oppose the resolution authorizing military force against Iraq. 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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
consider some of the following claims presented by supporters of this
resolution, and contrast them with the following facts:
Iraq has consistently demonstrated its willingness to use force against
the US through its firing on our planes patrolling the UN-established
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.
Iraq is an international sponsor of terrorism.
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.
Iraq tried to assassinate President Bush in 1993.
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:
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,
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
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
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.
very least, the case against Iraq for the alleged bomb threat is not
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).
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:
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
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'
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
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
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.
Iraq must be attacked because it has ignored UN Security Council resolutions
these resolutions must be backed up by the use of force.
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.
Iraq has anthrax and other chemical and biological agents.
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:
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
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
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.
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."
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.
Iraq harbors al-Qaeda and other terrorists.
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
An admission of a lack of information is justification for an attack?