Eshoo Opposes Authorization of Military Force Against Iraq

October 9, 2002
Press Release

October 9, 2002

Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, made the following statement on the House floor regarding H.J. Res 114, Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq: 

"Mr. Speaker, the Congress is now debating the most serious and sobering of issues ... whether we go to war -- war against Iraq -- and we do this as we stand on the threshold of a new century. 

"I believe this debate is as much about voting to declare war, as it is about what kind of country we are and what we want our country to be in the future.

"This Resolution of War is an extraordinary and unwise departure from our history of a principled American tradition ... that we stand four-square against unprovoked attacks and for a foreign policy of deterrence.

"The Bush Doctrine reverses this policy and sets forth that the United States of America has the unrestricted right to attack other nations.

"This Resolution trades deterrence for pre-emption.

"This Resolution trades multilateralism for unilateralism.  This go-it-alone policy has become the imprimatur of this Administration as we've witnessed their abrogation of nearly every international treaty they inherited from previous Republican and Democratic Administrations.

"This Administration has allowed the underfunding of the Nunn-Lugar law, leaving the tools of terrorists unprotected and up for grabs across the former Soviet Union.

"This Administration has withdrawn from the ABM Treaty,

"Withdrawn from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,

"Withdrawn from START II,

"Rejected the Biological Weapons Convention and rejected the International Criminal Court.

"This Administration makes war the first and only option, rather than a last resort.  It has, in one brief summer and fall, upended decades of our time-tested, tenacious foreign policy of deterrence which has served our nation and the world so well.

"The President has not answered the haunting questions of thousands of my constituents and the American people:

"Why now?

"How many troops are needed to wage this war?

"What will it cost?

"How long will we be there?

"What is the plan to manage the chaos in the aftermath of regime change?

"And finally, how will this affect the war on terrorism?

"Respected military leaders and statesmen have testified to Congress about their deep concerns with pre-emption and unilateralism.  These experts have seriously undercut the President's case of what Saddam Hussein has and the President's remedy to deal with it.  And classified briefings have raised more questions than answers.

"Today's newspapers inform us that our own intelligence agencies have concluded that Saddam Hussein is unlikely to initiate a chemical or biological attack against the United States.

"Not one of us carries a brief for Saddam Hussein.  We know what he's done and how he rules.  We know about his accumulation of chemical and biological weapons, and the other weapons that threaten his neighbors and us.

"Our answer today?  Send a thousand 'troops' of weapons inspectors to Iraq. This time they must have unrestricted access to everything and with deadlines to achieve disarmament.  The world community will watch and as we disarm him, we will loosen the noose he holds. 

"We can be tough and principled today as we have been in the past.  We can bring other nations with us and when we do, Saddam will know he cannot dodge or be deceitful any longer. 

"That's why I support Mr. Spratt's Resolution which calls for action only if the UN determines action is required and the President seeks approval from the Congress.

"Finally, Mr. Speaker, when the framers wrote our Constitution, their vision spoke to the innermost yearnings of every human being... then and now.

"They created the best idea ever born-democracy.  Their call is the same today in this new century ... that we lead through the enduring strength of our democratic principles backed by the might we possess.

"Today, our Constitution and my conscience beckon me to oppose the President's Resolution for War.

"I shall vote against the Resolution and I urge my colleagues to do so as well."

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