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Staying or Leaving

By Rep. Ron Paul (Republic, 14th Dist., Texas)

S upporters of the war in Iraq, as well as some non-supporters, warn of the dangers if we leave. But isn't it quite possible that these dangers are simply a consequence of having gone into Iraq in the first place, rather than a consequence of leaving? Isn't it possible that staying only makes the situation worse? If chaos results after our departure, it's because we occupied Iraq, not because we left.

The original reasons for our preemptive strike are long forgotten, having been based on false assumptions. The justification given now is that we must persist in this war or else dishonor those who already have died or been wounded. We're also told civil strife likely will engulf all of Iraq.

But what is the logic of perpetuating a flawed policy where more Americans die just because others have suffered? More Americans deaths cannot possibly help those who already have been injured or killed.

Civil strife, if not civil war, already exists in Iraq – and despite the infighting, all factions oppose our occupation.

The insistence on using our military to occupy and run Iraq provides convincing evidence to our detractors inside and outside Iraq that we have no intention of leaving. Building permanent military bases and a huge embassy confirms these fears.

We deny the importance of oil and Israel's influence on our policy, yet we fail to convince the Arab/Muslim world that our intentions are purely humanitarian.

In truth, our determined presence in Iraq actually increases the odds of regional chaos, inciting Iran and Syria while aiding Osama bin Laden in his recruiting efforts. Leaving Iraq would do the opposite – though not without some dangers that rightfully should be blamed on our unwise invasion rather than our exit.

Many experts believe bin Laden welcomed our invasion and occupation of two Muslim countries. It bolsters his claim that the U.S. intended to occupy and control the Middle East all along. This has galvanized radical Muslim fundamentalists against us. Osama bin Laden's campaign surely would suffer if we left.

We should remember that losing a war to China over control of North Korea ultimately did not enhance communism in China, as she now has accepted many capitalist principles. In fact, China today outproduces us in many ways – as reflected by our negative trade balance with her.

We lost a war in Vietnam, and the domino theory that communism would spread throughout southeast Asia was proven wrong. Today, Vietnam accepts American investment dollars and technology. We maintain a trade relationship with Vietnam that the war never achieved.

We contained the USSR and her thousands of nuclear warheads without military confrontation, leading to the collapse and disintegration of a powerful Soviet empire. Today we trade with Russia and her neighbors, as the market economy spreads throughout the world without the use of arms.

We should heed the words of Ronald Reagan about his experience with a needless and mistaken military occupation of Lebanon. Sending troops into Lebanon seemed like a good idea in 1983, but in 1990 President Reagan said this in his memoirs: "…we did not appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle…In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing we should do was turn tail and leave…yet, the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there."

During the occupation of Lebanon by American, French, and Israeli troops between 1982 and 1986, there were 41 suicide terrorist attacks in that country. One horrific attack killed 241 U.S. Marines. Yet once these foreign troops were removed, the suicide attacks literally stopped. Today we should once again rethink our policy in this region.

It's amazing what ending military intervention in the affairs of others can achieve. Setting an example of how a free market economy works does wonders.

We should have confidence in how well freedom works, rather than relying on blind faith in the use of military force to spread our message. Setting an example and using persuasion is always superior to military force in showing how others might live. Force and war are tools of authoritarians; they are never tools of champions of liberty and justice. Force and war inevitably lead to dangerous unintended consequences.

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The fact of the matter as to why we are staying in Iraq is because we literally have no choice.First let's put aside the reasons given for invading; imminent threat,WMD'S,liberation,spreading Democracy...,etc, We all know it's all BS.We decided long ago to believe we were number one, that God had blessed us and gave us the way of life that was the envy of the world. So nobody was minding the store (our government) and today we find that this nation is FLAT BROKE! You see the store keepers (the washington political prostitutes)squandered this Nation's wealth. Eighty percent of the jobs are service jobs ,meaning we don't produce a product to sell to other countries (unless they want to buy our Mc burgers) and we continully keep borrowing money to keep spending on other countries' products at Wal Mart to maintain our lifestyle. They keep us entertained with newstertainment,sports, sit-coms,Music,Hollywood thrillers...,etc to lull us into thinking everything is alright. However we owe seven trillion dollars. That's seven thousand billions, or seven million millions of dollars and we hardly produce anything to generate money except keep printing worthless money with nothing to back it up with except putting olmost half this country as collateral because we can't pay our debt. That's right, legally they( China and Japan could call the note and end up owning half of this country),so to prevent that,we are in the middle east to control the oil to keep others at bay because that's the only option we have left. However Katrina and Rita may have made the goal more difficult because it's hard to fight a long war when you're broke. So continue to live "la vida Loca" while it lasts because I'm afraid our way of life is going back to the horse and buggy days. So whose to blame?? WE, ARE ALL TO BLAME FOR NOT BEING INFORMED and CIVICLY ACTIVE CITIZENS!!

However, I have to expound on one of your statements "Nobody was minding the store..." WHAT STORE YA TALKIN about? The so-called "legitimate" government, or the other REAL mob shadow government > think tanks and military/industrial complex that Ike warned us about ? The ones in control are NOT elected, they are just THERE! How do we mind them? And how do we stop their mobster power?
These are not rhetorical questions> PEOPLE , please give feedback , ideas, ANYTHING!

YOU'RE RIGHT, YANK , there is as shadow government as you describe ( Bilderbergs, TRI LATERAL COMMISION,THE INDUSTRIAL MILITARY COMPLEX, AND MANY MANY MORE), but the CLOWNS that WE elected to represent US (who pay their salaries) instead prostituted themselves for campaign contributions and other perks year after year after year that NOW they have gotten so enormously powerful that NOW they call the shots and pull the strings. These MEGA CORPORATIONS have NO allegience to this country and will shop the world over to find the cheapest labor to manufacture their "WIDGETS" for US TO BUY. Leaving us to flip burgers and doing each other's laundry at lower wages instead of factory wages with benefits.
You ask,"How do we stop them"? Well first we have to organize nationally. Next you hit them where it hurts (in the pocketbook). Boycott their products. Patronize local mom and pop stores ,shop at locally owned businesses,TURN THE DAMN TV OFF! AND LEAVE IT OFF! All the money they spend on advetisement will be for nothing.Talk your kids into not enlisting in the military.Ride a bike to the local store instead of driving your car. Use a motorcycle to go to work instead of the SUV OR PICKUP.Become civicly active to find qualified progressive independent candidates of like mind to run for local, state and federal offices. For president vote for someone with a proven track record of accomplishments,is knowledgeable in foreign affairs ,well educated and is a free thinker.Exchange ideas on the internet ,get motivated and don't vote for REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS! THE ARE BOTH CORRUPT.Have elected INDEPENDENTS pass a law that will prohibit any amount of contributions or perks from ANYONE punishishable by impeachment.Since the airwaves belong to the citizens,free air time should be given to canidates running for office. AND DON'T FALL FOR "PIE IN THE SKY RHETORIC".

"the store keepers...squandered this Nation's wealth."

As a advocate of the economic and political philosophies espoused by congreessman Paul, I would to point out that you are missing his most important point:

"It's amazing what ending military intervention in the affairs of others can achieve. Setting an example of how a free market economy works does wonders."

The free market economy Paul advocates is something fundamentally at odds with the facsist oligrachy we observe today.

As Sidney Blumenthal describes it:"For 30 years, beginning with the Nixon presidency...The idea was pure and simple: centralization of power in the hands of the Republican Party...

Neither Adam Smith nor Vladimir Lenin captures its essence, though it has far more elements of Leninist democratic-centralism than Smithian free markets."

( )

This is why Paul, who was the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, is such a passionate opponent of the war in Iraq.

As 19th century free market economist,Frederic Bastiat,pointed out,"When goods don't cross borders, soldiers will."

Another important point of Bastiat's:"wealth cannot come from destruction."

This captures the essence of the difference between the free market capitalism we Libertarians advocate and the Republican's centrally planned facsist state; the latter is focused on the AQUISITION of wealth, the war serving as an eminently useful conduit,while it is inimical to the former, because it interferes with it's main focus, the CREATION of wealth.

The answer to the problem you describe is simple: Why put the Nation's wealth in the hands of politicians in the first place?

Politicians have neither the incentive nor the means to CREATE wealth, only to redistribute it. Which is the original purpose of the power structure the Republicans have taken over.This is why historically, facsism is preceded by socialism.

while socialists may be driven by good intentions by and large, that system can only lead to economic malaise because it fails to grasp the fundamental source of wealth, as well as the pertinent fundamentals of human nature.

It is a system that rewards consumption and punishes production.It is a system incompatible with individual freedom and with individual reponsiblity.

It reduces the individual to a helpless ward of the state;a beggar, that his needs be filled, a slave, that the needs of others be filled.

With incentive to produce stifled,the downward economic spiral is inevitable.This process has played itself out to it's logical end too often in recent human history to be ignored.

And it sets the stage for facsism; as the majority are now acclimated to a government run, centrally planned economy to the point that the strict separation of government and economics that is central to free market capitalism is generally inconceivable and the amoral opportunism Blumenthal calls "21st century Republicanism"seizes it's chance.

Futhermore, I believe you mispercieve the situation in regards service jobs.Not all service jobs are low-pay, unskilled; after all aren't doctors and lawyers in the business of providing a service?

Moreover, the industrial revolution is over. It was the industrial revolution which made the production of tangible, material consumables viable on a mass production scale and therefore gave value to the labor required to produce them.

But now, with the advent of the information age, the tables are turned, so to speak.It is specialized service work that will rise in value, while the manufacture of consumables becomes ever more efficient, therefore, lower paying.

From a free market perspective, the "loss" of manufacturing jobs is seen as the inevitable passing of "hand me downs" to impoverished third world workers who need them and use them to uplift themselves economically.

While we in the first world go on to further increase our own wealth by the only means reality can afford us;the constant refinement and improvement of our productive and creative capacities in what will ever increasingly prove to be "service" jobs which, through the proliferation of information technologies, will be exportable.

Of course, fundamental to to implimentation of this process is the massive decentralization of power.

This must start at the core of the facsist-controlled power structure, the desolution of the coercive power of government to influence and direct economic outcomes.

As Paul points out in many of his writings (listed here )

Particularly pertinent:

It is only by appreciating the nature of government;that it is an instrument of force,as George Washington pointed out, that it's proper place as an arbiter of disputes,protector against fraud and coercion and maintainer of a level playing field can be understood.

It is by socialism's fundamental perversion of government's proper purpose in society, as dictated by it's nature,that the problems we face today are rendered inevitable.

When it is the overwhelming coercive power of government that determines who succeeds economically, then the competition cannot be for the favor of consumers; it must rather address the issue of controlling government.

You are quite correct that "WE, ARE ALL TO BLAME FOR NOT BEING INFORMED and CIVICLY ACTIVE CITIZENS!!",I know I am.But on the other hand,the government is so large and so vast that even members of congress cannot keep track of the laws they are passing.

it seems to me the first step has to be to cut it down to a managable size. This is why Paul frequently stands up before the House and criticizes legislation as unconstitutional; the founders rightly envisioned a very limited government.

Regardless of the particular focus or avowed intent of the various government agencies, it is only their scope and magnitude that really matter.

Rather than the limited government that would be our proper heritage, we are, instead a limited citizenry.With a power-drunk president that at this point, cannot help but see virtually any phenomena as an opportunity to expand his power.

..."don't vote for REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS!" You're off on a great start!

---Thank You,
The Bikemessenger

P.S. to Y.H.E.: thanks for all the useful info.

I enjoyed reading your post. Your bring out some valid and interesting points.However I wasn't in disagreement with congressman PAUL'S editorial, I was just posting a satirical post. I agree where he says:"It's amazing what ending military intervention in the affairs of others can achieve. Setting an example of how a fee market economy works does wonders". I also agree with BENITO JUAREZ:" el derecho al respeto ajeno es la paz".(respecting other peoples'affairs brings peace").I oppose this illigal war vehemently.
I did't mean to imply that the people put the nation's wealth in the hands of the politicians. What I meant to say was that the politicians we elected betrayed our trust and wrote laws benefitting those that lined the pockets of said politicians. They had no right interfering in the affairs of the market.By doing so they benefitted the few at the expense of the many.

The aquisition of wealth: Has to come from needed tangibles bought by others outside our borders. By having service jobs, we're only exhanging our own money back and forth, not creating new wealth. Yes, Doctors and Lawyers make a pretty good living, however more and more of them are now specialists.Meaning they are now more expensive to visit.You also require a lot of money to go to medical school and the field is very selective. Though not impossible, most people never achieve that goal.

technology: Yes technology is a wonderful thing, but it also has it's pluses and minuses. I can replace one hundred ditch diggers with one good backhoe and one good operater,However now we have ninety-nine unemployed bread winners to compete for other jobs.As more and more workers become displaced by technology you creat a glut of manpower which brings the wages down with no health benefits, leaving them unable to vist those expensive specialist Doctors and Lawyers.

the new high tech information age: Yes let's do away with our manufacturing jobs and give them to other countries. We'll keep the high paying hightech jobs for ourselves. The only problem with that is that from the statistics I've been reading, other countries like India,China, and Japan are literally kicking our ass in education. While our kids are "entertained" yelling their lungs out at football and basketball games yelling"WE'RE NUMBER ONE" the other kids in other countries are burying their heads in school books and earning their master's, doctorate's and phd's and those hightech jobs are being outsourced to them.
I agree that we MUST start the process of decentrilization of centralized power.In the fascist government that we have and the mega corporations. We also need to wake up and pay attention. We spend way too much time mezmerized in front of the TV and being entertained. We can't afford all this entertainment. Even the so called news has become entertainment and tabloid.If your house was burning, would you still sit in front of your TV?? WELL..., THE HOUSE IS BURNING!
With peak oil looming over us, instead of spending four hundred and fifty-five billion dollars in high tech weaponry, we need to use that money on alternative energy.What good does it do? I mean, in Vietnam we had stealth bombers, B-52 bombers, napalm, tanks, artillary,neuclear submarines, thousands and thousands of troops and they still kicked our ass! They had none of the hightech weaponry we had . Same thing in Korea and now in Iraq.

In summary,I believe the fascist cancer has contaminated both the republicans as well as democrats. I also believe that having two parties only divides the people so we will fight each other while they do their evil deeds. Divide and conquer.


You say:"I enjoyed reading your post...I oppose this illigal war vehemently."
Thank you, I am geniunely flattered; Perhaps you would enjoy my essays on two issues related to the war in Iraq:

On the constitution:

and withdrawal:

Also, thank you for the Benito Juarez quote, I'm sure to find it useful.
You say:"They had no right interfering in the affairs of the market."
Please note that the INEVITABLE consequence is that:
"By doing so they benefitted the few at the expense of the many."

You seem to have an intuitive sense for rational economics, but I surmise you have'nt dwelt on it as obsessively as we Libertarians tend to. I'd really like your opinion of this animation, if you would be so kind as to take ten minutes to view it (en Espanol,si prefieres):

"By having service jobs, we're only exhanging our own money back and forth, not creating new wealth."

I beg to differ with you:by performing a service job, I CREATE wealth.I suspect you're conflating wealth with tangible material products or raw materials. Wealth is the accumulation of value in the abstract,i.e.,any and everything that is done, manufactured or processed to which people assign value.

As to your comments on technology, employment and education; on the former two, these are the inevitable consequences of man's interaction with his enviornment, for which "Capitalism" is often blamed.These are expansive issues, deserving of more detailed expound than I care to engage here, I'll try to get to them at my blog in the near future:

On the latter,you would be surprised at how well off this country was educationally before the government took over!

In regards the "two party" system,what has actually evolved since the middle of the last century, is a "two partys ONLY" system; before then,when both of the two major partys failed to address the concerns of a significant portion of the electorate, it would create an opportunity for a third party to enmerge. This, ironically is how the current power holders first tasted success, getting Lincoln into the White House with a three-way-split plurality, and sending the Whigs to oblivion.

You say:"In the fascist government that we have and the mega corporations. We also need to wake up and pay attention." You would probably find of interest the anti-corporate writings of my main adversary within the Libertarian movement,Tim West:

I'll look for response here, or feel free to post comments or contact info on my blog.

---Thank You,
The Bikemessenger

This article by Rep. Ron Paul should be printed in the NYTimes and distributed to all Republicans in Congress. I heard Rep. Paul on C-SPAN and couldn't believe he's a Republican from Texas--a gutsy opponent of Bush's War who will speak the truth. Call Rep. Paul and thank him, 1-877-762-8762 or 1-888-818-6641.

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