The following questions were asked during a speech before the US House of Representatives by Republican Congressman Ron Paul. I am especially concerned about number 17 and number 22.
If we’re willing to consider a different foreign policy, we should ask ourselves a few questions:
1. What if the policies of foreign intervention, entangling alliances, policing the world, nation building, and spreading our values through force are deeply flawed?
2. What if it is true that Saddam Hussein never had weapons of mass destruction?
3. What if it is true that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were never allies?
4. What if it is true that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein did nothing to enhance our national security?
5. What if our current policy in the Middle East leads to the overthrow of our client oil states in the region?
6. What if the American people really knew that more than 20,000 American troops have suffered serious casualties or died in the Iraq war, and 9% of our forces already have been made incapable of returning to battle?
7. What if it turns out there are many more guerrilla fighters in Iraq than our government admits?
8. What if there really have been 100,000 civilian Iraqi casualties, as some claim, and what is an acceptable price for “doing good?”
9. What if Rumsfeld is replaced for the wrong reasons, and things become worse under a Defense Secretary who demands more troops and an expansion of the war?
10. What if we discover that, when they do vote, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis support Islamic (Sharia) law over western secular law, and want our troops removed?
11. What if those who correctly warned of the disaster awaiting us in Iraq are never asked for their opinion of what should be done now?
12. What if the only solution for Iraq is to divide the country into three separate regions, recognizing the principle of self-determination while rejecting the artificial boundaries created in 1918 by non-Iraqis?
13. What if it turns out radical Muslims don’t hate us for our freedoms, but rather for our policies in the Middle East that directly affected Arabs and Muslims?
14. What if the invasion and occupation of Iraq actually distracted from pursuing and capturing Osama bin Laden?
15. What if we discover that democracy can’t be spread with force of arms?
16. What if democracy is deeply flawed, and instead we should be talking about liberty, property rights, free markets, the rule of law, localized government, weak centralized government, and self-determination promoted through persuasion, not force?
17. What if Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda actually welcomed our invasion and occupation of Arab/Muslim Iraq as proof of their accusations against us, and it served as a magnificent recruiting tool for them?
18. What if our policy greatly increased and prolonged our vulnerability to terrorists and guerilla attacks both at home and abroad?
19. What if the Pentagon, as reported by its Defense Science Board, actually recognized the dangers of our policy before the invasion, and their warnings were ignored or denied?
20. What if the argument that by fighting over there, we won’t have to fight here, is wrong, and the opposite is true?
21. What if we can never be safer by giving up some of our freedoms?
22. What if the principle of pre-emptive war is adopted by Russia, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and others, “justified” by current U.S. policy?
23. What if pre-emptive war and pre-emptive guilt stem from the same flawed policy of authoritarianism, though we fail to recognize it?
24. What if Pakistan is not a trustworthy ally, and turns on us when conditions deteriorate?
25. What if plans are being laid to provoke Syria and/or Iran into actions that would be used to justify a military response and pre-emptive war against them?
26. What if our policy of democratization of the Middle East fails, and ends up fueling a Russian-Chinese alliance that we regret-- an alliance not achieved even at the height of the Cold War?
27. What if the policy forbidding profiling at our borders and airports is deeply flawed?
28. What if presuming the guilt of a suspected terrorist without a trial leads to the total undermining of constitutional protections for American citizens when arrested?
29. What if we discover the army is too small to continue policies of pre-emption and nation-building? What if a military draft is the only way to mobilize enough troops?
30. What if the “stop-loss” program is actually an egregious violation of trust and a breach of contract between the government and soldiers? What if it actually is a backdoor draft, leading to unbridled cynicism and rebellion against a voluntary army and generating support for a draft of both men and women? Will lying to troops lead to rebellion and anger toward the political leadership running the war?
31. What if the Pentagon’s legal task-force opinion that the President is not bound by international or federal law regarding torture stands unchallenged, and sets a precedent which ultimately harms Americans, while totally disregarding the moral, practical, and legal arguments against such a policy?
32. What if the intelligence reform legislation-- which gives us bigger, more expensive bureaucracy-- doesn’t bolster our security, and distracts us from the real problem of revamping our interventionist foreign policy?
33. What if we suddenly discover we are the aggressors, and we are losing an unwinnable guerrilla war?
34. What if we discover, too late, that we can’t afford this war-- and that our policies have led to a dollar collapse, rampant inflation, high interest rates, and a severe economic downturn?