The Campaign Spot

Ron Paul on North Korea, Iran, and Israel

This weekend’s Meet the Press gave Ron Paul the Russert treatment. I can’t help but suspect that the ultimate Inside the Beltway media voice saw the ultimate Blow Up What’s Inside The Beltway candidate akin to a farmer greeting a little green man in his cornfield.

But you look at exchanges like this…

MR. RUSSERT:  Under President Paul, if North Korea invaded South Korea, would we respond?

REP. PAUL:  I don’t–why should we unless the Congress declared war?  I mean, why are we there?  Could–South Korea, they’re begging and pleading to unify their country, and we get in their way.  They want to build bridges and go back and forth.  Vietnam, we left under the worst of circumstances.  The country is unified.  They have become Westernized.  We trade with them.  Their president comes here.  And Korea, we stayed there and look at the mess.  I mean, the problem still exists, and it’s drained trillion dollars over these last, you know, 50 years.  So stop–we can’t afford it anymore.  We’re going bankrupt.  All empires end because the countries go bankrupt, and the, and the currency crashes.  That’s what happening.  And we need to come out of this sensibly rather than waiting for a financial crisis.

MR. RUSSERT:  So if Iran invaded Israel, what do we do?

REP. PAUL:  Well, they’re not going to.  That is like saying “Iran is about to invade Mars.” I mean, they have nothing.  They don’t have an army or navy or air force.  And Israelis have 300 nuclear weapons.  Nobody would touch them.  But, no, if, if it were in our national security interests and Congress says, “You know, this is very, very important, we have to declare war.” But presidents don’t have the authority to go to war.

…and you realize that no one who already supports Ron Paul will be deterred by his answer to Russert’s question, and no one who is already skeptical of Ron Paul will be won over by his answers. Either you find the idea of standing by as North Korea invades South Korea unthinkable, or you don’t.

By the way, are the odds of Iran striking militarily at Israel really about as likely as them taking military action against Mars? And does Iran really not have an army, or navy, or air force? And as for the assertion that “nobody would touch” Israel, didn’t we see a whole bunch of rockets launched into their country a few summers ago, just by Hezbollah?

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