Iraq War Vote Revisted

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Sasquatch, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    October 10, 2002
    Floor Speech of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
    on S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of
    United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

    As Delivered
    Today we are asked whether to give the President of the United States authority to use force in Iraq should diplomatic efforts fail to dismantle Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons and his nuclear program.
    I am honored to represent nearly 19 million New Yorkers, a thoughtful democracy of voices and opinions who make themselves heard on the great issues of our day especially this one. Many have contacted my office about this resolution, both in support of and in opposition to it, and I am grateful to all who have expressed an opinion.

    I also greatly respect the differing opinions within this body. The debate they engender will aid our search for a wise, effective policy. Therefore, on no account should dissent be discouraged or disparaged. It is central to our freedom and to our progress, for on more than one occasion, history has proven our great dissenters to be right.

    Now, I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20 thousand people. Unfortunately, during the 1980's, while he engaged in such horrific activity, he enjoyed the support of the American government, because he had oil and was seen as a counterweight to the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran.

    In 1991, Saddam Hussein invaded and occupied Kuwait, losing the support of the United States. The first President Bush assembled a global coalition, including many Arab states, and threw Saddam out after forty-three days of bombing and a hundred hours of ground operations. The U.S.-led coalition then withdrew, leaving the Kurds and the Shiites, who had risen against Saddam Hussein at our urging, to Saddam's revenge.

    As a condition for ending the conflict, the United Nations imposed a number of requirements on Iraq, among them disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction, stocks used to make such weapons, and laboratories necessary to do the work. Saddam Hussein agreed, and an inspection system was set up to ensure compliance. And though he repeatedly lied, delayed, and obstructed the inspections work, the inspectors found and destroyed far more weapons of mass destruction capability than were destroyed in the Gulf War, including thousands of chemical weapons, large volumes of chemical and biological stocks, a number of missiles and warheads, a major lab equipped to produce anthrax and other bio-weapons, as well as substantial nuclear facilities.

    In 1998, Saddam Hussein pressured the United Nations to lift the sanctions by threatening to stop all cooperation with the inspectors. In an attempt to resolve the situation, the UN, unwisely in my view, agreed to put limits on inspections of designated "sovereign sites" including the so-called presidential palaces, which in reality were huge compounds well suited to hold weapons labs, stocks, and records which Saddam Hussein was required by UN resolution to turn over. When Saddam blocked the inspection process, the inspectors left. As a result, President Clinton, with the British and others, ordered an intensive four-day air assault, Operation Desert Fox, on known and suspected weapons of mass destruction sites and other military targets.

    In 1998, the United States also changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change and began to examine options to effect such a change, including support for Iraqi opposition leaders within the country and abroad.

    In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

    It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

    Now this much is undisputed. The open questions are: what should we do about it? How, when, and with whom?

    Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster, in the belief that one more round of weapons inspections would not produce the required disarmament, and that deposing Saddam would be a positive good for the Iraqi people and would create the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East, one which could perhaps move the entire region toward democratic reform.

    This view has appeal to some, because it would assure disarmament; because it would right old wrongs after our abandonment of the Shiites and Kurds in 1991, and our support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980's when he was using chemical weapons and terrorizing his people; and because it would give the Iraqi people a chance to build a future in freedom.

    However, this course is fraught with danger. We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.

    If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?

    So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.

    Others argue that we should work through the United Nations and should only resort to force if and when the United Nations Security Council approves it. This too has great appeal for different reasons. The UN deserves our support. Whenever possible we should work through it and strengthen it, for it enables the world to share the risks and burdens of global security and when it acts, it confers a legitimacy that increases the likelihood of long-term success. The UN can help lead the world into a new era of global cooperation and the United States should support that goal.

    But there are problems with this approach as well. The United Nations is an organization that is still growing and maturing. It often lacks the cohesion to enforce its own mandates. And when Security Council members use the veto, on occasion, for reasons of narrow-minded interests, it cannot act. In Kosovo, the Russians did not approve NATO military action because of political, ethnic, and religious ties to the Serbs. The United States therefore could not obtain a Security Council resolution in favor of the action necessary to stop the dislocation and ethnic cleansing of more than a million Kosovar Albanians. However, most of the world was with us because there was a genuine emergency with thousands dead and a million driven from their homes. As soon as the American-led conflict was over, Russia joined the peacekeeping effort that is still underway.

    In the case of Iraq, recent comments indicate that one or two Security Council members might never approve force against Saddam Hussein until he has actually used chemical, biological, or God forbid, nuclear weapons.
    So, Mr. President, the question is how do we do our best to both defuse the real threat that Saddam Hussein poses to his people, to the region, including Israel, to the United States, to the world, and at the same time, work to maximize our international support and strengthen the United Nations?

    While there is no perfect approach to this thorny dilemma, and while people of good faith and high intelligence can reach diametrically opposed conclusions, I believe the best course is to go to the UN for a strong resolution that scraps the 1998 restrictions on inspections and calls for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded from Iraq. I know that the Administration wants more, including an explicit authorization to use force, but we may not be able to secure that now, perhaps even later. But if we get a clear requirement for unfettered inspections, I believe the authority to use force to enforce that mandate is inherent in the original 1991 UN resolution, as President Clinton recognized when he launched Operation Desert Fox in 1998.

    If we get the resolution that President Bush seeks, and if Saddam complies, disarmament can proceed and the threat can be eliminated. Regime change will, of course, take longer but we must still work for it, nurturing all reasonable forces of opposition.

    If we get the resolution and Saddam does not comply, then we can attack him with far more support and legitimacy than we would have otherwise.
    If we try and fail to get a resolution that simply, but forcefully, calls for Saddam's compliance with unlimited inspections, those who oppose even that will be in an indefensible position. And, we will still have more support and legitimacy than if we insist now on a resolution that includes authorizing military action and other requirements giving some nations superficially legitimate reasons to oppose any Security Council action. They will say we never wanted a resolution at all and that we only support the United Nations when it does exactly what we want.

    I believe international support and legitimacy are crucial. After shots are fired and bombs are dropped, not all consequences are predictable. While the military outcome is not in doubt, should we put troops on the ground, there is still the matter of Saddam Hussein's biological and chemical weapons. Today he has maximum incentive not to use them or give them away. If he did either, the world would demand his immediate removal. Once the battle is joined, however, with the outcome certain, he will have maximum incentive to use weapons of mass destruction and to give what he can't use to terrorists who can torment us with them long after he is gone. We cannot be paralyzed by this possibility, but we would be foolish to ignore it. And according to recent reports, the CIA agrees with this analysis. A world united in sharing the risk at least would make this occurrence less likely and more bearable and would be far more likely to share with us the considerable burden of rebuilding a secure and peaceful post-Saddam Iraq.

    President Bush's speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier. Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.

    Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go way with delay will oppose any UN resolution calling for unrestricted inspections.

    This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make -- any vote that may lead to war should be hard -- but I cast it with conviction.

    And perhaps my decision is influenced by my eight years of experience on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in the White House watching my husband deal with serious challenges to our nation. I want this President, or any future President, to be in the strongest possible position to lead our country in the United Nations or in war. Secondly, I want to insure that Saddam Hussein makes no mistake about our national unity and for our support for the President's efforts to wage America's war against terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. And thirdly, I want the men and women in our Armed Forces to know that if they should be called upon to act against Iraq, our country will stand resolutely behind them.

    My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for uni-lateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose -- all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world.

    Over eleven years have passed since the UN called on Saddam Hussein to rid himself of weapons of mass destruction as a condition of returning to the world community. Time and time again he has frustrated and denied these conditions. This matter cannot be left hanging forever with consequences we would all live to regret. War can yet be avoided, but our responsibility to global security and to the integrity of United Nations resolutions protecting it cannot. I urge the President to spare no effort to secure a clear, unambiguous demand by the United Nations for unlimited inspections.

    And finally, on another personal note, I come to this decision from the perspective of a Senator from New York who has seen all too closely the consequences of last year's terrible attacks on our nation. In balancing the risks of action versus inaction, I think New Yorkers who have gone through the fires of hell may be more attuned to the risk of not acting. I know that I am.

    So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed.

    Thank you, Mr. President.
  2. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    Vote "NO'' On Iraq War Resolution US
    Statement by Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), October 3, 2002

    Before the House of Represenatives​

    As the vote on whether or not this Nation goes to war approaches in this Chamber, a vote which most surely will come within a few days, I think it is important, Mr. Speaker, for us to be able to make the case to the American people as to why it is not appropriate for this country to go to war and to encourage the American people to call their Members to make sure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people does prevail.
    The Members who joined me today, Members for whom I have the greatest gratitude, include the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Brown), the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Brown), the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Capuano), the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Mrs. Clayton), the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis), the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio), the gentlewoman from the Virgin Islands (Mrs. Christensen), the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Doggett), the gentleman from California (Mr. Farr), the gentleman from California (Mr. Filner), the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee), the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur), the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran), the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver), the gentlewoman from Michigan (Ms. Rivers), the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Sanders), the gentleman from New York (Mr. Serrano), the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky), the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Solis), the gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. Jones), the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters), the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Watson), and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey).

    One after another they came before the national press to make their case as to why this Congress should vote against any resolution which would put us on a path towards war. And one after another, in front of the National Press Corps, they called out to the American people to tell the American people to make sure that they called their Members of Congress; that if they did not want war, these Members told the National Press Corps, that if the American people do not want war, to call their Congressman.

    So, Mr. Speaker, today, I intend to do a number of things. I intend to present to this Congress an analysis of the joint resolution which was offered to this Congress; and, after presenting that analysis, I want to put in perspective where we are in this moment in history.

    The resolution which this Congress is facing says: ``Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against an illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq.''

    The American people need to know that the key issue here is that in the Persian Gulf War there was an international coalition. World support was for protecting Kuwait. There is no world support for invading Iraq.

    The resolution goes on to say: ``Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism; ``Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated.''

    But the key issue here that the American people need to know is that U.N. inspection teams identified and destroyed nearly all such weapons. A lead inspector, Scott Ritter, said that he believes that nearly all other weapons not found were destroyed in the Gulf War. Furthermore, according to a published report in The Washington Post, the Central Intelligence Agency, yes, the Central Intelligence Agency, has no up-to-date accurate report on Iraq's capabilities of weapons of mass destruction.

    The resolution that is presented to this Congress says: ``Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998.''

    What the American people need to know, and the key issue here, is that the Iraqi deceptions always failed. The inspectors always figured out what Iraq was doing. It was the United States that withdrew from the inspections in 1998, and the United States then launched
    a cruise missile attack against Iraq 48 hours after the inspectors left. And it is the United States, in advance of a military strike, the U.S. continues to thwart, and this is the administration's word, weapons inspections.
    Now, this resolutions, and what I am doing here obviously is stating the resolution as a point and then making the counterpoint so the American people can understand that this is a capsule summary of the debate that is going to take place in this House next week.

    In the resolution the administration contends: ``Whereas, in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened U.S. vital interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations and urged the President to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations.''

    The resolution says: ``Whereas Iraq both possesses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.''

    The American people deserve to know that the key issue here is that there is no proof that Iraq represents an imminent or immediate threat to the United States of America. I will repeat: there is no proof that Iraq represents an imminent or immediate threat to the United States. A continuing threat does not constitute a sufficient cause for war. The administration has refused to provide the Congress with credible evidence that proves that Iraq is a serious threat to the United States and that it is continuing to possess and develop chemical and biological and nuclear weapons.

    Furthermore, there is no credible evidence connecting Iraq to al Qaeda and 9-11, and yet there are people who want to bomb Iraq in reprisal for 9-11. Imagine, if you will, as Cleveland columnist Dick Feagler wrote last week, if after this country was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor in 1941, if instead of retaliating by bombing Japan, we would have retaliated by bombing Peru. Iraq is not connected by any credible evidence to 9-11, nor is it connected by any credible evidence to the activities of al Qaeda on 9-11.

    The resolution says, and I quote, continuing in this comparison point by point, the resolution says, that we will be voting on the administration's resolution: ``Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait.''

    The counterpoint, and what the American people deserve to know, the key issue here, is that this language is so broad that it would allow the President to order an attack against Iraq even though there is no material threat to the United States. Since this resolution authorizes the use of force for all Iraq-related violations of U.N. Security Council directives, and since the resolution cites Iraq's imprisonment of non-Iraqi prisoners, this resolution could be seen by some to authorize the President to attack Iraq in order to liberate Kuwaiti citizens, who may or may not be in Iraqi prisons, even if Iraq met compliance with all requests to destroy any weapons of mass destruction. The resolution goes on to say: ``Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against any other nations and its own people;
    ``Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.''

    The counterpoint of this, Mr. Speaker, and the key issue here, is that the Iraqi regime has never attacked, nor does it have the capability to attack, the United States. The no-fly zone was not the result of a U.N. Security Council directive. Now, many people do not know that. They think the U.N. Security Council established the no-fly zone. It did not. The no-fly zone was illegally imposed by the United States, Great Britain, and France, and is not specifically sanctioned by any Security Council resolution.

    The resolution goes on to say, and I quote from the resolution: ``Whereas members of al Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, are known to be in Iraq.''

    Well, the American people need to know there is no credible evidence that connects Iraq to the events of 9-11 or to participation in those events by assisting al Qaeda.

    The resolution states, and I quote: ``Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens.''

    The key issue here, and the counterpoint that the American people need to know, is that any connection between Iraq's support of terrorist groups in the Middle East, Mr. Speaker, is an argument for focusing great resources on resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not a sufficient cause for the United States to launch a unilateral preemptive strike against Iraq. Indeed, an argument could be made that such an attack would exacerbate the condition in the Middle East and destabilize the region.

    The resolution states: ``Whereas the attacks on the United States of America of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations.''

    And, again, and I stress, the American people need to know that there is no connection between Iraq and the events of 9-11. However, this resolution attempts to make the connection over and over and over. And just saying that there is a connection does not make it so, because the Central Intelligence Agency has not presented this Congress with any credible information that indicates that there is in fact a tie between Iraq and 9-11, between Iraq and al Qaeda, or Iraq and the anthrax attacks on this Capitol.

    And if we are to go to war against any Nation, and I oppose us doing this in this case, we ought not be taking such action in retaliation, and ought not put it in a document like this in retaliation, attacking a nation that had nothing to do with 9-11.

    The resolution goes on to say, ``Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself''; that is the assertion.

    The key issue here is that there is no credible evidence that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. If Iraq had successfully concealed the production of such weapons since 1998, and let us assume that somebody has information they have never told Congress, they have never been able to back up, but they have this information and it is secret, and they secretly know Iraq has such weapons, there is no credible evidence that Iraq has the capability to reach the United States with such weapons, if they have them, and many of us believe no evidence has been presented that they do.

    In 1991, the Gulf War, Iraq had a demonstrated capability of biological and chemical weapons, but they obviously did not have the willingness to use them against the Armed Forces of the United States. Congress has not been provided any credible information which proves that Iraq has provided international terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

    Mr. Speaker, this resolution will be presented to this Congress to vote on as a cause of war. I am reading the exact quote from the resolution, and then I am making the counterpoint. In effect, this is the first step towards a debate on this issue on this floor.

    The resolution says, ``Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949.''

    The counterpoint and what the American people need to know is that the U.N. Charter, and we participate in the United Nations, we helped form the United Nations, we helped set up this international framework of law that is represented by the United Nations, that the United Nations Charter forbids all Member nations, including the United States, from unilaterally enforcing U.N. resolutions.

    We cannot do this on our own. We cannot decide that some nation is in violation of U.N. resolutions and we take it upon ourselves to render justice.

    The resolution states, that will be before this House as a cause of war, ``Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 612, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, 677''; and the point is the same.

    If those Security Council resolutions are not being implemented, that is up to the United Nations and the Security Council to take up the matter. It is not up to the United States to initiate unilateral action enforcing U.N. resolutions with military force.

    The resolution which is being presented to this House next week says, ``Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region, and that Congress supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688.''

    Well, the counterpoint here is this, and what we are going to be asserting on the floor of this House is that this clause demonstrates the proper chronology of international process in contrast to the current march to war. In 1991, the United Nations Security Council passed the resolution asking for enforcement of its resolution. Member countries authorized their troops to participate in a U.N.-led coalition to enforce the U.N. resolutions. Now the President is asking Congress to authorize a unilateral first strike before the U.N. Security Council has asked its member states to enforce U.N. resolutions.

    If we believe in international law, then we ought to look to what this country did in 1991 when it joined the United Nations' effort on this matter on global security and not go it alone, not initiate a unilateral action or attack or preemptive strike.

    The resolution here says, ``Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.''

    Well, the counterpoint is this, and the American people should know this, this sense of Congress resolution which is referred to in that paragraph was not binding. Furthermore, while Congress supported democratic means of removing Saddam Hussein, and I voted for that, we clearly did not endorse the use of force contemplated in this resolution.
  3. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    I can't seem to find the others right now. If anyone can dig up the remarks of Dodd, Biden, Edwards, and the republican candidates please do.
  4. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    cliff notes version please
  5. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    Congressman Ron Paul
    U.S. House of Representatives
    October 8, 2002

    Statement Opposing the use of Military Force against Iraq
    Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution. The wisdom of the war is one issue, but the process and the philosophy behind our foreign policy are important issues as well. But I have come to the conclusion that I see no threat to our national security. There is no convincing evidence that Iraq is capable of threatening the security of this country, and, therefore, very little reason, if any, to pursue a war.

    But I am very interested also in the process that we are pursuing. This is not a resolution to declare war. We know that. This is a resolution that does something much different. This resolution transfers the responsibility, the authority, and the power of the Congress to the President so he can declare war when and if he wants to. He has not even indicated that he wants to go to war or has to go to war; but he will make the full decision, not the Congress, not the people through the Congress of this country in that manner.

    It does something else, though. One-half of the resolution delivers this power to the President, but it also instructs him to enforce U.N. resolutions. I happen to think I would rather listen to the President when he talks about unilateralism and national security interests, than accept this responsibility to follow all of the rules and the dictates of the United Nations. That is what this resolution does. It instructs him to follow all of the resolutions.

    But an important aspect of the philosophy and the policy we are endorsing here is the preemption doctrine. This should not be passed off lightly. It has been done to some degree in the past, but never been put into law that we will preemptively strike another nation that has not attacked us. No matter what the arguments may be, this policy is new; and it will have ramifications for our future, and it will have ramifications for the future of the world because other countries will adopt this same philosophy.

    I also want to mention very briefly something that has essentially never been brought up. For more than a thousand years there has been a doctrine and Christian definition of what a just war is all about. I think this effort and this plan to go to war comes up short of that doctrine. First, it says that there has to be an act of aggression; and there has not been an act of aggression against the United States. We are 6,000 miles from their shores.

    Also, it says that all efforts at negotiations must be exhausted. I do not believe that is the case. It seems to me like the opposition, the enemy, right now is begging for more negotiations.

    Also, the Christian doctrine says that the proper authority must be responsible for initiating the war. I do not believe that proper authority can be transferred to the President nor to the United Nations.

    But a very practical reason why I have a great deal of reservations has to do with the issue of no-win wars that we have been involved in for so long. Once we give up our responsibilities from here in the House and the Senate to make these decisions, it seems that we depend on the United Nations for our instructions; and that is why, as a Member earlier indicated, essentially we are already at war. That is correct. We are still in the Persian Gulf War. We have been bombing for 12 years, and the reason President Bush, Sr., did not go all the way? He said the U.N. did not give him permission to.

    My argument is when we go to war through the back door, we are more likely to have the wars last longer and not have resolution of the wars, such as we had in Korea and Vietnam. We ought to consider this very seriously.

    Also it is said we are wrong about the act of aggression, there has been an act of aggression against us because Saddam Hussein has shot at our airplanes. The fact that he has missed every single airplane for 12 years, and tens of thousands of sorties have been flown, indicates the strength of our enemy, an impoverished, Third World nation that does not have an air force, anti-aircraft weapons, or a navy.

    But the indication is because he shot at us, therefore, it is an act of aggression. However, what is cited as the reason for us flying over the no-fly zone comes from U.N. Resolution 688, which instructs us and all the nations to contribute to humanitarian relief in the Kurdish and the Shiite areas. It says nothing about no-fly zones, and it says nothing about bombing missions over Iraq.

    So to declare that we have been attacked, I do not believe for a minute that this fulfills the requirement that we are retaliating against aggression by this country. There is a need for us to assume responsibility for the declaration of war, and also to prepare the American people for the taxes that will be raised and the possibility of a military draft which may well come.

    I must oppose this resolution, which regardless of what many have tried to claim will lead us into war with Iraq. This resolution is not a declaration of war, however, and that is an important point: this resolution transfers the Constitutionally-mandated Congressional authority to declare wars to the executive branch. This resolution tells the president that he alone has the authority to determine when, where, why, and how war will be declared. It merely asks the president to pay us a courtesy call a couple of days after the bombing starts to let us know what is going on. This is exactly what our Founding Fathers cautioned against when crafting our form of government: most had just left behind a monarchy where the power to declare war rested in one individual. It is this they most wished to avoid.
    As James Madison wrote in 1798, "The Constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has, accordingly, with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature."

    Some- even some in this body- have claimed that this Constitutional requirement is an anachronism, and that those who insist on following the founding legal document of this country are just being frivolous. I could not disagree more.

    Mr. Speaker, for the more than one dozen years I have spent as a federal legislator I have taken a particular interest in foreign affairs and especially the politics of the Middle East. From my seat on the international relations committee I have had the opportunity to review dozens of documents and to sit through numerous hearings and mark-up sessions regarding the issues of both Iraq and international terrorism.

    Back in 1997 and 1998 I publicly spoke out against the actions of the Clinton Administration, which I believed was moving us once again toward war with Iraq. I believe the genesis of our current policy was unfortunately being set at that time. Indeed, many of the same voices who then demanded that the Clinton Administration attack Iraq are now demanding that the Bush Administration attack Iraq. It is unfortunate that these individuals are using the tragedy of September 11, 2001 as cover to force their long-standing desire to see an American invasion of Iraq. Despite all of the information to which I have access, I remain very skeptical that the nation of Iraq poses a serious and immanent terrorist threat to the United States. If I were convinced of such a threat I would support going to war, as I did when I supported President Bush by voting to give him both the authority and the necessary funding to fight the war on terror.

    Mr. Speaker, consider some of the following claims presented by supporters of this resolution, and contrast them with the following facts:

    Claim: Iraq has consistently demonstrated its willingness to use force against the US through its firing on our planes patrolling the UN-established "no-fly zones."

    Reality: The "no-fly zones" were never authorized by the United Nations, nor was their 12 year patrol by American and British fighter planes sanctioned by the United Nations. Under UN Security Council Resolution 688 (April, 1991), Iraq’s repression of the Kurds and Shi’ites was condemned, but there was no authorization for "no-fly zones," much less airstrikes. The resolution only calls for member states to "contribute to humanitarian relief" in the Kurd and Shi’ite areas. Yet the US and British have been bombing Iraq in the "no-fly zones" for 12 years. While one can only condemn any country firing on our pilots, isn’t the real argument whether we should continue to bomb Iraq relentlessly? Just since 1998, some 40,000 sorties have been flown over Iraq.

    Claim: Iraq is an international sponsor of terrorism.

    Reality: According to the latest edition of the State Department’s Patterns of Global Terrorism, Iraq sponsors several minor Palestinian groups, the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). None of these carries out attacks against the United States. As a matter of fact, the MEK (an Iranian organization located in Iraq) has enjoyed broad Congressional support over the years. According to last year’s Patterns of Global Terrorism, Iraq has not been involved in terrorist activity against the West since 1993 – the alleged attempt against former President Bush.

    Claim: Iraq tried to assassinate President Bush in 1993.

    Reality: It is far from certain that Iraq was behind the attack. News reports at the time were skeptical about Kuwaiti assertions that the attack was planned by Iraq against former. President Bush. Following is an interesting quote from Seymore Hersh’s article from Nov. 1993:
    Three years ago, during Iraq's six-month occupation of Kuwait, there had been an outcry when a teen-age Kuwaiti girl testified eloquently and effectively before Congress about Iraqi atrocities involving newborn infants. The girl turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Washington, Sheikh Saud Nasir al-Sabah, and her account of Iraqi soldiers flinging babies out of incubators was challenged as exaggerated both by journalists and by human-rights groups. (Sheikh Saud was subsequently named Minister of Information in Kuwait, and he was the government official in charge of briefing the international press on the alleged assassination attempt against George Bush.) In a second incident, in August of 1991, Kuwait provoked a special session of the United Nations Security Council by claiming that twelve Iraqi vessels, including a speedboat, had been involved in an attempt to assault Bubiyan Island, long-disputed territory that was then under Kuwaiti control. The Security Council eventually concluded that, while the Iraqis had been provocative, there had been no Iraqi military raid, and that the Kuwaiti government knew there hadn't. What did take place was nothing more than a smuggler-versus-smuggler dispute over war booty in a nearby demilitarized zone that had emerged, after the Gulf War, as an illegal marketplace for alcohol, ammunition, and livestock.

    This establishes that on several occasions Kuwait has lied about the threat from Iraq. Hersh goes on to point out in the article numerous other times the Kuwaitis lied to the US and the UN about Iraq. Here is another good quote from Hersh:

    The President was not alone in his caution. Janet Reno, the Attorney General, also had her doubts. "The A.G. remains skeptical of certain aspects of the case," a senior Justice Department official told me in late July, a month after the bombs were dropped on Baghdad…Two weeks later, what amounted to open warfare broke out among various factions in the government on the issue of who had done what in Kuwait. Someone gave a Boston Globe reporter access to a classified C.I.A. study that was highly skeptical of the Kuwaiti claims of an Iraqi assassination attempt. The study, prepared by the C.I.A.'s Counter Terrorism Center, suggested that Kuwait might have "cooked the books" on the alleged plot in an effort to play up the "continuing Iraqi threat" to Western interests in the Persian Gulf. Neither the Times nor the Post made any significant mention of the Globe dispatch, which had been written by a Washington correspondent named Paul Quinn-Judge, although the story cited specific paragraphs from the C.I.A. assessment. The two major American newspapers had been driven by their sources to the other side of the debate.
    At the very least, the case against Iraq for the alleged bomb threat is not conclusive.

    Claim: Saddam Hussein will use weapons of mass destruction against us – he has already used them against his own people (the Kurds in 1988 in the village of Halabja).

    Reality: It is far from certain that Iraq used chemical weapons against the Kurds. It may be accepted as conventional wisdom in these times, but back when it was first claimed there was great skepticism. The evidence is far from conclusive. A 1990 study by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College cast great doubts on the claim that Iraq used chemical weapons on the Kurds. Following are the two gassing incidents as described in the report:

    In September 1988, however – a month after the war (between Iran and Iraq) had ended – the State Department abruptly, and in what many viewed as a sensational manner, condemned Iraq for allegedly using chemicals against its Kurdish population. The incident cannot be understood without some background of Iraq’s relations with the Kurds…throughout the war Iraq effectively faced two enemies – Iran and elements of its own Kurdish minority. Significant numbers of the Kurds had launched a revolt against Baghdad and in the process teamed up with Tehran. As soon as the war with Iran ended, Iraq announced its determination to crush the Kurdish insurrection. It sent Republican Guards to the Kurdish area, and in the course of the operation – according to the U.S. State Department – gas was used, with the result that numerous Kurdish civilians were killed. The Iraqi government denied that any such gassing had occurred. Nonetheless, Secretary of State Schultz stood by U.S. accusations, and the U.S. Congress, acting on its own, sought to impose economic sanctions on Baghdad as a violator of the Kurds’ human rights.
    Having looked at all the evidence that was available to us, we find it impossible to confirm the State Department’s claim that gas was used in this instance. To begin with. There were never any victims produced. International relief organizations who examined the Kurds – in Turkey where they had gone for asylum – failed to discover any. Nor were there ever any found inside Iraq. The claim rests solely on testimony of the Kurds who had crossed the border into Turkey, where they were interviewed by staffers of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
    It appears that in seeking to punish Iraq, the Congress was influenced by another incident that occurred five months earlier in another Iraqi-Kurdish city, Halabjah. In March 1988, the Kurds at Halabjah were bombarded with chemical weapons, producing many deaths. Photographs of the Kurdish victims were widely disseminated in the international media. Iraq was blamed for the Halabjah attack, even though it was subsequently brought out that Iran too had used chemicals in this operation and it seemed likely that it was the Iranian bombardment that had actually killed the Kurds.
    Thus, in our view, the Congress acted more on the basis of emotionalism than factual information, and without sufficient thought for the adverse diplomatic effects of its action.
    Claim: Iraq must be attacked because it has ignored UN Security Council resolutions – these resolutions must be backed up by the use of force.

    Reality: Iraq is but one of the many countries that have not complied with UN Security Council resolutions. In addition to the dozen or so resolutions currently being violated by Iraq, a conservative estimate reveals that there are an additional 91Security Council resolutions by countries other than Iraq that are also currently being violated. Adding in older resolutions that were violated would mean easily more than 200 UN Security Council resolutions have been violated with total impunity. Countries currently in violation include: Israel, Turkey, Morocco, Croatia, Armenia, Russia, Sudan, Turkey-controlled Cyprus, India, Pakistan, Indonesia. None of these countries have been threatened with force over their violations.

    Claim: Iraq has anthrax and other chemical and biological agents.

    Reality: That may be true. However, according to UNSCOM’s chief weapons inspector 90-95 percent of Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons and capabilities were destroyed by 1998; those that remained have likely degraded in the intervening four years and are likely useless. A 1994 Senate Banking Committee hearing revealed some 74 shipments of deadly chemical and biological agents from the U.S. to Iraq in the 1980s. As one recent press report stated:
    One 1986 shipment from the Virginia-based American Type Culture Collection included three strains of anthrax, six strains of the bacteria that make botulinum toxin and three strains of the bacteria that cause gas gangrene. Iraq later admitted to the United Nations that it had made weapons out of all three
    The CDC, meanwhile, sent shipments of germs to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission and other agencies involved in Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. It sent samples in 1986 of botulinum toxin and botulinum toxoid — used to make vaccines against botulinum toxin — directly to the Iraqi chemical and biological weapons complex at al-Muthanna, the records show.
    These were sent while the United States was supporting Iraq covertly in its war against Iran. U.S. assistance to Iraq in that war also included covertly-delivered intelligence on Iranian troop movements and other assistance. This is just another example of our policy of interventionism in affairs that do not concern us – and how this interventionism nearly always ends up causing harm to the United States.

    Claim: The president claimed last night that: "Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles; far enough to strike Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and other nations in a region where more than 135,000 American civilians and service members live and work."

    Reality: Then why is only Israel talking about the need for the U.S. to attack Iraq? None of the other countries seem concerned at all. Also, the fact that some 135,000 Americans in the area are under threat from these alleged missiles is just makes the point that it is time to bring our troops home to defend our own country.

    Claim: Iraq harbors al-Qaeda and other terrorists.

    Reality: The administration has claimed that some Al-Qaeda elements have been present in Northern Iraq. This is territory controlled by the Kurds – who are our allies – and is patrolled by U.S. and British fighter aircraft. Moreover, dozens of countries – including Iran and the United States – are said to have al-Qaeda members on their territory. Other terrorists allegedly harbored by Iraq, all are affiliated with Palestinian causes and do not attack the United States.

    Claim: President Bush said in his speech on 7 October 2002: " Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don't know exactly, and that's the problem…"

    Reality: An admission of a lack of information is justification for an attack?
  6. iceberg

    iceberg well at least we're not the browns Zone Supporter

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    they definately write like liberals. say enough you cover everything.
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Its interesting that NOW there is no doubt about the gassing of the kurds. Chemical ALi's trial showed plenty of evidence. But then Sasqie would have to admit that he got duped so that is not going to happen. A fair amount was used in Saddam's trial as well. But of course Sasqie does not want to talk about that either. There is no doubt that Kuwait gilded the lilly. But there is ALSO NO DOUBT about what Saddam and company did to their own people as well as others. There is NO DOUBT about the fact that MANY atrocities were conducted by Saddam and company. So in the end what did it matter that Kuwait made some MORE up?
  8. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    I have seen the things Saddam's regime did first hand.

    Sassy cannot make me believe otherwise ..... no matter how long winded his post become.
  9. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    What do you expect from fanatics like Sasqie? He probably is one of those that thinks we did 9/11. The US is always wrong and the terrorists are always right. No point in trying to reason with those like that.
  10. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    Everytime you make a decent point you follow it up with an over the top crap post. I hate to agree with you on anything because the good posts are followed by personal attacks. You'd do better to leave it impersonal and argue the points, and not get sucked in when the opposing side trolls you. Respond to the meat and leave the fat on the side.
  11. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    Not sure what all the fuss is about. I intended this thread to provide information on the presidential candidates on this important vote. I only posted Clinton, Kucnich, and Paul because they were easy to find and because I don't have the time right now to look for the others who cast a vote.

    Carry on.
  12. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    But sometimes the fat is SO chewy.....
  13. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

    12,204 Messages
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    Do you even understand that you, yourself, are fanatical, just on a different spectrum?
  14. iceberg

    iceberg well at least we're not the browns Zone Supporter

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    the extremes seldom see themselves as extreme. just right no matter what.
  15. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    Or :laugh2:
  16. trickblue

    trickblue Not Old School...Old Testament...

    30,144 Messages
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    "Peace takes BRAINS... WAR is NOT the ANSWER"...

    Neither are cheeseburgers darlin'...
  17. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    Easy there, fella. You don't want to get the little lady upset. She's hard to stop once she works up a head of steam.
  18. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    I really hope that blob coming out of her dress is her left leg.

    Otherwise, I really don't want to know what it is.
  19. iceberg

    iceberg well at least we're not the browns Zone Supporter

    30,976 Messages
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    thankfully due to her advanced F.A.T. condition she's not capable of building up that head of steam. then again it does look SO photoshopped. otherwise her belly button is at her knees.

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