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Butler's U.S. Senate Testimony (28 Sep 00)

Below are selected sanctions-related excerpts from Richard Butler's 28 September 2000 testimony 
before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee <>.  Note 
that Butler repeatedly states that sanctions do not work.  Additionally, while Butler disagrees 
with Scott Ritter's evaluation of the status of Iraq's non-conventional programs and weapons, 
Butler proposes a policy solution that seems to be identical to Scott Ritter, "The Case for Iraq's 
Qualitative Disarmament," Arms Control Today, Vol. 30, No. 5 
<>: lift non-military sanctions in exchange for 
monitoring.  However, despite concluding that non-military sanctions do not work, Butler seems 
unwilling to state that the Security Council ought to unconditionally lift non-military sanctions.

Richard Perle <> and General Anthony Zinni, Ret., also 
testified.  Senator John Warner <> (Republican-West Virginia, Armed 
Services Committee Chairman) and Senator Carl Levin <> 
(Democrat-Michigan, Armed Services Committee Ranking Democratic Member) presided.  Please E-mail 
Nathaniel Hurd <> if you would like the entire 54 page Federal News Service 
transcript (either as regular E-mail text or a Microsoft Word attachment).

Copyright 2000 Federal News Service, Inc.   
Federal News Service 
September 28, 2000, Thursday 

LENGTH: 24027 words 

Richard Butler: 

“Let there also be no doubt in this room that there is an utterly single and abiding reason why the 
good people of Iraq are not enjoying that standard today, and it is the policies of the head of 
their government, the dictator of Iraq. Specifically, to come to weapons, the legal and political 
system established at the end of the Gulf War by the Security Council was deliciously simple. It 
was this: "You will suffer sanctions until you give us your weapons." He, therefore, has always had 
in his hands the key to the release of the Iraqi people from sanctions from day one, and it was to 
put on the table his weapons of mass destruction. Senator, he has resolutely refused to pick up 
that key and turn it, and the first victims of that are the people he purports to serve.”
“But one point I would want to make before perhaps leaving the sanctions subject, but I'll come 
back to the sanctions subject and its relations to us, is this: again I say to the good people who 
have just had to leave this chamber, that make no mistake about it, Iraq is awash with money. The 
consequences of the flourishing black market are simply enormous. The regime is in great shape. 
There is no shortage of a capacity to provide what the people need, were there the will to do just 
that, leave aside the oil-for-food arrangement. But instead of doing that, what we now see 
revealed, and perhaps the unkindest cut of all, is evidence that some of the U.N.-provided food and 
medicines is actually being seized by the regime and exported for sale outside Iraq. 

So my word on what we've just heard in this chamber, Mr. Chairman, is I agree, I agree that the 
ordinary people of Iraq are suffering greatly. I do not agree that it is the direct consequence of 
sanctions. I think the responsibility for that suffering lies with the leader of the government of 

“The chemical warfare agent manufacturing facilities have been rebuilt. The same is true of their 
biological capacity. And I've seen evidence that I accept that he has recalled their nuclear 
weapons design team. So, in summary, Mr. Chairman, they're back in business, which is precisely 
what was not to happen. Remember, my leitmotif here is that essentially we're talking about weapons 
of mass destruction. 

Now one of the main instruments that was to put -- that was to be employed by the international 
community to prevent this development was actually sanctions, sanctions tied to adequate 
disarmament and arms control performance. And I'm sure, when we enter into discussion, we'll come 
back to this. 

All I want to say about sanctions at this juncture is -- and I want to say this very, very 
carefully -- if their fundamental purpose -- after their initial purpose, which was to encourage 
him to get out of Kuwait, which didn't work, and so we had to send in a coalition of force -- but 
if their purpose thereafter was to oblige his conformity with the requirements of arms control, of 
disarmament and arms control monitoring -- I want to say this very carefully -- the only sensible 
conclusion to come to today is that they are not working. 

They may have worked for a period of time. They may have helped bring about some of what we 
achieved. It's a bit hard to dissect that with great accuracy, but let's assume they did. 

But I want to say now is, given the last 22 months, given today's circumstances of crumbling 
sanctions, given the fact that he's back in the arms business, Mr. Chairman, it follows as the 
night follows the day for me to say what I'm saying. These sanctions are not working.” 
“And fundamentally, Mr. Chairman -- and this is my fourth red line -- that means a major effort by 
the United States government, whether it's this administration or the next, to make clear to the 
fellow permanent member that is most chiefly responsible for Saddam's break- out -- and I'm talking 
of Russia -- to make clear to Russia that its behavior in the patronization of the dictator of 
Baghdad, a man declared by international observers to have the worst human rights record since 
Adolf Hitler, to make clear to Russia that it is not acceptable for it to patronize such a person, 
to make clear that we have a common interest in the security of the nonproliferation regimes on 
weapons of mass destruction, and that when Security Council consensus on such issues disappears, 
the only beneficiary is the rogue, and that behavior of patronage of such a rogue is unworthy and 
unacceptable from a permanent member of the Security Council. 

This is a tough ask. But Mr. Chairman, I believe it is essential if there is to be a chance of 
Saddam being brought back into the required arms control regime. 

Now, one of the ways in which such restoration of consensus may be able to be achieved is if this 
failing sanctions regime is modified. And the inner logic of that, it seems to me, is crystal 
clear. What is it about? It's about weapons of mass destruction. It's not about harming Iraqi 
babies. And so it seems to me that within such a new consensus consideration should be given to 
refocusing the sanctions to make sure that they are targeted against any militarily-related goods 
and against the financial welfare of the leadership of the government of Iraq. Targeted sanctions 
could be a part of such a new approach. 

And it must be fundamental to such a deal that monitoring be restored if Iraq were to be given a 
revised sanctions arrangement targeted on weapons and the finances of the leadership. But by 
definition, liberating some other parts of the regime, it could only be on the clear understanding 
that full-scale monitoring is returned to Iraq so that we can see what they're doing in their 
missile, nuclear, chemical and biological activities.”

Butler's Policy Proposal:

MR. BUTLER: -- look, the gut point would be, in exchange for getting monitoring back into Iraq, 
that sanctions would be different from what they are now -- they've almost gone now -- but that 
there would be clear sanctions on military goods. 

Would Iraq accept that deal? I don't know, but I -- 

SEN. LEVIN: And their own leadership -- not just on the military goods; it's also on their own 
leadership -- 

MR. BUTLER: Yeah. Well -- 

SEN. LEVIN: -- business transactions -- you'd use those. 

MR. BUTLER: Yes, that's right.

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