Email this thread to a friend
Bookmark this thread
|This topic is archived.|
|Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News|
|The Land of the Free (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore||Fri Apr-09-04 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #24
|25. Bob Kerrey advocated going after Iraq in response to the Cole Bombing-Sick|
Edited on Fri Apr-09-04 05:29 PM by The Land of the Free
This guy is unbelievable! Read this crap. These are direct quotes from his Senate Speech for the Department of Veterans Affairs On October 19th 2000.
Mr. KERREY. Mr. President, at Pier 12 in the Norfolk Navy Base, along with the Presiding Officer in Norfolk, VA, I joined 10,000 others to mourn and to pay our respects to the families of 17 U.S. Navy sailors who were killed or who are missing following the explosion that ripped into the portside of U.S.S. Cole as she was preparing to set anchor in the Yemen Port of Aden.
It was one week ago today at fifteen past midnight that a routine port call became a violent killing of 17 Americans, the wounding of 34 more, and the disabling of a billion dollar destroyer.
In attendance at the ceremony to honor those lost on the Cole were many Members of Congress, Attorney General Janet Reno, National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, the Secretaries of Defense and the Navy, and the uniformed commanders of the Navy and the Marine Corps. In a gesture of Yemen's cooperation, their Ambassador to the United States, Abdulwahab A. al-Hajjri, was also present.
As I sat and listened to the powerful words of President Clinton, Secretary of Defense Cohen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Shelton, and others, I looked at the solemn faces of the Naval officers and enlisted men who stood on the decks of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower and two of the Cole's sister ships, the destroyers Ross and McFaul and wondered how long the unity we felt would last? How long would the moving stories of the lives of these 17 young Americans bind us together?
Their stories define what makes America such a unique place. President Clinton captured it perfectly:
In the names and faces of those we lost and mourn, the world sees our nation's greatest strength. People in uniform rooted in every race, creed and region on the face of the earth, yet bound together by a common commitment to freedom and a common pride in being American.
They were bound together by other common characteristics. Sixteen were enlisted men and women; the lone officer was an ensign who had served more than a decade in the enlisted ranks. None were college graduates, though many saw the Navy as a means to that end. They were from small towns and Navy towns, the places where patriotism burns bright and crowds still form to remember on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
I watched young widows and brothers and fathers cry without restraint or shame when President Clinton read the rollcall of the fallen heros. Sadness gripped me as once more I thought of lives that ended too soon knowing their dreams would not now come true.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Clark appropriately reminded us that risk is a part of all sailors' lives. When going out to sea, there is never certainty of a joyous homecoming. Death is a frequent visitor in Navy households. Loss is never a complete surprise.
However, in this instance it was not the unpredictable ways of the ocean or the violence of a storm that ended these American lives. No, in this instance the killer was a highly sophisticated, high-explosive device set and detonated by as yet unknown villains.
There were words from our leaders that addressed the anger we feel in the aftermath of this tragedy. From President Clinton: ``To those who attacked them we say: you will not find a safe harbor. We will find you, and justice will prevail.'' From Secretary of Defense Cohen: ``This is an act of pure evil.'' And from General Shelton: ``They should never forget that America's memory is long and our reach longer.''
Yet, this desire for vengeance is as misplaced as it is understandable. Vengeance is one of the things a terrorist hopes to provoke. Such acts of vengeance--especially when carried out by the United States of America--are bound to provoke sympathy for our enemies. If we are to give meaning to the sacrifice of these men and women, we must take care not to allow the bitter feelings to govern our action.
While we await the results of a combined U.S.-Yemeni effort to find out who was responsible for this attack, let me challenge the idea that the attack on the Cole was a pure act of terrorism or criminal action. In my opinion it is not. In my opinion, it is a part of a military strategy designed to defeat the United States as we attempt to accomplish a serious and vital mission.
This is the third in a series of violent attacks on the United States dating back to the car bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia at 10 pm, on Tuesday, June 25, 1996, that killed 19 United States Air Force Airmen and wounded hundreds more. The second attack occurred on August 7, 1998, when U.S. Embassies in Dar es-Salam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya were bombed. These attacks wounded more than 5,000 and killed 224, including twelve Americans who were killed in the Nairobi blast.
I believe all three of these incidents should be considered as connected to our containment policy against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The Cole was heading for the Persian Gulf to enforce an embargo that was authorized by the United Nations Security
Council following the end of the Gulf War in 1991.
In order to evaluate this incident and put it in its larger context, I had to re-learn the details of the action of Gulf War and its aftermath. The Gulf War began on August 8, 1990, when United States aircraft, their pilots, and their crews arrived in Saudi Arabia. Two days earlier the Saudi King Fahd had asked Secretary of Defense Cheney for help. Saudi Arabia was afraid that Iraq's August 2 invasion of Kuwait would continue south. Without our help they could not defend themselves. Desert Shield--a military operation planned to protect Saudi Arabia--began.
At that time, General Norman Schwarzkopf was Commander-in-Chief of Southern Command. On September 8, 1990, he ordered Army planners to begin designing a ground offensive to liberate Kuwait. His instructions from President Bush were to plan for success. We were not going to repeat the mistakes of the Vietnam War. On November 8th, President Bush announced that a decision had been made to double the size of our forces in Saudi Arabia. On November 29, the UN Security Council voted to authorize the use of ``all means necessary'' to drive Iraq from occupied Kuwait. On January 12, 1991, Congress authorized the President to use American forces in the Desert Storm campaign.
The campaign began at 2:38 AM on January 17 with Apache helicopters equipped with anti-tank ordnance. The next day Iraq launched Scud missiles against Israel. The first U.S. air attacks, flown out of Turkey, were launched and were continued until February 24 when the ground war began. The ground war was executed with swift precision and was ended at 8 AM on February 28 when a cease fire was declared.
The purpose of the Gulf War--to liberate the people of Kuwait--had been accomplished in an impressive and exhilarating display of U.S. power and ability to assemble an alliance of like-minded nations. Afterwards, Iraq was weakened but still led by Saddam Hussein. In their weakened state, they agreed to allow unprecedented inspections of their country to ensure they did not possess the capability of producing weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose an economic embargo on Iraq until the inspections verified that Iraq's chemical, biological, and nuclear programs were destroyed.
Contrary to popular belief, the military strategy to deal with Iraq did not end with the February 28, 1991, cease fire. It has continued ever since with considerable cost and risk to U.S. forces. In addition to the embargo, the United States and British pilots have maintained no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq designed to protect the Kurds and Shia from becoming victims of Saddam Hussein's wrath. The purpose of both the embargo and the no-fly zones is to ``contain'' Iraq so that Saddam Hussein does not become a threat in the region again.
Unfortunately, this containment object was doomed from the beginning. And while we have begun to change our policy from containment to replacement of the dictator, change has been too slow. The slowness and uncertainty of change has increased the risk for every military person who receives orders to carry out some part of the containment mission.
There are three reasons to abandon the containment policy and aggressively pursue the replacement of Saddam Hussein with a democratically elected government. First, it has not worked; Saddam Hussein has violated the spirit and intent of UN Security Council Resolutions. Second, he is a growing threat to our allies in the region. Third, he is a growing threat to the liberty and freedom of 20 million people living in Iraq.
As to the first reason, under the terms of paragraph Eight (8) of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 which passed on April 3, 1991, Iraq accepted the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless of its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons program. Under the terms of paragraph Nine (9), Iraq was to submit to the Secretary-General ``within fifteen days of the adoption of the present resolution, a declaration of the locations, amounts and types of all items specified in paragraph 8 and agree to urgent, on-site inspection'' as specified in the resolution.
From the get-go, Saddam Hussein began to violate this resolution. Over the past decade, he has slowly but surely moved to a point where today no weapons inspectors are allowed inside his country. As a consequence, he has been able to re-build much of his previous capability and is once again able to harass his neighbors. All knowledgeable observers view Iraq's threat to the region as becoming larger not smaller.
As to the third reason--his treatment of his own people--there is no worse violator of human rights than Saddam Hussein. The people of Iraq are terrorized almost constantly into compliance with his policies. His jails are among the worst in the world. His appeal for ending sanctions on account of the damage the embargo is doing to his people rings hollow as the food and medicine purchased under the Oil-for-Food Program goes undistributed. Desperately needed supplies sitting in Iraqi warehouses while construction continues on lavish new palaces demonstrates that Saddam Hussein has no real interest in the welfare of his people. Rather, he maintains their misery as means to make political points.
If these reasons do not persuade, consider what happened in the other two cases when the United States was attacked. In 1996 we sent an FBI team to Saudia Arabia to investigate Khobar Towers. The investigation led to improving security on other embassies but no other action was taken. In time we have forgotten Khobar. In 1998 following the attack on our embassies in East Africa we sent Tomahawk missiles to bomb a chemical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, and Osama Bin Laden's training compound in Afghanistan. Neither had the decisive impact we sought and may--in the case of Sudan--have been counterproductive.
For all these reasons, I hope we will direct the anger and desire for vengeance we feel away from Yemen and towards Saddam Hussein. I hope we will begin to plan a military strategy with our allies that will lead to his removal and replacement with a democratically elected government. This would allow us to end our northern and southern no-fly zone operations, remove our forces from Saudi Arabia, and cease the naval patrols of the Persian Gulf. I can think of no more fitting tribute to the 17 sailors lost on-board the Cole than completing our mission and helping the Iraqi people achieve freedom and democracy.
|Printer Friendly | Permalink | | Top|
|Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News|
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.
Home | Discussion Forums | Journals | Store | Donate
Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.
© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC