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May 20, 2008
March to War in Lebanon?
2008 Ron Paul 30:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H. Res. 1194, mainly because this legislation reads like an authorization to use force in Lebanon. As the key resolved clause of H. Res. 1194 states: Resolved, That the House of Representatives — * * * * * (6) urges— (A) the United States Government and the international community to immediately take all appropriate actions to support and strengthen the legitimate Government of Lebanon under Prime Minister Fouad Siniora;
2008 Ron Paul 30:2
This language is eerily similar to a key clause in the 2002 Iraq war authorization, H.J. Res. 114, which read: (a) AUTHORIZATION—The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to— (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq;
2008 Ron Paul 30:3
I find it outrageous that this legislation, which moves us closer to an expanded war in the Middle East, is judged sufficiently non- controversial to be placed on the suspension calendar for consideration on the House Floor outside of normal parliamentary order. Have we reached the point where it is no longer controversial to urge the President to use all appropriate actions—with the unmistakable implication that force may be used—to intervene in the domestic affairs of a foreign country?
2008 Ron Paul 30:4
Mr. Speaker, the Arab League has been mediating the conflict between rival political factions in Lebanon and has had some success in halting the recent violence. Currently, negotiations are taking place in Qatar between the Lebanese factions and some slow but encouraging progress is being made. Regional actors—who do have an interest in the conflict —have stepped up in attempt to diffuse the crisis and reach a peaceful solution. Yet at the critical stage of negotiations the U.S. House is preparing to pass a very confrontational resolution endorsing one side and condemning competing factions. In threatening to use all appropriate actions to support one faction, the United States is providing a strong disincentive for that one faction to continue peaceful negotiations. Passing this resolution will most likely contribute to a return of violence in Lebanon.
2008 Ron Paul 30:5
This legislation strongly condemns Iranian and Syrian support to one faction in Lebanon while pledging to involve the United States on the other side. Wouldnt it be better to be involved on neither side and instead encourage the negotiations that have already begun to resolve the conflict?
2008 Ron Paul 30:6
Afghanistan continues to sink toward chaos with no end in sight. The war in Iraq, launched on lies and deceptions, has cost nearly a trillion dollars and more than 4,000 lives with no end in sight. Saber rattling toward Iran and Syria increases daily, including in this very legislation. Yet we are committing ourselves to intervene in a domestic political dispute that has nothing to do with the United States.
2008 Ron Paul 30:7
This resolution leads us closer to a wider war in the Middle East. It involves the United States unnecessarily in an internal conflict between competing Lebanese political factions and will increase rather than decrease the chance for an increase in violence. The Lebanese should work out political disputes on their own or with the assistance of regional organizations like the Arab League. I urge my colleagues to reject this march to war and to reject H. Res. 1194.