Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Presidential Debate Brohaha

I'm sure by now everyone is up to date on the events of the Republican Presidential debate last night and the confrontation between Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul. The media has been all over Paul for his supposed blaming of 9/11 on America. Now of course that is not what he said during the debate and only barely what was alluded to. In actuality what Paul referred to was the fact that America's interventionist foreign policy over the past 50 years has contributed to the ill will felt towards America that is held by so many nations and individuals abroad. The Ron Paul campaign today issued a press release on the issue.

Why Hasn’t Rudy Giuliani Read the 9-11 Commission Report?
May 16, 2007

ARLINGTON, VA – During the "First in the South" GOP debate in South Carolina last night, one thing was made clear: Rudy Giuliani does not understand how to keep America safe.

When Congressman Ron Paul, who has long served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, explained how 50 years of American interventionism in the Middle East has helped compromise our national security, Giuliani interrupted saying he had "never heard anything so absurd." This statement is particularly troubling coming from the former mayor who tries to cast himself as a security expert, since Dr. Paul's point comes directly from the bi-partisan 9-11 Commission Report.

"Rudy Giuliani has tip-toed around the issues of abortion, guns and marriage. The only issue he has left is security, and he doesn't even get that right," said campaign chairman Kent Snyder. "It is clear from his interruption that former Mayor Giuliani has not read the 9-11 Commission Report and has no clue on how to keep America safe."

My feelings on the matter are that what Paul said during the debate could have been worded differently but the crux of his philosophy is right on base, America needs to return to a non-interventionist foreign policy. Doing so would keep us out of foreign fiascoes of which there is no easy solution; reduce the federal deficit by saving billions of taxpayer dollars that are being spent on foreign aid and UN crap projects; and return America to a country that is respected by the rest of the world and not looked upon as an international policy force. Check out all these articles that Ron Paul has written over the years explaining his foreign policy position.

As far as the rest of the debate went, I though Mike Huckabee had a strong showing, Sam Brownback seemed the most sincere; Tom Tancredo made a few good points but is not as polished as Mitt Romney or Giuliani; Jim Gilmore and Duncan Hunter went on and on about what they've done without really answering the questions asked; John McCain was boring and Giuliani was all over the place with his answers. The only time he actually sounded good was when he rebuked Ron Paul, who had a great showing, other than the aforementioned comment. Mitt Romney was strong at the beginning but faded near the end, and Tommy Thompson sounded good on social issues and his record but just wasn't in the same class as some of the others.

The last issue brought up during the debate about presidential authority authorizing torture to prevent a nuclear attack on American soil seemed straight out of an episode of 24. The candidates' response was equally disturbing in that all who answered, with the exception of McCain, responded in the affirmative condoning the use of torture to extract information from a terrorist. Even with national security at stake, once you head down that road, it's all downhill from there. Torture could then be used in numerous other instances that might not be as severe or time sensitive. The use of torture should never be condoned, because then we are no better off then those perpetrating the crime which we are trying to prevent. One wrong turn does not deserve another and reducing ourselves to that level is the height of hypocrisy.