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2003 Ron Paul Chapter 114

Ron Paul Expressing Gratitude To Members Of The U.S. Armed Forces Deployed In Operation Restore Hope In Somalia In 1993

28 October 2003

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Expressing Gratitude To Members Of The U.S. Armed Forces Deployed In Operation Restore Hope In Somalia In 1993
28 October 2003

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

2003 Ron Paul 114:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I voted in favor of this legislation because I do believe it is important to express our gratitude to our armed forces, and particularly to remember those who lost their lives in Somalia in Operation Restore Hope. Indeed, members of our armed forces have been asked to make extraordinary sacrifices in this post Cold War era, as US military presence across the globe has, despite what many of us hoped, increased significantly and military deployments into hostile situations have also increased.

2003 Ron Paul 114:2
Mr. Speaker, while I do want to join those praising members of our armed forces, I must point out that legislation like H. Con. Res. 291 is dishonest and actually disrespectful to our military. It is obvious that praising the soldiers is only one small part of this legislation. Under cover of this praise is an attempt to re-write history and to praise a foreign policy that sends our military into useless and meaningless battle zones, like Somalia, where they are asked to fight and die for a cause completely unrelated to the US national interest. It is shameful for legislators to wrap themselves in the sacrifice of our troops in praise of a policy that does not serve the United States and ends up getting these same troops killed and maimed.

2003 Ron Paul 114:3
The legislation states, falsely, that our failed Somali nation-building fiasco was somehow related to the war against terrorism. This attempt at revisionist history is more than dishonest: it is likely interventions like these actually increased resentment of the US and may have even led to more recruits to terrorist organizations.

2003 Ron Paul 114:4
This legislation expresses gratitude for our troops’ “provid[ing] humanitarian assistance to the people of Somalia in 1993.” I see nowhere in our Constitution a provision that allows the United States armed forces to be used for the purpose of “provid[ing] humanitarian assistance” to any foreign country or people. Our armed forces are to be used in defense of our homeland. Period. So I am deeply disturbed by legislation such as this. Yes, we must honor troops, but we cannot honor a foreign policy that sends them into harm’s way for “nation-building” or “humanitarian assistance” or any other reason not directly related to the defense of the United States. I hope the next time we see legislation congratulating the brave service of our armed forces it is more honest. Our servicemembers deserve at least this, do they not?

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