While the families of US soldiers rejoice this week at the end of operations in Iraq, Thursday night’s debate of potential Republican candidates revealed that just about everyone vying for the GOP nod wants to wage more war.
Everyone but Ron Paul, that is.
The congressman from Texas challenged the other Republican Party contenders on Thursday night over their insistence that the American military should move into Iran as tensions between Washington and Tehran escalate over a suspected nuclear program in the works overseas. In recent months, the US has armed Iranian neighbors with high-tech weaponry and operated surveillance missions in the skies overseas, despite publically denying it at first. With the recovery of an American drone dispatched over Iran two weeks ago, the threat of a cyber war is increasing.
Most Republican candidates want to nip that possibility in the bud by nuking Iran, it would seem. Congressman Paul, on the other hand, warned the audience in Iowa against adding to the growing hostilities by starting a new war. According to the libertarian-leaning long-time representative, his peers are putting the threat of war before the American people when outside the periphery it doesn’t exist.
"My fear is it's another Iraq coming," Paul said. "There's a lot of war propaganda going on."
After the congressman dismissed the notion of proactive action against Iran, opponent Michele Bachmann said, "I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one we just heard from Ron Paul.”
"The reason why I would say that is because we know without a shadow of a doubt that Iran will take a nuclear weapon. They will use it to wipe our friend Israel off the map, and they would use it against the United States of America,” barked Congresswoman Bachmann.
Bachmann insisted that reports confirm that Iran is readying a nuclear program, to which Congressman Paul quickly shot down. "There is no U.N. report that said that," Paul said. "That is totally wrong on what you just said. That is not true. They produced information that led you to believe that. They have no evidence."
"You're trying to dramatize this that we have to go and treat Iran like we've treated Iraq," Paul said. "You cannot solve these problems with war."
During a debate earlier this year, Paul attacked previous administrations for ongoing attacks overseas and said that the September 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent assaults on Americans have stemmed by his country’s own actions. "They attacked us because we have been over there bombing them for 10 years,” he said.
"If we think we can do that (occupy foreign lands) and not have retaliation, we are kidding ourselves."
Thursday night, Paul rehashed the notion, asking “Don’t you think we would be annoyed if somebody bombed us for 10 years?”
Following the debate, Paul told Fox News host Sean Hannity, “That is a gross distortion of this debate that they’re on the verge of a nuclear weapon.” When the host caught up with Congresswoman Bachmann later in the late-evening coverage, he revealed of Paul, “His position on Iran scares me.”
According to the latest polling, Paul is neck-and-neck with former-House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Iowa with two weeks until the state’s caucuses begin.