"What If?" Ron Paul Asks The Two Most Important Words

Tyler Durden's picture

Ron Paul's thought-provoking speech on the House floor from February 2009 seems as appropriate now as it did then...


Ron Paul:

“Madam Speaker, I have a few questions for my colleagues.

What if our foreign policy of the past century is deeply flawed and has not served our national security interest?

What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is the predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others, and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?

What if propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel?

What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan is directly related to the hatred directed toward us?

What if someday it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair tradeoff with the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistanian, Afghan people are killed or displaced?

What if we finally decide that torture, even if called “enhanced interrogation technique”, is self-destructive and produces no useful information and that contracting it out to a third world nation is just as evil?

What if it is finally realized that war and military spending is always destructive to the economy?

What if all war-time spending is paid for through the deceitful and evil process of inflating and borrowing?

What if we finally see that war-time conditions always undermine personal liberty?

What if Conservatives who preach small government wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government?

What if Conservatives understood once again that their only logical position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world?

What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?

What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations?

What if Obama has no intention of leaving Iraq?

What if a military draft is being planned for for the wars that would spread if our foreign policy is not changed?

What if the American people learned the truth, that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security, that it never changes from one administration to the next?

What if war in preparation for war is a racket serving the special interests?

What if President Obama is completely wrong about Afghanistan and it turns out worse than Iraq and Vietnam put together?

What if Christianity actually teaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression?

What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes in protecting America?

What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded?


But what happens if my concerns are justified and ignored?

Nothing good.

And I yield back the balance of my time.”

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EuroPox's picture

Video has emerged, said to show the interception of some of the Tomahawks.  It was aired on Iranian TV - no idea if it is genuine.


Ghordius's picture

is he? in the sense that he understands his fellow countrymen?

perhaps (A) Americans do want to disingage a bit from wars abroad. but... do they want (B) to spend less for the military and security in general? really?

the way to (A) goes over and through (B). there is no way to (A) that does not include (B), in fact, if you want (A) you must ask for (B)

now, when Washington chided us europeans to do (B)... the US's popular opinion went where, exactly? did anybody in the US stage rallies, paint banners saying: "we are with the euros, spend less for war and you will have less war!" ? if yes, I missed that

Joe A's picture

Well, perhaps the Americans want less A but less B? In don't know. Americans like to have small governments but loooove to have a big strong army which automatically means big government. At least they want THAT part of government to be big. Plenty of people in Europe like big governments but don't like big armies, for apparent historical reasons. Europe, though, with its small armies is no match for Russia that has both big government and big army.

Ghordius's picture

no match for Russia? well, usually I would start with Russia... being very keen to be our esteemed energy mix provider, as much as possible

in fact, you could paint the current US-Russian relations as a fight about who is going to "take care" to deliver energy... to us

while, interestingly, they both tend to side with producers more then with consumers... of this very energy

I think it's best if I link a funny infographical thing from the nets, to that: https://youtu.be/C6L_a4Cy6kI

note that I did not even find a "EU or eurozone vs Russia", but if you watch this one, too, you might "read between the lines" : https://youtu.be/i6gBnizjTM4

BennyBoy's picture


What if the US pulled its troops from 171 countries and put them into one country: the USA?

onthesquare's picture

Answer to you BennyBoy.  Revenge?

Ghordius's picture

then... you would have too many soldiers, too many mercenaries and too many weapons

and this in a country famous for generals saying "we have enough tanks" and congress saying: "no, you don't. here, have some more"

(besides, if you would do that... abruptly, you would get a lot of criticism from your allies. but let's keep that apart)

so, what would you do with all that military might... at home? any ideas? any that don't give nightmares, that is?

mrpilgrim's picture

It's more about having an efficient military than a massive one. We have supposedly around 800 military bases around the world. Is there any reason why we can't still defend our allies with 1/10th of that? I would think 80 bases would spread out far enough to sufficiently do the job.

But, as the argument always goes, why is it up to the USA to defend the world? It's time for the rest of the world to tend to their own defenses.

gruden's picture

Replace 'defend' with 'manage' and the meaning should be more clear.

mrpilgrim's picture

Nice point...it's ALWAYS about control.

TheReplacement's picture

1.5M troops
100M armed civilians
No nightmares

venturen's picture

Sorry we tried that ignore the world thing in WW1, WWII, and various other times....DOESN'T WORK. But should we pull back and shrink government, military and our presence... ABSOLUTELY. 


Personally I think we should be helping to stop the muslim religion well at least in the middle east where they are slaughtering everyone else!

gaoptimize's picture

A problem that is better served by battle ships for shore battery to crate beach heads and a well organized and rehearsed merchant marine transport that could put 10 divisions anywhere in the world in a week, and military transport that can put special forces to hold until they get there.  Do you really think Russia wants to attack and occupy Western Europe?

I'm questioning the cost of empire.

mrpilgrim's picture

Muslims have been slaughtering each other for centuries. The USA meddling won't stop that. It will simply bankrupt us and bring more enemies to our shores.

waspwench's picture

I don't care if they do slaughter each other.   The world would be well rid of them.   They are intolerant.   They follow a murderous creed.   They are barbarians.   They will not even live-and-let-live, they want the entire world to be Muslim.

RedBaron616's picture

First of all, the numbers could be reduced dramatically. We don't need a huge standing army. Who is going to invade, Canada?  Concentrate on military technologies that defend the American heartland. For example, currently we don't have any defense against cruise missiles. Hard to believe, but true.

TheVillageIdiot's picture

There is no evidence to support small government love affair. 45 years ago, one in 16 worked in government at any level - including military. Now it is just under one in 6. Feel safer?

BandGap's picture

You're far too deep with your thinking.

Americans, like every top tier culture before them, go with what works until it doesn't. If an economic expansion has been facilitated by war (force) than the conditions will be maintained that way. Just like the British before us and whatever will come after us. Not sure if the Brits used the "high moral ground" to placate the masses but American certainly do. I have had several discussions with current and former military people that only see the US as doing the "right" thing based on this presumption.

Ron Paul represents thinking that, although we might think correct, has no history to point to that Americans can understand. That is, until the paradigm shifts. How many countries on this planet wouldn't want the military the US has? I would guess all of them. And I would further muse that they would probably use this force in roughly the same manner as is being used now.

"Might makes right" is a circumstance throughout our existance, no matter what we try to convince ourselves of otherwise.


Ghordius's picture

top comment, thanks

"...go with what works until it doesn't. If an economic expansion has been facilitated by war (force) than the conditions will be maintained that way"

well, this ties in with my rants about Dr. Krugman, who also seems to be fully behind that meme "WWII gave us prosperity, hence world wars give prosperity, hence war, the bigger, the more it gives prosperity"

but Warld War Two was... Exceptional. Never happened before that one big country was able to shape the whole global economy the way the US was, after WWII. And that was mainly because european economies were on their knees, literally

and this part... seems completely missing. the only part that is left is that somehow, if you build enough weapons... magic happens. this has become a Cargo Cult used by both Dr. Krugman and many that think they hate Krugman

the old quip is that in the 50's, the US boasted half of the engineers of the planet, while in the 80's, it boasted half of the lawyers of this planet

Paul Kersey's picture

hanks "...go with what works until it doesn't. If an economic expansion has been facilitated by war (force) than the conditions will be maintained that way"


Works for Whom? It certainly hasn't worked for a vast majority of the American people. However, it has worked all too well for America's kepto-corporatist wealth extractors.

illuminatus's picture

So true. Unfortunately I have come to believe that the problem the people of the world face is deeper than the problem of empires wanting to dominate the rest. It is a problem of human nature that must be addressed. It does not seem to matter which nation du jour holds the positon, but what always holds true is that certain types of personalities always seek to dominate no matter what. If it takes extreme violence to achieve that, so be it. 

 Again, this problem arises again and again throughout history. If it wasn't the US dominating, it would be some other nation consisting of the same type of demented psychopaths.

Unfortunately we are now living at a time when technology has elevated the tools available to these people are so broad and sophisticated that I fear their dominance has progressed to the point that the rest of us, dumbed down and indoctrinated and kept so far from being able to understand or even want to understand the scope of how truly late the hour is getting from having any chance at all to combat this threat to our little bit of feedom we have left. 

 It is not even certain that the powers pulling the strings of the US military are 'Americans', but that the US military is just another tool they use to achieve their goals, certainly for the sake of this discussion it is not germane.

But to return to the point I was trying to make initially. The flaw and therefore the solution to the problem is embeded in human nature itself and seems to reassert itself again and again. I have little hope that what so many of us would like for ourselves and our children and childrens children is possible, that the swords will be turned into plowshares.

BorisTheBlade's picture

Military is a necessity, you either feed your own or you feed somebody else's. To that extent, nearly everyone maintains a military proportionate to their wallet and geopolitical role. I'd say everyone would want an economy of the size of America's and that in turn would allow them to finance comparable military. In case of the US though it's a two way street, strongest military goes hand in hand with reserve currency and an emprire force projection - can't have one without another.

Without Empire and reserve currency, sufficient military to protect America and to enforce borders would be orders of magnitude smaller that what it currently is as it's essentially an island far from conflicts in Eurasia. So, when Ron Paul talks about military the way he usually does, what he essentially advocates is giving up on Empire.

Ghordius's picture

Boris, you are talking about 50% of the world's spending, 25% of the world's GDP and 5% of the world's population

which one is the proportionate number? no, the geopolitical current role does not warrant that much

the empire, the reserve currency, etc. etc.... you could run all that with half or even a third of that spending

in fact, you would actually run all that on a sustainable level

BorisTheBlade's picture

Well, without $600 bln in only military spending there would be no 50% of global spending. Sustainable level? Define please, is that by any chance a purely defensive setup? In that case your one third is way too expensive.

waspwench's picture

A "YUGE" problem with US military spending is that it is a large part of what drives the US economy:   manufacturing, jobs, research, weapons exports, etc.

We are a country which is perpetually on a war footing and, therefore, our economy is always a wartime economy.   How to wean ourselves is a big question.   In the long term we would be much wealthier;  in the short term there would be pain.

BingoBoggins's picture

reply above - something went "bump" I'm afraid!

divingengineer's picture

(A) We get fed a steady diet of bullshit and cannot even guess at the truth any longer.
(B) Nobody asks our permission to spend our tax dollars on military adventurism. It is a representative democracy, you get to vote for a new liar every four years. Other than that they will flat out tell us to STFU.

DieselChadron's picture

The way these sorts of rallies might be organized is through media.  But American media has failed the people.  American media stays busy goading Americans into conflicts based on race, but never questions the mainstays of govt: military industry, fractional reserve banking.  Dr Paul had the answers and was very popular with the few voters that got to hear his message, but American media sabotaged his campaign.  I remember literally crying the day he suspended his campaign in 2012.

Tiwin's picture

American media has not failed. 

It is fully owned by Jewish interests and is performing exactly as designed.

As is our government.

Nothing will change until they are expelled.


Turbo_diesel's picture

Ron Paul would have been an authentic MAGA president.

divingengineer's picture

Any genuine threat to the est. would never survive long enough to win the primary. My personal theory as of late.

Chupacabra-322's picture

From Ron Paul:

"The announcement by President George HW Bush on September 11, 1990 about the new world order was well received. Prior to that time it was only the “conspiracy theorists” who constantly talked about and speculated about the New World Order. Neoconservative ideas had been around for a long time. They were endorsed by many presidents and in particular Woodrow Wilson with his goal of spreading American goodness and making the ”world safe for democracy” – none of which can be achieved by promoting war. In the 1990s the modern day neoconservatives, led by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, enjoyed their growing influence on America’s foreign policy. Specifically, in 1997 they established the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) for the specific purpose of promoting an aggressive foreign policy of interventionism designed to promote the American Empire. This policy of intervention was to be presented with “moral clarity.” “Clarity” it was, but “moral” is another question. Their goal was to provide a vision and resolve, “to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interest.”

It was not a surprise that admittedly the number one goal for the New World order was to significantly increase military spending and to be prepared to challenge any regime hostile to America’s interests. They argued that America had to accept its unique role as the sole superpower for extending international order as long as it served America’s interests. Although neoconservatives are thought to have greater influence within the Republican Party, their views have been implemented by the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats."

thunderchief's picture

Ron Paul is the Abraham Lincoln the 21st century potus America never had.

How great Nations fall, how Empires burn...History. .

Ace Ventura's picture

Ron Paul is more like the 21st century version of Thomas Jefferson. Lincoln was a tyrant.

cheka's picture

indeed.  he/she/it needs to study up on abraham

RedBaron616's picture

Try reading your history. American history, not loser Confederate-flavored mythology.

Ace Ventura's picture

Lemme guess.....the civil war was fought over ending slavery, right?


Mr 9x19's picture

for decades occident has shitted in other's fans... it is nothing new.

all what is happenning is related to old europ alliance with anglo saxons to keep the 3rd world under control, until it is not possible.

at some point there is no pacific evolution of the dialog, so it becomes aggressive speech, already happening ( syria,  just to name one )

and when you have standards of living that crumble  because of the balance, added by the push of the fat fuck population who say " boooh " to every fucking president they elect but keep tv_n_fridge suppressed lifestyle instead of use the fucking incredible 2nd amendment to take  the guns and make a drive to the appropriate places... the good ol' alliance will keep messing around just because they don't have courage to change by saying "fuck" to oilers.

until the world realize freedom is slighy removed years after years, long to alcohol, fuck the rest. it doesn't even matter.


but for god sake pls stop whining in this site about president xxx or yyy that failed, is black, or rich, pro joo or whatever. the place is a slot , it is a job, it has nothing to do with governing. those who tried, died. hammer this in your fucking brains.

usa keep stacking ammo like retards but never use in against insitutions, it is like shtf plan.com, many big mouths molon labe speech but no action, too busy to  looking at ebay for tacticool torchlight that also  can be used as dildo.

what a lame screen of smoke in front of billions of souls.


time for another electrolite enriched drink i guess...

illuminatus's picture

Spot on. After all is said and done, alot more is said than done. We americans have turned into a bunch of idiots, and the of the few that get it, well, we're a bunch ofl pussies that think calling out representatives, or voting red or blue next time will get America moving in the right direction for sure. Pathetic, and yes I include myself in that assessment.

vologogo's picture

You can't expect anyone to act alone unless they are mentally imbalanced. The consequences are too dire. The only manner people act is herd mentality. Too much TV and fridge, along with the rest of the frivolous consumables are just tools for crowd control. The top is intensely fearful of the crowd. History has several examples of what happens when the hypnotics fail.

The "problem" (if any) is as you stated earlier "human nature", specifically that portion which many categorize as "sins"; avarice, merciless competition, gluttony, short termism, arrogance, etc. Sustained change comes from within, and currently, most of "us" don't care to change. The "problem" itself however, is possibly the only reason life as we know it on this planet is even possible.

crazytime's picture

Ron Paul is the polar opposite of Lincoln. Lincoln believed in preserving the Union and he used the force of government to attain those ends. The problem with using the force of government is it takes a powerful central government; a hugh police/security/MIC to force people to live the way you want them to. When you create such a force you actually violate first principles, those found in the declaration, "all men are created equal, endowed by their creator....".

Our founders took the promise of The Declaration of Independence and fashioned a central government that violates that promise. They violated the principle that "all men are created equal", when they allowed the institution of slavery to exist in a free society. We're just seeing the natural consequence, and a 230+ year evolution of a system built on shaky ground with no core principles.

Ron Paul understands you can't have principles and concede principles. You can't have freedom in a centrally controlled society. The only way to gain freedom is through decentalization of power.

"Everybody wants something for nothing, or at least something for less, so they create the state in their own image. Only a moral transformation of the people will diminish the power of the state". - A.J. Nock

cheka's picture

a rich railroad lawyer...par for the ocurse

crazytime's picture

yep, mercantilism 101

SumTing Wong's picture

People would do well to read _Our Enemy, the State_. Nock had a lot of this figured out before any of us was even born. That man tried to warn us about where FDR's policies would lead, but he also knew he was preaching to a remnant. At some point we will come together to legalize freedom for all. Until then, do not lose heart. We'll have to go through some rough patches, but some of us wil survive to make the next iteration look better than this one. 

HillaryOdor's picture

It's hard to not lose heart if you lost all faith in humanity.  It's hard to not lose faith in humanity when you look at our government, and even more disturbing the wish among the young for even more government, as shown by the support for the socialist bum.  I lost heart for a while because I felt bad about the course humanity is on, until I realized one day, I shouldn't feel bad for anyone.  These people going about their lives ignoring the tyranny we are forced to put up with, they are the enemy.  Humanity itself is the enemy, the vast majority of it.  The number one predator of humans is other humans.  Now I only feel bad for myself and my family, as it should be.  If I woke up tomorrow and the entire state of California had slid into the ocean I would think,"It's a start."

crazytime's picture

Agree with your comment completely. Being torn between caring so much it hurts and not giving two shits about the brainwashed idiots, the dichotomy is almost paralyzing. I've reached the point where a realization has set in. This thing is going to run it's course, not much I can do to stop it except reach out to others and offer the truth. Maybe it will be as SumTing Wong says, some of us will make it out alive to carry the message. For now, my job one is figuring out how to protect my family after "normal".

waspwench's picture

Ron Paul is ALWAYS spot on.   He is probably the only honest man in D.C.