William Astore on Trump’s Afghan War Speech: More of the Same, With More Killing

As a private citizen and presidential candidate, Donald Trump railed against the Afghan war. A waste, he said. Americans should withdraw, he said. But in last night’s speech, Trump went against his own instincts (so he said) and went with the failed policies of his predecessors. The war will continue, no timetable set, no troop levels determined, with conditions on the ground dictating America’s actions, according to the president.

What caught my attention, beyond the usual paeans of praise to America’s “warriors” and “warfighters,” was the specious reasoning to justify the continuation of the war. Trump gave three reasons, so let’s take them one at a time:

  1. “First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives …”

It’s piss-poor reasoning to argue that, because a lot of people have sacrificed and died in a war, the war should continue (with more people dying) to justify those previous sacrifices. By this logic, the more who die, the more we should keep fighting, meaning more dead, meaning more fighting, and so on. Where is the honor and “worthy” outcome here?

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Ron Paul & Jacob Hornberger on Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy: What To Expect

President Trump will unveil his new strategy for Afghanistan tonight. Will he do the sensible thing and end the failed longest war in history? Or will he continue doing the same thing and expect that somehow he will “win” the war? Does he even know what “winning” looks like? Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report is joined by Future of Freedom Foundation president Jacob Hornberger to preview what the president may say…and why:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Time To Call the Question: Is Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons Constitutional?

Adam Liptak wrote in the New York Times several days ago that law schools are preparing to delve into numerous Constitutional questions that have been brought to a head by the Trump presidency, not the least of which is:

“Must Congress authorize a nuclear strike against North Korea?”

(See “New on This Fall’s Law School Syllabus: Trump.”)

Case in point: a conference taking place in Cambridge on November 4 will address the question, “Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons:  Is it Legal? Is it Constitutional? Is it Just?”  The affiliations of the speakers – including Yale Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, MIT – tend to affirm Liptak’s suggestion that this is a question that is being taken up in law schools and on campuses nationwide.

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The Truth About Yemen: Ron Paul Interviews Vanessa Beeley

The misery inflicted on the Yemeni people by two years of US-backed Saudi warfare is almost unimaginable. Western press are either silent or they promote pro-war propaganda. Why is Washington selling Saudi Arabia the weapons to commit genocide on the Yemeni people? We get the real news from investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

ACTION ALERT: Diplomacy, Not War on the Korean Peninsula

Action Alert from United for Peace & Justice

Amidst speculation about a potentially imminent nuclear weapon or missile test by North Korea, tensions on the Korean peninsula are rising to the highest level in decades, as US and North Korean officials posit threats and counter-threats of pre-emptive military strikes. Even hawkish former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta has warned: “We have the potential for a nuclear war that would take millions of lives. So I think we have to exercise some care here.”

Today, in an unusual and worrying development, all 100 U.S. Senators have been summoned to the White House for a closed briefing on the Korean situation by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford. The briefing will start at 3 pm EDT/at noon PDT.

Call your two Senators now! Tell them there’s no military solution to the North Korean Crisis. Demand diplomacy. Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Also today, in a stunning display of double standards, the U.S. Air Force plans to conduct a test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. According to the launch commander: “These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities.” In other words, this test is intended to signal a credible U.S. nuclear threat. While you won’t probably won’t hear about the US missile test in the national media, you can be sure that North Korea is taking note. There is no military solution to the standoff on the Korean peninsula, which threatens to spiral out of control – potentially catastrophically. Both China and North Korea have proposed that the United States and South Korea suspend their large-scale annual military exercises in exchange for a freeze on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, but the U.S. and South Korea have refused even to discuss the offer.

Drop everything and call your Senators right now! Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121

It’s time to end US double standards. It’s time to stop making military threats and ratchet down the tensions on the Korean peninsula. One misstep could lead to the loss of millions of lives. Demand a diplomatic solution to the North Korean crisis. No military strikes. Start talking. If you get a response from your Senator’s office, please tell us about it, by writing to info.ufpj@gmail.com. Thank you for taking urgent action at this critical moment.