Rep Ron Paul, R-Texas, took aim yesterday at President Barack Obama, noting Obama was elected on a platform for change, yet is every much of a neo-con now as former President George W. Bush was on some issues.
Congressman Paul said Obama is taking stands that are purely political and that the president over and over has backed down on what he promised the American electorate during his campaign for office in 2008.
“He was elected for change and it is the same old stuff,” Paul told the Huffington Post.
“And he is as much of a neo-con now as Bush was with this issue [to release the torture memos] and other issues. The war has been expanded; he continues with not closing down Guantanamo. There is still secret rendition going on, we just moved some of this process overseas. We are not going to be aware of it in detail.”
Paul said the tone of the new administration is different than that of the previous administration, but the policies haven’t change.
“We are spreading the war. The war is expanding. We are not prosecuting those that committed torture. Guantanamo is not going to be closed down. So, no, I don't see [a distinction between Bush and Obama].”
Paul noted Obama increased the Department of Defense budget.
“We surely could spend some of that money at home where people are really hurting,” he said. But we increased the DoD budget by 10-percent. I can't see any significant change in foreign policy. The pretense in leaving Iraq was a mild pretense and I'm predicting that's not going to happen. There are going to be troops in Iraq throughout this administration –– I'm convinced!”
Paul thinks international pressure from America’s allies will be so great that Obama won't be able to pull out of Iraq; therefore he doesn’t expect the administration’s policies to change.
“It just goes along with what I have said for years: foreign policy does not change with Republicans or Democrats. Overall, there is very little policy that changes. There is a lot of debate and a lot of rhetoric, but things continue as they do.”
Paul said the difference between Obama and Bush is style.
“The tone is different, and I think there is a benefit to that,” he said. But [Obama’s] policies don't change. Ultimately, policies win out. The strong statements against Iran are still there. And, right now, going through [the Congressional International Relations Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee], stronger sanctions will be put on Iran. We have taken the position we will not allow them to proceed on any nuclear testing, even if it is within the law and even if it is done peacefully. We are not going to permit that. So no, that position hasn't changed.”
If he were president, Paul would bring the troops home.
“I'd just bring them all home. I'd bring them home from Korea’ I'd bring them home from Germany –– save hundreds of billions of dollars and that would be a real boost. In order to stimulate the economy, I would immediately suspend the income tax for everybody. I would treat [Iran] the way we treated the Soviets. We talked to them. The Soviets had 30,000 nuclear weapons,” Paul said, maintaining “Iran is not going to bomb anybody.”
“They deserve a little bit of protection for themselves. They have nuclear weapons to the north, to the south, to the east, and to the west, and all they do is get beat up. There are a bunch of bad people over there, but there are a bunch of bad people all over the world.”
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