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2006 Ron Paul Chapter 78

Ron Paul Congressional Medal Of Honor For The Dalai Lama

13 September 2006

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Congressional Medal Of Honor For The Dalai Lama
13 September 2006

2006 Ron Paul 78:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, with great sadness I must rise to oppose this measure granting a congressional gold medal to the 14th Dalai Lama. While I greatly admire and respect His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and fully recognize his tremendous status both as a Buddhist leader and international advocate for peace, I must object to the manner in which this body chooses to honor him.

2006 Ron Paul 78:2
I wonder if my colleagues see the irony in honoring a devout Buddhist monk with a material gift of gold. The Buddhist tradition, of course, eschews worldly possessions in favor of purity of thought and action. Buddhism urges its practitioners to alleviate the suffering of others whenever possible. I’m sure His Holiness the Dalai Lama would rather see $30,000 spent to help those less fortunate, rather than for a feel-good congressional gesture.

2006 Ron Paul 78:3
We cannot forget that Congress has no authority under the Constitution to spend taxpayer money on medals and awards, no matter how richly deserved. And I reiterate my offer of $100 from my own pocket to pay for this medal — if members wish to honor the Dalai Lama, all we need to do is pay for it ourselves. If all 435 of us contribute, the cost will be roughly $70 each. So while a gold medal sounds like a great idea, it becomes a bit strange when we see the actual cost involved.

2006 Ron Paul 78:4
If Congress truly wishes to honor the Dalai Lama, it could instead start by showing more respect for his views in the areas of foreign policy, war, and terrorism. The bellicosity often demonstrated on the floor of this institution toward entire nations and their people conflicts sharply with the peaceful teachings of the Dalai Lama.

2006 Ron Paul 78:5
Consider the following words of His Holiness:

2006 Ron Paul 78:6
“When September 11 happened, the next day I wrote a letter to President Bush as a friend — because I know him personally. I wrote this letter and expressed, besides my condolences and sadness, a countermeasure to this tragedy: a nonviolent response because that would have been more effective. So this is my stance. And then just before the Iraq crisis started, millions of people from countries like Australia and America expressed their opposition to violence. I really admired and appreciated this.”

2006 Ron Paul 78:7
“When the war started, some people immediately asked me if it was justified or not, whether it was right or wrong. In principle, any resort to violence is wrong.”

2006 Ron Paul 78:8
Consider also these thoughts from the Dalai Lama regarding the terrible pointlessness of war:

2006 Ron Paul 78:9
“We have seen that we cannot solve human problems by fighting. Problems resulting from differences in opinion must be resolved through the gradual process of dialogue. Undoubtedly, wars produce victors and losers; but only temporarily. Victory or defeat resulting from wars cannot be long-lasting. Secondly, our world has become so interdependent that the defeat of one country must impact the rest of the world, or cause all of us to suffer losses either directly or indirectly.”

2006 Ron Paul 78:10
“Today, the world is so small and so interdependent that the concept of war has become anachronistic, an outmoded approach. As a rule, we always talk about reform and changes. Among the old traditions, there are many aspects that are either ill-suited to our present reality or are counterproductive due to their shortsightedness. These, we have consigned to the dustbin of history. War too should be relegated to the dustbin of history.”

2006 Ron Paul 78:11
“Of course, the militaristic tradition may not end easily. But, let us think of this. If there were bloodshed, people in positions of power, or those who are responsible, will find safe places; they will escape the consequent hardship. They will find safety for themselves, one way or the other. But what about the poor people, the defenseless people, the children, the old and infirm. They are the ones who will have to bear the brunt of devastation. When weapons are fired, the result will be death and destruction. Weapons will not discriminate between the innocent and guilty. A missile, once fired, will show no respect to the innocent, poor, defenseless, or those worthy of compassion. Therefore, the real losers will be the poor and defenseless, ones who are completely innocent, and those who lead a hand-to-mouth existence.”

2006 Ron Paul 78:12
Mr. Speaker, in closing let me join my colleagues in stating my tremendous respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. While I cannot agree with forcible taxation to pay for gold medals, I certainly hope Congress takes the teaching of His Holiness to heart and begins to rethink our aggressive, interventionist foreign policy.

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