This is an August 2007 copy of a website maintained by the Center for International Policy. It is posted here for historical purposes. The Center for International Policy no longer maintains this resource.

Home
|
Analyses
|
Aid
|
|
|
News
|
|
|
|
Last Updated:10/05/01
Speech by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (D-Michigan), July 24, 2001
Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. MCGOVERN) for allowing me to work with him on this amendment.

Regrettably, I come to the floor to talk about this issue on an appropriations bill. This discussion would be much better if we were going through an authorization process, but this is the only place we can talk about a very critical issue.

I think there is a great degree of uncertainty of how this program is working. We know that on this appropriations bill there is significant legislation that will further militarize this situation. I think we need to be nervous about that. That is why I looked favorably on this amendment when it was proposed to me and why I chose to co-sponsor it.

In the last few months, I have had the opportunity to travel to Africa. Investing in health care around the world is an important investment. We were in Lagos, Nigeria. We had the opportunity to witness the effects of polio and recognize that polio is still a disease that faces way too many children around the world. Investing in child survival and health programs is a good investment.

In contrast to that, I think there is a sincere concern about our efforts in the drug war. As I listen to the debate today, I hear terms such as we have to reduce the drug flow, narco-governments, surrender to drug lords. I sometimes wonder if we are willing to sacrifice all U.S. values in this fight on drugs.

We know that in certain cases, and we will be talking about one of those later on today in another amendment that I will be proposing, when we tried to work out some protections that would embody basic human values and basic U.S. values and rights that we cherish in this country, we are not willing to extend those basic rights to the people in South America. We are willing to do other legislation in this appropriations bill but carrying basic rights that we treasure in this country and that we afford to our own citizens, we are not willing to extend to our colleagues south of the border.

Are we willing to sacrifice all decency and basic human rights so that we can benefit here in the U.S. while others suffer in other parts of the world? I am not sure that is the direction that we want to go.

The U.S. values that we cherish here are the same values that we should share and export to other parts of the world. We need in this bill, since it is the only vehicle that we will have an opportunity to express our values on and our feelings and opinions, we need to use this bill to say we are going to defend U.S. values and U.S. rights in this country and we are going to ensure that those values and those rights are extended into other countries where we are engaged and where we are invested.

The greatest export that we have around the world is not dollars, but it is a vision of freedom and it is a vision that says freedom and human rights are a basic right that people around the planet should share. We are the model. That model should not change when we leave our borders.

As of October 3, 2001, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r107:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20010724)
Google
Search WWW Search ciponline.org

Asia
|
Colombia
|
|
Financial Flows
|
National Security
|

Center for International Policy
1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 801
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-3317 / fax (202) 232-3440
cip@ciponline.org