The Book of Ron Paul
2012 Ron Paul Chapter 11
18 July 2012
Home Page Contents
Congressional Record (Page H4941) Cached
2012 Ron Paul 11:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
2012 Ron Paul 11:2
The CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
2012 Ron Paul 11:3
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise to talk a little bit about the appropriations that are going on, in particular, the appropriations for the very, very long war in Afghanistan. Nobody knows when its going to end.
2012 Ron Paul 11:4
Theres always a pretense. Theres always a thought that tomorrows going to be a better day. I was in the military in the sixties, and there was always this promise that were just around the turn, and were going to have peace and prosperity and have perfect results. Well, so far we have not had any perfect results in Afghanistan—there is a lot of unknown—and here we are appropriating even more money to continue this war.
2012 Ron Paul 11:5
When you talk about war power and the resolution on how we go to war, it becomes very complex today. It was originally intended to be very simple: you went to war when there was a declaration; and the people, through their Congressman, voted up or down on whether you should have a war. Today, we slip and slide and we fall into these traps. We go to war under the U.N. banner and NATO. We never know why we go to war and what the goals are and when the war is over. And they persist.
2012 Ron Paul 11:6
But there is one analysis made which bothers me a bit and, that is, even if there isnt a declaration of war, if some of the Members come along, as we have been for quite a few years, and say, you know, the Congress never really declared war, the argument they make is, well, as long as you fund a war, you give it credibility, and therefore you indirectly support the war.
2012 Ron Paul 11:7
Of course, the argument is not so much on how we go to war, but if we get into war, the whole thing is you cant vote against any money. Well, then you dont care about the troops. Oh, youre un-American. Dont do that. That carries the weight of the argument, and people shy away and say, no, I dont like the war, we shouldnt have done it, but I cant go against the troops.
2012 Ron Paul 11:8
Well, Ive had a little experience in the last several years traveling the country and talking about issues like this and looking for support for a position which is quite a bit different than what we have followed here recently.
2012 Ron Paul 11:9
Let me tell you, guess what, the troops give me strong support. They gave me a lot of support. It was huge. For anybody to argue that you dont want to send troops carelessly into no-win, endless wars, to think youre against the troops, its nonsense.
2012 Ron Paul 11:10
When I was in the military—I was still in in 65, and thats when the escalation came in Vietnam—the last thing I was wanting to say is, oh, I want somebody in there that wants to expand the war. Why dont we go into Cambodia and Laos. No, I didnt want that. Troops dont want to go to war. I was in a Guard unit as well as Active Duty. People join the Guard and Reserves because they want to defend the country. They dont want to take six trips to the Middle East and endlessly see whats happening.
2012 Ron Paul 11:11
I get stories all the time about their buddies being killed, the loss of limbs. Then they say, well, were fighting for freedom. Think about it seriously. How in the world does going over there and fighting in either Iraq or Afghanistan have anything to do with our freedom? Oh, were fighting to defend our Constitution. Well, we never had a constitutional declaration of war. So thats all a facade. Thats all to make people feel guilty that if you dont keep the war going—in Vietnam, it was we have to win, we have to win. So we lose 60,000 troops and we didnt win. So what does that mean?
2012 Ron Paul 11:12
After McNamara wrote his memoirs and was a bit apologetic about it, he was asked: Does this mean youre apologizing for the kind of war youre in in Vietnam? He said: No. What good is an apology if you dont change policy? That is the thing. If this is not doing well and not doing right, just to say either youre sorry, youre continuing it, we have to have victory and pretend there is a victory around the corner, I think were fooling ourselves.
2012 Ron Paul 11:13
We shouldnt deceive ourselves. We should wake up. If we lived within the Constitution and lived within our means, believe me, we would not be in Afghanistan.
2012 Ron Paul 11:14
I yield back the balance of my time.