urge the Congress to think twice before thrusting this nation into
a war without merit – one fraught with the danger of escalating into
something no American will be pleased with.
Jefferson once said: "Never was so much false arithmetic employed
on any subject as that which has been employed to persuade nations
that it is in their interests to go to war."
for months now heard plenty of false arithmetic and lame excuses for
why we must pursue a preemptive war of aggression against an impoverished
third world nation 6000 miles from our shores that doesn't even
possess a navy or air force, on the pretense that it must be done
for national security reasons.
some reason such an attack makes me feel much less secure, while our
country is made more vulnerable.
must consider the fact that those with military experience advocate
a "go slow" policy, while those without military experience
are the ones demanding this war.
ignore the fact that all of Iraq's neighbors oppose this attack,
and our European allies object as well.
military and diplomatic reasons for a policy of restraint make no
sense to those who want a war, I advise they consider the $100 billion
cost that will surely compound our serious budget and economic problems
we face here at home. We need no more false arithmetic on our budget
or false reasons for pursuing this new adventure into preemptive war
and worldwide nation-building.
Speaker, allow me to offer another quote from Jefferson. Jefferson
said: "No country perhaps was ever so thoroughly against war
as ours. These dispositions pervade every description of its citizens,
whether in or out of office. We love and we value peace, we know its
blessings from experience."
this sentiment renewed in this Congress in order to avoid a needless
war that offers us nothing but trouble. Congress must deal with this
serious matter of whether or not we go to war. I believe it would
be a mistake with the information that is available to us today. I
do not see any reason whatsoever to take young men and young women
and send them 6,000 miles to attack a country that has not committed
any aggression against this country. Many Americans now share my belief
that it would be a serious mistake.
there is a practical reason to oppose a war in Iraq. Our military
now has been weakened over the last decade, and when we go into Iraq
we will clearly dilute our ability to defend our country. We do not
enhance our national defense by initiating this war. Besides, it is
impractical because of unintended consequences which none of us know
about. We do not know exactly how long this will last. It could be
a six-day war, a six-month war, or six years or even longer.
is a military reason for not going to war. We ought to listen to the
generals and other military experts, including Colin Powell, Brent
Scowcroft, Anthony Zinni, and Norman Schwarzkopf, who are now advising
us NOT to go to war. Some have even cautioned against the possibility
of starting World War III. They understand that our troops have been
spread too thin around the world, and it is dangerous from a purely
military standpoint to go to war today.
is a constitutional argument and a constitutional mistake that could
be made. If we once again go to war, as we have done on so many occasions
since World War II, without a clear declaration of war by Congress,
we blatantly violate the Constitution. I fear we will once again go
to war in a haphazard way, by executive order, or even by begging
permission from the rotten, anti-American United Nations. This haphazard
approach, combined with a lack of clearly defined goals for victory,
makes it almost inevitable that true victory will not come. So we
should look at this from a constitutional perspective. Congress should
assume its responsibility, because war is declared by Congress, not
by a President and not by a U.N.
is a very important matter, and I am delighted to hear that there
will be congressional hearings and discussion. I certainly believe
we should have a balanced approach. We have already had some hearings
in the other body, where we heard only one side of the issue. If we
want to have real hearings, we should have a debate and hear evidence
on both sides, rather than just hearing pro-war interests arguing
are even good political reasons for not initiating this conflict.
War is not popular. It may seem popular in the short run, when there
appears to be an immediate victory and everyone is gloating, but war
is not popular. People get killed, and body bags end up coming back.
War is very unpopular, and it is not the politically smart thing to
are economic reasons to avoid this war. We can do serious damage to
our economy. It is estimated that this venture into Iraq may well
cost over a hundred billion dollars. Our national debt right now is
increasing at a rate of over $450 billion yearly, and we are talking
about spending another hundred billion dollars on an adventure when
we do not know what the outcome will be and how long it will last?
What will happen to oil prices? What will happen to the recession
that we are in? What will happen to the deficit? We must expect all
kinds of economic ramifications.
are countless diplomatic reasons for not going. All the Arab nations
near Iraq object to and do not endorse our plans, and none of our
European allies are anxious for this to happen. So diplomatically
we make a serious mistake by doing this. I hope we have second thoughts
and are very cautious in what we do.
There are philosophical reasons for those who believe in limited government
to oppose this war. "War is the health of the state," as
the saying goes. War necessarily means more power is given to the
state. This additional power always results in a loss of liberty.
Many of the worst government programs of the 20th century began during
wartime "emergencies" and were never abolished. War and
big government go hand in hand, but we should be striving for peace
there is a compelling moral argument against war in Iraq. Military
force is justified only in self-defense; naked aggression is the province
of dictators and rogue states. This is the danger of a new "preemptive
first strike" doctrine. America is the most moral nation on earth,
founded on moral principles, and we must apply moral principles when
deciding to use military force.