On Monday, Sen. Rand Paul shared a video of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, making many prescient points about America’s foreign policy that really hit home today, particularly regarding the disastrous situation in Afghanistan.
The video, of the elder Paul’s famous “What If?” speech, had the former congressman and presidential candidate trending on social media.
Sen. Paul then wrote a column discussing his father’s advice from years ago at the news site Liberty Tree.
Sen. Paul wrote, “After America was attacked by al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001, my father, Republican Congressman Ron Paul, voted for a U.S. strike on the Taliban in Afghanistan for harboring the 9/11 terrorists.”
“But our military is not meant for nation building,” Paul added. “Not for policing the world. Not for imposing democracy in places that have never known it.”
The senator observed, “Not only are these bad ideas, but they aren’t the point of our military and they do nothing for our national defense.”
The libertarian-leaning senator explained what went wrong.
“Unfortunately, that was the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney neoconservative vision of perpetual U.S.-led wars around the globe,” Paul wrote. “We know how that worked out in Iraq. Now we are learning how it ends in Afghanistan.”
“But this isn’t hindsight,” Paul said. “It was my father, often alone in his party, who said for decades that the neocons’ endless wars would always come back to haunt us.”
Paul said a GOP that was more like his father would have been preferable, then and now.
Paul wrote, “Yet, if the Republican Party had been more like Ron Paul than Dick Cheney throughout the aughts, it would have saved our country a lot of heartache. If Barack Obama had actually ended the wars he promised to, like Dad had long urged, we would have been better off.”
The senator thinks those responsible for these overseas debacles should remain silent.
“Now the same people who still defend the Iraq War and who also wanted to stay in Afghanistan forever are some of the loudest voices criticizing the Taliban retaking control of that country,” Paul said.
“If after 20 years of preparing Afghanistan to govern itself, it immediately bends to extremists the moment we leave, what did hawks think we were going to accomplish over another decade—or ever?” Paul asked. “Was two decades not enough time?”
Paul then direct aim at the daughter of Dick, Liz Cheney – one of the most aggressive neoconservative hawks in Congress.
“What’s clear today is that no one with the last name Cheney should even be speaking publicly right now. This origin of this debacle lies at their feet,” Paul wrote.
He added, “What’s even clearer, is that unfortunately the warnings of a Republican congressman from Texas years ago now feel more prescient than ever.”
Watch Ron Paul’s “What If?” speech here:
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