Ron Paul on dramatic events in Ukraine, Syria, Iran talks and Snowden – exclusive

2 Mar

UNITED STATES, Washington: Former US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks at George Washington University March 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. 

UNITED STATES, Washington: Former US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks at George Washington University March 4, 2013 in Washington, DC.

  Photo credit: © AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

By Samir Shakhbaz

WASHINGTON (VR) – Former GOP presidential candidate and noted libertarian Ron Paul has started a petition demanding clemency for Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has been disclosing information on the U.S. agency’s surveillance programs. We asked Dr. Paul to comment on his initiative and, given the opportunity, asked him about his views on the dramatic events in Ukraine, the situation in Syria, and the Iran nuclear talks.

According to Dr. Paul Americans have changed the way they view the situation with Snowden. But still the leadership of the country and both Republicans and Democrats support the idea of the government conducting such surveillance operations. Dr. Paul realizes that his initiative and the signatures gathered in support of clemency will not change the president’s opinion on the issue overnight. But he insists that this initiative “makes a point”, because “in times public opinion can be very, very important. For instance, public opinion was important to restrain the president in his plans to bomb Syria. So, I think, public opinion ultimately is much more important than politicians realize.”

Talking about American foreign policy in Syria, which is officially motivated by the desire to help those who are weak or being oppressed, Dr. Paul drew a parallel with the way socialist ideology was once forced on other countries. “That is an excuse, but that is exactly the same words that were used to endorse socialism and communism, that the weak have to be taken care of. The twentieth century proved that radical socialism doesn’t help the weak at all, it just enhances the powerful. The powerful have control of the government and just make things worse. So, this idea that we [the US] are going to apply that to foreign policy, and we are going into Syria to protect the weak… Then we have to get involved and we end up supporting Al-Qaeda”, said Dr. Paul.

 

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