This one is difficult to watch because O’Reilly is so utterly condescending and so unwilling to allow his guest (Ron Paul) to speak. The debate does capture the neocon perspective (O’Reilly) and Paul’s view, to which I am sympathic. Ron Paul argues that our “troubles” in the Middle East are largely blowback for inappropriate actions the U.S. has taken for decades in the Middle East. We have been interfereing in Middle East politics in grotesque ways, installing puppet leaders and acting under the assumption that it is our oil under their sand.
Now, our policies regarding Iran are causing the Iranian government to associate all internal Iranian dissent with the United States, which has led to the squelching of dissent. We caused many of our own problems in the Middle East by ramping up tensions with our preemptory invasion of Iraq, our rhetoric and our conduct in building permanent military bases all over the region, including 14 permanent bases in Iraq alone.