Thursday, July 15, 2010

Political Opposites Team Up!

Congressman Barney Frank (D) of Massachusetts and Congressman Ron Paul (R) of Texas have teamed up and are calling for an immense cut in military spending by the United States.  Paul and Frank say that by eliminating most of the unnecessary military bases and troop presences around the world (all over Europe, Japan, South Korea, etc. etc.), the government could save and estimated one trillion dollars! 

This development is of particular interest to me, in part because of the somewhat unholy alliance between two congressmen whose political and economic philosophies are quite different from one another. Frank is a supporter of government intervention into the economy, while Paul is a proponent of the Austrian School of Economics and truly free-market-based solutions. (Note that this isn't the first time that Rep. Paul has joined forces with a congressman from the "opposite" end of the political spectrum: See my post, Audit the Fed Bill Gutted!, for more about Paul's work with Sen. Bernie Sanders.)

This unusual collaboration speaks to the priority of the issue. Both men understand plainly that the American empire is vastly over-extended and that if there is not a concerted effort to reign in the beast, it will, like all empires throughout history, collapse. 

In the following clip from CNN, Wolf Blitzer (what a great football name!) interviews the two of them on this issue. It is a good interview as a whole (it is in two parts), but I really like (at 4:44) the way Frank responds to the ignorant claim being made that if we pull out of Afghanistan, we will just allow the terrorists to gain strength and establish training grounds: He is in agreement with Ron Paul in asserting that even if we were able to gain complete control of Afghanistan, the terrorists would simply relocate to Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, etc. I love when Frank says he wishes "nuclear submarines could defeat terrorism, because we have all of the nuclear submarines, and we would have beat it." Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. 

The strategic significance of such a momentous shift in US foreign policy goes beyond the vast - and obvious - initial economic savings. If we pull out of all of these countries, we inherently make ourselves less vulnerable to terror attacks: For one, we would suddenly give unstable regions and impoverished populations less of a reason to hate us so much, making recruiting harder for terrorists; and second, we would have much more money available to invest in a legitimate national defense.

This recent proposal highlights yet another difference between Ron Paul and everyone else.  Let's see one of the "intellectual" leaders of the Tea Party movement team up with an openly gay socialist from Taxachussetts for the express purpose of ending war!  Hell yeah, Ron Paul!

Make sure to look at 4:44 if you can't watch the entire interview.

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