Republican Representative Ron Paul gave the speech on the house floor yesterday that the Democrats were elected to give. You can read the entire thing here, The Neoconservative Empire, or watch it here.
Statement on the Iraq War ResolutionI hope that at least a few Democrats were listening and taking notes but that's probably a false hope. He concludes with this.
Before the U.S. House of Representatives February 14, 2007
This grand debate is welcomed but it could be that this is nothing more than a distraction from the dangerous military confrontation approaching with Iran and supported by many in leadership on both sides of the aisle.
This resolution, unfortunately, does not address the disaster in Iraq. Instead, it seeks to appear opposed to the war while at the same time offering no change of the status quo in Iraq. As such, it is not actually a vote against a troop surge. A real vote against a troop surge is a vote against the coming supplemental appropriation that finances it. I hope all of my colleagues who vote against the surge today will vote against the budgetary surge when it really counts: when we vote on the supplemental.
The biggest red herring in this debate is the constant innuendo that those who don’t support expanding the war are somehow opposing the troops. It’s nothing more than a canard to claim that those of us who struggled to prevent the bloodshed and now want it stopped are somehow less patriotic and less concerned about the welfare of our military personnel.
Osama bin Laden has expressed sadistic pleasure with our invasion of Iraq and was surprised that we served his interests above and beyond his dreams on how we responded after the 9/11 attacks. His pleasure comes from our policy of folly getting ourselves bogged down in the middle of a religious civil war, 7,000 miles from home that is financially bleeding us to death. Total costs now are reasonably estimated to exceed $2 trillion. His recruitment of Islamic extremists has been greatly enhanced by our occupation of Iraq.
Unfortunately, we continue to concentrate on the obvious mismanagement of a war promoted by false information and ignore debating the real issue which is: Why are we determined to follow a foreign policy of empire building and pre-emption which is unbecoming of a constitutional republic?
For all the misinformation given the American people to justify our invasion, such as our need for national security, enforcing UN resolutions, removing a dictator, establishing a democracy, protecting our oil, the argument has been reduced to this: If we leave now Iraq will be left in a mess-implying the implausible that if we stay it won’t be a mess.That's right, it's going to go badly if we leave but it's going to go badly if we stay costing lives and treasure of this country. So why would we stay.
Since it could go badly when we leave, that blame must be placed on those who took us there, not on those of us who now insist that Americans no longer need be killed or maimed and that Americans no longer need to kill any more Iraqis. We’ve had enough of both!
The right wing blogosphere is is all excited about this:
Mahdi army commanders withdraw to Iran to lie low during security crackdown
somehow thinking it is an indication of victory. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm sure the suggestion to leave temporarily came from the highest levels of the al Maliki government. It's purpose - to allow the Americans to concentrate on the ethnic cleansing of the Sunnis. I wonder how our friends is Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt will feel about that. When that's complete the al Sadr and the Mahdi Army will be back in force to take on the Americans.
But as Ron Paul notes the Democrats don't seem willing to do what needs to be done - what they were given the majority to do.