Ron Paul
2001 Ron Paul Chapter 40

Sudan Peace Act

13 June 2001

Home Page   Contents   Cached from Ron Paul’s Congressional website.
Congressional Record (Page H3100)   Cached

2001 Ron Paul 40:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this bill, although I do not contest for 1 minute the sincerity and the good intentions of the many, many cosponsors. I do not question the problems that exist in Sudan. There is no doubt that it is probably one of the most horrible tales in human history.

2001 Ron Paul 40:2
But I do question a few things. First, I question whether this is a proper function for our government. I raised this question in the committee, suggesting that it could not be for national security reasons, and it more or less was conceded this has nothing to do with national security but it had to do with America’s soul. I was fascinated that we are in the business of saving souls these days.

2001 Ron Paul 40:3
But I do have serious concerns about its effectiveness, because we have a history of having done these kinds of programs many times in the past, and even in Africa. It was not too many years ago that we were in Somalia and we lost men. Our soldiers were dragged in the streets. It was called nationbuilding. This is, in a way, very much nation-building, because we support one faction over the thugs that are in charge.

2001 Ron Paul 40:4
I certainly have all the sympathy and empathy for those individuals who are being abused, but the real question is whether or not this will work. It did not work in Somalia. We sent troops into Haiti. Haiti is not better off. How many men did we lose in Vietnam in an effort to make sure the people we want in power were in power?

2001 Ron Paul 40:5
So often these well-intended programs just do not work and frequently do the opposite by our aid ending up in the hands of the supposed enemy. I seriously question whether this one will, either. Maybe in a year or 2 from now we will realize that this is an effort that did not produce the results that we wanted. It is a $10 million appropriation, small for what we do around here, but we also know that this is only the beginning, and there will be many more tens of millions of dollars that will be sent in hopes that we will satisfy this problem.

2001 Ron Paul 40:6
Members can look for more problems to solve, because right now there are 800,000 children serving in the military in 41 countries of the world. That is another big job we would have to take upon ourselves to solve considering our justification to be involved in Sudan.

2001 Ron Paul 40:7
Mr. Chairman, with HR 2052, the Sudan Peace Act, we embark upon another episode of interventionism, in continuing our illegitimate and ill-advised mission to “police” the world. It seemingly matters little to this body that it proceeds neither with any constitutional authority nor with the blessings of such historical figures such as Jefferson who, in his first inaugural address, argued for “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.” Unfortunately, this is not the only bit of history which seemingly is lost on this Congress.

2001 Ron Paul 40:8
Apparently, it is also lost on this Congress that the Constitution was a grant of limited power to the federal government from the citizens or, in other words, the Constitution was not designed to allow the government to restrain the people, but to allow the people to restrain the government. Of course, the customary lip service is given to the Constitution insofar as the committee report for this bill follows the rule of citing Constitutional authority and cites Art. I, Section 8, which is where one might look to find a specific enumerated power. However, the report cites only clause 18 which begs some further citation. While Clause 18 contains the “necessary and proper” clause, it limits Congress to enacting laws “necessary and proper” to some more specifically (i.e. foregoing) enumerated power. Naturally, no such “foregoing” authority is cited by the advocates of this bill.

2001 Ron Paul 40:9
Without Constitutional authority, this bill goes on to encourage the spending of $10 million of U.S. taxpayers hard-earned money in Sudan but for what purpose? From the text of the bill, we learn that “The United States should use all means of pressure available to facilitate a comprehensive solution to the war in Sudan, including (A) the multilateralization of economic and diplomatic tools to compel the Government of Sudan to enter into a good faith peace process; [note that it says “compel . . . good faith peace”] and (B) the support or creation of viable democratic civil authority and institutions in areas of Sudan outside of government control.” I believe we used to call that nation-building before that term became impolitic. How self-righteous a government is ours which legally prohibits foreign campaign contributions yet assumes it knows best and, hence, supports dissident and insurgent groups in places like Cuba, Sudan and around the world. The practical problem here is that we have funded dissidents in such places as Somalia who ultimately turned out to be worse than the incumbent governments. Small wonder the U.S. is the prime target of citizen-terrorists from countries with no real ability to retaliate militarily for our illegitimate and immoral interventions.

2001 Ron Paul 40:10
The legislative “tools” to be used to “facilitate” this aforementioned “comprehensive solution” are as frightening as the nation-building tactics. For example, “It is the sense of the Congress that . . . the United Nations should be used as a tool to facilitate peace and recovery in Sudan.”

2001 Ron Paul 40:11
One can only assume this is the same United Nations which booted the United States off its Human Rights Commission in favor of, as Canadian Sen. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein, called them recently, “those exemplars of human rights nations . . . Algeria, China, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Armenia, Pakistan, Syria and Vietnam.”

2001 Ron Paul 40:12
The bill does not stop there, however, in intervening in the civil war in Sudan. It appears that this Congress has found a new mission for the Securities and Exchange Commission who are now tasked with investigating “the nature and extent of . . . commercial activity in Sudan” as it relates to “any violations of religious freedom and human rights in Sudan.” It seems we have finally found a way to spend those excessive fees the SEC has been collecting from mutual fund investors despite the fact we cannot seem to bring to the floor a bill to actually reduce those fees which have been collected in multiples above what is necessary to fund this agencies’ previous (and again unconstitutional) mission.

2001 Ron Paul 40:13
There is more, however. Buried deep within the bill in Section 9 we find what may be the real motivation for the intervention — Oil. It seems the bill also tasks the Secretary of State with generating a report detailing “a description of the sources and current status of Sudan’s financing and construction of infrastructure and pipelines for oil exploitation, the effects of such financing and construction on the inhabitants of the regions in which the oil fields are located.” Talk about corporate welfare and the ability to socialize the costs of foreign competitive market research on the U.S. taxpayer!

2001 Ron Paul 40:14
Yes, Mr. Chairman, this bill truly has it all — an unconstitutional purpose, the morally bankrupt intervention in dealings between the affairs of foreign governments and their respective citizens in our attempt to police the world, more involvement by a United Nations proven inept at resolving civil conflicts abroad, the expansion of the SEC into State Department functions and a little corporate welfare for big oil, to boot. How can one not support these legislative efforts?

2001 Ron Paul 40:15
Mr. Chairman, I oppose this bill for each of the above-mentioned reasons and leave to the ingenuity, generosity, and conscience of each individual in this country to make their own private decision as to how best render help to citizens of Sudan and all countries where human rights violations run rampant.

This chapter appeared in Ron Paul’s Congressional website at

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