As members of opposing political parties, we disagree on a number of important issues. But we must not allow honest disagreement over some issues to interfere with our ability to work together when we do agree.By far the single most important of these is our current initiative to include substantial reductions in the projected level of American military spending as part of future deficit reduction efforts. For decades, the subject of military expenditures has been glaringly absent from public debate. Yet the Pentagon budget for 2010 is $693 billion — more than all other discretionary spending programs combined. Even subtracting the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, military spending still amounts to over 42% of total spending.It is irrefutably clear to us that if we do not make substantial cuts in the projected levels of Pentagon spending, we will do substantial damage to our economy and dramatically reduce our quality of life.
If the U.S. public looked long and hard into a mirror reflecting the civilian atrocities that have occurred in Afghanistan, over the past ten months, we would see ourselves as people who have collaborated with and paid for war crimes committed against innocent civilians who meant us no harm.
Two reporters, Jerome Starkey (the Times UK), and David Lindorff, (CounterPunch), have persistently drawn attention to U.S. war crimes committed in Afghanistan. Makers of the film “Rethinking Afghanistan” have steadily provided updates about the suffering endured by Afghan civilians. Here is a short list of atrocities that have occurred in the months since General McChrystal assumed his post in Afghanistan.
RT talks to Congressman Ron Paul about why he opposes both Obama’s and his own party’s support for the war in Afghanistan, why he wants to abolish the Fed. and what is Paul’s recent Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009″.
Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives
Statement Before Foreign Affairs Committee
December 10, 2009
Mr. Speaker thank you for holding these important hearings on US policy in Afghanistan. I would like to welcome the witnesses, Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry and General Stanley A. McChrystal, and thank them for appearing before this Committee.I have serious concerns, however, about the president’s decision to add some 30,000 troops and an as yet undisclosed number of civilian personnel to escalate our Afghan operation. This “surge” will bring US troop levels to approximately those of the Soviets when they occupied Afghanistan with disastrous result back in the 1980s. I fear the US military occupation of Afghanistan may end up similarly unsuccessful.In late 1986 Soviet armed forces commander, Marshal Sergei Akhromeev, told then-Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, “Military actions in Afghanistan will soon be seven years old. There is no single piece of land in this country which has not been occupied by a Soviet soldier. Nonetheless, the majority of the territory remains in the hands of rebels.” Soon Gorbachev began the Soviet withdrawal from its Afghan misadventure. Thousands were dead on both sides, yet the occupation failed to produce a stable national Afghan government.
Ron Paul gets a chance to ask Hillary Clinton, Gates, and Mullen if they support the Bush doctrine of “preventive war”. He gets the answer you would expect.
This is from a joint hearing on Afghanistan following Obama’s speech/announcement last night 12/01/2009.
On Monday night, I was on the Lou Dobbs show on CNN for the “Face-Off” segment where I debated the neconservative, pro-Empire Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard, about Afghanistan. Patricia DeGennaro of NYU was also on the program.