I’m sure by now regular readers are well aware that Texas Congressman Ron Paul is serving out his 12th -- and final -- term in the House of Representatives and will soon retire from public life. Somewhat unexpectedly, however, during his humble and moving final speech on the House floor a few days ago, I was surprised to hear him speak, among other things, about his “failure” to rein in the size and scope of government during his long and distinguished political career. To some extent this is undoubtedly true -- after all, the United States is headed straight...
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"Yet the Bush administration did more than praise the Taliban's proclaimed ban of opium cultivation. In mid-May, 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a $43 million grant to Afghanistan in addition to the humanitarian aid the United States had long been providing to agencies assisting Afghan refugees. Given Callahan's comment, there was little doubt that the new stipend was a reward for Kabul's anti-drug efforts. That $43 million grant needs to be placed in context. Afghanistan's estimated gross domestic product was a mere $2 billion. The equivalent financial impact on the U.S. economy would have required an infusion of $215 billion. In other words, $43 million was very serious money to Afghanistan's theocratic masters."
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