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1998 Ron Paul Chapter 109

Iraq — Part 3

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5 October 1998


1998 Ron Paul 109:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

1998 Ron Paul 109:2
Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from California makes a very good point, that sometimes we get involved in these battles and we never fight to complete victory. He argues the case for pursuing it and always winning and take out the dictator that we are opposing.

1998 Ron Paul 109:3
There is some merit to that argument, but there is also a very good reason why that does not happen and will not happen. It is because when we fight a war for non-national security reasons, when it is limited to protecting oil or some other interest, then there is a limitation, there is no wanting to expand it.

1998 Ron Paul 109:4
When we fight a war for national security reasons, we declare the war, the people join, they are willing to support it financially, they volunteer to go into the military, and they fight to win. But we have not done that since World War II, precisely because we have this namby-pamby foreign policy of being everything to everybody and we do not even defend our national security adequately enough.

1998 Ron Paul 109:5
The gentleman from California makes a good point also. He is concerned that somebody like Saddam Hussein may attack us with weapons of mass destruction. He is precisely right. I am concerned about that too. But I would say that our exposure is about 100 times greater because of our policy. Why is it that the terrorists want to go after Americans? Because we are always dropping bombs on people and telling people what to do; because we are the policemen. We pretend to be the arbitrator of every argument in the world, even those that have existed for 1,000 years. It is a failed, flawed policy.

1998 Ron Paul 109:6
So I would say I have exactly the same concerns, but I think the policy that we follow has generated this problem, and it will continue.

1998 Ron Paul 109:7
Mr. Speaker, let me just close by talking a little bit about this authorization. It says, there are to be authorized appropriations, such sums as may be necessary to reimburse the applicable appropriation funds. This is what the money is to go for: Defense articles, defense services, military education, and training. Sounds like getting ready for the Bay of Pigs. That is exactly what we did. And then we backed off, we were not doing it for the right reason, and of course we have solidified for 40 years the dictatorship in Cuba.

1998 Ron Paul 109:8
So do my colleagues think our policy over the last 10 years has actually helped to weaken Saddam Hussein? Every time he comes out of it stronger. And then those who say, “Well, we should march in,” we should all question. Those of us here in the Congress who are so anxious to take out this dictator, they should be willing to march themselves, or send their children and send their grandchildren. Is it worth that? No, no, we would not want to do that, we have to keep our troops safe, safe from harm, but we will just pay somebody to do it. We will pay somebody to do it and we will make wild promises. Promise the Kurds something. They will take care of Saddam Hussein. And sure enough, the promises never come through.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

1998 Ron Paul 109:9
Mr. PAUL. I yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman does not think it is proper for us to offer those people who are struggling for freedoms in Iraq against their dictatorship a helping hand?

1998 Ron Paul 109:10
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I think it would be absolutely proper to do that, as long as it came out of the gentleman’s wallet and we did not extract it from somebody in this country, a taxpayer at the point of a gun and say, look, bin Laden is a great guy. I want more of your money.

1998 Ron Paul 109:11
That is what we did in the 1980s. That is what the Congress did. They went to the taxpayers, they put a gun to their head, and said, you pay up, because we think bin Laden is a freedom fighter.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Well, if the gentleman will further yield, it was just not handled correctly.

1998 Ron Paul 109:12
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, again reclaiming my time, the policy is flawed. The policy is flawed.

1998 Ron Paul 109:13
I think the conclusions we have today are logical. I do not think they lack logic. I think that if one decides that we are fighting for our national security reasons, we never stop short of victory. So this would go along with the gentleman’s argument that we stopped too soon in Iraq. But we were not there for national security reasons. They were not about to invade us, and they are not about to invade us. The only way we should fear an invasion by these hoodlums is if we incite them to terrorism.

1998 Ron Paul 109:14
We should consider this a very serious piece of legislation. This is a vote for virtual war and giving more power to the President. It has an open-ended appropriation, and if we spend one nickel on it, we are going to take it out of Social Security, the way the budget works around here.

1998 Ron Paul 109:15
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Note:

1998 Ron Paul 109:2 the gentleman from California is The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher.

1998 Ron Paul 109:9 I yield to the gentleman from California. Here, Ron Paul yields to The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher.

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