Paul campaign hopes 'Reading for Rudy' will 'educate' Giuliani
Even though former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani earned hearty rounds of applause at the last GOP presidential debate after he lashed out at fellow Republican candidate Ron Paul over comments he had made regarding the CIA term "blowback," the Texas congressman isn't backing down.
"Longshot Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on Thursday gave front-runner Rudy Giuliani a list of foreign-policy books to back up his contention that attacks by Islamic militants are fueled by the U.S. presence in the Middle East," Andy Sullivan reports for Reuters. "'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 Sept. 11, 2001."
In a press release obtained by RAW STORY, Paul's campaign chairman Kent Snyer says, "I hope Rudy Giuliani reads these books from top foreign policy
experts. We have also included some Cliffs Notes in case Mr. Giuliani is too busy giving $100,000 speeches on national security."
At the May 15 debate, Paul said, "I'm suggesting we listen to the people who attacked us [on Sept. 11] and the reason they did it, and they're delighted" that US troops are in Iraq because they provide easy targets for terrorists.
Paul was responding to a question about the origins of terrorist attacks on US soil and noted the generations-long history of US involvement in Middle East politics, including a CIA-sponsored coup to overthrow Iran's leader in 1953 and regular bombing missions in Iraq over the decade before 9/11.
"I don't think I've heard that before," Giuliani said, "and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11."
Paul said he was referring to what the CIA calls "blowback," in mentioning the hostility American involvement might forment in foreign cultures.
"They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and we're free," Paul said. "They attack us because we're over there."
Last week, a CNN contributor wrote in an opinion piece that Paul's assertion in that week's Republican presidential debate that American foreign policy in the Middle East invited the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 should not be dismissed, lest Americans continue to ignore the lessons of history.
"As Americans, we believe in forgiving and forgetting, and are terrible at understanding how history affects us today," wrote Roland S. Martin, who also hosts a talk show in Chicago. "We are arrogant in not recognizing that when we benefit, someone else may suffer. That will lead to resentment and anger, and if suppressed, will boil over one day."
Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that an upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee report states that the Bush administration was warned before the invasion that a US presence in Iraq would actually increase terrorist influence.
"Officials familiar with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation also say analysts warned against U.S. domination in the region, which could increase extremist recruiting," the AP reported. "The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the report's declassification is not finished. It could be made public as soon as this week."
The "Reading for Rudy" list includes Chalmers Johnson's Blowback, Robert A. Pape's Dying to Win, and Michael Scheuer's Imperial Hubris, along with the 9-11 Commission Report.
Paul's press release contained the following "Cliff Notes" 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
"There are a lot of things that are different now [after the invasion
of Iraq], and one that has gone by almost unnoticed -- but it's huge -- is
that by complete mutual agreement between the US and the Saudi government
we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their
presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous
difficulty for a friendly government. It's been a huge recruiting device
for al-Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle
grievances was the presence of so- called crusader forces on the holy land,
Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is
itself going to open the door to other positive things."
-- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Vanity Fair, May 2003
"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
-- 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