Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Ron Paul’s Biography !!!.


Read Full Post »

Ron Paul: America’s last hope.

Read Full Post »

The Health Insurance Question.

Read Full Post »

From the National Priorities Project:

The Obama Administration is in the process of preparing a set of benchmarks which will be used to gauge the progress of U.S. military and civilian operations in Afghanistan. Ordered by Congress, the benchmarks are due by September 24. In addition, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has just released an interim assessment of the situation in the region. It has been widely reported that as a result of this assessment, Gen. McChrystal may request that as many as 45,000 additional U.S. troops be sent to Afghanistan. 

The following are quick facts about the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan to date. We hope they are useful to you to you as you follow this issue.

U.S. Troop Levels in Afghanistan
Fiscal Year Troops
2001 N/A
2002 5,200
2003 10,400
2004 15,200
2005 19,100
2006 20,400
2007 23,700
2008 30,100
2009 50,700*
US Troops in Afghanistan by Year Since 2001

* Current Troop Levels – There are roughly 62,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan. This number is expected to grow to at least 68,000 by December. [Gates Says Additional Local Forces May Be Needed In Afghan War, Bloomberg News, September 1, 2009.] 

NOTE: The Defense Department reports troop levels involved in military operations in several ways. The figures shown here are taken from the Pentagon’s Boots on the Ground (BOG) reports to Congress. They reflect only personnel located in Afghanistan and do NOT include other personnel deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, such as those providing logistical support in neighboring countries,

Source: Troop Levels in the Afghan and Iraq Wars, FY2001-FY2012: Cost and Other Potential Issues, Congressional Research Service Report R40682, July 2, 2009

Annual Funding for U.S. Combat Operations in Afghanistan
Fiscal Year $ in Billions
2001 N/A
2002* 20.8
2003 14.7
2004 14.5
2005 20
2006 19
2007 36.9
2008 42.1
2009 60.2
TOTAL 228.2
Annual Funding For Afghanistan in Billions by Fiscal Year Since 2001

NOTE: 2002 figure includes both FY 2001 and 2002 funding. The source gave only the total and did not break out funding for each year.


Source: The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11, Congressional Research Service Report RL33110, May 15, 2009

U.S. Military Fatalities in Afghanistan
Year U.S. Fatalities
2001 12
2002 49
2003 48
2004 52
2005 99
2006 98
2007 117
2008 155
2009 183*
US Fatalities in Afghanistan By Year Since 2001

*NOTE: As of September 1, 2009


Source: Icasualties at http://icasualties.org

NPP’s Cost of War Counter See NPP’s Afghanistan Cost of War Counter (http://www.costofwar.com/) and calculate the cost of the war to your state (and in many cases your city or town).

Additional Resources

Civilian Casualties the Human Rights Unit of United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan publishes an Annual Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, which is updated every six months. Their website is http://unama.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1816

Additional casualty data, plus Background information on Afghanistan can be found in The Cost of War in Afghanistan, published jointly by NPP and the American Friends Service Committee. It can be found at: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/auxiliary/costofwar/cost_of_war_afghanistan.pdf

Read Full Post »

PO2 (EOD2) Mike Monsoor , a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor   posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq , giving his life to save his fellow Seals.
During Mike Monsoor’s funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two’s, with the coffin moving up the center.  As Mike’s coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it.  This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.  This is what we should be seeing in the news.  I received this in an email, wish I had seen it on the front page of a major newspaper.  These men are our Heroes.



Read Full Post »

Below is a text of the Act, and Congressman Ron Paul speaking in opposition to it on the House floor.  This is October 5, 1998.  Paul is a precious, shining jewel in a setting of tarnished, rusted tinmen politicians. 

(a) Initial Designation: Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall designate one or more Iraqi democratic opposition organizations that the President determines satisfy the criteria set forth in subsection (c) as eligible to receive assistance under section 4.
(b) Designation of Additional Organizations: At any time subsequent to the initial designation pursuant to subsection (a), the President may designate one or more additional Iraqi democratic opposition organizations that the President determines satisfy the criteria set forth in subsection (c) as eligible to receive assistance under section 4.
(c) Criteria for Designation: In designating an organization pursuant to this section, the President shall consider only organizations that–

(1) include a broad spectrum of Iraqi individuals, groups, or both, opposed to the Saddam Hussein regime; and

(2) are committed to democratic values, to respect for human rights, to peaceful relations with Iraq’s neighbors, to maintaining Iraq’s territorial integrity, and to fostering cooperation among democratic opponents of the Saddam Hussein regime.
(d) Notification Requirement: At least 15 days in advance of designating an Iraqi democratic opposition organization pursuant to this section, the President shall notify the congressional committees specified in section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 of his proposed designation in accordance with the procedures applicable to reprogramming notifications under such section 634A.

Consistent with section 301 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (Public Law 102-138), House Concurrent Resolution 137, 105th Congress (approved by the House of Representatives on November 13, 1997), and Senate Concurrent Resolution 78, 105th Congress (approved by the Senate on March 13, 1998), the Congress urges the President to call upon the United Nations to establish an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, and other criminal violations of international law.

It is the sense of Congress that once the Saddam Hussein regime is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq’s transition to democracy by providing immediate and substantial humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, by providing democracy transition assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, and by convening Iraq’s foreign creditors to develop a multilateral response to Iraq’s foreign debt incurred by Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of United States Armed Forces (except as provided in section 4(a)(2)) in carrying out this Act.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman) and the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Hamilton) each will control 20 minutes.

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I would like to inquire whether or not either gentleman is opposed to the bill.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentleman from Indiana opposed to the bill?

Mr. HAMILTON. I support the bill, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I request the time in opposition.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the rule, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) will control 20 minutes in opposition and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman) will control 20 minutes in support of the bill.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman).



Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks on this measure.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New York?

There was no objection.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. Gilman asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I introduced H.R. 4655 , the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, in late September in order to give our President additional tools with which to confront the continuing threat to international peace and security posed by Saddam Hussein.

For almost 8 years, since the end of Operation Desert Storm, we have waited for Saddam Hussein’s regime to live up to its international obligations. After dozens of U.N. Security Council resolutions and compromise after compromise, we have too little to show.

The dilemma of current U.S. policy is dramatically illustrated by the events we have witnessed this past year. In January and February, our Nation was on the verge of launching massive military strikes against Iraq in order to compel Saddam to afford U.N. weapons inspectors access to certain sites that he had declared off-limits. Our Nation stood down after U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anan brokered a deal in which Saddam promised to behave better in the future. But, our leaders said, if Saddam violates his agreement with Kofi Anan, we will retaliate swiftly and massively.

After spending over $1 billion to build up U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf earlier this year, those additional forces were slowly drawn down and brought home. And then, of course, Saddam reneged on his commitments once again.

Today is the 61st day without U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq. The situation as regards weapons inspections is far worse today than it was back in January and February when our Nation was threatening military action.

One of the reasons our Nation did not undertake military action in February, and one of the reasons our leaders are not today delivering on their threats of swift and massive retaliation, is that the kind of military action they have in mind just might not work. Certainly we can inflict massive damage on Saddam with air strikes. But what if he simply absorbs the damage and continues to defy the U.N.?

As things stand today, we would have only three alternatives in such a situation. First, we could forge ahead with our air strikes, bouncing the rubble in Baghdad, but increasingly making it appear to the world that we are the aggressor, not Saddam. Second, we could mount a second invasion of Iraq by U.S. ground forces. Or, third, we could admit failure and give up.

Of course, none of these alternatives have been considered acceptable. And so today we find our Nation paralyzed by indecision. Saddam has never before been in such clear violation of his international obligations. Our government has never before been so obviously unwilling to do anything about it.

The purpose of the Iraq Liberation Act is to try to break this logjam. It creates a fourth alternative, an alternative that meets both our short-term and our longer-term requirements with regard to Iraq. In the short term, we need to be able to bring more effective pressure to bear on Saddam in order to force him to comply with his international obligations. In the longer term, we need to remove his regime from power. 

Let there be no mistake about it. Saddam is the problem, and there will be no permanent solution as long as his regime remains. The Iraq Liberation Act gives the President tools that he should find useful in designing a comprehensive strategy to deal with Saddam both in the short term and over the longer term. The legislation does not require the President to equip a rebel army in Iraq, but it gives him all the authority he needs to do so. If he uses that authority, it will cost money, perhaps as much as $99 million that the bill authorizes, perhaps ultimately more, but whatever the cost, it will be far less than the $1.4 billion supplemental appropriation we provided this year alone for unbudgeted U.S. military operations against Saddam Hussein.

Since this bill was introduced, Mr. Speaker, we have been working with the administration to try to refine it in order to make it most useful to the President. At their suggestion we have incorporated a number of changes at our committee markup last week to improve the legislation, and as a result of our work with the administration I have been informed the administration does not oppose enactment of the bill.

With regard to one technical matter, I note that the criterion in Section 5 (c)(1) for designation of Iraqi opposition organizations is intended to ensure that only broad based organizations are designated. They may be broad based by having a broad spectrum of groups cooperating within one organization. In the case of organizations composed primarily of one ethnic sector such organizations may also be designated if they include a broad spectrum of individuals within the sector. In any event, I would expect the designation issue to be the subject of dialogue and accommodation between the Executive Branch and Congress as required by the notification provision contained in section 5(d).

Mr. Speaker, this bill will give our government additional tools with which to confront the threat to international peace and security posed by Saddam Hussein, and for this reason I believe it deserves the support of our Members. Accordingly, I urge our colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 4655 .

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, understand this legislation came before the committee on Friday, one legislative day prior to today. There has been no committee report filed, and it was brought up under suspension. And I believe this legislation is very serious legislation. It is not a casual piece of legislation condemning a leader in another country that is doing less than honorable things.

I see this piece of legislation as essentially being a declaration of virtual war. It is giving the President tremendous powers to pursue war efforts against a sovereign Nation. It should not be done casually. I think it is another example of a flawed foreign policy that we have followed for a good many decades.

For instance, at the beginning of this legislation it is cited as one of the reasons why we must do something. It says on September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran starting an 8-year war in which Iraq employed chemical weapons against Iranian troops, very serious problems. We should condemn that. But the whole problem is we were Iraq’s ally at that time, giving him military assistance, giving him funds and giving him technology for chemical weapons.

So here we are now deciding that we have to virtually declare war against this individual. It is not like he is the only hoodlum out there. I could give my colleagues a list of 15 or 20. I do not like the leadership of China. Why do we not do something about China? I do not like the leadership of Sudan. But all of a sudden we have to decide what we are going to give this President to pursue getting rid of Saddam Hussein.

Just a few months ago, or last November, we passed a resolution, and the resolution was H.R. 137. It sounded very general and very benign, and it talked about the atrocities caused by Saddam Hussein, and we asked to condemn and also to set up a U.N. commission to study this and give the U.N. authority to pursue arrests and convict and try Saddam Hussein. So this is not something we are doing for the interests of the United States. We are doing this under the interests of the United Nations, but we are the spokesperson for them.

Not too long ago, a few years back, in 1980s, in our efforts to bring peace and democracy to the world we assisted the freedom fighters of Afghanistan, and in our infinite wisdom we gave money, technology and training to Bin Laden, and now, this very year, we have declared that Bin Laden was responsible for the bombing in Africa. So what is our response, because we allow our President to pursue war too easily? What was the President’s response? Some even say that it might have been for other reasons than for national security reasons. So he goes off and bombs Afghanistan, and he goes off and bombs Sudan, and now the record shows that very likely the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan was precisely that, a pharmaceutical plant.

So I say we should stop and think for a minute before we pursue and give the President more authority to follow a policy that to me is quite dangerous. This to me is equivalent to declaring war and allowing the President to pursue this.

Another complaint listed on this legislation: in February 1988 Iraq forcibly relocated Kurdish civilians from their homes. Terrible thing to do, and they probably did; there is no doubt about it. But what did we do after the Persian Gulf war? We encouraged the Kurdish people to stand up and fight against Saddam Hussein, and they did, and we forgot about them, and they were killed by the tens of thousands. There is no reason for them to trust us. There is no reason for the Sudanese people to believe and trust in us, in what we do when we rain bombs on their country and they have done nothing to the United States. The people of Iraq certainly have not done anything to the United States, and we certainly can find leaders around the world that have not done equally bad things. I think we should stop and think about this.

Just today it was announced that the Turks are lined up on the Syrian border. What for? To go in there and kill the Kurds because they do not like the Kurds. I think that is terrible. But what are we doing about it? Who are the Turks? They are our allies, they are our friends. They get military assistance. The American people are paying the Turks to keep their military up. So we are responsible for that.

This policy makes no sense. Some day we have to think about the security of United States. We spend this money. We spent nearly $100 million bombing nobody and everybody for who knows what reason last week. At the same time our military forces are undertrained and lack equipment, and we are wasting money all around the world trying to get more people, see how many people we can get to hate us. Some day we have to stop and say why are we pursuing this. Why do we not have a policy that says that we should, as a Congress, defend the United States, protect us, have a strong military, but not to police the world in this endless adventure of trying to be everything to everybody. We have been on both sides of every conflict since World War II. Even not too long ago they were talking about bombing in Kosovo. As a matter of fact, that is still a serious discussion. But a few months ago they said, well, we are not quite sure who the good guys are, maybe we ought to bomb both sides. It makes no sense. Why do we not become friends to both sides?

There are people around the world that we deal with that are equally repulsive to Saddam Hussein, and I believe very sincerely that the founders of this country were on the right track when they said stay out of entangling alliances. And we should trade with people; we would get along with them better. We have pursued this type of policy in Cuba for 40 years, and it has served Castro well. Why do we not go down and get rid of Castro? Where do we get this authority to kill a dictator? We do not have that authority, and to do it under one day of hearings, mark it up, bring it up the next day under suspension; I do not understand why anybody could vote for this just on the nature of it.

We should not be doing this. We should stop and think about it and try to figure out a much better way.

I, for instance, am on a bill to trade with Cuba. Oh, how horrible, we should not trade with Cuba, they are a bunch of Commies down there. But we should be selling them rice and we should be selling them our crops. We should not be bombing these people.

As my colleagues know, at the end of this bill I think we get a hint as to why we do not go to Rwanda for humanitarian reasons. Now there is some atrocities. Why do we not clean that mess up? Because I believe very sincerely that there is another element tied into this, and I think it has something to do with money, and I think it has something to do with oil. The oil interests need the oil in Iraq, and he does not, Saddam Hussein does not, comply with the people of the west. So he has to go.

But also at the end of this legislation it tells us something about what might be going on. It is they are asking to set up and check into the funds that Saddam Hussein owes to the west. Who is owed? They do not owe me any money. But I will bet my colleagues there is a lot of banks in New York who are owed a lot of money, and this is one of the goals, to set up and make sure Saddam Hussein pays his bills.

All I do is ask my colleagues to think about it, urge them to go slowly. Nothing is so pressing that we should give the President this much authority to go to war.

Under the appropriations it is endless, it is open, endless, and here we are concerned about saving Social Security. Any amount of money spent on this bill comes out of Social Security. Yes, there was yelling and screaming about a tax cut. Oh, it is coming out of Social Security. Well, this money is not appropriated, and it is such sums as necessary for military and economic benefits. After we get rid of one thug, we are going to have it in. I hope we make a better choice than we did with Bin Laden. I mean he was our close ally.

Please think twice, slow up, vote against this bill. We do not need this.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time. 

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 8 minutes to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Hamilton), and I ask unanimous consent that he be permitted to control this time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Miller of Florida). Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New York?

There was no objection.

Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for this generous grant of time, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill, but I do have some concerns about it. The bill appears to be simple. It authorizes U.S. assistance for Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein. There are very good intentions behind it. Almost all of us oppose Saddam Hussein, and we would like to see him out of power. We all want to support a viable Iraqi opposition.

Having said that, the bill does have some serious implications for United States efforts to retain the sanctions on Iraq and maintain strong international support for our policies toward Iraq.

My understanding is that U.S. policy toward Iraq since the Gulf War has been a policy of containment. We have pursued that policy now for over 2 administrations. That policy has been reasonably successful at a price that we are willing to pay. We have protected fundamental American national interests in the region, stability, the free flow of oil, the security of friends and allies. We have specifically rejected an invasion of Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Such an invasion would take several hundred thousand troops. There is no guarantee that we would get Saddam Hussein or that his successor would be any better. 

Having rejected an invasion of Iraq, but still seeking to get rid of Saddam, we now come to this bill. The policy message that Congress sends with this bill is different than the stated policy of the United States.

This bill states that it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein. What is striking about the bill is the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, would depend on third parties, not even third countries, to carry out its policy objectives.

Let me state several concerns about the bill even though I support the bill. First no one should underestimate the difficulties of uniting the Iraqi opposition. It includes some 70 groups and at least three or four major groups.

We have tried over many years to unite the Iraqi opposition, and it has not happened. There is, however, modest reason for encouragement. The two main Kurdish groups have a fragile agreement with each other, but they don’t want to work with Ahmed Chalabi.

We have aided some of these opposition leaders since the early 1970s. We have worked hard since 1991 to bring them together. Success has been limited. Any program for unifying the opposition and turning it into a viable alternative through the current Iraqi regime is a long-term proposition.

Second, I am concerned about creating false expectations. Iraqi opposition leaders may misinterpret this bill as an open-ended U.S. commitment to their cause.

When the Kurdish leaders were in town last week, they talked about security assurances from the United States. It is apparent from their comments that they expect very substantial support from the United States, including air power.

We have to spell out very carefully and in writing what the United States is prepared and not prepared to do. On at least three occasions, Iraqi opposition leaders felt that the United States broke its commitments, and we should not contribute to false expectations again.

Third, there is a wide gap here between means and objectives in this bill. When we declare that our policy is to remove Saddam Hussein from power, we raise the objectives of our policy very high. Yet we provide modest means to achieve what has proven to be a very difficult objective. When you have a gap between goals and means, that often leads to trouble in the conduct of American foreign policy.

Fourth, I wonder whether the bill is at all workable, whether it is possible for the administration to implement a program of military assistance. For example, can we identify any country that is prepared to accept military equipment in the presence of armed Iraqi opposition groups on its territory? I am not able to do that as of now.

Finally, the bill could harm the ability of the United States to keep U.N. sanctions in place against Iraq. If it becomes the public policy of the United States to remove Saddam Hussein, as this bill seeks to do, then there will be less unity in confronting Baghdad, more criticism of the United States, and probably more difficulty in getting support for sanctions and for U.N. weapons inspections among Arab States and among Security Council members.

Under present circumstances, it is hard to name one Arab country or one Security Council member that would support a U.S. program to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

I understand that some Members question how well the sanctions are working, but we should not throw out one of the key elements of our strategy.

No Member should think that by supporting this bill, we are strengthening sanctions against Iraq. We risk the opposite.

To conclude, this is a very serious piece of legislation the committee has produced. I will not oppose the bill, because I, like most of us, feel the opposition should be supported, and Iraq and the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein.

But we should have a clear idea of what we are doing. We are making a down payment on support for the opposition. We should have no illusions about the bill.

Uniting the opposition will take a long time. The bill could create false expectations. There is a wide gap between means and objectives in this bill. There is plenty of doubt whether the bill is workable. The bill does risk the weakening of sanctions against Iraq.

Let us be very clear about what the bill does and does not do. The bill states the sense of Congress. It does not change U.S. policy. The bill does not compel the provision of military assistance to Iraqi opposition groups. The bill leaves the administration flexibility in carrying out U.S. policy toward Iraqi opposition groups. I understand that the administration does not oppose the bill.

So despite some of my concerns, I support the bill. As the legislative process moves along, I hope improvements can be made in the bill.



Read Full Post »

This was Congressman Paul’s speech on the House Floor against HR137.   Congressman Ron Paul is an Eagle, harrassed and harangued by crows in Congress. 


Mr. PAUL. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I agree certainly with the sharp criticism against the government and the leaders of Iraq. I do disagree with what we are trying to do here, not because it is not well motivated, but I do not see that we have the authority to all of a sudden impose our system of justice across the entire world. I do not think it is effective. I think it drums up anti-American hostility more than it achieves justice.

But there is a bit of inconsistency here. Earlier it was mentioned that it is not only the Iraqis that abuse the Kurds, the Turks do it as well. Why are the Turks not included in this? Why do we not call them out and put them on the carpet and demand justice from the Turks? But they happen to be our allies.

At the same time, we ignore other major problems. What did we do with China? The leaders of China came here, they got the red carpet treatment and a promise of more money. But how do they treat their people at Tiananmen Square and currently throughout their whole country? They abuse civil liberties there.

But are we going to do the same thing? Do Members think we can do that? We pick and choose and pretend that we are going to perform this great system of justice on the world. Indonesia today, they are getting bailed out by the American taxpayer to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. They mistreat in a serious manner the people in East Timor. But here we decide all of a sudden that we are going to, through the United Nations, expose the American taxpayer, expose young American soldiers, because how are we going to enforce these things? Where do we get this authority to be the policeman of the world?

I do not believe we have this authority. I believe it is detrimental overall to our national security. I believe it is a threat to the American people and indirectly, in many ways, to the taxpayer. I object. I object generally to so many of these amendments, so well-intended. I do not disagree with the challenges, the charges made against Iraq and the leadership. I strongly criticize the approach to trying to solve this very serious problem.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. PAUL. I yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. First, would the gentleman suggest that there is not a relationship between freedom and peace?

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the gentleman is getting at. I know the most important thing for freedom and peace is for me to obey the Constitution. Where is it the authority of the Constitution for us to police the world?

Mr. ROHRABACHER. The gentleman is suggesting, then, that this body should not have condemned Adolf Hitler until he actually attacked the United States, is that what he would suggest? Is that his foreign policy?

Mr. PAUL. I think that is not the debate on the floor right now. I think when our national security is threatened, the American people have a right to vote through their Congressmen for a declaration of war.

This is the kind of thing that leads to Vietnam War-type wars and U.N. sanctions. This is the kind of thing that leads to Koreas, Vietnams and useless wars. This is why we did not win the war in the Persian Gulf and why we are still faced with this problem.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Short of a declaration of war, the gentleman does not think the United States Government should do anything about tyranny?

Mr. PAUL. I believe in the responsibility of this U.S. Congress to assume that they are the ones that declare war in a proper manner.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I have no criticism about those who are challenging the leadership in Iraq. I condemn them. I challenge, though, the technique that we are using, the process that we are using. I do not believe we have the authority. Long-term, it is not effective.

It is totally inconsistent when we are dealing with China. These token resolutions that we dealt with on China will have nothing to do with solving the problem. At the same time, we give them more money, we give the Turks more money, we give China more money, we give Indonesia more money, and they are all in the process of abusing civil liberties. I just think that we have conveniently picked a whipping horse and we are pretending that we are doing some good.

Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Porter].

Mr. PORTER. Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to say to the gentleman who just finished speaking that I certainly respect the consistency of his ideas, but I disagree. If he had expressed those ideas as a member of the parliament in Turkey or if he expressed them in Iraq or in Indonesia, he might well find himself in the same situation as Leyla Zana and the Kurdish parliamentarians found themselves and, that is, behind bars. It seems to me that if we do not recognize that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, that our freedoms and theirs are in some way connected, we will invite the kind of terrorism that Saddam Hussein practices on his people and others practice on their people throughout this world. 

Let me agree with him, however, in part. Let us stop giving money to the Turks as long as they repress their people. Let us stop giving money to the Indonesian Government that takes away the religious freedoms of the people of East Timor. Let us stop supporting dictators that deny the basic human rights of their people.

I believe that we attempt very strongly to be consistent. We passed nine bills dealing with China. Those bills do have a potential, particularly the one on Radio Free Asia that will broadcast to China and Tibet and North Korea and Burma. I think we have a potential for positively impacting their society.

Let us never give up our ideals and our beliefs in human freedom, the very foundation of this society, because we might see a little inconsistency or cannot find the exact words we want to give us authority. The authority is moral authority, and it has a great power in this world if only we will exercise it.

Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Snowbarger). The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman] that the House suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 137.

The question was taken.

Mr. PORTER. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »