Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Our political leaders fail to connect foreign policy decisions with domestic policy decisions. Ron Paul is the only one running for President, perhaps besides Dennis Kucinich, who connects the two. When people in the media ask him about domestic policies that he would like to make as President, he typically starts with foreign policy. It is very clear from the statistics in this article that this foreign policy is unsustainable for our domestic policy desires. Republicans cannot responsibly cut taxes without cutting money from our foreign policy spending. Democrats cannot fund the massive welfare programs that they want until our foreign policy spending is cut.

Ron Paul is also the only candidate who actually asks what the federal government's role in the country and the world should be. Perhaps this does not catch on, as our society has seemingly left a world of reason long ago for the current mess we live in. Then again, maybe these questions Ron Paul poses is exactly why he is such an exciting candidate to learn more about. The whole world should be cheering for Ron Paul, when we make comparisons to the candidates the mainstream media throws at us to vote for.

Clifton Bachmeier

Long Beach, CA

Nov 27 2007 - 7:48pm

Web Letter

Calling one of the longest running civilizations in modern history a "foreign rat hole" is one of the most ridiculous things The Nation has ever printed. Kudos to the letter-writer who notes what the money spent to occupy Iraq could have done for average Iraqis. If we truly invested in revitalizing Iraq and spent as much money rebuilding it as we did on destroying it, there would be a beacon on the hill in the Middle East in terms of social spending and infrastructure improvement.

Instead, they barely have access to clean drinking water in the cradle of civilization. A travesty.

A. Page

Washington, DC

Nov 24 2007 - 1:30pm

Web Letter

Liberals should take notice of some other interesting questions Ron Paul has been asking. Specifically about the Federal Reserve Bank. Few people are actually aware that the Fed is privately owned and operated, though it gets a Congressional nod on certain posts. Few people are aware that the Fed, through its charter, creates the fractional banking system enabling member banks to loan money ten times their reserves, which can only be called steep leveraging.

The Fed has been in business for over seventy years and botched the economy many times now. In 1919 and 1929 it caused severe problems by contracting the money supply. Of course 1929 was especially severe. Many people put the blame on trade restrictions, but that simply wasn't the cause, it was the Fed. After WWII there were several instances of the Fed blundering us into minor recessions. Then in the '70s the Fed, through a loose money policy, gave us a decade of run-away inflation.

Follow the Greenspan years. Bubble after bubble, scandal after scandal, crisis after crisis. Market Crash '87, S&L '88, Bond Bubble '91, LTCM '98, the Asian Meltdown 99, the Market Crash '01, and countless scandals. Now, the Sub-Prime Crisis that is spreading through both the financial and consumer sectors due to an irresponsible policy of cheap money from '03 to '07.

I don't advocate for Ron Paul's solution, but the privately owned, owners unknown, Federal Reserve Bank needs to be held to account. With seventy years of dubious achievement one must ask: Why can't we create a public institution to control our money supply? Why can't we print our own money? Can we do worse than this Greenspan cycle of crises?

Questions from a liberal.

Michael McKinlay

Hercules, CA

Nov 23 2007 - 2:54am

Web Letter

If the Republicans have become the big-spending party of centralized power, maybe the best Democratic strategy is to go for a smaller federal impact and do things thru the states more.

As to one point in the article: it is a couple decades too early to tell whether Iraq will become a democratic society or not. There is a good chance, though, that it will move along farther in that direction. Ask again along about 2040 or so.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Nov 22 2007 - 2:16am

Web Letter

A point that I never hear anyone make about the money being spent to turn Iraq into one of the largest human catastrophes of the last century: what could all that money have done for Iraqis? The costs cited by Rep. Paul, would have resulted in a check for $560,000 for every Iraqi family of four. Given Iraq's GDP, that is about forty years' income. Give or take a decade or two--it doesn't much matter whose figures you use--it's an inconceivable amount of money for the average Iraqi family! If that money had been used to employ Iraqis for productive ends, it could have produced miracles. Instead the money has been spent on Halliburton boondoggles, bombs and bullets, while Iraq has an unemployment rate of 70 percent.

Part of what is wrong with the United States is the kind of navel-gazing that Rep. Paul is encouraging, where we forget about the massive scope of destruction we have bought in Iraq and note only that "they aren't killing our men and women as fast as they were last month." Rep. Paul's version of truth is only half true, and it leaves out the most important half!

Myles Sussman

San Mateo, CA

Nov 21 2007 - 8:22pm

Web Letter

While I don't think we should get carried away by the idea of a Progressive/Libertarian alliance, there are areas of agreement between the two groups where we could work toward the same goals. I was astonished to find myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan on the Middle East, and Lou Dobbs on "Free Trade." I am also in general agreement with Paul on foreign policy. It doesn't mean I would vote for them, but there are conservatives that we can work with them on certain issues. Most Republicans and Democrats in Congress have sold their souls to the multinationals, but there are people in both parties who are patriotic Americans with whom we can work to turn this country around.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Nov 21 2007 - 6:46pm

Web Letter

I am not afraid to support whom I want as President, Barack Obama. In truth, we will never experience again the America ideal until we stop the strategic role-playing and support with all our might the candidate who inspires true optimism and the validation to be who we are, not what we are forced to be. The "truth will out," but only if we have the courage to tell it and keep telling it every day.

Martin Luther King was correct in his emphasis on caring for the "least among us." The Libertarian view falls short of the social contract needed to put us back in good health.

Nothing less than a new justice-based contract will save our country.

Richard Ray Harris

Desert Hot Springs, CA

Nov 21 2007 - 4:54pm

Web Letter

"How come that choice--war in Iraq or full medical coverage for all Americans--was never presented to the American people by the Democrats and Republicans who voted for this war and continue to finance it?? Good question (albeit poorly written). Let's take a guess at an answer!

Hmm, it seems to me that neocon operatives like the Kagans and Karl Rove saw the cash cow and decided to milk it, by herding a compliant evangelical voter base into line by running Bush, then guiding Bush into anointing himself a "war President." With predictions of dire threats all about us, the cost in dollars of a military ramp-up was not part of the equation.

In fairness, you could argue that really smart military expenditures might have paid a return on investment of lower energy costs via increased security. Such was not the case. Along with a preordained open hole to toss money into, we got a "tosser" with bad aim, G.W. Bush.

So what is it that neocons like the Kagans and fundamentalist evangelical voters have in common? Figure that out and you have your answer.

Chris Kent

Portsmouth, NH

Nov 21 2007 - 3:39pm

Web Letter

This goes to show that liberals and progressives should take libertarianism (and the Paul candidacy) more seriously than they do. I support Paul even though I disagree with some of his domestic positions (especially on civil rights) and don't like the right-wing nutcases his candidacy has attracted. Nonetheless he has put vital ideas into the mainstream such as anti-Imperialism, ending the war on drugs and preserving civil liberties far more effectively than liberal Democrats have. There could be an opening for a libertarian-progressive alliance that could bring more than the already converted leftist types into the progressive camp. I think it would be a mistake for progressives to leave libertarianism (which has a radical heritage) to the Paleo-Conservative crowd.

Daniel Aldridge

Huntersville, NC

Nov 21 2007 - 11:37am