by Ron Paul: On
the Justice Department
in the House on funding the war in Afghanistan, July 2, 2010
January 1991, we went to war in the Middle East against Saddam Hussein,
Iraq’s dictator who was our ally during the Iran-Iraq war.
A border dispute between Kuwait and Iraq broke out after our State
Department gave a green light to Hussein’s invasion.
successful invasion of Kuwait, we reacted with gusto and have been
militarily involved in the entire region 6,000 miles from our shores
ever since. This has included Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen,
and Somalia. After 20 years of killing and a couple trillion dollars
wasted, not only does the fighting continue with no end in sight,
but our leaders threaten to spread our bombs of benevolence on Iran.
For most Americans,
we are at war, at war against a tactic called terrorism, not a country.
This allows our military to go any place in the world without limits
as to time or place. But how can we be at war? Congress has not
declared war, as required by the Constitution, that is true. But
our Presidents have, and Congress and the people have not objected.
Congress obediently provides all the money requested for the war.
dying. Bombs are dropped. Our soldiers are shot at and killed. Our
soldiers wear a uniform; our enemies do not. They are not part of
any government. They have no planes, no tanks, no ships, no missiles,
and no modern technology. What kind of a war is this anyway, if
it really is one? If it was a real war, we would have won it by
now. Our stated goal since 9/11 has been to destroy al Qaeda.
Was al Qaeda
in Iraq? Not under Saddam Hussein. Our leaders lied us into invading
Iraq and deceived us into occupying Afghanistan. There is still
really no al Qaeda in Iraq and only 100 or so in Afghanistan, and
yet there is no end in sight to the war. Could there have been other
reasons for this war that is not a war? A military victory in Afghanistan
is illusive. Does anyone really know who we are fighting and why?
Why has the
war not ended? Nine years, and it continues to spread. Some claim
it is to keep America safe, that our soldiers are fighting and dying
for our freedom, defending our Constitution. Are we being lied to
in order to keep us in this spreading war, just as we were lied
to in the 1960s to keep us in Vietnam?
We own the
Iraq Government, as we do Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, we are fighting
the Taliban, those dangerous people with guns defending their homeland.
Once they were called the Mujahideen, our old allies, along with
bin Laden, in the fight to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan in
the 1980s. In that effort, our CIA funded radical jihad against
that nasty foreign occupier, the Russians. What gratitude. Those
same people now resent our benevolent occupation, with a little
violence thrown in.
to our presence grows as our perseverance wanes. Our people are
waking up, but our officials refuse to recognize the longer we stay,
the greater is the support for those dedicated to the principle
that Afghanistan is for Afghans who resent all foreign occupation.
we fight a war that is not a war, the weaker we get and the stronger
becomes our enemy. When an enemy without weapons can respect an
army of great strength, the most powerful of all history, one should
ask, who has the moral high ground?
in Afghanistan is to be our destiny. Changing generals without changing
our policies or our policymakers perpetuates our agony and delays
This is not
a war that our generals have been trained for. Nation building,
police work, social engineering is never a job for foreign occupiers
and never an appropriate job for soldiers trained to win wars.
victory is no longer even a stated goal of our military leaders
or our politicians, as they know that type of victory is impossible.
The sad story
is, this war is against ourselves, our values, our Constitution,
our financial well-being and common sense. And at the rate we’re
going, it’s going to end badly.
What we need
are honest leaders with character and a new foreign policy.
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.