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Rep. Paul Letter: Do Not Expand Military Operations Beyond Afghanistan (Plain Text)

Note Representative Ron Paul (Democrat - Texas) Url:


President George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

December 6, 2001

Dear Mr. President:

The volume of those voices demanding a massive ground invasion of Iraq has
been on the increase of late. These voices demand that the U.S. government
move American troops from Afghanistan to Iraq, to overthrow Saddam Hussein
and install a new government there. It would be unwise and dangerous in the
extreme, however, to heed these calls to widen American military action, and
we urge you to stay the course in responding to those who attacked the
United States on September 11.

Mr. President, there is no evidence that Iraq had any part in the September
11 attacks against the United States. Our allies, including Israeli Foreign
Minister Shimon Peres, have agreed that Iraq had no role in the attack.
According to the joint Congressional resolution authorizing the use of
force, passed on September 14, "The president is authorized to use all
necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or
persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist
attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations
or persons..." An attack on Iraq, or any other nation not involved in the
9/11 attacks, would therefore exceed the authority given by Congress in the
joint resolution of September 14.

We are also concerned that far from punishing terrorists who threaten the
United States, an invasion of Iraq would undermine our security and open the
door to an exponential increase in threats to our survival. An attack on
Iraq could destroy the international coalition against terrorism, a
carefully assembled construct that has allowed us to successfully traverse
the geographic and political minefields of diverse nations with often
conflicting interests, but united now in common cause. Most of our European
allies - critical in maintaining this coalition - have explicitly stated
their opposition to any attack on Iraq. German Foreign Minister Joschka
Fischer warned recently that Europe was "completely united" in opposition to
any attack on Iraq.

Likewise, U.S. relations with the Gulf states like Saudi Arabia could
collapse should the United States initiate an attack on Iraq. Not only would
our Saudi allies deny us the use of their territory to launch the attack,
but a certain backlash from all Gulf and Arab states could well produce even
an oil embargo against the U.S. Egypt, a key ally in our fight against
terrorism, has also warned against any attack on Iraq. Egyptian Foreign
Minister Ahmed Maher said recently of the coalition that, "If we want to
keep consensus...we should not resort, after Afghanistan, to military

Osama bin Laden has consistently made his goals known to his followers and
the rest of the world: he seeks to inflame the Muslim world into an all-out
holy war against the United States. Invading Iraq, with the massive loss of
life on both sides, would only forward bin Laden's twisted and hateful plan.
It would be both tragic and ironic if U.S. policy actually helped terrorists
advance their ultimate goal of a world war between Islam and the West.

Mr. President, we urge you to stay the course. We urge you to continue to
act within the authority granted you in the joint Congressional resolution
of September 14, and limit the use of force to the apprehension of those who
"planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that
occurred on September 11, 2001."

Ron Paul


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