Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s Note: This is the first in WND’s planned series of one-on-one interviews with each candidate for the office of president. Today U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican with libertarian ideals, responds to questions about his plans for America’s future.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul
Presidential candidate Ron Paul says unless U.S. policies are changed, a conflict with Iran is “about as inevitable as you can expect.”
Paul, a Texas Republican congressman who espouses libertarian ideals, told WND in an exclusive question-and-answer session that people need to understand that such a conflict would be just one more result of a long history of U.S. intervention in actions in the Middle East.
“I think if our policies don’t change it’s about as inevitable as you can expect because we’re unwilling to talk to them and every week we’re passing more sanctions and rules and intimidations and accusations and provocations,” he said.
“We’re surrounding Iran and there’s very, very little understanding of that history, the American people don’t know how we have been involved since 1953 in interfering with their government and it has hurt us,” Paul said. “We’re failing in Iraq and our government would like to have a distraction from that so they are blaming the Iranians.”
He said that’s why “the war propaganda is building.”
“I don’t think we’ll have an old-fashioned invasion but, you know, when you put blockades around a country and people suffer from it and you try to starve people and humiliate them and take away their source of energy those are acts of war.
“Then if you start bombing them, others are going to come in. By that time maybe the Chinese will find out it’s in their interests to defend the Iranians, and who knows what kind of financial attacks they can place against us, against the dollar. Yes, I think our policies if not changed will end up with a war against Iran,” Paul said.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., has gone so far as to say the Iranian government already has declared war against the United States, “by its actions.” He said the U.S. has a responsibility to stop attacks against its soldiers, and he includes “the possibility of using military force against the terrorist infrastructure inside Iran.”
His comments had been prompted by confirmation from the military of the funding, training and arming of militia extremists in Iraq “by Iranian Revolutionary Guard … operatives.”
Lieberman has said in the past that the U.S. should be ready to pursue a military resolution with Iran if it continues helping those who are battling U.S. forces in Iraq.
However, Iranian officials have denied being involved in Iraq violence.
Paul, who is known for his work toward limited constitutional government, free markets, low taxes and a return to sound monetary policies, notes in his biographic sketch on his campaign website that he “never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he graduated from Duke University School of Medicine and served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. He later moved to Texas and served in Congress during the 1970s and 1980s.
But his positions often were unpopular. He said he has consistently voted to lower or abolish federal taxes, spending and regulation. He went back to his medical practice in 1984, but returned to Congress in 1997 to represent the 14th district in Texas.
“He continues to advocate a dramatic reduction in the size of the federal government and a return to constitutional principles,” the biography said.
The website said he never has voted to raise taxes, to approve an unbalanced budget, for a federal restriction on gun ownership, for a congressional pay raise or to increase the power of the executive branch. He’s also never taken a government-paid junket.
On other issues, he said Israel would be better off without the United States, because its arsenal of nuclear weapons would deter anyone from attacking, and without U.S. intervention, it would not answer to outside politics.
He said if elected, his first work would be on foreign policy. “I would back the Navy away from the coast of Iran, and invite them to have conversations,” he said.
Paul also said the U.S. should get rid of the incentives attractive to illegal aliens, and there needs to be some attention paid to the “subtle” advancement of plans to obliterate U.S. borders in pursuit of a North American Union.