Imagine (Armed Chinese Troops in Texas!)

This speech is called “Imagine” and it was given by Ron Paul on March 11, 2009. The original text of the talk is below:

Imagine for a moment that somewhere in the middle of Texas there was a large foreign military base, say Chinese or Russian. Imagine that thousands of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices of “keeping us safe” or “promoting democracy” or “protecting their strategic interests.”

Imagine that they operated outside of US law, and that the Constitution did not apply to them. Imagine that every now and then they made mistakes or acted on bad information and accidentally killed or terrorized innocent Americans, including women and children, most of the time with little to no repercussions or consequences. Imagine that they set up checkpoints on our soil and routinely searched and ransacked entire neighborhoods of homes. Imagine if Americans were fearful of these foreign troops, and overwhelmingly thought America would be better off without their presence.

Imagine if some Americans were so angry about them being in Texas that they actually joined together to fight them off, in defense of our soil and sovereignty, because leadership in government refused or were unable to do so. Imagine that those Americans were labeled terrorists or insurgents for their defensive actions, and routinely killed, or captured and tortured by the foreign troops on our land. Imagine that the occupiers’ attitude was that if they just killed enough Americans, the resistance would stop, but instead, for every American killed, ten more would take up arms against them, resulting in perpetual bloodshed. Imagine if most of the citizens of the foreign land also wanted these troops to return home. Imagine if they elected a leader who promised to bring them home and put an end to this horror.

Imagine if that leader changed his mind once he took office.

The reality is that our military presence on foreign soil is as offensive to the people that live there as armed Chinese troops would be if they were stationed in Texas. We would not stand for it here, but we have had a globe-straddling empire and a very intrusive foreign policy for decades that incites a lot of hatred and resentment towards us.

According to our own CIA, our meddling in the Middle East was the prime motivation for the horrific attacks on 9/11. But instead of re-evaluating our foreign policy, we have simply escalated it. We had a right to go after those responsible for 9/11, to be sure, but why do so many Americans feel as if we have a right to a military presence in some 160 countries when we wouldn’t stand for even one foreign base on our soil, for any reason? These are not embassies, mind you, these are military installations. The new administration is not materially changing anything about this. Shuffling troops around and playing with semantics does not accomplish the goals of the American people, who simply want our men and women to come home. 50,000 troops left behind in Iraq is not conducive to peace any more than 50,000 Russian soldiers would be in the United States.

Shutting down military bases and ceasing to deal with other nations with threats and violence is not isolationism. It is the opposite. Opening ourselves up to friendship, honest trade and diplomacy is the foreign policy of peace and prosperity. It is the only foreign policy that will not bankrupt us in short order, as our current actions most definitely will. I share the disappointment of the American people in the foreign policy rhetoric coming from the administration. The sad thing is, our foreign policy WILL change eventually, as Rome’s did, when all budgetary and monetary tricks to fund it are exhausted.

Ron Paul defends Wikileaks on House Floor | Fromtheold

Ron Paul defends Wikileaks on House Floor | Fromtheold

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Stop the TSA from Violating our Fourth Amendment

Transcript:

Mr. PAUL: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise this evening to announce that I introduced some legislation today dealing with the calamity that we have found at our airports with TSA. Something has to be done. Everybody is fed up. The people are fed up, the pilots are fed up, I am fed up.
I have come to this floor many times over the past many years and complained about the terrible foreign policy we have had, the terrible monetary policy we have had, the excessive spending and the debt, and also the tax policy. But what we are doing and what we are accepting and putting up with at the airports is so symbolic of us just not standing up and saying enough is enough.
I know the American people are starting to wake up, but our government, those in charge, Congress, as well as the executive branch, are doing nothing. Yes, they are talking about maybe backing off and allowing the pilots to go through. But can you think how silly the whole thing is? The pilot has a gun in the cockpit and he is managing this aircraft, which is a missile, and we make him go through this groping X-ray exercise, having people feeling their underwear. It is absurd, and it is time we wake up.
The bill I have introduced will take care of this. But we have to realize that the real problem is that the American people have been too submissive. We have been too submissive. It has been going on for a long time. This was to be expected even from the beginning of the TSA. And it is deeply flawed. Private property should be protected by private individuals, not bureaucrats.
But the bill that I have introduced will take care of it. It is very simple. It is one paragraph long. It removes the immunity from anybody in the Federal government that does anything that you or I can’t do.
If you can’t grope another person and if you can’t X-ray people and endanger them with possible X-rays, you can’t take nude photographs of individuals, why do we allow the government to do it? We would go to jail. He would be immediately arrested, if an individual citizen went up and did these things, and yet we just sit there and calmly say, oh, they are making us safe. And besides, the argument from the executive branch is that when you buy a ticket, you have sacrificed your rights and it is the duty of the government to make us safe.
That isn’t the case. You never have to sacrifice your rights. The duty of the government is to protect our rights, not to use them and do what they have been doing to us.
The pilots, hopefully, will be exempted from this.
Another suggestion I have that might help us: let’s make sure that every Member of Congress goes through this. Get the x-ray and make them look at the pictures and then go through one of those groping pat-downs, and then I think there would be a difference. Have everybody in the executive branch, anybody–a Cabinet member–make them go through it and look at it. Maybe they would pay more attention. But this doesn’t work. This is not what makes us safer. This is preposterous to think that the TSA has made us safer.
When you think about it, if you look at what’s happened over the past 10 years, during this last decade, we lost 3,000 on a terrible, terrible day for America. But since that time in this last decade we have also lost 6,000 of our military personnel going over there and trying to rectify this problem. We have lost 400,000 people on our government-run highways. We have lost 150,000 individuals from homicides.
So I think there’s reason to be concerned, reason to deal with this problem. We’re not dealing with it the right way. We’re doing the wrong thing. And groping people at the airport doesn’t solve our problems. What has solved our problems, basically, has been that they put a good lock on the door, and they put a gun inside the cockpit. That’s been the greatest boon to our safety.
Safety should be the responsibility of the individual and the private property owner. But right now we assume the government’s always going to take care of us, and we are supposed to sacrifice our liberties. I say that is wrong. We are not safer. And we also know there are individuals who are making money off this. Michael Chertoff, here’s a guy that was the head of the TSA, selling the equipment. And the equipment is questionable. We don’t even know if it works, and it may well be dangerous to our health.
The way I see this, if this doesn’t change, I see what has happened to the American people is we have accepted the notion that we should be treated like cattle. Make us safe, make us secure, put us in barbed wire, feed us, fatten us up, and then they’ll eat us. And we’re a bunch of cattle, and we have to wake up and say, We’ve had it.
I think this whole idea of an opt-out day is just great. We ought to opt out and make the point. Get somebody to watch. And take a camera. It’s time for the American people to stand up and shrug off the shackles of our government at TSA at the airports.
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