Mr. WARNER. I was privileged 2 days ago to join on
the floor with my esteemed colleague, Senator Lieberman of Connecticut,
and Senator Bayh and Senator McCain when the four of us introduced the
resolution which is the pending resolution before the body. We came
together as a foursome, sort of, under the following circumstances.
Senator Lieberman and I, in 1991, were the principal cosponsors of the resolution which authorized President George Herbert Walker Bush to institute the use of force with the U.S. men and women in uniform together with numbers of uniformed individuals from the coalition that he, President Bush, had put together in the fall of 1990 and early 1991.
I had talked with Senators Lieberman and McCain about this forthcoming resolution, which our President requested. I happened to be among the Senate leadership in the Cabinet Room when he spoke to us about a month or so ago indicating he would want the Congress to provide a resolution, given the growing crisis that the world faces with Saddam Hussein and his threatened use of weapons of mass destruction.
I think our President has shown extraordinary leadership in this crisis. I remember vividly the fall of 1990 and 1991 as the buildup was taking place. But that buildup was taking place against the background of the clear, unwarranted, blatant use of force by Saddam Hussein against the people of Kuwait. Together with a number of our colleagues, I visited that region several times. Ever so vivid is my memory of the burning oilfields, of the capital of Kuwait severely damaged. It was something that was indelibly emblazoned in my mind.
The purpose of this resolution is to show the resolve of the Congress of the United States, show the resolve of other nations, not to let that happen again. People say: Where is the smoking gun? Let's hope we do not have a smoking gun. In other words, that gun will not have been fired, leaving a trail of smoke, as it was in 1990 and 1991.
The rapid development of technology in the decade-plus since that conflict undergirds the decision now to bring together a coalition of nations and for the Congress to speak with one voice with our President to try to avoid a conflict.
Each day, I watch our President address this issue. Wherever he is traveling in the United States, time and time again he reminds the people: The last option is the use of force and war. Throughout the history of the world, famous military leaders, George Washington and others, have said the best way to avoid war is to show clearly the preparations and the ability and the willingness to fight.
Through the centuries, that has proven to be the most effective way to deter war.
It is the desire of our President, it is the desire of everyone privileged to serve in the Senate, and indeed in the House of Representatives, to avoid war. But through the leadership of our President, he has brought to the attention not only of the people of the United States but to the people of the entire world the threat posed today by Saddam Hussein.
conflict in 1990-1991 was fought by Saddam Hussein and repelled
by the coalition of nations led by the United States. That conflict,
almost without exception, was fought with what we refer to as
conventional weapons -- the tanks, the artillery people, the rifles, and
the hand grenades. We were fortunate in that conflict that weapons of
mass destruction such as biological and chemical were not employed to
any great extent.
I say that because Saddam Hussein had those weapons strategically placed with his various elements inside Iraq and some forward-deployed cache, if he were to give the order to use them. So they were there. Indeed, the destruction of some of the cache could well have had injured some of our troops. That is still not fully known. But those weapons of mass destruction were poised and ready for use.
Now we know that in the years subsequent to that conflict -- once he drove the inspectors who were there in accordance with United Nations resolutions out of Iraq some 4 years ago -- he has put the resources of his country behind replenishing those weapons and even building larger stocks and newer types -- types that are now more easily transportable, types that can be containerized in weapons.
Here we are faced with the situation of an individual who has extensively utilized in years past -- not in the 1990-1991 conflict but in the war with Iran -- chemical weapons. He also used those chemical weapons against elements of his own people who he was trying to repress and subject to his tyrannical regime.
So there is a clear case history of the use of these weapons. There is now a clear, documented case of open intelligence that he possesses larger stocks, more versatile stocks and the ability to use them.
How can this Nation and how can other nations just sit and wait?
To the everlasting credit of President Bush, our President, he has alerted the world, and he has taken those steps necessary to prepare this Nation and those steps necessary to engage every possible diplomatic means to avoid conflict. That is the course of action he is embarking on now here at home and in the United Nations and foreign capitals of the world.
With the resolution Senators Lieberman, Bayh, McCain and I put before the Senate, we embark on this historic debate. One of my great recollections is of the debate we had in 1991 at the time the first George Bush was President, and sought to use force. It was, with a deep sense of humility, one of the highlights of my career to have been on the floor as a comanager with then-Republican leader Senator Dole and Senator McCain, Senator Stevens, and others who were working the management side of that historic debate. On the other side of the aisle was the distinguished majority leader, Senator Mitchell, a lifelong friend, Senator Sam Nunn, who at that time was chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and I was ranking member. They took quite a different position.
The Nation experienced a very good debate by the Senate. Of course, at the conclusion of that debate, only by a mere five votes did the resolution -- I won't say on our side of the aisle, but it was bipartisan -- the resolution Senator Lieberman and I submitted to the Senate prevailed.
We are on the threshold of another debate of similar significance and proportions. I welcome it, as do other colleagues, who at the moment do not agree with the contents of the resolution. We will see in the days to come the evolution of one of the greater debates in the contemporary history of the Senate.
One of the most difficult things any of us here in Congress, indeed, any citizen of the United States, ever faces is a decision to authorize the use of the Armed Forces.
I have been privileged myself to serve twice in uniform, once as a 17-year-old sailor at the concluding months of World War II. I did not go overseas at that time. Fortunately, the war was concluded rather unexpectedly. But we were prepared, my age group of 17 and 18, 19-year- olds, not unlike those today in uniform, to follow out the orders of the Commander in Chief, President Harry Truman. I have in my office today a small bronze statue of him given to me by one of the veterans' organizations as a reminder of the courage that President showed at that time in our history.
When I enlisted in January 1945, the Battle of the Bulge was just completing. It was an extraordinary battle, where Hitler had thrown his last divisions against the force that crossed the Normandy beaches and had been working its way through Belgium toward Germany. I remind our audience today, in that one battle alone, 41,000 Americans were killed, wounded, or missing in action, to give the proportion of the battles that our Nation, together with Great Britain, France, and others, were engaged in in that conflict. That is in comparison to the valiant efforts of our troops today in Afghanistan, where the casualties, fortunately, are in the 100s to 200s so far in their heroic efforts to turn the tide of terrorism.
It is important to remind America of the sacrifices of previous generations, as we make this difficult decision. The Battle of the Bulge was followed by United States forces in the Pacific, when the Marines and elements of the United States Army stormed Iwo Jima. That was a battle of some 6 to 7 weeks. There 21,000 Americans were killed, wounded, or missing. Again, we always have to reflect on the enormity of the sacrifices previous generations have made to enable us to be standing here today with the same courage and conviction they had to face the dangers of the world in this hour, on this day, and in the weeks and months to come.
I remember so well the Korean war. Again, I had the privilege of serving in the Marines. My two periods of military service were very modest. I am always extremely humble when I am in the presence of others who served far more valiantly and displayed far more courage than I ever had the opportunity to display. I was able to serve alongside brave men and some women in both of those conflicts.
Again, in the Korean war, for a brief period, I served in Korea with the First Marine Air Wing. I remember the aviators in our squadron. They flew every day. Occasionally I was in the capacity of an observer with them. Again, I don't put myself in the combat arms category because I was a staff officer. I remember they didn't come home from those missions; several in the tent in which I slept. You are mindful of the sacrifices when you have to take the personal effects of your bunkmate, wrap them in a blanket, and send them back home.
So those are the things that cross my mind as I stand here today and as I will stand on this floor in the days to come as we pursue this resolution.
Even though I had those modest experiences of active duty, and then, I must say, during the next major engagement, the war in Vietnam, I was privileged to serve in the Pentagon, again, alongside the brave men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States who fought in that battle, several of whom are serving in this Chamber today: Senators McCain and Hagel. Those are truly warriors. But in visiting the battlefields in Vietnam in the concluding months and years after, 50,000-plus Americans were casualties in that conflict. Again, it was the courage and the resolve of that generation and previous generations that undergird the same courage and resolve that is in the Armed Forces today, if the Commander in Chief has to give the order to engage them in conflict.
It is with a sense of deep emotion I deliver these remarks today in support of this resolution which I was privileged with others to draw.
Senator Lott, throughout the drawing up of this resolution, has shown extraordinary leadership. His door and his office were opened. He convened from time to time small groups of Senators to sit down and gather their ideas and their thoughts. He continues to do that. Finally, the time came when the administration, working actively with the group that was drawing up the resolution, laid down a marker, and that is this resolution.
My distinguished friend and colleague, the chairman of the committee on which I am privileged to serve as ranking member, Senator Levin, engaged in his debate this morning in setting forth his ideas, which are very different from mine. Perhaps there will be other Senators who will come to the floor and set forth their ideas, which could be different from this resolution. We will see how, procedurally, the Senate addresses the differing views. But I think those debates and differing views will add to the strength of the ultimate resolution, which I respectfully say to my colleagues will be passed upon with strong, bipartisan support behind the ultimate resolution and the form it takes. I believe it will remain as it is today, but I will not make a prediction as to what might occur.
We must pay due respect to our colleagues who have different views. But the important thing is that the Congress speaks with one voice with our President as he proceeds to address these issues in the United Nations and as he proceeds to engage other nations' leaders to encourage them to accept the same responsibility the United States is prepared to accept in addressing the potential dangers of these weapons of mass destruction which are clearly possessed by Saddam Hussein and his regime.
is, quite literally, a decision to put our Nation's sons and
daughters in harm's way. It is a decision that must never be taken
lightly. It is also a decision we must be willing to make when
the security of our Nation or our vital national security interests are
threatened. Today, our President and others have made it eminently
clear that those interests are threatened.
Another interesting bit of history is that our Republic -- some 200- plus years old -- has sent forth the men and women of our Nation in uniform -- depending on the calculation you use -- close to 100 times. Some calculations use 80, some 90, but it is roughly 100 times.
The issue is often put to me as to the Constitution, which created the two coequal branches of our Government -- the executive branch headed by the President of the United States, and the legislative branch composed of the two Houses of Congress, coequal in their responsibilities as it relates to the crisis we face today and the crises we have had over 200 years when about 85 times -- I will use that figure -- men and women have gone forth into harm's way. The interesting thing is that in article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it lays out the responsibilities of the Congress. I would like to read this:
"The Congress shall have the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."
Then it goes on to enumerate with specificity the duties and the powers of Congress. One is to declare war. What does that mean? Well, that is the ultimate and most serious responsibility of the Congress of the United States. But as I look over those 80-plus times that the men and women of the Armed Forces have gone forward, only 4 times in the 200-plus-year history has this Congress ever declared war. My recollection is the War of 1812, and then in 1840, and -- 5 times -- the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II -- 5 out of the 80- plus times that the men and women have gone forward.
So why is it we are not declaring war? Well, it would take too long to engage my colleagues, in my own view, as to why we do not declare war. What we are about to do, let me say unequivocally, has the same depth of seriousness and the same depth of consequences to the men and women in the Armed Forces as does the constitutional recitation of the power to declare war. So it is an awesome one.
I respect the vote of every person in this Chamber with whom, I say with a sense of humility, I have enjoyed friendships, working relationships -- with some for the 24 years I have been privileged to serve here, almost a quarter century, and with others who are completing their first term, such as my colleague from Virginia, George Allen, with whom I have discussed this in great depth. He has a searching mind, is intensely interested in the points of this issue, is clearly aware of the threat to this Nation, and is strongly in favor of this resolution.
But each will have their own conscience to serve. I doubt if there is a Member of this Chamber who has not spent a great deal of time already in studying the implications of this perplexing conflict that looms with Saddam Hussein, the individual, and his immediate regime -- not the people of Iraq, but it is this dictator and those around him. Each of our colleagues has spent time studying this matter.
We have received, in varying degrees, briefings on the facts. My long-time friend, Senator Stevens, the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee and the ranking member of the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations, and I conferred with our leadership yesterday. I think there will be a similar initiative taken by the Democratic leadership to bring others in early next week to provide further briefings, particularly in the area of intelligence.
I have undertaken -- I will speak for myself -- to encourage the administration to see what further declassification we can make of certain facts that could be important to each Senator as he and she reach their decisions on this resolution -- facts that will enable them to go back home with coequal responsibility to the duties we have in the Chamber. It is going back home -- as I will do this weekend, with two scheduled meetings with people and to talk with my constituents about this resolution, but more importantly, the overall problems that face this Nation today, as posed by this arsenal of weapons of mass destruction possessed by Saddam Hussein.
I cannot tell you the satisfaction I receive -- and I think others do -- when we go back home to our communities, whether large or small -- and it is not necessarily whether they are Republicans, or Democrats, or Independents; they are citizens, and they are focused on this problem. It has been my experience, in the past weeks particularly, that they are focused very intently on this problem. Many have their sons and daughters serving in uniform today. Many now recognize, in the wake of the tragedy of September 11 of last year, that we no longer as a nation enjoy the protections of being here in this country and so much of the threat being beyond the oceans.
If I may, I will enter into a little personal story. My father served in World War I. He was a young doctor who served in the trenches. I proudly hang his picture on the wall of my Senate office -- in uniform, in France, where he was decorated for valor and gallantry for going to the front trenches to care for the wounded -- wounded himself. I remember when I was growing up and the looming clouds of war began to make an awareness in this country in the late thirties when I was a very young man and the forties that the United States could become embroiled. He, of course, having deep roots in the State of Virginia, took me on trips. We took a trip down the coastline in the area of Norfolk, VA. He wanted to show me the coastal artillery weapons. Not one of those weapons exist today, except maybe in a museum. They were enormous cannons. The whole cannon itself was probably half the width of the Senate Chamber from the barrel back to the carriage where the shell was put in the breech.
My father would say: You know, son, these oceans protect us, but if an enemy were to come, this weapon fires 20 miles out to sea with enormous accuracy. This was a brilliant man, my father. He had seen war. He said: We are protected by the ocean. We are protected by our coastal defenses.
He was proven wrong. In the first place, those weapons hardly ever fired. They were eventually, during World War II, melted down and the metal incorporated in more modern artillery pieces. We did, however, as a nation, experience warfare right off the coast of Virginia and other coastal States on the Atlantic coast when the German submarine force began to sink merchant ships. We were trying to supply those nations abroad in Europe that were suffering the ravages of World War I, and those ships were sunk right off the coast of Virginia.
I went back with my father one time. To his astonishment, there on the beaches was scattered the debris from those sinkings. Those are memories that I cherish and I keep.
I always remember those oceans have protected us -- those long distances. Saddam Hussein is up to 6,000 miles away, and people in the security of our homes say: Is he really a menace to us? We will see unfold here in the days to come the story of how he can take the weapons of mass destruction, he can take some of that biological material and put it in the hands of the worldwide terrorist organization, and we only need to look at 9/11 to know that organization existed then and still, to a lesser extent, to the credit of the initiatives of our President and the men and women in the Armed Forces, it possibly is not as powerful, certainly, as al-Qaida, but it exists today. And if that technology manufactured by Saddam Hussein gets into the hands of those terrorists -- and I say as strongly as we try to protect the borders of this country, we put in a lot of measures to strengthen our borders, but it is not beyond risk that material could be smuggled into this country and utilized in such a way as to cause incredible damage and destruction to human life and further complicate our ability to have a security umbrella in homeland defense to enable us to conduct our way of life, perform our work at our places of business, and to live our lives.
It is very serious. This man has that material. For example, open intelligence now shows, and the experts have discussed this in the open, some of the manufacturing infrastructure of the biological and possibly chemical weapons are now on trucks, trucks of the proportions we see on the highways throughout this country; three or four of those larger trucks put together at one location, the manufacturing capability to build -- manufacture perhaps is a better word -- manufacture the biological and chemicals weapons. We know it is transportable because it can move about in those trucks. He does that to provide deception and cover for his manufacturing capability.
I will point out one other tragic fact. This very institution, the Congress of the United States, together with our postal system, suffered through an anthrax -- that is a biological weapon -- attack. To this day, no matter how hard our investigative infrastructure has worked -- and they have worked hard -- we do not have the full story of how that was done.
leadership of our Senate and the House of Representatives,
together with our infrastructure -- the Secretary of the Senate, the
Sergeant at Arms, the medical department, Admiral Eisold -- worked to
enable us to as quickly as possible resume the use of the Hart Building
which was closed down and took precautions in the Congress of the
United States, most particularly the Senate, to carry on our business.
Think of the disruption we experienced. That is the type of threat we are addressing in this resolution. That is the type of threat.
In the days to come, I will have more specifics to share with my colleagues and with those who are following this debate.
None of us wants to see our men and women in uniform committed to foreign battlefields. None of us seeks a war with Saddam Hussein. Our President has reiterated that almost every time he has spoken. I was privileged to be with him the other day on the steps of his office when he addressed the Nation, and I had the privilege of saying a few words in support at the time this resolution was introduced.
He reminded the Nation and the world again: War, conflict is the last resort; that the strength and the resolve that we take now is the best way to avoid that conflict.
There are times, again, we must be prepared and willing to resort to the use of force to protect our national security and the people of our great Nation and those of our allies. This is one of those times, critical times, in the 200-plus years of our Republic.
The principal purpose of this resolution is to authorize our President to use military force if -- if -- he deems it necessary to remove the threat to our Nation and the world possessed by Saddam Hussein and his growing inventory of weapons of mass destruction -- the chemical and biological weapons this evil man already possesses and the nuclear weapons he is racing to acquire -- I repeat, working to acquire.
My colleagues will recall in the early 1980s, Israel struck a bold move to bomb the plant that Saddam Hussein was utilizing at that time to build his arsenal of nuclear weapons. That set him back. I often wonder: Could we have, as a member of a coalition of nations, prevailed in the gulf war of 1990 and 1991 had that plant finally, with other elements of infrastructure, produced a nuclear weapon?
Stop and think about it. That war, in terms of combat by the coalition forces, was 100 hours of vigorous fighting to repel Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait and drive them across the border of Iraq. Could we have done that war as successfully in the face of a nuclear weapon had he possessed it at that time?
I remember going with other Members several days after the conclusion of the final hours of that war, visiting the battlefield on the border of Iraq strewn for miles with abandoned and burning equipment, where the Iraqi armed forces dropped their arms, fled to their homes, and the safety they felt their borders provided. Had he had a nuclear weapon at that time, they might not have turned, dropped their arms and ran.
We know he is working on it. There is unquestioned evidence to show he is working to obtain that category of weapons. But the primary concern we have at the moment is he actually possesses weapons of mass destruction in the category of biological and chemical. That is irrefutable in fact.
The principal purposes resolution is to authorize our President to use that force if, and I repeat, if he deems it necessary to remove the threat of those weapons for the security of our Nation and other nations.
As recently as September 19 of this year, a week after President Bush addressed the United Nations, Saddam Hussein denied he has such weapons. It was clear in 1984, when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against Iran, that he had such weapons. It was clear in 1987, when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against his own citizens in the Kurdish areas, that he had such weapons. It was clear in 1994, after UNSCOM -- those are the first inspectors -- had uncovered enormous stockpiles, that he had such weapons. It was clear in 1998, when Saddam Hussein expelled UNSCOM inspectors from Iraq that he had such weapons. It is clear in 2002, after 4 years without the international United Nations inspectors being able to perform their duties, that Saddam Hussein has such weapons and is urgently attempting to manufacture and acquire more, most particularly the nuclear capability of weapons.
This resolution also authorizes the President to use all necessary means to ensure that Saddam Hussein complies with the UN Security Council resolutions which prohibit Iraqi support for terrorism and terrorist organizations, prohibits Saddam Hussein's repression of minorities within his country, require repatriation and accounting for prisoners of war -- that is the 1990 war -- which he was required to do but has defied the resolution; and return of such other property as owing to Kuwait, that small little country he so devastated in 1990-1991.
Why now, is the question we hear in this debate? And I pay respect to those who raise questions because I think it is important that the toughest of questions are raised.
The answer is simple. Enough is enough. In this post-9/11 world, we as a nation cannot afford to wait while this evil dictator, who terrorizes his own people and shelters those who terrorize others -- just think, al-Qaida elements are now known to be within Iraq -- acquires even more destructive capabilities to attack and terrorize our Nation, possibly his neighbors in the region and the entire world.
Saddam Hussein brutally invaded Kuwait in August of 1990. In the ensuing Persian Gulf war, he was decisively defeated on the battlefield by the coalition of forces in that heroic battle of roughly 100 hours.
In the aftermath, Saddam Hussein agreed -- and the pictures are there of his representatives meeting in the desert to sign these agreements -- to comply with a number of UN Security Council resolutions. He was defeated. The coalition forces made a decision not to pursue the remnants of his bedraggled fleeing army into Iraq, but they decided to impose upon Saddam Hussein and his regime a very strict set of resolutions in order to prevent any comparable use of aggression by his forces beyond his borders.
Almost 12 years later, we are still waiting for Iraq to comply with those international mandates. Saddam Hussein has defied the international community for far too long. Diplomatic efforts have not worked. Economic sanctions have not worked. He has skillfully figured out how to evade those sanctions, to sell on the world oil market.
His nation has the second largest known reserves of petroleum, second only to Saudi Arabia, from which he can generate considerable oil revenues -- and that he has done in the ensuing years, skillfully evading the United Nations clear restrictions on the use of oil revenues; diverted it away from his people, let them starve; diverted it away from food and medicine to care for his people; diverted those funds into building weapons of mass destruction.
The time is running late. That is why now. The time is now for Saddam Hussein to live up to the 16 UN resolutions he has defied.
my public life, I have had the privilege of working with two very
well-respected Secretaries of State, and I want to take a moment to
quote these two Secretaries, George Schultz and Henry Kissinger. These
are men who have dominated the international scene and worked with
world leaders for many years. I know them both very well, I am
privileged to say. This has nothing to do with politics, nothing to do
with Republican versus Democrat. These are their views as the elder
statesmen. They are still both very active in international discourse,
very active in trying to achieve peace in the world. Extraordinary.
They have not rested on their laurels and slipped back into blissful
retirement. They still remain on the cutting edge of diplomacy the
Secretary of State George Schultz recently stated:
The danger is immediate. The making of weapons of mass destruction grows increasingly difficult to counter with each passing day. The moment is racing toward us when Hussein's possession of nuclear weapons could transform the regional and international situation into what in the Cold War we called a balance of terror.
He is referring to that period when our Nation and other nations were faced with an awesome inventory of nuclear weapons possessed then by the Soviet Union.
Strong determination in the Western World -- and led in the final days by a very courageous President, Ronald Reagan, who said, tear down that wall, Mr. Gorbachev, referring to the Berlin wall. Because of the determination of the free nations and because of the voice of expression of so many people who had been repressed in the Soviet Union, that wall did come down. Today we see a revived and strengthening nation of Russia. There is a clear example of when forces of freedom gathered against the forces of oppression and were successful.
I remember going to that wall with Senator Moynihan, a wonderful, marvelous friend of mine from New York, as it was being torn down. We were part of a delegation. We actually went out with people who were gathered there who picked up their own hammers and chipped off pieces of the wall. The chip is on my mantle in the Senate. That little chip reminds me of the symbolism and the importance of nations resolving to have the strength to overcome oppression.
Shultz said the moment is racing toward us when Saddam Hussein's possession of nuclear weapon could transform the regional and international situation into what in the cold war we called the balance of terror. Some argue that to act now might trigger Hussein's use of the worst weapons. We must have that in mind. Such self-imposed blackmail presumes easier judgments when he is even better equipped than now. "Time is his ally," concluded Secretary Shultz, "not ours." Ours, being the United States, Great Britain, whose Prime Minister has stood steadfast with President Bush in the resolve to alert the people of both of our Nations to the potential dangers.
Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom I have been privileged to be with on several occasions, has shown enormous courage, in the face of dissension among his own political party, dissension of the people in Great Britain who marched in the streets, 100,000, but that is the burden put on leadership, be it in Great Britain, America, or elsewhere, to go and explain.
As George Shultz said, time is Saddam Hussein's ally, not ours. We must join our arms in a solid phalanx to repel the threats of the weapons of mass destruction possessed by Saddam Hussein.
Continuing in the testimony before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee last week, Dr. Kissinger testified. I talked to Dr. Kissinger by phone. I do it occasionally, as do other Members of the Senate. He is always available, no matter how busy or where he is in the world, to take the calls from the Senate Members from both sides of the aisle.
I was engaging with Senator Levin in an effort to have him testify before our committee, but travel commitments prevented that. He wanted to do it, but said he would testify, if not before our committee, before the Foreign Affairs Committee. I commend Senator Biden and Senator Helms, Senator Lugar, and others who persuaded him to come down.
In his testimony before the Foreign Affairs Committee, he said:
Unlike previous centuries, when the movement of armies foreshadowed threat, modern technology in the service of terror gives no warning, and its perpetrators vanish with the act of commission. Cold war principles of deterrence are almost impossible to implement when there is a multiplicity of states, some of them harboring terrorists in position to wreak havoc. The concern that war with Iraq could unleash Iraqi weapons of mass destruction on Israel and Saudi Arabia is a demonstration of how even existing stockpiles of weapons turn into instruments of blackmail and self- deterrence. Procrastination is bound to magnify such possibilities.
Both Secretaries join in concluding in these remarks that time is Saddam Hussein's ally. Time is not ours.
Again, I commend our president, President Bush, for the leadership he has shown on this issue. Saddam Hussein is a threat, not just to the United States but to the world, with his relentless drive to manufacture and acquire weapons of mass destruction. We would not be having this debate in the U.S. Senate had not our president focused the attention of the world on this threat to freedom.
Time and time again, abroad, at home, wherever he is, he stops to points out this threat. We would not have in the United Nations at this very hour the consideration of a new and strong resolution, we would not be having this debate in the United States at this very hour, had not this courageous President of ours for months and months brought to the attention of this Nation that time is not on our side.
President Clinton, to his credit, in 1998, brought this to the attention of the Congress, sought and received a resolution from the Congress which in many respects is parallel to this. But then again, and I do not criticize the President; I simply point out the fact of history, Clinton felt the United Nations would step in and pick up their responsibility as required by their charter. President Clinton directed and utilized force in December of that period, had a bombing of Iraq when the inspectors were driven out. But again, the United Nations began to go through its motions and this Nation and other nations felt we could entrust them with addressing that serious problem recognized by President Clinton in 1998. But they failed. They failed. The UN failed.
Let us hope they do not fail today or tomorrow or in the weeks to come in devising a resolution, the four corners of which I think this Nation has outlined to the Security Council, which if it is a decision that inspectors once again go back, then and only then they go back if it is a new regime with teeth in it, backed up by the clear expression of the use of force if, in fact, Saddam Hussein does not cooperate, Saddam Hussein does not allow them to perform their duties consistent with such new directives as the United Nations may lay down. That process is now on hold.
Members of the Senate have had available to them extensive briefings from senior administration, national security, and intelligence officials on the situation in Iraq. We are continuing with that consultation. These are sobering, thorough assessments that have been given to Members. A common base of knowledge of these facts is being gathered and presented to the Senate -- much classified but an increasing amount unclassified. But that adds up to a clear threat that Saddam Hussein poses to the United States, to the region in which his nation is situated, and to elsewhere in the world. In particular, Saddam Hussein's relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver these weapons represents a present threat and an immediate challenge to the international community.
That is the basic framework in which our President went to the United Nations and gave his historic speech. I think there is not one on either side of the aisle who does not respect that moment in the United Nations when our President stood up and challenged them to live up to their charter.
I remind my colleagues that the Iraqis agreed in writing on April 6, 1991, just weeks after the 100-hour war had concluded, in a letter to the UN Secretary General from the Iraqi Foreign Minister -- Iraq as a nation accepted the cease-fire conditions as embodied in UN Security Council Resolution 687. It is very clear. It is all a matter of record. Not today, but next week I will put that resolution and its full text in the Record.
Prior to that, we all watched as Iraqi generals, at the direction of Saddam Hussein, met in a tent. I remember the pictures very well. It was a tent in the middle of the desert, at the Safwah Airfield in Iraq, with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. What an American hero he was. I had the privilege, together with many of my colleagues, to visit him on several occasions. As a matter of fact, I remember one time on our fourth trip over there, he said to us -- and he was a man who had a good sense of humor -- if I see any of you back here again, I am going to put you in khakis and send you out into the battlefield.
I remember that. He had a good sense of humor. But he used to brief us thoroughly and carefully. What a magnificent individual: The right man at the right place at the right time.
Anyway, at that airfield, General Schwarzkopf, the commander who had led the forces of the coalition in that 100-hour engagement, discussed the conditions of a cease-fire. He witnessed the signing of the papers. He transmitted those papers to the United Nations. Colleagues, those conditions have never been met by Saddam Hussein and his regime. That is why we are gathered here today for this debate.
Last month, our President gave an historic speech, as I said, at the United Nations, challenging the UN to live up to its responsibility as stated in article I of the United Nations Charter, and I quote his remarks: ". . to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace."
In my view, President Bush was clearly there not to seek a declaration of war but to challenge this important organization to live up to the terms of the charter. That speech was one of the finest and most important speeches ever given by a head of state of any nation to the United Nations. The speech dramatically elevated the level of debate and the attention of the world's leaders on Iraq's conduct and continued defiance of the UN It further challenged the nations of the world to think long and hard about what they could expect from the United Nations: Is it to be effective and relevant -- their actions today, tomorrow, and in the weeks to come -- and live up to its charter, over 50 years old? Or is it to be irrelevant and fall into the dustbin of history, as did the League of Nations, as the world descended into the darkness in the years following World War I and on the eve of World War II?
There are among us Senators, and I hope one who will soon speak who has spent much of his life studying diplomatic history. I will not take further time, but I do want to bring to the attention of Senators a little bit of history about the League of Nations. It was put together in the aftermath of World War I to prevent further conflict. I remembered, as I spoke about my father who served in World War I, our library that was filled with books about the history of that conflict. I remember one book was entitled "The Last Great War." There it is. I still have that book, "The Last Great War." And the world reposed trust and confidence in the League of Nations, to ensure that war wouldn't happen.
I learned so much of my history from my father because when I was young, he would have me read the newspapers with him. I remember the world was shocked in the 1930s, the late 1930s, when Mussolini, in a bolt out of the blue, invaded Abyssinia -- a small nation presided over by a world-renowned statesman and President, Haile Selassie.
I remember when I first came to the Senate, he came to Washington and a group of us went down and had breakfast with him. I will put in the Record at another time the quotes of Haile Selassie, pleading with the League of Nations to come and rescue his tiny little nation from, in those times, the high-tech Italian Army decimating his country.
What did the League do? It debated, it debated, it debated, it debated. It did nothing.
I remember there was one press report. The reporters covered these debates, covered what the League was discussing. One day, finally, the League decided to issue a press release. It said something to the effect that: There is a hope that we can make a little progress.
That reporter said: I don't know how I can report in truthfulness that press release when in fact I am privy to being in closed session, behind closed doors, and seeing that the League is doing nothing -- nothing to resolve that conflict. And nothing they did. They limped on as an irrelevant international body throughout much of World War II and finally packed up their remnants of files and furniture and office spaces, and I think they are in the archives of the UN somewhere.
Perhaps my colleague would be interested in probing, as I have, and will in the days to come, that bit of history. We are on that threshold now, when this organization can become irrelevant, as did the League, and go into the dustbin of history. That is the challenge this President has placed at the doorstep of the UN today.
Of equal importance, the President's UN speech articulated a clear, decisive, and timely United States policy on Iraq; that is, to remove the threat before Iraq is able to use its weapons of mass destruction. The United States is now firmly on a course to accomplish this policy and invites the nations of the world to join.
Prior to his UN speech, this body, Members, challenged the President to do exactly what he did, go to the UN As our President builds this international coalition, it is vital that he do so with the strong bipartisan support of the Congress. That is the purpose of this resolution. Over the summer, many Members of Congress and many American citizens expressed the hope for meaningful consultations between Congress and the President, as well as consultations with our allies in the United Nations. Our President has done exactly that.
It is now time for Congress, in accordance with his expressed request to the Congress, to express to the people of our Nation and to the world its support of our President, squarely and overwhelmingly -- with no daylight whatsoever -- between how we stand firmly behind our President. That is the purpose of this resolution.
I say this as my own view: To the extent that Congress joins and supports our President and sends that message unambiguously to the international community -- most particularly to the United Nations and to Saddam Hussein with this resolution as now drafted -- is to the extent to which we will be able to get a strong and decisive action from the United Nations.
We are making success. The reports are this morning that Hans Blix -- who has been deputized here in the past years to begin to work out plans for such further inspections in Iraq -- when Hans Blix came back he was ordered to the Security Council. The thought this morning was that he believes before he goes back that he wants to see what actions the Security Council will take to enable a new regimen of inspection to be effective and not to be thwarted by Saddam Hussein.
We are, at this hour, at a very important juncture. I hope this body, as well as the House of Representatives, will send a resolution that will have no daylight that could be exploited most certainly by some of those nations that do not share the threat now that we know exists and that could be used not only against us but against them, possibly.
It is my firm conviction that diplomatic efforts to achieve Iraqi compliance with all applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions -- 16 so far -- will fail unless the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, clearly understands that swift and decisive force will be the automatic consequence of any additional thwarting of such inspections as may be agreed upon.
Clearly, there are risks associated with confronting Iraq. I have enumerated those in some detail. But the risks associated with inaction, to me and to our President, are far greater if we fail to confront this danger now -- not tomorrow; now.
Some argue that a war with Iraq would distract our attention from the global war on terrorism. I disagree, and that disagreement is predicated on the testimony of not only administration officials but, most particularly, the leadership of the Armed Forces of the United States. They can handle both situations. That remains clear, certainly to the Committee on Armed Services.
Confronting Saddam Hussein now is a logical step, a necessary step, and a mandatory step to rid the world of his potential.
As President Bush reminded us a few days ago when I was privileged to join him on the steps of his office: "We must confront both terrorist cells and terrorist states because they are different faces of the same evil."
How will we explain to the American people -- in the wake of a possible future attack on the United States or U.S. interests, directly by Saddam Hussein, or indirectly through surrogate terrorists equipped and directed by him -- that we, the Congress, knew Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that we knew from history that he did use them against others, and that he intended to manufacture and acquire even more and to use these weapons possibly against us and others, and yet the world failed to act timely?
Now, more than ever, the Congress, as a coequal branch of government, must join our President and support the course that he has set. We have to demonstrate a resolve within our Nation and internationally that communicates to Saddam Hussein a clear message that enough is enough. You are to be held accountable to the world law and order as enunciated in 16 resolutions -- and possibly a 17th -- of the United Nations. He has to be convinced that America and international resolve is real, unshakable, and enforceable if there is to be a peaceful resolution. But, if diplomacy fails, we must be prepared to act.
I was never more proud of an American President than Wednesday -- again, on the steps of his office, joined by many of us here in this Chamber -- when he said:
We will not leave the future of peace and the security of America in the hands of this cruel and dangerous man. None of us here today desires to see military conflict because we know the awful nature of war. Our country values life and never seeks war unless it is essential to security and to justice. America's leadership and willingness to use force, confirmed by the Congress, is the best way to ensure compliance and avoid conflict."[..]
October 4 2002 (http://albionmonitor.net) All Rights Reserved. Contact email@example.com for permission to use in any format.
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