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17 December 1998
Mr. SPENCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL).
(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
1998 Ron Paul 124:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, as a 5 yr Air Force veteran I rise in strong support of the troops: we all do. Everybody supports the troops. But this resolution is a lot more than supporting the troops. Even by the very nature of our debate today, most of the debate has been about the military action. I see this as nothing more than a rubber stamp on a war that has already been started, and it has not been started in the proper way.
1998 Ron Paul 124:2
Mr. Speaker, it is clearly stated in the Constitution that only Congress has the authority to declare war. It is precisely because of the way we go to war these days that we are continuing to fight the Persian Gulf War. We did not win the Persian Gulf War because we did not declare war since there was no justification to because there was no national security interests involved.
1998 Ron Paul 124:3
Saddam Hussein is not threatening our national security. This is a concocted scheme to pursue bombing for oil interests and other reasons, but it has nothing to do with national security.
1998 Ron Paul 124:4
This resolution is an endorsement for war. We are rubber stamping this action.
1998 Ron Paul 124:5
We should follow the rule of law. The rule of law says that resolutions, to begin war, should come to the House of Representatives and pass by the Senate. But we have been too careless and too casual for many, many decades, and this is the reason we do not win wars any more.
1998 Ron Paul 124:6
We are in essentially perpetual war. We have granted too much authority to our President to wage war. Even under the most unusual of circumstances we permit him to wage war. This is wrong. We, as a House, must assume our responsibilities.
1998 Ron Paul 124:7
I cannot support this resolution because it is a rubber stamp, it is an endorsement for an illegal war. We should argue the case for peace. We should argue the case for national sovereignty. We should not allow our President to use U.N. resolutions to wage war.
1998 Ron Paul 124:8
First and foremost, the notion that the United States can dictate the political leadership of a foreign policy is immoral. What right have we to determine these things for any nation other than our own? The answer, clearly, is none, we have no such right.
1998 Ron Paul 124:9
There is an idea known as sovereignty, and that idea is integral to nationhood. Among other things, sovereignty dictates that a people be responsible for their own leadership, without the interference of other nations. Is it any wonder that the same American leaders who would invade other sovereign nations spend so much time surrendering the sovereignty of the United States? I think not. Simply, their efforts are designed to undermine the entire notion of sovereignty.
1998 Ron Paul 124:10
One evident outcome of the
1998 Ron Paul 124:11
As Americans we are rightly offended by the notion that the Chinese Government has influenced our domestic elections. However, we are not free from hypocrisy. For recently this Congress passed legislation appropriating money for the sole and express purpose of changing the government of a sovereign nation.
1998 Ron Paul 124:12
Next, we ought to consider the morality of the means which must be employed to change the government of Iraq. Yesterday I sat on a panel with Harry Summers, a man of considerable military knowledge. Summers stated that it would take ground troops to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Moreover, he unequivocally stated that military history shows that no war has ever been won simply via air strikes. This statement is not only factually accurate, it is also a stark reminder of what the price of this policy will be. Namely, the price of successfully changing the government of Iraq is the blood of many thousands of innocent human beings. And, lest we fool ourselves, many of these people will be American troops, brave young men and women who patriotically agreed to defend the United States but have now been placed like pawns in a chess game, perhaps to remove the leader of Iraq, or perhaps to stave off the removal of the US President. At any rate, these brave young Americans ought not be sacrificed for either of these improper political purposes.
1998 Ron Paul 124:13
Finally, even by the amoral measure of realpolitik the policy of Saddams removal is unwarranted. The reason that the US has hesitated to actually complete successful enactment of its stated policy is because the result of such enactment is fraught with uncertainty. Iraq is a country made up of many different factions. And many of its neighbors are interested in increasing their influence and control over areas which are now within Iraqi territory. Hence, if Saddam ever were to be removed by force of US efforts, we would face a very real risk to regional stability. Stability being the key concern of those who practice realpolitik this points to the fact that by the measures established by the pragmatists the stated policy of Saddams removal is wrongful. Let me be clear, while I reject the notion of divorcing politics from moral considerations, I do believe we should understand that our current policy is not only devoid of morals, but is also doomed to failure from any practical viewpoint.
1998 Ron Paul 124:8 First and foremost, the notion that the United States can dictate the political leadership of a foreign policy is immoral. perhaps should be First and foremost, the notion that the United States can dictate the political leadership of a foreign power is immoral.