Reps decade-old Afghanistan remarks resurface in the midst of a crisis

Decades of comments by former Congressman Ron Paul about US involvement in Afghanistan have spread on social media amid the nation’s unfolding crisis.

“Ron Paul” became a popular topic on Twitter on Monday, with many writing “Ron Paul was right.”

Some shared a speech given by Paul, who ran as the Republican presidential candidate three times, on Afghanistan in 2011 and in his farewell speech in 2012.

Paul, who had three terms in Congress, first representing Texas’ 22nd Congressional District and then the 14th, delivered a speech in March 2011 in which he supported legislation advocating that the U.S. military leave Afghanistan.

“The question we face today is whether we should leave Afghanistan? I think the answer is very clear and it is not complicated, we must of course. As soon as we can,” he said. “This suggests we can leave before the end of the year. If we do not, we will be there for another decade would be my prediction.”

When he left, he said: “The vast majority of the American people now say it’s time to get out of Afghanistan. It’s a fruitless bet, too much has been lost, the chance to win, as we do not even know what we “want to win does not exist.”

Later in his speech, he spoke out against “the eternal occupation of a country.”

“We can not change Afghanistan,” he said. “Even if you could, you are not meant to be. You do not have the moral authority, you do not have the constitutional authority.”

The Taliban moved into Kabul on Sunday, just weeks after President Joe Biden announced that the US military would leave Afghanistan by August 31.

A Taliban official told the Associated Press that it expects to announce that the nation will change its name back to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, its official name when it was last under Taliban rule.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country while other citizens have made desperate attempts to leave the country. The United States aired diplomats from the embassy in Kabul.

The situation has ignited debate over U.S. involvement in the nation and its foreign policy more broadly.

Another Ron Paul speech shared online was his farewell speech in 2012, in which he said: “Violent anti-Americanism has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of ‘blow-back’ is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have nothing to do with. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result. “

In other remarks from a 2009 speech, shared by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who is Ron Paul’s son, he said: “What if our foreign policy in the last century is deeply flawed and has not served our national security interest? What if we realize that the terrorist threat is our consequence of interfering in the affairs of others and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?

“What if support for repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel? What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and the bombing of Pakistan are directly related to the hatred directed at us?”

Newsweek has contacted the Ron Paul Institute to ask if the former representative has any comments on the current situation in Afghanistan and on his previous remarks reappearing.

ron paul speaks in maryland
Then the American rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) during a town hall meeting at the University of Maryland on March 28, 2012 in College Park, Maryland.
TJ Kirkpatrick / Getty Images

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