tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 26, 2014 11:00pm-1:01am EDT
tried to come in this year. including yemen, sudan, syria, iraq, iran. i could, iran, i could go on. we legislative battles that are fighting are only part of this larger effort to write finalize american values. that is why i'm so grateful for the values voter summit. we know we have to do more than move legislation. we have to move hearts. that is why we have to remind ourfederal sills since -- fellow citizens that make us so exceptional. we do not apologize that. we brag about it to the rest of the world. [applause] you see, we have been such a force for good for about the last 100 years, the world was safeguarded by what was known as pax britannica. england was the world's military and economic superpower.
as we know, things did not stay that way. somewhere in the middle of the 1940's we move from what was called pax britannica two pax americana. why? in the mid-1940's, the united states of america became the economic superpower of the world. when that happened, we also became the military superpower of the world. we are a force for good. it brought peace to different regions of the world. you see, i think it is time that we wake up. that mantle is slipping away. , sometimes it is absolutely despairing to serve here in washington dc. at the same time, we are told as believers, very clearly, we are not to despair. we are to look up. whether we feel it or not, we look up. whether we want to or not, we look up. whether it does not seem like it on the evening news, we look up.
that is my charge to you today. we do not curse the darkness. we buy a candle. -- we like a candle. that is what believers do. [applause] while it is true that i am leaving congress, i want you to know that i'm not leaving the fight. [applause] because there is too much at stake to sit on the sidelines. none of us can set it out. what i'm asking you today is to have your voice be heard. we are 39 days away from having our voice be heard. our leaders need to hear from you. that is why it is more important than ever that conservatives take control of the senate away from harry reid in 2014. [applause]
and we need to expose hillary clinton's record of failure and we will defeat her in 2016. of that i have no doubt. [applause] that is why together we have to do something very important that every generation has had to figure out and do. we have to focus on returning this nation to what made a great, our founding principle, the constitution, the declaration, and understanding what those principles are. it is never too late to save the country. don't buy into defeatism. it is not too late. i'm encouraged. be encouraged. that is what faith can do. you are like a phoenix that rises out of the ashes. i am there with a smile on my face because i know we serve a god of a possible who can make
it happen. with people like yourselves, we cannot lose. values voters. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. [applause] thank you. >> all right, thank you congresswoman bachmann. one of a kind and the liberals are glad of that. [laughter] this --l spiegel speaker this morning is a combat decorated marine, a best-selling offer, and he has his new book available. he will be doing a book signing after he's finished his
speaking. businessman, aul columnist, and a host of war stories on fox news channel. he is also the founder of freedom alliance, a foundations providing support to injured military euros in college sons andips to the daughters of those killed and of duty. -- and thosee killed in the line of duty. please welcome colonel oliver north. [applause] thank you. i appreciate the opportunity to be with you this afternoon. actually, it is still morning. no, it is afternoon. my mission is to get you out to lunch. close to on time.
screentos you see on the were taken by chuck holden, my combat cameramen. the final shot is of the next commandant of the record fighting, joe dunford. it was taken last year while we were in iraq. for 13 years, it has been my privilege to document the finest military force the world has ever known. ining our 57 embeds africa, iraq, the philippines, central america, the stars of my reports and books have been the bravest and best of this generation and they truly are america's heroes. [applause] fox since me out often to speak to young people. i can say that at 71. most of them are. fox sends me out to speak to
young bureau. i say the word heroes often. i've conjured up the idea of someone who catches a pass in the end zone or sets a new record were someone wearing a spandex suit and a cape in a comic book. that is a euro. my heroes wear flak jackets and combat boots in flight suits. they go to work in some the most dangerous and difficult places on the planet earth. real heroes are selfless. they put themselves at risk for the benefit of others. because the mainstream media won't tell the truth and because i'm the chairman of the nra's veterans and military affairs committee. our board of directors put together what you are about to see. a video of what this generation's great american heroes really look like. look at this. ♪
since 9/11, more than 2.5 million young americans have forfeited the comforts of home, centered themselves from the affections of loved ones, and gone into harm's way to protect us. for the very first time in history since the american revolution, every single person serving in an american uniform in a time of war is a volunteer. has not happened in any war since the one that gave us our liberty. they came because of some terrible offense. this footage right here shows some of what they can do. you can see more if you go to the nra website. you can see what they look like doing the things they do so well. these are truly remarkable young people. they deserve better than what they are getting from this
administration. [applause] from some of the tens of thousands of miles of footage that we have shot over those 57 embeds, my producers picked out frames. you will literally see why they came. it is because of this. even the ones i interviewed last week at walter reed national in gradeenter who were school when this happened, what you are looking at on the screen, they came because of this. they came because they know what happened that terrible day 13 years ago this month and they don't want it to ever happen again. we were promised, when this administration came to office in 2009, that they were going to end the war responsibly. speed up those slides because we
have to get through this. can't beat the dogs. short sight them, because they are the best thing you have for sniffing out a bomb. the young americans came because they wanted to fight for our country. they wanted to serve our nation. they want to make sure that terrorism was wiped clean. they want to make sure that it could not be exported to this country again. they were told that this administration was going to "and the war responsibly." these youngsters became the protectors of muslim women and children. these frames are not staged. this is real. this is what they do. those youngsters who you see gathered in prayer circles, those youngsters you see huddled comeying a prayer did not because they were told to. i want to see the aclu go after those youngsters for preying on
government time. [applause] they are brighter, better educated, trained better than any military force in history. they volunteered to protect us from an enemy dying to kill us. they know they are not going out on a football field on friday night they are going into mortal combatagainst -- mortal against an enemy ready to die. and their commander-in-chief is kowtowing foreign leaders and apologizing for america. americans have done nothing for which we need to apologize. [applause] we saw it happen again this week up at the united nations. don't we deserve and don't pay, who was sacrificed so much, deserve a commander-in-chief who knows america, the greatest
force for good in the world that the world has ever known, does not need to apologize for the sacrifices made by them and their families to protect us and offer others the hope of freedom? i think we do. [applause] the members of our armed forces and their families deserve better than being treated by laboratory rats in a radical social engineering experiment. syria,ans in iraq and who have been killed by the thousands over the course of the last six months, are paying the terrible price for the inept has and incompetence that run this country into the ground for the last six years. that is something we need to resonate across america as we look forward to replacing and hiring a new commander-in-chief.
days, a licking congress that understands it as well. a congress that understands it as well. [applause] i maintain that we are all paying a terrible price for america's leadership deficit disorder. to totalan rush disarmament. we do not need a commander-in-chief who guts our defenses, draws phony redlines with a pink crayon, and then fails to stand up to keep someone from crossing. her leadership be trusted by our allies and respected or feared by our adversaries. between now and 2016 we hire a new commander-in-chief, we need a majority in congress who understands the rule of law and the constitution of the united states.
if you will allow me, i want to make this personal. and 14.5ren grandchildren are threatened by a mountain of debt, unconstrained spending, ever higher taxes, and a head long rush to socialism. our congress needs to be accountable for what they need one that offers the protection of the constitution to our enemies, but strips those protections from our people. we need a congress that will stop this administration from perpetrating frontal assault on free enterprise, private property, and the civil liberties enshrined in our bill of rights. we need a congress that we use the power of the purse to defend our national sovereignty, our -teamrs, and stop the o aom subordinating the -- to
global agenda that limits our energy resources. the obama debacle is but a tip of the incompetence rampant in washington. we, the people -- the first three words of the constitution -- must demand accountability for cover ups. fast and furious, the irs enemies list. government spying on american citizens. some of that began yesterday when eric holder, thank god, decided to get out of town. [applause] the words we, the people is not a political slogan. it is a way of life. commitments are not what we say. commitments are what we do. the framers who crafted our constitution were counting on we, the people to hold government accountable. some say it is ok to ignore the so-called social issues like
marriage, the sanctity of life, or religious freedoms. i say they are not social issues at all. they are deeply moral and spiritual issues and they should matter in every election. [applause] i just want you to understand. i know that this is a nonpartisan organization so let me put it to you this way. [laughter] in the 1850's, a political movement began on a great moral issue. it was founded on a great spiritual issue of the day. the abolition of human bondage. slavery in america. if we cease to be a home in that political party for people of faith and those who believe strongly in moral and spiritual issues, that party will cease to
be a political force for good no matter who are candidates are and what they stand for. be aort, that party has to home for those of us who fear god and the wrath that will follow when we reject him. [applause] our greatness was built on the shoulders of those who staked their lives and honor on a creator who endows us with unalienable rights and responsibilities. they made a commitment. let me show you a contemporary definition. what you are about the sea is a marine captain by the name of matt lampert. he is on his second combat were of afghanistan and i put a microphone on him and we put this in the file because fox did not necessarily think it was
>> we could not put it on the are and we could not tell people that matt lambert's wife, he is a graduate of a small boat and barge school, a trade school, he had been in the listed rain -- and listed marine, and then went to the marines on his second combat tour and he is married to a marine helicopter pilot. quite a commitment. i'm asking you to make a commitment here today. i will not mask you to make the commitment that matt did but i am asking you to make the commitment when you go back home to inspire our countrymen to reject ideas like unilateral disarmament to achieve peace, to dismiss the concept of spending our way out of debt or regulating our way to prosperity. i'm asking you to inspire others
, that we might elect those who know we cannot surrender our sovereignty to assure security. i urge you to make a commitment today to assert the moral authority of a free people. the next election is just 39 days away. making a commitment now that all -- to elect to congress who will stand up to liberties granted by our creator. we all that much to young americans who -- we all that much to young americans who risk their lives in dangerous places. i started talking about he rose. the president i was blessed -- heroes. the president i was blessed to serve said we had a rendezvous with destiny. us to ensure that
government of, by, and for the people would not perish from the earth. we often hear that we do not have heroes anymore. let me close with this from that commander-in-chief who called me a hero, though i never thought of myself as one. here he speaks of real heroes in the kind of leadership that we need is reflected in what he is going to say. if we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because that here in this land we unleashed the energy of individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth.
the price for this freedom at times has been high. unwilling to been pay that price. those who say that we are in a time where there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look. the sloping hills of arlington national cemetery with its row upon row of simple white markers bearing crosses or stars of david. they add up to only eight tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom. each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero i spoke of earlier. their lives ended in place is beach,the argonne, omaha salerno, and halfway around the world on guadalcanal, pork chop hill, the chosen reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and
jungles of a place called vietnam. marker lies a ,oung man, mark and truck tile who left his job in a smalltime barbershop in 1917 to go to france with the famed rainbow division. there, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. we are told that on his body was found a diary. under the heading "my pledge," he had written these words -- america must win this war. therefore, i will work, i will save, i will sacrifice, i will endure. i will fight cheerfully and do my utmost as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me
alone. we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. it is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. it is a weapon that we as americans do have. let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors. freedom,e enemies of those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that piece is the highest aspiration of the american people. we will negotiate for it. sacrifice for it. we will not surrender for it now or ever. we are americans. >> so -- [applause]
>> so, we americans have a chance to fix it. we americans, if we want our nation to remain the land of the free, we are going to have to take a stand and make a commitment and show our friends and our adversaries that we are still the home of the brave. god bless you and thank you for being here today. semper fi. [applause] ["stars and stripes forever"] ♪
>> thank you. thank you very much. very warm,or that generous reception. it is so great here to be with you in washington dc. that is not really quite true. is never really great to be in washington dc. washington dc is a very, very funny place. i have had the opportunity to work your five different times. the first time i was here i was an intern. there is no job too menial our lowly for them to give an intern to do. [laughter] i learned about a lot about the coffee machines and copy machines. the third time i was here, i was the ed of a national commission on the future of medicare. we came so close to finding a bipartisan solution to
strengthening medicare. i believed we were torpedoed because president clinton could not control his lust. came back a fourth time. i was an assistant secretary in the bush administration. to work withor president bush but i saw some of the waste and federal government. the most interesting time i came to d.c. was the fifth time. i had the privilege to come here as a congressman. when you come as a congressman, is a whole different experience. it is like somebody gives you the secret password. when you first get elected, they give you this pen that allows you to go anywhere you want in the capital. then they do a license plate for your car. it is interesting. it's is h and has a number on it. the lower the number, the more important you are. you find a very quickly that with the license plate, you are allowed to park wherever you want. i was circling the rayburn building and i could not find a
spot. the capital police officer said, what are you doing? notaid congressman, that is for you. you park wherever you want. you do not worry about the signs. they give you about $1 million to run your office. you can spend it however you want. it is an amazing thing when you get elected to congress and they give you the secret keys. your jokes get funnier. .ou are smarter, better looking i told my colleagues, i said i want you to try something. when you go to your office and a day, the next group of lobbyists that come see you, i when you say the dumbest thing you can think of. [laughter] you make up the dumbest thing -- you tell them the sun rose in the west this morning. you saw it. i guarantee you they will try to agree with you. congressman, that is the smartest thing i've ever heard. i saw the sunrise in the west. i know because i lost my first election.
people ask, what is the difference between losing and winning an election? when you win an election, you have a lot more friends. when i won, there was a guy who endorsed one of my opponents. electedion -- an official who criticize me on tv. after i won.e me he said bobby, i am secretly for you from the first day. [laughter] i don't know what that means. what should be secretly for the other guy and publicly for me. tell you that is because d.c. is a phony environment. we need to pay them per diem, except we pay them more they leave in washington instead of every day they stay in washington. [applause] everything in washington is about politics and political slogans.
a few years back, bill clinton ran for president with the slogan "it's the economy, stupid." i agree the economy is important, but i think that is a flawed view of america. candidates focused on most exclusively on economic issues. disagree. i think the key to a strong america is economic strength in our democratic system of government. here is what i believe sprint is america so -- here is what i believe. as america goes, -- it is not the economy, stupid. it should be it is the culture, stupid. [applause] don't get me wrong. i am all for capitalism and a strong economy.
capitalism and free enterprise will fail in a country where people do not respect the rule of law. they don't care for each other, they don't care a common view of the dignity of all mankind as god's creation. put simply, culture matters. don't get me wrong. again, i love democracy but democracy will fail in a place for the collected intentions of the governor are bent on lawlessness, selfishness, or on subjugating others. democracy only works on we can rely on the bedrock foundation of a culture where people share a common commitment of doing the right thing and to playing by the rules. otherwise, democracy simply becomes the will to mob. american success relies on a healthy culture, a culture that admits that some things are right, some things are wrong, a culture that respects life, a culture that honors the dignity of every individual and honors the values of our judeo-christian ethic. there is no magic to our free enterprise or democracy or mighty military that cannot be
undone by men behaving badly. you have heard it said that liberty cannot be established without morality or morality without faith. today that is an unfashionable sentiment in our society. many want us to believe that a completely secular society is a desirable goal for america. democracy a military might want not save us. the countries of western europe have weakened themselves by adopting a secular worldview, which pushes faith of the side. i have no interest in seeing america go the way of your. -- of europe. [applause] as for me, i think clinton got it wrong. i think it is the culture, stupid. that brings me to what i want to talk about today. there was so much this president, the obama administration has done that worries me and weakens our country.
i worry about $18 trillion of debt. carery about obama putting us between our doctors. i worry about taxes and regulations. i worry about the growth of the federal government. conservative leadership can reverse most of that damage. the thing that keeps me up at night is this president's relentless efforts to change the definition of the american dream. you see it in his actions. you hear it in his speeches. you listen to the president long enough, you understands what he american dream is about class warfare. it is about dividing and redistribution. it is about taking the federal government more expensive, more like europe, more involved in our lives. i don't know about you, but that is not the american dream that my parents taught me. the american dream i learned about is that in america, we are
forever young. in america, our best days are always ahead of us. equal not guaranteed outcomes. we are guaranteed equal opportunities. if you work hard, get a great education, you can do great things in this country. [applause] the reason this is important to me is because my parents have lived the american dream. the first one in the family to get past the fifth grade. grew up in a house without electricity or running water. we heard these stories every single day of our lives. [laughter] good luck trying to get an allowance from a guy like that. here's the amazing thing. nearly 50 years ago, my parents came halfway across the world to baton rouge, louisiana. they had never been on a plane. they had never been to louisiana.
they had never even met anybody who had been to louisiana or was from louisiana. imagine you came to ask what are the people like? wifed brought his pregnant halfway across the world because they knew in their bones, even though they had never visited, they knew that there were us a special place. if you got here and you came legally -- [laughter] [applause] by the way, mr. president, it is not that hard. we do not need a comprehensive bill. secure the border. that is all we need him to do. get it done. [applause] they knew in their bones that if you could get here, if you work hard, you could pursue the american dream. you could create more opportunities for your children and grandchildren. there was freedom, opportunity
in this great country. my dad got here. my mom was at school at lsu. my dad did not know anybody. he wanted a job. he did not want a handout. he started calling company after company in the yellow pages. i love what happens. he keeps calling and calling and calling, day after day, hour after hour. finally he wears somebody down. finally there is a guy that just hires him sight unseen and says to him in a railroad company, you can start monday morning. he tells his new boss, has not even met the man, that is great. he says i don't have a car, i don't have i drivers license. or going to have to pick me up on the way to work monday morning. only my dad could get away with that. by hiss is so taken desire to work, he did exactly that. six months later, i was born. i was what you would politely call a pre-existing condition.
[laughter] they were married. i don't mean i predated their marriage. i predated insurance coverage. here is the amazing thing. i was born at the same hospital where years later, two of our three children could be born. when our children were born, we had to fill out hours of paperwork. when i was born, my dad went to the doctor. he did not sign a piece of paper. he did not apply to a government program. you went to the doctor and said i will send you a check every month until i pay this bill in full. that is exactly what he did. he shook hands with the doctor, two men in the hospital making a commitment to pay that bill. [applause] i don't know if that would work today. that was a simpler time. i asked my dad, how you pay for a baby on layaway? [laughter]
if you skip a payment, can they take the baby back? what do they do? he says, son, your paid for. no one is coming to take you home. was bornr three kids at that hospital. the third was born at home. i don't have time to tell you that entire story. i will tell you one thing i learned. every man in here, you need to go home and think your wife, sisters, daughters. that goda reason almighty, in his infinite wisdom, does not allow men to have babies. [laughter] the dumbest thing i heard was a week later in church -- my wife delivered literally on the floor just a tool of us. everyone is congratulating both of us. i just caught the baby. my part was easy. a week later in church, a guy says to me -- the same thing happen to me. how did the same thing happen to you? i had a kidney stone. it is exactly the same thing.
[laughter] that is the dumbest thing i have ever heard. i passed a nine pound kidney stone, i would not go home and tell my wife that. i have been married to my wife for 17 years. i only lied to her once. it was that morning. our baby comes out. on tv, they come out and they are pink and beautiful and wrapped in a blanket. it is not like that in real life. [laughter] how does our me, son look? if i was honest i would have look like he not is done. let's put him back in for a little longer. [laughter] i didn't say that. if i was really being honest, when it really was thinking is that, he looks like your side of the family, not my side of the family. [laughter] i like being married so i did not say those things. he is a beautiful boy. 10 fingers, 10 toes.
she was in pain, her night close, the stress. the first time i handed her our son to hold -- we had been through this twice before. the first time she held our child, she forgot about her pain, forgot about her distress. i fell in love with her all over again when i saw mom holding baby holding her child. it reminds you what a miracle of life, what an amazing gift to be there and be a part of that. [applause] going back to the american dream, mark twain said the older you get, the smarter your parents become. it is true. i hate to admit it. the older i become, i'm becoming more and more like my dad. i say things i swore i would never say. boys, used to tell us as if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge? no idea what that meant, but i still say it to my children all the time. you areove to tell us
not living in a democracy under my roof. i'm a dictator in this house. i hated when he told me that. i tell my kids that all the time. we are not voting on that. one thing my dad taught is he said, i'm not giving you a famous last name or inheritance. i will make sure that you get a great education. in america, there is no limit to what you can accomplish. the second thing he would tell us all the time as this -- you need to get on your knees every night and thank god almighty that you are blessed to be born in the greatest country in the history of the world, the united states of america. [applause] i wanted to fight to make sure our children and grandchildren can say that same prayer of gratitude as well. i was thinking about what we had
done in louisiana. we have done a lot. i can talk you about cutting the budget 28%, the largest income state tax in the state history, the strongest economy in a generation. i could talk about the fact that ed are consistently rank the most pro-life state in the country year after year. [applause] our strong second amendment protections. hard to make sure we give parents educational choice in louisiana, so that dollars fall to child instead of making a child fall to dollar. schooled,ds are home in a christian school, a public school, a charter school, we want to empower parents. one union leader said in the louisiana that parents do not have a clue when it comes to making choices for their kids. that is a debate we face today.
on our side, we trust the american people to make their own decisions. the left, we don't -- they don't think we are smart enough to pick our schools, health insurance, they don't think we are smart enough to drink a big old without the government telling us how to live our lives. here is the amazing thing. are happy parents with the program. taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. academic performance is getting better. the thanks we got for the program is eric holder -- is it a great he is about to be out of a job? [applause] my only request is that the next attorney general actually read the constitution before he take the job. the thanks we got was eric holder took us to federal court to try and stop error scholarship program. i came at the national press
club and announce the obama administration. lawsuitunce the as demoralizing and hypocritical. i don't think i am getting invited to the christmas party. i think it is wrong for the federal government to interfere inh the micromanaging louisiana. it is wrong for them to say they ,now better than parents which is why we are in federal court, suing the federal government saying they should get common core out of the state of louisiana. [applause] it is a violation of the 10th amendment and federal law for the government trying to be making curriculum decisions in her classroom. be on the philosophical point, i invite parents to look at the reading text associated with, incorporated look at the math
problems. it makes no sense. there is no reason to give these bureaucrats the right to determine how our classrooms are run in the united states of america. [applause] wonder, how in the world we get to the point where the federal government feels like it has this power? for once i agree with david axelrod. he was tried to defend president obama. i don't remember what scandal, there have been so many. he said the federal government is so expensive that the president couldn't possibly know what was going on. that is exactly right. that is the problem. the federal government is so vast. remember when bill clinton famously said the air of the government was over? someone been so wrong about something so important in modern political history.
if i were speaking to you several years ago on the stage and were to ask you to predict what has happened in our country, you would not have believed it. if i'd gone back in time and asked if the irs would go after conservative groups for the beliefs, would you have believed that? no. would you really believe the department of justice is filing a c and other reporters? if i had gone back in time and create a would rob and new entitlement program where we can't afford the once we have no, would you believe that? no. if i said that the ambassador in libya would be killed and they blamed a youtube video, could you believe that? no. if i told you that secretary of state clinton got so exasperated about answering questions, she would say what difference does it make? would you believe that?
we are seeing an unprecedented assault on our religious liberty rights right here in the united states of america. [applause] i was happy that the supreme court ruled 5-4 that the green family does not have to spend over $1 million in fines to the governments simply because they do not want to use their own money to pay for abortion patients. i have a question. why was that a 5-4 ruling? 9-0 ruling inot a favor of religious liberty in the united states? secretary clinton -- when secretary clinton talk about the expression of religious expression, they mean sunday morning and wednesday night. that is not what the founding fathers intended. what is so dangerous about this is there is no freedom of speech. there is no freedom of association without religious liturgy in our country.
you may remember when the whole duck dynasty controversy happened. one of the first people to speak out in defense of phil robertson was the governor of louisiana. [applause] you may have thought i did that simply because they are friends. that is not why i did it. you may have thought they did that because they film in louisiana. you may think i did because my little boys are huge fans of the show. [laughter] isn't it great to have a tv show you can watch with your kids without being embarrassed for once? that is not why i did it, either. i did it because i'm tired of the left. they say that they tolerate diversity of views. that they like different opinions. the reality is they are for tolerance unless you happen to disagree with them.
of their hypocrisy and it is time to take a stand and say enough is enough. [applause] i knew this president did not like the second memo to the constitution. i thought that maybe he would leave the first one alone. i'm not in favor of lawsuits. long, we have been saying that president obama is a smart man in a constitutional lawyer. there is one lawsuit i would endorse. i think the president should sue harvard law school to get his tuition money back. i don't know what he learned over those years. [laughter] [applause] there is one thing i would wish the president would hear from us loudly today and it is this -- the united states of america did not create religious liberty. religious liberty created the
united states of america and it is the reason we are here today. [applause] you may have missed. the president spoke at the national prayer breakfast a few months ago. he spoke so eloquently about the plight of christians being persecuted overseas. he was right. there is a shooting war going on overseas. it is a silent warrior. the two are not the same. -- it is a silent war here. the two are not the same. it was jarring to hear the president speak so eloquently about the opposite of what is administration is doing a number there is a gap between what he says and what he does. this is what the president had to say. the president is concerned about religious liberty.
if you like your religious liberty, you can keep your religious liberty. [laughter] i can't close without mentioning one final thing that has frustrated me about this administration. you see it every day. the administration's weakness when it comes to foreign policy. he continues to make america weaker and a world more dangerous place. this is a president that does not believe in american exceptionalism. this is a president who simply waited while ice is gathered strength. they called in the juicer -- they were the junior varsity team less than a year ago. this was a president who after a expressedeheading grief well but did not lay out a strategy. he said at the time that ice is needed to be contained in expelled. we never heard him say that they need to be hunted down and killed and destroyed. this is a president that, for some reason, does not seem to
understand that when america is strongest, the world's safest. that is not just a saying. that is a true statement. [applause] i know that does not sound very sophisticated to the citizens of the world. sometimes truth is not that sophisticated. sometimes truth is simple. fear us.es do not our friends do not trust us anymore. not only has the president's may issa stronger, it has made america weaker. we must not give fetal power over our own national security, our own foreign policy to the capitals of the world. i was going around the 2012 saying the president was the worst president since jimmy carter.
after the election, i came to d.c. and apologize to jimmy carter. jimmy carter was just incompetent. at least he believed in american exceptionalism. this president does not understand that america is not only the strongest, most visible, but also the longest, most consistent defender of human dignity and freedom and the world needs america. we are the indispensable nation. realizes that there is evil in the world that needs to be confronted and exterminated, not simply accommodated or negotiated with. the sooner we will resume our rightful place in world affairs and the sooner we will be protecting american people and our allies. the sooner we stand with israel unambiguously when a fight hamas. [applause] the sooner we stop drawing unofficial redlines and threatening actions that never
come to pass. as soon as we stop inviting russia to go into crimea to our weakness, the sooner we know that america will then again be leading from the front, not leading from behind. close with one final thought. about theyou a day endangerment of the american dream and what this administration is doing to our foreign policy. let me ask one simple question. when viewing the obama administration, are we witnessing the most incompetent administration of our lifetimes? , are we witnessing the most extremely ideological lee liberal administration of our lifetimes? i have thought long and hard but this question. the only satisfactory question -- answer i have is from former secretary clinton. what difference does it make? [applause]
i will close with this final thought. my dad is right. we are blessed to live in the greatest country in the history of the world, but it is not inevitably forever so. every generation has to choose for itself to renew the principles of freedom is our 40th president reminded us. what gives me optimism and hope is this -- the founding fathers got it right. what makes america great is not the buildings of washington dc, not these monuments, it is the freedom they enshrined in our documents. they speak to the american mother, the american father, the american family. after creating something out of nothing, there is a rebellion brewing among us for these united states of america. we are going to take our country back from the interest in washington dc. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> our campaign 2014 debate coverage continues live on c-span tuesday night at 9:00 eastern for the final texas governor's debate between saint cemetery -- state senator wendy davis and state attorney general greg abbott. and the oklahoma governor's debate, between joe dorman and incumbent governor mary fallin. watch the nebraska go governors debate between chuck has a brook and pete ricketts. here are a few of the comments we have recently received from viewers. c-span 2 weekend on there is usually book tv. i really enjoy that. it looks like maybe you are
experimenting, trying to find a new format. i want to discourage -- i don't want to discourage it. i just think that tv is one of the smartest things on television. was first invented, i think that is what everyone hoped television would be. it is too bat there is not a cable channel devoted to it. i am glad that c-span is doing it. tell you how many books i have bought because i watched that. i watch it for general information, too. i would like to to you that i do not watch book tv anymore because i can't figure out what is going to be shown. i used to watch it over the weekend and comcast in massachusetts does not tell me. it just keeps telling me, to be announced, where we'll be talking about some book but they only give you the first two words of the chapter. it will say the second -- it
does not tell you what will be coming on. because i don't know what is going to be on, i don't know whether to stay home and watch it or tape it or anything. >> i want to say you are the source that i have. i love your show. i have watched it for years. keep up the great work. >> continue to let us know about the programs you are watching. next, the british house of commons debate on the response devices. -- the response to isis.
british prime minister david cameron recalled parliament this week consider whether britain should join the u.s. and other countries in conducting airstrikes against islamic state targets in iraq. prime minister cameron has proposed joining the operation, which has the backing of britain's three major political parties. this is the debate that preceded the vote. >> order, order. we begin with the sittings of moveouse motion to formally. the question is on the order paper. aye.ny in favor say ofnow come to the business
the house motion, motion number two as on the order paper. thank you. moved on behalf of the leader of the house. the question is on the order paper. in favor say aye. i think the ayes have it. we now come to the motion in relation to iraq and the movement against isil. the prime minister. >> i beg to move, that this -- the question before the house today is how we keep the british people safe from the threats posed by isil, and what role our armed forces should on the international coalition to destroy this network of death.
there is no more serious of an issue than asking our armed forces to put themselves in harms way to protect our country. i want to set out today why i believe that is necessary. if we are to do this, a series of questions must be answered. is this in our national interest? in particular, is there a direct threat to the british people? is there a comprehensive plan for dealing with this threat? is the military element necessary? is it necessary for us to take part in military action? is it legal for us to take part? will we be doing so with the support of local partners, and will doing this add up to a moral justification for putting the lives of british servicemen and women on the line? and above all, do we have a clear idea of what a successful outcome will look like, and are we convinced that our strategy can take us there? i want to address each of those questions head on -- first, our national interest. is there a threat to the british people? the answer is yes. isil has already murdered one
british hostage and is threatening the lives of two more. the first isil -- inspired terrorist acts in europe have already taken place, with, for instance, the attack on the jewish museum in brussels. security services have disrupted six other known plots in europe, as well as foiling a terrorist attack in australia aimed at civilians, including british and american tourists. isil is a terrorist organisation unlike those we have dealt with before. the brutality is staggering: beheadings, crucifixions, the gouging out of eyes, the use of rape as a weapon and the slaughter of children. all these things belong to the dark ages, but it is not just the brutality; it is backed by billions of dollars and has captured an arsenal of the most modern weapons. in the space of a few months, isil has taken control of territory that is greater than
the size of britain and is making millions selling oil to the assad regime. it has already attacked lebanon and boasts of its designs right up to the turkish border. this is not a threat on the far side of the world; left unchecked, we will face a terrorist caliphate on the shores of the mediterranean and bordering a nato member, with a declared and proven determination to attack our country and our people. this is not the stuff of fantasy; it is happening in front of us; and we need to face up to it. next, is there a clear, comprehensive plan? yes. it starts at home with tough, uncompromising action to prevent attacks and hunt down those who are planning them. as the house knows, we are introducing new powers. these include strengthening our ability to seize passports and to stop suspects travelling, it inclueds stripping british nationality from dual nationals and ensuring that airlines
comply with our no-ly lists. and in all this, we are being clear about the cause of the terrorist threat we face. as i have said before, that means defeating the poisonous ideology of islamist extremism, by tackling all forms. of extremism, not just the violent extremists. so we are banning preachers of hate, proscribing organisations that incite terrorism and stopping people inciting hatred in our schools, universities and prisons. now of coursome will say that any action we take will further radicalise young people. i have to say that that is a counsel of despair. the threat of radicalisation is already here. young people have left our country to go and fight with these extremists. we must take action at home, but we must also have a comprehensive strategy to defeat these extremists abroad. >> on a comprehensive strategy, there are two questions the prime minister has not put to himself: how long will this war last and when will mission creep start?
>> let me answer that very directly: this mission will take not just months, but years, and i believe we have to be prepared for that commitment. the reason for that is that quite rightly, america, britain and others are not -- i think quite rightly -- contemplating putting combat troops on the ground. there will be troops on the ground, but they will be iraqi and kurdish troops, and we should be supporting them in all the ways that i will describe. in terms of mission creep, i will address very directly, later in my speech, why we are discussing what is happening in iraq today and only that. and that is the motion on the order paper. i give way to my honorable lady and my honorable friend. >> the prime minister has said on a number of occasions in this
house that we face a long-term generational struggle and the priority is to fight this poisonous ideology. will he commit now to working with the mainstream, moderate muslim community in this country -- who see these atrocities carried out in the name of their religion and utterly reject them -- and to having a practical programme to make that happen? >> i absolutely commit to doing that and we have to do it not just in britain, but right around the world. and we should be very clear that the cause of this problem is the poisonous narrative of islamic extremism. wherever there are broken states, conflict and civil wars, we see this problem arise, whether it is boko haram in nigeria, al-qaeda in yemen or isil in iraq and syria. we need muslims to reclaim their religion from these extremists. that is happening in our country and around the world. it was notable that president obama, in his speech to the united nations, singled out muslims in britain who are saying, "this is not being done in my name," and we should praise those people.
let me give way to my honorable friend. >> the prime minister places his trust in the iraqi army. the problem is that, having caused this mess in iraq, we armed the iraqi army, they ran away and isil now has their arms . is he seriously contending that by air strikes alone we can actually roll back isil, or is this gesture politics? >> to be absolutely direct, i am not claiming that by air strikes alone we can roll back this problem. what this problem requires is a comprehensive strategy, including a well formed iraqi government and well formed iraqi armed forces, because they in the end will be the ones who have to defeat this on the ground. where i disagree with my honorable friend is on the cause of how this came about. as i have said, there is the background of islamic extremism, but i would say that the two principal causes of this problem are the fact that in syria assad has been butchering his own people and acting as a recruiting sergeant for the
extremists, and that in iraq the maliki government did not represent all the people of iraq. i thought that ban ki-moon, in one of the most powerful interventions i have heard him make, got it spot on when he said that missiles can kill terrorists but it is good governance that will kill terrorism. and we should have that thought front and back of mind as we debate this afternoon. >> does the prime minister agree that the iraqi government need a political strategy to win over sunnis and kurds in their own country, and is he satisfied that they now know how to do it and will get full diplomatic support? >> well, in answer to the first part of my right honorable friend's question, that is absolutely essential. a lot more needs to be done. i met prime minister al-abadi in new york and discussed this very directly with him. we need to make sure that the government in iraq are not just supporting the shi'a community, but bringing together shi'a, sunni and kurd in a united
country, with armed forces that are respected by every part of the community. that has not happened yet, but it is happening and i think that president obama was absolutely right to delay this action until we had an iraqi government with whom we can work as a good partner. what i'm going to do is make a little bit of progress with my speech and then take several more interventions. as i have said, we have to take action at home and abroad. as we take action abroad, it must involve using all the resources at our disposal. that means humanitarian efforts, which britain is already leading, to help those displaced by isil's onslaught. it means diplomatic efforts to engage the widest possible coalition of countries in the region as part of this international effort. at the united nations, we are leading the process of condemning isil, disrupting the flows of finance to isil and forging a global consensus about preventing the movement of foreign fighters. vitally, and as i have just been saying, this strategy also involves political efforts to support the creation of a new
and genuinely inclusive government in iraq and to bring about a transition of power in syria that can lead to a new representative and accountable government in damascus so that it, too, can take the fight to isil. but yes, as one part of that comprehensive strategy, i believe that our military have an indispensible role to play. in a moment or two, i will say why, but first i will take an intervention from the hon. member for barrow and furness (john woodcock). >> will the prime minister say more about the vital subject of trying to change the nature of government in syria, and about iran's potential role in that? >> well, to be frank, what syria needs is what iraq needs: an inclusive, democratic government that represents all of its people. we have had our strategy in that regard -- backing the moderate syrian opposition, the syrian national council, and working with others -- but i do think that iran has a role to play.
i met with president rouhani in new york to discuss that and other issues, and iran can play a role in helping to bring about better government in both syria and iraq. but the jury is still out as to whether iran will play that role, but we should certainly be encouraging it to do so. i will give way to my right honorable friend and then i will make some progress. >> i am sure that we are all grateful for the recall of parliament and the opportunity to debate this matter. my right honorable friend has mentioned syria, and he has mentioned that the kurdish peshmerga and the iraqi army are on the ground fighting isil. also fighting isil on the ground is the free syrian army. given that last week the united states congress voted to support the free syrian army overtly with weapons, and given that the free syrian army is conducting a ground war, which we are not prepared to do, will my right honorable friend say whether we are looking again at the
possibility of giving military hardware to the free syrian army? because they have the people, but they do not have the weaponry to take on assad or isil. it has been attempting to do so for the past year, and it needs our help. >> as my right honorable friend knows, we have supported the syrian national coalition and the free syrian army with advice, training, mentoring and non -- lethal equipment, and i am not proposing a change to that today. but let me address directly the issue of isil in syria. i am very clear that isil needs to be destroyed in syria as well as in iraq. and we support the action that the united states and five arab states have taken in syria, and i believe that there is a strong case for us to do more in syria, but i did not want to bring a motion to the house today on which there was not consensus. i think it is better if our country can proceed on the basis of consensus. and, of course, in this house,
as i am sure we will hear in the debate today, there are many concerns about doing more in syria, and i understand that. i do not believe that there is a legal barrier, because i think that the legal advice is clear that were we or others to act, there is a legal basis, but it is true to say that the syrian situation is more complicated than the iraqi situation. it is more complicated because of the presence of the brutal dictator assad. it is more complicated because of the state of the civil war. we should be clear that we have a clear strategy for dealing with syria, backing the official opposition, building it up as a counterpoint to assad and working for a transition. as i have said, in the end, what syria needs is what iraq needs: a government that can represent all of its people. that you give way to my honorable friend. >> does the prime minister accept that without the iraqi army being able to take and hold ground, there is a real risk that air strikes alone will not only prove ineffective but could
become counter-productive, especially if civilian casualties mount and isil spins the story that it has withstood the might of the west and held its ground, which it has so far managed to do? >> i would disagree with my honorable friend on the basis that the air action that has that has already taken place by the americans and, to a degree, by the french has already made a difference. lives have been saved. christians, yazidis and other minorities, who otherwise would be butchered, have been saved by that action. if my honorable friend is asking me, "do we need a better iraqi army that is more capable on the ground?" yes, of course we do, but the truth is that, because we, rightly, are not prepared to put our own combat troops on the ground, we should be working with the iraqis and the kurds so that they become more effective. however, we cannot wait for that and allow minorities and others to be butchered and the risk to our own country to increase, without taking action.
let me make some progress on why i believe military action is necessary before taking more interventions. frankly, without it, i do not believe there is a realistic prospect of degrading and defeating isil. we should be frank, a military conflict is already taking place. isil has taken territory. it is butchering people in iraq. iraqi, including kurdish, security forces are already fighting isil. we have to decide if we are going to support them and i believe that we should. if we are to beat these terrorists, it is vital that the international community does more to build the capability of the legitimate authorities fighting extremism. along with our european partners, as has been discussed in the house, we are playing our role, supplying equipment directly to the kurdish forces. we are strengthening the resilience of military forces in lebanon and jordan and our tornado and surveillance aircraft have already been helping with intelligence gathering and logistics to support american attacks on isil in iraq. but, to be frank, and it is vital for the house to
understand this, the iraqi government want more direct assistance. earlier this week, the iraqi foreign minister wrote to the un security council requesting military assistance to support its actions. and when i met prime minister abadi in new york on wednesday, he reiterated that request to me. in iraq, the real work of destroying isil will be for the iraqi security forces, but they need our military help and it is in our interest, and theirs, to give it. i give way to the former defense minister. >> there is a problem in iraq, though, that we need to recognise. it is not just political and it is not just about capability. there needs to be a will from the iraqi army to defend the sunni areas of the country. now, in the prime minister's talks with the new government, has he seen that change, which actually means that our air
strikes will be supporting a country that has the will to defend all its own people? >> the right honorable gentleman is absolutely right. that is the conversation we are having with the iraqi government. there is no doubt in my mind that this iraqi prime minister is a change from the previous regime. they understand this point but frankly we should be tough in our interactions with them. they want our help. they want more training and more expertise. they want our counter-terrorism expertise to help them to defend against these appalling car bombs in baghdad. we should give them that help, but we should say as we give it to them, "this is conditional on you defending and protecting all of your people, and that must include the sunnis in iraq as well." let me give way to my honorable friend. i think my honorable friend. the kurdish president is on record as saying that the kurds do not want british servicemen and women on the ground fighting the fight for them. what they need is better equipment, training and the air
support. did prime minister abadi deliver a similar message to our prime minister? what is the situation vis-a-vis the sunni tribes, because they need to play a role and to take the fight to isil, too? >> my honorable friend is spot on. the iraqi prime minister was very frank in his requests to me. he said clearly in new york, "we need your help to drive these people out of our country and indeed out of the world." he was very frank about that. we are supplying equipment to the kurds. we can do more to help the iraqi security forces. as for the sunni tribes, of course, we need them to help but they need to see that they can be part of a successful iraq. and that is why the involvement of other arab countries is so important. and there are particular countries that may be able to encourage the sunni tribes to take this step. let me give way to my honorable friend and then i will make some
progress. >> i am glad that the prime minister seems. to accept that air strikes alone cannot hope to be successful unless they are in close co-ordination with credible ground forces. the only ground forces he has mentioned so far are those of the kurds and the iraqis. what are the other arab states proposing to do, because surely those ground forces have to be sunni-muslim ground forces and we need other arab countries to supply them? >> my honorable friend makes an important point but we should tread carefully here. we are proposing to act at the request of the legitimate iraqi government. that government are supposed to represent all their country -- shi'a, sunni and kurd. that country should be doing that, rather than relying on other countries to provide sunni forces in order to deliver that effect. and so i think it is important that we keep up the pressure, because it is the iraqi government who should be representing all their people, rather than getting proxies to do it for them.
i will give way, i will take more interventions, i promise, but i want to answer this question, which is whether it is necessary specifically for britain to take part in this international action. should we just leave it to others? i do not believe that is the right answer. the coalition needs our help, in particular with the vital work being done in terms of air strikes. britain has unique assets that no other coalition ally can contribute: the brimstone precision missile, which minimises the risk of civilian casualties and which even the united states does not have; we have our unique surveillance and intelligence capabilities; and we have our highly professional forces, which are well used to working with their us counterparts. these are some of the reasons why president obama made it clear to me that america wants britain to join the air action in iraq, which has now been under way for several weeks. but i believe, mr, speaker, that it is also our duty to take
part. this international operation is about protecting our people too, and protecting the streets of britain should not be a task that we are prepared to entirely subcontract to other air forces of other countries, so it is right for us to act. >> will the prime minister recognise that killing extremists does not kill their ideas? on the contrary -- it can often feed their ideas, and for that reason the former mi6 head of counter-terrorism has said that getting saudi arabia and iran around a negotiating table would be far more effective than bombing. why are we not hearing far more from this prime minister about the political and diplomatic solutions to this situation, rather than reaching for the military solution, which could undermine them? >> with respect to the honorable lady, we are taking those diplomatic initiatives. my right honorable friend the defence secretary has recently returned from saudi arabia; i am the first british prime minister in 35 years to meet an iranian president. we need all those political and diplomatic moves to take place -- they are absolutely vital -- but in the end there is a part of this that requires a military solution. isil has to be defeated on the ground. that is principally the work of the iraqi security forces, but we can play a role as well.
that me give way to the honorable gentleman. >> many of those who we have heard speak against the action, and some of those who have contacted me, give voice to the fear of the consequences of action, but is it not the point, and the reason that we have been recalled today, that the consequences of non-action -- as i believe this house proved last summer -- are far, far worse? >> my honorable friend is right. what we have to weigh up are, of course, the consequences of action. and that is why i set up a national security council, at which the heads of mi5, mi6 and gchq, and regularly the head of the metropolitan police, attend and advise. but we have also got to think of the consequences of inaction. if we allow isil to grow and thrive, there is no doubt in my mind that the level of threat to this country would increase. we have already seen, we have already seen isil murderers
butcher innocent people in a museum in brussels; we have already had plots here in britain by isil. how much stronger will isil be before we decide that we need to take action as well? i give way to the honorable gentleman. >> isis, indeed, is made up of murderous psychopaths; that is not the issue. we know that. the question is, will what the prime minister and the government are proposing be effective in destroying isis? look at what the house of commons agreed to. iraq, afghanistan, and, under this government, libya. none are success stories. are we going to embark on action that could last for years? >> i will come on to why this is different to the decision the house made in 2003 about iraq, but the fact is that this is about psychopathic terrorists who are trying to kill us and we have to realise that, whether we like it or not, they have already declared war on us. there is not a "walk on by"
option; there is not an option of just hoping this will go away. as i have just said, the plots are not in doubt. with me turn -- i will give way more. i promise the house that i will give way more. i want to leave plenty of time for other contributions, but i want to turn directly to the question of legality. the attorney-general has given his advice on the action we propose to take. there is a clear legal base for uk military action to help iraq defend itself from isil. a summary of this legal position is being placed in the house of commons library. the iraqi government have requested our help and given their clear consent for uk military action, so there can be no question about this. we have the letter from the iraqi government to the un security council, we have the public statements from prime minister abadi and president masum, and we have the personal requests made to me and to the full un security council by prime minister abadi in new york on wednesday. so there is no question but that we have the legal basis for action, founded on the request of the iraqi government. let me briefly address the fact that we will be acting in
support of local partners, which has been a major concern of members across the house. we have a substantial international coalition in place, including arab nations committed to confronting and defeating isil. sixty countries are acting in some way to help to tackle isil. of these ,10 are arab states, five have already taken part in air strikes with the americans in syria, and even regional powers, such as iran, are publicly condemning the extremists. of course, as i have said, our differences with iran remain. iran's support for terrorist organisations, its nuclear programme, the treatment of its people, all have to change, and we will not back down on these things. but if iran's political leaders are prepared to help a more secure, more stable, more inclusive iraq and syria, we should welcome their engagement. but me give way to my honorable friend. -- but me give way to my honorable friend >> on the question of the legal principle, clearly there is one given the
consent from the iraqi government, but will the prime minister confirm that there is also the important principle of responsibility to protect from genocide, which is on the table, and capable of wider application? >> my honorable friend is absolutely right. there are a variety of legal arguments that can be deployed. in this case it could not be clearer that we are acting at the request of a sovereign state, and if we were to act in syria, i believe that would be the legal basis too, collective self-defence against isil which threatens iraq. but my honorable friend is absolutely right to say, and i have said this in the house before, that if one is averting a humanitarian catastrophe, that is a legal basis on which to act. let me be clear again that although it is right that we are having this debate and this vote, if there was a moment when it looked as though there could be an urgent humanitarian need for intervention, i would be prepared to order that intervention and then come to the house and explain why. and mr. speaker, let me explain. we have a comprehensive strategy for action. as i have said, we have a clear request from the iraqi government.
we have a clear basis in international law. we have a substantial international coalition, including many arab partners, and we need to act in our own national interest. so i believe that it is morally right that we now move to a new phase of action by asking our armed forces to take part in international air strikes against isil in iraq, and i believe we should do so now. let me give way to my honorable >> muslims around the world have made it clear that isil has nothing to do with islam; it is an evil organisation. linked to that very point, have there been discussions with the 57 members of the organisation of the islamic conference, which represents muslim states, to see whether many more of those islamic countries will be joining this international coalition, along with the five arab states, to ensure that it is a wider, broader coalition and has the most effective outcome? >> all these conversations were taking place this week at the un general assembly, and one of the most important things that can happen is muslim governments, islamic countries across the
world, coming out and condemning isil, and explaining that this is not a bunch of people acting on behalf of a religion, but a bunch of psychopaths who have perverted a religion, and that it is not being done in their name. let me address briefly what i believe a successful outcome would look like, and then i will take some more interventions. we would want to see a stable iraq and over time a stable syria too. we want to see isil degraded and then destroyed as a serious terrorist force. but let me be frank, we should not expect this to happen quickly. the hallmarks of this campaign will be patience and persistence, not shock and awe. we are not deploying british combat troops, but we are providing air power in support of local forces on the ground. no british or western troops will occupy iraq. and their are many other
elements will be needed for a long-term success, many of which i have set out clearly at the dispatch box today. let me give way. >> i am listening closely to what the prime minister is saying. he has talked about the international coalition, but the peshmerga fighters from the kurds have taken a lot of the brunt of fighting isil in the first instance. can he assure us that all the parties within iraq also support this intervention, in particular the kurdish political leadership? >> what i can be clear about, having spoken to them, is that both the kurdish leaders in iraq and the iraqi prime minister have been frank that they want our help. they have both said very clearly, "we do not want british combat troops on the ground, but we do need the arms and the ability to defeat this murderous, terrorist organisation." we are helping in exactly the way they would like us to help. let me give way to the former northern ireland minister and then my honorable friend here. >> i support the prime minister's motion. i also think that, in the end, we will have to deal with isil in syria as well.
but did i hear him correctly a moment or two ago? did he say that if there was an urgent humanitarian need, he would take the action and then get subsequent support from the house? surely it should be the other way round. >> no, no. to be absolutely clear, the right honorable gentleman heard me right the first time round. if there was the need to take urgent action to prevent, for instance, the massacre of a minority community or a christian community, and britain could act to prevent that humanitarian catastrophe -- if i believed we could effectively act and do that -- i am saying i would order that and come straight to the house and explain afterwards. i think it is -- let me be clear, i think the convention that has grown up in recent years that the house of commons is properly consulted and there is a proper vote is a good convention. it is particularly apt when there is -- as there is today --
a proposal for, as it were, premeditated military action. i think it is important to reserve the right that if there were a critical british national interest at stake or there were the need to act to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, you could act immediately and explain to the house of commons afterwards. i am being very frank about this because i do not want to mislead anybody. let me give way to the honorable gentleman first. >> it is very good that this house debates and votes before action happens. may i press the prime minister, however, because he has often said that there would no boots on the ground? the motion is very carefully worded -- slightly differently. can he confirm whether he is asking the house to allow any presence of uk military personnel in iraq, and if so, in what roles? >> no. the reason for choosing the words "combat troops" is very important. of course, when we, for instance, contemplated putting in chinook helicopters to evacuate the yazidi people from mount sinjar, that would have involved british forces being in an area of iraq.
with the servicing, efforts and helping of those helicopters would have involved british personnel. that is why we talk about british combat troops. i think we should, again, be very clear about that. i give way to the honorable gentleman from birmingham. >> i am grateful -- we are both from birmingham; we get everywhere. i am grateful to the prime minister for giving way. whether or not we are militarily involved in syria, there is no doubt that the fighting in syria has been and is intensifying, which means that the humanitarian crisis that has already been unfolding in syria will also intensify. for example, there have been more than 650 major impact strikes on aleppo since february. so this will require new ways of getting humanitarian aid in. what preparations are being made for that, because the current arrangements need to be stepped up, and who are the prime minister and the international
community co-operating with to ensure that that aid gets in? >> the honorable gentleman raises an important point. we have a very advanced aid programme. britain is the second biggest bilateral donor. we have been providing more aid across the border, and we are working with all the international partners, as you would expect. that includes, this week, increasing our aid contribution to make sure that that happens. i want to make some progress with my speech, and i will then take some more interventions. as i have said, what is required is an inclusive iraqi government. we need a syrian government who represent all their people. but i want to be frank with the house. even after isil has been dealt with, we should be in no doubt that future british prime ministers and future british governments will, i suspect, be standing at the dispatch box dealing with the issue of islamist extremism in different forms and in different parts of the world for many years to come. isil has sprung up quickly, but around the world we see the mayhem caused by other groups, whether boko haram in nigeria,
al-shabaab in somalia or al-qaeda in yemen. we are dealing with a generational struggle caused by the perversion of one of the world's great religions, islam, but i have no doubt that this struggle is one that this house and this country are more than equal to. that's me give way to the honorable gentleman. >> general dannatt hinted today on television that we may well need to use ground forces at the end of the day, and it does take time to train the iraqi army. if that were the case, will the prime minister come back to the house? >> i have said that we will come back to the house if, for instance, we make the decision that we should take air action with others in syria, but i am not contemplating the use of british combat forces because i think it would be the wrong thing to do. i think the lesson to learn from previous conflicts is that we should play the most appropriate role for us. it is for the iraqi government and for the iraqi army to defeat isil in iraq. indeed, in time i hope, it is for a proper, legitimate syrian
government to defeat isil in syria. where we should be helping is with aid, diplomacy and political pressure and, yes, with our unique military assets where they can help, but it should be part of a comprehensive strategy and should not go over the heads of local people and should not ignore the regional powers, learning the lessons of the past. that is what this debate is about, that is what this motion is about, and that is why i believe that we are taking the right steps. i will give way to my honorable friend. >> does the prime minister agree that the wording of the motion before the house today was carefully chosen to ensure that we get support for it? would he accept that it to some degree hamstrings the government? is there not a place here for leadership and statesmanship, rather the popular support of the house? he needs the support of the country, but do we really need a vote on the matter? >> i say to my honorable friend that we live in a robust democracy where this house of commons frequently demands and wants, quite rightly, to see ministers at the dispatch box defending their actions and setting out, as i have just done in this now accepted convention,
that if there is to be premeditated military action, the house of commons should be consulted in advance. i have set out where i think there are gaps in that convention, about which i could not have been clearer, and i think that that probably has all all-party support. i will take two more interventions and will then complete my speech. >> i thank the prime minister. he has rightly talked about defeating isil militarily and politically, including with help in the region. will he say something about how we need also to defeat isil financially? which countries are supporting isil, including by purchasing oil, and what are the british government and others going to do about that? >> the honorable lady is absolutely spot on with that point. there are a number of things that we need to do. first of all is action at the un, which has now been taken, to cut off the financial flows to isil. we need to take action to tell the world that isil, supposedly the enemy of assad, is actually selling oil to assad and making millions of pounds from it.
american air strikes have already dealt with some of the so-called mobile oil refineries that isil has been using to raise funds, but clearly more needs to be done to persuade those who may have backed organisations such as isil in the past, because they were seen as sunni arab organisations, that they made a terrible mistake and should not do it again. that was very much what was being discussed around the table at the un security council and is an issue that i would support. i will take one more intervention from the honorable member from reading. >> i thank the prime minister for giving way. i was going to make a point about ensuring that we can cut off funding to isil, but will he expand a little more on that in terms of what is going on with international pressure to ensure that isil's funding is squeezed? at the end of the day, it is currently a well-funded organisation and squeezing its funding will ensure that it cannot operate in the way that it has been up until now.
>> my honorable friend is right. part of the reason why isil has got hold of so much funding is because it has the oil and also simply took money out of banks in some of the towns it took in northern iraq. a long-term squeeze must be applied in this case. i give way to my honorable friend. >> i thank the prime minister for giving way. does he agree that if we are serious about tackling jihadi terrorism in the middle east, we must take a much tougher line with some key allies, including saudi arabia, qatar and kuwait, which have been fuelling and funding terrorism for decades and, if reports are accurate, continue to do so? >> what i would say to my honorable friend is that we need to have this very direct conversation with everyone in the middle east about the dangers of sectarianism and of supporting groups because they are sunni or shi'a. that is part of the background that has led us to this problem. we need everyone to recognise that, whatever branch of islam they are from, terrorism breeds further extremism and terrorism and, in the end, comes back and damages their own countries and
societies. mr. speaker, it is inevitable that the shadow of the united kingdom's last military involvement in iraq hangs heavy over this chamber today, but the situation that we face today is very different. we are acting in response to a direct appeal from the sovereign government of iraq to help them deal with a mortal terrorist threat. it is a threat to iraq and a threat to britain. we are not acting alone, but as part of an international coalition of 60 countries, many of them from the region and all of them committed to rolling back isil, however long and difficult the task may be. mr. speaker, this is not 2003, but we must not use past mistakes as an excuse for indifference or inaction. we will play our part in destroying these evil extremists. we will support our muslim friends around the world as they reclaim their religion, and once again our inspirational armed forces will put themselves in harm's way to keep our people and our country safe. i pay tribute to them for their extraordinary bravery and service, and i commend this motion to the house.
>> the question is the motion on iraq. >> mr. speaker, i rise to support the government motion concerning military action against isil in iraq. it is right that the prime minister has brought this issue to the house and committed to bringing future decisions to the house too. mr. speaker, let me start by saying that all of us, whatever side of the debate we are on, will be conducting it with huge admiration for the bravery, spirit and duty displayed by our armed forces, who act on the decisions that this house makes. let us be clear at the outset what the proposition is today. it is about air strikes against isil in iraq. it is not about ground troops from the united kingdom, or about uk military action elsewhere. it is a mission specifically aimed at isil.
mr. speaker, that me say, as we debate this issue today, i understand the qualms and, for some, deep unease that there will be about that undertaking, both in the house and in the country. those who advocate military action today have to persuade members of the house not just that isil is an evil organisation but that it is we, britain, who should take military action in iraq. i want to do so by first setting out the particular nature of the isil threat, by secondly talking about the criteria that we should apply to judging the case for military action, and by thirdly saying something about the role of our country in the world, which for me is directly relevant to this decision. i will give way. >> will the right honorable gentleman also clarify labour's position with regard to the politics? many of us are concerned that there is no clear exit strategy militarily, but what about the politics?
in the sense that there is no point in military intervention if the politics are not right -- and they are not. many of those who served under al -- maliki are still in place, and many sunnis still feel alienated. without the hearts and minds policy being right, military intervention will not be enduring. >> i understand the honorable gentleman's long-held caution on these issues, but the point i will make is that there needs to be a comprehensive strategy. we are not talking about a military-only solution. it is about political action, humanitarian action and wider strategic action, and i will come to that later in my remarks. first i want to say something about the nature of isil. as the prime minister said, isil is not simply another terrorist organisation. we have seen, of course, its hostage-taking of innocent british citizens, and it is not just british citizens whom isil is threatening but christians, yazidis and fellow muslims, sunni and shi'a, from many different countries and backgrounds -- anyone who does not subscribe to its deeply
perverted ideology. i will in a moment. if the house will allow me, i want to give one hideous example recently gathered by amnesty international, because it is directly relevant to the decisions that we make today. on the morning of friday 15 august, isil fighters assembled the residents of kocho village in northern iraq at the secondary school, where they separated men and boys from women and younger children. the men were then driven away to different nearby locations, where they were shot and killed. the women and children of the village were abducted and continue to be held by isil. let us be clear about what this is, isil is murdering muslims. so to those who say that military action against isil is somehow an attack on islam, let me just say this. i understand the anxiety, including in
communities in britain, but the truth is entirely different. it is muslims themselves who are saying it -- leading british muslim scholars and imams recently wrote of isil -- -- "they are perpetrating the worst crimes against humanity...it is a war against all humanity." isil's ideology has nothing to do with the peaceful religion practised by billions of people across the world and by millions of our fellow citizens, who are appalled by their actions. i give way. >> the leader of the opposition mentioned hostages. david haines was brought up and educated in perth, and some of his family are constituents of mine. to the people of perth, david haines was simply a hero, and the more we find out about his remarkable life, the more appalled we are by his brutal and barbaric murder. the people of perth are planning a commemoration of his life, and i am sure that the leader of the opposition and the prime minister will want to join them and congratulate them on their efforts to ensure that this man is properly remembered.
>> i think that the honorable gentleman spoke with great eloquence on this issue. in a way, it tells us all we need to know about this organisation that it would take hostage people who exist simply to try to help the innocent victims of conflict all around the world. i give way. >> i am grateful to the right honorable gentleman for giving way and for his support -- this time -- for the government motion for intervention. given what he has said about the horrors of isil, if it is necessary for us to come back to the house and debate a motion to intervene against isil in syria, will he support it? >> look, i do want to deal with this very directly, if the house will give me permission. i want to be very clear about this. we will obviously consider any further proposition if the prime minister so chooses to come back
with one. let me mention three issues that concern me about the difference between iraq and syria. first of all, there is the question of legitimacy. there is a strong argument about the legal base for action in syria under article 51. the point that i have been making in the last few days is that, in my view, when we are not talking about being invited in by a democratic state, it would be better -- i put it no higher than that -- to seek a un security council resolution. why? because that is the highest multilateral institution of the world and therefore it would be better to seek authorisation on the basis of that. but secondly, there are two other issues in play in relation to syria. one, there is the question of ground forces. the point that a number of honorable members have made is that we cannot defeat isil by air power alone. in the case of iraq, the iraqi army and the kurds can conduct
those operations. there is -- i put it no higher than this -- an outstanding question about who will perform that function in syria. secondly, as the prime minister himself made reference to, there is a big outstanding question about the overall outcome that we are seeking in syria. the prime minister said that there is a clear strategy and plan in relation to that; personally, i think that a lot more work needs to be done on what exactly the route map is in syria. those are the particular issues that i raise in relation to syria. i want to make some progress with my argument, if the house will allow me. isil is not simply a murderous organisation. as the prime minister said, it has ambitions for a state of its own -- a caliphate across the middle east, run according to its horrific norms and values. that is why i believe, and established in the first part of my remarks, that we cannot simply stand by against the threat of isil. but as i said in response to the honorable gentleman, in acting against it we need to learn the lessons from the past.
we should be clear about this with the british people. that means a comprehensive strategy -- humanitarian and political, as well as military, and, crucially, rooted in the region. some of that work is under way, but i believe that much more needs to be done. but, mr. speaker, there is a reality that the house must face up to, to make this alliance work, there is the need for military action as well to contain and help counter the threat of isil in iraq. that is why we are meeting today. in the second part of my remarks, to make the case for military action by the uk, i want to return to the criteria that i have previously set out -- criteria that learn from the past and judge whether military action can be justified. first, mr. speaker, in any action that we take there must be just cause. i believe that isil does establish just cause. on humanitarian grounds, which i have set out, and on grounds of national interest. on this point, the international instability created by the undermining and potential overthrow of the democratic iraqi state would clearly have
implications for the stability of the region and therefore for us and our national interest. and it would make it more likely that iraq would become a haven and training ground for terrorism directed against the uk. secondly, military action must always be a last resort, and again, i believe that this criterion is met. isil has shown that it is not an organisation that could or should be negotiated with. thirdly, there must be a clear legal base, to provide legitimacy and legal force for our actions. i support the motion today because we are responding to the request from the democratic iraqi state, and that is recognised in the un charter. >> as one who voted on 18 march 2003 against the war in iraq, may i ask whether my right honorable friend agrees that we bear a particular responsibility for subsequent events, and, therefore, a particular responsibility towards the government and people of iraq?
>> i think my honorable friend has an important point. i shall come to it later, but let me say now that, while some people would say that our intervention in iraq means that we should not intervene in this case, i think that there is a heightened responsibility for us precisely because we did intervene in iraq, and -- with all kinds of implications -- the iraqi state that has emerged is partly our responsibility. but me move on to the -- i will give way. >> does the right honorable gentleman agree that the government have a moral obligation to help the iraqi people in their hour of need -- an obligation which, like the deficit, this government did not create, but has to deal with? >> if i may say so, i think the honorable gentleman did himself no credit with that intervention. let me turn to the fourth test. we must believe, this is important, because it is the
hardest test of all, and we need to level with the house about it. we must believe that there is a reasonable prospect of success before we take the grave step of committing our forces. and we should be clear with the house about this. the aim is clear: it is to reinforce the democratic government of iraq and prevent the advance of isil, at the invitation of that government, and it is to do so by using international military air power while the iraqi army and kurdish peshmerga conduct a ground campaign. no one should be in any doubt that this is a difficult mission and that it will take time, but there is already evidence that the us action is having the effect of holding back isil. prior to that action, isil was advancing, with catastrophic consequences for the iraqi people. this is where there is a choice to act or not to act. both have implications, and both have consequences. in june, isil took mosul. failure to act would mean more mosuls, and more killing of the sort that i described earlier.
i give way to my honorable friend. i am grateful. does my right honorable friend agree that, if the outcome is to be greater stability, and if it requires the intervention and the support of neighbouring countries, it would have been quite good to hear more about turkey's attitude and, in particular, its attitude to arming the kurds? >> i think that my honorable friend has made a really important point. it is incredibly important that we mobilise all countries in the region, and turkey is primary among them. we need to learn the whole lesson -- namely that there can be no solution without our engaging not just the people of iraq and an inclusive government in iraq, but the wider neighborhood as well. let me now turn to my fifth criterion. there must be broad support in the region for reasons of legitimacy -- because this action must not be seen as some new form of imperialism -- and of effectiveness, because regional support is essential to the long-term success of the mission.
at the end of august, the arab league made a statement calling for comprehensive measures to combat isil, and we now see a regional coalition consisting of jordan, the united arab emirates, bahrain and saudi arabia and qatar, as well as other countries. sixthly and finally, the proposed action must be proportionate. we must make sure that innocent civilians are protected. and i know that strict conditions are in place to ensure that there is proper targeting, and that everything possible is done to avoid civilian casualties. mr. speaker, having scrutinised those six conditions -- just cause, last resort, legal base, reasonable prospects, regional support and proportionality -- i believe that they are met. i am going to give way to the honorable gentleman. >> the right honorable gentleman has referred to a broader coalition. does he, like me, welcome the fact that 120 clerics and imams. from around the world are setting out sections of the koran, making it quite clear that isil has nothing to do with islam and is an evil organisation which everyone around the world, including the muslim world, has a duty to tackle? >> the honorable gentleman is absolutely right. this is not a clash of civilisations.
the vast, vast majority of muslims all around the world abhor isil and its activities. i will give way, yes. >> i congratulate my right honorable friend and the prime minister on what has been said so far today. it is vital for the sense to be felt that the entire house is behind our troops when they are out performing in this way. but he has spoken powerfully about the fact that this is not a war on islam, and we are all very conscious of the scars that remain from the past. will he say a little more about what he, as leader of the opposition, will do to ensure that our muslim communities here recognise that this is not a war on them, and that it is absolutely about protecting muslims as well as people back here in the united kingdom? >> my honorable friend makes an incredibly important point. i will play my part -- as i am sure will he and other members across the house -- in setting out the case and explaining the basis of action, which is to protect innocent muslims. in iraq who are under terrible threat from isil day after day.
and that is why there is such urgency in this case. i will give way to the honorable gentleman. >> the prime minister argued that this was a generational struggle, but only last year in this house, he passionately argued for action in syria. had he got his way then, what would the position of isil be today? i asked openly, would isil not be stronger? if the consequences were unforeseen over the space of a year, does that not show that our commitment should not be open-ended, but should be back to be scrutinised by this house? >> as we are, on this occasion, seeking the unity of the house, it is incredibly important that we do everything we can to make that happen. the proposition last year was about chemical weapons in relation to president assad. the chemical weapons of president assad had been dealt with i other channels. -- by other channels.
of course, the situation in syria remains very dire. i believe that we made the right decision last summer, but today is about trying to get the whole house supporting the motion before it. i give way. >> does my right honorable friend recall that, fairly recently, this house and the international community were condemned for tolerating genocide in rwanda and then for tolerating genocide in sudan? given the evidence today of genocide, particularly against the kurds in iraq, it is no wonder that the british people are in support not just of him but of the motion before the house. >> my right honorable friend speaks incredibly powerfully. and in the examples he cited, many of us may feel that there was a case for intervention that was not taken up. and these decisions are always incredibly difficult, but if we can help innocent people who are under threat of persecution, it is right to do so. i give way. >> my right honorable friend is absolutely right in supporting this motion, but may i press him
on our role in the world and how it is perceived by people outside? this hokey-cokey approach to international conflicts concerns many people who have just seen thousands of innocent palestinians murdered while we stood on the sidelines. will he confirm to the house that he will show the same commitment, and push for resources, to get a satisfactory conclusion in palestine? >> i agree that it is right to speak out on these issues -- and to speak out without fear or favour -- and to pursue the two -- state solution that we need. i want to move on if i may to the third part of my remarks. i just want to move on, if i may. address this issue. some people might accept the criteria that i have set out, but say that it is not our job to intervene because western intervention always makes things worse -- we must confront this issue, because it will concern not just members in this house
but people in the country. i understand that argument, but i do not agree with it. intervention always has risks, but a dismembered iraq would be more dangerous for britain. not less dangerous for britain. isil unchecked means more persecution of the innocent. and it is this point, mr. speaker. if we say to people that we will pass by on this one, it makes it far harder to persuade other arab countries to play their part. now people across the house have been saying that this must be resolved in the neighbourhood and that we must engage the region. we would have less moral authority to say that we want the arab states to play their part, if we say, "i'm sorry, but this has nothing to do with us. we won't intervene." finally, we should pride ourselves on our traditions of internationalism. being internationalist and not withdrawing from the concerns of the world is when britain is at its best. mr. speaker, i want to speak now
about the underlying reasons for wariness over action. and i think we should confronted directly. i am talking here about the 2003 war in iraq. i understand why some who were in the house at the time will wonder whether this is a repeat of that experience. in my view, it is not, and it is worth setting out why. first, as the prime minister said, this case is about supporting a democratic state. it is not about overturning an existing regime and seeking to build a new one from the rubble, which is a much harder undertaking. secondly, there is no debate about the legal base for action in iraq, as there was in 2003. thirdly, there is no argument over whether military action is a last resort. whatever side of the debate we are on, no one is saying, "let's negotiate with isil." they are not people with whom we can negotiate. fourthly, there is broad international support, not a divided world, with all 28 eu member states and the arab league providing support, and five arab states taking part in action. fifthly, there is no question of british ground troops being deployed.
so i understand the wariness there will be in the house and in the country about whether this is a repeat of 2003, but on those five grounds it is not, and it is demonstrably not. i give way. >> does my right honorable friend agree that our failure to >> does my right honorable friend agree that our failure to reconstruct iraq properly after the war actually increases our responsibility to act responsibly and engage other partners in the region to create a more stable country for the future than we have seen over the past 10 years? >> i completely agree with my honorable friend about our responsibilities, and indeed our responsibilities to the people of iraq. i will not give way again. the late robin cook said this in his resignation speech on the eve of the iraq war -- -- "our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules." this is multilateral action, prompted by a legitimate