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17 March 1998
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speakers announced policy of January 21, 1997, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) is recognized during morning hour debates for 5 minutes.
(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
1998 Ron Paul 26:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw to the attention of my colleagues two House concurrent resolutions that we will be voting on, one today and one tomorrow.
1998 Ron Paul 26:2
The one tomorrow is offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. CAMPBELL), which I think we should pay close attention to and, hopefully, support. This is H. Con. Res. 227. It is a concurrent resolution directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1998 Ron Paul 26:3
The troops should never have been sent there in the first place. There was a lot of controversy. It was far from unanimous consent from the Congress to send the troops there. They were sent there in 1995, and they were to be there for 18 months, and each time we came upon a date for removing the troops, they were extended.
1998 Ron Paul 26:4
Currently, it is the Presidents position that the troops will stay indefinitely. He has not set a date, although the Congress has set a date for this June for all funding to be removed as of June and the troops should come home. This resolution more or less states that same position. I strongly favor this, and I believe that the Congress should send a strong message that we should not casually and carelessly send troops around the world to police the world. This is a good way for us to get into trouble.
1998 Ron Paul 26:5
Our national security is not threatened. There was no justification for our troops to be sent there. There are always good reasons, though, given because there are problems. Well, there are problems every place in the world. If we try to solve all the problems of the world, we would not have troops in a hundred countries like we have now, we would have them in three or four hundred countries. But it is true that we send troops with the most amount of pressure put upon us to do it.
1998 Ron Paul 26:6
There are certain countries, like in Rwanda, Africa, we certainly did not apply the same rules to that country as we do to Bosnia and the Persian Gulf and Iraq. We did not do this when we saw the mass killings in the Far East under Pol Pot.
1998 Ron Paul 26:7
So, under certain circumstances where there is political pressure made by certain allies or by interests of oil, then we are likely to get involved. But the principle of a noninterventionism foreign policy should make certain that we, the Congress, never condone, never endorse, never promote the placement of troops around the world in harms way because it is a good way for men to get killed and, for most purposes, the lives of our American soldiers are too valuable to be put into a situation where there is so much harm and danger.
1998 Ron Paul 26:8
Fortunately, there has been no American deaths in this region, but there is a good reason for those troops to come out. The peace has not been settled, though, there. It is not going to be. And our 16,000 or 20,000 troops that we have had there will not be able to maintain the peace as long as these warring factions exist. They have existed not for months, not for a few years, but literally for hundreds of years if not thousands of years people in this region have been fighting among themselves.
1998 Ron Paul 26:9
So it is not our responsibility. Yes, we can condemn the violence; and who would not? But does that justify the taxing of American citizens and imposing a threat to American lives by imposing and sending our troops to all these hot spots around the region?
1998 Ron Paul 26:10
So I strongly urge my fellow colleagues to look carefully at this resolution tomorrow and assume congressional responsibility. It is not the responsibility of the President to wage war, to put troops around the world. That is a congressional responsibility.
1998 Ron Paul 26:11
So although there has been no declaration of war, we are sitting ducks for a war to be started. So let us stop the war before it gets started.
1998 Ron Paul 26:12
I think we should strongly endorse this resolution and make sure these troops come home. It is interesting that there is a fair amount of support for this, and we obviously won the vote on this last year to say the troops should come home in June of this year. I suspect and hope that this will be restated, and there will be no excuse to extend their stay in this region.
1998 Ron Paul 26:13
But at the same time we win those kind of votes, and there is a strong sentiment here in the Congress when we are required to vote and there is certainly a strong sentiment among the American people that we ought to be dealing with our problems here at home, we ought not to assume the role of world policemen, and we ought to mind our own business, and we ought to be concerned about the sovereignty of the United States, rather than sending our troops around the world under the auspices of the United Nations and NATO and literally giving up our sovereignty to international bodies. We were very confused as to who was really in charge of foreign policy in Iraq, whether it was Kofi Annan or whether it was our President.
1998 Ron Paul 26:7 Here, noninterventionism foreign policy probably should be, noninterventionist foreign policy.
1998 Ron Paul 26:8 Ungrammatical Fortunately, there has been no American deaths in this region probably should be Fortunately, there have been no American deaths in this region.
1998 Ron Paul 26:13 Ungrammatical But at the same time we win those kind of votes probably should be But at the same time we win those kinds of votes.