Fmr. Texas Rep. Ron Paul trending for sage, prophetic remarks about Afghanistan — 10 years ago

Former Rep. Ron Paul, the father of Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, trended on Twitter Monday for prophetic comments he made regarding Afghanistan years ago.

The Texas Republican, who was noted — and often criticized — for his dovish national security views often warned against so-called ‘forever wars’ like those waged for decades throughout the Middle East.

But he was particularly skeptical of the conflict in Afghanistan, and his remarks and warnings have become newly relevant following reports that Taliban fighters have regained control over nearly all of the country amid a retreat and pull-out of U.S. diplomatic and military personnel ordered in May by President Joe Biden.

Paul, a physician who retired from Congress in January 2013, took to the floor of the House in March 2011 to speak about withdrawing from Afghanistan, and why it was vital to do so.

Paul explained why he was unequivocal in his belief that the U.S. should pull out of the country as quickly as possible, saying that to him, the choice was “clear” and “not complicated.”

In pushing for a pull-out by year’s end, Paul added: “If we don’t, we’ll be there for another decade, would be my prediction.”

He went on to say that “for nearly a decade” he and a bipartisan group of lawmakers had already argued “not to expand” the war effort in the southwest Asian country, where many believe empires have gone to die.

Paul warned against “nation-building,” adding that Americans, by and large, believed by then it was time to leave Afghanistan.

“It’s a fruitless venture, too much has been lost, the chance of winning — since we don’t even know what we’re going to win — doesn’t exist,” Paul said. “Some argue we have to be there because if we leave under these circumstances, we’ll lose face, it will look embarrassing to leave.

“So how many more men and women have to die? How many more dollars have to be spent to save face? That is one of the worst arguments possible,” the libertarian-leaning Texan continued.

He also predicted that remaining in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban would only lead to their ranks swelling, which appears to have been the case, and railed against the amount of money taxpayers were spending there.

“All empires end for fiscal reasons because they spread themselves too far around the world, and that’s what we’re facing,” he added, going on to note that the Soviet Union collapsed “by doing the very same thing” after their forces spent a decade in Afghanistan propping up a Moscow-friendly regime.

Others on social media praised Paul for his insight and posted other prophetic statements he has made through the years.

“What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?” was one of them, posted Monday by the Libertarian Party of Texas.

“What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?” he also asked during a separate House floor speech, referencing one of the main reasons Americans were told al Qaeda attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, which led to the war in Afghanistan.

For the record, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) was the only member of Congress who voted against the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in October 20o1, which gave then-President George W. Bush the authority to invade Afghanistan.


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Jon Dougherty


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