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May 5, 2011

Developing a Sensible, Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy

[Page: H3003]  GPO's PDF 

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) for 5 minutes.

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, Osama bin Laden applauded the 9/11 attacks. Such an act of deliberate killing of innocent lives deserves retribution. It is good that bin Laden is dead and justice is served. Targeted retribution is far superior to wars of aggression and nation-building.

In 2001, I supported giving the President authority to punish those responsible for the vicious 9/11 attacks. Using this authority and opportunity to pursue nation-building and remaking the Middle East was cynical and dangerous, as the past 10 years have proven. The sad tragedy is that it took 10 years, trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of American casualties and many thousands of innocent lives to achieve our mission of killing one evil person.

A narrow, targeted mission under these circumstances is far superior to initiating wars against countries not involved in the 9/11 attacks. This was the reason I emphasized at the time the principles of marque and reprisal, provided to us by the Constitution for difficult missions such as we faced. I am convinced that this approach would have achieved our goal much sooner and much cheaper.

The elimination of Osama bin Laden should now prompt us to bring our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Al Qaeda was never in Iraq, and we were supposedly in Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden. With bin Laden gone, there is no reason for our presence in this region, unless indeed it was all about oil, nation-building and remaking the Middle East and Central Asia.

Hopefully, bin Laden does not get the last laugh. He claimed the 9/11 attacks were designed to, number one, get America to spread its military dangerously and excessively throughout the Middle East; two, to cause political dissension within the United States. Seventy percent of the American people now believe we should leave Afghanistan, yet both parties seem destined to stay; and number three, to bankrupt America through excessive military spending, as he did to the Soviets. The best thing we can do is prove bin Laden to be a false prophet.

We must learn from this recent history. Tragically, one result may be the acceptance of torture as a legitimate tool for pursuing our foreign policy. A free society calling itself a republic should never succumb to such evil.

With regard to foreign aid to Pakistan, the fact that bin Laden was safely protected for 10 years in Pakistan should make us question the wisdom of robbing American citizens to support any government around the world with foreign aid. Our failed foreign policy is reflected in our bizarre relationship with Pakistan. We bomb them with our drones, causing civilian casualties, we give them billions of dollars in foreign aid, and she protects America's enemy number one, bin Laden, for a decade.

It is time to consider a sensible, non-interventionist foreign policy as advised by our founders and authorized by our Constitution. We would all be better off for it.

(House of Representatives - May 4, 2011)

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