US House of Representatives, April 22, 2010, Statement on Motion
to Instruct Conferees on HR 2194, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions,
Accountability and Divestment Act
I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct House conferees
on HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and
Divestment Act, and I rise in strong opposition again to the underlying
bill and to its Senate version as well. I object to this entire
push for war on Iran, however it is disguised. Listening to the
debate on the Floor on this motion and the underlying bill it feels
as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same falsehoods and
distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous and
unnecessary one trillion dollar war on Iraq are being trotted out
again to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous
and costly war on Iran. The parallels are astonishing.
We hear war
advocates today on the Floor scare-mongering about reports that
in one year Iran will have missiles that can hit the United States.
Where have we heard this bombast before? Anyone remember the claims
that Iraqi drones were going to fly over the United States and attack
us? These “drones” ended up being pure propaganda —
the UN chief weapons inspector concluded in 2004 that there was
no evidence that Saddam Hussein had ever developed unpiloted drones
for use on enemy targets. Of course by then the propagandists had
gotten their war so the truth did not matter much.
We hear war
advocates on the floor today arguing that we cannot afford to sit
around and wait for Iran to detonate a nuclear weapon. Where have
we heard this before? Anyone remember then-Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice’s oft-repeated quip about Iraq: that we cannot wait for
the smoking gun to appear as a mushroom cloud.
We need to
see all this for what it is: Propaganda to speed us to war against
Iran for the benefit of special interests.
Let us remember
a few important things. Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, has never been found in violation of that treaty. Iran is
not capable of enriching uranium to the necessary level to manufacture
nuclear weapons. According to the entire US Intelligence Community,
Iran is not currently working on a nuclear weapons program. These
are facts, and to point them out does not make one a supporter or
fan of the Iranian regime. Those pushing war on Iran will ignore
or distort these facts to serve their agenda, though, so it is important
and necessary to point them out.
Some of my
well-intentioned colleagues may be tempted to vote for sanctions
on Iran because they view this as a way to avoid war on Iran. I
will ask them whether the sanctions on Iraq satisfied those pushing
for war at that time. Or whether the application of ever-stronger
sanctions in fact helped war advocates make their case for war on
Iraq: as each round of new sanctions failed to “work”
— to change the regime — war became the only remaining
whether the House or Senate version, will lead us to war on Iran.
The sanctions in this bill, and the blockade of Iran necessary to
fully enforce them, are in themselves acts of war according to international
law. A vote for sanctions on Iran is a vote for war against Iran.
I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to turn back from this
unnecessary and counterproductive march to war.
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.