The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 68

America’s Foreign Policy

15 July 1997

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas [Mr. PAUL] for 5 minutes.

1997 Ron Paul 68:1
Mr. PAUL. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend.

1997 Ron Paul 68:2
The SPEAKER. Without objection.

1997 Ron Paul 68:3
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, it is currently an accepted cliché to say foreign policy is a Presidential matter and Congress should not meddle. Frequently we hear the pleading to remain bipartisan with no dissent, especially when troops are placed in harm’s way. Yet no place in the Constitution do we find any such explicit instruction. Instead, we find no mention of foreign policy.

1997 Ron Paul 68:4
To the contrary, we find strict prohibitions placed on the President when it comes to dealing with foreign nations.

1997 Ron Paul 68:5
The Constitution is clear. No treaties can be entered into without the consent of the Senate. No war may be fought without the declaration of war by the Congress.

1997 Ron Paul 68:6
No money shall be spent overseas without Congress first raising the money, then authorizing it and appropriating these funds for specific purposes.

1997 Ron Paul 68:7
Since the Constitution does not even assume a standing army, let alone stationing troops in peacetime in over 100 countries, with CIA clandestine activities in even more, the current foreign policy that has evolved over the past hundred years would surely be unrecognizable by the authors of that document.

1997 Ron Paul 68:8
The founders of this country were opposed to standing armies for fear they would be carelessly used. They were right.

1997 Ron Paul 68:9
The United States record of foreign intervention and its failures have not yet prompted a serious discussion of the need for an overall reassessment of this dangerous and out-of-control policy. Not only has Congress failed in its responsibilities to restrain our adventurous Presidents in pursuing war, spying, and imposing America’s will on other nations by installing leaders and at times eliminating others throughout the world these past 50 years, we now, by default, have allowed our foreign policy to be commandeered by international bodies like NATO and the United Nations nations. This can only lead to trouble for the United States and further threaten our liberties, and we have already seen plenty of that in this century.

1997 Ron Paul 68:10
It looks like our current President, who was less than excited about serving in the military himself, was quite eager to promote U.S. complicity in the escalating dangerous activity in Bosnia. What has been done so frequently in the name of peace more often than not has led to war and suffering, considering Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, and even the Persian Gulf war.

1997 Ron Paul 68:11
Clinton has not been willing to phase out the Selective Service Department and has actually asked for additional funding to include the Selective Service process in his domestic so-called voluntary AmeriCorps program.

1997 Ron Paul 68:12
But this failed policy of foreign intervention is being pursued once again in Bosnia with full acknowledgment and funding by the Congress. Congress has failed to exert its veto over this dangerous game our President is determined to play in this region.

1997 Ron Paul 68:13
Sensing that maybe soon the Congress will finally cut the purse strings on this ill-advised military operation, pushed hard by Secretary of State Albright, policymakers are quietly and aggressively escalating the tension, placing our nearly 8,000 troops in even greater danger while further destabilizing a region never prone to be stable over this century, with the certain outcome that Congress will further capitulate and provide funding for extension and escalation of the military operation.

1997 Ron Paul 68:14
In spite of some resistance in the Congress, the current escalation is likely to prevent any chance of withdrawal of our troops by next summer.

1997 Ron Paul 68:15
The recent $2 billion additional funds in the supplemental appropriation bill was the cue to the President that the Congress will not act to stop the operation when under pressure to support the troops. Of course, common sense will tell us that the best way to support our troops is to bring them home as quickly as possible. This idea, that support for the troops once they are engaged means we must continue the operation no matter how ill-advised and perpetuate a conflict that makes no sense, but that’s what President Clinton is depending on.

1997 Ron Paul 68:16
Last week the whole operation in Bosnia changed. The arrest and killing of war criminals by occupation forces coming from thousands of miles away is a most serious escalation of the Bosnia conflict. For outside forces to pronounce judgment on the guilt or innocence of warring factions in a small region of the world is a guarantee that the conflict will escalate, and I think those pursuing this policy know this. Prosecuting war criminals is so fraught with danger it seems the need to escalate surpassed all reason.

1997 Ron Paul 68:17
Yet immediately after the NATO operation, supported by the U.S., that resulted in the death of a Serb leader, Clinton strongly suggested that the troops may well not be able to leave in June of 1998 as promised. They were first supposed to leave in December of ’96, and now 18 months after their arrival, the departure date is indefinite, and we in the Congress tragically continue to fund the operation.

1997 Ron Paul 68:18
This illegal and dangerous military operation will not go unnoticed and will embolden the Serbs and further stir the hatred of the region. Is this policy based on stupidity or is there a sinister motive behind what our world leaders do?

1997 Ron Paul 68:19
Must we have perpetual war to keep the military appropriations flowing? Does our military work hand in glove in securing new markets? It’s not a hidden fact that our own CIA follows our international corporate interests around the globe engaging in corporate espionage and installing dictators when they serve these special interests.

1997 Ron Paul 68:20
Why would an Air Force plane, with a dozen leading industrialists, be flying into a war-torn region like Bosnia, along with the Secretary of Commerce? I doubt they were on a humanitarian mission to feed the poor and house the homeless.

1997 Ron Paul 68:21
The lobbyists who pushed the hardest to send troops to Bosnia came from corporations who are now reaping great profits from construction work in Bosnia. It may be the calculation is for a slight escalation of the conflict—that inevitably will accompany any attempt to try war criminals—and no one plans for another great war breaking out in this region.

1997 Ron Paul 68:22
What might be planned is just enough conflict to keep the appropriations coming. But the possibility of miscalculation is very real. The history of this region should surely warn us of the dangers that lurk around the corner.

1997 Ron Paul 68:23
We, in the Congress, have a great responsibility in reversing this policy. We must once again assume this responsibility in formulating foreign policy and not acquiesce to the President’s pressure to perpetuate a serious misdirected policy of foreign meddling 4,000 miles away from home. We must not fall for the old line that we cannot leave, because to do so, we would not be patriotically “supporting our troops.” That is blatant nonsense.

1997 Ron Paul 68:24
We have already invested $7.7 billion in this ill-advised military adventure. That money should have either remained in the pockets of working Americans or spent here in the United States.

1997 Ron Paul 68:25
The New York Times has praised this recent action by Clinton and the NATO forces and has called for more of the same. The New York Times and the Washington Post also support the notion that our troops will have to stay in this region for a lot longer than the middle of next year.

1997 Ron Paul 68:26
The military industrial complex and its powerful political supporters continue to be well represented in the media and in Washington. Unfortunately, the idea that America is responsible to police the world and provide the funding and the backup military power to impose “peace” in all the disturbed regions of the world remains a policy endorsed by leaders in both parties.

1997 Ron Paul 68:27
The sooner this policy is challenged and changed, the better off we will be. Our budget will not permit it; it threatens our national security, and worst of all, it threatens our personal liberties.


1997 Ron Paul 68:19

Ron Paul’s time expires just after he says globe. Congressional Record prints the rest of the sentence as if it was spoken on the House floor, which it was not. The rest of the text is printed in the font that denotes it is an extension of his remarks, not spoken on the House floor.

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