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Public Statements

Unanticipated Good Results (When We Leave)

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


UNANTICIPATED GOOD RESULTS (WHEN WE LEAVE) -- (House of Representatives - June 07, 2007)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I would like to discuss the irrationality of our current foreign policy and the expected concrete benefits of changing that policy.

First, we need to look at the inconsistent and counterproductive way we currently treat other nations. We reward and respect nations with nuclear weapons. Look at how we treat Russia, China, Pakistan, India and North Korea. Our policies serve as an incentive for rogue nations to achieve a nuclear capability. Saddam Hussein was so convinced of this that he pretended he was on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon. Iran is now doing the same thing, yet our CIA assures us they have quite a ways to go before they have a nuclear capability.

Without our ``remaking'' the Middle East, Iran would have less incentive to develop a weapon. And under the NPT, Iran has a right to pursue peaceful use of nuclear power.

The foolishness of our foreign policy has us spending money in Pakistan, a military dictatorship with nuclear weapons, which is harboring Osama Bin Laden. The irony that taxpayers are paying to help protect Osama Bin Laden is astounding. For all the so-called reasons we threaten Iran, the same logic could apply to Pakistan many fold and, for that matter, even to Saudi Arabia, from where 15 of the 19 hijackers came.

A changed policy in the region would greatly diffuse the boiling conflict now brewing with Iran. Just an announcement, if they believed us, of a move toward diplomacy and plans to move our troops and Navy out of this region may well lead to a sharp drop in oil prices.

But credibility is the key. If no one believes we're sincere in altering our foreign policy of militarism to that of peaceful relationships with all who desire it, it won't work.

Credibility would depend on us discontinuing building permanent bases in Iraq. We don't need a single base in the entire Middle East to protect U.S. security. Having bases there only jeopardizes our security.

The embassy we're building in Iraq, the largest in the world, a virtual fortress, nearly the size of the Vatican, should be donated to some Iraqi organization that might make good use of it. A small office with a few personnel would send a signal of our intent not to rule the Middle East for decades to come.

The economic benefits of a foreign policy of nonintervention are extraordinary. The wars that result from meddling in the internal affairs of other nations cause much greater economic harm than most people imagine. The cliche that war is a stimulus to economic growth is blatantly false.

The billions of dollars saved just in the last decade if we weren't in the Middle East could have been spent here at home improving the conditions of all Americans, or would have prevented our huge national and foreign debt from exploding to historic records.

Inflation, though denied by our government as being a serious problem, would be greatly reduced. We shouldn't forget, the big inflation of prices from our spendthrift ways for this war is yet to come.

Without a war going on in the Middle East, we can rebuild our Armed Forces, now run down from this prolonged war. This would certainly help the National Guard and our Reserves to rebuild and re-equip.

It's estimated that 90 percent of our Army and National Guard is poorly equipped. A new policy would return our National Guard to the States to be available when an emergency comes, no longer leaving the States high and dry because these troops are in Iraq.

Some of these dollars saved and personnel brought home could be redirected toward border protection here in this country. The border guards sent off to Iraq to train Iraqis in border control could return to their proper function here in the United States.

The constant and growing dissent here in the United States over the war would disappear. Though not as bad as in the 1960s, it's a growing problem that can't be ignored.

The threat of terrorism would be greatly reduced, as the evidence is overwhelming that our foreign policy of intervention, occupation, bombing and sanctions is the main incentive for radical insurgents to commit suicide terrorism.

Those who misled us into the war in Iraq continually claim that, yes, that's true. Mistakes were made. But now the reason we must stay is to clean up the mess we created, while never admitting that the mess gets worse and the costs go up the longer we stay.

The time has come for a change. A message that our diplomatic doors are open and the preemptive war option is off the table would be a powerful message of peace and hope, not only to the Middle East but to the entire world.

The nay-saying warmongers who preach inevitable and long-lasting conflicts must be marginalized. The time for change is now.


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