Former Republican presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul says bad foreign policy is to blame for the Paris terrorist attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left at least 12 dead and 11 wounded.
"Well, you know, partially what the Secretary of State said is true — this is pretty obscene, when it comes to violence, and libertarians are pretty annoyed by anybody who initiates violence," said Paul on NewsMaxTV's Steve Malzberg Show Wednesday. "This is pretty bad."
Paul said the context for the attack, however, was France's involvement in the Middle East.
"But in the context of things, France has been a target for many, many years, because they've been involved in foreign affairs in Libya, and they really prodded us along in — recently in Libya, but they've been involved in Algeria, so they've had attacks like this, you know, not infrequently. So, it does involve, you know, their foreign policy as well. When people do this, you know, the rejection of the violence has to be made, and with that I agree."
"I put blame on bad policy that we don't fully understand, and we don't understand what they're doing because the people who are objecting to the foreign policy that we pursue, they do it from a different perspective," Paul added. "They see us as attacking them, and killing innocent people, so yes, they, they have — this doesn't justify, so don't put those words in my mouth — it doesn't justify, but it explains it."
Paul said it was the West's overall foreign policy which "invites retaliation."
"And this is why we say if we had somebody do to us what we have done to so many countries in the Middle East, and how many people we've killed, and sending over drones, and bombing, being involved in all these wars, and supporting dictators one week, and taking away the support — and the stupidity of us sending all those weapons into Syria, ending up in the hands of ISIS — and right now we're even sending more weapons! You know, because ISIS took all the American weapons. It's that overall policy which invites retaliation, and they see us as intruders. But it's a little bit more complex, you know, when they hit us, either here at home, and hit civilians, and what's happening in France. But I don't think you can divorce these instances from the overall foreign policy."
Paul cited the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as an example of attack occurring because of a foreign policy.
"Yeah, but I don't think that's the real reason things happen, because we've been conditioned to believe that the only reason 9/11 happened is that we are free and prosperous. I don't believe that for a minute," said Paul.
"For our foreign policy I think it's blowback. I think it's very clearly evidenced by our own government — the radicals taking over in Iran in 1979 was a building-up of anger over the Shah, that we put in place in 1953! You know, it had to do with oil, and it had to do with the abuse of the Shah, and finally the radicals, so they — you know, when we get involved and set up dictators that the people don't like, they get pretty angry at us."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.