by Congressman Ron Paul
Hat tip: Texas Straight Talk
Last week, Congress debated a resolution directing the President to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan no later than the end of this year. The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the Congress, so it is clearly appropriate for Congress to assert its voice on matters of armed conflict. In recent decades, however, Congress has defaulted on this most critical duty, essentially granting successive presidents the unilateral (and clearly unconstitutional) power to begin and end wars at will. This resolution was not expected to pass; however, the ensuing debate and floor vote served some very important purposes.
First, it was important to finally have an actual floor debate on the merits and demerits of continuing our involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan. Most congressional action regarding Afghanistan has concerned continued funding for the conflict. Thus, members of Congress have cloaked their support for an increasingly unpopular war in terms of financial support of the troops. But last week’s resolution had nothing to do with funding or defunding the war, but rather dealt directly with the wisdom of an open-ended commitment of U.S. troops (and hundreds of billions of tax dollars) in Afghanistan. Members opposing the resolution had to make their case for the ongoing loss of American lives as well as the huge expenditures required for an intractable conflict.
In my opinion, this was an impossible case to make.
by Prof. Marc W. Herold
Hat tip: Global Research
Future U.S wars in the Third World will involve massive use of drones to police the territory, employ local satrap forces (like those of Karzai’s Afghan Army) and once the territory has been pacified sufficiently, the deployment of “Government Ready-to-Rule (GRR)” kits. The drones provide the critical and the weak link: critical insofar as they represent the ultimate American-style war where only the “Others” (opponents and civilians) die but weak insofar as this type of warfare only works against an opponent without any anti-drone/aircraft capability. In other words, this type of technological warfare can only be carried out upon weak opponents lacking independent industrial capacities (not against China, Russia, and India). This approach represents the culmination of disconnecting the delivery of deadly force – the rain of Hellfire missiles – upon the Others and incurring no human (physical or psychological – PTSD) costs. Or put in other terms, it represents the quintessential American way of “solving” problems with technological short-cuts, a military effort begun in 1942 with the Allied fire-bombing of German cities. The current American war in Afghanistan is a harbinger of what is to come, America’s electronic, troop-less war.
Prophetically the first victims in 2010 of Obama in his Afghan war were a teacher in a government school, Sadiq Noor, and his nine-year old son, Wajid as well as three other persons. Both were killed on Sunday night, January 3, 2010 in a U.S. drone strike involving two missiles fired into the home of Sadiq Noor in the village of Musaki, North Waziristan in Pakistan. During January 2010, a record number of twelve deadly missile strikes were carried out on Pakistan’s tribal areas. Three Al-Qaeda leaders were killed and 123 innocent civilians. During 2009, 44 U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan killed 708 people but only five Al Qaeda or Taliban; that is for each enemy fighter 140 civilian Pakistanis had to die.
Those who pull the gray trigger to fire are located in Nevada, Kandahar, or Pakistan. As Philip Alston points out, “Young military personnel raised on a diet of video games now kill real people remotely using joysticks. Far removed from the human consequences of their actions, how will this generation of fighters value the right to life?” In early 2010, the U.S. Air Force had more drone operators in training than fighter and bomber pilots.
By readers’ request: The following is a preview of one article that will be in the next print edition of The Liberty Voice, to be released on
January 12, 2010…make that January 15, 2010.
by Mike Prysner
Transcribed by The Liberty Voice Transcription Service
…and I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame. The racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These were people. These were human beings.
I’ve since been plagued by guilt, anytime I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn’t walk, who we rolled onto a stretcher and told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt anytime I see a mother with her children, like the one who cried hysterically, and screamed that we were worse than Saddam as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm and dragged into the street.
We were told we are fighting terrorists. The real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism is this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country. It has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people.
Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government. It is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank a bomber or a battleship. It’s more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or a tomahawk missile.
by Anna Baltzer
I am sitting in an internet cafe in Beirut trying to concentrate, but I just can’t. There are hundreds of heartbreaking emails to read through, each one worse than the last. The carnage did not stop with the so-called “ceasefire” (I use quotations because the slow massacre of starving an entire population of basic human necessities — sufficient food, water, medical supplies, heat — continues). Everyday on television we watch new bodies being dug out of the rubble. And now that a few international reporters and humanitarian workers have been allowed into Gaza, we hear more of the stories that had previously been left untold.
I do not have the resilience to even bear one more month here. I am so drained, so pained, and of course I have the luxury of being able to buy a ticket and leave whenever I want. It’s fitting that Beirut will be one of my last stops. Here a city, devastated by war after war, continues to rebuild itself, like the rest of Lebanon and like Gaza. Beirut nightlife buzzes around me as I write, and I have to believe that if the millions of Lebanese and Palestinian people repeatedly traumatized in this war-torn land have pulled themselves together to rebuild and look to a better future, then I’ll manage to as well.