and separation of church and state that it is willing to wage war against overwhelming odds in order to stop Americans from voting, speaking freely, and praying, or not, as they wish.”

– Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris, page 8

“We assume, moreover, that bin Laden and the Islamists hate us for our liberty, freedoms, and democracy — not because they and many millions of Muslims believe U.S. foreign policy is an attack on Islam or because the U.S. military now has a ten-year record of smashing people and things in the Islamic world.”

– Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris, page 165

“The U.S. invasion of Iraq is Osama bin Laden’s gift from America, one he has long and ardently desired, but never realistically expected.”

– Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris, page 213

“Although suicide terrorism is virtually always a response to foreign occupation, only some occupations lead to this result. Suicide terrorism is most likely when the occupying power’s religion differs from the religion of the occupied, for three reasons. A conflict across a religious divide increases fears that the enemy will seek to transform the occupied society; makes demonization, and therefore killing, of enemy civilians easier; and makes it easier to use one’s own religion to relabel suicides that would otherwise be taboo as martyrdom instead.”

– Robert A. Pape, Dying to Win, page 22

“An attempt to transform Muslim societies through regime change is likely to dramatically increase the threat we face. The root cause of suicide terrorism is foreign occupation and the threat that foreign military presence poses to the local community’s way of life. ”¦ Even if our intentions are good, anti-American terrorism would likely grow, and grow rapidly.”

– Robert A. Pape, Dying to Win, page 245

“The suicidal assassins of September 11, 2001 did not ”˜attack America,’ as political leaders and news media in the United States have tried to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy. Employing the strategy of the weak, they killed innocent bystanders, whose innocence is, of course, no different from that of the civilians killed by American bombs in Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.”

– Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, page XV

“The term ”˜blowback,’ which officials of the Central Intelligence Agency first invented for their own internal use, is starting to circulate among students of international relations. It refers to the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people. What the daily press reports as the malign acts of ”˜terrorists’ or ”˜drug lords’ or ”˜rogue states’ or ”˜illegal arms merchants’ often turn out to be blowback from earlier American operations.”

– Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, page 8

Let’s hope Rudi does his homework.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

Site by Common