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November 15, 2007

Entangling Alliances


by Rep. Ron Paul

In the name of clamping down on "terrorist uprisings" in Pakistan, General Musharraf has declared a state of emergency and imposed martial law. The true motivations behind this action however, are astonishingly transparent, as the reports come in that mainly lawyers and opposition party members are being arrested and harassed. Supreme Court justices are held in house arrest after indicating some reluctance to certify the legitimacy of Musharraf's recent re-election.

Meanwhile, terrorist threats on US interests may be more likely to originate from Pakistan, a country to which we have sent $10 billion.

Now we are placed in the difficult position of either continuing to support a military dictator who has taken some blatantly un-Democratic courses of action, or withdrawing support and angering this nuclear-capable country. The administration is carefully negotiating this tight-rope by "reviewing Pakistan's foreign aid package" and asking Musharraf to relinquish his military title and schedule elections.

By the time he complies with the requests of the White House sufficiently to continue to receive his "allowance," courtesy of the American taxpayer, his mission will be accomplished. A more friendly Supreme Court will be installed and enough of the opposition party will be jailed or detained to assure an outcome of the elections that will meet with his approval. All the while, our administration lauds Musharraf as a trusted friend and ally.

So much for a War on Terror. So much for making the world safe for democracy.

Free trade means no sanctions against Iran, or Cuba or anyone else for that matter. Entangling alliances with no one means no foreign aid to Pakistan, or Egypt, or Israel, or anyone else for that matter. If an American citizen determines a foreign country or cause is worthy of their money, let them send it, and encourage their neighbors to send money too, but our government has no authority to use hard-earned American taxpayer dollars to mire us in these nightmarishly complicated, no-win entangling alliances.

When we look at global situations today, the words of our founding fathers are becoming more relevant daily. We need to understand that a simple, humble foreign policy makes us less vulnerable and less targeted on the world stage. Pakistan should not be getting an "allowance" from us and we should not be propping up military dictators that oppress people. We should mind our own business and stop the oppressive taxation of Americans that makes this meddling possible.


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    Ron Paul is a Republican Congressman from Texas. He was the 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for President.

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