Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Last Great Hope

Today's column:

Ever since the democrats recaptured Congress in the '06 elections, the political focus has turned from lame duck Bush to the candidates vying to be the next President of the United States. The most important issue in the coming election is the War on Iraq. Should we bring the troops home? And, if so, how soon?

The answers, by the way, are “Yes” and “Immediately, if not sooner”. Staying the course is foolish consistency, evidence of what Ralph Waldo Emerson called “the hobgoblin of little minds”. We haven't made any progress in Iraq, and keeping American troops there in perpetuity will only postpone, it will not eliminate, the chance of a bloodbath for those who foolishly trusted us. It is unfortunate that the United States will emerge from the debacle in Iraq the worse for wear. But it is also inevitable, and it makes no sense to remain ensconced in Iraq merely to save face. Indeed, it is downright evil to make soldiers die so that our elected representatives and the commentators who supported this war can attempt to protect their tattered pride.

On a larger level, Americans are beginning to reexamine our entire foreign policy, one of the fruits thereof being the present war with Iraq, a war seventy percent of Americans now think was a mistake. Should we continue a foreign policy of aggressive interventionism, or should we return to the “humble” foreign policy upon which Bush campaigned? Are we really safer by attacking countries which have not attacked us, or would we do better to mind our own business?

I know of only two major-party candidates who oppose interventionism: Dennis Kucinich, democratic representative from Ohio; and Ron Paul, republican representative from Texas. The two candidates differ immensely on matters of fiscal policy, but have nonetheless co-sponsored a bill to extricate ourselves from Iraq by withdrawing all of our troops. Both candidates are to be preferred to the rest of the candidates from the two major parties, which are increasingly revealing themselves to be but two factions of one party: the war party. While the republicans finagle over how big our base should be in Guantanamo, the democrats are busy striking a balance between opposing the current war, supporting the troops, and maintaining that they are tough on terror. Kucinich and Paul are the only candidates even vaguely worth watching—or supporting.

But Ron Paul comes out ahead because of his fiscal policies. Liberal democrats, most of whom are honestly anti-war, may have a hard time supporting a candidate who supports eliminating almost every department of the federal government, but Paul grasps the larger point in the anti-war debate. A government which is large enough to provide for the needs of every citizen is also large enough to support the military industrial complex which lobbies incessantly for war. As president, Kucinich probably wouldn't invade foreign countries like his predecessors have done; but he would fail to remove the apparatus whereby a less scrupulous president would launch future wars.

Cindy Sheehan, leftist though she is, appreciates the point. Cautioning her fellows liberals against putting too much faith in the democrats, who, after all, despite control of congress, have done nothing to stop the war, she writes: “The Federal Reserve, permanent federal (and unconstitutional) income taxes, Japanese concentration camps and, not one, but two atom bombs dropped on the innocent citizens of Japan were brought to us via the Democrats.” It may seem curious to single out the Federal reserve and permanent income taxes, but as Justin Raimondo notes: “Without the Fed, the inflationary policies that fund our wars of conquest couldn't be implemented; with no income tax, the empire our rulers envision would only be a megalomaniac's fantasy.”

As the sole opponent of both interventionist wars and Big Government, Ron Paul offers the only hope of shattering the dreams of the war party. While the republicans are busy trotting out Fred Thompson to play the role of Bob Dole to the next Clinton president, concerned citizens of all fiscal idealogical bents should band together to support Ron Paul. Anything else promises more of the usual Washingtonian chicanery: lies, broken promises, and body bags by the thousands.

1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. I believed another Vietnam could be avoided with defined missions and the best armaments in the world.

It made no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see: