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

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail