FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Before We Bomb Iraq

by Rep. Ron Paul

The war drums are beating, louder and louder. Iraq, Iran, and North Korea have been forewarned. Plans have been laid and, for all we know, already initiated, for the overthrow and assassination of Saddam Hussein.

There’s been talk of sabotage, psychological warfare, arming domestic rebels, killing Hussein, and even an outright invasion of Iraq with hundreds of thousands of US troops. All we hear about in the biased media is the need to eliminate Saddam Hussein, with little regard for how this, in itself, might totally destabilize the entire Middle East and Central Asia. It could, in fact, make the Iraq “problem” much worse.

The assumption is that, with our success in Afghanistan, we should now pursue this same policy against any country we choose, no matter how flimsy the justification. It hardly can be argued that it is because authoritarian governments deserve our wrath, considering the number of current and past such governments that we have not only tolerated but subsidized.

Protestations from our Arab allies are silenced by our dumping more American taxpayer dollars upon them.

European criticism that the United States is now following a unilateral approach is brushed off, which only causes more apprehension in the European community. Widespread support from the eager media pumps the public to support the warmongers in the administration.

The pro and cons of how dangerous Saddam Hussein actually is are legitimate. However, it is rarely pointed out that the CIA has found no evidence whatsoever that Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Rarely do we hear that Iraq has never committed any aggression against the United States. No one in the media questions our aggression against Iraq for the past 12 years by continuous bombing and imposed sanctions responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children.

Iraq’s defense of her homeland can hardly be characterized as aggression against those who rain bombs down on them. We had to go over 6,000 miles to pick this fight against a third-world nation with little ability to defend itself.

Our policies have actually served to generate support for Saddam Hussein, in spite of his brutal control of the Iraq people. He is as strong today – if not stronger – as he was prior to the Persian Gulf War 12 years ago.

Even today, our jingoism ironically is driving a closer alliance between Iraq and Iran, two long-time bitter enemies.

While we trade with, and subsidize to the hilt, the questionable government of China, we place sanctions on and refuse to trade with Iran and Iraq, which only causes greater antagonism. But if the warmongers’ goal is to have a war, regardless of international law and the Constitution, current policy serves their interests.

Could it be that only through war and removal of certain governments we can maintain control of the oil in this region? Could it be all about oil, and have nothing to do with US national security?

Too often when we dictate who will lead another country, we only replace one group of thugs with another – as we just did in Afghanistan – with the only difference being that the thugs we support are expected to be puppet-like and remain loyal to the US, or else.

Although bits and pieces of the administration’s plans to wage war against Iraq and possibly Iran and North Korea are discussed, we never hear any mention of the authority to do so. It seems that Tony Blair’s approval is more important than the approval of the American people!

Congress never complains about its lost prerogative to be the sole declarer of war. Astoundingly, Congress is only too eager to give war power to our presidents through the back door, by the use of some fuzzy resolution that the president can use as his justification. And once the hostilities begin, the money always follows, because Congress fears criticism for not “supporting the troops.” But putting soldiers in harm’s way without proper authority, and unnecessarily, can hardly be the way to “support the troops.”

Let it be clearly understood- there is no authority to wage war against Iraq without Congress passing a Declaration of War. HJ RES 65, passed in the aftermath of 9/11, does not even suggest that this authority exists. A UN Resolution authorizing an invasion of Iraq, even if it were to come, cannot replace the legal process for the United States going to war as precisely defined in the Constitution. We must remember that a covert war is no more justifiable, and is even more reprehensible.

Only tyrants can take a nation to war without the consent of the people. The planned war against Iraq without a Declaration of War is illegal. It is unwise because of many unforeseen consequences that are likely to result. It is immoral and unjust, because it has nothing to do with US security and because Iraq has not initiated aggression against us.

We must understand that the American people become less secure when we risk a major conflict driven by commercial interests and not constitutionally authorized by Congress. Victory under these circumstances is always elusive, and unintended consequences are inevitable.

Ron Paul, M.D., represents the 14th Congressional District of Texas in the United States House of Representatives.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 22, 2017
Mike Whitney
Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas
John Grant
On Killers and Bullshitters*
Peter Linebaugh
Catherine Despard, Abolitionist
Patrick Cockburn
The Bitter Battle for Mosul
Ted Rall
Sue the Bastards? It’s Harder Than You Think
Yoav Litvin
The Emergence of the Just Jew
Kim Scipes
Strategic Thinking and Organizing Resistance
Norman Pollack
Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
Fred Donner
Nixon and the Chennault Affair: From Vietnam to Watergate
Carl Kandutsch
Podesta vs. Trump
Ike Nahem
To the Memory of Malcolm X: Fifty Years After His Assassination
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Tough Talk Won’t Fix Chicago
Paul Donnelly
Betsy DeVos and the War on Public Education
Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
The End of an Alliance for Police Reform
Richard Lawless
Wall Street Demanded the Nuclear Option and the Congress Delivered
Liaquat Ali Khan
Yes, Real Donald Trump is a Muslim!
Ryan LaMothe
“Fire” and Free Speech
CounterPunch News Service
Bloody Buffalo Billboards
February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
Stephen Cooper
Steinbeck’s Road Map For Resisting Donald Trump
February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail