Ron Paul: No Such Thing as an
by Jihan Hafiz, Press TV
December 28, 2008
The following is an exclusive Press TV
interview with US congressman Ron Paul, a unique conservative
politician who wants an end to US military presence on foreign
soil, advocates US withdrawal from the UN, NATO and the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and opposes the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS).
Ron Paul, House representative of the
14th district of Texas, believes that US foreign policy must be
reformed to avoid conflicts around the world.
The interview was conducted outside the
Foreign Relations Committee.
Press TV: What is your opinion on the
idea of the US blocking Iran's oil exports and preventing its
gasoline imports from reaching the country (based on H. Con. Res.
362 previously sought by US congressmen)?
Paul: I think it is an outrage I think
it is a blockade. It is the use of force to stop the inflow of
petroleum products and people and goods, banking, trains, cars,
trucks, cargos. It's all prohibited. How can we stop that without
the use of the navy and without the use of force? This idea is
not a blockade it is just pure silliness on their part [US senators
If we bomb them, that's the start of hostilities.
They (US policy makers) are never willing to take anything off
the table, which includes a nuclear-first strike. So, if they
do that do you think the Iranians are going to sit still? They
are going to react!
The opposition said that, well, we don't
want them to block the Strait of Hormuz [the Persian Gulf waterway
which allows the passages of a third of the world's daily oil
supply]. They ought to change their policy because they are more
likely to get the Strait of Hormuz blocked if we persist on this.
If we do any bombing or we put on a blockade, it's going to lead
to big trouble.
Press TV: There has been a lot of speculation
that Israel may act on its own and conduct an independent air
strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Do you think that's possible?
Paul: I don't think there is such a thing
as an independent Israel doing anything, because I think no matter
what they do its our money, its our weapons, and their not going
to do it without us approving it and if they get into trouble
we're going to bail them out, so there is no separation between
Press TV: During your line of questioning
at the Foreign Relations Committee you mentioned the Seymour Hersh
article, which was among the articles that revealed that the Congress
had awarded the Bush administration hundreds of millions of dollars
for a covert operation to overthrow the Iranian government. Why
did you mention those stories?
Paul: Well it's something that I have
known about and heard about and it does go on. It goes on all
around the world. To me it was a surprise that it was news, because
we have been doing that and people do talk about it. I think it's
an outrage. How would we react if somebody did it to us? We would
be infuriated, willing to go to war. The fact that somebody came
and tried to undermine our government.
Press TV: How do you think the new administration
will handle the war in Iraq? __
Paul: The same way the old administration
had. I don't think expect a whole lot of changes although he [US
President-elect Barack Obama] had promised to bring the troops
home in 16 months, now he isn't out on this because of the so-called
agreement. __But I don't think he was ever serious about changing
foreign policy. I think foreign policy in this country always
stays the same whether the Republicans or Democrats lead it, because
when you look at what George Bush ran on in the year 2000, he
was strongly critical of Clinton's foreign policy of too much
nation building and too much policing of the world, because the
American people liked to hear that. But once they get in they
do same thing. __So, I don't expect much change in Iraq. At the
same time, he doesn't even pretend to have a difference of opinion
on Afghanistan. So it isn't so much the individual countries,
what he's going to do, as much as he overall endorses foreign
interventionism. __And it is just of a matter of how fast you
move and which leaders you have but essentially he picked all
the leaders John McCain loves. The neocons love the foreign policy
group that he has put together. So it is just a matter of time
before the Democrat base that did not want him to continue the
Bush-McCain policies... they are going to get pretty upset I think
pretty soon. __
Press TV: What do you think about the
situation in Afghanistan?
Paul: More of these attacks and this week
this serious mistake of the Afghani police being killed, but equally
important is the attacks into Pakistan and innocent people are
getting killed and everybody is pretending that it's no big deal.
But it is a big deal, so it's just radicalizing the fringes. __See
I don't happen to believe that the Pakistani government is stupid
enough to say well lets go into India and start a war, but I believe
no matter which society or which country it is, there is always
one group that can get radicalized, and this is just more motivation.
So the more people we end up killing, innocent people and civilians,
or the pretence -- oh yeah this is just a terrorist we just killed
a bunch of terrorists. Well How do they know? Did they catch them
and try them? __So no, I think the whole process is very bad,
and I condemn it out of our own self interest. I think it's bad
for America. I think the more of this we do the more costly it
is in terms of money and lives. And, the more likely it is that
some day we are going to be subject to a terrorist attack here
at home. __You know we're over there we're easy targets. But they
are capable of coming back here too. I don't believe terrorists
don't have motivations and we need to think more about where the
motivations come from. __
Press TV: Do expect to see more of these
airstrikes inside sovereign territory, inside Pakistan? __
Paul: I don't see that ending. I think
Obama will do it, because I think foreign policy is controlled
over and above the political parties. I don't think our political
parties have that much say in the matter. So I expect those attacks
are going to continue. __And, unfortunately, I think Obama's been
pretty adamant about how to treat Iran. He has said that maybe
we will talk to them a little bit, but he is not talking about
never having a blockade on Iran and if they even look like they
are going to have a weapon, we have a moral obligation to stop
them. __Well, did we stop Pakistan? Did we stop India? Did we
stop Israel from having a weapon? So what's the big deal? But
he has been very adamant. He spoke to the foreign policy of the
internationalists -- the people who direct both the Democratic
Party and the Republican Party. __
Press TV: It's been a year since the National
Intelligence Estimate (NIE) dismissed the claims that Iran is
producing a nuclear weapon. Yet we are seeing a lot of war-talk
here in Washington. Why do you think that is? __
Paul: Well, I think there are a lot of
reasons. I think oil is an important reason. I think the neocon
mentality of we're good people and we going to impose our goodness
on people. I think Israel has to do something with it. __And I
think some people honestly say, you know they get convinced, they
say 'Iranians are bad people they might bomb us'. So for these
various reasons they all come together. Same reasons they went
together to go after the Iraqis. So it's a lot of misinformation,
emotional reactions. But, unfortunately, if you're talking generalities,
the American people don't want this. __In a way the candidate
who argues more for peace wins. So, Obama was sort of the peace
candidate. He wanted less intervention. But it didn't matter anyway.
__But when it comes to dealing with policy, I think that our policies
are locked in place. The saving grace may be that our bankruptcy
in this country will make it very difficult for us to afford it
just like the Soviets had to leave Afghanistan because they ran
out of money and there system failed. Our system could fail and
it might be a blessing in disguise. __
Press TV: Do you think with the incoming
administration we will see a difference in policies toward the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Do you think Hamas could be part
of the solution. __
Paul: I don't expect any significant changes
there. I think he's not going to be more sympathetic toward the
Palestinians. He may pay lip service to it, but if it's something
that Israel doesn't endorse, it's not going to happen. __
Press TV: Lets move to the economy. Why
have you introduced this bill to end the Federal Reserve. __
Paul: Because the Federal Reserve is a
central bank that under our constitution is illegal, there is
no authority for it, and it is of no value to us. It does nothing
but harm because it has the power to create money out of thin
air. We have legalized counterfeiting.
Why an individual like myself that cherishes
personal liberty is so opposed is that it allows governments to
grow because they don't have to be responsible. If you were in
a free society with sound money, you would have to appropriate
money, tax the people, spend the money and know exactly what was
going on. But, if a secret bank can just create money out of thin
air then they [the government] can circumvent the people and circumvent
the Congress, and they can go fight wars and not be responsible.
See, if we tax the American people for
all that we do overseas, it would end in weeks, because we don't
have the money, but if you inflate the currency you can delay
the payment you worry about high prices down the road. And we
have been sort of lucky to have the reserve currency of the world
and we haven't suffered from the inflation.
So it just enhances big government and
besides its illegal and morally its wrong. It's wrong to allow
an individual to counterfeit money. Why do we allow a secret bank
to counterfeit money. There are many reasons why we shouldn't
have a central bank and why it's so damaging.
Early parts of a cycle where the government
inflates a currency, there are some benefits because it look likes
you're real wealthy but its only temporary. Now, what we are seeing
the market catching up and saying that this was not such a good
idea. It was a bubble.
And the bubbles that the Federal Reserve
created are now coming apart and the ultimate bubble to come unglued
or come apart will be dollar bubble. And we are now billing everybody
to the point of trillions of dollars which means that the dollar
won't be able to withstand this and eventually the world will
reject the dollar -- which for us here means higher interest rates
and higher prices and a country that's going to be a lot poorer.
Press TV: Why are you always referred
to as the true constitutionalist?
Paul: Because I do, I follow the constitution.
And it is an old-fashioned idea that you believe in it literally.
Our Article 1, Section A lists what we can do, and it also says
by our ninth and tenth amendment that if it's not authorized,
you are not allowed to do it. So all governments should be local,
and yet we have drifted away from that for the last 100 years
and I just thought that it was a pretty good idea.
The founders had a pretty good idea about
the constitution, to make the government very local and divide
it and only have a few things bring us together as a country such
as sound money and free trade.
So, I think it was a great idea. It's
the oath that we all take and everybody else ignores it. I didn't
think that very many people in this country cared. But to my surprise
in the presidential campaign we discovered a lot. They said hey
that sounds like a good idea I am so glad; I have been waiting
for somebody to say something like that. So it's been very encouraging.