Former U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) writes an op-ed posted at Zero Hedge:
If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.
With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.
It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.
The trap was set. At the beginning of a cycle that systematically undermines liberty with delusions of easy prosperity, the change may actually seem to be beneficial to a few. But to me that’s like excusing embezzlement as a road to leisure and wealth — eventually payment and punishment always come due. One cannot escape the fact that a society’s wealth cannot be sustained or increased without work and productive effort. Yes, some criminal elements can benefit for a while, but reality always sets in.
Reality is now setting in for America and for that matter for most of the world. The piper will get his due even if “the children” have to suffer. The deception of promising “success” has lasted for quite a while. It was accomplished by ever-increasing taxes, deficits, borrowing, and printing press money. In the meantime the policing powers of the federal government were systematically and significantly expanded. No one cared much, as there seemed to be enough “gravy” for the rich, the poor, the politicians, and the bureaucrats.
Blowback All Around: We Are Less Safe
Economic blowback and unintended consequences is one thing, but blowback from our needless and aggressive policies around the world is another, and every bit as dangerous. As we find ourselves increasingly engaged economically and militarily around the world, we can expect many more attacks on American interests. With so many military personnel abroad, they will be the easiest targets to be hit. But attacks similar in nature to the 9/11 attacks will remain a threat to our homeland. We will not be attacked because we are free and rich. The attacks will come from angry people who have had friends and relatives killed by America’s careless and often vicious use of our military force in their countries.
It is not that difficult to feel resentment against a country that comes thousands of miles from home and bombs, invades, and punishes with sanctions, other countries that have never initiated force against it. As long as our foreign policy remains the same we can expect serious blowback attacks — and for them to increase in number as our prowess is diminished. Economic factors will determine this, and the loss of dollar hegemony will aggravate the situation.
The US government’s foolishness in foreign affairs has plagued us for 100 years. The escalation of our presence around the world since 9/11 continues. It is a policy “bubble” of gigantic proportions. This “bubble” of intervention is about to burst. Any serious look at our last 13 years of intervention around the world should convince all skeptics of how foolish, dangerous, and expensive it has been. The US operates with an attitude that it has the power and therefore the responsibility to be involved in deciding almost every foreign leader, whether elected or appointed as a dictator.
We have been engaged in picking and financing political factions in revolts in countries including Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria, Ukraine, Somalia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Liberia, Georgia, Haiti, and Lebanon.
These involvements impose a huge tax and inflation burden on the American people. Trillions of dollars have been spent, and the debt continues to mount. The abject failure of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan elicits a loud call from the neoconservatives for more money, troops, weapons, and bombs, with zero hope of a successful mission. ISIS, now considered our greatest threat, is not even a country, but our occupation and destruction in the region motivates even a ragtag bunch to expel foreign forces from their homeland. ISIS has rallied enormous support and resources to undermine our allies in the region. That assessment is difficult, of course, since it’s hard for anyone to identify exactly who our allies are and distinguish them from our avowed enemies.
US foreign policy has helped create the disastrous situation in Syria. We declared that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had to go. We supported rebel factions. We armed them. They turned on us and used their American weapons against us with an amazing resistance headed by the ruthless ISIS, an outgrowth of al-Qaeda. It’s quite an irony that ISIS is well entrenched in northern Iraq, since before we decided to invade Iraq and kill Saddam Hussein no al-Qaeda were present in Iraq. Now the neocons are getting their way and American forces are returning with reinforcements and weapons to save Baghdad from the jihadists.
Read the rest of the article at Zero Hedge.