Ron Paul
2002 Ron Paul Chapter 82

Avoid War With Iraq

4 September 2002

Home Page   Contents
Congressional Record   Cached

2002 Ron Paul 82:1
Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I want to start my 5 minutes with a quote from Jefferson. Jefferson said, “No country perhaps was ever so thoroughly against war as ours.” These dispositions pervade every description of its citizens, whether in or out of office.

2002 Ron Paul 82:2
We love and we value peace and we know its blessings from experience.

2002 Ron Paul 82:3
We need this sentiment renewed in this Congress in order to avoid a needless war that offers us nothing but trouble. Congress must deal with this serious matter of whether or not we go to war. I believe it would be a mistake with the information that is available to us today. I do not see any reason whatsoever to take young men and young women and send them 6,000 miles off to a land to attack a country that has not committed any aggression against this country. I believe it would be a serious mistake for various reasons.

2002 Ron Paul 82:4
First, it is a practical reason. There is no practical defense for this. Our military now has been weakened over the last decade, and actually when we go into Iraq, as we may well do, we will weaken our ability to defend our country. We do not enhance our defense by initiating this war.

2002 Ron Paul 82:5
Besides, it is impractical because of unintended consequences which none of us know about and what might come. We do not know exactly how long this will last. It could be a six-day war, a six-month war or six years or even longer. It could be very impractical by going to war.

2002 Ron Paul 82:6
There is a military reason for not going to war. We ought to just listen to the generals and the other military experts that are now advising us there is not a good reason to go to war, possibly even start World War III some have suggested. They claim our troops have been spread too thinly around the world, and it is not a good military matter to go into war today.

2002 Ron Paul 82:7
There is a constitutional argument and a constitutional mistake that could be made. If we once again go to war, as we have done on so many occasions since World War II, without a clear declaration of war and a clear goal of victory, a haphazard way of slipping into war by Executive Order or, heaven forbid, getting permission from the United Nations makes it so that it is almost inevitable that true victory will not come.

2002 Ron Paul 82:8
So we should look at this in a very constitutional fashion. We in the Congress should assume our responsibility because war is declared by Congress, not by a President and not by a U.N.

2002 Ron Paul 82:9
This is a very important matter, and I am delighted to hear that there will be hearings and discussion on this matter. I am certainly arguing the case that we should have a balanced approach. We have already had some hearings in the other body, and we heard only one side of why we must do this, but if we have true hearings, we best have a debate and evidence on both sides of this matter rather than just getting one side up and saying why we must do this.

2002 Ron Paul 82:10
Actually there are even good political reasons for not going into this battle. War is not popular. It may be popular for the short run when there seems to be an immediate victory and everyone is gloating over the victory, but war is not popular. People get killed and body bags end up coming back. War is very unpopular, and it is not the politically smart thing to do.

2002 Ron Paul 82:11
There are economic reasons that we must be careful for. We can make serious economic mistakes. It is estimated that this venture into Iraq may well cost over a hundred billion dollars. Our national debt right now is increasing at a rate of over $450 billion and we are talking about spending another hundred billion dollars on an adventure that we do not know what the outcome will be and how long this will last? What will happen to oil prices? What will happen to the recession that we are in? What is going to happen to the deficit? All kinds of economic ramification. So we better not make the mistake of going into something that really we have no business getting into.

2002 Ron Paul 82:12
There is a diplomatic reason for not going. There could be serious diplomatic mistakes made. All the Arab nations nearby and adjacent to Iraq object to it and do not endorse what we plan and insist that we might be doing, and none of the European allies are anxious for this to happen. So diplomatically we are way off on doing this.

2002 Ron Paul 82:13
I hope we take a second thought and be very cautious in what we do.

Previous   Next

Home Page   Contents   Concordance
  Links   E-mail list.