Ron Paul: The War That’s Not a War

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

The War That’s Not a War

July 1, 2010

In 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 for Hussein’s invasion.

After Iraq’s successful invasion of Kuwait we reacted with gusto and have been militarily involved in the entire region, six thousand miles from our shores, ever since. This has included Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. After twenty 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.”

People are dying, bombs are dropped, our soldiers are shot at and killed.

Our soldiers wear uniforms; 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’s still really no al Qaeda in Iraq and only a hundred or so in Afghanistan, yet there is no end in sight to the “war.” Could there have been other reasons for this war that is not a war?

Military victory in Afghanistan is illusive. Does anyone really know whom 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 1960’s to keep us in Vietnam?

We own the Iraq government as we do Afghanistan’s. 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 Osama bin Laden, in the fight to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan in the 1980’s.

In that effort our CIA funded radical jihad against those nasty foreign occupiers-the Russians.

What gratitude? Those same people now resent our benevolent occupation-with a little violence thrown in.

The resistance 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.

The harder 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 resist an army of great strength, the most powerful of all history, one should ask, who has the moral high ground?

Military failure in Afghanistan is to be our destiny. Changing generals without changing our policies or our policy makers perpetuates our agony and delays the inevitable.

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.

A military 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 are going, it is going to end badly. What we need are honest leaders with character and a new foreign policy.


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  • Machine

    “Ben the Vietnam War was never intended to be won.It was about the Military Industrial Complex making money out of human misery.The Gulf of Tonkin incident was another false flag event,the North Vietnamese did not attack the US and like 911,another false flag event to justify the invasion of oil /mineral rich Islamic countries.

    Just look at the Israeli attack on on the Liberty in 1966. Now proven to be another false flag event to get the USA to attack Egypt.

    Where do you have your head?”

    Your wasting your time with this cat.
    It’s one thing to debate with intellegent people who have an opposing perspective…But the jingos and warmongers in our country are, well, just that, Jingos and Warmongers…Jingos are obedient, they line up and never question authority, anyone who does, or gets in their way, is considered the enemy. Warmongers are greedy…On a conquest for more power and absolute control…divide and concure by “any” means necessary; for any worthwhile ends will justify those means. Especially MONEY!!!

    As far as your insight of the Vietnam war…You are right on. Only American ideology opposes the truth; meaning it is UN-American to charge your country for any wrong doing. But it makes complete sense that the “Bens” of the world could never see it( Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan…) in the light of the truth because that would mean our country has ill intensions other than fighting the tyranny of facism; which I truely think is what Ben believed he signed up for.

    I don’t for one second blam Ben, or anyone, for wanting to serve his country, to protect it’s boarders and quill the flames of facism. However, I have nothing but contempt for our Government when they go around stiring up hives, destabilizing other governments that are already shakey, getting in bed with other governments that do not share our standards for Human rights, Liberty and Civil Rights, and then lie to the American people and insite fear amongst the masses in order to propagate war and fullfill their corrupt agenda. ANd lets not leave out compromise our own pursuit of Life Liberty and happiness.
    Is Ben prepaired to defend his country from its own Government???

    It would appear that our Government has become our biggest enemy; jeapordizing the wellbeing of the American people, making a mockery out of the U.S. Constitution, completely underminding our Declaration for Independence. It is a good thing that the Founding Fathers could foresee such a Government and made sure that the American people knew that it was their Government, for them, of them and by them, and that it was up to them to “alter or abolish the government” if the Government became destructive to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Our commitment is not to the Government, our only debt is to the principles that our country stands for.

    “Obedience to Government is the sign of a totalitarian state.” – Howard Zinn

  • E

    Read the book; “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” to find out what is going on behind the scenes. This was written by a man hired by those who control what is going on financially, globally…

    Find out the secret reality behind the scenes, behind the media ‘spin’.

  • Ross

    We are making progress. This is a really an excellent article by Andrew Gavin Marshall.
    Zibigniew Brzezinski considered to be the major foreign policy guru ove the last 25 yrs for the USA admits that the New World Order Elites have a problem.

    Zibigniew acknowledges a “Global Political Awakening” that never existed before, mainly due the the internet.We ordinary folk want dignity and a fairer share of the wealth for people on this planet.The neo-cons see this as a threat to their grand plan of a world Govt (New World Order) run by Global Corporates.

    So there is cause for optimism. Keep ther internet free and open from the clutches of the psychopaths.They will create more wars and misery.

  • Yvonne

    Apparently in England citizens are under the belief that freedom of speech for the masses had it’s inception in the Magna Carta which was drafted in 1215 and signed by King John.
    Our founding fathers apparently used the Magna Carta as a blue print for the bill of rights.
    Why does Fox news tell us that freedom of speech was ”given” to us after we broke free from England through war in 1776???
    It makes no sense.
    If England was boasting about freedoms which had their roots in the documents which are collectively referred to as the Magna Carta and originated as early as 1215 then..why am I told to ”shut up about the war because the military gave you the right to speak…”????????
    And now even our congressman can’t speak out against the war?????

  • Yvonne

    Fox News is so bold in the power they have to control the political scene and to stifle free speech that they are now reporting that they have decided that Rep. Michael Steele should step down because he spoke against our presence in Afghanistan.
    The Fox propoganda machine already bullied Rep. Steele into publically apologizing for speaking(speach is no longer free), but they feel his apology for his mis-speak is not enough and he should step down.
    What if he does?
    Can Fox News really strong arm a politician into stepping down because he spoke out against the war?
    If our politicians don’t have the right to speak freely then it’s over for the rest of us.

  • Jack

    The war on terror is a lie.Just google WTC 7 or Danny Jowenko.The real reason for war is all about the military/industrial complex that JFK warned about.

    Hamid Karzai was a consultant for UNOCAL who want to build a pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan,Pakistan to the Capsian Sea to make it economically viable.Now we learn that Afghanistan has $ trillions in minerals and ore to be exploited.

    Prior 911 the Taliban had stopped the production of poppy seeds in Afghanistan.Now under allied forces it produces 90% of the world’s heroine.This market is said to be worth $65 billion pa.The Taliban is seeing very little of this money.

    This a game about global power and if the USA falters and looks weak,China has the man power to overwhelm Afghanistan and take the prize.

    So who will create the next false flag attack like 911 and draw us all into the next global conflict of despotic chaos?

    • AJ

      I think the answer to our military insanity is to BAN PROFIT-MAKING on any government sponsored programs. Thousands of American kids are giving up their lives making minimum wage while military industrialists sit on their fat asses gorging themselves at the 1 Trillion ($ 1,000,000,000,000) trough – provided courtesy of their Democrat and Republican constituents. And where do they get the money for this pig trough? Yea, you and me.

      Congress, including Ron Paul can debate the miserable mistake of our war mongering for another decade while taxpayers bleed continuously our taxes (50% + on the dollar) to the military corporations. WE’RE THE INSANE ONES! STOP FILING TAXES. OUR MONEY IS OUR ONLY VOICE.

      PS. And start telling the war mongers in the Tea Party to wake up. An idot even knows WAR = BIG GOVERNMENT.

      How’s this for an idea for smaller government. Make the military a private business (Duh?) and tell them to support themselves by getting paid by the countries they fight for. They can get paid in Oil, Minerals, Opium, and all the spoils of war. And if the target country has no valuable resources, let the Taliban live there.

      • DissentingPatriot

        Privatize the military? That would only compound the problem. The constitution says that the President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Which then means we have the President running his own profit-making business on the side. Not a good idea.

        The military should NEVER be privatized. Ever heard of Blackwater? That’s a profiteering military. Plus, if you have a privatized military, it will have to find more ways of making more money. Which means MORE wars, not less.

        You want to reign in the military? Start dismantling our bases around the world that we don’t need, like the ones in Europe. Ron Paul has already suggested this. Then, stop giving it basically unlimited funding like we do now and put the Private Military Companies out of business. Right now, they are the major reason we see out of control spending. See the movie “Why We Fight” for more info.

        The military is supposed to defend us and protect the country. Privatize it and that won’t be its first priority anymore. Making money will. Which means America will be less safe.

    • AJ

      Jack is right on. I can’t believe anyone (Other than Dick Cheney) would give a thumbs down to this statement

      Afghanistan and Uzbekistan sit on not only vast mineral reserves, but one of the last remaining massive oil desposits on the planet. What is lacking is a way to get the oil and minerals to the Persion Gulf where the US can load them onto tankers. If you think this is hot air, ask the Taliban why they continuously blow up the pipeline. Want to guess what company is contracted to build the pipeline? Ever heard of Halliburton?


  • DC

    I am a liberal Democrat but I have to say, Paul’s analysis of these wars is spot-on. There is a question I would like to pose to all patriotic Americans with an interest in history.

    “In the late 1700s, where did the British go wrong? What could they have done differently in order to preserve their North American colonies?”

    This question gets to the heart of the matter. Their mistake was that they did not give up sooner. The preservation of the colonies was a lost cause, from the beginning. We made the same mistake in Vietnam. We are making the same mistake in Afganistan and Iraq.

    I hear some Tea-Party types exclaiming – “We want our country back!” This is silly non-sense. We have our country. I am a liberal Democrat. It is my country too. I happen to think that single payer is a good idea. We will work it out.

    The Afghans are taking their counry back. They will will. We will lose. It is Vietnam all over again.

    • Ben

      “I am a liberal Democrat but I have to say, Paul’s analysis of these wars is spot-on.”

      There is no contradiction there. Ron Paul would have us believe that he’s the only “true conservative”, but in fact his point of view on this subject is completely inline with the left. That’s why he co-sponsors Afghanistan surrender bills with known Marxists Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich.

      • Machine

        It’s elementry my dear Ben…”The harder we fight a war that is not a war, the weaker we get and the stronger becomes our enemy.”

        How do you not get this???

      • Machine

        Tis elementry my dear Ben…”The harder we fight a war that is not a war, the weaker we get and the stronger becomes our enemy.”

        How do you not get this???

    • Ben

      Also, Vietnam didn’t have to end the way it did. We lost Vietnam because so many people in this country were working tirelessly to ensure that we lost. It was not a forgone conclusion, and it certainly wasn’t because the VC/NVA were a formidable enemy.

      As late as 1972, the war was essentially won. All we had to do at that point was to support our South Vietnamese allies with money and airpower. That didn’t happen, and that’s why the war ended with gulags, brainwashing, mass murder, and a refugee crisis. I think we can thank the “anti-war” types for that.

      • Ross

        Ben the Vietnam War was never intended to be won.It was about the Military Industrial Complex making money out of human misery.The Gulf of Tonkin incident was another false flag event,the North Vietnamese did not attack the US and like 911,another false flag event to justify the invasion of oil /mineral rich Islamic countries.

        Just look at the Israeli attack on on the Liberty in 1966. Now proven to be another false flag event to get the USA to attack Egypt.

        Where do you have your head?

  • tony

    Ron Paul is our last hope, but we need to get the idiots who actually run the country out.. You can’t vote these people out because they control government decisions and are not government employees.. Special interest groups need to be hunted down and prosecuted for their corrupt ways.. I will happen, but it will get nasty… Ben, take your liberal bull somewhere else.. You’re brainwashed..

  • James

    Ben..stop trolling. If you don’t like RP & his message of freedom & sensible foreign policy, then you are more than welcome to go to a neocon AIPAC sites..this site is for people who actually think & love America and America ONLY.

    • Ben

      James, you don’t know what a troll is. A troll is not someone who simply disagrees with the majority. A troll is someone who comments on a website with nothing but senseless profanity. For example, if someone commented on this website that he wanted to commit lewd sexual acts on Ron Paul’s mother, then that would be a troll. A troll is not someone with a dissenting opinion.

      By the way, isn’t dissent the highest form of patriotism? Well, if you believe that.

      I think all the time. I like to use my brain, which is why my posts contain facts and logic, as oppposed to your post which amounts to “Shut up!” Sounds as if you’d like me to think less, and just jump on the Ronulan band wagon.

      I also love America, which is why I pledged to defend it as a member of the US military. Apparently, you can’t oppose Ron Paul without having your patriotism called into question.

      Your attitude is typical of Paulbots. The Paulbot attitude goes something like this: “This is a Ron Paul fanboy site, so please don’t say anything mean about him. This isn’t a forum to discuss the man’s politics, we’re all here to be his cheerleaders. No debate please, all we want to hear is how great the doofus from Texas is.”

      Don’t get mad me because I’m not here to kiss Ron Paul’s ass.

      • Machine

        Our Government was wrong during Vietnam and they are even more wrong now.

        I applaude Daniel Elsberg for blowing the whistle on the Nixion Administration for their lies during the Vietnam war; millions of innocent lives were unnecessarily snuffed out because of those lies. And I proudly support all the men and women who leave the military troday as Consciencios Objectors to what our Government is doing in the middle east…They are the true heros, the true Humanitarians, true Patriots. We should demand that the mainstream media spot light them for their bravery and courage to question authority and break command…to share the truth with the public…that the ends do not justify the means especially when the means involve illegal invasions, torture – or enhanced interragation as they like to call it now – and killing innocent people. But Fox, CNN, etc., will never be so responsable, or professional, to expose the truth surrounding our Government. Look what happened to a 5 star General…Look what the media does to a senetor for wanting to start a discussion.

        Well I don’t expect that anything I say would ever change your way of thinking…But one thing is for sure, no matter what you perspective is, you cannot deny that if one must lie, cheat, rape, and kill innocent people as a means to an end…then the ends are not just and will never bring peace.

  • c

    It is my understanding that we went to war with Iraq due to Saddam’s refusal to let the UN inspect his country for WMDs. If you give one country leeway well then who next… Iran?

    I do agree that we should get of Afghanistan as Obama screwed up miserably when he didn’t send the troops in time to insure a democratic election… thus the current ruler gets his jewels from the US / taxpayers!

    • Machine

      You are incorrect. The U.N. and the U.S. were granted full access to inspect all facilities in question and speak to all personal. Iraq never stood in the way of our inspection. No WMD were ever found. We went to war with Iraq because Bush needed an entry point into the middle east, and since we had already bomb the shit out of Iraq for ten years it was easy pickens to do so…WMD were just pure demagogary!!!
      If we were seriously concerned with WMD…we would be invading Russia, and China, who have enough WMD to level all of America.

      • Ben

        “The U.N. and the U.S. were granted full access to inspect all facilities in question and speak to all personal. Iraq never stood in the way of our inspection.”

        Where are you getting that from? Saddam threw out weapons inspectors on a regular basis. You’re just making crap up, machine.

        “No WMD were ever found.”

        That’s not true either. Five hundred chemical munitions were found. Do I think that’s all he ever had? No, of course not. Those are the crumbs left behind in a hasty attempt to hide them. But it’s simply untrue to continue to say that no WMD have ever been found.

        • Machine

          No, no. Inspectors were “asked” to leave, only after they were given full access to all persons and buildings in question. Our Government was not reasonable in their requests after NOT finding what they wanted. (sniffles).


          Even if they had found WMD, that is no reason to invade the borders of a soverning nation…if it is than why are we not busting down Russias doors, or Chinas. I’ll tell ya why…we’d have our asses handed to us because those countries have very well organized Militaries. Oh and I almost forgot…What about all those WMD we have!?!? Let me guess your answer…We need nukes in order to maintain world peace…I mean world domination! Boy we sure are doing a great job!

        • Machine

          I see the problem…FOX NEWS is your sole source of information…They speak the truth don’t they!?!? O’Riley, Hannity, etc…
          Funny when Ron Paul was Campagining in ’08 and won a primary debate by quite a large margin on a text poll that Fox themselves set up…Hannity gave all kinds of excusses to try and undermind Ron Pauls victory.

          Yeah, I too would be a dull minded yellow ribbon flag waving jingo if all I did was listen to FoxNews.

    • AJ

      We went o war with IRAQ because Saddam threatened to start accepting payment for Oil with EUROs instead of just US Dollars. Folks, when are we going to get that this is all about Money?

      • Ben

        Prove it. Don’t just talk through your ass, AJ.

        • Machine

          If you are so into proof…why did you support Bush/Chenny? There the two biggest lieing twaddlers ever. Why would you follow along like a lemming and vote for McCain. I certainly know you didn’t vote for Obama;his campaign was all about bringing the troops home…

          I don’t think Ron Paul can solve ALL the problems within our Government…We’re talking 100 years of corruption. But out of any one who was running in 2008 he certainly had the right idea and honest direction; and now with even more support, if he were to run in 2012, Americans might very well get a president that we could clean house with.

      • Machine

        Oh we are..we are. There’s still a few nit wits out there but the majority are seeing the truth more and more everyday.

  • Ben

    You’ll have to forgive me if my posts are a little long. I think I’m the only one on this website who tries to construct rational arguments using actual facts.

  • Ben

    Ron Paul does not tell the truth about Afghanistan. If he did, he wouldn’t be able to make the case that our involvement in unjust. Take a look at this video of lunatic Ron Paul lying nonstop:

    “But, I want to quote the first line of the resolution passed back in 2001, what the purpose of giving the president the power, which was an illegal transfer of power to the president to pursue war at will.”

    Okay, let’s just stop there and ask one very simple question–if it was an illegal transfer of power to the president to pursue war at will, then WHY THE HELL DID HE VOTE FOR IT?

    Ron Paul continues:

    “It said: the authorities to have authorized the use United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States. The Taliban didn’t launch an attack against the United States. The government of Afghanistan didn’t launch it.”

    Except that’s not what all that it says, and he knows it. Some people are too lazy to actually read the bill and may simply take Ron Paul’s word for it. I call those people Paulbots. But for the rest of you thinking Ron Paul fans out there, look it up. It says:

    (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those NATIONS, organizations, or persons HE DETERMINES planned, authorized, committed, or AIDED the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, OR HARBORED SUCH ORGANIZATIONS OR PERSONS, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    (emphasis mine)

    What that means is that the Taliban, which served as the half-assed government of Afghanistan at the time, was included in the resolution. They harbored al-Qaeda. The resolution allowed much broader powers that simply to get back at the people who attacked us. (Technically, the people who attacked us were already dead). Why is Ron Paul stating that the resolution only permitted us to attack al-Qaeda when it is clearly contradicted by the bill? Furthermore, Ron Paul ceeded the authority to determine who conducted the attacks to the President. If the president says that Ronald McDonald attacked us on 9/11, then that’s who we’re going after.

    Ron Paul then goes on to argue that bin Laden and al-Qaeda probably weren’t involved. He doesn’t mention who did it. My guess is the Jews and the neo-Cons and the neo-con Jews. Also, Arial Sharon and Ben Bernake.

    Face it, this man is batshit crazy.

  • Ben

    Okay, Ron Paul just lies incessantly. I just want to puke all over his lying face. He is not a “patriot” as is so frequently claimed on this foolish website. He’s an idiot.

    “Our stated goal since 9/11 has been to destroy al Qaeda.” Nope. Our states goal since 9/11 has been to destroy those who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons. ”

    That’s the wording of the resolution that Ron Paul voted YES on. He knows what he voted on. He knows that al Qaeda is not the only target. Unless he failed to read the reslution which is entirely possible, despite the fact that it’s probably the shortest bill the Congress has ever passed in decades. Short and to the point.

    • Jeffrey

      What is the name of that resolution, so I can research it for myself.

      • Ben

        The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. Usually known as the September 14th Resolution. One person in the whole Congress voted no, and it wasn’t Ron Paul. It was Barbara Lee, a moron and a communist.

  • Idiot Wind

    Why doesn’t anyone else realize the truth in what Dr. Paul is saying? I have a nephew in Afghanistan, and when I told his father (my brother), that we shouldn’t be there, he told me, “He’s not there to hurt anyone, but to teach them to defend themselves”. One has to watch what one says anymore. It’s not being for or against the “war”, which has not been declared, but about what you label it and who you’re speaking to and about it. This “war” will not end, until it has us fighting in almost every country in the world .

  • The only problem is most of these Neo-Cons might be re-elected and continue the same old tired strategy! Last night I was watching the debate and I was yelling at the T.V. out of anger to these idiots in congress who continue to say “STAY THE COURSE”!
    Thanks, for your stance on the war! I wish there were even more people like you in congress.

  • KWaldo

    Thank YOU, and the people that are still sleeping, WAKE UP! I wish was there to hear this in person.