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Congressman John Duncan

Representing the 2nd District of Tennessee

U.S.A. Cannot Police Ukraine, World

March 14, 2014


Mr. Speaker, President Kennedy, in a 1961 speech at the University of Washington, said:

"We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient--that we are only 6 percent of the world's population--that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind--that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity--and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem."

The major difference now than when he spoke in 1961 is that we are only 4 percent of the world's population, and we are over $17 trillion in debt. President Kennedy was right then, and we should carefully listen to his words today.

Many people are trying to prove that they are great world statesmen and are supporting policies that will commit us to spend billions we do not have on Ukraine. We don't need to be sending billions to Ukraine, and we especially should not escalate this situation into some type of military confrontation.

We should have trade and tourism and cultural and educational exchanges with other countries and help, to a limited extent, during humanitarian crisis; but we cannot be the policemen of the world.

The Ukrainians are going to have to solve most of their problems on their own, and we need to start taking better care of our own country and our own people. In fact, Mr. Speaker, we are long past the time when we need to start putting our own people first and stop trying to run the whole world, creating a lot of resentment toward the U.S. in the process.