Skip to comments.John Kerry's comments on Iraq, war, & WMD - October 9, 2002
Posted on 02/25/2004 1:24:45 PM PST by rightcoast
SENATOR JOHN KERRY
SENATE FLOOR COMMENTS
RE: Authorization for use of force in Iraq
October 9, 2002
"...This is a debate that should be conducted without regard to parties, to politics, to labels..."
"We are facing a very different world than we have ever faced before... We are living in an age where the dangers are different and they require a different response, different thinking, and different approaches than we have applied in the past..."
"In approaching the question of this resolution, I wish the timing were different... But none of the underlying realities of the threat, none of the underlying realities of the choices we face are altered because they are, in fact, the same as they were in 1991 when we discovered those weapons when the teams went in, and in 1998 when the teams were kicked out.
"With respect to Saddam Hussein and the threat he presents, we must ask ourselves a simple question: Why? Why is Saddam Hussein pursuing weapons that most nations have agreed to limit or give up? Why is Saddam Hussein guilty of breaking his own cease-fire agreement with the international community? Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try, and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit their potential for disaster? Why did Saddam Hussein threaten and provoke? Why does he develop missiles that exceed allowable limits? Why did Saddam Hussein lie and deceive the inspections teamas previously? Why did Saddam Hussein not account for all the weapons of mass destruction which UNSCOM identified? Why is he seeking to develop unmanned airborne vehicles for delivery of biological agents?
"Does he do all of these things because he wants to live by international standards of behavior? Because he respects international law? Because he is a nice guy underneath it all and the world should trust him?
"It would be naive to the point of grave danger not to believe that, left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will provoke, misjudge, or stumble into a future, more dangerous confrontation with the civilized world. He has as much as promised it. He has already created a stunning track record of miscalculation..."
"All those miscalculations are compounded by the rest of history. A brutal, oppressive dictator, guilty of personally murdering and condoning murder and torture, grotesque violence against women, execution of political opponents, a war criminal who used chemical weapons against another nation; and, of course, as we know, against his own people, the Kurds. He has diverted funds from the Oil-for-Food program, intended by the international community to go to his own people. He has supported and harbored terrorist groups, particularly radical Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal, and he has given money to families of suicide murderers in Israel.
"I mention these things not because they are a cause to go to war in and of themselves, as the President previously suggested, but because they tell a lot about the threat of the weapons of mass destruction and the nature of this man. We should not go to war because these things are in his past, but we should be prepared to go to war because of what they tell us about the future. It is the total of all of these acts that provided the foundation for the world's determination at the end of the Gulf War that Saddam Hussein must:
'...unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless under international supervision his chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile delivery systems... [and] unconditionally agree not to acquire nuclear weapons or nuclear weapon-usable material.'
Saddam signed that agreement. Saddam Hussein is in office because of that agreement. It is the only reason he survived in 1991. In 1991, the world collectively made a judgment that this man should not have weapons of mass destruction. And we are here today in the year 2002 with an uninspected four-year interval during which time we know through intelligence he not only has kept them, but he continues to grow them.
"I believe the record of Saddam Hussein's ruthless breach of international values and standards of behavior which is at the core of the cease-fire agreement, with no reach, no stretch, is cause enough for the world community to hold him accountable by use of force, if necessary. The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last four years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons.
"He has had a free hand for four years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons on WMD destruction and the issue of proliferation..."
"...[T]he issue is not over the question of whether or not the threat is real, or whether or not people agree there is a threat. It is over what means we will take and when, in order to try to eliminate it."
Really, seems like Kerry has had a complete change of heart. This speech is more hawkish than Bush's justification for war. What happened to this guy?
Really, seems like Kerry has had a complete change of heart. This speech is more hawkish than Bush's justification for war. What happened to this guy?Exactly. I hope the Bush campaign will be using nuggests from this speech in ads this year.
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