Iran Quote of the Day
Who said the following:
Here’s the truth: the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn’t have a single one. But when the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn’t we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That’s what strong countries do, that’s what strong presidents do, that’s what I’ll do when I’m president of the United States of America.
If you guessed Ron Paul you would be wrong.
The correct answer is Obama. Despite the fact that strict non-interventionists like Paul have stated similar statements over the past several months (decades even), it is not until the “credible” frontrunner says it that it becomes a widely-cited talking point.
A quick Google search finds that Paul stated something very similar more than 6 years ago:
Even at the height of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union had missiles pointed at us from 90 miles away in Cuba, we solved the dispute through dialogue and diplomacy. Why is it, in this post Cold War era, that the United States seems to turn first to the military to solve its foreign policy problems? Is diplomacy dead?
In fact, Ron Paul has said similar statements many times. Back on November 11, 2007 Paul was interviewed on Face the Nation and he said:
I fear our policy towards Iran is a threat. [...] We [should] have a more sensible policy, we talk to them and trade with them. We remove the sanctions. I mean, the Soviets had 40,000 of them. I was called up for military duty in 1962 during the Cuban crisis. The height of the Cold War and we won the Cold War, we didn’t have to go a nuclear war. We won that by being strong by talking to the Soviets, we talked to Khrushchev. We have a lot more than Iran, Iran has none.
In March of 2006, Neil Cavuto interviewed Paul about this issue asking: Would our national security be threatened if Iran had the bomb?
Paul replied: “Could it be any worse than 30,000 nuclear missiles faced us down in the Cold War against the Soviets. Did we feel like we had to have regime change in the Cold War? Did we use containment and we can’t contain Iran?”
In the September 2007 debate hosted by Fox, moderator Brit Hume asked the candidates about a hypothetical situation involving an uncooperative, nuclear capable Iran.
Paul replied: “Thinking back to the 1960s when I was in the Air Force for 5 years and there was a Cold War going on and the Soviet’s 40,000 and we stood them down and we didn’t have to have a confrontation. We should back off. We should be talking to Iran right now. We shouldn’t be looking for the opportunity to attack them.”
In a post-debate interview with Bill O’Reilly regarding Iran, Ron Paul literally says many of the same things, including “How come we got through the Cold War when the Soviets had 40,000 of them?”
In November 2007 in an interview with CNN he is asked about a hypothetical situation in which Iran has nuclear weapons.
Paul replied: “I prefer them not to. I think if we have different foreign policy they wouldn’t have an incentive. But if they did, I wouldn’t do much about it — I wouldn’t bomb them. They are third rate nation. They are incapable of attacking their neighbors.”
These quotes are from just a cursory perusal of the large archive that can be found on YouTube (ron paul + iran).
I am not suggesting that Obama’s speech writer plagiarized but given that Paul has said the same thing for years one has to wonder if by sheer accident they caught a glimpse of the Paulian talking point and thought it made a lot of sense.
It sure is the sincerest form of flattery.