WHY THE A.U.M.F. VOTE WAS A VOTE FOR U.N.
WEAPONS INSPECTORS AND DIPLOMACY, NOT WAR

DEBATE TIMELINE: AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY
FORCE AGAINST IRAQ

A.U.M.F. was a firewall to stop and divert Bush from a fall (pre congressional elections) invasion (liberation) of Baghdad.

The US campaign to change the Iraqi regime started at end-July (2002), quietly, step-by-step, without a war declaration, without congressional approval and without much noise.

Downing Street Memo July 23, 2002: The Defense Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
The Downing Street Memos

 

Of course a YES "vote" might lead to war, but a NO "vote" or if the A.U.M.F. resolution was never submitted, would of made no difference.

The only chance to stop Bush from war was to defuse the pending crisis through the United Nations and get the weapons inspector back into Iraq.  Without the U.S. "Use of Force" threat, Saddam would of never negotiated with Kofi Annan. Was it good or bad thing that Hans Blix and the U.N. weapons inspectors were allowed by Saddam re-entry into Iraq? If it was a vote for war, why was Iraq invaded by U.N. Weapons Inspectors not armed forces If it was a vote for war, why was the senate A.U.M.F. debate only on process and how to get U.N. weapons inspectors re-entry into Iraq, nobody was for doing nothing. If it was a vote for war, how do you explain Hans Blix and the U.N. weapons inspectors re-entry into Iraq with (for the first time) unfetter complete access to any site including 6 presidential palaces.

 

Liberal Magazine The Nation: "Antiwar forces in the United States and around the world can claim the recent UN resolution (1441) as a partial victory. The resolution does not endorse the use of force; it redefines the Iraq crisis, at least in the international arena, as one of disarmament, not regime change; and it will at least delay a US attack"

 

President Bush: "Pass a Resolution or be Bypassed" (U.N. Speech 9-12-02)

 

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Bush was marching to war and he did not need or want an "Iraq War Resolution" or need a new U.N. Resolutions to do so.
 

Senate A.U.M.F. Debate 10/10/2002

Mrs. BOXER: This administration did not want to bring the debate on this war to Congress. We have many quotes I have already put in the RECORD on that subject. They did not want the President to go to the United Nations. Indeed, they said he did not have to go there; he did not have to come here; he did not have to do anything.

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I suppose this resolution is something of an improvement. Back in August the President's advisors insisted that there was not even any need for authorization from Congress to go to war. They said past resolutions sufficed.

Others in the administration argued that the United States should attack Iraq preemptively and unilaterally, without bothering to seek the support of the United Nations, even though it is Iraq's violations of U.N. resolutions which is used to justify military action.

Eventually, the President listened to those who urged him to change course and he went to the United Nations. He has since come to the Congress. I commended President Bush for doing that.

I fully support the efforts of Secretary Powell to negotiate a strong, new Security Council resolution for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq, backed up with force, if necessary, to overcome Iraqi resistance.

Mr. BIDEN. As late as August 29 of this year, the White House counsel--the White House counsel--reportedly told the President that he had all the authority he needs to wage war against Iraq--there was a big deal about leaking a memorandum from the White House counsel to the world that Congress need not be involved, Mr. President. I had two private meetings with the President myself, where I made clear that I thought that was dead wrong and he would be--to use the slang on the east side of my city--``in a world of hurt'' if he attempted to do that.

Mr. DURBIN. Initially the White House said: We don't need congressional approval. We can move forward. They went on to say: We can do it unilaterally. We don't need any allies. We can attack Iraq if necessary by ourselves. And the President said our goal is regime change. We want Saddam Hussein gone.

Mr. SPECTER. I commend President Bush for coming to Congress. Originally he said he did not need to do so and would not do so. Later, he modified that, saying that while he might not have to, he was coming to Congress. He initially talked about unilateral action, and since has worked very hard in the United Nations



The power of a president to use (unilateral) military force is un-checkable, the only way to stop a president is to remove him from office through impeachment.
 

Power of a President: United States "Use of Force" without congressional authority

Panama in 1901;
Dominican Republic in 1904, 1914, 1965;
Honduras, 1912;
Nicaragua, 1926;
Lebanon, 1958;
Cuba, the naval quarantine, 1962
Grenada, 1983;
Libya, 1986;
Panama, that was just cause in 1989;
Somalia in 1992;
Sudan, Afghanistan, August of 1998.
Desert Fox in December of 1998,
Kosovo in March of 1999

On at least 125 occasions, the President has acted without prior express military authorization from Congress. These include instances in which the United States fought in Korea in 1870, the Philippine-American War from 1898-1903, and in Nicaragua in 1927


Only because in the run up to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Saudis said they would not allow American planes to carry out air strikes from the Prince Sultan base without a U.N. resolution authorizing war, Bush had no intention of getting congressional approval or new U.N. resolution till he was forced to.

A.U.M.F. and U.N. resolution 1441 weighed heavily on diplomacy and U.N. inspectors first, not war. A.U.M.F. was meant to send a strong message to Saddam "you better comply" and he did.

Saddam complied with every demand and it was Bush who keep raising and raising the "bar" till he (Bush) could claim that Saddam was of out of compliance of U.N. Resolution 1441 triggering the invasion.

Iraq war buildup timeline and A.U.M.F. Debate Quotes

What most fail to understand is that Bush had the authority and already pulled the trigger for WAR and was going to invade Iraq long before the A.U.M.F. vote and Bush would have invaded Iraq with or without A.U.M.F. passage or failure. There were only going to be 2 options on the table and the third option of doing nothing was not one of them.

In 1992 the Gulf War had 52-47 senate votes and in 2002 the Iraq War had 76-23. Don't you find it curious (in your view) why so many democrats would vote for war. But they did not vote for WAR, the Democrats traded a YES vote on A.U.M.F. for a Bush promise to go to U.N. which he kept. Bush got the U.N. to pass Res 1441 and Saddam gave in and allow weapons inspectors with unlimited inspection rights to re-enter after a 4 year absence.

If Bush stopped and didn't invade Iraq and let and allowed the weapons inspectors to do their job, it would looked like a brilliant foreign policy move. Bush got greedy and lust for war overwhelmed him, he did not follow through on 2nd U.N. vote abandoning any hope for a large U.N. sponsored coalition. Bush also failed to get a promised 2nd vote from congress before invading Iraq.


 

Iraq War Resolution Timeline

O'Neill: Bush planned Iraq invasion before 9/11
(CNN) -- The Bush administration began planning to use U.S. troops to invade Iraq within days after the former Texas governor entered the White House three years ago, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told CBS News' 60 Minutes.
CNN.com - O'Neill: Bush planned Iraq invasion before 9/11 - Jan. 14, 2004


Gen. Tommy Franks
Feb. 19, 2002


Senator Graham (chairman senate intelligence committee) also revealed that Gen. Tommy Franks told him on Feb. 19, 2002, just four months after the invasion of Afghanistan, that many important resources - including the Predator drone aircraft crucial to the search for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida leaders - were being shifted to prepare for a war in Iraq.
World and nation: New Graham book makes 9/11-Saudi link


Equipment Intercepting Al-Qaeda Communications
In Afghanistan Arena Is Sent to Iraq
Spring 2002 
 
The US Air Force’s only two specially-equipped RC135 U spy planes credited with having successfully intercepted the radio transmissions and cell phone calls of al-Qaeda’s leaders are pulled from Afghanistan to conduct surveillance over Iraq. [Guardian, 3/26/2004] NSA satellites are boreholed, (or redirected) from Afghanistan to Iraq as well. [Atlantic Monthly, 10/2004]

Number of MASH units are being called up to report for duty in July
May 7, 2002

Among the more telling signals not discussed yet in the mainstream media is the revelation that a number of MASH units are being called up to report for duty in July. These same units will be committed up to a 6 month period from the July date, that is, through the fall congressional elections. Added to this is the increasing reserve call-up of troops and the deployment of more warships to the region, including war games in the coming weeks with India. Further evidence of a push for a late summer/early fall invasion is the churning out of weapons, including the so-called "low-yield" nuclear bunker buster bomb.
Invasion of Iraq: It's Sooner Than You Think - Empire? - Global Policy Forum

Downing Street memo
July 2002

A leaked secret Downing Street memo asserts that by July 2002, Bush effectively had decided to go to war, which belies his repeated claim that he was still eagerly pursuing
www.consortiumnews.com


Bush plan to invade Iraq challenged by senators
11 July 2002

Concern at Mr Bush's plans has grown for months. Last week The New York Times reported that Pentagon planners were proposing to invade Iraq with up to 250,000 troops, probably early next year, using American bases in a number of countries in the region.
Bush plan to invade Iraq challenged by senators - Independent Online Edition > Americas

Scott Ritter: Facts needed before Iraq attack
17 July 2002

Scott Ritter: I believe Washington D.C. is using the concept of inspections as a political foil to justify war. America doesn't want the inspectors to return. The best way to stop war is to get the inspectors back in. I believe it should be the policy of the United Nations to get the inspectors back in.
CNN.com - Scott Ritter: Facts needed before Iraq attack - July 17, 2002

 

Evidence of Bush’s Early Decision to Invade Iraq
July 23, 2002

Pretty ironclad proof that Bush was not misled by bad intelligence on Iraq WMD, but instead cooked the intelligence books intentionally to justify an a priori decision to invade. From London’s Sunday Times: The secret Downing Street memo
lies.com » Evidence of Bush’s Early Decision to Invade Iraq


Steps Before War
August 11, 2002

The Constitution gives Congress alone the power to declare war. In modern times, presidents have used their own constitutional authority as commanders in chief to conduct undeclared wars, most notably in Vietnam. In the case of Iraq, the White House is weighing the use of military force to try to eliminate future dangers, rather than to respond to present aggression. That affords ample time for Congressional action. Bypassing Congress would also be politically irresponsible. Wars rarely proceed according to plan. Battlefield setbacks can swiftly erode public support. If that happened, Congressional involvement could temper the kind of divisions America experienced over Vietnam. At this point, administration officials, who met this weekend with representatives of Iraq's fragmented opposition, seem more interested in listening to the wishful talk of Iraqi dissidents than consulting with Congress.
Steps Before War - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum


Does Bush Need Congressional Okay to Invade Iraq?
Aug. 26 2002

On Aug. 26, White House lawyers issued an opinion that President Bush could order a preemptive attack against Iraq without a vote of approval from Congress. The lawyers based their opinion on two factors:
·
The president's constitutional authority as commander in chief of the military (Article II, Sec. 2)·

Terms of the 1991 Gulf War resolution they content remains in effect today
·
Terms of the Sept. 14, 2001 congressional resolution approving military action against terrorism (S.J. Res 23)·
Does President Bush Need the Approval of Congress to Attack Iraq?

White House lawyers that Bush does not require Congressional approval for an attack on Iraq

From this, it's a short step to other manifestations of imperial decision-making, such as the August 26 opinion by White House lawyers that Bush does not require Congressional approval for an attack on Iraq. Supposedly, the 1991 resolution secured by the elder Bush for Operation Desert Storm is sufficient. "We don't want to be in the legal position of asking Congress to authorize the use of force when the President already has that full authority," a senior White House official told the Washington Post.
The Nation. The Imperial Presidency

Saudis would not allow American planes to carry out air strikes from the Prince Sultan base

In the run up to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Saudis said they would not allow American planes to carry out air strikes from the Prince Sultan base without a UN resolution authorizing war.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | US pulls out of Saudi Arabia



BUSH MAY REQUEST CONGRESS'S BACKING ON IRAQ, AIDES SAY
August 29, 2002

To seek some new explicit sign of approval from Congress -- but not necessarily a formal vote
Despite confident assertions by the White House this week that the president has all the legal authority and Congressional approval he needs for an invasion of Iraq.
BUSH MAY REQUEST CONGRESS'S BACKING ON IRAQ, AIDES SAY - New York Times

 

Former U.N. Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter address the Iraqi Parliament
September 8, 2002

The only way that Iraq can achieve this (stop war) is with the unconditional return of UN weapons inspectors, allowing such inspectors unfettered access to sites inside Iraq in order to complete the disarmament tasks as set forth in Security Council resolutions...
C-SPAN: Ex-UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter Addresses Iraqi Parliament
 

IRAQ: AZIZ SAYS IT IS RIDICULOUS FOR INSPECTORS TO REENTER IRA
September 9, 2002

IRAQ: AZIZ SAYS IT IS RIDICULOUS FOR INSPECTORS TO REENTER IRAQ
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-2161314_ITM

President Bush delivers a speech to the United Nation
September 12, 2002

On September 12, amid increasing speculation that the United States is preparing to invade Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, President Bush delivers a speech to the United Nations calling on the organization to enforce its resolutions for disarming Iraq. Bush strongly implies that if the United Nations does not act, the United States will a message that US officials make more explicit the following week.

Four days later, Baghdad announces that it will allow arms inspectors to return "without conditions." Iraqi and UN officials meet September 17 to discuss the logistical arrangements for the return of inspectors and announce that final arrangements will be made at a meeting scheduled for the end of the month. The United States contends that there is nothing to talk about and warns that the Iraqis are simply stalling. The Bush administration continues to press the Security Council to approve a new UN resolution calling for Iraq to give weapons inspectors unfettered access and authorizing the use of force if Iraq does not comply..

Don't Attack Saddam By Brent Scowcroft
September 15, 2002

In any event, we should be pressing the United Nations Security Council to insist on an effective no-notice inspection regime for Iraq -- any time, anywhere, no permission required. On this point, senior administration officials have opined that Saddam Hussein would never agree to such an inspection regime. But if he did, inspections would serve to keep him off balance and under close observation, even if all his weapons of mass destruction capabilities were not uncovered. And if he refused, his rejection could provide the persuasive casus belli which many claim we do not now have. Compelling evidence that Saddam had acquired nuclear-weapons capability could have a similar effect.
Don't Attack Saddam - UN Security Council

Pass a Resolution or be Bypassed
September 16, 2002

There he stood, this unlikely emperor of the world, telling the UN's 190 nations how it is going to be. The assembled nations may not be quite the toothless Roman senate of imperial times, but at the UN the hyperpower and its commander-in-chief are in control as never before: how could it be otherwise when the US army is the UN's only enforcer? This is, President Bush said, "a difficult and defining moment" for the UN, a challenge that will show whether it has become "irrelevant". He pointed his silver-tongued gun with some delicacy and a certain noblesse oblige, but there was no doubt he was holding it to the UN's head: pass a resolution or be bypassed.
The Last Emperor - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum

Saudi Arabia hints it will let Americans launch attack from Prince Sultan base
September 16, 2002

In an interview in Al-Hayat, the London-based Arabic newspaper, the Prince urged Iraq to admit UN weapons inspectors before a new Security Council resolution cleared the way for an attack if it refused. "Timing is important, and allowing inspectors back before a Security Council resolution to that effect would be in Iraq's favor," he said.
Saudi Arabia hints it will let Americans launch attack from Prince Sultan base - Independent Online Edition > Middle East

30,000 US Troops Already In Iraq
September 16, 2002

Around 100 US/UK jet fighters 10 days ago bombed and destroyed airbases H-3 and al-Baghdadi in western Iraq, close to the Jordanian border. Earlier, on 5 August, the allied forces destroyed an air defense base in southwest Iraq, near the Saudi border. Reports indicate that the Iraqi forces have withdrawn from the air bases and the command and control centers that were bombed, and have been replaced by US forces which have started repairing the bases to use them later. Before that, US forces, supported by Turkish troops, penetrated northern Iraq and reached a distance of around 30km from Mosul and Kirkuk. The reports also indicate that the US and allied forces are a few kilometers away from Basra, and US and allied forces now occupy more than 15% of Iraqi territory.

The destruction of the first defense lines for the Iraqi forces in the north, south and west and have prepared the grounds for the second move which will see the occupation of Basra, Najaf and Kerbala in the south, and Mosul and Kirkuk in the north. From there, the road will be open to US forces to move towards Baghdad and Tikrit from the west. It is estimated that there are today no less than 30,000 US soldiers in Iraq, mostly in the north.

The above confirms that the US campaign to change the Iraqi regime started at end-July, quietly, step-by-step, without a war declaration, and without much noise. What is strange is that Iraq, which is fully aware of the US presence on its territory, is not ready to publicize this for fear of the effect on the morale of its armed forces, or whatever is left of them. Otherwise, how can Iraq justify its silence for the occupation of part of its territory by US forces?
30,000 US Troops Already In Iraq” - UN Security Council

Iraq agrees to weapons inspections
September 17, 2002

Iraq agrees to weapons inspections
http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/09/16/iraq.un.letter/


NOTE: Saddam saw the six month build-up and placement of the U.S. military ground forces and the U.S. Navy in the region, but this agreement to weapons inspections would of been no better than it was in 1998 and would not have inspectors with "unfettered access", the inspectors would of followed the guidelines set in [1998] MOU [Memorandum of Understanding]

 Kofi Annan and Iraqi concessions on key weapons inspection
September 19, 2002

By Richard Butler
September 19 2002

Kofi Annan has failed to win Iraqi concessions on key weapons inspection
points.

THE United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, did not use the words "peace in our time" when he announced that the letter to him from the Iraqi. Foreign Minister stated that Iraq would "allow the return of the United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq, without conditions".

The economy of Annan's statement did suggest, however, that he thought, like Chamberlain had when he returned from Munich in 1938, that the problem had been solved and war had been averted. Sadly, it appears that Annan will be on no safer ground than was Chamberlain

NOTE: Without the U.S. "Use of Force" threat, Saddam would of never negotiated with Kofi Annan.

 

Iraq: No new U.N. resolutions
September 21, 2002

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq says it will not cooperate with any new U.N. resolution on arms inspections, as the U.S. pushes for tough ultimatums against Baghdad.

The Iraqi announcement is a direct challenge to U.S. President George W. Bush's push for a new resolution that puts teeth into current ones, creating concise and strong consequences should Iraq renege on its agreement.
CNN.com - Iraq: No new U.N. resolutions - Sep. 21, 2002

Al Gore IRAQ AND THE WAR ON TERRORISM
September 23, 2002
I believe that we are perfectly capable of staying the course in our war against Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network, while simultaneously taking those steps necessary to build an international coalition to join us in taking on Saddam Hussein in a timely fashion. If you're going after Jesse James, you ought to organize the posse first. Especially if you're in the middle of a gunfight with somebody who's out after you.
Event Archive: Al Gore - Commonwealth Club

THE NATION: Open Letter to the Members of Congress
September 25, 2002

Even if Saddam possesses weapons of mass destruction and wishes to use them, a policy of deterrence would appear perfectly adequate to stop him, just as it was adequate a half-century ago to stop a much more fearsome dictator, Joseph Stalin. It is not true that military force is the only means of preventing the proliferation of these weapons, whether to Iraq or other countries. An alternative path is clearly available. In the short run it passes through the United Nations and its system of inspections, now more promising than before because Iraq, responding to US pressure, has opened itself unconditionally to inspectors. At the very least, this path should be fully explored before military action--the traditional last resort--is even considered.
An Open Letter to the Members of Congress- UN Security Council

US meets more resistance on Iraq
October 4, 2002

US meets more resistance on Iraq
Friday, 4 October, 2002

Opposition to the US line on Iraq is hardening at the United Nations, with Russia and France rejecting a tough new draft resolution on weapons inspections. Russia's President Vladimir Putin said on Friday UN weapons inspectors had to go back to Iraq "as soon as possible". A spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry later said there was "no legal precondition for a new resolution" on weapons inspections in Iraq. And Turkey, a key US military ally bordering on Iraq, said any US attack on Iraq must have international backing

.NOTE: AUMF was used as leverage to force Russia and France to come to the table on a new tough Iraq resolution with unfettered access to all sites including the 6 president palaces and warn Saddam "you better comply".
 

Mr. BIDEN: The President has not asked us to go to war. He has said he wants the power to be able to go to war.

Mr. BIDEN. Yes, with one caveat. He has expressed to me his ability to achieve a tough resolution would be enhanced by our not making it a two-step process. But he personally has told me and my committee he would consider and the President would consider a U.N. two-step process if they had to. The reason for my saying not two steps now is it strengthens his hand, in my view, to say to all the members of the Security Council: I just want you to know, if you do not give me something strong, I am already authorized, if you fail to do that, to use force against this fellow.

 

Putin wants quick return of UN Inspectors to Iraq
October 4, 2002
Putin wants quick return of UN

Inspectors to Iraq
By Andrei Shukshin
10/04/02

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia, using its weight as a permanent veto-holding member of the U.N. Security Council, appeared to harden its stance against any new U.N. resolution on Iraq Friday, urging a quick return of weapons inspectors there under their existing mandate.

The U.N. arms inspectors, led by Hans Blix, have made clear they would heed calls from Washington to hold off their departure and wait for the 15-member Security Council to adopt a new resolution.

But Russia urged that the inspectors be dispatched to Iraq without delay.

"It is necessary to ensure the quickest possible deployment of UNMOVIC inspection mission in the country (Iraq)," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a joint statement with visiting Chilean President Ricardo Lagos.

NOTE: Russia was balking at any NEW resolution. Saddam was now holding the upper hand, it was Saddam setting the terms for weapons inspectors re-entry Bush never expected Saddam to give in and allow weapons inspectors’ re-entry.

A number of Presidents, has directed military action in the following
October 10, 2002

Mr. WARNER: Cooperation is a keystone to any successful inspection regime. But back to the preemptive--and I have shared this with others--in my research, the United States, under a number of Presidents, has directed military action in the following: Panama in 1901; Dominican Republic in 1904, 1914, 1965; Honduras, 1912; Nicaragua, 1926; Lebanon, 1958; Cuba, the naval quarantine, 1962, President Kennedy--clearly that was a preemptive threat and action by our President--Grenada, 1983; Libya, 1986; Panama, that was just cause in 1989; Somalia in 1992; Sudan, Afghanistan, August of 1998. You recall the bombing raids we did at that time. Iraq, that was Desert Fox in December of 1998, and I remember well as ranking member going over and talking with then-Secretary of Defense Cohen, a valued friend and colleague in the Senate of many years. And Kosovo in March of 1999.

NOTE: On at least 125 occasions, the President has acted without prior express military authorization from Congress.[3] These include instances in which the United States fought in Korea in 1870, the Philippine-American War from 1898-1903, and in Nicaragua in 1927

 

A.U.M.F. was the third draft and Senator Hagel was one of the congressional negotiators.
 

The A.U.M.F. that was voted on 10/10/2002 was the third draft and Senator Hagel was one of the congressional negotiators.

Mr. BAUCUS. Last week, a bipartisan group of Congressmen and Senators brokered an agreement with the President and produced a resolution that strikes a good balance between diplomacy and force. The resolution supports exhausting diplomatic means to disarm Saddam prior to engaging in the use of force.

Mr. HAGEL. Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies.

Mr. HAGEL. In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.

Mr. HAGEL. In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.

Mr. HAGEL. It is imperative that the administration continue to work to multilateralize the current effort against Iraq. If the administration's initiatives at the United Nations are real and sincere, other nations are more likely to invest, to stand behind our efforts to force
I.W.R. Debate Floor Speech

In an interview published in GQ magazine in January 2007, Mr. Hagel said that he helped shape the course of the debate — even if it was not his resolution that ultimately passed. He said he helped convince the White House to narrow its request for authorization to go to war just to Iraq. Initially, the administration wanted Congress to approve a broad measure that would not have necessarily specified Iraq as the only target, potentially allowing action elsewhere in the Middle East.
Defending War Vote New York Times


Hillary Clinton Floor Speech A.U.M.F. Use of Force Vote
October 10, 2002

While there is no perfect approach to this thorny dilemma, and while people of good faith and high intelligence can reach diametrically opposed conclusions, I believe the best course is to go to the UN for a strong resolution that scraps the 1998 restrictions on inspections and calls for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded from Iraq.

Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.

If we get the resolution and Saddam does not comply, then we can attack him with far more support and legitimacy than we would have otherwise.

Floor Speech of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of<br>United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

 

AUTHORIZATION OF THE USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AGAINST IRAQ -- (Senate - October 08 - 10, 2002)
October 08 - 10, 2002

Mr. KERRY : My vote was cast in a way that made it very clear, Mr. President, I'm voting for you to do what you said you're going to do, which is to go through the U.N. and do this through an international process.

Mr. KENNEDY :The better course for our Nation and for our goal of disarming Saddam Hussein is a two-step policy. We should approve a strong resolution today calling on the United Nations to require Iraq to submit to unfettered U.N. weapons inspections or face U.N.-backed international force. If such option fails, and Saddam refuses to cooperate, the President could then come to the Congress and request Congress to provide him with authorization to wage war against Iraq.

Mr. BIDEN: The President has not asked us to go to war. He has said he wants the power to be able to go to war

Mr. WELLSTONE. There is a critical distinction between going it alone and taking action in conjunction with our allies. Our focus should be going to the United Nations Security Council and asking for a resolution that makes it clear to Saddam Hussein that he must disarm. Saddam must give arms inspectors unfettered access. And, if he does not comply with this new UN resolution there will be consequences, including the use of appropriate military force. But we must do this together with our allies. We must bring the international community on board. This resolution allows for a preemptive, unilateral strike, which I believe would be a huge mistake.

Mr. DODD: As I said earlier, I accept the proposition that we must deal with the Iraqi threat. I stand prepared, as almost all of our colleagues do, to support the unilateral use of force against Iraq but only if U.N. or other multinational efforts prove ineffective, or if Saddam Hussein is using them as a guise to rebuild his offensive weapons capabilities

Mrs. BOXER: This administration did not want to bring the debate on this war to Congress. We have many quotes I have already put in the RECORD on that subject. They did not want the President to go to the United Nations. Indeed, they said he did not have to go there; he did not have to come here; he did not have to do anything.

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I suppose this resolution is something of an improvement. Back in August the President's advisors insisted that there was not even any need for authorization from Congress to go to war. They said past resolutions sufficed.

Others in the administration argued that the United States should attack Iraq preemptively and unilaterally, without bothering to seek the support of the United Nations, even though it is Iraq's violations of U.N. resolutions which is used to justify military action.

Eventually, the President listened to those who urged him to change course and he went to the United Nations. He has since come to the Congress. I commended President Bush for doing that.

I fully support the efforts of Secretary Powell to negotiate a strong, new Security Council resolution for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq, backed up with force, if necessary, to overcome Iraqi resistance.

Mr. BIDEN. As late as August 29 of this year, the White House counsel--the White House counsel--reportedly told the President that he had all the authority he needs to wage war against Iraq--there was a big deal about leaking a memorandum from the White House counsel to the world that Congress need not be involved, Mr. President. I had two private meetings with the President myself, where I made clear that I thought that was dead wrong and he would be--to use the slang on the east side of my city--``in a world of hurt'' if he attempted to do that.

Mr. DURBIN. Initially the White House said: We don't need congressional approval. We can move forward. They went on to say: We can do it unilaterally. We don't need any allies. We can attack Iraq if necessary by ourselves. And the President said our goal is regime change. We want Saddam Hussein gone.

Mr. SPECTER. I commend President Bush for coming to Congress. Originally he said he did not need to do so and would not do so. Later, he modified that, saying that while he might not have to, he was coming to Congress. He initially talked about unilateral action, and since has worked very hard in the United Nations.

It may be that the practical effect of what the President is doing now, through Secretary of State Colin Powell, amounts to what was sought in the Biden-Lugar resolution, and I do believe the likelihood of getting UN action is better if we proceed to give the President the authority to act without UN support because if we said, as Senator Levin proposed, that his authority to use force would be conditioned on a UN resolution, it would be, in effect, an open invitation to the UN not to act, knowing the President and the United States, were limited from acting if the UN did not, and subjecting our national interests to China, Russia, or France's veto.

Mr. KOHL. The President has vowed to seek the support of the international community against Iraq, and my vote today is cast accepting and supporting that position fully. I Believe we should not commit U.S. troops abroad without the support of the international community. The costs are too great for us to take unilateral action unless we have no other choice. International involvement will strengthen our hand against Saddam Hussein, increasing the likelihood that we will be able to resume inspections and disarm Iraq.

Mr. BAUCUS. Last week, a bipartisan group of Congressmen and Senators brokered an agreement with the President and produced a resolution that strikes a good balance between diplomacy and force. The resolution supports exhausting diplomatic means to disarm Saddam prior to engaging in the use of force.

Mr. JEFFORDS: We should give the United Nations the opportunity to step forward and deal with Iraq and its infractions. In my estimation, the United States stands to gain much more if we can work with the United Nations to deliver a multilateral approach to disarming Iraq, even providing military force, if necessary. If the United Nations fails to press for the disarmament of Iraq or is blocked in its efforts, then I would expect the President to come back to Congress for further discussion of the alternatives

Mr. DASCHLE: Second, the resolution expresses the deep conviction of this Congress and of the American people that President Bush should continue to work through the United Nations Security Council in order to secure Iraqi compliance with U.N. resolutions. Unfettered inspections may or may not lead to Iraqi disarmament, but whether they succeed or fail, the effort we expend in seeking inspections will make it easier for the President to assemble a global coalition against Saddam should military action eventually be needed. Third, this resolution makes it clear that before the President can use force in Iraq, he must certify to the Congress that diplomacy has failed, that further diplomatic efforts alone cannot protect America's national security interests, nor can they lead to enforcement of the U.N. Security Council resolutions

Mr. BIDEN. Yes, with one caveat. He has expressed to me his ability to achieve a tough resolution would be enhanced by our not making it a two-step process. But he personally has told me and my committee he would consider and the President would consider a U.N. two-step process if they had to. The reason for my saying not two steps now is it strengthens his hand, in my view, to say to all the members of the Security Council: I just want you to know, if you do not give me something strong, I am already authorized, if you fail to do that, to use force against this fellow.

Mr. JEFFORDS. Madam President, the vote on the Levin substitute amendment is one of the most important votes we will cast in this process. I commend the Senator from Michigan for his fine work on this alternative. The Levin amendment urges the United Nations to take strong and immediate action to pass a resolution demanding unrestricted access for U.N. arms inspectors in Iraq. It also urges the United Nations to press for full enforcement of its prior resolutions on Iraq.

Ms. MIKULSKI. I applaud Secretary Powell. I think his is a vigorous effort to try to resolve the situation through diplomatic means, to send a message to Saddam that he should voluntarily disarm and let the inspectors in.

That might not work. But it is then up to the U.N., as the President said when he spoke to them, to take responsibility; to therefore authorize action to enforce their own resolutions so the United States of America is not doing this all by ourselves. It is not America versus Saddam. It should be the international community against Saddam because, I think you would agree, he is a despicable cad.

Mr. JEFFORDS. Clearly, we need to get United Nations inspectors on the ground immediately. The inspectors must have unfettered access to all suspected sites in Iraq. This is proving to be a major challenge for the United Nations, but the United Nations is much more likely to succeed if the United States is squarely behind its efforts, and not standing off to the side, secretly hoping that it will fail.

Mr. WELLSTONE. There is a critical distinction between going it alone and taking action in conjunction with our allies. Our focus should be going to the United Nations Security Council and asking for a resolution that makes it clear to Saddam Hussein that he must disarm. Saddam must give arms inspectors unfettered access. And, if he does not comply with this new UN resolution there will be consequences, including the use of appropriate military force.

Mr. BAYH. I believe this course presents us with the best opportunity to rally our allies and convince the United Nations to act with us. We should make every effort--as Senator McCain indicated in his colloquy with Senator Lieberman and as the President indicated last night--to convince the United Nations and our allies of the justice of our cause. We are stronger when we act together, so we must seek a consensus for this course of action

Mr. BYRD. We ought to let the inspectors go back in and have restrictions such that they will have a full and free opportunity to inspect wherever they want, wherever they think they should. So I am for all that. I am not one who says Saddam is not a threat; he is a threat.

We should utilize the time we have to let the U.N. marshal its forces and try to get other countries to assist this country in carrying the burden.

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, this amendment will provide an alternative to the Lieberman amendment. This amendment will authorize the President to use military force supporting the U.N. resolution that he seeks, but then provides that if he seeks to go it alone, if he wants authority to proceed unilaterally, he would then call us back into session.

Mr. BIDEN. only disagreement with my friend from Michigan is I do not think we need a two-step process. We should go to the United Nations, and the President says we should go to the United Nations. We should seek the authority to enforce the inspectors in disarming weapons of mass destruction. And if he fails, my friend says come back and get authorization to proceed anyway. I am prepared to give him the authorization now.

NOTE: The Levin Amendment would of gave veto power over the United States to France, Russia and China. IWR was meant to send a strong message to Saddam "you better comply" and he did

Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I am reassured by statements made by the President in his address to the United Nations on September 12, which conveyed a major shift in the administration's approach--turning away from a preemptive strategy and, instead, engaging and challenging the U.N. Security Council to compel Iraq's disarmament and back this with force. I deeply believe that it is vital for the U.N. Security Council to approve a new, robust resolution requiring full and unconditional access to search for and destroy all weapons of mass destruction.

Ms. LANDRIEU. The new U.N. resolution the President and Secretary Powell seek is our best chance to avoid a war. But the threat of force must be present to enforce a new resolution because Saddam only understands force. Again, Charles Duelfer testified before the Iraqis were perfectly willing to thumb their nose at UNSCOM because the U.N. had not authorized force to make Iraq comply.

Mr. KENNEDY. Before going to war again, we should seek to resume the inspections now--and set a non-negotiable demand of no obstruction, no delay, no more weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

 


Congressional Record 107th Congress - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

A.U.M.F. VOTE: Authorization for Use of  Force
November 10, 2002

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 107th Congress - 2nd Session as compiled through Senate. The bill passed by 77 to 23.
U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote

Bush Job Approval Rating
October 10, 2002

Bush Job Approval Rating is at 67%
Bush: Job Ratings

Barack Obama's Iraq Speech
October 26, 2002

Now let me be clear I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.
Barack Obama's Iraq Speech

 

Hans Blix U.N. weapons Inspector Interview
November 1, 2002

QUESTION: Are you satisfied with the difference? Will the resumed inspections mean that inspectors will have access that they did not have in 1998?


HANS BLIX: Well, we have now established that there is access to all sites. We are not making any differences between any sites except that the [1998] MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] concerning [eight] presidential sites is separate, is regulated separately.
http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/iraq/press-conf-oct1.htm

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441
November  8, 2002

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 is a resolution by the UN Security Council, passed unanimously on November 8, 2002,

Iraq agreed to the Resolution 1441 on 13 November
November 13, 2002

Iraq agreed to the Resolution 1441 on 13 November 2002

U.N. Inspectors Re-enter Iraq
November 27, 2002

November 27, led by Hans Blix of UNMOVIC and Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The inspectors had been absent from Iraq since December 1998 when they were withdrawn immediately prior to Operation Desert Fox.
UN Security Council Resolution 1441

THE NATION: Half a Victory at the UN
December 2, 2002

In general, antiwar forces in the United States and around the world can claim the recent UN resolution as a partial victory. The resolution does not endorse the use of force; it redefines the Iraq crisis, at least in the international arena, as one of disarmament, not regime change; and it will at least delay a US attack. It provides a powerful tool to fight for US accountability to multilateralism and the UN. But it still reflects the heavy-handed domination of the UN and the rest of the world by the United States and ultimately sets the terms for war.
Half a Victory at the UN - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum

UN Inspectors Fear Bush Will Ignore Them
January 5, 2003

UN weapons inspectors in Iraq fear their work - which has failed to turn up any evidence thus far of weapons of mass destruction - will still be used as an excuse to trigger a US-led invasion of Iraq.
UN Inspectors Fear Bush Will Ignore Them - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum

US Operatives Are Said to be Active in Iraq
January 5, 2003

About 100 US Special Forces members and more than 50 Central Intelligence Agency officers have been operating in small groups inside Iraq for at least four months, searching for Scud missile launchers, monitoring oil fields, marking minefield sites, and using lasers to help US pilots bomb Iraqi air-defense systems, according to intelligence officials and military analysts who have talked with people on the teams.
US Operatives Are Said to be Active in Iraq - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum

Bush Intercepts Phones and Emails of Key U.N. Security Council Members
January 31, 2002

The memo is directed at senior NSA officials and advises them that the agency is 'mounting a surge' aimed at gleaning information not only on how delegations on the Security Council will vote on any second resolution on Iraq, but also 'policies', 'negotiating positions', 'alliances' and 'dependencies' - the 'whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises'.

Dated 31 January 2003, the memo was circulated four days after the UN's chief weapons inspector Hans Blix produced his interim report on Iraqi compliance with UN resolution 1441.
US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war

France Set to Block Second UN Resolution on Saddam
February 18, 2003

France deepened Tony Blair's political crisis over Iraq last night, when the President, Jacques Chirac, said he would be willing to veto a second UN resolution authorising war against Saddam Hussein.
France Set to Block Second UN Resolution on Saddam - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum

Foreign Ministers Vow to 'Not Allow' Force Resolution
March 5, 2003

The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Russia said today they will "not allow" passage of a U.N. resolution to authorize war against Iraq. The three ministers held an emergency meeting in Paris as U.S.-led preparations for war accelerate and the U.N. Security Council prepares to consider a resolution backed by Washington that could open the door for military action.
Foreign Ministers Vow to 'Not Allow' Force Resolution - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum

Beijing Vows to Block New UN War Resolution
March 6, 2003

China closed ranks with France, Germany and Russia Thursday and promised to block a new UN resolution authorizing war on Iraq, saying conflict would bring a humanitarian disaster and economic turmoil.
Beijing Vows to Block New UN War Resolution - UN Security Council - Global Policy Forum

Bush Considers Abandoning U.N. Resolution
March 13, 2003

WASHINGTON - Forced into a diplomatic retreat, U.S. officials said Thursday that President Bush (news - web sites) may delay a vote on his troubled U.N. resolution or even drop it - and fight Iraq (news - web sites) without the international body's backing. France dismissed a compromise plan as an "automatic recourse to war."

Amid a swirl of recrimination and 11th-hour posturing, the White House called France's position unreasonable while U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) raised the possibility of a global summit "to get us out of this crisis."
Bush abandons un resolution

 

Operation Iraqi Freedom. Iraq War Starts
March 20, 2003

The rationale for the invasion offered by U.S. President George W. Bush and coalition supporters included the allegation that Iraq possessed and was actively developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in violation of a 1991 agreement.
Iraq War Starts

 

COMMENTARY

In 2002, United States Senator Hillary Clinton and State Senator Barack Obama both believed that Saddam had developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

If Barack Obama had his way, he was willing to do nothing and let an un-restricted Saddam in Iraq, with no U.N. weapon inspectors on ground for 4 years, to continued weapons of mass destruction development at his will. A.U.M.F.  was key for the U.N. inspectors re-entry into Iraq..

Barack Obama 26 October 2002: "I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity". He"s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

Either Barack Obama does understand the Senate A.U.M.F. debate and vote (most don't) and is just playing politics of duplicity or he does not understand the A.U.M.F. debate and vote, which makes him just naive.

Hillary was PRO U.N., Bush was Pro War, Obama was PRO doing nothing...

 

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