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The compromise resolution we are considering today is the product of true patriotism and statesmanship shown by the bipartisan leadership. In particular, I applaud Democratic Leader Gephardt for the pivotal role he played in shaping and, indeed, dramatically strengthening the original resolution which was before us. And I urge all of my colleagues to join me in strongly supporting this resolution, as crafted and agreed to by the bipartisan leadership.

Mr. Chairman, Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction, both the ones he possesses and the ones he is in the process of developing, pose an intolerable military threat to the United States, to our friends and to our allies, to Iraq's neighbors and indeed to the Iraqi people.

In 1981, our ally, Israel, spotted the growing danger posed by Saddam Hussein and attacked Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor. Had that action not been taken and had Saddam Hussein been allowed to develop nuclear weapons, the United States and our coalition partners would have undoubtedly faced a horrendously difficult decision 10 years ago.

Had we gone to war, we would have suffered vastly more casualties than was in fact the case during the Gulf War, or conceivably, if Iraq's possession of nuclear weapons would have prevented military action, we would now see Saddam Hussein controlling the oil resources, not only of Iraq but also Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the oil-rich sheikdoms of the Gulf. He would be controlling well over half of the oil resources of the world.

With Iraq again on the verge of developing nuclear weapons, we again must take action. Such action is necessary to prevent Saddam Hussein from making a mockery of the United Nations, of the United States, and indeed the entire international community. Enough is enough.

Saddam Hussein had 11 years to live up to the commitments he assumed after his defeat in the Persian Gulf War. He now must be stopped before he continues developing his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction or before those weapons fall into the hands of terrorists who might be targeting the United States. There is little time to lose.

Now is the time, Mr. Chairman, for the United States to confront this challenge and to seize this opportunity. It is also the time for the United Nations to rise to the occasion and to live up to its founders' expectations by enforcing the resolution Saddam Hussein has systematically flouted. I call upon Russia, China and France, and indeed all members of the U.Ñ. Security Council to join the United Kingdom and the United States in compelling Iraq's compliance with its assumed obligations.

If we are convinced of Saddam Hussein's intention to develop and use weapons of mass destruction, we must disarm him before he becomes stronger and before he becomes a full-fledged nuclear power. Postponing this painful action will only increase the danger and increase the price of the inevitable bloodshed.

Saddam's dictatorship, Mr. Chairman, is the antithesis of the democracy we desire and we must promote in the Middle East. If Saddam is removed from power, we must ensure that his regime is gradually replaced by a democratic order.

We cannot be content to see Saddamism without Saddam. A democratic Iraq surely would change the Middle East's strategic calculus, and would send a powerful message of deep hope to Arabs throughout the region living currently under all totalitarian regimes.

Mr. Chairman, I fervently hope that Saddam can be disarmed through the inspection process which may commence in a few weeks, and I earnestly pray that war can be avoided.

I am among the handful of Members of this Committee and indeed of this Congress who experienced the horrors of both ground war and air war for protracted periods of time. I know all too well the painful human cost of war, which must be avoided. But I am also aware of the unbearable costs of the price of appeasement, because the price of appeasement is greater destruction, greater suffering and an infinitely greater loss of innocent life. Had Hitler's regime been taken out in a timely fashion, the 51 million innocent people who lost their lives during the Second World War would have been able to finish their normal life cycles.

Mr. Chairman, if we appease Saddam Hussein, we will stand humiliated before both humanity and history. We are all deeply committed on this Committee and in this Congress to protecting U.S. national security interests, to promoting peace worldwide and to authorizing the use of armed force in pursuit of those ends only as the very last resort. All among us weigh our words and cast our votes in these momentous days in accordance with the dictates of our conscience, and we are therefore deserving of each other's respect.

It is in this spirit, Mr. Chairman, that I welcome today's debate and look forward to the views of all of my colleagues.

Chairman HYDE. I thank you, Mr. Lantos.

The Chair is going to request, since it is my intention that everybody have an opportunity to make an opening statement, that the time constraints of 5 minutes be respected. And if you watch up at the desk, you will see a yellow light; then you can try to bring your remarks to a close.

I do not mean this remark as a correction for Mr. Lantos, because he is the Ranking Democrat, and he speaks for his party as well as himself.

But we have many hours of opening statements if everybody uses their 5 minutes, and so I would respectfully ask you to be mindful of time constraints.

Mr. Gilman.

Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I will heed your admonition.

And I commend Chairman Hyde for bringing this historic resolution before our Committee today in such a timely manner.

Mr. Chairman, my colleagues, I fully support the President in his efforts to demand Iraqi compliance with the previously adopted U.N. resolutions. Since expelling U.N. inspectors from Iraq, Saddam Hussein has had 4 years to rebuild and rearm his country's weapons stockpiles.

It is imperative that a united front take his threats seriously, and take preventive action against the tyranny of the Iraqi Government to disarm before any events of September 11th are repeated.

By not taking decisive action to require Iraq to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions, relevant to its programs aimed at developing weapons of mass destruction, risks perverse political and legal consequences. It would suggest that an outlaw state has only to engage in a diplomatic war of attrition to be able to be released from its legal obligations and be freed from the threat of military action to enforce compliance with international law.

Saddam's continued breaches of those resolutions constitute a real threat to our Nation and to other nations in that region, and to our interests in that part of the world, a threat that we must no longer ignore. If Saddam is allowed to retain and expand his possession of weapons of mass destruction, of chemical and biological weapons, even if they are unable to threaten the U.S. by conventional means, will make it exceedingly difficult to respond to future acts of Iraqi aggression.

In the same manner that we respond to Saddam Hussein's continued threats, we must be fully committed to the reconstruction of Iraq as a unified democratic state.

Chairman HYDE. The Committee will come to order. The Committee will stand in recess until the police restore order. I ask the police to restore order.


Chairman HYDE. The Committee will be in order. This is a very serious matter, and I would appreciate order in the Committee


Let Mr. Gilman finish his important statement.

Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

In the same manner that we respond to Saddam Hussein's continued threats, we must be fully committed to the reconstruction of Iraq as a unified democratic state in the event that a military strike topples Saddam Hussein.

And I want to thank my colleagues for their patience, and thank you, Mr. Chairman. I regret we had the interruption. Chairman HYDE. Thank you very much.

Mr. Berman of California.

Mr. BERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don't have a prepared opening statement, but I just wanted to make a couple of points. It is probably no surprise that I am a supporter of this resolution. Ironically, to the extent there is a chance that the issue of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction can be dealt with and can be disarmed without the use of force, I believe-somewhat counterintuitively and ironically-that it comes from a strong bipartisan, bicameral show of support for providing this Administration with the authorization contained in this resolution. Because whatever people want to say, the fact is, the issue of meaningful, comprehensive inspections on demand-unfettered, unlimited by Saddam's continuous evasions, denials and lies-has not been on the world's agenda or on the Security Council agenda until such time as this issue has risen to this level. And I believe that we should play this card out all the way.

I am skeptical that his disarmament can come through inspections, but like Mr. Gephardt has said and like the President is now saying, I think it is right to exercise all diplomatic options first.

I just want to make a couple of points. I truly believe that Saddam's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is worse than we know. He has more than we can prove. He is closer to achieving what he wants than we think. And the reason I say that is, every time this has occurred in the past, we have learned that.

I will never forget that our own briefings from our own intelligence agencies in the late 1980s and 1990 indicated that, at best, Saddam had a primitive nuclear weapons program that was years away from fruition. And it wasn't until after the Gulf War that our inspectors, somewhat serendipitously, learned and discovered clear evidence that he was within 6 months to 1 year from having nuclear weapons.

So I go into this believing, perhaps as an article of faith, but based on past indications, that he has worse than we know of. I think we are headed to a confrontation with him on this issue if we cannot deal with it through the inspection regime sooner or later. And I believe, for America and for the world and for the Iraqi people, the costs in life and in devastation and in destruction and in economic costs will be less dealing with it sooner than procrastinating and postponing it until later. And I think that also should factor into our thinking in terms of timing.

And to my Democratic colleagues in the House who are struggling with this issue, I would like to make a couple of points very specifically addressed to you.

We talk now about preemptory strikes and unilateral action. It wasn't but a few years ago that we were asked to give authorization for air strikes in Kosovo against the Yugoslav regime, notwithstanding the fact that there was no U.N. Security Council resolution, and could not be one for the Russians were sure to veto it. Notwithstanding the fact that the national security threat to us there, such as it was, was clearly less than what Iraq's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction relates to the region. And to us nowa country, Iraq, led by a war criminal even more brutal than Milosevic, with far greater U.N. security interests and far greater threats to the stability of the international system than was posed there but we Democrats overwhelmingly voted for that authorization to use force at that time.

The second point in this area that I want to make-
Chairman HYDE. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. BERMAN. All right.

Chairman HYDE. If you want another few seconds.

Mr. BERMAN. Thirty seconds to make, if I may, to make this point. Talk to the Clinton Administration security people Jim Steinberg, Deputy Director of the NSA; Richard Holbrooke, U.N. Ambassador; and probably the Secretary of State if Florida had turned out differently Martin Indyk, the author of the dual containment strategy, and Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs; Ken Pollack, the Iraqi specialist at the NSC working in implementing the containment policies; Walter Slocombe, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense.

Nearly every one of the Clinton Administration people directly involved in Iraq policy, State Department, NSC or Defense Department thinks that this is the right decision, a "yes" vote on this authorization both to maximize our chances of pursuing a successful

diplomatic policy through the Security Council or, in the alternative, to deal with something that we have to deal with.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Iowa, Mr. Leach.

Mr. LEACH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As all Members know, this resolution involves a difficult set of decisions that neither the Congress nor the executive can duck. And anyone who is not conflicted in their judgments isn't thinking seriously.

For myself, I have enormous regard for the President and great respect for his foreign policy advisors, but I have come to the conclusion that this resolution misfits the times and the circumstances. There may be a case for regime change, but not for war against Iraq and its people.

Because time is brief, I would like to emphasize three points. First, given the events of 9/11, a doctrine of preemption has a modicum of legitimacy. But the greater our power, the more important it is to use it with restraint. Otherwise, it will be seen as hubristic, with a strong prospect of counterproductive ramifications. Engaging in war the wrong way can too easily jeopardize the underlying conflict against terrorism and undercut core American values and leadership around the world.

Two, there are many so-called end-game elements that have not been adequately addressed. They range from the dilemma of street combat, to problems of postwar government governance, to worldwide Muslim reaction.

Three and most profoundly, this resolution is based on a misunderstanding of modern science as it applies to weapons of war. The assumption is that there is a compelling case to preempt a nuclear weapons program. But what is underestimated is the volume and the danger of the biological agents Saddam possesses and the nature of his likely response to outside intervention.

The tactical assumption is that Saddam will be on the defensive with an American-British attack. But, the likelihood is that, as troubling as end-game problems are, the beginning conflict issues may be the most difficult ever confronted in the region and possibly in all of modern warfare.

When a cornered tyrant is confronted with a use-or-lose option with weapons of mass destruction and is isolated in the Arab world unless he launches a jihad against Israel, it is not hard to imagine what he will choose. Israel has never faced a greater challenge to its survival. The likelihood is that weapons of mass destruction, including biological agents, will be immediately unleashed in the event of Western intervention in Iraq.

In the Gulf War, Saddam launched some 40 SCUD missiles against Israel, none with biological agents. Today, he has mobile labs, tons of such agents, and an assortment of means to deliver them.

It is true that his stockpiles could be larger in years to come. But Members must understand that the difference between a few and a few hundred tons of anthrax or plagues may not be quantum. These are living organisms that can multiply; they endanger the region and, potentially, the planet.

We used to have a doctrine of MAD, mutually assured destruction, between the United States and the USSR. No one seriously

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