Many have already seen or listened to Congressman Ron Paul’s famous “What If?” speech. Paul gave this speech back in 2009, and now five years later President Obama has announced sending more troops to Iraq yet again, even though Obama has claimed this mission “will not involve combat troops on foreign soil”. Despite that claim Paul’s foreshadowing, including “What if Obama has no intention of leaving Iraq?” is worth remembering in light of an uncertain future as the United States continues to involve itself in the Middle East:
“Madame 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 interests?
What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is a 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 oppressive 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 some day it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair trade off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, or 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 will spread if our foreign policy is not changed?
What if the American people learn the truth that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security and that it never changes from one administration to the next?
What if war and 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? Nothing. But what happens if my concerns are justified and ignored? Nothing good.”
~ U.S. congressman Ron Paul before the United States House of Representatives (2/12/2009)