The War Party’s mantra—if you don’t support the war, the “surge,” the empire-builders’ agenda, then you’re not supporting the troops—has been effectively refuted by the latest Ron Paul ad to hit the airwaves. The Republian presidential candidate known for his intransigent opposition to the Iraq war asks: Which candidate do the troops support?:
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This is also a subtle reminder that, unlike certain other candidates, Paul has actually served in the military he aspires to command. This ought to dispel the notion that anti-interventionism is pacifism. The distinction needed to be made, and Paul has done it quite effectively.
One can easily anticipate the quails of the truly pacificistic Left, which is bound to see this as pandering: it isn’t. It is merely a reaffirmation of the obvious: that liberty in this country is worth fighting and dying for. The American revolution is worth defending: but what libertarians and a growing number of others realize is that, at this point in the history of the republic, it has to be defended primarily against our own federal government.
No country on earth represents a credible threat to our national security: the real threat is ensconced in Washington, D.C. The PATRIOT Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the rise of the surveillance state were not imposed on us by foreign conquerors: they are the brainchildren of our own elites.
Patriotism, properly understood, is hardly the province of the War Party: they, after all, are internationalists. A real patriot seeks to defend the Constitution and the gains of the American Revolution against all threats, foreign and domestic. The undeniable reality is that, these days, the main danger is from the latter.