Ron Paul: Iraq is not Nazi Germany
"Congressman Paul, I've heard him now in many debates talking about bringing our troops home, and about the war in Iraq, and how it's failed. And I want to tell you that that kind of isolationism, sir, is what caused World War II...You allow Hitler to come to power with that kind of attitude of isolationism..."
--Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), to Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) at the CNN/YouTube GOP debate
"Iraq is not Nazi Germany," says Congressman Ron Paul to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "and besides, I thought it was Hitler that caused World War II, not the American people, who opposed going in."
Senator and fellow presidential candidate John McCain confuses "isolationism" and "non-intervention," says Paul. "I advocate non-intervention: Not getting involved in the internal affairs of other nations, and not pretending a country like Iraq is equivalent to Nazi Germany."
Continues the Congressman, "Iraq had no Army, no Navy, and no weapons of mass destruction; had nothing to do with 9/11... so the comparison makes no sense."
"Under what circumstances, if you were President," asks Blitzer of the Congressman, "would you intervene outside the borders of the United States in some crisis around the world?"
"When Congress directed me to in an act of war," responds Paul, saying that he would act when Congress followed proper procedure and determined that there was a national security threat.
Congressman Paul also responds to a clip of McCain, who professes to know the thoughts of the troops in Iraq about the effects of the recent troop "surge," and progress being made in Iraq as a result. The troops, says McCain, don't agree with Paul's assessment.
"I don't believe we went to the war for the right reason," says Paul. He reiterates the absence of "weapons of mass destruction," along with the lack of a connection between Iraq and the World Trade Center attacks in 2001.
"We plan to keep fourteen bases over there, a huge naval base, and we have this huge embassy -- we have a permanent plan to stay there and take over these $30 trillion worth of oil in that region, and the people in those countries know that. And that's why they're very angry. And to deny that is folly.
It just means that we have expanded the opportunity for the terrorists to come here because there are greater motivations."
Congressman Paul cites, when questioned about whether he would have the support of Republican voters, an Iowa poll that showed 50% of Republicans being opposed to the war in Iraq. Also, Paul says, he has the support of independents in New Hampshire -- McCain's old voter base.
"Since 70% of the American people want out of the war and are tired of it, Republicans better pick somebody who's opposed to war, or have a new foreign policy, or they can't win."
"We can't even fight the war without borrowing the money from the Chinese," adds the Congressman. "It really doesn't matter whether I'm right or wrong; the war's going to end because we're going to have such a political and financial havoc here, with the devaluation of our dollar, because we just can't keep affording--this is usually how empires end..."
The entire exchange, from CNN's Late Edition, can be viewed below, as broadcast on December 2, 2007.