Ron Paul gives an excellent speech on Liberty. At about 49 minutes in, he says:
Now, in talking about foreign policy like this and emphasizing blowback, somebody rather nastily said the other day on the internet, they said, “Oh, yeah, if those Paul people had been in charge, Osama bin Laden would still be alive.” But you know what I think the answer is? So would the 3,000 people from 9/11 be alive!
I’m quite certain he was referring to this article by Matt Johnson, in which he wrote:
Here’s a glimpse of Congressman Paul’s ideal world: Osama Bin Laden would still be alive…
I wrote a rejoinder in which I responded to this part by writing:
It’s very possibly true that if a Ron Paul had been president all these years that Osama bin Laden might still be alive. Ron Paul certainly would not violate international law and the sovereignty of other nations by sending combat helicopters into their airspace and putting a team of commandos on their soil. Ron Paul recognizes that acts of terrorism are crimes to be properly dealt with through law enforcement, such as the cooperative efforts with the Pakistani government that led to the arrest of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But this all misses the point, because if Ron Paul had been president, 9/11 wouldn’t have happened in the first place. If Ron Paul had been president in place of Carter and Reagan, the U.S. wouldn’t have funded, trained, and armed the mujahedeen in Afghanistan and encouraged the creation of al-Qaeda in the first place (bin Laden’s Maktab al-Khidamat, the precursor organization to al-Qaeda, operated alongside the CIA out of Peshawar, Pakistan). The U.S. wouldn’t have had military bases on Saudi soil. The U.S. wouldn’t have been supporting Israel’s violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinians for all these years. The U.S. would not have had a policy of criminal sanctions against Iraq that killed over a million Iraqis, including half a million children. So, yeah, Osama bin Laden might still be alive, it is true—but so would the 3,000 Americans who died on September 11, 2001.
It wouldn’t be surprising at all if Ron Paul conceived of this response on his own. But I can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, I possibly might have had an influence. It is very possible Ron Paul actually read, or was at least aware of, my response because Lew Rockwell published it and Tom Woods also linked to it (both Tom and Lew gave excellent speeches at Paul Fest). How cool would that be, that he actually read my article and used a piece of it in his speech?