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2005 Ron Paul Chapter 30

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Congressional Record [.PDF]

Consequences Of Foreign Policy — Part 1
16 March 2005

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2005 Ron Paul 30:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I have taken the time in opposition to this resolution not so much to object to the well- intended notions of the gentlewoman and the promotion of freedom and liberty. It is just that I do not think this is going to achieve it. As a matter of fact, when we pursue resolutions like this and a more aggressive foreign policy of telling other countries what to do, I see it as more of a threat to our security rather than helping our security.

2005 Ron Paul 30:2
I, for one, would admit I personally do not know what is best for the Lebanese and the Syrians, the Iraqis, or anybody else in the region; but I would argue the case that traditionally in this country up until probably the past 100 years, we took a different position on foreign policy. We took a position of nonintervention, one where we strived for neutrality, and we argued the case that we did not have any business in the internal affairs of other nations. No matter how well intended, there always seem to be ramifications. There seem to be unintended consequences. There seems to be a condition called “blow-back,” where it comes back and ends up where we suffer more than anybody else.

2005 Ron Paul 30:3
For instance, we are in Iraq right now with all these good intentions. We have been there for a couple of years. We have spent over $200 billion, and this week they came out with a survey and they talked about the most dangerous city in the world and where security is the worst, and that city is not Beirut.

2005 Ron Paul 30:4
In the last 2 years, every one of us would have rather have been in Beirut than we would have been in Iraq. And yet we have 140,000 troops there protecting the Iraqis and promoting freedom and liberty and elections, and it sounds good. But I think if we are honest with ourselves, the results are not nearly as wonderful as we would like them to be.

2005 Ron Paul 30:5
The other thing that concerns me is that we lose credibility when we talk about what we want and what we will impose on other nations, because when we are claiming that the Lebanese cannot possibly have elections with the presence of foreign troops, at the same time we daily hear the bragging about the great election in Iraq where we had these 140,000 troops and total martial law in order for an election to take place. I am all for the elections, and I am a strong supporter of self-determination; but I do not correlate that with our policies.

2005 Ron Paul 30:6
We saw demonstrations, first a little at a demonstration orchestrated in support of getting Syria out of Lebanon, and then there was a response to that where 500,000 showed up supporting Hezbollah claiming they supported Syria, and then of course following that there was a much bigger demonstration. So the people have had freedom to express themselves. But the one thing about all the demonstrations, we never saw a sign that said, America, come save us, come in here, tell us what to do, tell us what to do with our elections. They have had elections going on for you in Lebanon without any violence directed against Syrian troops as we see daily in Iraq. They have an election coming up in May. It has been scheduled all along. It is not like they have been avoiding them.

2005 Ron Paul 30:7
We complain a lot about the Syrians being there, and if I have a personal preference, since I believe in self-determination, I would have the troops out just as I would have our troops out of most other places. But I would have foreign troops out of the Golan Heights. Why are we so excited about the Syrian troops, who were invited by the Lebanese Government? Why are we not excited about foreign troops in the Golan Heights and in the over 100 countries where that we have troops?

2005 Ron Paul 30:8
So I think we lose credibility. I think the Arab people just laugh at us and say, oh, yes, they are for these wonderful elections, and they have got to get these troops out; and at the same time we have troops all over the place.

2005 Ron Paul 30:9
The Syrians went into Lebanon in 1976, and if we go back and look at history, it was at the urging of the Government of the United States because there was about to be an election. And at that time, it was perceived that the election would undermine the minorities, the Christians and the Druse. So, therefore, it was in our interest at that time to interfere with the election, just as we have interfered so many times since then over the world.

2005 Ron Paul 30:10
Just think of the elected leader in 1953 in Iran, the elected leader, Mossadeq. But he did not follow what we wanted him to do with regards to oil. So what did we do? We sent in the CIA. We overthrew him, and then we had our puppet government, the Shah, for 25 years, which did nothing more than provide fodder for the radicals, and we radicalized the ayatollahs against us.

2005 Ron Paul 30:11
In a conversation with a veteran of the CIA, an expert in this region, he explained, at least he sincerely believed, that we did a tremendous favor for Osama bin Laden, and that is to go into Iraq, expose ourselves, and then create the chaos of Iraq. Where there was no al Qaeda before, it is now a haven for al Qaeda.

2005 Ron Paul 30:12
It has served as a recruiting ground for al Qaeda. So no matter how well the intentions are, we should look at the conclusions; what finally happens.

2005 Ron Paul 30:13
Our problem very simply comes from the violation of the basic principle that we should follow, and that is that we should be friends with nations and trade with nations, and that we should be neutral in foreign affairs, because it does not serve our interests. It costs a lot of money and it costs a lot of credibility and it costs a lot of lives.

2005 Ron Paul 30:14
Just think of what the interference in Iraq has cost us: Over 1,500 men; over 11,000 battle casualties, with another 9,000 sent home because of illness; and over $200 billion. And there is no end in sight. Today we had to pass another $82 billion, which was not put into the budget, to continue this process. My argument is it comes not because we make a misjudgment, not that this resolution is simply a misjudgment of the day; it just is that is part of the misjudgments that we have made now for many, many decades in overall foreign policy.

2005 Ron Paul 30:15
It is fully endorsed. The American people certainly have not been up in arms about it and have endorsed it, along with the large majority in the Congress. But long term it does not work. Just look how long the American people supported Vietnam, until finally they had to throw up their arms and demand an end to the senseless war.

2005 Ron Paul 30:16
But, ultimately, not only do the people get very angry and upset and frustrated with the loss of life, there are economic limitations to this as well, and that is something that I do not think anybody here hardly pays any attention to; that is how long can we continue to spend this money and not have this come back to really haunt us economically? The 1960s came back to haunt us in the 1970s, and the basic financial condition of this country is much worse than it was in the 1970s. Yet there is no hesitation.

2005 Ron Paul 30:17
I see resolutions like this as not restraint, but encouragement, without looking back and seeing how we participated in contributing to the problems that we have in the Middle East. So I am making the suggestion, why do we not think about overall policy with consistency, and think almost what is in our best interests? I would like to read a quote from Ronald Reagan, because he was involved in Lebanon and our government was involved in the early 1980s. In his memoirs he admits it was a serious mistake, and we ought to take advice from Ronald Reagan on what he said about his misadventure in Lebanon. We were in there in 1983. This is what he writes in his memoirs several years later.

2005 Ron Paul 30:18
“Perhaps we didn’t appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain instant entry into paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did not create in us the concern for the Marines’ safety that it should have.”

2005 Ron Paul 30:19
Further quoting Ronald Reagan, “In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing we should do was turn tail and leave . . . yet, the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policies there.”

2005 Ron Paul 30:20
He concluded with advising us to stay clear. I would like to suggest that I believe that is pretty good advice.

2005 Ron Paul 30:21
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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