William J. Astore on the Absurdity of America’s Afghan War

The ongoing absurdity of America’s Afghan War was captured in two headlines today from my New York Times feed. Here’s the first:

NEWS ANALYSIS
Taliban Talks Raise Question of What U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan Could Mean
By MARK LANDLER, HELENE COOPER and ERIC SCHMITT
A hasty American withdrawal, experts said, would erode the authority and legitimacy of the Afghan government, raising the risk that the Taliban could recapture control.

Think about this. What kind of “authority” and “legitimacy” does an Afghan government have if that authority and legitimacy can be fatally undermined by a “quick” withdrawal of U.S. troops over 18 months? The Taliban, meanwhile, does not pose a serious threat to the United States, and anyway who are we to say which group should rule in Afghanistan?

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Deep State At War: Intel Chiefs Slam Trump Before Senate

Appearing before the Senate, US intelligence community heads undermined each of President Trump’s foreign policy positions and warned that foreign “enemies” would likely interfere in the 2020 elections. The Deep State, neocons, and the liberal #resistance all line up against peace and freedom. Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Remembering Howard Zinn and His Antiwar Message Nearly a Decade Later

Photo Credit: Luke Henderson

It’s been nearly 10 years since the death of Air Force bombardier turned historian and activist Howard Zinn, whose antiwar rhetoric continues to influence the conversation of U.S. interventionism to this day. I was first introduced to Zinn through stumbling upon a copy of A Power Government’s Cannot Suppress, a title which caught my eye due to my already established views of minimal government and the ability of people to take control of their lives. What I ended up reading was not what I expected and opened my eyes to the truly horrifying history of the many wars and interventions committed the US.

Coming from a libertarian background, I was already familiar with Ron Paul’s views on noninterventionist foreign policy, but I never expected to have these cemented by a progressive. Zinn’s ability to reveal the personal and emotional side of history made his book almost uncomfortable to read at times as I felt a great weight in my chest learning of all the innocent casualties of the US bombings in the Middle East.

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Defying War and Defining Peace in Afghanistan

“Afghan civilians have endured invasion, occupation, aerial bombings, ground attacks, drone warfare, extensive surveillance, internal displacement, soaring refugee populations, environmental degradation and the practice of indefinite detention and torture,” writes Kelly. “How would U.S. citizens bear up under even a fraction of this misery?” (Photo: U.S. Army Lt. Col. Mike Brady, Task Force Cyclone, 38th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

On January 27th, 2019, the Taliban and the US government each publicly stated acceptance, in principle, of a draft framework for ongoing negotiations that could culminate in a peace deal to end a two-decade war in Afghanistan.

As we learn more about the negotiations, it’s important to remember others working toward dialogue and negotiation in Afghanistan. Troublingly, women’s rights leaders have not, thus far, been invited to the negotiating table. But several have braved potential persecution to assert the importance of including women in any framework aiming to create peace and respect human rights.

A young medical graduate student told me she was deprived of schooling during the Taliban era. “If government doesn’t protect women’s basic rights,” she said, “we could lose access to health care and education.”

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Bolton: We’re Taking Venezuela’s Oil

President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton made US policy toward Venezuela very clear in an interview on FoxNews yesterday: We’re going to overthrow the government and take the country’s oil. He gets points for bluntness, at least. But who are the “democratic forces” the US seeks to install to “restore Venezuela’s constitution”? They were all trained by the same US government funded “regime change factories” behind the color revolutions of the Bush and Obama Administrations. In other words, they are the creations of the US government, not of the Venezuelan people. Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Ron Paul on the Distraction: Obsessing Over ‘The Wall’ While Ignoring Neocon Threat

Where is Congress on issues that really matter? Venezuela? They don’t want a debate because they all agree on interventionism. Syria? The only debate was to shut down any debate when the president proposed getting US troops out. Yemen? Nope. On NATO Congress voted to prohibit debate on getting out of that Cold War alliance. Nope – it’s all about politics and scoring political points. Which is why we are mired in this phony debate about wall or no wall. Pure political grandstanding. A tour of the more important issues in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.