Category Archives: War

Unchanging Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Middle East, War

Why are we still at war in Afghanistan?

Why are we dropping bombs in Afghanistan?

Why have we been “helping” Afghanistan for 10 years or more?

Why is anyone giving the time of day to Carly Fiorina or armchair warrior Marco Rubio, when they’re both spoiling for fights that’ll dwarf the wars Obama has waged on Libya, in Syria and Afghanistan?

Why is Rand Paul the only one asking?


WOLF BLITZER: Let me get your reaction to what we just heard from the executive director of Doctors Without Borders, who doesn’t believe it was a mistake, that it was deliberate, that it was potentially a war crime. Your reaction?

PAUL: You know, there’s been a lot of confusion in the response. Was it an accident or was it done on purpose? It appears as if the coordinates were given to somebody, because they kept repeatedly bombing the same site. But I think it goes to a bigger question, and this is a question that President Obama should have to answer, why are we still at war in Afghanistan? What is the U.S. objective? What’s the U.S. mission? And why are we bombing anybody in Afghan?

I think we had a clear cut mission after 9/11, but that’s been long gone for many years now. And I think really that the Afghans need to step up and defend themselves. But there’s no reason for the U.S. to be involved there at all at this point. And tragic accidents will happen when you’re involved with war, but I don’t see why we’re still involved in Afghanistan.

BLITZER: Well, I’m going to get to that in a moment, but you’re a physician, you’re a doctor, do you agree with the executive director of Doctors Without Borders that in addition to the U.S. investigation, the NATO investigation, the Afghan investigation, there should also be an impartial outside international investigation?

PAUL: Yes, I don’t mind an outside international investigation, but somebody needs to step up and say, why are we there and what is the policy? Doctors and hospitals should never be targeted, and so that’s completely unacceptable. But if it’s an accident, it’s still a bad policy because why are we dropping bombs in Afghanistan. We’ve been helping them for 10 years or more. They should step up and they should be able to combat against any insurgency. And there is not a clear-cut U.S. role. And if we’re to be back at war in Afghanistan, the president should come to Congress and ask for permission, and we should say why we are at war and have a debate over that, but we shouldn’t be in perpetual war all around the globe.

BLITZER: The argument is, if the U.S., the NATO allies, were to completely pull out, it would be a disaster. The Taliban, potentially, could take over and Afghanistan would be back to where it was before 9/11.

PAUL: Well, I guess my question would be, why? We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars. We’ve spent more in Afghanistan than we did in the Marshall Plan. Why can’t they defend themselves after a decade? Will we have to defend them in perpetuity? No, I don’t think we should have a perpetual war over there and I think often people will not stand up and defend themselves if we’re doing the defending. So they are doing more of the ground activity, but I think their entire defense, minus maybe some armaments and some support, but really we should not be at war in Afghanistan. They should be able, after a decade or more, to defend themselves.

BLITZER: What about the Russian involvement in Syria right now? If you were president of the United States, what would you do about that?

PAUL: Well, I think the first thing that’s very, very important is to have open lines of communication. We have some in the primary, Carly Fiorina mostly, who says she doesn’t want to talk to Putin and she’s ready to use force against the Russians. Well, man, are we lucky she wasn’t president during the Cold War because we did keep open lines of communication throughout the Cold War. We’re in very close proximity over there. and the last thing we need is an accident where we shoot down one of the Russians or vice versa. So I think we need to know where everyone is flying, what everyone’s role is and if we can find common ground with trying to destroy ISIS. And I’m very worried about an accident happening over there and I’m also very worried about some Republicans who want to have no dialogue, because that’s a recipe for a disaster.

[13:20:10] BLITZER: So you basically want — what you’ve described in the past to me as a noninterventionist policy. You’re not an isolationist, but you want to be really careful about the U.S. getting involved in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, other international hot spots?

PAUL: But the interesting thing, it’s kind of the opposite of isolationism. I’m for diplomatic engagement. The people like Carly Fiorina, they want to diplomatically isolate us and not have any discussions with Putin. I think that is very much a mistake. So I’m for diplomatic engagement. I am for being involved. And I am for saying, you know what, let’s be very careful that we don’t do something rash that might start world war three.

And let’s also realize from history how we got to this point. Saddam Hussein, once he was toppled, made Iran stronger. Iran and Iraq are now allies. They’re also allies with Syria. Now they’re allied with Russia. So I would argue that the Iraq War was a mistake and it actually enabled Russia to become stronger in the region, and that’s what we need to think about before we topple another dictator, what are the unintended consequences of toppling dictators in the Middle East?

BLITZER: If you were elected president, on a domestic issue, what, if anything, would you do to tighten up gun control issues in the United States?

PAUL: Well, I think it’s a terrible tragedy and, you know, my heart goes out to the families. I’ve got a couple kids in college and in high school, and I can’t imagine, you know, something like that happening in a school. But the thing is, they already have universal registration in Oregon. They have significant gun registration laws. And I just don’t think that more controls are the answer.

I do think that we should not preannounce to the public, to the potentially crazy and homicidal people out there that there are places they can go to shoot people. And that’s what we’ve done with our schools. We say, well, there are no armed guards, there are no armed teachers, there are no armed off duty policemen, and I think that’s a mistake. I think we should do the opposite. I think we should announce across America that there are not going to be gun-free zones where you can go and shoot people. And I think if we did, that there is some deterrent effect.

I believe the same for our commercial airliners. After 9/11, I was a big proponent of making sure our pilots were armed and I have bills now to try to facilitate that. I want every potential jihadists and terrorist in the world to know that our pilots are armed and that if you come into the cockpit, you will be shot. And so I think there is a deterrent effect from guns. There obviously is the destruction when a crazy people uses a gun, but there also can be deterrents from guns. And I saw an example yesterday. I think it was a vo-lock (ph) conspiracy website was talking about many instances where shooters have been stopped by having an armed person in the right place at the right time. BLITZER: Senator Paul, thanks very much for joining us.

Via CNN.

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Good Vs. Bad Collateral Damage; American Vs. Russian Killing

Foreign Policy, Middle East, War

From Afghanistan comes news of the toll the US’s ongoing, indiscriminate bombing is taking on the long-suffering people of the region: “Possible US airstrike in Afghanistan kills at least 19 at Doctors Without Borders hospital.”

Deranged ex-military men such as Col Ralph Peters, David Hunt or Oliver North will make the case that a good country killing (US) is not the same as a bad country killing (Russia in Syria). Homegrown chicken-hawks like Chucky Krauthammer will concur.

Tell that to those whose lungs are airless, whose hearts are not beating, and whose eyes and limbs are missing. They are not free and will never be free.

Via Target Liberty (where you can also catch “Lady Di of The Papacy,” if you missed it elsewhere):

Médecins Sans Frontières said 37 people were seriously wounded, 19 medical staff among them.
“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on healthcare in Kunduz,” said Bart Janssens, director of operations for MSF.

“We do not yet have the final casualty figures but our medical team are providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel and accounting for the deceased.”

Is should be noted that this US bombing attackkilled more innocents than Christopher Harper-Mercer did this week at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

Just hours before the incident, on Friday evening, the US state department issued a joint statement with the government’s of France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UK castigating Russia for causing “civilian casualties [which] will only fuel more extremism and radicalisation,” reports FT.

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Donald, Don’t Let Fox News Roger America … Again

Elections, Neoconservatism, Propaganda, Republicans, War

“Donald, Don’t Let Fox News Roger America … Again” is the current column, now on The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine. The column concludes that:

… Trump is good for liberty:

By waging internecine warfare against the political masters and their mouthpiece (FNC), Trump is undermining the bastions of neoconservatism in America; he is dealing a structural blow to the edifice of Beltway Republicanism.

In response, the Beltway boys are rising on their little hind legs.

As Megyn Kelly riffed about Trump’s sexism, Fox News commentator Rich Lowry blurted out this on Kelly’s File: “Carly Fiorina cut Trump’s balls off with the precision of a surgeon.” (Kelly, who is turning out to be rather vacuous, detected no sexism there.)

Another slick Republican strategist, Rick Wilson, a regular on CNN, recently asked Trump supporter Ann Coulter on Twitter if Trump paid her ‘more for anal.’

Trump, for his part, fired first on the political flank. Now, in a pincer movement, Trump opened up a new front and is gunning for the establishment’s media megaphone.

This is why Trump’s war with Fox News is part of a just, liberating war. …

… Read the complete column. “Donald, Don’t Let Fox News Roger America … Again” is the current column, now on The Unz Review.

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Does McCain Owe A Mea Culpa To POWS & MIAS?

Criminal Injustice, Foreign Policy, John McCain, Media, War

“Does McCain Owe Mea Culpa To POWS & MIAS?” is the current column, now on The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine. An excerpt:

“It’s the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.” “It disqualifies him as a presidential candidate.” “This is the end of his run.” So crowed the political operatives looking to take down Mr. Trump, and by so doing, protect the political status quo and ease themselves into positions of greater power. The egos in the anchor’s chair and the pundits opposite chimed in: “He’ll make the more serious candidates look more serious,” predicted the next Michael Oakeshott and favorite imbecile, S. E. Cupp.

The Donald is in the dock for desecrating one of the political establishment’s most sacred cows: Sen. John McCain. Speaking at a forum in Iowa, the popular presidential hopeful said these sagacious things about the Republican from Arizona:

“[McCain’s] not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, okay?” (On the same occasion, Trump ventured that he was not particularly for the Vietnam War, a position that should endear him to principled libertarians.)

Not only does Donald Trump not owe Sen. McCain an apology; McCain likely owes mea culpa to Trump—and to the very many Vietnam veterans and their families whom he is alleged to have betrayed.

Yes, the heroic prisoner-of-war pedigree upon which McCain has established his career and credibility is probably a myth.

For our purposes, the story begins with Sydney Schanberg, back in the days before American journalism became a circle jerk of power brokers.

Mr. Schanberg is one of “America’s most eminent journalists.” “For his accounts of the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in 1975,” Schanberg “was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting ‘at great risk.’ He is also the recipient of many other awards–including two George Polk awards, two Overseas Press Club awards and the Sigma Delta Chi prize for distinguished journalism.” Schanberg’s byline at The Nation magazine further reveals that:

The 1984 movie, The Killing Fields [watch it!], which won several Academy Awards, was based on his book ‘The Death and Life of Dith Pran’–a memoir of his experiences covering the war in Cambodia for the New York Times and of his relationship with his Cambodian colleague, Dith Pran.

Schanberg is also the author of a “remarkable 8,000-word exposé”: “McCain and the POW Cover-Up.” Here follow the opening paragraphs. They provide a précis of the forensic evidence collected by Schanberg against McCain as ally of Vietnam War POWs and men missing inaction …

Read on. “Does McCain Owe A Mea Culpa To POWS & MIAS?” is now on The Unz Review.

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Donald Trump Makes The War Street Journal Foam. Excellent.

Elections, John McCain, Neoconservatism, War

Now The War Street Journal is furious. And no, that’s not a typo. Like a drama queen would, the neocon mouthpiece has declared that by attacking “McMussolini,” Donald Trump has finally crossed some uncrossable threshold and is destined to self-immolate. The unhinged headline: “Trump and His Apologists: The conservative media who applaud him are hurting the cause.” The War Street Journal’s cause is certainly not mine.

Keep rattling the War Party, Donald Trump. The people have no particular love for John McCain. And veterans will get over it. Stay as irreverent as you are, Mr. Trump.

RELATED: “Don’t Apologize To McMussolini, Donald Trump”

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UPDATE II: Don’t Apologize To McMussolini, Donald Trump

John McCain, Military, Neoconservatism, War

The neoconservative warmongering John McCain finished 894th out of 899 at the Naval Academy and lost five jets. As IQ ace Steve Sailer once quipped, “To lose one plane over Vietnam may be regarded as a heroic tragedy; to lose five planes here and there looks like carelessness.”

Now, his equally dim daughter, whose mental prowess I exposed in “A Cow Is Born,” is defending him against the impolitic Donald Trump, who called out her sacred cow of a father for being worshiped for naught.

To bring you up-to-date: The Donald said, while speaking at a forum in Iowa:

“[McCain’s] not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, okay?”

Take down John “McMussolini,” and you begin to take down the neoconservative cabal.

UPDATED I: Ann Coulter, who worships every military sacred cow—one has to in order to please Republicans and conservatives—concedes Donald said a dumb thing about McCain. Nonsense. Donald spoke the truth. It is also true—OMG!—that those men of the military who died invading Iraq did not die for our freedoms. Ditto those murdered by marauding Muslims on American soil. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news and simple reason.

UPDATED II: As for Donald Trump’s stand against wars, so far, Vietnam included: It’s good and very libertarian of him.

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