Our government intervention in the economy and in the private affairs of citizens, and the internal affairs of foreign countries, leads to uncertainty and many unintended consequences. Here are some of the consequences about which we should be concerned.
I predict U.S. taxpayers will pay to rebuild Palestine, both the West Bank and the Gaza, as well as Afghanistan. U.S. taxpayers paid to bomb these areas, so we will be expected to rebuild them.
Peace, of sorts, will come to the Middle East, but will be short-lived. There will be big promises of more U.S. money and weapons flowing to Israel and to Arab countries allied with the United States.
U.S. troops and others will be used to monitor the "peace."
In time, an oil boycott will be imposed, with oil prices soaring to historic highs.
Current Israeli-United States policies will solidify Arab Muslim nations in their efforts to avenge the humiliation of the Palestinians. That will include those Muslim nations that in the past have fought against each other.
Some of our moderate Arab allies will be overthrown by Islamic fundamentalists.
The U.N. will continue to condemn, through resolutions, Israeli-U.S. policies in the Middle East, and they will be ignored.
Some European countries will clandestinely support the Muslim countries and their anti-Israel pursuits.
China, ironically assisted by American aid, much more openly will sell to militant Muslims the weapons they want, and will align herself with the Arab nations.
The United States, with Tony Blair as head cheerleader, will attack Iraq without proper authority, and a major war, the largest since World War II, will result.
Major moves will be made by China, India, Russia, and Pakistan in Central Asia to take advantage of the chaos for the purpose of grabbing land, resources, and strategic advantages sought after for years.
The Karzai government will fail, and U.S. military presence will end in Afghanistan.
An international dollar crisis will dramatically boost interest rates in the United States.
Price inflation, with a major economic downturn, will decimate U.S. Federal Government finances, with exploding deficits and uncontrolled spending.
Federal Reserve policy will continue at an expanding rate, with massive credit expansion, which will make the dollar crisis worse. Gold will be seen as an alternative to paper money as it returns to its historic role as money.
Erosion of civil liberties here at home will continue as our government responds to political fear in dealing with the terrorist threat by making generous use of the powers obtained with the Patriot Act.
The draft will be reinstated, causing domestic turmoil and resentment.
Many American military personnel and civilians will be killed in the coming conflict.
The leaders of whichever side loses the war will be hauled into and tried before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. The United States will not officially lose the war, but neither will we win. Our military and political leaders will not be tried by the International Criminal Court.
The Congress and the President will shift radically toward expanding the size and scope of the Federal Government. This will satisfy both the liberals and the conservatives.
Military and police powers will grow, satisfying the conservatives. The welfare state, both domestic and international, will expand, satisfying the liberals. Both sides will endorse military adventurism overseas.
This is the most important of my predictions: Policy changes could prevent all of the previous predictions from occurring. Unfortunately, that will not occur. In due course, the Constitution will continue to be steadily undermined and the American Republic further weakened.
During the next decade, the American people will become poorer and less free, while they become more dependent on the government for economic security.
The war will prove to be divisive, with emotions and hatred growing between the various factions and special interests that drive our policies in the Middle East.
Agitation from more class warfare will succeed in dividing us domestically, and believe it or not, I expect lobbyists will thrive more than ever during the dangerous period of chaos.
I have no timetable for these predictions, but just in case, keep them around and look at them in 5 to 10 years. Let us hope and pray that I am wrong on all accounts. If so, I will be very pleased.
April 26, 2002
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.