Skip to comments.Why We Fight
Posted on 09/09/2005 9:17:19 AM PDT by xt5rt45
HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS BEFORE THE US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES September 8, 2005
Why We Fight
Many reasons have been given for why we fight and our youth must die in Iraq. The reasons now given for why we must continue this war bear no resemblance to the reasons given to gain the support of the American people and the United States Congress prior to our invasion in March of 2003. Before the war, we were told we faced an imminent threat to our national security from Saddam Hussein. This rationale, now proven grossly mistaken, has been changed. Now were told we must honor the fallen by completing the mission. To do otherwise would demean the sacrifice of those who have died or been wounded. Any lack of support for completing the mission is said, by the promoters of the war, to be unpatriotic, un-American, and detrimental to the troops. They insist the only way one can support the troops is to never waver on the policy of nation building, no matter how ill-founded that policy may be. The obvious flaw in this argument is that the mission, of which they so reverently speak, has changed constantly from the very beginning.
Though most people think this war started in March of 2003, the seeds were sown many years before. The actual military conflict, involving U.S. troops against Iraq, began in January 1991. The prelude to this actually dates back over a hundred years, when the value of Middle East oil was recognized by the industrialized West.
Our use of troops to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait was the beginning of the current conflict with Muslim fundamentalists who have been, for the last decade, determined to force the removal of American troops from all Muslim countries-- especially the entire Arabian Peninsula, which they consider holy. Though the strategic and historic reasons for our involvement in the Middle East are complex, the immediate reasons given in 2002 and 2003 for our invasion of Iraq were precise. The only problem is they were not based on facts.
The desire by American policymakers to engineer regime change in Iraq had been smoldering since the first Persian Gulf conflict in 1991. This reflected a dramatic shift in our policy, since in the 1980s we maintained a friendly alliance with Saddam Hussein as we assisted him in his war against our arch nemesis, the Iranian Ayatollah. Most Americans ignore that we provided assistance to this ruthless dictator with biological and chemical weapons technology. We heard no complaints in the 1980s about his treatment of the Kurds and Shiites, or the ruthless war he waged against Iran. Our policy toward Iraq played a major role in convincing Saddam Hussein he had free reign in the Middle East, and the results demonstrate the serious shortcomings of our foreign policy of interventionism that we have followed now for over a hundred years.
In 1998 Congress capitulated to the desires of the Clinton administration and overwhelmingly passed the Iraq Liberation Act, which stated quite clearly that our policy was to get rid of Saddam Hussein. This act made it official: The policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein. This resolution has been cited on numerous occasions by neo-conservatives as justification for the pre-emptive, deliberate invasion of Iraq. When the resolution was debated, I saw it as a significant step toward a war that would bear no good fruit. No legitimate national security concerns were cited for this dramatic and serious shift in policy.
Shortly after the new administration took office in January 2001, this goal of eliminating Saddam Hussein quickly morphed into a policy of remaking the entire Middle East, starting with regime change in Iraq. This aggressive interventionist policy surprised some people, since the victorious 2000 campaign indicated we should pursue a foreign policy of humility, no nation building, reduced deployment of our forces overseas, and a rejection of the notion that we serve as world policemen. The 9/11 disaster proved a catalyst to push for invading Iraq and restructuring the entire Middle East. Though the plan had existed for years, it quickly was recognized that the fear engendered by the 9/11 attacks could be used to mobilize the American people and Congress to support this war. Nevertheless, supposedly legitimate reasons had to be given for the already planned pre-emptive war, and as we now know the intelligence had to be fixed to the policy.
Immediately after 9/11 the American people were led to believe that Saddam Hussein somehow was responsible for the attacks. The fact that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were enemies, not friends, was kept from the public by a compliant media and a lazy Congress. Even today many Americans still are convinced of an alliance between the two. The truth is Saddam Hussein never permitted al Qaeda into Iraq out of fear that his secular government would be challenged. And yet today we find that al Qaeda is now very much present in Iraq, and causing chaos there.
The administration repeatedly pumped out alarming propaganda that Saddam Hussein was a threat to us with his weapons of mass destruction, meaning nuclear, biological, and chemical. Since we helped Saddam Hussein obtain biological and chemical weapons in the 1980s, we assumed that he had maintained a large supply-- which of course turned out not to be true. The people, frightened by 9/11, easily accepted these fear-mongering charges.
Behind the scenes many were quite aware that Israels influence on our foreign policy played a role. She had argued for years, along with the neo-conservatives, for an Iraqi regime change. This support was nicely coordinated with the Christian Zionists enthusiasm for the war.
As these reasons for the war lost credibility and support, other reasons were found for why we had to fight. As the lone superpower, we were told we had a greater responsibility to settle the problems of the world lest someone else gets involved. Maintaining and expanding our empire is a key element of the neo-conservative philosophy. This notion that we must fight to spread American goodness was well received by these neo-Jacobins. They saw the war as a legitimate moral crusade, arguing that no one should be allowed to stand in our way! In their minds using force to spread democracy is legitimate and necessary.
We also were told the war was necessary for national security purposes because of the threat Saddam Hussein presented, although the evidence was fabricated. Saddam Husseins ability to attack us was non-existent, but the American people were ripe for alarming predictions by those who wanted this war.
Of course the routine canard for our need to fight, finance, and meddle around the world ever since the Korean War was repeated incessantly: UN Resolutions had to be enforced lest the United Nations be discredited. The odd thing was that on this occasion the United Nations itself did everything possible to stop our pre-emptive attack. And as it turned out, Saddam Hussein was a lot closer to compliance than anyone dreamed. It wasnt long before concern for the threat of Saddam Hussein became near hysterical, drowning out any reasoned opposition to the planned war.
The one argument that was not publicly used by those who propagandized for the war may well be the most important-- oil. Though the administration in 1990 hinted briefly that we had to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait because of oil, the stated reasons for that conflict soon transformed into stopping a potential Hitler and enforcing UN resolutions.
Publicly oil is not talked about very much, but behind the scenes many acknowledge this is the real reason we fight. This is not only the politicians who say this. American consumers have always enjoyed cheap gasoline and want it kept that way. The real irony is that the war has reduced Iraqi oil production by one-half million barrels per day and prices are soaring-- demonstrating another unintended economic consequence of war.
Oil in the Middle East has been a big issue since the industrial revolution, when it was realized that the black substance bubbling out of the ground in places like Iraq had great value. Its interesting to note that in the early 20th century Germany, fully aware of oils importance, allied itself with the Turkish Ottoman Empire and secured the earliest rights to drill Iraqi oil. They built the Anatalia railroad between Baghdad and Basra, and obtained oil and mineral rights on twenty kilometers on each side of this right-of-way. World War I changed all this, allowing the French and the British to divide the oil wealth of the entire Middle East.
The Versailles Treaty created the artificial nation of Iraq, and it wasnt long before American oil companies were drilling and struggling to participate in the control of Middle East oil. But it was never smooth sailing for any occupying force in Iraq. After WWI, the British generals upon arriving to secure their oil said: Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators. Not long afterward a jihad was declared against Britain and eventually they were forced to leave. The more things change, the more they stay the same! Too bad we are not better at studying history.
After World War II the U.S. emerged as the #1 world power, and moved to assume what some believed was our responsibility to control Middle East oil in competition with the Soviets. This role prompted us to use our CIA, along with the help of the British, to oust democratically elected Mohammed Mosadeh from power in Iran and install the Shah as a U.S. puppet.
We not only supported Saddam Hussein against Iran, we also supported Osama bin Laden in the 1980s-- aggravating the situation in the Middle East and causing unintended consequences. With CIA assistance we helped develop the educational program to radicalize Islamic youth in many Arab nations, especially in Saudi Arabia to fight the Soviets. We even provided a nuclear reactor to Iran in 1967-- which today leads us to threaten another war. All of this has come back to haunt us. Meddling in the affairs of others has consequences.
Finally, after years of plotting and maneuvering, the neo-conservative plan to invade Iraq came before the U.S. House in October 2002 to be rubber-stamped. Though the plan was hatched years before, and the official policy of the United States government was to remove Saddam Hussein ever since 1998, various events delayed the vote until this time. By October the vote was deemed urgent, so as to embarrass anyone who opposed it. This would make them politically vulnerable in the November election. The ploy worked. The resolution passed easily, and it served the interests of proponents of war in the November election.
The resolution, HJ RES 114, explicitly cited the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998 as one of the reasons we had to go to war. The authorization granted the President to use force against Iraq cited two precise reasons:
1. To defend the national security of the U.S. against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and
2. Enforce all relevant United Nations Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
Many other reasons were given to stir the emotions of the American public and the U.S. Congress, reasons that were grossly misleading and found not to be true. The pretense of a legal justification was a sham.
The fact that Congress is not permitted under the Constitution to transfer the war power to a president was ignored. Only Congress can declare war, if we were inclined to follow the rule of law. To add insult to injury, HJ RES 114 cited United Nations resolutions as justifications for the war. Ignoring the Constitution while using the UN to justify the war showed callous disregard for the restraints carefully written in the Constitution. The authors deliberately wanted to make war difficult to enter without legislative debate, and they purposely kept the responsibility out of the hands of the executive branch. Surely they never dreamed an international government would have influence over our foreign policy or tell us when we should enter into armed conflict.
The legal maneuvering to permit this war was tragic to watch, but the notion that Saddam Hussein-- a third world punk without an air force, navy, and hardly an army or any anti-aircraft weaponry-- was an outright threat to the United States six thousand miles away, tells you how hysterical fear can be used to pursue a policy of needless war for quite different reasons.
Today, though, all the old reasons for going to war have been discredited, and are no longer used to justify continuing the war. Now we are told we must complete the mission, and yet no one seems to know exactly what the mission is or when it can be achieved. By contrast, when war is properly declared against a country we can expect an all-out effort until the country surrenders. Without a declaration of war as the Constitution requires, its left to the President to decide when to start the war and when the war is over. We had sad experiences with this process in Korea and especially in Vietnam.
Pursuing this war merely to save face, or to claim its a way to honor those who already have died or been wounded, is hardly a reason that more people should die. Were told that we cant leave until we have a democratic Iraq. But what if Iraq votes to have a Shiite theocracy, which it looks like the majority wants as their form of government-- and women, Christians, and Sunnis are made second-class citizens? Its a preposterous notion and it points out the severe shortcomings of a democracy where a majority rules and minorities suffer.
Thankfully, our founding fathers understood the great dangers of a democracy. They insisted on a constitutional republic with a weak central government and an executive branch beholden to the legislative branch in foreign affairs. The sooner we realize we cant afford this war the better. Weve gotten ourselves into a civil war within the Islamic community.
But could it be, as it had been for over a hundred years prior to our invasion, that oil really is the driving issue behind a foreign presence in the Middle East? Its rather ironic that the consequence of our intervention has been skyrocketing oil prices, with Iraqi oil production still significantly below pre-war levels.
If democracy is not all its cracked up to be, and a war for oil is blatantly immoral and unproductive, the question still remains-- why do we fight? More precisely, why should we fight? When is enough killing enough? Why does man so casually accept war, which brings so much suffering to so many, when so little is achieved? Why do those who suffer and die so willingly accept the excuses for the wars that need not be fought? Why do so many defer to those who are enthused about war, and who claim its a solution to a problem, without asking them why they themselves do not fight? Its always other men and other mens children who must sacrifice life and limb for the reasons that make no sense, reasons that are said to be our patriotic duty to fight and die for. How many useless wars have been fought for lies that deserved no hearing? When will it all end?
Why We Should Not Fight
Since no logical answers can be given for why we fight, it might be better to talk about why we should not fight. A case can be made that if this war does not end soon it will spread and engulf the entire region. Weve already been warned that war against Iran is an option that remains on the table for reasons no more reliable than those given for the pre-emptive strike against Iraq. Let me give you a few reasons why this war in Iraq should not be fought.
It is not in our national interest. On the contrary, pursuing this war endangers our security, increases the chances of a domestic terrorist attack, weakens our defenses, and motivates our enemies to join together in opposition to our domineering presence around the world. Does anyone believe that Russia, China, and Iran will give us free reign over the entire Middle East and its oil? Tragically, were setting the stage for a much bigger conflict. Its possible that this war could evolve into something much worse than Vietnam.
This war has never been declared. Its not a constitutional war, and without a proper beginning there can be no proper ending. The vagueness instills doubts in all Americans, both supporters and non-supporters, as to what will be accomplished. Supporters of the war want total victory, which is not achievable with a vague mission. Now the majority of Americans are demanding an end to this dragged-out war that many fear will spread before its over.
Its virtually impossible to beat a determined guerrilla resistance to a foreign occupying force. After 30 years the Vietnam guerillas, following unbelievable suffering, succeeded in forcing all foreign troops from their homeland. History shows that Iraqi Muslims have always been determined to resist any foreign power on their soil. We ignored that history and learned nothing from Vietnam. How many lives, theirs and ours, are worth losing to prove the tenacity of guerilla fighters supported by a large number of local citizens?
Those who argue that its legitimate to protect our oil someday must realize that its not our oil, no matter how strong and sophisticated our military is. We know the war so far has played havoc with oil prices, and the market continues to discount problems in the region for years to come. No end is in sight regarding the uncertainty of Middle East oil production caused by this conflict.
So far our policies inadvertently have encouraged the development of an Islamic state, with Iranian-allied Shiites in charge. This has led to Iranian support for the insurgents, and has placed Iran in a position of becoming the true victor in this war as its alliance with Iraq grows. This could place Iran and its allies in the enviable position of becoming the oil powerhouse in the region, if not the world, once it has control over the oil fields near Basra.
This unintended alliance with Iran, plus the benefit to Osama bin Ladens recruiting efforts, will in the end increase the danger to Israel by rallying the Arab and Muslim people against us.
One of the original stated justifications for the war has been accomplished. Since 1998 the stated policy of the United States government was to bring about regime change and get rid of Saddam Hussein. This has been done, but instead of peace and stability we have sown the seeds of chaos. Nevertheless, the goal of removing Saddam Hussein has been achieved and is a reason to stop the fighting.
There were no weapons of mass destruction, no biological or chemical or nuclear weapons, so we can be assured the Iraqis pose no threat to anyone, certainly not to the United States.
No evidence existed to show an alliance between Iraq and al Qaeda before the war, and ironically our presence there is now encouraging al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden to move in to fill the vacuum we created. The only relationship between Iraq and 9/11 is that our policy in the Middle East continues to increase the likelihood of another terrorist attack on our homeland.
We should not fight because its simply not worth it. What are we going to get for nearly 2,000 soldier deaths and 20 thousand severe casualties? Was the $350 billion worth it? This is a cost that will be passed on to future generations through an expanded national debt. Ill bet most Americans can think of a lot better ways to have spent this money. Todays program of guns and butter will be more damaging to our economy than a similar program was in the 1960s, which gave us the stagflation of the 1970s. The economic imbalances today are much greater than they were in those decades.
Eventually, we will come to realize that the Wilsonian idealism of using Americas resources to promote democracy around the world through force is a seriously flawed policy. Wilson pretended to be spreading democracy worldwide, and yet women in the U.S. at that time were not allowed to vote. Democracy, where the majority dictates the rules, cannot protect minorities and individual rights. And in addition, using force to impose our will on others almost always backfires. Theres no reason that our efforts in the 21st century to impose a western style government in Iraq will be any more successful than the British were after World War I. This especially cant work if democracy is only an excuse for our occupation and the real reasons are left unrecognized.
It boils down to the fact that we dont really have any sound reasons for continuing this fight. The original reasons for the war never existed, and the new reasons arent credible. We hear only that we must carry on so those who have already suffered death and injury didnt do so in vain. If the original reasons for starting the war were false, simply continuing in the name of those fallen makes no sense. More loss of life can never justify earlier loss of life if they died for false reasons. This being the case, its time to reassess the policies that have gotten us into this mess.
What does all this mean?
The mess we face in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and the threat of terrorism within our own borders, are not a result of the policies of this administration alone. Problems have been building for many years, and have only gotten much worse with our most recent policy of forcibly imposing regime change in Iraq. We must recognize that the stalemate in Korea, the loss in Vietnam, and the quagmire in Iraq and Afghanistan all result from the same flawed foreign policy of interventionism that our government has pursued for over 100 years. It would be overly simplistic to say the current administration alone is responsible for the mess in Iraq.
By rejecting the advice of the Founders and our early presidents, our leaders have drifted away from the admonitions against entangling alliances and nation building. Policing the world is not our calling or our mandate. Besides, the Constitution doesnt permit it. Undeclared wars have not enhanced our national security.
The consensus on foreign interventionism has been pervasive. Both major parties have come to accept our role as the worlds policeman, despite periodic campaign rhetoric stating otherwise. The media in particular, especially in the early stages, propagandize in favor of war. Its only when the costs become prohibitive and the war loses popular support that the media criticize the effort.
It isnt only our presidents that deserve the blame when they overstep their authority and lead the country into inappropriate wars. Congress deserves equally severe criticism for acquiescing to the demands of the executive to go needlessly to war. It has been known throughout history that kings, dictators, and the executive branch of governments are always overly eager to go to war. This is precisely why our founders tried desperately to keep decisions about going to war in the hands of the legislature. But this process has failed us for the last 65 years. Congress routinely has rubber stamped the plans of our presidents and even the United Nations to enter into war through the back door.
Congress at any time can prevent or stop all undue foreign entanglements pursued by the executive branch merely by refusing to finance them. The current Iraq war, now going on for 15 years, spans the administration of three presidents and many congresses controlled by both parties. This makes Congress every bit as responsible for the current quagmire as the president. But the real problem is the acceptance by our country as a whole of the principle of meddling in the internal affairs of other nations when unrelated to our national security. Intervention, no matter how well intended, inevitably boomerangs and comes back to haunt us. Minding our own business is not only economical; its the only policy that serves our national security interests and the cause of peace.
The neo-conservatives who want to remake the entire Middle East are not interested in the pertinent history of this region. Creating an artificial Iraq after World War I as a unified country was like mixing water and oil. It has only led to frustration, anger, and hostilities-- with the resulting instability creating conditions ripe for dictatorships. The occupying forces will not permit any of the three regions of Iraq to govern themselves. This is strictly motivated by a desire to exert control over the oil. Self-determination and independence for each region, or even a true republican form of government with a minimalist central authority is never considered-- yet it is the only answer to the difficult political problems this area faces. The relative and accidental independence of the Kurds and the Shiites in the 1990s served those regions well, and no suicide terrorism existed during that decade.
The claim that our immediate withdrawal from Iraq would cause chaos is not proven. It didnt happen in Vietnam or even Somalia. Even today, the militias of the Kurds and the Shiites may well be able to maintain order in their regions much better than we can currently. Certainly the Sunnis can take care of themselves, and it might be in their best interests for all three groups not to fight each other when we leave. One thing for sure: if we left no more young Americans would have to die for an indefinable cause.
Instead, we have been forcing on the people of Iraq a type of democracy that, if implemented, will mean an Islamic state under Sharia law. Already we read stories of barbers no longer being safe shaving beards; Christians are threatened and forced to leave the country; and burqas are returning out of fear. Unemployment is over 50%, and oil production is still significantly below pre-war levels. These results are not worth fighting and dying for.
In this war, like all others, the propagandists and promoters themselves dont fight, nor do their children. Its always worth the effort to wage war when others must suffer and die. Many of those who today pump the nation up with war fever were nowhere to be found when their numbers were called in the 1960s-- when previous presidents and Congresses thought so little about sending young men off to war. Then it was in their best interests to find more important things to do-- despite the so-called equalizing draft.
The inability of taxpayers to fund both guns-and-butter has not deterred those who smell the glory of war. Notoriously, great nations fall once their appetite for foreign domination outstrips their citizens ability or willingness to pay. We tried the guns-and-butter approach in the 1960s with bad results, and the same will happen again as a consequence of the current political decision not to cut back on any expenditure, domestic or foreign. Veto nothing is current policy! Tax, borrow, and print to pay the bills is todays conventional wisdom. The problem is that all the bills eventually must be paid. Theres no free lunch, and no free war. The economic consequences of such a policy are well known and documented. Excessive spending leads to excessive deficits, higher taxes, and more borrowing and inflation-- which spells economic problems that always clobber the middle class and the poor.
Already the suffering has begun. A lackluster recovery, low paying jobs, outsourcing, and social unrest already are apparent. This economic price we pay, along with the human suffering, is an extravagant price for a war that was started with false information and now is prolonged for reasons unrelated to our national security.
This policy has led to excessive spending overseas and neglect at home. It invites enemies to attack us, and drains the resources needed to defend our homeland and care for our own people. We are obligated to learn something from the tragedy of Katrina about the misallocation of funds away from our infrastructure to the rebuilding of Iraq after first destroying it. If ever there was a time for us to reassess our policy of foreign interventionism, it is today. Its time to look inward and attend to the constitutional needs of our people, and forget about the grandiose schemes to remake the world in our image through the use of force. These efforts not only are doomed to fail, as they have for the past one hundred years, but they invite economic and strategic military problems that are harmful to our national security interests.
Weve been told that we must fight to protect our freedoms here at home. These reasons are given to make the sacrifices more tolerable and noble. Without an honorable cause, the suffering becomes intolerable. Hiding from the truth, though, in the end is no panacea for a war that promises no peace.
The most important misjudgment regarding Iraq that must be dealt with is the charge that Muslim terrorists attack us out of envy for our freedoms, our prosperity, and our way of life. There is no evidence this is the case. On the contrary, those who have extensively researched this issue conclude that the #1 reason suicide terrorists attack anywhere in the world is because their land is occupied by a foreign military power. Pretending otherwise and constantly expanding our military presence in more Arab and Muslim countries as we have since 1990 has only increased the danger of more attacks on our soil, as well as in those countries that have allied themselves with us. If we deny this truth we do so at our own peril.
Its not unusual for the war crusaders to condemn those who speak the truth in an effort to end an unnecessary war. They claim those who want honest reasons for the enormous sacrifice are unpatriotic and un-American, but these charges only serve to exacerbate the social unrest. Any criticism of policy, no matter how flawed the policy is, is said to be motivated by a lack of support for the troops. Yet it is preposterous to suggest that a policy that would have spared the lives of 1900 servicemen and women lacks concern for the well being of our troops. The absence of good reasoning to pursue this war prompts the supporters of the war to demonize the skeptics and critics. They have no other defense.
Those who want to continue this war accuse those who lost loved ones in Iraq, and oppose the war, of using the dead for personal political gain. But what do the war proponents do when they claim the reason we must fight on is to honor the sacrifice of the military personnel we lost by completing the mission? The big difference is that one group argues for saving lives, while the other justifies more killing. And by that logic, the additional deaths will require even more killing to make sure they too have not died in vain. Therefore, the greater number who have died, the greater is the motivation to complete the mission. This defies logic. This argument to persevere has been used throughout history to continue wars that could and should have ended much sooner. This was true for World War I and Vietnam.
A sad realism struck me recently reading how our Marines in Afghanistan must now rely on donkey transportation in their efforts at nation building and military occupation. Evidently the Taliban is alive and well, as Osama bin Laden remains in this region. But doesnt this tell us something about our naïve assumption that our economic advantages and technical knowledge can subdue and control anybody? Were traversing Afghan mountains on donkeys, and losing lives daily in Baghdad with homemade primitive bombs. Our power and dominance clearly is limited by the determination of those who see us as occupiers, proving that just more money and sophisticated weapons wont bring us victory. Sophisticated weapons and the use of unlimited military power is no substitute for diplomacy designed to promote peace while reserving force only for defending our national interests.
Changing our policy of meddling in the affairs of others wont come quickly or easily. But a few signals to indicate a change in our attitude would go a long way to bringing peace to a troubled land.
1. We must soon, and Congress can do this through the budget process, stop the construction of all permanent bases in Iraq and any other Muslim country in the region. Think of how we would react if the Chinese had the military edge on us and laid claims to the Gulf of Mexico, building bases within the U.S. in order to promote their superior way of life. Isnt it ironic that we close down bases here at home while building new ones overseas? Domestic bases might well promote security, while bases in Muslim nations only elicit more hatred toward us.
2. The plans for the biggest U.S. embassy in the world, costing nearly 1 billion dollars, must be canceled. This structure in Baghdad sends a message, like the military bases being built, that we expect to be in Iraq and running Iraq for a long time to come.
3. All military forces, especially on the Arabian Peninsula, must be moved offshore at the earliest time possible. All responsibility for security and control of the oil must be transferred to the Iraqis from the United States as soon as possible, within months not years.
The time will come when our policies dealing with foreign affairs will change for the better. But that will be because we can no longer afford the extravagance of war. This will occur when the American people realize that war causes too much suffering here at home, and the benefits of peace again become attractive to us all. Part of this recognition will involve a big drop in the value of the dollar, higher interest rates, and rampant price inflation.
Though these problems are serious and threaten our freedoms and way of life, theres every reason to work for the traditional constitutional foreign policy that promotes peace over war, while not being tempted to mold the world in our image through force. We should not forget that what we did not achieve by military force in Vietnam, was essentially achieved with the peace that came from our military failure and withdrawal of our armed forces. Today, through trade and peace, U.S. investment and economic cooperation has westernized Vietnam far more than our military efforts.
We must remember initiating force to impose our will on others negates all the goodness for which we profess to stand. We cannot be fighting to secure our freedom if we impose laws like the Patriot Act and a national ID card on the American people.
Unfortunately, we have lost faith and confidence in the system of government with which we have been blessed. Today too many Americans support, at least in the early stages, the use of force to spread our message of hope and freedom. They too often are confused by the rhetoric that our armies are needed to spread American goodness. Using force injudiciously, instead of spreading the worthy message of American freedom through peaceful means, antagonizes our enemies, alienates our allies, and threatens personal liberties here at home while burdening our economy.
If confidence can be restored in our American traditions of peace and trade, our influence throughout the world would be enhanced just as it was once we rejected the military approach in Vietnam.
This change in policy can come easily once the people of this country decide that there is a better way to conduct ourselves throughout the world. Whenever the people turn against war as a tool to promote certain beliefs, the war ceases. Thats what we need today. Then we can get down to the business of setting an example of how peace and freedom brings prosperity in an atmosphere that allows for excellence and virtue to thrive.
A powerful bureaucratic military state negates all efforts to preserve these conditions that have served America so well up until recent times. That is not what the American dream is all about. Without a change in attitude, the American dream dies: a simple change that restates the principles of liberty enshrined in our Constitution will serve us well in solving all the problems we face. The American people are up to the task; I hope Congress is as well.
Why thank you. I try to use precison guided bombs whenever possible.
I gather that you are ANNOYED that, since Bush closed the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been no terrorist attacks on the US since 9/11.
Shame on you for wishing that more American civilians were dead!
Bump back at cha,GREAT WARRIOR!
Our objective was to prevent the North Vietnamese from taking over the South. We had it won by making them militarily incapable of doing so. The Viet Cong was useless, the NVA was defeated every time they came out, and Giap would later say that if it weren't for the rebirth of the antiwar movement in Kerry's era, they would have stopped trying to take the South.
Vietnamization was proceeding well, and we were on track to have a relationship with the South like the one we already had with the ROK--You guys are your own show, but we're ready to provide massive combat power to defend you if your criminal neighbor invades. But then something happened...and that something is the answer to the question in my last post to you. So answer that and get back to me.
I don't know about the Great Warrior stuff LOL
I was just a contractor....
I do sometimes find myself disoriented at home because I can vividly remember Victory.
I'll be happy to. I'll also be e-mailing him some of these great posts.
I salute you for raising a son who is now protecting all of us (myself included) from a known enemy. Please be sure and thank him for me.
I've been chewing nails over the gun confiscations. Are we powerless to stop it?
[Ron Paul is just gearing up to raise more money from his third party wacko supporters.]
Agreed on that, the man is a confusing mix of values ranging from left to right and therefore seems to be what some call a rino.
Let me guess - a French circle jerk?
How about those elections in Iraq? How about Iraq having a Constitution? How about Afghani elections? How About Lebanon kicking Syria out? How about Libya giving up their nuke program?
One of the few secular nations in the Middle East is on its way to be an Islamic Republic.
That's crap. Dennis Ross says he's floored by the ignorance of people who spout this line, because the proposed Iraqi constitution will be "the most secular government document in the Middle East." The people who are predicting Sharia law in Iraq are not more insightful than the people who take "well-regulated militia" ans say that the 2nd Amendment authorizes the National Guard.
And as yet, there hasn't been a valid argument that Iraq posed any sort of threat to our borders.
Your argument could have been held up quite well about Afghanistan on May 10, 2001.
What were the Iraqis doing at Salman Pak?
What was Al-Zarqawi doing in an Iraqi hospital?
Can a country try to kill American pilots and an American President and yet not be an enemy of the United States?
Since when is it "interventionist" to enforce a surrender agreement which an enemy of the United States has broken?
Soldiers are some incredible people in my
book, but I'm also a little bias. I was the
only girl in my school (out now) who had
brothers in the Nat'l Guard. I was proud.
You're "resting your case" on a statement that is 100% opposite from reality! There's not a thing in that sentence that applies to the current situation. That's not an opinion, that's fact.
Why am I NOT surprised that you believe in "magic anti-terrorist crystals"?
It's always amusing to read what clowns with two-digit IQs "think"...
Isn't it strange that shelton didn't answer this post? Guess we have to add it to the questions they won't answer...
I know that there are some who can't serve for what ever reason, but they still do what they can to support the troops and America. Not everyone can come over here but they are still warriors for America.
then you have the shills and cowards who can do nothing but point fingers and find fault with everything American.
I look at that turd of a mother who is using the death of her son, Carol whatever as the (a blast from the past) Marylin Chambers of the left.
I to am a contractor here (I did 20 years in the Corps/Navy) and my thought is if I can raise a family and one of my son's decides to serve the contry how could I not come over and support America and the coalition, I have another son who is serving in another capacity but his service is just as inportant as the one here. So your service is as important IMHO. Great Warrior!
I know the feeling. When I was in high school, I had a brother in the Air Force, one in the Marines, and another in the Navy. Sure makes a girl proud!
Well then I will humbly accept it :)
I had to convince my own dad to do the same. My Mother would have never been able to hold up had he come over. Besides he was a couple years from retirement at the time and didn't need the hassle or the risk.
Your sons are the true from of the heroes. You are doing the job now so you are as well. Maybe I was in the past, but that's the past.
Unlike some on this thread who are continually throwing us back to the Vietnam arguments (Just like the MSSSSSM wants them to BTW), I will remember it, but I am moving on here.
Good luck, God Bless and you and your sons get out of there safely ok?
You think? I know exactly what it means just as the 'solidarity' show by political hacks in our own nation holding up their purple fingers in front of any camera that would bother taking a picture of them. My point is it doesn't matter. None of it does. The democracy in Iraq will fail. It may take a generation, but I doubt it. They will eventually vote in a theocracy and the situation will be worse than it was to begin with. But as long as you feel warm and fuzzy about a damn purple finger being held up by someone that votes based on emotion rather than fact, hey go for it. And no I'm not talking about the Iraqi people
It literally means "Search the Jews" and was a hallmark of the anti-Semitism in Europe in the 19th Century. It is doubly appropriate for the opponents of Iraqi liberation because it is in their native language.
If Ron Paul used logic and facts to support his positions -- I might say he was part of a "loyal opposition".
But, since Ron Paul uses false statements to "support" his anti-American positions -- the word "traitor" is apt.
Anyone who listened to GWB's State of the Union Address knows that Ron Paul is lying...
Your info page?
So far I have found three g-g-g-grandfathers that served bravely in the Confederate Army (6th NC Cavalry, 16th NC Infantry, and 23rd NC Infantry) and they fought for freedom, for the Constitution,"
So slick what the deal with you?
You either stand for something or you will fall for anything!
Just a thought.
3)Congressman Paul, in a neighboring District to mine, is a nut.
After reading this article, I aggree. So many liberals who belive they conservative. I suspected something was wrong years ago when Ron Paul worked for the ACLU.
Yeah, only problem was none of the other girls
(or guys for that matter) understood. I was
considered the weird snob anyway. So my
pride only added to the image, oh well. They
were obviously just too narrow minded.
Why didn't you answer his question, bill? Why did you sidestep by treating his question as an endorsement of Sheepleism, when he meant nothing of the sort? Why are you paleos always so desperate to avoid the issues at hand?
Oh good another slur and even another concern that is none of the business of the national government.
Well, he shouldn't have called you a blowhard, but you're sidestepping again. You said that freedom is not spreading. Coop brought up the state of Iraqi and Afghan women. He directly refuted your point and then you have the gaul to act as if he's dodging the issue.
If you're position is so strong, and so much the real position of conservatism, why do you have to tap-dance?
Since you HAVEN'T read the Iraqi Constitution, you have NO idea what it will say
I know what the important aspects are. No law shall contradict Islam and no law shall contradict certain natural rights held by all (namely so called democratic principles). Want to take a guess which one of those two contradictary statements will be thrown out in a pinch? In a 99% Islamic nation? You can't really believe they'll follow both for more than a decade can you? No one is that stupid
CONTINUE TO IGNORE THE OBJECTIVE REALITIES OF THE SITUATION BECAUSE YOU ARE JUST ANOTHER INTERNET AHOLE WHO THINKS HE KNOWS EVERYTHING!!!
So much wrong and so little time. All caps, yelling helps especially when you have no argument. Objective of the situation? 1/3 of the main parties in Iraq do not support the constitution. Their vote alone will send the constitution crashing to the ground. As pointed out above, the constitution has an inherent fault that are mutually exclusive. But we have the 'faith' from our leaders that the Iraqis are going through the same thing our own Framers did. There is a major inconsistency though. The Iraqis did not have the basis of English law and centuries of political philosophy based on natural rights to draw from. It is not in them as it was in our Framers. This is not saying anything bad about them, but it is stating a fact. Could they eventually have this? Yes, probably 50-100 years but not in the next 13.
And yet we finish up with the coups de grace, or rather lack of one.
SUCK ON THAT, THE FINGER AND OH BY THE WAY, HERE ARE A COUPLE MORE!!!!
A picture of a finger and a request to suck on that. Such intellect. Tell me, do you base all your arguments on pictures? Is your argument that weak?
I like yours!!
You either stand for something or you will fall for anything!
I do stand for something. A government as envisioned by the Framers. Too bad we haven't had one of those on this continent for 150 years. But please continue. BTW, your post does nothing to forward the discussion nor does it provide an argument to contradict. Just more nonsense
YOUR Funny. I LIKE you!!!
BTW, do you like cheese?
The military was not very popular when my brothers first went in either. It would have been nice if my classmates understood my pride, but their ignorance didn't dampen my pride any. Looks like it didn't dampen yours either.
come on, tell me, do you like cheese?
The World wants to know.
Nope, not a bit.
I went to a christian school that became more
like a public school with every public school
reject we accepted. None of them were smart
enough to understand, most of them spent all
their time talking about how much they hated
everyone in their family, often calling their
mothers ******* (something I would never do).
So I found their opinions invalid at the least.
That's a funny coincidence. I went to a public school. One year, a bunch of Catholic school students transferred in. I don't know why, and wasn't really curious at the time. Maybe the Catholic school closed. All I know is it really improved the quality of my school.
Hey pal, good to see you. I didn't see this thread until Tonk pinged me. I added keywords zot and zotmegood, and pinged head zotmeister MeekOneGOP. It'll get around.
Don't miss this letter, MikeinIraq.
"Capt. Gary Bourland wrote:
Im very proud of you. Every day we are reminded how crucial it is what exactly we are doing. Countless IEDs, Indirect Fire and sporadic sniper fire are continuous reminders as well. As the news reports of the Iraqi constitution this and the constitution that, it is amazing they
dont even recognize that what they are reporting is a monumental thing called democracy in action. Will the constitution change? Yes, just as ours does almost on a monthly basis.
Your selfless actions similar to the others efforts I have witnessed through the AnySoldier program continuously humble me in the gratitude and awesome support that is only found in the United States. Ive been deployed to numerous countries and believe me there is only one United States. No one else comes close. The news channels report the one sided view for both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. You dont hear about young PFCs in Iraq providing first aide to an insurgent wounded child and then becoming wounded themselves as they attempt to help the wounded child. No, they dont report that because they would rather push the big
items that ultimately bring attention to their station.
Your Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen continue to train an infant military force, establish peace in a hostile environment, eliminate dictatorship and terrorist activities and build a government in a country that has no hope unless we provide it. Its called their job. They will
do it regardless with or without any support because we swore that we would when we signed up for this type of service. But I can tell you there isnt any service member out there that likes to be kicked in the face and be dishonored like those protestors are doing. They are
degrading our nation and armed forces and the men & women that have died in protecting it.
They truth is Linda there is no physical way the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan or the foreign fighters in Iraq can militarily beat the US forces currently stationed in those locations and they know that and have attested to that especially when we capture them and sell out their own brother or father to coalition forces to save their own neck. The real traddagy is that both of the previous terrorist groups love our media because they are doing the work for them in the US. They love it when our media tells a mother back home in Ohio that her son has been
killed in Iraq and then watch her in her anguish the uprising against US forces deployed. Of course she is going to be upset but to have it shaped into counter productivity for our fighting members is dang near criminal and treason. The insurgents will attack young wives, mothers and familys of lost ones back in the states by negative propaganda, religious groups and anti was protestors. Thats where the real war is at and it's time the American people do something like what you have done to fight against it. So, I salute you Linda. Thank you for combating the
enemy on our own front steps and making a difference.
Semper Fi, Capt Bourland, Iraq."
The three words that occur to me as I read that are "tappa-tappa-tappa." Of course, it may be that the reason you're on the wrong side of this is because you're logic-challenged. Let's review: Ron Paul said that the 1998 Iraqi Liberation Act had no legitimate security concerns in it. First, that is a flat out lie. Second, I didn't say that Clinton was a good measure of anything, just that he advanced a bill which cited numerous national security reasons to change the regime in Iraq.
Ron Paul lied.
I told the truth.
You put words in my mouth.
One of the most baffling aspects of the run-up to the war in Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003 was the way so many so-called "conservatives" were willing to accept the same silly "weapons of mass destruction" mantra that was nothing more than a deliberate campaign by the Clinton administration had used to garner political support among soccer moms with double-digit IQs.
Well then, surely there must be plenty of evidence of at least 2 or three of the following things:
1. Evidence from 1998 of reputable foreign policy officials and commentators saying, "What the heck? There aren't any WMDs being developed in Iraq! What's Clinton gassing on about." Especially evident would be conservatives in Congress saying, "All the foreign intel agencies tell us Iraq is clean. This is more lying."
2. Evidence that the U.S. stood alone in the WMD assessment at that time and in 2002-2003.
3. Evidence that the President relied only on the 1998 Clinton intel to make a decision about Iraq.
4. Evidence that the President lied about WMDs.
So please, share some of that mountain of evidence with me.
If anyone has any doubts about either of these points, just ask yourself why the Clinton administration suddenly determined that Iraq represented some kind of major threat to the U.S. in the fall of 1998 after it became clear that Bill Clinton was going to be impeached.
OK, let me edit that a bit and see what you think:
"If anyone has any doubts about either of these points, just ask yourself why the Clinton administration suddenly determined that
Iraq represented some kind of major threat to the U.S. in the fall of August, 1998 after it became clear that Bill Clinton Monica's testimony was going to be impeached front page news."
By your logic, Osama was a made-up clinton wag-the-dog threat, too. Also note that Bill Clinton made his "Iraq has WMDs" speech on 17 Feb, 1998. It might have been for dog-wagging purposes too, but it wasn't in the fall and it wasn't a phantom, it was just him looking around for a distraction and lighting on something that would work. What else was he going to do, attack France?
Then ask yourself why those "legitimate security concerns" suddenly vanished in early 1999 -- only to be replaced by "mass graves in the Balkans" as the primary foreign policy concern of that sh!tbag administration
Quick...other than the B-2s and F-117s, how many fighter squadrons deployed from the US to Europe to participate in the Kosovo bombing? Your question seems to assume we couldn't intimidate Saddam and bomb the Serbs, and it seems to assume that a lib like Bill would never fire a few missiles at saddam and figure his job was done. Both are reality-challenged.
"Yep, hence the nuke photo!"
I will say this. Seems like Paul middleman sure has stirrd up a few apposing opinions. It is interesting to see Freepers fall for this crap. And for a theocracy in Iraq. Who knows what the future will bring. Iran's populace is screaming to get rid of the theocracy. It is not practiced in any other ME nation, yet a certain individual harps on it. He seems to forget the majority rule Shi'ite in Iraq under the control of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani has for two years been on the record for a secular ran government, and all his main clerical factions follow his lead. As for the Kurds and Sunni, same deal. They don't want a theocracy. They know what a rotten mess it will lead to. Shit their tribes are killing the Wahabist fundelmentalist that try to take over some towns in Al Anbar, then try to inforce fundelmental Islamic values on those tribes who want no parts of that shit. And some seem to continue to believe those that don't know what the hell they are talking about that claim the Shiite clerics in Iraq operate the same way the Mullahs do in Iran, and use idiotic terms such as Iraq will have a Iranian style theocracy. A little knowledge is often quite dangerous to possess.
Don't feel obligated to respond this late in the thread.
Gee if our founding fathers had your ability to ignore or abdicate their responsibilities I guess we as a United States would still be subject to England.
So slick how about doing the right thing, I guess that's a concept that your perfect world doesn't allow for. BTW it ain't a republican or democrat thing, it's a "moral stance" kinda like standing up, for an ideal (just like our forefathers did).
You stand for perfection,(or your manifestation of perfection)which sparky is unattainable so does that mean you don't try?
BTW your post serves to forward the thought that you are not smart enough to deserve any good thing this country has to offer.
"Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it"
If we don't confront the evil that is Islamic terrorism , and a cruel and evil dictator who I don't care what anyone says helped those who attacked us, then we are doomed. The left, and those like Ron Paul are going to help bring this nation down if they don't wake up and smell the coffee. I suspect Paul, like the left, is doing this for his own political ambition.
Lucky you. The kids we ended up with had
been expelled from all schools in their area or
were refused acceptance (due to being expelled)
in the first place. We ended up with more kids
like that than kids from christian families. My
school experiences got so bad I eventually left.
Oh, that's precious. Alberta's Child recognizes that poor innocent Saddam, who doesn't even have a nuclear power plant anywhere in his country, might have a hankering to play around with yellowcake, y'know, just for fun.
The Darwin Award committee wants your address so they can send you your prize.
The Darwin Award Committee would like your address, so they can send out your award.
So you really believe that Kim Jong Il and Osama bin Laden are just as happy to have John Kerry in charge as G.W. Bush? Hey, I'll bet that the Soviets didn't care a whit when Reagan beat carter, huh?
I wonder if that's why all those Catholic kids transferred to our school. To get away from the degenerates we sent to their school. LOL