Ron Paul: Today, we heard from President Obama that the war in Syria will be escalated. He now has agreed to send weaponry in to assist the rebels. ‘Escalation’ is the proper word, because we’ve already been involved for quite a few months. We’ve been supporting the rebels for probably the past two years, supposedly for humanitarian reasons. But now there’s going to be a much more aggressive approach and we’re going to send weapons.
There are a few problems with this. First off, it’s war, and the second thing is, presidents aren’t supposed to start wars without permission from the people through a congressional declaration of war. And, besides, it’s not going to do us any good to expand in another war. And now we hear that most of the rebels are the Al-Qaida, they’re kind of in there as well. So this foreign policy we’ve been following now for so many years, is backfiring on us. It’s backfiring on us because guess who’s helping the rebels besides the United States, the Al-Qaida from Iraq. Before the Iraq war, there was no Al-Qaida in Iraq, now there is, and now there over there helping. And we think we’re going to sort this out after 2 years? The reason this is coming about is because the rebels are losing this war and we’ve been supporting the rebels. And I don’t think it’s possible to pick out the good guys here, there’s no way. I think we should pick out the good guys over here, the American people and the American tax payer, and think about what’s the best for America. And what we’re doing here is not the best in any way.
The one thing that I find rather ironic, because I was very much involved in the lead up to the Iraq war, is that the language is the same. They’re using the same arguments: weapons of mass destruction, poison gases, hundred people died and the government has done this. But you know what, they haven’t used absolute facts, they haven’t even used absolute language, they hedge their terms and they say, “Yes, possibly”. A couple of weeks ago, our administration was admitting that some of this poison gas may have come from the rebels themselves. But it is estimated 100,000 people have died over there, and they’re saying maybe a hundred or so have died from gas, possibly. But who did it and when and why? And this is the red line. To me, it’s all an excuse. This is sort of like what Clinton did in 1998 to get people to look at something other than the Lewinski affair. There’s a lot of scandal going on in this country, and it benefits the President because to get people mind off the scandals. There’s nothing like a scare tactic on foreign policy to get away from these scandals. So I think this is really a lot of what’s happening.
Besides, if you think about it, why would President Assad, who’s winning the war, use poison gas to kill a hundred people, knowing full well what would happen if people thought he was using poison gas? There’s no way, the man is not an idiot. And now the assumption is, “Yes, this is the case”. But here, over 100,000 have been killed, but the only thing that counts are these 100. It’s sort of like wondering why the people aren’t concerned about 100 or 200 or 300 killed on a regular basis from a drone missile, why isn’t that the red line. Matter of fact, I think the Al-Qaida have red lines, too, and when they hear that the U.S. drone missiles are killing civilians, they can get pretty annoyed.
But we are falling down the path of what Bush did leading up into Iraq, and what Clinton did back in 1998 by bombing Kandahar in Afghanistan. And they know about this, that this is a diversion tactic. So my concern is what has been my concern for so long, what are we doing there, why are we there, what will come of it, how will we get out of it? I argued that same thing about Iraq and Bush, and we’re still messing that place up. We’ve actually had that backfire on us, Iraq now is an ally of the Iranians and is actually still our enemy. A lot of people say, “We have to do it because this is what Israel wants”. It may be, Israel may want this, I suspect that’s their position. But I think that’s a mistake. It’s not a mistake to be friends with Israel, but it’s a mistake to do it this way. I think Israel is getting themselves into real trouble by supporting all this rebellion going on, whether it’s Libya or Egypt or now in Syria or the mess we have in Turkey; this is instability, it cannot help Israel. It is good intentions and humanitarian instincts, but what we’re really doing, and it’s a real tragedy, is that the neo-cons are winning this battle here at home, and they’re controlling our foreign policy. And it’s tragic that they are, because polls now show 68% of the American people say, “Don’t go in there, we don’t need another war”.
And think about the money, we went through this sequester and a nickel and dime was cut, and they cut a few things, and they cut a couple of TSA agents for a couple hours, and they tried to make a big deal of slashing. But never once has the President ever hesitated to promise more foreign aid and more military aid. So that has all been a charade about cutting, because there is no cutting here, this is expansion. And this, I think, is a lot more dangerous than Libya, and a lot more dangerous than Egypt. Russia is involved with this, and Iran is involved. China is probably keeping their eyes on it, and it’s not serving our interests at all. This is why I think it’s so necessary for us as a people to once again think about the advice the founders gave us by talking about a non-interventionist foreign policy, mind our own business. This compulsion and obsession to be involved when it doesn’t even involve us … there are some in the Senate right now, there are the neo-cons in the Senate who are just shouting about why we should do a lot more, we shouldn’t have incrementalism, we should go in there with full force. Well, I’ll tell you what, the American people don’t want it, we can’t afford it, it’s bad policy. It’s not going to help Israel, and it’s not going to help the rebels because we don’t even know who the rebels are, and if we do help, it’s probably going to help the Al-Qaida. The weapons we send over there will probably end up in the hands of the Al-Qaida, and will be used against the American people.
So it’s time for the American people to wake up and let their members of Congress and their senators know, “Stop it”. Why should you just sit back and let the President do these things. He used to pretend that we don’t need a congressional approval, we’ll get it from the UN and we’ll get it from NATO. Well, in this case, he just does it, and nobody says anything, they think the money will be there. But I’ll tell you what, having been in Washington for a long time, and except for a few, the people that are there are not going to say much, they’re just going to go along with it. So it’s going to take the American people to wake up and say, “Enough is enough, we’re broke, we don’t want this. No wonder we’re in a constant recession, and no wonder we are under constant threat by Americans being killed by the Al-Qaida”. And that is going to continue until we understand exactly the motives of those individuals who would like to kill Americans, and, believe me, it’s not because we’re free and prosperous. It has a lot to do with drone warfare, occupation, putting our troops in other’s lands, putting on no-fly zones and putting on boycotts and prohibiting these countries from minding their own business. So it’s time for us to wake up, because this could get out of hand, and that’s what I fear. Because eventually we’re going to have a financial crisis, which will be related to this endless spending. So this is an opportunity for us to wake up the American people, and they’re with us on this issue, we just need to get our voices heard.
Thank you for listening.