The Baltic Sea, South China Sea, North Korea, the Black Sea, Russia, China, Iran — it seems the US faces “threats” from enemies everywhere. Do they hate us because we are so rich and free? Or might it have something to do with the US military being spread across the globe and demanding obedience?
Ron Paul: Hello everybody, thank you for tuning in to The Liberty Report, my co-host, Daniel McAdams, is with me today. Daniel, it’s good to see you.
Daniel McAdams: Good morning, Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Guess what I want to talk about today: foreign policy.
Daniel McAdams: Daniel McAdams Oh?
Ron Paul: And I have some complaints. But we’re finding there are some few allies out there, it’s interesting that sometimes progressive Democrats are more likely to say we shouldn’t bomb the world, of course, they would do something else with the money than we would. But we did find a couple of people who are conservative libertarian types that think that we’re too far stretched around the world. One is our old friend, Pat Buchanan, who doesn’t declare himself a libertarian, but he has some good instincts about war and our involvement around the world. His article was “America’s Imperial Overstretch”, and that’s probably an understatement. He goes into a lot of details explaining where are we. We’ve talked about all these places, but when you put them in a list, there are a lot of places where we’ve been, like everybody in the world.
The other one is by Philip Giraldi, who wrote and interesting article that said, “The War Against the World”. And that’s about it, sometimes I think it’s a war against ourselves, and against the American people, because the consequence is so great when it comes to expensive loss of civil liberties and making ourselves less safe. I would add, the war against the world and the American people. I know you’ve looked at these two articles, was there any one thing that struck you? I know it’s not a total surprise, but what was it about these articles that was sort of impressive with you?
Daniel McAdams: Well, what’s surprising to me is the disconnect between two astute analysts like Buchanan and Giraldi, and the mainstream media, which reports purely the way the White House wants them to. Last week, there was an over flight, the USS Donald Cook was in the Baltic Sea, and it was 50 miles away from Russians territory. The Russians had over flown with Sukhoi fighters over 20 times, and they were ignored, and they finally overflew at a very close range. Of course, that was videotaped and put on the U.S. media, saying, “Look at how bad the Russians are misbehaving”. And Buchanan pointed out, “Yes, they sent a message, what are you doing here, why do you have an Aegis combat equipped U.S. ship within 50 miles of the Russians border?”
Ron Paul: I thought that simple question was so crucial, and just described it so well: what were we doing there, what was our government doing there, what is the purpose of this? And there’s no easy answer for that, because if you suggest a few, they’ll say, “Oh, you’re just a conspiracy nut”, and then they’re going back to the old thing. Or they might describe you as an American-first person. Well, maybe that’s better than being an American-second person, maybe we ought to think about our own country, our own national defense, and staying out of wars.
Daniel McAdams: This event took place 50 miles from Russia, 5,000 miles from the U.S., yet it was Russians aggression acting 50 miles away from their border. It was interesting, I was reading an article that Russia Insider, and the Polish media is covering this pretty extensively, because Donald Cook, originally left out of Poland going up to Lithuania before they had these exercises. But, as I mentioned earlier, they were equipped with the Aegis combat systems. Those are missiles that target Russians nuclear and non-nuclear missiles on the land, sea, and air. And they conducted these exercise for two days, with a fully equipped Aegis system. Chatam House, which is a think tank in London, which is extremely well respected mainstream think tank, said that the operation appeared to the Russians as a simulated attack on Leningrad, which you could see as that.
They obviously viewed it as a threat when the U.S. has these missiles capable of taking out the Russian military right on the border. So it’s obvious that they would think of it this way. Here’s what one analyst said, “Nothing the Aegis armed missile battery does within Russia can be considered routine at any time”. So they’re operating off the coast of Russia, with these Aegis systems that are targeting Russia, and yet, when the Russian response happens, they say that it’s Russian aggression. So it’s a fascinating event that happened in the Baltic Sea.
Ron Paul: Not only in the Baltic Sea, it’s all around the world.
Daniel McAdams: Yes, just before we started recording, I looked up a headline and we both laughed at it, it said, “The U.S. is protesting Chinese action in the South China Sea”, so it’s actually quite funny. This has to do with the islands that the Chinese have constructed, and it’s causing a bit of an uproar in the region, because the other countries are not that happy about it. But then again, how many thousands of miles away is it from the U.S. But it’s a great opportunity for the U.S. to expand its military and naval presence. As a matter of fact, the U.S. announced that it’s going to be regularly rotating in troops and equipment into the Philippines continuously. This is a place that we left after the cold war, the idea that we needed a presence there was diminished after the end of the cold war. And now, all of a sudden, because the Chinese are in the South China Sea conducting activities, that’s an excuse for us to go and get involved and put more troops in the Philippines, which, of course, will be considered a hostile act by the Chinese.
Ron Paul: When Carter went before Congress to testify for more money, which is routine, he said there are five major things that threaten us. One is terrorism, North Korea, China, and Russia, as well as Iran. But the whole purpose there was just to get more money for the military, it’s routine, they do it all the time.
Daniel McAdams: Philip Giraldi pointed out in his article, and I think it is significant that Aston Carter is not a military person, he’ never been in the military. Not that you must be in the military to be the Defense Secretary. But he comes from the defense contractor side, his career is made in military contracting. We call them the beltway bandits, who always think up new threats and new excuses for the latest gadgets and the latest military equipments. So he came before the Senate last month, and he said, “We got these five new threats, don’t you dare think about sequestration, because we’ve got to meet these threats. We are under threat”. And that’s where he comes from, because he comes from the world of defense and military contracting.
Ron Paul: The odds of us ever getting somebody in that position that wouldn’t have close ties with the military-industrial complex is slim to none, no matter who is the president. But I wonder about this when they show all this concern that they have a tremendous amount of insecurity if they believe that this is really a threat. I think that’s just an argument, but it seems like if it’s true, they’re very insecure people. Also, it might represent what we talk about the subsidies, and the protection of the military-industrial complex. But then again, the people come around, you don’t see them run in the Republican primary, even in the Democratic Party, and say, “We’re going to cut military spending”. We don’t even hear the progressives say, “We’re going to slash spending”. All the candidates say, “We got to rebuild the military”. But the propaganda machine seems to win out all the time, because people finally get scared and say, “If we’re going to attack us, we better do something about it”.
Daniel McAdams: Even if they don’t mean it, whenever a candidate does step out of line, look at how he’s crucified in the media. The other day, Bernie Sanders questioned our blank check to Israel, when you consider Israel’s policies towards the settlements and the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. And there was a huge uproar: “how dare you bring this up?” Donald Trump mentioned, “What are we doing defending rich Europe with NATO?” Regardless of what he’s going to do, whether it’s good or not, look what happened. The neo-cons went crazy: “how dare he criticize this wonderful alliance?” If you ever call out their alliance, you’re so far extreme, you can’t even be discussed.
Ron Paul: Yes, and this is not likely to change, because I think things will get much worse and then we’ll run out of money and we’ll go broke and we’ll have to change. But, for the time being, I think they’re going to continue to spend the money and continue to aggravate and continue to scare the American people, and yet, the American people are the ones that suffer. Pat Buchanan made one suggestion about how to handle China when they’re aggravating us, he thought a good substitute would be just to put tariffs on China. I don’t happen to agree on that, I don’t think that is a solution, but he was making a point that you don’t have to start a war, but tariffs aren’t much of an answer.
He said, “Maybe the American people would have to pay the bill by higher prices, and they would grow not to like it.” Well, I don’t know if that’s the case, either, because they’d have to put two and two together, and that’s not likely to happen. I never see retaliation with trade between two nations that shouldn’t be at war, as solving much of a problem.
Daniel McAdams: Maybe even a more novel approach would be, that although we don’t like the idea of direct democracy or democracy at all, but by a nation-wide referendum, “Do you want us to continue confronting China? If so, it’s going to cost each household $5,000, please send your check in with your vote”, and see how that works out.
Ron Paul: But see, that’s why the gimmick of the way we finance war has been worked out a long time ago. Nobody … whether it’s a welfare benefit, the government can do it, and they are not going to raise taxes on the people who are going to receive anything. They’re going to borrow the money, they’re going to print the money and delay the payback, and sometimes you can delay this for a long time. Look at what our obligations now are, the entitlement system is 210 trillion dollars and 19 trillion dollars debt, so they can delay all this. It would be good if they knew what they were paying, believe me, they would quit doing this rather quickly.
Daniel McAdams: We can buy a new car, or we can pay for our aggression in Europe or China. But, you know, the thing is, and I said this before the show, it reminds me of two kids, and one is poking the other constantly, and then the one finally turns around and slugs him and says, “He hit me”. The U.S. [has intervened] in the Baltics would, we’ve already said we’re putting troops in Eastern Poland on the Russians border. Two years ago, the same USS Donald Cook was off the coast of Crimea and the Russian mainland, also conducting exercises against Russian military installations, targeting it in training exercises. The U.S. is involved in the South China Sea, we have no business being there, but yet, every time there’s a reaction to the U.S. military in these areas, it’s never out fault. We’re always just minding our own business, and they’re saying, “You’re being aggressive” to the Russians, the Chinese, to whoever.
Ron Paul: And then they’ll say we need more ships, they’ll give you statistics and say our navy is going to the dogs and we need more military equipment all across the border, and it goes on and on.
Daniel McAdams: The Chinese will stop selling us stuff if we don’t have our navy in South China Sea, as if that’s going to happen.
Ron Paul: Well, anyway, I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to The Liberty Report. This is just more evidence that our foreign policy is a disaster, and we are finding some good people writing on this, but, unfortunately, I don’t think we should be optimistic enough to show that by the time this election is over, all of a sudden our foreign policy is going to change. Because there are limits to what you can say, and the powers to be just won’t let you tell them the truth about what we should be doing with our foreign policy, and they always couch this in terms of obligation. They say, “Yes, we are the policeman of the world to protect our interest”. They claim that we have this moral obligation to do it, who else is going to be the exceptional nation to settle disputes and take care of everybody?”
Yes, but America doesn’t step up to the plate, and that of course, is an arrogance that doesn’t sell well around the world, and will lead us into a lot of trouble. And that’s why I think we’re in a lot of trouble right now, because of this attitude. It had nothing to do with defense, it has to do with an aggressive foreign policy, us throwing our weight around, and a foreign policy of intervention and being involved in the internal affairs of other nations, and believing that we can go to any spot in the world and no matter what they say or do, it’s their fault, not our fault. And if they shoot back, they are the aggressors, it makes no sense whatsoever. So hopefully we can continue on this program to point out the imperfections of our foreign policy and get the American people to join us and to make sure our elected leaders know and understand and consider a non-interventionist foreign policy. That, I think, would be a step in the right direction for seeking peace and prosperity throughout the world.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to The Liberty Report, and come back soon.