The information Congress was given prior to the war was false. There were no weapons of mass destruction; the Iraqis did not participate in the 9/11 attacks; Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were enemies and did not conspire against the United States; our security was not threatened; we were not welcomed by cheering Iraqi crowds as we were told; and Iraqi oil has not paid any of the bills. ...The entire speech is worth reading.
How much better off are the Iraqi people? Hundreds of thousands of former inhabitants of Fallajah are not better off with their city flattened and their homes destroyed. Hundreds of thousands are not better off living with foreign soldiers patrolling their street, curfews, and the loss of basic utilities. One hundred thousand dead Iraqis, as estimated by the Lancet Medical Journal, certainly are not better off. Better to be alive under Saddam Hussein than lying in some cold grave.
Praise for the recent election in Iraq has silenced many critics of the war. Yet the election was held under martial law implemented by a foreign power, mirroring conditions we rightfully condemned as a farce when carried out in the old Soviet system and more recently in Lebanon. ... The whole process is corrupt. It just doesn't make sense to most Americans to see their tax dollars used to fight an unnecessary and unjustified war. First they see American bombs destroying a country, and then American taxpayers are required to rebuild it. ...
Considering the death, destruction, and continual chaos in Iraq, it's difficult to accept the blanket statement that the Iraqis all feel much better off with the U.S. in control rather than Saddam Hussein. ... But there's another question that is equally important: "Are the American people better off because of the Iraq war?"
One thing for sure, the 1,500 plus dead American soldiers aren't better off. The nearly 20,000 severely injured or sickened American troops are not better off. The families, the wives, the husbands, children, parents, and friends of those who lost so much are not better off.
The families and the 40,000 troops who were forced to re-enlist against their will -- a de facto draft-- are not feeling better off. They believe they have been deceived by their enlistment agreements. The American taxpayers are not better off having spent over 200 billion dollars to pursue this war, with billions yet to be spent. ...
Saturday, April 09, 2005
This Republican Makes Sense
Ron Paul of Texas, speaking before the House of Representatives on April 6, 2005: