16 May 2007
I haven't had time to watch the entire Republican Debate, but I've read several things about and watched the above video.
I haven't made up my mind on Ron Paul but I think he has the tip of a great observation. That is that American policy over the past 50 years has caused people to in the Middle East to hate us. I don't think he had time to fully articulate it in 60 seconds.
It is certainly true that the core of the Al Quiada operation hates us completely. It is very much an irrational hate, and something that no amount of policy changes will resolve. You can find philosophical underpinnings of this movement in Qutb's book Milestones. The people who subscribe to this point of view are the people willing to commit suicide in the hopes to do us harm. These are the people that we must hunt down and remove from circulation.
The most of the people in the Muslim world are most likely not willing to engage in actual conflict with the United States. However many Muslims do dislike us for a variety of reasons. If the United States made an honest effort to understand these reasons and apply them to our foreign policy the world would be a safer place. It is also easy for a real terrorist to hide among people who just dislike the United States. If the United States followed a foreign policy was realistic in addressing the dislikes of the worlds Muslim population, terrorists would loose supporters, recruits and a population to hide among. It is possible that if we had done this sooner 9/11 may not have occurred. Ultimately there is no way to tell. Hopefully we can try it now and see it help prevent the next attack.