[Congressional Record Volume 156, Number 58 (Thursday, April 22, 2010)]
[Page H2825]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. PAUL. Today, the motion to instruct on the comprehensive Iranian 
sanction bill was passed overwhelmingly, 400-11. Eleven individuals 
said that this was not a good idea. I was one of those 11, and I would 
like to explain why I think the sanction bill against the Iranians is 
very, very dangerous and not well thought out.
  Sanctions are very serious. Sanctions are literally an act of war. 
When you prevent certain goods and services going into a country, it's 
like a blockade. There is no advantage to us to do this. The sanction 
bill literally says that any country that trades or sends oil into 
Iran, we will no longer trade with them. So if Russia sends in oil or 
gasoline or refined products or China does, we are theoretically, under 
this bill, not to trade with them. Can you think of anything more 
chaotic than having a trade war with China at this particular time?
  So often well-intentioned foreign policy procedures backfire. They 
have unintended consequences and there is too often blowback. Today, 
unbelievably, we are engaged in so many places in the world and we 
can't afford it. Our foreign policy costs us a trillion dollars a year 
to operate. We're in 135 countries. We have over 700 bases throughout 
the world. We are engaged in military confrontation in Iraq, 
Afghanistan, in Pakistan. We're bombing in Yemen, as well as having 
surrogates fighting in Somalia.
  We're flat-out broke. The policy is driving our enemies into the 
hands of the Chinese, and here we are looking for another war. It makes 
no sense whatsoever.
  The conversation today was nothing more than war propaganda on why we 
have to get ready to bomb the Iranians. There is no proof, according to 
our CIA, that they're actually working on a nuclear weapon. I'm sure 
they would like to. Why not. Everybody around them has it so it would 
be logical that if they're surrounded and threatened and intimidated 
with all of the people around them, why wouldn't they want one? Well, 
of course they do. But others have it.
  They have never been found in violation of the nonproliferation 
treaty. Never. And yet Pakistan, India, and Israel, they don't even 
belong, and they're our friends and we give them money. Pakistan, they 
have gotten support from us. They have nuclear weapons and they have 
been known to send nuclear technology to North Korea.
  So the whole process makes so little sense.
  The language today was used that, well, we have to go in because of 
the weapons of mass destruction, they're going to have missiles and 
they're going to attack us. It's identical to the propaganda promoting 
in 2002 and 2001 before we attacked Iraq. So this same process is 
occurring trying to generate all of this excitement about the need to 
use hostilities.
  Now, a lot of individuals vote for sanctions that are basically anti-
war and they don't like the military option, and they think this is an 
alternative. I think that is deeply flawed thinking, because sanctions 
lead to hostilities. And if you commit to the sanctions, you're really 
committing to the next step. The sanctions of the 1990s and the year 
2000, the sanctions on Iraq, eventually led to the hostilities and the 
war and the invasion.
  So what did that invasion of Iraq do? Did we find any al Qaeda there? 
No. We found out that Saddam Hussein wouldn't allow the al Qaeda there. 
No weapons of mass destruction. We've turned the country upside down. 
Hundreds of thousands of people injured and killed. We have suffered 
devastating problems from this. And what has happened? We turned the 
Government of Iraq over to the Shiites, who are allies of the Iranians. 
So that whole policy has actually backfired.
  So now what we're doing to the Iranians is driving them into the 
pockets of the Chinese. The Chinese are pretty good capitalists these 
days. They work hard, they produce, they sell us certain goods and 
services. We pay them, they save their money, and they're starting to 
invest. So they're investing around the world in natural resources. And 
what are we doing? All we're doing is trying to take over the world 
with natural resources so we have control of oil.
  This is a mercantilistic idea, it's ancient, and it takes you back to 
almost colonial times.

                              {time}  1400

  So this, I think, shows that our policies are deeply flawed. I sure 
would have wished this vote would have come out differently. And I 
warn, this was a very dangerous vote.