Madam Speaker, 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
The charge that Saddam
Hussein had aluminum tubes used in manufacturing nuclear weapons was in
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
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
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
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
Dr. Ron Paul is a
Republican member of Congress from Texas.