Congressman Ron Paul today released the following statement on President Obama’s speech from the Oval Office last night:
The President’s announcement that all U.S. combat troops have left Iraq is no more believable than the ‘Mission Accomplished’ declaration was in 2003.
Once again, we are being told the mission has been accomplished and our brave men and women are coming back home. Though the people are hopeful they remain skeptical, and rightfully so.
The biggest problem is that success in Iraq is undefinable since the mission was never defined. The reasons given for the invasion were based on misinformation. Now, the war has cost us hundreds of billions of dollars and this has contributed significantly to our economic woes.
Forty-four hundred Americans are dead, thirty thousand severely wounded, and more than a hundred thousand are suffering from serious health problems related to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. This alone should tell us that it was not worth the investment and the needless sacrifice of our young people and the taxpayers.
It is deceitful to imply we will avoid hostilities with this new policy. We still have to contend with:
- the 50,000 troops carrying weapons that remain in Iraq
- the 100,000 contractors that remain with more expected to go to Iraq
- the 9,000 special ops personnel trained in assassinations that remain in Iraq
- a huge embassy, bigger than the Vatican, that will remain
- Dozens of military bases that will stay
- Al Qaeda organizations that did not exist before the war
- Muqtada al Sadr, a strong nationalist who has gained much political power
- The fact that Iran benefits tremendously with the Shiites now in power in Iraq and is a close ally of al Sadr
Osama bin Laden wins by ‘proving’ that America has an agenda of occupation in the Middle East. And, we continue to walk into his trap and hand him up his best recruitment tool in his efforts to incite hatred and terrorism against the United States.
What’s worse, President Obama made it clear last night that the troops and resources leaving Iraq will not come home to defend our country or ease our economic woes. They will instead be diverted to Afghanistan, perhaps also Pakistan and, I fear, even Iran.
From my viewpoint we are the losers in this fool’s errand of endless war. Tragically, this new policy is not one of peace but merely a charade that will severely undermine our national security and continue us down the path to bankruptcy – a threat that we best not long ignore.