Note-Libertarians seem to get it half right. They make a lot of sense when it
comes to civil liberties, but they seem to live in a fantastical utopia of the
mind when it comes to deregulating business. The current (tidal) wave of
business scandals is a textbook example of what happens when you let the foxes
guard the henhouse. Although we remain highly skeptical of Libertarianism as a
political movement, intelligent Libertarians such as Congressman Ron Paul from
Texas bringa much needed clarity of thought to many important issue. Paul is a
Republican congressman from Texas, and a favorite of Alexander Cockburn, who
frequently publishes him in Counterpunch (check out www.counterpunch.org).
TomPaine.com, another great site that takes out regular issue advertisements on
the New York Times editorial page, has just put the following great speech by
Rep. Paul on the internet. Please send this to all of your friends and family.
Is It Not True?
Questions On Iraq From A GOP Congressman
Ron Paul is an M.D. and a
Republican Member of Congress from Texas
Editor's Note: Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul read the following to the House of Representatives, September 10, 2002.
Soon we hope to have hearings on the pending war with Iraq. Here are some questions I
would like answered by those who are urging us to start this war:
- Is it not
true that the reason we did not bomb the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold
War was because we knew they could retaliate?
- Is it not also true that we are
willing to bomb Iraq now because we know it cannot retaliate -- which just
confirms that there is no real threat?
- Is it not true that there are those who
argue that even with inspections we cannot be sure that Hussein might be hiding
weapons, and at the same time imply that we can be more sure that weapons exist
in the absence of inspections?
- Is it not true that the U.N.'s International
Atomic Energy Agency was able to complete its yearly verification mission to
Iraq just this year with Iraqi cooperation?
- Is it not true that the
intelligence community has been unable to develop a case tying Iraq to global
terrorism at all, much less the attacks on the United States last year? Does
anyone remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and that none
came from Iraq?
- Was former CIA counter-terrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro
wrong when he recently said there is no confirmed evidence of Iraq's links to
- Is it not true that the CIA has concluded there is no evidence that
a Prague meeting between 9/11 hijacker Atta and Iraqi intelligence took place?
Is it not true that northern Iraq, where the administration claimed Al Qaeda
were hiding out, is in the control of our "allies," the Kurds?
- Is it
not true that the vast majority of Al Qaeda leaders who escaped appear to have
safely made their way to Pakistan, another of our so-called allies?
anyone noticed that Afghanistan is rapidly sinking into total chaos, with
bombings and assassinations becoming daily occurrences; and that according to a
recent U.N. report the Al Qaeda "is, by all accounts, alive and well and
poised to strike again, how, when, and where it chooses?"
- Why are we
taking precious military and intelligence resources away from tracking down
those who did attack the United States -- and who may again attack the United
States -- and using them to invade countries that have not attacked the United
- Would an attack on Iraq not just confirm the Arab world's worst
suspicions about the United States? And isn't this what bin Laden wanted?
can Hussein be compared to Hitler when he has no navy or air force, and now has
an army one-fifth the size of 12 years ago, which even then proved totally inept
at defending the country?
- Is it not true that the constitutional power to
declare war is exclusively that of the Congress? Should presidents, contrary to
the Constitution, allow Congress to concur only when pressured by public
opinion? Are presidents permitted to rely on the United Nations for permission
to go to war?
- Are you aware of a Pentagon report studying charges that
thousands of Kurds in one village were gassed by the Iraqis, which found no
conclusive evidence that Iraq was responsible, that Iran occupied the very city
involved, and that evidence indicated the type of gas used was more likely
controlled by Iran not Iraq?
- Is it not true that anywhere between 100,000 and
300,000 U.S. soldiers have suffered from Persian Gulf War syndrome from the
first Gulf War, and that thousands may have died?
- Are we prepared for
possibly thousands of American casualties in a war against a country that does
not have the capacity to attack the United States?
- Are we willing to bear the
economic burden of a 100 billion dollar war against Iraq, with oil prices
expected to skyrocket and further rattle an already shaky American economy? How
about an estimated 30 years occupation of Iraq that some have deemed necessary
to "build democracy" there?
- Iraq's alleged violations of U.N.
resolutions are given as reason to initiate an attack, yet is it not true that
hundreds of U.N. resolutions have been ignored by various countries without
- Did former President Bush not cite the U.N. resolution of 1990 as
the reason he could not march into Baghdad, while supporters of a new attack
assert that it is the very reason we can march into Baghdad?
- Is it not true
that, contrary to current claims, the no-fly zones were set up by Britain and
the United States without specific approval from the United Nations?
- If we
claim membership in the international community and conform to its rules only
when it pleases us, does this not serve to undermine our position, directing
animosity toward us by both friend and foe?
- How can our declared goal of
bringing democracy to Iraq be believable when we prop up dictators throughout
the Middle East and support military tyrants like Musharaf in Pakistan, who
overthrew a democratically elected president?
- Are you familiar with the 1994
Senate Hearings that revealed the United States. knowingly supplied chemical and
biological materials to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and as late as 1992 --
including after the alleged Iraqi gas attack on a Kurdish village?
- Did we not
assist Saddam Hussein's rise to power by supporting and encouraging his invasion
of Iran? Is it honest to criticize Saddam now for his invasion of Iran, which at
the time we actively supported?
- Is it not true that preventive war is
synonymous with an act of aggression, and has never been considered a moral or
legitimate U.S. policy?
- Why do the oil company executives strongly support
this war if oil is not the real reason we plan to take over Iraq?
- Why is it
that those who never wore a uniform and are confident that they won't have to
personally fight this war are more anxious for this war than our generals?
What is the moral argument for attacking a nation that has not initiated
aggression against us, and could not if it wanted?
- Where does the
Constitution grant us permission to wage war for any reason other than
- Is it not true that a war against Iraq rejects the sentiments
of the time-honored Treaty of Westphalia, nearly 400 years ago, that countries
should never go into another for the purpose of regime change?
- Is it not true
that the more civilized a society is, the less likely disagreements will be
settled by war?
- Is it not true that since World War II, Congress has not
declared war and -- not coincidentally -- we have not since then had a clear-cut
- Is it not true that Pakistan, especially through its intelligence
services, was an active supporter and key organizer of the Taliban?
- Why don't
those who want war bring a formal declaration of war resolution to the floor of
Published: Sep 17 2002