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Bailouts and Occupations

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blotzby Jacob G. Hornberger

I’m having trouble deciding which topic to address today: the Pentagon’s announcement that it intends to be occupying Afghanistan into 2014 and beyond or the bailout of the Irish government. I’ll do both.

When is enough enough? How long are the American people going to keep putting up with the occupation of Afghanistan? Back in 2001, wouldn’t most people have naturally assumed that the United States was going to get in and get out?

After all, wasn’t the original purpose of the invasion to capture or kill Osama bin Laden? News flash: bin Laden wasn’t caught or killed.

At some point, the whole mission morphed into a regime-change operation. The Taliban refused to comply with President Bush’s unconditional extradition demand, instead asking for evidence of bin Laden’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks and also suggesting that the Taliban would be willing to send bin Laden to a neutral forum for trial. Bush responded with a war against the Taliban.

So, the American people end up with a 9-year-occupation of the country, whose mission became twofold: to prevent the Taliban from regaining power and, second, to kill the people who were resisting the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan.

In the process, the U.S. government committed itself to maintaining its puppet regime in power, which is there by virtue of election fraud (e.g., stuffing fake ballots into the ballot boxes). It is also a regime that is well-known for stuffing money into the pockets of its officials, from both the U.S. government and the Iranian government.

Meanwhile, after nine years of occupation, most everyone has forgotten the original purpose of the invasion: to capture or kill bin Laden, who no doubt is long gone.

As I have written previously, the occupation of Afghanistan (and Iraq) has become the greatest terrorist-producing machine in history. The more Afghans they kill, the more anger and rage develops. The more anger and rage, the greater the chance of retaliation.

The constant threat of retaliation, of course, brings ever-bigger government here at home, infringing on civil liberties and privacy, which is what the TSA body groping and porn scanning are all about.

And now Obama and the Pentagon are telling us that it’s all going to be continuing long past the next presidential election, and indefinitely into the future. Let’s just hope that there are presidential candidates in 2012 who are calling for end to this destructive nonsense.

Meanwhile, with federal expenses exceeding tax collections by the tune of $1.3 trillion dollars, and ever-growing federal debt, the prospect of federal bankruptcy looms on the horizon.

Which brings us to the Ireland situation. Like Greece, which has gone bankrupt and had to be bailed out, Ireland has been spending much more money than it has been collecting, amassing an enormous debt. The day of reckoning has now arrived. Faced with bankruptcy, including default on governmental debt, the Irish government has just agreed to an emergency bailout.

Ireland has gone bankrupt with just a welfare state. The United States has both a welfare state and a warfare state.

For 21 years, we here at The Future of Freedom Foundation have been saying: We’ve got to get off this road — the road to socialism, interventionism, and empire.

The statists have said, “Don’t listen to the libertarians. Everything is a-okay. We have a free-enterprise system here in the United States.”

Well, reality is now mugging the statists in the face. Federal spending is uncontrolled, primarily because those who advocate the dole and the empire won’t let them go. That’s what Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies, welfare, bailouts, foreign aid, the overseas military bases, the military industrial complex, and the continued occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are all about — out of control federal spending, soaring debt, and now massive inflation and monetary debasement by the Federal Reserve.

It’s time for the Empire to get its troops out of Afghanistan. And Iraq. And Europe. And Asia. And Latin America. And Africa. And everywhere else. Enough is enough.

It’s also time to dismantle, not reform, all the welfare-state programs (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) and all the interventionist programs (e.g., the drug war). It’s time to dismantle the warfare empire, close the bases, and bring the troops home and discharge them.

It’s time to restore the principles of individual liberty, free markets, sound money, voluntary charity, and limited government that the Framers bequeathed to us. It’s the only way toward peace, prosperity, and harmony.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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