Wednesday, February 18, 2009

'Ron Paul Told Us So' - On foreign policy during the Clinton years

"Interventionism is done with a pretense of wisdom believing we always know the good guys
from the bad guys, and that we will ignore the corporate and political special interests
always agitating for influence. Nothing could be further from the truth."
- Dr. Ron Paul, April 21 1999 in the House of Representatives

From the time of his return to Congress in 1996 to the present, Ron Paul has staunchly opposed the hyper-interventionist foreign policy of the US government. Well before the election of George W. Bush and the events of 9/11, Dr. Paul repeatedly told his compatriots in Congress that provocative US actions abroad imperiled the American people by increasing the likelihood of terrorist 'blowback.' Moreover, he warned of the dangers inherent in a presidency unconstrained by constitutional limits, and he foresaw that the road to empire was likely to end in national ruin and bankruptcy.

This page is a partial record of Ron Paul's statements on foreign policy from the Clinton era, with a few highlights bolded below.

"When weaker nations are intimidated by more powerful ones, striking back very often
can be done only through terrorism, a problem that will continue to threaten all Americans
as our leaders incite those who oppose our aggressive stands throughout the world. But when
a foreign war comes to our shores in the form of terrorism, we can be sure that our government
will explain the need for further sacrifice of personal liberties to win this war against terrorism as well."
- Dr. Ron Paul, April 21 1999 in the House of Representatives

Our Foolish War in the Middle East, November 20 2000
America's Role in the United Nations, September 18 2000
The Big Lie: NATO's campaign of deception in Kosovo, March 13 2000
Relations with Russia: It's time to end US interventionism, January 31 2000

US Foreign Policy of Military Interventionism brings Death, Destruction, and Loss of Life, November 17 1999
US Foreign Policy and NATO's Involvement in Yugoslavia and Kosovo, April 21 1999
Crisis in Kosovo, April 14 1999
Playing with matches in the powder keg, April 5 1999
Burning bridges: Attacks on Kosovo unjustified, shameful, March 29 1999
Peace, March 25 1999
Closer to Empire, March 25 1999
US military action taking place in Serbia is unconstitutional, March 24 1999
War Powers Resolution, March 17 1999
Debate on peacekeeping operations in Kosovo resolution, March 11 1999
War power authority should be returned to Congress, March 9 1999
Stopping the President's New Little War, February 15 1999
How long will the war with Iraq go on before Congress notices? February 2 1999
The State of the Republic (or 'Congress relinquishing the power to wage war'), February 2 1999

Debate on the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998: Setting the Stage for War, October 5 1998
"Wagging" imperialism as bad as the Dog, August 24 1998
Removing US armed forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina, March 17 1998
US should stop meddling in foreign wars, March 16 1998
US must not trample Constitution to attack Iraq, February 16 1998
State of the Republic, January 28 1998
Bombing Iraq would the Result of Flawed Foreign Policy, January 27 1998

Neutrality and dialogue, not intervention, will secure peace, November 24 1997
America's Foreign Policy, July 15 1997


Our Foolish War in the Middle East, Dr. Ron Paul, November 20 2000
"It is clear that we are not in the Middle East for national security reasons but instead to protect powerful commercial interests. This assures we protect oil supplies for the West, and provides us with an excuse to keep the military industrial complex active."

"Our policy in the Middle East cannot possibly be successful.
It's obvious there will be an inevitable conflict between our support for the moderate Arabs - which antagonizes the Islamic fundamentalists of this region - and our special treatment for Israel. It is clear that the powerful financial interests of this country want to use our military force to protect their commercial and oil interests in this region, while there will always remain powerful U.S. political support for the State of Israel. The two sides never will be reconciled by our attempt to balance our support by giving help to both sides. This is exactly opposite of being neutral and friends with both sides. The one reason why this confrontation is going to continue is that 75% of known oil reserves are now owned by Muslims around the world."

"As the world becomes less stable due to currency, trade, and other economic reasons, this region will become even more volatile. We should expect higher oil prices.
Hatred toward America will continue to escalate, and United States' security will continue to be diminished due to the threat of terrorist attacks. All the anti-ballistic missiles in the world will not be able to protect us against attacks such as the Cole suffered, or from the nuclear and biological weapons that can be brought into this country in a suitcase."

America's Role in the United Nations, Dr. Ron Paul, September 18 2000
"Since the passage of the United Nations Participation Act, however, congressional control of presidential foreign policy initiatives, in cooperation with the United Nations, has been more theoretical than real. Presidents from Truman to the current President have again and again presented Congress with already-begun military actions, thus forcing Congress's hand to support United States troops or risk the accusation of having put the Nation's servicemen and service women in unnecessary danger."

"This transfer of power from Congress to the United Nations has not, however, been limited to the power to make war. Increasingly, Presidents are using the U.N. not only to implement foreign policy in pursuit of international peace, but also domestic policy in pursuit of international, environmental, economic, education, social welfare and human rights policy, both in derogation of the legislative prerogatives of Congress and of the 50 State legislatures, and further in derogation of the rights of the American people to constitute their own civil order."

"The American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 1999 is my solution to the continued abuses of the United Nations. The U.S. Congress can remedy its earlier unconstitutional action of embracing the Charter of the United Nations by enacting H.R. 1146. The U.S. Congress, by passing H.R. 1146, and the U.S. president, by signing H.R. 1146, will
heed the wise counsel of our first president, George Washington, when he advised his countrymen to `steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world,' lest the nation's security and liberties be compromised by endless and overriding international commitments."

The Big Lie: NATO's campaign of deception in Kosovo, Dr. Ron Paul, March 13 2000
"David Ramsey Steele points out that in Kosovo we were told before the bombings that there was mass genocide occurring, the figure of '100,000 or more' was tossed around even though there was no evidence to back-up this claim ... Later after the NATO bombs began dropping, the official NATO claim was dropped to around 10,000 as it became clear no mass graves or killing fields even existed. The actual number of people found in the reported mass-graves totals slightly more than 2,000, a far cry from the hundreds of thousands that we were told originally."

"Steele points out that the stories about Kosovo came not only from NATO officers but also from officials of the United Nations, as well as from our own government ...
The sad trail of lies in Kosovo merely reinforces two facts. The first is that our republic depends upon a press that will question the claims of our leaders instead of just accepting them. The second is that Congress has shirked both its Constitutional responsibility to declare war before U.S. troops are sent into battle and its oversight responsibility to closely monitor the administration in its carrying out of foreign policy."

Relations with Russia: It's time to end US interventionism, Dr. Ron Paul, January 31 2000
"Shortly after (Yeltsin's) replacement Vladimir Putin came to power, a very somber event occurred. Namely, the Kremlin granted him more power to use nuclear weapons. The first reason given for this change in policy was that the expansion of NATO had caused the Russians to see a threat drawing closer to them which had not been previously perceived. The second reason - the war in Yugoslavia had made it apparent that there is now a NATO precedent for launching an attack into a country that had not itself attacked any NATO member."

"The Russian bear has never stopped being a ferocious one, and our own policy, which is analogous to continually poking, prodding, and otherwise 'climbing into the cage' with that bear, is not and has not been in our own best interests. Through the IMF, the World Bank, and other such entities, we have continued to provide foreign aid to the bear. In doing this, we are in essence feeding a very unfriendly entity."

"US leaders have told us how we need to continue subsidizing the bear because that is the way, so they say, to keep the Russians "on our side." The latest moves indicate that Russia will pursue what is in her national interests regardless of any US subsidies they may receive.
Thus, when we subsidize foreign countries, we subsidize their national interests - interests that are, more or less frequently, bound to be inimical to our own."


US Foreign Policy of Military Interventionism brings Death, Destruction, and Loss of Life, Dr. Ron Paul, November 17 1999
"Our foreign policy of military interventionism has brought death and destruction to many foreign lands, and loss of life for many Americans. From Korea and Vietnam to Serbia, Iran, Iraq, and now Afghanistan, we have ventured far from our shores in search of wars to fight. Instead of more free trade with our potential adversaries, we are quick to slap on sanctions that hurt American exports and help to solidify the power of the tyrants, while seriously penalizing innocent civilians in fomenting anti-America hatred.

There is no evidence that this policy serves the interests of world peace. It certainly increases the danger to all Americans as we become the number one target of terrorists. Conventional war against the United States is out of the question, but acts of terrorism, whether it is the shooting down of a civilian airliner or bombing a New York City building, are almost impossible to prevent in a reasonably open society."

"I see this as a particularly dangerous time for a U.S. president to be traveling to this troubled region, since so many blame us for the suffering, whether it is the innocent victims in Kosovo, Serbia, Iraq, or Afghanistan.
It is hard for the average citizen of these countries to understand why we must be so involved in their affairs, and resort so readily to bombing and boycotts in countries thousands of miles away from our own."

US Foreign Policy and NATO's Involvement in Yugoslavia and Kosovo, Dr. Ron Paul, April 21 1999
"The sympathy shown Albanian refugees by our government and our media, although justified, stirred the flames of hatred by refusing to admit that over a half million Serbs suffered the same fate and yet elicited no concern from the internationalists bent on waging war. No one is calling for the return of certain property and homes. Threatening a country to do what we the outsiders tell them or their cities will be bombed is hardly considered good diplomacy. Arguing that the Serbs must obey and give up what they see as sovereign territory after suffering much themselves, as well as face war crimes trials run by the West, makes no sense. Anyone should have been able to predict what the results would be."

"If it is the suffering and the refugees that truly motivate our actions, there is no answer to the perplexing question of why no action was taken to help the suffering in Rwanda, Sudan, East Timor, Tibet, Chechnya, Kurdish, Turkey, and for the Palestinians in Israel. This is not a reason; it is an excuse.
Instead, we give massive foreign aid to the likes of China and Russia, countries that have trampled on the rights of ethnic minorities. How many refugees, how many childrens' deaths has U.S. policy caused by our embargo and bombing for 9 years of a defenseless, poverty-ridden Iraq? Just as our bombs in Iraq have caused untold misery and death, so have our bombs in Serbia killed the innocent on both sides, solidified support for the ruthless leaders, and spread the war."

"The KLA took on the Serbs, not the other way around. Whether or not one is sympathetic to Kosovo's secession is not relevant. I for one prefer many small independent governments pledged not to aggress against their neighbors over the international, special-interest authoritarianism of NATO, the CIA, and the United Nations. But my sympathies do not justify our taxing and sending young Americans to fight for Kosovo's independence. It is wrong legally and morally; and besides, the KLA is not likely to institute a model nation respecting civil liberties of all its citizens."

"The biggest irony of this entire mess is to see the interventionists, whose goal is one world government, so determined to defend a questionable group of local leaders, the KLA, bent on secession. This action will not go unnoticed and will provide the philosophic framework for the establishment of a Palestinian state, Kurdistan, and independent Tibet, and it will encourage many other ethnic minorities to demand independence."

Interventionism is done with a pretense of wisdom believing we always know the good guys from the bad guys, and that we will ignore the corporate and political special interests always agitating for influence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of being lucky enough on occasions to pick the right side of a conflict, we instead end up supporting both sides of nearly every conflict. In the 1980s, we helped arm, and allied ourselves with, the Iraqis against Iran. Also in the 1980s we supported the Afghan freedom fighters, which included Osama Bin Laden. Even in the current crisis in Yugoslavia, we have found ourselves on both sides."

"Unfortunately, our policies usually backfire and do more harm than good.
When weaker nations are intimidated by more powerful ones, striking back very often can be done only through terrorism, a problem that will continue to threaten all Americans as our leaders incite those who oppose our aggressive stands throughout the world."

But when a foreign war comes to our shores in the form of terrorism, we can be sure that our government will explain the need for further sacrifice of personal liberties to win this war against terrorism as well. Extensive preparations are already being made to fight urban and domestic violence, not by an enhanced local police force, but by a national police force with military characteristics."

"The United States and NATO, while deliberately avoiding a U.N. vote on the issue, have initiated war against a sovereign state in the middle of a civil war. A civil war that caused thousands of casualties and refugees on both sides has been turned into a war with hundreds of thousands of casualties and refugees with NATO's interference. The not-so-idle U.S. threats cast at Milosevic did not produce compliance. It only expanded the violence and the bloodshed."

"Hopes as expressed by Ron Brown and his corporate friends were not extinguished by the unfortunate and mysterious Air Force crash while on their way to Bosnia to do business deals. Nobody even bothers to find out what U.S. policy condones business trips of our corporate leaders in a war zone on an Air Force aircraft. Corporate interests and the military-industrial complex continues to play a role in our Yugoslavian war policy. Corporate America loves NATO."

"Some have wondered how a 1960s generation administration could be so prone to war. The 1960s were known for their rebellion against the Vietnam War and a preference for lovemaking and drugs over fighting, even Communists.
In recent months, four separate sovereign nations were bombed by the United States. This has to be some kind of a record."

"Some from the left, if strongly inclined toward internationalism, supported the Persian Gulf War, but for the most part the opposition came from those who chose not to support a president of the opposite party, while today, supporting one's own party's position to bomb the Serbs becomes politically correct.

The same can be said of those who are opposed to the Yugoslavian war. Where they supported the Persian Gulf War, this administration has not garnered their support for partisan reasons. The principle of interventionism, constitutionality, and morality have not been applied consistently to each war effort by either political party, and there is a precise reason for this, over and above the petty partisanship of many.

The use of government force to mold personal behavior, manipulate the economy, and interfere in the affairs of other nations is an acceptable practice endorsed by nearly everyone in Washington regardless of party affiliation. Once the principle of government force is acknowledged as legitimate, varying the when and to what degree becomes the only issue. It is okay to fight Communists overseas but not Serbs; it is okay to fight Serbs but not Arabs. The use of force becomes completely arbitrary and guided by the politician's good judgment. And when it pleases one group to use constitutional restraint, it does, but forgets about the restraints when it is not convenient."

Crisis in Kosovo, Dr. Ron Paul, April 14 1999
"It has been said that we are in Yugoslavia to stop ethnic cleansing, but it is very clear that the goal of the NATO forces is to set up an ethnic state."

"There was a headline yesterday in the Washington Post that said: Count Corporate America Among NATO's Staunchest Allies. Very interesting article because it goes on to explain why so many corporations have an intense interest in making sure that the credibility of NATO is maintained, and they go on to explain that it is not just the arms manufacturers but the technology people who expect to sell weapons in Eastern Europe, in Yugoslavia, and they are very interested in making use of the NATO forces to make sure that their interests are protected. I think this is not (a) reason for us to go to war."

Playing with matches in the powder keg, Dr. Ron Paul, April 5 1999
"The Administration's track record on military engagement is disastrous, even if one accepts their interventionist philosophy. Not a single foreign entanglement of this Administration has achieved a single one of its goals. Yet far be it for this Administration to learn from past mistakes and put a more sensible foreign policy in place."

"Of course, what is also not lost on our military is that this Administration does not really worry about things like military morale. After all, the Air Force is trying to wage this mission with a record low number of pilots, diminishing weapons, and resorting to cannibalizing pilot-less aircraft for spare parts. The other branches are likewise seeing fewer recruits. And it is no wonder! Why would any young person choose military service -- or to stay in the military -- when it may require being captured by hostile forces, in the most untenable of situations, while performing missions that have no relation to our national security under the command of foreign leaders."

Burning bridges: Attacks on Kosovo unjustified, shameful
, Dr. Ron Paul, March 29 1999
"This is not a proud moment for America, as the United States military has been used to invade a sovereign nation that threatened neither our security, nor even the borders of our allies or friends."

"Most importantly, though is the simple fact that meddling in the internal affairs of a nation involved in civil war is quite dangerous. Both sides believe themselves to be correct, and neither side will appreciate the other side receiving assistance."

"Sympathy and compassion for the suffering and voluntary support for the oppressed is commendable, even honorable.
But as history shows, ethnic peace is not achieved by outside forces committing acts of war to pick and choose sides in fighting that dates back hundreds of years."

Peace, Dr. Ron Paul, March 25 1999
"Mr. Speaker, today I rise and with gratitude to Edmund Burke and paraphrase words he first spoke 224 years ago this week ... Let other nations always keep the idea of their sovereign self-government associated with our Republic and they will befriend us, and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from our allegiance. But let it be once understood that our government may be one thing and their sovereignty another, that these two things exist without mutual regard one for the other -- and the affinity will be gone, the friendship loosened and the alliance hasten to decay and dissolution. As long as we have the wisdom to keep this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever mankind worships freedom they will turn their faces toward us. The more they multiply, the more friends we will have, the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be our relations. Slavery they can find anywhere, as near to us as Cuba or as remote as China. But until we become lost to all feeling of our national interest and natural legacy, freedom and self-rule they can find in none but the American founding. These are precious commodities, and our nation alone was founded them. This is the true currency which binds to us the commerce of nations and through them secures the wealth of the world. But deny others of their national sovereignty and self-government, and you break that sole bond which originally made, and must still preserve, friendship among nations. Do not entertain so weak an imagination as that UN Charters and Security Councils, GATT and international laws, World Trade Organizations and General Assemblies, are what promote commerce and friendship. Do not dream that NATO and peacekeeping forces are the things that can hold nations together. It is the spirit of community that gives nations their lives and efficacy. And it is the spirit of the constitution of our founders that can invigorate every nation of the world, even down to the minutest of these."

Closer to Empire, Dr. Ron Paul, March 25 1999
"Our involvement in Kosovo and in Iraq, and in Bosnia--when combined with America's role in Korea, and in the Middle East and other places around the world, is now lurching our republic ever closer to empire. Empire is something that all Americans ought to oppose.
  • I remind those who believe in the Judeo-Christian tradition that opposition to empire is to be found in the warnings found in the book of Ezekiel, warnings against the empowerment of a king. And it is this same principle which is evident in the story of the Tower of Babel, and in that admonition of Christ, which reminds that those things which are of Caesar are not of God.
  • To pragmatists, agnostics and such, I point to the decline and fall which has historically attended every other empire. The Ottomans and Romans, the Spanish and the British, all who have tried empire have faltered, and at great costs to their own nations.
  • Mr. Speaker, to liberals I would remind that these interventions, however well-intended they may be, all require the use of forces of occupation, and this is the key step toward colonialism, itself always leading to subjugation and to oppression.
  • To conservatives, I want to recall the founding of our Republic, our nation's breaking from the yoke of empire in order that we might realize the benefits of liberty and self-determination, and that we might obtain the blessings that flow naturally from limitations on centralized power. Empire [is] the most perfect means yet devised to concentrate power in the fewest hands."
"Today we attempt, directly or indirectly, to dictate to other sovereign nations who they ought and ought not have as leader, which peace accords they should sign, and what form of governments they must enact. How limited is the distinction between our actions today and those of the emperors of history? How limited indeed. In fact, one might suggest that this is a distinction without a substantive difference."

"The most dangerous thing about where we are headed is our lack of historical memory and our disastrous inattention to the effect of the principles upon which we act, for ideas do indeed have consequences, Mr. Speaker, and they pick up a momentum that becomes all their own.

I do believe that we are on the brink, Mr. Speaker, but it is not yet too late. Soon I fear the train, as it is said, will have left the station.
We stand on the verge of crossing that line that so firmly distinguishes empire from republic. This occurs not so much by an action or series of actions but by the acceptance of an idea, the idea that we have a right, a duty, an obligation, or a national interest to perfect foreign nations, even while we remain less than principled ourselves.

When will we, as a people and as an institution, say `we choose to keep our republic, your designs for empire interest us not in the least.' I can only hope it will be soon, for it is my sincerest fear that failing to do so much longer will put us beyond this great divide."

US military action taking place in Serbia is unconstitutional, Dr. Ron Paul, March 24 1999
As bad as the violence is toward the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, our ability to police and stop all ethnic fighting around the world is quite limited and the efforts are not permitted under constitutional law. We do not even pretend to solve the problems of sub-Saharan Africa, Tibet, East Timor, Kurdistan, and many other places around the world where endless tragic circumstances prevail. Our responsibility as U.S. Members of Congress is to preserve liberty here at home and uphold the rule of law. Meddling in the internal and dangerous affairs of a nation involved in civil war is illegal and dangerous. Congress has not given the President authority to wage war."

"Sympathy and compassion for the suffering and voluntary support for the oppressed is commendable.
The use of force and acts of war to pick and choose between two sides fighting for hundreds of years cannot achieve peace. It can only spread the misery and suffering, weaken our defenses, and undermine our national sovereignty."

"Only when those who champion our war effort in Serbia are willing to volunteer for the front lines and offer their own lives for the cause will they gain credibility.
Promoters of war never personalize it. It is always some other person or some other parent's child's life who will be sacrificed, not their own."

War Powers Resolution, Dr. Ron Paul, March 17 1999
"Our policy, whether it is with Iraq or Serbia, of demanding that if certain actions are not forthcoming, we will unleash massive bombing attacks on them, I find reprehensible, immoral, illegal, and unconstitutional. We are seen as a world bully, and a growing anti-American hatred is the result. This policy cannot contribute to long-term peace. Political instability will result and innocent people will suffer. The billions we have spent bombing Iraq, along with sanctions, have solidified Saddam Hussein's power, while causing the suffering and deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi children."

"The recent flare-up of violence in Serbia has been blamed on United States' plan to send troops to the region. The Serbs have expressed rage at the possibility that NATO would invade their country with the plan to reward the questionable Kosovo Liberation Army. If ever a case could be made for the wisdom of non-intervention, it is here. Who wants to defend all that the KLA had done and at the same time justify a NATO invasion of a sovereign nation for the purpose of supporting secession? `This violence is all America's fault,' one Yugoslavian was quoted as saying. And who wants to defend Milosevic?"

As more and more power has been granted in international affairs, presidents have readily adapted to using Executive Orders, promises, and quasi-treaties to expand the scope and size of the presidency far above anything even the Federalists ever dreamed of. We are at a crossroads, and if the people and the Congress do not soon insist on the reigning in of presidential power, both foreign and domestic, individual liberty cannot be preserved."

Debate on peacekeeping operations in Kosovo resolution, Dr. Ron Paul, March 11 1999
"The bigger question here, however, is if we vote for this, and I strongly oppose passing this, because if we vote for this, we authorize the moving of troops into a dangerous area. We should ask ourselves, if we are willing to vote for this resolution; are we ourselves willing to go to Kosovo and expose our lives on the front lines? Are we willing to send our children or our grandchildren; to not only be exposed to the danger, with the pretext we are going to save the world, but with the idea that we may lose our life?"

War power authority should be returned to Congress, Dr. Ron Paul, March 9 1999
"Mr. Speaker, the President has stated that should a peace treaty be signed between Serbia and Kosovo he plans to send in at least 4,000 American soldiers as part of a NATO peacekeeping force. We, the Congress, have been informed through a public statement by the President that troops will be sent. We have not been asked to act in a constitutional fashion to grant the President permission to act. He is not coming to us to fully explain his intentions. The President is making a public statement as to his intentions, and we are expected to acquiesce, to go along with the funding, and not even debate the issue, just as we are doing in Iraq. That is not a proper constitutional procedure and it should be condemned."

"The Constitution is clear: Our Presidents, from Washington to Roosevelt, all knew that initiating war was clearly the prerogative of the Congress, but our memories are flawed and our reading of the law is careless. The President should not be telling us what he plans to do, he should be giving us information and asking our advice. We are responsible for the safety of our troops, how taxpayers' dollars are spent, the security of our Nation, and especially the process whereby our Nation commits itself to war."

"The war powers process was set early on by our Presidents in dealing with the North African pirates in the early 19th century. Jefferson and Madison, on no less than 10 occasions, got Congress to pass legislation endorsing each military step taken. It has clearly been since World War II that our Presidents have assumed power not granted to them by the Constitution, and Congress has been negligent in doing little to stop this usurpation."

Vague police actions authorized by the United Nations or NATO, and implemented by the President without congressional approval, invites disasters with perpetual foreign military entanglements. The concept of national sovereignty and the rule of law must be respected or there is no purpose for the Constitution."

Stopping the President's New Little War, Dr. Ron Paul, February 15 1999
"We spend less and less money every year on our own defense while spending more and more policing the world. It would be better to spend on national defense projects the money now being wasted in Bosnia, Iraq, and other locales around the world. Moreover, our nation would be undeniably stronger by not having our soldiers killed in pointless 'police' actions."

"It is remarkable that the president is planning to send troops to Kosovo, a section of Serbia. The Serbia leader, Slobodan Milosevic, is the last of the hard-line communists still ruling a former Soviet Bloc nation. For his well-documented reign of terror, Milosevic has rightfully earned the title 'Butcher of the Balkans.' Despite all this, the president is sending our troops to Kosovo to keep independence-minded people under the ruthless hand of Milosevic. One task to be assigned our troops will be the disarming of the Kosovo Liberation Army. While supporting Milosevic is hardly rational, it makes even less sense to take actions that will serve only to pit Kosovars against Americans. How ironic that at the dawn of this century Americans were viewed as the champions of liberty, yet in its closing days we will be using our might to support a communist butcher."

According to the US Constitution and American tradition, it is not a prerogative of the president to send troops around the world to fight the battles that do not concern us. Congress must re-exert its constitutional authority and stop presidents from sending troops into harm's way. Most immediately, Congress must stop President Clinton's new little war in the Balkans."

How long will the war with Iraq go on before Congress notices? Dr. Ron Paul, February 2 1999
"Mr. Speaker, I ask my fellow colleagues, how long will the war go on before Congress notices? We have been bombing and occupying Iraq since 1991, longer than the occupation of Japan after World War II. Iraq has never committed aggression against the United States. The recent escalation of bombing in Iraq has caused civilian casualties to mount."

"The Constitution has been blatantly ignored by the President while Congress has acquiesced in endorsing the 8-year war against Iraq. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 has done nothing to keep our presidents from policing the world, spending billions of dollars, killing many innocent people, and jeopardizing the very troops that should be defending America."

Our foolish policy in Iraq invites terrorist attacks against U.S. territory and incites the Islamic fundamentalists against us."

The State of the Republic (or 'Congress relinquishing the power to wage war')
, Dr. Ron Paul, February 2 1999
"[T]he power of a single person, the President, to wage war is the most egregious of all presidential powers, and Congress deserves the blame for allowing such power to gravitate into the hands of the President. The fact that nary a complaint was made in Congress for the recent aggressive military behavior of our President in Iraq for reasons that had nothing to do with national security should not be ignored. Instead, Congress unwisely and quickly rubber stamped this military operation. We should analyze this closely and decide whether or not we in the Congress should promote a war powers policy that conforms to the Constitution, or continue to allow our Presidents ever greater leverage to wage war any time, any place, and for any reason."

"Madam Speaker, something must be done. The cost of this policy has been great in terms of life and dollars and our constitutional system of law. Nearly 100,000 deaths occurred in the Vietnam and Korean wars, and
if we continue to allow our Presidents to casually pursue war for the flimsiest of reasons, we may well be looking at another major conflict somewhere in the world in which we have no business or need to be involved. The correction of this problem requires a concerted effort on the part of Congress to reclaim and reassert its responsibility under the Constitution with respect to war powers."

"Approval of presidential-directed aggression, disguised as `support for the troops,' comes routinely, and if any member does not obediently endorse every action a President might take, for whatever reason, it is implied the member lacks patriotism and wisdom. It is amazing how we have drifted from the responsibility of the Founders, imagine, the Congress and the people would jealously protect. It is too often and foolishly argued that we must permit great flexibility for the President to retaliate when American troops are in danger. But this is only after the President has invaded and placed our troops in harm's way."

"By what stretch of the imagination can one say that these military actions can be considered defensive in nature? The best way we can promote support for our troops is employ them in a manner that is the least provocative.
They must be given a mission confined to defending the United States, not policing the world or taking orders from the United Nations, or serving the special commercial interests of U.S. corporations around the world."

The basic problem here is that there are still too many Members of Congress who endorse a presidency armed with the authority of a tyrant to wage war. But if this assumption of power by the President with Congress' approval is not reversed, the republic cannot be maintained. Putting the power in the hands of a single person, the president, to wage war, is dangerous and costly, and it destroys the notion that the people through their Congressional representatives decide when military action should start and when war should take place. The sacrifice of this constitutional principle, guarded diligently for 175 years and now severely eroded in the past 50, must be restored if we hope to protect our liberties and avoid yet another unnecessary and, heaven-forbid, major world conflict."

"A moral commitment to the principle of limited presidential war powers in the spirit of the republic is required. Even with the clearest constitutional restriction on the President to wage undeclared wars, buffered by precise legislation, if the sentiment of the Congress, the courts, and the people or the President is to ignore these restraints, they will.

The best of all situations is when the spirit of the republic is one and the same, as the law itself, and honorable men are in positions of responsibility to carry out the law. Even though we cannot guarantee the future Congress' or our president's moral commitment to the principles of liberty by changing the law, we still must make every effort possible to make the law and the Constitution as morally sound as possible.

Our responsibility here in the Congress is to protect liberty and do our best to ensure peace and trade with all who do not aggress against us. But peace is more easily achieved when we reject the notion that some Americans must subsidize foreign nations for a benefit that is intended to flow back to a select few Americans.
Maintaining an empire or striving for a world government while allowing excessive war powers to accrue to an imperial president will surely lead to needless military conflicts, loss of life and liberty, and a complete undermining of our constitutional republic."

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Debate on the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998: Setting the Stage for War, Dr. Ron Paul, October 5 1998
"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."

"Not too long ago, a few years back, in the 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 the real question is, why at this particular time, why would we give our President more authority to wage war? He has way too much authority already if the President can drop bombs when he pleases. This of course has occurred not only in this administration but in the administrations of the 1980s as well where bombs were dropped to make some points. But generally speaking, the points are not well made. They usually come back to haunt us."

"We can hardly be sympathetic to the Kurds who are being punished by the Iraqis at the same time we are paying the Turks to do the same thing to the Kurds. So there is something awful inconsistent about this."

"Wagging" imperialism as bad as the Dog, Dr. Ron Paul, August 24 1998
"Osama bin Laden and his Afghan religious supporters were American allies throughout the 1980s and received our money and training and were heralded as the Afghan 'Freedom Fighters.' Even then, bin Laden let it be known that his people resented all imperialism, whether from the Soviets or the United States. Finally, the region's Muslims see America as the imperialist invader. They have deeply held religious beliefs, and in their desire for national sovereignty many see America as a threatening menace. America's presence in the Middle East, most flagrantly demonstrated with troops and bases in Saudi Arabia, is something many Muslims see as defiling their holy land. Many Muslims --and this is what makes an extremist like bin Laden so popular -- see American policy as identical to Israel's policy; an affront to them that is rarely understood by most Americans. Far too often, the bombing of declared (or concocted) enemies, whether it's the North Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the Libyans, the Sudanese, the Albanians, or the Afghans, produces precisely the opposite effect to what is sought. It kills innocent people, creates more hatred toward America, unifies and stimulates the growth of the extremist Islamic movement, and makes them more determined than ever to strike back with their weapon of choice -- terror."

"Our current policy in the Middle East is indeed a threat to our security, for it puts more Americans in increased danger. Protecting our so-called interests, i.e., controlling Arab oil, is not worth the danger of giving the Islamic extremists the ammunition and the incentive to unite an entire region -- a region which quite possibly has access to nuclear weapons -- against all American citizens around the world."

"Let us hear no more of our 'obligation' to spread democracy around the world in the name of preserving our national security. We're not doing a very good job of respecting individual liberty or the Rule of Law here at home, and it is unlikely we can simply bully others into our mode of thinking."

Removing US armed forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Ron Paul, March 17 1998
"There are certain countries, like in Rwanda, Africa, we certainly did not apply the same rules to that country as we do to Bosnia and the Persian Gulf and Iraq. We did not do this when we saw the mass killings in the Far East under Pol Pot. So, under certain circumstances where there is political pressure made by certain allies or by interests of oil, then we are likely to get involved. But the principle of a (non-interventionist) foreign policy should make certain that we, the Congress, never condone, never endorse, never promote the placement of troops around the world in harm's way because it is a good way for men to get killed and, for most purposes, the lives of our American soldiers are too valuable to be put into a situation where there is so much harm and danger."

"But at the same time we win those kind of votes, and there is a strong sentiment here in the Congress when we are required to vote, and there is certainly a strong sentiment among the American people that we ought to be dealing with our problems here at home, we ought not to assume the role of world policemen, and we ought to mind our own business, and we ought to be concerned about the sovereignty of the United States, rather than sending our troops around the world under the auspices of the United Nations and NATO, and literally giving up our sovereignty to international bodies."

US should stop meddling in foreign wars, Dr. Ron Paul, March 16 1998
"Last week it was Saddam Hussein and the Iraqis. This week's devil is Slobodon Milosevic and the Serbs. Next week, who knows? Kim Jong Il and the North Koreans? Next year, who will it be, the Ayatollah and the Iranians? Every week we must find a foreign infidel to slay; and, of course, keep the military-industrial complex humming. It is telling that while Congress cannot find a way to make serious tax cuts or reforms to the IRS, reduce spending or erase the bureaucratic red tape, our national leaders can daily find new hot-spots around the world to send our military and our money."

"All our wise counsel so freely given to so many in this region fails to recognize that the country of Yugoslavia was an artificial country created by the Soviet masters, just as the borders of most Middle Eastern countries were concocted by the British and U.N. resolutions. The centuries old ethnic rivalries inherent in this region, and aggravated by persistent Western influence as far back as the Crusades, will never be resolved by arbitrary threats and use of force from the United States or the United Nations. All that is being accomplished is to further alienate the factions, festering hate, and pushing the region into a war of which we need no part."

"This is not a result of too little money by a misdirected role for our military, a role that contradicts the policy of neutrality, friendship, trade, and non-intervention in the affairs of other nations.
The question we should ask is: are we entitled to, wealthy enough, or even wise enough to assume the role of world policemen and protector of the world's natural resources? Under the Constitution, there is no such authority. Under rules of morality, we have no authority to force others to behave as we believe they should, and force American citizens to pay for it not only with dollars, but with life and limb as well. And by the rules of common sense, the role of world policemen is a dangerous game and not worth playing."

US must not trample Constitution to attack Iraq, Dr. Ron Paul, February 16 1998
"Earlier that day, I introduced HR 3208, in an effort to protect US troops from unnecessary exposure to harm and to stop President Clinton from initiating the use of force in the Persian Gulf. As a former Air Force flight surgeon, I am committed to supporting troops and believe the only way to completely support soldiers is to not put them in harms way except to defend our nation. Of course, those banging for war say they want everyone to support the troops by sending them into battle: a contradiction, at best."

"But while the politicians are talking about sending our troops to battle, the American people are becoming more concerned with the unforeseen, or, rather, undiscussed, consequences.
Up to now, no one has been able to show that Iraq has either the ability or the intentions to attack the United States. Foolish actions against that nation will only make it more likely that American citizens and cities could be targeted for terrorist or military attacks."

"Finally, before committing our troops to this action and opening our people and cities to the possibility of retaliatory attack, we must focus on the consistency of our priorities. According to February 12 stories by the Reuters News Service,
from 1985 to 1989 the United States and England provided Hussein with biological weapons - the very weapons we now want to kill Hussein for possessing, according to American and British intelligence documents. Further, we know that at least 20 nations are developing weapons of mass destruction, and there are numerous nations that already possess them. Does that mean we must attack them all, for fear of their possible use?"

"According to the US Constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war. My legislation prohibits Defense Department funds from being used for offensive actions against Iraq without Congress legally declaring a war. It is a sad indictment of our government that it takes legislation to force the President and the Congress to follow the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, especially when dealing with issues of life and death for our troops and our people."

State of the Republic, Dr. Ron Paul, January 28 1998
"Although foreign affairs was not on the top of the agenda in the last session, misunderstanding in this area presents one the greatest threats to the future of America. There is near conformity, uniformity of opinion in the Congress for endorsing the careless use of U.S. force to police the world. Although foreign policy was infrequently debated in the past year and there are no major wars going on or likely to start soon, the danger inherent in foreign entanglements warrants close scrutiny."

"The large majority of House Members claim they want our troops out of Bosnia. Yet the President gets all the funding he wants.
The Members of Congress get credit at home for paying lip service to a U.S. policy of less intervention, while the majority continue to support the troops, the President, the military industrial complex, and the special interests who drive our foreign policy, demanding more funding while risking the lives, property, peace, and liberty of American citizens."

"In the Middle East, even with all our announced intentions and military effort to protect Kuwait, our credibility is questioned as most Arabs still see us as pro-Israel, anti-Arab, and motivated by power, oil, and money ... It is hardly violations of borders or the possession of weapons of mass destruction that motivates us to get Hussein or drive our foreign policy.
We were allies of Iraq when it used poison gas against the Kurds and across the border into Iran. We support the Turks even though they murdered Kurds, but we condemn the Iraqis when they do the same thing. There are more than 25,000 Soviet nuclear warheads that cannot be accounted for, and all we hear about from the politicians is about Iraq's control of weapons of mass destruction.

Our policy in the Middle East is totally schizophrenic and driven by Arab oil, weapon sales, and Israel. This is especially dangerous because the history of the West's intrusion into the Middle East for a thousand years in establishing the artificial borders that exist today has created a mindset among Islamic fundamentalists that guarantees that friction will persist in this region no matter how many Husseins or Ayatollahs we kill. That would only make things worse for us."

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Bombing Iraq would be the Result of Flawed Foreign Policy, Dr. Ron Paul, January 27 1998
"Why is Iraq a greater threat to U.S. security than China, North Korea, Russia or Iran? They all have weapons of mass destruction. This makes no sense. There was a time in our history that bombing foreign countries was considered an act of war, done only with a declaration by this Congress. Today, tragically, it is done at the whim of Presidents and at the urging of congressional leaders without a vote, except maybe by the UN Security Council."

Sadly, our policy in the Middle East has served to strengthen the hand of Hussein, unify the Islamic Fundamentalists, and expose American citizens to terrorist attacks. Hussein is now anxious for the bombs to hit to further stir the hatred and blame toward America for all the approximate harm he has inflicted on his people."


Neutrality and dialogue, not intervention, will secure peace
, Dr. Ron Paul, November 24 1997
"Most fundamentally, U.S. foreign policy toward Iraq is flawed; it totally ignores history, and reflects a lack of understanding of long-time justifiable Arab distrust of the West. The Middle East has been savaged and ruled by outsiders for a thousand years, and U.N. quick-fixes will only aggravate the understandable resentment of those seen as foreign infidels by the Arabs. Regardless of how we may judge the merits of each war or occupation over the past 1000 years, the Arab mind is deeply influenced by the history of Roman, European, and now American meddling. Even the current borders between Middle Eastern countries have been imposed and enforced by outsiders without regard to the history of the region. This is not to argue who is right or who is wrong in each dispute but to emphasize the long-standing nature of the conflicts in the region that prevents a solution coming from the West. Arabs see U.N. policy as U.S. policy, and believe it to be anti-Arab, something that U.S. bombs only re-enforce."

"The cost of such an involvement is very high, and dependent on the immoral use of force. It is argued that the Persian Gulf War was a 'cheap' war because less than 200 American military personnel lost their lives. But I argue that even if only one life is needlessly lost, the cost is too high. The billions of dollars spent obviously is a major cost to the American taxpayer. And with an estimated 35,000 military personnel suffering from the Gulf War Syndrome, a final price has yet to be determined. And horribly, the 'price' innocent Iraqi civilians pay is seemingly of no concern to our policy makers."

Our foreign policy is without sense or reason. We subsidize China to the tune of many billions of dollars, although their record on human rights is every bit as bad as Iraq. Not only that, but China probably represents the greatest threat to world peace of all the countries in the world. Further, we are currently bailing-out Indonesia, although it too, violates the civil liberties of their own people. The U.S. criticizes Iraq for the treatment of the Kurds; yet Turkey's policy is the same and we reward them with more American dollars. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have hardly been champions of civil liberties for minority religious groups or women, and yet we sacrificed American lives for them. The determining factor in all this seems to be who's controlling the oil. Human rights issues and provoked threats from Hussein seem to be nothing more than propaganda tools for the politicians."

"The main goal of American policy appears to be to kill Hussein. If there was a clear understanding of this region, one would realize that this would probably lead to more chaos, more hatred toward America, and most likely cause a greater threat of terrorism here in the United States."

America's Foreign Policy, Dr. Ron Paul, July 15 1997
"The U.S. record of foreign intervention and its failures have not yet prompted a serious discussion of the need for an overall reassessment of this dangerous and out-of-control policy. Not only has Congress failed in its responsibilities to restrain our adventurous Presidents in pursuing war, spying, and imposing America's will on other nations by installing leaders and at times eliminating others throughout the world these past 50 years, we now, by default, have allowed our foreign policy to be commandeered by international bodies like NATO and the United Nations nations. This can only lead to trouble for the United States and further threaten our liberties, and we have already seen plenty of that in this century."

"Must we have perpetual war to keep the military appropriations flowing? Does our military work hand in glove in securing new markets?
It is not a hidden fact that our own CIA follows our international corporate interests around the globe engaging in corporate espionage and installing dictators when they serve these special interests."

"The military industrial complex and its powerful political supporters continue to be well represented in the media and in Washington. Unfortunately, the idea that America is responsible to police the world and provide the funding and the backup military power to impose `peace' in all the disturbed regions of the world remains a policy endorsed by leaders in both parties.
The sooner this policy is challenged and changed, the better off we will be. Our budget will not permit it; it threatens our national security, and worst of all, it threatens our personal liberties."