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for a moment that somewhere in the middle of Texas there was a large
foreign military base, say Chinese or Russian. Imagine that thousands
of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets
in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices
of “keeping us safe” or “promoting democracy”
or “protecting their strategic interests.”

Imagine that
they operated outside of US law, and that the Constitution did not
apply to them. Imagine that every now and then they made mistakes
or acted on bad information and accidentally killed or terrorized
innocent Americans, including women and children, most of the time
with little to no repercussions or consequences. Imagine that they
set up checkpoints on our soil and routinely searched and ransacked
entire neighborhoods of homes. Imagine if Americans were fearful
of these foreign troops, and overwhelmingly thought America would
be better off without their presence.

Imagine if
some Americans were so angry about them being in Texas that they
actually joined together to fight them off, in defense of our soil
and sovereignty, because leadership in government refused or were
unable to do so. Imagine that those Americans were labeled terrorists
or insurgents for their defensive actions, and routinely killed,
or captured and tortured by the foreign troops on our land. Imagine
that the occupiers’ attitude was that if they just killed enough
Americans, the resistance would stop, but instead, for every American
killed, ten more would take up arms against them, resulting in perpetual
bloodshed. Imagine if most of the citizens of the foreign land also
wanted these troops to return home. Imagine if they elected a leader
who promised to bring them home and put an end to this horror.

if that leader changed his mind once he took office.

The reality
is that our military presence on foreign soil is as offensive to
the people that live there as armed Chinese troops would be if they
were stationed in Texas. We would not stand for it here, but we
have had a globe-straddling empire and a very intrusive foreign
policy for decades that incites a lot of hatred and resentment towards

According to
our own CIA, our meddling in the Middle East was the prime motivation
for the horrific attacks on 9/11. But instead of re-evaluating our
foreign policy, we have simply escalated it. We had a right to go
after those responsible for 9/11, to be sure, but why do so many
Americans feel as if we have a right to a military presence in some
160 countries when we wouldn’t stand for even one foreign base
on our soil, for any reason? These are not embassies, mind you,
these are military installations. The new administration is not
materially changing anything about this. Shuffling troops around
and playing with semantics does not accomplish the goals of the
American people, who simply want our men and women to come home.
50,000 troops left behind in Iraq is not conducive to peace any
more than 50,000 Russian soldiers would be in the United States.

Shutting down
military bases and ceasing to deal with other nations with threats
and violence is not isolationism. It is the opposite. Opening ourselves
up to friendship, honest trade and diplomacy is the foreign policy
of peace and prosperity. It is the only foreign policy that will
not bankrupt us in short order, as our current actions most definitely
will. I share the disappointment of the American people in the foreign
policy rhetoric coming from the administration. The sad thing is,
our foreign policy WILL change eventually, as Rome’s did, when
all budgetary and monetary tricks to fund it are exhausted.

the Ron Paul File

11, 2009

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

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