Congressman Ron Paul is holding steady in early polls—even pulling ahead of Michele Bachmann in Gallup’s report last week—prompting many to ask why he isn’t getting more attention from the press. (The Washington Post provides its own explanation here.) But while we were busy not covering Paul this weekend, the Des Moines Register was. The Iowa paper reports:
Two weeks away from the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul says that U.S. intervention in the Middle East is a main motivation behind terrorist hostilities toward America, and that Islam is not a threat to the nation.
At a campaign stop on Saturday in Winterset, one man asked Paul how terrorist groups would react if the U.S. removed its military presence in Middle Eastern nations, a move the candidate advocates.
“Which enemy are you worried that will attack our national security?” Paul asked.
“If you’re looking for specifics, I’m talking about Islam. Radical Islam,” the man answered.
“I don’t see Islam as our enemy,” Paul said. “I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.”
Regarding 9/11, Paul said that attacks against the U.S. from Middle Eastern groups at home and abroad can be traced to the foreign presence of U.S. troops, as well as America’s relationships with dictator regimes.
Paul referred to a military base in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, as a key motivator in the Sept. 11th attacks. Osama bin Laden viewed it as an American desecration of holy land.
“After 9/11, (people said) ‘Oh yeah, it’s those very bad people who hate us,’ but 15 of (the hijackers) came from Saudi Arabia,” said Paul. “One of the reasons they attacked us, is we propped up this Sharia government and the fundamentalists hated us for it.”
If Ron Paul is anything, he's consistent. He has been saying the same thing for years. Such as these lines, which he delivered on the House floor in 2004: