we begin this new legislative session, we cannot avoid reflecting
on this past year. All Americans will remember the moment and
place when tragedy hit us on September 11th. We also
all know that a good philosophy to follow is to turn adversity
into something positive, if at all possible. Although we have
suffered for years from a flawed foreign policy and were already
in a recession before the attacks, the severity of these events
has forced many of us to reassess our foreign and domestic policies.
Hopefully, positive changes will come of this.
It is just
as well that the economy was already in recession for six months
prior to the September attacks. Otherwise, the temptation would
have been too great to blame the attacks for the weak economy
rather than look for the government policies responsible for the
recession. Terrorist attacks alone, no matter how disruptive,
could never be the sole source of a significant economic downturn.
A major debate
over foreign policy has naturally resulted from this crisis. Dealing
with the shortcomings of our policies of the past is essential.
We were spending $40 billion a year on intelligence gathering
that, we must admit, failed. This tells us a problem exists. There
are shortcomings with our $320 billion DOD budget that did not
provide the protection Americans expect.
a proper response to the terrorists requires sound judgment in
order to prevent further suffering of the innocent or foolishly
bring about a worldwide conflict.
One of the
key responsibilities of the federal government in providing for
national defense is protection of liberty here at home. Unwisely
responding to the attacks could undermine our national defense
while threatening our liberties. What we have done so far since
last September is not very reassuring. What we do here in the
Congress in the coming months may well determine the survival
of our republic. Fear and insecurity must not drive our policies.
Sacrificing personal liberty should never be an option.
ourselves in every complex conflict around the globe hardly enhances
our national security. The special interests that were already
lined up at the public trough should not be permitted to use the
ongoing crisis as an opportunity to demand even more benefits.
Let us all remember why the U.S. Congress was established, what
our responsibilities are and what our oath of office means.
reported that since the 9-11 attacks, big-government answers have
gained in popularity, and people, fearful for their security,
have looked to the federal government for help. Polls indicate
that acceptance of government solutions to our problems is at
its highest level in decades. That may be true to some degree,
or it may merely reflect the sentiments of the moment, or even
the way the questions were asked. Only time will tell. Since the
welfare state is no more viable in the long run than a communist
or fascist state, most Americans will eventually realize the fallacy
of depending on the government for economic security and know
that personal liberty should not be sacrificed out of fear.
this massive rush to embrace all the bailouts offered up by Washington,
a growing number of Americans are rightfully offended by the enormity
of it all and annoyed that powerful and wealthy special interests
seem to be getting the bulk of the benefits. In one area, though,
a very healthy reaction has occurred. Almost all Americans
especially those still flying commercial airlines now know
that they have a personal responsibility to react to any threat
on any flight. Passengers have responded magnificently. Most people
recognize that armed citizens best protect our homes, because
it is impossible for the police to be everywhere and prevent crimes
from happening. A homeowner's ability to defend himself serves
as a strong deterrent.
ridiculous policy regarding airline safety and prohibiting guns
on airplanes had indoctrinated us all pilots, passengers
and airline owners to believe we should never resist hijackers.
This set up the perfect conditions for terrorists to take over
domestic flights, just as they did on September 11th.
of this country now realize, more than ever, their own responsibility
for personal self-defense, using guns if necessary. The anti-gun
fanatics have been very quiet since 9-11, and more Americans are
ready to assume responsibility for their own safety than ever
before. This is all good.
the Congress went in the opposite direction in providing safety
on commercial flights. Pilots are not carrying guns, and security
has been socialized in spite of the fact that security
procedures authorized by the FAA prior to 9-11 were not compromised.
The problem did not come from failure to follow FAA rules;
the problem resulted from precisely following FAA rules.
No wonder so many Americans are wisely assuming they'd better
be ready to protect themselves when necessary!
is healthy, practical and legal under the Constitution. Unfortunately,
too many people who have come to this conclusion still cling to
the notion that economic security is a responsibility of the U.S.
government. That's the reason we have a $2 trillion annual budget
and a growing $6 trillion national debt.
result of last year's attacks was the uniting of many Americans
in an effort to deal with the problems the country faced. This
applies more to the people who reflect true patriotism than it
does to some of the politicians and special interests who took
advantage of the situation. If this renewed energy and sense of
unity could be channeled correctly, much good could come of it.
If misdirected, actual harm will result.
I give less
credit to the Washington politicians who sing the songs of patriotism,
but use the crisis to pursue their endless personal goal to gain
more political power. But the greatest condemnation should be
directed toward the special-interest lobbyists who finance the
politicians in order to secure their power, while using patriotism
as a cover and the crisis as a golden opportunity. Indeed, those
who are using the crisis to promote their own agenda are many.
no doubt, as many have pointed out, our country changed dramatically
with the horror that hit us on 9-11. The changes obviously are
a result of something other than the tragic loss of over 3,900
people. We kill that many people every month on our government
highways. We lost 60,000 young people in the Vietnam War, yet
the sense of fear in our country then was not the same as it is
today. The major difference is that last year's attacks made us
feel vulnerable, because it was clear that our federal government
had failed in its responsibility to provide defense against such
an assault. And the anthrax scare certainly didn't help to diminish
our civil liberties has made us feel even less safe from our own
government's intrusion in our lives. The two seem to be in conflict.
How can we be safer from outside threats while making ourselves
more exposed to our own government's threat to our liberty?
significant and dangerous result of last year's attacks has been
the bold expansion of the federal police state and our enhanced
international role as the world's policeman.
most of the legislation pushing the enhanced domestic and international
role for our government passed by huge majorities, I'm convinced
that the people's support for much of it is less enthusiastic
than Washington politicians believe. As time progresses, the full
impact of Homeland Security, and the unintended consequences of
our growing overseas commitments, will become apparent. And a
large majority of Americans will appropriately ask, "Why did the
Congress do it?"
precisely understand the proper role of government in a free society,
our problems will not be solved without sacrificing liberty. The
wonderful thing is that our problems can be easily solved when
protecting individual liberty becomes our goal, rather than the
erroneous assumption that solutions must always be in conflict
with liberty and that sacrificing some liberty is to be expected
during trying times. This is not necessary.
General established a standard for disloyalty to the U.S. government
by claiming that those who talk of "lost liberty" serve to "erode
our national unity" and "give ammunition to America's enemies"
and "only aid terrorists."
assumption is that, in the eyes of our top law-enforcement official,
perceived disloyalty or even criticism of the government is approximating
an act of terrorism. The grand irony is that this criticism is
being directed toward those who, heaven forbid, are expressing
concern for losing our cherished liberties here at home. This,
of course, is what the whole war on terrorism is supposed to be
about protecting liberty, and that includes the right of
leaders have threatened foreign countries by claiming that if
they "are not with us, they are against us," which leaves no room
for the neutrality that has been practiced by some nations for
centuries. This position could easily result in perpetual conflicts
with dozens of nations around the world.
ever come to a point where those who dissent at home against our
military operations overseas will be considered too sympathetic
to the enemy? The Attorney General's comments suggest just that,
and it has happened here in our past. We indeed live in dangerous
times. We are unable to guarantee protection from outside threats
and may be approaching a time when our own government poses a
threat to our liberties.
how sincere and well motivated, the effort to fight terrorism
and provide for homeland security, if ill advised, will result
neither in vanquishing terrorism nor in preserving our liberties.
I am fearful that, here in Washington, there's little understanding
of the real cause of the terrorist attacks on us, little remembrance
of the grand purpose of the American experiment with liberty,
or even how our Constitution was written to strictly limit government
officials in all that they do.
operation against the Taliban has gone well. The Taliban has been
removed from power, and our government, with the help of the UN,
is well along the way toward establishing a new Afghan government.
We weren't supposed to be in the business of nation building,
but I guess 9-11 changed all that. The one problem is that the
actual number of al-Qaida members captured or killed is uncertain.
Also the number of Taliban officials that had any direct contact
or knowledge of the attacks on us is purely speculative. Since
this war is carried out in secrecy, we'll probably not know the
details of what went on for years to come.
how many civilians have been killed so far. I know a lot of Members
could care less, remembering innocent American civilians who were
slaughtered in New York and Washington. But a policy that shows
no concern for the innocent will magnify our problems rather than
lessen them. The hard part to understand in all of this is that
Saudi Arabia probably had more to do with these attacks than did
again, who wants to offend our oil partners?
approach to the bombing, with minimal loss of American life is
to be commended, but it may generate outrage toward us by this
lopsided killing of persons totally unaware of the events of September
wisely has not been anxious to send in large numbers of occupying
forces into Afghanistan. This also guarantees chaos among the
warring tribal factions. The odds of a stable Afghan government
evolving out of this mess are remote. The odds of our investing
large sums of money to buy support for years to come are great.
it has been seen only as an opportunity for Pakistan and India
to resume their warring ways, placing us in a dangerous situation.
This could easily get out of control, since China will not allow
a clear-cut Indian victory over Pakistan. The danger of a nuclear
confrontation is real. Even the British have spoken sympathetically
about Pakistan's interests over India. The tragedy is that we
have helped both India and Pakistan financially, and, therefore,
the American taxpayer has indirectly contributed funds for the
weapons on both sides. Our troops in this region are potential
targets of either or both countries.
due to the many probable repercussions, a swift attack on Iraq
now seems less likely. Our surrogate army, organized by the Iraqi
National Congress, is now known to be a charade, prompting our
administration to stop all funding of this organization. Relying
on the Kurds to help remove Hussein defies logic, as the U.S.-funded
Turkish army continues its war on the Kurds. There is just no
coalition in the Persian Gulf to take on Iraq, and, fortunately,
our Secretary of State knows it.
enemy is vague and elusive. Our plans to expand our current military
operations into many other countries are fraught with great risks
risks of making our problems worse. Not dealing with the
people actually responsible for the attacks and ignoring the root
causes of the terrorism will needlessly perpetuate and expand
a war that will do nothing to enhance the security and safety
of the American people.
is now less likely to be hit, it looks like another poverty-ridden,
rudderless nation, possibly Somalia, will be the next target.
No good can come of this process. It will provide more fodder
for the radicals' claim that the war is about America against
Islam. Somalia poses no threat to the United States, but bombing
Somalia as we have Afghanistan and Iraq for 12 years
will only incite more hatred toward the U.S. and increase the
odds of our someday getting hit again by some frustrated, vengeful,
in the Persian Gulf is not necessary to provide for America's
defense. Our presence in the region makes all Americans more vulnerable
to attacks and defending America much more difficult.
reason for our presence in the Persian Gulf, as well as our eagerness
to assist in building a new Afghan government under UN authority,
should be apparent to us all.
Undersecretary of Economics, Business, and Agricultural Affairs
for the previous administration, succinctly stated U.S. policy
for Afghanistan, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations
"Trade" Subcommittee on October 13, 1997:
"Five main foreign policy interests in the Caspian region [is]
continued support for U.S. companies" [and] "the least progress
has been made in Afghanistan, where gas and oil pipeline proposals
designed to carry central Asian energy to world markets have been
delayed indefinitely pending establishment of a broad-based multi-ethnic
a rather blunt acknowledgment of our intentions.
It is apparent
that our policy has not changed with this administration. Our
new special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, was at one
time a lobbyist for the Taliban and worked for Unocal the
American oil company seeking rights to build oil and gas pipelines
through northern Afghanistan. During his stint as a lobbyist,
he urged approval of the Taliban and defended them in the U.S.
press. He now, of course, sings a different tune with respect
to the Taliban, but I am sure his views on the pipeline by U.S.
companies have not changed.
Born in Afghanistan,
Khalilzad is a controversial figure, to say the least, due to
his close relationship with the oil industry and previously with
the Taliban. His appointment to the National Security Council
very conveniently did not require confirmation by the Senate.
Khalilzad also is a close ally of the Secretary of Defense, Paul
Wolfowitz, in promoting early and swift military action against
being, of course, that it may be good to have a new Afghan government,
but the question is whether that is our responsibility
and whether we should be doing it under the constraints
of our Constitution. There's a real question of whether it will
serve our best interests in the long-term.
for the Shah of Iran for 25 years led to the long-term serious
problems with that nation that persist even to this day. Could
oil be the reason we have concentrated on bombing Afghanistan
while ignoring Saudi Arabia, even though we have never found Osama
bin Laden? Obviously, Saudi Arabia is culpable in these terrorist
attacks in the United States, and yet little is done about it.
quite a few unintended consequences that might occur if our worldwide
commitment to fighting terrorism is unrestrained.
interests in the Afghan region are much more intense than Putin
would have us believe, and Russia's active involvement in a spreading
regional conflict should be expected.
between Iraq and Iran against the U.S. is a more likely possibility
now than ever before. Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri is optimistically
working on bringing the two nations together in a military alliance.
His hope is that this would be activated if we attacked Iraq.
The two nations have already exchanged prisoners of war as a step
in that direction.
planners are making preparations for our troops to stay in Central
Asia for a long time. A long time could mean 50 years!
We have been in Korea for that long, and have been in Japan and
Europe even longer, but the time will come when we will wear out
our welcome and have to leave these areas. The Vietnam War met
with more resistance, and we left relatively quickly in humiliating
defeat. Similarly, episodes of a more minor nature occurred in
Somalia and Lebanon.
for more of these kinds of problems when it does not serve our
interests? Jeopardizing our security violates the spirit of our
Constitution and inevitably costs us more than we can afford.
air bases built in Saudi Arabia are totally unessential to our
security, contributed to the turmoil in the Middle East, and they
continue to do so.
a giant new air base in Kyrgyzstan, a country once part of the
Soviet Union and close to Russia. China, also a neighbor, with
whom we eagerly seek a close relationship as a trading partner,
will not ignore our military buildup in this region.
may overthrow the current government of Saudi Arabia a
fear that drives her to cooperate openly with the terrorists while
flaunting her relationship with the United States. The Wall
Street Journal has editorialized that the solution ought to
be our forcibly seizing the Saudi Arabian oil fields and replacing
the current government with an even more pro-Western government.
All along I thought we condemned regimes that took over their
neighbors' oil fields!
unbelievably explicit, concluded by saying: "Finally, we must
be prepared to seize the Saudi oil fields and administer them
for the greater good." The greater good? I just wonder
whose greater good?
If the jingoism
of the Wall Street Journal prevails, and the warmongers
in the Congress and the administration carry the day, we can assume
with certainty that these efforts being made will precipitate
an uncontrollable breakout of hostilities in the region that could
lead to World War III.
How a major
publication can actually print an article that openly supports
such aggression as a serious proposal is difficult to comprehend!
Two countries armed with nuclear weapons, on the verge of war
in the region, and we're being urged to dig a deeper hole for
ourselves by seizing the Saudi oil fields?
presence of our troops in the Muslim holy land of Saudi Arabia
has inflamed the hatred drove the terrorists to carry out their
tragic acts of 9-11. Pursuing such an aggressive policy would
only further undermine our ability to defend the American people
and will compound the economic problems we face.
anything, regardless of its effectiveness, had to be done, since
the American people expected it, and Congress and the Administration
willed it. An effort to get the terrorists and their supporters
is obviously in order, and hopefully that has been achieved. But
a never-ending commitment to end all terrorism in the world, whether
it is related to the attack on September 11th or not,
is neither a legitimate nor wise policy.
HJ RES 64
gives the President authority to pursue only those guilty of the
attack on us not every terrorist in the entire world. Let
there be no doubt: for every terrorist identified, others
will see only a freedom fighter.
When we aided
Osama bin Laden in the 1980s, he was a member of the Mujahidien,
and they were the freedom fighters waging a just
war against the Soviet Army. A broad definition of terrorism outside
the understanding of "those who attack the United States" opens
a Pandora's box in our foreign policy commitments.
If we concentrate
on searching for all terrorists throughout the world and bombing
dozens of countries, but forget to deal with the important contributing
factors that drove those who killed our fellow citizens, we will
only make ourselves more vulnerable to new attacks.
How can we
forever fail to address the provocative nature of U.S. taxpayer
money being used to suppress and kill Palestinians and ignore
the affront to the Islamic people that our military presence on
their holy land of Saudi Arabia causes not to mention the
persistent 12 years of bombing Iraq?
that an unlimited worldwide war against all terrorism will distract
from the serious consideration that must be given to our policy
of foreign interventionism, driven by the powerful commercial
interests and a desire to promote world government. This is done
while ignoring our principle responsibility of protecting national
security and liberty here at home.
a serious problem with a policy that has allowed a successful
attack on our homeland. It cannot be written off as a result of
irrational yet efficient evildoers who are merely jealous of our
success and despise our freedoms.
enemies throughout our history, but never before have we suffered
such an attack that has made us feel so vulnerable. The cause
of this crisis is much more profound and requires looking inwardly
as well as outwardly at our own policies as well as those of others.
of this country were precise in their beliefs regarding foreign
policy. Our Constitution reflects these beliefs, and all of our
early presidents endorsed these views. It was not until the 20th
Century that our nation went off to far away places looking for
dragons to slay. This past century reflects the new and less-traditional
American policy of foreign interventionism. Our economic and military
power, a result of our domestic freedoms, has permitted us to
survive and even thrive while dangerously expanding our worldwide
historic precedent that such a policy can be continued forever.
All empires and great nations throughout history have ended when
they stretched their commitments overseas too far and abused their
financial system at home. The over-commitment of a country's military
forces when forced with budgetary constraints can only lead to
a lower standard of living for its citizens. That has already
started to happen here in the United States. Who today is confident
the government and our private retirement systems are sound and
the benefits guaranteed?
complicating factor that all great powers suffer is the buildup
of animosity toward the nation currently at the top of the heap,
which is aggravated by arrogance and domination over the weaker
nations. We are beginning to see this, and the Wall Street
Journal editorial clearly symbolizes this arrogance.
American foreign policy of the Founders and our presidents for
the first 145 years of our history entailed three points: