Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, September 15, 2007, 10:30am

A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address

Click here to listen to a replay of the September 15, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall

Notes and Summary of the Broadcast -- General Petraeus Reports on Iraq

THE PRESIDENT:   Good morning.
       This week, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified before Congress on the progress of America's strategy in Iraq, including the surge in forces. They agreed that our Coalition faces formidable challenges. Yet they also said that security conditions are improving, that our forces are seizing the initiative from the enemy, and that the troop surge is working.
       Because of this progress, General Petraeus now believes we can maintain our security gains with fewer U.S. troops.

A Christian/Libertarian Response:

  1. Republican Candidate Ron Paul said this at the recent New Hampshire debate: | video |

    MR. WALLACE: Congressman Paul, your position on the war is pretty simple: Get out. What about, though, trying to minimize the bloodbath that would certainly occur if we pull out in a hurry? What about protecting the thousands of Iraqis who have staked their lives in backing the U.S.? And would you leave troops in the region to take out any al Qaeda camps that are developed after we leave?

    REP. PAUL: The people who say there will be a bloodbath are the ones who said it would be a cakewalk, it would be slam dunk, and that it would be paid for by oil. Why believe them? They’ve been wrong on everything they’ve said. Why not ask the people — (interrupted by cheers) — why not ask the people who advise not to go into the region and into the war? The war has not gone well one bit. Yes, I would leave, I would leave completely. Why leave the troops in the region? The fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia was one of the three reasons given for the attack on 9/11. So why leave them in the region? They don’t want our troops on the Arabian Peninsula. We have no need for our national security to have troops on the Arabian Peninsula, and going into Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening Iran is the worst thing we can do for our national security. I am less safe, the American people are less safe for this. It’s the policy that is wrong. Tactical movements and shifting troops around and taking in 30 more and reducing by five, totally irrelevant. We need a new foreign policy that said we ought to mind our own business, bring our troops home, defend this country,

    MR. WALLACE: So, Congressman Paul, and I’d like you to take 30 seconds to answer this, you’re basically saying that we should take our marching orders from al Qaeda? If they want us off the Arabian Peninsula, we should leave? (Laughter.)

    REP. PAUL: No! I’m saying we should take our marching orders from our Constitution.

  2. Would you have chosen to invade and occupy Iraq in 2000?
    • Was it a good idea to dedicate U.S. troops to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his secular government so that we could create an Islamic Theocracy in Iraq? Look at the Iraq Constitution:
      • Article 2: First: Islam is the official religion of the State and it is a fundamental source of legislation: A. No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.
      • Article 2: Second: This Constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people
      • Article 3: Iraq is a country of many nationalities, religions and sects, and is a part of the Islamic world, is a founding and active member of the Arab League, and is committed to its covenant.
      • Article 89: The Federal Supreme Court shall be made up of number of judges, and experts in Islamic jurisprudence and law
    • If you had the choice to kill or maim 40,000 Americans; kill or main ten times as many Iraqi civilians, in order to create this Islamic Theocracy, would you have chosen to do so?.
    • If you had known that gas prices would double as a result of the political/military instability, would you have chosen this path?
    • If you had known that the total cost of this war would be $3-6,000 for every man, woman and child in America, would you have said, "Yes, and Islamic Theocracy is worth it!"
    • Would you have said "Yes, let's do it! My family will contribute $12,000 to this war."
  3. What Kind of America Do You Want?
    • A Christ-like Servant
    • or a Global Bully?
  4. What Kind of America Do We Have?
    • The World doesn't think of America like it did 100 years ago. America was the bread-basket of the world. The "Protestant Work Ethic" fed billions of people. America was the place where immigrants were greeted by the Statue of Liberty and told they were free to succeed.
    • Today America is anti-immigrant, and Liberty in a Free Market has been replaced with Security through market regulation by an omnipresent government.
  5. What is the "light" that can bring people out of "darkness?"
  6. What should America's Foreign Policy Look Like?
    • The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
      — Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington's emphasis]
    • I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
      — Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

    We should send Christian missionaries to Iraq, not soldiers.

Kevin Craig's Platform: 
Recent Blog Posts:
Kevin Craig's Platform:

The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address "Liberty Under God"
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified before Congress on the progress of America's strategy in Iraq, including the surge in forces. They agreed that our Coalition faces formidable challenges. Yet they also said that security conditions are improving, that our forces are seizing the initiative from the enemy, and that the troop surge is working. The question we should be asking is not "How many troops should be in Iraq, and when should they leave, or how long should they stay?"

The question we should be asking is whether we should have sent troops there in the first place.

Because of this progress, General Petraeus now believes we can maintain our security gains with fewer U.S. troops. He's recommended a force reduction of 5,700 troops in Iraq by Christmas, and he expects that by July we will be able to reduce our troop levels in Iraq further, from 20 combat brigades to 15. He's also recommended that in December we begin a transition to the next phase of our strategy in Iraq, in which our troops will shift over time from leading operations to partnering with Iraqi forces, and eventually to overwatching those forces.  
I have accepted General Petraeus's recommendations. And I have directed that he and Ambassador Crocker deliver another report to Congress in March. At that time, they will provide a fresh assessment of the situation in Iraq and of the troop levels we need to meet our national security objectives. The principle that guides my decisions on troop levels is "return on success." The more successful we are, the more troops can return home. And in all we do, I will ensure that our commanders on the ground have the troops and flexibility they need to defeat the enemy. How is America made safer by sending troops to Iraq, imposing by force an arbitrary and unclear agenda, killing people in Iraq and giving recruiters of terrorism an easy enemy?

Who exactly is "the enemy" that Bush is going to defeat? Is it the Sunnis? The Shiites? Is it al-Qaeda? How can we "defeat the enemy" if our very presence in Iraq as a military occupation is the basis for recruiters to raise up a new generation of anti-U.S. terrorists? Are we forever going to be in Iraq, with today's children becoming tomorrow's combatants, generation after generation?

Anbar Province is a good example of the progress we are seeing in Iraq. Last year, an intelligence report concluded that Anbar had been lost to al Qaeda. But local sheiks asked for our help to push back the terrorists -- and so we sent an additional 4,000 Marines to Anbar as part of the surge. Together, local sheiks, Iraqi forces, and Coalition troops drove the terrorists from the capital of Ramadi and other population centers. Today, citizens who once feared beheading for talking to our troops now come forward to tell us where the terrorists are hiding. And young Sunnis who once joined the insurgency are now joining the army and police. Al-Qaeda was not in Iraq before the U.S. military occupation. Muslim terrorists are coming from around the world to to battle with the U.S. invaders.


Would it be a good thing if everyone in Iraq joined the army or police? Will an increase in U.S.-controlled police and military in Iraq attract terrorists or deter them from coming to Iraq? What kind of life is being created in Iraq by the U.S. occupation?

The success in Anbar is beginning to be replicated in other parts of Iraq. In Diyala, a province that was once a sanctuary for extremists is now the site of a growing popular uprising against the extremists. In Baghdad, sectarian killings are down, and life is beginning to return to normal in many parts of the city. Groups of Shia extremists and Iranian-backed militants are being broken up, and many of their leaders are being captured or killed. These gains are a tribute to our military, to Iraqi forces, and to an Iraqi government that has decided to take on the extremists. The more powerful a military occupation force becomes, the easier it is to recruit resistance to it. U.S. military domination is "proof" of what the terrorist recruiters are saying about the U.S. As "The Great Satan" becomes extremely powerful, extremists are attracted to it as an enemy.
The success of a free Iraq is critical to the security of the United States. If we were to be driven out of Iraq, extremists of all strains would be emboldened. Al Qaeda could find new recruits and new sanctuaries. And a failed Iraq could increase the likelihood that our forces would someday have to return -- and confront extremists even more entrenched and even more deadly. By contrast, a free Iraq will deny al Qaeda a safe haven. It will counter the destructive ambitions of Iran. And it will serve as a partner in the fight against terrorism. If the U.S. stopped being an imperialist, what exactly would "embolden" the terrorists? Who would they be fighting? What happens to their "enemy?"

How will a "free" Iraq "deny" something -- is there "freedom" when you're being "denied?" If the religion of al-Qaeda permeates the people of Iraq, will the U.S. overturn their "democratic" elections, forcing the popularly-elected al-Qaeda leaders out of office and installing U.S.-approved officials? Will terrorists be "emboldened" by that "denial?" Is this "freedom?"

In this struggle, we have brave allies who are making great sacrifices to defeat the terrorists. One of these Iraqis was a man named Sheikh Abdul Sattar. He was one of the tribal leaders I met on my recent visit to Iraq, who was helping us to drive al Qaeda out of Anbar Province. His father was killed by al Qaeda in 2004. And when we met Sheikh Sattar, he told me, quote: "We have suffered a great deal from terrorism. We strongly support the democracy you have called for." Earlier this week, this brave tribal sheikh was murdered. A fellow Sunni leader declared: "We are determined to strike back and continue our work." We mourn the loss of brave Iraqis like Sheikh Sattar, and we stand with those who are continuing the fight. Everybody supports "democracy" as long as they think they have the popular vote behind them.

America's Founding Fathers opposed "democracy." They would have opposed imposing "democracy" on Iraq by military force.

The imposition of "democracy" is actually the very definition of "imperialism." America is neither a democracy nor a republic. It is an empire.

America was based on the idea that Christianity creates free governments and a prosperous economy. It is Christianity, and Christian morality -- "Liberty Under God," not "democracy" -- that we should be trying to export to the Middle East.

If Iraq's young democracy can turn back its enemies, it will mean a more hopeful Middle East -- and a more secure America. So we will help the Iraqi people defeat those who threaten their future -- and also threaten ours.  
Thank you for listening.  

Additional Resources:

U.S. May End Up With Even More Troops in Iraq | Houston Chronicle
Even if there are not more "troops," there may be more "private security" forces

Poll: Civilian Death Toll in Iraq May Top 1 Million - Los Angeles Times, Sept 14.

Troops Confront Waste In Iraq Reconstruction -
Why do "conservatives" in Washington place so much faith in the efficiency of government troops rather than the Free Market?
Beginning-Ending "Enduring Relationships" - by Gordon Prather
Bush wants an "enduring relationship" with Iraq, which sounds like the U.S. relationship with Korea, which has seen U.S. troops there for 50 years. But the Bush-Clinton regime (1989-200?) has not pursued nuclear diplomacy in a Christ-like manner.

The Democrat Party Radio Address:

Congressman Tom Lantos on President Bush's failed War in Iraq.

  • Strategically, the escalation has failed. It was intended to buy time for Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki and the other Iraqi political leaders to find ways to move toward the one thing that may end this terrible civil conflict - a political settlement.
  • To win the war against international terrorism, we must stop frittering away our resources - military, diplomatic, and economic - on an endless religious war in Iraq.
  • "The United States needs a new direction in its policy on Iraq. The situation calls for a change of course. We need to get out of Iraq, for that country's sake as well as our own.

Libertarian Response to Democrats:

  • Lantos speaks of a "civil conflict" that requires "a political settlement." It is in fact a religious problem.
  • He admits this later on, speaking of "an endless religious war in Iraq."
  • Is it U.S. foreign policy to change the religion of the people of other nations by military force?
  • Is it U.S. foreign policy to repress religions forever and ever, as long as religious leaders continue to raise up converts to "fight the oppressors and occupiers?"
  • Who would be the "enemy" for terrorists to fight if the U.S. were not there?
  • Lantos says, "We need to get out of Iraq," but Democrats have voted to continue funding the war, even after they took control of Congress. They will keep us in Iraq, or move us back to Bosnia. But they will keep us in war.

Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall