Ron Paul
1999 Ron Paul Chapter 46

No Billions In Appropriations Can Make Our Foreign Policy Effective

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13 May 1999
Thursday, May 13, 1999

1999 Ron Paul 46:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I have come forward in the past to suggest that the history of this century has shown us that the foreign policy of so-called “pragmatic interventionists” has created a disastrous situation. Specifically, I have pointed to the unintended consequences of our government’s interventions. Namely, I have identified how World War One helped create the environment for the holocaust and how it thus helped create World War Two and thermonuclear war. And, I’ve mentioned how the Second World War resulted in the enslavement of much of Europe behind an iron curtain setting off the cold war, and spread the international communism and then our own disastrous foray into Vietnam. Yes, all of these wars and tragedies, wars hot and cold, were in part caused by the so-called “war to end all wars.”

1999 Ron Paul 46:2
Today I do not wish to investigate yet again the details of this history but rather to examine, at a deeper level, why this sort of policy is doomed to fail.

1999 Ron Paul 46:3
The base reason is that pragmatism is illogical and interventionism does not work. The notion that we can have successes without regard to the ends to be sought is absurd.

1999 Ron Paul 46:4
It should be obvious to practical people that you cannot have “progress,” for example, without progressing toward some end. Equally as apparent ought to be the fact that human effectiveness cannot occur without considering the ends of human beings. Peace, freedom and virtue are ends toward which we ought to progress, but all reference to ends is rejected by the so-called pragmatists.

1999 Ron Paul 46:5
Because of this lack of clarity of purpose we come to accept an equally unclear contortion of our language. Our military is “too thin,” it has been “hollowed out” and it is “unprepared.” But for what are we unprepared? And what policy is our army “too hollow” to carry out?

1999 Ron Paul 46:6
If we remain unprepared to conduct total warfare across the globe, we should be thankful of this fact. If we are unprepared to police the world or to project power into every civil war, or “to win two different regional conflicts,” this is good.

1999 Ron Paul 46:7
We are distracted by these dilemmas which result from unclear thought and unclear language. We convince ourselves that we need to be effective without having a goal in mind. Certainly we have no just end in mind because our pragmatic interventionists deny that ends exist.

1999 Ron Paul 46:8
“Preparedness” is a word that has been thrown around a lot recently, but it begs the question “prepared for what?” No nation attacked ours, no nation has threatened ours, no sane leader would do so as it would be the death warrant of his own nation, his own people, and likely his own self. We are prepared to repel an attack and meet force with force but not necessarily to protect our nation and the populace. We are still vulnerable to a missile attack and have done little to protect against such a possibility.

1999 Ron Paul 46:9
Thus or contortions and distortions that have led to dilemmas in our thoughts and dilemmas in our policy have led also to real paradoxes. Because our policy of globaloney is so bad, so unprincipled and so bound up with the notions of interventionism, we now face this strange truth: we ought to spend less on our military but we should spend more on defense. Our troops are underpaid, untertrained and poorly outfitted for the tasks we have given them. We are vulnerable to missile attack, and how do we spend our constituents money? What priorities have we set in this body? We vote to purchase a few more bombs to drop over Serbia or Iraq.

1999 Ron Paul 46:10
Our policy is flawed. Our nation is at risk. Our defenses are weakened by those people who say they are “hawks” and those who claim they “support the troops.” Our policy is the end to which we must make ourselves effective, and currently our policy is all wrong. Our constitution grants us the obligation to defend this nation, and the right to defend only this nation. I should hope that we will never be prepared to police the world. We should not be militarily prepared nor philosophically prepared for such a policy. We need to refocus our military force policy and the way to do that is clear. It is to return it to the constitutionally authorized role of defending our country. Again, this is not simply a question of policy, and not merely a political question. No Mr. Speaker, the source of our quandary is the minds and hearts of human beings. Bad philosophy will always lead to bad policy precisely because ideas do have consequences.

1999 Ron Paul 46:11
Here the bad idea to be found at the source of our malady is absurd pragmatism, a desire to be “effective” without having any idea what the end is that we trying to affect. It becomes evident in our policy and in our language.

1999 Ron Paul 46:12
“Now we are in it we must win it.” But we know not what “win” means, other than “be effective.” But we are “unprepared,” but unprepared for what? Unprepared to be effective! But what is it, we are ineffective at achieving? “Well, winning,” is the reply. Without ends our policies become tautological. And with the wrong policy, our execution becomes disastrous. We must reject this absurd pragmatism and reestablish a military policy based on the defense of our nation. Only then we will be able to take the steps necessary for effectiveness, and preparedness. No billions in appropriations can make our present policy effective.

1999 Ron Paul 46:1 the holocaust probably should be capitalized: the Holocaust.

1999 Ron Paul 46:1 cold war probably should be capitalized: Cold War.

1999 Ron Paul 46:9 untertrained probably should be undertrained.

1999 Ron Paul 46:9 our constituents money probably should be possessive: our constituents’ money.

1999 Ron Paul 46:10 No Mr. Speaker, probably should have another comma: No, Mr. Speaker,.

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