Congressman Ron Paul gave a speech in the House of Representives last week that is well worth reading in its entirety. Here are the first two paragraphs:
Whenever the administration is challenged regarding the success of the Iraq war, or regarding the false information used to justify the war, the retort is: “Aren’t the people of Iraq better off?” The insinuation is that anyone who expresses any reservations about supporting the war is an apologist for Saddam Hussein and every ruthless act he ever committed. The short answer to the question of whether the Iraqis are better off is that it’s too early to declare, “Mission Accomplished.” But more importantly, we should be asking if the mission was ever justified or legitimate. Is it legitimate to justify an action that some claim yielded good results, if the means used to achieve them are illegitimate? Do the ends justify the means?
The information Congress was given prior to the war was false. There were no weapons of mass destruction; the Iraqis did not participate in the 9/11 attacks; Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were enemies and did not conspire against the United States; our security was not threatened; we were not welcomed by cheering Iraqi crowds as we were told; and Iraqi oil has not paid any of the bills. Congress failed to declare war, but instead passed a wishy-washy resolution citing UN resolutions as justification for our invasion. After the fact we’re now told the real reason for the Iraq invasion was to spread democracy, and that the Iraqis are better off. Anyone who questions the war risks being accused of supporting Saddam Hussein, disapproving of democracy, or “supporting terrorists.” It’s implied that lack of enthusiasm for the war means one is not patriotic and doesn’t support the troops. In other words, one must march lock-step with the consensus or be ostracized.
Rep. Paul should not be dismissed as a weak-kneed liberal. On the contrary, he is a Republican--from Texas, no less (the 14th District)--with a lifetime rating of 83 (out of 100) from the American Conservative Union.