Stage often set for intervention in "non-binding" resolutions. U.S. making dangerous commitment to Lebanon.
June 17, 1981
Lebanon: Another Commitment?
House Resolution 159 passed unanimously yesterday, rightfully so.
Parts urge peace in Middle East, praise character of Philip Habib. No problem with these.
Towards end of resolution some words require debate, not quick senses-of-Congress under unanimous consent, as previous resolutions have meant trouble.
H.R. 159 states:
Resolved, H.R. strongly supports diplomatic efforts to resolve crisis in Lebanon, encourages president to pursue comprehensive coordinated policy, including development of effective cease-fire, resolution of Syrian missiles issue, promotion of independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity of Lebanon.
Since when is U.S. guarantor of Lebanon? Promises require troops & billions of tax dollars.
Solve Syrian missile issue by force? Use our troops to patrol cease-fire?
Overboard resolution, sponsored by Foreign Affairs Committee, seeds within possible trouble for U.S. Congress should not have considered it, Members hardly had time to read it.
Less meddling in internal affairs of other nations needed, not more. Resolution could be used to justify unknown dollars & lives in future conflict or peacekeeping operations.
H.R. 159 bad resolution, brought up without sufficient time to study implications. Not in country’s interests, should not have passed.
*****Oct 14, 1981
Oppose sale of AWACS airplanes to Saudi Arabia. This sale of the least objectionable, so often we give weapons away, very expensive; in comparison, this sale less objectionable.
Complain and object to, think Americans agree, being supplier of weapons for everybody. AWACS for Saudi today, also providing 1,177 Sidewinder missiles for planes already purchased from us. Very possible missiles will be used against American-built airplanes in another country, just as AWACS will be shot down this decade by American-built planes. For this object, policy should be consistent to provide security for this country & not police the world, providing weapons for everyone.
For instance, last several decades U.S. helped build trucks Russians used to invade Afghanistan; Corps of Engineers built the highway in Afghanistan they marched upon. We give weapons to Greece & Turkey, together they fight. We propose weapons to Pakistan, yet aid India. They’re likely to end in battle, as sworn enemies.
Look at policy; decide whether or not to be supplier of weapons, protector, policemen of world. Some suggest reason is protection of oil supplies. Yet statistics find 5% total energy needs come through Strait of Hormuz. Japan depends 100% on imports, Europe nearly as much, yet their responsibility in Mid-East negligible. Why must American soldier/taxpayer assume this great risk/burden? Continual policy of intervention will again drag America into unnecessary war.
First, sale more agreeable than outright gift, but important to point, not clean sale. Example, administration reports AWACS will be manned & operated by American servicemen, which means further & permanent involvement in Mid-East. Some sought to reassure Congress saying, AWACS remain under American control –far from reassuring. Rather, likely lead to escalation of American involvement in any altercation within Mid-East. Permanent military makes commitment, explicit or not, we may soon regret.
Second, danger of sophisticated technology falling into enemy hands; Mid-East volatile region, especially following assassination of President Sadat of Egypt. Shah of Iran supplied with our latest weaponry, to shore up government, but fell away. Those sophisticated weapons & radar installations possessed by Khomeini, if reports true, shared with Socialist & Communist Govs. Dare we risk same with AWACS? Soviets have nothing comparable. Fundamental mistake thinking weapons will shore up government. Iran exemplifies, it is not weapons but ideas.
Believe Americans sick & tired of supplying, deliberate or accidental, both conflict sides since WW II. This happened in Vietnam, U.S. shipped wheat and weapons to Soviet Union, who in turn shipped to North Vietnam, while we shipped wheat & weapons to South Vietnam. Seen between India v. Pakistan boarder wars; between Israel v. neighbors; now again in the Mid-East?
Reason for policy, must maintain balance of power. Cannot this happen by not supplying either side with sinews of war, rather than both? Cannot power be balanced–without U.S. involvement–by staying from the situation?
How much commitment in this sale? Building airbases for AWACS? We will maintain & furnish replacement parts, how far does commitment stretch, 90-day or 90-year warranty?
For this, believe best interest to disapprove sale of advanced technology & weapons to Saudi Gov, urge colleagues do same.