Escalation is Hardly the
By Congressman Ron Paul
Clearing House" -- --
Mr. Speaker, A military victory in Iraq is unattainable,
just as it was in the Vietnam war.
At the close of the Vietnam war in 1975, a telling
conversation took place between an NVA Colonel named Tu
and an American Colonel named Harry Summers. Colonel
Summers reportedly said, “You never beat us on the
battlefield.” Tu replied, “That may be so, but it is
also irrelevant.” It is likewise irrelevant to seek
military victory in Iraq.
As conditions deteriorate in Iraq, the American people
are told more blood must be spilled to achieve just such
a military victory. 20,000 additional troops and another
$100 billion are needed for a “surge.” Yet the people
remain rightfully skeptical.
Though we’ve been in Iraq nearly four years, the meager
goal today simply is to secure Baghdad. This hardly
shows that the mission is even partly accomplished.
Astonishingly, American taxpayers now will be forced to
finance a multi-billion dollar jobs program in Iraq.
Suddenly the war is about jobs! We export our
manufacturing jobs to Asia, and now we plan to export
our welfare jobs to Iraq-- all at the expense of the
poor and middle class here at home.
Plans are being made to become more ruthless in
achieving stability in Iraq. It appears Muqtada al Sadr
will be on the receiving end of our military efforts,
despite his overwhelming support among large segments of
the Iraqi people.
It’s interesting to note that one excuse given for our
failure is leveled at the Iraqis themselves. They have
not done enough, we’re told, and are difficult to train.
Yet no one complains that Mahdi or Kurdish militias or
the Badr Brigade (the real Iraq government, not our
appointed government) are not well trained. Our problems
obviously have nothing to do with training Iraqis to
fight, but instead with loyalties and motivations.
We claim to be spreading democracy in Iraq, but al Sadr
has far more democratic support with the majority
Shiites than our troops enjoy. The problem is not a lack
of democratic consensus; it is the antipathy toward our
presence among most Iraqis.
In real estate the three important considerations are
location, location, location. In Iraq the three
conditions are occupation, occupation, occupation.
Nothing can improve in Iraq until we understand that our
occupation is the primary source of the chaos and
killing. We are a foreign occupying force, strongly
resented by the majority of Iraq’s citizens.
Our inability to adapt to the tactics of 4th generation
warfare compounds our military failure. Unless we
understand this, even doubling our troop strength will
not solve the problems created by our occupation.
The talk of a troop surge and jobs program in Iraq only
distracts Americans from the very real possibility of an
attack on Iran. Our growing naval presence in the region
and our harsh rhetoric toward Iran are unsettling.
Securing the Horn of Africa and sending Ethiopian troops
into Somalia do not bode well for world peace. Yet these
developments are almost totally ignored by Congress.
Rumors are flying about when, not if, Iran will be
bombed by either Israel or the U.S.-- possibly with
nuclear weapons. Our CIA says Iran is ten years away
from producing a nuclear bomb and has no delivery
system, but this does not impede our plans to keep
“everything on the table” when dealing with Iran.
We should remember that Iran, like Iraq, is a
third-world nation without a significant military.
Nothing in history hints that she is likely to invade a
neighboring country, let alone do anything to America or
Israel. I am concerned, however, that a contrived Gulf
of Tonkin- type incident may occur to gain popular
support for an attack on Iran.
Even if such an attack is carried out by Israel over
U.S. objections, we will be politically and morally
culpable since we provided the weapons and dollars to
make it possible.
Mr. Speaker, let’s hope I’m wrong about this one.