Ron Paul: Thomas Jefferson Incarnate [on Imperialism and "blowback"]
Exclusive to SiaNews.com
September 14, 2007
I feel that Jefferson is the perfect example of a president that did all he could to avoid military action before resorting to it after all else failed. Homage had been paid for years to the Barbary states to ensure safe passage and then a treaty was negotiated that supposedly gave the United States protection at a price of ,000 per annum. At the time Jefferson was president a great deal of American exports went through the Mediterranean. The new nation could not afford the loss of trade or the payment of homage over a long period of time without suffering devastating consequences. Also, since the Bey of Tripoli declared war against the United States first, it was not a question of the United States declaring war prior to military intervention. The attacks on U.S. ships was a very real threat to the new nation and Jefferson acted within the scope of presidential powers even though his actions in this incident haunted him for years. Concerning Jefferson’s use of the military, it was used to protect not only U.S. trade, but also to ensure the save passage on the seas for American citizens, merchants…who, by the way, had been attacked by the Barbary Pirates. The use of military action was extremely limited, in fact no prisoners were taken, the ships were returned to the Bey of Tripoli and few were killed, no Americans were killed.
Considering the limitations of interventionism, I think that Ron Paul clearly states that we need to seriously consider the possible repercussions of such interventions. In fact, it is easy to see, if we are look beyond the propaganda of the state, that our interventions have caused us a great deal of trouble over the years. The problem with covert activities is that you never know what auxiliary problems and issues they create due to the fact that, by the very nature, they are covert and for decades we have blindly placed our faith in the Intel community to do everything in our own best interest when that might not be the case.
If anyone considers the actions we have taken over the past 50 years to promote peace then they should take a second look at the results of those actions. I don’t think Ron Paul has stated that we should limit our foreign relations because extremists hate us, just the opposite; they hate us because of our foreign relations and policies. Between the various factions we support on all sides of a conflict and the types of various interventions, there must be some accountability and yet there has been none. Ron Paul has stated that we have created many of our own problems, by the way so has many of the various intelligence agencies and military strategist. Just look at the world we have created for ourselves, it didn’t just happen this way there are very definite causes and effects.
From what I have read of Ron Paul he calls for a rational foreign policy while maintaining a strong, but practical defense. Currently, we have military bases in over 150 countries and the fact is that we simply can no longer afford to be the world’s police. That fact is becoming self-evident as this fading empire approaches the end of its ability to press the world into compliance with its wishes.
We are looking at the result of decades of haphazard policies, rashly ill conceived and poorly executed military adventures which have done more harm than good and in the process they have endangered this nation and its people. As I have stated before on this forum: Peace is the Enemy of the State. Without war the State cannot procure its desired control and social maintenance of the population. The Warfare State is a wasteful ideology that stifles Liberty, restricts the Rights of the Citizen and drains the nation of it potential. Such ideologies have always failed in the past and usually at the expense of the general welfare of the Citizens of a nation. We are only hastening the day when disaster strikes again.
During the entire period of this so-called “War on Terror” we have remained basically undefended with open borders, porous ports and policies and procedures that border on the ridiculous. Had this been a serious issue of national security there would be rational policies that were directed more toward actually securing this nation against attack instead of merely complicating the process of defense into an untenable monstrosity of bureaucratic incompetence.
Perhaps, since our policies have been a dismal failure for decades that it is time to change not only the way we think, but also the way we act. From what I have read, Ron Paul has extensive knowledge of the foreign policy issues we face and the potential danger posed by such policies. He is far from being an Isolationist and would provide, finally, a logical and rational approach to not only our foreign policy, but social and economic policies as well. There is a huge difference between Isolationism and Non- Interventionism and it is important to know that difference.
Now, we must ask ourselves WHY? Why has the Middle East been in turmoil over the past few decades? Sure there has been turmoil there for centuries and undoubtedly it will not end, but what has caused such an incredible animosity toward the United States in the region? Once you find that answer, it would behoove our government to evaluate the causes for such animosity and blood-hatred and change the way we do things in the region. To blindly follow a policy that actually places our nation in more danger than less is the height of stupidity and we have been so blind that we now find ourselves in a situation that will be very hard to escape from.
So, what would Jefferson do? He would definitely not do what we have been doing to this government and this country over the last few decades! He would not bankrupt this country with a fiat system of currency, he would not place military bases in over 150 countries, he would not allow the government to place draconian measures, such as the Un-American Patriot Act and the Real ID Act, into law. He would not break the law by issuing signing statements to subvert the rule of law. He would definitely seek the impeachment of Bush and Cheney and then have them tried for High Treason and then appropriately disposed.
We haven’t been able to win a war since WWII, and the only nations we tend to attack are nations that we already know can’t really strike back…we don’t combat the real threats because we know we wouldn’t stand a chance. Hell, we can’t win this war and it’s time to change our ill-conceived course. Not only is it not logical, but also it is pure stupidity to pursue such a course that doesn’t actually make us safer, but far less safe and is financially devastating.
Like I said, the War in Iraq and, for that matter Afghanistan has nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11 except that it served as a pretext for those invasions. Had Ron Paul been President at the time I think we would have already had the head of Osama bin Laden on a platter by now, Billions of dollars would not have been wasted and most importantly the lives of over 3700 American Service People would have been spared from a senseless death and in the end a useless war that will actually do more harm than it has good.
It is almost impossible to fight and win a war against insurgents because of the fact that it requires so little for the insurgents to wage warfare, not to mention the fact that you never have a distinct enemy to target. The War on Terror is totally ill conceived since it can never be won, instead of focusing on an offensive front overseas, we should focus on a defensive front here at home. Of course, this government has done precious little but throw money away with the creation of another sluggish, ineffective, inefficient bureaucratic monstrosity called the Dept of HomeLand Security. Our borders are relatively open to anyone wanting to come in and our ports are still, after 6 years, so porous that any nation or extremists could just ship their warriors in shipping crates to attack us and the Bush bureaucracy wouldn’t be the wiser. Stupidity, the height of incompetence and ineptitude! We are not only a weaker nation, but also much less safe due to the irrational policies of the Bush Administration. I dare say that the extreme waste that is being exhibited in this war will ultimately cost us much more then just fiat dollars thrown out the window. The massive 0 Million Dollar Embassy will probably never be used by this government…it will be a monument of Bush excesses and rotten policies. Even now…the Bush Administration is seeking a face-saving way out of Iraq…the Petraeus report and Bush’s comments point to that fact.
Let me say that from what I have read, Ron Paul believes it necessary to maintain a very directed, very strong national defense, but one that is defensive and efficient in its primary purposes. At present, we have a military might that is so scattered, so diluted that we can’t focus on the most important place in the world…this country, its borders, its ports and its infrastructure. We can’t even fight and win in these small insignificant countries like Iraq. We have started battles without much thought, without understanding the internal situation within those countries and without a viable plan of action. In the end we will ultimately loose these battles because of the emotional drive to influence these countries through what we perceive as the best means of influence when we should realize by now that it simply doesn’t work. Aside from the fact that it has not given us the effectiveness we desire, but it has been a policy that has brought us to the edge of bankruptcy, diverting mindless amounts of money to mindless causes that have the opposite desired effect on the various regions and factions we engage.
The internal affairs of a nation are the affairs of that nation, not ours. That idiotic concept is what has spurred more war and senseless killing than any other. U.S. Military influence, especially since WWII, has not given us the results it is suppose to, it has been a failure that has been costly, deadly. War has been used recklessly by various administrations from Truman to Bush. We have grown to believe that military influence is the only influence we have that can effect the actions of other nations, why is that?
Why is it that the only countries we strike are those we know can’t readily retaliate? We would not have dreamed of striking the former Soviet Union, or China. The fact that we were so willing to strike Iraq was that Iraq actually posed no real threat to this country and yet, the emotional decision had been made long before the events of 9/11, even though it was effectively used to persuade the American People and Congress that Iraq was a threat.
Is it the power and might of military action that hypnotizes us into believing we are safer because we use it without regard to its consequences?
The concept that we have made a difference in the way the country is perceived around the world because we are ready to use our army at the drop of a hat is beyond reason. War and military intervention always gives us far fewer benefits than if we had attempted to effect those “rogue” nations in other ways.
We are a target because we don’t use our influence in an appropriate and judicious manner; in addition we tend to seek to influence many sides of the same conflict by providing various types of aid, weapons, and at times covert actions. We have created many “friends” only to turn around and claim they are now enemies and must be destroyed. It’s amazing that we did little, even said little when Saddam was gassing the Kurds while he was an “ally”, but when it was decided that he was an enemy we raised the issue of the Kurds as part of the justification for Saddam’s removal. In like manner, as long as we had the Shah in power we didn’t care one iota about his use and abuse of power on his own people, but we are ready to jump on the Islamist for the same types of abuses. This country has had the tendency to back the wrong people for the wrong reason, many times we have backed the wrong causes and such decisions have always come back to bite us in our ass.
The Iranians are not the only ones who use proxy force like Hezbollah…we, after all, invented the modern proxy war and I dare say that we have used such influence within Iran as well as other countries. Afghanistan is a perfect example of the results of eventual, and devastating blowback. We used proxy forces to create an untenable situation for the Soviet Union and, in effect, forced them to invade Afghanistan. Then we used those same proxy forces to drive them out. The problem, which is well documented, is that those agents we created, armed and used to drive out the Soviets are the same ones that turned around and attacked us. How can any rational person ignore such facts? It would appear that there would be a much more effective means of not only protecting our interests, but using our resources in a much more productive way.
The question we should be asking is whether the use of our military and intelligence community is being utilized in the best possible manner? I happen to think it’s not. Ron Paul definitely doesn’t believe we have used our intelligence or military in the best possible way. Not only is it poor use, but also poor policy and it is simply no longer a sustainable or viable option.
I am not advocating giving up on the Middle East, just changing the means of influence. We currently finance and provide military aid to just about every side of the conflict in that region; we do this without regard to the consequences. Our security interest must first and foremost rest within our own borders; thus far this Administration has shown neither the will nor the ability to defend this nation from threats. This nation is wide open, as I stated, if any “terrorist” worth is salt wanted to attack us it would be as easy as walking across the border or sailing into our harbors. Instead of wasting our resources on other nations, why don’t we invest what we waste in other nations into our own? It would be a far better investment in our future, our economy, and our security.
Is it any wonder why the United States is now considered the most dangerous threat in the world today by most countries and people around the world? This imperial mentality is creating some potentially dangerous transitions in the world and for the life of me I can't imagine why so many in this government continue to ignore the effects of its foreign policies.
Just look at the way the Military Government of the United States views the world and its “responsibility” over it.
We have, over the past couple of decades, given the rest of the world a reason to fear us, not respect us, and that can pose new dangers that we have yet considered. For instance, the RED COMMUNIST CHINESE, whom we have subsidized for the past decade or more, will overtake the United States in terms of economic production within the next 10 to 15 years; in a matter of years it will have the largest and most sophisticated Military Machine on earth and it is rapidly creating one of the most advanced blue water navies in the world.
Now in the eyes of the world, and the Chinese, the United States is the threat and is the "super-power" to dethrone primarily because of the policies that this country has sought to impose on the rest of the world. Just a few months ago, the Chinese presented America with a not-so-veiled threat: STAY OUT OF CENTRAL ASIA. Yet, we have continued our foreign policy of expansion and intervention not only in the Middle East, but also in Central Asia. I have to wonder just how long it will be before the Russians and Chinese seek to place very real and very dangerous roadblocks in our way. Why wouldn't they, we are in their back yard reeking havoc in the region and building massive military bases, even in areas that were formerly considered part of the old Soviet Union such as in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In addition, our foreign policy is staking claims in the rest of Central Asia like Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
Like the Middle East, our foreign polices are creating issues that we don't seem to consider and, in my opinion, placing this country in even more danger then our foreign policy in the Middle East has over the years. I dare say the Russians haven't forgot that it was none other then the CIA that fomented extremist Islamic terrorist to harry the Central Asian Soviet Republics from Afghanistan, prompting the USSR to invade that country.
Even the Chinese were subjects to covert actions by the CIA as it sought to cause uprisings in the areas of heavily Muslim populations within China itself by the use of extremists. I doubt if that fact has been lost on the Chinese. Our foreign polices placed us in grave danger from Islamic Extremism, but it is also creating even more dangerous situations in other areas of the Mid-East and Central Asia...situations that could easily transform into something far beyond our ability to manage or defend against.
Our foreign policy is as shortsighted as our short attention span in this country. We fail to understand the world and the views of others in the world; it has and will bite us in our proverbial fat asses if we don't reassess the way in which we operate around the world.
Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda is just the tip of the ice-berg...unless and until we change the way we conduct our foreign affairs around the world, we will continue to be the number one target of not only Islamic Extremist, but much stronger forces that we are ill-equipped to handle militarily or economically.
I am constantly amazed when I read foreign newspapers at the growing animosity and shear hatred the world seems to have for a Nation that once served as a beacon of individual liberty and opportunity. Even those we have considered allies are beginning to change their tune toward us and their views are being transformed by our own actions and, I might add, unabashed arrogance. As long as we ignore the possibility that our actions have very definite and potentially dangerous consequences, the we will continue to be in the bulls-eye of not only radical Islamic terrorists, but others as well.
[*snip*: complete, lengthy article here: http://sianews.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3236]