Ron Paul isn’t backing down from his position that the U.S. has provoked terrorists through foreign military occupation and that officials tried to capitalize on Sept. 11 attacks.
“Think of what happened after 9/11, the minute before there was any assessment, there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq, and so the war drums beat,” Paul said Thursday night before a packed room of more than 1,000 students and supporters. “That’s exactly what they’re doing now with Iran.”
His libertarian ideals have struck a cord with many, but conservatives remain deeply wary of Paul’s foreign policy positions, including his assertion that the U.S. provoked the Sept. 11 attacks by maintaining military bases in foreign countries. Paul’s position as the lone dove in the GOP race has made him a foil for some of his hawkish Republican opponents.
“Extremists have taken over, and they’re the ones who run the foreign policy and have convinced us to go along with all these wars,” Paul said Wednesday night.
Paul said that claims Iran could be developing a nuclear weapon are just part of an effort to scare Americans into going to war again.
Paul said of the possibility that Iran has a nuclear weapon is “not true at all.” “It doesn’t mean they might not want a nuclear weapon.”
No other country, Paul said, is capable of attacking the United States.
“How many foreign countries can threaten us right now?” Paul asked sarcastically. “How many are likely to invade us or drop a bomb on us? I can’t imagine.”
“The PATRIOT Act was written many, many years before 9/11,” Paul said. The attacks simply provided “an opportunity for some people to do what they wanted to do,” he said.
“I wish we could guarantee a democratic and honest election in this country as well,” Paul said. “The democratic process in this country has a long way to go.”