An Empire Beyond Its Prime: Opposing the Ridiculous “Foreign Relations Authorization Act”

Ron Paul opposes the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (HR 2410full text) which “authorizes appropriations for the Department of State and the Peace Corps for fiscal years 2010 and 2011, modernizes the Foreign Service, authorizes democratic, economic, and social development assistance for Pakistan, authorizes security assistance for Pakistan,” and funds other undemocratic and militaristic adventures that will result in interference in Belarus, Sri Lanka, West Papua and elsewhere.

If you have 2 hours and a strong stomach, reading the whole self-important thing is an enlightening experience. It’s a shame how these clowns are going to waste billions and billions of our money (money that we don’t have in the first place), and even though there is little doubt that thousands of people will die because of this bill, it’s difficult to tell whether future generations will laugh at our decadent haughtiness or condemn us for our overbearing arrogance.

Date: 6/10/2009


Ron Paul: I thank the lady for yielding me these two minutes. I rise in opposition to this bill. Some are hopeful that this will be a less militaristic approach to our foreign policy but, quite frankly, I don’t see any changes.

I wished it were something that would represent a humble foreign policy, but when you put an extra $100 million into the military operations of the United Nations, I hardly think this is a change in direction. It’s $18 billion, actually, that is going into more meddling, and we don’t have 18 billion dollars.

The President now has asked us here in the Congress to follow the pay-go rule. Now that might be a good idea if we had set aside the idea that we raise taxes, but we’re not going to cut any domestic spending for this foreign spending. So, the odds of this following the pay-go rule are essentially nil.

But I want to call attention to one provision in this that is rather disturbing to me, and that’s the Civilian Stabilization Initiative. This is new, it’s not invented by this administration, it was invented by the last administration. And this is to set up a permanent standing nation-building office with an employment or use of nearly 5,000 individuals.

So what is the goal of this new initiative going to be? It’s to facilitate democratic and political transitions. Now, if you want to talk about interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, that is exactly what this is all about. “Facilitating democratic and political transitions?” Well, of course, we have been doing that for a long time. We’ve gotten ourselves into a lot of trouble doing it.

We did it in 1953 and we’re still suffering the consequences. But this is a little more honest, it’s upfront. We’re actually supporting and funding a facility that would be involved in these transitions.

The mandate in this is to reconstruct societies. That sounds wonderful, there’s a lot of societies that need reconstruction, but so many of the societies that we have to reconstruct, we helped to destroy or disrupt. Think of what our troops and our money has done in Afghanistan as well as Iraq. I think this provision itself is enough reason to vote against this authorization.