...The trumped up reasons for going to war have
collapsed. All the Administration's rationalizations as we prepared
to go to war now stand revealed as "double-talk." The
American people were told Saddam Hussein was building nuclear weapons.
He was not. We were told he had stockpiles of other weapons of mass
destruction. He did not. We were told he was involved in 9/11. He
was not. We were told Iraq was attracting terrorists from Al Qaeda.
It was not. We were told our soldiers would be viewed as liberators.
They are not. We were told Iraq could pay for its own reconstruction.
It cannot. We were told the war would make America safer. It has
not. Before the war, week after week after week after week, we were
told lie after lie after lie after lie. ....
So when the roll is called on this $87 billion legislation, which
provides no effective conditions for genuine international participation
anda clear change in policy in Iraq, I intend to vote no. A no vote
is not a vote against supporting our troops. It is a vote to send
the Administration back to the drawing board. It is a vote for a
new policy a policy worthy of the sacrifice our soldiers
are making, a policy that restores America as a respected member
of the family of nations, a policy that will make it easier, not
far more difficult, to win the war against terrorism.
The amount of money is huge. It is 87 times what the federal government
spends annually on after-school programs.
It is 7 times what President Bush proposed to spend on education
for low-income schools in 2004.
It is 9 times what the federal government spends on special education
It is 8 times what the government spends to help middle and low-income
students go to college.
It is 15 times what the government spends on cancer research.
It is 27 times what the government spends on substance abuse
and mental health treatment.
It is 58 times what the government spends on community
The Administration seeks to write a new history that defies the
lessons of history. The most basic of those lessons is that we
cannot rely primarily on military means as a solution to politically-inspired
violence. In those circumstances, the tide of history
rises squarely against military occupation.
The British learned that lesson in Northern Ireland. The French
learned it in Algeria. The Russians learned it in Afghanistan
and are re-learning it every day in Chechnya. America learned
it in Vietnam, and we must not re-learn it in Iraq....
...In their joint memoir, "A World Transformed," President
George H.W. Bush and his National Security Adviser, Brent Scowcroft,
reflected on their own experiences with Iraq and the Gulf War
in 1991. They had been criticized in some quarters for halting
that war after their dramatic victory in Kuwait, instead of going
on to Baghdad to depose Saddam Hussein.
Here is what they wrote: "Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending
the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated
our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging
in 'mission creep,' and would have incurred incalculable human
and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible...We
would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule
Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs
deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under
those circumstances, there was no viable 'exit strategy' we could
see...Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could
conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile
land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps
They were right.
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