VELSHI: With me now is U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul, who disagrees with Senator McCain. Unsurprising, Ron Paul is very consistent in his views about military intervention. He says what’s happening in Syria is, quote, “none of our business.” Congressman Paul, good to see you again. Thank you for joining us.
REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Nice to be with you.
VELSHI: No surprise that you’d disagree with John McCain. You might actually find yourself more aligned with this administration, who really has chosen, though they’ve spoken of intervention, not to actually do anything.
PAUL: Yes, but they’ve already intervened too much. They’ve already assisted the rebels, the groups that are opposing the government. They — he certainly got us involved in Libya rather drastically. So I would say, unfortunately, if you just look at the conventional wisdom of the media and the government, our government, is that there are two groups in this country.
One wants to go to war sort of and the other one wants to really go to war. But there’s many of us who think that it’s very unwise, bad politics, bad foreign policy, dangerous to us, and we don’t have the money to do it.
VELSHI: Could be bad politics, could be bad foreign policy, could be dangerous and we may not have the money. But you are a physician. Do you see these pictures and wonder at some point whether the world needs to get involved?
PAUL: I look at those pictures and I think it’s tragic because too many people are involved. So when you drum up stories like in Libya and say that there’s been annihilation of a lot of people and there’s going to be a massacre, which didn’t happen, as an excuse to go in and take over a country like Libya and actually allow the Al Qaeda come in, yes, I do.
But I think that when we use — if we continue to do what we do with drone missiles, I look at those children that get killed and all the collateral damage and as a physician and as a person concerned about my country and working for peace, yes, I look at that and I think it’s tragic.
I see it all coming from us doing way too much, getting involved and getting ourselves into trouble rather than acting more peacefully like our founders wanted us to, to offer peace and trade and negotiate –
VELSHI: Let me ask you this, then. Let me ask you this. You have often said — you are remarkably consistent in your views of not intervening militarily unless national security, U.S. national security is at stake. And that is the case that Senator McCain has made, that Syria, not a proxy but an ally of Iran and that doing something in Syria would be a big blow to Iran. Give me your view on that.
PAUL: Well, I think that’s stretching it. That may be true, but you know, we have allies around the world. We’re in 130 countries, 900 bases. The — Iran is surrounded by 45 of our bases. They’re no threat to anybody. That’s all a concocted scheme to take over their oil.
And they have to get — you know, they have to take over Syria in order to go on to Iran. So this is just the plan of those who love intervention and love our empire. And the American people have fallen for this before. And I’m just trying to wake up the American people and say don’t fall for these lies again. Iraq, it’s a big shambles right now.
The Christians have been run off and look at what’s happening over there, and Al Qaeda is in there. Al Qaeda from Iraq is going into Syria. We’re supposed to be opposing the Al Qaeda, not encouraging them by just stimulating their growth and giving them the motivation to do what they’ve been doing to us.
VELSHI: Congressman Paul, pleasure to talk to you. Thank you for joining us.
PAUL: Thank you.