Ron Paul and Barney Frank: Smashing Imperialism

“Today is a Great Day to Smash Imperialism”

It was an old poster – “Today is a Great Day to Smash Imperialism” – in 1989 when I saw it on the refrigerator in a doctor friend’s kitchen. It made me incredibly nostalgic because it captures so perfectly the boundless optimism, exuberance and irreverence of a movement led primarily by people under 35. To me that was the magic of the sixties – young people were at the forefront of the revolution that was drawing the masses into the streets throughout the western world. The magic of being in your twenties is that it’s still possible to wake up every morning and fully believe you can change the world.

In 1989 “imperialism” was one of those naughty words progressives didn’t use in mixed company. However with the widespread dissemination of the neocons’ Project for a New American Century, there seems to be consensus that the primary goal of US foreign policy is to establish and maintain a vast military empire. The claim, by both Republicans and Democrats, is that the purpose of such an empire is to protect US “strategic” (political and economic) interests. Fortunately an increasing number of Americans – on the right and the left – are recognizing that US military policy only protects the interests of multinational corporations. If anything it hurts ordinary Americans – by increasing their taxes, by incurring a vast public debt that only further destabilizes the US economy, and by putting them at increased risk of terrorist attack by foreign extremists bearing the social and cultural scars of decades of this failed policy.

US Out of Afghanistan – and Iraq, Germany, Japan, Somalia, Greenland, the Netherlands, Sudan and 20+ Other Countries

When I awoke this morning to learn (from CNN) that Republican Congressman Ron Paul and progressive Senator Barney Frank are teaming up to introduce legislation to end the US occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and 30 plus other countries, it was the first time in a long time I felt empowered by the sense that years of sustained, gruelling organizing by antiwar progressives and libertarians was finally paying off. That real change is definitely possible.

US Militarism is Destroying the US Economy

Fortunately Paul and Frank aren’t the only opinion leaders calling for an immediate end to the war in Iraq or an orderly (in away that protects US troops) pull out from Afghanistan. In the past week Republican National Chairman Michael Steele and conservative pundit Ann Coulter seem to be singing from the same hymnal. Perhaps in response to predictions from an increasing number of US and international economists that collapse of the US dollar is inevitable (the only disagreement is whether it will take two or five years) if Obama fails to reign in military spending.

They Can’t Do It Alone

It’s now vitally important for the majority of Americans who oppose the war in the Middle East to support these incredibly brave men in their efforts. Both Frank and Paul are up for re-election this fall and are certain to come under attack by a well funded and oiled corporate media machine that will most likely do everything possible to eject them both from government (Paul has lost his seat before for speaking out against US militarism).

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