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Ron Paul: "Military Personnel Who March Off To War Are More Victims And Dupes Than Heroes"

"'Service' in our military to invade, occupy, and oppress countries in order to extend U.S. Empire must not be glorified as a 'heroic' and sacred effort."

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Former Rep. Ron Paul writes in his new book that "military personnel who march off to war are more victims and dupes than heroes."

Paul — who twice ran for the Republican presidential nomination and whose son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, is currently running for the nomination — released his new book Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity last Friday.

"'Service' in our military to invade, occupy, and oppress countries in order to extend U.S. Empire must not be glorified as a 'heroic' and sacred effort," Paul writes. "My five years in the Air Force during the 1960s did not qualify me as any sort of hero."

Paul, who previously touted his military serve in his presidential campaign ads, writes that his thinking on his time in the military has changed.

"My primary thoughts now about that period of time are: 'Why was I so complacent, and why did I so rarely seriously question the wisdom of the Vietnam War?'" Paul writes. "The sad part is that the military personnel who march off to war are more victims and dupes than heroes."

"This is especially true when a draft is in place," Paul continues. "And remember that the threat of conscription always hangs over our heads as long as the people continue to allow wars of aggression. There still is a Selective Service System and draft registration for all 18-year-old males just in case the 'cause of freedom' requires more cannon fodder to fight the wars to maintain U.S. Empire."

Paul, who said earlier this year that on Memorial Day we should honor people such as Pentagon Paper leaker Daniel Ellsberg and NSA leaker Edward Snowden, similarly writes in his new book that true heroes are those who "alert the people to our own government's misdeeds."

"Our true heroes include those who have risked their lives and lost their freedoms in an effort to alert the people to our own government's misdeeds," writes Paul. "The warmongers are fond of calling those heroes traitors. Recognizing these heroes will help open people's eyes to the injustice of the dictators' wars. Truth is something to which the warmongers cannot easily adapt. Truth becomes treasonous in an empire of lies."

Here's the full section:

The masses must not be swayed by the glorification of dictatorial leaders. They also must not be fearful of their own fate if government is no longer responsible for the people's economic security and personal safety. Indeed , all governments, through the centuries, have so miserably failed at fulfilling these responsibilities. We must also reject the notion that loyal obedience to state dictatorial power is patriotic, necessary, and always good.

Our revered Founders were called America's original patriots because they rebelled against an oppressive government instead of praising the king and tolerating his army's abuse of the people's liberty. "Service" in our military to invade, occupy , and oppress countries in order to extend US Empire must not be glorified as a "heroic" and sacred effort.

My five years in the Air Force during the 1960s did not qualify me as any sort of hero. My primary thoughts now about that period of time are: "Why was I so complacent, and why did I so rarely seriously question the wisdom of the Vietnam War?" The sad part is that the military personnel who march off to war are more victims and dupes than heroes. This is especially true when a draft is in place. And remember that the threat of conscription always hangs over our heads as long as the people continue to allow wars of aggression. There still is a Selective Service System and draft registration for all 18- year-old males just in case the "cause of freedom" requires more cannon fodder to fight the wars to maintain US Empire.

Our culture that praises war and punishes truth -tellers of necessity must change if we expect to launch a new policy that will enhance the chances of achieving peace and prosperity. Our true heroes include those who have risked their lives and lost their freedoms in an effort to alert the people to our own government's misdeeds. The warmongers are fond of calling those heroes traitors. Recognizing these heroes will help open people's eyes to the injustice of the dictators' wars. Truth is something to which the warmongers cannot easily adapt. Truth becomes treasonous in an empire of lies.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

Mark Arce is a politics research intern for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mark Arce at Mark.Arce@buzzfeed.com.

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