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Minor Victory by Cong. Ron Paul vs. the War Party.

For those of us who called Congress to oppose the resolution that
promoted war with Iraq, our efforts were rewarded with a
 softening of the language in the resolution,
see article below. The sentiment still remains however,
to keep Iraq in the US' crosshairs.
I wonder also that the War Party didn't want to pass a
resolution that might test  its legislative warmaking capacity
against that of the Executive's, an ongoing debate as it is.
Thanks to all who called Monday and Tuesday!
Keep the faith,
Philippa Winkler

>===== Original Message From =====
Bookmarks to various referenced texts in article itself.

Iraq next U.S. target?
Lawmakers, policy analysts debate Saddam's role in terror war

By Jon Dougherty
© 2001

Although the Bush administration has not officially declared Iraq to be
the next target in the U.S.-led war against terror, if ongoing
congressional debate on the subject is any indication, many legislators
are seeing Baghdad in their crosshairs.

Earlier this week, WND reported that Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, in a letter
to President Bush, warned that escalating the terror war by attacking
Iraq was "dangerous in the extreme" and should not be undertaken unless
or until the United States had proof that Iraq helped plan or stage the
Sept. 11 attacks.

In his letter, Paul reminded Bush that in a Sept.14 resolution, Congress
authorized the commander-in-chief to bring military, diplomatic and
economic pressure to bear against only "those who attacked the United

"The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force
against those nations, organizations or persons he determines planned,
authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on
Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons," the
congressional resolution states.

After Paul's letter, bolstered by the efforts of Kent Snyder, executive
director of The Liberty Committee, the House International Relations
Committee softened its language in a resolution passed Thursday calling
on the United States to get tougher with Baghdad.

The initial measure, called H.J.R. 75 and introduced Dec. 4, called for
action against Iraq if, among other things, "the refusal by Iraq to
admit United Nations weapons inspectors into any facility covered by the
provisions of Security Council Resolution 687" continued.

The provision said sustained non-compliance by Baghdad "should be
considered an act of aggression against the United States and its
allies." But Paul and Snyder said they objected to that language, which
they described as needlessly provocative, harsh and tantamount to a
declaration of war against Iraq.

Those objections may have led to a softening of the tone of the
resolution, Paul said yesterday.

"I guess we had a minor victory by making them rewrite it, but the
sentiment is still there," he told WND. "I think the ultimate goal" of
the supporters of the resolution "is to … promote a military conflict
with Iraq."

House International Relations committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., and
its ranking minority member, Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., went out of
their way during Thursday's session to deny the resolution was aimed at
empowering the administration with authority to attack Baghdad, said

"Henry Hyde and Tom Lantos both stressed in their opening remarks that
the bill was not an authorization for President Bush to attack Iraq,"
Snyder said. "I found it very interesting that both were so deliberate
in explaining what the bill was not about. Would they have made the same
remarks if the original bill was the one being discussed at the

"This resolution does not seek to give the president legal authority to
use force against Iraq. There is a debate about whether he already has
such authority, and I happen to believe that he does, but this
resolution does not speak to that question," Hyde said in a statement.

"All it says is that Iraq is violating its obligations under
international law, and that this violation presents a mounting threat to
our nation, to our allies and to international peace and security. These
statements are demonstrably true, and the truly dangerous course would
be to remain silent in the face of these facts," he added.

Snyder sees the denials of Hyde and Lantos as planned responses to
Paul's anticipated objections to the measure.

"It was obvious to me that Hyde and Lantos were anticipating comments by
Dr. Paul," he said. "They know Dr. Paul. They also felt the pressure
from thousands of people nationwide who expressed their opposition to
the original bill."

The resolution "was practically a declaration of war – as close as you
could get," Paul told WND. "It says that Saddam Hussein, for 12 years,
has been committing aggression against the United States because he
doesn't obey a UN resolution."

"Of course, the question is, how does Saddam Hussein commit aggression
against us since we're 6,000 miles away and it's our airplanes that fly
over his land continuously," he said. "We're sort of getting our
definitions a bit twisted."

Hyde and the 32 other members of his committee – Paul was the only
dissenter – who voted to support the resolution say more attention
should be paid to Iraq by the United States because of Baghdad's
continued quest for weapons of mass destruction.

"Since 1998, Saddam’s ability to reconstitute his nuclear weapons
program, his biological weapons program, his chemical weapons program
and his long-range missile program has not been constrained by
international inspectors," Hyde said Thursday.

"There is every reason to believe that Saddam has taken advantage of the
absence of inspectors to revive these weapons programs," he continued.
"The events of Sept. 11 demonstrate the severity of this threat to the
United States, and indeed to all civilized countries."

William Niskanen, chairman of the CATO Institute, a Washington,
D.C.-based Libertarian think tank, agreed that Iraq should not be the
next terror-war target unless proof of Baghdad's Sept. 11 complicity is
presented to the American people.

"The Bush Administration should not follow a successful prosecution of
the war in Afghanistan with another war in Iraq unless they present
conclusive evidence … that Saddam helped finance, organize or implement
the Sept. 11 attacks, or that he has supplied weapons of mass
destruction to some terrorist group to use against American lives and
property," Niskanen said during a CATO-sponsored forum on Iraq

The forum's other expert, former CIA Director James Woolsey, favored
action against Iraq, but only if the United States accomplished certain
objectives first.

Woolsey said the United States would first have to destroy Iraq's
somewhat extensive air defenses, so American and coalition aircraft
would have control of the skies. "If we did that successfully, the
Republican Guard or any other Iraqi divisions, the loyalty of which in
the latter case is extremely doubtful as far as Saddam is concerned, but
even the Republican Guard, about half-strength of what it was in 1991,
has no place to hide," he said.

The former CIA director said the United States would need essentially
only one ally – Turkey – for use of its airbases in attacks against

Woolsey speculated about an Iraq free of Saddam Hussein after a
successful U.S. campaign: "I believe in this relatively sophisticated
and well-educated country, one of the most technologically and socially
advanced countries until Saddam took over in the Muslim world, I believe
that we would have a very good chance of bringing a reasonable and
democratic regime to power to Iraq within months."

Other experts have said there is also more than just circumstantial
evidence that Saddam is rebuilding his weapons-of-mass-destruction
programs. Dr. Khidir Hamza, an American-educated scientist and former
director of Baghdad's nuclear weapons program, told lawmakers this week
that Saddam will possess at least three nuclear missiles by 2005.

"When I left, we designed one missile" and were acquiring the materials
from foreign stockpiles to build it, he said, adding that his estimate
was most likely conservative.

"I don't think there's a debate about whether or not to take out Saddam
Hussein – I think if any member of Congress had a magic wand, they would
eliminate him immediately," the co-chair of the congressional task force
hearing Hamza's testimony, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., told Fox News.

"The question is whether we have the military capacity to undertake that
and to manage it if a civil war were to break out. We're trying to
determine that by listening to the expert," he added.

Paul remained undeterred.

"[Hamza] is one person, and he is contradicting everything others who
have been in Iraq have said," Paul noted. "Then again, even if he's
right, I don't believe this one person should dictate the whole

"We know there's a possibility" that Iraq could be making progress on
the development of weapons of mass destruction – and especially nuclear
weapons, Paul said. "But we know that the North Koreans are much further
along. We know that China has them. We know that other nations have
them. The Russians had them, and they were pointed at us for 40 years,
but we kept talking to them.

"The idea that Saddam Hussein is strong enough to attack the United
States is, quite frankly, preposterous," Paul said.

"Have there been any inspections of Iraq since 1998? Many people say
no," said Snyder. "But the International Atomic Energy Agency has been
there twice since then, and they can't find any evidence that Saddam's
program is advancing.

"Scott Ritter, the former chief UN weapons inspector, has stated that
Iraq doesn't have the capability that they are often attributed to
have," Snyder added. "If we bomb Iraq, then we, as a nation, should
debate the issue, and Congress should have a recorded vote on a
declaration of war against Iraq" and not "hide behind a UN resolution."

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