The Book of Ron Paul
1998 Ron Paul Chapter 109

Iraq — Part 3

5 October 1998

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The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. MILLER of Florida). The gentleman from Texas.

1998 Ron Paul 109:1
Mr. PAUL. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The gentleman from California makes a very good point, that sometimes we get involved in these battles and we never fight to complete victory. And he argues the case for pursuing it and always winning and take out the dictator that we are opposing.

1998 Ron Paul 109:2
And there is some merit to that argument, but there’s also a very good reason why that doesn’t happen and won’t happen. It’s because when you fight a war for non-national security reasons, when it’s limited to protecting oil or some other interest, then there’s a limitation, there’s no wanting to expand it.

1998 Ron Paul 109:3
When you fight a war for national security reasons, you declare the war, the people join, they are willing to support it financially, they volunteer to go into the military, and they fight to win. But we haven’t done that since World War II, precisely because we have this namby-pamby foreign policy of being everything to everybody and we don’t even defend our national security adequately enough.

1998 Ron Paul 109:4
The gentleman from California makes a good point also. He’s concerned that somebody like Saddam Hussein may attack us with weapons of mass destruction. He is precisely right. I’m concerned about that too. But I would say that our exposure is about 100 times greater because of our policy. Why is it that the terrorists want to go after Americans? Because we’re always dropping bombs on people and telling people what to do. Because we are the policemen, we pretend to be the arbitrator of every argument in the world, even those that have existed for 1,000 years. It’s a failed, flawed policy.

1998 Ron Paul 109:5
So I would say I have exactly the same concerns, but I think the policy that we follow has generated this problem, and it will continue.

1998 Ron Paul 109:6
Let me just close by talking a little bit about this authorization. It says, there are to be authorized appropriations, such sums as may be necessary to reimburse the applicable appropriation funds. And this is what the money is to go for: Defense articles, defense services, military education, and training. Sounds like getting ready for the Bay of Pigs. That’s exactly what we did. And then we backed off, we weren’t doing it for the right reason, and of course we have solidified for 40 years the dictatorship in Cuba.

1998 Ron Paul 109:7
So do you think our policy over the last 10 years has actually helped to weaken Saddam Hussein? Every time he comes out of it stronger. And then those who say, “Well, we should march in,” we should all question. Those of us here in the Congress who are so anxious to take out this dictator, they should be willing to march themselves, or send their children and send their grandchildren. Is it worth that? No, no, we wouldn’t want to do that, we got to keep our troops safe, safe from harm, but we’ll just pay somebody to do it. We’ll pay somebody to do it and we’ll make wild promises. Promise the Kurds something. They’ll take care of Saddam Hussein. And sure enough, the promises never come through.

1998 Ron Paul 109:8
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

1998 Ron Paul 109:9
Mr. PAUL. Yes, I’ll yield to the gentleman.

1998 Ron Paul 109:10
Mr. ROHRABACHER. You don’t think it’s proper for us to offer those people who are struggling for freedoms in Iraq against their dictatorship a helping hand?

1998 Ron Paul 109:11
Mr. PAUL. I think it would be absolutely proper to do that, as long as it came out of your wallet and you didn’t extract it from somebody in this country, a taxpayer at the point of a gun and say, look, bin Laden is a great guy, and I want more of your money.

1998 Ron Paul 109:12
That’s what you did in the 1980s. That’s what the Congress did. They went to the taxpayers, they put a gun to their head, and said, you pay up, because we think bin Laden is a freedom fighter.

1998 Ron Paul 109:13

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Well, then it was just not handled correctly.

1998 Ron Paul 109:14
Mr. PAUL. Well, the policy is flawed. The policy is flawed, and I think the conclusions that we have today are logical. I don’t think they lack logic. I think that if you decide that we are fighting for our national security reasons, you never stop short of victory. So this would go along with your argument that we stopped too soon in Iraq. But we weren’t there for national security reasons. They weren’t about to invade us, and they’re not about to invade us. The only way we should fear an invasion by these hoodlums is if we incite them to terrorism.

1998 Ron Paul 109:15
We should consider this a very serious piece of legislation. This is a vote for virtual war and giving more power to the President. It has an open-ended appropriation, and if you spend one nickel on it, you’re going to take it out of Social Security, the way the budget works around here.

1998 Ron Paul 109:16
And I yield back.


1998 Ron Paul 109:2
the gentleman from California is The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher.

1998 Ron Paul 109:9
I yield to the gentleman from California. Here, Ron Paul yields to The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher.

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