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2006 Ron Paul Chapter 66
19 July 2006
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Congressional Record (Page H5461) Cached
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2006 Ron Paul 66:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
2006 Ron Paul 66:2
Mr. Speaker, there has been a lot of accusations made about who precipitated the crisis, the charges made that it all occurred because three prisoners were taken, and that Hezbollah and Hamas deliberately provoked the situation. And it may well be true. I have no idea exactly what is true.
2006 Ron Paul 66:3
But there are others who have indicated that they believe that it was precipitated mainly with the intent of our foreign policy, along with Israels foreign policy, as an initial step to go into Iran. We have talked about Iran around the House and around Washington, and there are a lot of people very, very concerned. Our administration talks about it all the time; taking out Iran, taking out the nuclear sites. But to do that, the theory is that these missiles had to be removed and, in a practical military sense, that seems very reasonable. So there could be the deliberateness of Hamas and Hezbollah precipitating the crisis for whatever gain they think, or deliberately precipitated by both the United States and Israel with the intent to follow up with bombing in Iran. And I am frightened about that. I think that may well occur.
2006 Ron Paul 66:4
I have talked to a lot of military people, a lot of CIA people, who actually believe this is a possibility within months. And this is the reason I have such great concern about what is happening in this area of the country, because if us going into Iraq didnt go so well, can anybody imagine what is going to happen when the bombs start to fall on Iran? I think it is going to be catastrophic. And there has been talk on television this past weekend, the beginning of World War III. And this war is about to spread, and this is the reason that I oppose this resolution, because, deep down in my heart, I believe that what we do here helps to provoke things and agitate things and bring us closer to a greater conflict. And I am just arguing that there is an alternative other than violence to settle some of these problems.
2006 Ron Paul 66:5
Now, a lot of bombs have fallen on both sides, and of course, if they are coming from Lebanon, Syria and Iran are blamed, and they may well deserve the blame. But we havent talked about who gets the blame for the other side. More people are getting killed on the other side. And as we mentioned before, innocent people are killed, and a lot of nonmilitary targets have been hit, farms and buildings and electrical plants and airports that have nothing to do with the military.
2006 Ron Paul 66:6
And yet the reason I believe this is going to be worse is because we see it in this country the way we want to see it. And we have no willingness to think about how it might be seen elsewhere, like how is it going to be seen by 1 billion Muslims around the world? And you know, quite frankly, every single bomb that is dropped by Israel, by their calculation, and they have reason to believe so, those are U.S. bombs. Those are our airplanes. We paid for them. And they get the money to buy these weapons. So whether it is deliberate or whatever, it doesnt matter. It is the perception by the Muslims who are radicalized by this.
2006 Ron Paul 66:7
You cant deny it. There are more radicals today than there were 2 or 3 years ago. And the reason why I am worried about this is we are now getting the information about the reaction to 9/11. 9/11 occurred, and the immediate response by many of our leaders and the administration said, lets go to Iraq. People would say, well, why Iraq? Well, we have been planning on it all along. This is the opportunity.
2006 Ron Paul 66:8
As soon as this crisis built, we heard very similar comments. Lets go to Iran, you know, to go forward.
2006 Ron Paul 66:9
There are others who suggest that this crisis has come about not out of our strength, but out of our weakness. If Hezbollah and Hamas has deliberately done this, they might have calculated we have been stretched fairly thin around the world and with Iraq, and know that a lot of the American people and the taxpayers are getting tired of the war, so they may have seen this as a sign of weakness on our part. But then the neocons say, yeah, that may well be true, that is why we have to be tougher than ever. We have got to unleash the bombs. We have got to consider nuclear weapons, and back and forth and back and forth, until one day we are going to get ourselves in such a fix that World War III will be here and it will be irrevocable.
2006 Ron Paul 66:10
And there are some people who sort of like this idea. There are some neocons who thrive on chaos, because their theory is they want regime change. They want regime change in Syria, and they want regime change in Iran. They wanted it in Iraq. And we are, by gosh, we are going to have regime change, and they are going to be our friends and they are going to be democrats. We are going to have democratic elections.
2006 Ron Paul 66:11
So we go to war and our men and women die. We spend all this money, and we have elections. And then sometimes we dont like the results of the elections, so we ignore them.
2006 Ron Paul 66:12
What if we had elections in Saudi Arabia? What if we had elections in Egypt? And then what if their radicals were elected?
2006 Ron Paul 66:13
So we are fighting and dying to spread democracy. And it is probably one of the most dangerous things for us with our current foreign policy, is that when they do vote and elect Hezbollah and Hamas, then we have to reject the principle of democracy.
2006 Ron Paul 66:14
Self-determination is a great principle, and we should permit it and encourage self-determination. But encouraging elections under these circumstances, and by force, in hopes that we get our man in charge just doesnt work.
2006 Ron Paul 66:15
I think we are going to have regime changes, a lot more regime changes than most people want around here. I think the regime changes are coming in Saudi Arabia, and I think there will be a regime change maybe in Egypt. Who knows? In Libya. And you are going to be very unhappy with those regime changes.
2006 Ron Paul 66:16
So, yes, it was well intended to have regime change in Iraq. But what has it gotten us?
2006 Ron Paul 66:17
And now we want to spread that philosophy and have more regime changes, and who knows what the results are going to be? They are not going to be good. They are going to backfire on us.
2006 Ron Paul 66:18
You know, when Osama bin Laden responded to why, he had a list of reasons on why he encouraged or directed the attack on 9/11. And the one thing that he listed we shouldnt ignore, because as bad as that individual is, and as violent as he is, nobody has ever proven he tells lies. Nobody has ever proven this. Nobody says he is a liar. So we ought to listen to what he says.
2006 Ron Paul 66:19
And one of the reasons that he listed for this was back in 1982, back to the problems we had in Lebanon, there were 18,000 Lebanese and Palestinians killed. And who knows whose bombs and who was doing it? But you know, we were in there, although our troops werent fighting and we left, but Israel was involved, 18,000. But regardless of whether or not we directed it or wanted it is irrelevant. The conclusion was that we were participants, and it rallied his troops and helped him organize to get people so hateful that they were willing to commit suicide terrorism and come here.
2006 Ron Paul 66:20
Now, we can ignore it and say, well, he is a liar. That is not the reason they did it. But we do that at our own peril.
2006 Ron Paul 66:21
Now, one of the reasons why I believe that it wouldnt be difficult to put the label USA on these weapons, obviously the airplanes have been built here. But what about the money? How much money have we given for weapons?
2006 Ron Paul 66:22
Between 1997 and 2004, and that doesnt even count the last 2 years, we gave over $7 billion in weapons grants. It wasnt a loan. It was a weapons grant.
2006 Ron Paul 66:23
Now, the neat thing about this, this was an economic deal because it was beneficial because under the foreign military financing program that we have, Israel is required to spend 74 percent of that back here. So you are talking about a military-industrial complex, a pretty good deal. You know, we subsidize them, send the money over here, it comes over here, and our arms manufacturers make even more money and then dig a bigger hole for us in foreign policy and contribute to the many problems that we have. And that amount of money, they get $2.3 billion of these military grants, and they automatically increase it $60 million per year. So it is locked in place.
2006 Ron Paul 66:24
Now, you say, well, that is money for our ally. And fine, if it was used for defense, maybe. But if it is used to antagonize 1 billion Muslims and there is no willingness to even consider the fact that we should look at it in a balanced way, and instead it is ridiculed and said, oh, this is ridiculous to think of neutrality or balance and think about both sides, and the innocent people dying on both sides should be considered.
2006 Ron Paul 66:25
So we are moving toward a major crisis, a major crisis financially and a major crisis in our foreign policy. I dont believe we can maintain this.
2006 Ron Paul 66:26
So even if you totally disagree with our aggressive empire building and policing the world, let me tell you, I am going to win the argument, because we are running out of money. We are in big debt, and we are borrowing it. We borrowed $3 billion a day from countries like China and Japan and Saudi Arabia to finance this horrendous debt. And it wont be, it cant be continued. The dollar will eventually weaken. You are going to have horrendous inflation. Interest rates are going to go up, and it is going to be worse than the stagflation of the 1970s.
2006 Ron Paul 66:27
And domestic spending is never curtailed. We have been in charge of the Congress and the Presidency for several years now, and the government gets bigger, probably faster than it was getting before.
2006 Ron Paul 66:28
So we are facing a crisis that is liable to escalate and get out of control in the Middle East. At the same time, it has a bearing on our finances, because when it contributes to the deficit, there is a limit to how much foreigners will loan to us. We have to print the money. We have to go to the Fed, create new money. That is the inflation.
2006 Ron Paul 66:29
And what does it do to the cost of oil? Inflation pushes the cost of oil up. That should be a concern to everybody. And at the same time, the production of the oil didnt work. I mean, the oil production went down in Iraq.
2006 Ron Paul 66:30
What happens if this happens to be true? I actually pray that I am completely wrong about this. And you can say, well, you are, so dont sweat it. But what if I am right? It is frightening, because if this leads to bombing in Iran, look for oil at $150 a barrel. Then the American people will wake up. They will say, hey, whats going on here? Why is gasoline so expensive? It is expensive because we have less production out of Iraq, and it is expensive because the value of the dollar is going down. And it is expensive because they are anticipating that this crisis is not going away, and what we do are antagonizing the world.
2006 Ron Paul 66:31
So, once again, I come to this from a slightly different viewpoint than those who like to pick sides. There is nothing wrong with considering the fact that we dont have to be involved in every single fight. That was the conclusion that Ronald Reagan came to, and he was not an enemy of Israel. He was a friend of Israel. But he concluded that that is a mess over there. Let me just repeat those words that he used. He said, he came to the conclusion, The irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there.
2006 Ron Paul 66:32
I would like you to rethink our policy, not only there, but the kind of policy that led to 60,000 people dying in Vietnam and then walking away. And what happened after we walked away? We are better off than ever. We had a naval ship going into Vietnam just recently. We trade with them. We do deals with them. Yet it was a total fiasco and a total loss because of the way we went to war.
2006 Ron Paul 66:33
And this is also the reason that I am determined to persist that if we take our country to war, that we ought to be responsible. We should never send these kids and young people to war without a declaration, win the war, and get it over with. When we dont declare it, it goes on and on and on. We dont win them.
2006 Ron Paul 66:34
And literally, this Persian Gulf War, and this Iraqi war, it has been going on since 1990. We never stopped bombing Iraq, never stopped bugging them, and antagonizing them and inciting them.
2006 Ron Paul 66:35
So it is not a sign of weakness to talk about neutrality. It is a sign of strength that you have a little bit of courage and you believe in your own system. If we want to spread our values, it is a good way to do it. Set a good example. Put our financial house in order. Treat people evenly, and trade with people, and talk to people and travel.
2006 Ron Paul 66:36
But dont think that we can force our values at the point of a gun, and think they are all going to be democratic elected governments that we are going to be pleased with. It is not going to happen.
2006 Ron Paul 66:37
So there is reason to reconsider the total policy that has been followed in this country essentially for 100 years. And it hasnt been productive for us. Essentially, Woodrow Wilson started it. We are going to make the world safe for democracy. And look how safe the world has been since Woodrow Wilson introduced that. We are less safe than ever. And our financial condition is worse than ever.
2006 Ron Paul 66:38
And we are running our program, whether it is our domestic welfare program or our foreign policy, it is being run on borrowed money. It is borrowed money from overseas, and it is also from inflated currency. And we can get away with it for a while longer, but let me tell you, there is a crisis coming, and it is going to be dealing with the dollar and it is going to involve our foreign policy. And then we will, as a sign of weakness, we will have to come home. We will have to come home because we cant afford the empire. It is not wise to have it, and we should have more confidence and more belief that what we have in this country, and what America used to stand for, that we should spread that message more by setting an example and through a voluntary approach. And when that time comes, I think that maybe more people will reconsider it.
2006 Ron Paul 66:39
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.