Ron Paul: Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill [HR 3642, the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009]. Sometimes I wonder how we can, with a straight face, bring a bill up like this with the conditions of this country, especially financially.
I oppose this bill for two reasons. One, we don't have the money. That would be a pretty good reason not to support it. And the other reason is I do not believe it's in our national security interests. I know this is being promoted as benefiting our national security, but I do not believe it helps us one bit. This bill was essentially voted on in June, and the vote was 234-185, which means that it is assumed at least 56 or more individuals in the Congress have switched their votes.
Now they say they have tinkered with the bill and changed it a little bit, but it's an authorization that could be $15 billion. So it hasn't had that much of a change. But today it is expected that these individuals will change and vote for this bill not really asking the questions.
Now, the bill is defined as fortifying democratic institutions. That is a good goal. But it never, never works. We are in 130 countries, we have 700 bases around the world, and we pursue this, and we are bankrupting our country by trying to maintain this empire. I have often made the point that the way we treat our fellow countries around the world is we tell them what to do, and if they do it we give them money. If they don't do it, we bomb them. Under this condition, we are doing both. We are currently dropping bombs in Pakistan. The CIA is dropping bombs, and innocent people get killed.
If you want to promote our good values and our democratic process, you can't antagonize the people by literally killing people over there, because if bombs were falling on this country, we wouldn't be all that happy with that. So this does not improve our conditions whatsoever.
I would suggest another proposal for our foreign policy, not using bombs and bribes, but what about neither one? What about just talking to people? What about reducing tariffs? What about trading with them? Instead, it is this form of foreign policy that will not serve our interests.