Imagine for a moment that China blockaded the United States because they didn’t like our leaders. Imagine they did this for twelve years and it lead to the deaths of an estimated two million Americans. Imagine that the Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations flippantly dismissed international criticism with the comment that the deaths of 500,000 children was worth it.

Imagine that all over America were large Chinese military bases. Imagine that thousands of heavily armed Chinese 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 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 troops, and overwhelmingly thought America would be better off without their presence.

Imagine that China had been meddling in our affairs, overthrowing several iterations of our government, funding our enemies, and occupying our lands for many decades.

How would you react?

Congratulations. You now understand the concept the CIA calls “blowback” and have taken the first step towards understanding why the Middle East and many other countries around the world have come to despise the United States. It isn’t because we’re free, our choice of religions, or because we allow women to vote. We’re certainly less free and less religious than we were in the first half of the 20th Century when the United States was popular and respected throughout the Middle East.

The United States, despite being in the middle of a depression, will spend $700 billion in 2011 to operate 900 military bases in 130 different countries. The United States spends 46.5% of the world’s total military budget and effectively subsidizes defense spending of many countries that compete with us economically. You pay for this through both taxation and inflation. Money that would otherwise be funneled into the private sector for goods and services that would create jobs is instead sent overseas to spend on military incursions or, at worst, spent in foreign countries instead of the United States.

Most Americans were rightfully incensed at the 9/11 attacks and wanted payback. We now know that the five countries we’ve attacked since had no connection to 9/11. Many Americans are still blinded by a misguided sense of patriotism and are paralyzed by the resulting cognitive dissonance – it’s not easy admitting to being duped. It’s time for those Americans to join the 70% that now oppose American imperialism. You’re far from alone.

It’s time to look after ourselves instead of continued misguided attempts to police the world. Ending the wars and bringing our military personnel home to spend their money here is a giant leap towards fiscal solvency in the United States.

What can you do?

President Obama misled the American people into believing he was anti-war. Instead, he’s aggressively escalated the existing wars and started bombing new countries. As the old saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

There are only two candidates for President that solidly support ending the wars: Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. Ron Paul in particular has a long and absolutely consistent public record opposing military intervention in The Congress.

There are other candidates who, although much less committed, have at least mentioned the idea that we should consider drawing down the wars: Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Tim Pawlenty. Unfortunately, most of the candidates have also rattled their sabers at Iran, Syria, North Korea, and even China.

For Republican registered voters, the choice is obvious: support the candidate that will end the wars and bring the troops home – Ron Paul.

For Democrats, Libertarians, and independent voters, some action is required. You need to switch your party affiliation to Republican before your State’s deadline so that you can vote in the Republican primary.

In our society where people have dogmatic political party devotion, this may be a repugnant option to many. However, you give up nothing by changing your affiliation as there will be no Democratic primary for the Presidency. Even if you choose to support Obama again rather than staying with the convictions that caused you to vote for him the first time, you can still vote for him in the actual election after having helped ensure the Republican nominee is anti-war.

Please share this with other Americans that would be willing to help stop sacrificing American lives and wealth in a fruitless endeavor to “secure” foreign countries while our own country suffers.

The opening paragraphs are adapted from a speech by Ron Paul on March 9, 2009.

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Perpetual War and American Exceptionalism

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