Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said on Thursday that the United States had been "stirring the pot" in Egypt "for a long time."
"Just think of how many years we've propped up [Hosni] Mubarak, a military dictatorship, and gave him all of those weapons — and he was our guy as long as he did what we told him," Paul, the former Texas congressman, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"But then, when he lost popularity, then we supported the rebels — and, lo and behold, the rebels turned out to be the [Muslim] Brotherhood. They got in power, and then we said: 'Well, you've got to be good Democrats. You have to have an election.'
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"So they have an election and they elect Morsi — and we don't like him because he's too authoritarian, so then we organize and support the coup. So we go back and forth. We're all over the place.
"And, now, our president tells us that we should be staying out of this fight," Paul added. "Yeah, about 50 years ago. That's when we should have stayed out. We should have never gotten involved. It's wrong.
"But that doesn't mean there wouldn't be a problem there — but it would be a civil problem, internal, and we're not supposed to be involved in the internal affairs of these nations.
"So, yes, we bear a lot of responsibility," Paul concluded. "We have a couple of choices we give them: If you're our favorite dictatorship and dictator, we'll give you a lot of money and we'll support you. But if you don't support us, we're going to bomb you and kill you."
He added that former National Security Agency subcontractor Edward Snowden did "us all a service" by disclosing information on the agency's widespread surveillance programs targeting Americans' telephone and Internet use.
"What has happened is that when government gets too big and too powerful, they want secrecy — and the thing that they fear most is transparency," Paul told Malzberg. "They talk about transparency, but that's what they fear the most.
"So when you have people come forth and tell us about what's really going on, and telling us the truth about our own government, there's a lot of resentment from that.
"So much of what we do overseas is based on lies, so they resent this — so the truth is what we should be looking for whether we agree with the policy or not," Paul added. "We shouldn't be deceiving the people and getting people to endorse certain policies that aren't good for us."
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