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1998 Ron Paul Chapter 107

Iraq — Part 1

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5 October 1998


1998 Ron Paul 107:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

1998 Ron Paul 107:2
Mr. Speaker, understand this legislation came before the committee on Friday, one legislative day prior to today. There has been no committee report filed, and it was brought up under suspension. And I believe this legislation is very serious legislation. It is not a casual piece of legislation condemning a leader in another country that is doing less than honorable things.

1998 Ron Paul 107:3
I see this piece of legislation as essentially being a declaration of virtual war. It is giving the President tremendous powers to pursue war efforts against a sovereign Nation. It should not be done casually. I think it is another example of a flawed foreign policy that we have followed for a good many decades.

1998 Ron Paul 107:4
For instance, at the beginning of this legislation it is cited as one of the reasons why we must do something. It says on September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran starting an 8-year war in which Iraq employed chemical weapons against Iranian troops, very serious problems. We should condemn that. But the whole problem is we were Iraq’s ally at that time, giving him military assistance, giving him funds and giving him technology for chemical weapons.

1998 Ron Paul 107:5
So here we are now deciding that we have to virtually declare war against this individual. It is not like he is the only hoodlum out there. I could give my colleagues a list of 15 or 20. I do not like the leadership of China. Why do we not do something about China? I do not like the leadership of Sudan. But all of a sudden we have to decide what we are going to give this President to pursue getting rid of Saddam Hussein.

1998 Ron Paul 107:6
Just a few months ago, or last November, we passed a resolution, and the resolution was H.R. 137. It sounded very general and very benign, and it talked about the atrocities caused by Saddam Hussein, and we asked to condemn and also to set up a U.N. commission to study this and give the U.N. authority to pursue arrests and convict and try Saddam Hussein. So this is not something we are doing for the interests of the United States. We are doing this under the interests of the United Nations, but we are the spokesperson for them.

1998 Ron Paul 107:7
Not too long ago, a few years back, in 1980s, in our efforts to bring peace and democracy to the world we assisted the freedom fighters of Afghanistan, and in our infinite wisdom we gave money, technology and training to Bin Laden, and now, this very year, we have declared that Bin Laden was responsible for the bombing in Africa. So what is our response, because we allow our President to pursue war too easily? What was the President’s response? Some even say that it might have been for other reasons than for national security reasons. So he goes off and bombs Afghanistan, and he goes off and bombs Sudan, and now the record shows that very likely the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan was precisely that, a pharmaceutical plant.

1998 Ron Paul 107:8
So I say we should stop and think for a minute before we pursue and give the President more authority to follow a policy that to me is quite dangerous. This to me is equivalent to declaring war and allowing the President to pursue this.

1998 Ron Paul 107:9
Another complaint listed on this legislation: in February 1988 Iraq forcibly relocated Kurdish civilians from their homes. Terrible thing to do, and they probably did; there is no doubt about it. But what did we do after the Persian Gulf war? We encouraged the Kurdish people to stand up and fight against Saddam Hussein, and they did, and we forgot about them, and they were killed by the tens of thousands. There is no reason for them to trust us. There is no reason for the Sudanese people to believe and trust in us, in what we do when we rain bombs on their country and they have done nothing to the United States. The people of Iraq certainly have not done anything to the United States, and we certainly can find leaders around the world that have not done equally bad things. I think we should stop and think about this.

1998 Ron Paul 107:10
Just today it was announced that the Turks are lined up on the Syrian border. What for? To go in there and kill the Kurds because they do not like the Kurds. I think that is terrible. But what are we doing about it? Who are the Turks? They are our allies, they are our friends. They get military assistance. The American people are paying the Turks to keep their military up. So we are responsible for that.

1998 Ron Paul 107:11
This policy makes no sense. Some day we have to think about the security of United States. We spend this money. We spent nearly $100 million bombing nobody and everybody for who knows what reason last week. At the same time our military forces are under trained and lack equipment, and we are wasting money all around the world trying to get more people, see how many people we can get to hate us. Some day we have to stop and say why are we pursuing this. Why do we not have a policy that says that we should, as a Congress, defend the United States, protect us, have a strong military, but not to police the world in this endless adventure of trying to be everything to everybody. We have been on both sides of every conflict since World War II. Even not too long ago they were talking about bombing in Kosovo. As a matter of fact, that is still a serious discussion. But a few months ago they said, well, we are not quite sure who the good guys are, maybe we ought to bomb both sides. It makes no sense. Why do we not become friends to both sides?

1998 Ron Paul 107:12
There are people around the world that we deal with that are equally repulsive to Saddam Hussein, and I believe very sincerely that the founders of this country were on the right track when they said stay out of entangling alliances. And we should trade with people; we would get along with them better. We have pursued this type of policy in Cuba for 40 years, and it has served Castro well. Why do we not go down and get rid of Castro? Where do we get this authority to kill a dictator? We do not have that authority, and to do it under one day of hearings, mark it up, bring it up the next day under suspension; I do not understand why anybody could vote for this just on the nature of it.

1998 Ron Paul 107:13
We should not be doing this. We should stop and think about it and try to figure out a much better way.

1998 Ron Paul 107:14
I, for instance, am on a bill to trade with Cuba. Oh, how horrible, we should not trade with Cuba, they are a bunch of Commies down there. But we should be selling them rice and we should be selling them our crops. We should not be bombing these people.

1998 Ron Paul 107:15
As my colleagues know, at the end of this bill I think we get a hint as to why we do not go to Rwanda for humanitarian reasons. Now there is some atrocities. Why do we not clean that mess up? Because I believe very sincerely that there is another element tied into this, and I think it has something to do with money, and I think it has something to do with oil. The oil interests need the oil in Iraq, and he does not, Saddam Hussein does not, comply with the people of the west. So he has to go.

1998 Ron Paul 107:16
But also at the end of this legislation it tells us something about what might be going on. It is they are asking to set up and check into the funds that Saddam Hussein owes to the west. Who is owed? They do not owe me any money. But I will bet my colleagues there is a lot of banks in New York who are owed a lot of money, and this is one of the goals, to set up and make sure Saddam Hussein pays his bills.

1998 Ron Paul 107:17
All I do is ask my colleagues to think about it, urge them to go slowly. Nothing is so pressing that we should give the President this much authority to go to war.

1998 Ron Paul 107:18
Under the appropriations it is endless, it is open, endless, and here we are concerned about saving Social Security. Any amount of money spent on this bill comes out of Social Security. Yes, there was yelling and screaming about a tax cut. Oh, it is coming out of Social Security. Well, this money is not appropriated, and it is such sums as necessary for military and economic benefits. After we get rid of one thug, we are going to have it in. I hope we make a better choice than we did with Bin Laden. I mean he was our close ally.

1998 Ron Paul 107:19
Please think twice, slow up, vote against this bill. We do not need this.

1998 Ron Paul 107:20
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Notes:

1998 Ron Paul 107:2 Here, Ron Paul blasts the casual manner in which the bill, virtually a declaration of war, was about to be passed. In 1998 Ron Paul Chapter 106 Ron Paul claimed the opposition debate time, as both Rep. Gilman and Rep. Hamilton supported the bill.

1998 Ron Paul 107:9 The people of Iraq certainly have not done anything to the United States, and we certainly can find leaders around the world that have not done equally bad things. probably should be in the affirmative: The people of Iraq certainly have not done anything to the United States, and we certainly can find leaders around the world that have done equally bad things.

1998 Ron Paul 107:11 the security of United States probable should be the security of the United States.

1998 Ron Paul 107:11 under trained probably should be hyphenated: under-trained.

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