Anti-war argument 'winning' despite setback in Congress - Ron Paul to RT

Anti-war argument 'winning' despite setback in Congress - Ron Paul to RT
Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) fight to repeal post-9/11 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) went better than anticipated, considering the tight grip “pro-war” interests have on Congress, former Congressman Ron Paul told RT.

Dr. Ron Paul, a 12-term ex-congressman from Texas and three-time presidential candidate, supported his son’s proposal that would have ended the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs for Afghanistan and Iraq.

Senator Paul argued that the authorizations were being used by presidents to wage endless wars overseas. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 61-36 to kill the amendment,

Despite the loss, Ron Paul told RT he was pleased by the support of even 36 senators, many of whom may have felt “pressure from [their constituents] back home,” adding “that’s why I think we did better than we had anticipated.”

“The pro-war group is solidified in Congress,” Paul said. “We Constitutionalists and Libertarians are a minority.”

Rand Paul and his father cite Article I of the US Constitution, which grants Congress the power to declare war.

“The media is entirely on the side of neoconservatives, and they represent the military industries. They make money off of war. And sometimes, they say we’ll have a little war, we’ll have a little cold war, and this will help our profits and they don’t intend it to go much further. But so often it gets out of control. And actually the policy is totally out of control,” Paul said.

The Trump administration, like the Obama administration, said the 2001 authorization provides sufficient authority to wage war against the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Critics have countered that this is stretching the law at best, since Islamic State did not exist 16 years ago, and the US now uses the legislation to carry out military operations in places like Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and elsewhere.

The authorization passed shortly after the 9/11 attacks was specifically designed to give the president powers to go after those who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”

The war in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 as a US response to the 9/11 attacks, is the longest war in US history.

A separate authorization, which in 2002 approved the war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, is also still in force.

“Where is the anti-war left demanding the wars end? Where is the constitutional conservative right demanding Congress reclaim its war powers?” Rand Paul tweeted ahead of the vote.

Both Ron and Rand Paul are known for views that often clash with the political establishment in Washington, especially on issues of war and peace.

Ron Paul criticized President Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy announcement in an interview with RT last month. Trump had made a U-turn on his previous statements calling for the US to get out of Afghanistan and indicated that the war would continue more or less indefinitely.  

“I don’t think there’s anything new. The words are a little different - he says he’s not into nation-building - but that was a pretense anyway; how many nations have we really built or improved?” Paul said. “We’ve torn nations apart. He changes the words and makes it sound like the world will come apart if we don’t continue to be the world’s policeman.”

Afterward, YouTube barred the former Congressman and his online news program Ron Paul Liberty Report from receiving advertising revenue for a number of videos which they posted, including the one where Paul criticized President Trump’s decision to send more American troops to Afghanistan.

Upon “manual review,” YouTube declared that a series of videos posted by the Liberty Report was “unsuitable for all advertisers.”