Ron Paul
1999 Ron Paul Chapter 22

U.S. Military Action Taking Place in Serbia is Unconstitutional

Home Page   Contents   Congressional Record (Page H1672)  Cached

24 March 1999

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) is recognized for 5 minutes.

1999 Ron Paul 22:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, U.S. military forces are now bombing a foreign nation halfway around the world. This cannot be a proud moment for America. The reason given for doing so is that Serbian leaders have not done what we have told them to do.

1999 Ron Paul 22:2
Serbia has not invaded another country but is involved in a nasty civil war, with both sides contributing to the violence. There is no American security interest involved in Serbia. Serbia has not threatened us nor used any force against any American citizen.

1999 Ron Paul 22:3
As bad as the violence is toward the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, our ability to police and stop all ethnic fighting around the world is quite limited and the efforts are not permitted under constitutional law. We do not even pretend to solve the problems of sub-Saharan Africa, Tibet, East Timor, Kurdistan, and many other places around the world where endless tragic circumstances prevail.

1999 Ron Paul 22:4
Our responsibility as U.S. Members of Congress is to preserve liberty here at home and uphold the rule of law. Meddling in the internal and dangerous affairs of a nation involved in civil war is illegal and dangerous. Congress has not given the President authority to wage war.

1999 Ron Paul 22:5
The House resolution regarding Kosovo was narrowly, reluctantly, and conditionally passed. It was a non-binding resolution and had no effect of law. Even if it did, the resolution dealt with sending troops as a peacekeeping force to Kosovo only if a peace agreement was signed. There was no mention of endorsing an act of war against Serbia. Besides, the resolution was not the proper procedure for granting war powers to a president.

1999 Ron Paul 22:6
The Senate resolution, now claimed to be congressional consent for the President to wage war, is not much better. It, too, was a sense of Congress resolution without the force of law. It implies the President can defer to NATO for authority to pursue a war effort.

1999 Ron Paul 22:7
Only Congress can decide the issue of war. Congress cannot transfer the constitutional war power to the President or to NATO or to the United Nations. The Senate resolution, however, specifically limits the use of force to air operations and missile strikes, but no war has ever been won with air power alone. The Milosevic problem will actually get worse with our attacks, and ground troops will likely follow.

1999 Ron Paul 22:8
It has been argued we are needed to stop the spread of war throughout the Balkans. Our presence will do the opposite, but it will certainly help the military-industrial complex. Peaceful and cooperative relations with Russia, a desired goal, has now ended; and we have provoked the Russians into now becoming a much more active ally of Serbia.

1999 Ron Paul 22:9
U.S. and NATO policy against Serbia will certainly encourage the Kurds. Every argument for Kosovo’s independence can be used by the Kurds for their long-sought-after independence. This surely will drive the Turks away from NATO.

1999 Ron Paul 22:10
Our determination to be involved in the dangerous civil war may well prompt a stronger Greek alliance with their friends in Serbia, further splitting NATO and offending the Turks, who are naturally inclined to be sympathetic to the Albanian Muslims. No good can come of our involvement in this Serbian civil war, no matter how glowing and humanitarian the terms used by our leaders.

1999 Ron Paul 22:11
Sympathy and compassion for the suffering and voluntary support for the oppressed is commendable. The use of force and acts of war to pick and choose between two sides fighting for hundreds of years cannot achieve peace. It can only spread the misery and suffering, weaken our defenses and undermine our national sovereignty.

1999 Ron Paul 22:12
Only when those who champion our war effort in Serbia are willing to volunteer for the front lines and offer their own lives for the cause will they gain credibility. Promoters of war never personalize it. It is always some other person or some other parent’s child’s life who will be sacrificed, not their own.

1999 Ron Paul 22:13
With new talk of reinstituting the military draft since many disillusioned military personnel are disgusted with the morale of our armed forces, all Americans should pay close attention as our leaders foolishly and carelessly rush our troops into a no-win war of which we should have no part.

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