Another thing that bothers me about conservatives in general: their failure to see the link between foreign policy and domestic policy. This usually becomes apparent when you see what they say about Ron Paul. In general, conservatives agree with Ron Paul 90% of the time (to paraphrase prominent conservative Sean Hannity). But they would rather vote for someone with whom they agree with 75% of the time, like Mitt Romney, because apparently there is still fear rather than reason being the primary driving force in foreign policy.
The fact is, the more wars and overseas conflicts we engage in, the more enemies we will create and the more freedoms we will lose here at home. The fact is, there were no Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq nor was Saddam Hussein willing to sell weapons to them. But they were there after we toppled Saddam’s regime. And of course Saddam’s loyalists forces were going to work with them because they needed the manpower. It was the whole enemy of my enemy is my friend scenario.
Yes, I am aware that Iraqi agents met with Al-Qaeda in Europe at one point, but I have yet to see if any kind of mutual alliance came from it. Since the United States and other NATO allies spend most of the 1990s monitoring Saddam, I am sure he was looking for people who could help get the monkey off his back. Given that Al-Qaeda never joined up with them, it seems to me that Saddam probably considered them too dangerous to work with, until he lost his power.
Considering it has now been a decade of war on terrorism which has been waged on Afghanistan, Iraq, parts of Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and various other places, do you feel safer or freer from your government? I feel like what used to be a minor annoyance is now a major pain in my rear when it comes to the progress of government encroachment. Have you noticed how the police and various non-law enforcement agencies have gotten more militant?
Last year, our military budget was around $689 Billion. The only other program that exceeds this is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Combined, the cost of those four programs is 2.1 Trillion, which is about what the Federal government gets in tax revenue, considering the economic depression. This entirely excludes the domestic law enforcement and homeland security budgets, as well as the foreign aide and State Department expenses, such as elaborate embassies we build in various third-world nations. All in all, it is quite clear that everything needs to be cut, that we cannot just simply exclude military and entitlement spending from our budgets.
The fact is, the United States’ domestic agenda is tied directly with our foreign agenda. While you can separate these issues out for classification sake, they are intricately linked together. We have lost our ability to board an airplane in the country without showing off our genitals to some stranger in a back room and having our luggage searched, where TSA agents have been known to steal from it in the past (Neal Boortz, a solid supporter of the War on Terror, has had stuff stolen in this way). I personally refuse to use an airplane, unless I absolutely have to, which is sad because I was planning a cruise with my wife around Christmas. Now, instead of boarding a plane and going south, we will have to drive or take a bus to Baltimore and board one there.
On top of that, even non-law enforcement agencies have started to crack down on things. The Department of Education conducted a SWAT raid for a person who was delinquent on her student loan. ICE has been shutting down websites for copyright infringements, which has nothing to do with immigration or customs enforcement. And the IRS had ordered a whole lot of automatic shotguns for some reason. Meanwhile, Janet “Shoulder-Pads” Napolitano has decided to classify war veterans and Ron Paul supporters as domestic terrorists. The Federal court system has upheld many cases where police have entered people’s residences without a warrant. Do not look to the court system to protect you from the government is the lesson here. I am sure I am just scratching the surface here, of course.
How does this all link to our foreign policy? It is simple: the culture of war is one that spills out everywhere. In war, you have an enemy who you must target and take out quickly. What we have domestically is a group of government technocrats who view civilians as either part of the system, sheep to be managed, or dangerous enemies to be squashed. They do not consider themselves to be servants but masters and anyone who defies them will be punished. The government culture is the us versus them culture and they practically brag about it all the time.
Because of the many years of warfare mentality, the government no longer views us as people to serve but people to control and direct. I know conservatives will just blame this on Left-wing policies, but it was Left-wing policies of warfare which got us this way (see Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Truman, and LBJ’s war policies). In fact, one of the best things the Left ever did was enter us into a state of constant war. The Republicans have just recently been all too willing to carry on since 1955.
I want true freedom from government, but it will not happen so long as the United States government’s insane foreign policies are left in place. If conservatives had any sense, they would follow suit. Fortunately, given the Ames poll and various other things I have seen, it looks like many conservatives are waking up to this simple truth.
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