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Public Statements

Current Events and Lessons from History

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The things that are going on right now in the world are deeply troubling. For those of us who have studied history, it becomes even more disturbing when we make the same mistakes again, mistakes that get people killed who have entrusted their lives to their government, who say, I'm willing to lay down my life for you. I give my life in service to you.

As some of the military, some of our outstanding military in Afghanistan this year have told me sincerely, I'm willing to lay down my life for my country. Please don't waste my life.

The decisions of a President who has never really gotten involved in foreign affairs, his experience before coming into public office is as a community organizer. That can be fine if you adequately study history and really understand, not from the standpoint of an Indonesian school child and the limited viewpoint that that may yield, but from the standpoint of someone who has studied history inside and out and understands such things as the axiom that when a nation's enemies see that nation's strongest ally or allies pulling away from it, that's when they move. The old axiom that among nations, weakness is provocative.

Two years ago, I'd seen an article, and this may have been the one I'd seen because the title is ``Obama votes against Israel.'' This is an article dated May 29, 2010. And it points out in the article that the White House sided with Israel's enemies, something that this Nation didn't normally do, and basically demanding that Israel disclose all their nukes.

Well, those who study the Bible, biblical history, may recall that King Hezekiah was a very good king in Israel, and things went pretty well, but Isaiah was sent to confront Hezekiah about what he had done with visitors who had come from Babylon.

God knew what had been done. But Isaiah asked and Hezekiah explained, and this is the New Texas Paraphrase Version, but in essence he said, You know, all of these wonderful leaders came over from Babylon, so I showed them all of our treasure, and if you get into the strict interpretations, the translation, he basically says, I showed them our armory, all of our defenses.

Isaiah points out, You fool. You're going to lose the country because you've done this. No matter what point in history you are, when a nation shows all its defenses to its enemies, that information at some point in time will be used to take down such a foolish nation.

Even when a nation discloses all of their defenses to friends, to staunch allies--because as we've seen, we thought the U.S. had an ally in Castro in Cuba, and yet once he was in power, he turned rather remarkably against the United States. Those things happen. Power changes in different countries; and if they have information, if they have weaponry, if they have the wherewithal, then sometimes a former friend can turn into an enemy.

So it was no surprise to me, being a student of history, that when it came out through the media that, gee, the Obama administration has taken a shocking position when looked at historically against Israel's well-being, then was it a shock that the flotilla left within only mere days to go challenge the blockade at the Gaza Strip? Nobody should have been surprised by that because the world, Israel's enemies, had been shown that this administration was willing to pander to Israel's enemies to try to make Israel's enemies think, you know, hey, we're one of you guys. We're just friends. We want to be friends with everybody.

It doesn't work that way. You don't throw your friends under the bus, and you don't gain friends by paying off enemies. It has never worked. It will never work. It gets people killed.

So Israel's been in a bit of a bind.

When we see the way this fiasco over the last year and a half has been handled, some might say, look, this is no time to be talking about these things. For goodness sake, decisions are being made as I speak that will either let people live or get people killed. If we don't talk about it now, when will we talk about it? Let the historians write that nobody would stand up and say this is a mistake? Let's don't repeat the terrible chapters of history. Let's get it right.

All of us who served in the United States armed services took an oath and had it cross our mind, you know, the time may come where I do have to lay down my life for my country. But after I had a soldier say that in Afghanistan, I had to realize, you know, I had that in the back of my mind. I'm willing to lay down my life. I hope it doesn't get wasted.

Well, the thing is every American that has laid down their lives for their country didn't do it for this administration or any other. There are ideals that this country was founded on and stands for even now.

But we're in the midst of a crisis, and part of it created by our own mishandling, and we have got to make sure that we do not continue to make the same mistakes and continue to pander to our enemies and continue to provoke them by showing weakness.

We owe the lives that have been laid down that are even now coming, being brought back into this country. We owe them an obligation to make sure that others do not lose their lives unless it really counts.

I come over here nauseated today upon hearing reports about--and I pray God they're not accurate--about what may have happened during the 8 hours or so the body of our great ambassador was missing.

But, we also know, well, gee, the Embassy in Cairo released a statement and they were basically condemning anybody that would produce a provocative film that might offend Muslims. Good grief. How many movies have been produced that provoke and insult those of us who are Christians? Thank God that most of us, as Christians, understand that that does not justify going and killing people and burning people and burning up buildings.

We understand that we believe in freedom of speech, that God gave us freedom to make choices. So in the most ideal country, others will have freedom to choose right and freedom to choose wrong.

But if it's too wrong, we have criminal laws, domestically, to deal with those issues. But you would hope someone, before any further action is taken to condemn Americans for using freedom of speech here, would analyze the situation--as they did not before they first condemned and even had a general officer of our military call and ask about maybe not producing a film, not pushing it out there, whatever it was he asked: Don't use your First Amendment rights that I'm supposed to be fighting for you to have. Don't use those. That will make my job easier.

Well, actually, the general doesn't know, it makes it more difficult.

Let's look at this. Let's analyze it a moment. A friend, Patrick Poole, asked a question that made me start asking questions. Let's look at it. We heard about this film that all of a sudden on 9/11--shouldn't that ring a bell--on 9/11 provoked riots. It provoked people in Cairo climbing up the walls of our Embassy. And it's easy to watch these things happen. You know historically that people will push the envelope, and these people did in Cairo: Well, I wonder if the soldiers will stop us if we go up to the wall.

And maybe they go up and spray-paint on the wall: Ooh, nobody stopped us from there. How about if we climb on the wall?

Well, no soldiers. They watched. They didn't do anything; they just watched.

Oh, let's push it a little further. Let's climb up the walls. Wow, we're up here on top of the walls and these soldiers that are supposed to protect the Embassy have done nothing. Let's take down the American flag; that's always popular here. Let's run up an al Qaeda-type flag.

And nothing was done. That is provocative in its weakness.

Now, this film is still a mystery. It should make people go: Wait a minute. This doesn't make sense that all of a sudden this film provoked nations of people, masses of people to come out and riot and it would cause them to kill an Ambassador and innocent people, this film.

Let's look at this a little more carefully. Then you find a story that it actually turns out there's a report that this movie came out in July. So a movie that nobody notices, nobody pays any attention to comes out in July. Well, if this ridiculous movie, this insulting movie that insults Muslims, we're told--I haven't seen it, don't plan to--but it came out in July, how on 9/11, all of a sudden, does this movie cause people to be killed?

I would humbly submit that a lesson to learn here is that when American citizens utilize their free speech rights, their freedoms of religion, that the President and everyone under his command is not to direct that people can't use their freedom of speech and freedom of religion; they're to protect them. The messages that should come out from an administration are not: Don't use your freedom of speech and freedom of religion because we don't want to offend anyone. I'm offended all the time. You don't go kill people because of it.

Although it's not recognized under shari'a law, under Western law in a Western civilization--we dealt with this all the time in the court over which I was a judge--provoking words, no matter how insulting, provoking words are never a defense to a physical assault, much less murder. That's what we believe in this country. That's what Western civilizations believe. We should be defending that civilized concept, not pandering to people who are being inflamed by our enemies.

So then we find out that the inflammation of people who would kill American citizens and an American Ambassador were inflamed by this film that came out in July, but it was not until it was released through the Egyptian media that it started firing people up. Wow, isn't that remarkable? Right before 9/11. Well, now, if it's an insulting movie--and from the information we have, the Muslim Brotherhood is basically in control in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood basically could shut down any Egyptian media source, but yet they produce or they get this information, they get the film out. Not only that, because there are some Muslims that may not speak English that might be inflamed into a fire that will burn down buildings and kill people, we'd better interpret that into their language.

Gee, why would a foreign country--who this President says has been our ally, and then he said they're not our ally, but they're not our enemy, and then we hear, well, actually, we do consider them an ally. Whatever they are, a friend does not take some obscure film that nobody noticed, interpret it into a language that it knows will inflame people who will kill Americans and put it out there. That's not a friend. That's an enemy of the United States of America. And it is an insult to this government and to the American people that this body would vote for a continuing resolution that allowed the potential for more money to go to enemies that would put out films that will inflame people, that get Americans killed.

We owe those who have given their lives better than this, and we owe those who are serving us abroad and serving here at home and may be sent better than this. So there are those who may say we should not be talking about this. If we don't talk about it now, others may give their lives. Let's save their lives for something more important than a mistake by an administration.

Our Ambassador to Libya is a hero. I've been to too many funerals of brave men and women who have given their lives for this country. So when I read a report or a media source that discloses the name of a former SEAL team member who is acting as private security at our facility in Libya and the report is--doesn't put it in quotes, but the report says that the administration released the information that this former SEAL member was killed while running for cover.

Now, I recognize that there are enough in the mainstream media who are so loyal, they take their marching orders--they may not lay down their lives, but

they will lay down their reputations for this administration. Somebody may be willing to come forward and say, You know what? It's not exactly what the administration said. Maybe we misinterpreted that in the story.

It doesn't matter. The story came out, and the administration owes those who have given their lives for this administration better than that. Because I can guarantee you, I know enough SEAL members and I know enough SEAL team members that that SEAL team member was not running for cover when he was killed. If he was running, it was to get to a place from which he could conduct a better assault upon the enemy. That's the way they think. They don't think, ``Run for cover.'' They think, ``Where can I get to the best position to fight, to save those entrusted to my care?''

That's an insult, and I hope I never see another report like that from this administration or any Republican administration, because it's an insult and we owe better than that to those who are fighting for us.

Who made the decision in the Egyptian Government, in the Egyptian media to take this July obscure, and from what we hear, pitifully made film and blow it up in the Middle East, figuratively speaking--figuratively speaking, blow it up in the Middle East--so that people who heard it and saw it would blow up Americans?

Who made that decision? And who made the decision--we need to know--who made the decision to release a statement that was provocative in its weakness in saying, you know what, people over here are getting upset because some idiot made a film back in the United States, and so we need to be sure not to insult Muslims.

When have I ever seen anything from this administration say, you know what, we need to not make films in Hollywood that insult Christians, people like Mother Teresa, that deserve better treatment than that. When have I seen that?

We haven't, because this has been, in the past, a free country, where we have freedom of speech and freedom to make stupid, ridiculous, insulting movies.

But the obscure film this State Department apologized for had to be translated. It was translated by somebody. It had to be put on Egyptian television by somebody. Who could that have been?

And I would submit that until we find out, there should not be a dime of American money nor money that Americans have had to borrow in order to send to Egypt. It shouldn't go over there. It shouldn't go to Libya.

And it's time we wake up and quit playing stupid, silly games like this administration is doing with our dear friend, Israel, and understand decisions have consequences. And when this administration sided with Israel's enemies in May of 2010, it had consequences. People were hurt. People were killed.

When this administration, perhaps pouting, whatever the reason, well, I'm going to--and Beyonce, Jay-Z, I understand they're fantastic entertainers. But you've got a country named Israel that has been a friend, that has enemies at the gate, and there's not a better way to say it.

While we are pandering and playing and actually trying to make our enemies like us by offering to buy them offices in Qatar, to let their murdering thugs out so they can murder again, while we're playing these games thinking, gee, maybe our enemy will start liking us, the enemy is at the gate. And those centrifuges that are spinning in Iran are a modern-day mass of gas chambers that are being constructed for Israelis and for Americans.

Read what their leaders have said. Listen to what their leaders have said.

There's one way to stop them, that is, to be serious that we will take out anyone who wants to annihilate Americans or America. And when they know we're serious, we may not have to go do it. But it cannot be a bluff. People need to know the American people will not allow innocent American citizens to be target practice.

And for those who do not know enough history to know that in the song that our marines are so proud of, that I, as a grade school child, learned to sing in public school, to the shores of Tripoli, marines have been fighting our country's battles. Those shores of Tripoli came when the Muslim Barbary pirates were attacking American ships. And at that early time in our history, we didn't have a navy. Earlier we did not have marines. And it was flabbergasting to people like Thomas Jefferson who were sent over there to negotiate.

Why in the world would you attack Americans? We've never attacked you. You ought to look at us as peace-loving. And it was a shock when they were
told that actually, under our religion, we believe that if we die while attacking infidels, which we consider you to be, we go straight to paradise.

Jefferson and others were shocked. This doesn't mesh with most world religions. What religion would think it okay where actually you would get to paradise by killing innocent people?

Thank God that the vast majority of Muslims don't believe that. But it is pure folly to ignore those that do.

We owe those who serve the United States of America better than this. And to those who would say this is a political season, we should not be talking about anything but jobs, I would say before this economy can thrive, we have got to fulfill our oath to provide for the common defense because an economy won't last much longer if we don't protect those who are Americans here and abroad.

I pray for the wisdom of President Obama, for the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for those who are serving abroad these United States of America, and for our leaders in Congress, that though we are so close to an election, what will matter more is the fulfillment of our oath and the protection, as best we can, of those who are trying to protect us.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

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