Is It Not True?
Questions On Iraq From A GOP Congressman
Ron Paul is an M.D. and a Republican Member of Congress from
Editor's Note: The following is from the TomPaine.commonsense web site
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
- 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
- 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 terrorism?
- 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?
- Has 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 States?
- 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?
- How 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
- 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 penalty?
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Where does the Constitution grant us permission to
wage war for any reason other than self-defense?
- 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 victory?
- 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 Congress?