Today the Turkish military together with the US invaded a section of northern Syria. Billed as an anti-ISIS operation, it is more about establishing long-wished-for “no-fly” zones in Syria. Major escalation. How will Russia respond?
Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today is Daniel McAdams and Daniel good to see you.
Daniel McAdams: Good morning Dr. Paul. I think we have a clip we want to start with.
Ron Paul: There you go. OK.
Daniel McAdams: Get it queued up here.
Ron Paul: What we will be talking about you will find out real soon. We are going to be talking about Syria and Turkey where there is a few things going on there and we are interested in what our President has to say about it. In the past he has made a statement about boots on the ground and what do we know about today? Let’s see what the President has to say.
Barack Obama: On a slippery slope to another war. One man wrote to me that we are still recovering from our involvement in Iraq. A veteran put it more bluntly, this nation is sick and tired of war. My answer is simple, I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria, I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan.
Ron Paul: OK, we know the position of our government, no boots on the ground.
Daniel McAdams: We will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. He said that a year ago, now two years ago when he put us into Syria.
Ron Paul: There you go. The one advantage of having a position like this, what they are planning now we have to defend our troops, they lie about no troops on the ground, they put troops on the ground and then we have to join or ourselves have to go in to protect these troops and since we go in just about every country in the world, with a little bit of an exaggeration, there is always an excuse for us to go in.
But, yes there is something in the news these last 24 hours coming up, we have the Vice President in Ankara talking with their President and their Prime Minister and of course one month ago, just a little over a month ago there were major concerns about what was going on between the United States and Turkey because there was an attempted coup and we hear contradictory statements about this, was it a false coup or really and yet the President now dealt with it as being a real coup and he claimed that somebody in Pennsylvania, Gulen, who is a Turkish citizen, they claimed that he was the organizer of this and the Turks are still pretending they are pretty angry with us because we won’t send him back to Turkey for trial.
But, anyway, right now, one of the news says that the US joins Turkish forces to launch push against Islamic State in Syria. There is a change on this, I mean, it isn’t the usual stuff going back and forth, this looks like maybe we could even call this an invasion and what is the ulterior motive there. Do you think invasion is a little bit too strong a term? If it hasn’t been yet, it looks like it could lead to one.
Daniel McAdams: No, it’s definitely, there is no question, it’s a textbook definition of an invasion and the Turkish military moved in from southern Turkey into northern Syria. We actually have another slide that we will put up to show you exactly what happened, but they moved into northern Syria with US backing, the US provided intelligence and drones and other things, we don’t know maybe even troops to move in and invade this part of northern Syria.
It’s funny because, here we have, this is the establishment of Jarabulus, that is the town they attacked and that is on the Euphrates river. Essentially, it was to prevent the Kurds, which are yellow, from moving further beyond the Euphrates, which the Turks have always said it’s a red line for them. But, what is going to happen Dr. Paul, is this dotted line now is going to be occupied essentially by Kurds and that would be I think the colonel of a no-fly zone that the Turks have wanted for a long time on their border with Syria and this will join actually the no-fly zone the US announced in Hasaka, in southeast, central-east Turkey, around Syria, just a few days ago.
Ron Paul: But, it gets messy, if this were just an argument between the Turks and the Syrians and the Kurds you could see this, but all of a sudden the United States is involved there and we are participating in this, we are providing military services and we know that there are troops involved, our special forces are there and if troops are there we have to go in and this sort of thing, so it tends to escalate. But, where it really gets messy for the United States is when we deal with the Kurds. We tend to want to be friendly with the Kurds and Turkey gets upset about that, we are too friendly about it and yet the Kurds and ISIS wants to fight, they are pretending that they will fight and they are for the United States getting rid of Assad, but we don’t fight them at all.
So, it just goes on and on and right now, the pretense is that we are in there also to help Turkey restrain the Kurds and not establish a strong foothold there. But, the whole thing is that I am not sure the United States really has control of the Kurds, to some degree it gets messier and messier and I don’t see an easy way out of this without more violence.
Daniel McAdams: Of course, the part of the news media, for example the New York Times, their big headline is Turkey moves into Syria to fight ISIS, but the Financial Times, interestingly enough, they had a different headline, Turkey goes into Syria to block further gains by the Kurds. There are two different views of that and certainly whatever you do in the name of fighting ISIS, nobody’s going to push back, so I think that is why it’s shown that way, but I think the Kurds are finding out now how treacherous it can be to be an ally of the US, because they’ve done our bidding in fighting ISIS in other parts of the country, but now when the Turks feel that they’ve gotten a little bit too big for their bridges, the US is now literally, the Vice President of the US is in Ankara today playing kiss and make up with the Turkish government.
Ron Paul: Yeah and it’s not unusual for us to be on two sides at one time, but we are. We are sympathetic and want to use the Kurds, at the same time how we are working with the Turks and at the same time a month ago, we were accused of trying to overthrow their government and it just goes on and on, but the thing is it is not going to be sorted out. In a way, it looks like maybe Hillary’s had an influence on this. Hillary, wasn’t she early on, didn’t she speak openly about a no-fly zone there, she thought this was a good idea, so she would I am sure be defending this and of course a no-fly zone as you showed in your discussion that this is an attack on the sovereignty of Syria, because the people that want to help Syria have been invited there.
I don’t think we’ve gotten our invitation yet, I don’t think Turkey’s gotten their invitation yet and even if you look at all the pros and cons of Russia, I think Russia is on the safer footing, internationally speaking, about their association with a government. So, if we oppose to that, that means we support the violent overthrow of the government.
I still think it was in 2011 when this mess really escalated, when the peace President and the Nobel Peace Prize winner, says Assad has to go and on again, off again, he shifts back and forth. Right now, last week we talked about a shift in policy away from fighting the radicals and just addressing the subject of going after Assad. But, here we are now, participating and escalating the fight with the radicals.
Daniel McAdams: I think a lot of this is about Assad. It’s funny you mention Hillary, I was looking at a headline of her in 2015, arguing against the US getting more involved and she said something to the effect, she was countering someone who said we got to get more involved, she said if we start arming the rebels in Syria, we will only be helping Al-Qaeda. That is exactly what the US government did, so she even knew at the time that that is what was going to happen.
But, no, I think that establishment of a de facto no-fly zone over Hasaka and this is where the US special forces are fighting along with the Kurds. If you remember, there was an incident a couple of days ago and the US, the Pentagon said Syrian jets, if you fly back over that again or even the Russians, you will be shot down. That means there is a no-fly zone within Syria and this other one now from this invasion will be another. I think it’s a creeping establishment of facts on the ground to take more parts of Syria that will be controlled by the US and Turkey and denied Assad.
Ron Paul: A while back a Russian plane was shot down and it was an incident for a day or two and I was a little bit surprised that Russia didn’t make more of a case out of that, but I don’t think that will be the case now, if there is a prohibition that they can’t even fly in this zone, in the country that they are working with the government of that country, I think this will be a different story and they will have the weapons to do this, the weapons are available and you mentioned about Hillary and weapons, that we found out from Wikileaks that she was very much involved in the transfer of weapons from Libya over to the Syrian rebels, so the enemy ends up with weapons, two enemies against each other and have out weapons and those weapons are so often throughout our history, especially the 20th century, the 21st century weapons are used against us and who knows what will come of all this mess, but it’s almost getting messier rather than being resolved.
Daniel McAdams: And she knew this is what will happen and she supported it anyway.
But, the other thing and we’ve talked about this before the show, is the issue of the US government and Congress and I think that you could make the case that essentially how they are being used, you could make the case that US forces in Syria now are almost being used as human shields to establish a pretext for a no-fly zone, because no, you cannot get anywhere near that, we’ve got our troops there, so they are there in a way to defend this area that’s expanding and where’s Congress? They’ve not said a word about this.
Ron Paul: And the excuse by our administration, we are protecting our troops and the American people, we have to protect our troops, but they should be saying where is Congress, like you say, where is Congress on this? Well, this isn’t a war, it’s a conflict, but today nobody looks at the definition of war and nobody cares about declaring war and being upfront. They are just complacent. They are complicit in this because they do the funding. Obama doesn’t get the funding unless the Congress passes it and the military funds are there, they could stop this. They could say no funds can be used in the fight against Syria, but they don’t even make an attempt to do this.
That is a real problem and it’s a shame, I imagine the Founders would be quite disappointed, because they meant the legislative body to be the strongest and particularly the Congress, because they were supposed to be closest to the people and that they should speak out, every once in a while they do, but only after a lot of suffering, a lot of spending, because I witnessed that in the 1960s and the early 70s about how to get the administration to quit these secret wars going on in Vietnam and Laos. That has been going on a long time and it’s just a shame that they can’t see what could come from this, before we get started.
I think we had a clip the other day about the Republican leadership and how willing they are to go along with this and they fight and argue tenaciously for political reasons, but when it comes to the big argument over Libya, it was never ever why were we there, what were we doing there, it was always a technical argument and I think that is where the real problem is and that we have a few in Congress that will talk about it and stand up for the right thing, but there is so much complacency and members of Congress are indoctrinated that if you don’t support this, you don’t support the troops, you are un-American and the Constitution doesn’t mean anything, they don’t even care, but they paint this picture that you are not supporting American troops.
Of course, my belief is that the best way to support American troops is keep them out of harm’s way and keep them out of fights that have no meaning for our national security.
Daniel McAdams: That is the point really, the propaganda is so strong. If somehow you argue against what the US is doing, which is an escalation, it’s escalating to participate in the invasion of another country. If you argue against this though, what you don’t want us to defeat ISIS, you want our troops to get killed while they are in Syria? They are illegally there, don’t put them illegally without a declaration of war, without a plan to do what needs to be done and then there won’t be a problem.
Ron Paul: Then they get into the silliness of who created ISIS. Some individual, somebody from one political party, from which political party caused ISIS and they never talk about the bipartisan foreign policy that incites people toward hatred to us and having the radicals, the people who are willing to use a radical approach to go after us and kill people to try to make a point. They never talk about the policy and of course I think that is the most important.
I mean, that doesn’t eliminate all people that are prone to violence, because there has been a few people around throughout all history that are doing that, but if they have a tremendous incentive, when you invade a country and you occupy a country, it’s not that difficult to rally the troops against the invaders. I’ve often said there’s a lot of different groups in Syria fighting and wanting to take over and how this is going to be settled, but the people who are the rebels and the jihadists and the terrorists so to speak, the one thing they agree on, with all the groups they agree on, foreigners ought to get out of the country.
Daniel McAdams: Yeah. You talk about the people being killed and I was just seeing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is a really a pro-rebel outfit and they’ve estimated since the US started bombing, 6,000 people have been killed and a good number of civilians.
Ron Paul: It’s a pity. We’ve lived with wars for a long, long time. I still remain optimistic enough that the world is young compared to all of history. There is no reason why human nature can’t change. I don’t happen to believe that they are absolutely necessary to perpetual war forever and ever and yet that is a real challenge.
But, right now, as bad as it is, we are not in World War III and we have the knowledge and the ability to change policy to the point where we could reduce the tensions, but the people have to wake up, the Congress has to wake up, we have t have a sense of following of the rule of law and our Constitution and that to me means the whole new generation of individuals must be introduced to these ideas of non-intervention and having national security. At the same time defending the very principled position of individual liberty and we can work toward a policy of peace and prosperity. That should be our goal.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today and come back to the Liberty Report soon.