This is an opinion piece i found while venturing through my evil-libertarian media outlets. It's a little long, but the point gets summed up in the first 3 or 4 paragraphs.
Word of warning: it's aimed at being pro-Ron Paul! *gasp*
I have to admit, that it kind of feels this way when I get into debates with many liberals. People always demand that Ron Paul is some sort of whack job, yet I'll point out that we're in 5 undeclared wars (1 was secretly started and Syria took the blame for us) and most liberals just say "well, he means well".
I dunno. Just wanted to throw this out there because this is basically what it feels like to make the arguments.
I feel the same way whenever I mention Dennis Kucinich.
Whom I love.
Get the same reaction: He's a kook.
It's not all that long, and yeah, I agree with most of it.
But the problem is that like it or not, the US has already invaded and (mostly) conquered Iraq and Afghanistan. We've removed the power that ran those countries, and now the US is the power that (sort of) controls those countries. If we just up and left, like the Belgians left the Congo, the power vacuum would implode, and chances are we'd have to go back and deal with our mess (again).
I think the reason that most folks think Paul is a kook is that they think he's either deliberately ignoring the chaos that would ensue after a swift withdrawal, or that he believes that those countries will somehow magically become stable and prosperous if only we'd leave, or else that he fully expects the chaos, and in fact welcomes it.
But yeah, we really ought to withdraw from the stable countries where we have a military presence. Nobody's going to invade Germany, for example. Or Japan.
Honestly, I hope Paul runs again. If nothing else, it might force other candidates to deal with some difficult issues.
There is one more option regarding withdrawn from Iraq. It is the same false notion that spurred opposition to America entering WWII. A distant war in a distant land doesn't benefit the US. The mess will stay over there in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the recent evidence.
There hasn't been a distant war in a distant land since the Revolutionary War. Oceans are not the protection they are believed to be by those who have never read Alfred Thayer Mahan.
The idea of drastically reducing America's military presence in prosperous countries has real merit. I think Ron Paul is mostly right about would lead to greater economic liberty and an unwinding of government from our individual lives. Where I disagree, his ideas would leave us and our allies(yes we have and need them) naked in a world where brutality rewards its practitioners with more power unless they are opposed and brutally.
Ron Paul is old enough to have been educated when we still taught history. History shows that we must be engaged or be punished. Pearl Harbor and September 11th teach those lessons plainly.
"History shows that we must be engaged or be punished."
Engaged, yes, but there's a difference between engaging and garrisoning, as you've pointed out.
I don't think we've agreed on so many things before.
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