Congressman Ron Paul addresses the U.S. House of Representatives


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BB93YJ
July 11, 2003, 11:20 AM
Congressman Ron Paul addresses the U.S. House of Representatives


http://www.thelibertycommittee.org/neo-conned.htm



The modern-day, limited-government movement has been co-opted. The conservatives have failed in their effort to shrink the size of government. There has not been, nor will there soon be, a conservative revolution in Washington. Political party control of the federal government has changed, but the inexorable growth in the size and scope of government has continued unabated. The liberal arguments for limited government in personal affairs and foreign military adventurism were never seriously considered as part of this revolution.

Since the change of the political party in charge has not made a difference, who’s really in charge? If the particular party in power makes little difference, whose policy is it that permits expanded government programs, increased spending, huge deficits, nation building and the pervasive invasion of our privacy, with fewer Fourth Amendment protections than ever before?

Someone is responsible, and it’s important that those of us who love liberty, and resent big-brother government, identify the philosophic supporters who have the most to say about the direction our country is going. If they’re wrong—and I believe they are—we need to show it, alert the American people, and offer a more positive approach to government. However, this depends on whether the American people desire to live in a free society and reject the dangerous notion that we need a strong central government to take care of us from the cradle to the grave. Do the American people really believe it’s the government’s responsibility to make us morally better and economically equal? Do we have a responsibility to police the world, while imposing our vision of good government on everyone else in the world with some form of utopian nation building? If not, and the enemies of liberty are exposed and rejected, then it behooves us to present an alternative philosophy that is morally superior and economically sound and provides a guide to world affairs to enhance peace and commerce.

One thing is certain: conservatives who worked and voted for less government in the Reagan years and welcomed the takeover of the U.S. Congress and the presidency in the 1990s and early 2000s were deceived. Soon they will realize that the goal of limited government has been dashed and that their views no longer matter.

The so-called conservative revolution of the past two decades has given us massive growth in government size, spending and regulations. Deficits are exploding and the national debt is now rising at greater than a half-trillion dollars per year. Taxes do not go down—even if we vote to lower them. They can’t, as long as spending is increased, since all spending must be paid for one way or another. Both Presidents Reagan and the elder George Bush raised taxes directly. With this administration, so far, direct taxes have been reduced—and they certainly should have been—but it means little if spending increases and deficits rise.

When taxes are not raised to accommodate higher spending, the bills must be paid by either borrowing or “printing” new money. This is one reason why we conveniently have a generous Federal Reserve chairman who is willing to accommodate the Congress. With borrowing and inflating, the “tax” is delayed and distributed in a way that makes it difficult for those paying the tax to identify it. For instance, future generations, or those on fixed incomes who suffer from rising prices, and those who lose jobs – they certainly feel the consequences of economic dislocations that this process causes. Government spending is always a “tax” burden on the American people and is never equally or fairly distributed. The poor and low-middle income workers always suffer the most from the deceitful tax of inflation and borrowing.

Many present-day conservatives, who generally argue for less government and supported the Reagan/Gingrich/Bush takeover of the federal government, are now justifiably disillusioned. Although not a monolithic group, they wanted to shrink the size of government.

Early in our history, the advocates of limited, constitutional government recognized two important principles: the rule of law was crucial, and a constitutional government must derive “just powers from the consent of the governed.” It was understood that an explicit transfer of power to government could only occur with power rightfully and naturally endowed to each individual as a God-given right. Therefore, the powers that could be transferred would be limited to the purpose of protecting liberty. Unfortunately, in the last 100 years, the defense of liberty has been fragmented and shared by various groups, with some protecting civil liberties, others economic freedom, and a small diverse group arguing for a foreign policy of nonintervention.

The philosophy of freedom has had a tough go of it, and it was hoped that the renewed interest in limited government of the past two decades would revive an interest in reconstituting the freedom philosophy into something more consistent. Those who worked for the goal of limited government power believed the rhetoric of politicians who promised smaller government. Sometimes it was just plain sloppy thinking on their part, but at other times, they fell victim to a deliberate distortion of a concise limited-government philosophy by politicians who misled many into believing that we would see a rollback on government intrusiveness.

Yes, there was always a remnant who longed for truly limited government and maintained a belief in the rule of law, combined with a deep conviction that free people and a government bound by a Constitution were the most advantageous form of government. They recognized it as the only practical way for prosperity to be spread to the maximum number of people while promoting peace and security.

That remnant—imperfect as it may have been—was heard from in the elections of 1980 and 1994 and then achieved major victories in 2000 and 2002 when professed limited-government proponents took over the administration, the Senate and the House. However, the true believers in limited government are now shunned and laughed at. At the very least, they are ignored—except when they are used by the new leaders of the right, the new conservatives now in charge of the U.S. government.

The remnant’s instincts were correct, and the politicians placated them with talk of free markets, limited government, and a humble, non-nation-building foreign policy. However, little concern for civil liberties was expressed in this recent quest for less government. Yet, for an ultimate victory of achieving freedom, this must change. Interest in personal privacy and choices has generally remained outside the concern of many conservatives—especially with the great harm done by their support of the drug war. Even though some confusion has emerged over our foreign policy since the breakdown of the Soviet empire, it’s been a net benefit in getting some conservatives back on track with a less militaristic, interventionist foreign policy. Unfortunately, after 9-ll, the cause of liberty suffered a setback. As a result, millions of Americans voted for the less-than-perfect conservative revolution because they believed in the promises of the politicians.

Now there’s mounting evidence to indicate exactly what happened to the revolution. Government is bigger than ever, and future commitments are overwhelming. Millions will soon become disenchanted with the new status quo delivered to the American people by the advocates of limited government and will find it to be just more of the old status quo. Victories for limited government have turned out to be hollow indeed.

Since the national debt is increasing at a rate greater than a half-trillion dollars per year, the debt limit was recently increased by an astounding $984 billion dollars. Total U.S. government obligations are $43 trillion, while total net worth of U.S. households is just over $440 trillion. The country is broke, but no one in Washington seems to notice or care. The philosophic and political commitment for both guns and butter—and especially for expanding the American empire—must be challenged. This is crucial for our survival.

In spite of the floundering economy, the Congress and the administration continue to take on new commitments in foreign aid, education, farming, medicine, multiple efforts at nation building, and preemptive wars around the world. Already we’re entrenched in Iraq and Afghanistan, with plans to soon add new trophies to our conquest. War talk abounds as to when Syria, Iran and North Korea will be attacked.

How did all this transpire? Why did the government do it? Why haven’t the people objected? How long will it go on before something is done? Does anyone care?

Will the euphoria of grand military victories—against non-enemies—ever be mellowed? Someday, we as a legislative body must face the reality of the dire situation in which we have allowed ourselves to become enmeshed. Hopefully, it will be soon!

We got here because ideas do have consequences. Bad ideas have bad consequences, and even the best of intentions have unintended consequences. We need to know exactly what the philosophic ideas were that drove us to this point; then, hopefully, reject them and decide on another set of intellectual parameters.

There is abundant evidence exposing those who drive our foreign policy justifying preemptive war. Those who scheme are proud of the achievements in usurping control over foreign policy. These are the neoconservatives of recent fame. Granted, they are talented and achieved a political victory that all policymakers must admire. But can freedom and the Republic survive this takeover? That question should concern us.

Neoconservatives are obviously in positions of influence and are well-placed throughout our government and the media. An apathetic Congress put up little resistance and abdicated its responsibilities over foreign affairs. The electorate was easily influenced to join in the patriotic fervor supporting the military adventurism advocated by the neoconservatives.

The numbers of those who still hope for truly limited government diminished and had their concerns ignored these past 22 months, during the aftermath of 9-11. Members of Congress were easily influenced to publicly support any domestic policy or foreign military adventure that was supposed to help reduce the threat of a terrorist attack. Believers in limited government were harder to find. Political money, as usual, played a role in pressing Congress into supporting almost any proposal suggested by the neocons. This process—where campaign dollars and lobbying efforts affect policy—is hardly the domain of any single political party, and unfortunately, is the way of life in Washington.

There are many reasons why government continues to grow. It would be naïve for anyone to expect otherwise. Since 9-11, protection of privacy, whether medical, personal or financial, has vanished. Free speech and the Fourth Amendment have been under constant attack. Higher welfare expenditures are endorsed by the leadership of both parties. Policing the world and nation-building issues are popular campaign targets, yet they are now standard operating procedures. There’s no sign that these programs will be slowed or reversed until either we are stopped by force overseas (which won’t be soon) or we go broke and can no longer afford these grandiose plans for a world empire (which will probably come sooner than later.)

None of this happened by accident or coincidence. Precise philosophic ideas prompted certain individuals to gain influence to implement these plans. The neoconservatives—a name they gave themselves—diligently worked their way into positions of power and influence. They documented their goals, strategy and moral justification for all they hoped to accomplish. Above all else, they were not and are not conservatives dedicated to limited, constitutional government.

Neo-conservatism has been around for decades and, strangely, has connections to past generations as far back as Machiavelli. Modern-day neo-conservatism was introduced to us in the 1960s. It entails both a detailed strategy as well as a philosophy of government. The ideas of Teddy Roosevelt, and certainly Woodrow Wilson, were quite similar to many of the views of present-day neocons. Neocon spokesman Max Boot brags that what he advocates is “hard Wilsonianism.” In many ways, there’s nothing “neo” about their views, and certainly nothing conservative. Yet they have been able to co-op the conservative movement by advertising themselves as a new or modern form of conservatism.

More recently, the modern-day neocons have come from the far left, a group historically identified as former Trotskyists. Liberal Christopher Hitchins, has recently officially joined the neocons, and it has been reported that he has already been to the White House as an ad hoc consultant. Many neocons now in positions of influence in Washington can trace their status back to Professor Leo Strauss of the University of Chicago. One of Strauss’ books was Thoughts on Machiavelli. This book was not a condemnation of Machiavelli’s philosophy. Paul Wolfowitz actually got his PhD under Strauss. Others closely associated with these views are Richard Perle, Eliot Abrams, Robert Kagan and William Kristol. All are key players in designing our new strategy of preemptive war. Others include: Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute; former CIA Director James Woolsy; Bill Bennett of Book of Virtues fame; Frank Gaffney; Dick Cheney; and Donald Rumsfeld. There are just too many to mention who are philosophically or politically connected to the neocon philosophy in some varying degree.

The godfather of modern-day neo-conservatism is considered to be Irving Kristol, father of Bill Kristol, who set the stage in 1983 with his publication Reflections of a Neoconservative. In this book, Kristol also defends the traditional liberal position on welfare.

More important than the names of people affiliated with neo-conservatism are the views they adhere to. Here is a brief summary of the general understanding of what neocons believe:
1. They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual.
2. They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.
3. They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.
4. They accept the notion that the ends justify the means—that hard-ball politics is a moral necessity.
5. They express no opposition to the welfare state.
6. They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.
7. They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.
8. They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit.
9. They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and
withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it.
10. They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised.
11. They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem.
12. They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.
13. Using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should
not be limited to the defense of our country.
14. 9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.
15. They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists.)
16. They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary.
17. They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party.

Various organizations and publications over the last 30 years have played a significant role in the rise to power of the neoconservatives. It took plenty of money and commitment to produce the intellectual arguments needed to convince the many participants in the movement of its respectability.

It is no secret—especially after the rash of research and articles written about the neocons since our invasion of Iraq—how they gained influence and what organizations were used to promote their cause. Although for decades, they agitated for their beliefs through publications like The National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Public Interest, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and the New York Post, their views only gained momentum in the 1990s following the first Persian Gulf War—which still has not ended even with removal of Saddam Hussein. They became convinced that a much more militant approach to resolving all the conflicts in the Middle East was an absolute necessity, and they were determined to implement that policy.

In addition to publications, multiple think tanks and projects were created to promote their agenda. A product of the Bradley Foundation, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) led the neocon charge, but the real push for war came from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) another organization helped by the Bradley Foundation. This occurred in 1998 and was chaired by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Early on, they urged war against Iraq, but were disappointed with the Clinton administration, which never followed through with its periodic bombings. Obviously, these bombings were motivated more by Clinton’s personal and political problems than a belief in the neocon agenda.

The election of 2000 changed all that. The Defense Policy Board, chaired by Richard Perle played no small role in coordinating the various projects and think tanks, all determined to take us into war against Iraq. It wasn’t too long before the dream of empire was brought closer to reality by the election of 2000 with Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld playing key roles in this accomplishment. The plan to promote an “American greatness” imperialistic foreign policy was now a distinct possibility. Iraq offered a great opportunity to prove their long-held theories. This opportunity was a consequence of the 9-11 disaster.

The money and views of Rupert Murdock also played a key role in promoting the neocon views, as well as rallying support by the general population, through his News Corporation, which owns Fox News Network, the New York Post and Weekly Standard. This powerful and influential media empire did more to galvanize public support for the Iraqi invasion than one might imagine. This facilitated the Rumsfeld/Cheney policy as their plans to attack Iraq came to fruition. It would have been difficult for the neocons to usurp foreign policy from the restraints of Colin Powell’s State Department without the successful agitation of the Rupert Murdock empire. Max Boot was satisfied, as he explained: “Neoconservatives believe in using American might to promote American ideals abroad.” This attitude is a far cry from the advice of the Founders, who advocated no entangling alliances and neutrality as the proper goal of American foreign policy.



Continued here... (http://www.thelibertycommittee.org/neo-conned.htm)


© 2003 The Liberty Committee

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agricola
July 11, 2003, 11:28 AM
The money and views of Rupert Murdock also played a key role in promoting the neocon views, as well as rallying support by the general population, through his News Corporation, which owns Fox News Network, the New York Post and Weekly Standard. This powerful and influential media empire did more to galvanize public support for the Iraqi invasion than one might imagine. This facilitated the Rumsfeld/Cheney policy as their plans to attack Iraq came to fruition. It would have been difficult for the neocons to usurp foreign policy from the restraints of Colin Powell’s State Department without the successful agitation of the Rupert Murdock empire. Max Boot was satisfied, as he explained: “Neoconservatives believe in using American might to promote American ideals abroad.” This attitude is a far cry from the advice of the Founders, who advocated no entangling alliances and neutrality as the proper goal of American foreign policy.

HEAR HEAR

Rupert Murdoch also owns the Sun daily rag.

Kinsman
July 11, 2003, 02:32 PM
Good old Ron Paul.
Poor old Ron Paul.

He's got the right ideas; knows history and is well informed on public policy here and abroad. With a few more like him, we might save the Republic.

But he is generally ignored by his cohorts in Washington. Why? Because most of 'em want to hold on to, and expand, their power.

rock jock
July 11, 2003, 02:56 PM
They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.
Yes, we have created several new countries in the ME. For example, there's......uh.......well.......uh.......what was the question again?

They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.
If by "desired ends" you mean survival, then I guess you're right. ;)

They express no opposition to the welfare state.
Right, that's why the "neocons" passed the largest overhaul of the welfare system in years in 1994. Its the conservatives fault that we can't toally eliminate medicare, medicaid, and social security. The democrats/liberals and lobbying groups like the AARP have nothing to do with that. :rolleyes:

They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.
Endorse a strong military? Yup!

As far as empire-building goes, Mr. Paul should stop listening to leftist propaganda - it's rotting his brain.

They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.
Example?

They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised.
Yup. I guess Mr. Paul thinks we should have stayed out of WWII. None of our business, yanno. That is, until we had storm-troopers landing on our shores.

They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.
More propaganda. Does he actually believe some of this stuff, or does it make good fodder for the news?

9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.
No, 9/11 resulted from thugs who thought they could kick sand in our eyes and get away with it.

They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists.)
PLEASE do not equate libertarians with strict constitutionalists. Scalia is a strict constitutionalist. Thomas is a strict constitutionalist. Mr. Paul is not.

They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party.
Yes, that is why Mr. Bush is demanding that Israel give up control of the West Bank to achieve peace.


I used to actually have some respect for Ron PAul, but have come to view him as a Ralph Nadar-typy whiner who has no REAL solutions. His big sell is his "bash the establishment" rhetoric. Oh well, it keeps him in office.

agricola
July 11, 2003, 03:14 PM
rock_jock:

Yes, we have created several new countries in the ME. For example, there's......uh.......well.......uh.......what was the question again?

US protectorates now exist in Iraq and (to a much lesser extent) Afganistan.

If by "desired ends" you mean survival, then I guess you're right.

exactly how was Saddam a threat to the worlds only remaining superpower?

Endorse a strong military? Yup!

As far as empire-building goes, Mr. Paul should stop listening to leftist propaganda - it's rotting his brain.

I suspect Paul is waiting for the troops to be withdrawn from Iraq and Afganistan now those countries are "free". The longer they stay there, the more likely and the more people will believe that the policy is imperialist in nature.

Yup. I guess Mr. Paul thinks we should have stayed out of WWII. None of our business, yanno. That is, until we had storm-troopers landing on our shores.

It may be appropriate, as Paul notes, to point out that the reason you didnt "stay out" of WW2 is because the Japanese attacked you, and the Germans declared war on you. Comparing, even from a distance, the Iraq issue with the WW2 era speaks only of your ignorance - Saddam was not in Hitlers league, or even Tojo. Saddam was your common-or-garden third world dictator, and a weak one at that.

9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.

No, 9/11 resulted from thugs who thought they could kick sand in our eyes and get away with it.

No, 9/11 was carried out by a man who wanted to start a war between the West and the Islamic world. He has succeeded, well done!

Yes, that is why Mr. Bush is demanding that Israel give up control of the West Bank to achieve peace

Which country is in the top #2 of military aid from the US again?

rock jock
July 11, 2003, 03:30 PM
It may be appropriate, as Paul notes, to point out that the reason you didnt "stay out" of WW2 is because the Japanese attacked you, and the Germans declared war on you. Comparing, even from a distance, the Iraq issue with the WW2 era speaks only of your ignorance - Saddam was not in Hitlers league, or even Tojo. Saddam was your common-or-garden third world dictator, and a weak one at that.
We were attacked because we cut off supplies to Japan since we interpreted them as a threat. Germany declared war on us because (1) Japan was their ally and (2) the lend-lease program, which was most definitely not taking a stance of neutrality. As far as comparing Hitler and Saddam, you're right. Hitler had much longer to establish a foothold before he was confronted. Had he been dealt with after the Anschluss, history may have been different and you would spouting off things like "Hitler was nowhere close to Saddam".

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