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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ron Paul is best option for peace

By William Edward Samuels
February 2, 2012 | 1:54 p.m. CST

Islamic extremists would love to wreck the American economy with a $3 trillion war, which we can't afford. We have been told war in the Middle East protects us from terrorism. Yet, if the Washington establishment really meant this, they would get serious about guarding our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. They refuse to do any such thing. You can't win a war on terror with unguarded borders.

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz has coauthored with Linda J. Bilmes of Harvard,  "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict." This book reveals how our military triumph in Iraq alone, surpassing any German blitzkrieg, has inflicted disabling economic costs — far worse than the official figures — on the American people.

For example, when a soldier dies in battle the Pentagon counts the financial loss as $500,000 in life insurance and death benefits. Yet, "in areas such as health and safety regulations, the government values a life of a young man at the peak of his future earnings capacity in excess of $7 million."

When the British raised an army to fight in Spain under the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic wars, they swept out the jails. The U.S. military today, however, has an above-average cross section of young America, and many join because this is the only way they can afford college. Some men who might have once been drafted now can't get into the army if they try. The men and women of our armed forces are not peasant cannon fodder and should not be used as such.

In 2008, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was the only Republican peace candidate. In 2012, he's the only peace candidate. Period. Those who voted for Obama in 2008 had fair warning they were not voting for fiscal responsibility or traditional moral values. Yet, they did have a good faith belief that they were voting for peace. Instead, we got more war.

The troops may know something: In the reporting period from January through September 2011, members of the armed forces donated nearly twice as much to Congressman Paul as to Obama and more to Paul than to all other GOP candidates combined. They apparently don't believe peace would be unpatriotic.

In every election, notice which candidate gets more good press — then vote for the other one. Establishment media want to denigrate and marginalize (the Barry Goldwater treatment) Congressman Paul and his supporters because no one else truly challenges the status quo. At present he may seem an underdog. Yet, it's better to support what is right and risk losing than to support what's wrong and risk winning.

All Missourians can vote to stop the massive hemorrhage of blood and treasure by voting for Ron Paul in the Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, Feb. 7. We have no party registration in Missouri so even if you have never before voted in a GOP primary, you can ask for a Republican ballot and by law have the right to vote.

Servicemen aren't allowed to campaign, yet their donations send a clear message about how they will likely mark their absentee ballots. Let's all support the troops by voting for Ron Paul on Feb. 7.

William Edward Samuels is an independent columnist, an attorney, a Republican county committeeman, and 23rd Legislative District Chairman. He has also been a visiting law professor in Russia with the Yale-affiliated Civic Education Project.