I disagree with Ron Paul on most of his financial and social positions.
But on the topic of the insanity of the American Imperial War Machine, I am in 100% Agreement.
In 2009 he gave a speech directly addressing the insanity of the endless wars that are being waged for all the wrong reasons, costing America trillions of dollars, and the blood and lives of thousands of American soldiers.
Rather than fighting terrorism, the presence of our troops in Iraq and now in Afghanistan has turned an entire region of the world into our enemies.
Worst of all, it has been accompanied by the massive war profiteering by private companies who have been given absurd contracts for outrageously overpriced goods and services. We have even at times turned over roles such as security and interrogation to private companies, roles that should only be kept in the hands and control of our military. These wars are being waged dishonestly off budget, to try and hide the impact on the American economy. The current deficit is the result of three things: these illegal, undeclared wars; the tax cuts for the super rich of the Bush/Cheney era; and the bailouts, both the admitted ones and the now revealed secret passing out of tax payer monies to corrupt and failed corporate entities, banks, and financial and trading institutions.
Worst of all, these wars continue to be waged without any formal declaration of war by Congress, and are thus one more act in the dismantling of our Constitutional system and the Rule of Law.
Ron Paul’s speech is called “Imagine” and it was given by Ron Paul on March 11, 2009. Following is transcript.
It is been made into a video as part of his current campaign for the GOP nomination.
Imagine for a moment that somewhere in the middle of Texas there was a large foreign military base, say Chinese or Russian. Imagine that thousands of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices of “keeping us safe” or “promoting democracy” or “protecting their strategic interests.”
Imagine that they operated outside of US law, and that the Constitution did not apply to them. Imagine that every now and then they made mistakes or acted on bad information and accidentally killed or terrorized innocent Americans, including women and children, most of the time with little to no repercussions or consequences. Imagine that they set up checkpoints on our soil and routinely searched and ransacked entire neighborhoods of homes. Imagine if Americans were fearful of these foreign troops, and overwhelmingly thought America would be better off without their presence.
Imagine if some Americans were so angry about them being in Texas that they actually joined together to fight them off, in defense of our soil and sovereignty, because leadership in government refused or were unable to do so. Imagine that those Americans were labeled terrorists or insurgents for their defensive actions, and routinely killed, or captured and tortured by the foreign troops on our land. Imagine that the occupiers’ attitude was that if they just killed enough Americans, the resistance would stop, but instead, for every American killed, ten more would take up arms against them, resulting in perpetual bloodshed. Imagine if most of the citizens of the foreign land also wanted these troops to return home. Imagine if they elected a leader who promised to bring them home and put an end to this horror.
Imagine if that leader changed his mind once he took office.
The reality is that our military presence on foreign soil is as offensive to the people that live there as armed Chinese troops would be if they were stationed in Texas. We would not stand for it here, but we have had a globe-straddling empire and a very intrusive foreign policy for decades that incites a lot of hatred and resentment towards us.
According to our own CIA, our meddling in the Middle East was the prime motivation for the horrific attacks on 9/11. But instead of re-evaluating our foreign policy, we have simply escalated it. We had a right to go after those responsible for 9/11, to be sure, but why do so many Americans feel as if we have a right to a military presence in some 160 countries when we wouldn’t stand for even one foreign base on our soil, for any reason? These are not embassies, mind you, these are military installations. The new administration is not materially changing anything about this. Shuffling troops around and playing with semantics does not accomplish the goals of the American people, who simply want our men and women to come home. 50,000 troops left behind in Iraq is not conducive to peace any more than 50,000 Russian soldiers would be in the United States.
Shutting down military bases and ceasing to deal with other nations with threats and violence is not isolationism. It is the opposite. Opening ourselves up to friendship, honest trade and diplomacy is the foreign policy of peace and prosperity. It is the only foreign policy that will not bankrupt us in short order, as our current actions most definitely will. I share the disappointment of the American people in the foreign policy rhetoric coming from the administration. The sad thing is, our foreign policy WILL change eventually, as Rome’s did, when all budgetary and monetary tricks to fund it are exhausted.