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
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 FoxNews.com/FreedomWatch and on Sirius 145, XM168, or online at FoxNewsTalk.com at 6 P.M Eastern on Saturdays. From New York, defending freedom, until the next time, stay free America.