News Release

Giuliani, Rep. Paul and “Blowback”

CNN is televising a live Republican debate tonight. During the last GOP debate, Rep. Ron Paul, citing the concept of “blowback,” stated about attacks like 9/11: “They attack us because we’ve been over there, we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East. … I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it.”

Rudolph Giuliani denounced Paul, saying “I don’t think I’ve heard that before and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11.” [Video of the exchange]

The following analysts — including the author of the book Blowback — are available for interviews:

CHALMERS JOHNSON
Available for a limited number of interviews on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, Johnson is the author of the widely-noted Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire.

Johnson said today: “Bin Ladin attacked us in 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2000. Through out that period and again just after 9/11, he stated his motivations: the ‘infidel’ presence on the Arabian peninsula, the economic sanctions on Iraq that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children in the 1990s and our support for Israeli expansionism. These are Bin Ladin’s stated reasons for attacking us and they need to be contemplated. If Giuliani — or anyone else — still does not know this, they are truly not paying attention.”

Johnson’s latest book is Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic. His most recent article is “Evil Empire: Is Imperial Liquidation Possible for America?”
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IVAN ELAND
Senior fellow at the Independent Institute, Eland is author of the books The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed and Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy. He said today: “Most Americans are not aware of the extent to which the U.S. has intervened in other countries. Obviously Bin Ladin was guilty of killing the civilians on 9/11, but the U.S. government was secondarily responsible for creating hostility in the Muslim world.”
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RANDALL HAMUD
Hamud is editor of the book Osama Bin Ladin: America’s Enemy In His Own Words. He said today: “Congressman Ron Paul is entirely correct when he says that 9/11 was blowback in response to discrete policies of the West and especially the United States. In October, 2004, Bin Laden himself said that if he hated freedom (as Bush claims) he would have attacked Sweden. His message of hatred exploits resentments across the Middle East and the Islamic world engendered by the Iraq invasion; the overwhelming bias of the United States in favor of Israel in the Israel-Palestinian dichotomy; the United States’ continued support for the autocratic regimes in the region, e.g., Egypt and Pakistan; and the exploitation and exportation of the region’s oil reserves to the West to the detriment of the indigenous peoples. We cannot hope to defeat Islamic terrorism until we understand and correct its root causes. Mayor Giuliani could learn much from Congressman Paul.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167