Ron Paul, America’s most outspoken libertarian and anti-mainstream politician, has slammed US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.
Not known for mincing his words or flip-flopping, Paul told RT’s Abby Martin that President Obama’s decision to use military force in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State [IS], without approval from the UN or the US Congress, was “immoral and illegal” under US and international law.
The “whole mess that we’ve been involved in in the Middle East has been technically illegal because we’ve initiated war, but we haven’t declared war,” Paul told Abby Martin in RT’s “Breaking the Set” show.
“I consider what’s going on now, specifically in these last few weeks, totally immoral,” Paul said. “I think it’s illegal under our laws and illegal under international law as well.”
The 12-term Senator from Texas criticized Obama since he pledged to “wind down these wars” yet the military expansion continues to ramp up “massively” in Iraq and Syria.
On Obama’s recent comment to the UN General Assembly that the only way to deal “with killers like this is with the language of force,” Paul replied that airstrikes would only cultivate more violence, not eliminate it.
“We have to do a little bit more than just address the violence that is occurring, and forward the question: ‘Why is there violence?’” Paul said.
People in the Middle East are clearly tired of American meddling and “everything we do there increases the violence,” he said.
Instead, people there should handle their own problems, the senator said.
“If we had such a situation going on in our country, we would deal with it, and I think the people there should deal with it,” he said. “Why should someone from 6,000 miles away, who’s been stirring this pot for so long, be the group that’s going to bring everyone together and organize the fight?”
Paul also ventured to suggest that “maybe Israel might even want to help out” in forming some sort of regional coalition to fight IS. He added that Israel, which gets $3 billion in aid annually from the US and has the Middle East’s most modern air force, was “too dependent” on Washington getting involved in the region – and that this was “very harmful to Israel.”
“If they were less dependent on us, I think there would be more natural coalitions built… and they would work with their neighbors a little bit better.”
Obama’s administration is moving toward preemptive strikes against potential enemies, and has changed the definition of “imminent” to mean terrorists are “imminently plotting to do something against somebody, anyplace in the world,” giving the US a pretext for military intervention, Paul said.
The three-time presidential candidate also said “war propaganda” was heating up in the US again in a pitch to sell the latest war.
“A year ago, we were able to put pressure on the president not to go into Syria, but all of a sudden, after a lot of clamor, public opinion has shifted,” he said.
But Paul insisted: “The American people are not looking for another war, and hopefully our voices can be heard.”