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Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk 3/7/11: Costs to Run the World are Unsustainable

U.S. meddling in the Middle East and North Africa will only compound the problems over there, and may even result in even worse governments.


Interventionism Leads to Resentment and Anti-Americanism
by Ron Paul

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and I had the opportunity to raise some of my concerns regarding US government policy and the cost of our interventionism around the world. Many observers claim that the recent overthrow of governments in Northern Africa and the Middle East will result in more liberty for individuals across those regions. I sincerely hope this proves to be true, but history is replete with revolutions that began as a cry for freedom against oppressive governments but ended badly. There are no guarantees that Egyptians, Tunisians or others will be better off after these heralded "regime changes." We do know, however, that there conflicts in Africa and the Middle East can be made worse if the US government attempts to intervene and support certain candidates or factions.

Such intervention would not further US interest or win new friends, but in fact, would undermine the legitimacy of any government that may emerge after the end of the old regime, just as we would resent and reject any political force that came to power here with the sponsorship of a foreign government. Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans and others are not likely to take kindly to what they view as one US puppet being replaced by another US puppet. It is ironic, but the US government's endless promotion of democracy overseas actually distorts and undermines democracy in targeted nations. The involvement of a foreign power often undermines true self-determination. Radicals who understand this may use rising resentment and anti-Americanism as leverage to gain power, thus defeating the stated purpose of US government in the first place.

I have never understood how the US government justifies subsidizing a newspaper or political party abroad in the name a promoting independence and pluralism. It makes no sense. Unfortunately, it seems to me that the administration has learned nothing from recent events in the Mediterranean region. Secretary Clinton emphasized several times at the Committee hearing that "nothing is off the table" with regards to a US response to internal civil unrest in Libya. Since when is it our obligation to use political pressure or even military force to solve every problem overseas? Washington is currently buzzing with talk of no-fly zones and even a land invasion of Libya to aid rebel groups seeking to overthrow the Gaddafi regime. Some military leaders, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, have rightly warned the more enthusiastic interventionists that such military operations can be enormously costly both financially and in lives.

The costs of trying to run the world are unsustainable, and we simply don't have the money. Morally, it is inexcusable for the US to pick sides in such conflicts overseas, no matter how odious either side may be; financially, it is no longer possible. The 2012 budget request from the administration for "international affairs," which is a code word for "foreign aid," is two and a half times larger than was it was just nine years ago. As our economy shrinks at home, our obligations increase abroad. As our infrastructure crumbles at home, we continue to spend billions of dollars expending infrastructure in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

If the interventionists have their way, no doubt we will soon pay to reconstruct the infrastructure we destroy in Libyan military operation. It does not take a genius to see that we are going broke, but Washington remains in denial and intent on business as usual. I fear that if we continue this way, we may soon be out of business altogether.

Thanks to RonPaul2008dotcom on YouTube for transcript. http://www.youtube.com/wa...

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A neo con in the...

... in the Wall Street Journal complained about Chavez being a sanctions buster. This was my email to her:

Ms. O'Grady,

You write:

"The upshot here is that there is no intrinsic reason why Mr. Chávez should be able to defy the embargo with impunity."

I would argue that there is no intrinsic reason why any country should comply with sanctions against Iran, other than the US, which, as was in the case of Iraq, has its eyes on Iran's oil reserves and will invent any fable to convince the world that Iran is their enemy. Sanctions are an act of war. The Iranian people, like the Iraqis, have done no harm to the US or its people. Their only sin is that they had/have cranky leaders who won't dance to Washington's tunes.

Iran's leaders might be a bit silly teasing the US with its so-called nuclear program, but anything that aggravates Washington makes them more popular among their own people. Besides, Pakistan, India and Israel have nuclear weapons. It understandable that Iran would want to develop their own, and more so if the US opposes it. If that poses a threat to Israel, then that's Israel's problem and they can and will deal with it, but they were the first in the region to develop a nuclear capability, with the blessing of the US. The hypocrisy of Washington is baffling, other than fact that we have come to expect this from the warmongers who are firmly in the grip on the military-industrial complex.

The hatred towards the US of many in the Muslim world is completely justified. Far from making us safer, the Bush and Obama Administration have heightened the risk of innocent people in American (and in allied countries) being attacked, not only in the US (Fort Hood – why no trial?), but also abroad.

There are many dictators in Africa, in places where women are raped with impunity and in general, the populations’ standard of living is not much higher than what Europe experienced in the Middle Ages. Alas, these countries do not have oil and do not pose a threat to Israel, so their human rights are not our concern.

I would argue that our Founding Fathers never envisaged that the government would prohibit us from trading with or visit certain countries. If we were allowed to trade and visit Cuba, it would have been a free country today. Sanctions are the last refuge of a rogue politician. They harden the attitude of leaders and peoples. It is an utterly counter-productive strategy.

We need to engage the Muslim world – make friends, not enemies. We should leave Israel to deal with regional issues as it deems fit, without our meddling. We should close our military bases in the Middle East. Under such a scenario, we would be able to abolish the TSA and there would no war on terror. We would be free again.


Plano TX

morning bump for Liberty

Thanks for posting Steve.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Here is the Transcript *Mods*

Maybe it could be added to OP.

Thanks to RonPaul2008dotcom on YouTube for transcript. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EshFtiHCX20

Thanks Mods

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Always good to hear Dr. Paul's take on a current issue.

Bump for others to hear his wisdom.