Ron Paul: Afghanistan is a No-Win Situation

A coalition of neocons, oil industry executives and religious extremists want to redraw the boundaries of the Middle East. But it’s not going to turn out the way they want: Afghanistan is a no-win situation, and reports of war crimes and torture continue to do irreparable harm to America’s reputation all around the world.

Show: Freedom Watch
Host: Judge Andrew Napolitano
Date: 04/06/2010


Judge Andrew Napolitano: American soldiers recently murdered two pregnant women, then crudely removed the bullets from their bodies, then washed the wounds in alcohol, then stabbed the dead bodies and reported that the woman were found stabbed and bound when the soldiers arrived. General McChrystal backed up these guys, until Afghani investigators uncovered the likely truth. On Sunday of this week, the general apologized for what “international forces did”. Is it any wonder that President Karzai is furious with the American military? This is all part of President Obama’s war in Afghanistan.

In Pakistan, next door, the president is waging a secret war, and has unleashed more drones in one year than President Bush did in 8 years. Are soldiers fighting that war? No, CIA agents are. The authorization to use military force, which Congress enacted shortly after 9/11, is clearly unconstitutional. It has no target, it has no end, no one can concede defeat, no one can surrender. It permits every future president to attack whoever he or she wants, for whatever reason he or she wants, wherever they want to go.

Joining me now is one of America’s great defenders of the Constitution, of personal liberty and freedom, and the author of the best-seller, “End the Fed”, Congressman Ron Paul. Congressman, I know you guy are off this week, I appreciate your time. Thanks and welcome back to Freedom Watch.

Ron Paul: Thank you, Judge, good to be with you.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: I thought we would talk a little bit about foreign policy, about military policy, especially in light of this scandal the other day. These soldiers, obviously, did a horrific thing. They’re not an example of what every soldier does. The military must prosecute them now in light of what happened. But doesn’t the president, don’t those who set the American foreign policy, realize what this does to the reputation of the United States of America in areas of the world were things like this happen, and when people who perpetrate it, appear to get away with it?

Ron Paul: And don’t you think every Muslim around the world already hasn’t heard about this story? Just like the stories and the pictures of the torture. They said that did irreparable harm to us once that circulated around the world. So, it’s a no-win situation for us. We’re in there for the wrong reasons, doing the wrong thing, and these kinds of incidents just makes things so much worse for us. You just wonder what they’re thinking about to pursue a policy like this.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: When Lyndon Johnson wanted authority to invade North Vietnam, something he was secretly planning to do from before the time he labeled Barry Goldwater as a warmonger, he created the Gulf of Tonkin incident. We now know this never happened. The American public and the Congress believe that U.S. warships were fired on by North Vietnamese military, and so they gave them a resolution that authorized them to invade the North. We all know what happened on 9-11. But, nevertheless, the Congress gave President George W. Bush and his successor, Barack Obama, and President Obama’s successor if this thing is not rescinded, the authorization to use military force against any target anywhere on the planet. This can’t be lawful. The Congress could never have intended that this thing be so open-ended. Yet if you read it, it is open-ended. And presidents even use it in a non-public way, like dispatching the CIA to fight a secret war.

Ron Paul: Yeah, I think it’s totally out of control, although the resolution did say that he was to go only after those individuals responsible for 9/11. Well, the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan had nothing to do with it. So it’s being used outrageously. So you’re right; they have been able to justify this authority to go to any place, anytime they want. It’s endless war, and of course, they use this as a declaration of war, therefore, then they can set up their military courts and their tribunals and all the rest that goes on. So, the whole idea of our foreign policy needs be reversed. This idea that we are the policeman of the world and that we should be everywhere, telling everybody what to do, is an insane policy, and it’s coming back to haunt us. The sooner we wake up, the better.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Now, Pakistan is an ally. But why do members of Congress look the other way, Congressman Paul, when the United States bombs Pakistan? When by mistake it kills innocent people, when it does so using plastic drones out of the sky, that are controlled from a computer in Langley, when it has troops on the ground that are out of uniform? Oh let’s see. Troops on the ground out of uniform. Doesn’t that violate the laws of war? Doesn’t that allow the host country to declare that these people are unlawful combatants, and have no rights? Aren’t we basically doing in Pakistan some of the same things we’ve accused the bad guys of doing to us?

Ron Paul: Yeah, and if we weren’t so powerful, somebody would be charging us with war crimes. The Pakistan government, if it were a little bit stronger, maybe they would object. But, you know, they’re dependent on us. We go in there and we run roughshod over their government and their land. Then what do we do to pacify them? We send them more money, and weapons! So we’re just stirring the pot, it’s all we’re doing. And I just thing we ought to leave the whole area.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: I agree with you. I just don’t think, and I know you have said this yourself, that we can declare democracy by decree. I mean, this is a society, a culture, a set of values that are not shared by us. And you can’t bring democracy at the point of a gun. What do you think the president, who must understand this, really wants to accomplish in Afghanistan? Is it a presidential lust for war, because war brings political support, war lets you raise taxes, people are willing even to give up their freedoms in times of war? Or is there something else at work here?

Ron Paul: You know, I think it’s a lot of those things. But I think mostly its how they’ve been brought up, what they have learnt, who their professors have been, what is the general attitude? And basically it has been that of intervention. And there are some of the neo-cons who feel like we’re morally responsible for this, then the oil people get involved and say we need to control the oil and the gas lines and the pipelines. Others have the religious notion that we’re obligated to do this in support of both Christian beliefs and the Jewish state. And it all adds up and you get a lot of these coalitions together, and they want to redraw the boundaries of the Middle East. That’s what they’re trying to do.

But, you know, I don’t think it’s going to turn out the way they want. Because I think all our policies, whether it’s in Iraq, or what we’re threatening to do in Iran, is actually helping Iran. You know, Ahmadinejad and Karzai get together and talk about it, in spite of our hostilities to Ahmadinejad, and all the support we have given to Karzai up till now, these two guys get together just as the leaders, the Shia leaders of Iraq go around and talk to the Iranians. So I think we have just created so much chaos, and I don’t see any benefit to it.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congressman Paul, it’s always a pleasure, thanks for joining us on Freedom Watch.

Ron Paul: Thank you, judge.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: You can catch today’s show at and on Sirius 145, XM168, or online at at 6 P.M Eastern on Saturdays. From New York, defending freedom, until the next time, stay free America.


  • Christine

    It’s time to Awaken from the Dream “Zday 2010 promo”

  • Machine
  • kilo

    The “war on terror” in Afghanistan will be morphing soon in to the “war for profits” as corporations are now scrambling to secure their presence in Afghanistan’s new mineral extravaganza. JP Morgan has sent over their “scouting troups” to check out the three trillion dollars worth of copper, gold, lithium, gemstone and iron ore fields that have been found. From information I have read our government has known about these riches for many years and I am assuming Corporate America has also been aware of this bounty for quite awhile. hmmmm….. Have our soldiers been dying over there for something bigger$$$ than ridding the world of “terrorists”? Could it be that our soldiers have died in order to try to establish the right political regime that will favor our corporations interests? It is my personal opinion that the answer to these questions is YES and it makes me very angry. You may disagree with me, after all this is America and we are all allowed our beliefs even if they are at polar opposites. But if I am right how do you explain it to the mothers of the fallen that the real reason their sons and daughters died was for a chunk of iron ore and not to free oppressed people and end “terrorism”. I personally would be so ashamed I could not even look them in the eye, unlike the corporate guys who could and would still lie to them.

  • Robert

    Get the hell out of this and alllllll wars . Stop this madess and the kiling of common people.It’s time we stand against the war mongers and tell them to pack the toys and play in their own backyards.And I do mean their own backyards.

  • I don’t believe the Jews did it, I believe it was done by our government or to say those who run our government, the federal reserve, the international bankers and such. There are in the hundred of thousands, maybe millions who are asking the government what are they covering up in regards to the Twin Towers and these other federal crimes, which was very easy to see that they did it. The same is true for Rudy Ridge in Idaho; and Waco, Texas, and the federal building in Oklahoma. The government is seeing what we are going to do about it and nothing to speak of SO they keep taking more of our freedoms from us to keep us “safe”, so to speak.

  • Ben

    Rudy Giuliani didn’t say that Ron Paul was being unpatriotic. I said that.

    More self-victimizing in the Ron Paul camp. “Oh, look at me, I can’t even have a dissenting opinion without having my patriotism called into question! I’m a victim of the big, bad GOP!”

    We’re a country at war and Ron Paul has continually lied and misled the American people in an attempt to sabaotage our war effort. And he is suceeding. I do not call that patriotic.

    • Ben you’re starting to sound like a broken record of lies and misconception of Ron Paul. 1. You can still be patriotic and not support these wars. 2. You can still support our troops and for their “WELL BEINGS”. 3. Dude you’re just another cheerleader for these pro-war politicians and corporations.
      & 5. Grow up!

  • Ben

    I am so sick of debunking on this site the lie that Ron Paul only voted for a limit response to kick a little al-Qaida tail and go home. Ron Paul voted for an open-ended commitment with almost unlimited executive power to eradicate terrorism. It’s called the September 14, 2001 resolution. One person in the entire Congress voted no, and that was Barabara Lee who is a complete tool. I’ve posted a link to that resolution on this site numerous times and I don’t feel like going and finding it again to show one more Paulbot that indeed he is wrong. So go look it up yourself. Just type September 14, 2001 resolution afghanistan into an internet search engine.

    In any case, Libertarian777, the war to destroy the al-Qaida (the part that Ron Paul would like you to believe that he likes) is not over. When he said said that al-Qaida has been eliminated in Afghanistan and we are now only fighting the Taliban, he is lying. Furthemore, the resolution that he voted for CALLS FOR a war against the orfganization that perpetrated the attack (al-Qaida) and any organization that harbors them (the Taliban). So even if I were to assume the false premise that there is no al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Ron Paul still voted for a mission to destroy the Taliban.

  • Libertarian777

    wow Ben, if you have an issue, discuss the issue. […]

    Ron Paul voted on limited action against the conspirators of 9/11 and co-consipirators of OBL.

    The letters of marque are meant to be specific actions. It is not a declaration of open ended war.

    Secondly, as I was saying, if you bothered to read correctly, Rudy Giuliani used the exact same tactic that a lot of respondents on this board are using. Evoking emotional aspects or events to nullify an argument without arguing the facts. He kept bringing up the fact that 9/11 happened. Yes it happened, but he wasn’t discussing the issue of blowback or what the foreign policy would or should be. He just kept the same status quo. ‘9/11 happened so we must bomb everyone’ (I’m still waiting for the evidence proving Iraq had WMD and was a co-conspirator with OBL on 9/11).

    If you don’t believe in the ‘blowback’ principal, then say such.

    By saying the circumstances don’t matter, I’m indicating, as I’d mentioned later, that it doesn’t MATTER if the civilians were innocent or not. The IMPRESSION created by these acts RESULTS in additional persons now wanting to do more damage to the USA. People who were not

    And no, Christane Amanpour is not my only source, she is but one example of this.

    When did I ever say “the jews” did it? You’re bringing race into this. I’ve mentioned ISRAEL’s actions. There are (and you will call them liberal Jews) Israeli’s who did not approve of the invasion of Lebanon or the additional settlements on the west bank.

    I’m just trying to say, that as a foreign force, whatever the reasons for being there, and whatever the reasons for soldiers shooting civilians, the NET RESULT is additional hatred towards the foreign force.

    The Civil War was a CIVIL war, there was no ‘foreign’ force. Was the revolution against the British not the exact result of the British imposition (and quartering of soldiers in houses) of various laws and actions that resulted in the uprising by the colonists?

    World War 2 was open declared war. Civilians were killed by both sides in bombings etc. However when the Germans had invaded the various countries (Poland, France etc) there were RESISTANCE fighters in those countries. Each additional Polish / French / Austrian etc civilian killed only bred more contempt for the Germans.

    • Fred the Protectionist

      So you’re taking the side of the resistance fighters? Why?

  • Libertarian777

    reminds me of when Ron Paul during the 2008 debates was talking about ‘blowback’ (a CIA-coined term), and Rudy Giuliani brought up the ‘I was there on 9/11’ and tried to say Ron Paul was blaming America and being unpatriotic.

    Whatever the circumstances of these videos and incidents, a simple fact remains. Civilians were killed.

    Just think if an armed Chinese force was on US soil, and shot and killed civilians (I won’t even say ‘innocent’ civilians, say Americans are throwing rocks at the Chinese APC). The US population would be disgusted, and fight back and rise up against the Chinese invaders. A resistance would build.

    Now why is it any different for any other population? We’re all human.

    If some foreign force killed my wife, children and entire family, I have nothing to live for. So I’d be more than willing to drive a bomb laden truck into a foreign base / APC / vehicle.

    Christiane Amanpour actually explores this to some extent in the ‘God’s Warriors’ documentary she did.

    • Fred the Protectionist

      ^^See, Libertarians are Liberals not Conservative.

  • whitney

    Where is OBL? How come Mantracker on TV finds his fugitives every week, but the US military can’t find this guy in almost 10 years? It is hard to believe this ‘man hunt’ has taken this long, and it doesn’t ‘feel’ like we are any closer to OBL than we started. The failure to capture him begs the questions: are we sure he is still in Afghanistan? Is the US military our best tool for finding people? Who is in charge and why?

  • Truth

    Those behind the wars in Afghanistan have no intention of winning just like Vietnam.Just endless wars for the profit of arms dealers and banks who loan the money to Govts.The only people who lose are the US tax payer and their soldiers who die for their greed.

    The really big prize is Iran,but currently they cannot find an excuse good enough to invade.If Israel pushes the USA into a fight with Iran,then chaos ,death will envelop the Middle East.China gets about 40% of it’s oil form there.Russia has warned the US not to invade as the consequences will be immense.The price of oil will sky rocket causing an economic collapse.

    Good judgement is not going to come from self interested fools.

    • Fred the Protectionist

      No that’s not the truth. They actually think they will win the war, that’s the problem.

  • gander

    I think that it is possible to win. you just have to be willing to show the same force as in wwII and start killing civilians and destroying everything they have. thats how we won in that war and its the reason why we have never won a war since then.

    if the US isn’t prepared to kill everyone in afghanistan then it should go home because it can not win.

    • Machine

      War begot war begot war…

      You prove yourself to be a flag waving jingo. Are you signed up to fight???

      Sure we MAY have won WWII by killing everyone, men women children, but we also lost several large cities worth of our own. And when my grandfather (aWWIIvet and recipient of the Purple HEart) and I talked about me going into the military back in ’90, during the first invasion of Iraq, he said “son I don’t encourage you to do that…my volunteering for the army during WWII was supose to be the war to end all wars for America…What our country is doing today is not honorable nor is it justifiable. It is patriotic to line up behind your leader to do something humain, It is also patriotic to resist and question him when it is for the wrong reasons.” Our government lies and now here we are…War begot war begot war.

      • gander

        why would you think i’m jingoist? war is a waste, but if you’re going to fight, you should fight to win. and that means killing your enemy and scorching their earth. anyone opposed to total war only prolongs pain suffering and death on both sides through “good intentions.”

        • Machine

          I don’t think the hundreds of thousands of wounded, mamed and displaced innocent people (civilians) of the countries we invade ( bomd the shit out of) would agree that…”The U.S. needs to stop being half assed and ‘WAR’ better!”

          We really do need to try a completely different approach. WAR begot WAR begot WAR…

          That being said you make a good point… Only an abtuse mind is capable of such absolute inhumain destruction. Hitler and the Nazi regime were an example of this, however even the Germans left alone those small nonviolent Dutch villages…known for harboring Jews. We on the other hand march wait fly drones – a favorite of our NINTENDO solders – over small villages in hopes of killing off a couple of terrorist suspected of hiding out…That one thousand people (innocent men women and children) die is just a casualty of war.
          I actually heard a woman the other day say…”We did pretty good back in ’90 during the first invasion of Iraq…We only lost a small handful of our own.” ONLY!?!? This is the kind of “talent” that makes me shutter!

          Aside from our own Revolutionary War, how many wars have there been, in which the U.S. government sent our own military, and as a direct result, a democratic government, respect full of human rights occured??? None! Even after we whipped Japans ass their Government did not become a democracy, nor Germany…Not as a result of War, nor as a result of our occupation (military and economic presence) in over 70 countries.

          Yep, ther sure are some big stories we pass along generation to generation about war, but all one really has to do is listen to history…It SCREAMS…BOMBS BULLETS, killing in general never bring resolution.

  • longshotlouie

    Silence Is Violence

    • Fred the Protectionist

      Freedom is slavery
      War is peace
      Ignorance is strength

      • Berg

        Why should I get drafted for your “protectionist” wars, when our lives and way of life are not at stake??

        Why should we go to war just for the sake of going to war? Overpopulation?

        • Fred the Protectionist

          Actually it’s a Free Trader’s war. You have to protect your precious oil supply because free trade policy prevents the US from becoming oil independent.

          • Citizen

            Great idea Fred,
            Raise tariffs on oil import to $200 barrel, or just shut it off all together.
            Then American will simply collapse, we’ll ALL be unemployed!

            Got any more “brilliant” ideas, FRED?

          • Fred the Protectionist

            Fine, just stop saying this war isn’t your fault. This war is to protect your precious trade (in oil).

            no blood for oil!

            no blood for oil!

            no blood for oil!

            so on and so forth…

  • Libertarian777

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

    John Adams

    • Fred the Protectionist

      I suppose so.

      Kill the free-traitors!

  • We have heard the crap if we leave Afghanistan then we’re giving our enemies fuel to attack us., We have heard that “we’re cuttung and running”., “we’re surrendering if we leave now.,” & “cut and run”., from these same cheerleaders who are still Pro-War Neo-Cons. We have been there for nearly ten years and been in Iraq for nearly seven years. How many more lives of our fine men and women in uniform do we have to lose until it’s time for us to packup and let them sort the mess out themselves?

  • Fred the Protectionist

    Good job Napolitano, use an incident involving US soldiers that hasn’t been resolved in court to bash America. Traitor.

    • longshotlouie

      Let us ignore what our own eyes and ears see and hear.

      What did you see and hear, Fled?

      • Fred the Protectionist

        What’s next? You going to spit on soldiers?

        • Berg


          “Something about spitting on shoulders…” – Fred

          “Well it sure is a nice day outside!” – Old fella

    • Machine


  • Ryan

    Wow, this is shocking. Bad keeps getting worse.
    Our reputation is so very precarious as it is, after the Abu Ghraib incident, and now this: Two pregnant women murdered, and then an attempted cover-up.
    I’m speechless, except to say, “We need to end the wars, now!”