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2002 Ron Paul Chapter 45
21 May 2002
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Congressional Record (Page H2764) Cached
2002 Ron Paul 45:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
2002 Ron Paul 45:2
Madam Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. The President has not been interested in this legislation. I do not see a good reason to give him the burden of reporting back to us in 45 days to explain how he is going to provide for Afghan security for the long term. How long is long term? We have been in Korea now for 50 years. Are we planning to send troops that provide national security for Afghanistan? I think we should be more concerned about the security of this country and not wondering how we are going to provide the troops for longterm security in Afghanistan. We should be more concerned about the security of our ports.
2002 Ron Paul 45:3
Madam Chairman, over the last several days and almost continuously, as a matter of fact, many Members get up and talk about any expenditure or any tax cut as an attack on Social Security, but we do not hear this today because there is a coalition, well built, to support this intervention and presumed occupation of Afghanistan. But the truth is, there are monetary and budget consequences for this.
2002 Ron Paul 45:4
After this bill is passed, if this bill is to pass, we will be close to $2 billion in aid to Afghanistan, not counting the military. Now, that is an astounding amount of money, but it seems like it is irrelevant here. Twelve months ago, the national debt was $365 billion less than it is today, and people say we are just getting away from having surpluses. Well, $365 billion is a huge deficit, and the national debt is going up at that rate. April revenues were down 30 percent from 1 year ago. The only way we pay for programs like this is either we rob Social Security or we print the money, but both are very harmful to poor people and people living on a limited income. Our funds are not unlimited.
2002 Ron Paul 45:5
I know there is a lot of good intention; nobody in this body is saying we are going over there to cause mischief, but let me tell my colleagues, there is a lot of reasons not to be all that optimistic about these wonderful results and what we are going to accomplish over there.
2002 Ron Paul 45:6
Madam Chairman, earlier the gentleman from California (Mr. ROHRABACHER) came up with an astounding reason for us to do this. He said that we owe this to Afghanistan. Now, I have heard all kinds of arguments for foreign aid and foreign intervention, but the fact that we owe this to Afghanistan? Do we know what we owe? We owe responsibility to the American taxpayer. We owe responsibility to the security of this country.
2002 Ron Paul 45:7
One provision of this bill takes a $300 million line of credit from our DOD and just gives the President the authority to take $300 million of weapons away from us and give it to somebody in Afghanistan. Well, that dilutes our defense, that does not help our defense. This is not beneficial. We do not need to have an occupation of Afghanistan for security of this country. There is no evidence for that.
2002 Ron Paul 45:8
The occupation of Afghanistan is unnecessary. It is going to be very costly, and it is very dangerous.
2002 Ron Paul 45:9
My colleagues might say, well, this is all for democracy. For democracy? Well, did we care about democracy in Venezuela? It seemed like we tried to undermine that just recently. Do we care about the democracy in Pakistan? A military dictator takes over and he becomes our best ally, and we use his land, and yet he has been a friend to the Taliban, and who knows, bin Laden may even be in Pakistan. Here we are saying we are doing it all for democracy. Now, that is just pulling our leg a little bit too much. This is not the reason that we are over there. We are over there for a lot of other reasons and, hopefully, things will be improved.
2002 Ron Paul 45:10
But I am terribly concerned that we will spend a lot of money, we will become deeply mired in Afghanistan, and we will not do a lot better than the Soviets did.
2002 Ron Paul 45:11
Now, that is a real possibility that we should not ignore. We say, oh, no, everything sounds rosy and we are going to do this, we are going to do it differently, and this time it is going to be okay. Well, if we look at the history of that land and that country, I would think that we should have second thoughts.
2002 Ron Paul 45:12
It has been said that one of the reasons why we need this legislation is to help pay for drug eradication. Now, that is a good idea. That would be nice if we could do that. But the drug production has exploded since we have been there. In the last year, it is just going wild. Well, that is even more reason we have to spend money because we contributed to the explosion of the drug production. There is money in this bill, and maybe some good will come of this; there is money in this bill that is going to be used to teach the Afghan citizens not to use drugs.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) has expired.
(By unanimous consent, Mr. PAUL was allowed to proceed for 2 additional minutes.)
2002 Ron Paul 45:13
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, if this is successful, if we teach the Afghan people not to use drugs, that would be wonderful. Maybe then we can do something about the ravenous appetite of our people for drugs which is the basic cause of so much drug production.
2002 Ron Paul 45:14
So to spend money on these kinds of programs I think is just a little bit of a stretch. Already there have been 33 tribal leaders that have said they will not attend this Loya Jirga, that they are not going to attend. The fact that we are going to spend millions of dollars trying to gather these people together and tell them what to do with their country, I think the odds of producing a secure country are slim.
2002 Ron Paul 45:15
Already in the papers just a few weeks ago it was reported in The Washington Post that our CIA made an attempt to assassinate a former prime minister of Afghanistan. He may have been a bum for all I know, but do Members think that sits well? He was not an ally of bin Laden, he was not a Taliban member, yet our CIA is over there getting involved. As a matter of fact, that is against our law, if that report is true. Yet, that is what the papers have reported.
2002 Ron Paul 45:16
So I would say that we should move cautiously. I think this is very dangerous. I know nobody else has spoken out against this bill, but I do not see much benefit coming from this. I know it is well motivated, but it is going to cost a lot of money, we are going to get further engaged, more troops are going to go over there; and now that we are a close ally of Pakistan, we do know that Pakistan and India both have nuclear weapons, and we are sitting right next to them. So I would hardly think this is advantageous for our security, nor advantageous for the American people, nor advantageous to the American taxpayer.
2002 Ron Paul 45:17
I see this as a threat to our security. It does not reassure me one bit. This is what scares me. It scares me when we send troops into places like Vietnam and Korea and other places, because it ultimately comes back to haunt us.