Lest we forget, Osama bin Laden was among the mujahedeen whom we, in the Reagan decade, were aiding when they were fighting to expel the Red Army from Afghanistan. We sent them Stinger missiles, Spanish mortars, sniper rifles. And they helped drive the Russians out.
What Ron Paul was addressing was the question of what turned the allies we aided into haters of the United States. Was it the fact that they discovered we have freedom of speech or separation of church and state? Do they hate us because of who we are? Or do they hate us because of what we do?
Osama bin Laden in his declaration of war in the 1990s said it was U.S. troops on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, U.S. bombing and sanctions of a crushed Iraqi people, and U.S. support of Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians that were the reasons he and his mujahedeen were declaring war on us.
Elsewhere, he has mentioned Sykes-Picot, the secret British-French deal that double-crossed the Arabs who had fought for their freedom alongside Lawrence of Arabia and were rewarded with a quarter century of British-French imperial domination and humiliation.
Buchanan is of course correct -- and our dumbed-down rhetoric with respect to the Middle East and Muslims does the United States great, grave harm.
Osama bin Laden did not order the attacks of 9/11 because he hates "our freedom." He did it because we have troops in the Holy Lands, including Israel, an apostate Nation (and we know the punishment for apostasy).
Now, I am not advocating that we appease these animals, nor and I suggesting that Israelis don't have a right to defend themselves. I think there are ever more root causes to foment Arab, Middle-Eastern, Central Asian or otherwise Muslim aggression (but the root causes for bin Laden, and before him Sayyed Qutb, and others are well known -- hint, pre-D.H. Lawrence relations between the region and Europe).
So where does this leave us in terms of foreign policy? Well, I don't have a simple answer and I don't suppose Buchanan does either. I really don't think Giuliani has the answer and I know Mitt Romney nor the rest of those clowns do either. Bill Richardson has some experience in this area, Hilary Clinton would be able to cobble together a coalition of egg-headed party operatives of the Carville or Stephanopoulis stripe; which is why I'd rather see what the new kid in town, his Omabinatiousness, the Obaminator, Doc Barack has up his sleeves.
But more on this and other things later, fucking Stargate SG-1 is on.