REP. RON PAUL:
We’re under great threat because we occupyso many countries. We’re in 130 countries. We have 900 basesaround the world. We’re going broke. The purpose of al-Qaedawas to attack us, invite us over there, where they can target us.And they have been doing it. They have more attacks against usand the American interests per month than occurred in all theyears before 9/11. But we’re there, occupying their land. And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we’rekidding ourselves. We have to be honest with ourselves. Whatwould we do if another country, say China, did to us what we doto all those countries over there?So, this whole idea that the whole Muslim world is responsible forthis and they’re attacking us because we’re free and prosperous,that is just not true. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda have beenexplicit. They have been explicit, and they wrote and said that weattacked—we attacked America because you had bases on ourholy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians a fairtreatment, and you have been bombing—I didn’t say that, I’mtrying to get you to understand what the motive was behind thebombing. At the same time, we had been bombing and killinghundreds of thousands of Iraqis for 10 years. Would you beannoyed? If you’re not annoyed, then there’s some problem.
That was Republican Congress Member Ron Paulof Texas speaking last night at the Republican presidentialdebate. Noam Chomsky, your response?
I think what he said is completelyuncontroversial. You can read it in government documents. Youcan find it in polls. Maybe people don’t like to hear it, but, as Imentioned before, it goes back to the 1950s. Actually, right after9/11, the
Wall Street Journal
, to its credit, did a study of privilegedMuslims, sometimes called "monied Muslims," people in theMuslim world who are deeply embedded in the U.S. global project—lawyers, directors of multinational corporations and so on, not