During the Republican debate on January 5th Ron Paul clearly stated his case in favor of a new foreign policy, outlining positions that are mainstream and even considered common sense in every city of the world except Washington. Predictably, he was attacked from all sides.
Rudolph Giuliani was almost giddy as he recalled his refusal of a $10 million donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The money was intended to help with 911 disaster recovery but was rejected because the prince issued a press release stating, “[America] should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause,” among other similarly preposterous and offensive suggestions. Rudolph criticized Dr. Paul for holding views that are, in his estimation, similar. Let’s give Rudolph the benefit of the doubt and assume the prince and Dr. Paul are in agreement.
Was Rudolph’s decision to reject the prince’s position based on his perception of Prince Talal as a terrorist sympathizer only donating money to gain a platform from which to disseminate propaganda, or does Rudolph, the guy who admits he never heard of Al-Qaeda before 911, actually think he knows more about this problem than a Saudi prince? A Saudi prince I might add who is highly westernized by Saudi standards and one of the wealthiest investors in the world – referred to by some as the Arabian Warren Buffet. He has billions of dollars invested in the United States and a considerable personal interest in maintaining stable relations and a healthy US economy.
If Rudolph actually believes that Prince Talal is a terrorist, why wasn’t he arrested? Isn’t it more likely that Prince Talal is actually a typical example of what a modern Muslim looks like? Here you have a successful and wealthy maverick (by Saudi standards) genuinely concerned about terrorism and sincerely trying to mend relations with America and contribute his ideas to further the cause of long term sustainable peace, and he is totally rejected by an admittedly ignorant Rudolph. Way to build bridges.
Most foreign policy experts routinely characterize this “war” as a fight entirely within Islam and define America’s role as helping to support forces of modernity, but if Rudolph rejects modern friendly Arabs because they hold different policy views even though those views are consistent with the entire Arab street, who exactly is he appealing to in the region to rise up against Al-Qaeda? If he’s going to scorn and blacklist everyone who agrees with Prince Talal and Ron Paul, which is pretty much everyone, where are these people going to come from? How does he intend to win the war?
By aligning Dr. Paul with Prince Talal’s position, he has basically admitted that Dr. Paul holds a vision for the middle east more compatible with the modern Muslims the west is trying to court. Rudolph un-intentionally validated everything Dr. Paul said and made himself look ridiculous.
The reality is that this debate is simply another example of ignorant fools being pimped by big business against the best interests of America.
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