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Sgt.Krohn
2007-03-09, 10:25
The Scandal at Walter Reed
Statement on the Iraq War Resolution Before the U.S. House of Representatives March 7, 2007

by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul

The scandal at Walter Reed is not an isolated incident. It is directly related to our foreign policy of interventionism.

There is a pressing need to reassess our now widely accepted role as the world’s lone superpower. If we don’t, we are destined to reduce our nation to something far less powerful.

It has always been politically popular for politicians to promise they will keep us out of foreign wars, especially before World War I. That hasn’t changed, even though many in Washington today don’t understand it.

Likewise it has been popular to advocate ending prolonged and painful conflicts like the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and now Iraq.

In 2000, it was quite popular to condemn nation building and reject the policy of policing the world, in the wake of our involvement in Kosovo and Somalia. We were promised a more humble foreign policy.

Nobody wins elections by promising to take us to war. But once elected, many politicians greatly exaggerate the threat posed by a potential enemy-- and the people too often carelessly accept the dubious reasons given to justify wars. Opposition arises only when the true costs are felt here at home.

A foreign policy of interventionism costs so much money that we’re forced to close military bases in the U.S., even as we’re building them overseas. Interventionism is never good fiscal policy.

Interventionism symbolizes an attitude of looking outward, toward empire, while diminishing the importance of maintaining a constitutional republic.

We close bases here at home – some want to close Walter Reed – while building bases in Arab and Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia. We worry about foreign borders while ignoring our own. We build permanent outposts in Muslim holy lands, occupy territory, and prop up puppet governments. This motivates suicide terrorism against us.

Our policies naturally lead to resentment, which in turn leads to prolonged wars and increased casualties. We spend billions in Iraq, while bases like Walter Reed fall into disrepair. This undermines our ability to care for the thousands of wounded soldiers we should have anticipated, despite the rosy predictions that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq.

Now comes the outrage!

Now Congress holds hearings!

Now comes the wringing of hands. Yes, better late than never.

Clean it up, paint the walls, make Walter Reed look neat and tidy! But this won’t solve our problems. We must someday look critically at the shortcomings of our foreign policy, a policy that needlessly and foolishly intervenes in places where we have no business being.

Voters spoke very clearly in November: they want the war to end. Yet Congress has taken no steps to defund or end a war it never should have condoned in the first place.

On the contrary, Congress plans to spend another $100 billion or more in an upcoming Iraq funding bill – more even than the administration has requested. The 2007 military budget, $700 billion, apparently is not enough. And it’s all done under the slogan of “supporting the troops,” even as our policy guarantees more Americans will die and Walter Reed will continue to receive casualties.

Every problem Congress and the administration create requires more money to fix. The mantra remains the same: spend more money we don’t have, borrow from the Chinese, or just print it.

This policy of interventionism is folly, and it cannot continue forever. It will end, either because we wake up or because we go broke.

Interventionism always leads to unanticipated consequences and blowback, like:

• A weakened, demoralized military;
• Exploding deficits;
• Billions of dollars wasted;
• Increased inflation;
• Less economic growth;
• An unstable currency;
• Painful stock market corrections;
• Political demagoguery;
• Lingering anger at home; and
• Confusion about who is to blame.

These elements combine to create an environment that inevitably undermines personal liberty. Virtually all American wars have led to diminished civil liberties at home.

Most of our mistakes can be laid at the doorstep of our failure to follow the Constitution.

That Constitution, if we so desire, can provide needed guidance and a roadmap to restore our liberties and change our foreign policy. This is critical if we truly seek peace and prosperity.
---------
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

Frolicking Dino
2007-03-09, 13:09
This is an excellent piece. Thank you for sharing.

incognito
2007-03-09, 13:28
The Scandal at Walter Reed
Statement on the Iraq War Resolution Before the U.S. House of Representatives March 7, 2007

[/I]

It was a good article on Interventionism but NOT on the "Scandal at Walter Reed"

This is all they had to say about Walter Reed Hospital:


The scandal at Walter Reed is not an isolated incident.

Clean it up, paint the walls, make Walter Reed look neat and tidy!
It was mentioned that W. Reed would like to be closed. I say doit. Rebuild in the burbs.

SGT Rock
2007-03-09, 21:20
Walter Reed got caught up in the system. Identified by the BRAC and was being closed. Some DPW people probably told them they couldn't get stuff done for buildings that were being phased out, and eventually the neglected buildings are actually needed and then identified as falling appart. This isn't isolated, I had similar problems when I was a Platoon Sergeant at Fort Polk with barracks that soldiers actually lived in but had walls and vents caked in mold, peeling paint, and various other problems. Try to get DPW to fix it and they tell you the barracks are "technically" closed despite the fact people live there. In our case we had healthy soldiers there we could put to work to do most of the maintenance for themselves - but in this case you have injured recovering soldiers that are not going to be assumed healthy enough to be doing work on the barracks. And the medical soldiers at the hospitals are probably understaffed too with many medical people ending up being sent into theater to work hospitals over there - so no extra medics and x-ray techs to do the work when they are not on shift.

KBob
2007-03-12, 16:50
If Walter Reed was on the closing list I can see why it is run down. Politicos see the inflated savings but not the cost to move to another facility or base. Hard to get funds for something that is closing. That is normal, they forget that to close a base the mission must go elsewhere and there is moving and setup cost. As for the tirade about intervention. I would rather fight them there than here. Yes we should have taken Saddam out the first time we (I) were/was there, but we didn't. The media are the greatest Monday morning quarterbacks. Kind of hard to leave that guy there where he can attack the flow of oil to the West. As far as intervention goes we and the blokes seem to be the only ones with conjones to take on the bad guys. The problem is that we are too nice to the bad guys, are mind set should be to completely destroy them. Just an old war dog's "who sitting on the porch", two cents.
For those who are civilians: USAF 70-94,

Sgt.Krohn
2007-03-12, 16:57
It was a good article on Interventionism but NOT on the "Scandal at Walter Reed"

This is all they had to say about Walter Reed Hospital:

It was mentioned that W. Reed would like to be closed. I say doit. Rebuild in the burbs.
you should realize- read the second line- that this was Ron Paul's statement to Congress- not an article

Take-a-knee
2007-03-12, 17:15
The Congressman's whole point was that Walter Reed was merely a symptom of our Republic's (?) malaise. Military dollars are planned out years ahead of time, all these shattered young men weren't supposed to be there at Walter Reed in the first place. Remember W's carrier landing? The "war" was over! Cheney and Wolfowitz assured him the Iraqis would treat us like the French in 1944.

Sgt.Krohn
2007-03-12, 17:44
Ron Paul to run for president as Republican

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4622457.html

Hollowdweller
2007-03-15, 14:06
I've never been in the military so you guys know more about this stuff than I do, but to me it is just another example of poor planning. If you are gonna be fighting two wars you gotta allot some money for the people who get injured.

However I think the long term solution will eventually be the same as most businesses have been doing last few years. Instead of alloting money for their care they will contract it out.

Eventually we will end up having a private army. Of course eventually there will be competition for the private army contract and there will be an incentive to keep personnel costs low so the CEO's will scour the worlds hotspots for seasoned fighters that will work at low cost instead of hiring americans.

Then eventually just like companies they will become multinational and the country that can outbid the other country for the best private army will be the winner.

Eventually they will become so powerful that countries will pay the army NOT to attack them and the whole thing will become one big protection racket:afraid: :biggrin:

rbd
2007-03-15, 14:51
Interesting thread..... non-trivial issues.
Right now, I don't feel like my interests are being well represented either in New York nor in congress. I've heard others mention the same thing, where - from their personal appearance - it would seem that their interests conflict with my own. So, who's interests are being represented? Interest groups?
Lawyers?
PS - If the admins feel that this comment was inappropriate, then OK - scratch it out as an uncalledfor comment.

Take-a-knee
2007-03-15, 17:05
Hollowdweller, what you speak of is already happening. There are 20,000 contract employees in Iraq currently, most are doing jobs formerly done by the military. Some are Combat service support (cooks), some are gun-toters like I was in 05. 20.000 is nearly two divisions. How many divisions did Shinseki say we were short? (Answer; Two). Come to think about it, this is really similar to medievil history when you think about it.

Hollowdweller
2007-03-15, 18:21
Come to think about it, this is really similar to medievil history when you think about it.


Good analogy TAK!

I keep feeling like we are going more that way all the time. We have the Bush Royal Family, The Clinton Royal Family, The Kennedy's of course. All the money is staying at the top and we are all the peasants:biggrin:

I about half feel like we need to enact nepotisim laws for our elected officials at the State and Federal level.

SowthEfrikan
2007-03-15, 20:22
To this day I cannot understand why the US was the last nation to fight in the WW wars, long after we in the rest of the world were fighting with the plucky Brits.

GGS
2007-03-15, 22:35
To this day I cannot understand why the US was the last nation to fight in the WW wars, long after we in the rest of the world were fighting with the plucky Brits.

Isolationism. The feeling that problems abroad weren't our problem, that they didn't affect us. You fight your wars, it's not our business.

Sadly, both wars could have been stopped early on had we gotten involved. Instead a regional conflict became a world war. In the case of WWII we're lucky we got involved when we did. If Britan fell to the Nazis, if Hitler got the bomb first... At best the war would have dragged on much longer than it did. At worst our world would be very different today.



The lesson that we Americans have (somewhat) learned is conflicts abroad do affect us. It will involve us, sooner or later. So let's make it sooner.

The lesson we haven't learned is how to get involved for a moral principle that is for the greater good for all humanity, not just our own self interests.

For example... Iraq. Now I'm all about taking out petty dictators who stay in power through fear, torture, going against human rights standards such as was set by the Geneva Convention. But when our shores are threatened (9/11) what tactics do we resort to? Ooooh, suddenly the Geneva Convention doesn't apply, why that's just for COMBATANTS (insert bs explanation), it doesn't apply here. IMHO, the decisions of the Bush administration to keep captured Al Qaeda and others in secret prisons beyond the reach of the law is no different than the tactics of Saddam Hussein and other petty dictators.

That's one example. Another... Why did we mobilize the world to eject a petty ruler from an insignificant country while we looked away as millions were being massacred in Somalia and Yugoslavia? Were we protecting innocent humans from the atrocities of petty dictators or were we worried about the prices at the gas pumps?

We need to be about principle. If the principles of globally accepted rules like the Geneva Convention, human rights, right to a fair trial, etc. are important to us, then we need to apply them everwhere, all the time, not just when it is convenient for us. The reason Al-Qaeda exists, the reason we can't solve the problem in Iraq, the reason so much of the world hates us, is because we act for our own selfish interests. And until we clean up our act and work better towards the interests of all people and all nations how can we expect them to treat us any differently?

Don't get me wrong. I love the USA. I wouldn't live anywhere else. I support our troops abroad. But I am ashamed at some of the decisions and actions our country has made. Unlike our textbooks taught us, we did not emerge as the righteous "world police force". There are times where I think we could best be described as a World Bully. I think our foreign policy needs to change and in a big way, and it won't until WE the PEOPLE choose to elect government officials who place principles first, interests second. And if we fail to do that we're looking at more threats like 9/11, and losing more of our liberties to our government in a desperate attempt to protect from attacks like 9/11.



Whew.

Take-a-knee
2007-03-16, 01:13
GCS, some liberal professors have taught you all the talking points.

1) The Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists (partisans, if you want to use the old euphemism in use at the time it was ratified). It only applies to uniformed soldiers serving under the flag of a nation. I'm retired SF, I've had one or two classes on this.

2) Bush is no different than Saddam, this is so freakin' stupid it doesn't deserve an answer but you'll get one anyway. What was done to suspected jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan was little different than what was done to people from my unit in SERE school, that's all I can say on the matter so I guess you'll have to trust me. If it was good enough for me Dude, it is sure as hell good enough for them.

3) Okay, the Hutus and the Tutsis, I guess we should have gone in there and and introduced them to "democracy". You want to know how to stop it, you pick a side, then you don't let up until every swinging richard on the other side is DEAD! You wanna pull the trigger man? Are you god?

4) I'll give you Somalia, we should have SF camps in Kenya training the Christian/animist southerners how to effectively send muslims to their holy whorehouse. The army is running a little short of men like myself currently, not enough of us to go around.

I'll bet a box of Federal 308 Match you've voted democrat in every presidential election you were eligible.

GGS
2007-03-16, 02:22
GCS, some liberal professors have taught you all the talking points.

Nay, say I. Just a sobering reflection on recent history.


1) The Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists (partisans, if you want to use the old euphemism in use at the time it was ratified). It only applies to uniformed soldiers serving under the flag of a nation. I'm retired SF, I've had one or two classes on this.

Ok, so you'd be the guy to ask. If terrorists don't fall under US laws (charge/trial/conviction) and they don't fall under the Geneva Convention, then what do they fall under? Does this "gray area" have clearly defined rules for humane treatment and a fair trial for their actions? Has this "gray area" always existed or was it created by the Bush administration to duck the principles of the convention?


2) Bush is no different than Saddam, this is so freakin' stupid it doesn't deserve an answer but you'll get one anyway. What was done to suspected jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan was little different than what was done to people from my unit in SERE school, that's all I can say on the matter so I guess you'll have to trust me. If it was good enough for me Dude, it is sure as hell good enough for them.

1) Please reread my post. I am comparing specific decisions, not Saddam to Bush. 2) I trust YOU and believe that YOU at least followed some guidelines and common sense. Sadly other cases have been brought to light where such guidelines, if any exist (See my question to #1 above), have not been followed. Based on the news and flak from the international community I have a tough time believing some serious abuse isn't happening somewhere. I have a bad feeling that 10 years from now we'll finally know how bad it really was. And what then do we tell all those countries that we claim violate those same human rights? 3) Curious... Does SERE school train you for capture by forces that follow the Geneva principles or for capture by forces that don't? Just a thought...


3) Okay, the Hutus and the Tutsis, I guess we should have gone in there and and introduced them to "democracy". You want to know how to stop it, you pick a side, then you don't let up until every swinging richard on the other side is DEAD! You wanna pull the trigger man? Are you god?

Not sure what your point is or which of my points you are addressing here. Introduce democracy to who? Pick what side?


4) I'll give you Somalia, we should have SF camps in Kenya training the Christian/animist southerners how to effectively send muslims to their holy whorehouse. The army is running a little short of men like myself currently, not enough of us to go around.

My point was we only get involved militarily when it has economic impact for the US - only for selfish reasons. If we are going to be true leaders in the world we need a higher principle to fight for than gas pump prices.


I'll bet a box of Federal 308 Match you've voted democrat in every presidential election you were eligible.

Make that a case of Diet Coke and you're on... And you lost! I usually vote Republican, especially at the presidental level. Rest assured though I will be doing my homework more thoroughly on the next election's candidates.

SowthEfrikan
2007-03-17, 15:06
(Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park)

Terrorists fall under nothing. They operate outside of society. In my humble opinion people who want to give humane treatment to terrorists should be the ones who die by the hand of terrorism. If terrorists get humane treatment it is pure courtesy and common decency, not a right nor a law, and more than terrorists give those they slaughter.

About millions of dead in Yugoslavia - was that a joke? It was more like tens of thousands, but of course the victims were white so I suppose it seemed like millions to people here. There is, however, a case for Somalia but then, we in Africa have murdering each other down to a fine art.

As for being selfish Americans, which nation in the world does not act in their own selfish interests? Just for fun, I’d love to know who these selfless people are. What kind of a dumb nation would not act in its own selfish interests?

I would agree, however, that Americans are isolationist. For a nation that seems to fall apart when the going gets tough, Americans manage to produce among them people capable of great heroism and service to others at great personal cost, people who willingly serve(d) in places like Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. Contrast this to the Americans who pout in their homes about the wars not going fast or smoothly enough, or whatever it is those without backbone expect and demand.

Americans are not hated for being bullies, they are hated for being successful - have you looked at the people who hate Americans? Do you really want to be liked by huge majority of those people in the first place? I firmly prefer to be on their hate list and I’m not even American.

We in the rest of the world squandered so many of our opportunities. America did not, which is largely why it holds the position it does today. The success was earned – if not by you, by your forefathers. They were once as poor as any of us.

By all means apply principles to people who are unprincipled - it's a Darwin award in the making.

I don't love America, but have no patience with those who whine about it being a bully, a police state, or other self-indulgent nonsense. Warts and all, Americans tend to get it right more often than most others - probably because the spineless are balanced out by those with spines.

Iceman
2007-03-18, 11:52
SouthEfrikan, it is nice to read this viewpoint. Thanks.