Can Bombs Win War on ISIS?

We have just dropped our 50,000th bomb in the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. What progress has been made? Can ISIS be defeated the way we are doing it? Vietnam has some lessons for how to lose a war.

Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today is Daniel McAdams, our co-host. Daniel, good to see you.

Daniel McAdams: Good morning Dr. Paul.

Ron Paul: Good. I imagine what most people know about the news in recent two or three weeks and it looks like the last two or three is all about the election, which is important to a lot of people. Somebody re-wrote an article or a statement I made a few months ago or years ago that elections are more or less to pacify the people, because in my lifetime I haven’t really seen change in policy, so you might just call me a cynic or something, but there is still a lot of talk about it and people are lining up and it is the most important election ever, that is the whole thing.

Sometimes I like to look around for the things that they are ignoring that might be in the news and right now I think there is an item that is being ignored even though we talk about it and that has to do with what is going on in Syria and the number of people killing and the bombs being dropped. There was a recent article out that as a matter of fact you had it on the Institute for Peace and Prosperity and emphasizes the fact that there are up to 50,000 bombs that they have dropped and it is not chicken feed, billions of dollars and you can’t really add up all the pain and suffering that come from it.

But, the article showed that just recently there were 200 civilians killed, but our government didn’t tell us that, because they don’t report the civilians, the collateral damage, that is incidental. But, 200 civilians according to an independent source were killed by these bombs. Can you imagine what would happen if somebody came 6,000 miles from elsewhere and came and dropped a bunch of bombs, not 50,000, two or three and killed a couple people. But, killing a couple of hundred like this in a bombing round, it’s a big deal, but it is totally ignored. It is not an item.

Are you very optimistic that this bombing procedure in the Middle East is going to solve anybody’s problems? What are the odds of that happening?

Daniel McAdams: It is pretty shameful the way the media handles these issues and all of these events in Germany and even in the US, scattered events, they are horrific, they are terrible, but however they pale in comparison to just one of these attacks in places like Syria and eve in Baghdad, which last week had a huge bombing, hundreds of people killed there. It is just simply not reported. The Eiffel Tower went up in the colors of Germany after this horrible attack, but it didn’t go up in the Syrian flag after these several hundred people were killed in the US and French bombing. As a matter of fact they say that the French were enthusiastic about it because they wanted to avenge Nice by bombing Syria, when the guy who did Nice was a Tunisian.

Ron Paul: And there is always somebody waiting for an emergency. Those who want to take the guns away from law-abiding citizens, this is the chance to do it and others who want to expand the war for other reasons they say this is a terrorist attack, but what happens in Syria is not a terrorist attack, this is to be totally ignored.

But, if you have a single individual here, even if he is a single person and he acts on his own, he goes out and shoots and kills some people, it will be seen as, at least perceived by a lot of Americans, with the help of the media, that this is a terrorist attack and then you hear the candidates saying tough, get tougher on them, we need to bomb people, bomb them more, we need to do it quickly and let’s bomb them all and I just can’t see the logic of this, but it seems that it’s difficult for me to understand the gullibility of the American people to say the end is coming, the end is coming and look at these things.

I have mentioned before as others have, yes, these killings are terrible, these single-shooters that go in and I think there was one today and they go in there and they go nuts and they shoot and kill some people, but the inner city carnage is not reported. This is something that generates fear and anger and then support, but it is false, it is false to think that yeah, we really need somebody that is going to get rid of ISIS, because ISIS is about to take over the world. Of course the first thing is that Ron Paul doesn’t care about ISIS, doesn’t think they are dangerous.

They are, that is why I am concerned about it, because I think one thing they ignore is they never ask what motivates people to be so desperate in defending their homeland and nobody sees them going off their rocker and committing suicide and killing people and is the motivation of somebody invading their homeland, but nobody wants to consider that. All the discussion going on today about foreign policy, they never say it’s time we sit down and talk about a change in our foreign policy.

Daniel McAdams: Yeah and a lot of people will resist this, but it’s hard to not call what happened in Syria an act of terrorism and it’s not only the 200 people that died, but imagine the rest of the population now that day by day lives in fear, will a bomb come down and take out my family, imagine what that must feel like as you go about your daily routine, never knowing if that will happen.

Ron Paul: We are looking at 15 years of being there and the bombing and the troops on the ground, we had more troops on the ground and it hasn’t proven to help every time we accelerate to think that we are going to do something, accomplish something and it fails. I would say that last 15 years have been a total failure and the carnage and the loss of life and all the money we have spent and still we are in the bombing business, but no troops on the ground, which is a lie too, because there are troops on the ground, we just don’t have many body bags and therefore people can continue to ignore this.

I wanted to sort of draw an analogy to why we should talk about the foreign policy of accomplishing anything with just dropping bombs and of course I remember the 60s very well, having been in the military at the time, but even then I wasn’t aware of the bombing going on in Laos and we knew a little bit about Cambodia, but we elected Nixon to change all that and to get us out of Vietnam, but he said you want me to win, so after Nixon wins he goes and another 30,000 Americans die. But, in Laos we dropped a lot of bombs, it was a secret war, it was undeclared, it was a secret war and they dropped 1 million bombs and yes, 50,000 is not as much, but it is still the principle and who knows what 50 might be, it might continue because we are not going to have anybody get up and say we need to come home and quit bombing and killing people, because it is not working.

But, during that secret war against Laos, it was 2.5 million tons of bombs and that is horrible, but if you compare it to how many bombs we dropped in World War II, we only dropped 2 million tons of bombs, so we dropped more on Laos and Laos is the size of Utah. It didn’t work, but nobody stops and says maybe we ought to reassess it. In Vietnam we dropped 7 million tons of bombs, almost 4 times as much as World War II and we came home with our tail between our legs and we still have people arguing we needed more troops on the ground. We had already sent over 800,000 Americans over there to try to teach them a lesson on how to be good Westerners. Total failure and I frequently refer to that as we achieved a lot more in peace than we did in war, because we at least talked with the Vietnamese and trained with them.

Daniel McAdams: And you hear the same thing about Iraq now these days, if we just stayed a bit longer we would have won it, it would have been stable. You mentioned ISIS earlier and the strategy to defeat ISIS and how bombs don’t seem to be working, I wrote a little something over the weekend where I pointed out that we went into Afghanistan ostensibly to get rid of Bin Laden, but we stayed and stuck around to do regime change and nation-building and all these things, because we were told we got to get rid of the Taliban, these are the worst guys in the world, horrible guys, we got to get rid of them. It turns out after 15 years they are being slowly pushed out by something much worse that wasn’t there when we started and that is ISIS.

There was a huge bomb in Cabul over the last couple of days and we’ve got rid of these guys, but someone worse came in and nobody is connecting the dots.

Ron Paul: I understand the drug business is still doing pretty well over there, but the other thing is who gets killed and who gets hit, makes it different emotionally and just recently this past week there were 4 clinics in Allepo, Syria that were bombed and we don’t know all the details on the patients and who were killed, but that doesn’t happen infrequently, but the real point is it is not a secret war, but it is an invisible war, it’s ignored, the American people don’t want to hear and the last thing that they would open up their minds to is could this be terrorism that is being perpetuated against the people over there.

No, we are just trying to kill iSIS, because they are bad people, even though they might only be a very, very small percentage of very, very bad people, but the recruiting benefit from the bombing, I think is tremendous. I think they benefit much more the enemy and to build an enemy I think they see themselves as defending their homeland and they have the motivation because somebody’s come a long distance and they keep dropping bombs on them and already 50,000 in the last two years, that was since the acceleration of the war under Obama, accelerating and expanding the war into Syria, but a zero benefit as far as I am concerned and a lot of negatives when you think of the cost of war and the perpetual enemies that we build. I cannot see how one single bomb has done anything worthwhile, especially in these last two years of these 50,000 bombs that we’ve dropped.

Daniel McAdams: There are a lot of homes inside the beltway that have been spruced up and are a lot nicer and a lot more people are wealthy, because of these people working in the defense industry.

Ron Paul: You are talking about the military industrial complex.

Daniel McAdams: Allepo was particularly tragic, because while the US says that it is fighting ISIS there, it doesn’t want ISIS to be defeated and having Assad win, so the US is fighting a sort of triangular war to get rid of ISIS, but also get rid of the guys who are fighting ISIS and to get our moderates in and remember we talked about it last week, these are the moderates that cut off this young boy’s head last week, an 11-12 year old boy’s head, these are our guys, this are the guys we want to put in power in Aleppo.

Ron Paul: I think when you have problems like this in a country, in a region, it should be done by the neighbors and Turkey certainly is a neighbor and look at the chaos over there right now and that is a consequence of a foreign policy and a domestic policy that is in some ways related to us, because they are part of NATO and they are supposed to take orders from us and they are sick and tired of us and yet we have an air base in Turkey and we have nukes stored there. It’s a mess and I think we just make it a lot worse, the fact that we are there in remaking the Middle East, that was the chant back after 9/11, we got to get there and remake the Middle East and the West has been remaking the Middle East for a long time, especially since World War I, doesn’t seem to work very well.

Daniel McAdams: We are making it even worse. Our friend Peter Van Buren has a good article out today that we put up on the site too and he talks, he makes a good point and he must be thinking what you were thinking this morning, because he talks about the two major candidates and hoe their prescription for what to do about this war on ISIS is a disaster, it’s more of the same, he says Trump wants to declare war, make a legal declaration of war, Hillary wants to intensify the air campaign, more support for the locals that are fighting there, that means our moderate rebels.

But, he points out that the result of this bombing and the result of our existing policy that they want to continue, has only been blowback, in Belgium, in Nice, in Germany and he said until we admit that this doesn’t work and we have to do something very different, it’s going to continue down this path, so we are going to have to get used to more blowback.

Ron Paul: And of course the neocons represent a group that really want more activity over there in the Middle East, but I don’t think there is a lot of evidence that the neocons have totally shied away from the Trump campaign, isn’t there evidence that some very dedicated neocons are involved in his campaign?

Daniel McAdams: Yeah, I think if you talk about someone like Giuliani who you have fond memories of I know, I don’t think you get any more neocon than him and General Flynn, his sidekick is Michael Dean, who is one of the neocon ideologists, so they are certainly spreading themselves among both candidates.

Ron Paul: That is for sure. I don’t see much of a way out of this, because they are talking about how to manage a problem and the problem is that there is a conflict, conflict between East and West going on for a bit, there is a civil strife in the region, both in countries and religious strife and from my viewpoint and the viewpoint of others, hopefully someday will be in an influential position to convince other people and that is why don’t we mind our own business, why don’t we stay out of there. The instinct was in World War I and it and it was overcome by Woodrow Wilson who said no, we got to go, we got to go, unnecessarily and I have always argued that World War I and World War II was just one big war of intervention, of being involved.

The Founders were never perfect in not spreading their wings, because they were making out borders bigger, but they were pretty explicit about staying out of these European wars and in the entangling alliances to get into. If you want to talk about entangling alliance I think it has to be NATO and this whole idea that NATO is not good, we ought to probably get rid of it, but if they are going to be there, I am going to give us mortars and we are going to collect bills from them and make them pay and then everything will be ok. I don’t want to deal with that.

Daniel McAdams: It’s pretty naive. I think the American people have to, I think we have talked about this even before we started the show, the American people have to look at Syria and realize they are being ripped off. They should demand an accounting, how much have we achieved for these 50,000 bombs, 6 billion dollars in dropping these bombs and they should ask, they should pay attention to what is happening here.

Ron Paul: It’s being ignored and totally ignored by out media and people are disinterested and they can be distracted by a pretend election. It is almost, it is like a secret war. Laos was deliberately secret and people didn’t know exactly what was going on and we never got any help from the media, to tell us, but here we are not getting the help and there is very few that are really talking about the real problems and to me the problems is the apathy of the American people to let people who want to demagogue and scare people into saying we need a powerful government to redistribute wealth or otherwise everybody is going to starve to death and that is why we need socialistic type of issues and interventions and welfareism.

And then also the people who listen to say the world is a tough place, it’s a violent place and we have been subjected to it, but it is never, never out fault. That is unpatriotic to say, to criticize America. But, what about criticizing our own government, there is a few people who couldn’t. As a matter of fact nobody believes anything our government tells us, which is a healthy sign. But, I think the solution ultimately comes by substituting bad ideas with good ideas. I don’t believe any time that people are neutral on ideas, because interventionism is an idea and intervening overseas is an ideological position to take and essentially all the politicians, except for one or two here and there, endorse this whole idea.

It is an ideological struggle that people have to realize that the world is better of when we get out of these kind of problems and accept the fact that we can defend out country, set examples for other people and it is much better than saying we are an exceptional nation, we know what is best, we have a moral responsibility, because nobody else will take care of the bad guys and therefore we have to be the boss.

I think that is wrong, I think that is morally wrong, I think it’s constitutionally wrong and I think it’s a total failure, so why do we do this, there is too much control by the information the American people get and there is too much control by the financial interest, whether it is the financial industries, or whether it’s the military industrial complex. People make a lot of money off this deal. These 50,000 bombs, the manufacturer of these bombs, they are probably not cheering when people die, but they certainly cheer when they go off, because they get to build them again. If weapons don’t work, we keep using them, we keep building F-35s, we keep building aircraft carriers that don’t work. It’s on and on, but the profiteers keep making profit.

I would like to see the day when those of us who defend and want individual liberty and personal responsibility that we win, that is what we want. We don’t want to be given anything special or get something from somebody else, because we were able to manipulate the government. What we want is our freedom, we want our liberty. We want to emphasize the importance of individual liberty and de-emphasize big government. The bigger the government, the less liberty the individual has. That should be our goal.

I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to the Liberty Report and please come back soon.


  • Jim Steele

    So, don’t fight ISIS? Even though we caused them, just run away from a problem we created? Why not just simply work with secular governments to defeat them – like the Trump campaign suggests?