Ron Paul stopped in Ames, Iowa on the campaign trail on Thursday, and used some harsh words to explain President George W Bush’s reaction to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Specifically, the Texas congressman said that the former president was pretty happy about the events. After all, said Paul, the attacks served as pretext to finally put American troops overseas in what instantly became a justifiable reason for war.
“Think of what happened after 9/11,” Paul told a crowd of around 1,000 in Ames this week. “The minute before there was any assessment, there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq, and so the war drums beat.”
What’s more, said the presidential hopeful, is that a decade later, the current administration is creating excitement themselves over what is erupting with enemy forces overseas.
“That’s exactly what they’re doing now with Iran,” said Paul.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been high for years, but talks of a budding nuclear program in Iran has America and its allies up in arms over what could be developing overseas. The loss of a high-tech American drone aircraft in Iran last week has only escalated a stand-off between nations, as Washington and Tehran bicker back in forth in the days since over what the craft was doing in the skies above Iran and whether or not Iran has actually recovered the craft.
Paul has been a critic of both the Bush and Obama administrations, but speaking from the campus of Iowa State this week, revealed that the excuses that each president has used to embroil American forces in overseas skirmishes are eerily similar.
“I think extremists have taken over,” said Paul. “They’re the ones that run the foreign policy and that convinced us as a country to go along with all these wars.”
From Ames on Thursday, the National Journal reports that Paul’s audience was unperturbed by the statement. A reporter with the paper relayed the statements to the rest of the world by way of Twitter, in which one critic in particular, however, shares sentiments about the libertarian-leaning GOP candidate. Former Bush administration official Ari Fleischer fired back at Paul’s statements, saying simply, “The man is nuts.”
Paul’s statements aren’t anything new for the libertarian icon, who has opposed the Bush administration’s reaction and response to 9/11 for some time. During a televised debate of Republican Party candidates earlier this year, Paul put the blame of the attacks on America itself, saying, "They attacked us because we have been over there bombing them for 10 years."
"If we think we can do that (occupy foreign lands) and not have retaliation, we are kidding ourselves."