Mike: Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline and say hello to dear old friend, mentor, and now private citizen, former congressman, Ron Paul. Congressman Paul -- I can’t call you Congressman anymore. Ron, how are you?
Ron Paul: That is it. It’s easy to remember.
Mike: What would you say or what do you say to people that are now rattling the sabers yet again: We gotta get back in there. We gotta re-stabilize Iraq.
Paul: I’ve made a statement: Don’t send one single thing or person or money or dollar into Iraq. Just come home. I said don’t go and after they went I said come home. We just marched in and we can march home. It’s none of our business. We make things worse. It looks like things are much worse. The irony of all this, it’s amazing people don’t wake up. We expended all those lives and money to take over Iraq and delivered it to the Iranians. It proves the case that it’s a close ally to Iran. They’re the ones who are coming in now to try to rescue the Shiite government. Who knows what that will lead to? We’re going along with this. One week we want to nuke Iran and then the next week we say: That sounds like a pretty good idea. Come in and help us. We’re not going to send any more troops in.
We’re going to do everything else to aggravate people. We’re still likely to drop bombs and we’re going to have our aircraft carriers out there. We’ll have our threat of drones and our special forces. We’ll send in a few Marines, which still aggravates the whole situation.
Everybody, even the most wild hawks, the neocons, always start their statement by saying: Well, we’re not gonna put troops on the ground, no boots on the ground. I think we’re making slight progress, but we need a clean break. We need to just get out of there and let them fight it out. It makes no sense for our national security whatsoever. Our policies ever since 9/11 have literally destroyed Iraq. That country is in so much chaos. Yes, it would be far from perfect had we not gone in, but I don’t think it would be anything like what we’ve created over there in these last ten years.
Mike: It almost seems as though, with all the ire that we directed at Saddam Hussein, of all the horrific things he was doing or had done or was about to do, one thing that Saddam did do and would have done and would be doing today, I suspect, is he would not allow the invasion of Iraq by a group by ISIS, would he?
Paul: No, he was holding the Iranians off. He was not their ally. He did not like Al-Qaeda. He liked order. He was a thug in many ways. But compared to what they have now, they were all much better off. It’s true, he would not have permitted this to happen.
Mike: Your old friend former ambassador John Bolton -- I say that in jest -- was on with Kennedy a night or two ago and they were talking about this. She asked a pretty good question about Iran. I’ll just paraphrase it. The Iranians are basically what is left of the Persian Empire. They’ve been around for a couple thousand years. Doesn’t it seem like since about 2000 or so, before even 9/11, we were being told that the Iranians were going to do this and that, annihilate Israel and so on? They haven’t done any of these things. Now, I don’t want to come off as an apologist for the Iranians, but it seems to me, as with Iran retaining its sovereignty and, as you said, being willing to assist the Iraqis in what’s going on, that it would be an imprudent move to take Bolton’s invective and go in and destabilize or do something to the Iranians. What do you think?
Paul: He’s totally out of it. He is the most obsessed neoconservative around. He gets way too much credibility to even be put on a show and think he has a credible answer. He and his allies, the neoconservatives, created this. The real tragedy is it’s so often based on lies, whether it’s lies about the Iranians -- like you said, he was warning all these things and they haven’t done anything. Matter of fact, I don’t think they’ve invaded a neighbor in hundreds of years. They’re surrounded by us and others with nuclear weapons. We just don’t get accurate information. But what about the whole thing of going into Iraq? Everything was based on lies. It wasn’t just mistakes and misinformation. They actually believed that all we have to do is propagandize and go in there. I think they deceived themselves that this will be like Grenada, walk in, two days and it’ll be over. Then we’ll steal their oil and it’ll pay for all the bills.
They have no concept of what goes on in the Middle East. They don’t understand blowback. They don’t understand unintended consequences. They don’t even understand the conservatives who pushed us into that have no better understanding of economics than the liberals. As long as you spend the money on the military-industrial complex and take care of their buddies in that area, that spending is okay and you can justify the deficits. We can lay the blame, for the real big mess here in this country, the spending and all, on just two groups, the Republicans and Democrats. They both endorse big spending and big wars, the IRS, the FBI, the CIA, the Federal Reserve. I’m sick and tired of all this compromise between the two parties. It’s about time we had some philosophic differences.
Mike: Imagine if you will for just a moment that you had actually won the Republican nomination in 2012 and you had bested and beaten Barack Obama, and then you had become the President of the United States. What do you think we would be doing differently? The gentleman just called me and wanted to know, you may have heard my answer, about having troops stationed around the planet and that this leads to peace and harmony amongst all our allies and what have you. What kind of a foreign policy would we be looking at had you been president?
Paul: The first thing is, there’s one area that the president does have authority over, and that is he’s the commander in chief of the military. He can move the troops around and does not have to get permission. I’d start immediately bringing the troops home. The troops would have been out of there within a reasonable amount of time, whether it takes three or six months or so, to come home. People would start rearranging themselves and decide who’s going to line up with whom, but it would have to be local. The troops would be out of there. There wouldn’t have been any more deaths, any more military deaths.
The whole idea to establish a policy of not policing the world would all of a sudden take away the incentive to recruit Al-Qaeda. Islamism has been around for a long, long time. It comes and goes, depends on motivation. We’ve given it the motivation. Bin Laden explained it very, very clearly. We need you to come over here and get bogged down in a war. It’ll be a tremendous effort for us to build. That’s exactly what they want. They want us over there. They can kill us easier. It’s an incentive for them to militarize. I think that would be removed with a different foreign policy. Just say we’re leaving. There would be a lot less determination to kill Americans.
It would be entirely different. A lot of money would be saved. I think we would have a lot more jobs. If you threw in a changed tax code and a few things to help the economy, this country would be so much wealthier. There would be a lot more peace. We wouldn’t be bringing home tens of thousands of tragically injured veterans who don’t get medical care. That would have stopped. We would have created no more military deaths or injuries or posttraumatic stress disorders.
Mike: Former congressman Ron Paul, now the president of the Ron Paul Institute and host of Ron Paul TV is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. Let’s jump to another subject here, one of your other favorite ones that would come up during the debates in 2008 and 2012. The American public is now apprised of the fact that countries to the south of us, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and another half-dozen or so, have found that they can get their children across the Southern border and use them as anchors to move the rest of the family into the U.S. We now have a huge problem. My question is two parts for you. Number one, what do we do about the ones who have already made their way in? What is it about U.S. policy that exacerbates the horrific situations, the economic conditions that we hear about in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and those other places?
Paul: I think the mess we have on the border is a consequence of bad legislation and a misunderstanding about immigrants. The two questions, of course: What do we do with what’s happening? That’s more difficult. The other one is: What would have prevented it? I think much more willingness to accept workers into the country and a free market where labor is always in a demand, and get rid of the welfare state so that we don’t encourage our people not to work. That’s a big problem. Also, the welfare state encourages people to come in and be taken care of automatically by other taxpayers. Also, the law that says if you’re an unaccompanied child you get to stay and there’s an automatic special privilege. All those things helped create this.
I wrote a chapter in Liberty Defined on this. It’s probably a more difficult thing to write on than anything else. It’s easier to write about getting rid of the Fed or auditing the Fed than to deal with a major problem like this. I think we have to admit that if there are 12 or 15 million illegals in this country, how many soldiers would you need to round these people up and herd them back into their countries? I just think it’s not going to happen. I would encourage people who came in illegally to get a work permit and sign up. Be a legal immigrant to come and work. But not to say there are 12 million people and tomorrow you can all vote, not with the welfare state the way it is. I think allowing them to work and getting rid of the welfare and having a free market, I don’t think the immigration is going to be anything the kind of problem we have now. I said in the debates when this came up, because we’re not looking at the real basic cause of all this, it’s real easy to energize people into saying all our problems come from illegal immigrants. They become the scapegoat.
Quite frankly, there are a lot of immigrants, in spite of the laws that handicap them, they come in and if they’re legal even, they work hard and start businesses. They’re more productive than some of our citizens who have lived in this country and are on their third generation of welfare. That, to me, is where the real problem is. It’s not easy to say we have one law or one military operation and we’re going to run everybody out, we’re going to build big fences and have barbed wire and guns on the border and prevent that. That’s failing to look at the conditions that actually created the problems we have.
Mike: One of those conditions and some of the things you’re talking about -- first of all, the devaluing and inflation of the currency, that doesn’t help. Second of all, these imbecilic Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage laws where if you’re going to build an interstate or anything that has anything to do with the federal government, that it has to go to some crooked crony union shop and they have to build it. Third, we have this ridiculous obsession now that we’re going to equalize all of humanity by instituting continent-wide minimum wages. We’re just going to set the minimum wage at an arbitrary number because somebody thinks that sounds good in Oregon. It may not sound good in New Hampshire. What about those?
Paul: I think they’re all very important points. I think you could add on excessive unable-to-understand regulations and a tax code which punishes our people. Businesses tend to like to leave this country. You have the pressure on the wages. The problems we have, which has also led to the greater distortion of the distribution of wealth and the middle class shrinks due to the monetary system and these regulations and Wall Street grows. This gives fodder to the liberals who say: See, capitalism fails. It makes the rich take over.
They will call this capitalism, the free markets that we defend, and blame it on that. There’s a big difference between the super-wealthy who are in the military-industrial or financial industry that are making these billions and billions of dollars as the jobs leave and the middle class shrinks, compared to people who would be wealthy because they produced good products.
All those things that you mentioned that we’re talking about contribute to it. It also really feeds into this class warfare, which is going to get much, much worse because the country is going to get poorer and poorer. Then we’ll have a currency crisis and we’ll have the violence in the street. What really concerns me is the accumulation of weapons and ammunition by our government. What in thunder do they need all these weapons for unless they think they’re going to have to fight the American people?
Interview transcript from the Mike Church Show.