The Book of Ron Paul
1998 Ron Paul Chapter 18

The Folly Of Foreign Intervention — Part 3

25 February 1998

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1998 Ron Paul 18:1
Mr. PAUL. I thank you very much for participating.

1998 Ron Paul 18:2
Early on, I talked about a policy of nonintervention; and I would like to talk a little bit more about that. Because some might construe that if you have a policy of nonintervention, it means you do not care; and that is not the case. Because we can care a whole lot.

1998 Ron Paul 18:3
And there’ two very important reasons why one who espouses the constitutional viewpoint of nonintervention, they do it. One, we believe in the rule of law and we should do it very cautiously, and that’s what we are bound by here in the Congress. So that’s very important.

1998 Ron Paul 18:4
The other one is a practical reason, and that is that there is not very good evidence that our intervention does much good. We do not see that intervention in Somalia has really solved the problems there, and we left there in a hurry.

1998 Ron Paul 18:5
We have spent a lot of money in Bosnia and the other places. So the evidence is not very good that intervention is involved, certainly the most abhorrent type of intervention, which is the eager and aggressive and not-well-thought-out military intervention. That is obviously the very worst.

1998 Ron Paul 18:6
And I would argue that even the policy of neutrality and friendship and trade with people, regardless of the enemy, would be the best.

1998 Ron Paul 18:7
Of course, if you are involved in a war or there’s an avowed enemy, declared enemy, that is a different story. But for the most part, since World War II, we have not used those terms, we have not had declared wars, we have only had, quote, “police actions,” and, therefore, we are working in a never-never limbo that nobody can well define.

1998 Ron Paul 18:8
And I think it’s much better that we define the process, that everybody understands it.

1998 Ron Paul 18:9
I would like to go ahead and close with a brief summary of what we have been trying to do here today. It was mentioned earlier, and I want to reemphasize it, something that has not been talked about a whole lot over this issue, has been the issue of oil. It is oil interests, money involved.

1998 Ron Paul 18:10
As I stated earlier, we were allies with Hussein when we encouraged him to cross the border into Iran, and yet, at the same time, the taking over of the Kuwait oil fields was something that we could not stand, even though there has not been a full debate over that argument. We’ve heard only the one side of that, who drew the lines and for what reason the lines were drawn there and whose oil was being drilled. And there is a major debate there that should be fully aired before we say that it is the fault of only one.

1998 Ron Paul 18:11
But it isn’t so much that it was the crossing of borders. I do believe that oil interests and the huge very, very important oil fields of Iraq and what it might mean to the price of oil if they came on has a whole lot to do with this.

1998 Ron Paul 18:12
We did not worry about the Hutus and the Tutus in Africa. A lot of killing was going on there; 1 million people were being killed. But where was our compassion? Where was our compassion in the killing fields of Cambodia? We did not express the same compassion that we seem to express as soon as oil is involved.

1998 Ron Paul 18:13
And we cannot let them get away with the repetition of “we got to get the weapons of mass destruction.” Of course. But are they mostly in Iraq? I would say we have done rather well getting rid of the weapons there. They are a much weaker nation militarily than they were 10 years ago, and those kind of weapons are around the world, so that, as far as I am concerned, is a weak argument.

1998 Ron Paul 18:14
Ad another subject that is not mentioned very often, but the prime minister of Israel just recently implied that, hopefully, we will pursue this policy of going in there and trying to topple this regime. And I can understand their concerns, but I also understand the concerns of the American taxpayers and the expense of the American lives that might be involved. So I can argue my case.

1998 Ron Paul 18:15
But even taking it from an Israeli point of view, I don’t know how they can be sure it is in their best interests to go over there and stir things up. I mean, They’re more likely to be bombed with a terrorist bomb if we go in there and we start bombing Iraq. And if we do, Israel will not stand by as they did once before. They have told us so.

1998 Ron Paul 18:16
So if we bomb first and then the goal of Saddam Hussein is to expand the war, what does he do? He lobs one over into Israel, and then Israel comes in, and then the whole procedure has been to solidify the Islamic fundamentalists. Then there is no reason not to expect maybe Iran and Syria coming in.

1998 Ron Paul 18:17
Right now Iraq is on closer ties with Syria and Iran than they have been in 18 years. This is the achievement of our policy. We’re driving the unity of those who really hate America, and will do almost anything. So we further expose ourselves to the threat of terrorism. So if they are attacked and they have no way to defend themselves against a great Nation of ours, they will strike out. And therefore, I think in the practical argument, we have very little to gain by pursuing this policy.

1998 Ron Paul 18:18
But it is not difficult for me to come down on the side of arguing for peace. Peace is what we should be for. That does not mean you give up your military, but you use your military more wisely than we have over the past 30 or 40 years. You use it for national defense.

1998 Ron Paul 18:19
Today we have a powerful military force, but a lot of people don’t think we are as strong in defense as we used to be. So, yes, we are stronger than others, but if we have a failed and a flawed policy and a military that has been weakened, then we are looking for trouble.

1998 Ron Paul 18:20
So even the practical arguments call for restraint and a sensible approach, for debate and negotiations. It is for this reason I think for the moment we can be pleased that Mr. Annan went to Iraq and came back with something that is at least negotiable, and that the American people will think about and talk about. Hopefully this will lead not only to peace immediately in this area, but hopefully it will lead to a full discussion about the wisdom of a foreign policy of continued perpetual interventionism and involvement in the internal affairs of other nations.

1998 Ron Paul 18:21
If we argue our case correctly, we argue the moral argument, we argue the constitutional argument, and we argue the argument for peace as well. I cannot see how the American people cannot endorse a policy like that, and I challenge those who think that we should go carelessly and rapidly into battle, killing those who are not responsible, further enhancing the power and the authority of those who would be the dictators. They do not get killed. Sanctions don’t hurt them. The innocent people suffer. Just as the economic sanctions that will be put on Southeast Asia as we give them more money, who suffers from the devaluations? The American taxpayer, as well as the poor people, whether they are in Mexico or Southeast Asia, in order to prop up the very special interests. Whether it is the banking interests involved in the loans to the Southeast Asians, or our military-industrial complex who tends to benefit from building more and more weapons so they can go off and test them in wars that are unnecessary.


1998 Ron Paul Chapter 18
This speech is a continuation of 1998 Ron Paul Chapter 15 and 1998 Ron Paul Chapter 17

1998 Ron Paul 18:1
I thank you very much for participating. Ron Paul thanks Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland.

1998 Ron Paul 18:3
The grammatically incorrect There’ two very important reasons why one who espouses the constitutional viewpoint of nonintervention, they do it. perhaps should be, There are two very important reasons why one who espouses the constitutional viewpoint of nonintervention does so.

1998 Ron Paul 18:7
Here, when Ron Paul is about to say police actions he gestures with his hands and fingers to denote quotation marks. Listen to the C-Span clip at 18:18:52 local time.

1998 Ron Paul 18:12
Where Ron Paul says, Hutus and Tutus he probably meant Hutus and Tutsis.

1998 Ron Paul 18:21
if we argue the more argument probably should be if we argue the moral argument, or perhaps if we argue the more valid argument.

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