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Public Statements

Ensuring the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I rise today to present an amendment that would stop the transfer of F-16s and Abrams tanks to Egypt. I think it particularly unwise to send tanks and our most sophisticated fighter planes to Egypt at a time in which many are saying the country may be unraveling.

Ironically, a year ago, the Arab spring occurred. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Tahir Square to protest against the government that was instituting martial law. Ironically, the current President now has instituted martial law. Once again, the dread ``indefinite detention'' is threatened to citizens in Egypt.

As the rioting expands, many see Egyptian descending into chaos. What is President Obama's response to this? To send them some of the most sophisticated weapons we have, F-16 fighters and Abrams tanks. I think this is particularly unwise. This amendment will stop it. I think this is particularly unwise since Egypt is currently governed by a religious zealot, a religious zealot who said recently that Jews were ``bloodsuckers'' and ``descendents of apes and pigs.''

This does not sound like the kind of stable personality to whom we should be sending our most sophisticated weapons. I think it is a grave mistake to send F-16s and Abrams tanks to a country that last year detained American citizens on trumped-up political charges, to a country that currently is still detaining Egyptian citizens on trumped-up political charges.

I think it is a blunder of the first proportion to send sophisticated weapons to a country that allowed a mob to attack our embassy and to burn our flag. I find it objectionable to send weapons, F-16s and tanks, to a country that allowed a mob chanting ``death to America'' to threaten our American diplomats.

I am concerned that these weapons, some of the most sophisticated weapons in the world, someday may be used against Israel. I am concerned these weapons threaten Israel's security. I am concerned that we are sending weapons to a country with a President who recently was seen to be chanting ``Amen'' to a cleric who was saying, ``death to Israel'' and ``death to those who support Israel.''

I think it is foolhardy to support and send arms to both sides of an arms race. We send 20 F-16s to Egypt, which already has 240 F-16s. We send 20 in addition. What does Israel feel? They have to have two for every one Egypt has. It escalates an arms race and makes it more difficult for Israel to defend herself.

Today we have a chance to stop this folly. I urge my colleagues to instruct the President that we will not send any more F-16s and any more Abrams tanks to the current Government of Egypt.

I yield the floor.

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Mr. PAUL. I find the argument spurious and, frankly, absurd that not giving F-16s to Egypt is somehow against the interests of Israel. Imagine this. The President of Egypt has called Jews bloodsuckers and descendents of apes and pigs. The President of Egypt has also said that when we look at the relationship of Israel and her supporters--he stood next to a cleric, chanted ``Amen'' and said ``Amen,'' that we should go after and destroy Israel and the supporters of Israel.

Somehow it is a good idea to ship weapons to this country and to this religious zealot? I find it absurd that that would be in Israel's best interests. Somehow, the argument is made that, oh, this will lead to stability in Egypt. Well, giving F-16s is somehow going to stabilize unrest in Egypt? It makes no sense whatsoever.

I would say that when we look at this and we hear arguments such as this will cost money, do you know whose money it was that bought these F-16? It was our money to begin with. We send the money to Egypt and then they buy the weapons from us.

If we are worried about a place to store the F-16s, why don't we give them to our military? Everybody seems to be saying it is a problem, this sequester, and there is not enough money for our military. Why don't we give the 20 F-16s to our military? Why don't we give the tanks to our military? Apparently, these are more tanks that are being given to Egypt than often different contingents of our Marines have at any one given point in time.

I would say keep the money and keep the weapons in our country. Mark my words, it is a mistake to send these weapons to Egypt. It is not in Israel's best interest.

For people to come down and argue it is in Israel's best interest to send weapons to a country that professes hate, professes a disbelief in the Holocaust, that professes they are in favor of destroying Israel--that is whom we are supposed to send these weapons to? It makes no sense at all.

Our foreign policy often makes no sense at all. I do think we need to reassess. We made this deal with Mubarak. We didn't make this deal with Mursi. Currently, Egypt is unraveling. I think it is a terrible mistake to send these weapons to Egypt, and I hope my colleagues will consider that.

I yield back the remainder of my time, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.

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