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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 1-15-08, by The Associated Press

[Pentagon: Boats may not have made threat]

``The Navy Times quoted Rick Hoffman, a retired captain, as saying a renegade talker repeatedly harassed ships in the Gulf in the late 1980s.

CAIRO, EGYPT -- A threatening radio message at the end of a video showing Iranian patrol boats swarming near U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf may have come from a prankster rather than from the Iranian vessels, the Navy Times newspaper has reported.

A video and audio recording of the Jan. 6 [2008] incident in the Strait of Hormuz featured a man in accented English saying, "I am coming to you . . . . You will explode after . . . minutes."

Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, spokeswoman for the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, said the Navy was still trying to determine the source of the transmission ...

The Navy Times, a weekly newspaper published by the Gannett company, quoted several veteran sailors as speculating the transmission could have come from a radio heckler.

The newspaper, which serves the Navy community, said U.S. sailors in the Persian Gulf have heard the prankster - possibly more than one person - transmitting "insults and jabbering vile epithets" on unencrypted frequencies ...

The threat, however, ratcheted up tensions in the incident, which began when Iranian patrol boats swarmed around three U.S. Navy vessels near Iranian waters in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has denied that its boats threatened the U.S. vessels, and it accused Washington of fabricating video and audio it released.

Iran's government has released its own video, which appeared to be shot from a small boat bobbing at least yards from the American warships.

The Navy Times quoted Rick Hoffman, a retired captain, as saying a renegade talker repeatedly harassed ships in the Gulf in the late 1980s.

"For 25 years there's been this mythical guy out there who, hour after hour, shouts obscenities and threats," Hoffman said.

"He could be tied up pierside somewhere or he could be on the bridge of a merchant ship."''

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COLUMN from The Plain Dealer, 1-13-08, by Dick Feagler, Plain Dealer Columnist

President Bush visits the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. [1-13-08] where "Bush calls Iran 'leading sponsor of terror'"; Glen Beck says "In bed with dirt bags." Photo from the The Chronicle-Telegram, 1-14-08

Dick Feagler: Everybody's for change, so bring it on

``In this, the most important presidential election in our lifetime, the call comes out for change.

That can mean a lot of things.

To Republicans, it means an about-face on eight years of the George W. Bush administration. They want something changed, too. For them, the call for change is desperate, because the nation is sick and tired of the old administration, mired in war, with no respect overseas.

Our jobs are leaving. Our economy is growing for the fat cats who get richer by packing our jobs off to foreign countries. The nation has spent its way into bankruptcy. And our citizens have followed suit. Even the staunchest Republican doesn't like spending that much, to leave the country in a bottomless hole. That is not what free-market capitalism is all about, is it? It is un-Republican.

As for the Democrats, they hate this war because there seems to be no reason for it. They see money gushing away from social programs they would like to fund. And it's gushing away for the idea that money can buy democracy around the globe, exchanged for a better price on oil.

Meanwhile, people are dying every month, every week, to do whose bidding? Never before have we fought such a war without a clear-cut reason. That's enough to make this an important election unlike any other election I have ever seen.

I lived through Vietnam, when we tried to install a corrupt government there. We spent nearly 60,000 of our troops, for what turned out to be a pipe dream. Now we have a wall in black granite to remind us of that venture.

And soon, we'll be hunting for space to build a new memorial for the brave young people who have been sent - misguidedly - into Iraq. We sent them. And there is no way we can ever dodge that. That's why it is so important how we think and how we vote this year.

The way our system is structured, we have pretty much been helpless as we've witnessed the war going on and on.

Helpless when we learned that we have stretched our Army, our Marines, to the breaking point.

Helpless in learning from our best generals, muzzled or fired by this administration, that we could not keep doing what we were doing.

Helpless in finding that what we had thought was Mission Accomplished was not Mission Accomplished at all.

Helpless in realizing that no one who was saying "enough is finally enough" had the clout to make it stick.

And that is only part of it. Here at home, we all see jobs shipped overseas and other workers illegally imported to do our jobs ...

The average American hasn't had a raise for years. He is happy to have a job, and maybe keep his health care. The average American sees his life eroding slightly and hopes what's left will last his lifetime. He prays for his children and grandchildren ...

This needs to be the turn-around election of our lifetime. Otherwise, we'll turn the corner into an alley that may just lead America to a dead end.''

To reach Dick Feagler: dfeagler@plaind.com

[To find out how we fell into this trap read "Crossing the Rubicon" by Michael C. Ruppert

at www.amazon.com

On the web see www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/index.shtml

We were almost trapped into a war with Iran in the fall of 2007. See The Bin Laden Trades

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 1-11-08, by Robin Wright, Washington Post

``WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon said Thursday that the radio threat to bomb U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf last weekend may not have come from the five Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats that approached them - and may not even have been intended against U.S. targets.

The communication Sunday was made on radio channel 16, a common marine frequency used by ships and others in the region. "It could have been a threat aimed at some other nation or a myriad of other things," said Rear Adm. Frank Thorp IV, a spokesman for the Navy.

In the radio message recorded by the Navy, a heavily accented voice said, "I am coming to you. You will explode after a few minutes." But Farsi speakers and Iranians told the Washington Post that the accent did not sound Iranian.

In part because of the threatening language, the United States has elevated the encounter into an international incident. Twice this week, President Bush criticized Iran's behavior as provocative and warned of "serious consequences" if it happens again.

Pentagon officials insist that they never claimed Iran made the threat ... Yet the Pentagon has consistently given the impression that the threat was linked to the Iranian boats ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 1-11-08, by Liz Sidoti, Associated Press

``MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Republican presidential rivals backed a blend of tax and spending cuts Thursday night [1-10-08] to head off an election-year recession they generally agreed is avoidable ...

"The first thing is not to raise taxes," said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. "Cut the marginal tax rate, if anything, and eventually go to a fair tax," he added, referring to his plan for a national sales tax to replace the income tax ...

Asked about last weekend's Persian Gulf incident in which Iranian speedboats harassed U.S. warships, none of the presidential rivals found fault with U.S. naval commanders on the scene.

But several took the opportunity to stress their determination to take stronger steps against Iran in the future ...

Romney drew scattered boos and applause from the audience when he criticized Texas Rep. Ron Paul for saying the United States must avoid another war ...''

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TRANSCRIPT from CNN, 1-1-08

transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0801/01/cnr.01.html

``MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... And what made this a great country was when people could sit down at their kitchen table and sketch out an idea for their own business with a pencil and a paper napkin and say I can make this work ...

Never send our armies into battle with the concept if we go to war with the army that we have, not the one we want. Send them in with the attitude, we go to war only when we have the army we need and the army that can win ...

The people of America have a right to know the truth. They need to know if we're at war why. They need to know how we're going to win it. They need to know if our borders are broken - why are they broken? Why is it our government hasn't done one thing to fix those borders in over 20 years ...

We'll have a very limited window of time, people will have to go to the back of the line to their home country and start over ... We also need to recognize that there's a $9 trillion debt on your grandchildren ...''

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TRANSCRIPT from CNN, 1-6-08

cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0801/01/cnr.06.html

``MALVEAUX: Welcome back to the CNN Ballot Bowl ...

Congressman Ron Paul spoke in Des Moines, Iowa, just last week. His campaign's core issue has been the war in Iraq. And that's where he started his remarks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The one major reason -- well, there's quite a few reasons why we should stay out of war, but definitely we should never be involved in preemptive war. This country now has, you know, started a war. I guess the country that was not a good country, and not a good leader, but less chaotic than it is today over there.

But of course we went into Iraq under false pretenses, weapons of mass destruction, participation in 9/11, and all these threats and intimidation that if we didn't go in there our national security would be threatened.

And yet what did we end up with? We've spent nearly $1 trillion and there is no intent to leave. The other candidates won't even take off the table a nuclear first strike against Iran. They're not talking about closing the bases down. We have an embassy there bigger than the Vatican -- at least as large as the Vatican.

That means that we plan to stay there forever. What I'd like to do is change that and tell the people we're tired of running your life. What we want to do is come home and let you take care of your problems, you develop your self-determination. You don't need us telling you how to live and what to do.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PAUL: A lot of people would say, well, that's different, we can't do that because we've got to protect our oil. When did it become our oil? You know, and how much good did it do? We spent this nearly $1 trillion over there protecting our oil, which was part of the inflationary problem, part of the reasons the inflation goes up, that raises prices.

But we went over there and the Iraqis now produce half as much oil as they used to produce. And now oil went from $27 a barrel up to $97 a barrel. I would say that's not a very successful foreign policy [but it is very successful for the owners of oil wells who are going langhing to the bank -- and buying up our assets]

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: You know, in medicine, if you keep doing the wrong thing, what happens to the patient? They don't do well. You have to change course and wise up. In foreign policy, if we make mistakes and keep doing something wrong that is hurting, we keep doing the same thing over and over again and we've been doing that too long.

And it hasn't been just this administration. It has been going on for many, many decades. That's why we need a change in foreign policy. We need to understand why it's to our advantage.

Every great nation, every great empire has always been brought to their knees not by a foreign adversary, not for military reasons. They are brought to their knees because of financial reasons. And that is what we're facing today, a financial crisis in this country because we overspend at home, we overspend overseas, we have less friends than ever before, more enemies, and not only are we in Iraq, we're in Afghanistan, threatening Iran.

Turkey, we pay them to be our buddies and they are using our weapons and our complicity in them attacking northern Iraq. I mean, you talk about chaos. And now if we don't change our tune, we're going to be very much involved in Pakistan ...

This war is going to spread. I'm seriously concerned that when it spreads and gets out of control, there's going to be a military draft. We don't need a military draft again.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PAUL: So, what are we going to do about it? We have to start cutting if we're going to avert the crisis. Because empires do come down and they come down hard. And they come down by destroying their currency.

And today if any of you are paying attention to the financial markets, you know the dollar is not doing well. It's sick. It has been sick for a good many years but it gets propped up now and then and the world has trusted us because we have been an economic powerhouse and military powerhouse, which can convey a false illusion and support for a currency.

We have been the issuer of the reserve currency of the world because we used to have the dollar, was as good as gold. But it hasn't been since 1971 ...

Even on this very day it went down about almost 1 percent in one day. That is going to continue. And when the dollar goes down sharply, it's going to be devastating because prices are going to go up and taking care of the elderly who have become dependent or providing medical care for anybody, or for us to run a good economy, you can't do it without a sound currency.

And that is the reason why the most important thing we do now is get together and decide that we're going to live within our means. Most people say now that's too tough because weaning people off is too tough. But waiting until everybody has nothing is that much worse.

To me, I compare it somewhat like drug addiction. You know, if you are trying to treat a patient that's addicted to alcohol or any drugs and you try to take them off, they have withdrawal symptoms and they are very, very bad. And you can alleviate the withdrawal symptoms by giving more alcohol or more drugs.

But what happens to the patient? You know if you keep doing that the patient eventually dies. But nobody wants to be weaned off, and that's the way inflation and big spending is, is that the -- there's too much dependency and yet it is crucial that we do it because we don't want to have to face the crisis.

Under these conditions, and we have seen already, ever since 9/11, we've gotten so involved in these active wars in the Middle East, but we've also had an attack on our civil liberties at home. So, Randolph Bourne was absolutely right when he said that war is the health of the state.

When there's a war fever going on, whether it's war overseas or war against terrorism or war against drugs, it conveys a mentality that says that people have to be like sheep and succumb to the pressures of government to undermine our personal liberties.

And that is what's happening today, the government was created by the founders of this country to protect liberty, not to deliberately undermine our liberties. And we need to reverse that trend.''

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TRANSCRIPT from CNN, 1-1-08

transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0801/01/gb.01.html

``Encore: Honest Questions with Ron Paul

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Veteran, doctor, congressman, and author of books on everything from pregnancy to why our freedom is under siege.

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our national sovereignty is under threat.

BECK: He`s come under fire for his candor on Iraq and his position on America`s foreign policy.

PAUL: Our foreign policy is designed to protect our oil interests.

BECK: Paul`s mantra of personal liberty, small government, and a return to the Constitution have ignited the passions of many ...

BECK: Ron Paul supporters complain that the mainstream media distorts their candidate`s views. Or worse, ignores him altogether. Well, that ends tonight. Presidential contender Ron Paul for a full hour of honest questions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Well, hello America. I`m sure we have quite a few new people watching the show tonight, but for those of you that have watched or listened to me on the radio for a while, you know that I am actually a libertarian at heart. I believe so deeply in our Constitution I believe the free market system is the answer. We, the people, are really the answer to almost every problem we face ...

That is why I`ve wanted to sit down for so long now with the congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. By speaking out on the issues that virtually no one else wants to touch, has struck a nerve with the disenfranchised American who is sick and tired of the same old rhetoric from the same old people.

But he has also struck a nerve with people who believe that a small- government, free-market-at-all-costs approach is impractical, outdated and, in some cases, dangerous. I`ll have you know on the outset, I`m in both of those camps.

Tonight, we`re going to explore both sides, and it is my hope that Dr. Paul will finally have the time he needs to fully explain his positions on the things that cannot be addressed in 30-second sound bites like, "Let`s abolish the FBI."

Congressman Paul, welcome to the program, sir.

PAUL: Thank you, Glenn. Nice to be with you.

BECK: OK. You`re on the campaign trail, which is the reason why you`re not in the studio now. And I want to get to some of your more controversial positions later on in the program.

But I thought we would start on a few of the things that I -- I almost never see anybody talk about with you. The real things that most conservatives do agree with you on. I want to start by playing a clip of something you said just last week in the debate in Iowa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Re-read the oath of office, take it seriously. Obey the Constitution. We can -- we are well-defended against all enemies foreign. We should be much more careful about defending against the enemies domestic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Who, sir, do you...

PAUL: Yes.

BECK: Who do you believe are the enemies domestic?

PAUL: I don`t see them as individuals or personalities. I see it as a philosophic danger endorsed by the status quo. Most members of Congress, most members who have been in the executive branch over the years, the undermining of our personal economic liberties, our personal liberties, our privacy. There`s been a special erosion of these privacy issues since 9/11 ...

BECK: I -- let me go to the U.N. You say the U.N. shouldn`t even exist.

PAUL: Well, I don`t have any -- any saying about whether they should exist or not. I just am arguing that it`s not in our best interest to be in the U.N.

The very first thing that the U.N. did after World War II was they took us to war. I mean, Truman went to war and didn`t even tell the Congress. And you know, we`re still in Korea.

And you know, the Constitution is very clear. Only Congress can declare war. A lot of men died over there. So I don`t like going to war under the U.N. banner.

BECK: You say the choice is very clear: we either follow the constitution or submit to U.N. global government. I happen to agree with you, sir. I mean, I see the LOST treaty, I see the issue of global warming as nothing but trying to entangle us and the rest of the world into one world government. Would you agree or disagree with that?

PAUL: No. No, I agree with it. I think our trade agreements do the same thing, you know, whether it`s the WTO or, you know, the World Bank or the IMF or NAFTA or CAFTA. These are taking away our -- our sovereignty.

Even today, the WTO today was telling us that we shouldn`t pass this agricultural bill. I`ll probably, you know, not go for the agriculture bill, but should I do it because the WTO tells me not to? So I don`t -- I don`t like this undermining of our national sovereignty.

BECK: So...

PAUL: And we`ve allowed this to happen.

BECK: You have said, though, that this is not some, if I may quote you, "It is not as much a sinister conspiracy. The knowledge is out there. If you just look for it, you realize that our national sovereignty under threat." ...

How else could you explain some of the things that are going on at the border, with the LOST treaty, with your budget, our monetary policies. I mean, how do you say it`s not a sinister conspiracy?

PAUL: Yes, I guess -- I guess that it may be semantics that we`re dealing with. What I see is a conspiracy in the sense that some people believe in globalism. Some people believe in the North American Union. I don`t.

It used to be more secretive. You know, the new world order that was talked about 30, 40 years ago, and nobody would say it out and open.

BECK: Right.

PAUL: Now they`re talking about the new world order. So it`s not as secretive and it`s not as conspiratorial as it was 50 or 60 years ago. People believe in internationalism. And I think people they`re very sincere. They think the world would be better off if we had one world government.

BECK: Yes. Right.

PAUL: I don`t. I mean, I don`t even like the size of our federal government, let alone the one-world government. I want government to be local.

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BECK: I -- I`ve tried to explain this in a chapter, the last chapter of a book that I have out, on Mexico ...

Let`s talk a little bit about the NAFTA super highway, where you have an opinion that this is part of the, you know, joining of Mexico and Canada and the United States under one kind of E.U.-style government. They`ll deny it. They`ll say that`s not true. You`re crazy if you believe that.

PAUL: I saw a major editorial today against me for being concerned that there could be a North American Union in our future. I don`t think it`s next month or next year, but you know, they probably talked 50 years about the European Union. And I think that plans are definitely there.

I think that`s why they`re very weak on border protection and very weak on the immigration issue, because the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats aren`t that concerned about borders. They`re more interested in a North American Union.

BECK: You say you don`t think that that would happen, yet I find that hard to believe if you`re sincere on this belief. If you`ve done your homework, you know that the ambassador to the U.N. from Mexico says it has to happen before our Social Security and Baby Boomers start to retire. That`s just a few years away.

PAUL: Well -- well, let me clarify that. I`m concerned about it, and I`m fighting it. I just don`t think it`s going to happen next month or next year. But I think the plans are being laid there ...

Quite a few states have, you know, written some resolutions and objections. Texas has done this. It`s not like we`ve thought this up. If the -- if everybody in Texas` legislature can vote and say, "Let`s put a moratorium on these plans for a super highway coming through," there must be something to it.

BECK: The American people, and you must know this, because you are -- you are probably the lightning rod for the most disenfranchised in America. You are probably the one who -- I know -- I have to tell you. I listen to your radio commercials. And I hear your radio commercials and I`m like, yes, that`s how I feel.

I have voted for Ronald Reagan. I have been a Republican, but I`ve -- you know, I`ve never registered as a Republican. But generally speaking. But I think most Americans now say neither side. They`re both selling us out.

How do you propose to -- how do you propose to stop this? And what advice do you give to the American people when they say, "Wait a minute. Nobody in Washington is listening to me. If I elected you, how are you going to stop this?"

PAUL: Well, one person can`t do it. But the fact that our movement is so big, much bigger than I ever dreamed, you know, the way they raise funds and the way they join us. And we get 25,000 new supporters in one single day. So there is a great deal of discontent in the country.

So it takes an army of people who believe a certain way, who`s willing to look at this in an objective manner. And I think we`re further along. I think this is the first time in history where a grassroots-type candidate, an independent-minded person, has been able to compete with the special interests.

I think that is the message of what`s happening here. We`ve been able to raise enough funds. We don`t have as much money as others, but we get their attention. You know, raising $6 million in one day is a special event.

But now we can compete, and this scares those people who are controlling government for so many years. Whether it`s the banking interests, the military industrial complex, whether it`s the medical industry. So many people have so much control in Washington, and yet we`re able to compete with them. And think that`s very encouraging. And this invites even more people in, because I`m convinced we`re the majority.

If you take the base of the Republican Party and the base of the Democratic Party, I think you`re down to about 30 percent of the people. So many people have dropped out or never joined in, and now they`re joining our campaign ...

BECK: We`ll be back in just a second. I want to talk to Ron Paul and get his thoughts on the real reason he says our economy is in so much trouble. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: There`s been one main thing that we have done wrong, and one main thing that we do right solves that. We should just follow the Constitution ...

PAUL: This is an ideological battle. Some people believe in globalism. Others believe in national sovereignty. And there is a move on towards a North American Union, just like early on, there was a move on for a European Union. And it eventually ended up.

So we had NAFTA and moving toward a NAFTA highway. These are real things. It`s not somebody made these up. It`s not a conspiracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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BECK: Back with presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul.

One of the places that I think you and I agree on probably the most is economy and our government spending. We`re spending ourselves right back to 1929, if we`re lucky, I believe. And, boy, there`s just some bad things that are popping up that nobody seems to want to look at.

Seventy percent of the real gross domestic product in our country, 70 percent, is just from people spending money. How did we get to this point? And more importantly, as president of the United States, what would you do to get us out of it?

PAUL: Well, we`ve got to -- we have to stop the spending. We have to bring our budget under control. We can`t raise taxes to cut the deficit. We have to cut spending.

Of course, where I want to cut spending might not be where you would like to have cut spending, but I want to cut the spending overseas. I don`t think we can maintain our empire and ... get control of our budget ...

We have to take the pressure off the Fed to create money. You know, we spend and then we tax and then we borrow, and we still don`t have enough money. So we have this ridiculous monetary system where we go to the Federal Reserve and say, "Buy these treasury bills," and [then the U. S. Treasury prints more money] ... And this is causing the inflation.

The cost of living for our retired people now are going up probably 10 percent a year, and they`re getting cost of living increases of 2 percent. This is why so many people are unhappy.

So we have to deal with the budget. To me, it is the most critical thing. And if we don`t, we`re going to have a financial crisis and a dollar collapse. It`s going to be a lot worse than it was in 1979 and 1980 when we saved the dollar with interest rates at 21 percent.

BECK: .. You know and I know in the last four years we had a -- we had a real deficit of $26 trillion ...

PAUL: ... What I was talking about was tomorrow`s budget. We have to immediately change the tune, the tone of it so that we don`t have these huge deficits ...

BECK: Back in a second with presidential candidate Ron Paul.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: We`ve spent too much. We tax too much. We borrow too much, and we print too much. When a country spends way beyond its means, eventually it will destroy the currency, and we`re in the midst of a currency crisis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: We`re with presidential candidate Ron Paul.

And, boy, there`s something that nobody else says. Nobody on Wall Street will say that. And it only makes common sense that we are destroying our own currency.

One of the things that I think attracts me to libertarians is the idea of getting back to the gold standard and abolishing the IRS. Is it true -- I believe I have read that you say if you don`t pay your taxes, you are in the category of civil disobedience akin with Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

PAUL: Well, I -- I think it`s practicing the same principle, yes, because the income tax, the way it`s collected is unconstitutional. And if you believe that, and you practice civil disobedience, you to suffer the consequences.

I chose to try to change the law ...

BECK: How do you change the tax code? I mean, we`ve been saying -- every American knows this doesn`t work. I don`t need a book this big to show me how to pay my taxes.

When you`ve got former communist countries going to a flat tax and they`re getting more money, how are you going to change this? How are you going to abolish the IRS or go to a flat tax? Or what is your proposal?

PAUL: Well, mine is to get rid of the IRS but not replace it with anything by cutting a lot of spending. Because we lived without an income tax before 1913. So I`m not interested in the flat tax or the -- or the sales tax. You know? Although anything would -- anything would be better.

BECK: ... So -- so you want to replace it with -- with a -- with some sort of a sales tax?

PAUL: No, nothing.

BECK: Nothing. How...

PAUL: I want to replace it with freedom. I want to replace it with freedom and less spending ...

BECK: I mean, I love you. Don`t get me wrong. How do we pay for the things we do have to pay for?

PAUL: Well, you know, if you didn`t have the income tax right now, you`d have the same amount of revenue as you had 10 years ago. So that`s not all that bad. And we didn`t have an income tax before 1913. They used -- they used tariffs and they used user fee types and different things like that.

BECK: But wouldn`t you create the same ...

PAUL: The problem is spending.

BECK: Oh, I agree with you. But wouldn`t you create the same kind of situation if you had user fees? Because then you`d have special interests that were just saying, no, this one should be exempt and this one shouldn`t.

PAUL: Well, I guess so. But anything would be better than the income tax. But, you know, ... you have a user fee by paying a national gasoline tax ...

BECK: Back in a minute with Dr. Paul`s controversial views on foreign policy, the CIA, FBI, the Patriot Act and the war on drugs. He`ll get more than 30 seconds to explain it all. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: It`s our foreign policy that I object to. We used to be allies with Osama bin Laden. Now he`s our enemy. We used to be allies with Saddam Hussein. Now he`s our enemy. This on-again, off-again thing is what bothers me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: We are back with presidential candidate Ron Paul. He is with us for a full hour ...

So, Dr. Paul, let`s start here. I have a problem with us being in bed with dirt bags. I think Saudi Arabia is an evil country run by evil people ...

How do we get out? Your -- if I understand it, your idea is just unplug from the Middle East. How do we do that?

PAUL: We just went in. We should just leave. You know who it was that committed us to Saudi Arabia? It was FDR during World War II because we wanted to secure the oil.

BECK: Right.

PAUL: But because of that persistence, that was one of the greatest annoyances to Osama bin Laden, our troops in Saudi Arabia. That is what motivated them to really motivate enough people to commit suicide terrorism. And we have to understand that. It`s so important.

BECK: Do you actually believe that if we walk away from the Middle East, that the terrorists will leave us alone? That the people in the extremist regime, let`s just say, in Iran is not serious when they call us "The Great Satan," that we`ll burn in the fire of the Islamic fury? That they`ll just leave Israel alone and not -- not destroy and push them into the sea?

PAUL: Well, yes, I think they will because they`re scared to death of Israel. Israel, it would be more powerful if we weren`t holding them back. I mean, nobody is going to touch Israel ...

BECK: So you`re saying that we actually hurt Israel by being their friend? We should have no foreign aid to Israel at all? If Israel asked for our help, should we be involved?

PAUL: Not unless the Congress authorizes, you know, for war or something. But when you say no foreign aid, you say no foreign aid to Israel. And I say, oh, we give foreign aid to the Arabs three times greater than Israel ...

BECK: Yes.

PAUL: And so it`s not anti-Israel. It`s just neutral ...

BECK: ... I think we`re holding Israel back from bombing Iran ...

PAUL: ... If Israel wants to do it, we hold them back. So they lose their sovereignty to us because they become dependent on us ...

BECK: But there is a -- there is a global movement within Islam that would like to see ... the Islamic jihadist flag flying over the White House ... They have every intention of taking this country and turning it over to Sharia law.

Are you really serious? Do you believe that this is just about us being over in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East?

PAUL: ... I think that`s a motivating factor. But I think everything you said is true. But you`ve got to put it in perspective ... Al Qaeda has been recruiting much better.

BECK: Well, it only took 19 to take two down of the biggest towers in the world.

PAUL: That is the reason, because we have to put that in perspective. You know, we stood down the Soviets. They had 40,000 nuclear weapons. We had Khrushchev pounding on the desk saying we will bury you. He was capable of doing it.

The al Qaeda does not have an army, they don`t have a Navy, they don`t have intercontinental ballistic missiles, they don`t have weapons of mass destruction, they don`t have a country. They`re very, very weak people in that sense.

But they have determination. The determination comes from being provoked. And they have to have some reason to galvanize enough hatred to come here and do what they have done.

So ... if I bring the troops home overnight, it`s not going to eliminate what has been going on for quite a few decades. But I`ll tell you what, it`s going it be a lot better. And if we think that they only come here because we`re free and prosperous, we will never solve this problem.

We are going to be under threat because if we -- let`s say the fighting quits in Iraq and we keep those 14 bases and an embassy as big as the Vatican -- think that won`t annoy people? It will be a thorn in their side and we will be under as much threat.

We are an easy target over there and they`re quite satisfied for killing Americans in Iraq.

BECK: OK.

PAUL: But if we`re no longer an easy target, they`ll come back here. That is what my fear is.

BECK: All right. So, Dr. Paul, honestly, before September 11th, I didn`t care about the Middle East. They`ve been fighting for 5,000 years. They could have fallen into a giant sinkhole. I don`t care.

However, things are different now because of, honestly, a lot of the -- you know, this ridiculous oil argument that we have that we can`t get the oil and the energy from our own property and take the oil and the energy and make even nuclear power that we need here in the United States. So we`re finding ourselves dependent on these people ...

[Get off oil, no matter where it comes from! Use biodiesel, oilgae, methanol, coal, nuclear, plug-in hybrids, commuter rail, wind power, and whatever else we can think of.]

PAUL: Well, do what you think is a good idea. Become energy-independent by drilling here and taking care of our own fuel problems and have alternative fuels.

BECK: Would you drill in the ANWR?

PAUL: Sure. I voted for that. And I think...

BECK: Would you drill off shore if we had to?

PAUL: Yes, but I would do this with cooperation with the States because the States should have something to say about this.

BECK: Sure.

PAUL: And in federal water, along Texas, we drill a lot down there. And it`s great fishing grounds.

BECK: ... If you`re a power company that says I want to build a nuclear power plant, but I don`t trust you guys ... would you give a loan guarantee to those power companies so they would be willing to put out all that money?

PAUL: No, no loan guarantees. That`s a distortion. That would cause malinvestment.

What you want to do is get the government out of the way and let the market work. When the price goes up, alternative fuels will come in.

If you let the bureaucrats give loan guarantees, then you might end up subsidizing some fuel that is not most efficient. So you`ve got to believe the market will pick and choose.

You know, if oil prices go sky high, well cut back on our usage, but somebody else is going to come up with another fuel. Maybe we`d use nuclear. We need to get out of the way for nuclear. Maybe we`d have electric cars for all we know. Government and politicians don`t know what the best source is.

BECK: Why do you believe this has happened? Why is it? Is it -- is it global corporations? Is it evil big business? Is it evil government? What is it? ... How is it we find ourselves in this situation?

PAUL: Well, we`ve lost our way. We don`t believe in the Constitution anymore. We don`t believe in markets. We have to have safety nets for the poor, we have to have a safety net for the rich and the corporations and the bankers.

You know, we have a mortgage bubble crash. We had to bail out the mortgage companies. Everybody gets bailed out.

So, yes, we just lost our confidence and our understanding. It`s a remnant of mercantilism, that you have to protect your supplies, your national resources. And that`s why we`re over in the Middle East. You know, it has to do with oil.

BECK: ... I believe true libertarian thought requires people to [help] a homeless man, as opposed to having the government bail them out. And I don`t think most people will do that.

They don`t want to help, but they want somebody else to help. And if you`re truly free, you have to help. Not the government.

PAUL: Yes, and it should be more charitable. But if you`re a humanitarian, you have to be a constitutionalist and believe in the free markets, because if you look at how we`ve eradicated famine ... famine was eradicated with capitalism and free markets ...

So if a person is humanitarian and cares about the poor and the sick, you have to believe in freedom ... And we`ll have so much more prosperity. We`ll have more charity.

We`d go back to the times when the churches ran the hospitals rather than governments. And then we get government mandates and the hospitals have to close because they have to take care of people by federal government mandates. So we`ve messed it up because we`ve lost our confidence in the Constitution.

Top -- Home

BECK: OK. Dr. Paul, I`m going to take a break. And in the break, I`m going to feed something down to your location that I`m not going to show on the air.

My life has been threatened. I`ve had to wear a vest and have securities. I`ve had an S.W.A.T. team watch my family because of people who say they support you.

I want to show you something that is out on the Internet about me and from people that say they support you. And I want to get your thoughts on this, and let`s set to rest some things when we come back. Shall we?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: We`re back with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who is joining us tonight for a full hour.

I want to make this very clear. I believe that Ron Paul, in general, the group of supporters, some of whom I`ve met while I was on the road, are amazing people. Without any help from the official campaign, Ron Paul supporters have coined the term "The Ron Paul Revolution." They developed the concept for the Guy Fawkes Day money bomb back on November 5th which raised over $4 million.

They hired a blimp to fly over New Hampshire to promote the Ron Paul campaign. Last Sunday, they held a tea party, where they broke John Kerry`s single day primary fundraising record by collecting another $6 million.

But the downside is, when you have rabid supporters, some of them believe they can speak to their own agendas using the candidate`s name. And I just in the break showed Dr. Paul just a clip, a very small part of a five- minute video that is on the Internet where I am named a traitor and traitors should be executed.

Can you -- would you like to address that at all, sir?

PAUL: Well, I can only in general. I have no idea who the people are. I`ve never heard about this. I haven`t seen this before. But all I can do is address the subject of violence.

I`m committed to nonviolence, no initiation of aggression. These are my political viewpoints. I believe in political change coming about in the mode of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, through nonviolence.

I happen to believe that we should practice these principles both domestically against individuals, as well as other countries. This is the reason I don`t use aggression against other countries to bring about changes.

Everyone initiates aggression. This is what is in our Constitution, and so I reject anybody that would use violence, because, you know, in the same stance, our supporters have coined the words "love" in the revolution and "peace" and "hope."

So that is the tone that I know about. That is the tone that I hear. And that`s the only thing I hear at our rallies. So I don`t endorse -- I don`t have to endorse what they do and what they -- if they try to get away with attaching my name to what they do, it`s wrong.

BECK: OK. Here`s what the people who are -- at least the ones that I have met and received tons of mail -- and I could read them to you if you want, sir, where they`re calling for my death -- they say that I am part of a 9/11 conspiracy. And I have watched the interviews with you.

You don`t leave any room for any doubt on a 9/11 conspiracy. But I`d just like to make it clear and ask you -- I don`t believe these need explanation unless I`ve read your answers wrong elsewhere. But may I just run through these 9/11 conspiracies?

No plane hit the Pentagon on September 11th. Instead, it was a missile fired by elements from inside the American state apparatus.

Yes or no?

PAUL: It`s preposterous.

BECK: OK.

The planes that hit the World Trade Center towers were remotely controlled?

PAUL: I mean, this is just bizarre.

BECK: OK.

PAUL: I`ve not even heard of these challenges before.

BECK: I understand. I don`t mean to -- sir, these are the people that -- these -- some of these people speak in your name and they actually say that you will be on this program tonight and you will answer the way you`re answering now because you can`t let on.

They believe that you are part of this -- of a -- of another kind of conspiracy to expose the conspiracy of 9/11 and the World Trade Center. Can you -- I mean, I don`t know how you -- I don`t know how you address people who are so deepy into conspiracy, but can you?

PAUL: I don`t know what I would be supposed to be doing. No. I don`t think there`s any evidence...

BECK: Is there -- is there any evidence or is there any doubt in your mind that the United States government was not involved in the September 11th attacks? That we did not bring down World Trade Center number seven?

PAUL: Well, yes, I absolutely believe that is true. They did not. But the connection may be and where some people get carried away, is if you dig through those $40 billion worth of intelligence-gathering apparatus that we had before 9/11, you know, we dig up information and there was some ineptness.

And sometimes when you find ineptness in government, it`s easy to make this giant leap over into conspiracy, and they do it on purpose. But, you know, we had an FBI agent on 70 different occasions reported that these individuals were flying airplanes and not learning how to land them. And he was totally ignored.

BECK: Right.

PAUL: I consider this ineptness on government, not a conspiracy that, oh, yes, we know about it, we can`t wait until the towers come down. No, I don`t believe that at all. I think -- I don`t even think I should have to answer questions like that.

BECK: Yes, sir, I do not believe that this is your point of view. And I don`t believe this is the point of view of most of your supporters, the vast, vast majority.

And it`s just -- you know, Rosie O`Donnell, Charlie Sheen have gone down this road, and it is a growing movement. And quite honestly, I think it`s a dangerous movement.

Back in just a second. Final thoughts from Dr. Ron Paul.

I let him control the agenda. Three minutes, his thoughts coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Top -- Home

BECK: We are back with presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Dr. Paul, many of your supporters feel that the mainstream media is not fair to you. They don`t either let you talk about the issues that you feel are most important, or worse, they distort your words. That`s why I`ve agreed to let this final segment be up to you.

First of all, fair interview with you tonight, sir?

PAUL: Yes, very much so. And I got a much better interview than I`ve gotten from some other interviewers on other stations. So I am pleased with that. You allowed me to answer the questions.

BECK: OK.

I want to give you the final -- the final word here. You`ve got about two minutes.

Is there anything that we didn`t cover that you think is important that you -- that you feel is essential or something you want to go back and correct?

PAUL: No, I think we`ve covered everything pretty well. I can just summarize pretty much what we`ve been talking about and why people join us.

And I do talk a lot about the Constitution. And to me, the Constitution is very libertarian. So if you`re a constitutionalist, you`re really a libertarian, which means that you want a lot less government. The Constitution was meant to restrain the government and not restrain the people.

I make a very important point that freedom is a unit. But about 100 years ago or so, for some reason, our country divided into two pieces -- personal liberty and economic liberty. And it should be all one thing.

If you have a right to life and a right to your liberty, you can -- you have a right to lead your lifestyle as you choose. But you also have a right to the fruits of your labor, and that`s why I`m so opposed to the income tax. You should have control of your economic life as well.

But, the big problem is, is that when you give that much freedom to individuals, they have to assume responsibility. And you even indicated before that if you`re not a moral society and you don`t assume this responsibility, it causes problems.

And Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, warned us about that. We have to assume responsibility for ourselves. But, quite frankly, I`ve been talking to a lot of young people, and I believe that they are ready and welcome -- welcoming this message because they`re sick and tired of what they`re getting.

They`re getting a huge debt, a Social Security system that doesn`t work, a flawed foreign policy, and this endless debt. And I think that this country is really ready for some significant change.

I think the large majority of the American people are ready for changes, and that the -- the base of the Republican Party and the base of the Democratic Party is pretty small compared to the people who are disgruntled.

BECK: Dr. Paul, thank you very much.

America, goodnight.

PAUL: Thank you.

Top -- Home

Meet the Press transcript for Dec. 23, 2007

Representative Ron Paul (R-TX)

MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday: Our Meet the Candidates 2008 series continues, an exclusive interview with Republican Ron Paul. He has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 18 years. In 1988 he was the Libertarian Party candidate for president. Since October [2007] he has raised nearly $19 million. That is more than any other Republican candidate for president. Our guest, Dr. Ron Paul. ...

MR. RUSSERT: You talked about September 11th in one of the Republican debates back in May, and this is what you said.

(Videotape)

REP. PAUL: They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and we're free. They come and they, and they attack us because we're over there.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: "Because we're over there." And then you added this on Tuesday: "But" al-Qaeda has "determination. The determination comes from being provoked."

How have we, the United States, provoked al-Qaeda?

REP. PAUL: ... We had, we had a base, you know, in Saudi Arabia that was an affront to their religion, that was blasphemy as far as they were concerned. We were bombing Iraq for 10 years, we were--we've interfered in Iran since 1953. Our CIA's been involved in the overthrow of their governments. We're right now in the process of overthrowing that nation ...

MR. RUSSERT: So under your doctrine, if we had -- did not have troops in the Middle East, they would leave us alone.

REP. PAUL: Not, not immediately, because they'd have to believe us. But what would happen is the incentive for Osama bin Laden to recruit suicide terrorists would disappear. Once we left Lebanon in the early '80s, the French and the Americans and Israelis left Lebanon, suicide terrorism virtually stopped, just like that. But while we were there, that was suicide terrorism killed our Marines, because we were in Lebanon ...

We have to understand how we would react if some country did to us exactly what we do to them, and then we might have a better understanding of their motivation, why somebody would join the al-Qaeda. Since we've been over there al-Qaeda has more members now than they did before 9/11. They probably had a couple hundred before 9/11.

MR. RUSSERT: It sounds like you think that the problem is al-Qaeda--the problem is the United States, not al-Qaeda.

REP. PAUL: No, it's both. It's both--al-Qaeda becomes the violent. It's sort of like if you step in a snake pit and you get bit, you know, who caused the trouble? Because you stepped in the snake pit or because snakes bite you? So I think you have to understand both. But why, why produce the incentive for these violent, vicious thugs to want to come here and kill us.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you think there's an ideological struggle that Islamic fascists want to take over the world?

REP. PAUL: Oh, I think some, just like the West is wanting to do that all the time. Look at the way they look at us. I mean, we're in a, we're in a 130 countries. We have 700 bases. How do you think they proposed that to their people, saying "What does America want to do? Are they over here to be nice to us and teach us how to be good Democrats?"

MR. RUSSERT: So you see a moral equivalency between the West and Islamic fascism.

REP. PAUL: For some people, some radicals on each side that when we impose our will with force by a few number of people--not the American people--I'm talking the people who have hijacked our foreign policy ...

MR. RUSSERT: You mentioned September 11th, a former aide of yours, Eric Dondero said this. "When September 11th happened, he just completely changed," talking about you. "One of the first things he said was not how awful the tragedy was, it was, `Now we're going to get big government.'" Was that your reaction? ...

REP. PAUL: The point is, Randolph Bourne says war is a helpless state. I believe that statement. When you have war, whether it's a war against drugs, war against terrorism, war, war overseas, war -- the mentality of the people change and they're more willing to sacrifice their liberties in order to be safe and secure.

So, yes, right after 9/11 my reaction was, you know, it's going to be a lot tougher selling liberty. But I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm still in the business of selling liberty and the Constitution and there's still a lot of enthusiasm for it. So all the American people don't agree that we have to have the nanny state and have the government taking care of us. So I have been encouraged.

I might have been too pessimistic immediately after 9/11 because, in a way, it has caused this reaction and this uprising in this country to say, "Enough is enough. We don't need more Patriot Acts, we don't need more surveillance of our people. We don't need national ID cards. We don't need the suspension of habeas corpus.

What we need is more freedom. So in one way I was pessimistic, but in another way, now, I'm more encouraged with the reception I'm getting with this message.

MR. RUSSERT: And you actually go further. You said this. "Abolish the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency and dismantle every other agency except the Justice and Defense Departments." ...

REP. PAUL: OK, you may have picked that up 20 or 30 years ago, it's not part of my platform. As a matter of fact, I'm the only one that really has an interim program. Technically, a lot of those functions aren't constitutional. But the point is I'm not against the FBI investigation in doing a proper role, but I'm against the FBI spying on people like Martin Luther King. I'm against the CIA fighting secret wars and overthrowing government and interfering...

MR. RUSSERT: Would you abolish them?

REP. PAUL: I would, I would not abolish all their functions ... The CIA. They're, they're involved in, in, in torture. I would abolish that, yes. But I wouldn't abolish ... our requirement to accumulate intelligence for national defense purposes ...

MR. RUSSERT: But if you eliminate the income tax, you take away half the revenues for the federal government ...

REP. PAUL: All right. We can. The big one is overseas expenditure. You have to develop a transition. You have to start paying down the deficit, balance the budget. But you have to say I believe the most reasonable place to save is in foreign policy, hundreds of billions of dollars. Because it gets us into trouble ...

MR. RUSSERT: And Social Security? You're OK with Social Security now?

REP. PAUL: ... I never voted to spend one penny of Social Security money. So I'm the one that has saved it. Now, if I save the money in this military operation overseas, I say take that money -- and, and I say this constantly -- don't turn anybody out on the streets ...

MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask you about drugs and go back again to your '90 --'88 campaign and see where you stand today. "All drugs should be decriminalized. Drugs should be distributed by any adult to other adults. There should be no controls on production, supply or purchase for adults." Is that still your position?

REP. PAUL: Yeah. It's sort of like alcohol. Alcohol's a deadly drug, kills more people than anything else. And today the absurdity on this war on drugs, Tim, has just been horrible.

The federal government, takes over and rules -- overrules state laws where state laws permit medicinal marijuana for people dying of cancer. The federal government goes in and arrests these people, put them in prison with mandatory, sometimes life sentences.

This war on drugs is totally out of control. If you want to regulate cigarettes and alcohol and drugs, it should be at the state level. That's been my position, and that's where I stand on it. But the federal government has no, no prerogatives on this.

They -- when they wanted to outlaw alcohol, they had enough respect for the Constitution to amend the Constitution. Today we have all these laws and abuse, and they don't even care about the Constitution. I'm defending the Constitution on this issue. I think drugs are horrible. I teach my kids not to use them, my grandchildren, in my medical practice. Prescription drugs are a greater danger than, than hard drugs.

MR. RUSSERT: But you would decriminalize it?

REP. PAUL: I would, at the federal level. I don't have control over the states ...''

--------------------

Ron Paul 2008 -- Hope for America -- Donate now

https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/

We have more than an election to win. We have a country to save. Sincerely, Ron Paul

--------------------

[Nymex oil futures peaked at an intraday high of $78.40 on July 14 [2006] but averaged $66.25 for the year, compared with $56.70 in 2005 and $41.47 in 2004 ...

------------------

NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 10-17-07, by John Wilen, Associated Press

``NEW YORK -- Oil futures rallied to a new intraday record above $88 a barrel on Tuesday [10-16-07] amid concerns about disruptions to Middle Eastern crude supplies ... Traders are concerned that a Turkish incursion into Iraq in search of Kurdish rebels could disrupt crude supplies from northern Iraq ...

Light, sweet crude for November delivery rose $1.48 to settle at a record $87.61 a barrel. Earlier, prices rose as high as $88.20, a trading record ...''

---------------

NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 10-19-07,

by John Wilen, Associated Press

``NEW YORK -- Oil prices surpassed $90 a barrel for the first time Thursday [10-18-07] ... Light, sweet crude for November delivery hit $90.02 ... Thursday was the fifth day in a row crude prices have set new records ...''

{The Oil Gang goes laughing to the bank.}]

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