“President Obama last week began his second term by promising that ‘a decade of war is now ending,’” Paul wrote. “As he spoke, the US military was rapidly working its way into another war, this time in the impoverished African country of Mali.”
Paul maintained that Congress remained unaware about the US troops’ real involvement in the African conflict and recommended that the body should ask more questions and demand detailed answers from the president.
US transport and intelligence assistance to French troops in Mali was not authorized by Congress, Paul stressed particularly.
US transport planes were used for airlifting French soldiers to Mali and flying tankers to refuel French fighters and bombers.
Despite Defense Secretary Panetta’s statement earlier this month that the role of the US troops would not be limited and did not imply involvement in the conflict, an unnamed US defense official told a British mass media that the KC-135 tankers would be involved in the operation for months, or as long as needed.
Meanwhile on Monday the US and the West African country of Niger signed an agreement allowing the US to set up a hub near the Malian border from where American drones could be sent to Mali to perform surveillance over al-Qaeda militants in northern Mali.
Voice of Russia, RT
“We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom,” President Barack Obama
Ron Paul was elected to Congress three times and served first from 1976 to 1977, then from 1979 to 1985, and finally from 1997 to 2013. For three times he sought the US presidency: in 1988 as a Libertarian party candidate, in 2008 and 2012 as a candidate in the Republican primaries.
Paul is often portrayed as holding a most conservative position on foreign policy issues. “They [the founders] had a non-intervention foreign policy,” he typically reminds the public in interviews.
Back in 1998, at
On October 31, 1998 US President Bill Clinton had signed into law the Iraq Liberation Act, and on December 16 Operation "Desert Fox" began. American and British troops bombed Iraqi targets for four days. The justification for the air strikes was that the Saddam Hussein's regime was not cooperating with the UN weapons inspectors.
“An act of war” had been committed without congressional consent, Ron Paul said at the conference. The act was committed in defiance of the US Constitution, which was an outrage, he said. What the US President had not taken into account was the consequences that the air strikes would possibly bring about. The bombings would “invite” terrorist attacks on America, Paul had stated in 1998, three years before the September 11 tragedy happened claiming lives of about 3,000 people. One war gave birth to another one. The US has launched the War on Terror and continues it now.
Shortly after the September 11 attacks Paul
“A foolish policy” is how Paul has recently
Apart from that, what was noteworthy about that recent conversation between a Fox News host and Ron Paul is that it demonstrated a tendency existing now in the American society claiming that attackers are driven by unreasonable fury and hatred towards Americans.
“What if they really do hate us, they hate everything we stand for, and they really are all about … whatever our overtures towards the Muslim community are like, that they’re all about disgruntles, they just can’t stand us, they want us dead,” the Fox News guy says. Hatred did not come out of nowhere, Paul explains in plain words, “we kill people with drones, and this is where the conflict coming from.”
The American government’s foreign policy is harmful not only to relations with other nations, but to the American nation as well. “An epidemic of suicides” among American soldiers is a priority that the government should think about. It is nothing more than a consequence of the government’s “failed policy”.
“We should have followed the Founders’ advice of staying out of entangling alliances and staying out of the internal affairs of other nations, mind our own business and save a dollar now and then,” Paul’s position sounds most conservative, politicians say, but the current state of relationships of the United States with some of the Middle East countries and Russia (especially after the Magnitsky Act was signed) points to that there might be a certain portion of reasonable sense in the statement.
On Tuesday night, the French military force in Mali assumed control over the airport of the city of Kidal, which has been under the radical Islamists’ control until recently.
This has been confirmed by an official of the Touareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, which reported this Monday about the liberation of Kidal from Islamic fighters.
The situation in Mali has been aggravated in recent weeks.
A French military force arrived in Mali on the 10th of this month to reinforce the Malian Army.
Voice of Russia, RIA
Britain will send hundreds of military advisers to Mali to boost the French forces battling the Islamist separatists in the troubled West African country.
The 330-strong British team will be training Malian soldiers and will not be taking part in combat operations.
The Malian government has vowed to hold “fair and transparent” presidential election by the end of next July. Mali’s acting President Dioncounda Traore broke the news at an international conference in Addis Ababa on donor aid for the counter-extremist operation in northern Mali.
He said that the operation’s goal was to liberate the rebel-controlled northern parts of the country and restore the rule of law.
At present, the Malian army supported by French troops is mounting an offensive on rebel strongholds. Earlier, Bamako regained control of two major northern cities – Gao and Timbuktu.
International donor aid to for the military and humanitarian operation in Mali will amount to $450 million under an agreement reached at a summit conference on Mali, which is currently being held in Ethiopia.
The African Union promised $50 million worth of aid for the coalition forces helping the Malian government to combat Islamic extremists.
Meanwhile, French and Malian troops have reportedly entered the ancient northern city of Timbuktu without any significant resistance from Islamists.
Last Saturday, rebel forces were ousted from Goa, the most densely-populated city in the north of Mali. And on Tuesday, Tuaregs took control of another major city, Kidal.
In Mali, Tuareg rebels have seized Kidal, a major city in the northeast of the country. According to a statement published on the website of the National Movement for the Liberation Movement of Azawad, Tuaregs ousted Islamists from Kidal and are ready to fight terrorist groups and to cooperate with French troops.
After last spring’s failed army coup in the capital Bamaco, Tuaregs proclaimed an independent state of their own in the northeast, but by the end of June the area became controlled by Al Qaeda-linked Islamists and other radical groups.
Earlier this month, France sent troops to Mali to curb Islamists and help the authorities restore control over the rebel north.
Mali’s Islamist militants are receiving outside military help, a Voice of Russia’s correspondent has cited Gao Mayor Sadu Diallo as saying in a TV interview.
The mayor of the recently recaptured Malian city Gao has accused Qatar, among others, of sending its cargo planes to rebel-controlled airports.
He said that without Qatar’s help, who had also been providing Islamist insurgents with financial aid, the radicals wouldn’t have been able to hold Gao and other northern cities in Mali.
Mr. Diallo pointed out that Islamists had been seeking to impose strict Sharia laws on local residents and virtually made their life a living hell.
Many experts believe that Qatar has been trying to get the upper hand strategically in West Africa and in the Sahel region to challenge Saudi Arabia in the Muslim world. Islamists’ defeat would throw it back, pundits say.
France does not intend to remain in Mali after achieving victory over the separatists according to a statement by French President Francois Hollande.
The French military is currently in Mali to help the Malian army regain control over the country and will pass the baton to forces from neighboring African states.
Hollande hailed the "courage and effectiveness" of the French soldiers who, in a short time, have managed to stop advancing terrorists, inflict upon them serious damage with the help of air strikes and with the Malian army secure the release of the major cities of Mali.
The French President stressed that it was an extremely complex operation whose purpose was not only the destruction of the terrorists, but also to preserve the lives of civilians.
Voice of Russia, BBC, TASS, Interfax