Ron Paul says the attack at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee "should be an excuse to look at our own selves, and find out why there are a lot of people who would like to kill us right now."
"Investigate, find out what's going on, make sure we have the facts before we drop a bomb on somebody," the former Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate on said The Michael Barry Show when asked about the attacks.
"We don't know the details. A lot of times the immediate reaction isn't exactly what really happened. So I don't know the details. If you're going to have a purpose for government, it should be preserving the peace. So the person that does this, you know, gets a penalty."
The elder Paul, whose son Rand is currently running for the Republican presidential nomination, said he didn't think the attack should be "an excuse to declare war on some country", but should be a time for self-reflection, saying "it should be an excuse to look at our own selves, and find out why there are a lot of people who would like to kill us right now."
The FBI said 24-year-old Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez opened fire at two military facilities in Chattanooga on Thursday. A total of five people, including Abdulazeez, died in the attacks.
Paul, who was appearing on the show after his son, said people are incapable of thinking the United States had anything to do with the events leading up to the shootings.
"And that's what people can't do — they can't think that we have anything to do with it. We talk about terrorism, but if you were in a Muslim family at a funeral, and a bomb came out of the sky with a drone, and an innocent wedding party or funeral party, killed a bunch of people — wouldn't you call that terrorism? I mean — and we've done this," said Paul.
"It is estimated that at the hands of Untied States policy during the 1990s, 500,000 Iraqis were killed," added Paul.
"And Madeline Albright admitted this! She said 'Well, that's just the price you have to pay for our policy.' And we have to understand that, if we ever want to have peace in the world, we just don't need to go looking for another fight. We need a peace dividend — we need plowshares!"
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
Ilan Ben-Meir is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ilan Ben-Meir at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.