Ron Paul: Bombs and Bribes 10/5/09Submitted by SC Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ on Tue, 10/06/2009 - 08:18
by Ron Paul | Texas Straight Talk
What if tomorrow morning you woke up to headlines that yet another Chinese drone bombing on US soil killed several dozen ranchers in a rural community while they were sleeping? That a drone aircraft had come across the Canadian border in the middle of the night and carried out the latest of many attacks? What if it was claimed that many of the victims harbored anti-Chinese sentiments, but most of the dead were innocent women and children? And what if the Chinese administration, in an effort to improve its public image in the US, had approved an aid package to send funds to help with American roads and schools and promote Chinese values here?
Most Americans would not stand for it. Yet the above hypothetical events are similar to what our government is doing in Pakistan. Last week, Congress did approve an aid package for Pakistan for the stated purposes of improving our image and promoting democracy. I again made the point on the floor of the House that still no one seems to hear: What if this happened on US soil? What if innocent Americans were being killed in repeated drone attacks carried out by some foreign force who was trying to fix our problems for us? Would sending money help their image? If another nation committed this type of violence and destruction on our homeland, would we be at all interested in adopting their values?
Sadly, one thing that has entirely escaped modern American foreign policy is empathy. Without much humility or regard for human life, our foreign policy has been reduced to alternately bribing and bombing other nations, all with the stated goal of “promoting democracy”. But if a country democratically elects a leader who is not sufficiently pro-American, our government will refuse to recognize them, will impose sanctions on them, and will possibly even support covert efforts to remove them. Democracy is obviously not what we are interested in. It is more likely that our government is interested in imposing its will on other governments. This policy of endless intervention in the affairs of others is very damaging to American liberty and security.
If we were really interested in democracy, peace, prosperity and safety, we would pursue more free trade with other countries. Free and abundant trade is much more conducive to peace because it is generally bad business to kill your customers. When one’s livelihood is on the line, and the business agreements are mutually beneficial, it is in everyone’s best interests to maintain cooperative and friendly relations and not kill each other. But instead, to force other countries to bend to our will, we impose trade barriers and sanctions. If our government really wanted to promote freedom, Americans would be free to travel and trade with whoever they wished. And, if we would simply look at our own policies around the world through the eyes of others, we would understand how these actions make us more targeted and therefore less safe from terrorism. The only answer is get back to free trade with all and entangling alliances with none. It is our bombs and sanctions and condescending aid packages that isolate us.
Posted by Ron Paul (10-05-2009, 12:13 PM) filed under Foreign Policy
Ron Paul Foreign Policy Speech 9/30/09
Dr. Paul opposes the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, HR 3642:
Text of speech:
I thank the gentlelady for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill. Sometimes I wonder how we can, with a straight face, bring a bill up like this with the conditions of this country, especially financially. I oppose this bill for two reasons. One, we don't have the money. That would be a pretty good reason not to support it. And the other reason is I do not believe it's in our national security interests. I know this is being promoted as benefiting our national security, but I do not believe it helps us one bit. This bill was essentially voted on in June, and the vote was 234-185, which means that it is assumed at least 56 or more individuals in the Congress have switched their votes.
Now they say they have tinkered with the bill and changed it a little bit, but it's an authorization that could be $15 billion. So it hasn't had that much of a change. But today it is expected that these individuals will change and vote for this bill not really asking the questions.
Now, the bill is defined as fortifying democratic institutions. That is a good goal. But it never, never works. We are in 130 countries, we have 700 bases around the world, and we pursue this, and we are bankrupting our country by trying to maintain this empire. I have often made the point that the way we treat our fellow countries around the world is we tell them what to do, and if they do it we give them money. If they don't do it, we bomb them. Under this condition, we are doing both. We are currently dropping bombs in Pakistan. The CIA is dropping bombs, and innocent people get killed.
If you want to promote our good values and our democratic process, you can't antagonize the people by literally killing people over there, because if bombs were falling on this country, we wouldn't be all that happy with that. So this does not improve our conditions whatsoever.
I would suggest another proposal for our foreign policy, not using bombs and bribes, but what about neither one? What about just talking to people? What about reducing tariffs? What about trading with them? Instead, it is this form of foreign policy that will not serve our interests.