Opportunities for Peace and Nonintervention

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Last
week I discussed
our worsening economic situation and the fact
that there are very few options for the new administration to improve
things in the long run. The same is not true on the foreign policy
front. Our interventionist foreign policy stands ready to be put
on a new course with the new administration. Unfortunately, it seems
the new administration is likely to continue the mistakes of the
past. I’ve often discussed interventionist foreign policy and the
resulting blowback. The current administration’s foreign policy,
I’m afraid, has created a huge impetus for blowback against the
United States. However, I truly believe much of the world stands
ready to look beyond our nation’s recent blunders if the new administration
proves to be heading in a more reasonable direction.

Other nations
around the world find our interference in their affairs condescending,
and it is very dangerous for us. We may think we have much to gain
by inserting ourselves in these complex situations, but on the contrary
we suffer from many consequences. Other countries have their problems,
to be sure. But how would we feel if China or Russia came to our
soil and tried to depose our problematic leaders or correct our
policies for us? Our problems are ours to solve, and we need to
give other countries that respect as well. Instead, we have been
turning alleged, phantom threats into real, actual threats.

We
should follow the foreign policy advice of the Founders — friendship
and commerce with all nations. One positive step would be to end
our destructive embargo of Cuba, which deprives our farmers of a
market just 90 miles from US shores while strengthening the Communist
regime. We’ve seen 50 years of statist restrictions not accomplish
anything. A change is needed. Other countries should decide how
to govern themselves. Even if we don’t necessarily approve, it’s
none of our business. If other people foolishly choose to live under
statist experimental regimes, they need to fail in their own right,
and not have us as a scapegoat. We need to focus on our own affairs.

However, the
pressures exerted on our leadership from the military industrial
complex and big business is not in favor of peace or freedom, or
especially nonintervention. Intervention is big business. Defense
contracts topped $300 billion last year, and total spending on war
and our overseas empire is up to $1 trillion per year. That represents
a lot of people earning a living off of war and conquest. But rather
than adding to our economy, all of this money is taken from the
economy in order to wage war and destruction. Imagine if those resources
were put to creative, productive use here at home!

We need to
rein in our overseas empire, as quickly as possible. We need to
bring our troops home, and get our economy back into the business
of production, not destruction. The smartest thing we could do is
admit we don’t know all the answers to all the world’s problems.
If the new administration can take a closer look at real free trade
and no entangling alliances, we would be much better off for it.
Economically — we could save hundreds of billions of dollars
each year! The new leadership has the opportunity and the political
capital to do this. But unfortunately, it is not likely to happen.

See
the Ron Paul File

January
6, 2009

Dr. Ron
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

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