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The ignominious war in Iraq is now five years old. Much was proferred by the proponents of war in the buildup to this crusade. We were warned that we needed to take immediate action to rid the planet of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. We were told that the “liberation” of Iraq’s long oppressed masses was at hand. We were reminded incessantly about the grave threat the entire planet faced from this latest “Hitler.” Alas, none of their statements were true.

And here we are in 2008. We’re five years into an undeclared war that is illegal according to the United States Constitution. We’re reminded daily by the neoconservative satraps of the Bush administration that the U.S. must continue this war in Iraq until victory is achieved. But what constitutes victory? Since this war is reputed to be part of the larger War on Terror, is the U.S. going to stay until every last suspected terrorist in the world has been killed, or at least waterboarded into admitting he is a terrorist? Or will victory come when Iraq has a stable and suitably pro-American government in place? Which begs this question. If establishing freedom for Iraqis was really the goal, then why didn’t the U.S. simply leave the country immediately after Saddam Hussein was captured? Could it be that there are actually different types of “freedom?” On the one hand there could be the generic and quite possibly dangerous to American interests brand of “freedom.” While on the other hand there could be the “correct, American government approved freedom.” I wonder…

Anyway, I just thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight some of the key U.S. government “accomplishments” during the past five years of “Iraqi liberation.” But first I’d like to draw your attention to the number 935. For that is the number of lies told by members of the Bush Administration in their effort to sell this war.

And speaking of the Decider, there is the number 3,857. That would be the number of American deaths in Iraq since he declared “mission accomplished” on May 1, 2003.

Of course, other numbers are quite significant as well. Take for instance the number 1,191,216. This is the estimated total of Iraqi deaths that have resulted from the U.S. led invasion of their country.

And how about this statistic? Since 2003, as a result of the violence in their nation, nearly 5,000,000 Iraqis have become refugees. I suppose they are just thrilled that the American occupiers have brought them “freedom” from their homes.

But that’s not all. Thanks to the abysmal security situation in their country, many Iraqis now have “freedom” from the fetters of employment, as well. There are nearly 200 major factories in Iraq that used to employ over 300,000 people. Most of those plants are now closed.

Ah, but I can hear it already! I hear those shrieks of “Hey, Ed, its the terrorists in Iraq that are creating the security problem, NOT the United States government!”

Well, the thing is, those terrorists wouldn’t be in Iraq right now if the U.S. hadn’t invaded in 2003.

But now I hear the shrieks again. “But, Ed, are you saying that you liked Hussein? Don’t you remember how he tortured people? Don’t you remember how evil he was?!”

Believe me, as a libertarian I harbored no affection for Hussein. He embodied everything that libertarians abhor in government and human beings in general. But, and here is the crux of the issue. Hussein was no threat to the national security of the United States. The internal problems of Iraq should be solved by the people of Iraq, not by the United States military.

The Soviet Union once posed a much greater threat to its own people and to the United States than Hussein ever could have. And what happened there? The United States was not required to liberate the Russians from the yoke of Communism. Against a truly menacing State the people simply stopped obeying the orders of their leaders. Soviet Communism crumbled from within.

Within the Iraq War we see things crumbling as well. But, in this case, it’s nothing to celebrate. Just take a look at this gut wrenching story from the USA Today concerning the effects of the war on Iraqi children. Imagine dealing with this situation when you were a kid:

“Many Iraqi children have to pass dead bodies on the street as they walk to school in the morning, according to a separate report last week by the International Red Cross. Others have seen relatives killed or have been injured in mortar or bomb attacks.

‘Some of these children are suffering one trauma after another, and it’s severely damaging their development,’ said Said Al-Hashimi, a psychiatrist who teaches at Mustansiriya Medical School and runs a private clinic in west Baghdad. ‘We’re not certain what will become of the next generation, even if there is peace one day,’ Al-Hashimi said.”

How many of these children will look back fondly on the time when the Americans came to “liberate” them?

Finally, as if the Constitutional and humanitarian cases against this war aren’t enough to elicit widespread condemnation from Americans, there is the financial cost of fighting this war. How about the nice round figure of 3 trillion dollars? Just read what Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes have to say about it. Boy, this empire expansion thing sure is an expensive business!

And just think. Five years of the Iraq War is really no time at all. If John McCain wins in November, we can look forward to another 95! What joy!


Recently, a few unwritten rules of politics have been brought to my attention. They go something like this: (Of course I guess this now transforms them into written rules.)

1.) A candidate and/or that candidate’s supporters are free to criticize any opposing candidates and their respective political parties. This sort of thing is encouraged. However, I must caveat this rule with a reminder that while critiquing any opponent and/or their party, it is at no time permissible to criticize the entire political system in this country. Only a paranoid conspiracy theorist would dare to challenge our hallowed democratic process.

2.) A candidate and/or that candidates’ supporters are free to criticize the monetary policy of any opposing candidates and their respective political parties. Once again, this is seen as engaging in a healthy debate on the issue. However, at no time should a candidate and/or that candidate’s supporters even begin to criticize the Federal Reserve, or any aspect of central banking. Once again, only the tin foil hat wearers would do such a thing. We should remember that the Fed itself is never the problem.

3.) A candidate and/or that candidate’s supporters are free to criticize the foreign policy positions of any opposing candidates and their respective political parties. Remember, however, and I can’t stress this enough, to , never, ever criticize the United States government’s foreign policy of intervention. I mean, you don’t want to be seen as an America hating, terrorist appeasing isolationist, and a crazed conspiracy theorist to boot, do you?

At all times it is imperative to remind voters that it is the United States government’s role, no, make that duty to police the world in pursuit of Islamofascists, drug lords, and any leader of any foreign country who may be guilty of human rights violations. When those “enemies of democracy” are found we must remember that it is the duty of the U.S. government to drop copious amounts of bombs on them, killing not only the corrupt leaders, but also many innocent bystanders . By following this course of action the United States, through its superior military might, illustrates the respect for human rights inherent in countries with democratic governments. Soon after the bombings we will witness the miraculous transformation of those previously despotic rulers and their once repressed subjects into champions of American style democracy.

4.) All candidates must remember that telling the truth on any issue will jeopardize the entire American political system. Americans need to have faith in their elected leaders and the election process, in general. Any candidate who attempts to reveal the truth to the public must be marginalized immediately. At no time should that candidate be allowed to convince voters that his campaign has any sort of legitimacy. Referring to that candidate as a paranoid conspiracy theorist would help in this case, as well.

5.) Ron Paul does not follow these rules. Therefore, he is an enemy of the American political establishment. Both major parties and their friends in the mainstream media must do everything they can to prevent him and his campaign from influencing the American public.

I guess that just about sums it up.

I get the impression that some people, mainly those who are not supporters of Ron Paul, believe that there exists a kind of “Ron Paul cult.” I disagree wholeheartedly with this belief. Dr. Paul has never presented himself in a messianic way. In fact, he has gone to great lengths to remind people that his “revolution” is not really about him. After all, he never coined the term “Ron Paul Revolution.” His supporters did. Yes, he is acting as a conduit for libertarianism. And that is precisely why libertarians, no matter what their formal party affiliation may be, are thrilled that he is taking the message of property rights, free markets, and peace to new heights.

Occasionally, however, it seems that many anti-paul people just respond to his statements with a quizzical look and wonder where in the world he came up with his various positions on economics and foreign policy. I mean, he must have just made this stuff up, right? Well, as it turns out, he did not just wake up one day and invent libertarianism. His message does not require people to idolize him. It does not glorify Ron Paul at all. It glorifies the concept of laissez-faire that was embodied in the classical liberals of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Looking at some of these classical liberals’ quotes, as well as some quotes from classical liberals of the 20th century, we can see where Ron Paul gets his inspiration. First there’s Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), a French classical liberal theorist and political econmist who commented:

“Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim – when he defends himself – as a criminal.”

And then there is Carl Menger (1840-1921), the founder of the Austrian School of Economics who said regarding money,

“Money is not an invention of the state. It is not the product of a legislative act. The sanction of political authority is not necessary for its existence.”

And of course, there’s a man whose portrait hangs on Ron Paul’s office wall. He is economist and philosopher, Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) who had this to say about war:

“To defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war.”

How many times have we heard Ron Paul talk about the dangers of our foreign policy of intervention? For it is the ideology that generates war. Here’s more on that subject from another man who influenced Ron Paul. He was economist and author Murray Rothbard (1926-1995), who also had strong beliefs regarding State expansion during times of war:

“It is in war that the State really comes into its own: swelling in power, in number, in pride, in absolute dominion over the economy and the society.”

Moving into sectors of the economy we find Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), a libertarian philosopher,economist, and journalist who said:

“The ‘private sector’ of the economy is, in fact, the voluntary sector; and the ‘public sector’ is, in fact, the coercive sector.”

Again, we can hear echoes of these words in Ron Paul’s writings and statements today.

Finally, there’s the issue of civil liberties. Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) an economist and political philosopher stated:

“‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.”

Sounds just a bit like something Ron Paul would say, doesn’t it?

All of these men I have cited were champions of liberty. The message Ron Paul brings to us now is the same message they espoused. There is no “cult of Ron Paul.” The movement of which he is an important part requires no worship of the messenger. Furthermore, the whole notion of an omnipotent central leader is anathema to libertarians, who revel in freedom for individuals. This is not to say that libertarians are atomistic beings who want no social interaction with other people. It is to say that all associations should be voluntary and free from government coercion.

The messengers will change. The message will remain the same.

Barack Obama has been heralded by many people as the anti-war candidate in the 2008 presidential election. Should he receive the Democratic Party’s nomination, thousands of Americans who are against government sanctioned mass murder will cast their votes for the Senator from Illinois. It’s obvious that he can deliver quite a rousing speech. And he is clearly an intelligent man. Neither of those qualities have been in doubt during this campaign. But is he really the anti-war candidate? Or is he merely the different kind of war candidate? I submit that the latter is actually the case.

Let’s take a gander at this article from NPR and read some comments from this supposed peacenik:
” There are terrorists holed up in those (Pakistan) mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al-Qaida leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

Now, if I hadn’t mentioned that the above statement came from “peace candidate” Obama anyone reading it could have easily assumed that it was made by any member of the Bush Administration or the presumptive Republican nominee for president, John McCain. And what’s this about us “acting” if Musharraf won’t? Could this be a veiled threat of an Obama commissioned American invasion of Pakistan?

I wouldn’t doubt it. After all, according to NPR, “Obama said that as commander in chief he would remove troops from Iraq and put them ‘on the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan.’ He said he would send at least two more brigades to Afghanistan and increase nonmilitary aid to the country by $1 billion.”

Again, this is the plan of the “peace” candidate? Alright, I’ll admit, compared to John “100 years in Iraq” McCain, Obama’s comments seem almost pacific. But, that’s not really saying much.

Make no mistake about it, the “Barack star ” is not an Iraq war fan. After all, that’s a war that was started by George W. Bush, a Republican. Mr. Obama, being much more enlightened on foreign affairs as a Democrat, knows which wars the U.S. should be fighting in the Middle East. In this statement regarding the redeployment of troops from Iraq he makes his position crystal clear:

“As we redeploy from Iraq – as I believe we must do – we have to redouble our efforts on all fronts in Afghanistan to ensure we do not lose ground there.”

“Certainly, we’ve had some success there over the last five and half years, whether it’s the five-fold increase in the number of Afghan boys and girls now attending schools or the free elections of a president and parliament.”

“Yet the remaining challenges in Afghanistan are enormous: Opium production is expected to reach a record high this year, with revenues helping to fuel the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Taliban has increased its campaign of suicide attacks and roadside bombings in recent months. Most troubling, Mr. President, is this simple fact: The leaders of Al Qaeda – Osama bin Laden and his lieutenant Ayman Al-Zawahiri – and the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, remain at large. They are now free to operate in a safe haven in northwest Pakistan. That has to change.”

“First, the United States must increase reconstruction efforts, on both the civilian and military side. If we are serious about winning the war on terror, we must shift to greater investments in winning the hearts and minds of Afghans. The U.S. should allocate money in a way that allows more flexibility in our spending, permitting funding of local projects that benefit communities and promising local governments.”

We should “redouble our efforts on all fronts in Afghanistan?” We should “win the hearts and minds of Afghans?” Last time I checked the U.S. government was attempting to win hearts and minds in Iraq. They claim that can be accomplished with bombs and guns, by the way. But, remember this is this “anti-war” candidate.

And of course, Obama believes it is the responsibility of the American taxpayer to ensure that Afghan boys and girls can go to school. Isn’t this the exact same nonsense we’ve been hearing from Bush for the past five years concerning the liberation and democratization of Iraq?

Obama’s Afghanistan and Pakistan plan won’t be the slightest bit more effective at establishing peace than Bush’s Iraq plan. Redirecting the war is not ending the war. Alas, Barack Obama is simply a different brand of warmonger.

There has been only one prospective candidate for President this year who has consistently proven that he is a staunch opponent not only of the crime that is the Iraq war, but of the foreign policy that leads our country into such criminal endeavors. He is, of course, Ron Paul. He is a true anti-war candidate who is unafraid to tell it like it is. Just read this and tell me Obama is the anti-war candidate. Here are a few excerpts from Dr. Paul’s speech:

“Our foreign policy is no less of a threat to us. Our worldwide military presence and our obsession with remaking the entire Middle East frightens a lot of people both here and abroad. Our role as world policeman and nation builder places undue burdens on the American taxpayer. Our enormous overseas military expenditures – literally hundreds of billion of dollars – are a huge drain on the American economy.”

“All wars invite abuses of civil liberties at home, and the vague declaration of war against terrorism is worse than most in this regard.”

“If we hope to pursue a more sensible foreign policy, it is imperative that Congress face up to its explicit constitutional responsibility to declare war. It’s easy to condemn the management of a war one endorsed, while deferring the final decision about whether to deploy troops to the president. When Congress accepts and assumes its awesome responsibility to declare war, as directed by the Constitution, fewer wars will be fought.”

“Sadly, the acrimonious blame game is motivated by the leadership of both parties for the purpose of gaining, or retaining, political power. It doesn’t approach a true debate over the wisdom, or lack thereof, of foreign military interventionism and pre-emptive war.”

“How many more years will it take for civilized people to realize that war has no economic or political value for the people who fight and pay for it? Wars are always started by governments, and individual soldiers on each side are conditioned to take up arms and travel great distances to shoot and kill individuals that never meant them harm. Both sides drive their people into an hysterical frenzy to overcome their natural instinct to live and let live. False patriotism is used to embarrass the good-hearted into succumbing to the wishes of the financial and other special interests who agitate for war.”

“War reflects the weakness of a civilization that refuses to offer peace as an alternative.”

Americans had their chance to elect an anti-war president. Unfortunately most of them passed up that opportunity and fell for the slick political stylings of Barack Obama. While he talks about “change,” the only thing an Obama administration will change is the battlefield upon which our government wages its undeclared, illegal wars.

Everyone is encouraged to live in the “present”. In fact, it is really all anyone can do. Our lives keep changing as the country and the world change, and it is imperative that we keep up with the pace. Occasionally, however, we should all stop and think of the line from the Talking Heads hit “Once In A Lifetime” and ask ourselves, “Well, how did I get here?”

For, if we really want to know why our country exists in its current state we need to understand how we got to this point. As bad as the current Bush presidency has been, it didn’t start with his administration. There is a long chain of events that brought us endless war, interventionism at home and abroad, loss of civil liberties, debasement of the currency, and the threat of terrorism. I would like to mention some of the events that I believe are the most significant. Admittedly, this will not be a complete list. I welcome any comments about events that I don’t mention in this post. Of course I welcome comments about the events that I do mention as well.

Let’s start way back in the 1860’s with Abraham Lincoln. If you want to know where the precedent for suppression of civil liberties in America was set, look no further than “Honest Abe.” Check out what Thomas DiLorenzo has to say about Lincoln. Funny, but they don’t teach this stuff in the government schools.

Next there is the war that marked the beginning of America’s expansionist foreign policy: The Spanish-American War.

Not too long after that, in 1913, two more pernicious acts were committed upon the American people. First there was the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, that set in motion the forces that are destroying our currency. But, there’s also the Sixteenth Amendment, which brought us the income tax, and the notion that the government actually owns our paychecks and allows us to keep a portion of them.

Soon after these dastardly acts America entered WWI. The Wilsonian policy of “making the world safe for democracy” exists to this very day.

Moving on to the early 1930’s we see the genesis of the American corporate state with FDR and the New Deal. Interestingly, the fascist Mussolini government in Italy was drawn on for inspiration here.

Also significant in American history is the day of April 5, 1933, when FDR made it illegal for Americans to own gold coins, bullion, or certificates, thus speeding up the process of currency destruction.

And what about all of those Japanese internment camps in this country during WWII? Long before people like Dubya were concerned about “Islamofascists” and homegrown terrorism, FDR set the stage.

And speaking of setting the stage, there is the U.S. involvement in Korea and Vietnam. With these wars the Constitutional requirement of a formal declaration of war by Congress was eschewed, giving the President carte blanche to wage war whenever and wherever he likes. Of course, this Executive power is largely viewed as being normal these days. Furthermore, the United States is now expected to get involved in various conflicts around the globe that have no connection to American national security.

And the hits just keep on coming. We now move on to the Middle East and 1953. The CIA launched Operation Ajax in Iran. The end result would be the removal of the democratically elected Mohammad Mossadegh from power. He was replaced with the U.S. supported brutal dictator Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran.

In the 1960’s, in the interest of keeping the Commies at bay, the CIA also assisted in bringing Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to power in Iraq. I’ll come back to Saddam in a moment.

Returning to money matters, August 15, 1971 was indeed a fateful day for the American dollar, as Richard Nixon closed the gold window completely. From here the Fed’s printing presses have been working overtime.

Alright, so now more about Hussein. Back in the 1980’s the U.S. government considered the “butcher of Baghdad” to be a great ally. He was the recipient of military support during his eight year long war with neighboring Iran. Anyone starting to see some reasons why the people of Iran might harbor some enmity toward the United States?

Also in the 1980’s, and once again in the name of fighting Soviet Communism, the U.S. supported Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan. Ronald Reagan referred to them as “freedom fighters.” Osama bin Laden was one of those freedom fighters. Strange, now they are portrayed as the people who are trying to take away our freedom.

And why did our “allies” in Afghanistan become our enemies. Well, according to Osama bin Laden it has a lot to do with the U.S. establishing military bases in Saudi Arabia. He cites the existence of those bases as one of the main reasons why he started fighting a holy war against the U.S.

Moving into the 1990’s we have the sanctions against Iraq which are considered to be some of the most brutal in history. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, many of them children died as a result of these U.S. government backed sanctions. Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright said on national television that those deaths were “worth it” since the ultimate goal was to remove the now evil Hussein from power.

Again, I know that these events do not cover everything that has brought us to our current state of affairs in America. But, we need to remember them. They are enormously significant as mile markers on our road to the destruction of the American Republic.

“So, if you don’t receive the Republican nomination for President, would you consider running as a third party or independent candidate?”

Here’s a daunting task. Determine how many times during the past year Ron Paul has been asked that question. I certainly do not know the answer, but this you tube video serves as an excellent example of just how doggedly determined the mainstream media has been in trying to drag the answer they want out of Dr. Paul. Of course they want him to say he will run. Just imagine the controversy an announcement like that would create. It would send shivers through the establishment faster than you can say Ross Perot and Ralph Nader. Ron Paul represents the greatest nightmare as far as members of the established order are concerned. He would actually “steal” votes from both major party candidates.

And that word “steal” is most significant. When a third party or independent candidate runs for president it is usually said that he is “stealing” or “taking votes away” from a major party candidate. That whole notion is inconsistent with most voters’ cherished concept of “democracy.” Person A can only “steal” something from Person B if that something is already owned by person B. To say that a third party or independent candidate is “stealing” votes suggests that the major party candidate is already the owner of those votes. Maybe I’m mistaken but, I thought the whole strategy in political elections was for every candidate to try to convince voters that they should vote for him, instead of the other candidates. I didn’t realize that certain establishment approved candidates are actually considered to be the owners of the peoples’ votes before the election ever takes place. Silly me!

Anyway, yesterday I received a letter from the Libertarian National Committee. In the envelope was a petition, on which I was encouraged to sign. With my signature I would be urging Ron Paul to seek the Libertarian nomination for President. I am not going to sign that petition. I certainly am a libertarian, but I’m no longer a member of the Libertarian Party. Over the past twelve months Dr. Paul has proven that spreading a libertarian message through a Republican campaign is far superior to laboring away with a third party. Believe me, I don’t like to admit this, but it is true.

It is truly a shame that in our great “democracy” we are forced to choose between candidates from only two parties. As Dr. Paul has said, a third party candidate spends most of his time and money just trying to get on ballots. And forget about getting into the debates. Yes, as much as it pains me to say it, third parties are really just wasting their time and money. They will not be allowed to win. They will continue to be portrayed by the mainstream media as gatherings of weirdo fringe people who should not be taken seriously. They will also continue to be criticized as vote “thieves.” And no one likes a thief, right? That is precisely why Ron Paul should not run as a third party candidate. And being an independent is no better. Instead of being criticized for being part of a group of weirdos, he would be criticized for being an independent weirdo.

This is why the mainstream media is desperate for Ron Paul to launch an independent or third party run for President. For then they would have another party crasher to ridicule. They could also say things like “Why is he running? He’s not going to win. All he’s doing is stealing votes away from a candidate who really can win.” So in the minds of the sheep out there in TV land, Ron Paul’s name will be forever tarnished. He will be cited as the reason why the loser lost. “If that darn Ron Paul wouldn’t have stolen all of those votes…”

Considering all of this, I believe that a third party or independent run by Ron Paul would produce absolutely no positives. It would, however, make possible a lot of negatives. The best thing that can be done at this point is to try to populate various governments with as many Ron Paul Republicans as possible. One attempt is currently under way in New Jersey, where Murray Sabrin is running for the U.S. Senate. He has already been formally endorsed by Dr. Paul. Now this is what we need. We need people to be elected to office, not to waste all of their time fighting for ballot access.

I have changed my voter’s registration to Republican because of Ron Paul. Initially I did it simply so I could vote for him in the Pennsylvania primary. But, I’ve decided to stay registered as a Republican. I’m a “Ron Paul” Republican. And I like the sound of that!

Based on a few comments I have received on this post it appears that there is still some confusion regarding the issue of whether or not Iraq had anything to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I have been accused of “assuming” that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein’s government and the hijackers. Well, with this post I intend to corroborate my claims and prove that they were not “assumptions” at all.

I will begin with Mr. War on Terror himself, George W. Bush. In this video he admits that there is no Iraq-9/11 connection. In the same clip he also admits that there were no weapons of mass destruction. No, I’m not “assuming” this. He actually says it.

Then we have vice president Dick Cheney. In this video he too, admits that there is no connection between Iraq and 9/11. He does claim that there is evidence linking Iraq to Al Qaeda, but that claim has also been refuted.

Continuing with the neocon war zealots parade we come to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Guess what? He also admits there’s no connection between Iraq and 9/11.

And former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, who was a major architect of the Iraq war echoes those sentiments.

Now, I can just hear some people saying ” What about Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi?” Just in case you’re not familiar with that name I’ll clue you in. In 2004 former Navy secretary John Lehman, a Republican member of the 9/11 commission was very concerned about Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi. It was posited that he was a member of Saddam’s militia, the Fedayeen. Furthermore, an Al Qaeda meeting that was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2000 had none other than Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi, the presumed Fedayeen man, as one of its attendees. It is thought that much of the planning for 9/11 took place at this meeting. Therefore, Lehman concluded that this was solid evidence which proved Saddam’s government had collaborated with the 9/11 hijackers and Al Qaeda in general.

However, it all turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. It’s true that Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi was there in Malaysia in 2000. He was, in fact, an Al Qaeda greeter at the airport. It’s false, however, that he was also a member of the Fedayeen. That man was named Lt. Col. Hikmat Shakir Ahmad.

A Bush administration official more or less shrugged off Lehman’s claim saying “By most reckoning that would be someone else.” The official did say that the issue was still being studied, but that “it doesn’t look like a match to most analysts.”

And let’s think about this for a second. If this story was even remotely true, Bush would have been on television a long time ago to inform us of this one. I mean, it could have been his saving grace. Apparently, it was too false even for him.

So was I really “assuming” that there was no Iraq-9/11 connection? Or was I simply restating what some of the highest level champions of the war had said before?

Aspiring presidential candidates must eventually come to the realization that only one person can receive their party’s nomination. At some point it becomes clear that one of their rivals has amassed an impressive number of delegates, and that the most reasonable course of action to take is to gracefully exit the race. At this point a crucial decision must be made. Should the “dropout” endorse the winner? After all, Mr. Dropout may be diametrically opposed to the winner on a host of issues. But, then there is the ever important notion of “party unity.” Mr. Dropout needs to remember that principles are not important. What matters is keeping members of the party focused on the one task that trumps all other concerns: beating the opposing party’s candidate in the general election.

For this post Mr. Dropout will be played by the well coifed, “presidential-looking,” Mitt Romney. Of course, Mr. Romney suspended his presidential campaign in early February. Before that, however, he had some harsh words for the man who is now the all but certain Republican nominee, John McCain. Just before the Florida primary Romney was sharply critical of McCain’s positions on reducing the role of money in politics, immigration, and his support of an energy bill that would reputedly drive up customer costs. He said:

“If you ask people, ‘Look at the three things Senator McCain has done as a senator,’ if you want that kind of a liberal Democrat course as president, then you can vote for him,” Romney told campaign workers. “But those three pieces of legislation, those aren’t conservative, those aren’t Republican, those are not the kind of leadership that we need as we go forward.”

But remember,  those were Romney’s words before the contest in Florida. We would soon hear from a different Mitt. This one, freshly removed from the presidential race after taking a severe beating at the polls on Super Tuesday, was now endorsing John McCain. So, what about his leadership qualities now Mitt?

“I am honored today to give my full support to Sen. McCain’s candidacy for the presidency of the United States,” Romney said in a joint news conference with Sen. McCain by his side.

“This is a man capable of leading our country in this dangerous hour.”

Oh, that’s right. How could I have forgotten? “In this dangerous hour.” He must be referring to all of those nasty “ay-rabs” that need a good killin.’ Right Mr. Romney?

“I disagree with Sen. McCain on a number of issues,” Romney said. “But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and I agree with him on eliminating al Qaeda and terror worldwide.”

And don’t forget about “party unity.” A source from inside the Romney camp said he “wants to help McCain move faster to secure the nomination and unite the party for the general election against the Democrats for November.”

And there we have it. Who cares what kind of political principles you hold? As long as you pledge to kill all the terrorists, unite the party, and defeat Democrats, you are welcomed as the flag bearer of the Republican party.

Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule. Here’s one Republican who never strays from his principles, for any reason. Guess who!

Would you like to see what has been happening to our money since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed? For a graphic illustration of just how severely the central bank of the United States has crippled the dollar check out the Inflation Calculator.

Here’s a great example. Let’s say we start off with $20.00 in 1819, ninety-four years before the Federal Reserve was created. We then purchase some goods with that money. Now fast forward to that fateful year of 1913 and we see that those same goods could be purchased for only $12.91. Fancy that! Prices actually went DOWN in the ninety-four years leading up to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. Our money was actually worth more as the years passed.

Now let’s take a look at what’s happened to the value of our money in the ninety-four years since 1913. Again we’ll begin with $20. And here’s where the extent of the damage wrought by the Fed’s years of monetary meddling becomes clear. The goods we could purchase with $20.00 in 1913 would cost us $424.60 in 2007. Our money has lost almost 96% of its value!

Now, everyone seems to understand how counterproductive monopolies can be in the business world. It’s not a particularly difficult concept to grasp. If only business “A” is allowed to supply everything we need to make our daily lives more bearable, we know that we can expect to pay exorbitant prices for those supplies. Add a few more businesses in to the mix to sell the same products and directly compete with business “A” and we see prices fall as each business attempts to lure customers away from the competition. Well, in monetary terms we have been living with a monopoly since 1913, when all of the private banks were cartelized. As the late Austrian economist and hero of libertarianism Murray Rothbard put it :

the Federal Reserve and other central banking systems act as giant government creators and enforcers of a banking cartel; the Fed bails out banks in trouble, and it centralizes and coordinates the banking system so that all the banks, whether the Chase Manhattan, or the Rothbard or Rockwell banks, can inflate together. Under free banking, one bank expanding beyond its fellows was in danger of imminent bankruptcy. Now, under the Fed, all banks can expand together and proportionately.


In modern central banking, the Central Bank is granted the monopoly of the issue of bank notes (originally written or printed warehouse receipts as opposed to the intangible receipts of bank deposits), which are now identical to the government’s paper money and therefore the monetary “standard” in the country.

So we are left with NO competition. But what if we had competing currencies? Well, it’s not surprising that the only politician who understands how beneficial this situation would be is Ron Paul. Actually, there probably are other politicians who understand it. Unfortunately, only Ron Paul cares enough about preserving peoples’ wealth to say that in order to preserve that wealth, the people, not powerful central bankers must have the freedom to make the monetary decisions that will affect their lives. On February 13, 2008, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Paul had this to say about the currency issue:

“Madam Speaker, allowing for competing currencies will allow market participants to choose a currency that suits their needs, rather than the needs of the government. The prospect of American citizens turning away from the dollar towards alternate currencies will provide the necessary impetus to the US government to regain control of the dollar and halt its downward spiral. Restoring soundness to the dollar will remove the government’s ability and incentive to inflate the currency, and keep us from launching unconstitutional wars that burden our economy to excess. With a sound currency, everyone is better off, not just those who control the monetary system. I urge my colleagues to consider the redevelopment of a system of competing currencies.”

And just consider this. How free are we in this wonderful “free country” of ours when our money is controlled not by us, but by our government and its central bank?

Well, we all knew it was coming. The writing’s been on the proverbial wall for some time. And when John McCain’s delegate count reached the magic number of 1,191, it was inevitable. Yesterday we heard it from the man himself. It’s being reported in the news today. It’s hard to believe that the good doctor began his campaign for president over a year ago. Time has absolutely flown for me, as I’m sure it has for most revolutionaries out there. I also find it particularly interesting that “our man,” the one who didn’t have a chance, was actually the last one to bow out of the race on the Republican side. Funny, isn’t it, how he held out longer than the media anointed political wonder boys we all got to know on a first name basis. Remember Rudy, Fred, and Mitt? All three of them were reputedly stars in ascendancy this election season. Alas, they all came crashing back down to earth, and out of the presidential race before that guy they laughed at (cackled in Rudy’s case), insulted, marginalized, and ignored.

But now reality sets in. And reality is, indeed, a most bitter pill for us to swallow. There will be no Ron Paul presidency in 2008. There are only three candidates remaining. If Hillary Clinton is elected, we can look forward to a continuation of our government’s expansionist foreign policy, and overt socialism here at home. Not a prospect to savor, for sure. As for a Barack Obama presidency, well, our foreign policy of aggression would be tweaked a bit so we would be bombing the “right” countries, like Pakistan. At home we would be treated to maybe a slightly less rigid form of socialism than Hillary’s brand. Again I say maybe. Either way it’s still socialism. And finally there’s John McCain. Well, belligerent does not even begin to describe his foreign policy views. Domestically, however, his socialism will be cloaked in language like “I support the free market and free trade” and “I’m going to cut wasteful government spending.” But we need to remember that he is a neoconservative. And what a neocon says is most definitely not what a neocon does. Unless it involves the threatening and subsequent bombing of countries that are no threat to the United States.

So we have three choices. And what is a Ron Paul revolutionary supposed to do? Well, surely we can’t bring ourselves to vote for one of the aforementioned monsters of the mainstream. So what is left for us? Personally, I think it would be fabulous if the presidential election was simply canceled. Sure would make things simpler. Just leave the office of the president empty for awhile.

Aside from that scenario, I can imagine many Ron Paul supporters are feeling like perhaps it’s not worth the fight. Maybe it’s time to crawl back into our comfortable little shells of political isolation and pretend like the evil world doesn’t exist. And believe me, I can relate to that feeling. But think about this for a moment. What if Ron Paul had done that? Remember that he’s been fighting statists, warmongers, and currency destroyers for over thirty years. Surely, during the course of those years there were numerous occasions where Dr. Paul felt like there was little or no hope for the future of liberty. And for most of his fight, he did not have the forum for free exchange of ideas that is now afforded to him by the world wide web. If Dr. Paul had given up, none of us would have turned out to be such enthusiastic supporters of him and his message.

But now it is our duty to carry on the message of “freedom, peace, and prosperity.” Every effort we make helps to roll back some of the threat we face from an ever encroaching State. Even if we never see the change we are seeking during our lifetimes, it is a noble pursuit.

It is, in fact, the only way we can ensure a better America for future generations. Just think about it. What better America could we offer those future generations than one in which they are free to live their lives according to their own designs, not the designs of bureaucrats and regulatory agencies? And what better America could we offer to those same generations than one in which their money actually maintains its value? How great it would be to live in a country where the government is no longer free to debase the currency, and plunder the wealth of the people. And finally, what better America could we offer to those generations than one that enjoys peaceful relations with all nations? What kind of future exists when we are faced with the prospect of endless war? War is a destroyer of life, wealth, and property, which must be repudiated if we truly want to create a better country.

We understand the message. It is up to us to keep the message alive.