Listen to Ron Paul. Click the play button below.
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 U.S. 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,
10 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 toward 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 reevaluating 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. Fifty thousand 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.