Some 25 years since the end of the Warsaw Pact, NATO is meeting in Warsaw to make war plans against Russia. Is there a real reason to continue this Cold War? Special guest Jacob Hornberger, president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, joins the discussion.
Ron Paul: Hello everybody, thank you for tuning in to The Liberty Report. With me today is co-host Daniel McAdams, Daniel, it’s nice to see you.
Daniel McAdams: Good morning, Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Well, very good. We have a special guest today, Jacob Hornberger, from the Future Of Freedom Foundation, let us welcome him to the program, and we will be discussing shortly NATO and what they’re up to. Jacob, it’s nice to see you today.
Jacob Hornberger: Hey, nice to be with you all, thanks for having me on.
Ron Paul: Good. Well, we wanted an expert on NATO, and we’ve been checking you out and reading all your stuff, and you’re pretty good. Anyway, Daniel, do you want to say hello to our friend here?
Daniel McAdams: Sure, thanks, Jacob, we also want to talk about your new e-book a little bit later on the show, “The CIA, terrorism, and the Cold War: The evil of the national security state”. That’s a great title. But you know, Dr. Paul, usually we report on the news and we analyze the news, but I think today we should make a little bit of news. So we are going to make an announcement, as our viewers hopefully know, we have a big conference coming up on September 10th in Washington DC, and we’re both pleased to announce today that Jacob Hornberger, the President of the Future for Freedom Foundation, has agreed to be one of our speakers at the conference. We are super-excited, we’ve both known Jacob for years and years, we’ve admired his work, he’s a true blue non-interventionist, and that’s what we need, because that’s what we’re going to make the case for. Thank you so much, Jacob, for joining us.
Ron Paul: Wonderful, we have announced earlier this week that we would be talking about NATO, there’s a conference going on at Warsaw. They used to have an old Warsaw pact, and it looks like it’s being reestablished right now, but the players have aligned themselves quite differently. So we want to visit about that, but before we get started, I would like both Daniel and Jacob to make some comments about NATO. I found some descriptions of NATO on what their intended purposes are, and they sound pretty good, so we have to dispel their propaganda. But I don’t think that’s going to be too difficult. Let me read their own description: “It is an organization that is political, NATO promotes Democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defense and security issues to build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict”. We may hear a challenge or two about that. Then, under the military, they say, “NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes (I didn’t know they didn’t that). If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake crisis management operation”. That’s equivalent to something called war.
That’s what they say they’re all about, but I think this panel is going to have a little bit different opinion. Do you want to chime in a little bit there, Jacob, and tell us whether you believe their propaganda or not?
Jacob Hornberger: Well, first of all, let me say, I’m really excited about being part of your conference. Even if I weren’t invited as a speaker, I would have been attending as an attendee. It sounds very, very exciting, and very, very important. The concept of non-intervention is one of the keys to a free and prosperous and harmonious society, and it’s an honor to be with you guys at that conference. Yes, I’ll chime in.”War propaganda” is the perfect word for it, because that’s all it is. NATO is a post World War II cold war era dinosaur organization, it was brought into existence to wage the cold war. The cold war ended, but, unfortunately, unlike the Warsaw pact, which consisted of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries, NATO decided to stay in existence. It is not a provider or guarantor of peace, it is the instigator of crisis, it produces the crisis, Ron, in order to justify its own existence.
We see that in Ukraine, where NATO was coming all the way up to Russia’s borders when Russia finally reacted. We see NATO’s participation in Afghanistan and the Middle East, it is just a cauldron of death and destruction. They are a walking advertisement for non-intervention, and that’s the direction in which we should be going.
Ron Paul: Daniel, what’s your opinion about this little organization.
Daniel McAdams: Originally this was sort of founded on the back of the Marshall Plan, the idea of rebuilding Western Europe and having this sort of component, NATO, as a glue to keep the countries together for mutual defense. And as Jacob points out, at the end of the cold war, ironically, the communist world collapsed about 25 years ago just this month, essentially. But at the end, you had all of these job that were available at Brussels for NATO. But this was a sort of a cornerstone of the U.S. military-industrial complex, they needed to have something like this, and the U.S. currently funds three quarters of NATO’s budget. And you said this before, NATO is sort of a cloak that we use to cover ourselves when we want to do overseas operations.
Ron Paul: Right, we get political cover for the things that we want to do because we’re still king of the hill when it comes to all this militarism. I want to talk a little bit about the conference itself that’s going on, and what they’re plans are and what we think might happen. I think they’re pretty well outlined because they said that nobody has any disagreements, they more or less agreed to everything so far. That’s beside the point, because the people with the money and the bombs make all the decisions.
But let me just read a couple of things from the media that tells us a little bit about what the conditions are like as we get ready for this Warsaw conference. The New York Times says, “In the shadow of BREXIT …”, which is pretty important, “… NATO will sound message of unity against Russia”. That gives us a hint on what’s going on here. And then there’s another statement coming from NATO security general, Jens Soltenberg, he says, “The meeting in Warsaw on Friday and Saturday will take key decisions to strengthen the alliances defense and deterrents …”, and this is the part that I think is important, “… and project stability beyond NATO borders”. That’s the setting through this meeting, so it’s too bad the American people don’t realize what’s happening, it’s too bad the American Congress doesn’t even know what’s happening, and if they did, they don’t care. They’re still worried about emails and few other things in this campaign that seem to be pretty irrelevant when it comes to war and peace. What can you two expect with this meeting coming up?
Jacob Hornberger: Ron, imagine if Russia recomposed the Warsaw pact, and brought into the organization Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala, and announced that they were going to send the Russian military troops and missiles to the southern border with Mexico and the United States. That is was only for peace, that the Americans didn’t need to be concerned about this, it was all just for stability and to protect these countries from U.S. potential aggression. We can all imagine what the reaction of U.S. officials would be, that this is nonsense, this is threatening, this is aggressive, so it’s no different from what NATO is doing over there now with all these troops. And you’re right, it’s just a cover for the U.S. national security state. Let’s face it, Ron, they need a crisis, they need constant crisis. That’s what the Middle East is all about, a perpetual terrorist producing machine. That’s what the Ukraine crisis is about.
Now we got a renewed cold war with Russia, they’re stirring up trouble with China. The only way the national security state, which is now a cold war dinosaur organization, can justify its existence is with continued crisis. And that’s really the mission of NATO, to produce these crisis.
Daniel McAdams: I think that’s a good point, Jacob, I think that explains this pivot towards Russia, so to speak. NATO has tried it’s hand in Libya, we all know how that’s worked out, it’s much worse than before. NATO’s number 1 overseas operation is Afghanistan, but that’s not going very well. The president is having to keep more troops in there, so he says, than he was planning; that’s working out terribly. NATO has been involved in Syria, that’s not worked out as planned. But Russia is the big enchilada, if you can get Russia as your advisory, if you can create this impression that there’s this huge monolith, then everyone is going to clamor for protection that the NATO bureaucrats and the military-industrial complex are so happy to provide.
Ron Paul: You describe the problems and the failures that are all over place, not counting the excessive costs to us and its contribution to our economic problems here. But this whole idea of projecting stability beyond NATO’s border, and also they used the word “Enhanced forward presence”, so they’re not satisfied, they want to go further. This whole thing about getting out of Afghanistan, their success there is no greater than the total failure of Iraq. And yet, they want to expand even further, they never stop. I think it’s interesting to get Jacob’s opinion on this and try to tie this in to the sentiment now with BREXIT. We’ve had a few of the neo-cons who were for BREXIT, but they expressed a little bit of concern about NATO. But, in many ways, the principle is the same, so I think they’re dreaming a little bit and saying, “BREXIT is okay, do you think there could be a spillover and maybe we can wake up a few people around the world and say, ‘It’s time to have a lot of people exit from a lot of these organizations'”.
Jacob Hornberger: I don’t think there’s any question about it, Ron. In fact, I read a stunning statistic in op-ed on the 4th of July that a woman named Elizabeth Cobbs wrote for The Los Angeles Times. It’s a great op-ed, it’s about the founders’ foreign policy of non-intervention; George Washington, Hamilton, and so forth. But she cites a statistic in there that’s absolutely stunning, she said, “The Pew Organization conducted a poll in 2013 that stated that 52% of the American people now say it’s time to mind our own business, and let the world handle its own problems”. That statistic then rose to 57% most recently when they conducted the same poll. I think Americans are finally coming around to rediscovering this philosophy of non-interventionism on which our country was founded.
If we could exit NATO, exit this whole concept of interventionism, it would make what happened with BREXIT, even what happened with the fall of the Berlin wall, I think, look rather small compared to that type of exiting.
Daniel McAdams: You’re seeing some sort of spreading of so called contagion, in a way, if you will. President Zeman of the Czech Republic said, “We should probably have a referendum of our own on EU membership”, and Hungary is having a referendum on whether or not they should abide by the EU’s refugee rules, they’re having that in October. They used to be able to say, “Oh, those are just far Right parties with these extreme agendas”, but now you’re seeing it’s making its way into mainstream parties and mainstream ways of thinking. In Germany and France there’s a rising sentiment about this. So I think there is a kind of awakening, and hence, that is why the media is stirring up fear: the fear of Russia, we’ve got to be afraid of Russia.
But, you know, the lie is so obvious, gentlemen, because one of the biggest problems of this summit is for the U.S. to convince these NATO member countries, “You got to at least spend 3% of your budget on the military”. None of the European countries are spending anything on their defense or on their military, you think if they felt they had an existential threat next door, they would have spent a little bit of money to protect against it.
Ron Paul: Of course, we’re daydreaming the fact that we have money, all we have is the ability to still print money, and that will eventually end. But NATO and our policy, which is one and the same, has created a mess in the Middle East, which has also created a migration crisis, too. Europe is in a lot worse shape than we are with this migration as a consequence of it. But it’s a good excuse to scare the people and say, “We have to fight ISIS, we have to fight ISIS, and, therefore, we’re going to do all this”, and that’s another excuse. If it isn’t the Russians, it’s ISIS, and it looks like right now, if you look at some of the things going on in the Middle East, particularly Syria, it looks like Russia might be the only one who is really fighting ISIS in a real way. I think the mistakes that they have made have also produced another crisis to worry about to stir up the fear in the American people.
Jacob Hornberger: I think, Ron, we shouldn’t forget that ISIS is a direct result of the interventionism itself, too, there was no ISIS before the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq. There’s another fact here to consider, and this is what Americans should be questioning, is do they want their American men, and probably women, because they’re now talking about drafting women, too, to be giving their lives automatically in the defense of countries that are thousands of miles away? And that’s what they’ve done with this, they don’t need a declaration of war if war breaks out between Monte Negro or Poland and Russia, the U.S. is automatically involved. That’s what NATO is making clear, that there’s a tripwire here that automatically commits the U.S. to a major war. Well, why should the national security state be making those decisions, why shouldn’t the American people make that decision through the declaration of war process through the U.S. Congress?
But that’s what they’re doing here, they’re automatically committing the American people to major war in the defense of countries that I think we should be questioning. This is the whole Truman doctrine all over again, that’s what Americans need to be exiting from.
Daniel McAdams: And, you know, gentlemen, the tripwire is getting ever afraid because they just added cyber crimes to the trigger for a NATO Article 5 intervention. That means if, for example, some Russian hacker somewhere hacks into Hillary Clinton’s emails again, NATO could declare that we’re been attacked by Russia, and everyone can come and have World War III, so they’re making it easier for war to happen. The other thing that might be worth talking about is some of the specific things that are going to happen in Warsaw these next couple of days. 4,000 troops are permanently stationed in the Baltics for the first time ever, that’s pretty serious. But we’re also talking about money and political manipulation, for example, Ukraine is going to come to the table with an open hand, what’s a half a billion dollars, most of that will probably go straight to the Swiss bank accounts. The Afghans want 5 million dollars a year. We should go with our hands out.
The other thing I noticed when NATO security general, Jens Soltenberg, said, “We are going to provide assistance to Georgia and Moldova so they can ‘resist outside pressure and advance reforms'”. That sounds to me like they’re going to manipulate the political process, so if any politician comes up who might have a different view of relations to Russia, they’ll pour money in and prop up his opponent, they’ll manipulate the media and all these sorts of things.
Jacob Hornberger: The other factor, Ron, is the one you alluded to, and it was really a central element in your presidential campaign, and that is the Federal Reserve. We know that the government is spending a lot more money than what it’s bringing in, where does it get all this extra money from to be funding all these operations? It continues to borrow, it’s adding to the mountain of debt that is threatening to send this country into bankruptcy like Greece and Puerto Rico, or some hyper inflation, because the Fed is going to accommodate bad debt whenever it can. This cannot end well, this out of control government spending, and half of the problem here is the warfare state.
Ron Paul: Yes, and I think there’s a lot to worry about there, because a lot of innocent people suffer. When we have the downturn, the middle class and the poor suffer a lot more than the very wealth who have been making a lot of money off the system. But it will end in a messy way, but it’s not all that bad, because when you think about it … I think of it so clearly, because when I was drafted during the Cuban crisis in the 1960s, and these were difficult times. The Soviets weren’t different than Russia or ISIS today, it was a completely different thing. But we didn’t have to fight the Soviets, everybody was worried about the nuclear exchange. The Soviet System collapsed for financial reasons, so there is a chance that maybe we’ll learn our lesson the hard way. You had a good point of optimism that maybe the American people are waking up and we’re going to continue to try to do that, but eventually the system runs out of funds and they run out money, and it could end.
What we can do is warn the people it’s coming, prepare for it, have an answer, and have a plan. This, to me, would be so much better than just waiting for chaos, because as bad as the situation is, we could get somebody with a lot greater desire for dictatorial powers, and that’s happened throughout history, too. So I’m hoping we can get the correct message out there that liberty is the answer, not authoritarianism.
Daniel McAdams: I think we need to also plug Jacob’s book. I know time is getting short, it’s called “CIA, Terrorism, and the cold war: the evil of the national security state”. Jacob, can you just in a nutshell tell us just a little bit what it is about and where people can get it if they’re interested?
Jacob Hornberger: Well, yes, it’s an e-book, it’s available on Amazon and Kindle, and sales are doing great. It’s really an analysis and a history of what we call the national security state. We’re so accustomed to this, Dan, we grew up with the Pentagon and the CIA and the national security administration agency, we all this is just a permanent part of America’s governmental structure the way it’s always been. Well, my e-book is to show that this is not the case, this type of totalitarian apparatus is inherent to totalitarian regimes. It was justified as a way to fight the Soviet Union during the cold war. So they were saying we have to adopt totalitarianism to fight totalitarianism. Well, our founding fathers rejected this whole way of thinking, there was a deep antipathy towards standing armies, secret intelligence agencies when they stood against everything the national security apparatus stands for today.
And look where it’s brought us, massive surveillance schemes, secret surveillance schemes, assassination programs now formalized in the government, including assassinating Americans, rounding up Americans, torturing them, all justified by the federal judiciary. This is antithetical to the principle of free society. So I argue in this e-book that with the end of the cold war, it was time to get rid of this dinosaur organization, that it’s justification, the cold war, was over, and so there was no reason to keep it into existence. By keeping it in existence, we got the whole Middle East cauldron of death and destruction, the perpetual terrorism, the assaults on freedom and liberty at home, and, of course, the out of control federal spending that is bankrupting our nation.
Ron Paul: Jacob, I want to thank you very much for being with us today, and I hope all our listeners will be very anxious to hear our follow up on this discussion when we get together in Washington. So thank you very much for being here today, Jacob.
Jacob Hornberger: You’re welcome, thank you, Ron, it’s always an honor and a pleasure.
Ron Paul: Great, and I want to thank our audience for being with us today because I found this a fascinating discussion, and it could go on for a lot longer because there’s lot to talk about and lots to warn about and lots to plan for, too, on how to work our way out of this. Just as we have to work out our financial mess, we have to work our way out of the foreign policy mess without having any catastrophic event. But I do want to make one point about these organizations like NATO and UN and even these bilateral defense agreements. Here we have in 1949 we signed up, and we now have 26 countries, and we have agreed that if anybody is attacked, no matter who they are, our country is obligated to go to war under the treaty. And people argue the treaty is the law of the land. So, that, to me is immoral, a previous generation has no authority to commit somebody from a generation in the future to war.
Of course, we see the draft as an immoral issue, and that would also have to be addressed. But I think the moral issue is very, very important. A moral person, an ethical person, would not skirt around the constitution as well. But what we need is greater confidence in the cause of liberty, a better understanding of the non-aggression principle, and apply the non-aggression principle to economic matters, social matters, as well as foreign policy matters. I can guarantee the people, if we can just get a larger number of individuals that would endorse this principle, there will be a much greater chance for peace and prosperity.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today, please come back soon.