Highlights

 
Quotable
I have condemned any organizer of war, regardless of his rank or nationality.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Original Letters Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
July 24, 2003

Phony Justifications for War


by Rep. Ron Paul

The truth about whether or not Saddam Hussein sought to buy uranium from Niger has dominated the news for the past several weeks. Many of those challenging the administration on this issue are motivated more by politics than by policy. Some of today’s critics were strongly in favor of going to war against Iraq when doing so appeared politically popular, but now are chagrined that the war is not going as smoothly as was hoped.

I am sure once the alleged attempt to buy uranium is thoroughly debunked, the other excuses for going to war will be examined with a great deal of scrutiny as well. It is obvious that the evidence used to justify going to war is now less than convincing.

The charge that Saddam Hussein had aluminum tubes used in manufacturing nuclear weapons was in error.

A fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles capable of dispensing chemical and biological weapons did not exist.

The 63,000 liters of anthrax and botulism have not been found, nor have any of the mobile germ labs. There are no signs of the one million pounds of sarin, mustard, and VX gasses alleged to exist.

No evidence has been revealed to indicate Iraq was a threat to the security of any nation, let alone America.

The charge that Saddam Hussein was connected to the al Qaeda was wrong. Saddam Hussein's violations the UN resolutions regarding weapons of mass destruction remain unproven.

How could so many errors have occurred? Some say it was incompetence, while others claim outright deception and lies. Some say it was selective use of intelligence to promote a particular policy already decided upon. This debate, I am sure, will rage on for a long time, and since motivations are subjective and hard to prove, resolving the controversy will be difficult. However, this should not diminish the importance of sorting out truth from fiction, errors from malice.

One question, though, I hope gets asked: Why should we use intelligence cited by a foreign government as justification for going to war? One would think the billions we spend would produce reliable intelligence-gathering agencies.

Since we lack a coherent foreign policy, we see support for war from different groups depending on circumstances unrelated to national defense. For instance, those who strenuously objected to Kosovo promoted war in Iraq. And those who objected to Iraq are now anxious to send troops to Liberia. For some, U.N. permission is important and necessary. For others, the U.N. is helpful provided it endorses the war they want.

Only a few correctly look to the Constitution and to Congress to sort out the pros and cons of each conflict, and decide whether or not a declaration of war is warranted.

The sad fact is that we have lost our way. A legitimate threat to national security is no longer a litmus test for sending troops hither and yon, and the American people no longer require Congress to declare the wars we fight. Hopefully, some day this will change.

The raging debate over whether or not Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium, as important as it is, distracts from the much more important strategic issue of the proper foreign policy in a republic.

Hopefully, we will soon seriously consider the foreign policy approach advocated by our Founding Fathers, a policy of nonintervention in the affairs of other nations. Avoiding entangling alliances and staying out of the internal affairs of other nations is the policy most conducive to peace and prosperity. Policing the world and nation building are not proper for our constitutional republic.


comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Imagine an Occupied America
    3/10/2009

  • The Draft: Just Say No
    2/17/2009

  • Gaza Resolution One-Sided and Unwise
    1/10/2009

  • Obama's Opportunity
    1/6/2009

  • Whose Iraq Predictions Have Come True?
    9/23/2008

  • How Foreign Policy Affects Gas Prices
    8/23/2008

  • Getting Out of Iraq
    7/17/2008

  • Using One Tragedy to
    Create Another
    7/16/2008

  • Congress's 'Virtual Iran War Resolution'
    7/3/2008

  • War, Economy Can't Be Decoupled
    6/19/2008

  • March to War in Lebanon?
    5/22/2008

  • The Economy: Another Casualty of War
    5/20/2008

  • The Emerging Surveillance State
    4/8/2008

  • The Iraq War Ledger
    3/25/2008

  • Living by the Sword
    3/15/2008

  • Intervening Our Way to Economic Ruin
    3/14/2008

  • No to Torture, Yes to the Constitution
    3/13/2008

  • Stop Choosing Sides
    3/7/2008

  • War at Any Cost?
    3/1/2008

  • Protect America from the Protect America Act
    2/1/2008

  • The Ties That Strangle
    1/10/2008

  • Bombed If You Do, Bombed If You Don't
    12/11/2007

  • 'Homegrown Terror' Act an Attack on Internet Freedom?
    12/7/2007

  • Entangling Alliances
    11/15/2007

  • Struggling for Relevance in Cuba: Still No Cigars
    10/30/2007

  • Interventionism? Isolationism? Actually, Both
    10/25/2007

  • Support the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007
    10/21/2007

  • The Fear Factor
    7/31/2007

  • Don't Delay: US Out of Iraq Now
    7/14/2007

  • Signing Statements Erode Constitutional Balance
    7/12/2007

  • Recapturing the Spirit of Independence
    7/3/2007

  • Have We Forgotten 2003 Already?
    6/21/2007

  • Nonintervention: The Original Foreign Policy
    6/19/2007

  • The Price of Delaying the Inevitable
    6/5/2007

  • On Patriotism
    5/24/2007

  • Congress Must Do Its Duty
    5/22/2007

  • More Bureaucracy,
    Less Security
    5/15/2007

  • We Just Marched In (So We Can Just March Out)
    4/24/2007

  • More Pork for More War
    3/27/2007

  • Defund the War
    3/22/2007

  • The Original American Foreign Policy
    3/16/2007

  • The Scandal at Walter Reed
    3/9/2007

  • With Friends Like These…
    2/27/2007

  • In Congress, Opposing the War but Doing Nothing to Stop It
    2/15/2007

  • Congress Racing to Spend
    $1 Trillion on Iraq
    2/13/2007

  • Support the Troops by Ending the War
    2/1/2007

  • Inflation: The Hidden
    Cost of War
    1/30/2007

  • The Fatal Conceit
    in the Middle East
    1/23/2007

  • The Irrelevance of
    Military Victory
    1/16/2007

  • On the Mideast Escalator
    1/15/2007

  • Saddam Is Dead - So Are 3,000 Americans
    1/6/2007

  • 2007 Promises More of the Same
    12/26/2006

  • America's Original
    Foreign Policy
    12/19/2006

  • Who Makes Foreign Policy?
    12/12/2006

  • Congress to Ponder Conscription?
    11/28/2006

  • The Law of Opposites
    9/9/2006

  • This Will Come Back
    to Haunt Us
    7/21/2006

  • Avoiding War With Iran
    5/23/2006

  • Foreign Policy, Monetary Policy, and Gas Prices
    5/9/2006

  • True Foreign Aid
    5/2/2006

  • Policy Is More Important
    Than Personnel
    4/25/2006

  • An Embargo Is Not a Peaceful Alternative
    4/18/2006

  • Iran: The Next Neocon Target
    4/7/2006

  • Making the World Safe for Christianity
    3/30/2006

  • A Sense of Déjà Vu
    2/20/2006
  • More Archives


    Ron Paul is a Republican Congressman from Texas. He was the 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for President.

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2014 Antiwar.com