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News :: Environment
23 Jul 2006
Ron Paul Last Friday

Friday, July 21, 2006

Before the U.S. House of Representatives, July 20, 2006

I rise in opposition to this resolution, which I sincerely believe
will do more harm than good.

I do agree with the resolution's condemnation of violence. But I am
convinced that when we get involved in foreign conflicts and send
strong messages, such as this resolution will, it ends up expanding
the war rather than diminishing the conflict, and that ultimately
comes back to haunt us.

Mr. Speaker, I follow a policy in foreign affairs called
non-interventionism. I do not believe we are making the United States
more secure when we involve ourselves in conflicts overseas. The
Constitution really doesn't authorize us to be the policemen of the
world, much less to favor one side over another in foreign conflicts.
It is very clear, reading this resolution objectively, that all the
terrorists are on one side and all the victims and the innocents are
on the other side. I find this unfair, particularly considering the
significantly higher number of civilian casualties among Lebanese
civilians. I would rather advocate neutrality rather than picking
sides, which is what this resolution does.

Some would say that there is no room to talk about neutrality, as if
neutrality were a crime. I would suggest there should be room for an
open mind to consider another type of policy that may save American

I was in Congress in the early 1980s when the US Marines were sent in
to Lebanon, and I came to the Floor before they went, when they went,
and before they were killed, arguing my case against getting involved
in that conflict.

Ronald Reagan, when he sent the troops in, said he would never turn
tail and run. Then, after the Marines were killed, he had a
reassessment of the policy. When he wrote his autobiography a few
years later after leaving the Presidency, he wrote this.

Perhaps we didn't appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and
the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a
jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass
murder to gain instant entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own
values and consciousness that it did not create in us the concern for
the marines' safety that it should have.

In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believe the last thing
that we should do was turn tail and leave. Yet the irrationality of
Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If
there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would
be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more of a
neutral position and neutrality, those 241 marines would be alive

It is very easy to criticize the Government of Lebanon for not doing
more about Hezbollah. I object to terrorism committed by Hezbollah
because I am a strong opponent to all violence on all sides. But I
also object to the unreasonable accusations that the Government of
Lebanon has not done enough, when we realize that Israel occupied
southern Lebanon for 18 years and was not able to neutralize

Mr. Speaker, There is nothing wrong with considering the fact that we
don't have to be involved in every single fight. That was the
conclusion that Ronald Reagan came to, and he was not an enemy of
Israel. He was a friend of Israel. But he concluded that that is a
mess over there. Let me just repeat those words that he used. He said,
he came to the conclusion, "The irrationality of Middle Eastern
politics forced us to rethink our policy there.'' I believe these
words are probably more valid now even than when they were written.

Ron Paul
 Republican Congressman from Texas
 Member of the Banking and International Relations Committees
 Former Libertarian candidate for President of the United States

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